Milk Matters

Baby breastfeeding because milk matters.

World Breastfeeding Week

Milk matters for babies, for mothers, for families, and for global health and sustainability. World Breastfeeding Week is our chance to re-commit to wellness.

This campaign is a project of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding, which is “a global network of individuals & organisations concerned with the protection, promotion & support of breastfeeding worldwide.” Local advocates plan their own events then pledging funds from their local events to support breastfeeding worldwide.

Overall, World Breastfeeding Week goals are:

  1. To provide information about Millennium Development Goals and how they relate to breastfeeding.
  2. To showcase progress so far.
  3. To call attention to stepping up actions after 2015 (the goal date for Millennium Development Goals).
  4. To stimulate interest among young women and men in the relevance of breastfeeding in today’s world.

World Breastfeeding Week Goals

(Goals are listed on WorldBreastfeedingWeek.org.)

See the pledges made so far, including 6 from Canada and 96 from the U.S. (as of this writing). Most of the North American pledges are from The Big Latch On events that took place today.

Milk Matters

At bynature.ca, we are pleased to support breastfeeding mothers in our own community with a monthly support group: Milk Matters.

Register online.
Registration is not required, and there is no cost associated with this group.

Moms need all the help and support they can get. If you’re a breastfeeding mother looking for a like-minded support system, we’re thrilled to announce a new weekly Breastfeeding Café being hosted in the Parenting By Nature Wellness Lounge (above our storefront in Orillia, Ontario). Join other nursing moms in our community for a morning of conversation and support.

Pregnant women welcome and encouraged!

Whether you’re pregnant and just thinking about breastfeeding, currently nurturing an early breastfeeding relationship with a newborn, a pumping mom, or looking for a supporting group that understands the joys and challenges of nursing a toddler, this is the group for you.

  • DATE & TIME: Begins September 2014. A monthly support group meeting Wednesday mornings from 10:00am -11:00am
  • REGISTRATION: This is a complimentary program hosted by Parenting By Nature. Registration is not required.
  • TOPIC: Each week we will be discussing a different topic, depending on the needs of the group.
  • NOTE: In order to ensure moms are comfortable, this is a women-only support group. Men are welcome to wait in the lounge within the storefront. Thanks for your understanding!

Milk Matters is a local support group for breastfeeding women. The Café is facilitated by a trained Lactation Educator, Doula, or La Leche League Leader.

We provide mom-to-mom group support during these sessions. If your experience requires more individualized or clinical support, referrals will be provided.

Photo Breastfeeding BW – © Alexhg1 | Dreamstime.com

Build Your Support System

Young mothers with babies

Recently, a friend of mine said to me, “I seem to have misplaced my support system.” It’s easy to do. While you are still thinking about what you genuinely need in your life during the new year, ask if you have the support you need. For new parents, the new reality can sometimes mean you need to adjust or even rebuild as you find that you need a different kind of support than you did before children.

For me, the support system came in the form of a play group. A group of parents who had planned homebirths within a few months of one another had also taken a birth relaxation class together. We knew one another pregnant, and we continued to see one another as we gave birth to our babies over several months. When the children were tiny, they didn’t play much, but we as adults needed the time we had together. We sat around breastfeeding and talking. Occasionally, we invited others from our community to join us, and the play group turned into time for the children as well as for the parents. Now, our children are teenagers and close friends.

The kind of support system you seek should be driven by your need. Do you need breastfeeding support? La Leche League could be the support you need. Do you want to talk about diapers or parenting? Try a Real Diaper Circle or a Holistic Moms Network local chapter. Do you want someone to walk to the park with? Get together with new parents in your neighborhood.

Years ago, Mothering Magazine published an article called “Finding Your Tribe” on each of us seeking or building the support system we need as parents. They have continued to have a Finding Your Tribe section in the Mothering forums. If you don’t know of any local resources, look in the Mothering forums to find any posts by other parents in your area who are looking just as you are.

Stop long enough to ask if you have what you need. If not, you are not alone. You can find other parents so you can share support for your parenting journey. Good luck finding your tribe.

Image © Anatoliy Samara | Dreamstime.com

How La Leche League Can Help You with Breastfeeding

Mothers meetingLast week, I wrote about how a breastfeeding support group, any local group that brings experienced mothers together with new mothers, can help you find success in breastfeeding.

The best-known breastfeeding support group internationally is La Leche League International (LLLI). The experience of most mothers with La Leche League is through local meetings or through contact with a local leaders. La Leche League Leaders are experienced breastfeeding mothers who have been trained to support other breastfeeding mothers.


From Local Support to International Activism

La Leche League started as a local group of seven women concerned that breastfeeding rates had dropped to just 20% in the U.S. in the mid-1950s. They provided support and expert advice. By the early 1960s, they began to establish chapters and very quickly became an international organization.

The current organization is built on a philosophy of support for the natural processes of breastfeeding and a singleness of purpose that keeps the organization focused. They have been active in building the support systems that women need for successful breastfeeding around the world.


Breastfeeding Resources

The La Leche League website offers a wide variety of online breastfeeding resources to help you succeed in breastfeeding your baby, but the heart of the organization is in the face-to-face meetings of mothers.

LLL also provides directories of local meetings in Canada, the U.S., and internationally. Through these groups you will find a carefully trained and accredited Leader, a breastfeeding mother who can support you in your choice to breastfeed. A LLL Leader offers classes, answers questions by phone and by email, distributes the latest breasfeeding information, and becomes an anchor to a local support group. You will find local LLL groups here:

Because local representatives have been trained to follow the same strict focus and up-to-date information, you are likely to find a similar experience at most LLL meetings. If you are looking for free-flowing conversation and socializing or if you are looking for a group that will support your all-around natural parenting choices, La Leche League is not that group.

Image © Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com