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Breastfeeding support group moves to Marion

Staff writer

Mom to Mom, a support group for breastfeeding mothers recently relocated from the Community Building in Hillsboro to the Health Department in Marion.

“It’s a neutral and comfortable place many mothers already know,” WIC breastfeeding peer counselor Lynette Hiebert said. “Our primary goal is getting children proper nutrition.”

Hiebert leads a Mom to Mom meeting the first Friday of every month. She provides nutrition information and emotional support to new mothers and pregnant women.

Currently raising three children, she has experienced many of same issues as group members, though not all.

“Parenting is more than feeding,” she said. “As a mother, I’ve also learned valuable information from my group about children’s sleeping habits and good ways to discipline, too.”

In its fifth year, the group covers a variety of topics.

“We talk about baby gas a lot,” Hiebert said. “Colic is hard on mothers and babies.”

Eight mothers, six babies, and one preschooler attended January’s meeting.

Dani Hatfield, a Lincolnville mother of four, was at the last meeting.

“My twins are eight months old,” Hatfield said. “Breastfeeding is really a second job. It’s a struggle that becomes your life.”

At the meeting, she shared that she has “slacked off” in her milk collecting duties over the holidays because she lost a part of a breast pump.

“If you don’t make every feeding or pump every two hours you lose your supply, and then you have to work twice as hard to get your supply back up,” she said. “Lynette helped motivate me to reach my 12-month goal for the twins.”

Audrey McPhail of Hillsboro had no real struggles breastfeeding her nine-month-old sons but she liked being there to “lend an ear” to other mothers.

“It’s nice to get out of the house and it’s good to be there to help others,” McPhail said. “I liked watching my son interact with the other kids there.”

Popular topics included breast milk supply, increasing milk supply, ways to help bottle feed, and how to transition babies from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding.

Jessica Felix, a Hillsboro mother of a two month old, said Hiebert has also been to her house to assist her in breastfeeding.

“Lynette helped me figure out that my son was ‘tongue-tied’ and could not stick his tongue out far enough past his lips to properly feed,” Felix said. “We went to the doctor and got his frenulum clipped [string of tissue under the tongue] and haven’t had any problems since.”

Felix said it was nice to have the support of the other women, too.

“I would go every Friday if they offered it,” she said. “When you don’t have family around, it’s nice to be able to vent.”

Hiebert regularly contacts WIC members and checks to see how they’re doing to offer support.

“No baby has a perfect day,” Hiebert said. “If we assume this, we set ourselves up for more stress and disappointment.”

The next Mom to Mom meeting will be from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 6 in the lobby of the Health Department.

For more information about Mom to Mom, contact Marion County Health Department at (620) 382-2550.

Last modified Jan. 21, 2015

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