Thursday, August 19, 2010

Le Leche League and support request

On Tuesday, Mini Dh and I headed to our very first Le Leche League. It's a support group for breastfeeding women. So I'm wayyyy late to join in, I mean Mini Dh is already ten months. But I gotta tell you, it was so refreshing to meet other moms who have the same outlook on breastfeeding. And it was really nice to be able to share experiences, difficulties, and just laugh about funny moments with our young ones. There were pregnant moms, and mothers with babies ranging from 2 weeks all the way to 2 years. For anyone who wants to breastfeed soon, is breastfeeding, or will eventually breastfeed their children, I highly recommend joining your local group. You can find them in almost any city, it's completely free to join, and all you do is go! It was such a relaxing and judge free environment. I was amazed how open all the other mothers were to each different "technique" of the other babies.

I also just wanted to share a really neat story I heard this week. My dear real life friend Beka just became an aunt from her brother and sister in law. Beka messaged me yesterday to tell me about her sister in law trying to breastfeed their daughter. She said they were having a hard ime so one lady came in to help the baby attach properly but couldn't do anything to make it easier. Her sister in law felt like a horrible mother, guilty and like she failed her daughter. The hospital then had a lactation consultant come in, and she successfully helped the baby attach and they were good to go! Beka told me all this because she knows how passionate I am about helping others successfully enjoy breastfeeding. She said she didn't realize how important lactation consultants (and just support in general) were to breastfeeding.

It made me think though, what if the hospital hadn't sent in a second lady to help? I know a few hospitals, including my own where I gave birth, who wouldn't have. I actually had nurses tell me I should just try supplementing with formula. If I would have listened to them and gave even one formula bottle, breastfeeding would have been over for me. Nursing is a challenge at first and it takes a lot of perseverance to push through. It was really awesome to hear about a success story where helpful resources to overcome a breastfeeding obstacle were available. So many times, these resources aren't available and new moms are left to fend for themselves. Let's face it, after giving birth and having a newborn, no on has the energy to search for help on their own. Especially when medical professionals are saying to give up.

On another note, Beka's husband just left yesterday for their first deployment. He has been deployed once before, but this time will be much different as he has a wife waiting at home. Any military wives, husbands, troop supporters, servicemembers etc. out there? Some of us know how heartbreaking and gut wrenching the first few days are. Please head over to her blog if you haven't already and give her some encouragement. Support is everything during this time. Thank you sincerely.


  1. Outside support is SO important to successful breastfeeding. With my son (who is now 4), I only managed to breastfeed for the first 5 months. I didn't have any support. I didn't have any friends who had breastfed and some of the things I read were confusing and conflicting. For instance, I read somewhere that, when you introduce solids, you should start by mixing cereal in a, I began pumping so that I could feed him a bottle with cereal in it. SO DUMB! Also, in the hospital when he was circumcised, they gave him a pacifier and it caused a serious case of nipple confusion. It took me two days to get him back on my breast, so I supplemented with formula.

    This time around, my daughter (who is also 10 months old) has successfully breastfed her entire little life. No formula whatsoever. No paci for the first month to avoid nipple confusion. Lots of pumping and freezing *just in case* I messed up again. I had numerous friends I could go to for support and was just more educated than I was the first time around.

  2. You are right on, Mrs. D.H.! I am heading over to Beka's blog as soon as I finish posting here. Support is always the best medicine.

    I'm really glad you enjoyed your La Leche League meeting! I'm trying to find the closest group to me here at our new station because the connection I had with the moms in my LLL group in Texas was so great. It is wonderful to be around moms who share your parenting ideas and have lots of things to teach each other and learn from each other. I LOVE La Leche League :)

    Also, you will never find a woman more willing to help you through a breastfeeding trouble than a fellow breastfeeding mom! That's what LLL is all about!

    I am very proud to say that my daughter, 2 years in Sept, was totally exclusively breastfed to 6 months and is still nursing to this day... but I would never have been here if not for the Lactation Consultant in the NICU that kept me positive and active in getting Abbey back to the breast after her surgery... no matter how "hopelessly" she shrank away from me. It's hard to cope with a technical lactation issue when breastfeeding is such an emotional issue to a mom. That experience is what inspired me to work toward being an IBCLC. IBCLCs and their colleagues in lactation bridge the gap between the emotional aspect which is so important, and the technical aspect.

    Without both aspects working together, it's easy to fail at breastfeeding in a society that for the most part deems formula "as good as" breastmilk. That's why we "lactation people" are there to help. There are so many things out there on the internet (like USNchic mentioned) that are waaaaay off when it comes to infant nutrition and infant development too (STTN, CIO, "spoiling a baby" all come to mind). It's our job to help moms see the truth about infant feeding and development and bridge that gap to help mom cross difficult bridges when she stumbles upon them.

    Great post. Really enjoyed it. And thanks for posting by "Boobs are made for nursing" button. It looks fantastic on your blog :)

  3. I really wish that I would have joined the LLL at some point with my two boys. I compared myself constantly to only a few other women and their babies and because mine didn't nurse the same (mine were quick and squirmy) I thought I was doing something wrong. After moving to yet another state (thank you military) I have been able to see how others nurse and I am NOT ALONE! So awesome that you are nursing, what a great and amazing bond that is! Keep it up!

    Sorry about your friend and going through a deployment now. I know she will do fin because she has an awesome friend like you!

    By the way, I hope it isn't weird that I am commenting even though we don't know each other! I am just glad to find another Military wife who loves the Lord!

  4. That is SO awesome that you went to a LLL meeting!! Whoo-hoo!! I really wish that I had gotten into that with O, just to have someone tell me what I was going through was normal and to cheer me on. But the nearest meeting is 30 minutes away and I just couldn't handle that...
    Here's to hoping the next one is a little easier ;)

  5. Breast feeding was the hardest, but most amazing experience of my life!

    My experience at the hospital was HELL! They were rude, didn't listen to my wishes, and tried to give him a bottle, even when I told them not to!

    Eventually he latched on and ate like a pro, but it was difficult! I wish I had a blog friend then to support me through that time!

  6. Aww! Girl you have me in tears over here!! Thank you so much for the support! For last night too, it really helped to vent like that! You have been such an awesome and amazing friend. Thank you! I'm happy to hear about your LLL meeting! That's so cool! Like I told you, when all that happened with my sister in law, I thought of you right away. I know your passion for breast feeding, your huge heart and how you like to help and make a difference. That's why I thought of you. You should look into doing that maybe part time or something. Not sure how that works, I can just see you being so sweet and patient with the ladies who need help. =)
    Thanks again so much for the love and support. I know my hubs really appreciates you too. <3

  7. That happened to my sister - one nurse came in, she was having problems, and they just convinced her to go to formula within a few hours. We had already bought my sis a pump and everything (and she was YOUNG and unmarried so breast-feeding would've saved her lots of $$ too!). That was about 7 years ago, and she's pregnant again, so I'm gonna hopefully push her a little more this time and help her get a consultant in there.

    Also, a few months ago I was there as a friend came home from the hospital with her new baby boy, and I watched her struggle and asked her how it felt (no kids for me yet). It was actually refreshing and beautiful to watch her be challenged like that, while also helping me understand it.


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