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World Breastfeeding Week Book Contest — Winner 1

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It’s World Breastfeeding Week, so watch this site for all sorts of stories. To kick things off, here is the first winner of my book contest …. Elizabeth, from the blog The Whole Family. She sent me her breastfeeding story, and as a prize she’ll receive a copy of “Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding.” Here’s Elizabeth’s story:

I had my first baby almost 7 years ago. I knew that I wanted to breastfeed from the start. I had read a few books and watched a few videos before the baby was born. I had been invited to a La Leche League Meeting, but I never went. At the time, I thought LLL was a “club” for moms who were breastfeeding successfully or who really liked breastfeeding. The problem was that I was not enjoying my first experience with breastfeeding. I was in pain, engorged, milk leaking everywhere all of the time, tired, and lacking confidence.
I was surrounded by well-meaning friends and family that told me that I needed help with the baby, to go out and have a date with my hubby, to go run errands, to go…go…go…somewhere, anywhere, but near my newborn. They thought they were being nice. I felt pressure to leave the baby and I was miserable. I would pump and leave a bottle, but really I just wanted to be with my baby. I wish that I had the confidence then to follow my gut feelings about things, like I do now. They, nor I, realized that not being with the baby was really messing up my milk supply. I was engorged, got mastitis, thrush, etc… By the time Zoe was 12 weeks old, I thought I should have been in less pain. Things should have been better by then. I just couldn’t bare it anymore. I finally decided to wean her. I was devastated on the inside. I felt like a failure. I went about my way being a formula feeding mother for the rest of her first year.
When I became pregnant with my 2nd child, 15 mos. later, I had heard a little more about LLL meetings. I was determined to be successful at breastfeeding this time around. Successful to me, meant meeting that goal of nursing for 12 mos. When I was 7 mos. pregnant I started attending meetings. The meetings were so wonderful! I received so much helpful information, support, and phone numbers to call for help once the baby arrived. One of the LLL Leaders was also a Doula and was present with me for my birth.
The first few months of Xander’s life were rough. We had a terrible time with Thrush, had a few plugged ducts. and he was a fussy baby. But, my LLL Leaders were just a phone call away. I thought that they would get sick of me calling! I attended every meeting that they had. This time around my experience was so much better! I know it was because of the support I received from LLL. When Xander was almost 1 year old, I started my training to become a LLL Leader. I was stronger this time around. I was more confident in my mothering. Xander nursed until he was 25 mos. old. I was so proud of myself!
I now have my 3rd baby, and he is 23 mos. old and still nursing strong! I am still a LLL Leader and I love helping mothers breastfeed their babies. My story could have turned out so differently if it had not been for LLL. I feel as though I owe so much to them. Not only have I been successful at breastfeeding, but I’ve also learned so much about mothering by being near other moms with similar beliefs and lifestyles. What a blessing, not only to me, but to my Whole Family!

Congratulations Elizabeth! And if anyone wants to submit a story, it’s not too late.

2 Responses to “World Breastfeeding Week Book Contest — Winner 1”

Thanks so much for publishing my story, and I can’t wait to read the book!

Congrats, Elizabeth!! People may not know this, but Elizabeth was an LLL leader near me when I was pregnant with Gray and attending LLL, planning to do breastfeeding a whole new way. She has since moved but I am still nursing (21 months and counting!) and loving it!

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