In preparation for World Breastfeeding Week, which occurs the first week of August annually, I interviewed Katie Hatch, one of the co-leaders of the new La Leche League of Cedar Rapids. This August 6th, their chapter will be hosting a celebration called Live, Love, Latch! at Guthridge Park in Hiawatha to celebrate their addition to the community.
There will be:
- A walk around the park
- Babywearing demonstrations
- Crafts for kids
- Raffles for prizes
- A group photo
- Playtime at the playground and splash pad
In addition, La Leche League of Cedar Rapids will be fundraising by partnering with a few local photographers who will be offering breastfeeding photo mini sessions throughout July. For information on how to schedule, please follow their Facebook page for updates.
Ability to print own photos will be included. These will go fast!
I asked Katie:
How does La Leche League differ from other breastfeeding support groups?
“La Leche League’s (LLL) mission is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother. LLL Leaders have breastfed their own baby and completed a comprehensive training program. LLL material is validated by experts in medical, psychological, nutritional, and child development fields. We help with breastfeeding questions during the entire course of breastfeeding and weaning. We offer support, encouragement, and information to help families meet their breastfeeding goals as an international non-profit organization that has been supporting breastfeeding families for 60 years!”
What can I expect at a meeting?
“Meetings include lots of babies, breastfeeding, and occasionally a few tears and laughs! Our informal monthly meetings are a place to come learn and share breastfeeding information. My Co-Leader, Jen, and I share our knowledge of breastfeeding and the La Leche League philosophy of mothering through breastfeeding. It’s a relaxed, family-friendly, supportive atmosphere, with plenty of time for mother-to-mother sharing and questions. Parents share advice and experiences, and everyone is encouraged to take what you want and leave the rest. Locally we welcome expecting, new and experienced mothers and their families to our meetings. Many friendships start here!”
When should I contact a La Leche League Leader?
“Anytime! Well, maybe don’t call at 2 AM… we do have sleeping children, although we have been known to be on our computers at night, and we know how hard those early morning hours can be. Mothers call, email, and message us with all kinds of breastfeeding questions.
Some examples of topics Leaders help with are: nipple or breast pain, improving latch, how often and how long to breastfeed, working-pumping-milk storage guidelines, breastfeeding multiples, weaning, nighttime parenting, illnesses, medications, fertility, and toddler teething while breastfeeding, and many more.
Leaders are volunteers with families, but we do the best we can to get back to you within a day. We provide free help for all kinds of questions related to breastfeeding, and if we don’t know an answer we can reach out to the extensive La Leche League network.”
Who are the La Leche League (of Cedar Rapids) Leaders?
Jen has been a La Leche League Leader since 2011 shortly after welcoming her second child. After her first child was born, she struggled to feed her baby, and a La Leche League Leader visited her and offered gentle guidance. Jen decided the same day she received breastfeeding support that she wanted to give back to the community what the Leader did for her, offering patience, understanding, and mothering guidance while breastfeeding.
Jen recently welcomed her 3rd child. She stays active in the breastfeeding community, and volunteers as the Co-Area Professional Liaison for Iowa and assists with medical/legal references from La Leche League’s medical and legal advisory panel and other reliable sources.
Katie is passionate about supporting families to meet their breastfeeding and parenting goals. She’s been a member of La Leche League for over 5 years, completed training and was recently accredited as a La Leche League Leader. She’s married to her sweetheart and they have three children with one more expected this Fall. Katie lives on a small farm North of Cedar Rapids and she enjoys mothering, reading, gardening, crocheting, tractor rides with her husband, and participating in local parenting groups.
They are actively seeking local parents who would like to volunteer with our group or work towards LLL Leadership!
Cedar Rapids La Leche League Leaders:
Katie: (319) 343-7770 Email: [email protected]
Jen: (304) 805-6455 Email: [email protected]
To learn more and/or to join a meeting:
- Website: www.llli.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaLecheLeagueofCedarRapids/
Meetings will be held the 4th Thursday of the month at the downtown Cedar Rapids library in the Children’s Room at 6:30. Please follow the Facebook page for updates and other opportunities to join events and support La Leche League.
If you are interested in making a donation to help pay for educational materials, Leader liability insurance fees, and resource library please click here.
Supporting breastfeeding mothers doesn’t start at first latch and end with weaning. Join this community of mothers, fathers, teachers, healthcare professionals, and friends in the cause that will help mothers to feel supported in their feeding journey.
Photos courtesy of the beautiful and talented Destri Andorf of D&orfs Photography.