Although it’s as old as humanity, breastfeeding still carries with it something of a societal stigma. Women are often told to closet themselves away, cover their babies, or “just wait till you get home.” Many moms even have to give up nursing (or pumping) when they return to work because they’re not given adequate time or space to continue providing for their babies.
Frustrated with laws and “decency standards,” moms and other breastfeeding advocates have banded together to raise awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding. The fastest growing event is The Global Big Latch On. Launched in 2005 by a social change organization based in New Zealand, the Big Latch On has grown to over 700 locations in nearly 28 countries around the world.
The Big Latch On
Held in August on the Friday and Saturday of World Breastfeeding Week, each Big Latch On event is a little bit different; there may be photographers, on-site lactation consultants, and even giveaways. No matter the location, around 10:30 AM, moms and babies start latching, and volunteers start counting.
A “latch” is a baby who is breastfeeding, being fed a bottle of expressed breast milk, or a woman pumping or hand expressing breast milk. If a mom has multiple children who nurse, they’re all counted even if they’re not all latched at the same time.
These events are scheduled on the Friday and Saturday of World Breastfeeding Week. If you can make it to events on both days, you’re encouraged to participate in both since they count “latches” not unique participants.
Created for women who exclusively express, this event also takes place on the Monday of World Breastfeeding Week. Whether they pump or hand express to provide for their own children or to donate, women around the world record how long (time) and how much (amount) they express in a specific 24-hour period.
On the Sunday of World Breastfeeding Week, post your breastfeeding selfies (or Brelfie) to your favorite social media channel with the hashtag #mybiglatchon. This online-only event was created in 2015 to provide more ways for women to feel supported and connected while breastfeeding and so women who can’t make it to a Big Latch On event in person will still be able to participate.
The goal of this event is to set the record for the number of women simultaneously expressing milk. It takes place in early April, and you can participate by attending an event at a registered location or by expressing milk at 10:30 AM and posting about it on social media with the hashtag #bigflangeon.
Connect with the women you met (or will meet) at your Latch On event and chat about your experiences. These more low-key events take place throughout the year and are a great way to find a community of local moms who can help support you on your breastfeeding journey.
- The Big Latch On: Frequently Asked Questions
- The Big Latch On: Find an Event
- The Big Latch On: Host an Event
- The Big Latch On's Official Facebook Page