To honor World Breastfeeding Week, three local La Leche League leaders will host a public Big Latch On event at Douglas Park in Santa Monica, Saturday, August 3, 2013, 10:00am, to support the world record attempt for synchronized breastfeeding.
On the 1 – 7th of August every year the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action organises World Breastfeeding Week to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for global support. 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, outlining the crucial steps policy makers must take to promote, protect and support breastfeeding.
To mark this occasion on Friday August 2nd, and Saturday August 3rd, 2013 at 10:30am thousands of breastfeeding women and their babies/children around the world will gather in their own communities to take part in the Big Latch On, a synchronized breastfeeding event in multiple locations.
The first Big Latch On took place in Aotearoa, New Zealand in 2005, and it was brought to the United States in 2010 by Joanne Edwards. As part of the 2012 Global Big Latch On 8,862 children were counted breastfeeding in 626 locations in 22 countries. This year we are aiming to break this world record while building community awareness and showing breastfeeding as a normal part of day to day life.
La Leche League International (LLLI), the world’s foremost authority on breastfeeding, is a non-profit, nonsectarian organization dedicated to educating, informing, and encouraging women to breastfeed. Founded in 1956 in Franklin Park, Illinois, LLLI began at a time when less than 10% of babies were breastfed. Today, over 90% of babies born start at the breast, and LLLI is in 68 countries. La Leche League meetings have been held in Santa Monica since 1980. In addition these free breastfeeding support meetings are held monthly throughout Los Angeles County, and the Los Angeles/Venice meeting is held weekly. Meeting leaders go through a rigorous accreditation process, as well as being women with personal breastfeeding experience, who volunteer their time as sympathetic and knowledgeable peers for new mothers.
Breastfeeding contributes to normal growth and development of babies and children. Infants and children who are not breastfed are at increased risk of infant morbidity and mortality, adult obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer for 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 at least 2 years and as long thereafter as is mutually desired by a woman and her child. This event seeks to remind the public that, beyond these benefits, the innate function of the breast is to provide milk right at the heart of a mother’s embrace.