The Philippines has one of the best laws that promote breastfeeding and protect nursing moms and babies. It is clear that public places and offices are mandated to have lactation rooms. But as many breastfeeding moms know, the law doesn't always get followed, and you are reminded of it when you travel.
When actress LJ Reyes, with kids Aki and Summer and partner, fellow actor Paolo Contis, were in Siargao for vacation, the actress posted on Instagram a photo of herself breastfeeding her daughter with the help of a nursing cover on board a boat. In the caption, LJ wrote one of her wishes for Filipino moms like her.
"Ang pangarap ko talaga para sa ating mga magulang dito sa Pilipinas ay yung magkaron tayo ng maaayos na breastfeeding areas at changing areas," the mom of two wrote, adding changing rooms should be accessible to moms and dads. "O, kaya naman magkaroon ng family room na magagamit ng buong pamilya," she added.
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LJ's wish is not just for breastfeeding moms. "Exclusive breastfeeding, bottle feeding, formula, kahit ano man ang paraan ng pagpapalaki natin sa ating mga anak, lahat yun same lang. Kasi galing sa puso ng isang ina! Because all we want is to give the best to our kids!" LJ writes. "We all give life to our kids; that’s why I salute each and every mother!" she exclaimed.
LJ acknowledged good and clean nursing rooms and common diaper changing areas already exist. But they are few and far in between, especially for breastfeeding moms who nurse "here, there, and everywhere!"
"Pag nanay ka talaga, kahit saan kahit ano, pwede na to!" LJ said. But wouldn't it be nice if there was a room accessible to families where they can feed their child, change their nappies or clothes in case of spit-ups or pop blowouts?
LJ isn't the first one to call for more nursing-friendly spaces. Kylie Padilla Abrenica's breastfeeding photo son Alas in a restroom at a high-end mall also drew attention to the issue. Her representative shared with SmartParenting.com.ph that the mall has a designated nursing station, but it was far from where she and her family were dining.
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Hands-on celebrity dad Troy Montero also made a call to have a changing station in men's public restroom or even a family room where both moms and dads can change their babies' nappies because men can (and should) be on diaper duty, too.