I believe in every pregnant mothers goal once they have given birth is to be able to breastfeed their baby. Every mother knows that breastfeeding is best for our babies and even formula milk can’t replace it.
I breastfeed all of my kids end results is par excellent from my expectation. One of my sons had a medical issue when I had given birth. But this complication didn’t stop me giving my breast milk to my son. I bought a breast pump so I can extract my breast milk and I would give it to ICU nurse so they can administer it to my son. I believe that my breast milk had helped in making my son fight from his complication.
Now I am promoting that all mom’s if you can still breastfeed your babies don’t stop. Even when you get back in your work still you can have ways to continue. It just needs lots of dedication and patience’s in your part. But of course with the support of your work place would make thing much easier for you.
Various groups across the country continue to clamor for the promotion and protection of breastfeeding in the workplace so that nursing becomes a practical and easy part of a working mother’s everyday life. This stems from the reality that breastfeeding, challenging enough as it is, coupled with the demands of work, and the never ending chores at home, can be very daunting especially for first-time working mothers.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, but without the right tools and encouragement, new moms are often discouraged and give up – especially given the other equally pressing tasks at work and at home.
The latest results of the National Nutrition Survey of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) show that despite being a country with a heavily regulated infant and young child nutrition industry, a sustained aggressive campaign for the protection and promotion of breastfeeding from the Government and advocacy groups, and a high 47 percent rate of breastfeeding (as of 2011), many mothers still decide to discontinue breastfeeding primarily because of two reasons: inadequate milk flow (34.5%) and the need to return to work (25.5%).
While appropriate maternal nutrition can improve a mother’s milk flow, there are also other ways to make breastfeeding a natural part of a working mom’s life such as accommodating company regulations, break times, pumping spaces and access to the right equipment.
Protecting the Nursing Mother: Workplace Necessities
For the working mother, it is absolutely critical that she receives support both at home and at work to facilitate breastfeeding. “The private sector, the Government and responsible NGOs should continue working together to develop and implement policies, and programs that continue making it easier for working mothers to continue breastfeeding”, shares Mr. Alex Castro, Executive Director for the Infant and Pediatric Nutrition Association of the Philippines (IPNAP).
“Foremost on the list of our responsibilities in the private sector include the need to ensure the availability of lactation stations in places of work, and secondly, the need to continually create programs in compliance with law that aid in generating awareness for appropriate breastfeeding practices and in encouraging these in our members’ respective workplaces,” he adds.
Even prior to the enactment of Rep. Act. No. 10028, or the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009, most of the IPNAP member companies have already established some of the more impressive lactation station facilities in the Country, providing their employees with the prescribed paid lactation breaks and nursing stations that are accessible during working hours daily.
In addition to accessibility and qualified assistance, Mr. Castro also shares that mothers should be made aware that lactation stations in their respective work places should have the following minimum requirements:
§ A clean, well-ventilated, comfortable environment that is free from contaminants and hazardous substances.
§ Appropriate cooling equipment for storing expressed milk such as refrigerator, freezer, ice cooler or its equivalent
§ Electrical outlets for electric breast pumps
§ Ensured privacy for expressing milk
§ Wash basin with soap and water
§ Table and comfortable chairs/sofas
Stressing that these necessities are not only for the benefit of the mother but most importantly for the longer term protection of her child, Mr. Castro adds, “In the infant and child nutrition industry, we have the ultimate goal of protecting children’s health. Our member companies continue to work within the parameters of Philippine laws and regulations to support multi-sectoral efforts to improve children’s nutrition.”
“Inherent here is our support for WHO and UNICEF recommendations to promote exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months, timely and appropriate complementary feeding from then on up to three years with continued breastfeeding up to two years,” Mr. Castro continues.
Mr. Castro also explained that the IPNAP’s network of nutrition experts, pediatricians and scientists are additional resources that mothers have access to when the need arises. “It can be awkward to approach your boss about your plan for returning to work’, states Rachel Nuque (Mead Johnson Nutrition Finance Analyst). “It helps to have a support system of other mothers, doctors at our office, and a trained human resources unit to help through that conversation”, Nuque adds.
“New moms often run into issues such as getting baby to latch or establishing a consistent supply, using a breast pump for the first time, etc. it’s a whole new experience we have to navigate through and the pressure can be overwhelming, on top of everything else”, shares Karen Balderama (Mead Johnson Nutrition QA Technical Assistant).
“It really helped me and my fellow peers to have qualified clinic personnel provide us with instructions on breast milk expression and the proper handling, labeling, storage and transport of my breast milk”, Balderama concludes.
Overcoming the Temporal Challenges
Ultimately, breastfeeding is a short-term journey with long-term benefits. Being prepared and having a plan allows mothers to optimize her ability and the benefits to breastfeeding, both for herself and her newborn. With the right support group, an accurate understanding of the appropriate feeding and nutrition practices from experts both for herself and her child, a mother is naturally made to do exactly what is best for her and her baby.
With the mechanisms and a supportive community in place at work, mothers who need to breastfeed will have an easier time adjusting to their new situation, and hopefully, breastfeeding can become a truly easy and natural experience for working mothers.