Issue of August 6, 2017
     
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2017
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Make your baby healthier with breastfeeding
by Ofelia C. Empian

SUSTAIN BREASTFEEDING-- In a bid to promote the value of breastfeeding as the best option to healthier infants and toddlers, more than 40 lactating mothers simultaneously breastfed their infants during the observance of the World Breastfeeding Month at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center on Friday. -- Ofelia Empian

More than 40 lactating mothers simultaneously breastfed their babies as a show of support to the World Breastfeeding month this August at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center on Aug. 4.

The mothers, mostly with their newborn infants, were assisted by health workers, doctors and nurses on the proper way of breastfeeding their babies. Mothers with their babies up to two years old also joined the activity, also in celebration of the World Breastfeeding Week, which is from Aug. 1 to 7.

Dr. Eleanor Cuarte of BGHMC said the event is a means of showcasing the importance of breastfeeding.

“For us doctors and nurses it’s easy for us to tell you to breastfeed your children, but we know that breastfeeding, though very natural, is not easy to do because sometimes it is tiring,” Cuarte said.

She said health workers also extend their support in helping the mothers breastfeed not only during their stay in the hospital but also until they go home. 

“Our goal is for  mothers to breastfeed exclusively their children until they are six months and after that, continue breastfeeding,” she said.

With the theme, “Ugnayan: One community protecting, supporting and promoting breastfeeding,” the activity aims to inform, firmly anchor, galvanize public support, and engage everyone in the importance of breastfeeding. 

Dr. Ricardo Ruñez, BGHMC medical center chief II, said the country still faces high incidences of malnutrition, adding that breastfeeding is crucial in combating malnutrition especially in the first 1,000 days of a newborn-child.

“That’s very vital in order not to stunt the growth of the kid,” he said.

Now on its fourth year, the simultaneous breastfeeding event needs to be sustained to continue the advocacy on breastfeeding.

“We will continue what we can do; we will see the impact of what we are doing here, probably not now but in the years to come,” Runez said.

Medical studies show that breastfeeding can save millions of infants from suffering common preventable diseases such as diarrhea and respiratory and ear infections.

The practice also provides total food security for infants in the first six months of life and remains an important source of nutrition for older babies during the first two years of life.

Breastfeeding also foster the optimal emotional and cognitive development of the child including increased IQ and decrease maternal deaths from postpartum bleeding.

The country has existing national law, the Milk Code, which prohibits advertising of infant formula to infants less than two years of age.


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