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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.

WHAT IS BREASTFEEDING WELCOME HERE?

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”.

WHY IS BREASTFEEDING WELCOME HERE GOOD FOR BUSINESS?

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.

WHO CAN JOIN?

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

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

  • 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 abbey.tomas@gmail.com 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.

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