By BMSG Editorial Team
The Breastfeeding Mothers’ Support Group (Singapore) participated in the Global Big Latch On (BLO) for 2018 this August during the annual World Breastfeeding Week, collaborating with the National University Hospital for the first time ever. This is the sixth year that we have participated in the record-breaking initiative, which was first started in New Zealand back in 2005.The intent of the BLO was to create a space for mothers to seek support in breastfeeding, which is aligned to what BMSG has been doing for many years now. We have always pictured breastfeeding as a decision that involves the whole family, and like previous years, we envisioned an event fit for the whole family. This year, we also wanted to take things a step further and create more excitement in the breastfeeding community.
The BLO did not disappoint! We were honoured to be able to collaborate with the National University Hospital (NUH), who is also our partner in our newly created BMSG x NUH Mum 2 Mum Meetups collaboration since the second quarter of this year. The event saw 38 mothers coming together for the synchronised latching event, with 35 mothers successfully latching their babies although the total attendance of people at the event amounted up to almost 150 people.
This year’s BLO rules have changed slightly. In the bid to be inclusive towards all types of breastfeeding dyads, mothers who express breastmilk or feed their babies with expressed breastmilk (EBM) are now also able to participate in the BLO. Our President, Elaine Chow, who is also still nursing her two year-old, did not have her child with her but joined in the BLO fun by expressing her milk during the segment!
The event was graced by our Guest-of-Honour Member of Parliament Mdm Rahayu Mahzam, who is the Advisor to the Jurong Grassroots Constituency (GRC). It is touching to know that Mdm Rahayu is still nursing her 16 month-old and it was heartening to hear of her support for breastfeeding mothers especially as a working and breastfeeding mother herself.While the mums had their fun in the BLO synchronised latching, the organisers also had activities planned for the older children, thanks to The Bambini SG and their partner The Resource Campus. In order to include children of all ages, the Bambini SG team prepared a slate of activities, including storytelling and thoughtful crafts, which was well-received by the children! The children thoroughly enjoyed the sessions especially since they had a cosy little room all to themselves and were very much entertained by activities based on the popular story ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle. Parents were also treated to several activities; a babywearing talk and a zumba activity thereafter.
Warabee, a couple team who specialises in babywearing consultancy, gave a talk on the safe ways to babywear. They also brought down a multitude of babywearing gears for attendees to try it out. From parents to nurses and the public, many were found trying out gears like the ring sling, soft-structured carriers (SSC) as well as wraps!
To round off the event, the participants were treated to an energetic round of Babywearing Zumba. Nawal, our instructor from Nawal Haddad Fitness, was a ball of energy despite babywearing a toddler and leading the zumba! There were broad smiles on all the participants’ faces and it was quite a sight to see such a large group of babywearing parents dancing energetically along to the music. One song obviously was not enough and the session stretched out longer than expected when the enthusiastic participants called for more!
BMSG has also lined up a series of new merchandise to celebrate breastfeeding and we are heartened to know that our 100% cotton reusable breastpads, lovingly crafted by Rykiel’s Handmade, as well as our newly designed t-shirts, were well-received. Do look out for them as we launch our merchandise by the end of the month on our e-shop!
BLO 2018 was definitely fun and memorable, and we can’t wait to do it all over again next year. Join us in 2019 for another Big Latch On!