Got support for breast-feeding?
LUTZ- Nursing moms find fellowship, encouragement and support through a church group.
By EBONY WINDOM Times Correspondent
Published May 4, 2007
Nicole Feinman remembers wrinkling her nose in disgust when she spotted a woman at a park breast-feeding.
But that was years ago.
As a new mom, Feinman has since chosen to nurse her 6-month-old son, Nicholai.
And she's proud of it.
Feinman has a circle of breast-feeding gal pals to back her up, too. They're part of a church support group called Got Milk?
Feinman, 25, admits that breast-feeding "is not the easy road." Nursing moms "need to be encouraged and supported, " she said.
That's where Got Milk? comes in.
The group started about a year ago at Grace Family Church, a nondenominational, youth-oriented church in Lutz that Got Milk? founder Amanda Corbin, 25, says is "totally cool."
Expectant and new moms show up for monthly Got Milk? meetings in a room just off the sanctuary. It's a cozy spot, outfitted with a circle of rocking chairs for nursing.
They start each meeting with prayer. And sometimes they use Scriptures as backup.
God designed mothers for breast-feeding, Corbin insists, pointing out a scripture in Genesis that refers to breasts as blessed.
"We as women are supposed to be nurturers, " said co-leader Tina Stumpfhauser, 34, of Town 'N Country. "We are supposed to take care of the babies' needs. And God gave us everything we need to take care of the babies' needs. ... We're capable."
Most members are stay-at-home moms. Leaders Corbin and Stumpfhauser are just mothers, not lactation consultants or nurses. But at these meetings, they dispense motherly wisdom and gentle support .
Feinman, who lives near the University of South Florida, started attending the support group meetings while pregnant. Later, she joined Grace Family Church.
Got Milk? has seen her through numerous challenges. Early on she suffered a nasty bout with thrush. Some family members gave her a hard time about her choice to breast-feed. Even Feinman's husband was less than supportive at first. But, Feinman's Got Milk? girlfriends had her back.
At a recent meeting they tackled the topic of breast-feeding in public, with Feinman showing off her colorful floral nursing shawl.
Michelle Burgroff, 31, of Lutz used to be ultradiscreet while nursing her oldest son. She remembers breast-feeding in her car, hoping no one would walk by and spot her.
"My comfort level has increased now, " she said.
Mothers should feel proud of breast-feeding "instead of always hiding like it's a bad thing. It's natural, " Stumpfhauser said. "Our society portrays breasts as sexual. In other countries, people wouldn't even bat an eye."
. if you go
Got Milk? meets the first Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon at Grace Family Church, 5101 Van Dyke Road in Lutz. The meeting is open to the public. Children are welcome. For information, call the church at (813) 265-4151 or Amanda Corbin at (813) 383-0177, or visit www.gracefamilychurch.org.
[Last modified May 3, 2007, 08:22:04]
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