An online support group of over 55,000 mothers showcased Saturday “Breastfeeding Pinays” — an advocacy on the need to return back to the Filipino way of nurturing babies through breastfeeding.
Through an event dubbed as “Hakab na! 2015” held at Shaw Zentrum in Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City (Metro Manila), organized by the women’s group called “Kaya Women and Empowerment Support Group”, health and economic conscious Filipino mothers group consisting of Breastfeeding Pinays (BFP) actively participated in a “Big Latch On” activity wherein they gathered together to breastfeed their babies.
The “Big Latch On” is an international activity where mothers latched on their babies from different locations around the world to create a world record.
According to Cheryl Chan, a member of the support group who also joined the “Big Latch On”, they were doing it as a sort of passion for three years now.
“316 moms, 320 babies latched on here (Shaw Zentrum event center). From the 316 moms, 4 of them fed two babies at the same time,” Chan said.
Chan said that there were other sites and locations in the country where the same activity was simultaneously conducted.
She cited that other breastfeeding advocates in other countries participated in the advocacy like those who are in Canada, Singapore, France and other countries.
She added that through this yearly activity which they started as an on-line advocacy, they want to help the government in promoting consciousness on the health and economic beneficial impacts of breastfeeding on mothers while empowering women at the same time.
“Even working moms are now empowered because they know how they can succeed in breastfeeding,” Chan added.
Kimberly Tan Evangelista, also from the same group, said that one of the economic benefits of breastfeeding is it is free and safe for her baby.
“Instead of buying a breast milk formula, I just put the money I had saved in buying a chest freezer where I can store some of my milk so that I can prolong further my breastfeeding target for my baby,” said Evangelista.
Aside from the “Big Latch On” activity, participants and their babies as well as their husbands or members of the family were given time to take advantage on taking photos with their babies on photo booths, participate on games and contests connected on the essence of breastfeeding.
Invited child health specialist also shared inputs on topics such as breastfeeding management for slow weight gaining babies and micro and macro economics of breastfeeding.
Baby products and other helpful accessories in taking care of them were also placed in the event area wherein mothers can choose to purchase for their babies.
The month of August every year is celebrated as breastfeeding month wherein the importance of breastfeeding is highlighted.
During this month, more information on the risk of using formula milk are further spread to the people to make them aware that breast milk is still the best nutritious food for a baby.
Infant formula that does not contain the anti-bodies and immune factors that are present in breast milk.
The anti-bodies that babies get from their mother’s breast milk shield them from diseases or strengthen their immune system.