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PIA Press Release
2008/08/14

Support of fathers to breastfeeding urged

by Jemin B. Guillermo

Roxas City (14 August) -- The Department of Health (DOH) calls on fathers to support the breastfeeding program.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III is urging the public, particularly the fathers, to support mothers in breastfeeding their babies.

He also appealed to fathers and the entire community to help implement the Gold Standard on Infant Feeding which include initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of life, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and addition of adequate and safe complimentary feeding at six months, at the same time continuing breastfeeding up to two years and beyond.

The call is part of the government's advocacy on the importance of breastfeeding with the month of August being declared as the National Breastfeeding Month.

This year's theme "Lahat Panalo sa Pagpapasuso," highlights the benefits of breastfeeding to babies, mothers, community and the environment.

Duque revealed that exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life will provide babies protection against diarrhea, pneumonia, neonatal sepsis and improves a child's intelligence quotient.

Breastfeeding also benefits mothers as it reduces bleeding after delivery, reduces cancer of the breast and ovaries, he said, adding that breastfeeding also acts as a natural family planning method as it delays return to fertility.

In addition, studies show that women who breastfeed their babies are less likely to be absent from work because of baby-related illnesses and less likely to have long absences when they miss work compared to women who feed their infants with formula.

It is estimated that 75% of maternal absences are among mothers with formula-fed babies.

Meanwhile, Capiz health officials are stepping up their efforts in the conduct of advocacy on exclusive breastfeeding.

Part of their activities is the organization of breastfeeding support group in the various barangays in Capiz.

Dr. Raoul Bermejo III, Maternal and Child Specialist of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) here disclosed that they have also organized a Provincial Breastfeeding Task Force that closely monitors government and private hospitals in the province to ensure the strict implementation of the Roaming-In and Breastfeeding Act. (PIA) [top]

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