The Ministry of Labor, War Invalid and Social Affairs (MOLISA) has proposed that maternity leave be raised to 6 months from the current 4 months to help enhance the long-term health of the newborns.
Health experts say a longer maternity leave will give mothers more time to breastfeed and take care of their babies
Photo: An Giang E-Information Portal
At a meeting held by the ministry yesterday to hear opinions and feedback about the proposal, most of the delegates said they supported the expansion, considering it as a solution to improving the health and well-being of Vietnamese children.
Currently, about 32 percent of the 7 million children under five in Vietnam suffer stunted growth, ranked 13th in the world, according to the Health Ministry.
Stunted growth results from malnutrition suffered by the fetus and the baby in its first 2 months of life, the ministry said.
Exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months would help boost growth and reduce mortality rate among children below five by 13 percent. But only 10 percent of babies in Vietnam are exclusively breastfed in the first six months after birth, the ministry said, warning this puts them at a greater risk for diseases.
Many health experts blame the situation partly on the short maternity leave – just 4 months, and said an expansion will give mothers more time to breastfeed and take care of their babies.
The MOLISA expects to submit the proposal to the Government for approval in October this year.
Write your comment here