Monday, 11 October 2010
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Saturday, 4 September 2010
We would very much like to hear from you if you have been supported on your breastfeeding journey by Bristol Leader Floredia. Floredia is currently taking a break from La Leche League activities but she has been a long-standing presence in the Bristol LLL group. She was running the group with Janet Griffiths when April arrived 11 years ago and had previously worked with other LLL groups. Her wonderful warm personality has been a godsend to many a mother and baby so do get in touch if you have a memory to share. I personally remember ringing Floredia as early in the morning as I thought was decent (I think it was ) after having been up all night with Theo (my second) on his first night failing to get him to feed. She was absolutely amazing and immediately focused completely on me and my worries and listened with such empathy and kindness and respect. She then managed to make me laugh and reassured me with just a few words and gave me renewed confidence. I can’t remember exactly what she said but her words worked magic and I relaxed enough to be able to almost immediately sit down and Theo latched on and fed. Oh the relief and joy, it makes me cry to think about it now! Email me at email@example.com
Who said we need support? Written by Catherine, an ex-Bristol Leader currently in
I am always stuck for words when a mum comes to me not seeing how a breastfeeding support group could help her, not seeing that a LLL meeting is much more than just listening to a theoretical talk on ‘how to’. Why should she need such a group? She had no problem at all breastfeeding, it was all very natural to her. However often as the discussion unfolds I realise she would have loved to know more about natural weaning or breastfeeding through pregnancy, or just hearing another experienced mum reassuring her on a specific behavior of her son. Is that not all that you can find at a LLL meeting?
Being quite a strong headed and self confident person, one would assume I am not the kind of influence-able person who would easily change her mind or attitude because of others. However I have come to realise how invaluable my network in
Today I want to write to all those women I met in Bristol, to let them know how invaluable their input, their sharing, their teaching, their softness and their smile has meant to me, today I want to tell them that I keep them in my mind everyday, when I feel challenged, when I see my girls happy, when I see how they are blossoming through gentle parenting.
Today I want to thank them.
I feel so grateful I came across LLL at the start of my journey. So blessed I have met women and mums like April, Floredia and Kate who were all LLL leaders when my first one was born. They were such a role modeling for me, such an inspiration in gentle parenting. There was also all the mums, some of them who became my best friends who always had the right words or funny attitude that would lift my hearts on those challenging days. I could make a long list of all those beautiful moments, those special times when we were all in awe of our new babies and completely exhausted from the broken-broken-broken nights. This has created such a strong bond between us, such a treasurable unique smile in my heart. Naively I thought that sort of network was available everywhere, in any city with mums and babes. How wrong was I! This is such an amazing network, such a beautiful group, and even if I know the mums are probably not the same, there is that core group and the leaders who are just so precious. Make the most of it, use it, observe, listen, share, welcome others ways of doing without judging. Just appreciate the difference, enjoy the companionship, embrace the different ways of mothering. Patience is just such a quality I admire. A quality I have truly discovered through other mums going to the meetings in
After more than 10 years in
Now we have settled down here I so much want to recreate that sort of group, a place where mothers with their babes and their toddlers will find a supportive group to share and chat, to be and to sit back, may be even to learn something new or just be reminded of something gentle. I so wish to give that back as it has been such a major part of my journey, something I would always be grateful for.
To all of you beautiful inspiring mamas: Thank you!
This new edition is a complete reworking of the LLL classic breastfeeding book. It has been written by three great women who between them have many years experience of both breastfeeding their own children and helping women to breastfeed their babies.
The book is funny and easy to read and contains practical information on every aspect of breastfeeding with some lovely clear illustrations. There is an extra chapter about the new approaches to positioning with simple descriptions of ‘laid back’ breastfeeding and tips to get mum and baby working together, as well as help with the more traditional positions. The book covers what you need to know when pregnant, has a chapter on birth and implications for breastfeeding, through to concerns in the early weeks and what to expect feeding an older baby and toddler. Sections on sleep and starting solids are packed with up to date research and myth busting facts.
There are a couple of great sections in the back of the book. One is called Tech Support and gives you concise information on common difficulties that can occur such as colic, jaundice and blocked ducts. The other is called Tear-sheet Toolkit and has a key tips on a subject on one page that you can tear off (or print from the website) and stick on the fridge and refer to until you get the hang of it or that phase has passed, eg Feeding Cues, Waking a Sleepy Newborn, Mastitis, Milk Storage etc.
Each section has mother’s stories in it and internet references for further details including LLL forums. Every LLL Leader relies on this book when helping mothers to breastfeed and leading meetings and it is a source of comfort and reliable information that would be of invaluable support to every breastfeeding woman.
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Thursday, 12 August 2010
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Monday, 9 August 2010
Sunday, 8 August 2010
Sunday, 4 July 2010
Sunday, 27 June 2010
Thursday, 17 June 2010
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
We are having a library book amnesty! Don’t worry if the book you meant to return many moons ago is still sitting in your living room, or if it has perhaps received some over-enthusiastic reading from a toddler – we have all been there – just return them if you possibly can. Even if you are absolutely sure you don’t have a La Leche League book on your shelf, please could you just double check. Ways to return: you can bring them to a meeting, pass on to a friend who is coming, drop them round to your nearest Leader, post them to me (or Vicky) or otherwise do just ring us and let us know where the book is and we’ll try to think of a way of getting it back.
Thursday, 22 April 2010
Great news for Bristol in that UNICEF have accredited us as the first Baby Friendly City in England and Wales.
NHS Bristol and NBT Child Health Partnership have achieved this UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Community Initiative accreditation. Voluntary organisations in Bristol such as La Leche League are recognised has having set the scene for helping this to happen with our presence over many years. Congratulations to all involved!
Saturday, 20 March 2010
If you'd like to contact a Leader to talk about this (or any other) subject in the meantime, then do call us up (our numbers are in the left hand column). Vicky would prefer to be emailed at the moment on firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Thrush was one of the areas we talked about. This can occur at any time during breastfeeding and if undiagnosed can be a source of soreness and even shooting pains in the breast. It also can cause babies to be fussy at the breast and sometimes refuse to feed because their mouths are sore. There is a leaflet written by LLL on thrush which you can get from the website, http://www.laleche.org.uk/ (Quickfind number 2806) or you can ring a Leader if you want to find out more.
Another source of difficulties in latching on a young baby that we talked about is tongue-tie. This is not always spotted at birth and it can vary in its severity. Tongue-tie is when the skin attaching the tongue to the base of the mouth is too tight for the tongue to stretch out far enough to cover the lower gums and therefore to draw enough breast tissue in to the mouth. Less commonly it can affect the skin between the upper lip and the gum. Babies with tongue-tie can struggle to latch on, coming off and on the breast repeatedly. In young babies it can be treated simply and it is worth checking out if you have had help with positioning your baby and still struggle to latch them on.
Which brings us to positioning! This seemingly simple act of positioning your baby at the breast to enable them to feed effectively can be straightforward for some mums and newborns, and a struggle for some babies for weeks. Many of the mums at the meeting talked about ways in which they had managed to find positions that worked for them, and how they had needed help in the beginning to learn the art of breastfeeding. Seeing other babies feeding is a good start, but also getting skilled help when you need it can make all the difference. It is very possible to talk through getting a good latch on the phone, so if you are having difficulties, do ring a Leader for help. Some good leaflets are 'Nipple Know-How for Breastfeeding Mothers', 'Beginning Breastfeeding' and 'Positioning Your Baby at the Breast', or alternatively a 'New Mum's Pack', all from the La Leche website above.
Several mums talked about how they worked hard to identify their baby's early feeding cues such as rooting, putting a fist to the mouth and nuzzling in to mum, so that they could get a feed started before their baby became upset, when it became more of a struggle.
Many mums talked about the vital importance of getting the support needed to see them through the difficult times. Friends, family and other breastfeeding mothers can offer help, encouragement and ideas that can make a huge difference when everything seems a struggle. Seeing how other babies latch on, getting tips on various ways to hold and carry your baby and building up confidence to feed in public without a mountain of pillows can make a big impact on the life a woman with a newborn. This support can be found at La Leche meetings, through the website (especially the forums) and telephone helpline. If you want to meet up with local mums outside the meetings, then add your comment to the post about 'Connecting with other mothers' and go for it!
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
Do come along if you are new to the group, or if your baby is feeling fussy tomorrow - they seem to like the company of the other babies!
Monday, 1 March 2010
If you are looking to connect up in this way, perhaps because you have recently become a mother, or your friends are starting to wean, or you are back at work etc, then perhaps you could use this blog to make contact. If you want you could leave a comment below with some way of contacting you and hopefully other mothers in a similar situation will read it and get in touch.
You can always access La Leche friends online at the forums: http://forums.llli.org/ At this Mother-to-Mother Forum users can post messages and receive instant responses from other users who are online. Once logged in a user can start new discussion topics, or "threads" and respond to other users' threads. The forum is organised into general categories and offers suport and discussion on a wide range of topics - from general breastfeeding support for mothers feeding newborns, infants or toddlers, to special situations like breastfeeding premature babies or multiples, along with a variety of other mothering topics such as nutrition, starting solids, gentle discipline, pregnancy and childbirth, and combining work and breastfeeding.
Saturday, 27 February 2010
Thursday, 25 February 2010
It is unbelievable that anyone could view breastfeeding as indecent exposure, but it is a sad reminder that some people do hold such confused opinions.
Babies have a right to receive human milk when they need it. Human milk is a drink, food and vital comfort rolled in to one. Mothers who respond to their baby's needs in this way should be congratulated rather than made to feel an outcast.
In fact, it has been illegal to ask a mother to stop breastfeeding a baby of any age in public for more than 30 years, and a while ago Barbara Follett, Deputy Minister for Women and Equality, wrote to La Leche League to clarify a woman's right to breastfeed in public. In her letter she said:
‘Like most people, the Government believes that breast is best for babies. That is why we are doing everything we can to encourage mothers to breastfeed and to make sure that they are aware of its benefits.
But, for many mothers, the uncertainty surrounding where they can breastfeed is a real deterrent. Babies do not get hungry to order and mothers have to be confident that they can feed their infants in a café, restaurant or shop without the embarrassment of having the owner ask them to stop. In fact, this type of discrimination has been unlawful for women with babies of any age for more than thirty years, and the mother could challenge the owner under the Sex Discrimination Act. We strengthened this Act with extra 'maternity' protection, which means that if the baby is less than six months old the mother could also challenge the owner on the grounds of her maternity. Some people also think that women can be charged with indecency for breastfeeding in a public place. This is, I am glad to say, utter nonsense and completely wrong.
But, as you can see from the above, the law is not as clear as it could be. People are unsure of their rights and their responsibilities in this area. That is why the Government will be using its forthcoming Equality Bill to make it crystal clear that it is simply not acceptable to shoo breastfeeding mothers and their babies out of places like coffee shops, public galleries and restaurants. We hope that this will give women complete confidence that the law is on their side when they are breastfeeding their babies.’
I hope this has cleared any doubts anyone may have had about breastfeeding in public. Remember that the vast majority of people see it as the wonderful, life giving thing that it is and fully support us breastfeeding mums.
Sunday, 14 February 2010
There are great tear off sheets and leaflets available to buy from the La Leche League GB website covering many topics including positioning your baby at the breast, avoiding sore nipples and adjusting to motherhood. There is a great 'New Mum's' pack of leaflets that is highly recommended. Don't forget the Frequently Asked Questions section of www.llli.org which covers everything you might need to know in the middle of the night!
Sunday, 7 February 2010
Bring some food to share, if you can. But I have a request too: as some of you already know, my baby Theo has lots of allergies, so I would really appreciate it if you could avoid bringing peanuts or humous along, though, as they are potentially dangerous to him. He is allergic to many other things too, so if you could watch little ones while they eat and clear up and spills or crumbs afterwards, this would be really helpful.
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
'The Food of Love' is a new addition to our library too, so you can borrow it if you would like to see more. I also like her 'Mama Sutra' ...
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
39 Hamilton Rd, Southville, BS2 1PA
because Lorraine's house is so difficult to reach in the icy conditions. Ring 0117 939 3028 for directions. Same timings: 10.15am to 12pm. See you there! Charlie
Sunday, 10 January 2010
I felt that the article just focused on a very few extreme cases and perpetuated the usual view in our culture of breastfeeding as an out of control impulse by children that must be quashed by the adults in their lives. It also trotted out the usual myths of women breastfeeding to 'satisfy their own needs' and views of it being distasteful and weird. The author stated that breastfeeding is a biological imperative to feed as often - and as long - as possible. She didn't mention what happens in the vast majority of cases in the normal course of breastfeeding, so I thought I would fill in some of the missing facts. Here is what The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding says on the subject:
'Why do mothers begin worrying about ending breastfeeding almost as soon as they've started? No doubt there are many reasons, but we suspect that not the least among them is the fact that society often expects babies to be weaned early. Mothers and uneasy about the thought that their babies might still be nursing after everyone expects them to be weaned from the breast.
We don't agree with society's attitudes about early weaning. We believe that ideally the breastfeeding relationship should continue until the baby outgrows the need.
One mother who had weaned because of criticsm from others, had this to say about her decision: "I let pressure from people prematurely end one of the most meaningful experiences I have had with my son...I wish I had it to do all over again now that I am more sure of myself." '
The facts are that human milk continues to provide special benefits for a baby as long as he is breastfed. The immunological benefits are matched by the unique way that breastfeeding can satisfy emotional needs. The breastfeeding relationship changes as the child gets older and the role of responding to the child's need for love and affection takes over from a baby's need for food. At some point, usually gradually, the baby's dependence on mother lessens and he takes steps out in to the world. When a baby does not wean by around a year a mother may worry that this means he is too dependent on her and fear that she is stopping him from growing independent. The Womanly Art again:
'But weaning is a step toward growing up and, like walking or talking, a child takes these steps according to his own timetable. All children stop nursing sooner or later. Some have the need to continue the nursing relationship longer than others - but they do grow out of it eventually. And still they do not become overly dependent. We have been reassured on this point many times over because we have observed first hand hundreds of babies who were considered "late weaners".'
The article shows up the prejudices in society that still surround breastfeeding, but hearteningly it also quotes very supportive comments from husbands and partners of the breastfeeding mothers. Also, the comments added to the article online have been overwhelmingly positive and enlightened.
For research on natural weaning age see this article by Katherine Dettwyler: www.kathydettwyler.org/detwean.html Her research is detailed in the book 'Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives' which you can borrow from our library.
To read about the situation from a mother's own persective, see this article written by Annalisa Barbieri about breastfeeding her 4 year old, which was sent to me by Lorraine: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/why-i-still-breastfeed-my-fouryearold-400171.html
My favourite term is 'full term breastfeeding' which seems more approprate than 'extended' or 'long term'. What do you think?
If you are breastfeeding a toddler then come along to our toddler coffee mornings (see Meetings for dates and venues) and share your experiences and views with other mums in the same situation.
The feeling of being snowed in can be fun for a bit, but there are plenty of scary tales around of friends being stuck in cars with their babies for ages (9hrs in one case). The breastfeeding mums have such an advantage in this case and don't have to deal with the awful situation of a hungry baby. Here is a link to La Leche's advice on breastfeeding in an emergency http://www.llli.org/FAQ/emergency.html