Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Barbara Higham, Yorkshire, UK and Melissa Clark Vickers, Tennessee, USA
Photo: Esther Edith
Have you ever wondered what makes an LLL Leader different from others who offer help and support for breastfeeding issues?
Health professionals are used to wanting to fix what’s broken, and to approaching a problem from a medical standpoint. Often their solution to your problem comes in the form of medicine or an instruction.
Friends and relatives are sometimes too ready to give a new mother their opinion on what they believe is best for you and your baby. After all, it’s really easy to jump to conclusions based on your own experience.
La Leche League Leaders share ideas rather than potions or directions. Leaders are trained to listen and to ask more questions rather than judging what’s right for you. We want you to be the judge. And the suggestions a Leader shares are not just based on her personal experience, but instead, the collective experience of many mothers.
All mothers and babies are different and what works for one family won’t necessarily be right for another. We want to empower mothers to find their own way by offering ideas, sharing what has worked for many mothers, and letting you know how approaches may differ because we all experience things in different ways.
Since mothers really do know best once they are enabled to follow their instincts, it’s our aim to help you reach your own conclusions.
So, when you go to an LLL meeting or talk to a Leader, another mother, or read our publications don’t expect to get a list of instructions. There will be lots of information and guidance, just take what’s right for you and leave the rest.
Think of it as a buffet table, full of potentially helpful suggestions. Some you will recognize as a familiar food you love. Some you’ll be turned off by immediately and not even tempted to try. And some you may decide are worth the gamble for at least one taste. If you like it, great! If you don’t, that’s okay, too.
Sometimes those new-to-you suggestions will pique your curiosity enough to warrant a try—after all, they have worked for somebody. And once you give them a try, you can decide whether they really work for you. Or might if you modified them a bit.
LLL Leaders can help you navigate that buffet table, and help you decide what might work for you—at least enough to give it a try. And then share the results with your Leader, and maybe the mothers at the next meeting. Your experiences with a given suggestion, what worked, what didn’t, and how you modified it to fit your situation better might just be what that mother sitting next to you needs.
Five things an LLL Leader may say instead of, “you should …” are:
- It’s really hard when everyone is telling you something different.
- How do you feel about it?
- I bet you’re tired, make yourself comfortable, and I’ll get you a cup of tea.
- You’re doing well and I’m glad you have reached out to LLL.
- You know your baby best.