OSWEGO, NY – Oswego County Opportunities WIC program recently participated in The Big Latch On, a global event focused on protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding families.
The Big Latch On originated in New Zealand in 2005 and was introduced to the United States in 2010 in Portland, Oregon.
In 2017 The Big Latch On took place in 23 countries and had a total attendance of more than 50,000 people.
This year, the WIC program collaborated with the Oswego County Breastfeeding Coalition to bring The Big Latch On to Oswego County. In recognition of World Breastfeeding Week breastfeeding mothers and their families gathered to raise awareness of the normalness of breastfeeding.
“One of our goals is to emphasize that breastfeeding is a normal part of day-to-day life,” said WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator Mary Ellen Pierce, CDN, IBCLC. “Breastfeeding in public increases cultural comfort with breastfeeding and helps create normal expectations. Being able to breastfeed in public is supportive for the families.”
This year marks the eighth time that WIC has registered Oswego as an official site for The Big Latch On.
“This event supports, promotes, and celebrates breastfeeding,” Pierce said. “The Big Latch On is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of breastfeeding and the tremendous benefits it has for newborns. Studies have shown that breastfeeding provides significant health gains such as increased energy and immunity, reduced symptoms of A.D.D., lower risks of heart attacks and colon cancer, and many more.”
With breastfeeding being a major component of the WIC program its staff offers extensive support and counselling.
The WIC staff includes one international board certified lactation consultant 5 peer counsellors, experienced breastfeeding mothers that provide support throughout pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Peer counsellors prepare mothers for what to expect in the first few hours and days of breastfeeding and are available any time of day once the mother returns home, they also connect mothers with other community programs and services.
For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding, or the many services offered through the WIC Program, visit their main office at the OCO Oswego Health Center, 10 George St. in Oswego, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., or call them at 315-343-1311, or toll-free 1-888-730-3803.
OCO is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966.
A member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 100 separate locations.
For more information, visit www.oco.org.
Did you know? It’s OCO!