Up to 4,000 mothers in the Philippines have taken part in a nationwide attempt to set a new world record for simultaneous breast-feeding.
It is part of a campaign by Unicef, the UN’s Children’s Fund, and advocacy groups to highlight the benefits.
Last year, at least 3,541 mothers set a record for breast-feeding their babies simultaneously at a single site in the capital, Manila.
Unicef says too few Filipinas are aware of the benefits of breast over formula.
A partial, unofficial count showed that at least 3,608 mothers took part in the record-breaking attempt nationwide, according to the event organisers and government officials.
Only 16% of Philippine children between four and five months old are exclusively breast-fed while 13% of mothers do not breast-feed at all, believing they do not have enough milk, according to Unicef.
“We need every possible way to get the message out that Philippine mothers should breast-feed exclusively for six months and then continue to breast-feed for two years and beyond with household foods,” said Dale Rutstein, Unicef’s spokesman.
“Unfortunately, through advertising, most Philippine mothers now believe that artificial forms of foods for babies are actually better than breast milk,” he said.
Unicef says breast-feeding can help curb malnutrition in children and boost their immune system. It is also cheaper than bottle-feeding.