Ten keen babies and two toddlers latched onto their mums with gusto at the Davis Library yesterday.

The Big Latch On highlighting the beauty of breastfeeding mums was held under the guidance of children's librarian Becky Stanley.

The mums happily breastfed their offspring in the large sunlit room, pleased that their natural feeding was in a public place where people would realise it was nature's way to feed their babies.

About 30 supporters were at the children's library as well, showing the mums how much they all cared.

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The feeding babies ranged in age from three months to 2 years.

A festive morning tea with sandwiches, slices and decorative cup cakes was set up for the mums, big brothers and sisters, supporters and library staff.

The piece-de-resistance was a large round cake themed in lilac and white with blue pansies scattered at the base, donated by Stacey's Cakes of Aramoho.

Fabric giveaway bags were piled on a table and filled with small gifts including lactation cookies, small bags of play dough, tiny tins of lip balm and key rings.

While the mums fed their babies, the "big" kids happily walked, toddled and crawled around the children's area.

Whanganui District Health Board encourages mothers to breastfeed until babies are at least six months old.

In the Whanganui region 95 per cent of babies are breastfed at birth, 89 per cent have had only breast milk when they leave hospital and 81 per cent are still receiving it at six weeks.

Numbers drop off after that, with 50 per cent fully breastfed at three months and 50 per cent receiving any breast milk at six months. The board would like breastfeeding to be a cultural norm for the region.

La Leche League leader Jacqueline Brand-Holt read the world amous poem about breastfeeding ,Embarrassed by British mum Hollie McNish. The poem begins;

I thought it was okay
I could understand the reasons
They said "there might be a man or nervous child seeing this small piece of flesh that they weren't quite expecting'.