From the 1st – 7th of August every year, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action organises World Breastfeeding Week.

The event is designed to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for global support. To mark this occasion, thousands of breastfeeding women and their babies across the world gather in their own communities to take part in the Global Big Latch On, a synchronized breastfeeding event in multiple locations.

Local breastfeeding counsellor, Louise Barnett, decided to bring the global event to Victoria Park in Ashford town centre. At 10:30am this morning local women and their families took part in the Big Latch On to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding.

The Big Latch On marks the signing of the WHO/UNICEF document Innocenti Declaration, which lists the benefits of breastfeeding, plus global and governmental goals.

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 of all involved is to break the current 2013 record of 14,536 children breastfeeding across 845 locations, plus the 2014 records for:

  • numbers of countries taking part - 31
  • numbers of breastfeeding women attending - 14,173
  • and total attendance - 23,906

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action explained,

Our 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 and children, The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a baby’s life to optimize the benefits it provides, including the reduced risk of illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and also adult obesity. The Organisation also supports continuing breastfeeding into childhood for as long as it mutually desired by mother and child.

To find out more about local breastfeeding meet-ups in Ashford town centre, contact Louise on louise-barnett@outlook.com.

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