Mothers mob for breastfeeding
MANILA, Philippines - Despite the sudden downpour of rain, more than 100 mothers with their babies and family gathered together to form a “breastfeeding mob”, a first of its kind, in celebration of August as Breastfeeding Awareness month.
Organized by the Facebook group Breastfeeding Pinays, the activity seeks to promote the importance of women’s rights and proper support for breastfeeding mothers. The event is in line with this year’s theme of the World Breastfeeding Week, “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers.”
According to the group that started early this year, the Philippines still lacks the necessary support and benefits for breastfeeding mothers despite the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009.
“Breastfeeding in this country is a national health crisis,” said Velvet Escario-Roxas, the organizer of the event and one of the administrators of the online group.
“Although breastfeeding rates have steadily gone up over the years through efforts by different government, non-government organizations and medical communities, there is still so much to be done. Forming this online support group of mothers and gathering together is one of our contributions to the cause,” Escario-Roxas added.
“We want to create a harmonious culture of breastfeeding in the Philippines. We want to encourage mothers to become more confident while breastfeeding in public,” said Benz Co-Rana of Newlyweds@Work, who co-organized the event.
“To breastfeed successfully, the mother needs a stronger well-informed support system from the hospital, the home and the workplace,” added Co-Rana.
Breastfeeding Pinays seeks to address the need for local community support for breastfeeding mothers. By providing easily accessible and proper information to mothers and their support systems, the group has become a lifeline for mothers with breastfeeding problems, questions, and issues. Trained peer counselors support the community.
The group is planning to conduct weekly meet-ups to conduct learning sessions and discuss breastfeeding issues. – Rappler.com/with a report by Mark Demayo