A couple of lovely mothers commented recently about ‘taking up a place’ at a meeting as though they felt they maybe shouldn’t be there any more. I have also heard from other mums who breastfed that ‘I didn’t have any problems so didn’t need to go’ and I wanted to reply but got distracted, as you do, so here are a few of my thoughts:
La Leche League is all about mother to mother support. This is more than the Leaders supporting mums who are struggling. LLL is about shared stories from many mums, in many situations, with or without many different challenges. It is about mums who come for the first time seeing that there is no single ‘right answer’. A new mum can see that, by trusting her mummy instinct and working with her own unique situation, she can make choices for her family from a place of knowledge, understanding, and by listening to her heart.
A room full of new mums, with one or two Leaders can be a daunting place, for both the mums and the Leaders. Those mums’ first impressions of a group of breastfeeding mums might be ‘oh heck, look how EVERYONE is struggling, no-one but the Leader seems to have worked this thing out’, or ‘if this group is so useful, why has no one come back?’.
For a Leader, having a few experienced mums who can share their stories is vital to how the group works; it inspires and empowers new mums to know that whatever challenge has brought them to the group, it can get better and it can be overcome.
Each and every breastfeeding mum is a ray of hope, a light in the darkness of those tough nights, and a chance to believe that things will get better. Please remember that you are welcome and your story makes a difference to those new mums who sit there as you once did, among strangers who gradually become friends.
To find your local group, you can use our Group Finder
By Sue Dowling, LLL Tyne & Wear
First published in Breastfeeding Matters, July-August 2015
Copyright LLLGB 2015