Together with mom-bloggers, we were introduced to Department of Health’s (DOH) new campaign under National Control for Disease Prevention and Control of the Family Health Office at the new Alejandra Hotel at Makati. Yesterday, May 14,2011, Assistant Sec. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial introduced the program and was the one who made the call for support to bloggers, in an effort to reach people Trough the power of the internet. Dr. Anthony Calibo on the other hand, gave as a primer on the program. He is the Supervising Health Program Officer to the Essential Newborn Care, Family Health Office.
The tagline: Breastfeeding TSEK! It hopes to encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies from birth to six months or onwards
if the situation permits. This also aims to educate the whole community about its benefits to babies and mothers alike. TSEK suggests T-TAMA ( right in English) means immediate and appropriate breastfeeding within an hour after birth. S-SAPAT (Enough) means mother’s milk is sufficient both in quantity and the nutritional needs will be met for infants until they reach 6 months. E-EKSKLUSIBO (exclusive) pushes that nothing else should be given to babies for the whole 6 months except the breastmilk, not even water.
The need to promote exclusive breastfeeding is essential to provide proper education and awareness about the optimal nutrition breast milk gives which in turn gives long-term effects on child health and growth. I for one can attest to that, all my four kids have been breastfed, though not all of them were in exclusive breastfeeding. My eldest son who is now 15, benefits from it. Sufficient in height and weight, does not get sick much (as in super healthy) and the highest amongst all 3rd year students in the OLSAT in their school. Two of my daughters had more than six months of mixed feeding. As opposed to “exclusive breastfeeding,” I have given these kids both breast milk and milk formulas. Though I know the consequences of exclusive breastfeeding there are reasons why I didn’t continue. Some of which were shown on the lecture as part of the study made by DOH to point out certain issues. Examples are inadequate milk flow, working outside home and too busy, another baby on the way, etc. My second child, sad to say had only 2 months of my breast milk. Well okay , I asked my husband the reason, he said I got sick and that Danielle had to be distant so that she won’t catch my disease. Why did I ever listen to our yaya about the misconception that mothers who are ill should not breastfeed their baby? Why haven’t I read about re-lactating? I didn’t even thought that exists or that can be done. Re-lactating means that for some time, a mom could not be able to give milk to the baby but mental and physical self-pursuation can bring back milk to the system and thus carry on feeding the baby with it. As a result my daughter suffered from anemia, had slight asthma, and often get sick, though I give her multivitamins.
Dr. Calibo also discussed the reasons why moms have decided to breastfeed. But let me give you some of the benefits I researched and help you decide how important it is.
According to WHO, evidences show the long-term effects of it through a series of systematic reviews on blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterole, weight maintenance, and intellectual performance. All of which proved that breast milk is beneficial in the development of these factors.
The visible short term and long term advantages are:
1. lower incidence of acute diarrhea
2. antibody levels of immunized infants were significantly higher in the breastfed than the formula-fed babes
3. fights against respiratory infections
4. prevention of gastrointestinal disease
5. higher infant survival
6. higher IQ
7.better dental health (malocclusion)
8. lower risk of developing diabetes
9. lesser risk of developing cancer before age 15
10. less likely to have Crohn’s disease, Hodgeskin’s disease, Juvenile Rheumathoid Arthritis. And many more!
More good reasons helped me decide to breastfeed my babies. One is, when mothers breastfeed, they are likely to get their shape back as the lining of our hips tightens back while lactating. Yes, you can be sexy after getting birth, and faster if you breastfeed. Also, mother-child bonding is stimulated, money-saving, prevention of pregnancy in the first six months, and the optimal weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and good cholesterol profile provided by breastfeeding may ultimately pay off with a lower risk of heart problems, just to name a few.
With this, mothers and mothers-to be need more support not only from the government, the family members but most specially from the community. Good thing there are several breastfeeding stations at the mall. Corporate and the industries alike needed to put effort in supporting the government, to encourage their employees to breastfeed even when at work. Everyone should be educated about the importance of this. When I was in my twenties, breastfeeding, I have been demoralized, making it hard for me, to feed my baby when not at home, when my baby cries out of hunger I needed to find the Comfort Room (HHHMMM!) or go somewhere without people seeing me. I tend to be shy about this, being seen as obscene or what not, because not too many know the importance. I also heard stories from others that they were judged of being poor, not able to buy the expensive “animal milk formula infested with chemicals and all sorts of diabolical schemes to vear us away from the truth “… So who’s sorry now?
Let us all hope this dispels common misunderstandings about breastfeeding and provide our community the needs of our country to alleviate ignorance and thus promote well being of our present and future generation.
NTBN: All that I have said have legal mandates according to DOH, and scientific backgrounds and references are provided below with the links. I would love to hear your say on this! Please help me promote this, so we all have something to do to help out!
1. Family Health Office, National Center for Diesies Prevention and control,
Department of Health , San Lazaro Compd., Sta. Cruz, Manila
Tel. No.: (632) 732 9956
2. Evidences on the long-term effects of breastfeeding
Systematic reviews and meta-analysis
3. More breastfeeding info at : http://www.breastfeeding.com/all_about/all_about_more2.html