UNICEF celebrates Global Breastfeeding Week

At almost the same time last year, I was invited to grace the You & Me & Mommy breastfeeding event held at SM Megamall. It was during that event that I was made fully aware of the benefits of breastfeeding. My sister was still 7 months pregnant with Tiki that time and I found it a good time to educate her with the leaflets, brochures, and knowledge I got during the breastfeeding talks. My niece is now a happy and healthy 9 month old. She can now stand up and make small steps on her own. I and other friends and family members agree that she has strong bones all because of exclusive breastfeeding. Tiki was exclusively breastfed during her first six months in life. She took nothing, not even water, but breastmilk.

It is a fact that breastfeeding can reduce the number of deaths of children under age five, yet only 36% of babies in developing countries are exclusively breastfed. Meanwhile, only 34% of Filipina mothers exclusively breastfeed their babies during the first six months and the number drops 2% every year.

Research has shown that deaths of children under five are reduced by 13%. when babies are exclusively breastfed in the first six months and are still breastfed up to two years of age. Breastmilk gives babies a strong immune system and also makes them grow taller. Best of all, it's free!

UNICEF believes that educating mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding should go beyond hospitals and clinics. We should all do our share in informing them that BREASTFEEDING SAVES BABIES' LIVES.

In the Philippines, UNICEF is working hand-in-hand with the government, the private sector, various NGOs, breastfeeding advocates, and mothers to promote breastfeeding. UNICEF also helps peer support networks, reaches out to mothers in communities and workplaces, and supports human milk banks and the enforcement of the Milk Code to promote a breastfeeding culture in the country.

This year's Global Breastfeeding Week emphasizes that everyone in the community, especially fathers, have an important role in raising awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding. It also recognizes the role of social networking sites, blogs, mobile phones, the arts, and flash mobs, in spreading awareness of this campaign.

I have written a series of breastfeeding posts last year. I hope you can give time to read and share them with others so that more and more people will know the limitless benefits of breastfeeding babies.

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