More than 1,000 mothers and babies set a new mass breast-feeding record on Saturday in an event aimed at promoting the health benefits of nursing, organizers said.
The 1,135 mothers in Berkeley, the famously liberal university town near San Francisco, broke the Guinness record for “Most Women Breast-feeding Simultaneously” set this week by 767 women in Australia, said Ellen Sirbu, co-chairwoman of the California event.
“It was more than a success,” Sirbu said. “It was a smashing success because the women loved it, the band was great and everything went right.”
Organizers, who marched the mothers and their babies from a park to a nearby theater for the mass nurse-in, said they planned to send the results to Guinness judges in England to verify the new world record.
Volunteers from the Bay Area Lactation Association and two independent observers — including Berkeley’s mayor — were on hand to help count the nursing mothers. The city sponsored the event as part of its women, infants and children nutrition program.
Organizers said the event would promote the health benefits of breast-feeding, which research has shown reduces a woman’s risk of breast cancer.
A recent study in the British medical publication Lancet, for example, calculated that for every year a woman breast-feeds, it cuts her risk of breast cancer by 4.3 percent.