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Collective Wisdom to be Shared at LLLI Conference Sessions

From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 20 No. 1, January-February 2003, p. 24

La Leche League International Conferences offer the opportunity to discover the strength and diversity of the international breastfeeding community. Nowhere is the collective wisdom of the world's breastfeeding and parenting experts more apparent than at the sessions, luncheons, the tea, and the banquet. Nowhere in the world can all seven Founders of La Leche League be found at the same time other than at the La Leche League International Conference.

Elisabet Helsing, BSc, MSc, DrMedSci, will inspire us to explore breastfeeding at the opening session as she addresses "Why We Are Where We Are and Where We May Go." Be prepared to be informed and motivated as Dr. Helsing explains the current breastfeeding climate and hope for the future in a world where breastfeeding would be the norm. Author of several books in Norwegian and English including Breastfeeding: How to Support Success, Dr. Helsing is also Senior Adviser, International Affairs and Public Health for the Norwegian Board of Health in Oslo, Norway. She is the Founder of Ammehjelpen, Norway (a mother-to-mother support group), the mother of two children, and grandmother of seven.

In a dynamic presentation at the first luncheon that offers Continuing Education Credits, Miriam Labbok, MD, MPH, FACPM, IBCLC will encourage a global look at how the current climate of breastfeeding impacts lactational amenorrhea, infant survival, and infant and young child feeding and care in "State of the Art of Breastfeeding." Dr. Labbok is a premier researcher, prolific author, and well-known international speaker. She has traveled extensively doing field research, serving on evaluation teams, working in project development and in an advisory capacity in a multitude of countries from Argentina to Zimbabwe. She has been the recipient of many awards including the Paul György Award for Research and the First Annual Service and Technology in Development Award for innovative research on service delivery issues and policy development in Morocco.

The Afternoon Tea on July 4 features all seven Founders of La Leche League as they present "Thanks for the Memories." Each of the Founders will speak for a few minutes on the person who influenced her the most in her life. The Founders of LLLI are exceptional women and role models. Their collective wisdom and insight are inspiring to all of us. Attend the tea and discover who their role models are. Professional entertainment will enhance their presentations. Add to this an elegant light meal and you have the recipe for a lovely afternoon.

"Playful Parenting" takes center stage at the second luncheon when Lawrence Cohen, PhD, tells us how to connect with children of any age with the powerful tool of play. He will explore the world of children and explain how parents can help them try on adult roles, develop a closeness with them, and help them process information. Dr. Cohen is a licensed therapist, speaker, and consultant. He is the author of numerous articles in professional journals as well as Playful Parenting and Mom, They're Teasing Me. Dr. Cohen will also present a session on helping parents deal with teasing and bullying.

Rounding out the third luncheon will be a spectacular presentation of visuals with an amusing and informative narrative by Anne-Marie Kern, IBCLC. She will present "Breastfeeding in the Arts: A Slide Presentation of Famous Art Work." Her widely acclaimed presentation features breastfeeding themes such as breastfeeding positions, twins, hand expression, traveling, and more as seen in world-famous artistic masterpieces. Her well-received production promises to provide an informative, sometimes poignant, and often humorous slant on breastfeeding through the ages. Ms. Kern is a member of the Faculty of VELB Breastfeeding Managing Course of the European Lactation Consultant Association, Coordinator of the BFHI program for UNICEF in Austria, and Administrator and Secretary for the European Association of Lactation Consultant courses in Austria for the preparation of the IBLCE Exam.

To end the Conference and motivate everyone to go back into the real world where breastfeeding is not yet the norm is the elegant Banquet. We will leave strengthened by our diversity with renewed commitment to creating one breastfeeding world. The Banquet will feature wonderful food, entertainment, and a surprise guest celebrity.

The LLLI Conference is one of a kind. Join us to learn, laugh, and share in the excitement. See you at the Hilton San Francisco, July 3-6, 2003, San Francisco, California, USA.

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