Breast is best for these mums, tots

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Snow may have been falling but it did not stop 35 mothers and their children celebrating the benefits of breast-feeding in Ashburton on Friday.
Breast-feed Mid Canterbury and Plunket combined to organise the Big Latch On, an event aimed at raising awareness of and normalising breast-feeding.
The event began in New Zealand in 2005. Five years later there were just two countries celebrating it but last year 28 countries ran events, with nearly 15,000 children latching on.
At 10.30am on Friday, 36 babies and toddlers ‘‘latched on’’ in conjunction with hundreds of others throughout New Zealand. Women could also take part via a virtual Big Latch On by posting a breast feeding selfie to the Facebook page.
Breast-feeding Mid Canterbury runs asupport group which meets every Monday between 10am and noon at the Plunket rooms in Cameron Street.
Peer support co-ordinator with the group, Elen Philp said the group provided women with support, as well as giving them a network of women in similar situations. A closed Facebook page also provided support – even in the small hours of the night when some mothers may be struggling, she said.
‘‘Through that you can reach out, no matter what the time, and usually find someone else on line.’’
Pregnant women were also welcome at the group as they prepared for the birth of their baby.
Anthea Moore, another peer support councillor said it was great to see so many women supporting each other, no matter their age or whether it was their first child or their fourth.
She was delighted to see one mother tandem feeding two children.
Breast feeding mothers gathered in Methven on Saturday morning with eight children latching on.
Local businesses provided goods for prizes at Friday’s event.
Photo: Mothers and children who joined Ashburton’s Big Latch On were Hannah Isamaela, who was tandem feeding Eden, two and a-half and Mila, five months, Naomi Cone with daughter Isabelle Cone-Manihera, four months, and Emily Dodge, with Eevee Perriton, 13 months.