9/18/2007

Breaking breastfeeding records



The Philippines lead 24 countries in establishing a world record on simultaneous breastfeeding.

Children for breastfeeding. Philippines in partnership with the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) led 24 countries to foster cooperation among nations in establishing another Guinness World Record on Simultaneous Breastfeeding in multiple sites to cap the celebration of World Breastfeeding Week.

The WABA, the initiator of the celebration of the World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) emphasizes the need to initiate breastfeeding within the 1st hour of birth as the first and most vital step towards reducing infant and under-five mortality, by reducing the overwhelmingly high neonatal mortality rate. According to the organizers the act can save ONE million babies worldwide.

In May 2006, together with the City of Manila, Children for Breastfeeding (CfB) broke the Guinness World Record on Simultaneous Breastfeeding in a Single Site when they gathered 3,541 mothers in partnership with Nurturers of the Earth, the Department of Health and UNICEF Philippines. The record was previously held by the Unites States of America with 1,130 pairs of mothers and children.

Last May 2 this year, Children for Breastfeeding also attempted to create the First Guinness World Record on Simultaneous Breastfeeding in Multiple Sites when they gathered more than 20,000 mothers in more than 400 sites in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Nurturers of the Earth.

No official verification from the Guinness World Record is forthcoming until the results are audited and submitted to them officially by the organizers. This is aimed to create awareness of the importance of breastfeeding in the world and thereby encourage countries to ensure the implementation of better Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices and better support facilities for breastfeeding mothers.

This time however, the group’s feat crossed national boundaries and time zones as they inspired other countries to establish their own national records. "New Zealand, Canada and Australia have previously held simultaneous breastfeeding in multiple sites and they joined us as well as other countries that did this for the first time," Elvira L. Henares-Esguerra, Director of Children for Breastfeeding said.

The idea is simple: Join as a pair of breastfeeding mother and child or organize breastfeeding mothers and children in as many sites as possible in their own country and be a part of the network around the world. The affair aims to nurture a fellowship among breastfeeding mothers in their locality and country that can facilitate the formation of mother support groups.

The organizers also want to institutionalize simultaneous breastfeeding as a form of universal prayer for peace and thanksgiving for the gift of motherhood and breastfeeding.

"For the Philippine organizers, the event adds a worldwide impact to the struggle we are waging against the milk companies that reached our Supreme Court," Dr. Elvira L. Henares-Esguerra said.

"Mothers and organizers from other countries are so grateful to the Philippine organizers for conceptualizing this event. This early, they are now inquiring when will be the date for next year’s event and we know that more countries will participate in 2008," Castillo reported.

http://www3.mb.com.ph/MOMS20070919102450.html

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