By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Thousands of women worldwide participated in the Global Big Latch On breastfeeding event on Friday, Aug. 1 and seven women in Cherokee joined them. Cherokee’s event was organized by the EBCI WIC Program and was held at the Oconaluftee River Stage.
“Breastfeeding is a natural thing for mothers,” said Deborah Lowery, BFPC coordinator with EBCI WIC Program. “It’s what we were all made to do. It is best for moms and babies with the bonding and the immunological properties. We make antibodies for our babies. This is one of the most wonderful things a mother can do for their child.”
Friday’s participants in Cherokee included: Stephanie Long, Grace Bird, Katie Tiger, Ashley Ledford, Carla Wahnetah, Jaidan Wolfe, and Nichole Sellers who was visiting the area from Spartanburg, SC.
Lowery said that each year the Global Latch On event, which began in 2005 in New Zealand, gets larger and larger with new events being added. Globally, last year’s events featured 14,536 moms and their children at 845 locations in 28 countries.
“This is not just in Cherokee. This is global. August is breastfeeding month so we want everyone to encourage our breastfeeding moms and tell them what a great job they are doing.”
Grace Bird related her reasons for breastfeeding her daughter, Kylexandra Pheasant, “It’s what is best for the baby, and it’s free.”
Global Big Latch On coordinator Joanne Edwards, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), stated her hopes for the events in a statement, “I want us to create a world where every family is supported and nurtured by their community and where breastfeeding is an ordinary part of life. My vision is to grow the Big Latch On until every family can walk to a location in their neighborhood. The Big Latch On is about growing communities, supporting women, embracing families and encouraging the acceptance of breastfeeding.”