Many years ago, I was a young mother-to-be living in Seattle, Washington. I knew no one except for my then husband, mother-in-law and my obstetrician. I would faithfully go to the library once a week, on my daily walks and it was there that I found a book that I found to have a very funny title, “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.” Really? I thought to myself. Womanly, yes, as I couldn't think of a single man who had conquered that feat, but, an art? It is the handbook to La Leche League, International, and soon after became the handbook to my mothering philosophies.
I started reading about this so-called art, and felt drawn to it. I read about a group of women who were at a picnic together talking about their children and how they wanted to nurse them, but had faced some challenges. They wondered if they could help each other and also help other women in the process. The first La Leche League (LLL) meeting was held in Franklin Park, Illinois in 1956 with what resulted in the seven founding members.: Marian Thompson, Mary White, Edwina Froehlich, Mary Ann Kerwin, Betty Wagner, Viola Lennon and Mary Ann Cahill.
They got their name from a shrine in St. Augustine, Florida, dedicated to the mother of Christ, titled “Nuestro Senora de la Leche y Buen Parto,” which translates freely, “Out Lady of Happy Delivery and Plentiful Milk.” Wow! This was the group for me! I liked their sense of humor, and appreciation for the beauty in the simple things in life. I decided I must connect with a local chapter.
I found a local group via the very library I found their handbook. There were flyers on the bulletin board and I saw them as a sign, that I was meant to find them. I can still remember my first Lal Leche League
group - amazingly gentle women and children. Quiet, even with all of the babies and children running around.
I do not remember any shouting, no scolding of the children to get them to behave and the most wonderful thing of all – the room was filled with a warm love. Even though, I found out later that nursing mothers are naturally blissed out on oxytocin (the hormone released wh
en breastfeeding, also called the “cuddle chemical”), I personally was swept away by this mellow group of women.
The La Leche League group that I attended was practical, kind, supportive, intelligent and quietly wove their way into my heart with every month's meeting. I wanted my motherhood experience to be like theirs. I wanted the warmth and the support from other mothers, to make this new adventure work for me and my growing family. So I got more and more involved. We held playgroups, exchanged names of doctors, midwives, birthing coaches and classes on parenting held various doctors who had authored books to come and speak to us.
I had my first son at the hospital in a birthing room (the first of it's kind in Seattle at time). After a natural birth, we came home to home-made dinners delivered to our home by troops of LLL members. They made themselves available to me any time of the day or night. I had a minor infection when my infant son decided to sleep through the night at 3 months old, and they told me to put warm wash cloths on my breasts and don't worry if they leak a little right now, as it would provide relief. I got through it within hours and it turned out to be a very minor bump in the journey. Many times, a bump like that might have meant someone would stop nursing their infant, but with their help, that was not necessary.
Through my continued connections with La Leche League, I founded my first home-based business. One of the members had a chocolate business that she ran out of her kitchen. Several members would show up with our children and their lunch boxes in tow and and we would work. She showed me how to do it. How to balance having children and running a business – at home. She mentored me and helped me get a business license and we worked together like that for four years.
My second son was born, and this time I was completely immersed in LLL. I attended classes by Dr. Bradley (founder of the Bradley method), and my son was birthed at home by a Danish midwife, named Kirsten. While I was in heavy labor, my older son was playing with friends in the living room while being babysat by my LLL sisters. They made pizza, played and had a birthday cake with a 0 (zero) candle for the older kids to enjoy as this was my newborn son's zero birthday. They brought presents for my oldest son to open, to celebrate him being a big brother. It was a wonderful time. A time for which I will be eternally grateful.
My newborn son was a little bit jaundiced when he was born, and my pediatrician (who made house calls), came over to do his newborn check-up. His recommendation? He called in my husband and told him to wrap up his new son and take him for a few walks today – in the sun. Natural sunlight was the recommendation, isn't simple thinking grand? It turned out to be healing to my son and a way for him to bond with his father. A father for whom he works for today.
My life's journey brought me back to Tucson, Arizona (where I have lived three times in my life), and the first group I sought out was La Leche League. I had one more child under their guidance – my daughter and she, too, was a healthy child – inside and out, which I mostly attributed to breastfeeding.
La Leche League was my constant, my sounding board, my guide to being the best, kindest, gentlest mother I could be. LLL is also the best example I can site for teaching me sisterly support. Without judgment, without competition, they supported me in my journey. Through divorce, through working at home, through raising three children, their encouraging arm was draped on my shoulder. It is this model of support that I believe we, at Women on the Verge encapsulate. We are here every single day, in support of each other in our life's trials and triumphs and, for this, I have La Leche League to thank as my teacher, my guides, my heroines.
Happy International Womens Day!
Founder of WomenontheVerge.net
Pam Laskey's energy and enthusiasm are the heart and soul of Maine Foodie Tours.
This week we will be talking about upcoming events around the industry. We will also talk about yoga and how it will help your golf game.
Jewels talks with Forgiveness Expert Karen Scarpulla and moving story about her journey of forgiveness after she moved her family back in to her ex-husbands home immediately after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Find out how a deck of cards, a Chief Fun Officer, and a great-looking hat helps you get creative ideas in my interview with Ellen Koronet.
Mike's background has been in paranormal investigating. He hunts ghosts. He has one of the best private ghost picture collections in the world, ghost photography being his specialty.
Memory and learning expert Jim Kwik returns to the show to reveal his best techniques and strategies for boosting your memory. Hosted by Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness.
Paleo baking, sourdough, distended belly, & temporary vegetarianism
Join artist and marketing expert Leslie Saeta as she highlights way to sell your art. Leslie is joined by July co-host Margaret Sheldon.
Dr. Kazdin has written a fantastic and highly practical book, “The Everyday Parenting Toolkit: The Kazdin Method for easy, step-by-step, lasting change for you and your child.”
Today award-winning television host, popular plant-based cookbook author and vegan chef Laura Theodore, the Jazzy Vegetarian welcomes the Simple Daily Recipes founder, Jill McKeever.
Rich of Prospect361 brings you the best live Fantasy Baseball show on the Internet.
Chicago Bulls make big offer for Kevin Love, listen as they guys discuss the ins and outs of what has transpired.
Selena Gomez has been spotted cozying up to a sexy new mystery man after her split from Justin Bieber and we break down the details of her possible new romance.
Tune in for an exclusive broadcast shining a light on the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention right here in NYC. We'll be speaking with Dr. Gina Villani, Marci Brenholz and AYA patient Danny Jimenez.
Jamaica may be synonymous with reggae, but if you ask Marlene Wright Evans, that’s just the tip of the tropical iceberg.
This week highlighting the top chefs from hotel restaurants we've visited around the world. In this episode we travel to Hawaii, and more specifically the Island of Maui to meet with Eric Faivre, the executive chef of the Grand Wailea Resort.
On his show, Comedian Rodney Perry covers arts and entertainment, everything from comedy and politics to music and acting, with his signature comedic slant.
Joy Keys provides her listeners with insight to improve their lives mentally, physically, monetarily and emotionally. Past guests on the show have included Meshell Nedegeocello, Blair Underwood, in addition to an impressive list of CEOs, humanitarians and authors.
Host Barry Moltz gets small businesses unstuck. He has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 15 years. This is a business radio show where he shares all the craziness of small business. It’s that craziness that actually makes it exciting, interesting and totally unpredictable.
The Bottom Line Sports Show is hosted by former NBA stars Penny Hardaway, Charles Oakley, Mateen Cleaves. Tune in to get the inside scoop on what's happening in sports today.
Hits Radio covers basketball, sports culture and entertainment with past guests including Jason Kidd, Robin Lundberg and Chris Herren.
Listeners get an earful on The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, Talk Radio for Fine Minds. Whether it’s the current political cocktail or the latest must-read award-winning book, Halli tackles all topics and likes to stir — and sometimes shakes — things up.
Official Internet radio show of forthcoming epic paranormal investigation book by Eric Olsen and "Haunted Housewife" Theresa Argie.
Award-winning World Footprints is a leading voice in socially responsible travel and lifestyle. Hosts Ian & Tonya celebrate culture and heritage and bring a unique voice to the world of travel.
Football Reporters Online is a group of veteran football experts in the fields of coaching, scouting, talent evaluation, and writing/broadcasting/media placement. Combined, the group brings well over 100 years of expertise in sports.
Host John Martin interviews the nation's leading entrepreneurs and small biz experts to educate small business owners on how to be successful. Past guests have included Emeril Lagasse and Guy Kawasaki.
Sylvia Global presents global conversations pertaining to women, wealth, business, faith and philanthropy. Sylvia has interviewed an eclectic mix from CEOs and musicians to fashion designers and philanthropists including Randolph Duke and Ne-Yo.
It's good to talk.