PEI

Breastfeeding group on P.E.I. aims to become more inclusive

A group that supports breastfeeding mothers is rebranding on P.E.I. with the goal of making support more accessible and inclusive for Island parents.  

Group able to reach more people with online meetings

Tiffany MacDonald decided to restart La Leche League after her daughter was born prematurely. (Submitted by Tiffany MacDonald)

A group that supports breastfeeding mothers is rebranding on P.E.I. with the goal of making support more accessible and inclusive for Island parents.  

The La Leche League is an international organization that promotes breastfeeding. 

Until recently, the local group's name included Charlottetown. But as more meetings are held online due to COVID-19, the name was changed to include all of P.E.I. 

Tiffany MacDonald, La Leche League P.E.I.'s leader, said the goal is to make sure anyone — not just moms but fathers and grandparents if they choose  — can attend and feel welcome no matter where they live on the Island. 

'Raising awareness'

"Right now we're focusing on raising awareness about the group," she said.

It's so much more convenient for moms to just take their cup of coffee in their PJs and dial in— Tiffany MacDonald

"It's not strictly for breastfeeding moms, if you're partially breastfeeding, supplementing with formula, whatever the case may be, or if you just need some mom support you can drop in now that we're doing the virtual meetings."

The group meets twice per month online, once during the day and once in the evening. 

"It's so much more convenient for moms to just take their cup of coffee in their PJs and dial in. So we're hoping that by fall we'll have a greater awareness in all of P.E.I."

MacDonald said she noticed the group was dormant when she reached out months ago after her daughter was born prematurely at 28 weeks. 

'Hub for mothering'

"I had a really long road as many moms of premature babies would know. It's very, very difficult to successfully breastfeed and not have to supplement with formula. And it was really hard to find support."

MacDonald got her La Leche accreditation and she and Chris Ortenberger took it upon themselves to get the group going again.

"I thought if I could help any mom not have those struggles then that would be well worth my time," MacDonald said.

"I personally will be focusing on making the Facebook page more interactive and making it more of a hub for mothering, rather than strictly breastfeeding."

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With files from Jessica Doria-Brown

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