WATERTOWN, NY — The North Country Family Health Center’s Jefferson and Lewis County Women, Infants, and Children’s (WIC) Program is hosting their Big Latch On events on Friday, August 3, 2018 in Lowville, and on Saturday, August 4, 2018 in Watertown, in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, 2018. The Big Latch On will be held for the first time in Lowville at the Forest Park Pavilion, 5485 Bostwick Street and for the third consecutive year at the JB Wise Pavilion, 175 Black River Parkway, Watertown. Both events will run from 9:30 a.m. through noon – specifically 10:30 a.m. for the one minute world-wide latch on event. The events are free and open to the public.
World Breastfeeding Week is held the first week of August each year and is celebrated around the world. The week is coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA); the WABA is a global network of individuals and organizations concerned with the protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding worldwide. This year is the 26th celebration for WABA. The Big Latch On is recognized in over 30 countries. Last year over 18,000 children were breastfed during the same one minute all around the world. “The goal of the event is to support, encourage, and promote breastfeeding,” states Angel Carter, WIC Director. “It is an opportunity for area breastfeeding moms to come together and celebrate the benefits, and beauty of, breastfeeding.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding through the first 12 months of a child’s life. There are numerous benefits of breastfeeding – both for baby, and for moms. “Breast milk helps keep your baby healthy. It supplies all the necessary nutrients in the proper proportions. It protects against diseases like diabetes and cancer. It is easily digested – no constipation, diarrhea, or upset stomach,” states Kit Veley, FNP, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
North Country Family Health Center’s WIC Program, not only provides vouchers for nutritious foods to women, infants, and children, but also provides breastfeeding support and education in our communities. WIC offers Certified Lactation Counselors and Peer Counselors to all WIC moms to help them reach their breastfeeding goals. In 2017, 74% of mothers enrolled in the WIC Program initiated breastfeeding their newborn at birth.
WIC staff have coordinated, and will be hosting, free face painting, arts and crafts for children, games, raffles, and a variety of other fun activities at the Big Latch On events. Light refreshments will also be served. The events will take place, rain or shine and is free to those interested in participating! For more information on WIC, breastfeeding support, or the Big Latch On events please call the Jefferson County WIC office at 315-782-9222, or the Lewis County WIC office at 315-376-6427, or visit the North Country Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Facebook page. WIC staff would like to thank both MVP Health Care (Watertown event) as well as Fidelis Care (Lowville event) for their sponsorship.
North Country Family Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides high-quality, affordable healthcare to approximately 10,000 North Country residents annually at its community-based locations in Watertown, Lowville, and LeRay and at its school-based locations. NCFHC also provides nutritious food vouchers and other support to approximately 5,000 pregnant women, infants, and children each month through its WIC Program; assists approximately 4,000 individuals with insurance enrollment annually; and provides special initiatives to help high-risk pregnant and parenting women and individuals who have insecure housing. For more information about North Country Family Health Center or its programs, visit www.NoCoFamilyHealth.org or call