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The Big Latch On Comes to South Wales

The Big Latch OnOn the 1 – 7th of August every year, 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, 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.

To mark this occasion on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th August 2012 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.

This year the Big latch On is going international.  Full Circle and Latch On Breastfeeding Support Groups are joining forces to host our local Big Latch On, which will take place Friday 3rd August 10am-11.30am at the Twyn Community Centre, Caerphilly, CF83 1JL.

What is the Big Latch On?

Groups of breastfeeding women coming together at registered locations around the world to all latch on their child at a set time. All the breastfeeding women and children are latched on for one minute at the set time and are counted by the witnesses. The numbers are added up and we see if we can beat previous Big Latch On records or maybe even the world record!

The Big Latch On supports communities with identifying and growing opportunities to provide ongoing breastfeeding support and promotion.

The key to the Big Latch On’s success is allowing communities to hold their Big Latch On events, empowering them to create an event that relates to the people of their community, while still taking part in a worldwide event.

While Women’s Health Action/Big Latch On provides the concept, key resources and overarching co-ordination, communities hold their own Big Latch On events. One of the biggest delights of co-ordinating the Big Latch On each year is the feedback we get about the amazing diversity of ways in which the Big Latch On is celebrated and the follow on activities such as friendships formed and breastfeeding support groups established.

Aims of the Big Latch On

  • Support for communities to identify and grow opportunities to provide ongoing breastfeeding support and promotion.
  • Raise awareness of breastfeeding support and knowledge available in communities.
  • Help communities positively support breastfeeding in public places.
  • Make breastfeeding a normal part of the day-to-day life at a local community level.
  • Increase support for women who breastfeed – women are supported by their partners, family and the breastfeeding knowledge that is embedded in their communities.
  • Communitiies have the resources to advocate for coordinated appropriate and accessible breastfeeding support services.

History of the Big Latch On

The Big Latch On is originally from New Zealand. It was started by Women’s Health Action in 2005 as part of World Breastfeeding Week. Each year, they have seen a growth in the numbers of breastfeeding women attending and an increase in the support for breastfeeding in public. The Big Latch On was introduced to Portland, Oregon, in 2010 by Joanne Edwards as a celebration for World Breastfeeding Week. In 2011, Joanne worked with Annie Brown and members of La Leche League USA to grow the Big Latch On across the USA.

In an effort to further strengthen the Big Latch On’s mission to protect, promote and support breastfeeding women and in recognition of increasing global participation in the Big Latch On, Women’s Health Action and the Big Latch On Global Coordinator Joanne Edwards have joined forces for 2012.

For more information about The Big Latch On in Caerphilly please get in touch via this webpage or on our facebook page (to the right of this post).  For more information about the Big Latch On generally and to find an event near you please visit www.biglatchon.org

Come and join us for a cuppa cake and to break some records while raising awareness of breastfeeding in the community.  Let’s make this year’s Big latch On bigger than ever before!!!!

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