English singer Myleene Klass recently went to the capital of The Philippines, Manila, with aid agency Save the Children to see how young mums cope in appalling conditions.
Myleene whose mother Magdalena is a Filipina was there to back a new campaign which centres on the alarming finding that 95 babies could be saved every hour if mothers around the world breastfed immediately after giving birth. Myleene has breastfed both of her own daughters, Ava, five, and Hero, who is 23 months old, so it is a subject Myleene has strong feelings about.
In the slum of Paranaque City she met Vilma, who lives in a one-room home with her three surviving children. Vilma lost her baby because he got sick. He was raised on formula milk. Vilma didn’t know that if babies receive colostrum – the mother’s first milk – within an hour of birth, it will kick-start the child’s immune system, making them three times more likely to survive killer diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea which many babies die of in The Philippines. By breastfeeding in the first hours of a baby’s life, the mother is giving them vital antibodies to fight such diseases.
It is upsetting as every mother just wants the best for their children but being born into Vilma’s situation how could she possibly have the information, advice or help, to know what is best? Because of a lack of health workers to give good advice, a lack of education and the marketing practices of some firms many new mothers are left convinced formula milk is better.
British mums have choices as to how to raise their babies. They have help, access to hospitals and advice, and information at the click of a button.
If you want more information about feeding your baby or any advice at all from a private midwife in the UK please contact Simply Better Births on 0844 880 1084 or email@example.com.