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Global Big Latch On activities this week

By Staff | Aug 1, 2017

Local mothers are invited to help raise awareness of the health benefits of breastfeeding.

Lee Health 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 as a way to raise public awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for global support.

The Wellness Center of Cape Coral will host a Global Big Latch On event Friday at 10 a.m., with Lee Health planning a second on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Health Life Center at Coconut Point.

The goal is to support breastfeeding as the natural and healthiest option and to raise awareness of the benefits for mother and baby, explained Nancy Travis, director of Women’s and Children’s Services.

“We are also in the process of going through baby-friendly hospital designations at all three of our campuses,” she said. “As part of the designation, we’re very breastfeeding friendly.”

Last year, approximately 50 mothers took part in the event.

“The one at the Cape is usually the biggest of all of the events,” Travis said.

Since there is no requirement to register, organizers do not know what kid of turnout to expect this year.

“We’d love to have that many,” she said of the 2015 figure.

Travis noted that this year’s event has been moved to a larger space with more room.

The Cape facility hosts breastfeeding support groups each week.

“Most of them will be coming,” she said of the members.

At the event, mothers will be asked to sign in.

“Then we count how many babies latch,” Travis said.

The number of babies being bottle-fed breast milk and the mothers pumping are also counted.

“Bring something comfortable to sit on the floor,” she said.

A couple of local vendors and activities will be set up for the participants.

Dr. Terry Corke, a laser dentist, will offer free lip and tongue tie checks for the babies.

“Those can interfere with breast feeding,” Travis said.

Mama’s Chiropractic Clinic will be on hand, and Jolly Mama will conduct prenatal and postpartum yoga instruction. Imagine Wellness Spa will be present to offer some skin deals to the mothers.

“They’re going to be doing some chair massages,” she added.

The facility will have its popular baby scale ready, and there will be raffles and giveaways.

“We’ll have some fun stuff there going on,” Travis said. “It’s going to be a fun day.”

Older children are welcome to attend.

“It’s going to be a kid-friendly event,” she said.

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:

* Breast milk provides all of the nutrients a baby needs for the first six months of life.

* Breastfed babies have fewer allergies, stomach problems, and respiratory and ear infections.

* Breast milk is free and convenient. Mothers always have a supply and it is the perfect temperature.

* Breastfeeding is good for the environment – there is no trash to discard.

* Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of breast cancer.

For information about the Global Big Latch On event in the Cape, call 239-242-2217 or visit on Facebook at the “Family Birth Place – Special Care Nursery Cape Coral Hospital.”

The support groups meet on Mondays at 10 a.m. or Fridays at 2 p.m. for Spanish-speaking residents.

The Wellness Center of Cape Coral is at 609 S.E. 13th Court.