By Latisha McNeil
Winter. My daughter Bria was born in the winter. I knew breastfeeding was normal, and that I wanted to do it. Bria, however, KNEW we were going to breastfeed, and she communicated that clearly. Every time I felt like giving up, I could see Bria looking forward to latching on. Nursing was a big part of our bonding. La Leche League and my La Leche League Leader Aimee gave me what I needed to continue. Truly, Bria helped me with this, too.
When I headed to my first La Leche League meeting, I was frustrated and struggling and ready to give up. On the Internet, I found a meeting, bundled us up, and headed out into one of the coldest days of the year. It was my last hope. Fortunately, I got the support, encouragement, and information I needed from that day on, until when Bria decided she was done breastfeeding.
When we started for the meeting, I worried that maybe I was the only one with a problem. By the end of the meeting, I felt great! I didn’t want the meeting to end. I felt so reassured.
I kept coming back, month after month. Seeing other women going through their own difficulties and trying to keep their children as natural and wholesome as possible, helped me walk my path. I looked forward to those meetings. Attending LLL meetings helped me see the rewards of breastfeeding. The reward of me as the mommy giving to my baby and the precious look Bria would give me was a reward from her, back to me.
My La Leche League group taught me what they did not teach in the hospital. Listen to my head, heard, and instincts and my baby. I did not have an easy start, but I am grateful we stuck through, and it became easier. My attending the LLL meetings helped my partner, too. He saw my struggle and the support I got there. I believe it made him more determined to accommodate and support us.
Fast forward, I learned that my pregnancies are automatically considered high risk. (Bria was a surprise preemie.) Now Bria is a big sister: I have a sweet son Jami. With this pregnancy and birth, things were different – and better. I had the support of an OB who specializes in high risk pregnancies. I also had the support of a birth doula. And I was so grateful to get back to La Leche League and the wonderful women there.
Jami and I are rocking with our nursing relationship! We have the support of my partner and Bria. We have the support of La Leche League.
I would encourage women to attend LLL meetings while they are pregnant and
certainly after they give birth. Breastfeeding takes a while to learn, but the reward
is well worth it.
About the Authors
These posts were written by nursing moms (sometimes with their support persons) who attend(ed) LLL meetings in Manhattan. All stories were originally published in our newsletters.