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NUTRITION CORNER: Intensified breastfeeding promotion among pregnant women urged

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The 7th National Nutrition Survey (NNS) conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) in 2008 showed that the participation of pregnant women in breastfeeding promotion program is low.

Results of the survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) in 2008 showed that only 24 in every 100 pregnant women participated in breastfeeding promotion program.

This figure among the pregnant is in contrast with the participation level of lactating women in breastfeeding promotion program reported at 100 percent.

While the promotion of breastfeeding is successful among lactating women, more attention should be given to pregnant women in preparation for lactation.

Breastmilk is by far the best food for a newborn baby, and encouraging soon-to-be-moms to breastfeed is an important undertaking.

Breastfeeding protects the newborn baby against common infections, especially diarrhea and respiratory diseases as well as urinary tract and ear infections, in addition to psychosocial and emotional benefits like mother-baby bonding.

During pregnancy, a woman’s body is already preparing for breastfeeding, as milk ducts and milk-producing cells are developing and more blood goes to the breasts than before.

Pregnant women need a healthy diet for sufficient milk supply.

Good nutrition in pregnancy helps a mother stay healthy, energetic and better prepared for taking care of the baby and the rest of the family.

Nutrition and health advocates recommend exclusive breastfeeding infants for six months, and then continue for as long and often as possible.#

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