La Leche League meeting attendees and leaders with their children. Meetings are held the third Monday of every month at Kootenay Kids

La Leche League meeting attendees and leaders with their children. Meetings are held the third Monday of every month at Kootenay Kids

Nelson and District Credit Union donates to local La Leche League

The Nelson and District Credit Union has generously donated $430 to support Nelson’s La Leche League group.

The Nelson and District Credit Union has generously donated $430 to support Nelson’s La Leche League group.

La Leche League is an international, charitable organization with a group in Nelson providing breastfeeding information and support. The goal of La Leche League is to encourage, promote and provide mother-to-mother breastfeeding support and educational opportunities as an important contribution to the health of children, families and society.

Breastfeeding is a health issue which affects everyone. The Nelson area is lucky to have four trained La Leche League leaders to run monthly meetings for breastfeeding and pregnant mothers as well as to provide one-on-one help to mothers experiencing breastfeeding challenges.

Judy Banfield has been a leader now for 27 years, Catherine Williams for six years and two years ago Ellen Gray and Susan Noppe joined Banfield and Williams as local leaders to assist and encourage breastfeeding mothers.

Breastfeeding is the way human babies were designed to be nourished and nurtured. Among its many benefits for the baby and growing child, breastfeeding reduces infectious diseases in early and later childhood, promotes optimal brain development and provides protection for premature infants against life-threatening illnesses.

For the mother, breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, decreases the risk of developing osteoporosis and enables a mother to completely nourish her infant solely from her own body.

For the family and community, breastfeeding reduces costs to families, improves health and well being of our population and decreases health care costs (fewer physician and hospital visits).

The World Health Organization’s current statement on breastfeeding is, “Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. A recent review of evidence has shown that, on a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for six months is the optimal way of feeding infants. Thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to two years of age or beyond.”

With breastfeeding to at least age two being the goal, the encouragement and support of local mothers is greatly needed to attain this goal for the health of local children. Research has shown that timely and appropriate support for mothers is the critical variable in breastfeeding success. La Leche League provides this local support through phone and online help as well as monthly meetings led by trained leaders. Meetings are held the third Monday of every month at Kootenay Kids, 312 Silica Street (Family Place) from 10 to 11:30 a.m. All breastfeeding and pregnant mothers and their children are welcome.

La Leche League is very grateful for the support of the credit union and will use this donation for their annual affiliation fee to La Leche League International, to purchase books for the group library and for material to promote breastfeeding in the Nelson area.