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PIA Press Release

Health officials air concern over 'aversion' of new moms to breastfeeding

by Rachelle M. Nessia

Dumaguete City (29 July) -- Health officials from Cebu and the province have aired their concern over what seems to be a growing trend among new mothers ? an apparent aversion to breastfeeding.

Dr. Zenaida Jusep, medical specialist at the government-run Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital (NOPH), said they had to resort to exercising an iron hand to make sure that mothers who give birth at NOPH breastfeed their newborns.

Jusep, in a recent Kapihan forum held to mark Nutrition Month this July, lamented that the hospital staff encounter several cases wherein mothers who just gave birth at NOPH refuse to breastfeed their newborns. "We at NOPH advocate exclusive breastfeeding to the point that we have to implement it with an iron hand as it is the hospital's policy," she said.

The hospital's policy on breastfeeding requires pregnant women about to give birth at NOPH to sign a contract that they will exclusively breastfeed their infant for the duration of their hospital stay.

Despite this, the NOPH staff on several instances would catch many mothers secretly feeding cow's milk to their babies according to Jusep.

Because of this, Jusep said they had to resort to confiscating feeding bottles on several occasions just to make sure that the mothers will stop bottle-feeding their infants.

This iron hand implementation has earned us the ire of many new mothers at NOPH, she added.

The medical specialist explained that breastfeeding remains to be the best for infants as it has no contraindications so long as the mother is not afflicted from a terminal disease like cancer.

"We even let mothers sick with Hepatitis B feed their babies," she said.

Jusep added that a mother's milk is rife with anti-bodies naturally produced by the human body which are critical for infants aged zero to one-year old. (PIA) [top]

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