OSWEGO, NY – On August 6, the WIC program will be take part in a global event, The Big Latch On.
With a goal of protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding families The Big Latch On began in New Zealand in 2005.
Introduced to the United States in 2010 in Portland, Oregon The Big Latch On took place in 28 countries in 2015 and had a total attendance of more than 36,000 people.
This year, the WIC program is collaborating with the Oswego County Breastfeeding Coalition and Mother Earth Baby to once again bring The Big Latch On to Oswego County.
On August 6 breastfeeding mothers and their families are encouraged to come to Breitbeck Park in Oswego to be a part of The Big Latch On.
The event begins at 10 a.m. with the “Latch On” taking place promptly at 10:30 a.m.
This year marks the sixth time that Oswego has been registered as an official site for The Big Latch On.
In 2015 The Big Latch On set a record with 14,536 mothers worldwide, including many in Oswego, participated in The Big Latch.
“The Big Latch On is a great way to show our support for breastfeeding moms and raise awareness of breastfeeding and the tremendous benefits it has for newborns. Nature is the best nurture and studies have shown that there are 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,” said Ashley Ward, CLC.
In addition to raising awareness of the breastfeeding, an integral part of The Big Latch On is to inspire support for breastfeeding mothers and their families.
“We are looking to educate the community and encourage those throughout Oswego County to positively support breastfeeding in public places; make breast feeding a normal part of day-to-day life, and see to it that communities have the resources to advocate for breastfeeding support services,” added Alicia Handville, of WIC’s Nutrition Support staff.
With breastfeeding being a major component of the WIC program its staff offers extensive support and counseling.
Under the direction of Breastfeeding Coordinator and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Mary Ellen Pierce the WIC staff includes four certified lactation consultants and four peer counselors, experienced breastfeeding mothers that provide support throughout pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Peer counselors 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.
The Big Latch On for Oswego County will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Breitbeck Park.
For more information, call 315-216-4622; preregistration can be completed at Eventbrite.com: The Big Latch On-Oswego.
For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding, or the many services offered through the WIC Program, visit their main office located at the OCO Oswego Health Center, 10 George St., Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., or call 315-343-1311 or toll-free 1-888-730-3803.
Visit www.oco.org for more information.