(Photo credits: Angie Gray)
For the fifth year running, Balanced Breastfeeding will be hosting The Global Big Latch On in Delaware. The Global Big Latch On is an international event to kick off World Breastfeeding Week and raise awareness about the importance of community breastfeeding support. Each year, our Delaware site has contributed over 100 “latches” to the international total of 15,000+ latches!
When and Where?
Our event will be Saturday, August 5 2017 at the Ursuline Academy Gymnasium. Registration begins at 9:30 am and the official “Latch On” is at 10:30. The event ends at 12:00 pm. We highly encourage you to preregister to make our check-in process smoother; however anyone can show up the day of the event. And it is totally free!
This year we will have a wide variety of vendors offering goods and services and raffle prizes!
Who is The Big Latch on for?
This event is for anyone who makes milk or loves someone who makes milk. That means if you exclusively breastfeed, exclusively pump, or hybrid feed, we want you there!! We get “points” for any and all breastfeeding mamas no matter how much milk they make or how they are giving that milk to their babies.
This is a judgment-free zone where you will see bottles and pumps, covers and no covers, bare breasts and nipple shields, so don’t think twice about how you feed your baby.
We also really encourage partners, grandparents, and friends to attend this event. It is a powerful experience for those who love you as well. They get to see that what you are doing is an act of love shared by so many other families. Let them come and be proud with you.
I often ask myself why Balanced Breastfeeding hosts a Big Latch On at all. In fact, sometimes I question if hosting something called “The Big Latch On” is hypocritical to Balance Breastfeeding’s message. Sometimes it seems that the event celebrates only those who are considered “successful” and not those who have fallen short of their original breastfeeding goals and are still amazing mothers even if they (gasp!) feed their babies with formula.
Perhaps it is simply the name that feels icky to me. For me and for Balanced Breastfeeding mamas, this event isn’t about breastfeeding success, it is about breastfeeding community. This is a community of moms who have championed one another through one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of their lives.
That is why this year, I decided on the theme “Reconnect.”
At its heart, our Big Latch On is an opportunity to reconnect with the amazing mothers whom you may have met at childbirth classes or breastfeeding support group. The woman you lost touch with or wondered, “Whatever happened to her?” It is a chance to catch up and show off your amazing babies to one another.
And, let’s be honest, it is a chance for me to reconnect with you. Maybe I host this latch on every year because I simply adore each and every one of you, not because you breastfeed, but because you invited me into your life either by coming to group or sitting in my office or reading my blog. I want to catch up and see how your baby has grown!
Once I became clearer about why The Big Latch On was important to host again this year, the theme started to make even more sense to me. So I want you to reconnect with friends and with me. But I also want you to take this opportunity to reconnect with yourself. Buy yourself something nice, sign up for shiatsu, learn about how you can remain connected at The Mothers’ Space or The Birth Center by attending support groups, classes, and workshops.
I want you to reconnect with your partner. Bring him so he can see and feel the power of what you are doing for your child multiplied by the power of 100+. Let him sit proudly by you and remind him that you couldn’t have done it without his undying support.
Lastly, and most importantly, take this opportunity to reconnect with what matters most. Not that we achieve the ever elusive “exclusive breastfeeding” status. Not that we make it to the arbitrary 12-month mark, but rather that we as mothers all share one common goal: to try our damnedest to give our children the best start we can. To fight our hardest for our babies. To come together as a group to champion one another through the most tumultuous year of our lives.
I can’t wait to see you on August 5, 2017.