Sun.Star Davao, Sept. 12, 2009
“This is free. This is safe. No doubt about it. This is the best!”
This has been the constant campaign of mothers who believe in the “gifts of breastfeeding”.
“While the truth remains that all mothers are capable of breastfeeding their babies right from childbirth, many are still deluded from this fact and still opt to sustain their child’s health and well-being with food that is derived from artificial and processed animal milk”, shares Sharmila Barretto-Ong, one of the founders of the breastfeeding support group Mommysense.
Mommysense is composed of Dabawenyo breastfeeding mothers, who, back in 2004, banded together to support each other as they go through the challenges and joys of breastfeeding. The group eventually grew to provide various activities including forums with experts to discuss the different concerns on modern parenting.
The vision of Mommysense is “to build a network of breastfeeding mothers and to provide practical, realistic and sustainable support and advice about breastfeeding to mothers-to-be and nursing mothers”.
“Since the members of Mommysense have been successful with breastfeeding our children through the support of families and friends, we would like to “pay it forward” to other breastfeeding mothers by coming up with worthwhile projects”, discloses Mary Allyn “Lyn” Buyco-Tan, another co-founder of Mommysense.
In line with the celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, Mommysense presented “The Gifts of Breastfeeding”, A Mommy Meet and Skills Seminar last August 29, 2009 at the SM Event Center.
“The seminar aimed to provide much-needed extensive and practical information to mothers about the health benefits and management of breastfeeding”, reveals Lyn who is also the event chairperson.
“We wanted to highlight the woman’s capacity to personally provide for her young since breastfeeding is not only a privilege given to the child but is one of the recognized rights of the child”, says Sharmila.
Touted to be the “most informative, most exciting and most prestigious breastfeeding seminar Davao City has ever seen”, the awaited event started with a motorcade from the SM Mall parking area to the business districts of the city. This was the initial activity made to create public awareness and invitation to the upcoming event in the afternoon.
“The queuing of participants started from the mall’s opening hours even if the announced registration forthe affair started was 12:00 noon. Most mothers in attendance were expectant mothers and mothers presently breastfeeding their babies”, describes Sharmila.
“The audience, by and large, consisted of mothers and babies. Before the seminar started at 1:30 pm, the participants were entertained by the project’s sponsors. Moreover, Circular Home Pre-school provided activities for toddlers, which was right beside the play area that SM Davao provided. Happy Face Party Haus amused the kids with face painting, puppet show and balloon animals”, adds Sharmila.
The event which was superbly hosted by media personality Jojie Alcantara, a breastfeeding mother herself, dwelt on important subjects such as “Look Forward to Breastfeeding” by Alexandria Hao, “Starting to Breastfeed” by Lyn Tan, “Breastfeeding and the Working Mom” by Atty. Jennifer Ong and “Infant Massage” by Dr. Evelyn Siasu.
Aside from the thorough discussion on breastfeeding, City Councilor Angela Librado-Trinidad, the chairperson of the Davao City Women and Children’s Welfare Committee presented some special information regarding the city’s support to the same cause by the improvements now provided in public utilities and other public areas.
After the very instructive yet enlightening marathon topics, there were entertainment, give-aways, and raffle items given to the gracious participants by generous sponsors The Oak & Acorn, Mary Kay, Margie's Bakeshoppe, Cycles, SM City Davao, Pro-Lacta, Reliabuild, Johnson & Johnson, Crocs, Natalac and ABS-CBN.
“Our total number of registered mommies and mommies-to-be was 554! We are so grateful to all the moms who came to the event; some even carried their babies the whole time. We were expecting around 200 to come so the sponsors only prepared give-aways for 200 moms, at most 250. We were so overwhelmed by the response, but promise next time, we'll be more prepared”, assures Lyn.
“The Gifts of Breastfeeding” seminar not only stirred up interest but created the heartwarming assurance that there is and will always be the mother’s selfless love and care for her children.
“No matter how difficult the thought of breastfeeding maybe, the satisfaction…the benefits… the fulfillment and security of both mother and child will always bring them forward and ahead of the rest!”, ends Sharmila.
Special thanks to Lyndon Ong and Natalie Wee for the event’s photos.
E-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.momabouttowndavao.blogspot.com.