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First Annual Global Big Latch On Event at LRH

July 2, 2015

Global Big Latch OnLittleton, NH - Littleton Regional Healthcare's birthing center staff will host the 1st Annual Global Big Latch On event, to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for global support. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action organizes World Breastfeeding Week during the week of August 1st - 7th. This global event is celebrated in 120 countries and marks the signing of the WHO/UNICEF document Innocenti Declaration, which lists the benefits of breastfeeding, plus global and governmental goals.

To mark this occasion on Saturday 1st August 2015 at 10:30am thousands of breastfeeding women and their babies/children across the world will gather in their own communities to take part in the Global Big Latch On, a synchronized breastfeeding event in multiple locations. LRH will host its local Big Latch On event on Saturday, August 1, 2015 from 10am - 12:00 pm. The Global Latch On will happen at 10:30 am as part of the event.

The first Big Latch On took place in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2005; it was introduced to Portland, Oregon in 2010 by Small Beginnings Group, LLC and has now taken off globally.

This year our goal is to break the current 2014 record of 14,536 children breastfeeding across 845 locations, and the 2014 records for numbers of countries taking part (31), numbers of breastfeeding women attending (14,173) and total attendance (23,906).

Our long-term vision is that one day a Global Big Latch On event will be held within walking distance of every family in the world.

The Global Big Latch On is informed by the principles of community development, providing the opportunity for breastfeeding women to get together in their local communities, host their own events, and identify opportunities for on-going support.

Breastfeeding contributes to the normal growth and development of babies/children, and babies/children who are not breastfed are at increased risk of infant morbidity and mortality, adult obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer (both mom and baby.) The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a baby's life to optimize these benefits, continuing to breastfeed for 2 years and as long thereafter as is mutually desired by a woman and her child.

Marla Casella, RNC-OB, CLC and Lactation Coordinator states, "We are thrilled to host The Global BIG Latch On this year at LRH. The last quarter (February to May 2015) birthing center statistics reveal that 86.7% of our mothers are initiating breastfeeding in the hospital. That's above the Healthy People's 2020 goal of 81.9%. Our staff is well educated and prepared to support new mothers choosing to breastfeed. In June, the entire birthing center staff completed a 20 hour lactation education program with the New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force. In addition, five of our nurses have advanced lactation certifications. We are pleased to see the increase in the number of mothers who attend our weekly Mom's Morning Out program, a community support group for new moms and their babies. Breastfeeding is often the topic of discussed."

For additional information about LRH's Global BIG Latch On event, please call Marla Casella RNC-OB, CLC and Lactation Coordinator by calling (603) 444-9567 or 444-9335. Visit www.biglatchon.org to learn more about this global initiative.

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