Group supports natural, but sometimes uneasy task

La Leche

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – This month is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. It’s a topic that sparks all kinds of opinions. For a local group of women, breastfeeding has helped them become more confident. One woman explains how it literally saved her life.

La Leche League is an international breastfeeding support group with chapters around the world including in Greater Lafayette.

“I started going when I was pregnant with my daughter Ruth,” La Leche League member Sarah Kosmicki said. “It was wonderful. I got to see the hurdles I may come across. I think it really helped prepare me.”

La Leche has been promoting the group this month, including a booth at the first Farmers Market of the month where moms could have a place to sit and nurse their babies. Members said breastfeeding is one of the most natural things, but that does not mean it comes easy.

“I certainly had a rough start initially,” member Helen Gallen said. “I had trouble with my son latching on, just knowing how to position him, how to do it. So, it definitely took a lot of support initially to figure things out.”

“I made too much milk in the beginning, and that can give the little ones stomach aches,” Kosmicki said.

Even though the women call breastfeeding natural, they recognize some people are uncomfortable and even offended by a woman breastfeeding in public. Kosmicki said she is on her baby’s schedule.

“Babies got to eat when they got to eat,” Kosmicki said. “At La Leche we certainly encourage women to nourish their babies whenever they feel comfortable and whenever they need to.”

For member Melissa Luebbe La Leche is more than a breastfeeding support group. She said the group meant everything to her when she was suffering from postpartum depression.

“It’s the support for me that was life saving, literally,” Luebbe said. “When you’re feeling that terrible after having a baby, you think ‘oh, this is just normal. This is what I’m supposed to feel like.’ For me now, I know feeling that bad isn’t normal.”

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