The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action organizes World Breastfeeding Week every year to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for global support.
World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7, and is celebrated in 120 countries and marks the signing of the World Health Organization and UNICEF document Innocenti Declaration, which lists the benefits of breastfeeding, plus global and governmental goals.
To mark this occasion at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 1, thousands of breastfeeding women and their babies or children across the world will gather in their own communities to take part in the "Big Latch On," a synchronized breastfeeding event in multiple locations.
The local Big Latch On will take place at the Williamsport Women, Infants and Children (WIC) office, 612 W. Fourth St.
Pennsylvania WIC is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Breastfeeding contributes to the normal growth and development of babies and children and those who are not breastfed are at increased risk of infant morbidity and mortality, obesity, diabetes and infections. Mothers who do not breastfeed are more at risk for depression, osteoporosis, and premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer and Type 2 diabetes.
The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a baby's life and to continue as long as possible to improve health outcomes for the mother and child.
The first Big Latch On took place in Aotearoa, New Zealand, in 2005, and has now taken off globally.
This year the event is aiming to again break the current global Big Latch On record of 14,536 women breastfeeding at one time.
The Big Latch On provides the opportunity for breastfeeding women to get together in their local communities, host their own events and identify opportunities for on-going support.