Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Big Latch On

This past Saturday, Baby and I (along with Boyfriend for support) participated in the Big Latch On event that took place at the Galleria.  NBC did a nice write up and as of right now, there aren't too many negative comments which is a pleasant surprise.

All across the world, mothers were going to nurse their babes from 10:30-10:31 in order to break the world record of the most amount of mothers nursing at one time. The event's purpose is to raise awareness and support for breastfeeding and I am all about supporting every woman in the way they want to feed their child, especially breastfeeding.  It makes me very sad/angry/frustrated/disappointed when I hear people spout out uneducated or ignorant things in regards to breastfeeding in public or really just breastfeeding in public.  I've already written an entire post about that previously, so I won't go back down that road, but I do believe attending events like this which focus on the major positives will help make strides towards normalizing breastfeeding.

There were several locations in the Dallas area that were taking place, I selected the Galleria location because it was closest to me.  Originally the plan was to meet in the food court area near the ice rink but the night before it was announced that we were moved to the community room, as requested by Galleria management.  I questioned the motives on Galleria's part and it was explained to me that they weren't trying to hide us or anything but it was that there is an issue with vendors having organized meetings in the public areas.  Personally I don't buy it and do feel like they heard that there was going to be 50 something moms and their families meeting and the purpose is to nurse and wanted to be "supportive" by offering the community room but not supportive enough to tell us we were violating their terms and couldn't do this in the public.  I'm not one to cause huge waves (I believe in peaceful protesting :)) so I just accepted it.  According to the women who organized it they didn't blame the Galleria so I will try and trust that,  but how could we not feel hidden when we are directed down a long hall and then told to go through a storage room that holds Christmas decorations and then finally to the room?


That issue aside, it was a great event.  There were 52 nursing mothers there and out of those 39 mothers were able to be added to the count.  The rules were that the baby had to be latched on for the entire minute for it to count.  I was actually pretty surprised, Baby did stay on the whole time.  The last time she had nursed before that was a week prior so I wasn't sure if she would or not.  For the official count, we had to hold one hand up while nursing, if they popped off then you couldn't be counted to the record.

I love doing these events.  I wish I had gotten more involved in organizations like this earlier on, now that Baby is almost fully weaned I can still be very supportive but not active.  I do hope that I can help turn at least just one person's opinion on breastfeeding from negative to the very least neutral.  I hope that I can normalize breastfeeding and help women in the future feel like they don't have to hide as I do at times.  I hope that by the time Baby has children and if she decides to breastfeed, that it is normal, supported, and she doesn't feel like she has to fight for her right to simply feed her child.

No matter what though, these events give you a sense of solidarity with other women.  I'm so proud to say I have a few wonderful close girlfriends who nurse as well and it has deepened our relationship to understand what it is like to be a breastfeeding mother. 


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