Breastfeeding saves life, protects a baby from diseases, and provides a child the best in life.
Optimal breastfeeding has the potential to significantly reduce child mortality more than any other preventive Intervention. Saline up breastfeeding to a near‘universal level could prevent 823,000 child deaths per year globally, according to the scientific journal The Lancet. By supporting mothers to practice proper breastfeeding, nearly half of diarrhea episodes and a third of respiratory infections would be avoided. Breastfeeding has also been found to reduce the risk of childhood obesity and dlabetes in children.
Breastfeeding is also associated with a lowet risk of breast and ovarian cancers for nursing mothers later in life. The Lancet estimates that optimal breastfeeding can prevent 20,000 deaths from breast cancer per year.
Hakab Na! 2019 brings together families, breastleedlng support groups, advocates, government, and nongovemment organizations. ‘l’his year‘s theme ‘Lakas ng Magulang, Sigla ng Pagpapasuso Kalusugan, Nutrisyon ng Kabataan para sa Kmabukasan’ has been lodized by the DOM for the Philippines based on the global theme ‘Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding’ from the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. The gathering serves to encourage a dynamic exchange of Ideas on providing proper information and support to Filipino mothers and thelt families to enable them to breastfeed, and practice good infant and young child feeding.
“Breastfeeding Pinays believes that a successful breastfeeding campaign requires a concerted effort among the government. nongovernment organizations and communities. Together, we can empower breastfeeding moms by assuring them that what they are domg is very valuable as it gives their children the best start in life,” shared Abie Co-Floreza, President of BFP.
The early years of a child are critical for brain development and physical growth. Studies have shown that non~breastfed children’s brain development an be negatively Impacted. The first two to three years of life have a life-long effect on a child‘s future affecting health, education, wellbeing and earning potential in adulthood. In the Philippines, only 29% of infants are exclusively breastfed up to 5.9 months WHO and UNICEF urge parents and caregwers to initiate exclusive breastfeeding and continue breastfeeding up to at least the first two years or beyond We should consistently provide mothets the right information about the benefits of breastfeeding as well as provide supportive environment to breastfeed her baby anywhere, especially at home and in the workplace.
SM Cares Marie Bernadette D. Velasco, Program Director of SM Cares Program on Women and Breastfeeding Mothers, shares, “We envision our community of mothers to consider SM as their second home. SM strives to be a mall for all and continues to support the mothers and women In communities where our malls are present.”
Rommel V. Fuerte, Executive Director of World Vision Development added, “there Is a need to sustain the efforts that we have collaboratively Implemented to make #BreastmilkForTheBest realized and that laws that protect, promote and support optima! breastfeeding are strengthened. We need to Include every member or the community to join us In In helplng the government monltor the Implementation of these laws and that violation are reported.“
“Investment in public health policies and programs that protect, promote, and support exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of a child’s life and continuing breastfeeding wlth safe and appropriate Intent and young child feeding practices ls grounded on the educatlon and empowerment of parents, communities, and even workplaces“ notes Health Secretary Dr. Francisco T. Duque. “It Is part of the few most cost-effident and high-impact multi-sectoral Interventions our country can count on In combating stunting and malnutrition, along with the care for the health and nutrition of our women of all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.”
There are a number of actions that the government, civil society organizations and communities can take to protect, promote and support every Filipino child’s rights to survive and thrive. Strong foundation on the practice of exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices, coupled with support given at the right time, can ensure children’s proper health and development, and allow them to achieve their full potential.
When parents and supporters have the correct information and support, they are empowered to exclusively breastfeed and continue breastfeeding to give sufficient nutrition to their children. This benefits the children and the society as a whole.