Breastfeeding is start of healthy life

 |Aug 13, 2016
Happy, confident mothers with their babies at the World Breastfeeding Week 2016 held at St. Jo’s, Gurney Paragon, George Town.
Happy, confident mothers with their babies at the World Breastfeeding Week 2016 held at St. Jo’s, Gurney Paragon, George Town.

World Breastfeeding Week 2016 theme on raising awareness between breastfeeding and sustainable development places emphasis on the value of our wellbeing from the start of life.

“There is nothing confusing about a baby eating. It is not porn, nudity or obscene.”

With these thoughts in mind, the advocates for breastfeeding committed to raise awareness for mothers to feed their babies for the healthy development of the child.

Mother-to-Mother-Peer-Support (MMPS)-Penang, The Breastfeeding Advocates Network (TBAN), Anggugu.com, Susuibu.com and Kumpulan Sokongan Susu Ibu Sarawak (KUSSIS) hosted the largest joint breastfeeding sessions in Penang, Selangor, Johor and Sarawak for 820 mothers to breastfeed their children simultaneously in a joint attempt to break the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) for the largest breastfeeding session in Malaysia.

MMPS-Penang with co-organiser Junior Chamber International Pearl (JCI-Pearl), Penang, hosted their event at St. Jo’s, Gurney Paragon recently with the participation from 150 Penang mothers, their babies, husband and extended family members who came along to support.

Pertubuhan Wanita Mutiara Penang president Betty Chew Gek Cheng in her welcoming speech said MMPS and WABA had made visible progress since the first campaign launched to encourage breastfeeding.

Betty Chew, wife of Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who breastfed her four children as a new mother had to learn everything on her own.

“With MMPS and WABA’s guidance from a pool of volunteer experienced moms, new mothers will be able to suckle her child with confidence,” she said.

Betty Chew encouraged mothers to continue breastfeeding while working as it’s a good for the mother to bond with her baby.

She urged husbands to be supportive as their encouragement would help their wives to sustain breastfeeding.

The 150 mother and baby participants at the World Breastfeeding Week 2016 held at St. Jo’s, Gurney Paragon, George Town.
The 150 mother and baby participants at the World Breastfeeding Week 2016 held at St. Jo’s, Gurney Paragon, George Town.

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) chairman Dr. Anwar Fazal, who is renowned for his dedication, protection of infant nutrition and health of babies, is an influential figure in the worldwide movement for his work on breastfeeding.

He used the analogy of a flower to express the power of breastfeeding with the five petals are representing the medicinal, nutritional, natural, economical and loving way to nourish and build a strong healthy child.

Dr. Anwar even called upon Betty Chew to influence her husband Guan Eng to initiate a baby-friendly and mother-friendly state where more women can remain in the workforce if there were more mother and baby-friendly places in Penang.

He called on International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), MMPS, and WABA to provide active mother support groups to help.

MMPS has actively promoted cafes and restaurants into becoming breastfeeding friendly and launched breastfeeding images, an initiative for mothers to contribute breastfeeding images to their FB page and for mothers to download images to colour for them to colour with their older children as a fun activity.

JCI Pearl president Low Jin Ting shared her breastfeeding journey with her four daughters. The period of breastfeeding started with 10 months for her first child and increased until two years for the third child.

She is currently breastfeeding her youngest who is eight month old.

Her breastfeeding success is attributed to her supportive husband.

“Today, breastfeeding is perfect for nursing babies and young children. I want to encourage new mothers to suckle their babies as the bonding time is most rewarding.

“The most important thing is a mother’s confidence to breastfeed which comes from the inner self. If I found that confidence I am sure you can,” she said.

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Doris Lim is a Malaysia Outlook contributor with a keen eye for details developed form her background in architecture and design. Her affable personality and passion to celebrate life is captured in her stories of the community. Doris’ love for all things beautiful and quirky is tempered by her love for writing, photography, food, art and travel.