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Breastfeeding Welcome Here

August 15, 2011

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Bacolod Chicken Inasal, New Kamameshi House, Tropical Hut Hamburger, Max’s Restaurant, and Serye Cafe Filipino were the first five restaurants in Quezon City who signed up in the Breastfeeding Welcome Here program in support of Breastfeeding TSEK. QC Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte led the hanging of the decals to let people know that breastfeeding is welcomed in these restaurants.


Breastfeeding Welcome Here is a program for businesses and organizations to have a welcoming attitude to breastfeeding as a way to support women and their families’ decision to breastfeed their babies.

Displaying the Breastfeeding Welcome Here sign makes it easy for mothers and their families to immediately recognize breastfeeding-friendly places.  When they are out and about in public areas, the sign lets them know where they can breastfeed comfortably.  Moreover, the Breastfeeding Welcome Here sign helps strengthen public awareness that breastfeeding is natural, essential, and beautiful.

Similar Breastfeeding Welcome Here programs run in various communities, cities and areas of countries like Australia, Canada, and the United States of America.

The Breastfeeding Welcome Here sign utilizes two important symbols for the Philippine breastfeeding advocacy campaign.

First is the International Breastfeeding Symbol showing a mother breastfeeding a baby. Designed by Matt Daigle, it follows the gestalt of internationally recognized symbols.  This symbol won the 2006 contest of Mothering Magazine, besting over 500 entries.

The Breastfeeding Symbol is now used globally to let people know where breastfeeding is welcome.  It is also used in various materials to support, promote, and protect breastfeeding.

The second is the Breastfeeding T.S.EK! symbol of the DOH.  This nationwide program, supported by WHO and UNICEF, aims to help women and families to exclusively breastfeed their children.  T.S.EK stands for: Tama (It is right to place the newborn on the chest of the mother in the first hour of birth to initiate breastfeeding), Sapat (Little is enough.  The amount of breast milk produced by the mother is sufficient for the baby), and EKsklusibo (Give only breast milk to the baby in the first 6 months of age.  There is no need to even give water. Complementary feeding can be introduced at 6 months of age while continuing to breastfeed for up to two years and beyond.)

The T.S.EK! symbol’s message is echoed and complemented by the tagline, “Make it right for every child”.


Every establishment knows the amount of business a family brings.  By providing a positive environment where mothers can comfortably nurse in between shopping, meals, or coffee, the families return the favor with more spending, repeat visits, and good customer reviews.


Any business that is open to the general public like restaurants, coffee shops, and retail stores, can participate.


  • Welcoming attitude from staff and management – All members should be aware that the business is a member of the program. Breastfeeding is acceptable in all areas of the business premises that are open to the general public.  A mother who is breastfeeding in an area of business premises open to the general public will not be asked to move to another area or requested to stop breastfeeding.
  • Smoke-free environment – Because of the dangers of second hand-smoking, businesses must not allow cigarette, cigar, or pipe smoking in all areas of the business premises open to the general public.
  • Room to move a pram or stroller – Some families bring a pram or stroller to put the baby to in when not being carried or breastfed.  Families must be allowed to move them around the business premises with ease, and permitted to park them beside their table or seat.

To those interested to join, email to receive your membership form.  The forms  will be forwarded to the Breastfeeding Welcome Here Secretariat.  You will then receive a booklet, program certificate, and decal.


Breastfeed to “Give Life, Live Life”

August 13, 2011

Working Mom magazine and the women of LATCH has launched an awareness campaign to let the public embrace public breastfeeding.

Give Life, Live Life lets people see public breastfeeding as normal, essential, and beautiful.  It is society’s way of supporting women to continue breastfeeding exclusively for six months so mother and baby can enjoy the health benefits that breastfeeding gives.

Nothing is more convenient than breastfeeding.  There are no artificial feeding items to pack.  As breastfeeding mom and environmentalist Velvet Escario says, breastfeeding has zero carbon and water footprint.

Once the baby gets hungry when you’re out and about in public, all you need is a comfortable position so the baby can nurse.

Kudos to Working Mom and LATCH!

Keep breastfeeding Pinays!

GOOD TO KNOW: Breastfeeding can save P41B in just 6 months

August 12, 2011

FACT 1:  Every year, 1.8M babies are born in the country.

FACT 2:  It costs an average of P4,000 a month to artificial feed a child (includes purchase of formula milk, bottles, teats, etc).

FACT 3:  If all these babies were just breastfed exclusively for 6 months as WHO recommends, the Filipino family saves P24,000 for six months.  Collectively, they save over P41B.

For an ordinary family, that can be money spent for other things to improve quality of life and buy items like food, clothes, and books.  It can pay for electricity, water, phone bills.

Since breastfed babies are healthy, the savings continue short and long-term because they are less likely to be sick.  This means less visits to the doctor, less likely to be hospitalized, and less prescription.

Breastfeeding keeps on giving!

Breastfeeding Cupcakes

July 26, 2011

Just how adorable are these???

“The Wonder Isn’t the Bra”

“Baby’s First Immunization”

“Breastfeeding TSEK – Tama, Sapat at Eksklusibo

“Superpower:  Breastfeeding”

“Simply the Best, All Natural”, “Breastmilk:  Never Recalled”, “Life Saving Equipment” and “I make the milk in this family”

Thanks to Ms. Belle of French Kisses for creating these for us!

Krista is a Breastfeeding Pinay

July 26, 2011

Movie and TV personality Krista Ranillo and husband Niño Jefferson Lim, welcomed son Nick Jacob last April 5 in California, USA.  As Nick Jacob, or NJ, weighed 8.6 pounds and 20 inches long in birth, people were surprised to see Krista back in her svelte figure.

Her secret?  Breastfeeding.

Krista said that even while pregnant, she read up on books about expecting and giving birth.  She learned how breastfeeding makes one use up a lot of calories and makes the body go back to pre-pregnancy weight.

Apart from reading books, she also attended  classes.

“Lahat yun ginawa ko, wala akong ginawa kundi mag-attend ng mga child-birth class, breastfeeding, lahat. Talagang alam mo yung  pinrepare ko talaga ang sarili ko for a different life na.”

Krista shared that Niño helps with changing the diapers and taking care of NJ.

Congratulations to Krista and Niño for making the choice to breastfeed!

Great news for Breastfeeding Pinays in Cebu! Mandaue traders backing breastfeeding in workplaces

July 5, 2011

The Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry has just made a commitment to offer workplace lactation programs in their workplaces in support of this year’s Nutrition Month celebration.  Eric N. Mendoza, Mandaue chamber president, recognizes this program as a low-cost, yet high-impact program for the city’s estimated 100,000 female workers.

The group made history by signing an MOA with the National Nutrition Council regional office and Mandaue city government last week.  Mr Mendoza said that they entered into the agreement because they were good for working families, as they are also good for business.

“First of all, lactation programs help new mothers integrate back into the workplace, increase employee engagement and morale and help reduce illness and sick days taken,” Mr. Mendoza said.He added that such a program would promote valuable employee retention.Health Assistant Secretary Maria Bernardita T. Flores, executive director of the nutrition council, said Central Visayas leads other regions in promoting breast-feeding with the signing of the agreement and has called on other local government units and business groups to follow.

“Our mothers have been misinformed about the benefits of milk substitutes. With Republic Act (RA) 10028, we are forging alliances with our partners in the media, with the private and business community so that together with local government and national government, we could really bring back breast-feeding as the norm,” she added.

RA 10028 is also known as the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009. Under the law, private enterprises as well as government agencies, including government-owned and -controlled corporations, are required to put up lactation stations.

This is a welcome development given that the Philippines has one of the shortest maternity leaves, just 8 weeks paid leaves compared to 35 weeks in Canada, 52 weeks in the United Kingdom, and a whopping 64 weeks in Sweden.  Our Asian counterparts also fare better with 12 weeks in Singapore, 14 weeks in Japan, and 24 weeks in Vietnam.

Does a longer maternity leave mean a lengthier breastfeeding practice?  Statistics say so.

Countries that have longer maternity leaves have significantly higher exclusive breastfeeding practices.  In Sweden, 53% of women continue to breastfeed 6 months or longer.  In the Philippines, according to the National Demographic Health Survey, only 16.1% of our babies are exclusively breastfed for 4 to 5 months. 

Busting the Myths on Breastfeeding

May 29, 2011

When women and their families are informed about breastfeeding, they do more than make a feeding decision, they breastfeed.

Here are top ten facts to bust ten common myths and misconceptions about breastfeeding:
1.    You got milk. The vast majority of women produce more than enough milk for their babies. In fact, overabundance of milk is common. For six months, the baby gets all the nutrition it requires from your breast milk to support proper growth and development. It is not even necessary to give the baby water even on a hot day.

2.    Sucking is instinctive for your baby. Your baby will not refuse to breastfeed. To get you both off to a good start, begin nursing within the first hour of birth when your baby is awake and instinct is strong. If the baby seems to be not getting enough milk, it’s usually because the baby is improperly latched.    That’s why it’s important to learn how to position and latch your baby.    Remember that the more you breastfeed, the more your brain is signaled to produce more milk.

3.    Colostrum is your baby’s first immunization. This is the yellowish-fluid that comes out of your breasts a few days after giving birth that is very rich in nutrients and anti-bodies. The oldwives tale that it is “spoiled milk” is ridiculously untrue. Again, learn how to properly position and latch even before you give birth so your baby receives your colostrum.  Read more about colostrum here.

4.    It is common to feel soreness in your nipples and tenderness in your breasts when breastfeeding. You should experience this only in the first few days you when you and your baby are learning to perfect breastfeeding. With the proper techniques in positioning, along with practice and patience, you and your baby will be able to make breastfeeding a relaxing experience. As your milk supply increases, your breasts become engorged or full. You might even feel feverish. Breastfeeding or expressing milk manually or with a pump will relieve you. If there is more than pain in your nipples or breasts that lasts beyond 5 to 6 days, consult a doctor for possible plugged milk ducts, mastitis, or yeast infection.

5.    Size does not matter. The quantity of breast milk is produced on a “supply and demand” basis and not on the size of your breasts. The more frequent your baby suckles or you express milk, the more your body will produce milk.

6.    It is generally safe to breastfeed even if you are sick. There are very few medicines that a mother cannot take safely while breastfeeding. A small amount of medicines appear in the milk but usually in very small quantities that there is no need for concern. Taking paracetamol, for example, is safe and will not affect the baby while breastfeeding. If you are concerned with other illnesses, contact your doctor or lactation consultant. You should always consider the loss of the benefits that breastfeeding provide if you are weighing your decision to discontinue.

7.    Breastfeeding does not make your breasts sag. Age does.

8.    Breastfeeding relaxes you and your baby. Even if you are tired, you can continue to breastfeed. Breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin, which allows you to feel calm and soothed. In fact, breastfeeding provides you rest, as it requires you to sit or lie down with your baby.

9.    You can continue drinking coffee or wine. But limit only to a cup or two or an occasional glass.

10.    You can continue to breastfeed even when you go back to work. Express milk at work and exclusively breastfeed when you are with your baby. This will keep your milk production continuous. A little preparation and planning before going back to work allows you to build your milk supply and guide your caregiver on how to feed your baby stored breast milk.

Now you know, be a Breastfeeding Pinay!


Breastfeeding T.S.EK!

May 28, 2011

The Department of Health has recently launched a national health program to promote exclusive breastfeeding called Breastfeeding T.S.EK!  The program is based on the WHO/UNICEF Global Infant Young Child Feeding recommendation of initiating breastfeeding in the first hour of birth, exclusive breastfeeding for six months, and introduction of complementary food at six months of age while continuing to breastfeed up to two years and beyond.

T.S.EK stands for Tama, Sapat at Eksklusibo.

TAMA – It is right to initiate breastfeeding in the first hour of birth.  By placing the baby on the mother, the skin-to-skin contact allows the transfer of good bacteria to protect the child from infection.  Suckling also sends a trigger for the body of the mother to produce and release milk.

SAPAT – Breastmilk that the mother produces is enough for the baby.  Recall that the stomach capacity of the baby is just the size of a small marble.  After a few days, it becomes the size of a ping pong ball.  With frequent breastfeeding, starting every 2 hours building up to every 4 hours, the body will produce more milk.  Read more about it here.

EKSKLUSIBO –  Breastmilk is enough.  There is no need to even give water.  Breastmilk contains the right nutrients in the right proportions needed by the baby.  The proportions of nutrients change as the baby grows.

Breastfeeding T.S.EK is supported by World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the Spanish Government.

Let’s make it Breastfeeding T.S.EK for every Filipino child!

Judy Ann is a Breastfeeding Pinay!

October 8, 2010

Judy Ann Santos is a breastfeeding pinay!

Just barely an hour after giving birth, Judy Ann’s mom was interviewed in TV Patrol where she shared that Judy Ann is already breastfeeding Juan Luis, or Lucio for short.

Judy Ann gave birth via normal delivery yesterday, October 7 at 5:51pm at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Alabang.  Baby Lucio weighed 6.9lbs.

Both Lucio and mom are doing well.

Even during her pregnancy, Judy Ann was already decided on breastfeeding.  She has taken classes to ensure she’ll have a successful practice.  In the show Moments hosted by her friend Gladys Reyes, she showed off her newly learned skills by correctly demonstrating how to hold and breastfeed the baby.

Judy Ann and husband Ryan Agoncillo has announced that they plan to be hands on parents, and has not even hired a nanny.  So Judy Ann will be a breastfeeding mom and Ryan a diaper dad!

Judy Ann also reported that she will take a year off from showbiz to embrace motherhood.

Congratulations to Judy Ann and Ryan!

INFACT Canada calls for full recall of Mead Johnson’s sub-standard products

September 25, 2010

The FDA recall of Mead Johnson’s Alactagrow and Sustagen has caught the attention of the world.  INFACT (Infant Feeding Action Coalition) Canada, a national non-governmental organization that works to protect infant and young child health as well as maternal well-being through the promotion and support of breastfeeding and optimal infant feeding practices, has called for the swift implementation of the order.

In a letter to FDA Acting Director Nazarita Tacandaong, INFACT Canada stated that Mead Johnson committed “deception and misinterpretation of the label”.

According to the organization, the failure of Alactagrow and Sustagen to provide the content of 3 to 6 g. per 100kcal as set by FDA  regulations and the Codex STAN 156-1987 for milk supplements, potentially puts older infants and young children at serious risk for undernutrition related to insufficient fat intake.

Fats in the diet of older infants and young children are critical because they are essential for brain and neurological development. Brain and neural growth remains rapid during the second year of life. As well, fats have 2.5 times the energy density of carbohydrates and proteins and therefore are critical to providing adequate energy for growth.

Alactagrow for instance has no added fats; hence the only fats present are those from the whole milk powder, which as the 4th listed ingredient, after skim milk powder (no fat) and corn syrup solids and sucrose, is likely to be minimal. Indeed the total fat content as determined by the FDA is a mere 1.34g.  per 100 kcal.

Mead Johnson’s product is nothing more but a “fat reduced milk powder, with sugar, fortified with minerals and vitamins – an expensive product that is deficient in the essential level of fat required by older infants and young children.”