March 22, 2023

BANGUED, Abra – The Provincial Department of Health Office-Abra is encouraging government and private entities to establish a breastfeeding area in their respective offices to cater to the needs of lactating employees and clients and be “Mother-baby friendly institutions.”

The establishment of breastfeeding corner or lactating stations is provided for under Republic Act 10028, otherwise known as the “Expanded Breastfeeding Act of 2009.”

It is a policy to encourage, protect, and support the practice of breastfeeding.

PDOHO-Abra Nutritionist and Dietitian Mislyn Rimando said breastfeeding is important to the overall health of infants since breastmilk contains the best nutrients for them. 

As every mother has a right to breastfeed and every child has a right to be breastfed, the breastfeeding corner will create an environment where basic physical, emotional, and physiological needs of mothers and infants are fulfilled.

Aside from the basic requirements for the convenience and privacy of breastfeeding mothers, Rimando said there are certain requirements in order to have an accredited breastfeeding corner.

“The breastfeeding corners must have a handwashing facility, coolers for storing expressed breastmilk, and comfortable chairs,” she said.

The staff needs to undergo an orientation regarding the program.

She encouraged local government units, provincial offices of national government agencies, and private institutions to set up their own breastfeeding areas, then apply for accreditation.  

In Abra, PhilHealth is the only national government agency with DOH-accredited breastfeeding corner. Tesda-Abra and DOST-Abra will be having their accreditation soon, Rimando said.

There are also breastfeeding areas in the municipalities and their respective rural health units including health stations in the barangay.

However, these are not yet assessed by the DOH. – Christian Allister Tubadeza