THURSDAY, August 4 — A group of breastfeeding mothers will gather Saturday, contributing to an attempt to set a world record for global synchronized breastfeeding. The Big Latch On, which meets locally on the lawn of the Capitol, is part of World Breastfeeding Week.
“It’s all about bringing the breastfeeding community together,” said Lynn Ross, president and founder of Mother & Earth Baby Boutique and member of the Capitol Area Breastfeeding Coalition.
The Big Latch On is a global, synchronized breastfeeding event. While the event is in it’s fourth year, this is the first year the Lansing meeting will be held in a public space.
“We wanted to do it in a more public venue to promote breastfeeding on a larger scale,” Ross said.
The World Alliance for Breast-feeding Action declared Aug. 1 though Aug. 7 as World Breastfeeding Week. The organization strives to promote the benefits of breastfeeding and increase worldwide support for breastfeeding.
“I want women to come for support and to know that there is information out there about breastfeeding,” Ross said. “We support women, and we want to create a more positive feeling towards breastfeeding.”
For Ross, her journey started with her first child, which inspired her to give women the support she didn’t have.
“I had a hard time breastfeeding my first son,” Ross said. “It was hard to find support.”
Ross explained that for many years, discussion of breastfeeding was virtually taboo.
“I didn’t feel supported by anyone because I felt like I couldn’t talk about it,” Ross said. “I didn’t know my rights, and I wanted to get involved, to change it.”
Since then, Ross opened Mother & Earth Baby Boutique and got involved with the breastfeeding community in Lansing.
“Mothers need to be protected in their rights to breastfeed,” Ross said. “I started hosting (the Big Latch On) in my store, and every year it gets larger.”
Over 120 countries will be participating in this week’s celebration. Saturday’s event will again try to break the world record for the number of children breastfeeding at the same time. The current record is set at 14,889 children breastfeeding during the count time. But the overall goal of the event is to celebrate breastfeeding and give women support.
“This event is all about normalizing breastfeeding,” Ross said. “We want to educate people, give women the information they need and, most important, support each other.”
The Big Latch On of Greater Lansing
9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Aug. 6
100 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing
(517) 204-2248, motherandearth.com/the-big-latch-on/