The Big Latch On at Isis: A Celebration of Breastfeeding

Nursing moms attend The Big Latch On at Isis Needham.

The Big Latch On is a celebration of nursing, of family and friends, and of the importance of community support.

On Saturday, August 6th at exactly 10:30 AM local time, 4,123 women and their children came together and breastfed simultaneously across 294 official locations, in an effort to break the world record for “simultaneous breastfeeding”. This is the inaugural year of the Big Latch On here in the US.
Isis was proud to have each of our five Centers serve as an official location and we were able to officially “count” about 50 nursing moms toward the grand total.

Moms arrived with their children, their partners, and even their own parents: many grandparents were present also showing their support. As one new grandmother said to me, “I didn’t breastfeed, so I’m watching this process unfold, trying to be as helpful and encouraging as I can, while we are all learning. And it’s working!”

So, were any world records broken? Well, no, not this time. The competition was awfully steep: The current official Guinness Book of World Records total for simultaneous breastfeeding was 15,128 mother-child pairs in 295 sites in the Philippines in 2007. Big Latch On national coordinator Annie Brown said “This is the first year the event has been held nationally in the USA so this is a really fantastic start. Now we have our own record to beat next year!”

The Big Latch On crowd at Isis Arlington.

Joanne Edwards, co-coordinator, added “Numbers really are only a small part of the story though. This event is held to develop the support of local communities for the wonderful job that nursing mamas do. I know many friendships were formed this morning and all those who were involved had lots of fun. It is really important that we continue to make nursing in public a normal and supported part of having a child.”

For myself, I believe it was a fun, lighthearted way to build awareness and encourage conversations about breastfeeding. Thank you to all the moms who participated at our centers and came out to be counted, and those who participated all around the country, and thank you to the location organizers and volunteers for this event!

About Nancy Holtzman RN IBCLC CPN

Nancy is a Vice President at Isis Parenting and leads Clinical Content. As one of the original co-founders, she was instrumental in the creation of many prenatal and new parent programs at Isis Parenting, helping to develop the Isis vision in its earliest stages. Nancy has over 25 years of clinical nursing experience including ten years at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital, and is a mother/baby nurse educator, a board certified lactation consultant and board certified pediatric nurse. She is the founder of the Great Beginnings New Mothers Group series which has now reached over 10,000 Boston-area mothers. She speaks and writes for a national audience about breastfeeding and infant development, and has served on the board of MLCA, the Massachusetts Lactation Consultants Association. She received a BS from Northeastern University College of Nursing, and a Certificate in Advanced Pediatric Assessment from Boston College. Nancy lives in Boston with her husband, two teens and a rescued Bichon. Find her tweeting about all about babies at @nancyholtzman

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