Babies latch on to support cause

Ashwini SaseedaranSouth Western Times
Hannah Shepherd, of Eaton, with eight month-old Heremia Tekii, attend The Big Latch On.
Camera IconHannah Shepherd, of Eaton, with eight month-old Heremia Tekii, attend The Big Latch On. Credit: Ashwini Saseedaran / South Western Times

As part of the annual World Breastfeeding Week, mothers of Bunbury gathered on Friday for The Big Latch On.

Held at Milligan Community Learning and Resource Centre, the event was co-hosted by the Australian Breastfeeding Association Bunbury and the Bunbury Babywearing Community.

The community-building event was a component to the global initiative where registered locations around the world encourage women to come together to breastfeed and offer peer support to each other.

Bunbury Babywearing Community committee member Emma Sainsbury said the aim of the event was to normalise breastfeeding in the community.

“We hear stories of mums wanting to breastfeed but they are often under the impression there is no support so they choose to not feed in public,” Mrs Sainsbury said.

“If your baby is hungry, feed it.”

“We are trying to change the stigma by saying get out there, feed in public and hopefully by doing this we will manage to turn things around.”

The Bunbury location had a total of 20 mums and 22 children with 14 latched on.

This number was added to the global count bringing the total to 53,800 attending in 120 participating countries with 17,790 babies latched on.

Australian Breastfeeding Association Bunbury group leader Kerry Adler said although this annual event raised awareness, mums should know support is constantly available.

“We, as the association, offer support to all breastfeeding mums,” Ms Adler said.

“Breastfeeding is the biological norm and even though mums may start off wanting to breastfeed, there are many bumps they could experience along the way.

“We encourage mums to start talking and seeking support throughout their pregnancy.

“We know babies and mums do not encounter issues on a nine to five business hours schedule so we offer a 24/7 helpline to provide support around the clock.”

Breastfeeding mums can seek support by attending group meetings or contacting the helpline on 1800 686 268.

Get the latest news from in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails