Being a new mom and finding local resources is not an easy task. My best friend, who is my go-to for mom questions, moved away before I got pregnant, so my local tribe felt very small. I am a baby wearing, breastfeeding mom who just wants someone to check my wear and ask the random breastfeeding questions to that are too embarrassing to google. I don’t need Google judging me. The judging is left for best friends.
So I started searching Facebook for local groups of like-minded mommas and I stumbled upon a local event in Canton, Texas called The Big Latch On: Van Zandt County. This event centers on breastfeeding and pumping. I had the honor of meeting the host, Katrina Ketner, and speaking with her about the event and her breastfeeding journey.
Can you tell me a little about this event?
This event is called The Big Latch On. It is a global event that is held on the second Saturday of National Breastfeeding Week in August. The event is set up for families and communities to come together and support breastfeeding and pumping. One specific event that occurs is a global latch on in which mothers around the world breastfeed or pump at a specific time and a total number is collected globally.
How long have you been putting this event on?
This is my fifth year putting the event on for Van Zandt County. I am solely in charge of finding a location yearly, recruiting vendors and getting the word out. I am always looking for help.
Did or do you breastfeed? What is your breastfeeding story?
I have breastfed all of my four children. I struggled with breastfeeding my oldest daughter. I sought support, but they were not well educated in lip and tongue ties so hers went undiagnosed. We supplemented for 8 months and she eventually weaned herself. All of my children have had lip and tongue ties. I did find better support so my second and third child were breastfed for 15 months and 22 months, and my 11 month old is currently nursing.
What is your breastfeeding tip for a new mom?
Can I give two? First, it does get better and it does get easier, so get past the first few weeks. Second tip is that if something doesn’t feel right or you can’t seem to get the hang of it, seek help. So many medical professionals are uneducated on lip and tongue ties and breastfeeding, so continue to seek help until you find someone that can help you. Education on women’s issues are becoming more common. The WIC office in Canton, TX is a great resource filled with very helpful men and women.
What words of encouragement would you give a mom that wants to give up on breastfeeding?
That kind of goes with my best tip but it does get easier. If it doesn’t work out you can always try again in the future. Every drop counts, so every drop that you can breastfeed or pump is worth everything. But your entire worth is not wrapped around whether you can breastfeed or not.
This year The Big Latch On is August 3, 2019. This year 23 countries participated with a total of 50,606 people in attendance and 20,864 children being breastfed during the global latch on.
Big Latch On Website: https://biglatchon.org/about/
Big Latch On, Van Zandt County 2019: https://www.facebook.com/events/1885920868160588/