MEDIA RELEASES

The Big Latch On – This Friday


Northland babies and toddlers will be chowing down simultaneously to some good old-fashioned tucker this Friday – mother’s breast milk.

Friday August 1 marks The Big Latch On – an event which derived in New Zealand nine years ago and has subsequently taken off globally with 28 countries now latching on.

The event is part of World Breastfeeding Week, which runs from August 1-7 and is co-ordinated by Northland DHB, Women's Health Awareness, Plunket, La Leche League and Parent's Centre. It aims to normalise breast feeding as part of every-day life.

Northland DHB lactation consultant Janine Parsons says, to do this women are encouraged and supported with breast feeding so that more potential mums are exposed to it.

“That’s why it is so important for communities to be supportive and encouraging towards breast feeding mothers.

“There are numerous health benefits, not just to baby, but also to the mother who breastfeeds for as long as she can – optimum two years-plus. Women who have support networks of other breastfeeding mothers are much more likely to continue breastfeeding for longer.”

Last year saw over 25 mums and babies from Northland gather to breast feed, with those from Kaitaia and Dargaville linking up via video conference. They included a two-week-old baby, as well as a variety of older toddlers and twins happily feeding.

“Hopefully we have some fine weather this year which will not deter mums and bubs from coming out for the morning. Tea and coffee are provided and it is optional to bring a shared plate for morning tea and is an open invite to all.”

Whangarei’s Big Latch On will be held at Te Puawai Ora, on the corner of Maunu and Keays Rds, where child birth classes and newborn hearing screening are held. It also serves as a free drop-in lactation clinic on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10am-2pm. The Big Latch On begins at 10.30am.


(photo by Liz Inch)


# The Big Latch on is also being hosted by Bay of Islands Hospital maternity unit on Saturday August 2 at 10am and the Early Years Services Hub, Hokianga Rd, Dargaville Friday at 10am.



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