A Gift from My Sister
From New Beginnings, Vol. 26 No. 1, 2009, pp. 19-20
My younger sister, Jaime, has always been one to learn a lot by reading. So when she was pregnant, Jaime read and learned a lot about breastfeeding. She joined a La Leche League Group in her area and established a wonderful breastfeeding relationship with her daughter, Erin.
When I became pregnant a month after Erin was born, I asked Jaime about breastfeeding. She told me several positives about it and told me to look up the number of my local LLL Group. She didn't push information on me. In her quiet way, she just recommended I read about it and decide for myself. I attended one LLL meeting late in my pregnancy. I didn't read a whole lot about it, just the basics, and thought that my baby and I would figure it out if it were meant to be.
I didn't talk to my husband about it much or have him read anything about it either. I remember him being very shocked when late in the pregnancy I announced that I would be exclusively feeding the baby; we would not be using bottles if all went well. I remember he was not too happy about it. Looking back now, both of us should have read a lot more and given a lot more thought to the subject.
My sister and I were not breastfed. Our mom says it just was not something you did then. So, we had never really been around any breastfeeding mothers. We were never taught about it in school, and no one ever talked to us about it. I believe that my lackadaisical attitude toward breastfeeding during my pregnancy came from a lack of knowledge; knowledge (thank goodness) that my sister learned from a book and passed on to me.
When my daughter was born, I had some complications, and it took seven days for my milk to come in -- seven long days in which my husband and I were vigorously reading about breastfeeding. Our LLL Leader, Jeanette, was awesome, providing us with much needed support and encouragement. She even came to visit me at my house because I was too ill to leave. And, of course, I called my sister. At that point I was determined to breastfeed. Seeing what a positive experience it was for my sister made me all the more eager to nurse my own child. I am so glad that I did.
My 11-month-old daughter, Madison, and I have a beautiful breastfeeding relationship. My husband has also learned so much about it and has become my partner in this adventure. I still remember him trying to help me latch Madison on in the early days and our amazement the moment when my milk finally came in.
I'm so glad I didn't miss out on one of the best experiences of my life, all due to the inspiration from a younger, smarter sister. Thank goodness for sisters! Thank you,