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Mothers, Babies, and...Dinosaurs?

KeeNan Engstrom
Weber County UT USA From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 22 No. 3, May-June 2005, p. 115

Every year, La Leche League Groups across the USA hold fun, family-oriented events to celebrate breastfeeding and raise money to support the ongoing work of LLL. In 2004, these celebrations took place between the months of May and September. Below, a Leader shares the experience of the LLL of Weber/Davis, Utah Group.

For the 2004 WBW celebration, LLL of Weber/Davis planned an intimate, fun activity mainly for Group members. More than 20 breastfeeding (or former breastfeeding) mothers attended with their families.

The walk event was at Ogden's George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park on a beautiful Monday evening. This six acre outdoor museum is unique in its exhibition of full-bodied creatures of the Dinosaur Age. Realistic sculptures of more than 100 dinosaurs fill the park in a lovely setting. Sound effects allow visitors to hear dinosaurs walking and roaring, the crash of trees brought down by powerful herbivores, and the calls of pterodons gliding through the air (brought to you by a high quality sound system throughout the park).

While walking, interacting, and sharing a meal, not only did we raise money for La Leche League, but we also learned a lot about the similarities between dinosaurs and humans. Here are some of our findings.

We Stay Close to Our Young

As we made our way around the park, we enjoyed the life-sized replicas of all kinds of dinosaurs. One that we took particular interest in was the maiasaura.

The maiasaura, which means “good mother lizard,” was a large, plant-eating, duck-billed dinosaur. It traveled in herds of more than 1,000 to offer safety in numbers and boasted features that would have been perfect for prehistoric parenting (such as huge eyes and superior vision to spot predators). Maiasaura fossils were the first among dinosaur fossils to be found alongside its young, eggs, and nests. This suggests that the maiasaura nurtured its young. Definitely an appropriate mascot for mothers!

We Protect Our Young Ferociously

A favorite exhibit at the park was a robotic triceratops protecting her two babies from a hungry robotic tyrannosaurus rex. The children were a bit frightened at first, but couldn’t resist overcoming their fear to watch these very real looking dinosaurs. The triceratops wasn’t about to let the t-rex get near her babies. As mothers, I’m sure we can all relate to that protective instinct if we sense danger.

We Are Plant Eaters, Meat Eaters, or Both

After our stroll around the park, we enjoyed a potluck dinner. The selections ranged from meaty enchiladas to rice and vegetable dishes. We sat in small groups enjoying friendships and getting to know one another better. By the time we left the park that evening, many of the children could identify, based on the ferocity of the jaw and other factors such as the length of the neck, which of the dinosaurs were carnivores and which were herbivores.

We Are of Ancient Origins

Breastfeeding is the biologically designed method of feeding human babies for as long as humans have existed. We learned that dinosaurs lived and roamed the earth a very long time ago—two hundred million years ago. Some mothers probably feel as though they have been breastfeeding that long!

Baby Humans and Baby Dinosaurs

You might be wondering what similarity we discovered between baby humans and baby dinosaurs. It’s pretty obvious—they are really cute, but watch out when they start teething!

Last updated Monday, October 16, 2006 by njb.
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