Sunday, April 28, 2013
Not your typical nursing photo! Sleeping Mama and Amelia Rose (18 months old.)
I'm Beth, just one of the many local leaders dedicated to help more mothers reach their breastfeeding goals.
I am fortunate to have birthed three wonderful babies, Amelia Rose (5), Julian Buchanan…aka Buck (2), and Truitt (2 months).
I started coming to La Leche League meetings in the fall of 2007 when my daughter was about 3 months old. Nursing started going well for us, thanks to my mother being knowledgeable and having a sister and friends who had successfully breastfed. I could also thank my good start to Lin Cook, an IBCLC who gave me private instruction and demonstrations just days before I delivered my baby girl. Luckily she also gave me a flyer for LLL! I went to the meeting because most people I knew at the time started supplementing between 3-6 months and many did not breastfeed an entire year. I knew that method was not going to work for us and went to seek help in meeting my goal. I found that help in La Leche League. I was hooked and wanted to come back for more!
It is hard to pick my favorite LLL philosophy, I think very important is “in the early years baby has an intense need to be with his mother, which, is as basic as his need for food.” To me the word ‘intense’ is perfect and I believe this to be 100% true. I also appreciate that the philosophy demonstrates just how important closeness is between mother and baby…the need for food is obvious, so should be love in proximity.
A main motivation for me in becoming a Leader at LLL was because of my experience with juggling work, pumping, and breast-milk bottle feeding. It was necessary for me to return to work soon after the birth of my first two children…at six weeks with Amelia Rose and only 3 weeks with Julian. Fortunately, I only worked part time and not on consecutive days. This helped me in sustaining my ability to breastfeed. At the same time, neither of my jobs were conducive to pumping. I fought for the right and stood up for myself because I knew it was the best thing for my babies. I hope I am able to help or inspire other mothers who must work outside home to continue their breastfeeding relationship and fight for their babies too!
Like my co-leader Hillary, my favorite meeting topic is Bringing Home Baby. It reminds me of those sweet, sweet new baby days when your only job in the world is to bond, snuggle, and nurse your fresh little wonder. It can also be challenging and frustrating finding time for your own needs and baby’s…especially when factoring in any latching difficulties or other nursing issues. It is my wish that ALL expectant mothers attend a meeting and hear ideas about the first moments, hours and days that can really set the tone for the whole breastfeeding experience.
My favorite thing about being a Leader is helping moms reach their goal. My least favorite is the feeling that I could help more if they would only give us the opportunity. I wish more would mothers would reach out earlier and call more often.
Even today I still love attending the LLL meetings…mainly because I meet so many new friends! Personal friendships were not something I realized would change so much with having children. However, as I developed my ideas about child rearing and family, it became obvious that my family’s philosophy was different from many people we knew and spent time with pre-kids. Our old friends are still in our lives but there are issues we agree to disagree on. It sure is nice to be around people that just agree!
Before family and babies, my life was a quite different I worked as an Administrative Assistant full time and trained for Triathlons, completing two Half Ironman races and many sprint and Olympic distance races. I still hope to get back into racing and have already started jogging again after my newest baby’s birth.
For now, my interests are spending time as a family doing as many enriching activities with the kids as possible. My days and weeks consist of aquarium visits, trips to the beach, play-dates, nature walks, family bike rides, berry picking, lots of playground time, La Leche League meetings, preparing fresh real food at home, attending Church and Sunday School, going to farmer’s markets, ballet lessons for my daughter, swim lessons and more sports to come for all the kids! Oh, and baby-wearing to tote the little ones wherever we roam! I feel so blessed to be raising a family in such a wonderful place and I am so grateful to La Leche League for bringing a truly awesome group of women into my life that have helped me to learn so much about raising my kids in a loving, gentle, and natural way!
Come to our next meeting for your own inspiration! See you there!