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Photo by Debra Downey

Photo by Debra Downey

Carolyn Schumann nurses 18-month-old Ramona. Also shown is Carleon Hardie. The pair have teamed up to offer the Milk Moms' Meetup.

Milk Moms get help

By Debra Downey, Senior Editor

When Milk Moms meet up, the entire family benefits.

The Milk Moms’ Meetup is the catchy name of a new La Leche League group that meets once a month at St. James Anglican Church in Dundas:

The group is headed by moms Carleon Hardie and Carolyn Schumann, both trained La Leche League leaders who have also tackled and overcome the challenges of breastfeeding.

“Many young mothers initiate breastfeeding and stop when they reach an obstacle,” said Schumann. “We’ve overcome obstacles…we look at them as challenges…and come through the other side.”

Schumann, mom to Ramona, 18 months, and Dexter, 5, was working at a maternity boutique in Toronto when she took a lactation consultant course and decided to become involved with La Leche League Canada.

Hardie is a Dundas home day-care provider who learned about La Leche League when her second daugher, at the age of nine months, decided to go on a “nursing strike.”

“I sought out help through La Leche, and that was almost six years ago,” said Hardie. “I had the feeling of wanting to help. Everybody (involved with La Leche League) is like-minded in their interaction with their babies, and I wanted to be part of that.”

Schumann and Hardie became aquainted while working toward attaining their certification as La Leche League leaders. When they realized they both lived in the same town, the pair teamed to offer the Milk Moms’ Meetup.

“There is a real need for getting good, reliable breastfeeding help, and there is nothing in the west end. For a city this size, there’s a huge gap and a definite need,” said Schumann.

The monthly meetings in Dundas feature formal and informal discussions surrounding topics like the advantages of breastfeeding, family life with a new baby, pratical breast-feeding tips, nutrition and weaning.
Along with the opportunity to discuss factual information with La Leche League Canada leaders, moms in attendance can share their joys and concerns with other mothers.

“It’s an opportunity to get advice and support of peers who are compassionate and can sympathize and can help overcome challenges,” said Schumann. “The moms can get advice from those who have been successful.”

La Leche League is an international, non-profit organization that distributes information and promotes breastfeeding. It was founded in 1956 in Illinois and now operates in 68 countries.

Across Canada, La Leche League leaders operate more than 200 groups that supply mothers with accurate, evidence-based, up-to-date and personalized breastfeeding information and support for their role as a breastfeeding parent.

Hardie and Schumann said the most common questions they encounter from moms is, “How do I know my baby is getting enough milk.”
The Milk Moms’ Meetup convenes from 9:30-11:30 a.m., every second Wednesday at St. James Church parlour, 137 Melville St.

For more information, visit www.lllc.ca/lllc-dundas or call 905-628-5142 or 289-700-9307.

La Leche League Canada groups also meet on the first Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m., Trinity Presbyterian Church on Hamilton Mountain, and Erskine Presbyterian Church on Pearl Street North in the lower city, 10:30 a.m. on Fridays.

And the answer to that most commonly asked question: It’s all in the diapers.

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