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La Leche Leagues?

Old 08-17-06, 10:29 AM
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La Leche Leagues?

Ok, so a friend just had a baby and she tells me she has to go to a La Leche League meeting. She tells me it's about breast feeding or some sort. I would google it but given that I am work I cannot. So can anyone give me a bit more detail about this? I've never heard of this and was wondering what they do at these meetings.
Old 08-17-06, 10:32 AM
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i know nothing but La Leche = The Milk so they are the milk league. that's hillarious.
Old 08-17-06, 10:35 AM
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It's a Breast Feeding support group, basically. Years and years ago, my mother was one of the higher-ups in it. My wife checked it out when she had our first baby, but didn't get into it.

Here's a cut and paste of the Wikipedia article:
La Leche League International (LLLI) is an international non-profit organization founded in 1956 in the USA to give support and information to women who choose to breastfeed their babies. It encourages breast feeding on demand from birth onwards, with no upper age limit for the breast feeding child.

History

The founders of LLLI were seven mothers from Illinois who had successfully breastfed their own children and were motivated to help mothers who, for a variety of different reasons (often related to social expectations and misinformation given by physicians, not physical inability) had difficulties with and questions about breastfeeding. At the time of its founding, the rate of breastfeeding in the USA had dropped to 20% of babies. The seven leaders originally held meetings in private homes; more recently, hospitals and other public venues have provided meeting spaces. Fathers were not shunned, but not encouraged to attend the 'mom-only,'early meetings, in order for the mothers to feel more comfortable breastfeeding their infants outside their own homes.

Although the name comes from the two-syllable Spanish word, leche, meaning milk, the name is sometimes erroneously pronounced as if it were one-syllable French.

Services

Today, La Leche League has grown to help women in over 40 countries. They have a bimonthly periodical for mothers and hold international conferences every two years. In addition, there are local area conferences held in many parts of the world every year. La Leche League also publishes and sells books and other materials for mothers and professionals who support breastfeeding. There is a research center [1], as well, that collects data on scientific studies of breastfeeding.

However, the primary purpose of La Leche League is still to support mothers directly. This is accomplished largely via two means: monthly meetings and telephone help. Across the world, La Leche League Leaders (women who have nursed their babies and been specially trained to help mothers with breastfeeding questions) hold meetings in the morning, afternoon, or evening once a month. In some places there are specialized meetings, such as meetings for couples, working mothers, teen mothers, or mothers of twins. While the Leader represents La Leche League at these meetings, mothers are encouraged to share their own experiences to help other mothers, as well. Leaders are also available to answer mothers' questions via telephone. In some places, there is a centralized phone number (for an entire country or a US state, for instance) where mothers can either get help or can get a referral to a Leader in her area. In other areas, these Leaders directly advertise their telephone numbers via Web sites, telephone books and advertising.
Old 08-17-06, 10:39 AM
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Old 08-17-06, 10:46 AM
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They do a great job educating new mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding, how to avoid common problems, etc., but they get too militant about promoting breast feeding over bottle feeding. Some of them really view bottle feeding as evil and label mothers who don't breastfeed as bad mothers. It's ridiculous.
Old 08-17-06, 11:15 AM
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pics?
Old 08-17-06, 11:23 AM
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One of my nieces (who has two children) calls LLL the "Nipple Nazis."
Old 08-17-06, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandoman
They do a great job educating new mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding, how to avoid common problems, etc., but they get too militant about promoting breast feeding over bottle feeding. Some of them really view bottle feeding as evil and label mothers who don't breastfeed as bad mothers. It's ridiculous.
OMG yes. I called them once with questions when I was nursing my first born. They actually yelled at me because I gave him a bottle of formula at the hospital. I hung up and didn't call back...they're scary.
Old 08-17-06, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandoman
They do a great job educating new mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding, how to avoid common problems, etc., but they get too militant about promoting breast feeding over bottle feeding. Some of them really view bottle feeding as evil and label mothers who don't breastfeed as bad mothers. It's ridiculous.
That was our experience as well.
Old 08-17-06, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Vibiana
One of my nieces (who has two children) calls LLL the "Nipple Nazis."
First thing I thought about when I saw the thread title.
Old 08-17-06, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Vibiana
One of my nieces (who has two children) calls LLL the "Nipple Nazis."
First thing I thought about when I saw the thread title.

Also, a friend's wife was a supporter, and she breastfed her daughter for two years. I'm sorry, but that is too long.
Old 08-17-06, 02:47 PM
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The sister of a friend of ours breast-fed her son until he was 3. He would come up to her and say "Mom I'm thirsty"

The only reason she stopped was that she had another kid!
Old 08-17-06, 02:49 PM
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My youngest nursed until he was a year and a half. He would see me from across the room, smile and run over to me then dig at my shirt. It was cute for a while but then he would do that in public and then it became not so cute.
Old 08-17-06, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Kittydreamer
My youngest nursed until he was a year and a half. He would see me from across the room, smile and run over to me then dig at my shirt. It was cute for a while but then he would do that in public and then it became not so cute.
If we ever met, I would so do that.
Old 08-17-06, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jadasion
Ok, so a friend just had a baby and she tells me she has to go to a La Leche League meeting. She tells me it's about breast feeding or some sort. I would google it but given that I am work I cannot. So can anyone give me a bit more detail about this? I've never heard of this and was wondering what they do at these meetings.
You can go to DVDTalk.com, but you can't Google?
Old 08-17-06, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandoman
They do a great job educating new mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding, how to avoid common problems, etc., but they get too militant about promoting breast feeding over bottle feeding. Some of them really view bottle feeding as evil and label mothers who don't breastfeed as bad mothers. It's ridiculous.
Well if they are "militant" about promoting the healthiest way to feed an infant, then what do you think about the formula companies who ruthlessly sabotage so many breastfeeding relationships, harming the health and lives of so babies, just to make a buck?

I'm sorry, but I find it "ridiculous" that the people who have the truth on their side (backed by overwhelming medical research), who donate their services for no monetary gain of their own, are villified as the militant ones.

Formula is no substitute for breastmilk. Anyone who does the least amount of research knows this. LLL did not make up this fact. I think the people who bash LLL for speaking the truth know this, but they want to make excuses for their own decisions. It's like someone calling their doctor a nazi just because he wants them to exercise and stop smoking.

Are people who advocate car seats militant? Why don't we bash them? I mean using a car seat can be so inconvenient. I wouldn't want to make someone feel guilty or like a bad mother just because they don't choose to use a car seat.

If you have no desire to breastfeed, just say so. I have no desire to cloth diaper, but I admire mothers who can make that commitment even though I can't. I don't bash others who promote cloth diapering. I am secure enough in my own decisions.

There is a great quote: "Guilt is what you feel when your actions conlict with your values." I can't see how someone can make another woman feel guilty for not breastfeeding, unless she already knows in her heart that she should be breastfeeding. I think that guilt and defensiveness come from a mother's own natural instinct to nurse. It is not the woman's fault, it is the bottlefeeding culture and the lack of good information and support that prevent her from nursing. LLL is there to change that. Thank goodness there are actually people who will stand up for mothers and babies!

Nestle sure won't.
Old 08-17-06, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by duse
Also, a friend's wife was a supporter, and she breastfed her daughter for two years. I'm sorry, but that is too long.
I'll be sure to tell my just turned 2-year old son you said that. That little leech should be out getting a job already!

Seriously though, a two year old is still a baby. He can't talk or do anything for himself yet. He is still in diapers. Ever heard of the "terrible 2's"? It comes from frustration at being unable to communicate thir emotions. Nothing can comfort a child faster than nursing. A bump on the head, the beginning of a tantrum--all go away in an instant from breastfeeding. I honestly don't know how women who don't breastfeed at this age cope sometimes. It is the best mothering tool I have right now and there is no way I will give it up until he stops needing it.

Plus like every other toddler, the kid is a picky eater. My breastmilk is like the perfect multi-vitamin that makes sure he gets fats, protein and immunities that he needs. There are some days he only eats crackers and bananas and he if he weren't nursing I would be really worried about him getting enough nutrients.
Old 08-17-06, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Jadzia
A bump on the head, the beginning of a tantrum--all go away in an instant from breastfeeding..
Tell me about it .
Old 08-17-06, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Jadzia
Well if they are "militant" about promoting the healthiest way to feed an infant, then what do you think about the formula companies who ruthlessly sabotage so many breastfeeding relationships, harming the health and lives of so babies, just to make a buck?

I'm sorry, but I find it "ridiculous" that the people who have the truth on their side (backed by overwhelming medical research), who donate their services for no monetary gain of their own, are villified as the militant ones.

Formula is no substitute for breastmilk. Anyone who does the least amount of research knows this. LLL did not make up this fact. I think the people who bash LLL for speaking the truth know this, but they want to make excuses for their own decisions. It's like someone calling their doctor a nazi just because he wants them to exercise and stop smoking.

Are people who advocate car seats militant? Why don't we bash them? I mean using a car seat can be so inconvenient. I wouldn't want to make someone feel guilty or like a bad mother just because they don't choose to use a car seat.

If you have no desire to breastfeed, just say so. I have no desire to cloth diaper, but I admire mothers who can make that commitment even though I can't. I don't bash others who promote cloth diapering. I am secure enough in my own decisions.

There is a great quote: "Guilt is what you feel when your actions conlict with your values." I can't see how someone can make another woman feel guilty for not breastfeeding, unless she already knows in her heart that she should be breastfeeding. I think that guilt and defensiveness come from a mother's own natural instinct to nurse. It is not the woman's fault, it is the bottlefeeding culture and the lack of good information and support that prevent her from nursing. LLL is there to change that. Thank goodness there are actually people who will stand up for mothers and babies!

Nestle sure won't.
I think anyone who vilifies a woman for trying to feed her baby the best way she can (not everyone can breastfeed) is "militant." Maybe you don't think women should have a choice in the matter.
Old 08-17-06, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Jadzia
Well if they are "militant" about promoting the healthiest way to feed an infant, then what do you think about the formula companies who ruthlessly sabotage so many breastfeeding relationships, harming the health and lives of so babies, just to make a buck?

I'm sorry, but I find it "ridiculous" that the people who have the truth on their side (backed by overwhelming medical research), who donate their services for no monetary gain of their own, are villified as the militant ones.

Formula is no substitute for breastmilk. Anyone who does the least amount of research knows this. LLL did not make up this fact. I think the people who bash LLL for speaking the truth know this, but they want to make excuses for their own decisions. It's like someone calling their doctor a nazi just because he wants them to exercise and stop smoking.

Are people who advocate car seats militant? Why don't we bash them? I mean using a car seat can be so inconvenient. I wouldn't want to make someone feel guilty or like a bad mother just because they don't choose to use a car seat.

If you have no desire to breastfeed, just say so. I have no desire to cloth diaper, but I admire mothers who can make that commitment even though I can't. I don't bash others who promote cloth diapering. I am secure enough in my own decisions.

There is a great quote: "Guilt is what you feel when your actions conlict with your values." I can't see how someone can make another woman feel guilty for not breastfeeding, unless she already knows in her heart that she should be breastfeeding. I think that guilt and defensiveness come from a mother's own natural instinct to nurse. It is not the woman's fault, it is the bottlefeeding culture and the lack of good information and support that prevent her from nursing. LLL is there to change that. Thank goodness there are actually people who will stand up for mothers and babies!

Nestle sure won't.
Well I would have agreed before my personal experience.

I have 5 month old twins at home. They were born 7 weeks pre-mature and were in the NICU for 4 weeks. My wife wanted to breast feed and she did pump for a few weeks (babies were nowhere near strong enough to suck). However her milk supply did dry up fast and she saw a few doctors, took advice from various people including the LLL (my mother was a hugh LLL member in her day). However the ten or so members of LLL that she spoke to all had the same "militant" vibe and demeanor and just gave her guilt when she already had a lot of stress on her/our minds (babies at the NICU).
I know those 10 or so people can't be a measure on the whole organization but it does seem like others have similar experiences.

I do believe it's a choice and respect either side. But here we were in a situation that was out of our control and were "attacked" by a few members of the LLL.
Old 08-17-06, 11:45 PM
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For the record, my wife breastfed each of our three children. We thought it was the best choice, but not because of LLL. They actually turned us off, big time.

I was bottle fed (I'm a child of the 60's) and I'm perfectly healthy. I don't think my mother made the wrong choice. However, I was told by LLL members that my mother didn't do her job and exposed me to dangers by not breastfeeding me. Fuck them.
Old 08-17-06, 11:47 PM
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1. Take the info/education
2. Ignore the militant propaganda.
3. ..........
4. Profit!!....errr......healthy kid!

-p
Old 08-17-06, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by pedagogue
1. Take the info/education
2. Ignore the militant propaganda.
3. ..........
4. Profit!!....errr......healthy kid!

-p
Exactly. They have really good info. Too bad it's wrapped in a tortilla of judgmentalism.
Old 08-18-06, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandoman
I think anyone who vilifies a woman for trying to feed her baby the best way she can (not everyone can breastfeed) is "militant." Maybe you don't think women should have a choice in the matter.
But there are very few insurmountable inabilities to breastfeeding. Most problems can be prevented with the right information and support. It's so sad for me to hear about a woman who "can't" breastfeed and then to find out the bad advice she was given that caused the problems. So often it is from giving "supplemental" bottles in the hospital causing nipple confusion for the baby, and decreasing the woman's milk supply. It becomes a vicious cycle, the more bottles you give, the less the baby nurses and the less milk you make, causing you to give more bottles. Then the nurse or a relative tells the woman "You don't make enough milk" and then she feels like she failed at breastfeeding. The same goes for trying to put the breastfed baby on a feeding schedule patterned after fomula-feeding. Limiting the nursings will cut your supply and in the first few months it is vital to build the supply. A breastfed baby will eat on cue and sometimes it will be every hour until your milk supply builds up. Many women fear this means they aren't making enough milk and start "supplementing" which only further erodes her supply and then the baby weans early.

These are the kind of scenarios that LLL can really work with women to prevent. Honestly most doctors and nurses (as well as most mother's own mothers) know very little about breastfeeding and you won't learn these things from them. In fact, they often give the bad advice that causes the failed breastfeeding attempts in the first place.

There are a lot more examples I can think of. I was hospitalized post-partum for 10 days due to severe complications and I had several uninformed doctors and nurses try to tell me certain treatments were incompatible with breastfeeding. Thankfully I was stubborn as hell and paged the lactation consultant who looked them up and found that they were perfectly safe. But the doctors just give their standard "stop nursing for 48 hours" spiel. If I would have done that to a newborn, it would have wrecked our breastfeeding relationship.

Personally, I don't think that breastfeeding is a "choice" any more than breathing oxygen is a choice. It is just how babies are fed. If it was anyone's choice, it was God's . I know of no other mammal that chooses not to nurse their own young. If a baby animal is separated from his mother, a zookeeper will feed the animal artifically from a bottle to keep it alive, but if you suggested to any animal expert to intentionally replace the mother's milk with an inferior substitute, they would look at you like you were crazy. It is peculiar how little we value the milk of our own species.
Old 08-18-06, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandoman
If we ever met, I would so do that.
I would hope so!

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