While formula and follow-on milk formula are enjoying the limelight in the marketing scene, it’s always nice to know that there are still institutions who dared take that road less traveled and support only the best–breastfeeding.

I got a chance to attend a forum on the Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines program of the World Vision and the Department of Health as a mommy blogger. When I read the invite, I immediately asked if there are milk sponsors and gladly there is none, since this is a project of the Department of Health.

What surprised me even more is seeing one of the foremost breastfeeding champs in the country, in the person of a male.

Yes, our breastfeeding face in the DOH is a he! Dr. Anthony Calibo.

Imagine that. A room full of mommy bloggers, nutrition experts, celebrity influencers, a supportive organisation, all in unison for breastfeeding.

The focal point of the event was the phone application they introduced to report milk code violations. I do hope that the response time will be reasonable and adequate, and for the customer to be assured of their safety and confidentiality.

Here’s more about the event:

Breastfeeding may be considered a challenging phase of motherhood but the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies truly make the journey worthwhile. While more and more mothers recognize that breastmilk will always be superior compared to formula milk, there is still a need to spread awareness on its benefits and to encourage people to support breastfeeding.

In response to the global campaign of protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding, World Vision Development Foundation, in partnership with the Department of Health, launched Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines. This two-year project aims to:

1. Support and strengthen the implementation of Executive Order 51 (The Philippine Milk Code of 1986), Republic Act 7600 (The Rooming-In and Breastfeeding Act of 1992), and Republic Act 10028 (The Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009).
2. Increase awareness and educate health professionals and the public regarding these laws.
3. Encourage people to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding by involving them in monitoring the implementation of breastfeeding laws in the country.

Carleneth F. San Valentin, Health and Nutrition Technical Programme Manager of World Vision Development Foundation, believes that encouraging mothers to nurture their child is a way to empower a mother’s ability to breastfeed and care for their child. “We are here to educate mothers so that they are empowered to make the right choice in nurturing and caring for their child. We want them to realize that if these laws are not implemented, we are impinging on their rights and of their child’s,” she shared.

According to Dr. Anthony P. Calibo of the Department of Health, this responsibility to uphold the breastfeeding rights of mothers is not just the responsibility of concerned organizations and government sectors; it is a responsibility of the general public. “If a mother is investing herself for the betterment of the future of her child, then she is also investing in the betterment of the future of this country,” he emphasized.

To stay true to their mission and vision for this project, the team conducted Mommy Forum: Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines last October 2, 2018 at Little Owl in New Manila. #MBFPH was graced by mom celebrities like Camille Prats Yambao, Jennica Garcia Uytingco and Erika Padilla.

Erika Padilla, World Vision Breastfeeding Ambassador, shared her breastfeeding journey. “It is a huge sacrifice. It is difficult, painful, and a lot of work. But definitely worth every single drop because I see my son getting stronger and healthier every day,” she recalled. Her story encouraged more moms to share and ask for more tips from Erika as well.

Rommel Fuerte, Executive Director of World Vision Development Foundation, reminds long-time moms and new moms the reason behind this gathering: the breastfeeding normalization is still a work in progress and it’s a must to constantly promote and protect breastfeeding to empower moms and to ensure a healthy start for their children.

To know how you can support Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines, log on to https://mbfp.doh.gov.ph/ or download MBF PH via Google Play or Apple Store.

Jun Godornes, Resource Development Director of World Vision Development Foundation, joined Erika Padilla as she officially signs her contract as World Vision Breastfeeding Ambassador.
Dr. Anthony Calibo of the Department of Health; World Vision Breastfeeding Ambassador Erika Padilla, Carleneth F. San Valentin, Health and Nutrition Technical Programme Manager of World Vision Development Foundation; Camille Prats Yambao, Jennica Garcia Uytingco, Event Host Erin Valera, and Jun Godornes, Resource Development Director of World Vision Development Foundation.