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Media Release: “50 Years--Celebrating the Power of Breastfeeding.” La Leche League International Announces 2007 Conference Theme

Contact Information: Mary Lofton PRManager at llli.org at (847) 519-7730, ext. 271 or Mary Hurt, PRAssociate at llli.org, ext. 286 or Katy Lebbing, klebbing at llli.org ext. 245. After hours contact 630-710-0247.

February 2, 2006 (Schaumburg, IL) “50 Years--Celebrating the Power of Breastfeeding” will be the theme of the 2007 La Leche League International (LLLI) Conference. The Conference will be held in Chicago Illinois USA from July 20-23, 2007 at the Hilton Chicago. This meeting will be the culmination of a year-long celebration of the founding of LLLI in 1956.

The power of breastfeeding is evident in the properties of human milk. World health experts estimate that exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life could save at least 1.3 million lives a year. Human milk is a living and changing substance that is designed to provide all the nutrients a baby needs in exactly the right proportion. Breastfeeding provides invaluable immunological protection from a host of diseases and is the cornerstone of lifelong health. Breastfed babies also develop better language skills and higher IQs as they grow.

Breastfeeding affords powerful emotional benefits as well. Nursing is a source of great comfort and security for babies, and the skin-to-skin contact stimulates the baby and enhances bonding. The power of breastfeeding affects the mother who is physiologically different because of the hormones associated with breastfeeding. Mothers who breastfeed reduce their risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer, urinary tract infections, and osteoporosis.

The influence of breastfeeding extends to the environment as the most ecologically sound form of infant feeding. Breastfeeding affects economics as well as ecology. When more mothers breastfeed, governments save money otherwise spent on subsidies for artificial feeding. Women all over the world who breastfeed their babies enrich their local economies by reducing health care costs and conserving energy.

We may never know all the ways in which human milk protects both infants and adults from disease. Most mothers continue breastfeeding because it’s not only a wonderful way to feed babies, but also an effective mothering tool, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As a mother nurtures her child at the breast, she gains confidence and feels empowered not only in her role as a mother but in other facets of her life.

LLLI is a nonprofit organization founded by seven women who wanted to help other mothers learn about breastfeeding. The power of mother-to-mother breastfeeding support has helped LLLI become an internationally recognized authority on breastfeeding with a network that includes LLL Leaders and Groups in countries all over the globe. A Professional Advisory Board reviews information on medical issues. Visit the LLLI Web site at www.lalecheleague.org

Plan now to celebrate the power of breastfeeding at the LLLI Conference. As Anwar Fazal says in the Foreword to the seventh edition of THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING, “The natural power of breastfeeding is one of the greatest wonders of the world.”

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