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PIA Press Release
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

 

Intensified breastfeeding promotion among pregnant urged

Butuan City - The 7th National Nutrition Survey (NNS) conducted by the food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) in 2008 showed that the participation of pregnant women in breastfeeding promotion program is low.

Results of the survey on government program participation showed that only 24 in every 100 pregnant women participated in breastfeeding promotion program.

This figure among the pregnant is in contrast with the participation level of lactating women in breastfeeding promotion program reported at 100 percent.

While the promotion of breastfeeding is successful among lactating women, more attention should be given to pregnant women in preparation for lactation.

Breastmilk is by far the best food for a newborn baby, and encouraging soon-to-be moms to breastfeed is an important undertaking.

Breastfeeding protects against common infections, especially diarreah and respiratory diseases as well as urinary tract and ear infections, in addition to psychosocial and emotional benefits like mother-baby bonding.

During pregnancy, a woman’s body is already preparing for breastfeeding, as milk ducts and milk-producing cells are developing and more blood goes to the breasts than before.

Pregnant women need a healthy diet for sufficient milk supply.

Good nutrition in pregnancy helps a mother stay healthy, energetic and better prepared for taking care of the baby and the rest of the family.

Nutrition and health advocates recommend exclusive breastfeeding infants for six months, and then continue for as long and often as possible.

Exclusive breastfeeding means giving the baby only breastmilk for six months-no other fluids, including water, tea or sugar.

Researches have shown that a woman is more likely to breastfeed longer if her partner and family members are well-informed and supportive.

In preparing for breastfeed, so the mother and the baby can have a healthy start.

Breastfeeding classes and other nutrition and health promotion activities can help address concerns like teaching mothers the recommended diet, correct positions of breastfeeding, right clothes to wear, what to do with inverted nipples, importance of regular check-ups in health centers or hospitals and where they can get support, among others.

Today, with a growing concern on food safety and security and the threats of natural calamities like strong typhoons and prolonged droughts, breastfeeding ensures that newborn infants get enough nourishment to grow normally and become productive citizens in the future. (Charina Javier, FNRI-DOST/PIA-Caraga)

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