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Hakab Na! 2019: Empower parents, enable breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is more than just a way for you to feed your child, this is your connection with them, a bond that no one can match and a way for moms to show affection and warmth to their little ones. With this being said, breastfeeding awareness is necessary to let everyone know of its importance and how it can help your child and you develop an unbreakable bond.

I've been supporting the breastfeeding community since before, I encourage soon to be moms and moms with 0-2 years old child to breastfeed. Breastmilk is important especially to newborn babies, it has a lot of nutrients that will help the babies to grow strong and healthier.

I breastfed my daughter until she's 2 years old I noticed that does not easily get infected with viruses and other bacteria. That's why this year, I'm here again to support fellow mommies for breastfeeding awareness on how good and beneficial for both moms and the baby breastfeeding is.

Hundreds of mothers gathered to celebrate National Breastfeeding Awareness Month last August 18, 2019, Breastfeeding saves a life, protects children from diseases, and provides a child the best start in life. Breastfeeding Pinays (BFP), Department of Health (DOH), SM Cares, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with funding from Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and World Vision celebrate National Breastfeeding Awareness Month with Hakab Na! 2019, an annual breastfeeding event that gathers hundreds of mothers who will latch their babies at the same time for at least a minute.

Benefits of Breastfeeding for mother and baby

🔹 Reduce Child Mortality
Optimal breastfeeding has the potential to significantly reduce child mortality more than any other preventive intervention. Scaling up breastfeeding to a near-universal level could prevent 823,000 child deaths per year globally, according to the scientific journal The Lancet.

🔹Reduce disease risk
By supporting mothers to practice proper breastfeeding, nearly 50% of diarrhea episodes and a third of respiratory infections would be avoided.

🔹Promotes Healthy Weight 
Breastfeeding has also been found to reduce the risk of childhood obesity and diabetes in children.

🔹 Decrease Breast Cancer Risk
Breastfeeding is also associated with a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancers for nursing mothers later in life.

The Lancet estimates that 20,000 deaths from breast cancer death could be prevented annually through optimal breastfeeding. Hakab Na! 2019 brings together families, breastfeeding support groups, advocates, government, and non-government organizations. This year’s theme “Lakas ng Magulang, Sigla ng Pagpapasuso – Kalusugan, Nutrisyon ng Kabataan para sa Kinabukasan” has been localized by the DOH for the Philippines based on the global theme “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding” from the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. The gathering serves to encourage a dynamic exchange of ideas on providing proper information and support to Filipino mothers and their families to enable them to breastfeed, and practice good infant and young child feeding.

 “Breastfeeding Pinays believes that a successful breastfeeding campaign requires a concerted effort among the government, non-government organizations, and communities. Together, we can empower breastfeeding moms by assuring them that what they are doing is very valuable as it gives their children the best start in life,” shared Abie Co-Floreza, President of BFP. 

The early years of a child are critical for brain development and physical growth. Studies have shown that non-breastfed children’s brain development can be negatively impacted. The first two to three years of life have a life-long effect on a child’s future impacting on health, education, wellbeing and earning potential in adulthood. In the Philippines, only 29% of infants are exclusively breastfed up to 5.9 months. WHO and UNICEF urge parents and caregivers to initiate exclusive breastfeeding and continue breastfeeding up to at least the first two years or beyond.

Mommy Pehpot and Mommy Lally 

“Investment in public health policies and programs that protect, promote, and support exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of a child’s life and continuing breastfeeding with safe and appropriate infant and young child feeding practices is grounded on the education and empowerment of parents, communities, and even workplaces” notes Health Secretary Dr. Francisco T. Duque, III.

“It is part of the few most cost-efficient and high-impact multi-sectoral interventions our country can count on in combating stunting and malnutrition, along with the care for the health and nutrition of our women of all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.” There are several actions that the government, civil society organizations, and communities can take to protect, promote and support every Filipino child’s rights to survive and thrive. A strong foundation on the practice of exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices, coupled with support given at the right.

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