By Glen S. Ramos
MANILA — The breastfeeding support groups of CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) founded by Breastfeeding Pinays Certified Breastfeeding peer Counselors received breast pumps, breast milk storages, ice chests including face masks and face shield from the Department of Health (DOH) –to be distributed to their members for their continued support to the breastfeeding program amidst the current pandemic.
The breastfeeding support groups in the region composed of “Breastfeeding Ala Eh!” in Batangas and Cavite, LATCH Los Baños, CavMoms, Tagaytay Moms, has been providing support by educating pregnant mothers, mothers with newly born babies and breastfeeding mothers on lactation and primary care for children.
They are also called upon by local government units to donate breast milk as well as other mother-baby supplies.
“The present pandemic must not be a cause for the disruption of breastfeeding practices because it protects both the mother and the child. Napakaimportante na maipagpatuloy ito lalo na ngayong pandemya,” Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo stated.
“We encouraged breastfeeding mothers to initiate or continue breastfeeding their children even if they are found out to be Covid positive because the its benefits significantly outweigh the potential risks for transmission,” he emphasized.
According to the World Health Organization, babies can still receive breast milk from their mothers who are infected with the virus. Direct breastfeeding is safe and important for the baby.
“Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before holding the baby and wear a face mask while nursing to avoid droplets being spread to the infant,” Janairo added.
The transmission of the covid virus through breastmilk and breastfeeding has not been identified and it is best for a mother to employ appropriate hygiene measures while breastfeeding,
According to Ms. Jellie Anne C. Palencia, Nutritionist-Dietitian IV and Outcome Manager, Nutrition and Breastfeeding Program, the regional office has already provided a total of 13 breast pumps, 190 breastmilk storage bags, 21 ice chests, 3,560 face masks and 290 face shields.
“We began distributing supplies last March 12, 2021, to Breastfeeding Mother Support Groups in Batangas, Los Baños in Laguna, Imus City, Silang and Tagaytay City in Cavite.”
Breastfeeding Ala Eh is composed of 3,053 active members across Batangas and Cavite province, Advent Moms/Breastfeeding Gabay with 686 active members, CavMoms with 500, Tagaytay Moms with 100 and LATCH Los Baños with 5 active members.
“Other support groups will receive their share of the supplies in the following days. The province of Quezon is scheduled this week,” she added.
The remaining breastfeeding support groups where supplies will be distributed include South PiNanays (SPiN) with 8,146 active members, Rizal Mammas with 2,700 active members and Lucena City BFF Breastfeeding Friends with 40 members. (AI/MTVN)