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Conference Speakers

Mary Hurt
LLLI Public Relations Associate
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 38 No. 5, October-November 2002 p. 115.

The old adage, "The more things change the more they stay the same," couldn’t be truer than when applied to childbirth, breastfeeding, and getting the sleep you need while meeting the needs of your baby. Over 30 years ago when I was pregnant with my first child, the debate centered around whether medicated births caused difficulties.

Thirty years later, young women are often given epidurals as a matter of course and told that they do not affect the baby in any way. Yet Leaders and other lactation professionals who deal with the aftereffects of failure to latch on might disagree. The Founders were wise indeed when they thought about childbirth as the beginning of breastfeeding and incorporated a meeting about childbirth in their series.

The need for mothers to understand how a good childbirth experience can make the early days of breastfeeding easier is underscored by several childbirth experts who will speak at the 2003 LLLI Conference in San Francisco, California, USA. Sandra Apgar Steffes, RN, MS, LCCE, FACCE, Fellow of the American College of Psychoprophylaxis in Obstetrics, and a founding member of the Lamaze International faculty and member of its Board of Directors, will talk about the implications of childbirth choices on breastfeeding as she shares her ideas at her session, "Behind Closed Doors: Birth Decisions and the Effect on Breastfeeding."

Marji and Jay Hathaway, founders with Robert A. Bradley, MD, of the American Academy of Husband Coached Childbirth, co-authors of Husband Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth, and authors of Children at Birth, will present their unique perspective at their session, "The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth: Empowering Parents to Have the Best, Safest, and Most Rewarding Experience Possible." Penny Simkin, PT, founder of the Pacific Association for Labor Support (PALS) and Doulas of North America (DONA), author of Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, The Birth Partner, and The Labor Progress Handbook, will speak about "The Seduction of Induction."

When I was a new LLL member two other topics that were covered were meeting the baby’s needs while meeting your own needs for sleep, and whether or not to let your baby cry it out. There was a lot of concern about getting your baby to sleep through the night. Of course, the LLL Leaders in the Group gently discussed the needs of baby, how you couldn’t spoil a newborn by meeting his needs, and how to meet baby’s needs while getting sleep yourself. Today there seems to be even more of a proliferation of books about sleep training and not meeting the needs of a baby in gentle ways.

The LLLI Conference will present experts with a more gentle view on getting a good night’s sleep while caring for your baby. Jay N. Gordon, MD, well known pediatrician, author, and television consultant will speak on the topic of his latest book, Good Nights: The Happy Parents’ Guide to the Family Bed. Dr. Gordon, who has appeared on numerous TV shows such as "20/20" and "Good Morning America," will also speak about "The Vegetarian Breastfeeding Mother and Baby." Paul Fleiss, MD, MPH and well-known pediatrician will talk about the subject of his latest book, Sweet Dreams: A Pediatrician’s Secrets for Your Child’s Good Night’s Sleep. Harvey Karp, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, a well-known pediatrician who has appeared on many TV shows, and author of The Happiest Baby on the Block: Calming a Crying Baby Using Techniques from Ancient and Modern Cultures, will speak on this topic at the LLLI Conference.

All in all, there will be almost 100 separate sessions at the LLLI Conference to be held, July 3-6, 2003, in San Francisco, California, USA. Other topics include Continuing Education sessions about breastfeeding, personal development sessions, international sessions, and, of course, parenting topics. Help celebrate by joining us as LLLI presents the 18th International Breastfeeding Conference: Strength Through Diversity: Creating One Breastfeeding World.

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