Mother-to-Mother Support 52 weeks of the Year
Each year in June health professionals and lay breastfeeding supporters take part in National Breastfeeding Week. During the week there may be special events, promotions, coffee mornings and stalls which offer information about breastfeeding. These are all useful in supplying accurate facts and support but, as any new mother finds out, it is when the baby arrives that all those facts and figures suddenly take on a different meaning - in the shape of the new little person in her arms. The responsibility can feel overwhelming and many women worry that they are doing something wrong because their baby does not behave in the way they expected.
Talking to someone who understands
In the early days after birth when a mother and baby are getting to know each other, speaking to someone who can re-assure you that what you are experiencing is normal, and who can offer you some ideas to try, can make all the difference. It can take time to establish breastfeeding, especially if the birth has not been straightforward and the information being offered is confusing. Once at home with a new baby women don’t always get enough time with healthcare professionals. Women who don’t receive help or support with problems after giving birth are more likely to stop breastfeeding within two weeks. Initial small difficulties which are not redressed can get worse and a mother starts to believe she can’t breastfeeding.
La Leche League Leaders
La Leche League GB is an organisation that offers mother-to-mother support throughout the year. Accredited LLL Leaders have breastfed their own babies and know that when a mother needs a bit of help it can’t wait until tomorrow. They know that breastfeeding is not always easy, and that having the right support and information when needed can make so much difference. LLL Leaders will listen to a mother and offer accurate facts. They won’t try to tell a woman what to do but offer information so she can make the right choices for herself and her baby.
Attending a Support Group
Going along to a breastfeeding support group before the birth gives pregnant women the chance to talk to other breastfeeding women about how they overcame any problems, and to obtain information. If difficulties do arise new mothers will already have some knowledge, and know they have someone they can call. There are four major breastfeeding support groups in GB and the number of peer supporters is growing all the time. Their aim is not to pressurise women but to help women continue breastfeeding for as long as they wish to. La Leche League provides telephone counselling, email support and local group meetings, with leaflets on a wide range of breastfeeding questions, information on more unusual situations, access to a panel of professional medical advisors, and books covering various aspects of pregnancy and child care. National Breastfeeding Week gives us the opportunity to display what we have to offer, but our real goal is to be there every week of the year for women who need support.
How to contact La Leche League
La Leche League was started over 55 years ago. LLLGB's national telephone helpline (0845 120 2 918) connects mothers directly to an accredited Leader, while our website (www.laleche.org.uk) includes an online help form that enables a mother to receive non-urgent email help from an LLL Leader. We can also be found on Facebook. All our Leaders are volunteers and answer enquiries from home while looking after their own families.