Big Latch On — with a selfie

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Selfies are the next big thing in The Big Latch On as South Canterbury mums attempt to help break a New Zealand breast-feeding record tomorrow.
Mothers unable to attend one of The Big Latch On locations throughout South Canterbury can take a selfie of themselves and their baby participating instead.
The only catch is the photo must be taken at 10.30am, when all participating babies will be simultaneously latched on at locations nationwide.
The event would be held at six locations around South Canterbury in conjunction with World Breast-feeding Week, which ends on Sunday.
South Canterbury District Health Board (SCDHB) breastfeeding adviser Pauline Hole said the selfie option was a new move, which she hoped would help secure South Canterbury and New Zealand a record, while allowing mothers who wanted to participate but could not attend one of The Big Latch On locations to join in.
Participant numbers would be collated by each event coordinator and sent to Women’s Health Action via text.
Mrs Hole said the assistance available to breast-feeding mothers was very good in South Canterbury.
A monthly breast-feeding class for pregnant women was one of the initiatives offered by the SCDHB.
‘‘In 2011, exclusive breastfeeding rates in South Canterbury were below the national average and now they are above,’’ she said.
South Canterbury’s breastfeeding ‘‘friendly’’ places, of which there were 50, were also listed by South Canterbury’s Breast-feeding Action Group to better inform parents of their choices when they needed to feed their baby while they were out.
Two workshops were held each year for health professionals and people who helped mothers to breast-feed, Mrs Hole said.
Rhiannon Fitzgerald, who is mother to 8-week-old Drew, said she believed there was great support in South Canterbury for mothers who were breastfeeding.
Mrs Hole believed breastfeeding was 80% confidence and wanting to breast-feed, while 10% was knowledge and 10% skill.
‘‘It can be difficult, but there is help available,’’ she said.
Not everyone could not breastfeed, and that was understandable, she said.
‘‘The saddest part of my job is those mothers — their desire to breast-feed is so strong and for some reason or another they don’t produce enough milk.’’