Vidant Beaufort Hospital to host Beaufort Baby Fair – Annual Maternity Fair and Big Latch On event

Published 6:26 pm Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Every year, Aug. 1– 7, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action organizes World Breastfeeding Week to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for global support. World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated in 120 countries and marks the signing of the WHO/UNICEF document Innocenti Declaration, which lists the benefits of breastfeeding, plus global and governmental goals.

To mark this occasion on Aug. 3, 4 and 5, at 10:30 a.m., thousands of breastfeeding people and their babies/children across the world will gather in their own communities to take part in the Global Big Latch On, a synchronized breastfeeding event in multiple locations.

Locally, the Beaufort Baby Fair – 2nd Annual Maternity Fair and Big Latch On event will take place at Vidant Beaufort Hospital on Saturday, Aug. 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This event is co-hosted by the Beaufort County Health Department. The latch on ceremony will be at 10:30 a.m. The event will take place in the main lobby of the hospital.

Organizers of the event seek to provide an atmosphere where women can gather together to breastfeed to bring awareness to the benefits of breastfeeding while offering peer support and meeting new friends. New mothers, those planning to be moms and grandparents are welcome to attend. Tours of the labor and delivery suites will be offered along with other valuable educational information to encourage the journey into motherhood. Community partners will be present including local family medicine and pediatrician offices, pregnancy centers, support groups and more. This local event is free and registration is not required to attend.

The first Big Latch On took place in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2005, it was introduced to Portland, Oregon in 2010 by Small Beginnings Group LLC and has now taken off globally. This year our goal is to break the current Global Big Latch On record of almost 21,500 children breastfeeding at 778 locations, across 28 countries.

Our long-term vision is that one day a Global Big Latch On event will be held within walking distance of every family in the world.

The Global Big Latch On is informed by the principles of community development, providing the opportunity for breastfeeding women to get together in their local communities, host their own events, and identify opportunities for on-going support.

Breastfeeding contributes to the normal growth and development of babies/children, and babies/children who are not breastfed are at increased risk of infant morbidity and mortality, adult obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer (both mom and baby.) The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a baby’s life to optimize these benefits, continuing to breastfeed for 2 years and as long thereafter as is mutually desired by a woman and her child.