Wednesday, January 7, 2009

La Leche League meeting

Today I went to the day LLL meeting in Nashville. I attended an evening meeting in November and really enjoyed my experience with these wonderful women. I was excited to return to a meeting with my baby!

It is encouraging to be surrounded by all these awesome & empowered breastfeeding (and some pregnant as I was at my first meeting) women, an opportunity to share experiences and also get feedback if having issues. The meeting typically includes a training/educational component. The diverse group of women and their children creates such a lovely supportive environment which I really needed this week in my efforts to breastfeed effectively.

As I arrived late (it seems like my new calling card) they were introducing themselves, their child and his/her age and also what you like about breastfeeding. Today's topic was about the basic fundamentals of breastfeeding. I, of course, shared that I like the free aspect of breastfeeding, not necessary to buy formula or deal with bottles. There are many health benefits for both the mother and child. Also the emotional connection to your child builds trust and bonding. There is also the convenient aspect of breastfeeding in terms of readiness whereever you are, again no need for bottles and formula.

Someone mentioned the connection between mothers and daughters who breastfed which I never thought of. Bonnie didn't breastfeed us (she listened to the doctor). However, it seems understandable as it must be very challenging with TWO babies. Having a daughter it makes me excited about Julia breastfeeding her children, possibly a daughter, in the far future!

Another woman mentioned the generational gap - a large portion of a generation who didn't breastfeed. Women (my mother's age) were told that breast feeding was inferior (poor people's food) and formula much more superior. Bonnie is an example of that generation who didn't breastfeed and therefore cannot share that experience with me. She also mentioned the incidence of cancer, so much now, and the possible connection between not breastfeeding, having consequences for both mother and child, especially a female child.

One of my favorites: how the exposure of breastfeeding impacts young children, especially boys. The woman shared about a boy hearing a baby cry and saying "someone needs to nurse this baby." I think of LJ on our first evening home from hospital and how he helped me position a pillow in order to feed Julia. Most 14 year olds might be embarrassed to even know what I was doing, much less assist me.

We are powerful women and we make milk to feed our children!