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Empowering nursing mothers

The goal of the simultaneous breastfeeding activity is to promote the importance of supporting nursing mothers.

By Sherwin Arnaiz, The Manila Times

Thousands of nursing mothers simultaneously breastfed their babies during “Hakab Na!” 2019, held annually in celebration of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. The goal of the event is to promote the importance of providing proper support to breastfeeding mothers to create a breastfeeding nation for the future.

Organized by Breastfeeding Pinays in partnership with SM Cares, the Department of Health (DOH), United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) Philippines and World Vision, “Hakab Na!” brought together nursing moms and their families, breastfeeding support groups, advocates, government, and nongovernment organizations.

“What started out as a group of friends asking each other about breastfeeding has evolved into a national movement whose goal is to promote the values of breastfeeding to Filipino mothers. I am ecstatic to see that we are growing bigger each year,” said Bing Guevara, organizer of Hakab Na! 2019 and co-founder of Breastfeeding Pinays.

Unicef Philippines’ Wigdan Madani added, “We are one with Breastfeeding Pinays on this occasion as we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. We cannot undermine the importance of this simple yet critical act, as we strongly believe that children who are breastfed get a healthy start in life.”

Held at the SMX Convention Center Manila, Hakab Na! 2019 was anchored on the theme, “Lakas ng Magulang, Sigla ng Pagpapasuso — Kalusugan, Nutrisyon ng Kabataan para sa Kinabukasan.” It featured stories of breastfeeding moms, counseling, discussions on available tools and support for families and breastfeeding laws to empower breastfeeding moms by assuring them that the act of breastfeeding is very valuable as it gives their children the best start in life.

“We envision our community of mothers to consider SM as their second home. SM strives to be a mall for all and continues to support the mothers and women in communities where our malls are present,” said Berna Velasco, program director for SM Cares Program on Women and Breastfeeding.

SM Cares is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. Breastfeeding stations across all SM Supermalls nationwide are provided as part of its program to allow mothers the convenience and freedom to nourish their babies while in the SM malls.

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