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Aiming for a Bigger Latch On

Mothers leaving Northland DHB hospitals have an impressive 94.5 percent exclusive breastfeeding rate thanks to the support of the midwifery, nursing staff, lead maternity carers and lactation consultants working hard to give them the best start possible.

Our Northland mothers also topped the statistics at last year’s Big Latch On at Toll Stadium in Whangarei with 85 babies counted latching during the official count. The Big Latch On is part of the Global World Breastfeeding week held from 1-7 August.

The annual event involves thousands of women from different cultures and backgrounds gathering together at over 100 registered venues throughout Aotearoa to access community and peer to peer support and to breastfeed their children. For those that can’t make it to a venue they can share their breastfeeding/expressing photos online to the Big Latch On Facebook page with the tag #BigLatchOnNZ.

The Big Latch On supports communities to identify and grow opportunities to provide ongoing breastfeeding support and promotion. It provides an opportunity for women to make new friends, network and feel more confident about breastfeeding (particularly in public) and ultimately aims to reduce some of the most common barriers to breastfeeding continuation.

The Clark Road Chapel, 4-6 Clark Road, in Kamo, Whangarei will be the venue for this year’s Whangarei event on Friday 2 August, and Northland DHB lactation consultant Helen Wellington says they are hoping to beat last year’s record and hit at least 100 latch ons.

Helen encourages mums and their children to be at the venue by 9.30am to be ready in time for the official latch on at 10.30am. All breastfed (or bottle fed with breastmilk) babies will be counted and those that can’t make it can tune in online. There will also be spot prizes from generous sponsors arranged by Charlene Morunga and Kylee Parker, given out throughout the morning.

Northland DHB holds free lactation drop in clinics every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10am - 2pm at Te Puawai Ora at 18 Commerce Street in Whangarei and at Kawakawa Maternity on Fridays from 10am until 2pm.

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