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Why 56% of Filipino mothers exclusively breastfeed their children

A mother’s milk is a nutritious and complete food for a baby.

This was cited by 56 percent of Filipino mothers as their reason for exclusively breastfeeding their babies, according to the 2011 survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology.

Respondents were mothers of 0-23 month old Filipino babies.

Aside from its nutritional value, 52.9 percent of the mothers said it is economical and 26.4 percent said breast milk can increase the immune response of the baby.

Other responses include breast milk’s safety, convenience and availability (22 percent); stronger mother-child bonding (13.2 percent); physician’s advice (11.6 percent); friends or relatives’ advice (6.3 percent); breast milk is good or best for babies (1.3 percent); seen on television (1 percent), child’s preference (0.5 percent); read on print media or billboard (0.4 percent); heard over the radio (0.3 percent); preferred by the mother (0.3 percent); enough milk flow (0.3 percent); hospital or clinic policy (0.2); form of family planning (0.2 percent); child is not yet eating (0.2 percent); and based on experience or family tradition (0.1 percent).

Meanwhile, some mother exclusively breastfeed because they have no idea of the benefits at 0.1 percent; there is available time to breastfeed or some mothers are not working at 0.1 percent; and it helps build child’s character and behavior at 0.1 percent.

The results of the survey was disseminated through a forum in this city, attended by government officers of the Ilocos region.. (By Imelda C. Rivero, PIA 1, Ilocos Sur)