Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Data shows rise in breastfeeding only partial

Data shows rise in breastfeeding only partial

Data shows rise in breastfeeding only partial

As World Breastfeeding Awareness week comes to a close today, recent data suggests more Cambodian mothers have been returning to formula early in 2015 than in previous years.

But despite the Kingdom ranking well above the global average in terms of the prevalence of breastfeeding, the need for changing social norms remains essential in making the practice a trend that continues, experts say.

The number of new mothers who breastfeed their infants in Cambodia for at least the first month of life jumped from just 11 per cent in 2000 to 79.9 per cent in 2014, the most recent year for which statistics for Cambodia are available.

The figure surpasses the global average of 38 per cent for 2015, according to the World Health Organization.

However, despite this accomplishment, data shows that the number of mothers who breastfeed for up to six months – the ideal duration to ensure a child’s healthy development – fell nearly 10 per cent in 2014 from 2013 levels, according to the Cambodia Demographic Health Survey (CDHS).

“We feel that such dramatic change is due in large part to the migration issues and increased use of breast milk substitutes,” said Abigail Beeson, health and nutrition specialist for Save the Children Cambodia.

Beeson pointed to increasing formula sales, which peaked in 2010, with 9.3 per cent of children of breastfeeding age instead using formula.

This increase, from 4.3 per cent in 2000, came despite a 2005 sub-decree to limit potentially harmful and unclear marketing surrounding formula.

Women in urban areas reported that “social pressure through Facebook and other media”, and a lack of public information, led them to avoid breastfeeding, according to Beeson, who said “establishing social norms earlier” is essential in changing parental views on the importance of breastfeeding.

MOST VIEWED

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Mother, daughter killed in hotel fire

    The bodies of a mother and daughter were found locked in an embrace after they were killed in a hotel fire in Phnom Penh at around 3:30am on Wednesday at the Phkar Chhouk Tep 2 Hotel and Restaurant in Phsar Doeum Kor commune, in the capital’

  • EBA withdrawal a destruction of EU achievements, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the EU’s possible suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement amounted to a destruction of its achievements in the Kingdom and the demise of the opposition group. Hun Sen made the remarks while addressing more than 6,700 students during

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Kingdom calls on Japan to increase number of direct flights to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh

    Cambodia is requesting Japan to increase the number of direct flights from Japanese cities and provinces to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, so as to contribute to increasing cooperation and tourist numbers between the two countries. During the opening ceremony of 3rd Japan Travel Fair

  • Court orders Sokha to stand trial on January 15 for treason

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has set January 15 as the trial date for Kem Sokha, the former president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) who is under court-supervised bail on a treason charge. In a press release issued on Monday, the municipal