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Mothers attempt to raise awareness, set breastfeeding record
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - An international event with a local hook Saturday.
The Big Latch On in Kalamazoo's Bronson Park aimed to support new moms and bring awareness to the importance of breastfeeding.
The Big Latch On only lasted 60 seconds, but these women hope the message they sent to the public will last much longer. Breastfeeding is totally normal and that we need the support from everybody around us to successfully breastfeed, Latch On organizer Mackenzie Morgan says.
About 40 moms gathered at Bronson Park with their children to try and break the previous world record of 8,862 women simultaneously nursing.
Stefanie Russell was one of them. She came with her four kids, the youngest, little Emberly. She's seven weeks old, Russell says.
The event also brought awareness to the health benefits of breastfeeding for both the mother and the baby. For baby, you decrease the risk of SIDS, allergies. For moms it decreases your risk of certain kinds of cancers, Morgan says.
Russell says its important to show that breastfeeding is normal. Recently, she was made uncomfortable for feeding her baby in public. Actually it was at the museum downtown here, and he gave me a dirty look, and my baby had to eat, Russell says. I wasn't going to hide.
But in order to change that stigma, Morgan says more mothers need to breastfeed in America. She says right now, according to statistics, half of mothers do.
The most recent count posted on Facebook as of midnight Sunday showed more than 14,000 people around the globe took part in the Big Latch On Saturday.
That blows the events previous record out of the water. Organizers say they are still counting.