MOMMIES and babies in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental joined the 10th Global Big Latch On held at SM Bacolod on Saturday, August 4, 2019, organized by the Philippine Pediatric Society of Negros Occidental, SM Bacolod, SM Cares, Doctor’s Hospital, Dr. Pablo O. Torre Memorial Hospital, Bacolod Adventist Medical Center, Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital and other partner organizations and agencies.
The Big Latch On events were also happening at key destinations nationwide and around the world to promote and support breastfeeding moms and families and celebrate World Breastfeeding Week.
The movement that was formalized in New Zealand is celebrating its 10th year of taking the breastfeeding campaign global.
“Breastfeeding really is the best option for mothers and babies,” said Dr. Pauline Tan Ngo, PPS Breastfeeding Advocacy Committee chairperson.
“Years of medical worldwide research are consistent in proving that it is the safest, most nutritious food for infants and even the most inexpensive option,” she said.
Being the most superior food that a mother can give to her baby, the PPS and breastfeeding advocates are keen to spread positive support province-wide.
The annual event aims to spread the message of support by way of gathering hundreds of moms in a simultaneous public breastfeeding session.
“The number of moms and babies joining the latch on grows bigger every year,” said Dr. Katrina Trebol-Villapando, PPS liaison for community.
Last year, almost 300 participants joined the Bacolod event, part of the 1,200 mom-baby pairs recorded from 6 locations across the province.
“We hope to surpass this record and bring more breastfeeding families on board,” Dr. Villapando added.
This global Big Latch on has been ongoing since 2013 in Bacolod City. It is a simultaneous breast feeding event that occurs all over the world so mommies gather in communities such as this and they simultaneously latch on their children.
This is to show support for breast feeding. “We want to increase awareness for breastfeeding which we have to do every year to normalize breastfeeding, the reason why we hold in a public place so that the people, who are passing by, will get to see mommies breast feed their children. This increases awareness about the support networks that are available to the moms because when they sit beside each other, they get to talk and they get to know each other.”
She added, “We don’t have the statistics exactly right now but I can see that even in the social media that you can see that a lot of moms are more aware now and if they are not please as to how breast feeding is going for them, they take the initiative to find answers and they ask around for help. We have 48 moms that directly latched this year which is pretty good considering that the weather is kind a bad and it was pretty early.”
The biggest benefit of breastfeeding is better health of the mom and the baby. It decreases chronic infection and illnesses in babies who are breast-fed.
Her message to moms who are still pregnant and who are still thinking to get pregnant or even if they have a pregnant relative with them is that education and getting informed are very important because when you are aware of your choices and the breast feeding information and support that is available, then you are empowered to be an advocate for your child.