When most of us learned we were going to be parents, we never imagined facing prolonged school and complete town closures for a virus, let alone how to handle lactation after the loss of a child. We more likely envisioned a sweet baby nestled contentedly in our lap, or a preschooler handing us a hand-drawn card, covered in hearts, for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. And of course, boasting a sweet smile, as in one of the many Mother’s Day photos that are featured in this issue’s “Mother’s Day Around the World” (…or in our upcoming August issue’s Father’s Day photos).
In this special issue, we honor some incredibly strong women who remind us that motherhood can sometimes be raw — and the complete opposite of rosy. Strong women like…
- An Italian mother, Giulia, whose personal journey of losing a little one is shared with us by her dear friend, our Associate Editor, Valentina. In this heartbreaking story, “Italian version of the story—Il regalo di Bianca: Consolidare l’Amore nel Dolore” and its English translation, “A Gift from Bianca: A Story of Grief and Love,” you’ll discover how Giulia honored her daughter during and after birth, while managing an abundant and painful postpartum milk flow.
- A French mother, Natacha, whose story, “Donating Milk: A Heartfelt Wish to Honor Juliette,” explores the powerful and uplifting reasons why Natacha chose to donate milk to a milk bank as part of her personal healing journey. You may also want to check out some tips on lactation after loss here, in case you ever have the opportunity to support a bereaved mother.
- Canadian mother and nurse, Sabrina, whose detailed account of persistence in the face of obstacles while feeding her son with Down syndrome is truly inspiring and informational for families facing similar circumstances. (See her story, here).
I hope this issue’s pages will serve as a reassuring reminder to you that in both joyful and sorrowful situations, La Leche League is there for you. Because no matter what part of the world you live in, nor how difficult your situation, we are all in this parenting journey together.