Latch & Link Long Beach: A Community Fair Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week

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On Saturday, August 3rd, 2013, from 10am-1pm, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach (UUCLB), families from all over Long Beach and surrounding areas will gather with local maternal and child health organizations and professionals at the first-ever Latch & Link Long Beach: A Community Fair celebrating World Breastfeeding Week. The event is sponsored by BreastfeedLA, and hosted by co-sponsor, UUCLB’s Social Action Committee. The event will be held at UUCLB’s park-like campus located at 5450 E. Atherton St., Long Beach, CA 90815.

World Breastfeeding Week is a global event celebrated August 1-7 annually since 1992. This year’s worldwide theme is “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers” and highlights the various circles of support a breastfeeding mother needs – from health and lactation professionals, to community leaders, to family and friends. To learn more, go to www.worldbreastfeedingweek.org

“For the past two years, we’ve hosted World Breastfeeding Week open mics at a local coffee shop,” said Celine Malanum, Latch & Link organizer. “They were incredibly inspiring, but we felt like it needed to grow. Our goals for Latch & Link are simple: get tons of local breastfeeding resources in one place, and connect with other breastfeeding moms and families.” Christine Gibson from BreastfeedLA says. “We are looking forward to this event. We know that deciding to breastfeed is a personal choice, but to be successful at breastfeeding, takes a village. This event, and our organization, is all about building that village.  Moms can reach their breastfeeding goals when they are connected and surrounded by support.” Particularly exciting to Malanum are the event’s partner organizations. “We are honored to have such wonderful and diverse partner organizations gathered together. If a breastfeeding mother and baby are the heart of a breastfeeding community, then these groups and people are the backbone.”

Event highlights include:

  • Big Latch On annual global event counting babies latched on to mothers at the same time www.biglatchon.org/
  • Breastfeeding Resource Fair with 20+ exhibitors ranging from hospitals, social service agencies and programs, prenatal/birth/post-partum professionals, birthing centers, independent retailers, mothers’ support groups
  • “Ask an LC” Booth with rotating Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants offering free, quick answers to breastfeeding questions
  • Conversation Groups for mothers facilitated by lactation professionals; separate group for dads and partners of breastfeeding women
  • Open Mic for anyone to share their breastfeeding story in a supportive space
  • Free Raffle with gift baskets and certificates provided by partner organizations, as well as local businesses and individuals
  • Crafts, yoga mini-class, and playground area for kids
  • DIY screen-printing craft for moms

Guest speaker is Heather Cushman-Dowdee, breastfeeding advocate and creator of “Hathor the Cowgoddess” and “Mama Is…” comics and writer/editor of six books including an anthology of women’s birth stories titled, Simply Give Birth. Parenting podcast, “Did You Call?” created by Long Beach mother and daughter team, Frances Kinney and Jennifer Dohn, will document the event with a live interactive recording featuring interviews with exhibitors and attendees. The first 100 attendees will be guaranteed an informational packet along with other incentives including a raffle ticket for various prizes.

Current partner organizations exhibiting in the Resource Fair include:

Long Beach Memorial Medical Center
Saint Mary Medical Center
City of Long Beach – WIC
The Pump Station
Awakening Yogi
Baby Awareness Studio
Beach Cities Midwifery
Berlin Wellness Group
Breastfeeding Support, Inc.
BreastfeedLA
Canopy
Doulas of the South Bay
Granola Babies
Indigemama: Ancestral Healing
Limerick Lactation Program & PJ’s Comfort Breast Pump
Little L.A. Photography
Soul Food For Your Baby
Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach – Social Action Committee
Yoga Mama Cass
Zen Baby Shop

Breastfeeding is a low-cost, low-tech preventive intervention with far-reaching benefits for both mothers and babies. Exclusive breastfeeding in the early months of a child’s life can significantly decrease the child’s risk of many serious conditions including SIDS, asthma, diabetes, and childhood obesity. For mothers, breastfeeding decreases the risks of breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease.  Breastfeeding success is linked with the support circles of every mother and baby. Latch & Link Long Beach aims to provide a place for mothers to gather local resources, and connect with one another to create and maintain those circles of support.

For more information, contact event organizer, Celine Malanum, at  latchandlink@gmail.com or (917) 345-5297. Visit the event website at www.facebook.com/LBlatchandlink. Contact Christine Gibson, representative for event sponsor BreastfeedLA at  cgibson@breastfeedLA.org.

Breastfeed LA is dedicated to improving the health and well being of infants and families through education, outreach, and advocacy to promote and support breastfeeding. Learn more at www.breastfeedLA.org. Stay connected. Get “latched on and linked in” by signing up for our weekly e-newsletter, the Greater LA Breastfeeding Bee, and also, follow us on Facebook.

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