More than 50 Cypriot women shrugged off social mores to take part in a public breast feeding event on Wednesday as part of an international bid to set a world record and to raise health awareness.
Organisers said that 54 mothers successfully completed the designated one- minute synchronised mass feeding at a cultural centre in Nicosia.
AdvertisementBreastfeeding in public is a rare sight on the island and considered rather taboo, which is why a Nicosia support group organised the event to help increase awareness about the benefits of breast milk.
"Our main aim was was to raise awareness and help people realise that breastfeeding is best for their babies. I believe we've achieved this," said organiser Irene Paphiti-Demetriou.
The event was hailed as "impressive and pioneering" by Cypriot Health Minister Costas Kadis, himself a new father.
"The ministry encourages such initiatives," he told reporters.
"I think this is a very positive effort and I would encourage all mothers to do it," said Elena, one of the participants and the mother of five-month-old Alexis.
Women in Argentina, Ukraine, Britain, India, Japan and Greece also took part in the bid to enter the Guinness Book of Records. The simultaneous breastfeeding record was set in 2006 by 22,000 mothers in the Philippines.
According to the World Health Organisation breastfeeding is the ideal way of providing infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development, making babies less susceptible to illness.