Big Latch On event in Middlebury on Saturday

MIDDLEBURY — The healthiest, most nutritious Vermont food event of the year will be held Aug. 1.
The 2015 Big Latch On in Middlebury (Town Green),  St. Albans (Taylor Park), Winooski (Landry Park), Morrisville (farmer’s market in front of Hannaford’s), Bennington (Willow Park, Lower Pavilion, East Road), and the Statehouse lawn in Montpelier will bring together women who will breastfeed their babies simultaneously at 10:30 a.m. as a kick off to World Breastfeeding Week.
The aim is to raise awareness of breastfeeding support and knowledge in communities and to empower women to breastfeed in public places.
“Women who come together for this event know they are feeding their children the best possible source of nutrition,” said Breena Holmes, MD, director of maternal & child health for the Vermont Department of Health. “Breastfeeding reduces childhood obesity and acts as a protection against chronic disease later in life.”
The Health Department encourages all women to breastfeed their babies within the first hour after delivery, to breastfeed exclusively for at least six months, and to continue breastfeeding for at least a year.
All the babies are nursed in public during the Big Latch On, usually as the mom’s sit together on the grass in an open space such as a park. The Big Latch On is a global event where breastfeeding women around the world will latch their babies for one minute at a set time at registered locations.
The goal this year is to break the 2013 Big Latch On record of 14,536 children breastfeeding across 845 international locations. The event was started in New Zealand in 2005 by the Women’s Health Action.
Breastmilk has the antibodies, living cells, hormones and enzymes that protect the baby from infections and diseases later on in life, that formula milk does not. Breastfed babies have less diarrhea, vomiting, chest and ear infections, hospitalizations, constipation, risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life,  and risk of developing eczema.
Breast milk is always at just the right temperature.
For more information on the Big Latch On visit: www.biglatchon.org
For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding and local resources for nursing mothers, visit healthvermont.gov.

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