Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit October 18, 2012 - 5:28 am

New Iqaluit La Leche group forms to promote breastfeeding

“Even if there’s only three moms in it, it’s worth it"

SAMANTHA DAWSON
This is the logo of the La Leche League, an international organization which encourages mothers to meet and discuss baby issues, especially breastfeeding.
This is the logo of the La Leche League, an international organization which encourages mothers to meet and discuss baby issues, especially breastfeeding.

Carine Chalut wants Iqaluit mothers and pregnant women to receive more support.

That’s why she’s started a local chapter of La Leche League Canada – an organization formed in 1961 to encourage mothers to meet and discuss baby issues, especially breastfeeding.

About six in 10 Nunavut women breastfeed their babies over some period of time, says the Inuit Child Health Survey for Nunavut.

But only one in three are exclusively breastfed for six months, the period recommended by the World Health Organization.

“A majority of women end up bottle feeding,” Chalut said.

The Iqaluit La Leche plans to meet every second Thursday of the month from 9:30 a.m to 11:30 a.m, starting Nov. 8, at the francophone centre.

This kind of breastfeeding and mother-to-mother support group is needed, the group leader said.

“I think most moms would benefit from having other moms to understand what they’re going through.”

People in the group won’t only talk about the advantages of breastfeeding, but also about proper nutrition and how to welcome a new baby into the home.

“It’s kind of informal,” said Chalut, who moved back to Iqaluit in June from the Ottawa area.

Chalut, a mother of three, led La Leche groups for more than a year in Ottawa before coming north again.

Chalut said nurses don’t always have time to spend with new mothers one-on-one.

“We need another place where moms can go for help,” said Chalut who decided she would start the group this fall.

“Even if there’s only three moms in it, it’s worth it. I’m not expecting the big crowds I had in Ottawa.”

Chalut said she’s also offering phone services to new moms, in case they need to talk in between group meetings.

Anyone interested in joining the group may call Chalut at 867-979-3840.

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