Julie Tam, NBCDFW.com
North Texas mothers are trying to gain support for nursing in public.
Mothers across North Texas and thousands of other moms around the world showed their support Saturday for breastfeeding in public.
Forty-five mothers gathered in the community room at the Galleria Dallas in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week.
The Big Latch On held events in Dallas, Fort Worth and Denton. Other events were scheduled around the world for Saturday morning.
Nursing mothers across the United States have encountered controversy over whether they should do it in public.
"I would like it to be more easy to breastfeed in public and not feel ashamed or embarrassed about it, because it is something very natural," said Melissa Linger, of Garland.
Some say that making it easier for mothers to nurse in public would make life easier for other moms, who then could watch and learn.
"It's one reason I believe it's so important that we be allowed to come into public without covers so that people can see exactly how to do it," said Shanna Saleh, of Arlington.
Ryley Chestnut, of Balch Springs, organized this year's event at the Galleria to help other mothers after she had a hard time breastfeeding her newborn.
"He was very tired," she said. "He didn't want to latch, so it was just a concern of it was my first baby. I didn't really know what to do."
The women shared stories of struggle and success in providing for their baby in one of the most fundamental ways.
"It's just very empowering for us to be able to get together as mothers and have that one focus and one goal," said Rachel Corage, of Las Colinas. "It was very difficult in the beginning, and I was to the end of my rope and, without the support that we had, I don't think we would have been successful."
The mothers at the Big Latch On event are encouraging other moms to breastfeed for as long as they can. Doctors say breast-fed babies grow up with stronger bones and healthier immune systems.