Nursing mothers attempt to break world record while raising awareness

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More than 50 moms from across Oahu are participating in The Big Latch On.

“And it’s an excellent community-building event that brings nursing mothers together,” host Shannon Weissman said.

A global initiative in 21 countries with hundreds of locations across the world is aimed at taking something these moms say is natural and making it less uncomfortable for others.

“Simultaneously around the globe at 10:30 a.m. today and tomorrow, there’s sites everywhere where women are latching on at the same time so we can set a record for the most women around the world simultaneously breast-feeding,” Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaii Executive Director Lisa Kimura said.

It’s also an effort to raise awareness about breast-feeding.

“It’s the most nutritious thing for the baby and myself and it’s an amazing bond-building activity,” Weissman said.

The first week of August has been deemed World Breast Feeding Week and is supported by the World Health Organization and UNICEF amongst other organizations.

“Breast-feeding exclusively to six months of age is recommended by all… the World Health Organization and the Academy of Pediatrics. So we recommend nothing but breast milk for six months and then continuing at least for a year, if not longer after that,” Kimura said.

The event also gives mothers a chance to identify with other nursing moms and find comfort in camaraderie.

“It feels amazing to know that we are not alone and we are here to support each other and there’s people everywhere you can depend on,” Weissman said.

Hosts across the globe also provide resources and support services.

“It is the most important thing to have a support network when you have women around you and families around you who understand support and care about breast-feeding,” Kimura said.

“It’s a great opportunity for the kids to get together and play and see other kids,” Weissman said.

Last year, more than 8,000 women took part in The Big Latch On. The world record set in 2010 exceeded 9,000 simultaneous nursing mothers.

Another attempt will be made on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

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