2,000 Philippine mums show breast is best for babies

August 5, 2017

Some 2,000 mothers in the Philippines breastfed their babies in public on Saturday in a gathering aimed at cutting infant deaths and dispelling taboos over the practice.

To the upbeat sounds of local pop songs, hundreds of suckled their babies inside a cavernous Manila stadium, some of them multitasking by feeding two children at the same time.

Organisers of the annual event said they aimed to encourage Filipina mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months to lower the country's high infant mortality rate.

"In the Philippines we still have a very low infant breastfeeding rate," Ros Macachor, an organiser for the non-government advocacy group Breastfeeding Pinays told AFP.

Macachor said Filipina mothers typically breastfeed their newborns only for the first 24 days, then switch to commercial which is ubiquitous and heavily marketed by powerful conglomerates.

A WHO study published in 2013 found only 34 percent of Filipino younger than six months were exclusively breastfed, and an "alarming" 36 percent were fed infant formula.

This was due to "aggressive marketing by milk companies" to counter laws designed to encourage breastfeeding, the country report added.

The UN Children's Fund said 28 out of every 1,000 Filipinos die under the age of five.

While that marks a significant improvement from the 56 per 1000 deaths recorded in 1990 it remains above the country's stated goal of lowering to 19 per 1,000.

Macachor said similar mass events would help combat stereotypes and encourage mothers to exercise their right and shrug off taboos against nursing babies in public.

"They should not be intimidated by people telling them to go breastfeed in the toilets, which is unsanitary," she added.

Explore further: New moms moving toward the bottle

Related Stories

New moms moving toward the bottle

December 7, 2016
New moms are increasingly using expressed breast milk (either pumped or expressed by hand) instead of directly breastfeeding their babies, according to a UBC study.

Where infants sleep may affect how long they are breastfed

February 8, 2016
A new study indicates that mothers who frequently sleep, or bed-share, with their infants consistently breastfeed for longer than mothers who do not bed-share. Also, pregnant women who expressed a strong motivation to breastfeed ...

In-hospital formula use deters breastfeeding

February 14, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—When mothers feed their newborns formula in the hospital, they are less likely to fully breastfeed their babies in the second month of life and more likely to quit breastfeeding early, even if they had ...

Vegan restaurant ban on cows' milk formula is another way to stigmatise mothers

April 10, 2017
A vegan restaurant in Spain has been both praised and criticised for banning the use of infant formula derived from animals.

Breastfeeding linked to infant temperament

January 11, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- New evidence from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit, in Cambridge, suggests that breastfed babies may be more irritable than their bottle-fed counterparts.

Mass breastfeeding record attempt in Philippines

October 24, 2013
Thousands of lactating mothers across the Philippines simultaneously breast fed their babies on Thursday in an attempt to break a world record and break down social taboos.

Recommended for you

Sitting for long hours found to reduce blood flow to the brain

August 20, 2018
A team of researchers with Liverpool John Moores University in the U.K. has found evidence of reduced blood flow to the brain in people who sit for long periods of time. In their paper published in the Journal of Applied ...

Balanced advice needed to address 'screen time' for children, study shows

August 20, 2018
Parents, health professionals and educators need clear and balanced information to help manage young children's use of mobile touch-screen devices in Australia, new research by Curtin University has found.

Students more likely to eat school breakfast when given extra time, new study finds

August 18, 2018
Primary school students are more likely to eat a nutritional breakfast when given 10 extra minutes to do so, according to a new study by researchers at Virginia Tech and Georgia Southern University.

Like shark attack and the lottery, unconscious bias influences cancer screening

August 17, 2018
What do shark attack, the lottery and ovarian cancer screening having in common? It turns out our judgments about these things are all influenced by unconscious bias.

Phantom odors: One American in 15 smells odors that aren't there, study finds

August 16, 2018
Imagine the foul smell of an ash tray or burning hair. Now imagine if these kinds of smells were present in your life, but without a source. A new study finds that 1 in 15 Americans (or 6.5 percent) over the age of 40 experiences ...

US drug overdose deaths surge amid fentanyl scourge

August 16, 2018
US drug overdose deaths surged to nearly 72,000 last year, as addicts increasingly turn to extremely powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl as the supply of prescription painkillers has tightened.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.