I know many of you supported the Great Cloth Diaper Change in their attempts to spread awareness of the benefits of cloth diapering around the world. In a similar event, on Saturday 6th August 2011 at 10:30am thousands of nursing women and their babies across the United States will gather in their own communities to take part in the Big Latch On. The Big Latch on will be America’s first synchronized nursing event in multiple locations. I won’t be attending, because I no longer breastfeed, but if you breastfeed, I hope you can join them.
The Big Latch On is originally from New Zealand. It was introduced to Portland, Oregon in 2010 by Joanne Edwards as a celebration for World Breastfeeding Week. During the same week Annie Brown, a La Leche League Leader from Connecticut organized a simultaneous breastfeeding event in her home state. These two women have joined forced and for World Breastfeeding Week 2011, with the support of La Leche League USA, they are making this a huge national breastfeeding awareness event.
World Breastfeeding Week, August 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.
Those benefits are, of course, that breastfeeding contributes to the normal growth and development of babies, and babies 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.) This is not to judge women who cannot nurse or who are uncomfortable with it. It’s simply that the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a baby’s life benefits, and non-exclusive breastfeeding for at least 2 years or as long as is mutually desired by mother and baby.
I hope it’s understood that contrary to militant breastfeeders, Everything Birth understands that some women cannot breastfeed. Furthermore, Everything Birth understands that some women just aren’t comfortable with it. I hope that with continued exposure, more and more women will come to become comfortable with it and that is why I completely support the efforts of The Big Latch On.
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