Biggest ‘Big Latch On’

0807LATCHLinda Keeling, a certified midwife and lactation consultant, thanks the nursing moms who gathered Saturday morning at Jefferson Medical Center for the hospital’s third-annual “Big Latch On.”

“Look at all these healthy, beautiful, breastfed babies!” Keeling told the group, who met in the hospital’s first-floor conference room. The Big Latch On is designed to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for global support.

The Ranson event, part of World Breastfeeding Week, set a new local record with 18 moms and their offspring successful in latching on at the designated time of 10:30 a.m. According to the Big Latch On Facebook page, the event also broke the record for overall participation worldwide with 14,536 moms and babies all nursing in sync.

Amy Blue, the JMC registered nurse who organized the event, recognized other professionals for their support for the effort, including Keeling, Dr. David Baltierra, Katie Reid from Ranson’s Women, Infants and Children program and Tasheema Bullock, a registered nurse from JMC’s obstetrics unit.

Before taking their group photo, participants enjoyed fresh-fruit salad, just-baked chocolate chip cookies, iced tea and other treats. Mothers also took home pro-breastfeeding T-shirts for their babies, children’s books, magnets and a number of door prizes. Royalicious Bakery, Black Dog Coffee, Martin’s supermarket and Bob Evans all donated gift cards or gift baskets.

The first Big Latch On took place in New Zealand in 2005. For more, go to biglatchon.org.

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