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Pinay moms go for mass breastfeed record

Mothers breastfeed their babies in a simultaneous breastfeeding activity in Marikina yesterday. The event was an attempt to break the world record and raise public awareness on the consumption of breast milk. WALTER BOLLOZOS                                                                                                         

MANILA, Philippines - About 21,000 Filipino mothers and their babies participated in yesterday’s nationwide bid to break the country’s own record for simultaneous breastfeeding in the Guinness World Records.

Breastfeeding Philippines director Elvira Henares-Esguerra said the synchronized breastfeeding was held in 1,000 sites nationwide, each with a minimum of 30 mother-child pairs.

Studies suggest that breastfeeding is good for the development of the nervous system.

In Marikina City alone, 383 mother-child pairs attempted to set a new record for the most number of women breastfeeding simultaneously in a single site. The event dubbed “Breastfeeding: Apat dapat,” was held at the Marikina Convention Center.

Inspired by the case of former chief justice Hilario Davide Jr., Nona Andaya- Castillo of the Breastfeeing Philippines said breastfeeding should continue beyond two years.

The current Guinness record is 15,128 mother-child pairs held in the country’s 295 sites in 2007.

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The Philippines also bagged the 2006 world record for the most number of women breastfeeding simultaneously in a single site.

“We need to drum up a stronger social support for breastfeeding mothers to attain the recommendation of World Health Organization (WHO) to purely breastfeed for two years and beyond,” Andaya-Castillo said.

She said some 1.5 million children worldwide die annually due to improper feeding practices.

The group cited the Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding issued by the WHO in 2002, recommending exclusive breastfeeding up to six months without giving the baby any water, milk formula, bottles, teats and pacifiers.

Through the campaign, Andaya-Castillo said all sectors in society should be aware of the maternal and child needs.

“Mothers have a tougher life now because they work outside home and are confronted with deadlines, disasters and demolitions,” she said.

In 2009, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act, which provides incentives to all government and private health institutions that promote and support rooming-in and breastfeeding practices.

Henares-Esguerra urged lawmakers to pass stronger laws that would protect breastfeeding.


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