A regional forum on the First 1000 Days of a child was held in Cagayan de Oro city on 29 July to reiterate proper maternal and infant care in the regional nutrition month culmination activity.
Key messages on the advantages of maternal and child nutrition, early newborn care or “Unang Yakap,” breast feeding and complementary feeding strategies and approaches were delivered.
Dr. Elen C. Santua of the Department of Health region 10 (DOH-10) said new ways in handling newborns is now adopted as a strategy to improve their health.
She stressed out on the non-separation of the newborn and mother for immediate latching on and initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour after birth.
Modern Nanays of Mindanao founder Nadine Angelica G. Casiño also highlighted the importance of the breastfeeding and timely introduction of complementary food during the forum.
“Babies need the best start in life, and the only way to ensure that is to feed them the normal way. Breast feeding is the normal way of feeding. It is not the best, because there is no better or good,” she noted while pointing out that it’s the only way a mother can pass on nutrients as well as antibodies which are non-existent in formula milk.
Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator for Northern Mindanao Marissa DM Navales, meanwhile, urged partners to scale up nutrition action not only on the national and local levels but also at the personal level.
“Let us start in our own personal level, in our own families, in our own communities,” Navales said. (JCV/PIA-10)