First-ever ‘olympics’ gathers breast milk for infants in need


Hundreds of lactating mothers gathered at the Taguig Lakeshore Hall on August 27 for the first-ever Breastfeeding Olympics in the Philippines — organized by our very own probinsyudad.

 

In the pioneering milkletting event organized by Taguig-Pateros District Hospital (TPDH) and the Taguig City Nutrition Office, the 28 barangays comprising the City competed with each in collecting the higher volume of breast milk for Taguig City Human Milk Bank.

 

Barangay New Lower Bicutan topped the Breastfeeding Olympics by collecting 1,170 millilitres of breast milk. In second and third places were Barangays Bagumbayan and Lower Bicutan, which accumulated 1,130 ml and 1,040 ml, respectively.

 

In total, the friendly competition generated 18 liters of breast milk from 207 mothers. All mothers from the winning barangay took home lactation treats such as squash, cucumber, saba, calamansi and pineapple, and 5 kilos of rice.

 

This “olympics” was more than just a competition, said 30-year-old Mary Rose Santos. “I was very much willing to participate not only to help my barangay win but also to help fellow moms feed their babies with breast milk.”

 

“Breast milk has properties that make it better food for infants than formula milk, so I wanted to contribute mine to a mother and child who need these benefits,” she said. “I would like to thank Taguig for giving me this opportunity to help out.”

 

The event was part of the celebration of the 2019 Breastfeeding Awareness Month with the theme, “Lakas ng Magulang, Sigla ng Pagpapasuso-Kalusugan, Nutrisyon at Kinabukasan ng Kabataan.”

 

Dr. Vivian Eustaquio, from the office of Sen. Pia Cayetano, gave the attendees a Breastfeeding 101, where she discussed the benefits of latching to both the mother and her baby, as well as diseases of the breast, among other topics.

 

Another part of the program was the “Hakab na, Taguig!” ceremony, where — as the word “hakab” which means “to latch” suggests — sees mothers breastfeed their babies simultaneously for at least a minute.

 

Among the purposes of the event is to change the negative attitude towards breastfeeding and to encourage mothers to be comfortable to breastfeed even in public places.

 

Among the participating mothers was 35-year-old Maniliza Aguilar, who has breastfed all her four children.

 

“Breastfeeding my children has been a great help for us, especially with our daily expenses. It’s also easier for us to latch our baby instead of waking up in the middle of the night just to prepare a bottle of formula milk,” Maniliza explained.

 

“But most of all,” Maniliza added, “human milk is very healthy for our babies because it is natural, it contains antibodies and doesn’t have any kind of chemical or other additive.”

 

Breast milk gathered at the event was pasteurized  for use of babies confined in TPDH’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit, outpatient infants, as well as babies admitted in other hospitals who are in need of breast milk.

 

Residents can be assured that the breast milk collected is safe for consumption. Donors are required to undertake a series of steps that include interviews and testing for hepatitis B, syphilis and HIV. Only if these are passed will they be eligible.

 

In 2015, the Department of Health dubbed the city-owned TPDH “Mother-Baby Friendly,” recognizing its outstanding implementation of a breastfeeding policy, staff training on lactation management, strong link with the community to sustain breastfeeding and compliance with Executive Order No. 51, also known as the Milk Code, and Republic Act No. 7600 or Rooming-In and Breastfeeding Act of 1992.

 

In the same year, the probinsyudad launched the Taguig City Human Milk Bank, only the third established by a local government unit in the country. As one of the few LGU-owned milk banks, it has now helped around 500 beneficiaries and recruited more than 3,000 breast milk donors. The facility has now collected 945.8 liters of breast milk since its launching.

 

“For me, this ‘olympics’ is solidarity,” said Mary Rose. “It is solidarity between mothers. It is me and my fellow mothers here helping out the mothers out there who don’t have it easy.”

 

Maniliza, on the other hand, encouraged mothers to practice breastfeeding: “Breastfeeding makes motherhood worthwhile because you are creating an intimate bond while also harnessing benefits for both you and your child. Do it, moms.”###

 

 

 

FILIPINO

 

 Kauna-unahang ‘olympics’ na nangalap ng gatas para sa mga sanggol na nangangailangan

 

Daang-daang mga nanay na nagpapasuso ang dumalo sa kauna-unahang Breastfeeding Olympics sa bansa na inorganisa probinsyudad at ginanap sa Taguig Lakeshore Hall.

 

Pinangunahan ng Taguig-Pateros District Hospital at Taguig City Nutrition Office ang nasabing milkletting event. Nagpaligsahan ang lahat 28 na barangay  sa paramihan ng makokolektang gatas na ibibigay sa Taguig City Human Milk Bank.

 

Tinanghal na kampeon  ang Barangay New Lower Bicutan matapos nitong makakalap ng 1,170 milliliters na gatas ng ina. Sinundan naman ito ng Barangay Bagumbayan at Lower Bicutan, na nakakuha naman ng 1,130 ml at 1,040 ml.

 

Sa kabuuan, nakakolekta  ng 18 litro ng gatas mula sa 207 na nanay ang nasabing patimpalak. Ang lahat ng ina na kasapi ng barangay na nanalo ay nakatanggap ng lactation treats gaya ng kalabasa, pipino, saba, kalamansi at pinya, pati na rin ng 5 kilong bigas.

 

Ang “breasfeeding olympics” ay higit pa sa isang kompetisyon, ayon sa 30-taong-gulang na si Mary Rose Santos “. Sumali ako hindi lamang upang manalo ang aming barangay. Sumali ako dahil gusto kong makatulong sa ibang nanay at mga sanggol na makadede ng gatas ng ina.

 

“Ang gatas ng ina ay may mga taglay na katangiang  nagdudulot ng mas mabisang benepisyo sa sanggol kaysa sa infant formula. Gusto kong makapag-ambag ng aking gatas  sa ibang nanay at sanggol na nangangailangan nito, ani niya. “Nagpapasalamat ako sa gobyerno ng Taguig na nagbigay ng pagkakataon sa akin na makatulong sa aking kapwa nanay.”

 

Ang paligsahan ay bahagi ng pagdiriwang ng 2019 Breastfeeding Awareness Month na may temang, “Lakas ng Magulang, Sigla ng Pagpapasuso-Kalusugan, Nutrisyon at Kinabukasan ng Kabataan.”

 

Nagbigay si  Dr. Vivian Eustaquio, mula sa opisina ni Sen. Pia Cayetano,  Breastfeed 101 at tinalakay niya ang mga benepisyo na dulot ng pagpapadede sa ina at kanyang sanggol, kasama na rin ang mga sakit sa dibdib, at iba pa.

 

Isa pang parte ng programa ay ang “Hakab na, Taguig!”, kung saan –gaya ng salitang “hakab” na ang ibig sabihin ay “pagsuso”—ay sabay-sabay na pinasuso ng mga ina ang kanilang mga anak sa loob ng halos isang minuto.

 

Nais baguhin ng nasabing event ang negatibong pagtingin sa breastfeeding at para mahikayat ang mga nanay na maging komportable sa pagpapasuso kahit sa publikong lugar.

 

Kabilang sa mga dumalo ay ang 35 taong gulang na si Maniliza Aguilar, na napasuso ang apat niyang anak.

 

“Napakalaking tulong ng pagpapasuso sa aking mga anak lalo na pangaraw-araw na gastusin namin, Mas madali rin na magpadede ka na lang tuwing hatinggabi kesa tumayo ka pa para lang maghanda ng gatas nila sa bote,” paliwanag ni Maniliza.

 

“Pero higit sa lahat,” dagdag ni Maniliza, “Yung gatas kasi ng nanay ay napakasustansya para sa ating mga anak dahil natural ito, naglalaman ito nga mga antibody at walang halong kemikal o anu mang additive.”

 

Ang nakolektang gatas ay dinaansa pasteurization upang maibigay sa mga sanggol na naka-confine sa  Newborn Intensive Care Unit ng TPDH, sa outpatient na mga sanggol, at gayundin sa  mga sanggol na naka-admit sa ibang ospital na nangangailangan ng gatas ng ina.

 

Makasisiguro ang mga residente na ang nakolektang breast milk ay ligtas na maipadede.Ang mga nais magkaloob ng kanilang gatas ay kinakailangang sumailalim sa ilang mga hakbangin kasama ang interbyu  at testing para sa hepatitis B, syphilis and HIV. Maaari lamang silang makapagbigay ng gatas kung maipapasa nila ang mga nabanggit.

 

Noong 2015, ang Department of Health ay pinangalanan ang Taguig-Pateros District Hospital (TPDH) bilang “Mother-Baby Friendly,” kinikilala ang mabisang implementasyon ng breastfeeding policy, staff training at lactation management, direktang kuneksyon sa mga komunidad para sa pagpapatupad ng breastfeeding. Ito ay bunsod sa Executive Order No. 51, kilala rin bilang Milk Code, at Republic Act No. 7600 o ang Rooming-In at Breastfeeding Act of 1992.

 

Sa parehong taon, ang Taguig City Human Milk Bank ay inilunsad, ang pangatlong itinatag ng local government unit sa bansa. Bilang isa sa mga iilang milk bank na itinaguyod ng isang LGU sa bansa, ito ay nakatulong na sa mahigit 500 breastmilk beneficiaries at nakahikayat na ng mahigit 3,000 breastmilk donors. Nakakolelekta na ng 945.8 liters ng breast milk ang pasilidad mula nang ito ay inilunsad.

 

“Para sa akin, ang ‘olympics’ na ito ay pagpapakita ng pagkakaisa,” wika ni Mary Rose. “Pagkakaisa ng bawat ina. Nagtutulong-tulong ako at ang mga kapwa ko nanay para matulungan yung ibang mga ina na nahihirapang magpasuso sa kanilang mga supling.”

 

Si Maniliza, sa kabilang banda, ay hinikayat ang mga ina na magsanay ng pagpapasuso sa kanilang mga anak: “Mararamdaman mo ang kahalagahan ng pagiging ina kapag nagpapasuso ka dahil sa pamamagitan nito ay nakakabuo kayo ng koneksyon sa bata habang nasasagawa ninyong mabigay yung mga benepisyo na para sa ina at anak. Gawin niyo po ito, mga nanay.” ###

 


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