“The party this year was twice as big as our party last year,” said Dr. Nancy Massotto, Ph.D., founder of Holistic Moms Network. “The attendance and participation exceeded our expectations, and we believe that indicates that breastfeeding is slowly becoming accepted as the normal way to feed our babies.”
The one-hour party was held entirely on Twitter and the #breastfeeding hashtag received 14 million impressions (as independently monitored by HashTracking) and there were 1,200 participants. (The #holisticmoms hashtag received 6 million impressions even though it was not the primary hashtag for the evening.)
“Last year we had a much smaller party,” said Dr. Massotto, founder of Holistic Moms Network. “We believe this qualifies this year’s party as the world’s largest Twitter party devoted to breastfeeding.” The 2011 party received 5.6 million impressions and included 562 participants.
The party welcomed World Breastfeeding Week (a global annual event the first week in August) and spotlighted attention on the importance of support and education for breastfeeding success, as well as the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. Participants were also asked to call on Google for a breastfeeding Doodle during World Breastfeeding Week.
"Our intent in hosting the party was to highlight how important support and community are for breastfeeding success," said Dr. Massotto. "Together with our sponsors, we believe it is the largest Twitter party ever about breastfeeding. We look forward to doing it again next year and including even more parents and breastfeeding supporters."
About World Breastfeeding Week
World Breastfeeding Week (www.worldbreastfeedingweek.org) is celebrated the first week of August in more than 170 countries worldwide. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), founder of World Breastfeeding Week, is a global network of individuals and organisations concerned with the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding worldwide. WABA action is based on the Innocenti Declaration, the Ten Links for Nurturing the Future and the Global Strategy for Infant & Young Child Feeding. Its core partners are IBFAN, LLLI, ILCA, Wellstart International and ABM. Find out more at the WABA website.
"Communities that support breastfeeding are everywhere," said Dr. Massotto “but new moms and moms who are struggling can have trouble reaching out or finding the right specialized support. Social media and online communities have stepped in to fill the need for 24/7 encouragement and information, but also vital are in-person opportunities to meet with like-minded parents."
About the Holistic Moms Network
The Holistic Moms Network is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with more than 100 chapters across the United States. The organization is headquartered in Caldwell, New Jersey and launched its first chapter in 2003 in Essex County, NJ. The purpose of the Holistic Moms Network is to provide awareness, education, and support for holistic parenting and to offer a nurturing, open-minded and respectful community for parents to share these ideals. Members’ interests include: natural health and wellness, nutrition and organic whole foods, integrative/alternative medicine, natural childbirth and breastfeeding, positive parenting, and non-toxic, eco-friendly living. Members can participate in educational meetings, local playgroups, and social events in local chapters across the United States. For more information, please visit: www.holisticmoms.org or contact HMN at 877-HOL-MOMS.