The United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) reports that only 34% of mothers in the Philippines exclusively breastfeed, a low percentage considering that it is a developing country. Exclusive breastfeeding means giving the baby only breast milk for the first six months of life. In a 2003 study by the National Demographic and Health Survey, it is apparent that one of the reasons why a mother does not continue breastfeeding is because she has to go back to work SHE HAS TO GO BACK TO WORK.
Under Philippine laws, a mother is only given a maternity leave of 60 days for normal delivery, and 78 days for a caesarean delivery. This is relatively short compared to our neighbors like Australia and Indonesia, which grant new mothers 18 weeks of maternity leave. The babymoon itself, or the first six weeks after delivery to give the body time to heal and bond with the baby, is almost half of the Philippine maternity leave.
Some mothers who have other means to provide for their families financially take the option of resigning and taking care of their newborns. However, not everyone is as lucky and most working mothers need the additional income to meet basic needs, thus compromising breastfeeding.
The Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009, or Republic Act 10028 states that employers should provide lactation stations for nursing mothers, and provide appropriate lactation periods for mothers to express milk. In turn, they can get tax incentives provided that they get certified by the Department of Health (DOH).