News feature: Why mothers in the Philippines stop breastfeeding

VIGAN CITY, Ilocos Sur, Sept 29 (PIA) — Results of the 2011 survey of nutritional status of Filipinos of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute – Department of Science and Technology show that 32.4 percent of mothers stopped breastfeeding due to inadequate flow.

During the September 19 forum in Vigan City, it was also reported that 20.3 percent of women stopped because they work outside of home or are too busy.

Among the reasons also listed are: children refusing to be breastfed, 14 percent; mothers becoming pregnant again, 7.9 percent; cracked nipple or breast infection, 3.9; having children who are not gaining weight, 2.9; children old enough for weaning, 2.6, children abandoned or separated from mothers, 2.4; children biting nipples, 1.9; and weak or ill children, 1.4 percent.

Other causes include advises by health personnel, 1.4 percent or relatives and friends, 0.8 percent; taking contraceptives or pills, 0.7 percent; personal choice, 0.6; and inverted nipples, 0.5 percent.

The Department of Health (DOH) is advocating that a mother’s milk is the best food for the baby.

In February 23, 2011, DOH launched the exclusive breastfeeding campaign “Breastfeeding TSEK: (Tama, Sapat, Eksklusibo).”

According to the DOH website, its primary target are new and expectant mothers in urban areas.

Mothers are urged to “exclusively breastfeed their babies from birth up to six months. Exclusive breastfeeding means that for the first six months from birth, nothing except breast milk will be given to babies.”

The campaign “Aims to establish a supportive community, as well as to promote public consciousness on the health benefits of breastfeeding. Among these are lower risk of diarrhea, pneumonia, and chronic illnesses.” (ANL/ICR-PIA 1, Ilocos Sur)

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