Da Nang International Terminal Leads as Mother-Friendly Airport with Public Breastfeeding Rooms

May 17, 2024

Da Nang, 16 May 2024 – Celebrating World Day of Human Milk Donation, Da Nang International Terminal proudly announced a pioneering initiative, marking its distinction as the nation’s first airport to introduce six dedicated breastfeeding rooms at convenient and accessible locations throughout its premises. Supported by Rotary Da Nang, FHI 360’s Alive & Thrive and Embassy of Ireland, this forward-thinking endeavor underscores the airport’s commitment to passenger comfort and well-being.

Breastfeeding stands as a cornerstone of child nutrition, health, and survival, as well as a fundamental aspect of women’s health. Moreover, it makes substantial societal contributions, adding nearly four trillion dollars to the global economy annually and aiding in carbon offset. While mothers should feel empowered to breastfeed anywhere, anytime, some babies may not feel comfortable in crowded, noisy, or unhygienic environments.

“It is challenging for me to find a suitable space to pump my milk in large public areas such as airports or shopping malls,” a mother expressed in a pre-production survey. “It is uncomfortable to express milk or breastfeed my baby in restrooms, even though I occasionally have to resort to doing so.” A survey involving close to 400 mothers in Viet Nam and overseas underscores the necessity for a private and hygienic space for breastfeeding, despite their awareness that they should not feel embarrassed while nursing in public.

Complementing the existing mother and baby facilities, the newly established breastfeeding rooms at Da Nang International Terminal cater to the needs of mothers who seek a safe and tranquil environment to breastfeed their babies or express breastmilk. Breastfeeding rooms are strategically positioned near washing facilities yet distanced from lavatories, limiting noise with soundproofing walls, and include a comfortable chair and table.

We are delighted to introduce this pioneering initiative at Da Nang International Terminal, setting a new benchmark for breastfeeding support in public spaces nationwide,” remarked Mr. Do Trong Hau, Chief Operating Officer of Da Nang International Terminal. “The breastfeeding rooms’ smart design, co-created by lactating mothers and international lactation consultants, serves as an excellent complementary solution to enhance lactation space accessibility for breastfeeding mothers alongside traditional mother and baby’s rooms.”

Chris Vanloon, President of Rotary Da Nang, highlighted, “We have also established similar breastfeeding rooms at Indochina Shopping Mall, as we envisioned these public breastfeeding rooms to serve as collection points for donated human milk. By replicating these practices, we can establish a network of collection points to support not only Da Nang’s Human Milk Bank but also others in Hanoi, Quang Nam, Quang Ninh, and Ho Chi Minh City.”

Paul Zambrano, Acting Regional Director of Alive & Thrive East Asia Pacific, lauded the event, stating, “With Da Nang International Terminal leading the charge in supporting breastfeeding, Da Nang propels itself towards becoming a breastfeeding-friendly city, bolstered by an ecosystem of initiatives aimed at creating an enabling environment for breastfeeding. This investment transcends nutritional benefits, yielding economic and environmental dividends through breastfeeding.”

Ms. Deirdre Ní Fhallúin, Ambassador of Ireland to Viet Nam, stated that “Supporting nutrition initiatives, particularly for children, is key to achieving growth, well-being and development. Initiatives that encourage and support breastfeeding are essential to nurturing healthier communities and fostering a more sustainable future.”

In addition to the commendable efforts at the airport, Da Nang proudly hosts five Centres of Excellence for Breastfeeding, benefiting over 21,000 babies annually, and a Human Milk Bank at Da Nang Hospital for Mother and Children, supporting more than 100 low-birth-weight and sick babies daily in accessing breastmilk. Furthermore, the city boasts a 100% installation rate of lactation rooms within workplaces, employing more than 1,000 staff members, empowering over 15,000 female employees to sustain breastfeeding upon their return to work.