The La Leche League Resource

breastfeedingcafecarnivalWelcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about your go-to breastfeeding resource. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 22nd through August 4th!
 


 

I have three darling girls, ages 2, 4, and 6, and each of them have been born in a different state. Yes, that’s three states in six years — a lot of picking up and starting over, and needing to build a new support system each time. My husband’s job moves us around; we follow where the work is. I have learned through these mothering-and-moving years that my resource to finding my mothering tribe is: La Leche League.

We first were moved to Phoenix Arizona. Even though we spent almost 2 years there before having our first daughter, we really hadn’t yet made much of an effort of making friends. We had a friend from college, a cousin, and knew only 1 neighbor. A few months after she was born, I started going to the local library baby time, but I found it hard to make friends there. A lot of my mothering support in those early months was online; I was in a few attachment parenting forums that would help me gain confidence in my non-mainstream mothering. But I yearned for in-person support and friendship. Books, online forums, and websites can provide a lot of help, especially to a new mother. But in-person relationships can supply so much more than just help. A smile from another mother that simply shows her support for you is so uplifting to a sleep-deprived new mom.

Finally, I decided to go to a LLL meeting. I have never been much of a “group-person” or “joiner” and I really thought the idea of organized women sitting around talking about anything, well, kind of strange. It was out-of-my-comfort zone. But having children pushes you to places you’ve never thought you’d be, so I went. I loved the meeting. I didn’t need any advice that time (I was fortunate with an easy beginning breastfeeding relationship). The leader was an experienced mom who had been-there-done-that, and very friendly. I was finally surrounded by mothers that understood. And there was a brand new mom, having difficulties, that broke down to tears. It felt so good to be able to provide her support and encouragement, even with my limited experience. I think this is my favorite part about LLL meetings and gatherings; we are all there for each other and it feels so good to be there for someone else.

When my first was over a year old and I was pregnant with my second, we moved to Portland OR. When we found out our move location, the first thing I researched was where the local LLL meets. We were only in Portland for 1 year, but the LLL women there made a huge impact on my life. It was a hard transition for me going from 1 child to 2; I especially remember bonding with one friend who was going through a very similar difficult transition. Those Portland LLL Toddler meetings were full of women (and children!) and there always seemed to be at least one mother that would cry at a meeting, but would leave feeling better and stronger. In many ways I felt closer to the mothers at LLL meetings than the mothers in a play group I had joined, because at times it felt like a sacred and tribal place, where mothers can talk about their best and worst moments and feel support and encouragement.

When we first came to Salt Lake City UT, it was for a temporary 6-month assignment. Again, I looked up LLL right away. I was so excited to find out that there was even a LLL playgroup. I ended up hosting a playdate for the group within the first few weeks of being there. And after getting confirmation that we were going to be there more permanently, I became the playgroup organizer for some time. It was a great way to meet a lot of great people.

We are preparing now to move to another state. My children and I have made many good friends here. But I know there is potential for us to build more friendships and for me to grow my mothering tribe when I attend LLL meetings in the new city. LLL has been the most important resource for me, not only when I have a breastfeeding problem or parenting problem, but especially when I don’t, for LLL has been the backbone of my mothering tribe.

IMG_1378Mel Cotter is a stay-at-home mom to her three young girls and one charming dog, and wife to her soulmate. She started her mothering journey deep in breastfeeding and babywearing, and has now added a new chapter with homeschooling. She enjoys cooking, sewing, and knitting, though isn’t particularly good at any of them. Nature is her grounding force, and her children are her most influential teachers of life.

 


 
Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival

3 responses to “The La Leche League Resource

  1. Pingback: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding | Adventures of Lactating Girl

  2. jeanajones

    Thanks, Mel, for illustrating the importance of finding a mothering tribe and how wonderful LLL is for providing a way for mothers to connect.

  3. Pingback: Helping Other Moms Succeed « Mommy News and Views Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s