This Friday hundreds of women around New Zealand will gather with babes in arms, aiming to break a world record.
The Big Latch On happens on Friday August 5 at 10.30am (New Zealand time) and women around the world, and around the country, will meet in various registered venues to breastfeed en-masse as part of World Breastfeeding Week, which runs from Monday August 1 to Sunday August 7.
The Big Latch On is organised by the Women's Health Action Network.
In the Waikato at least 21 venues have registered for the Big Latch On, including sites in Hamilton, Huntly, Te Awamutu, Otorohanga, Te Kuiti, Thames, Waihi, Tokoroa, Morrinsville, Pirongia and Te Aroha.
The Waikato District Health Board is supporting World Breastfeeding Week, with several of its maternity hospitals participating in the Big Latch On.
Waikato DHB lactation consultant Alys Brown is hosting the Big Latch On events at Waikato Hospital in two locations: the hospital's postnatal ward (Ward 52) and in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Thames Hospital and Matariki Birthing Unit (Te Awamutu) will also participate.
Read more about our lactation consultants at <a href="http://www.waikatodhb.govt.nz/news/pageid/2145872131/Waikato_DHB_lactation_consultants_help_new_mums"> http://www.waikatodhb.govt.nz/news/pageid/2145872131/Waikato_DHB_lactation_consultants_help_new_mums</a>
Waikato Hospital breastfeeding mothers and their babies at Waikato Hospital can join in the record attempt in the lounge at Ward 52, located in the Elizabeth Rothwell building off Pembroke St.
There will be a morning tea at 10am with a countdown to the Big Latch On at 10.30am.
The event has been run in New Zealand for the past seven years, and the number of participants has increased every year.
"Every year we've broken the record," says Brown, who says the increase in participants and venues indicates the growing support for breastfeeding.
Some 654 women across New Zealand participated in 2005, and last year that number was up to 1514.
There has also been an increase in the number of venues over the past two years (up to 21 this year, from 9 in 2009 and 15 in 2010).
For members of the public interested in participating in the Big Latch On, local registered venues include Westfield Chartwell's food court, Waterford Birthing Centre and River Ridge East Birth Centre.
Hamilton's refugee and migrant community are participating in the Big Latch On for the first time at the Waikato Migrant Resource Centre in Claudelands.
This year K'aute Pasifika Services in Hamilton is involved again for the third time, but for the first time they will be supporting the Samoan community in Te Kuiti.
The Waikato District Health Board will also be celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2011 with special gifts for its youngest new patients.
The Waikato DHB's Healthy Eating Healthy (HEHA) project is giving baby bibs to all newborns delivered during the week.
It's the fourth year HEHA has acknowledged newborns with the bibs, which has the logo "My Breast Friends".
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