Local News

More nursing rooms needed: poll


WITH the adoption of the universal second-child policy, the shortage of nursing rooms has attracted increasing public attention. In this regard, reporters from the Shenzhen Evening News recently conducted an online survey and visited a number of public spaces in the city.

According to the survey, 65.5 percent of parents said they had used nursing rooms, but only 3.7 percent of them thought that there was an abundance of nursing rooms in public spaces.

Nearly half of the respondents believe that the current number of nursing rooms in public spaces represents a “serious shortage.”

During a field visit, reporters found that shopping malls built in recent years have basically been equipped with nursing rooms, with each floor having at least one nursing room. However, it is also not rare for some shopping malls and large supermarkets that have been open for a long time to have no nursing rooms at all.

“As a young mother, I don’t like the habit of breastfeeding in public. It is not easy for moms to breastfeed, and we should at least give the practice some privacy and dignity,” said a citizen surnamed Wang.

Wang is a full-time mom and often takes her 6-month-old child with her when she goes shopping. Due to the convenience of breastfeeding and changing her baby’s diapers, access to a nursing room has become a prerequisite when she decides which malls to patronize.

A man surnamed Wang had an unpleasant experience while shopping with his wife and newborn baby at a supermarket at the end of last year. Because the supermarket doesn’t have a nursing room, he had to use a public toilet to change the baby’s diaper. “It was very cold, and we had to wash the baby’s bottom with cold water,” Wang recalled.

Compared with shopping malls, respondents deemed that having nursing rooms in public spaces, such as stations and hospitals, was more important. It was also found that Metro stations hardly ever set up a separate nursing room due to the mobility of their customers.

In addition to inadequate nursing rooms, many parents are also beset by the shortage of supporting facilities in such rooms. The survey showed that the major problems with the rooms include inadequate facilities, bad locations and poor hygiene.

More than half of the respondents believe that aside from adding more nursing rooms, the existing unqualified rooms should be renovated. Moreover, the city should develop certain standards for nursing rooms and circulate a map showing the distribution of the rooms in the city.

Shenzhen will build no less than 200 public nursing rooms each year from 2018 to 2020, according to earlier media reports.

By 2020, more than 800 nursing rooms will be built in the city’s public spaces, including transportation hubs, commercial centers, hospitals, scenic spots and amusement parks, the reports said.