Mothers Join Nationwide Campaign on Breastfeeding

A total of 96 breastfeeding mothers attended the “Big Latch On” on Sunday.

City of Mati, Davao Oriental—Breastfeeding mothers here have joined the “Big Latch On” on August 5 at the Honey’s Hotel, a nationwide simultaneous breastfeeding event to convince mothers to switch from infant formula to breast milk and educate them of its benefits.

Dubbed as “Hakab Na City of Mati 2018” which was held here for the first time in celebration of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, 96 breastfeeding mothers attended the event.

A total of 338 mothers, including pregnant women and other advocates from the city and other municipalities here have supported the activity.

Rejee Lou Mejia of Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) and breastfeeding advocate said that “Hakab Na” will encourage nursing mothers to exclusively breastfeed their children and get rid of misconception that infant formula is superior to breast milk.

“Hakab na is an advocacy campaign to promote breastfeeding and to convince mothers to switch from infant formula to breast milk because breastfeeding is free and it gives our children all nutrition that they need. It also helps them emotionally, for them to develop trust,” she said, emphasizing the bond that forms between mother and child during breastfeeding.

City Health Officer Dr. Ben Hur Catbagan, who spearheaded Sunday’s event, handed the certificate of appreciation to Maria Clarose Mascardo RN, DOH XI-Regional Breastfeeding Program Manager, for conducting a lecture that clarifies the myths about breastfeeding.

Mejia said that the City Health Office, together with the Provincial Government here and advocates organized “Hakab Na” as 2017 data of exclusively breastfeeding mothers in Mati City is only at 52% while national target is 70%.

To clarify myths on breastfeeding as well as to discuss its benefits, guest speakers from the Department of Health (DOH) spoke during the activity. The PDRRMO also gave input on basic first aid for infants and young children.

Mothers who participated in “Hakab na” underscored the benefits of breastfeeding to their babies.

Zone Young Dejerio who has been exclusively breastfeeding her nine-month old baby said that “she does not get sick easily, compared to babies who are fed with infant formulas.”

Lulette Clarabal, who is also exclusively breastfeeding her baby, said that breast milk provides her child immunity against sickness. “It keeps him from sickness because according to experts the breast milk is the best source of nutrients for the baby. And if ever he is sick, I don’t worry that much because I know he can get better soon.” By Riza M. Golez

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