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La Leche League International
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by Mary Hurt
2001 Conference Team and PR Associate

from LEAVEN, Volume 36, No 1, February-March 2000, p. 13

Have you ever been mesmerized by the variegated and changing pattern of a kaleidoscope? Peering through this delightful instrument, many of us have been fascinated by the seemingly endless and beautiful designs that spiral in a colorful display. No matter what the configuration, the little mosaic takes shape into something beautiful to behold. No matter how different, or perhaps because of the differences, the colors meld into interesting arrangements - all different, each beautiful in its uniqueness.

Perhaps the mothers in your Group remind you of the kaleidoscope - each unique, each beautiful in her relationship with her nursing baby. There is the gregarious, albeit somewhat tired mother of twins; the mother who has just returned to outside employment and is continuing to breastfeed; the single mother and her family of two; and the mother staying home with her first breastfed baby. You may have a mother who had a cesarean section sitting next to a mother whose birth was attended by a midwife at home. You may have a mother who home schools and a mother who sits on the local school board. Each with her own very different pattern and each beautiful, they are at your meeting to receive support and information to breastfeed their babies.

An LLLI Conference gives us a global view of the unique patterns of breastfeeding around the world. You might meet a health professional from a country where women are not allowed to congregate in groups. You might see a heavily veiled woman nursing her baby in a session. You are sure to enjoy the children from many different lands!

You will see entire families, mothers and fathers, teenagers, and grandparents, and of course, the babies and children. Chances are, you will renew friendships and make new ones.

No matter what differences exist, you will see the effect of mother-to-mother support for breastfeeding the world over.

At an LLLI Conference, you will have a huge variety of sessions to choose from. Many are directly related to breastfeeding. Others fit into the scheme of cultures, friends, and family in a different way. Perhaps there will be a session on aging parents that offers support to adult children during that stage of their lives. Perhaps there will be sessions on older children that will renew parent's energy and help them continue to enjoy parenting. All help mothers to breastfeed their babies whether directly through specific information on breastfeeding or through supporting those who support breastfeeding mothers - Leaders, parents, and health professionals. The speakers' energy and information, the atmosphere, and the attendees all make the LLLI Conference a happy and unforgettable experience. It's an experience that nurtures the nurturers!

Come join us in this joyful and meaningful experience at LLLI's 17th International Breastfeeding Conference: A Kaleidoscope of Families, Friends, and Cultures, July 7-10, 2001, Chicago Hilton and Towers, Chicago, IL, USA.

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