Breastfeeding, sometimes a topic of controversy and debate, has seen a lot of progress locally in the last few years. Our community works behind the scenes all year long to ensure families get the education and support they need to give their babies a healthy start in life. But in August, we take a step forward and enjoy a moment (or two) to acknowledge our progress, and to share in a variety of events throughout the County.
Celebrated annually all around the world, the first week of August is recognized as World Breastfeeding Week. But Nationally we celebrate the entire month – because something that does so much, that has such a significant importance in a baby’s life, deserves to be celebrated for much longer.
The celebration starts in July with cities across Sarasota County reading proclamations that recognize the importance of breastfeeding to our most vulnerable new residents.
Starting August 1st, public spaces across Sarasota will burst with creativity as businesses and organizations decorate doors, windows, posters, bulletin boards, and even a car, with supportive messages promoting breastfeeding. The Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County’s 12th Annual Door Decorating Contest is a favorite – and longest lasting – of the events held during the celebration. Businesses and organizations vie for bragging rights and the coveted “Golden Nipple” Award for various categories and one overall winner. This year’s contest will viewable on our Facebook event and the grand prize winner will be selected by Facebook votes – so be sure to vote for your favorite!
Following on Saturday, August 5th, the Latch-On will bring families together to celebrate in two fun family-friendly events. Latch-On, Sarasota will be held at the Downtown Sarasota Famer’s Market from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm while Latch-On, South will be held at Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s North Port ER and Health Center. Both events will feature special “Eat Local” onesies and swag for those who register and participate in the Latch-On itself – a Global effort to raise awareness for breastfeeding by attempting to break the record for the number of breastfeeding (and pumping!) moms at one time. Breastfeeding support workers will be on-hand to discuss any issues or concerns you may have and it’s a great time to get familiar with the amazing services our county can provide. The Mayor of Sarasota will be in attendance at the Sarasota location to read the City’s Proclamation. We will also have lactation cookies and drawings for teething necklaces and more!
Breastfeeding support groups will celebrate throughout the remainder of the month with fun, weekly activities such as “nursaversay” parties, DIY nursing necklace party, babywearing and breastfeeding support session, breastfeeding circle story with Mommy Magazine, and other fun activities.
Sarasota Memorial Hospital will have a Facebook Live series through HealthConnect providing education and resources for breastfeeding as well as experts on hand to answer questions.
The Breastfeeding Advocates of Sarasota County (BASC) and the organizations and advocates that it is comprised of have a lot to celebrate. Local data indicates our breastfeeding rates continue to be on the rise. And with our local hospital on the verge of becoming certified as Baby-Friendly by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, we expect to see the numbers continue to rise. As the rate of breastfed babies increase, so does the health of our communities.
For more information about any of the events, activities, or Breastfeeding Advocates of Sarasota County, visit our website at http://healthystartsarasota.org/BASC