As part of World Breastfeeding Week, the Livingston County Birth Circle is hosting a local Big Latch On synchronized breastfeeding event at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at ALL-STARS Preschool, 3290 S. Hickory Ridge Road in Milford.
Each year, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action organizes World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for global support. The 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.
It is this declaration which found itself at the center of a controversy this past week when the Trump administration attempted to block it.
The first Big Latch On took place in Aotearoa, New Zealand, in 2005; it was introduced to Portland, Oregon in 2010 by Small Beginnings Group LLC, and has now taken off globally.
This year, the goal is to break the current Global Big Latch On record of 17,992 children breastfeeding at 758 locations, across 23 countries. The long-term vision is that one day a Global Big Latch On event will be held within walking distance of every family in the world.
The Global 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 two years and as long thereafter as is mutually desired by a woman and her child.