At registered Global Big Latch On locations around the world, women, parents and families gather together to feed their children and offer peer support to each other. The events are a celebration of breastfeeding, though all types of infant feeding are recognised as valid and supported. Volunteers from within the local community host each location. Hosting a Global Big Latch On creates a lasting support network for the community.
The Global Big Latch On aims to protect, promote & support families by:
- Supporting communities to identify and grow opportunities to provide ongoing breastfeeding support and promotion in local communities.
- Raising awareness of breastfeeding support and knowledge that is available locally and globally.
- Helping communities positively support breastfeeding in public places.
- Making breastfeeding, alongside all forms of infant feeding, a normal part of day-to-day life at a local community level.
- Increasing support for women and parents who breastfeed.
- Ensuring communities have the resources to advocate for coordinated, appropriate, and accessible breastfeeding support services.
Women’s Health Action, a charitable trust in New Zealand, started the Big Latch On in 2005. Joanne Edwards (Small Beginnings Group, LLC) then introduced the Big Latch On to Portland, Oregon in 2010. In 2011, Annie Brown and members of Le Leche League USA worked with Joanne to grow the Big Latch On across the USA.
The team at Women's Health Action and Joanne Edwards of Small Beginnings Group, LLC joined forces in 2012.
As of 2023, the Global Big Latch On is now coordinated by the original Big Latch On founders Women’s Health Action, after Joanne Edwards decided to move on to other things.
As of 2023, the Global Big Latch On is coordinated by a small team at Women’s Health Action in New Zealand.
Women’s Health Action are the original founders of the Big Latch On event in New Zealand. They are a not for profit, registered charitable trust partially funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Health. Their vision is Well Women Empowered in a Healthy World.
From 2010 to 2022, Small Beginnings Group, LLC DBA Global Big Latch On coordinated the Global Big Latch On. Small Beginnings Group LLC is owned by Joanne Edwards and offers family wellness and lactation services in Portland, Oregon.
Please note women who exclusively express are included in the breastfeeding children latch count.
The Global Big Latch On is not an event which prioritises a Guinness World Record attempt.
This events aims to support and normalise breastfeeding and infant feeding in community settings. The Guinness World Record is a logistical challenge that we do not have the funding, resources, or desire to achieve.
Since 2023, the Global Big Latch On has been held in April (Autumn/Fall in the Southern Hemisphere; Spring in the Northern Hemisphere). This is because globally the weather is more temperate in April. As this is an event which promotes and celebrates public breastfeeding and infant feeding, the weather does play a role in whether people can hold events outside/in public. This was the basis for changing the date.
Before 2023, the Global Big Latch On was held in the first week of August to coincide with World Breastfeeding Week.
We wanted more people to be able to take part and for communities to have more flexibility about when to hold their Big Latch On.
Hosts can chose which day they hold their Big Latch On and they can even hold more than one location across the three days if they wish to.
World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) was launched 22 years ago by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) to focus and facilitate actions to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. The WABA coordinated WBW now involves over 175 countries and is endorsed by UNICEF, WHO, PAHO.
See http://worldbreastfeedingweek.net/ for the background and history to the WABA coordinated WBW, and previous the WBWs that WABA has organised.
For this years WBW theme and details please see http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/
A few people have suggested larger central locations for the Global Big Latch On. However, there are many benefits of having local, smaller locations. Some of these include:
- Breastfeeding women and parents can stay local to their home; ideally, they would have a Global Big Latch On location within walking distance or accessible by public transport.
- Keeping it local means that breastfeeding women and parents can meet other local people and communities will grow.
- Having a variety of locations means lots of businesses and community spaces can shout about how much they are willing to support breastfeeding.
The first record for one location was from Berkeley, CA, USA, in 2002 where 1,130 people breastfed simultaneously. The Guinness world record for one location is 3,738 mothers and for multiple locations is 15,128 across 295 sites. Both are held by the Philippines. Buoyed by their success, the Philippines have partnered every year since with other countries and in October 2010 recorded 9,826 people breastfeeding in 325 sites in 16 countries.
The Global Big Latch On is compliant with the WHO international code for marketing Breast-Milk substitutes.
This means that we do not accept donations including funds or gifts from manufacturers or distributors of breast-milk substitutes, related equipment such as feeding bottles and teats/artificial nipples, or commercial foods marketed for children under six months.
Link to: WHO International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes
The global coordination of the Big Latch On relies on funding from commercial sponsors, private donations and our fundraising activities such as selling t-shirts. The continued success and growth of the Global Big Latch On is reliant on the amazing support from the community.
See Financial Statement here.
If you would like to find out more about how you can support the Global Big Latch On please click here
There are many ways you can be involved.
Volunteer your skills:
There are numerous ways in which volunteers currently contribute to the success of the Global Big Latch On for example:
- Volunteer your skills at a global level to assist with newsletters, blog articles and photography. We’d love to hear from you.
- Volunteer your services at a local level such as massage, photography, bra fitting, baking or entertainment. Contact a local host in your area when the Global Big Latch On is running.
Please search for your nearest location here and contact a local host.
If you are interested in marketing and sponsorship opportunities with the Global Big Latch On, please email us on [email protected]
HOSTING A LOCATION
Any individual, organization, community group or company interested in promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding may register to host a Global Big Latch On location.
Any entity that is in violation of the World Health Organisation International Code of Marketing Breast Milk Substitutes.
See more here:
In a backyard, at a playground, in a park, at a beach, in a local meeting room, at a civic center, in a hospital, health center, coffee shop, workplace, wherever you want to meet!
Given this is a global event, your location can be anywhere in the world.
If you are based in New Zealand and wanting to host an event, please register via the New Zealand website: blo.org.nz
Yes, when you register, select private location and your site will not be posted on the website. All public event sites will be posted on the website.
No, only if the owner of the event location requires a certificate. Most public places, businesses and homeowners have their own liability insurance.
Yes. After the COVID-19 pandemic, meeting and connecting with others virtually became an important part of everyday life and we do recognise that online communities are an important source of support for many people - including those in rural locations, with disabilities etc.
When registering your location, make sure you set up a zoom link or other virtual means of connection. Add these details to your location listing.
Here are some considerations, practical ideas and protective measures for hosting a virtual event.
- What video conferencing platform will you use?
- How many people do you expect to join your event?
- How much will it cost you to use it?
- Do you want a chat room function?
- Do you need screen share function?
- Will it be a private event for a group of people that you know?
- Remember to set up your virtual event link, and add it into your registration form.
You should use a password or PIN system for accessing the virtual link to your event. We recommend that you don’t distribute this widely until closer to your event to prevent it being shared outside of your participant group. Also don’t give your host login details to anyone else.
Once you have everyone at the event, you should ‘lock’ your event so that security cannot be breached. Consider how and when you will count your number of participants.
Your event can be part of a picnic, play date, fair or other activity of your choosing providing the activity is complaint with the WHO international code of marketing breast milk substitutes.
In past years, hosts have promoted their locations via Facebook, word of mouth and through family/friends. We also provide you with a number of promotional resources (including posters) for you to download, share, print etc.
See the Host Resources here:
Yes, you can set up your own facebook page or group for your location and you can use a website for your location. Please ensure:
- That your site and pages contain an obvious link to www.biglatchon.org
- That all content and wording are compliant with the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast milk Substitutes.
- That you include a link to your page and/or website in your location listing on the Global Big Latch On website – so that people can find you and that we can like you too!
We are focusing on making the Big Latch On as inclusive as possible, and recognise that infant feeding journeys can be complex and varied. This is why we invite all people who are feeding and raising their babies to attend - regardless of whether they are currently breastfeeding or not.
If your location is public and listed on the website then anyone from the public can attend.
If your location is private and therefore not listed on the website, then only people who you invite will be able to attend.
You don’t, its part of the fun of the Global Big Latch On, whatever happens on the day happens. Participants can now pre register online via the Global Big Latch On website but they do not have to. Please remember participants may plan to attend, but might not make it on the day for various reasons.
No, all breastfeeding children can take part.
Please make sure you log in at www.biglatchon.org/host and add ‘0’ to the count. Use the experience as learning and build on it for next year! We appreciate all the hard work you did and thank you for trying.
Before you cancel your location, please consider whether someone else can take over the hosting responsibilities for this location. Global Big Latch On can assist you with finding a new host and help to address any other difficulties you may be facing. If you still need to cancel your listing, you can do so at any time by logging in to the website and deleting your location. Please be aware that you are responsible for making sure your community is informed of the cancellation. This means you need to spread the word about the cancellation in all the places you originally advertised and you will need to make arrangements for the people who have not heard of the cancellation and still turn up to your location.
FUNDRAISING, DONATIONS AND SPONSORSHIP
No, but you can seek donations from local businesses and benefactors to cover your costs, as long as your sponsors do not violate the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes. Hosts are responsible for making sure any location sponsors are code compliant.
If you are confused or unsure if a sponsor is ‘Code’ compliant please do not hesitate to contact the Big Latch On organisers at [email protected]
You can use sponsorship to help cover costs like printing, advertising and supplying food and drinks. Some locations have local businesses provide goodie bags or turn their event into a pamper day with services such as bra fittings and massage!! Your local businesses might also supply you with spot prizes for participants or with drinks and snacks for your location. You can only accept support for your location from businesses that are compliant with the WHO international code for marketing Breast-Milk substitutes.
This means that you cannot accept donations (including funds or gifts) from manufacturers or distributors of breast-milk substitutes, related equipment such as feeding bottles and teats/artificial nipples, or commercial foods marketed for children under six months. http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/infantfeeding/9241541601/en/index.html.
Yes, you can donate money to Global Big Latch On via our PayPal. Money you donate will not be tax deductible. All funds donated will be used specifically towards our running costs and to grow the Global Big Latch On.
THE LATCH ON COUNT
No, we are not requiring hosts to run a latch count for the Global Big Latch On in 2023.
We have made this change to make the event as inclusive as possible. That means all people who attend - including adults, children, and babies - should be counted as having participated, regardless of whether they "latch on."
The Global Big Latch On is run over three days in April (Friday 14 to Sunday 16) and events can be held at any time over these three days.
Please ask your participants to add their details to the Participant Registration form. Additional copies of this form can found under Host Resources. This helps you with counting the number of people who participated in your event, and allows you to contact anyone who won a spot prize.
This is great! They can be counted as a participant at all locations that they attend.
To report how many people participated at your location, you must log in at www.biglatchon.org. and complete the form. Use the red "Enter Count" button on the host sign in page.
You will need to report the total attendance at your location - so everyone who turned up, including children and infants.
PAPERWORK AND PHOTOS
You no longer need to supply official evidence, but we would still love to receive photos from your location.
The participation registration form includes a section for participants to give permission for their photos to be taken and for these photos to be used by Global Big Latch On.
You are responsible for ensuring you have the participants’ permission for all the photos and any film footage taken at your location and by sending those photos or film in you are agreeing that you have permission from all those in the images.
You should alert any photographers or videographers if there are women/parents at your location who do not wish to be photographed. This is part of your responsibility as a host.
No, you must use the paperwork provided by Global Big Latch On. You will find copies of the Participant Registration forms under the 'Host Resources' section.
Yes, please email us all the completed Participant Registration forms after you have submitted your attendance numbers on the website. It must be scanned and sent to [email protected]
In 2023 we are not requiring hosts or participants to fill out feedback or evaluation forms. Unfortunately, due to resourcing and staffing constraints, the event organisers do not have capacity to analyse or report on feedback in any meaningful way. You are still welcome to let us know by email if there is any specific feedback you’d like to provide. Contact us at [email protected]
- Please scan and email the Participant Registration forms with completed counter/host statement to [email protected]
- Please enter the total participant count number by logging into the website as a Host and use the red "Enter Count" button.
INFORMATION USE AND PRIVACY
Information you have provided when registering as a Global Big Latch On host will be listed with your permission on our website (this will let women and families know about your location). Information you provide via feedback forms will not be used in any way that can publicly identify you, unless you have given us permission to do so.
Information you provide via feedback forms will used for evaluation purposes and may be used in publications promoting the Global Big Latch On. This information will not be used in any way that will publicly identify you unless you have given prior permission.
Please Note: It is the responsibility of individual venue/location hosts to ensure that participant information remains confidential and / or is restricted to use which participants have given their permission.
USE OF BIG LATCH ON/GLOBAL BIG LATCH ON BRAND
By registering as a Global Big Latch On host you are automatically given permission to use the Global Big Latch On name and logo and other brand features as per the agreement below. All others need to apply for use by emailing [email protected]a.org.nz
Written Agreement for use of Global Big Latch On Brand Features
This agreement is between Small Beginnings Group, LLC DBA Global Big Latch On (herein Global Big Latch On) and Registered Hosts of Global Big Latch On Locations/Venues (herein ‘Host’).
By registering to host a Global Big Latch On location/ venue, you are agreeing to using Global Big Latch On /Big Latch On Brand Features as described by this written agreement, the general guidelines and terms and conditions of use.
If you wish to use the Global Big Latch On/ Big Latch On Brand Features for something not authorized in this agreement then you will need to complete the approval process to gain permission.
As a Host you have permission to use the following Global Big Latch On / Big Latch On Brand Features, in the manner described below:
- You agree to use all Global Big Latch On / Big Latch On Brand Features only for the purpose of promoting the Global Big Latch On and breastfeeding
- You agree to use all Global Big Latch On / Big Latch On Brand Features only in contexts that are compliant with the World Health Organization International Code for Marketing Breast Milk Substitutes.
- The Global Big Latch On Logo –must be used as it is provided, no changes made to colours, typefaces or lay out.
- Small Beginnings Group LLC Logo – can only be used by gaining separate permission.
- Promotional materials including but not limited to posters, flyers, welcome cards, and merchandise produced by Global Big Latch On must be used as they are provided, no changes made to colours, typefaces or lay out.
- Paperwork must be used as it is provided; no changes made to colours, typefaces or lay out.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE
Yes, we welcome parents, family and communities all across the world to participate in the Global Big Latch On. The event is designed to be as inclusive as possible - however you are feeding your baby/child, you are welcome to come along.
No. Breastfeeding babies and children of all ages are welcome to attend.
HOW DO I PARTICIPATE?
Use the map on our website to find a Global Big Latch On location near you.
If there is not currently a location in your area, you could host one yourself. Hosting is easy, fun, and a great way to connect with other breastfeeding women, parents and families in your community.
New location registrations are accepted right up to the day before the Big Latch On so even if there is not a location near you, one may be listed nearer the time.
If there still aren't any locations in your area, there may be virtual events that you can attend. Use the search function on the Find A Location page to find virtual events.
You can also take part in the Brelfie campaign, where people post infant feeding selfies online during the weekend when the Big Latch On is held. Use the hashtags #brelfie and #GlobalBigLatchOn
No, you do not need to register in advance to attend.
If you would like to let your host know that you plan to attend, you can register via their location listing on our website. If you do register, your location host will be able to let you know if there are any changes and make sure you have the most up to date details for that location.
The Global Big Latch On takes place over a whole weekend (Friday to Sunday), so if you would like to, you are welcome to attend as many location as you'd like, and on any days.
Hosts can choose to make their locations private - this means they won't be listed publicly on our website.
If you are unsure whether you have been invited to a private event, contact the host who invited you and ask.
No, attending the Big Latch On is free.
Yes. Support of family and friends is so important for the breastfeeding and infant feeding journey. We encourage you to bring as many support people with you as you like.
All you really have to do on the day, is show up to the Big Latch On location!
At the location, there will be a registration form to complete. Then you can settle in and enjoy connecting with other parents, families and children in attendance.
There may be media or photographers present at your location. If you do not want your photograph taken and used by Global Big Latch On, please do not complete the waiver on the registration form and please make sure your host knows so they can ensure you will not inadvertently appear in a photographer’s field.