LABELLE, FL. -- The Hendry County Health Department offices in LaBelle and Clewiston will be the scene of an attempt to break the world's record for simultaneous breast feeding.
Hendry will join with the Lee County Health department and groups around the world to set a new record in what's called The Big Latch On.
Six different locations will be used in Lee county and and two in Hendry county at 10:30 a.m. Friday morning.
Groups of breastfeeding women coming together at registered locations around the world to all latch on their child at a set time. All the breastfeeding women and children are latched on for one minute at the set time and are counted by the witnesses. The numbers are added up to see if the previous Big Latch On record of 5,681 set in 2011 can be beat.
The aims of the Big Latch On is:
-Support for communities to identify and grow opportunities to provide ongoing breastfeeding support and promotion.
-Raise awareness of breastfeeding support and knowledge available in communities.
-Help communities positively support breastfeeding in public places.
-Make breastfeeding a normal part of the day-to-day life at a local community level.
-Increase support for women who breastfeed - women are supported by their partners, family and the breastfeeding knowledge that is embedded in their communities.
The first record for one location was from Berkeley, CA, USA, in 2002 where 1,130 mothers breastfed simultaneously. The international record for one location is 3,738 mothers held by the Philippines in 2006. Buoyed by their success, the Philippines have partnered every year since with other countries and in October 2010 recorded 9,826 nursing mothers in 325 sites in 16 countries.
The Big Latch On is originally from New Zealand. It was started by Women's Health Action in 2005 as part of World Breastfeeding Week. Each year, they have seen a growth in the numbers of breastfeeding women attending and an increase in the support for breastfeeding in public. The Big Latch On was introduced to Portland, Oregon, in 2010 by Joanne Edwards as a celebration for World Breastfeeding Week. In 2011, Joanne worked with Annie Brown and members of La Leche League USA to grow the Big Latch On across the USA.
Photo: courtesy biglatchon.org