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La Leche League International
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More Than Just Support

Tracey B.
BC, Canada
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 18 No. 2, March-April 2001, p. 51

Almost seven years ago I bundled my three-month-old daughter, Kate, in the car and braved the icy roads to attend our first La Leche League Series Meeting. It was held in a Group member's home and the atmosphere was cozy and intimate. The camaraderie and friendship among many of these women was clear.

I was surprised by how quickly I felt welcomed and at ease. I listened and watched in wonder as some interesting topics were discussed, such as extended breastfeeding. One woman discussed the ups and downs of nursing a preschooler. I was sure that I would never end up doing that. I'm laughing as I contemplate my son's recent fourth birthday and his continued night nursing. I found that the other topics discussed, such as finding ways to bring baby to social engagements and handling holiday stress, were very practical and helpful.

I left inspired. I was not the only person in the world to feel compelled to be with my baby every minute, to breastfeed freely after the newborn period, and to sleep with my baby. I was also not alone in facing a society that does not always support this style of mothering.

Our first month or two of breastfeeding had been rocky, but having read THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING while pregnant, I felt somewhat prepared and certainly welcome to contact my LLL Leaders via telephone. Once my sore and cracked nipples healed, nursing was blissful. This was a golden time in my life and I treasure my memories of laughter-filled meetings, sharing in the euphoria with other mothers equally in love with mothering.

From parenting and communication skills to natural cooking, LLL has provided so much more to me than expert breastfeeding advice. It has supported natural parenting overall and greatly affected my parenting choices. Over the years my LLL friends cheered my parenting successes and offered support, encouragement, and ideas when the going was tough. I wonder what kind of parent I'd be today without that We of information and support.

LLL has been like a large supportive family to me during my early parenting years. Now that I have moved a province away, I realize how much I miss the women in my Group. My passion and thankfulness for LLL inspire me yet.

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