The Makati Medical Center Department of Pediatrics in partnership with the Philippine Pediatric Society held the widely successful 2nd International Breastfeeding Conference & 4th Breastfeeding Congress at the Marriott Grand Ballroom last August 2 -3, 2016. This also ushered the hospital’s celebration of the Breastfeeding Month. The Congress was attended by a record-breaking  902 attendees, the most for any Breastfeeding Congress in the Philippines, and was comprised of Pediatricians, Obstetricians, Family Medicine Physicians, Nurses, Midwives and Breastfeeding Advocates.  Foreign delegates from Thailand, India and Indonesia were also in attendance. The Scientific Program entitled “The Breastfeeding Triad: Be In and Win” touched on  the Mother, the Baby the Support Groups — and the  challenges that they may face en route to a successful breastfeeding journey. The Opening Remarks was led by our newly appointed Medical Director, Dr. Johnny Sinon.  Dr. Alexander Tuazon, President of the Philippine Pediatric Society gave the Welcome Remarks. Dr. Rita Dolendo, Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics & Over-all Chair, gave the course overview and discussed Makati Medical Center’s Breastfeeding History and Journey.

MMC & PPS Movers & Shakers from L to R: Ms. Cristine Donelly (MMC Nursing Head), Dr. Pam Caedo (MMC Org Com); Dr. Cristina Bernardo (PPS Breastfeeding Committee); Dr. Michelle Yu (MMC Org Com); Dr. Johnny Sinon (MMC Medical Director); Dr. Alex Tuazon (PPS President); Dr. Rita Dolendo (BF Congress Overall Chair); Dr. Joan Millonado (MMC Org Com) & Dr. Teresa Ribano (MMC Org Com)

     The prestigious roster of speakers included 3 foreign lecturers who came to share their expertise. They are  Dr. Lori Feldman – Winter, the Section Chair of the  Breastfeeding Policy Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics,  Dr Nancy Wight,  Medical Director for Sharp HealthCare Lactation Services and co-founder of the San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition, and Mr. Willibald Zeck, Chief of Health & Nutrition of UNICEF. The other speakers were MMC’s Dr. Patricia Kho (OB-Gyn) who talked about “Antenatal Enhancement of Breastmilk Production” and Dr. Ma. Lourdes Martinez, MD (Pediatrics)  who lectured on “Informal Human Milk Sharing: Benefits & Barriers”, as well as other local speakers, all experts in their field.  Special workshops were also held  – namely the MBFHI Workshop headed by DOH’s Dr. Anthony Calibo,  the Wellstart Workshop for  Doctors  facilitated by the PPS Breastfeeding Committee & Lactation Consultants, and the Wellstart Workshop for Nurses held by representatives  from the MMC Nursing Staff and MCNAP. The event was capped  with the turn-over ceremony to the next host hospital, Medical Center Manila, for the 2017 Breastfeeding Congress.

Our gratitude and sincerest thanks to Dr.  Anna Lisa Lopez- Gabriel for sharing this article. She is a diplomate of the Philippine Pediatric Society. She is currently the Committee Chair of the Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative ( MBFHI ) of the Makati Medical Center. She is also a Lactation Consultant .