I just returned home from a wonderful evening filled with mommies, babies, boobies and milk. And before your mind starts to wander to places it shouldn’t, I’m referring to a breastfeeding class for expectant parents sponsored by my local La Leche League (LLL).
An active member and advocate of LLL for over a year now, I was asked to sit on a panel of experienced parents to help answer questions and share my journey of breastfeeding with expectant mothers and families. Some of the topics covered included the benefits of breastfeeding, how to get started breastfeeding, different ways to hold your baby while nursing as well as how can one seek help and support. I was honored to be a part of this wonderful group of breastfeeding mothers, offering their stories to pregnant mothers-to-be.
I was first introduced to LLL back in college. As a Family Studies and Human Development Major, I learned about each stage in life from birth to late adulthood. While we were studying infancy, we had a guest speaker from LLL who came to share the importance of breastfeeding and its benefits with the class. I was so inspired by her presentation I felt moved to become a volunteer and help spread the word. However, at the time, I wasn’t yet a mother and therefore hadn’t had the first hand experience of breastfeeding.
The mission of LLL is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother. The key component of LLL is the mother-to-mother support, which to me is what makes LLL so wonderful. Not only does it make you feel more comfortable to talk to your peers, but no one knows more about breastfeeding challenges and successes than the mothers themselves.
Tonight, as I was sharing my journey through breastfeeding with the mothers-to-be, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. For one, I am continually grateful that I have had a successful breastfeeding journey. Secondly, my desire to help spread the word about breastfeeding, sparked by my initial introduction to LLL, was fulfilled. Although I am constantly advocating for breastfeeding in my every day life, this was my first “official” presentation on a panel. It made me feel good to give back, especially after all the wonderful help and support I have gotten from other mothers along the way. I look forward to continuing to be involved in similar presentations and volunteer opportunities. (side note: can you guess what I was wearing? duh…my chucks!)
Before you go, I wanted to share a wonderful video with you. If you are unfamiliar with LLL as a whole, or have ever wondered how it got started, please enjoy this quick look into the history of LLL. It is truly inspirational.