THE SOUTHERN Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) is close to hitting its 100% target for its breastfeeding campaign.
During Kapehan sa Dabaw on Aug. 7, Ameleen Bangayan, SPMC Department of Pediatrics senior consultant, said that SPMC is strictly implementing Republic Act 7600 or “The Rooming-In and Breast-feeding Act”
“All mothers are informed that if they give birth in SPMC, it has to be breastfed,” Bangayan said.
The senior consultant said the hospital also complies with Executive Order 51 or the “Guidelines of the Marketing of the Breastfeeding Substitute,” which prohibits formula companies from handing out free product samples to mothers.
Bangayan said their security guards enforce the hospital policy of banning milk formula or bottled milk to maintain their 100% target. However, they allow exemptions for kids who are already bottle-fed at home, provided that it should be prepared beforehand.
SPMC has a breastfeeding committee that oversees and monitors the enforcement of its policies. The committee’s goal is to ensure the mother and the infant are taken care of.
“Health personnel being assigned in the maternity area underwent lactation management training, which is a 20-hour (training) including the practical side. So, we are confident that we can assist mothers to initiate breastfeeding until pag-uwi na ng bahay (they go home),” Bangayan said.
The breastfeeding clinic is open from Mondays to Fridays to address all the concerns of mothers.
However, the Human Milk Bank is available for mothers who have problems producing milk for their pre-term or premature babies.
When asked regarding what specific age should the mother stop breastfeeding, Bangayan said it should be two years and beyond.
“We cannot set a time because it’s a partnership between mother and infant. Point to emphasize also that kahit 5 years old na (even the child is already 5 years old) breast milk is still able to address nutritional requirements,” Bangayan said.
Apart from the implementation of exclusive breastfeeding, SPMC connects mothers with support groups after being discharged. For now, the government institution awaits the final visit of the Department of Health (DOH) to be fully certified as a mother-baby-friendly hospital.
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