Breast milk is the superior infant food, and mothering through breastfeeding is the best way to give babies a healthy start in life. Yet for various and complex reasons, many women think they cannot nurse their babies, or they get conflicting or misinformed advice from doctors and friends, or they simply cannot overcome specific hurdles or false alarms about breastfeeding management. I myself was fed formula once my mother could not figure out how to rouse sleepy little me for nursing. If only La Leche League had been around for her in 1948.
It was eight years later in 1956, as I was entering the third grade in California, seven suburban Chicago women wanted to help more women understand this healthy start and be more successful nursing their babies. These Founders held a meeting October 17 and invited their friends and neighbors to learn more about breastfeeding. Over fifty-five years later, these meetings are held in 70 countries around the world. La Leche League is an international organization that encourages, educates, informs, and supports women who breastfeed.
My own La Leche League story started in southeastern New Mexico in 1982, when I was pregnant with my first child. LLL’s philosophy appealed to my child development background and feeling that mothers are their own best support. Accredited in 1985, I’ve worked as a Leader, writer, editor, administrator, illustrator, and cartoonist. My jobs have included District Advisor; Area Leaders’ Letter Editor in four Areas; US Western Division Area Leaders’ Letter Administrator, Connections Editor and Publications Coordinator; and as the cartoonist for Leaven, LLLI’s Leader Journal. I created a coloring book for the US Western Division and six instructional picture books for LLL of Guatemala. I am now Managing Editor for Leaven, Leader Support for LLL USWest Area Network, and New Leader Secretary for LLL of Utah.