August 3, 2008

Breast-Feeding Group Holds Celebration and Fundraiser


By Lia Russell

The Virginian-Pilot

Krysten Pizzurro was frustrated and desperate.

In addition to suffering sleep deprivation and post-partum depression, her newborn, Miriam, wouldn't breast-feed.

"She would scream every time I tried to nurse her," Pizzurro, 26, said of her daughter, who was born last December. "I thought she hated me."

Instead of giving up, Pizzurro showed up on the doorstep of Mary Comes, a leader of the La Leche League of Portsmouth, the local branch of an international breast-feeding advocacy group.

"After 3 or 4 hours at Mary's house, (Miriam) was latching on and nursing," Pizzurro said. "I learned that all issues boil down to perseverance and support."

The all-volunteer La Leche League of Portsmouth has helped hundreds of mothers like Pizzurro over its 20-plus years in the city.

On Saturday, the group will be reaching out to more mothers with its second annual World Breastfeeding Walk Celebration - a promotional and fundraising event.

In honor of the upcoming summer Olympics, this year's theme is "Mother Support: Going for the Gold."

"An athlete needs a healthy start in life," Comes said. "There is no question that optimal infant and young child feeding are essential for the best possible growth and development."

The family-friendly program will include a ceremonial 10-minute walk, silent auction, free refreshments, children's activities, door prizes, vendors and even a dove release.

"There is no charge for admission or for any of the activities unless you bid in the silent auction," Comes said. "It's a wonderful opportunity for families to come out and learn about breast- feeding, support moms who breast-feed and have a great time."

Included among the 33 items up for auction are Norfolk Tides baseball tickets, ultrasound imaging, belly casting, belly painting, a photography session, diaper cakes, diaper starter packages, baby items, jewelry and much more.

Local businesses - including Olde Towne Bakery, Sweet Temptations, The Cake Place, Rita's Pizza, Curves of Portsmouth, Olde Towne Ice Cream Shop, D & A Scrapbook Store and Foggy Point Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre - have donated items.

"Last year we raised $540," Comes said. "Our goal this year is $1,000."

Half of all money raised stays with the local group. The remaining funds support programs of the international organization.

About 80 people participated in last year's walk. Comes anticipates up to 200 on Saturday.

Among other services, La Leche League of Portsmouth provides information and support, including 24-hour telephone support, to breast-feeding mothers. It also maintains a lending library of helpful books, resources for nursing moms and holds monthly meetings.

There is no cost for services or to attend meetings.

"Breast-feeding isn't just good for babies," Comes said. "It also provides many advantages to mothers like post-partum weight loss, a lower incidence of breast and ovarian cancers and economic savings. We want people to understand the many benefits breast-feeding offers."

For more information about La Leche League of Portsmouth, call 487-6007 or visit

Lia Russell, 222-5829, [email protected]


What World Breastfeeding Walk Celebration

When 10 a.m. Saturday; walk starts at 11 a.m.

Where Portsmouth City Park

Cost free

More info 487-6007


What World Breastfeeding Walk Celebration

When 10 a.m. Saturday; walk starts at 11 a.m.

Where Portsmouth City Park

Cost free

More info 487-6007

Originally published by BY LIA RUSSELL.

(c) 2008 Virginian - Pilot. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.