Doctor lauds Cebu towns’ breastfeeding practices

One of the country’s leading pediatric neonatologists is impressed with Cebu provincial hospitals’ thrust in the promotion of breastfeeding in the municipalities.

Dr. Maria Asuncion A. Silvestre narrated this to participants in the Gugma ni Nanay: A Breastfeeding Affair at the Capitol Social Hallher Bogo City experience, post-Yolanda.

She and her team ended up bringing back with them a stock of mother’s milk they placed in a small freezer they purposely brought for mothers of families hit by Yolanda in Cebu.

To her delight, their gift was turned down because hospitals hadenough for lactating mothers. Her delight came from knowing that both hospitals and mothers in the countryside are conscious of breastfeeding.

_MG_1889She also described Bogo Provincial Hospital as very conscious in the implementation of breastfeeding. She also noted that theNorthern Cebu towns have strong breastfeeding practices.

Silvestre is now promoting the “first 1,000 days campaign”. Helping her is a Cebu-based group of breastfeeding mothers called Lactation Attachment, Training, Counselling and Help (LATCH).

The campaign focuses on improving mother’s and child’s nutrition. It is 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and the child’s second birthday.   The right nutrition during these 1,000 days is said to have a profound effect on a child’s ability to grow, learn and rise out of poverty.

Research says undernutrition in infants and children under two years old can be irreversible. Undernourished babies in the womb have a high risk of death and more likely to face cognitive and physical defects and chronic health illness.

Silvestre told her audience of young mothers that staying healthy starts right from the very start they become sexually active, knowing very well the consequence of having sex.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Cynthia Genosolango expressed the province’s support for health intiatives through the Provincial Health Office and underscored the role of barangay nutrition scholars who she said are also responsible for teaching mothers be breastfeeding-conscious.

Silvestre and LATCH are also campaigning for Unang Yakap (First Embrace). Already practiced  by some mothers right after birth clean-up procedures, the baby is placed on the mother’s chest, is  left to crawl to the mother’s breast and suck for milk. Fides Palicte