Breastfeeding mums from around the Bay have been ‘latching on' today to celebrate breastfeeding and the diverse ways we feed our children.
The 13th annual Big Latch On, being held today and tomorrow, August 4-5, will see thousands of Kiwi mums and children gathering at locations throughout the country to ‘latch on'.
"This event is not just about breastfeeding, it is also about celebrating and supporting the diverse ways in which we feed our children. It is really important that this event is inclusive as we have many participants who mix feed, pump, use donor milk or whatever works for them," says Women's Health Action maternal and child health manager Isis McKay.
The aim of the Big Latch On is to break down some of the barriers that get in the way of women being able to meet their breastfeeding goals, she says.
"We connect women with tangible support and this has been a very successful part of the Big Latch On," she says.
Recent studies have shown that protein found in human breastmilk could be used to destroy antibiotic resistant superbugs, and breastfeeding is also increasingly recognised as part of the solution for tackling childhood obesity and creating sustainable and cleaner environments.
Women's Health Action founded the Big Latch On in 2005 and since then the event has gone global with more than 27 countries and more than 750 locations now celebrating the Big Latch On.
Big Latch On participating venues in the Western Bay of Plenty include:
• Main Mount Maunganui Beach near the Surf Lifesaving Club.
• Plunket Tauranga, 471 Devonport Rd, Tauranga.
• Tauranga/Mt La Leche League, Wesley Methodist Church, 100 13th Ave, Tauranga.
• The Womb Midwifery Care, 2 Dunlop Rd, Te Puke.
All venues are participating from 10am, Friday, August 4.
Women who are unable to make it to a venue can take part virtually via #BrelfieNZ, flooding Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with breastfeeding and pumping selfies.