The Big Latch On 2016
The Big Latch On is an international synchronized breastfeeding celebration held annually in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week. More than 320 individuals attended the 5th Annual Big Latch On (BLO) organized by the Binational Breastfeeding Coalition (BBC).
The event took place at Bassett Place with registration starting at 9:00 am. This was a great opportunity for families to bond and set an example of how easy and beneficial it is to breastfeed. Children were playing and mothers shared experiences with other mothers and family. Supporting the event this year was Telemundo news anchor Karla Mariscal, serving as an MC and participating as a mother.
At 10:30 am MT, the Big Latch On occurred, with moms jointly breastfeeding their babies for one full minute in a loving, supportive environment. This year, the Big Latch On had 86 mothers and 86 infants latching. Attendees reported they felt they were making a difference by participating in an event that transcends borders and countries. “Being part of a world event is so awesome,” mentioned a father, who attended in support of his wife for a second consecutive year.
Efforts have multiplied since 2012, with Anthony, NM and Ciudad Juarez, MX also hosting their own BLO events this year. Support from the media and promotion by individuals and organizations helped spread the word for the event and the importance the Big Latch On holds.
BLO by the numbers
- 2012 = 80 mothers participated locally (BBC event); 8,862 globally
- 2013 = 82 mothers participated locally (BBC event); 14,536 globally
- 2014 = 94 mothers participated locally (BBC event); 13,798 globally
- 2015 = 110 mothers participated locally (BBC event); 14,889 globally
- 2016 = 86 mothers participated locally (BBC event); 17,223 globally
Many promotional items and educational materials from partner agencies were included in the registration bags for breastfeeding moms. The majority of the items were contributed by the Texas Department of State Health Services/ Office of Border Health. Other partner agencies include Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe WIC, City of El Paso Dept. of Public Health WIC, El Paso First, Superior Health Care, Alliance for Border Collaboratives, West Texas Regional Poison Control Center, Ruben Torres Sr. and Nicke’s.
Following the BLO, donated gifts were raffled. Donors included: Lube & Tune (Jaime Parra), Lencho Guerra Photography, Star Medical, Dr. Michael Ponce, Amanda Monarez, Brenda Amador, La Fe WIC, Ameda, Ofelia O’Donnell, Undercover Mama, Bamboobies, Bailey, Bethany Mata, Avon, The Retreat, El Paso First, Alliance for Border Collaboratives, Sierra Providence East Breastfeeding Group, Nicke’s, and Matthew Manriquez.