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August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month

Written By Jane Miranda on Thursday, August 16, 2012 | Thursday, August 16, 2012

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month

In its fight against hunger, infant deaths and maternal mortality, the Department of Health (DOH) takes arms with Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Quezon city (QC) Government to help improve child health through 'exclusive breastfeeding,' in the National Breastfeeding Month celebrations at the QC Memorial Circle last August 8, 2011.

DOH Breastfeeding TSEK is a public health education campaign which encourages mothers to 'exclusively breastfeed' their babies and educates them about the health benefits of breastfeeding.

Tama means immediate and appropriate breastfeeding within one hour after birth.
Sapat stands for sufficiency of mother's milk (in nutrients and quantity) for the baby up to six months.
EKsklusibo pertains to exclusive breastfeeding of just pure mother's breast milk for six months.

Advantages of breastfeeding for a mother:
  • Breast feeding reduces the cost of feeding and preparation time.
  • It aids in uterine involution (the ability of uterus to go back to its pre-pregnant state).
  • It can give an empowering effect on the mother because it’s the skill she only can master.
  • It is excellent opportunity to enhance a true bonding relationship between mother and child.
However, one cannot relay on breastfeeding as a 100 percent contraceptive technique. Once a woman ovulates and 50 % of the time this happens by the 4th week after delivery, she can get pregnant even when breastfeeding.

Mothers who are breastfeeding need to eat a well balanced diet to ensure that the milk will be rich in nutrients.

Advantages of breastfeeding for the baby:
  • Ingredients of breastmilk like Lactoferrin, lyzozyme, bifidus factor, protect the baby from infection and diarrhea.
  • Breast milk contains, lactose, proteins, linoleic acid for rapid brain growth.
The decision to breastfeed lies ultimately on the mother. When I gave birth, I have set my mind on breastfeeding. I have breastfed my kids up to six months and I never experienced any sleepless nights nor they have been sickly.

How does one relieve breast pain caused by breast engorgement or sore nipples?
  • Empty the breast milk by having the infant suck more often.
  • Apply warm packs to both breast a few minutes before feeding, combining it with massage  may facilitate drainage of milk and then breast softness follow. One can also use a breast pump for complete emptying of the breast.
  • For sore nipples, it is best to wash nipples only with water and keep it dry at all times
  • It is ideal to breast-feed baby with each nipple for 20 to 30 minutes. Position the baby differently during each feeding to balance pressure exerted on the nipple.

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