Breastfeeding mums latch on
Fifty mums turned up with their bubs; 40 managed to latch on.
The 12th annual Big Latch On in Palmerston North, part of World Breastfeeding Week, was held on Friday morning.
The new Big Latch On venue, Christian Community Church in Pascal St, accommodated the mums, their babies, numerous children, organisers and 14 toddler-related stallholders.
Organiser of the event, Liz Ricketts from Community Birth Services was pleased with the turnout and its supportive carnival atmosphere.
Mum of three, Jackie Edwards, said while she had no breastfeeding horror stories to tell, ‘‘because basically I just ignore everybody’’, there were always subtle pressures, mainly from other women, to stop breastfeeding.
‘‘You do get odd looks from time to time ... and from women. That’s what shocked me the most.’’
The older a child was, the more overt the pressure.
‘‘They say ‘if they are old enough to ask for it, they’re too old’. I gave up breastfeeding my second child at two, I didn’t want to [stop] because I was getting the ‘it’s not really appropriate’ reaction.
‘‘So, with my third I made a decision to keep going.’’
Lactation consultant Jacquie Nutt said women with children over 12 months are often discouraged from continuing with breastfeeding.
‘‘No one should be told they have to breastfeed, but WHO recommends that children should be breastfed until they are two. It’s perfectly natural and healthy, and it’s a shame if any mum is deterred from breastfeeding at any time.
‘‘80 per cent of mums who give up want to carry on, but social support from family, friends, and the attitude of people in the coffee shop, is lacking.’’
For Steph O’Connor, this was the third Big Latch On she had attended with the same child.
‘‘It’s convenient and so much easier than a bottle. If people don’t like it, it’s their problem. They could look away. It’s my choice, it’s good for him and he likes it.
Hands up means latched on during Friday morning’s Big Latch On.