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The Big Latch On involves thousands of women from different cultures and backgrounds gathering together to breastfeed their babies at the same time. Women take part at registered venues throughout Aotearoa New Zealand as well as taking part online through the ‘I latched on’ selfie campaign. Ultimately, the aim of the Big Latch On is to positively support breastfeeding in public places and to help mums link into existing community support services or to build new support groups where there are none.The Big Latch On, supports communities to identify and grow opportunities to provide ongoing breastfeeding support and promotion, and 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 2017 as the biggest Big Latch On to date with 105 venues and 1954 ‘latches’ made up of 1804 women at venues and 150 selfies.
In 2017 Big Latch On will place on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th of August.Annually the Big Latch On happens during or around World Breastfeeding Week (1st – 7th August). From 2014, 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 usually 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.
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 women 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 through the ‘I latched on’ breastfeeding selfie. Mums and children who cannot make it to an event can take a picture of themselves breastfeeding, and upload it online with the hashtag #BigLatchOnNZ. The online option is designed to coexist with the physical participation, rather than replacing it, as a way of creating more ways for women to feel supported and connected while breastfeeding.
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:
Any individual, organisation, community group or company interested in promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding may register to host a Big Latch On event.
Any entity that is in violation of the World Health Organization International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes. http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/infantfeeding/9241541601/en/index.html
A café, marae, playgroup, church, local meeting room, hospital, health center, workplace – there was a Big Latch On held on a plane! 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?” 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 and breastfeeding mums will see them (i.e Plunket rooms, cafes, malls, church notice boards etc).
The 2017 evaluation of the Big Latch On showed that over 69% of 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)
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@example.com 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 listing, 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let us know you have canceled 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, and they 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.
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 breastfeeding women 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 breastfeeding around this time can be counted (i.e. within a 10 minute time period can be counted). We support our hosts to use their discretion to make the Big Latch On a fun and inclusive event.
No, all breastfeeding children can take part.
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 latches, it is fine for breastfeeding children 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, and they can only be included in the official count once for that day.
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, breastfeeding twins or triplets (or more!) counts 2/ 3 even if they are not all breastfeeding 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, as long as your sponsors do not violate the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes. Organisers are responsible for making sure the event sponsors are code compliant. http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/infantfeeding/9241541601/en/index.html. If you are confused or unsure if a sponsor is ‘Code’ compliant please do not hesitate to contact Women’s Health Action on 09 520 5295 or email@example.com.
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 can only accept support for your Big Latch On from businesses that are compliant with the WHO international code for marketing Breast-Milk substitutes.This means that you cannot accept – donations including funds or gifts from manufacturers or distributors of breast-milk substitutes, related equipment such as feeding bottles and teats, or commercial foods marketed for children under six months. http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/infantfeeding/9241541601/en/index.html
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.