Nationwide, thousands of breastfeeding women and their babies and children will participate in the Big Latch On, a synchronized breastfeeding event in multiple locations around the world.
In Hood River, this will take place in Jackson Park, 13th and May streets, on Saturday beginning at 10:30 a.m.; participants are asked to arrive at 10 a.m. to get signed in and ready to latch. Nursing will last one minute.
The Big Latch On is part of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action’s World Breastfeeding Week, held Aug. 1-7, in 120 countries. The week marks the signing of the WHO/UNICEF document Innocenti Declaration, which lists the benefits of breastfeeding, as well as global and governmental goals. For more information on the Big Latch On, visit www.biglatchon.org.
The first Big Latch On took place in Aotearoa, New Zealand, in 2005. Organizers are aiming to break the current global Big Latch On record of 14,536. The Big Latch On provides 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. Babies and 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.