An Afternoon of Learning for a Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines

By Mommy Donna and Kib - October 10, 2018

August is considered Breastfeeding Month in the Philippines.  It is celebrated to increase awareness on the benefits of breastfeeding for babies and mommies and to dispel the myths about breastfeeding.  

It's a good thing that there are lots of resources both online and offline about breastfeeding.  When Kib was still a baby, there were no available resources for me to read nor to attend talks about breastfeeding.  I know I am capable of exclusively breastfeeding Kib but since no one taught me how to properly do it, I ended up mix-feeding him.

Breastfeeding is always a hot topic on social media.  People have different views on breastfeeding and sadly, some have been bashed and shamed online for their views and means of feeding their babies.  Whatever the means a mother do in feeding breastmilk, I do believe that she must not be judged as long as the baby is healthy.  Anyway, breastfeeding is just a phase in raising a child.  

Breastfeeding may be considered a challenging phase of motherhood but the physical, mental and emotional benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and baby truly make the journey worthwhile.  While more and more mothers recognize that breastmilk will always be superior compared to formula milk, there is a need to spread awareness on its benefits and to encourage people to support breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding has lots of benefits.  It is a parental responsibility.  It also helps in the prevention of non-communicable diseases.  Breastfeeding is the best equalizer in the world, as all mothers regardless of race are capable of breastfeeding her child.  

In response to the global campaign of protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding, World Vision Development Foundation, in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH), launched Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines.  This 2-year project which commenced in 2017 aims to:

1.  Support and strengthen the implementation of Executive Order 51 (The Philippine Milk Code of 1986), Republic Act 7600 (The Rooming-in and Breastfeeding Act of 1992), and Republic Act 10028 (The Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009);

2.  Increase awareness and educate health professionals and the public regarding these laws; and

3.  Encourage people to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding by involving them in monitoring the implementation of breastfeeding laws in the country.

Carleneth F. San Valentin, Health and Nutrition Technical Programme Manager of World Vision Development Foundation, believes that encouraging mothers to nurture their child is a way to empower a woman's ability to breastfeed and care for their child.  She said that World Vision will educate mothers to empower them in making the right choice in nurturing and caring for their child.  "We want them to realize that if these laws are not implemented, we are impinging on their rights of their child's," she added.

Dr. Anthony P. Calibo of Department of Health also shared his knowledge and expertise about breastfeeding.  For Calibo, the responsibility to uphold the breastfeeding rights of mothers is not just the responsibility of concerned organizations and government sectors; it is a responsibiity of the general public. "If a mother is investing herself for the betterment of the future of her child, then she is also investing in the betterment of the future of this country," Dr. Calibo emphasized.

To stay true to their mission and vision for this project, the team conducted Mommy Forum: Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines last October 2, 2018, at Little Owl in New Manila, Quezon City.  #MBFPH was graced by mom celebrities like Camille Prats-Yambao, Jennica Garcia-Uytingco, and Erika Padilla-Cariaso.  

During the said event, Erika Padilla-Cariaso also signed a contract as World Vision Breastfeeding Ambassador.  She shared her breastfeeding journey to everyone in the forum.  "It is a huge sacrifice.  It is difficult, painful, and a lot of work.  But definitely worth every single drop because I see my son getting stronger and healthier every day," she recalled.  Her story encouraged more moms to shre and ask for more tips from Erika as well.

Rommel Fuerte, Executive Director of World Vision Development Foundation, reminds long-time moms and new moms the reason behind this gathering: the breastfeeding normalization is still a work in progress and it's a must to constantly promote and protect breastfeeding to empower moms and to ensure a healthy start for their children.

Breastmilk is still the best for babies, so mommies, make an effort to provide the best to our children.

To know how you can support Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines, log on to or download MBF PH via Google Play or Apple Store.  You may also receive updates on the campaign via Facebook.

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