Breastfeeding can seem impossible at 2 a.m., when your baby won’t stop crying and you can’t remember the last time you slept. It can seem impossible at 2 p.m., when you’re running errands and find yourself stuck in the rush of a crowd. It can seem impossible in the quiet comfort of your favorite chair in your sunlit nursery.
As the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months after birth and continued breastfeeding for the next six months — the World Health Organization recommends two years — what can a struggling mother do to ensure the best health for her child and self?
La Leche League has the answer: peer support.
It all started with two Franklin Park, Illinois, women who were at a picnic breastfeeding.
“Other women would come up to them and say, ‘I really had wanted to breastfeed, but it didn’t work for me’ and things like that,” says Katie Field, a La Leche League of Evansville group leader. “They came to realize there was a huge lack of breastfeeding support, especially coming out of the medical community.”
Now in its 60th year, the international organization has groups across the U.S.
LLL of Evansville holds service and enrichment meetings at 6:30 p.m. the third Tuesday and first Thursday and at 10 a.m. the fourth Wednesday each month at Little Ants Boutique, located at 2820 Lincoln Ave.
Beyond regularly scheduled meetings, the group offers a helpline and Facebook group for everyday questions.
With World Breastfeeding Week coming the first week of August, LLL of Evansville has planned the third annual Live, Love, Latch! event for Aug. 13 at the University of Southern Indiana’s Grimes Haus.
Past years have included silent auctions, raffles, brunch, yoga, and speakers — all in the spirit of celebrating breastfeeding, raising money to keep library resources current, and funding continuing education for accredited group leaders.
“The goal is really to bring together nursing moms, mothers who had been breastfeeding at one point but maybe now are past that point in their life and act as mentors, healthcare professionals, and pregnant women,” says Field.
For more information on La Leche League of Evansville, call 812-266-0378 or visit lllofindiana.org/find-a-group/evansville.