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JAGNA – On March 13, 2013, personnel and employees of the Teodoro B. Galagar District Hospital(TBGDH)  and the Local Government Unit of Jagna with pregnant and lactating mothers joined hands in launching BreastFriends Forever – a Breastfeeding Advocacy at the TBGDH Social Hall, TBGDH Admin Bldg., Poblacion, Jagna.

BreastFriends Forever is an advocacy spearheaded by the TBGDH in collaboration with the Local Government Unit of Jagna’s Municipal Gender and Development Council who is celebrating the month of March as Women’s Month. This is one of the activities in line for the Women’s Month celebration.

Dra. Winie Cagulada, TBGDH chief of hospital said in her welcome message that TBGDH being a “Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital” is very active in promoting breastfeeding and this activity is among the awareness campaigns they are doing. She said that not only is breastfeeding DOH promulgated, it is the most natural form of women empowerment clearly showing the power of women in shaping the nation.

Honorable Nimfa A. Lloren emphasized the great benefits of breastfeeding to the family, to the child and to the nation. Her three benefits are breastfeeding is economical since breastmilk is free; it produces healthy babies since breastmilk is full of antibodies; and breastfeeding forges a strong emotional attachment between the child and mother.

A learning activity through a short and interactive presentation was done by Dra. Lina R. Cero, Medical Officer IV of TBGDH. Dra. Cero provided the background of breastfeeding advocacy in the Philippines. She made a short lecture on the origin of the 2009 Expanded Breastfeeding Act that paved the way for an active and serious campaign on breastfeeding. The Expanded Breastfeeding Act according to Dra. Cero stresses on educating women on the benefits of breastfeeding as well as its proper management, increased awareness of the populace on going back to breastfeeding and issuing penalties to concerned entities who violate the precepts of the law.

According to her, the law truly pushed thru the advocacy on breastfeeding.

Dr. Lina Cero outlines the benefits of breastfeeding.

Dra. Cero outlined in detail to the audience especially pregnant and lactating mothers present in the activity the benefits economically, nutrient-wise as well as the comfort provided to the mother and the child. She said that breastfeeding provides: milk best for babies, reduce incidence of allergies, antibodies, stool is inoffensive, temperature is always ideal, fresh milk never goes off, easy once established, digested easily, immediately available, nutritionally optimal, gastroentiritis greatly reduced, contains more lactose, enough iron, enough water, correct amount of salt, calcium and phosphorus, lipase, bifidus factor.

She also presented the proper management of breastfeeding to get optimum milk from the mother.

As a serious advocate of breastfeeding, the trained doctor ended her presentation telling the mother-to-bes and lactating mothers that what they do now to their child will significantly matter in the future of the child.