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Virtual ‘Big Latch On’ Supports Local Mums to Breastfeed
27 July 2020

Mums and bubs across the Bay of Plenty and Lakes are invited to join thousands of others around the world to breastfeed together at the first ever virtual celebration of breastfeeding.

Big Latch On events are held during World Breastfeeding Week; an annual worldwide event held in the first week of August to promote the health benefits of breastfeeding and normalise breastfeeding as part of everyday life.  This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new virtual format has been organised in place of the face-to-face Big Latch On.

Breastfeeding is a team effort, and the Virtual Big Latch On is designed to be as inclusive as possible.  Anyone can attend the virtual event, including supporters and whānau.  When mothers have close support from partners, families, workplaces and communities mothers feel can feel more empowered to breastfeed.

Toi Te Ora Public Health (Toi Te Ora) supports the Virtual Big Latch On and recommends that mothers exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months and then continue to breastfeed along with the introduction of solid foods until the baby is at least one year old. 

Medical Officer of Health, Dr Phil Shoemack, says, “Breastfeeding is about giving your baby the very best start in life that he or she could possibly have.  Breastfeeding gives your baby all the nourishment they need for the first few months, and it's so vital for strengthening that very special bond between you and your baby.”  Dr Shoemack adds, “The Virtual Big Latch On is a great opportunity to celebrating breastfeeding and build communities of support for breastfeeding mothers in a virtual space.”

Virtual Big Latch On events are taking place all over the country on Friday 31st July and Saturday 1st August.  To find a local virtual event visit www.blo.org.nz.

Those who cannot attend a virtual event don’t need to miss out!  The Breastfeeding Selfie campaign provides a chance to connect with other breastfeeding mums and parents via social media.  Breastfeeding selfies can be posted on the Big Latch On Facebook page www.facebook.com/BigLatchOnNZ with the hashtag #BigLatchOnNZ #Brelfie #HowWeLatch.

Toi Te Ora’s position statement on breastfeeding can be found at www.toiteora.govt.nz/vdb/document/554.

Last modified: 26 Mar 2020
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