NORTHAMPTON – As part of its celebration of World Breastfeeding Week from Aug. 1 to 7, the Childbirth Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital will host a Big Latch On event on Aug. 6 at 10:30 a.m.
At the same time across the country, thousands of nursing women and their babies will take part in the Big Latch On at other locations. In Massachusetts, events are scheduled in the Berkshires and in Boston. And in Northampton, breastfeeding mothers and their babies are invited to nurse together at the hospital in the upper atrium hallway, just outside the Childbirth Center.
Breastfeeding mothers and their babies are invited to arrive at Cooley Dickinson’s Main Lobby for the Big Latch On at 10 a.m. A raffle will be held and information on breastfeeding will be offered. In addition, information on breastfeeding will be available in the hospital’s lobby throughout World Breastfeeding Week.
The Childbirth Center at Cooley Dickinson also offers daily lactation assistance by phone and with insurance billed consults. Medela breastfeeding products are available to rent or purchase, and a support group for new breastfeeding families is held every Monday from Noon to 1:30 p.m. and is hosted by a board-certified lactation consultant.
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated in 120 countries and marks the signing of a World HealthOrganization/UNICEF document that lists the benefits of breastfeeding, plus global and governmental goals. Breastfeeding contributes to the normal growth and development of babies. Babies who are not breastfed are at increased risk of infant morbidity and mortality, adult obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, and breastfed babies and their mothers have less risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
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 two years and as long thereafter as is mutually desired by mother and baby.
The first record for most breastfeeding women at a single location was in Berkeley, Calif., in 2002, where 1,130 mothers breastfed simultaneously. The international record was set in the Philippines in 2006 by 3,738 mothers. Since then, there have been several coordinated international events, and in October 2010, 9,826 nursing mothers were recorded at 325 sites in 16 countries.
For more information, please contact Paula_Mattson@cooley-dickinson.org or call 582-2096.