Happy World Breastfeeding Week! (Yay for Ta Tas!) I didn’t quite know what to expect when I decided to attend “The Big Latch On” at Dallas City Hall. I’m a mom of two girls and a big advocate for breast-feeding, and I wanted to raise awareness of the importance of nursing your baby. The event was a celebration of women and our right to feed our children wherever and whenever they are hungry.
The Big Latch On started in 2005 in New Zealand, and since then it has become an international event that gears to raise understanding and support from the community and from the mother’s family and friends for breast-feeding mothers. The international event also gears to break the World Record for most breast-feeding mothers at any given time. So every year since 2005, women gather at locations around the world to “latch on” their baby between 10:30 a.m. and 10:31 a.m. I guarantee that today at 10:29 a.m. there were a lot of hungry babies.
There were 11 locations around the DFW area participating with The Big Latch On; I was at the Dallas City Hall event hosted by Dallas WIC. There were 30 women this year that were able to “get their latch on.” There were even more babies and toddlers in attendance that just weren’t hungry at exactly 10:30 a.m.
In order to prepare for this event, I made a “boobie beanie” (see pictures) which was a big ice breaker with the other moms, hosts and even a Dallas City Councilwoman, which was super helpful since I went by myself to this event. There’s never a lack in conversation when your kid is wearing a nipple on her head.
The event didn’t just have babies and nipples — it also had door prizes (including several breast-feeding support pillows that I did unfortunately did NOT win), a strange Dr. Seuss parody about breast-feeding in public, a song sung by the group of hosts, several breast-feeding war stories (and testimonials), and most importantly their were moms and babies everywhere. I absolutely loved being surrounded by a community of women of all backgrounds that weren’t judged for popping a nip out to feed their baby or toddler.
Reasons I breast-feed my baby: it’s so much healthier for baby and mama, it is simpler to feed the baby, it’s cheaper (it saves me about $1,200 a year), less bottles, it helps fight so many diseases including asthma, obesity, type 2 diabetes in baby, and breast and ovarian cancers in mother. In addition, breast-feeding lowers the risk of SIDS, brings about fewer ear infections in breast-fed babies, and helps mom bounce back to her pre-baby weight. Oh, and most importantly — IT CAN BURN UP TO 500 CALORIES A DAY.
I know opinions run high with breastfeeding. What do y’all think about women nursing in public?
For more information please go to biglatchon.org.
And for more information on breastfeeding, please visit www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding.