500 nursing moms join milk-letting program
At least 500 nursing mothers are expected to gather in Marikina today and donate their breast milk in support of the city government’s milk-letting program.
Dubbed “Nanay Magpasuso Ka; Gatas na Handog Ko, Para sa Anak Ko,” the program which is a partnership between the Marikina City Health Office (CHO) and the Department of Health (DOH), not only promotes breast-feeding but also aims to provide sustenance to newborn babies at the Philippine General Hospital.
“The breast milk that we’ll be able to collect will be of big help, especially to the abandoned and sick infants as well as those in the ICU (intensive care unit),” Marikina Mayor Del de Guzman said in a statement. He added that apart from being a nutrient-rich source, a mother’s milk also contains “love and care.”
Sheila Bautista, a nutritionist-dietitian at the CHO, said that the day-long program at Barangay Parang’s pavilion and covered court would be the second one held in Marikina.
Last year, close to 400 lactating mothers joined the milk-letting activity which produced several liters of breast milk.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breast milk is “safe and contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia,” the leading causes of child deaths worldwide.
Apart from boosting a child’s immune system, breast-feeding can also help reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, Type 2 diabetes and postpartum depression among mothers, WHO added.
To ensure that the donated milk would be free from contamination or any disease, donors coming from the city’s 16 barangays must first undergo
a screening for Hepatitis B and the human immunodeficiency virus, among other diseases.
Donors will also undergo a lecture on the importance and benefits of breast-feeding as well as the proper care of newborn babies.
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