Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Big Latch On 2013

         

         On Friday, August 2nd and Saturday, August 3rd, 2013 at 10:30 am local time, nursing moms gathered in locations across the globe for the Big Latch On, a synchronized breastfeeding event aimed at raising awareness and promoting the normalization of breastfeeding. If you are not familiar with the Big Latch On, please see my post about my first Big Latch On, where I explain the event in detail here. It was just announced that we are not trying to beat a world record and that a statement will be issued by the event's organizers in the next few weeks to explain the reason for this and what the purpose of the event really is. World record or not, it is a great event to raise breastfeeding awareness and help normalize nursing and it is a lot of fun to participate in. This is my third year participating and my second year tandem nursing for the event. The final total for 2013 was 14,536 babies latched on across the globe. We not only broke the Big latch On record from last year, which was 8,862, but we nearly doubled it! How's that for breastfeeding awareness? Way to go mamas and nurslings!
Latched on for the count

          We attended the Big Latch On in Tampa, FL which was held as part of the Hillsborough County Breastfeeding Task Force's World Breastfeeding Week Celebration at Family of Christ Church and School in New Tampa. There were close to 200 attendees including moms, babies, non-nursing older siblings, sponsors and vendors. 50 nursing moms signed in for the event and 39 total babies were latched on for the entire minute. I was a little nerous because my boys are so active and easily distracted but both of them were latched on for the entire minute and even for a while after! There was lots of food and cake as well as snow cones, raffles, a DJ, and activities for the kids. My friend Amanda of Nature's Way Photography photographed the event and also donated a free photo session for the raffle. My husband's company, United Environmental Solutions, had a vendor table at the event and he also had an Aquacera water filter to be raffled off. Other vendors and sponsors for the event were our local babywearing group, Tampa Bay Babywearing, Tampa General Hospital, St. Joseph's Women's Hospital, the ABC Program, Florida Department of Health and WIC, One Apple Grocery, The Sno Kone Man (who provided snow cones for the event), Kathy Myers, Health Park Pediatrics, and Pediatrics of Tampa Bay.
Hands raised to be counted
          The other raffle prizes this year were a $200 gift certificate for doula/lactation counseling services from Seeds of Mommy Soul, two ornaments from Only Wee Once, one bottle of lavender oil and one bottle of wild orange oil from DoTerra Essential Oils representative, Christie Haack, a t-shirt and coffee mug with the International Breastfeeding Symbol from the Hillsborough County Breastfeeding Task Force, one pink and one blue baby gift basket containing matching burp cloths, pacifier clips, and receiving blankets from Crafted By Kristena, a gift certificate for 1,000 custom designed business cards from Gerena Graphic Design, a body wrap, and a couple of Stroller Strides gift certificates. We were pressed for time when we arrived so I had to wait until the latch on was over to enter the raffles. I had to go change Joshua's poopie diaper and then take Daniel to the bathroom immediately afterwards and was sad to find that the winners were already being announced when I came back so no prizes for me this year. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the food and meeting like minded parents, my boys enjoyed playing outside on the playground with other babies, and my husband made some possible business connections. Best of all, we got to help normalize nursing and we got to show off the cool shirts my husband worked really hard to make for us (that story is so crazy that I think it deserves its own post so be on the lookout for it)! Thank you very much to the Hillsborough County Breastfeeding Task Force, Magen Gilbreath, and to all the sponsors and vendors for making this event a success!

Nursing my boys


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