What is the Big Latch On?
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 previous Big Latch On records can be beaten!
Did you know that 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 is now celebrated around the world.
Aims of the Big Latch On
- 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.
Big Latch On 2014!
This year the Big Latch On will take place over two days, on Friday the 1st and Saturday the 2nd of August. Hosts can register for either (or both!) days. You can find info here on:
- Where events are being held.
- How to host your own Big Latch On event.
- How to participate through the online ‘I latched on’ breastfeeding ‘selfie’, if you can’t make an event.
Like the ‘Big Latch On NZ’ Facebook page to connect with other participants and hosts and receive updates.
Can you help?
Lisa Marasco, MS, IBCLC, and Diana West, BA, IBCLC, are researching the traits that make a great lactation consultant. “We are more interested in what mothers think than what lactation consultants assume mothers want. We would appreciate your help in identifying the top traits that you have found or would find helpful in a lactation consultant. This short survey is open to any mother in any location who has previously breastfed a baby for any amount of time and worked with a lactation consultant in person.
Because we are seeking answers from mothers, not lactation counselors or professionals, **please do not participate if you are a lactation counselor or professional in any capacity.**”
It should take less than 10 minutes to complete. This survey will be open until July 9.
A useful link to some of CCDHB’s Breastfeeding Pamphlets.
Hope you are all happy, healthy, and managing some sleep!
After the madness of the end of the year we will be taking a break for the next couple of weeks. Expect blogging to resume towards the end of January.
In the meantime we’d love to hear what topics you would be interested in hearing about in 2012?
Baby to Year 1
- Talk about why you are putting them in a child restraint.
- Always put on your seat belt and say you are doing this to keep yourself safe.
- Talk about where and why you are crossing the road.
- Push the stroller on the house side of the footpath.
- Listen to songs & stories with a road safety focus.
2 – 4 Years
- Hold their hand when walking, and make sure the child is on the house side of the footpath.
- Use STOP, Look and Listen to cross the road.
- Watch out for sneaky (hidden) driveways.
- Show them safe places to play. Explain why these are safe places.
- Explain that driveways and vehicle places are not safe places to play. Make sure you know where all kids are before backing out the car.
- Start a habit of kids wearing a safety helmet when using wheeled toys. Supervise them while riding.
5 – 7 Years
- Walk with them to school when they are very young, holding their hand.
- Decide with them safe places to cross the road, and explain the purpose of pedestrian crossings, school patrols and traffic lights.
- Teach them where to wait for the bus, how to behave on it and where to wait when they get off the bus.
- Make sure they know not to run across the road to the car. Park in a safe place and walk to get your child.
- Help them plan safe routes to school as they get older, avoiding railway lines and parks.
- Teach them what to do if there is a hazard like road works in their way.
- Teach them how to get help in an emergency situation.
- Teach them how to walk safely where there is no footpath.
As of yesterday – and due to the usual holiday influx of relatives – we now have Baby May and Toddler Thomas sleeping in our bedroom. In our very ordinary sized house we are now cramming four adults, five children, and two large hairy slobbery dogs. Aaaah, family closeness! I know in some continents larger families than this exist in spaces far smaller than this but somehow I can’t help but suspect that the rate of familial murder is far higher in those societies.
And so I find myself lying awake at 5.30am listening to baby May snort and whistle while she dreams her sweet baby dreams. What are the chances of more sleep for me? Slim to none I’d say. Never mind, I should get up and make a shopping list. With so many extras in the house we seem to be getting through a mountain of food. I’m trying not to think about the power bill.
With the shopping list done and the household stirring, I have a moment’s insanity and volunteer to take my twin four year old nieces as well as two year old Thomas with me to the supermarket. I think it was the momentary glow of selfless heroism, giving my sister a break after a broken night with her baby, but WHAT was I thinking!!? (Please have the lady committed!)
Having wrestled three recalcitrant toddlers into the car I remind myself with the thought that I do have the edge on the other shoppers. With an early start I’ll race around and be out in a flash. Dreaming, I hear you say? Can you believe it; the car park is already filling up. I’m pipped to the last kiddy park by a sveltely pregnant woman in a two seater – humph I hate her! Swallowing a scream of frustration I console myself by fantasizing about seeing her again in a few months time – sleep deprived and vomit covered with her new little darling in tow! (Oh no I’m one of those grumpy know-it-all parents!) On second thoughts, give me a break, I’m at the supermarket before 9am with three under 5 year olds – you’d be grumpy too!
My frantic race up and down the aisles is more like a drunken zigzag as I chase after the kids and try to limit destruction. They resemble nothing so much as heat seeking missiles this morning but eventually we get through the list, and leave the supermarket (for the most part) intact!
We stagger back to the house, and herd everyone outside to enjoy the sunshine. It’s been one long hard day – would you believe it’s only 10.30am! Still, as I relax back into my deck chair, the kids charge around with a ball, the babies gurgle on the rug, and my nearest and dearest sit back and share the moment with me… it does seem that after all, the holidays are worth the effort!
Your own or your family’s health can be a big driver for women in deciding to return to paid work or not. Everyone’s situations are so unique, but if you, your partner, or one of your children has a chronic health problem, weigh up carefully the pros and cons or you returning to paid work. Again, look into what kind of support may be available to you from local support groups and the government. If in doubt, your GP or Well Child Provider may be able to give you advice on this too.
Guilt, attachment, love, abandonment, strangers, trust, Wow, these are pretty full-on words aren’t they? My fingers are twiddling nervously and my heart is beating that little bit faster, just from hearing them. Am I a bad mother because I go to work in an office on some days? Am I a bad employee because I don’t work late as a matter of course, wanting to get home to my family? Am I hands down, a terrible person because I am not all things to all people all at the same time? No! No! and No!
Whatever options you are considering for paid work, at home time, care for your children, there will be people who are diametrically opposed to it (i.e. their way is the best and only way!). It’s realistic to assume that if you go out into the paid workforce, there will be people who think you are an uncaring money-driven corporate slave. Then again, if you stay home full-time, others will think you are a lady of leisure who is living off both the government and your husband’s hard earned money. It’s hard not to care about what others think, but try try try to shrug it off and be motivated by what is important to you and yours. If you are going to spend hours at work, staring at photos of your baby and crying in the toilets, maybe it’s just not for you. If you are going to burn with resentment staying at home full-time feeling like a drudge, consider going back into the paid workforce.
Guilt is surely the lifelong companion of parents all over New Zealand. If your own choices are unacceptable to you, then change them! But if it’s only unacceptable to other people, forget them!
Changing your mind
A final note – don’t be afraid to change your mind. If you go back to work and hate it, you can always quit. If you have decided to stay home and then your dream job comes up, you can always take it. Parenting is all about change and flexibility – nothing is absolute. Give any new situation a few weeks to iron out the kinks, but if after that it’s still just not right for you, change it.
Don’t believe us? Check out this cool article on what researchers have discovered about the connection between mums and babies.
“Mothers and their babies are often said to share a deep, intimate connection…but even so, this new discovery is weird. Simply by looking and smiling at each other, moms and babies synchronize their heartbeats to within milliseconds of each other.
Researchers at Bar-Ilan University in Israel found that visible affection from their mothers had tangible physiological effects on three month old infants. Previous studies in animals have shown that social interactions between “attachment partners” can actually affect the animal infants’ body, but this is the first time such an effect has been observed in humans. Writing in Infant Behavior and Development, the researchers explain what they discovered:
Mothers and their 3-month old infants were observed during face-to-face interactions while cardiac output was collected from mother and child. Micro-analysis of the partners’ behavior marked episodes of gaze, affect, and vocal synchrony. Time-series analysis showed that mother and infant coordinate heart rhythms within lags of less than 1 s.
Bootstrapping analysis indicated that the concordance between maternal and infant biological rhythms increased significantly during episodes of affect and vocal synchrony compared to non-synchronous moments. Humans, like other mammals, can impact the physiological processes of the attachment partner through the coordination of visuo-affective social signals.
However, humans can actually synchronize in ways other animals cannot — while other animals are dependent upon physical contact for this synchronization effect to occur, a mother need only look at her baby affectionately for the heartbeats to synchronize. It hasn’t yet been tested whether infants can form similar levels of attachment with other people, such as their fathers.”
(Article from http://io9.com/5865557/mothers-and-babies-can-instantly-synchronize-their-hearts-just-by-smiling-at-each-other; Via Infant Science and Development. Stock image by Noam Armonn, via Shutterstock.)