Based on a study conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), the International Labor Organization (ILO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the number of nursing mothers that exclusively breastfeed their child has increased from 36% in 2008 to 47% in 2011.
The three organizations made this announcement during the celebration of Global Breastfeeding Week which is held annually every first week of August.
They also reported that the number of mothers that breastfeed their baby right after birth has increased from 31% in 2008 to 52% in 2011.
In its State of the World’s Children Report 2011, UNICEF said 136.7 million babies are born worldwide and only 32.6% of them are breastfed exclusively in the first six months.
The baby is said to be exclusively breastfed if the mother feeds him only with milk from her breast, with no complementing solid food or other liquids including water.
According to the “Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos, 2000 edition” by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), breastfeeding provides the baby the best possible start in life as breast milk has the correct proportions and amounts of calories and nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and minerals as they grow up from birth to six months. Breast milk is easier to be absorbed by the baby and easier to digest. Colostrum, the first liquid that flows out of the mother’s breast after giving birth, provides anti-bodies which the baby needs to resist infections.
The milk from the mother’s breast is safe and clean. Pumped out breast milk is safe for eight hours even it is not refrigerated and in hot weather.
But the most important in all is that the mother experiences great joy when breastfeeding her baby. There is bonding between the mother and the baby. (Source: FNRI)