LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – Mothers from around the area gathered at Myrick Park Saturday morning to participate in the 5th annual Big Latch On event.
The Big Latch On is a breastfeeding event that’s been celebrated globally for 10 years. This event pulls together breastfeeding women at registered locations around the globe to all latch on their child at the same time. With a countdown, the women latch on their child and raise their hand when the child has latched on.
Chairman of the Western Wisconsin Breastfeeding Coalition Abbie Loos says that this event is meant to empower and support mothers around the area.
“Breastfeeding isn’t always easy. There’s a lot of struggles that go into it. One of the awesome things that can happen at this event is moms can network and talk to each other and say ‘Yeah, I struggle too. I’m struggling with this whether it’s back to work or a tongue tie or any of those things’,” Loos said. “Just meeting other people who are experiencing the same struggles and building those support systems. Breastfeeding isn’t something that you can do alone. It takes a team effort.”
The event each year is also to show nursing mothers that breastfeeding is normal and it shouldn’t be stigmatized.
“The breastfeeding rates across the U.S. continue to go up and up and I think a lot of it has to do with events like this that show there’s that support there in the community…and that we’re not doing anything but nursing and feeding our babies and that’s really what it’s about,” Loos said.
Loos also said the event was all about the networking and camaraderie between mothers. Last year’s global event was the largest yet, with 60,000 latches around the world. The WWBC hoped to help surpass that goal and break the global record this year, with the help of their area event.
There were also many local organizations helping and supporting at the event, including the La Crosse Area Baby Wears, the La Leche League and Parenting Place.