Mums extol benefits of breastfeeding

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Breastfeeding mums Kara Hall and Naomi Cone were among the dozen breastfeeding mothers to attend Mid Canterbury’s Big Latch On event last week.

Both have two children and were having better breastfeeding experiences second time round.

Kara said breastfeeding older child Zac, now two and a half, as a baby took around eight weeks to get sorted.

As a smaller baby, he was having difficulty latching but Kara said she was too stubborn to give up and persevered.

“I didn’t want to pay for formula, and knew the value of breastfeeding,” she said.

She went on to breastfeed Zac until he was 15 months old and hoped to be able to give younger son, Quinn, five and a half months, the same start.

“I definitely want to breastfeed Quinn for as long as possible, for the immunity and all the good things that come with it,” she said.

It was a sentiment shared by Naomi, who with older daughter Isabelle, now 3, it took four weeks before she was able to breastfeed without the use of nipple shields.

The shields helped Isabelle latch on until she was able to attach herself. She was then breastfed until she was two years and four months old.

“I would love to go to at least two years with Sadie (five months old), it’s so beneficial,” Naomi said.

In Mid Canterbury’s “Big Latch On”, mothers – and even expectant mothers – come out to support each other breastfeeding in a safe, supportive and social environment as part of the nationwide event to promote and encourage breastfeeding.

It is held over two days during World Breastfeeding Week (August 1 – 7).

The local event was organised by Mid Canterbury Plunket and held at the New Life Church in Tinwald. It included coffee and cake as well as spot prizes and giveaways.

Mid Canterbury Plunket community support co-ordinator Sue-ann Carr said the latch on was a chance for breastfeeding women to get together in a supportive environment with other breastfeeding women.

She said having peer support, including some of the Plunket trained Peer Support mums at the venue, helped women know there was support out there for them to encourage them to continue breastfeeding for as long as they could.

The Big Latch On was started by Women’s Health Action in 2005.

It is now a worldwide peer support, community development event aiming to strengthen national and global support for breastfeeding, to improve the health of children around the world.

Women unable to make it to a Big Latch On event this year had the option to participate online, through the “I Latched On” breastfeeding selfie initiative.