Breastfeeding may be challenging but it’s so worth it! The bond that ties between mother and baby is something special and I wish every mother can experience that wonderful feeling. I was given a chance, for just a few months, and I would like to help in educating women on the importance of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding may be considered a challenging phase of motherhood but the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies truly make the journey worthwhile. While more and more mothers recognize that breastmilk will always be superior compared to formula milk, there is still a need to spread awareness on its benefits and to encourage people to support breastfeeding.
In response to the global campaign of protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding, World Vision Development Foundation, in partnership with the Department of Health, launched Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines. This two-year project aims to:
1. Support and strengthen the implementation of Executive Order 51 (The Philippine Milk Code of 1986), Republic Act 7600 (The Rooming-In and Breastfeeding Act of 1992), and Republic Act 10028 (The Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009).
2. Increase awareness and educate health professionals and the public regarding these laws.
3. Encourage people to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding by involving them in monitoring the implementation of breastfeeding laws in the country.
Carleneth F. San Valentin, Health and Nutrition Technical Programme Manager of World Vision Development Foundation, believes that encouraging mothers to nurture their child is a way to empower a mother’s ability to breastfeed and care for their child. “We are here to educate mothers so that they are empowered to make the right choice in nurturing and caring for their child. We want them to realize that if these laws are not implemented, we are impinging on their rights and of their child’s,” she shared.
According to Dr. Anthony P. Calibo of the Department of Health, this responsibility to uphold the breastfeeding rights of mothers is not just the responsibility of concerned organizations and government sectors; it is a responsibility of the general public. “If a mother is investing herself for the betterment of the future of her child, then she is also investing in the betterment of the future of this country,” he emphasized.
To stay true to their mission and vision for this project, the team conducted Mommy Forum: Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines last October 2, 2018, at Little Owl in New Manila. #MBFPH was graced by mom celebrities like Camille Prats Yambao, Jennica Garcia Uytingco and Erika Padilla.
Erika Padilla, World Vision Breastfeeding Ambassador, shared her breastfeeding journey. “It is a huge sacrifice. It is difficult, painful, and a lot of work. But definitely worth every single drop because I see my son getting stronger and healthier every day,” she recalled. Her story encouraged more moms to share and ask for more tips from Erika as well.
Rommel Fuerte, Executive Director of World Vision Development Foundation, reminds long-time moms and new moms the reason behind this gathering: the breastfeeding normalization is still a work in progress and it’s a must to constantly promote and protect breastfeeding to empower moms and to ensure a healthy start for their children.
To know how you can support Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines, log on to https://mbfp.doh.gov.ph/ or download MBF PH via Google Play or Apple Store.