About 193 mothers and 196 babies showed how one single act could create a better world through Hakab Na.
Clad with ring flowers on their heads, mothers from various places in region 10 graced the global breastfeeding event on August 6, in Cagayan de Oro City, to promote the importance of providing proper support to breastfeeding mothers as well as to create a breastfeeding nation.
Organized by the Modern Nanays of Mindanao (MNM), the simultaneous breastfeeding started at 10:30 a.m. and this year’s number of participants is way higher than in 2013, when the Big Latch On is first conducted in the country, with only 87 participants.
The total figure in this year’s Hakab Na already includes mothers who practice tandem nursing or breastfeeding siblings.
Hakab Na also highlighted various lectures on providing proper care and nutrition to babies and toddlers as well as games and raffles to add more fun and excitement to the event.
In her talk, Dr. Ma. Lourdes Mendoza sheds light to the myth that it is not good for mothers who are sick to breastfeed as it will make the baby sick. She stressed that the human milk has anti-infective properties such as leukocytes, specific antibodies and other antimicrobial factors that protect breastfed infants against many common infections. Thus, she encourages mothers to continue on breastfeeding even if they are not in their best condition.
Mendoza added that the human milk provides sufficient nutrition for optimal growth, development and health for the first six months of life while the complementary foods are introduced to the breastfed child around six months when additional nutrients are needed to supplement human milk intake and to accustom the child in eating a variety of family foods.
Furthermore, Sarah Jean Tangonan of the MNM said that in introducing solid foods, mothers should let their babies hold, touch and enjoy the flavor and texture of the food.
She also said that for the first three days, mothers should give the same kind of food to determine the food of which the baby is allergic to.
Aside from breastfeeding and complementary feeding, various resource speakers also shared knowledge on atopic dermatitis and baby skin care, Tamang Kain recipes, and the effects of formula milk to the baby and the microbiome.
In bringing mothers and families together in one event to advocate breastfeeding, Marie Yam L. Macapodi-Abubacar, a Muslim and one of the breastfeeding mothers said, “Though we have differences in our beliefs, culture and religion, we have the same passion and love for breastfeeding. We unite and made a huge positive influence to the world.”(RTP/PIA10)