The “stars” of the ad are MommySense kids who were breastfed (or are still breastfeeding). It is indeed inspiring that breastfeeding advocacy is present not only in Metro Manila. Actually, I was able to talk to Alex of Unicef-Philippines and he mentioned there were more than 7,000+ breastfeeding groups in the country. But these groups are barangay-based and are usually connected with the local health centers.
Right after my office’s breastfeeding awareness festival, I had to fly off to Davao City to give a talk about Breastfeeding and Working. My talk was part of the “Gifts of Breastfeeding” Meet and Greet Seminar organized by MommySense Davao. I was pleasantly surprised with the turn-out – more than 500 moms registered and participated in the event. The event was featured in a local newspaper, through the column of Davao mom-blogger Wowie Teves. More pictures of the event are available in Wowie’s blog.
When I was making my presentation, I asked Lyn who the target audience would be. Lyn said that target audience would be English/Tagalog speakers. However, during the day itself, more Visayan speaking (local dialect) moms came. Yikes! Even though I grew up in Davao, my mom is from Luzon so at home, we use the “Davao Tagalog”. Luckily, my exposure to Visayan in school and through my husband (from Cebu) came in handy. I felt that I was able to translate my English presentation to Visayan and make it more understand able to the audience and this was validated by Lyn and Alex – yay!
During the event, MommySense Davao also launched its breastfeeding ad which SM Davao agreed to show in its cinemas, as a public service message.
Despite this huge number, I believe that there is still a need to create groups like MommySense and LATCH in major cities in the country. For one, mothers in the major cities usually give birth in big hospitals (which sad to say are major milk code violators) and do not access government health centers. It is this group of private hospital moms that need to be reached out to be breastfeeding advocacy groups.
It certainly is humbling to be part of groups such as LATCH and MommySense Davao who have been established and whose members have devoted much time, effort and resources to the promotion of breastfeeding in the Philippines. Hopefully, with the success of these organizations, more groups targeted towards middle to upper-middle class moms are established to combat the formula milk companies’ grip on infant feeding practices.