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Only 7 of 100 Dominican mothers breastfeed their children

The Ministry of Public Health is seeking to increase the number of mothers in the Dominican Republic who chose to breast-feed their newborns. Deputy Minister of Public Health, Jose Manuel Puello, said on Friday, 7 August 2015, on the occasion of the World Support to Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August), that only 7 of 100 Dominican mothers breastfeed their children. The reasons cited for the low rate of breastfeeding include work responsibilities for women, the lack of information about the benefits of breastfeeding, and myths and taboos regarding breastfeeding.

Although, by law, Dominican women are given three months maternity leave from work, most women do not breastfeed their babies even during that opportunity when they are at home.

As reported in, Dr. Puello highlighted that this is a challenge that needs to be tackled and overcome because of the known benefits of breastfeeding. Dr. Puello says that many mothers wrongfully conclude that they do not produce sufficient milk for their babies and opt to supplement breastfeeding with baby formula, gradually abandoning breastfeeding too early in baby’s life. He said information is key, as well as creating support groups for mothers. He said mothers need to feel confident to breastfeed their baby anywhere, without feeling uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, breastfeeding in public still carries a stigma in some places in the Dominican Republic and the public needs to be encouraged to accept breastfeeding as a natural and healthy act between a mother and her child.

Dr. Puello stressed that breastfeeding contributes to a reduction in child illness, improves baby nutrition and avoids the risk of diseases such as breast and ovarian cancer in the mothers. He also stressed that breastfeeding is good for family finances because that in addition to not having to buy formula, there is no need to boil bottles. He said that breastfeeding is also good for the environment because there are no plastic bottles or containers to be thrown away.

He says that mothers should exclusively feed their babies breastmilk for the first six months.

He noted that offices of Tax Agency (DGII) and the Banco BHD Leon have provided rooms where mothers can extract their milk to store for their babies while at the work place. He advocated for creating more of these spaces in public and private work places.

Source: DR1, 7dias

August 10, 2015

Category: DR News |

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