Breastfeeding in workplaces pushed

EMPLOYERS are urged to implement the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act which enables working mothers to breastfeed their babies while at work.

Dr. Jessamine Sareno, pedia consultant at Maria Reyna Xavier University Hospital said, they are extending their advocacy from seeking compliance of the breastfeeding law in malls and other public establishments, and bringing the advocacy to the mothers' workplaces.

Sareno said mothers should be aware of a law that allows them to feed their babies while at work.

Under the law, mothers in workplaces are entitled to lactation periods. They shall be granted break intervals in addition to the regular time-off for meals to breastfeed or express milk. These intervals, which shall include the time it takes an employee to get to and from the workplace lactation station, shall be counted as compensable hours worked.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) may adjust the same provided, that such intervals shall not be less than a total of forty (40) minutes for every eight-hour working period.

"Feeding your kid a formula milk instead of your breast milk is not an option anymore because they have 40 minutes to feed their child," she said.

If the employer is not implementing this law, Sareno urged mothers to take this matter to human resource to discuss, and invoked their rights.

"Breastfeeding helps the family, it can help cut down expenses, and it is also an investment for protection in the future," she added.

Breastfeeding provides natural antibodies to combat infections, helps develop the child’s intelligence based on studies showing higher levels of cognitive function in breastfed babies.

Mothers can also benefit from breastfeeding their babies like a reduced risk of breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and ovarian cancer, among others.


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