Many mothers strive to breastfeed their babies from birth, for most it is an amazing experience they remember for years! Finding other mothers who are breastfeeding can be a great way to make new friends and feel supported through the breastfeeding journey.
Have you checked out a local La Leche League meeting?
So what is LLL and why should you attend?
The mission of LLL is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.
A typical LLL meeting is led by a leader, who went through a process of being educated on common breastfeeding concerns and topics. Leaders also have to have breastfed their own children and meet additional criteria.
Meeting topics include, advantages of breastfeeding, bringing baby home, avoiding difficulties, nutrition and weaning. Meeting formats vary from group to group and leader to leader. Within the group I lead, we talk about the formal meeting topic for about 30 minutes, answer general questions from the group and then allow the mothers to socialize. Mothers help other mothers and the leaders help guide the conversation when needed. Some ideas and topics are great for one particular family but may not work for others, we realize that and respect each other’s opinions.
So who comes to LLL meetings?
Mothers, babies, siblings(big and small) grandmothers, friends, sometimes we have local midwives stopping by to check out our group, basically any female who is pregnant, breastfeeding or interested in the topic is welcome to attend!
When children see other children (babies or toddlers) breastfeeding it helps normalize breastfeeding. We are showing young children that it is socially acceptable to breastfeed. When other women or children see others breastfeeding they themselves are more likely to initiate breastfeeding.
Some women choose to exclusively pump or may be returning to work in the near future. They are welcome at meetings also! While feeding directly at the breast is best, we realize that sometimes that does not happen or cannot be sustained long term. It’s very surprising when questions about pumping arise, because many other mothers usually have the same question! Pumping in the workplace and pumping technique are frequently discussed topics.
Mom’s need the support of other like-minded mom’s! New mothers need to be supported. When these mothers come and meet other new mothers, they make connections and feel empowered to keep up the great work they are doing. Mother’s share stories with each other, give support and make new friend. Its funny, sometimes as leaders we have these great meeting topics all planned out, we get to the meetings and it becomes very obvious the moms of the group want to discuss something different. Usually we switch gears quickly and help facilitate the new conversation!
Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to nurture your baby. I hope to see you at a meeting soon!