Breast is best - but for many working mothers it is increasingly becoming a second choice. That's what Collet area representative Patrick Faber is trying to avoid in his area. He launched the breastfeeding baby friendly hospital initiative at his divisional office today and we found out why it's a priority:....

Penny Casasola, Nurse/Midwife
"The breast feeding starts at birth exclusively until 6 months and then complimentary feeds of a variety are introduced starting with cereal like rice cereal. We are teaching them how to make it. They don't necessarily have to buy it, but if they chose to buy it that's fine. But these babies are so smart they know how to feed themselves. We are teaching independence and we are giving the opportunity for the mother and the baby to bond and that family's get together to eat."

Hon. Patrick Faber
"I know from my own experience that a small can of baby milk is about $20 minimum and if you use 2 cans of that for the week that's 8 per month at $20 that's $160 and we are not talking about the detergent to wash out the bottles, buying the bottles and we are not talking about the water, the gas that you need to warm the water all of this kind of thing. So it is a tremendous saving for people but of course that's not the main reason why we are encouraging breast feeding its also because it contributes to the wellbeing of the babies."

Penny Casasola
"If we can increase the health of our nation and decrease our expenses particularly in the Southside of Belize is where the first recognition should be given and also the first support/ The babies have a greater chance of avoiding obesity, diabetes, allergies, diarrhea and vomiting. The leading cause of illness in young children is respiratory problems, gastro enteritis, Enterocolitis. There are numerous childhood condition that could be eliminated. We could cut down on admissions to the hospital if we would breast feed exclusively and then introduce the complimentary feeds. We don't people to give up on breast feeding because they have a challenge. We are here to help you bridge the challenge, being a nutritional challenge a workplace challenge whatever it is."

Channel 7