Big Latch On returns to Cartersville Aug. 4
by Marie Nesmith
Jul 17, 2012 | 2606 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Danielle Spradlin with her daughter Sophia Rose, left, and Alison King and her daughter Elizabeth participated in last year’s Big Latch On. 
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
Danielle Spradlin with her daughter Sophia Rose, left, and Alison King and her daughter Elizabeth participated in last year’s Big Latch On. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
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To promote World Breastfeeding Week, Jacky Souders is encouraging nursing mothers to participate in the United States' second synchronized Big Latch On event.

Hosted locally by the Cartersville resident, the Aug. 4 gathering will be held at LifeSong Montessori School, 324 W. Cherokee Ave., where mothers will join others around the world, breastfeeding their infants for one minute at 10:30 a.m.

"The response last year was amazing. It was absolutely amazing," said Souders, who has been blogging at www.mummiesnummies.com about her breastfeeding experience for more than two years. "We had a total of 68 people attend and we had 27 mothers who participated in the Latch On ... [who all] nursed at the set time, which was at 10:30 in the morning. During the event last year, even before it was over, I had ladies asking if I was going to host it again next year, which would be this year. I wasn't sure if I was going to host again because I didn't know if we were going to have a good turnout but it turned out to be absolutely amazing.

"I think it's super important to let the local community know that there is support, and we had a lot of ladies last year that didn't know the support that was actually in our area," she said, adding the local Latch On event from 9:30 a.m. to noon also will feature vendors, door prizes and representatives from La Leche League and WIC, a federally funded program that provides free healthy food, nutrition and health education, and other offerings to qualified Georgia families. "It's really important to continue to breastfeed but you have to have that key support whether it's in your family, your friends or just the local community."

The Big Latch On, which will be held on Aug. 3 and 4 at 10:30 a.m. at sites across the world, was created in 2005 by the Women's Health Action as one component of World Breastfeeding Week, with its first event being organized in New Zealand. Its participation record was set in 2011, when 5,687 mothers nursed at the same time at 412 locations in five countries.

"I'm extremely passionate about [breastfeeding]," Souders said. "I nursed my oldest, who's now 4, for 11 months. I had to stop nursing her before I wanted to because we got pregnant and I'm high risk. I'm not allowed to breastfeed while [pregnant]. But my youngest, she's 2 and a half now. She nurses once a day, not every day, but if she asks for it. ... We actually started her on solid foods at 7 months and it was homemade food that I would make for her.

"The benefits [of breastfeeding are] I felt more in-tune to them, to their needs. ... It did keep them healthy. I'm not saying that they didn't get sick. They did get sick and my youngest actually had a couple [of] ear infections but it did help prevent them from getting worse. And it helped to know that what they were getting was natural and it obviously can't be recalled like some formula has been recalled because of dangers. So I knew what was going into them was healthy. There is no bacteria that could harm them or chemicals that could harm them."

According to the World Health Organization's website, www.who.int/, "World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration made by WHO and UNICEF policy-makers in August 1990 to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

"Breastfeeding is the best way to provide newborns with the nutrients they need. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding until a baby is [6] months old, and continued breastfeeding with the addition of nutritious complementary foods for up to [2] years or beyond."

Along with providing various health benefits to newborns, breastfeeding also is beneficial to mothers.

According to www.womenshealth.gov, "Breastfeeding is normal and healthy for infants and moms. Breast milk has disease-fighting cells called antibodies that help protect infants from germs, illness and even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of various health problems for babies, including:

* Ear infections

* Stomach viruses

* Respiratory infections

* Atopic dermatis

* Asthma

* Obesity

* Type 1 and type 2 diabetes

* Childhood leukemia

* Necrotizing enterocolitis, a gastrointestinal disease in preterm infants.

"In moms, breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression. Infant formula cannot match the exact chemical makeup of human milk, especially the cells, hormones and antibodies that fight disease. For most babies, breast milk is easier to digest than formula. It takes time for their stomachs to adjust to digesting proteins in formula because they are made from cow's milk."

Reinforcing WHO's recommendation, the www.womenshealth.gov website also reports other health organizations stress the importance of breastfeeding exclusively until a child is 6 months old.

"Many leading health organizations recommend that most infants breastfeed for at least 12 months, with exclusive breastfeeding for the first [six] months. This means that babies are not given any foods or liquids other than breast milk for the first [six] months. These recommendations are supported by organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Nurse-Midwives, American Dietetic Association and American Public Health Association."

More information can be obtained on this year's Cartersville event by visiting www.mummiesnummies.com.