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A Baby-Friendly World

By Maria Blois, MD
Dallas TX USA

From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 20 No. 5, September-October 2003, pp. 174

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the La Leche League International Conference in San Francisco. I loved the speakers, chatted with new friends, took in the sights, but most of all, what I treasured was the atmosphere. What would the world look like if we really valued our children? I got a small taste of it at the Conference. Strangers stopped me frequently to talk to my nine-month-old son, Alanson, who was in a sling. They made eye contact and spoke directly to him. During each Conference session, I would look around the room. There were slings and babies everywhere. Beautiful.

I was very interested to see how an International Conference would work with babies and children. I have attended many professional conferences, but I have never heard of one of them including babies and children. In fact, when I told colleagues that I was going to a Conference and was bringing my baby with me, no one could believe it. Even I wondered if it would be complete madness. My worry was in vain-it was a delight! Yes, it was perhaps a bit more hectic than other conferences I've attended, but in such a life-affirming way. Conference organizers were very careful to set up respectful boundaries, reminding each mother to take responsibility for her own children and to attend to their needs outside the room, if necessary. Children were welcomed and celebrated in big and small ways and in no way was the professional nature of the Conference compromised. This should be an example to our less-inclusive professional conferences.

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