Breastfeeding mothers to gather for Friday's Big Latch-on
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4 August 2016
 
 
Breastfeeding mothers throughout the Whanganui district are invited to meet up at the Davis Central Library this Friday 5 August to celebrate the Big Latch-on - a key event for this year’s national Breastfeeding Week from 1 to 7 August.
 
Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) midwife Angela Adam says she hopes to see a good turnout for the Big Latch-on which starts at 9.30am.
 
If previous years are any indication, thousands of breastfeeding women throughout New Zealand will meet up for their local event which besides celebrating breastfeeding week, is designed to promote breastfeeding.
 
Mrs Adam says it’s important to understand that successful breastfeeding requires support from family, friends and the community. “Most Whanganui mothers start breastfeeding after birth but sadly, the overall time they spend breastfeeding is short so our challenge is to encourage mothers to view breastfeeding as the cultural norm in our region,” Mrs Adam says.
 
“World Breastfeeding Week also marks celebrations for the Women’s Network initiative of volunteer mother-led breastfeeding support. Funding has been secured for training a La Leche League (LLL) peer leader, and the development of a regular and sustainable mother-led breastfeeding group for the Whanganui region.
 
“This project is to help mothers learn to breastfeed their babies, to encourage good mothering through breastfeeding, and to promote better understanding of breastfeeding and related subjects.”
 
Mrs Adam says the funding was secured as a result of an application made to the WDHB Maternity Quality and Safety Programme who, in April, signalled the need for community-led initiatives focused on improving health literacy and healthy lifestyle behaviours in pregnancy and early parenthood, accessibility of maternity services, and supporting a breastfeeding culture.  
 
On the first Friday of every month mothers are welcome to join Whanganui’s mother-led breastfeeding support group who meet from 10am to 12pm for a ‘cuppa and a chat’. Expectant mothers are also welcome to drop in before their baby comes along. The support group is located at the Ladies Rest Building (next to the Royal Opera House) at 75 St Hill Street. For more information or support phone Jacqueline 021 135 9948.
 
 
  • In the Whanganui district, 95 percent of babies are breastfed at birth.
  • We know that 89 percent have only had breastmilk when they leave hospital and 81 percent are still receiving breast milk at six weeks of age.
  • This drops dramatically to 50 percent of babies being fully breastfed at three months old.
  • Only one in every two babies are receiving any breastmilk at six months.