My La Leche League Story (and fundraiser information)

Fundraising class information: 

Mixed Level Alignment-Based Hatha Yoga, Saturday Septmeber 20 @ 10am. Yoga Kula Co-op. Reserve your space by making a donation to my Canada Helps page, available at this link (and if you can’t attend the class but would still like to donate, please do! Leave me a note to say you won’t be attending).

This class is in support of the Annual LLL Breastfeeding Benefits Event. Our group will be holding a walk and community potluck on Saturday October 4 at 10am, @ Kenny’s Pond playground. Please join us to support this year’s theme: Breastfeeding for a Healthy Community!

My Story:

I was introduced to La Leche League at Shakti Yoga Studio where LLL information was regularly offered at Prenatal Yoga classes. Bobby Bessey, my studio partner and the prenatal teacher spoke often of the support provided at the local St. John’s group and the importance of having support while breastfeeding. When I became pregnant I assumed I would breastfeed but I didn’t give it much thought. I was preparing for birth by taking Hypnobirthing classes and reading lots of books, but breastfeeding seemed like a much less daunting task when compared to birthing for the first time.

The one important thing I did do to prepare for breastfeeding was pick up (and read cover to cover) the LLL breastfeeding “bible”, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I happened upon it in a lovely pregnancy and baby boutique in Halifax and something about it appealed to me so I picked it up on a whim. As I flipped through the pages over tea at a nearby cafe I was quickly drawn into it’s casual, calm vibe. It contained lots of information but in a very easily absorbed format.

As I read more and more of that book I came to realize that it was about more than just breastfeeding, it was a guide to mothering. I describe it now as the handbook you wish came with your baby. The sensible advice contained within the book has really been a foundation of my parenting philosophy – perhaps I would have come to many of the same conclusions by simply following my own instincts. But knowing my instinctual insights were backed up by the amazing book and the internationally renowned organization behind it helped me feel confident.

Speaking of confidence, wow, do you ever need it in droves when starting to breastfeed! There are so many “booby traps” out there that undermine a mother’s intention to breastfeed – they exist in places and situations in which we don’t even see or recognize them. When I heard Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC and LLL Leader speak last year she said the #1 factor that determines a mom’s success at breastfeeding is her self-efficacy. That is, the extent to which she believes that she can breastfeed. Thankfully, having read the Womanly Art I was prepared to listen to my instincts, advocate for myself and my baby and to be confident in what my body and my baby were capable of.

When I came up against difficulty in the early days of breastfeeding I called Jan, one of our local LLL Leaders. She was patient and kind and the tone of her voice helped to calm me. She reminded me of a few sections of the Womanly Art that were applicable to my situation, and upon re-reading them I was again armed with confidence and a sense of calm. She was also able to refer me to a local IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) who then helped me with the more technical aspects of my breastfeeding problems.

I began attending monthly LLL meetings. I enjoyed the chit chat among like-minded mothers, the exchange of tips and ideas and the feeling of support that came from being a part of this group of women all striving to do the same thing (albeit, in their own unique ways). Over the course of two years I’ve attended many meetings, had innumerable conversations with women overcoming breastfeeding obstacles and have become very involved in breastfeeding support within the city and online.

Just recently and after a full year of preparation I was accredited as a La Leche League Leader myself. I volunteer my time to lead monthly meetings, help breastfeeding moms by email or telephone and support the organization through fundraising efforts. When I remember back to my time with a tiny newborn, struggling to learn the ropes of breastfeeding I think “wow, I am so much more informed now!” and yet I don’t really feel that I know that much more. So much of what I know about breastfeeding comes from listening to my heart, connecting with my inner voice and standing strong in my own intentions, skills I learned through the practice of yoga. Through my LLL volunteer work I hope to help other moms recognize and listen to their own inner voice.

And so, I invite you to come celebrate this great organization and all that it does – here locally (50% of proceeds stay right here in our group!) as well as nationally and internationally.

Please join me for a 75 minute by-donation yoga class on September 20 @ 10am. The class is Mixed Level and will be held at Yoga Kula Co-op on Torbay Road. To secure your space please make a donation here. If you can’t attend the class but wish to donate to my fundraiser you can use the same link but leave a comment saying you won’t be attending. I thank you so very much for your support for a cause that is near and dear to my heart.

If you or someone you know is looking for breastfeeding support, check out these resources:

LLL-St. John’s: http://www.lllc.ca/lllc-st-johns (get the monthly meeting schedule + contact information for our group leaders. Please reach out by phone or email if you need information or support).

Breastfeeding Support – Newfoundland & Labrador: https://www.facebook.com/groups/breastfeedingmomsinnl/ (join our Facebook group to ask questions, read great articles and info and connect with other breastfeeding parents or supporters).

Baby-Friendly NL: http://www.babyfriendlynl.ca/ (this is the provincial group that supports parents in choosing to start and continue breastfeeding).

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