Law No. 13 of 2003 on manpower had yet to support the implementation of six-month exclusive breastfeeding for newly born infants, Darmawati remarked during an online discussion to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week here on Wednesday.
"Law No. 13 of 2003 on manpower has regulated a three-month leave, 1.5 months before (mothers) give birth and 1.5 months (after birth) to facilitate breastfeeding," the minister noted.
Government Regulation (PP) No. 11 of 2017 has also offered a three-month maternal leave for civil servants.
The minister has urged related institutions to find a solution to such inconsistency.
"Hopefully, in the future, we can revise (the law), and I fully agree to the decision (to grant) a six-month parental leave," Darmawati remarked.
The minister pointed out that for the most part, the government already had in place a comprehensive policy to protect children and women, though in terms of its implementation, at times, an overlapping occurred with other policies.
Nutrition Specialist of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Sri Sukotjo noted that some years back, the Aceh provincial administration had issued a gubernatorial regulation on a six-month parental leave after birth.
"We do not know about the implementation of the regulation, but we know that the local government has attempted to do that," she stated.
In some neighboring countries, including Vietnam, mothers can avail a six-month leave for exclusive breastfeeding of their newly born infants, Sukotjo stated.
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the initial six months of life, followed by continued breastfeeding with suitable complementary foods for up to two years of age and beyond.
WHO also recommends early and uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact, rooming-in, and kangaroo mother care that significantly improve neonatal survival and reduce morbidity. All mothers should be supported to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth, within the first hour after delivery and should receive practical support to enable them to initiate and establish breastfeeding and manage common breastfeeding difficulties.
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