Breastfeeding support group offered for free

A recently launched group for breastfeeding moms is providing support and answering questions for new mothers in the West Kootenay.

“We have been finding that many of our moms start out breastfeeding but by as early as sometimes three months or six months, breastfeeding is no longer happening,” Denise Talarico, a public health nurse who helped plan the support group, said.

“We saw a need for ongoing peer mentoring and informal support for breastfeeding moms in Castlegar, hence, the formation of the group.”

On Tuesday afternoons, the mothers meet at Kootenay Family Place with a breastfeeding counsellor to ask questions or just talk to people that are going through the same thing.

Currently, the group of women who show up to the group are all first-time moms with babies under six months, but they all said mothers with older babies or even mothers breastfeeding their second child would benefit from the drop-in because all babies are different.

“Even if I have tons of friends who have had babies, no one ever talks about their experiences like that,” said one of the moms.

The mothers in the group agreed that they experience stigma in Castlegar when it’s time to breastfeed their babies (as people stare and there are no choices to buy proper clothing for breastfeeding) so the drop-in makes them feel more comfortable as well.

“We talk about breastfeeding in this group but we talk about everything that relates to it,” Marty Sutmoller, a breastfeeding counsellor and doula said.

Topics of discussion include how much sleep mother and baby are getting and what you can and can’t eat while breastfeeding, as well as sharing tips and experiences.

One mother said drinking chamomile tea and breastfeeding right after helped her baby get extra hours of sleep, for example.

The group meets every Tuesday afternoon from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Kootenay Family Place.

The program is free of charge and there is also free childminding on site.

For more information, you can contact Lesley by phone at 250-365-3662 ext. 227.