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.