Twenty nursing mothers, their babies and small children packed the front end of Javapalooza on Main Street Saturday for Middletown's Big Latch On — a La Leche League event which took place simultaneouly across the country.
The idea was to have as many mothers as possible latch their babies onto the breast for a full minute at 10:30 a.m. Witnesses helped count the women and numbers will be combined in an attempt to break the world record set in October 2010, when 9,826 nursing mothers were recorded at 325 sites in 16 countries.
Nine-months-pregnant Allecia Reid McCarthy and her husband Ryan McCarthy, both of Southington, came out of curiousity. Their first child, a son, is due Aug. 17.
"It was definately nice to see other women breastfeeding, since you don't see it too often," Reid McCarthy said. "I'm a little worried about how the latch is going to happen, so I wanted to see other women doing it and see how they go about getting their babies to latch."
Nurses Linda Spignesi and Sarah Lennon stopped by to support the mothers, both wearing shirts emblazoned with, "What kind of bees make milk? Boo Bees! Bee Baby Friendly 2011."
"We're labor and delivery nurses. We're basically trying to get the word out through the T-shirts. So we thought as a cute way of exposing the natural feeding, like breastfeeding, that we would do it through a bee," Spignesi said.
"It's a big effort as far as getting moms to commit themselves to breastfeeding," she added.
Charlette Gionfriddo of Portland brought along Charlie, 4 months, and Lilly, 2, who she nursed "for 14 months until I became pregnant with him. But now she's apparently going back on. So, I just let her. It's interesting with the two, but he's doing good — he's big," she explained.
Dee Maisfehlt of Chester is breastfeeding Hester, 20 months. She plans to continue for a while, or "until she weans. Hopefully before kindergarten, probably somewhere between three and four."
Certified La Leche League leader Janet Simone Parks of Middletown organized the event and her husband Brian, along with Neely Bruce of Middletown tallied the women whose babies latched on.