Six months of exclusive breastmilk — no water, infant formula, other liquid, or food for a child is required to get optimum nutrition. Breastmilk helps fight infections, prevent allergies, and protect against a number of chronic conditions.
This was the highlight of Department of Health (DOH) campaign Breastfeeding TSEK: (Tama, Sapat, Eksklusibo) that encourages mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding for six months. The campaign will run through the end of August, reaching out to new and expectant moms, primarily in lower-income levels.
|breastfeeding TSEK campaign|
Tama - immediate and appropriate breastfeeding within one hour after birth
Sapat - mother's milk is sufficient (in nutrients and quantity) for the baby up to 6 months
Ekslusibo - exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, just pre mother's milk only
The campaign hopes to address the lack of information among moms, educate them about the many benefits of breastmilk and increase the number of moms who exclusively breastfeeds from birth up to six months.
|DOH ASEC Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial and DOH Supervising Health Program Officer Dr. Anthony Calibo|
Based on statistics, breastfeeding practice in the Philippines is very low. Only one of every six infants are exclusively breastfed for first six months of life. In a survey done in 2008, only 54% of mothers breastfeed their babies.
In the recent DOH Bloggers Engagement at Alejandra Hotel, Makati, DOH Assistant Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial made a call and tapped bloggers to help spread the word in order to reach a wider audience.
She also cited that milk stations at different institutions and establishments makes a significant value in this campaign.
DOH Supervising Health Program Officer Dr. Anthony Calibo believes that in breast milk 'dito ka talagang mapapanatag.' He noted the top reasons why moms breastfeed and why moms stop breastfeeding. He also emphasized the importance of Essential Newborn Care Protocol, the need to include breastfeeding in the expectant moms’ birth plan, as well as maternal nutrition.
+ Role of hospitals, health facilities and the society
The speakers also highlight the importance of lactation support that a breastfeeding mom needs from the people that surrounds her. Moreover, they urged hospitals and health facilities to be 'baby friendly,' and stressed the need to provide space for breastfeeding moms in the workplace.
The campaign emphasizes the importance of establishing a supportive community that 'exclusive breastfeeding' mothers need from the society. It targets family members, employers, healthcare providers and the community who will all serve as their breastfeeding support group.
DOH is committed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals on child and acknowledges the role of exclusive breastfeeding in saving children's lives.
The DOH campaign is not just for moms, but for the entire society. It also aims to revive the Milk Code (EO 51) or the National Code of Marketing breastmilk substitute, breastmilk supplements and related products.
|DOH campaign calendar|
For breastfeeding campaign updates, visit DOH Breastfeeding TSEK Facebook page, Unang Yakap and DOH Website.
Mother’s milk is TSEK - Tama, Sapat at Ekslusibo!