WATCH: Moms, do you have questions about your pregnancy?

Zita is here to answer your questions. She is among the Barangay Health Workers we train on maternal and infant health.

Type: Video

Soon-to-be parents, are there questions you’re just too embarrassed or afraid to ask?

Ask away. Never hesitate to learn more about your and your child’s wellbeing.

Remember, good nutrition begins even before birth – hence the need to keep pregnant women healthy. Now, how can we achieve this?

Meet Zita, a Barangay Health Worker, who’s been striving to change and save women's and children’s lives for nearly 26 years.

She’s here to answer your questions.

Moms, do you have questions about your pregnancy?

Why breastfeed?

“Mothers need to breastfeed,” Zita stressed. “Because that’s the best food for babies for the first six months of their lives.”

Exclusive breastfeeding for six months is essential for a baby’s proper growth and development. This is why breast milk is often dubbed as the “original super food.”

After this period, babies can receive complementary foods alongside continued breastfeeding up to age 2 or beyond.

“Exclusive breastfeeding for six months is the optimal way of feeding infants,” the World Health Organization (WHO) reminds the public.

It provides infants all the nutrients they need, as well as protection from pneumonia and diarrhea – the top causes of child deaths worldwide.

Those who were breastfed as babies are “less likely to be overweight or obese,” the WHO added. “They are less likely to have Type-II diabetes and perform better in intelligence tests.”

For mothers who are having a hard time breastfeeding, do not fret. Ask your local health clinic for advice on how to properly breastfeed. Local health workers may train you on nursing positions, latching, and the like.

If you are having difficulties with producing breast milk, consult your doctor. As needed, the doctor may refer you to a Human Milk Bank, where breast milk is processed and stored for infants in need.

In times of emergencies, such as in the aftermath of typhoons or other calamities, it is still better to breastfeed than to use breast milk substitutes.

Why? Because during these times, clean water is scarce – the preparation of infant formula may be compromised, exposing the baby to health risks.

Lastly, Zita reminds parents that there is no shame in breastfeeding.

Moms, do you have questions about your pregnancy?

Healthy mom, healthy baby

“When it comes to food, pregnant women need to eat nutritious meals such as vegetables, fruits, and fish,” Vita advised.

Expecting parents may consult with their doctor regarding the diet most suitable for the mother. Undernourished mothers are at risk of having low birth weight babies.

“If a pregnant woman is not receiving enough nutrients, her baby will suffer,” Vita stressed. “Her child might become malnourished.”

Without proper intervention, malnourished babies may continue to experience health complications as they grow up. They might get too sickly and miss a lot of school days and they may also find it hard to focus in class – all these can negatively impact their lives even as adults.

Vita also encouraged parents to visit their local barangay health clinics where they may avail of counselling.

“We can teach you about appropriate exercises for pregnant women, proper diet and hygiene, breastfeeding, responsible parenting, family planning, and child spacing,” she said.

Zita has no plans of retiring anytime soon. She wants to continue doing what she does best: empowering mothers.

Our programs on Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) is also supported by Johnson & Johnson, which is among our most trusted corporate partners. Such programs train parents and local health workers like Zita.

Support our health and education programs, which benefit both mother and child. Donate today, save lives!

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