By: Joanie Cox-Henry Contributing Writer
Dozens of mothers gathered at the Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health and Wellness Institute in Boca Raton Aug. 2 to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week with the Latch On event. Lisa Lopez, a lactation consultant at Boca Regional Hospital, led the event which included an array of raffle prizes such as a breast pump, Starbucks gift card, original art work and much more.
“I’m passionate about a mother and baby and supporting that journey,” said Lopez, who is a mother to four boys herself. “I’m all about celebrating moms and my goal is to help them find confidence in themselves. It’s all about surviving and thriving together. We must support each other.”
As women breastfed their babies while snacking on lactation cookies, fresh fruit and breast-shaped chocolates, many of the women in attendance were part of a breastfeeding education and support group offered at The Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health and Wellness Institute.
“We come to the lactation support group and it’s been a really great place to learn about breastfeeding and bond with other moms,” said Kelli Bryan who attends the group with her four and a half month old son, Knox Bryan. “It has allowed me to learn about breastfeeding as more of a lifestyle, which is key.”
Lopez emphasized the support group is about so much more than the technique of breastfeeding.
“Sometimes we just look at a mom in our support group and tell her how amazing she is. Sometimes knowing we are there for each other can make all the difference,” Lopez said. “We have support groups every Tuesday and Friday.”
Sharon Norrie, Clinical Manager of Women’s and Children’s Services at Boca Raton Regional Hospital was excited to be part of the second Latch On Event.
“The last event we did like this one was in 2011,” Norrie said. “We started planning this event in May and we’re very pleased with the turn out. It’s a sisterhood of women supporting other women. Sixty to 70 years ago, women sat around in groups breastfeeding. Then it went out of vogue and fortunately, now it has come back strong. Mothers and grandmothers are able to offer tips again and it’s really wonderful.”