Greenville business a resource for breastfeeding mothers

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – As a nationwide baby formula shortage enters its eighth month after supply chain shortages and recalls, a resource in Eastern Carolina is reminding mothers of an alternative.

Inside the Happy Girls Bras Boutique in Greenville, in addition to plenty of bras, is a special room in the back for nursing mothers.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s household pulse survey, around 33% of American families were still struggling to find baby formula in September. Even before the nationwide formula shortage, the Happy Girls Bras Boutique provided an opportunity to aid the mothers in the community.

In 2012, when the store opened, it included a nursing room in the back with the supplies a mother needs to take care of her baby.

“So we have people coming in almost every day to use the nursing room,” said Happy Girls Bras store owner, Erica Russell. “With the formula shortage, I have seen more mothers, especially new mothers, first-time moms coming in to learn about feeding their babies and a place for them to be comfortable while they learn.”

At Happy Girls Bras, Sophie Szymeczek, an international board-certified lactation consultant, is available to meet with and provide a free consultation about breast-feeding goals and struggles. Szymeczek says breastfeeding is not as easy as it seems.

“It’s difficult. I will be the first to say, it’s not always the easy road that it looks like on film,” said Szymeczek. “But the fact that moms worry that they may not be able to get what they need to feed their baby unless they make it themselves is kind of a motivating factor. It’s always there.”

Christina Hardee, a Greenville mother, uses the store’s facility often. Hardee says she wanted to breastfeed for the natural antibodies that come from the milk but struggled.

“So I enjoy it because it’s got a very comfortable back room. It’s got a really nice rocking chair and make sure he is comfortable,” said Hardee. “I am able to weigh him and make sure he is getting enough because we did struggle with a lip tie and a tongue in the beginning”

Again this room is a community resource for local moms or mothers traveling through the area. If you would like to schedule a consultation, you call the store directly at (252) 364-8729.

“We want to help mothers meet their goals,” said Szymeczek.

Another resource for nursing-friendly businesses is the North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition website. It provides a list of businesses throughout the Tar Heel state.

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