Park feed mums hope to smash world record.
Byline: James Cain Reporter email@example.com
BREASTFEEDING mums from Teesside joined thousands of others around the world for the Big Latch On.
A group of 37 mums met at Stewart Park, Marton, Middlesbrough, to join women from around the globe who had come together for World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) to latch on their child at a set time to raise awareness of breastfeeding support and knowledge available in communities.
The women and children latched on for one minute at 10.30am and were counted by witnesses.
The numbers from around the globe will be added up to see if this year's Big Latch On beat previous records.
The organiser of the Stewart Park event, mum-of-two Jennifer Whittaker, was at the gathering with her 22-month-old son Zachary.
The 26-year-old from Easterside said: "We had 37 people turn up with 27 of them latching on which beat last year's record for us.
"We don't have the global results yet though.
"It's just nice to normalise it a bit more.
"When I breastfeed Zachary I get a lot of comments like 'why would you bother' and 'it's disgusting.'.
"Once, I was sat feeding on the benches in The Cleveland Centre and an old woman said 'I don't know what you're doing that for, it's like child abuse.'.
"Everybody thinks you should stop at six months, but it's still nutritious.
"Broccoli doesn't stop being nutritious just because your child's got older - what's the difference?" Abi Witherden, 38, from Coulby Newham, was also at the Big Latch On with her 16-month-old son Steffan.
She said: "It's really important - breastfeeding is the most normal and healthy way to feed your child but there's not always the support there for women.
"I think people get offended on other people's behalf.
"It would be much easier if you saw it all the time."
The Big Latch On began in New Zealand when it was started by Women's Health Action in 2005 as part of World Breastfeeding Week.
Each year, organisers have seen a growth in the numbers of breastfeeding women attending and an increase in the support for breastfeeding in public.
For more information on |breastfeeding services visit the South Tees Infant Nutrition Team on Facebook.
Mums take part in the Big Latch On in Stewart Park, Middlesbrough, above, including Abi With-|erden, pictured with son Steffan, right 010815BREAST_13 IAN MCINTYRE