Dagit Dumaguete on Breastfeeding Advocacy

If you have been following our blog, Facebook Page and Instagram account, it wouldn’t be a surprise for you guys why Dagit Dumaguete is actively promoting breastfeeding. The answer is pretty simple. It’s not because it’s breastfeeding month but rather because breastfeeding is an advocacy Dagit Dumaguete strongly supports.

Since the blog was formed two months ago, it has been decided that the blog will not solely talk about the latest happenings in the city and the best things to experience here in Dumaguete but also to support some advocacies we believe is worth supporting for. Currently, Dagit Dumaguete is actively supporting breastfeeding advocacy.

What is an advocacy? Advocacy is a public support for a certain cause or policy. For Dagit Dumaguete, our cause is maximum awareness on exclusive breastfeeding and the policy embodied in R.A. 10028 also known as the Expanded Breastfeeding Act. As we move along in the coming days expect that we will be actively promoting information about this law and the importance and benefits of exclusive breastfeeding.

However, we wouldn’t want to just stop on spreading awareness. Spreading the word is not enough. As one of the many supporters to this advocacy, we want to make sure that exclusive breastfeeding is normalized here in Dumaguete in the years to come. Acting on it is what Dagit Dumaguete thinks is needed.

It’s been in the news that our country is one of the top nations with the least number of exclusive breastfeed children despite our country’s full implementation of the Milk Code. (You may read our specific post about this topic here.)

We believe that changing the mindset of our people is the key to this struggling concerns and issues regarding normalizing exclusive breastfeeding along with an established support group that caters to the needs of our breastfeeding mothers.

Dagit Dumaguete kicked off Philippine’s National Breastfeeding Month celebration by joining in the Hakab Na! 2015 worldwide event last August 1, 2015. It was the first time for Dumaguete to participate and contribute to this event. This served as our stepping stone to help promote awareness on exclusive breastfeeding and the benefits that come with it.

The team continues to strongly support breastfeeding advocacy by actively participating in the Breastfeeding Kapihan sa PIA (Philippine Information Agency) last August 18, 2015. During the conference Primrose Bueno from the Dumaguete City Health Office, Hilda Torres of the Provincial Health Office and Clarisse Sy, one of the admins of Dagit Dumaguete gathered together and had the chance to speak and talk about the economic and health benefits of breastfeeding as well as the importance of raising awareness, support and protection of every mother’s right to breastfeed.

In addition, RA 10028 was discussed in particular especially the provision that protects the working mother’s right to continue providing breast milk to her child after she goes back to work from her maternity leave benefit. The Republic Act requires establishments and workplaces to set up lactation rooms for the benefit of the public and its employees as well as implement policies and programs that will allow the working mother to express milk while at work.

During the conference, Hilda Torres from IPHO assured that the provincial health office has established monitoring guidelines on the implementation of Milk Code in the province to which Primrose Bueno of the the Dumaguete City Health Office also concurred that the city has been doing the same thing.

In relation to the lactation rooms, Bueno said that they have spread awareness on this matter and has monitored few establishments in the city. So far, these establishments has already set lactation rooms or area in their respective vicinity.

On the other hand, both Bueno and Torres confirmed the existence of Breastfeeding Support Groups both in the city and the province. However, the members of these support groups are mostly busy and can hardly find time to sit and and talk on the programs and ways they can promote  exclusive breastfeeding further.

It is never too late to change old practices though. Dagit Dumaguete believes that with the right push on awareness and establishing a breastfeeding support group with strong commitment to its goals and objectives, normalizing exclusive breastfeeding in the city is greatly within our reach. 

Dagit Dumaguete will continue to strengthen our support in normalizing breastfeeding in Dumaguete City. Our doors are open to like-minded individuals and organizations who share our vision to raise awareness about breastfeeding, help local establishments and companies set up lactation stations and programs and ensure that every mother’s right to breastfeed her child is supported and protected.


Rappler|What’s keeping the Philippines from exclusive breastfeeding?

In an article posted by Rappler.com on the same month last year, it stated that the Philippines is one of the top nations with the least number of exclusively breastfeed children despite its full implementation of the Milk Code.

Here are some excerpts from the new article:

– According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), the Philippines is one of the 37 countries that fully implements the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes through its Milk Code.

– But in the Philippines, only 34% of infants under 6 months are exclusively breastfed. The Unicef’s 2014 State of the World’s Children report also shows that only 34% continue breast milk intake until two years old.

– Most mothers opt to use milk formulas for various reasons such as alleged inability to produce breast milk and time constraints.

You may read full story here. (Disclaimer: Please note that Dagit Dumaguete did not write the story. Proper credits must be given to the writer. We only aim to share this good information. No harm intended.)

“We don’t need to amend or put up a new law. We just need to make this work,” said Deewai Rodriguez of PHILCAN and Action Against Hunger. – refer to full article here.

Ever since the blog started two months ago, Dagit Dumaguete has chosen to make breastfeeding as the first advocacy we support. As a supporter to this advocacy, we also believe that in order to make our country a breastfeeding nation, we just need to make the law work. Executive Order No. 51 (click here to read details) ensures firm protection of the breastfeeding culture in the country.

The local government through the Department of Health (DOH) has established multiple campaigns which promote breastfeeding. Even though there’s an increase of more than 5% since 2011, Philippines is still one of those top nations with the least number of exclusively breastfeed children.

For us to make the law works, we have to think globally and act locally on this matter. Dagit Dumaguete aims to contribute and help to the eventual increase to this exclusive breastfeeding rate in the country in the coming years. Dagit Dumaguete will focus on the exclusive breastfeeding rate in the city and will see how we can increase this as time goes by.

This is just a matter of mindset. To date, most mothers still opt to use milk formulas for various reasons. One of these reasons the inability to produce breast milk and time constraints because of work. The theme for this year’s breastfeeding month celebration is Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s Male It Work!

Dagit Dumaguete believes that with proper dissemination of information and access to materials and needed data to maximize awareness on exclusive breastfeeding the mindset of most women can be changed. This can be the start of something new.

This is not something that can be changed overnight. This will require a process and together with us in Dagit Dumaguete team, we look forward to changing the mindset we currently have regarding breastfeeding as we also make sure of maximizing awareness of every woman’s right to exclusive breastfeeding.

Stay tuned for more details.

WHO | Exclusive breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. Review of evidence has shown that, on a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the optimal way of feeding infants. Thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.

Breast milk is the natural first food for babies, it provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first months of life, and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one-third during the second year of life.

Breast milk promotes sensory and cognitive development, and protects the infant against infectious and chronic diseases. Exclusive breastfeeding reduces infant mortality due to common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea or pneumonia, and helps for a quicker recovery during illness. These effects can be measured in resource-poor and affluent societies (Kramer M et al Promotion of Breastfeeding Intervention Trial (PROBIT): A randomized trial in the Republic of Belarus. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2001, 285(4): 413-420)

Breastfeeding contributes to the health and well-being of mothers; it helps to space children, reduces the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer, increases family and national resources, is a secure way of feeding and is safe for the environment.

Read full story here: WHO | Exclusive breastfeeding.

**DISCLAIMER: Please note that Dagit Dumaguete did not write the story. Proper credits must be given to the writer. We only aim to share this good information. NO harm intended. 

Unang Yakap and Essential Newborn Care

Essential Newborn Care

In September 2000, the Philippines, along with 190 other United Nation member states, joined in committing to the UN Millennium Declaration with the following goals: reduction of poverty, hunger and ill health in the country, including reduction of maternal, newborn and child mortality. Our country is currently “on track” to reach its Millennium Development Goal #4 target of reducing under-five mortality. Still, some 40,000 Filipino newborns die every year. Half of these die in the first two days of life.

To dramatically reduce the number of fatalities, The Department of Health implemented the Essential Newborn Care Protocol (ENC) on December 7, 2009 under Administrative  Order 2009-0025. Immediate drying, Uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact, Proper cord clamping and cutting and Non-separation of the newborn from the mother for early breastfeeding initiation and rooming-in has the potential to avoid approximately 70% of newborn deaths due to preventable causes.

Are you currently pregnant or know someone who is? Share this information and make sure your healthcare provider knows you want the ENC protocol strictly followed during delivery. The earlier the baby breastfeeds, the lesser the risk of death.

Hakab Na! 2015 Gathers Breastfeeding Filipino Mothers

‘Hakab Na!’ to gather breastfeeding Filipino mothers

By: Jennifer C. Tilos

DUMAGUETE CITY, July 28 (PIA) —  Over 55,000 online support group including the DAGIT Dumaguete bloggers have called on lactating mothers or the breastfeeding Pinays to join the “HaKab Na! 2015” on August 1 in celebration of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month of August.

Now on its third year, Hakab Na! 2015 will gather breastfeeding families, lactation experts, peer counselors, and breastfeeding advocacy supporters to boost awareness of the health and economic benefits of breastfeeding, promote the importance of providing proper support to breastfeeding mothers, and ultimately create a breastfeeding nation.

The central event of this simultaneous breastfeeding activity will be held at 500 Shaw Centrum Blvd., Mandaluyong City which is part of “The Big Latch On,” an international activity where mothers latch on their babies from different locations around the world to create a world record.

According to blogger Maja Arbolado of DAGIT Dumaguete, this year’s celebration will highlight the breastfeeding mothers who work outside the home.

In 2014, the Philippines logged a total of 1,772 mom-and-baby pairs breastfeeding in Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Manila and Iloilo.

This year’s Hakab Na! will be bigger with additional locations in Dumaguete, Alabang, Aklan, Baguio-Benguet, Bulacan, Isabela, Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Zambales and Singapore.

Arbolado said the half-day event in Dumaguete City will also feature talks on various breastfeeding topics and breast milk storage, according to blogger Maja Arbolado of DAGIT Dumaguete.

Republic Act 10028 or the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009 obliges the State to promote and encourage breastfeeding through specific measures that present opportunities for mothers to continue expressing their milk for their children.

One of the highlights of the law is that it gives the lactating mother and additional 40-minute breaktime for every eight-hour working period, on top of time-off for meals, to express milk. Offices should also provide a lactation station where mothers can express and store their milk.

Studies have also shown that it is in the company’s best interest to help mothers succeed in breastfeeding while at work.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), employees who breastfeed have improved productivity and increased loyalty.

Due to the health benefits of breastfeeding the child, breastfeeding mothers have also logged less absences and health care costs have decreased.

There is also a lower employee turnover and an enhanced public image of the company.

Article source: here

DISCLAIMER: Please note that Dagit Dumaguete did not write the story. Proper credits must be given to the writer. We only aim to share this good information. NO harm intended.

Dumaguete, Hakab Na!

In cooperation with the Rotary Club of Dumaguete and the City Health Office, Dagit Dumaguete proudly brings you Dumaguete, Hakab Na!

Kicking off the Philippines’ National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, Hakab Na! will bring together Dumagueteña mothers and their babies for a simultaneous breastfeeding activity on August, 1, 2015 along with mothers and babies in Mandaluyong, Alabang, Aklan, Bacolod, Benguet, Bulacan, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Zambales.

This event is in coordination with the Big Latch On held every first week of August in celebration of the World Breastfeeding Week. Big Latch On and Hakab Na! aims to promote, protect and support breastfeeding, a public health issue that demands our attention and support. Last year,  1,772 mothers breastfed their babies for one minute in Hakab Na! events throughout the Philippines, contributing to the worldwide tally of 23, 906.

Dumaguete, Hakab Na! is a free registration event open to all breastfeeding mothers and babies in the city. Interested participants may register through their baranggay health office. For questions and inquiries, please email us at dagitduma@gmail.com.

Dumaguete joins The Big Latch On 2015!

On August 1-7, 2015, breastfeeding women, supporters and advocates across the world will celebrate the 23rd World Breastfeeding Week. Organized by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, World Health Organization, and UNICEF, the WBW aims to promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life to achieve optimal and long-term health benefits for both mother and child. This year, WBW takes special focus on working moms with the theme “Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s Make it Work!”

One of the most popular events during WBW is The Big Latch On! On July 31st and August 1, groups of breastfeeding women will gather at registered locations all around the world and simultaneously breastfeed their babies for one minute beginning at exactly 10:30 (Manila Time). The count of worldwide participants are then added up for the yearly world record. Filipina breastfeeding women and their supporters and advocates have been participating in this event for 3 years now through Hakab Na! 

Dagit Duma is very proud to announce that, this year, Dumaguete will be part of both events! Do you want to participate and be counted in the worldwide number? Follow us and watch out for our next blog post for more information!