Big Latch On @ Emily Hill
World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is celebrated in August every year through events to promote breastfeeding awareness and engage breastfeeding families.
The theme for WBW 2013 was Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers, focusing on Peer Counselling. Peer counsellors are individuals, often breastfeeding mothers, who are specially trained to offer day-to-day breastfeeding help.
Collective support from the whole community encourages mothers to breastfeed. However, support from other nursing mothers plays a unique role in many mothers’ breastfeeding stories!
A Global Event!
One of the events held to celebrate WBW is the Big Latch On. It is a global movement that calls on mothers worldwide to gather for synchronized breastfeeding events in their communities. In Singapore, we organised the Big Latch On @ Emily Hill, with children’s aid non-profit Save the Children.
Big Latch On @ Emily Hill
On 3rd August 2013, breastfeeding mothers and families gathered on the charming grounds of Emily Hill to latch their babies at 10.30am. The number of nursing mums was counted.
60 people attended the event, including fathers and family members. 36 mothers latched on for the count.
This was followed by a panel discussion on supporting everyday mothers as they breastfeed and overcoming barriers to breastfeeding in Singapore.
- Mr Greg Duly, Regional Director for Save the Children in the South East and East Asia Region
- Dr Yvonne Ng, Lactation consultant & neonatologist at NUH
- Dr Mythili Pandi, BMSG President, BFHI lead assessor & working, breastfeeding mother
- Celebrity host Linda Black moderated the discussion.
Many young children attended the event. They were kept very engaged by special activities as well as bright pink helium-filled balloons. The Emily Hill premises offered lots of space for running and freeplay!
PlayDate Singapore provided painting, craft, storytelling, and music and movement activities on blankets on the grass. The babies, children and families loved PlayDate’s warm, interactive and family-friendly style!
Lactation consultants from the community as well BMSG breastfeeding counsellors ran a counselling corner to help mothers with breastfeeding concerns. The counselling corner turned out to be a place for more than breastfeeding help though – it also offered mothers and volunteers a corner to socialise and chat!
The event built a sense of warmth and camaraderie amongst many nursing mums. The BMSG team also had a great time connecting with the mothers and families! The Big Latch On @ Emily Hill brings us one step closer to our goal of making breastfeeding an everyday part of Singaporean life!
Photos by Charu Sha