23 May 2007

A Matter Of Life Or Death

I am by no means imposing on anyone to breastfeed like I did with all my 3 kiddos, I mean after all it is quite a daunting task. But I am very surprised by what I had just read recently about the declining rates of breastfeeding Moms in the Philippines. I don't remember the actual numbers, but I would've thought that with the pricey cost of bottles and nipples and more importantly the formula, people will surely turn to the basics.

I had an inkling that it has to do with educating the masses and commercialism. And having read here justified that. I am also appalled at the unethical infant formula marketing in the Philippines, just check out the 5 video series documentary of Formula For Disasters.

Just recently an event in Manila was held to raise awareness about the benefits of breast feeding. Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, whose city is one of the event's organizers, said 3,738 mothers simultaneously breasts-fed their babies for at least one minute, breaking the Guinness World Record. The result will be submitted to Guinness for evaluation. The United Nations Children's Fund said the previous record was held by the City of Berkeley, California, where 1,135 mothers simultaneous breast-fed babies for a minute on August 3, 2002.

As Breastfeeding.com reports:

The gathering in the sports complex was part of efforts to smash the Guinness world record for the most number of women simultaneously breastfeeding their babies.

The large number of tired moms was a coup for organizers, trying to promote breastfeeding in a country where many poor families believe that expensive powdered milk is more nutritious.

Around 16,000 children die every year in the Philippines because their milk formula is mixed with dirty water or the wrong amount of powder, according to the World Health Organization.
I'm saddened with all this. Hopefully, there is truly enough awareness focus in breastfeeding that can open up more Philippine moms to breastfeed.


tanya@motherwearblog said...

What a great blog!

So glad that Formula for Disaster is getting more exposure here. I think it's such an important story...


storyteller said...

i'm one of the proud moms who had their babies breasfed.
the experience is beyond compare. it is like communing with what mothers do even thousand of years back.

thanks also for dropping by in my blog.

SF Blog said...

Hi Filipina moms, nice to know your site. Where are you guys from? We just initiated our blogsite under http://pinoynetwork.org/blog and we are based in Toronto. Bago lang kami and we are having fun and sharing ideas about life here and there...
You can drop by our site and if you want to post or contribute something you can do it in http://pinoynetwork.org/blogcorner , this is open for all....

bokumbop said...

Thank you for writing about this - this is becoming a bigger and bigger problem worldwide, especially among the poor communities, where the marketing erroneously teaching mothers that expensive formula is more nutritious than breastmilk. It's absolutely heartbreaking to hear the statistics on mortality rates due to this misleading information.