On August 5, over 180 mothers and 480 Breastfeeding supporters gathered to nurse their babies, discover resources, and finally, celebrate! Families came from all over for Central Indiana’s Breastfeeding World 2017 Big Latch On in Central Indiana.
Why a huge event, about something so simple as feeding a child? Breastfeeding moms, feeding babies? What’s the big deal?
Because, even though breastfeeding is natural, it isn’t always simple. And even though motherhood is beautiful, it is also challenging. And messy. And even a little lonely. So yes, the latch, the bond, the breastfeeding, it’s why we gather. It’s why we support one other. But Breastfeeding World’s 2017 Big Latch On Events are more than that. These breastfeeding celebrations are about Unity. Here, we discover we are not alone in our breastfeeding journeys. Together, we are uniting in Motherhood.
After all, our children are the reasons we began this journey to begin with.
I love that once I arrived, my sense of loneliness went away. I felt empowered and supported. My family and my husband love that I breastfeed, but none of them support me nursing wherever, whenever.
I loved that I could feed my former NICU baby without fear of being ridiculed for not finding a bathroom or backseat of a hot uncomfortable car. It felt normal. I felt normal, like how it should feel. Just a regular mom, going about her normal business feeding her baby the “normal” way.” -Jessica Down
Here is the 2017 Big Latch On Final Count!
Central Indiana’s 2107 Big Latch On isn’t the only location working to build community support for breastfeeding. Not only did Breastfeeding World proudly host coast-to-coast Latch On’s. Families joined together in Martha’s Vineyard, NYC, Central Indiana, and Downtown Seattle. These Breastfeeding World organized events culminated to almost 300 Latches, and over 1000 breastfeeding supporters. Yet, we were part of an even larger movement.
This year The Global Big Latch On registered 725 locations across 23 countries. The final count numbers ended with:
17,790 children breastfeeding during the one-minute count
18,036 breastfeeding women attended
What an amazing feeling, to sit among so many moms in your community, feeding your babies. Then adding to that feeling, knowing that you are joining in unity with families from all over the world! You can find out more about this year’s global events here.
Impacting our Community
I didn’t know why at first, but I drove home with tears. Mainly because I was so proud to be apart of something like this, considering my breastfeeding journey. It was so very difficult in the start. I felt comfortable after a big even though I came alone! I didn’t win any raffles, but I was a part of something bigger than any gift. Cassidy and I have survived almost 6 months of this journey together and I got to share that with 180+ other mothers.” -Andrea Kernodle-McCauley
The Bubbles were Awesome! They kept my kids (an myself) entertained so I could listen to the names being called for the raffle. Best thing of all would be just being surrounded by so many other breastfeeding mamas. Feeling 100% comfortable and safe to nurse my toddler. To be a part of something like that means so much to me. The health assessment was pretty neat, too!” – Amanda Bowers
“It was incredibly laid back which is the way breastfeeding in public should be! I sat between two women during the latch. The woman to my right had breastfed for 9 years. The woman to my left was breastfeeding in public for the first time. So many women, so many stories. Simply put… it was amazing. My heart smiles every time I think about it. I really appreciated the entertainment for the kiddos! And the amber necklace was the best swag!” – Marcy Brittingham
“My favorite swag item was the pair of Kindred Bravely breast pads. Literally the best pads in the entire world! I’m so mad at myself for just now finding them, I need to order more!” -Kelly Jones
“It was awesome just seeing that Indiana has such a large breastfeeding community. Sad I missed out on that gorgeous Tula from the raffle though! That was one lucky mama.” -Danielle Spangle
“I loved it! I have been more confident and comfortable with feeding in public. I honestly loved the door handle sign! It was so cute and funny. I also loved used the temporary tattoo on my car! I will definitely come next year.” -Andrea Dunham
“I was tearing up during the latch. The air had a different feeling. It was so peaceful, with all of the love and support in one area! My favorite swag was the amber necklaces (From Baltic Essentials)! I won the crunchy mama raffle and I love it!” – Sophie Mullins
We Couldn’t Have Done This Alone!
Breastfeeding World is so, incredibly grateful to the businesses, volunteers, organizations, and donor’s who made 2017’s Central Indiana Big Latch On an iconic moment to remember. From Funding our Event, helping organize, providing support to the nursing mamas, to the generous swag bag and raffle donations, this event was truly a celebration for our community, by our community. We would like to give a very special Thanks to our Diamond & Gold Contributors: Baltic Essentials, Kindred Bravely, MommyCon, and Advanced Breastfeeding Care.
Family Resources in Central Indiana
One of the aspects of Breastfeeding World’s 2017 Big Latch On that we are most excited about is our Advocacy Program. It is so important to our project that we not only strive to normalize breastfeeding, but that we also support other families in that journey. Below you can find a list of breastfeeding and family resources. Connect with these organizations and professionals, and stay connected with our community.
- Breastfeeding USA
- The Milk Bank
- Lisa Lahey, Advanced Breastfeeding Care- RN, IBCLC, CSN
- Aimbriel Lasley, Purely Maternal- IBCLC, Doula
Family Health and Development:
Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum Support:
- Laura Gibb, P,RN, CPM, Peaceful Source Midwifery.
- Casey Vhla, Hoosier Family Doulas.
- April Brake, CPM Serene Midwifery.
- Jennifer Riddle, Doula, Mothers Intuition, Muncie.
- Hannah Orcutt, Birth Doula.
Thank You to the Central Indiana Breastfeeding Community
As we excitedly await next year’s Big Latch On, let us continue to support, lift up, and encourage one another, as we “Share the Breastfeeding Love.”
Editor’s Note: I would like to give a special thank you to our Breastfeeding World Team of Volunteers. These women are my personal Breastfeeding World. Sam, Laranda, Alexia, and Lisa- this project has been so much more than about breastfeeding to me. Your friendship and love, along with the empowerment I have felt through these months and months of planning, have helped shape me. To be a better mom. A more connected friend. And perhaps most importantly, a stronger woman than I knew I was. What an amazing feeling to discover; that in empowering other moms, we find ourselves empowered. You ladies are my world, and I adore each of you.
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