How an Idaho Falls Breastfeeding Support Group Is Making Connections

“When I moved here a little less than a year ago, I was trying to figure out who my people were, and who I might be able to refer out to,” laughs Sara Walsh, an IBCLC based in Idaho Falls. “I wanted to find a way to connect and support families together,” she says.

 

Initially, Walsh had trouble identifying an easy path that would help her meet her combined goals of community and support, which led her to creating her own event. Hoping to gain traction for her private practice while raising money for Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition, Walsh focused on connecting mothers with each other, with relevant services, and with an opportunity to meet in person. By working with IBC, she hopes to bring recognition to the needs that her community faces by drawing people together toward a common goal.

 

Ultimately, Walsh hopes to spread the word about the breadth of lactation services available to parents within her community, who may not know about the variety of options for help they actually have. Walsh describes the community as wonderful and tight knit, but perhaps unaware of the ways they can seek help–and she hopes to change that.

 

What’s true of breastfeeding is that bad information sometimes abounds, and parents have a difficult time parsing through what is accurate, what will work for them, and how exactly to accomplish their desired outcome. Sometimes, the key to solving these difficulties is in-person support, which has looked a little different in a world still adapting to Covid-19. To help offer this support in a meaningful way, Walsh formed a group on social media. It got a lot of traction, quickly building to around 300 members who continued to express a desire to congregate in person.

 

Walsh’s first event happened in a small community room, and she describes it as informal, more like a bunch of friends getting together. But she’d obviously landed on something–the group continues to grow and members express their desire for in person events. Walsh is now hosting a larger Idaho Falls Breastfeeding Support Group event, held at 11AM on April 30 at The Healing Sanctuary in Idaho Falls.

 

The event will feature, among other businesses,  milk photo sessions, pelvic floor therapy demonstrations, a charcuterie table, and silent auction, with proceeds benefiting Idaho Breastfeeding Coalition. Walsh is funding much of the event herself, and is grateful for generous donors who are making it possible.

 

For folks interested in hosting similar events on behalf of IBC or other breastfeeding support organizations, Walsh suggests emphasizing the nonprofit relationship to leverage donations, working with free programs like Canva for graphic design, and simply spreading the word about what you’re looking for–her venue emerged from a conversation with her doctor.

 

See you there

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