Baby Bunch to co-host reconnecting, awareness event

By Blythe Alspaugh -

SIDNEY — A local mom’s group is partnering with the Shelby County Health Department to bring awareness toward breastfeeding.

“In collaboration with the Shelby County Health Department, we wanted to celebrate National Breastfeeding Month, and get our moms back together after a long absence of in-person support since the start of the pandemic,” Mary Fessner-Tarjanyi, RN, IBCLC and lactation consultant with Wilson Health, said.

“Party in the Park: In It Together” will be co-hosted by the Shelby County Health Department and the Wilson Health mom’s group the Baby Bunch on Friday, Aug. 13, at 10:30 a.m. in Tawawa Park. The event is open to moms, moms-to-be and their friends and family. According to Fessner-Tarjanyi, this is the first large celebration the Baby Bunch has been able to have in two years.

“We have missed having in-person connections with the mothers in our community, and we are thrilled to be able to hold in-person gatherings like this. Moms benefit so much from coming together with other moms who have ‘been there and done that.’ New moms need this type of community that is difficult to achieve virtually,” Fessner-Tarjanyi said. “We will celebrate anyone who has ever breastfed, anyone who supports breastfeeding, anyone who is pregnant and wants to learn more. There will be light refreshments and fun activities.”

The Baby Bunch is a group at Wilson Health that provides mothers a supportive environment and an opportunity to meet with other moms, ask questions, share ideas and express concerns. According to Fessner-Tarjayni, the support group is facilitated by a certified lactation consultant with experience in working with new mothers.

According to the Center for Disease Control, breastfeeding has health benefits for both babies and mothers. Breast milk provides a baby with ideal nutrition and supports growth and development. Breastfeeding can also help protect baby and mom against certain illnesses and diseases.

There are many benefits to breastfeeding:

• Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most babies. As the baby grows, the mother’s breast milk will change to meet her baby’s nutritional needs.

• Breastfed babies have a lower risk of asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Breastfed babies are also less likely to have ear infections and stomach bugs.

• Breast milk shares antibodies from the mother with her baby. These antibodies help babies develop a strong immune system and protect them from illnesses.

• Mothers can breastfeed anytime and anywhere. Mothers can feed their babies on the go without worrying about having to mix formula or prepare bottles. When traveling, breastfeeding can also provide a source of comfort for babies whose normal routine is disrupted.

• Breastfeeding can reduce the mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, and then continuing breastfeeding while introducing complementary foods until a child is 12 months old or older.

“There can be many barriers to breastfeeding. By celebrating National Breastfeeding Month, we help normalize breastfeeding and empower women to make informed choices. Every amount of breastfeeding, whether two days, two months, or two years, is important for mothers and babies,” Fessner-Tarjayni said.

By Blythe Alspaugh

Reach the writer at

Reach the writer at