International World Breastfeeding Week will be celebrated with three local events in Key West, Marathon, and Islamorada during early August. All breastfeeding families and supporters are invited to the Big Latch On, a synchronized breastfeeding event.
On Friday August 3 and Saturday August 4, women in the Keys will join thousands of breastfeeding women and their babies/children across the world to take part in the Big Latch On. During the event, all of the women “latch on” (breastfeed) their child or children at a set time.
The first Big Latch On took place in New Zealand in 2005 and has now taken off globally. This year the goal is to once again break the current Global Big Latch On record of simultaneous breastfeeding mothers and babies.
Locally, the events are hosted by the Florida Health of Monroe County’s Woman, Infant and Children (WIC) Program in partnership with the Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition.
“We are thrilled to take part in this global initiative,” said Arianna Nesbitt, Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition CEO. “By hosting a Big Latch On, our community is saying that we support breastfeeding. It’s a great way to show local moms and their families that we want them to succeed and also bring attention to this important practice within our own community.”
Breastfeeding contributes to the normal growth and development of babies. 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.