Breastfeeding moms from around South Jersey are invited to do their feedings together this Saturday morning, to try to break the record for simultaneous breastfeeding.

It's called "The Big Latch On", a synchronized breastfeeding event being held at locations around the world. One of the South Jersey Big Latch On location is Shore Medical Center in Somers Point.

The idea is to bring the benefits of breastfeeding, shall we say... out in the open.  Here's the press release for this weekend's big breast release, err, I mean, Big Latch On.

MEDIA RELEASE – 08/01/2013

Big Latch On

On the 1 – 7th of August every year, to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for global support, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action organises World Breastfeeding Week. World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, is celebrated in 120 countries and marks the signing of the WHO/UNICEF document Innocenti Declaration, which lists the benefits of breastfeeding, plus global and governmental goals.

To mark this occasion on Saturday 3rd August 2013 at 10:30am thousands of breastfeeding women and their babies/children across the world will gather in their own communities to take part in the Big Latch On, a synchronized breastfeeding event in multiple locations. One local Big Latch On event will take place in the Surgical Pavilion Lobby at Shore Medical Center.  Registration is at 9:45am and the event begins at 10:15am.

The first Big Latch On took place in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2005 and was introduced to Portland, Oregon in 2010 by Joanne Edwards. It has now taken off globally and in 2012, 8862 children were counted breastfeeding as part of the Global Big Latch On. This year we are aiming to once again break this record!

The Big Latch On is informed by the principles of community development, providing the opportunity for breastfeeding women to get together in their local communities, host their own events, and identify opportunities for on-going support.

Breastfeeding contributes to the normal growth and development of babies/children, and babies/children who are not breastfed are at increased risk of infant morbidity and mortality, adult obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer (both mom and baby.) The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a baby's life to optimize these benefits, continuing to breastfeed for 2 years and as long thereafter as is mutually desired by a woman and her child.