ONLINE NEWS: USM THANEER PANTHAL PROVIDES BREASTFEEDING CORNER, PROMOTES AWARENESS AND INCLUSIVITY
USM Thaneer Panthal provides breastfeeding corner, promotes awareness and inclusivity
By Tanushalini Moroter | 24 January 2024
FOR the second consecutive year, the USM Thaneer Panthal has set up a breastfeeding corner to provide a conducive and safe space for nursing mothers during the Thaipusam celebration.
Its advisor, R.Muniandy emphasised the importance of promoting breastfeeding and ensuring that mothers feel at ease while taking care of their infants’ needs.
“Sometimes, mothers may find it challenging to bring along feeding bottles, infant formula, and all the other necessary items to prepare milk. This might lead them to finally opt not to attend public gatherings such as Thaipusam.
“In response to this challenge, we initiated the idea to provide a comfortable space for mothers to breastfeed and promote the numerous benefits of breastfeeding.
“Last year, during the Thaipusam panthal operators meeting, we shared our idea of setting up a breastfeeding corner at our stall with the former Deputy Chief Minister II, Prof Dr P. Ramasamy, and he received it well.
“We also extended an invitation to the Waterfall Hilltop Temple to implement a similar initiative as well, and they reciprocated positively,” Muniandy told Buletin Mutiara during an interview today.
According to Muniandy, apart from USM Thaneer Panthal, breastfeeding facilities are also available at the Waterfall Hilltop Temple foothill and Nattukkottai Chettiar Temple.
Meanwhile, Vasumathi Muthuramu, a certified breastfeeding peer counselor and USM PhD student, shared that this year, USM has partnered with Persatuan Pembimbing Penyusuan Susu Ibu Pulau Pinang, a breastfeeding support group in Penang.
“Mothers need a supportive ecosystem to facilitate breastfeeding; only when we create a friendly environment, they will be able to do so.
“We have initiated this effort with the hope that more people will join us in raising awareness about breastfeeding as well as to build a supportive ecosystem.
“We believe it is important to start somewhere to make it happen. Despite receiving some negative comments from people, we decided to proceed with our initiative,” Vasumathi added.
Vasumathi said the breastfeeding corner is available from 9am to 6pm.
“After 6pm, we will serve food to the public and those who wish to use the room after 6pm, can request assistance from the volunteers at the panthal.
“Mothers, pregnant ladies or even other family members can also visit the corner to seek counseling or to get information on breastfeeding from the volunteers of Persatuan Pembimbing Penyusuan Susu Ibu Pulau Pinang,” she said.
Dr Shankar Karuppayah, the USM Thaneer Panthal treasurer, thanked the state government for its continuous support towards its initiative of setting up the breastfeeding facility.
“We would like to thank the State Social Development, Welfare, and Non-Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman Lim Siew Khim as well as our former state executive councillor Chong Eng for their financial support for this project,” he said.
Its chairman Dr Subramaniam Govindan, who was also present, highlighted the nutritious benefits of breastmilk for infant growth.
The USM Thaneer Panthal is located near the SJK(T) Azad.
Story by Tanushalini Moroter
Pix by Alissala Thian
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