Lee Memorial to host Global Big Latch On events
Local mothers are invited to help raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding on Friday.
Lee Memorial Health System will once again take part in the Global Big Latch On, an annual two-day event held in various locations around the world. The event is organized each year during World Breastfeeding Week to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for global support.
Locally, the Global Big Latch On event will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the Cape Coral Hospital, with additional events set for the HealthPark Medical Center in South Fort Myers and Healthy Life Center at Coconut Point in Estero.
In the Cape, the participating mothers can meet in the new cafe, located off the main lobby.
“We’d like them to get there at 10 a.m.,” Nancy Travis, director of Women’s and Children’s Services at the Cape Coral Hospital, said. “That way we can get them registered and they can get settled in.”
Last year, approximately a dozen mothers took part in the event.
“Moms show up with their babies, their toddlers,” she said.
Every year, members of the hospital’s breastfeeding support group are invited.
“It’s a great event,” Travis said.
“We’re in the process of becoming a baby-friendly hospital,” she added.
The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a child’s life, then continued breastfeeding and appropriate complementary foods up to 2 years of age, or beyond, as mutually desired by the mother and child.
Some of the benefits of breastfeeding include:
n Breast milk provides all of the nutrients a baby needs for the first six months of life.
n Breastfed babies have fewer allergies, stomach problems and respiratory and ear infections.
n Breast milk is free and convenient. Mothers always have a supply and it is the perfect temperature.
n Breastfeeding is good for the environment – there is no trash to discard.
n Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of breast cancer.
“It is just mainly the health benefits for mom and baby is really what we’re after,” Travis said.
She pointed out that mothers are allowed to breastfeed in Florida legally.
“It’s a good way to show support and get the word out there that this is a normal event,” she said.
Organizers will have a baby scale on hand to weigh the little ones.
For information, contact the Cape Coral Hospital at 239-242-2217 or visit: biglatchon.org/.
The Cape Coral Hospital is at 636 Del Prado Blvd.