This week to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for global support, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action organises World Breastfeeding Week.
World Breastfeeding Week 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.
To mark this occasion on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd August 2013 at 10:30am 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.
Our local Big Latch On will take place at Costa Coffee, Forte Retail Park, Paddy Harte Rd, Letterkenny, at 10.30 am, though we will gather from 10am.
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, a total of 8862 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.