Đà Nẵng inaugurates Việt Nam’s first airport breastfeeding room

May 16, 2024 - 21:01
The newly established breastfeeding rooms cater to the needs of mothers who seek a safe and tranquil environment to breastfeed their babies or express breastmilk. The rooms are strategically positioned near washing facilities yet distanced from lavatories, limiting noise with soundproofed walls and include somewhere comfortable to sit down.
One of eight rooms at Đà Nẵng International Terminal for mothers who want to breastfeed their babies or express breastmilk. — VNS Photos Khánh Dương

ĐÀ NẴNG — Đà Nẵng Airport has become the country's first airport to introduce breastfeeding rooms at convenient and accessible locations.

Six breastfeeding rooms were opened for use at the airport’s international terminal on Thursday.

Supported by the Embassy of Ireland in Việt Nam, FHI 360’s Alive & Thrive and Rotary Đà Nẵng, the newly established rooms provide a safe and tranquil environment for mothers to breastfeed their babies or to express breast milk. The breastfeeding rooms are strategically positioned near washing facilities yet distanced from lavatories, have soundproofed walls and have comfortable chairs.

Đinh Anh Tuấn, head of the Maternal and Child Health Department under the Ministry of Health, said Việt Nam’s laws, including labour laws, laws on social insurance and on health insurance, have strict regulations on mothers breastfeeding, encouraging people to believe that breastfeeding is best.

Việt Nam is among only a few developing countries which has six months of maternity leave and the healthcare sector has taken lots of measures to encourage breastfeeding with Đà Nẵng leading the way, he said.

Đà Nẵng Hospital for Women and Children was the first healthcare facility nationwide to launch a mother milk bank initiative, since then five other banks and two satellite operations opened across Việt Nam. The system of milk banks is expanding, aiming to provide safe donated human milk to at-risk babies in need nationwide, he said.

A breastfeeding room is located next to a children's playground at one of the airport's departure gate.

Đỗ Trọng Hậu, chief operating officer of Đà Nẵng International Terminal, said: "We are delighted to introduce this pioneering initiative at Đà Nẵng International Terminal, setting a new benchmark for breastfeeding support in public spaces nationwide.

"The breastfeeding rooms’ smart design, co-created by lactating mothers and international lactation consultants, serves as an excellent complementary solution to enhance lactation space accessibility for breastfeeding mothers alongside mother and baby rooms already installed."

Facilities inside the room. The space is wide enough for up to four mothers.

Paul Zambrano, acting regional director of Alive & Thrive East Asia Pacific, said: "With Đà Nẵng International Terminal leading the charge in supporting breastfeeding, Đà Nẵng is on the way to becoming a breastfeeding-friendly city, bolstered by an ecosystem of initiatives aimed at creating a supportive environment for breastfeeding. This investment transcends nutritional benefits, yielding economic and environmental dividends through breastfeeding."

The central city currently hosts five centres of excellence for breastfeeding, benefiting over 21,000 babies every year and thanks to the milk bank at Đà Nẵng Hospital more than 100 preterm, low-birthweight and sick babies are helped every day.

The city also boasts a 100 per cent installation rate of lactation rooms within workplaces, which employ more than 1,000 female employees, empowering 15,000 working mothers to sustain breastfeeding upon their return to work.— VNS