Big Latch On, Farnham 2013

Today I was blessed to be able to play host for The Big Latch On in Farnham, with the support of wonderful mamas who came together to beat the world record for mother’s breastfeeding at the same time.

On the 1 – 7th of August every year, to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the need for global support, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action organises World Breastfeeding Week. World Breastfeeding Week  celebrated in 120 countries and marks the signing of the WHO/UNICEF document Innocenti Declaration, which lists the benefits of breastfeeding, plus global and governmental goals.  

The Big Latch On

Getting Balloons, Sign Up Sheets and Posters ready

To mark this occasion on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd August 2013 at 10:30am thousands of breastfeeding women and their babies or children across the world will gather in their own communities to take part in the Big Latch On, a synchronized breastfeeding event in multiple locations.

The first Big Latch On took place in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2005 and was introduced to Portland, Oregon in 2010 by Joanne Edwards. It has now taken off globally and in 2012  8862 children were counted breastfeeding as part of the Global Big Latch On.

In 2012 the Farnham, Surrey Big Latch On event had 12 mothers nursing 13 babies. This year we had 24 mothers nursing 25 babies (we had one tandem feeding dyad at each event).

You count!

Just this week I had someone on Twitter ask me why I felt the need to have a breastfeeding picture on my profile, and said that it offended them. I replied to her that that was exactly WHY I had a breastfeeding picture – so that it will become normal to see a woman breastfeeding, and will no longer be offensive. I simply can’t imagine any of the older siblings at the event today ever turning around and saying they find breastfeeding offensive: they’re growing up with it as normal. Mothers! We’re changing the world, we’re changing the future. We’re doing great!While I was running around trying to keep an eye on my toddler while at the same time making sure everyone knew what was going on and all the official bits of the Big Latch On were adhered to, I did stop at one point, and just watch.  We were a community. A community of mothers and women. I didn’t know everyone who attended today, but it didn’t matter, because we were there for a common aim, and with a common goal.

I love breastfeeding events. They unite us at a base, fundamental, instinctive level.  Breastfeeding events are a celebration, a peaceful demonstration, a communal drinking at the wellspring. Breastfeeding events buzz with excitement, with energy at the knowledge of making a difference, and with taking a stand, drawing our line in the sand, enjoying our right and our freedom, as women, and as mothers.

Community of women

Do we rally in anger? Do we shout and condemn, and criticise? Every mother in this group has walked a path. It hasn’t been natural and easy for everyone. It’s come at a cost to some. It’s come at tears for others, it’s come as the most natural thing in the world to others still. It’s been an active, conscious decision to others. Everyone has a story to tell about how and why they are here.

Today we feed our babies, we raise our hands, and we are counted.

It's all About And For The Children


A huge thanks to Paula from La Leche League Farnham and Krishna from IPEN for being our witnesses today. Another huge thanks to Sara for helping me with the lucky draw and to Wendy and the Natural Birth and Beyond Team for the helium and balloons.

I want to give a very special thank you to a group of businesses that never shy away from supporting the events and competitions I offer through this blog and today at the Big Latch On. Your prizes were loved today:





Farnham Natural Birth And Beyond Breastfeeding Picnic

Today, Natural Birth and Beyond hosted a breastfeeding awareness week picnic in Farnham’s Gostrey Meadows. The event was arranged by Wendy Wood from Relax For Birth, and saw a group of around 50 mothers and nurslings join together to celebrate the beauty of breastfeeding in honour of the UK’s National Breastfeeding Awareness Week.

The best thing about a breastfeeding meetup is that by it’s very nature, it’s a peaceful event, filled with smiley, happy mamas and babies.

At the Breast Debate I went to last week, one of the things that was mentioned was that we don’t see enough breastfeeding in public. I mentioned that it’s more likely that we don’t know when we’re seeing a mother feed her child. Here’s what I meant:

Would you have known this mama was nursing if I didn’t tell you?

One of the things I really love about breastfeeding is that it is as unique to each nursing dyad as the people in it. Looking around the picnic today, I saw some mums really nicely covered up:

I saw mamas comfortable with their company and their bodies:

I saw mamas comfortable in their layers,

And mamas comfortable without:

I saw mamas getting comfy:

And relaxed and smiling:

There were people chatting:

And tending their babies,

Celebrating the freedom, and the right, that we have to feed our nurselings wherever we have a legal right to be.

Mothers, being mothers, relaxing on a glorious sunny day, 

Doing our bit to normalise breastfeeding for the people that walked by, smiling at all the babies, and for the next generation

All the while, just being mamas, sharing a picnic lunch.

*if you see a picture of yourself here you’d like removed, please let me know!

See more pictures:


For more from Keep Britain Breastfeeding read these blog posts:

The Mummy Adventure 
Smiling Like Sunshine 
Simply Hayley Hayley
The Secret Life of Kate
Respectable Breast Spectable

and support these businesses

Feed Me Mummy 
Thrupenny Bits 
Ardo Claire 

and don’t forget to visit this post to enter to win:

  • Breastmilk Keepsake
  • £15 Boobie Milk Voucher
  • Breastfeeding Pillow from Theraline
  • Breastpads from Theraline
  • Adjustable Drop Cup Feeding Bras  from Cantaloop
  • Baby-Proof Jewellery and Teething Necklace from Mama Jewels
  • Electric breastpump and accessories
  • Maternity Raspberry or Black Feeding Tops from Melba London
  • And over £1000 in prizes from Keep Britain Breastfeeding

Mega Competitions For National Breastfeeding Week UK

This year, for National Breastfeeding Awareness Week, we’re again joining Keep Britain Breastfeeding in the Breastfeeding Week Scavenger Hunt.

As part of the scavenger hunt, I have these two competitions running:

Breast Milk Keepsake Valued at £30

A Breast Milk Keepsake is a memento of your breastfeeding journey, it’s a badge of honour and something tangible to have after your child has weaned from the breast. These are 100% Breastmilk, cased in resin.





a Rafflecopter giveaway

BoobieMilk gift voucher Valued at £15

BoobieMilk is a Mummy run business providing in-home nursing bra fittings in and around Sevenoaks, Kent. Nursing bras and accessories are also available for purchase at to be delivered to the whole of the UK.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Along with the two competitions we’re doing as part of KBB, we’re also offering readers loads of other breastfeeding related goodies, so join in, sign up, support breastfeeding friendly companies and bloggers and win great prizes valued at over £400! YOU ONLY NEED TO LEAVE ONE BLOG COMMENT HERE TO ENTER ALL THE FOLLOWING COMPETITIONS: 

2 x Theraline Dodo baby feeding pillows  (valued at £26 each)
DoDo Pillow, nursing pillow and cover!  The nursing pillow that is affordable. Cover washable at 40 degrees, odour free, no chemicals. The low-noise pillow is filled with anti-allergic EPS standard beads (1.5 – 3 mm in diameter, holds approx. 32 litres). It is a simple, slightly smaller (outer dimensions 170 x 34 cm) and practical nursing pillow that convinces with its low price.
2 x Theraline Mamma Pads (Valued at £15 each)
Thanks to a very thin, medical adhesive coating, the breathable silicone nursing pads stay in place without any further help. The adhesive coating on a soft high-tech silicone pad can adapt to practically every shape of breast. Due to surface tension, it applies gentle pressure which slightly but reliably presses the nipples inwards. The use of breathable silicone as straps and adhesive material creates an unexpectedly high wearing comfort. Silicone enables a gas and oxygen exchange very similar to skin. A principle which is used, for example, with long-term contact lenses based on silicone. As soon as the pads are applied, everything feels completely natural and they are practically not noticeable anymore
2 x Cantaloop Adjustable Drop Cup Feeding Bras  (valued at £25 each)

A drop cup bra with adjustable straps and back closure. Two side panels strategically placed for growth when breast start making milk. Crimping between the breast increases the ´V´ effect in the front for wear with a t-shirt/low top. The tight knit under the bras substitutes under wire resulting in extra support & “lifting” of the breasts.
Mama Jewels are the first and currently the only safety tested brand of jewellery in the UK market. Do you struggle with keeping your babies attention whilst feeding? MAMA JEWELS have been made with a baby’s need to ‘TWIDDLE’ in mind. they know that instead of pinching and pulling ‘YOU’ they will twiddle with your Mama Jewels necklace.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Swing electric breastpump and accessories (valued at £130)
While Medela hospital grade pumps can be hired, you can also express milk quietly and discreetly wherever you go.  The Swing electric Breastpump combines a multi-award-winning design with the latest technology. The electric breastpump is very quiet and therefore represents the ideal solution for regular and discreet breast pumping. (Why are we offering a Medela competition? Please read our MedelaUK Statement here)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This fabulous and functional feeding top ensures quick, easy and discreet access for breastfeeding on the go. The wrap around detail ensures a comfortable, flattering fit whilst the super soft internal layer has slits that can be quickly parted when you need to nurse.The stretch cotton used to create this top has all the natural benefits of pure cotton, the added stretch simply means that the fabric will move with your body and keep its shape wash after wash.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


You can also win other fantastic products which are included in the Breast Essentials List on the following blogs:

White Lily Green is giving away a Bravado bra
Chubs and Love is giving away a Thrupenny Bits pillow
Three Years and Home is giving away a babasling
Ruby Plus Lottie is giving away a breastvest

Baby Massage Week 2013 – Organic Monkey Massage Oil Giveaway

There does seem to be an awareness day, week or month for the most obscure things these days, doesn’t there? One that I am particularly happy to support, however, is Baby Massage Week. I started practicing baby massage on Ameli when she was just six weeks old, and loved it so much I trained as a Baby Massage Instructor. I was giving classes while pregnant with Aviya, and had my first post baby class when she was just six days old, and used her as my massage doll for two or three classes a week for almost four months.

I’ve always wondered if that is why she’s such a chilled out baby!

An essential ingredient in massage is oil, and while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using any organic oil – if you’d use it on your salad, you can use it on your baby, and we recommend sunflower oil in our classes – there’s value to a beautiful oil that mama can inhale deeply while she’s massaging too.

A few years back now, I reviewed the  Hello Mellow Massage Oil from Organic Monkey, an oil I absolutely loved. You can read the full review, of course, but here are a few highlights about this lovely baby massage oil.

“I cannot find fault with this product. It contains all natural ingredients, with sunflower oil being the carrier oil, it seems. There’s apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil and vitamin E oil too, and then the essential oils are sweet orange, lavender and roman chamomile, all of which are calming and soothing aromas.

While I’m a huge lover of lavender, I must say that I adore the predominantly sweet orange aroma of this. It’s a nice break from the usual lavender for babies.

The next thing I love about it is how moisturising it is. I’ve even used it on myself as an after bath moisturiser a number of times and it leaves myskin feeling soft, smooth and beautifully moist. Ameli has quite a dry skin too especially as we head into winter and there’s been a marked improvement in her skin since we’ve been using this oil.”

There’s more to the review, so just follow the link if you want to know more.

So today, Organic Monkey are offering 5 readers a bottle of their lovely oil each.

The competition runs until Friday 23:59, and winners will be chosen and notified over the weekend.

Leave a comment on the blog, then click the +1 on Rafflecopter and submit your entry!
(The question is: What benefit of baby/toddler massage do you find most valuable/do you hope will make the greatest difference to your little one?)

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The Big Latch On 2012, Farnham

Today we had a lovely picnic as part of The Big Latch On in Farnham, Surrey.

The Big Latch On  sees groups of breastfeeding women come together at registered locations around the world, at a set time they all latch on their child for one minute while being counted by witnesses. The numbers are added up and see if we beat previous Big Latch On records or maybe even the world record! Last year there were a total of 5687 nursing mothers in 412 locations in 5 countries.

At the time of writing – half way through the two day event – there are already 3503 breastfeeding children (allowing for tandem nursing!) in 624 locations over a whopping 23 countries! What an incredible increase in participation!

At our first ever Farnham event we had 12 breastfeeding mums and 13 nursing babies.

(Click twice to enlarge)

The Big Latch On is originally from New Zealand. It was started by Women’s Health Action in 2005 as part of World Breastfeeding Week. Each year they have seen a growth in the numbers of breastfeeding women attending and an increase in the support for breastfeeding in public. The Big Latch On was introduced to Portland, Oregon in 2010 by Joanne Edwards as a celebration for World Breastfeeding Week. In 2011 Joanne worked with Annie Brown and members of La Leche League USA to grow the Big Latch On across the USA.

And so it spread to the UK. Someone asked me today where I heard about the event, and I honestly don’t remember! I’m just glad I did and glad I was able to organise it.

Sitting there today, feeding my Aviya with the other mothers, I felt such a bond with not just those in our meetup, but with mothers all over the UK feeding at exactly the same time, and with those across the world nursing their babies at 10.30 local time throughout the world.

I know it wasn’t just me, either. One of the mums who attended wrote on her feedback form that it had a “lovely community spirit” and another wrote that the event “felt special”. I was proud, today, to be among mothers who are changing perceptions and changing the future for breastfeeding mothers in the gentlest way.

Naomi Stadlen writes in her new book, “How Mothers Love” (US here) about how mothers can be a force for change.

The political role of mothers is also changing. Every society owes a great deal to the work of the mothers. We could exert an even stronger and more conscious social and political influence than we have recently started to do. I often wonder if people are afraid that we might.



Breastfeeding Week Competitions

It’s National Breastfeeding Awareness week this week, and you know I couldn’t let it pass by silently.

I have three breastfeeding related competitions for you today, all from companies I’ve featured here before.

First up there’s BoobieMilk, who sells beautiful, functional and practical maternity and breastfeeding underwear. The reason I love BoobieMilk is because Karen, who owns the business, will come to your house (selected regions) to do a proper brafitting for you. With my first I never thought that was an essential part of having a baby. It was really only after my first ever decently fitted bra that I realised the difference it could make to your appearance, your self-image and most of all your comfort!

You can read the full BoobieMilk review here, and enter to win a £20 voucher below.

Second, we have BabyBeadsUK, who make lovely breastfeeding necklaces and reminder bracelets, and sell breast pads, feeding pillows and booby boosters as well as a range of other baby products. Jo has worked with me every NBAW since I started Diary of a First Child, and I’m happy to support her again as her business grows. Breastfeeding necklaces are a god-send when you have grabby babies with razor like nails, and again later when they start tweaking your nipples and again still later, when baby is a playful toddler with hands that need occupying so as not to pinch you! (Oh, and I’ve also found a breastfeeding necklace to be a great tool for distracting a young baby – sort of like a mobile!) BabyBeadsUK necklaces have been safety tested and conform to BS EN71 (1995) + A1 +AC1 Part 3, EN71 (2005) A9 Part 1 & EN71 (2005) Part 1 standards. They are intended for adult wear, and babies can play with them under supervision.

Read more about BabyBeadsUK and you can enter to win a breastfeeding necklace from BabyBeadsUK below.

Mama Jewels nursing safe jewelry logo

The third competition for you this National Breastfeeding Awareness Week is from Mama Jewels, who focus solely on breastfeeding jewellery. Breastfeeding bracelets are especially helpful for first time mums, or mums nursing again after a break, who need help remembering which side to feed from in the early weeks. Thereafter it’s just nice to have something to play with, something to entertain with and something pretty on your arm. Most importantly, Mama Jewels are toddler proof, so you can still wear jewellery despite motherhood.

You can read the full Mama Jewels review here, and enter to win a breastfeeding reminder bracelet below.


To enter the competition to win one of these fantastic items, you need to leave a comment below with your favourite thing about breastfeeding / most looking forward to about breastfeeding. Then click on the +1 Do It on Rafflecopter.

This will be you entered into the competition.

For additional entries, click on the new options that come up.

Let me know if you have any trouble with Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be announced here and on the Diary of a First Child Facebook Page. Please check these to find out who won.

You do not have to tweet or share this competition to enter, and doing so does not give you additional entries unless otherwise stated, but doing so helps ensure that I can keep bringing you competitions! You can subscribe to Diary of a First Child by RSS  or to our competitions only RSS feed or email. You can also follow us on Facebook or on Twitter. We hope to see you back again soon!


Why Do We Need National Breastfeeding Awareness Week?

It’s that time of the year again – National Breastfeeding Awareness Week. Although, this year, the government have removed funding for it, meaning the 14p they used to spend on each baby in the UK ‘advertising’ breastfeeding (instead of the £20 spent by formula companies) is reduced to, well, nothing.

Fortunately, those of us who believe in breastfeeding and the benefits it holds for both mother and baby, understand how it works, and are constantly amazed at the additional properties and unknown qualities of it, believe in it enough to still honour Breastfeeding Awareness Week, even without the government’s help.
Read more: Why Do We Need National Breastfeeding Awareness Week?

Why Do We Need Real Cloth Nappy Week?

Well, it’s Real Nappy Week. I’ve heard people ask questions during other awareness weeks about why we have them. What’s the point? I’ve heard accusations about it being a good excuse to make other people feel guilty.  Which is a little sad, really.  I read a blog post the other day about why we need these awareness raising weeks. The topic was for children’s mental health, so rather more ‘serious’ than cloth nappies, but the message remains the same:
Read more: Why Do We Need Real Cloth Nappy Week?

National Breastfeeding Awareness Week Roundup and Giveaways

Rather than introduce another giveaway or review today, I’m giving you a round up of what’s up for grabs here on Diary of a First Child. I also wanted to say a really big thank you to everyone who participated in National Breastfeeding Awareness Week. I think it has been really successful and look forward to NHS and other reports and feedback.

Read more: National Breastfeeding Awareness Week Roundup and Giveaways