Sunderland celebrates World Breastfeeding Week

The Big Latch on at Seaburn Beach in Sunderland

Mothers from across the region got together in Sunderland on Friday 4th August to help celebrate World Breastfeeding Week.

Mams from Sunderland 'Bosom Buddies' invited other breast-feeding mams from the across the region to join them at Seaburn beach 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.

Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services at Sunderland City Council, Cllr Louise Farthing joined Director of Public Health, Gillian Gibson to support families taking part in Sunderland.

Councillor Farthing said: “It was fantastic to see so many people come along to support this event and help raise awareness of the many benefits of breastfeeding for both mams and babies.

“In Sunderland we work with a number of partners to support mams throughout their breastfeeding experience and I hope today’s event will help to raise awareness further.”

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 17,992 breastfeeding mothers and their babies 'latched on' at 10.30am in 28 countries across the globe.

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.

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, more is known about the benefits of breastfeeding for babies and mothers and for mams who make the choice to breastfeed, there’s a range of advice and support available.

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

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