Mums and babies from all over Nelson filled the Victory Community Centre on Friday morning with chatter – but when 10.30am hit, all was quiet for the Big Latch On.
Eleven mothers breast-fed their children simultaneously with others around the country to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. The annual event aims to normalise breast-feeding as part of everyday life and to raise awareness about the significance of breast milk in an infant’s early years.
Nelson mum Lorna Johnston was there with her second child, Lily, who is nine-months-old.
Lorna has recently gone back to work as a nurse at Nelson Hospital and says she was determined to keep breast-feeding her daughter – so she expresses milk during her lunch-breaks.
Although she says it can be tough, it’s worth it.
“I breast-fed my first child for seven months, so I was determined to give it a whole year with Lily.”
She says events such as the Big Latch On encourage mums to come out and talk to each other.
“I think it’s something that people need to be more educated on and need support with. Yes, it can be a struggle, but we’re all here to help.”
Organiser Debra Hardcastle, from Nelson Bays Primary Health, says it was a “friendly and intimate” event with babies from as young as six weeks to two-and-a-half year olds.
“It was lovely to celebrate a moment in time where mums and babies could connect.”