By Analou De Vera
The Department of Health (DOH)- Calabarzon is encouraging mothers to donate breast milk as it is a way to save other lives.
“I encourage every healthy nursing mother who have abundant breast milk to donate some to milk banks to help other babies to survive and share the optimum nutrition that only breast milk can provide,” said regional director Eduardo Janairo.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breast milk is the best food containing all the necessary nutrients needed by babies during their first year of development.
The DOH- Calabarzon said breast milk has antiviral components which boost the immune system and protect infants against common childhood illnesses like diarrhea and pneumonia. It also reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and postpartum depression among mothers.
Meanwhile, the health official also urged mothers to “practice exclusive breastfeeding to safeguard your baby’s health and growth, especially during the first six months of life.”
The DOH- Calabarzon recently conducted a milk-letting activity, wherein 134 mothers donated their breast milk.
“Our objective is to ensure that every child will be provided with safe human milk including premature, undernourished, and sick infants and babies who cannot get enough milk from their mothers,” said Janairo.
The donated breast milk will be turned over to the Batangas Medical Center milk bank for processing and pasteurizing, said Dr. Felices Emerita Perez, head of the Family Health Unit of DOH-Calabarzon.
“The donated breast milk will be given to infants in need of it including working mothers who are also welcome to acquire donated breast milk for their babies after work,” she said.
Janairo, meanwhile, said the regional office will be conducting more milk-letting activities in the region by next year.
“Will make it a regular activity to make mothers aware on the importance of breast milk donation. This will increase the supply of human milk and we can save more infant lives in the region,” he said.