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The Big Latch On

The Big Latch On is part of World Breastfeeding Week

Calling all breastfeeding moms!  The La Leche League of Portsmouth is holding The Big Latch On Saturday, August 5th at Portsmouth City Park.  The Big Latch On is a wonderful event the La Leche League of Portsmouth hosts to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, which runs from August 1 to August 7, and I was so excited to discuss with them the upcoming event and some of the history behind the La Leche League!

We here at Hampton Roads Moms have 32 months of breastfeeding between us, and one of our co-founders has even supported the CHKD Milk Bank.  The Big Latch On is a huge event, and we hope to see you there!

The Big Latch On

How long has the La Leche League been hosting The Big Latch On?

The La Leche League of Portsmouth has hosted a World Breastfeeding Week Celebration and Big Latch on for 11 years.  This is our 11th year.  

How did The Big Latch On event get started?

The La Leche League has long held  World Breastfeeding Week Celebrations, and when The Big Latch On started a few years ago, we added it to our event.  

How many attendees are you expecting this year?

We have had around 500 for the past 5 years or so.  

Do you have to register to attend?

No, the event is free and open to the public.  We do offer an online registration for the participants of The Big Latch On or they can register the day of.  

Other than The Big Latch On at 10:30, what can attendees expect to see at the event?

Our event features music, food, and exhibitors including doulas and a chiropractor.  (Side note:  Hampton Rads Moms will also be hosting a table!)

Other than attending The Big Latch On, what are some ways mamas can celebrate World Breastfeeding Week?

The biggest thing anyone can do is help to support nursing parents and their babies!  

Encourage a friend or family member – tell her she’s doing a GREAT job and her baby is happy to have her, give a new mom information on her local La Leche League, smile at a mother nursing in public,  know that mothers have the right to nurse in public whenever and however they are comfortable – share this knowledge with people, ask your coworker/employee what you can do to facilitate her pumping schedule at work, congratulate a mom on meeting her breastfeeding goals, welcome your nursing friend or family member to breastfeed comfortably at your social gatherings.

For those who have ended their breastfeeding journey, in what ways can they participate in The Big Latch On?

We could always use volunteers.  Our volunteers have mother sized jobs such as counting during  the Latch On, helping serve food, or helping out at the registration table.   We also welcome ALL supporters to come out and show new nursing families that their community supports them in their goals.  

What should families bring with them for the The Big Latch On?

Bring your whole family! The more the merrier.

Is there anything else attendees needs to know about The Big Latch On?

Our event in from 10-1 p.m. but if you would like to participate in the big latch on we need you registered and seated by 10:29 a.m. to be counted.

The La Leche League

How did the La Leche League get it’s start?

La Leche League started in 1956 by seven mothers who were looking for breastfeeding support in their hometown in Illinois but couldn’t find it, so they created it.  They started out with meetings in their own living rooms and now we have grown into an international organization with Leagues in over 70 countries.  

We provide FREE breastfeeding and parenting support to ALL families.  We cover preparing to breastfeeding, latching help, pumping/returing to work, exclusive pumping, starting solids, nighttime parenting, weaning and more!  Call, email and/or join us at any of our many meetings.  

Do you host meetings/support groups and are they open to the public?

 La Leche League of Portsmouth Hosts about 3 meetings a month.  All our meetings are open to breastfeeding and pregnant women.  Our Morning meeting is just for nursing parents, children, and female support people, and our playdate and evening meeting welcome all families including dads, partners and all support persons.     Hampton Roads has several very active groups, and there are about ten meetings each month all around the area.  

How long has the La Leche League been active in Portsmouth?

Over 25 years.

How can local moms support the La Leche League?

Come to a meeting to give and receive encouragement and information.  The richness of La Leche League lies with the diverse experiences of our families and the safe space in which we share our questions, concerns, and joys.  

What advice, if any, would you pass on to new nursing mamas?

Come to a meeting and get to know your leaders.  The most important key to meeting your breastfeeding goals is to find a “tribe” of other families who are also on that same path.   

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