Hong Kong's Department of Health has announced that the efforts made by it to encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies have been successful and more and more mothers wanted to give their babies' breast milk.
The department's Senior Medical and Health Officer Lo Yim-chong said that the rate of breastfeeding in Hong Kong increased to 12 percent in 2004 from 6 percent in 1997. This numbers are for exclusive breastfeeding. The numbers for mothers who ever breastfed their babies also climbed to 69 per cent in 2004.from 50 percent in 1997.
Ms Lo said that breast milk was the best food for babies and added that the numbers should improve as Hong Kong still lags behind some other countries. She added that breastfed babies "suffer fewer incidences of diarrhea, respiratory and middle-ear infections, and are less likely to develop allergies and childhood obesity."
Breastfeeding also helps mothers by reducing their risk for breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis. Lo said that efforts to promote breastfeeding should continue.