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PIA Press Release

Breastfeeding rooms encouraged in gov't agencies

by Gemma Tabao

Tacloban City (March 5) -- As breastfeeding has been identified as the most cost-effective measure to prevent infant and young child deaths, Social Development Council Resolution No. 12, Series of 2009 has been passed in the Eastern Visayas Region, enjoining all government agencies, local government units and other government instrumentalities, to establish breastfeeding corners or rooms in their offices.

The breastfeeding room should be a private and comfortable area where breastfeeding mother employees or clients can express their milk and feed their infants. The place is required to have a chair and a table, handwashing facility and cold storage facility or refrigerator.

Aside from the room, the resolution likewise mandates to conduct a pro-breastfeeding campaign among the employees, clients and private sector, pursuant to Executive Orders 51 and 273, otherwise known as the "Milk Code of the Philippines" and "Approving and Adopting the Philippine Plan for Gender-Responsive Development 1995-2025", respectively.

Said directive is in consonance with the country's commitment to the attainment of the Millenium Development Goals, among which is reducing child undernutrition and mortality, and likewise premised on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is a national covenant that defends the survival rights of every child.

The infant and young child feeding practices which are based both on the Department of Health National Policy on Infant and Young Child Feeding and the Nutritional Guidelines of the Philippines, include the following: breastfeeding initiated within one hour after birth; exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, and; continue breastfeeding up to two years and beyond, with the introduction of safe and appropriate complimentary food.

With the said intervention, an enabling environment for breastfeeding mothers will be created, aside from the health benefits it could provide to them and to their babies, who are the most vulnerable elements of society. (PIA8) [top]

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