SM Supermalls organised a breastfeeding event for mothers today, giving them tips on successful breastfeeding and urging the private sector to support breastfeeding mothers.
‘SM Supermalls is working to create and promote a breastfeeding culture in the country. The breastfeeding stations in our malls have helped 63,000 moms switch to a healthier and more economical feeding option for their infants,’ said Ms Bernadette Velasco, Programme Director of SM’s breastfeeding advocacy programme.
Whilst a large number of mothers in the Philippines begin breastfeeding their babies – 88% - they quickly begin to introduce other liquids such as water or formula milk, so the benefits of breastfeeding are greatly reduced. Only 34% feed their babies only breastmilk, as recommended by DOH, UNICEF and WHO, up to six months. Mixed feeding – the introduction of other liquids or foods before six months – as well as being nutritionally deficient, can lead to health problems in young babies such as allergies, respiratory infections, diarrhea, dehydration and even death.
UNICEF Special Advocate for Children, and breastfeeding mom, Daphne Osena-Paez spoke at the event, “Breastfeeding my three daughters has been one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences of my life. With all three I had to return to work when they were still a few months old, but with a combination of organisation and the support of my husband, I continued to exclusively breastfeed all of them, until they were six months old. I am still breastfeeding my youngest daughter who is now 13 months old, and the bond I have developed with my children, is something special and long-lasting.”
Breastfeeding mom, sportscaster, television host, and wife to former basketball star Vince Hizon, Patricia Bermudez-Hizon, also shared, "I have achieved so much in my life and in my career, but one of my proudest achievements as a woman is being able to breastfeed my children. There are many ways to express your unconditional love for your child, and I really feel that nursing them, breastfeeding them is one of the clearest and most endearing love language a mother can convey. It’s an act of love that they will benefit from for the rest of their lives, being healthy and intelligent individuals. And having my husband Vince support me through it was also one of the best ways he’s shown me his love.”
Click here to learn more about the breastfeeding event.