The Breastfeeding Group



What is The Breastfeeding Support Group?
The Breastfeeding Support Group is a twice-weekly, live-forum designed to help nursing moms achieve their breastfeeding goals. The other moms and I are there to offer support and encouragement to any mom who is offering any amount of breast milk to their baby.  All breastfeeding moms and their babies are welcome. The groups are open, accepting, and non-judgmental. Most moms attend Group because they have questions about breastfeeding or need help.

When do the groups meet?
Groups meet every week on Wednesdays, from noon-1:30pm and Thursdays, from 10:30am to noon.

Is there a fee?
  It is a free community service provided by VHC, so there is no fee or charge for attending.

Who facilitates the group?
The group is moderated by me, Susan Howard, an experienced Registered Nurse who is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).

Can I get a lactation consultation at Group?
No. A lot of breastfeeding challenges can be solved in a group setting, but the Breastfeeding Groups are usually not  "hands-on" forums. If you need more in-depth help or prefer an in-person consult, contact us to arrange a 1:1 home visit.

What if my baby needs to eat at group?
If your baby gets hungry, by all means, feed your baby at Group!  Whether you feed at the breast, with a bottle, with a nipple shield or any other device---it is okay. Groups are open, accepting, and non-judgmental. Most moms attend Group because they have questions about breastfeeding or need help.

What if my baby cries the whole time?
Babies cry. It's okay. I know that you will do your best to respond and comfort your baby. Rest assured that everyone present is a mom and we get it:  babies cry. life happens. If you are concerned, you can always step out for a few minutes to settle your baby.

I am exclusively pumping; can I attend?
Absolutely!  If you are making milk for your baby, you may have a few questions about pumping. I can help offer ideas and solutions. If you need to pump during group, bring your pump and plug in!

My baby is in the NICU. Can I attend without my baby?
Having a baby in the NICU is stressful. If you are pumping milk for your baby, or perhaps your baby is not yet latching, this is a great time to attend. I can offer you strategies to help protect your milk supply until your baby can feed at the breast. Many of the group's regular attendees are NICU graduates.

My mom or mother-in-law is here helping me. Can she attend too?
Of course, grandmas are welcome!  Often Grandmas are astonished at the resources and support available to nursing moms.

Group Logistics
Please park your stroller in the Stroller Alcove, near the information desk; space is limited in the classroom. If you need help lifting your car seat from the stroller, let me know; I am happy to help out.

Many moms find that breastfeeding is easier when they have their breastfeeding pillow with them; feel free to bring one.

You will notice that a lot of moms prefer to sit on the floor with their babies during Group. Bring a blanket for your little one. You have room to spread out and babies are often much more tolerant of tummy time when they can see a nearby "friend." There are also chairs for your comfort and convenience.

What else do I need to know?
Each time you attend Group you will be asked to sign the sign-in log with your name, your baby's name and age. This validates that the group is being used.

On your first visit, you will sign a waiver that says: the group moderator is not your healthcare provider, you will look after the safety of your baby while at Group, and you agree to abide by the posted rules when using the baby scale.

One of the benefits of attending the Breastfeeding Group is gaining access to our virtual community.  The Virtual Village offers additional support and functions as an extension of our live weekday group. The Village offers nearly 24-hour support from breastfeeding-friendly and knowledgeable moms.  All the women in the virtual community are currently attending or have attended the live groups at VHC. If you enjoy the live group; the virtual group is event better!


The Working Moms Group



When do the groups meet?
The Working Moms Group typically meets the first and third Sunday at 7pm.

Is there a fee?
  It is a free community service provided by VHC, so there is no fee or charge for attending.


Should I bring my baby?
A lot depends on the baby's age and what works best for your family. About 50% of moms will bring baby and 50% do not.  Some families set aside Group night as quality daddy-baby time while some moms enjoy the social "playdate" time with baby.  

If babies are little, bring baby along just like at the weekday groups. For the older infants, some moms bring baby, they "play" on a blanket, change into pajamas, eat, then baby will often fall asleep on the car ride home.

7 pm is bedtime for my baby. Can I come late?
Yes, some moms arrive a little later after getting baby to bed first.  Do what works for your family!

I am exclusively pumping, will I benefit from the group?
Absolutely! If you are balancing motherhood, work, and milk making, there is a lot to be gained from a supportive circle of moms who "get it." In fact, you may be able to offer strategies to help mommas new to pumping.

I'm not planning to return to work for several months. When is the best time to attend?
The sooner the better!  The more prepared you are for the transition back to work, the easier it will be. Veteran working-milk mommas can share their suggestions and offer guidance.  Bring your questions and learn tips for managing the day in and day out challenges of being a working milk momma.

Some moms even bring their pump, plug in, and pump (under cover) during group!  It is a great way to practice pumping out of the house in a safe environment.  All the oxytocin in the room helps to make it a productive pumping session. Truly!  

I have weaned my baby, may I still attend?
Yes! You have a lot to offer. Please join us and help the newbies transition into this next phase.

I can't make it to group.  Can you just add me to the Working Milk Mommas list-serve?
No. The list-serve was created to augment the live group. It was never designed to replace in-person support.