A lot of hard work, anticipation and volunteer effort went into this one minute event, but it was one of the best minutes of my whole life. I sat down with 56 other mothers to breastfeed in unison in one of the most central parks in Grand Rapids, MI.
I found out about this event the "Big Latch On" about a month and a half ago. When I realized there was no location listed for Michigan, let alone Grand Rapids, I decided that I would take on the task - and I knew I wanted it to be very public. After reading about what had happened to Afrykahn Moon recently, I have simply had enough with the intolerance for breastfeeding that some people feel is OK to express.
To me, not using my breasts to feed my baby is like not using my legs to walk. It defies logic and nature.
Mothers were there and signing up almost as soon as we put the tables up to sign them in. Weather threatened rain, but I never doubted for a minute that our Mother Nature would have our backs. She knows how important our cause is and how important breastfeeding is for moms and babies. As the mothers began filing in with their families - babies, siblings, dads, grandparents - my heart swelled with such joy. They were all there to show their support and it was incredibly moving to witness. Knowing how important support systems are to successful breastfeeding - seeing these people who did not have to come, but they did, meant so much.
Everything went pretty smoothly. Only one or two things would I have changed now, but overall, the moms who were latched were counted and we all left with a sense of accomplishment, pride, empowerment and UNITY. The one thing that has always amazed me is how unifying motherhood and breastfeeding are. It does not matter what kind of background you come from, what kind of lifestyle you lead - breastfeeding moms will always find something to talk about.
This is how we create peace - by finding our basic common grounds and building our understanding of each other from there.
Our final numbers came in:
On Saturday 6th August at 10:30am in multiple locations and time zones across the globe, 4123* women and their children came together and breastfed simultaneously across 294* locations as part of the Big Latch On. (*provisional total).
Labels: Look what I can do