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- New La Leche League Support Group Starts Up in Port Hope to Help Women Breastfeed Their Babies -

(PORT HOPE) – Nature’s way – and the best way – to nurture babies will be a bit easier, now that a new breastfeeding support group for mothers is coming to town.

A newly-formed La Leche League chapter is starting up in Northumberland County, providing mom-to-mom support for breastfeeding. The first breastfeeding support group is set for Tuesday, May 7, from 5 pm to 7 pm at the Port Hope Community Health Centre, located at 99 Toronto Road. Thereafter, the new La Leche League breastfeeding support group meets the first Tuesday of every month at the same time and location. There is no cost to attend the support group. More information is available by e-mailing Melissa Anthony at melissa.anthony@hotmail.com or calling Melisande Neal at (705) 932-3129.

“We encourage all mothers, or moms-to-be, to come out and share their breastfeeding and parenting experiences in a supportive, nurturing environment,” says Melissa Anthony, a local resident and Certified La Leche League Leader. “The support group is a chance to socialize and spend time with other mothers and babies, as well as an opportunity for participants to raise confidence in their own parenting and breastfeeding skills. We’ll try to answer questions and address any concerns of the group. Fathers and older siblings are encouraged to attend as well.”

The La Leche League is a national organization whose trained volunteer leaders provide experienced mother-to-mother breastfeeding support through a variety of programs. It has been some years since the La Leche League had an active chapter in Northumberland, so it is nice to see a new local support group starting up again, says Cheryl Baker, a Family Health Nurse with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

“Breast is best for baby” says Baker, “and having local moms be able to come together every month to support each other in breastfeeding is very beneficial for them and their babies.”

Research shows breastfed babies have a reduced risk of developing diabetes, asthma, ear and upper respiratory infections and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Breastfeeding also helps women lose weight gained during pregnancy, and over the long-term, helps protect them against breast and ovarian cancer, as well as weak bones. In Canada, it is recommended women exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first six months of life, as breast milk is the best food for optimal growth. For additional breastfeeding support and resources, visit www.hkpr.on.ca or speak to a Family Health Nurse at the Health Unit by calling (905) 885-9100 or toll-free 1-866-888-4577.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Melissa Anthony, Certified La Leche League Leader, E-mail: melissa.anthony@hotmail.com

or Melisande Neal, Certified La Leche League Leader, (705) 932-3129,

or Cheryl Baker, Family Health Nurse, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100, ext. 275.

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