HUNDREDS of mums gathered on Wearside to show that breast is best for their little ones.
Mums from Sunderland Bosom Buddies joined with women who breast-feed their children from the across the North East at Herrington Country Park’s amphitheatre, for the World’s Big Latch On.
The international raising public awareness event saw the women begin breastfeeding at exactly 10.30am in their respective times zones around the globe.
More than 100 women from Sunderland, Durham, Gateshead and Newcastle had accepted the invitation though the Bosom Buddies Facebook page, to take part in the biggest event in the region.
Deputy Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Barry Curran, said: “Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world and proven not only to reduce the risk of illnesses, including many cancers, but also to increase the bonding process.
“We’re working hard with our health partners and through the children’s centres to encourage and support more mothers to begin breastfeeding, and I hope Friday’s event will persuade even more to try.”
The international Big Latch On campaign was launched in 2005 by Women’s Health Action in New Zealand, to promote the health, nutritional and psychological benefits of breastfeeding and increase global support for breastfeeding in public.
Last year, a total of 14,536 breastfeeding mums and their babies “latched on” at the same time across across the globe to break the world record for mass participation breastfeeding.
International organisers hope that even more have taken part this year to help encourage more governments to introduce laws protecting breastfeeding mothers, which already exist in the UK and Europe, but not in other parts of the developed world such as the USA.
Director of public health for Sunderland, Nonnie Crawford, said: “Many people in our region did not grow up with breastfeeding as a normal, natural part of life.
“It’s events like the Big Latch On that can show people what breastfeeding actually looks like, and help dispel the perception that breastfeeding in public is somehow obscene or offensive.
“Breastfeeding is a normal part of life and mothers should feel supported by their families, friends and communities to enable them to feel confident when feeding in public.”