10-month-old Alessia stretches out her legs when she nurses, laughed her mother Jessica Manueles of Kennewick. She was one of 12 moms who attended at the “Big Global Latch-on” event held last Friday, Aug. 2, at Grandview’s Westside Park. The 10th annual event was in observance of World Breastfeeding Week.

GRANDVIEW — Choosing to breastfeed their babies is a commitment to raising healthy babies, agreed the women who took their babies to a community “Big Latch-on” event held Friday at Westside Park in observance of World Breastfeeding Week.

Mothers, with toddlers in tow, shared their breastfeeding experiences with one another at the 10th annual event, which had women joining together with their babies to ‘latch-on” at exactly 10:30 a.m.

For first-time mother Sandy Gabriel of Sunnyside, the gathering was one more sign of support she has received since having her son Vincente, 8 months ago.

Saying it was great to be surrounded by other moms also committed to breastfeeding their children, Gabriel acknowledged she felt “supported by even my co-workers when I had to take short breaks at work to pump milk for my baby.”

“I went back to work three months after he was born, but I was committed to breastfeeding, even though at times it was hard,” Gabriel explained.

While their older children played nearby, Gabriel and the other mothers were also indulged with door prizes and raffled items at the event, hosted by Prosser Memorial Health and clinics, Yakima Neighborhood Health Services and Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic.

PMH Pediatrician Sarah Min, a new mother herself, offered more encouragement to the mom and stated, “breastfeeding also helps women get back into shape following their baby’s birth.”

“It takes extra calories to create an ounce of milk which helps with weight loss,” the doctor smiled.

Julia Hart can be reached at 509-837-4500, ext. 123 or at

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