At 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 3, local advocates of breastfeeding “latched-on” to join thousands of people in a worldwide synchronized event to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for global support.
Annapolis Area Doulas, Breastfeeding Works (a local lactation consulting company) and two Annapolis-area mothers hosted the Big Global Latch On at AACC’s Student Union Dining Hall, located at 101 College Pkwy, Arnold, MD 21012, as part of World Breastfeeding Week.
The event featured a variety of vendors and local experts and organizations geared towards parents of babies and young children. There was also be a face painting and entertainment by Frolic the Fox for the children.
“The Big Latch On is so uplifting and fun because it is a momentary shared experience for women and families celebrating themselves and each other in their breastfeeding journeys and normalizing the breastfeeding experience in public,” said Kim Knight, one of the organizers of the event.
Stephanie Barnhouser, an event participant said, “I felt as though I was a part of a community that participated in something bigger than ourselves. Knowing other mothers around the world all joined in spirit to latch their babies is something words cannot describe. It’s moving.”
Event organizers said they had 66 babies and children latch on for the official count and estimated over 150 people in attendance. The event featured 20 vendors and over 30 door prizes. The hosts were extremely pleased with the turn out and are looking forward to hosting again next year!
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. The Big Global Latch On will occur throughout the weekend in communities across the world at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 2, though Sunday, Aug. 4. This year the goal is to break the current Global Big Latch On record of almost 21,500 babies/children breastfeeding at 778 locations, across 28 countries; with a long-term vision 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.
For more information about Breastfeeding Works, visit www.breastfeedingworks.com.