CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Aug. 29 (PIA)–Bringing 266 breastfeeding mothers, here, together in a ‘big latch on’ annual event to underscore the importance of breastfeeding to children’s nutrition and development especially during the COVID-19 contagion, the Modern Nanays of Mindanao (MNM) held the first-ever virtual Hakab Na 2020, August 29.
Emphasizing the need to provide breast milk to children 0-6 months old, MNM Founder Nadine Casiño said mothers need not worry on milk suply. “Mu-flow gihapon ang milk bisag unsa ka kakapoy or stressed. Naa mo’y gatas tungod sa hormones ninyo tungod kay babae mo, makabreastfeed gyud mo.”
(The milk will still flow no matter how tired or stressed you are. You will really have milk [to feed your baby] because you are women, you can really practice breastfeeding)
Giving tips on promoting mother and child care during a contagion, Dr. Maria Asuncion Silvestre, member of the Independent Review Group for the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) in Early Essential Newborn Care (EENC), said, “Ugaliin ang paghuhugas ng kamay gamit ang tubig at sabon, panatilihing malinis ang kapaligiran ng ina at ng sanggol, umiwas sa mga matataong lugar, at panatilihin ang isang metrong layo sa mga taong nagpapakita ng sintomas ng COVID-19.”
(Make washing of hands with soap and water a habit, maintain cleanliness in the mother and child’s environment, refrain from going in crowded areas, and maintain distance from people who manifest COVID-19 symptoms)
For pregnant women, Silvestre urges mothers to monitor their diet, eat nutritious food and refrain from smoking as these can affect the total development of the baby inside their wombs.
She also reminded pregnant mothers not to miss or postponse their prenatal check-ups even with the declaration of community quarantine.
“It’s going to be a different normal; hopefully a better normal for our children. Let’s not make the preditions come true that malnutrition will go up by 14 percent. Let’s not allow that to happen. Be your child’s frontliner,” Silvestre added.
For working mothers, Registered Nutritionist Shiella Balbanida said mothers should “build their milk stash one month before going back to work and learn how to hand express breastmilk.”
Balbanida added that family support and joining mothers’ support group can help working mothers continue their breastfeeding journey noting the pressure it takes to be one.
Hakab Na is an annual event slated every month of August and held in various parts of the country to support and promote the Breastfeeding Month celebration. (RTP/PIA10)