Here is a list of statements that mothers might make to you when you are a La Leche League Leader, either in one-to-one situations or at Series Meetings. You will then have the opportunity and privilege of offering those mothers information and support that reflects La Leche League philosophy. You can work through the statements one at a time, identifying which concept you think is most relevant to each mother’s concern and thinking how you would respond as a La Leche League Leader. This exercise provides you with the opportunity to find words of your own to convey specific concepts when they are relevant to a particular mother’s situation. Only a few sentences are needed in each and there is no need to detail the technical breastfeeding information that you would offer to the mother. The first one is done for you to give you an idea.
Mother: “My health visitor says a big baby like mine needs to start solids promptly at 16 weeks. What do you think?”
Leader: “How wonderful that you are still exclusively breastfeeding at this stage and have grown such a big baby all on your own milk! LLL’s health advisors are united that there is no nutritional advantage to starting solid foods before around six months and that it can have some disadvantages such as triggering allergies later in life or displacing breast milk in the diet with foods which are less nutritionally dense. Would you like me to share some of our ideas on how to go about introducing solids?” (Resource: leaflet Baby’s First Solid Foods [Solid Foods, LLLI])
“What makes LLL different from other breastfeeding organizations or advisers?”
Mother: “My mother has offered to stay with us for the first couple of weeks after my baby is born. She says she’ll keep the baby with her so I get lots of much needed rest and she’ll bring the baby to me for feeding.”
Mother: “I’m concerned that all this breastfeeding and bed sharing has created a very clingy two year old. My family is urging me to send him to playgroup each morning to help him to separate from me, as I just can’t leave him with anybody without him crying.
Mother: “I’m planning to switch to formula at one month, as the baby will have had all the goodness from the colostrum by then.”
Mother: “I want some help ending breastfeeding. I’m ashamed to say that my two-year-old is still breastfeeding. I know feeding on demand was right for her as a baby but still doing it at this stage is wearing me out.”
Mother: “I’m going to have a cesarean delivery for medical reasons and I’m really disappointed because I’ve heard most mothers who’ve had a cesarean can’t breastfeed. It’s a great pity as I had really wanted to breastfeed.”
Mother: “My husband is so concerned about my chronic tiredness he’s suggested I call you to learn how to express my milk. Then he could offer a bottle of my milk in the night, and I could get more rest. He says it will also help him to bond with our baby.”
Mother: “Before I had a baby I used to cook really lovely meals with fresh ingredients, but now I have no time at all to shop or cook. My mum says my milk is bound to be too thin for my baby when I keep skipping meals or grabbing a jam sandwich or chocolate bar. Maybe she’s right and I should switch to formula now that I can’t eat a really good diet any more.”
Mother (to the Leader whose child has just behaved badly): “I’d smack him for that!”
- Leaders in your Group
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, 7th Edition. Schaumburg, IL: LLLI, 2004.
- Leader’s Handbook, 4th Edition. Schaumburg, IL: LLLI, 2003.
- Del Gigante, L. LLLI philosophy. New Beginnings March-April 1997; 36-40
- Deborah Robertson, CLA, Great Britain. Revised 2004