The first two years of a child’s life are extremely vital but according to the 3rd National Health and Morbidity Survey, Malaysia is among the Southeast Asian countries with the lowest prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding despite the many benefits of breastfeeding.
In an effort to get mothers to return to the traditional way of feeding, enter the Mother’s Smart Choice (MSC), a programme spearheaded by the Nutrition Society of Malaysia (NSM) in collaboration with the Malaysian Paediatric Association (MPA), the Obstetrical & Gynaecological Society of Malaysia (OGSM) and also the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN). Mother’s Smart Choice is also supported by Philips AVENT Malaysia.
“The launch marks the beginning of an important infant nutrition initiative to educate and encourage Malaysian mothers to provide good nutrition for their newborns and infants,” said Dr Tee E Siong, Chairman of the Nutrition Society of Malaysia. “It is vital for our children to be given the right nutritional food from birth. With the right start in life, our children will grow up with fewer nutrition-related diseases. Additionally, this practice will encourage the inculcation of good eating habits that can set the foundation of a lifetime of healthy living.”
MSC aims to empower Malaysian mothers with the knowledge and skills required to provide their young children with good nutrition. The first phase focuses on breastfeeding up to the third phase of proper healthy table food for toddlers aged 24 months.
Good and healthy eating habits begin from a young age and it is the parents’ duty to nurture their kids with nutritious food to ensure lifelong good eating choices. MSC’s current focus is to encourage breastfeeding among mothers as it is without a doubt the best source of nutrition for an infant’s optimum growth and development especially during the first six months of life.
In fact, colostrums (yellowish, sticky breast milk), produced at the end of pregnancy, is recommended by WHO as the perfect food for the newborn, and feeding should be initiated within the first hour after birth. After the first six months, breastfeeding should continue along with appropriate complementary food until the child is two years old.
To support further efforts of cultivating a breastfeeding culture, MSC will also be publishing a free guidebook Breastfeed with Confidence as well as hosting a series of free breastfeeding talks for nurses at hospitals and maternity clinics in this country.
The guidebook will contain useful information to help mothers’ breastfeed successfully, even after they rejoin the workforce. It will be distributed to expectant mothers through a wide network of hospitals and clinics while the talks will serve to train nurses to assist new mothers in breastfeeding during the early days post delivery.
To raise awareness about the guidebook, MSC will produce educational posters with information on how to obtain this guidebook, to be placed a hospitals and clinics in the nation.
Nobody knows the importance of childcare better than Phillips and AVENT who have together has combined technology as well as knowledge of childcare and motherhood to create products that are designed to support both mother and child since 1996.
As the number one brand recommended by mothers, Philips AVENT has also expanded its portfolio in parenting and baby products and introduced a new mealtime range designed for toddlers up to 18 months to encourage healthy eating through fun learning. Philips AVENT products are recommended by doctors and mothers to care for newborn babies, infants and toddlers.
So, to supermoms far and wide, don’t forget to keep a lookout for these guidebooks. You can also do your part by passing on a copy of these guides to an expectant mother. Share the love!