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July 2011 – Nutrition Month Emphasis on Breastfeeding

 

Every year, in the month of July, the whole nation observes The Nutrition Month purposely to disseminate messages of good nutrition to all Filipinos. This year’s theme, “Isulong ang Beastfeeding-Tama, Sapat at EKsklusibo!” focuses on the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding for infants from 0-6 months and continue up to 2 years and beyond.

In support of this developmental endeavor of the nutrition community to be spearheaded by the National Nutrition Council (NNC), the Department of Education (DepEd) enjoins all schools to participate in this celebration by undertaking meaningful activities that will highlight the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for infants and its benefits which is manifested by good health and nutrition when the child reaches school age until adulthood.

BABIES not BREASTFED are:

  • more likely to die than those who experienced  breastfeeding from the time they were born
  • have higher risk of death among infants and hospitalized low birth weight infants
  • have higher incidence of serious illness
  • have 2-5 fold increase in neonatal mortality rate (NMR) in not receiving colostrum.
  • There is a 5-13% decrease in Neonatal Mortality Rate with exclusive breastfeeding.

BENEFITS of BREAST FEEDING

  • Child Spacing (LAM)
  • Decrease risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, hip and bone fracture
  • Easier night feeds and attachment of mother and child
  • Can save as much as P2,000 a month
  • Reduces time lost from work
  • Reduces cost for medicine for sick baby
  • Provides protection against infection and illnesses
  • Protects from allergies and enhances intelligence
  • Breastfeeding not only saves babies from death, but also provides long-term benefits.
  • Breastfed babies do better in school

POLICIES and PROGRAM in SUPPORT to BREASTFEEDING in the Philippines

  • Executive Order 51 or National Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitute
  • RA 7600 or Rooming in and Breastfeeding Act of 1992
  • RA 10028 or Expanded Breasfeeding Promotion in 2009
  • DOH Administrative Order 2005-2011 or National Policies on Infant and Young Child Feeding
  • DOH AO 2007-0026 or Revitalization of Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital
  • DOH AO 2009-0025 Adopting New Policis and Protocol on Essential Newborn Care
  • Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition

WAYS to CELEBRATE NUTRITION MONTH 2011

FAMILIES and COMMUNITIES

  • Disseminate correct information about breasfeeding.
  • Family members supporting the mothers breasfeeding experience
  • Report violations of milk code to the Department of Health
  • Remove marketing materials of formula milk in health facilities

WORKING PLACES

  • Mother Baby Friendly Hospital
  • Set up of milk banks
  • Continuing education on breasfeeding
  • Produce and distribute information materials

SCHOOLS

  • Integration of infant and young child feeding in the curriculum
  • Enforcement of the Milk Code in schools
  • Schools must not allow any marketing including sponsorship from milk companies within the school as this is against milk code
  • Place posters, brochures and information about breasfeeding

INDUSTRY and MANUFACTURERS

  • Compliance with the milk code by milk companies
  • Fortify foods that are mandated by RA 8976
  • Compliance to food Hygienic practice for food for infants and children, proper handling of foods in the food chains.

FACTS about BREASTFEEDING

–   All mothers can breastfeed, mother’s breast milk is designed to provide for and protect baby even times of hardships and famine.

–   A mother produces enough breastmilk for her baby, almost all mothers can produce enough milk as long as they feed the baby as often as needed. The baby’s frequent suckling stimulates further the production of breastmilk.

–   Breastfeeding does not cause breast to sag. Breast sagging is caused by poor physical support during pregnancy and lactation.

–   Breast do not produce sour or spoiled milk. Breastmilk is always safe and will never get spoiled in the breast. Quality of milk is the same in both breast.

–   A mother can breastfeed even when she is sick and tired. Whenever the mother is exposed to an illness or infection, her body makes the antibodies and her milk contains antibodies to protect the baby.

–   Colostrum is not dirty milk and should not be thrown away. It is yellowish in color, indicates antibodies for the baby.

“There is nothing greater than for a mother to nurture her beloved child straight from her bosom.” Justice Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez