Tomorrow (Saturday, August 6) at 10:30 am local time, breastfeeding women around the United States and elsewhere will attempt to coordinate the largest simultaneous nurse-in in history.
According to their site:
“Groups of nursing mothers coming together at registered venues around the country (or the world) to all nurse their babes at a set time. All the mamas and babes latched on for one minute at the set time are counted by the witnesses. The numbers are added up and we see how close we come to the world record.”
The movement started in New Zealand in 2005 to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, and continues in the United States, Italy, the UK and Australia. In New York City, a lingerie shop is hosting what it hopes will be the world-record nurse-in (previously granted to the Philippines).
Not everyone is impressed by efforts to publicize breastfeeding, however. Although protected by law in many places, nursing mothers continue to endure disapproval, leering, and even requests to “do that somewhere else”.
Even among women in the media the scorn can surface. I was disappointed by the coverage of this event by Animal NY’s Marina Galperina, a blogger I usually quite like, who wrote sarcastically:
Get ready for thousands of bare-lactating-boobed women, Inwood! In celebration of females’ mystic ability to ooze food product from our nipples, Brazen Lingerie shop is going to host NYC’s attempt to try and beat the 2010′s world record of 9,826 simultaneous breastfeedings this Saturday at 10:30 am.
Participants of the “Big Latch On” just want to feed some babies, fight against the “taboo” of nursing in public and, more importantly…
Beat the previous record holder, the Philippines! USA! USA! Suck suck suck! Suck suck suck! Synchronously.
This is an issue that still has some distance to go. According to The Women’s Rights Cause at Care2, there is a need for more young people, especially teenage women, to see breastfeeding as normal rather than “gross”:
“A large percentage of first time mothers have never seen anyone breastfeed prior to the first time they hold their newborn baby to their own breast.
Breastfeeding is normal and natural, but it isn’t always easy. A lot of mothers find it awkward, difficult, and may even see it as disgusting or off-putting. In large part, this stems from the fact that they haven’t seen women nursing their babies as part of every day life, in the same way that they see women walking their babies in strollers, giving them pacifiers or bottles, or playing peek-a-boo. Men are often concerned about their wives breastfeeding in public because they don’t want them exposing their breasts. Unfortunately, these attitudes come about because breastfeeding is so often hidden away and done only in the privacy of the family home or at best under a nursing cover in a public space. In order for breastfeeding to seem normal and natural, it needs to be visible. It needs to be something that everyone has seen and everyone is familiar with. It shouldn’t be something that people see as awkward or disgusting.”
For more information about the event, visit the link below.
The Big Latch On