West Michigan mothers attempt to break breastfeeding record

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - West Michigan moms were part of a worldwide event Saturday morning -- called the Big Latch On.

They were attempting to break a world record during World Breastfeeding Week.

Newschannel 3's Alex Jokich was there and has more on this grassroots effort.

Moms from all over West Michigan came together in Kalamazoo to breastfeed their children together for one minute, from 10:30 a.m. to 10:31 a.m.

"It's the healthiest thing you can choose to do and it's just so important for their little bodies," mother Michelle Schwartz says.

The goal of the Big Latch On is to make breastfeeding an accepted part of everyday life, to drop any awkward social stigmas about breastfeeding in public and to provide support for the moms who do.

"It brings us all together and it helps our community to realize that this is normal, this is what we're made to do," mother Krystin Johnson says.

Johnson drove in from Allegan with her twins, Kiley-Ann and Keenan, who she often breastfeeds in tandem. "When I'm nursing them together, we all get the one-on-one attention with each other, plus they're bonding between each other, it's just amazing," she says.

Last year, more than 14,000 moms in 28 countries participated in the Big Latch On. The 108 moms who showed up to Bronson Park will be added to this year's global tally. The families who talked to Newschannel 3 say, while a world record would be exciting, their goal is to shift the public perception in their own communities.

Mother Vanessa Hunt says, "We just passed a law in Michigan about being able to breastfeed in public and I think that's very important because it's just a very natural thing between a mother and her baby and so going to events like this helps raise awareness."

The event in Kalamazoo was hosted by the Southwest Michigan Breastfeeding Coalition. They have resources for local moms, from support groups to home visits. For more information, click here.