Los Angeles CA USA
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 24 No. 4, July-August 2007, p. 162
I am and will be forever grateful for knowing about La Leche League and for the warm and dedicated support that its online members have given me. When my first baby girl was born at the hospital, the lactation consultant reminded me that if I wished to know more about breastfeeding, I could always contact La Leche League.
As soon as I got home, I enrolled on the Internet parenting forum at www.llli.org and, at first, I just read the many posts on various subjects from the other mothers. I learned a lot just by reading.
It was not until my baby was four months old that I reached out to the other members of the forum about a health issue. All the support I got online saved me from stopping the beautiful journey of breastfeeding.
My daughter had a case of diarrhea or very loose stool for over two weeks. At first, my husband and I were told that she might have caught a virus, rotavirus, but after tests we were told it was not that. The doctor suggested that my baby might be allergic to my milk or lactose intolerant to my milk.
When the pediatrician brought a can of powdered milk into the examining room, I felt as if something were dying inside of me. I had to face the fact that I might have stop breastfeeding and, at the same time, I felt tremendous guilt and disgust that my own body had just failed me.
When I got home, I immediately posted on the LLLI online forum about my problem, and answers, suggestions, and advice poured in. Of course, the decision was mine to make, but what I learned from all the feedback was the fact that babies are rarely lactose intolerant to their mother's milk. This was also confirmed by my own research.
The help I received through La Leche League gave me the confidence to tell the pediatrician that weaning my baby was not an option, and that we needed to try something else.
In the end, I think that her diarrhea was due to the fact that I had an abundance of foremilk and not enough hindmilk, and the situation resolved itself. Thanks to La Leche League, I can say that I'm still nursing my daughter, who is now 18 months old. This will continue until one of us feels that it's time to stop.
I've learned the nuances of breastfeeding and know it's truly an art. I'm still learning as I go, and I'm truly elated that I am able to give this miraculous gift to my baby.
When I have my second baby, I will certainly still be linked to La Leche League. I have told all of my friends about the organization that has helped me so much. A very heartfelt thank you to all the Leaders and mothers of La Leche League for their dedication in helping all mothers.