The North Country Family Health Center’s Jefferson and Lewis County Women, Infants, and Children’s (WIC) Program is hosting their Big Latch On events on Friday, August 2, 2019 in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week, August 1 – August 7, 2019. The Big Latch On will be held in Watertown at the Jefferson County Historical Society’s Victorian Garden, 228 Washington Street and in Lowville at the Maple Ridge Center, 7421 East Road. Both events will run from 9:30 a.m. through noon – specifically 10:30 a.m. for the one-minute world-wide latch on event. The events are free and open to the public.
World Breastfeeding Week is held the first week of August each year and is celebrated around the world. The week is coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). The WABA is a global network of individuals and organizations concerned with the protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding worldwide. This year is the 27th celebration for WABA and is the 10th anniversary for the Global Big Latch On event itself. The Global Big Latch On is recognized in over 30 countries. Last year, over 21,500 infants were breastfed during the same one minute all around the world. “The goal of the event is to support, encourage, and promote breastfeeding,” states Angel Carter, WIC Director. “It is an opportunity for area breastfeeding moms to come together and celebrate the benefits, and beauty of, breastfeeding.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months after birth. After the first 6 months and until the infant is 1 year old, the AAP recommends that the mother continue breastfeeding while gradually introducing solid foods into the infant’s diet. After 1 year, breastfeeding can be continued if mutually desired by the mother and her infant. There are numerous benefits of breastfeeding – both for baby, and for moms. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in the 10th annual Global Big Latch On – it is a wonderful opportunity for mothers and their families,” states Kit Veley, FNP, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. “Breast-milk helps keep your baby healthy. It supplies all the necessary nutrients in the proper proportions. It is easily digested – no constipation, diarrhea, or upset stomach,” continued Veley. North Country Family Health Center’s WIC Program, not only provides benefits for nutritious foods to women, infants, and children, but also provides breastfeeding support and education in our communities. WIC offers Certified Lactation Counselors and Peer Counselors to all WIC moms to help them reach their breastfeeding goals. In 2018, 77% of mothers enrolled in the WIC Program initiated breastfeeding their newborn at birth.
WIC staff have coordinated, and will be hosting, arts and crafts for children, games, raffles, and a variety of other fun activities at the Big Latch On events. Light refreshments will also be served. The events will take place rain or shine and are free to those interested in participating! For more information on WIC, breastfeeding support, or the Big Latch On events please call the Jefferson County WIC office at 315-782-9222 or the Lewis County WIC office at 315-376-6427; you may also visit the North Country Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Facebook page. WIC staff would like to thank MVP Health Care for their sponsorship of both events.