By Belen D
At 10AM today, Matthew and I were participants of another Guiness world record attempt–the Synchronized breastfeeding event. Twenty or so other countries participated in this attempt but my friends Nona Castillo and Dr Elvira Henares Esguerra were the organizers of this event in cooperation with World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA).
Despite the storm (continuous rains since yesterday) and the possible floods along the way, Matt and I travelled to Technology Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) building in Taguig this morning and got there at 9:30AM. Fortunately, classes had been called off so there was less traffic. Surprisingly, most of the flood waters had also subsided along C5.
At exactly 10AM, we all breastfed our children while Nona recited a prayer she composed. After one minute, we most probably made a world record! We must have gathered over 40 mothers and children (the minimum number is 25 mothers with children per site) despite the storm.
Matthew gamely breastfed and smiled for the cameras. Matthew and Elvira’s son Larry were running around and playing the whole time while the press people were filiming, taking photos, interviewing us. I got interviewed by Reuters’ Philippine staff. We ate a healthy vegetarian meal prepared by Nurturers of the Earth (Nona’s NGO that promotes indigenous food, which included breastmilk, in order to preserve our environment as well). Although the host of the event, Edu Manzano, and the senators who wanted to be present (Chiz Escudero for example), the bad weather prevented them from travelling to the site. TESDA officials and the media were there (GMA7, Reuters, etc) so we hope to get a lot of media mileage in the news later today or tomorrow.
We closed the program with group pictorials–and Matthew and Larry chanting, “Breastfeed me! Breastfeed me!” What a riot!
Elvira and Nona (with Tito Larry, Elvira’s Dad) thought of this event as a follow-up of the May Guiness attempt at breastfeeding in multiple sites in the Philippines. And true enough, it manifested because of their sheer mind power :)
As Elvira often says, we want to elevate breastfeeding to a level where it is considered the norm, where mothers and children are proud to breastfeed, and mothers proud that they are homemakers who breastfeed. We should not consider breastfeeding as a second class or ‘cheap’ food for children. Instead, we should look up to breastmilk as the best food for our infants and young children.
I am often asked why I still breastfeed Matthew, and I often reply ‘Just look at my child Matthew. You can easily see the effects of breastfeeding’
No need to question the benefits of breastfeeding–‘Res ipsa loquitor’–the thing speaks for itself :)
For questions on Breastfeeding, contact
The Breastfeeding Clinic:
Your Partner from Pregnancy to Parenting
(Managed by two International Board Certified Lactation Consultants)
Nona D. Andaya-Castillo, IBCLC
Elvira L. Henares-Esguerra, MD, FPDS, RPh, IBCLC