The Big Latch On, a worldwide synchronized breastfeeding event, will take place Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Sentara RMH Funkhouser Women’s Center.

Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week

Every year, Aug. 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week. To mark the occasion, on Friday, July 31, and Saturday, Aug. 1, at 10:30 a.m. thousands of breastfeeding women and their babies across the world will gather in their communities to take part in the Big Latch On, a global synchronized breastfeeding event. In Harrisonburg/Rockingham County, the Big Latch On will take place Saturday, Aug. 1 at the Sentara RMH Funkhouser Women’s Center.

World Breastfeeding Week is organized by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action and is celebrated in 120 countries to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and of the need for global support. The goal this year is to break the current 2013 record of 14,536 children breastfeeding across 845 locations, and the 2014 records for numbers of countries taking part (31), numbers of breastfeeding women attending  (14,173) and total attendance (23,906).

The long-term vision is that one day a global Big Latch On event will be held within walking distance of every family in the world.

The Big Latch On is informed by the principles of community development, providing the opportunity for breastfeeding women to get together in their local communities, host their own events and identify opportunities for ongoing support.

Breastfeeding contributes to the normal growth and development of babies, and babies who are not breastfed are at increased risk of infant morbidity and mortality and in later life, adult obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a baby's life to optimize these benefits.

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