Expecting a little one and considering breastfeeding, or maybe you know, without a doubt, that you’d like to breastfeed? Has your baby already arrived, and you are currently breastfeeding and have a few questions or want extra support? Whether you’re expecting or your baby has already arrived, whether this is your first or 5th journey with breastfeeding, it’s perfectly ok to have questions, struggle, and want support. That’s why organizations like La Leche League St. Louis exist. To help moms and families navigate this advantageous chapter of Motherhood that benefits both mom and baby.
Like each mom and each child are unique, each breastfeeding journey will be incredible. Breastfeeding may sound simple, but there is a lot that can leave you unsure and confused, from how much milk they are getting, to feeling sore, getting little ones to latch, and so much more. Thankfully, an entire team of experienced leaders is ready to help answer, guide and support you and this incredible chapter.
This international, non-profit, and non-sectarian organization dedicated to providing support and information to women wanting to breastfeed has a long, solid, and inspiring history dating back to the 50s. La Leche League International (LLLI) was formed in 1956 by a group of seven caring and passionate mothers: Mary Ann Cahill, Edwina Froehlich, Betty Wagner, Mary White, Viola Lennon, Mary Ann Kerwin, and Marian Tompson, in Franklin Park, IL. At this time, breastfeeding was not encouraged by the medical industry. With little to no medical professional support and informational resources, this already uncommon way of feeding a baby was becoming even more difficult for moms who wanted to try.
After being seen breastfeeding their own children, other women became intrigued. They wanted to know more about the how’s and why’s of breastfeeding. Some mothers even expressed their own stories of wanting to breastfeed their children but failing due to the lack of support and knowledge. These seven dedicated mothers knew they had to do something to help other moms who desperately wanted to learn more about successful breastfeeding.
La Leche League St. Louis, while only a small group at the time, began creating a structure for their organization. They began hosting a series of 4 meetings that gathered once a month to discuss breastfeeding, prenatal issues, and childbirth. They became affiliated with some doctors who added reassuring medical support and advice for the trickiest breastfeeding concerns. These doctors helped shape “mothering through breastfeeding” as their star focus. This opened a floodgate of letters containing medical questions from mothers wanting to breastfeed but were told by their doctors to wean their babies for various reasons or to avoid breastfeeding altogether!
Fighting back, LLLI coordinated a process where these letters would make their way to the Medical Advisory Board. The board would eventually write back, often with the recommendation to continue breastfeeding. This was a great victory! Having physicians not only be involved but backing up their advice provided their group with much-needed legitimacy.
As their organization grew, La Leche League St. Louis also took on helping women make informed and confident choices for safe and natural childbirth. This is opposed to the heavily drugged practice that was extremely common in the 1950s. LLLI has worked with many groups over the years. Always helping to support and pave the way for breastfeeding and childbirth opportunities. Their dream spread to other locations and stayed firm to their beliefs. The La Leche League of Greater St. Louis continues this movement with the same dedicated and unwavering support as the beginning founders did with every service they provide.
The Leaders at La Leche League St. Louis understand that while breastfeeding may be a natural way of feeding your baby, it does not always come naturally. So when you choose to breastfeed, their leaders are ready to help.
When you’re breastfeeding, it’s ok to have questions. Whether your questions are before your baby arrives, during the first few days of their life, or later months down the road, personal help is always available by phone.
Attending group meetings can not only answer your questions but also help you establish your network of support with moms going on this journey with you. Babies and support people are always welcome to attend with you.
These groups will discuss the following:
While this may not necessarily be a service, having inspirational reminders and engaging comments pop up while you scroll can be just the passive support you need to know you’re doing great.
Some moms fall in love with that magical feeling of bonding while feeding their little ones. They want to help other mothers feel that wave of love too. They want to support other families along this fantastic chapter of parenthood with helpful information and provide encouragement. LLL offers mom an opportunity to keep the support going! Their organization is made up of moms just like you! Suppose your heart has a calling to support others so they can have a successful breastfeeding experience. In that case, you can become a La Leche League Leader. Leaders are moms experienced in breastfeeding, trained and accredited by La Leche League International. So they can confidently help families with all aspects of breastfeeding, whether it’s before birth questions or throughout their entire breastfeeding journey.
When you reach out to La Leche League St Louis, you get quality advice from an organization whose long history has been about making this chapter for moms successful. You can view their event calendar and other resources on their website.
For more St. Louis motherhood content, check out the blog links below! But before you go, I would love to chat about your dream maternity photo session!