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A Life-Changing Experience

Joya Matheus
Medina OH USA
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 20 No. 1, January-February 2003, p. 14

I spent more than two years with my local La Leche League Group and it was the single greatest peer group experience I have ever had. Not only did it permanently change my life, but also it was a wonderful and satisfying experience for me. I love La Leche League!

Although I came to La Leche League already breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and carrying my baby much of the day, my Group gave me much-needed and enthusiastic support for my parenting choices. The Leaders and members respected my right to decide what was best for our family.

At each monthly meeting my commitment was recharged after weeks of being "encouraged" by well-meaning family, friends, doctors, and society to be more conventional. La Leche League supported my breastfeeding choices from nursing a premature infant to nursing through infertility treatments. Beyond that, I became exposed to alternative child-rearing practices and options through people I met at LLL meetings.

I am deeply grateful for the breastfeeding support I received from the hospital lactation consultant, Lynn, who helped me to breastfeed my three-and-a-half pound baby. I am also very thankful to my local LLL Leaders, Mary and Karen, whose leadership, support, and love have enabled me to have a long and enjoyable breastfeeding relationship with my daughter, Emma. I benefited tremendously from the participation of such a diverse group of mothers who were breastfeeding infants and toddlers under many different circumstances, including nursing while pregnant and tandem nursing. Without my LLL Group, I'm not so sure I would have nursed Emma as long as I have. She says, "Mom, I love your drinks! Your milk tastes the best!" I am hopeful she will remember this throughout her life.

And although Emma is still breastfeeding, I am working with a lactation consultant to increase my milk supply so that I may breastfeed an infant we will soon be adopting. The breastfeeding and parenting lifestyle I established through LLL meetings is serving me well. I look forward to reading New Beginnings every other month. LLLI is an exceptional organization. I'm so grateful for its existence and I plan on financially supporting it long after my breastfeeding days are past. Thank you, La Leche League!

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