Sunderland City Council

Sunderland City Council

Mams from Sunderland ‘Bosom Buddies’ invited other breast-feeding mams from the across the region to join them in Keel Square  at 10.30am to take part in the ‘ World’s Big Latch On.’

They were asked to come along with their families to support the international public awareness raising event, and join other mothers across the world to simultaneously begin breastfeeding at exactly 10.30am in their respective times zones around the globe.

Mothers and families  from Sunderland, Durham, Gateshead and Newcastle accepted the invitation through the Bosom Buddies Facebook page to take part in the biggest event in the region (http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/634258713266078/ and http://biglatchon.org/.)

There was an official welcome from Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, Councillor Louise Farthing, and Director of Public Health at Sunderland City Council, Gillian Gibson.

Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly said: “It was great to see many families and friends come along to support this event, and help raise awareness of the many benefits breastfeeding can bring to both mother and baby.

“Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world and proven not only to reduce the risk of illnesses including many cancers, but also to increase the bonding process.

” We’re working hard with our community health partners to encourage and support more mothers to begin breastfeeding, and I hope today’s event will persuade even more to try.”

The international ‘Big Latch On’ campaign was launched in 2005 by Women’s Health Action in New Zealand to promote the proven health, nutritional and psychological benefits of breastfeeding and demonstrate global support for breastfeeding in public.

Last year 14,889 breastfeeding mothers and their babies ‘latched on’ at 10.30am in 28 countries across the globe, to break the world record for mass participation breast feeding.

International organisers hope even more will take part this year to help encourage more Governments to introduce laws protecting breastfeeding mothers, which already exist in the UK and Europe but not in other parts of the developed world such as the USA.

Director of Public Health at Sunderland City Council, Gillian Gibson said: “Many people in our region did not grow up with breastfeeding as the natural choice for feeding a baby.

“Now, as more is known about the benefits of breastfeeding for babies and mothers, more mams are making this choice with advice and support from families and health professionals.

” It’s events like the Big Latch On that can show people what breastfeeding actually looks like, help to support the public perception that breastfeeding your baby is a natural thing to do, and that it is acceptable to feed your baby in public and support women to feel confident to breastfeed in public.”

The Director of Public Health added:
” Breastfeeding is a natural way to feed your baby and mothers should feel supported by their families, friends and communities to feel confident when feeding in public.”