The Big Latch On

Breastfeeding moms to gather for solidarity event Saturday

Normalize and celebrate.

This is the goal of Saturday’s Big Latch On breastfeeding solidarity event, held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Marshalltown Public Library, in honor of August being Breastfeeding Awareness Month. It is put on by Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA) and the Loving Support breastfeeding program.

Free and open to the public, the event will feature expert tips provided by Heather Buckley, breastfeeding peer counselor coordinator at MICA, and its WIC breastfeeding peer counselor Carissa Bryant.

“The Global Big Latch On takes place annually over three days during World Breastfeeding Week — August 1-7. It includes in person locations and virtual locations. The Marshalltown Public Library is a registered location for this event where breastfeeding mothers come together to breastfeed their babies, receive peer support and celebrate breastfeeding with their friends and family,” Buckley said. “This is the first time we’ve done this (event) in Marshalltown.”

In addition, women can have free bra sizing done by J.C. Penney. They will also learn how to make their own baby food.

“We are happy to be able to partner with the program that (Carissa) works with to encourage breastfeeding and are committed to the library having a ‘breast-feeding-friendly’ atmosphere,” Youth Services Librarian Joa LaVille said. “Partnering in this way is a ‘win win’ for families — they are able to come somewhere they feel comfortable and feel supported and empowered as a parent.”

Women interested in being included as participants for the Global Big Latch On must sign up by 10:20 a.m. and be present at the 10:30 a.m. count.

“Twenty-three counties participated in this last year, at 735 individual locations, with 17,790 breastfeeding children, and 18,036 breastfeeding women, with total attendance around the nation of 50,383 people,” Buckley said. “We can celebrate these moms and the community can rally around them and offer community support.”

Refreshments and door prizes will be offered.

To learn more, visit: biglatchon.org

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com