MANILA, Philippines – Milk matters. It’s the main message of the milk-letting drive organized by the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority of the UP College of Medicine, in partnership with the Medela House, Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Human Lactation Unit, and lady councilors of Quezon City.
Maria Angela Villa, Head of the Service Arm of Phi Lambda Delta, said “Milk Matters” is their sorority’s pilot project. They plan to conduct more milk-letting drives and outreach programs in various communities in Metro Manila.
“We want to raise breast feeding awareness and empower communities to support their mothers in their breastfeeding practices,” she added.
The milk-letting drive also included a public health lecture and lactation counseling by Medela Mom Joyce Martinez Zaragoza.
At least 83 nursing mothers from different barangays in Quezon City participated in the milk drive. Four to 16 ounces of milk were collected per mother, generating a total extraction of 4.5 liters. On-site donations also reached 704 ounces.
“I also want to help other mothers,” says Minerva Pascual of Brgy. Tatalon. Minerva says she witnessed how her niece had a difficult time raising her child because she did not generate enough breast milk.
The collected milk will be turned over to the milk bank of the PGH for pasteurization, further processing, proper storage, and distribution. The immediate beneficiaries are the babies in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Meanwhile, event-partner Medela House has been donating milk to the PGH since 2009 and they have been doing it all year-round. “In one week, we deliver around 29 liters,” reveals breastfeeding advocate and Medela House co-owner Beng Feliciano.
Medela has been actively partnering with various organizations in milk drives breastfeeding campaigns. They provide the equipment, share information on breastfeeding practices, and knowledge on international protocol on milk collection drives.
The Milk Matters project was fully supported by lady councilors of Quezon City, including Hon. Dr. Dorothy Delarmente-Bagting, Hon. Candy Medina, Hon. Lala Sotto, Hon. Aly Medalla, Hon. Mayen Juico, and Hon. Racquel Malangen.
“For this project, we wanted to involve mothers in various communities at the same time help babies in need at the PGH,” said Delarmente-Bagting, the 1st Distric councilor in Quezon City and a Phi Lambda Delta alumni. – Rappler.com