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Each year during the month of August from the first to the seventh, World Breastfeeding Week is observed with the goal of promoting the importance of breastfeeding. World Breast Feeding Week is also considered as an international campaign to encourage exclusive breastfeeding from birth to six months, prior to the introduction of complementary foods.


This year the weeks is being commemorated under the theme “Empower Parents… Enable Breastfeeding”. Today we sat down with Paediatrician, Specialist for children and Neonatologist at the Northern Medical Specialty Plaza, Dr. Elsie Constanza, who spoke about the annual celebration and the importance of disseminating that information to the public.


Screen_Shot_2019-08-01_at_6.29.56_PMDr. Elsie Constanza – Paediatrician/Neonatologist, Northern Medical Specialty Plaza

 

“We encourage exclusive breast feeding, exclusive breast feeding is breast feeding your baby from the day of birth to six months of age which means that its only breast milk that the baby will receive, no formulas, no juice, no water but only breast milk so that is our objective to encourage breast feeding after six months of age when the baby start complimentary feeding introduction of solid food of course we also encourage breast feeding to continue at least up to two years of age.”


Due to its nutritious components, there are countless benefits of breastfeeding which trickles down to toddlers as well as mothers.


Dr. Elsie Constanza – Paediatrician/Neonatologist, Northern Medical Specialty Plaza

 

“Breast Feeding is the main source of nutrients for the bay and its very important to breast feed the baby due to its components that the breast milk has, I always consider breast milk as white gold, its very priceless and very important for the baby’s growth and development, it has all the nutrients needed for the baby to grow fro brain development and all other organs to work, it has proteins, it ahs sugars, it has lipids, fatty acids, vitamins, antibodies that is very important and it has other components like prebiotics which help in the babies new system so that is the component of breast milk and of course water as well. Breast feeding helps reduce the uterus to the pre gestation size, breast feeding also helps moms bonding with their new child which is very important and also it shows on mothers who breast feed their babies have less risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer and also breast feeding acts as a contraceptive as well.”


Nonetheless, for mothers who tend to voluntarily refrain from breastfeeding their infants, they are encouraged to weigh the disadvantages of utilizing formula which can result in obesity and other sicknesses.


Dr. Elsie Constanza – Paediatrician/Neonatologist, Northern Medical Specialty Plaza

 

“I understand as well that there are parents that do not breast feed their baby due to other circumstances sometimes at points breast feeding maybe not indicated in the form of nutrients to give the babies in some circumstances or maybe mothers need to go back to work but in those cases where moms need to go back to work, I usually encourage them to extract their breast milk because they will still be producing milk but they can extract and it can still be given to the baby, we try to promote mostly breast feeding and less formula because what we have noticed is that babies who are not breast fed at all are babies who get sick more often, are babies who when it comes to their development they don’t achieve their weight that they should achieve maybe according to age or to height that they should achieve so all these things that we see on the follow up with babies who are not breast fed, the other things is that babies who are not breast fed or they are formula fed, remember that formula fed babies they are more prone to obesity so we have to really see and control the consequences on babies who are not breast fed.”


Though there is currently no exact figure to determine the percentage of mothers who adopt exclusive breastfeeding, Constanza says there is an increase in those who opt to mix feed their babies.

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