In compliance to RA 10028 or the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009, the Department of Health-National Capital Region awarded the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI), the certification as “Mother-baby Friendly Workplace” early this year. FNRI is the first DOST agency to be awarded with said certification which is valid for two years.

A “mother-baby friendly workplace” certification means that FNRI ensures the promotion and practice of breastfeeding by providing healthy and safe working conditions for women through the establishment of a lactation station or facility.

The FNRI lactation facility was established in 2014. Prior to FNRI’s certification, about 100 FNRI employees participated in a Breastfeeding Orientation to prepare the facility’s establishment.

A well-lighted and clean room with comfortable sofa, the lactation facility is equipped with basic amenities such as a lavatory, small refrigerator, small table, breast pumps and covered containers. FNRI has also instituted a 40-minute break for breastfeeding employees to express their milk and provided information materials on breastfeeding for pregnant women employees. These are the basic requirements that form part of the FNRI’s policy on breastfeeding.

Since the establishment of the lactation facility, several clients, both in-house and outsiders, have availed of its services. More than providing lactation service facilities, FNRI’s goal is to serve as a model to and replicate the practice in other DOST agencies.

The facility is a joint effort of the Lifestage Nutrition Section-Nutrition Research and Development Group and the Gender Focal Point System of DOST-FNRI. (Marilita A. Aguilos, S&T Media Service, DOST-FNRI)