About the Big Latch On
“2019 Big Latch On celebrations have been hugely successful,” says Isis McKay, Women’s Health Action’s General Manager. There were over 1,700 people taking part, at over 90 venues throughout Aotearoa this year. “It is so great seeing events pop up in cities and towns all over the country,” says Isis. Events were happening in Kaitaia way up in the Far North, to Invercargill at the bottom of the South Island, and in towns and cities big and small, including Fairlie in Canterbury which has a population of only 717 and there was even an event in the Chatham Islands!
There were also hundreds of beautiful photos flooding social media, celebrating a wide range of infant feeding journeys. “We love this aspect of the Big Latch On, the photos and stories we receive are so wonderfully diverse. It is uplifting to see parents supporting and encouraging each other in such positive ways,” says Isis.
Number of latches: 1,742
Number of venues: 94
Number of Brelfies: 116
Auckland – 315 (17 venues)
Bay of Plenty – 158 (7 venues)
Canterbury – 158 (10 venues)
Gisborne – 48 (1 venue)
Hawke’s Bay – 84 (3 venues)
Manawatu/Wanganui – 125 (10 venues)
Marlborough – 28 (1 venue)
Nelson/Tasman – 68 (3 venues)
Northland – 157 (6 venues)
Otago – 60 (3 venues)
Southland – 34 (5 venues)
Taranaki – 37 (2 venues)
Waikato – 218 (13 venues)
Wellington – 156 (6 venues)
West Coast – 93 (5 venues)
Other – The Chatham Islands – 3 (1 venue)
The Big Latch On is an event which involves women gathering together at registered venues to breastfeed and to offer peer support to the other breastfeeding women in their community. Family, whānau, friends and breastfeeding supporters from the community also attend the events to support and promote breastfeeding. Individuals and community groups volunteer to organise and host the Big Latch On venues across the country. The Big Latch On was started by Women’s Health Action in 2005. The event is now a worldwide peer support, community development event aiming to strengthen national and global support for breastfeeding, to improve the health of children around the world. The Big Latch On takes place annually over two days during World Breastfeeding Week (1st – 7th August). For those women who cannot make it to a the Big Latch On event in their local community, there is an option to participate online, through the ‘I Latched On’ breastfeeding selfie initiative. Click here to read more about the ‘Selfie Campaign’
The national coordination of the Big Latch On is funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Health. However, continued success and growth of the Big Latch On is reliant on the amazing support from the community. If you would like to find out more about how you can support the Big Latch On please click here.
Support the Big Latch On
The national coordination of the Big Latch On is funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Health. However continued success and growth of the Big Latch On is reliant on the amazing support from the community. There are many ways individuals, groups and business can support the Big Latch On:
Volunteer your skills and services
There are numerous ways in which volunteers currently contribute to the success of the Big Latch On for example:
➜ volunteer to assist Women’s Health Action with national coordination.
➜ volunteer your services such as massage, photography, bra fitting, baking or entertainment.
If you think this sounds like you please contact us on [email protected] or 09 520 5295 to discuss your ideas.
Donations of goods
Every year, businesses donate goods and services to go towards the Big Latch On prize pool. Businesses are offered various free promotion opportunities in exchange for their donations. If you would like to donate goods or services towards the Big Latch On prize pool please contact us on [email protected] or call 09 520 5295 so we can discuss an exclusive package tailored to your business’ individual requirements.
As the Big Latch On continues to thrive we require increased resources to continue to run a successful event. If you would like to make a financial contribution to support the Big Latch On we would love to hear from you! Please contact us on [email protected] or 09 520 5295.
Please note: As Women’s Health Action is a registered non-profit Charitable Trust your contribution is tax deductible. All contributions and funds raised will go directly to supporting the Big Latch On.
Thank you for your interest in supporting the Big Latch On!
The Global Big Latch On
The Big Latch On was introduced to Portland, Oregon, in 2010 by Joanne Edward’s Small Beginnings Group as a celebration for World Breastfeeding Week. In 2011, Joanne worked with Annie Brown and members of La Leche League USA to grow the Big Latch On across the USA.
In an effort to further strengthen the Big Latch On’s mission to protect, promote and support breastfeeding women and in recognition of increasing global participation in the Big Latch On, Women’s Health Action and the Big Latch On Global Coordinator Joanne Edwards of Small Beginnings Group, joined forces in 2012. You can find out more about the Global Big Latch On by visiting http://biglatchon.org/
If you can’t make it to a Big Latch On venue, why not take part in the#BigLatchOnNZ online by posting a feeding selfie?! (Starting on Friday 2nd of August through to Sunday 4th of August) We want to flood the internet with hundreds of pictures showing all the beautiful ways we nurture our babies/children! Post your pics to Facebook @BigLatchOnNZ or Instagram @thebiglatchonnz or on Twitter @LatchOnNZ with the hashtags #Brelfie #HowWeLatch #NoOneWay
The Big Latch On is part of World Breastfeeding Week and the focus is on breastfeeding and breastfeeding support, but we are flexible on the way in which this is done. The Big Latch On is designed to be as inclusive as possible. We welcome anyone who wants to attend as a supporter to come along.
If you are in doubt about whether you qualify to be included in the official count, speak to your local host and they can answer any questions or concerns.
Hosts of individual venues decide whether this is included in the official count. Whether it is officially counted as a latch or not, you are still welcome to attend the event to connect with other breastfeeding mothers in the community.
We are counting the number of latches, so if both babies breastfeed during the official count time period, this counts as two latches.
No, we welcome all breastfeeding children to take part.
A list of all currently registered venues is available on our ‘Find a Venue’ page. New venue registrations are accepted right up to the day before the event, so keep checking as one near you may be listed nearer the event.
New venue registrations are accepted right up to the day before the event, so even if there is not a venue near you, one may be listed nearer the time.
If there is not currently a venue in your area, you could host an event yourself. Hosting is easy, fun, and a great way to connect with other breastfeeding women in your community. Information on hosting can be found here.
If there is no venue near you, and you do not wish to host your own event, you can take part in the Big Latch On online, through the ‘I Latched On’ breastfeeding selfie campaign.
No, you do not need to register in advance to attend a Big Latch On event. You may like to get in touch with the host of the venue you are planning to attend, so that they know how many people to expect on the day. Contact information for hosts can be found with the venue information on the ‘Find a Venue’ page.
Make sure you arrive in plenty of time before the official latch period begins. It is usually a good idea to arrive by around 10am. There are registration forms that you will need to complete before the Latch On. This allows plenty of time to get settled in and comfortable. Your host will let you know what you need to do on the day. After the latch, there are some evaluation forms to complete. Your feedback is important so that we can continue to improve the Big Latch On each year.
The Big Latch On takes place over two days, so if you would like to, you are welcome to attend events on both days. You can only be included in the official count once per day.
Yes. Support of family, whānau and friends is important for breastfeeding, and we encourage you to bring as many supporters with you as you like.
The selfie initiative was created in 2014 to provide breastfeeding women and parents who could not attend a Big Latch On event in person the chance to participate online and encourage them to connect with other breastfeeding mums and parents via social media sites such as Facebook.
If you attend a Big Latch On event in person, you are welcome and encouraged to take part in the selfie campaign, and vice versa, but you will be included in the official count once.
If you are not sure how to upload your selfie, we are happy to help out. Just email [email protected]
Yes, if you want to take a selfie with other breastfeeding mums or parents, or any family members or supporters, you are more than welcome to, but you MUST have permission from these people before you share the photo.
If you post your photo on your own Facebook page, who sees it will depend on your own privacy settings. Alternatively, if you post your selfie directly on the Big Latch On Facebook page, it can be seen by the general public as this is a public page. Women’s Health Action cannot be responsible for the privacy of photos posted directly onto our page.
For your selfie to be included in the official count for the Big Latch On, it needs to be posted anytime on Friday the 2nd of August or Saturday the 3rd of August. You are welcome to share your selfie outside of this time period, but it will not be included in the official count.
Thank you for hosting a 2019 Big Latch On venue,
Please note: You will be asked to enter a password before submitting your venue registration, this will allow you to login and manage your own venue details. Participants click here to find your local registered venue.
Already have an account for BLO?Log In
Easy Steps to Hosting
Anyone can host a Big Latch On and venues can be anywhere in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Here is some basic information to help guide you:
- Decide on a venue. Past venues include: community centres, well child rooms, local maraes, cafes, church halls, libraries, council chambers, play centers and private homes. We have even had Big Latch On events on a plane and in movie theatres, so feel free to get creative! (if you are having trouble confirming a venue you can still register).
- Register your venue.
- Women’s Health Action will provide you with promotional materials and a detailed host hand book.
- Promote your Big Latch On event. When you register, your venue will be listed on the Women’s Health Action’s website and you will need to promote your event in your community (unless you want it to be a private venue for just you and your friends, which is totally fine).
- Enjoy hosting your Big Latch On event, with hundreds of other women across New Zealand.
- On the day, get your participants to fill out the supplied registration form, count the number of breastfeeding children at your venue and inform Women’s Health Action of that number. Women’s Health Action will announce a New Zealand total on the website.
- Please ensure your participants complete feedback forms supplied by Women’s Health Action. We use this information to improve the event each year.
- Complete your host evaluation form supplied by Women’s Health Action.
- Send us the completed forms. Women’s Health Action will be here to support you every step of the way!
For more information please read the Host FAQ’s
About the Big Latch On Hosting a Big Latch On Fundraisings, Donations and Sponsorship Photos and Paperwork After the Event
The Big Latch On is part of Global World Breastfeeding week (1-7 th August) activities and involves thousands of women from different cultures and backgrounds gathering together at registered venues throughout Aotearoa to access community and peer to peer support, breastfeed their children, and/or share their breastfeeding/expressing photos online to the Big Latch On Facebook page with the tag #BigLatchOnNZ. Ultimately the Big Latch On aims to reduce some of the most common barriers to breastfeeding continuation. The Big Latch On supports communities to identify and grow opportunities to provide ongoing breastfeeding support and promotion. It provides an opportunity for women to make new friends, network and feel more confident about breastfeeding (particularly in public). The Big Latch On has continued to grow, with 2018 being the biggest Big Latch On to date. A total of 2,091 children latched on, which includes those who attended a Big Latch On venue, and 215 who took part through social media in the form of a breastfeeding ‘selfie.’ There were 107 Big Latch On venues in 2018. Some of the venues had very high numbers of participants, such as 85 latches at an event hosted by the Northland DHB, and 95 hosted by Community Birth Services in Te Papaioea. There was at least one Big Latch On in every DHB region across Aotearoa.
- To be inclusive, welcoming and supporting to all whānau regardless of how their child is fed.
- To support communities to identify and grow opportunities to provide on-going breastfeeding support and promotion.
- Connect whānau with support and knowledge available in their communities.
- Help communities positively support breastfeeding in public places.
- Connect parents with other parents and act as a conduit for the establishment of peer support groups (particularly in rural areas)
The Big Latch On has continued to grow, with 2018 being the biggest Big Latch On to date. A total of 2,091 children latched on, which includes those who attended a Big Latch On venue, and 215 who took part through social media in the form of a breastfeeding ‘selfie.’ There were 107 Big Latch On venues in 2018. Some of the venues had very high numbers of participants, such as 85 latches at an event hosted by the Northland DHB, and 95 hosted by Community Birth Services in Te Papaioea. There was at least one Big Latch On in every DHB region across Aotearoa.
The 2019 Big Latch On will take place on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd of August. Annually the Big Latch On happens during or around World Breastfeeding Week (1st – 7th August). From 2014, the Big Latch On has been held over two days – a Friday and Saturday. Holding the event over two days gives even more women the opportunity to participate. Hosts can hold events on either (or both) of these days, and participants can go along to either (or both).
The Big Latch On takes place at 10.30am on Friday and Saturday. We suggest you advertise and
prepare for people to arrive by 10am (or earlier), this gives your participants time to register and
settle in. We are also happy to support latch on events at alternative times, just make sure you specify this in your registration details.
An important aim of the Big Latch On is to build local communities and support the normalisation of breastfeeding in public. We encourage all Big Latch On participants to try to make it a venue, and the Big Latch On now takes place over two days to give as many parents as possible the opportunity to participate. However, we appreciate that sometimes this is not possible, which is why we now have the option of participating online. People who cannot make it to an event can take a picture of themselves feeding (breast, bottle, expressing, SNS etc) and post/share it online with the hashtag #BrelfieNZ and /or #HowWeLatch and #BigLatchOnNZ. The online option is designed to coexist with physical participation, rather than replacing it, as a way of creating more ways for parents to feel supported and connected.
In recent years, Women’s Health Action have made the ‘rules’ around the Big Latch On more flexible. We want the event to be as fun and inclusive as possible, and we encourage hosts to be flexible and use their discretion when organising and hosting the events.
Below are a few key ‘must do’s’ for the Big Latch On
- Participant registration must be done on the day of the event. All participants must complete the registration form supplied by Women’s Health Action.
- Breastfeeding (or bottle-feeding) children should be counted. We want to be supportive of responsive feeding and understand that babies/children need to be fed when they are hungry and that some children may be distractible at the event. As a host, you should aim to include anyone who attended your venue with the intention of participating, regardless of whether they actually ‘latch on’ at a specific time.
- Hosts should ensure there are enough people to count the number of participating babies/children.
- All venues must report their latched-on numbers by 11am (unless you have arranged an alternative time with Women’s Health Action) You will need to text the number of participants to Women’s Health Action, along with your venue number. Women’s Health Action will send out an email with information on sending in your numbers before the Big Latch On. PLEASE NOTE: If you misplace your venue code please contact Women’s Health Action on 09 520 5295
- Hosts must complete evaluation forms and encourage participants to complete supplied evaluations forms before leaving the venue (or complete evaluations online).
Any individual, organisation, community group or company interested in supporting parents.
Any entity that is in violation of the World Health Organization International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes. You can access the Code here.
A café, marae, playgroup, church, local meeting room, hospital, health centre, workplace – there was a Big Latch On held on a plane! You can hold the event wherever you want to meet, as long as it is in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Yes. When you register the final question asks, “Do you give permission for us to advertise your venue on our website?” If you would like your event to be private and therefore not listed on the website, check “No”.
Once you have registered, Women’s Health Action will provide you with promotional materials such as posters and postcards. It is a good idea to put up the posters and postcards in areas where pregnant people and mums will see them (i.e. Plunket rooms, cafes, malls, church notice boards etc).
The 2018 evaluation of the Big Latch On showed that most participants found out about the Big Latch On via Facebook. We suggest using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word (make sure you join the official Big Latch On Aotearoa Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/BigLatchOnNZ)
Other ideas include:
• Approach local businesses and see if they would be happy to promote your event on their social media pages, websites and/or publications. You may offer promotion of their goods and services in return, however you will need to make sure they meet the sponsorship guidelines – see the Fundraising, Donations And Sponsorship section below for more information.
• Approach local midwives and ask if they would be willing to put up your posters and give out your postcards.
• Approach your local maternity hospitals and birthing centres and ask if they would be willing to put up your posters and give out your postcards.
Print, radio and television media:
Women’s Health Action engage with print, radio and television media to promote the Big Latch On at a national level. As a registered host we will provide you a template to produce your own local media releases and Women’s Health Action are available to provide you with further guidance about working with the media. We are here to help so please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like any assistance, even if you just want to bounce some ideas off someone. Email [email protected] or call us on 09 520 5295.
Yes, you can set up your own Facebook page or group or website for your venue. You can also ask us to help you out with promoting your event on our Facebook page.
Before you cancel your venue, consider whether someone else can take over the hosting responsibilities for this venue. Women’s Health Action can assist you with finding a new host and help to address any other difficulties you may be facing. If you still need to cancel your event, you can do so at any time. Firstly, you need to delete your venue online by logging into the website using the email and password you entered when you registered. You will also need to contact us at Women’s Health Action via phone (09) 520 5295 or email ([email protected]) to let us know you have cancelled your event. Please be aware that you are responsible for making sure your community is informed of the cancellation. This means you need to spread the word about the cancellation in all the places you originally advertised, and you will need to make arrangements for the women who have not heard about the cancellation and still turn up to your location.
If your location is public and listed on the website, then anyone can attend. If your location is private and therefore not listed on the website only people who you invite will be able to attend.
If your event is public you probably won’t know, it’s part of the fun of the Big Latch On. You may ask participants to register or to contact you if they plan to attend your location however they do not have to. People may also plan to attend but on the day not be able to attend for various reasons.
Use the experience as learning and build on it for next year! Please contact Women’s Health Action and we can work with you for the following year. Please make sure you still contact us by texting us your venue number and the number of latches (‘0’ in this case) to the number that is emailed to you.
They can still take part and be counted. BUT please ensure that all women have filled in the official registration after the latch on. In fact, we suggest all registrations stop at 10:20am so that participants can be settled and ready for the 10:30am latch on. (Or whatever time you have specified)
We suggest you settle everyone down at 10.20am. Follow this with a ten second count down just before 10.30am, this way as many parents as possible will be able to get their children latched on at the same time.
Don’t worry if you are running a bit late, or some children don’t latch on exactly at 10.30.
Anyone who is feeding (or intending to feed) around this time can be counted. We support our
hosts to use their discretion to make the Big Latch On a fun and inclusive event.
A ‘counter’ is someone you (as the host) have identified before the event to count the number of children ‘latched on’ at your venue. It is best to choose someone who is not also participating. We suggest having at least one ‘counter’ for groups of less than 10, and at least two for groups greater than 10.
As the count is for the number of participants (children), it is fine for parents to be counted separately on each day.
This is fine, but they must make sure it is only themselves and their baby in the photo. They cannot upload pictures of other people without their permission.
The first week of August has been designated International World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) and ‘Big Latch On’ is held during these days as a celebration of World Breastfeeding Week. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration made by WHO and UNICEF policy August 1990 to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. You can read more about WBW at http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/
As we are counting the number of children, feeding twins or triplets (or more!) counts as two or three latches, even if they are not all feeding at the same time. We figure that’s fair enough!
All venues must report their latched-on numbers by 11am. You will need to text the number of latches to Women’s Health Action, along with your venue number. Women’s Health Action will send out an email with information on sending in your numbers before the Big Latch On.
PLEASE NOTE: If you misplace your venue code please contact Women’s Health Action on 09 520 5295
No, but you can seek donations from local businesses and benefactors to cover your costs.
You can use sponsorship to help cover costs like printing, advertising and supplying food and
drinks. Some venues have local businesses provide goodie bags or turn their event into a
pamper day with services such as bra fittings and massage!! Your local businesses might also
supply you with spot prizes for participants, or with drinks and snacks for your Big Latch On.
You no longer need to supply official evidence, but we would still love to receive photos from your venue.
The participation registration form includes a section for participants to give permission for their photos to be taken and for these photos to be used by Women’s Health Action. As hosts you are responsible for ensuring you have the participants’ permission for all the photos and any film footage taken at your Big Latch On. Photographers and videographers should be made aware of any participants who do not wish to be photographed. By sending in photos or film to Women’s Health Action, you are agreeing that you have permissions from all those in the images.
No, you must use the paperwork provided by Women’s Health Action. If you have not received these forms, you will be able to download them from the “Host Resources” section or contact us at [email protected] . We use this information in formal evaluations to constantly improve The Big Latch On.
Yes, all hosts must ensure the registration forms, host and participant evaluation forms are completed. Your feedback is really important to us and it is the only way we can evaluate the work we are doing. The time you take to complete the evaluation forms and to encourage those who attended your Big Latch On to complete the participant evaluation is greatly appreciated.
• Complete the online or hard copy Big Latch On Host survey
• Email or post completed registration and participant evaluation forms to [email protected] or post hard copies to Women’s Health Action, 13 Coyle Street, Sandringham, Auckland 1025.
Thank you for registering a venue for the Big Latch On 2019! Here you will find all the resources you need for hosting your Big Latch On event available to download. If you require hard copies, please don’t hesitate to let us know. You can call us on 09 520 5295 or email [email protected]
If you have any questions that are not answered in the Handbook, please contact us – we’ll be happy to help you.
Paperwork to complete
- Registration Form 2019 – you must get EVERYONE at your event to complete the Registration Form
- Host Feedback Form 2019 – can be printed, or completed on Survey Monkey (see below)
- Participant Feedback Form 2019 – can be printed, or completed on Survey Monkey (see below)
Our Feedback Forms can be completed online via Survey Monkey:
- Host Feedback Form 2019 – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KFXSYXB
- Participant Feedback Form 2019 – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KNHYM69
Hard copies of the paperwork can be posted to us at:
Women’s Health Action Trust, 13 Coyle Street, Sandringham 1025 – please make sure you include your venue number or name.
Or you can scan and email them to: [email protected]
We send hard copy posters and postcards to all registered hosts unless they request otherwise.
Here you can download Jpeg files which are suitable for using on Facebook, Instagram, websites, etc:
- Big Latch On 2019 Poster – Te Reo and English
- Big Latch On 2019 Poster – Samoan and Tongan
- Big Latch On 2019 Poster – Mandarin and Korean
- Big Latch On 2019 Poster – Hindi
- Big Latch On 2019 Postcard front
- Big Latch On 2019 Postcard back
- Big Latch On Logo
- Big Latch On Logo with text – “Celebrating breastfeeding across Aotearoa”
- Big Latch On Logo with text – “From small things big things grow”
Here you can download higher resolution PDFs which are suitable for printing:
- Big Latch On 2019 Poster – Te Reo and English
- Big Latch On 2019 Poster – Samoan and Tongan
- Big Latch On 2019 Poster – Mandarin and Korean
- Big Latch On 2019 Poster – Hindi