Big Latch-On Draws Attention To Breastfeeding Benefits

By Gloria Casas
The Courier-News, Elgin, Ill.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) “The Big Latch-On event” is a part of Breastfeeding Week, an effort to educate mothers about making informed decisions regarding breastfeeding. At exactly 10:30 a.m., each baby latched on to their mom’s breast in an event that was coordinated in every time zone around the world.

The Courier-News, Elgin, Ill.

Nine-month-old Maverick Collins’ T-shirt message, “I’m a boob man,” said it all.

The little guy lived up to the words Saturday morning as he nursed at his mom’s breast as part of the Big Latch-On, an event aimed at encouraging mothers to breastfeed their babies in the first six to 12 months of their life.

“It’s a normal, healthy thing to do,” said Maverick’s mom, Joelle Hinkelgey, whose own T-shirt said, “Milk Maker.”

Maverick laid in his mom’s arms as she and a dozen other mothers and babies sat around a colorful parachute at a gathering held at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin. Musician Kate Taylor played a soothing lullaby and Gail Borden librarian Madeleine Villalobos read a book to calm the crowd.

At exactly 10:30 a.m., each baby latched on to their mom’s breast in an event that was coordinated in every time zone around the world, organizers said. The thought of so many moms breastfeeding at the same time was thrilling, Hinkelgey said.

“It is amazing and totally cool,” said the Arlington Heights mom of two said.

Four-month-old Mason Mertogul latched on right away, hungry but calm while nursing. Jessica Mertogul, his mom, said she found the Big Latch-On empowering.

Mason was born weighing just six pounds. In four months, he’s almost doubled his weight and is a happy baby with chubby legs and feet, said Mertogul, a first-time mom. She knew only a little about breastfeeding — no one in her family had nursed their babies — so she sought out information through Sherman Hospital’s Empowered Pregnancy program.

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