Breastfeeding. It seems so simple.
But for many women and families, it’s not.
And a large part of that “not” is lack of support within our communities for mothers who are attempting to provide their children with nature’s first and best food: breast milk.
So last week a number of Richmond mothers, families members, and breastfeeding advocates celebrated World Breastfeeding Week by
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participating in the Big Latch On RVA. This event, which is affiliated with the international Big Latch On, brought together breastfeeding mothers, babies, and children from across the globe for a one-minute “latch on” to highlight the need for community support for breastfeeding.
Worldwide, 14, 536 babies latched on for this event. Richmond’s
event at the State Capitol added 84 breastfeeding moms to that total, and over 225 family members, advocates, and volunteers attended to lend their support.
Big Latch On RVA was sponsored by the Richmond Health Action Alliance, a newly forming Healthy Communities Action Team funded by the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth through a grant administered by the Richmond Healthy Start Initiative. The Richmond Health Action Alliance seeks to reduce childhood obesity in the City of Richmond through policy, infrastructure, and environmental changes that promote a breastfeeding friendly and physically active community.
Because breastfeeding is such an important public health issue, all three hospital systems – HCA Virginia, Bon Secours Richmond, and VCU Medical Center joined together to provide logistical and staff support for the Big Latch On RVA.
Nurture contributed to this community engagement effort by providing social media support.
Here are some of our favorite images from this year’s Big Latch On RVA. We hope that as more people gain awareness of the importance of breastfeeding, images such as these will become the new normal.