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La Leche League International
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A Healthy Start

Leigh Blankenburg
Lexington, TX, USA
From New Beginnings, Vol. 26 No. 2, 2009, p. 27

Breastfeeding is the best first gift after birth a mother can give her child for a healthy start; and mother's milk continues to be the best source of nourishment and comfort for a child until weaning occurs. I know firsthand that mothers need support from family, friends, health care workers, and community for this wonderful bond with their child to develop and continue for as long as mutually desired by mother and child. That is why when I was selected as Mrs. Lee County International 2009 to compete in the Mrs. Texas International pageant, I chose Breastfeeding Education and Awareness as my platform for promotion.

I am a wife and mother and passionate about breastfeeding. While pregnant, I read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and other books from La Leche League International as well as New Beginnings. I am a member of LLL and attend LLL meetings in Katy, Texas. My husband and I practice Natural Family Planning and have used exclusive (and now continued) breastfeeding to help naturally space out our children. This has allowed me to experience amenorrhea for about 25 months postpartum. We hope to conceive again soon. I plan to nurse my son while pregnant -- he still nurses when he wants to and in the night -- and tandem nurse thereafter if he still needs to breastfeed. He is two years old and I plan to let him self-wean.

I enjoy helping my family and friends with breastfeeding questions and awareness.

As Mrs. Lee County International, I am looking forward to encouraging local businesses to become more breastfeeding friendly for the benefit of workers, customers, and visitors, for instance, by asking them to display "Breastfeeding is Welcome Here" stickers. I hope to promote Year of the Family in the Austin Catholic Diocese; and I pray that we can give support to other families to do their best for their children to give them a healthy start.

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