World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, is celebrated in 120 countries and marks the signing of the WHO/UNICEF document Innocenti Declaration, which lists the benefits of breastfeeding, plus global and governmental goals. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action organizes the World Breastfeeding Week to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for global support.
To mark this occasion at 10:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday thousands of breastfeeding women and their babies/children across the world will gather in their own communities to take part in the Big Latch On, a synchronized breastfeeding event in multiple locations.
The local Big Latch On event will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Anson Park. Local mothers will latch on at 10:30 a.m. and help raise the global count.
The first Big Latch On took place in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2005 and was introduced to Portland, Oregon in 2010 by Joanne Edwards. It has now taken off globally and in 2012, 8,862 children were counted breastfeeding as part of the Global Big Latch On. This year we are aiming to once again break this record
The Big Latch On is informed by the principles of community development, providing the opportunity for breastfeeding women to get together in their local communities, host their own events, and identify opportunities for on-going support.
Breastfeeding contributes to the normal growth and development of babies/children, and babies/children who are not breastfed are at increased risk of infant morbidity and mortality, adult obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer (both mom and baby.) The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a baby's life to optimize these benefits, continuing to breastfeed for 2 years and as long thereafter as is mutually desired by a woman and her child.