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#61 of 246 Old 12-22-2012, 06:05 PM
 
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Starting a focus group for how to improve LLL is all well and good - but it wasn't the topic of this thread.  The only PR issue I see here is the one that New Zealand public health sidestepped by *listening* to LLL and the other organizations, whose opinions they specifically solicited, when they pointed out the potential conflict of interest in the image.  Public health is public health, and good for them for maintaining consistency in their messaging, whether it's an add about smoking or anything else.  That is smart PR, and good for public welfare.  

 

Why is the focus even on LLL?  Why not the public health folks?  After all, they asked for and accepted the recommendation.  I'm just not sure how this devolved into "my area LLL sucks", talk of Nazis (?!), and defending life circumstances that may have led to bottlefeeding breastmilk.  I think most people agree here more than disagree.  We all know that breastmilk from the breast is the best thing you can offer.  Pumped milk second.  Donor pumped milk third.  Formula a distant fourth.  

 

There will always be circumstances that cause people to fall in the second or third camp - but if we don't uphold the gold standard AS the gold standard, what are we doing???  So many people don't even KNOW that it's the gold standard!  So many people are shamed or excluded for breastfeeding at the actual breast!  Clearly, we need more imagery around this, and more information.  Parents do the best they can do, and sometimes that's silver and bronze.  I do think LLL should learn to provide support within those choices, once they are made.  But I don't understand why anyone would expect a breastfeeding advocacy organization to "water down" an overall message that is already not getting through to people, or not try to normalize it culturally.

 

Hell, that's not even what they were doing - they were just giving a solicited opinion, that a picture of a dad feeding a bottle might be construed as promotion of formula feeding, and present a PR problem for public health.  Even if you support bottlefeeding pumped milk, you have to admit it could be taken the wrong way, and perhaps it's best to avoid the risk. shrug.gif

 

Let's say the LLL's version of the story at face value and move on.  And then what happened? Did you see the media coverage?  Did you see the public's out cry against the organization?  How could they not have seen that requesting an image of a father feeding his baby be edited would lead to such an uproar?  THIS is where I say they should see the forest for the trees.  There are many so called "gold standards" for a lot of things in life but not everything is so cut and dry.  In this case it was a father (not an actor) feeding his own freaking baby.  To object to that image sent the organization into its own PR mess.  

 

You ask why women come here and defend their 'second, third, distant fourth' choices.  Simply because they want their stories to be told.  They want their perspective to be taken into consideration.  No organization exists in a vacuum.  It is a mistake to disregard the combination of choices women (parents) are most likely to make simply because one is trying to uphold a gold standard many are not able to uphold.  I think the LLL approach needs to be more nuanced and I think seeing the long view picture is smarter for public health and the LLL.  

 

I feel bad for my fellow women who have had unpleasant run ins with lactivists.  I especially feel bad for women who do all the work of pumping and still get the "your choice is not the gold standard..." (implied or otherwise).  In addition, while my children were breastfed from the tap until they weaned themselves, I feel uncomfortable with the idea that my choices were inherently better than fellow mothers who are also trying to figure out what works best for their family.  This is why my brand of lactivism is the kind that gives info about breastfeeding and then supports to make it happen.  If it doesn't and mama chooses something else, then oh well -- that is okay too.  Such is life.  And holy cow!  I certainly don't go around telling pumping women it is better to have the babies feed directly from the breast! Sheesh.  

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#62 of 246 Old 12-22-2012, 09:25 PM
 
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Truth is truth. One can make a variety of decisions and still acknowledge the truth.

There is a lot of emotion here. How children are fed seems to attract a great deal of emotion.

It seems that some feel there is a declared or implied judgment. There is always another side. Perhaps the other side feels there is a declared or implied judgment, as well. So then what? If both sides feel unfairly judged, where do we go from there?
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#63 of 246 Old 12-23-2012, 08:44 AM
 
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I think there is a leap being taken that was not what I intended (or, probably, what LLL intended).

 

I'm saying, it's true that breastfeeding at the breast is best, followed by pumping and donor milk.  That is just a fact - not a judgment, a fact.  There are many emotional and nutritional benefits to nursing babies at the breast.

 

That said, what I'm absolutely *NOT* saying is that these gold, silver and bronze feeding choices make those who make them gold, silver or bronze mothers.

 

No way - I support mothers in their decisions, and I trust that they know what is best for their family (whether that means concessions in feeding for a bigger financial pay-off or so the child can have a happy, fulfilled mother).  It is absolutely true that sometimes a mother who makes these tough choices is a better mother for it, just as it is true that some families do not have a choice.

 

I believe that LLL should provide tailored, enlightened, one-on-one support for *all* mothers.  That doesn't mean they should compromise their core message - which is a feeding fact, not a mothering judgment.

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#64 of 246 Old 12-23-2012, 08:58 AM
 
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Basically, I think LLL should meet mothers where they are, and provide support and information that is helpful for their situation.  I don't think LLL should guilt trip mothers who have made difficult choices, but neither do I believe LLL needs to water down the truth or distort reality to make mothers feel better about those choices.  We all can weigh out pros and cons, and decide what is best for our families - we should be confident enough in our choices that when LLL says, "Nursing at the breast is best," we don't take it as a personal attack, but can say, "yes, that's true, but this is what works best for our family, overall, and I'm comfortable with that trade-off."

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#65 of 246 Old 12-23-2012, 09:08 AM
 
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Excuse me?  A parent bottle feeding a baby should be viewed as standard and normal as a mother breastfeeding  her baby?  Is that what you're saying?  How could a breastfeeding advocate think such a thing?

 

normal i guess if it's EBM and the mom is WOH. when DH was at a party with DD  he made sure to tell people it was BM and not formula lol 


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#66 of 246 Old 12-23-2012, 09:25 AM
 
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What started this was an ad, about smoking, where it was not possible or appropriate to try to send two messages and talk about what was in the bottle. That is also fact.
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#67 of 246 Old 12-23-2012, 09:42 AM
 
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I think there is a leap being taken that was not what I intended (or, probably, what LLL intended).

I'm saying, it's true that breastfeeding at the breast is best, followed by pumping and donor milk.  That is just a fact - not a judgment, a fact.  There are many emotional and nutritional benefits to nursing babies at the breast.

That said, what I'm absolutely *NOT* saying is that these gold, silver and bronze feeding choices make those who make them gold, silver or bronze mothers.

No way - I support mothers in their decisions, and I trust that they know what is best for their family (whether that means concessions in feeding for a bigger financial pay-off or so the child can have a happy, fulfilled mother).  It is absolutely true that sometimes a mother who makes these tough choices is a better mother for it, just as it is true that some families do not have a choice.

I believe that LLL should provide tailored, enlightened, one-on-one support for *all* mothers.  That doesn't mean they should compromise their core message - which is a feeding fact, not a mothering judgment.

I agree.
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#68 of 246 Old 12-23-2012, 02:44 PM
 
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I agree.

Me too. There are no better than mamas, and no right or wrong way to be a mom. I know that the LLL groups in the two states I work in as a breastfeeding counselor really try to embody the message that moms should take what works for them and leave the rest behind.

I'm also just linking here to the WHO Code, so people coming across this thread can see that the idea of not showing bottles in advertisements is not exclusive to LLL, but part of the World Health Organization's message, which I believe even mothering.com follows with its sponsors though I could be remembering that wrong. http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/code_english.pdf

Here is a link to the info from WHO and UNICEF which backs the whole "breastfeeding first, then expressed milk, then donor milk, then formula" thing, again- not created by LLL, but scientifically evidenced base care. The most pertinent information is on page 17 of the doc, but the whole thing is a good read. It doesn't mean that if you don't follow it you are a bad mom. Not even close. It's just the nutritional facts, the same as reading the label on food and knowing what is a healthier option or not. Knowledge is power, whatever decision you make is completely valid. http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2003/9241562218.pdf.
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#69 of 246 Old 12-23-2012, 02:57 PM
 
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Again, I absolutely think that the outcry is ridiculous. Guess who is famous? The dad. Guess who's not? The mom. If the mom were bottle feeding the baby, I would assume it was formula (though I do acknowledge that many women feed EBM for a variety of reasons). In that case, I would agree that it would be better for the woman to be nursing in the ad. In reality though, nobody knows the mom. They know the dad. He is the celebrity. He is alone with the baby. Until it's pointed out, most people wouldn't even stop to think what's in the bottle, and if they did, it could easily be assumed to be EBM. 

 

And again, it comes down to the idea that feeding an infant is a bonding experience. Period. As a teenager, my first niece was born. I snuggled her endlessly, changed her diaper, played with her and was in seventh heaven. However, cuddling up on the couch and feeding her a bottle (of EBM, for the record) was, without a doubt, the most special moment we'd shared at that point. And it's not really something that can be properly put out into words, because yes, you can bond in other ways, but it's just not the same. I absolutely cannot imagine spending the first year of my child's life never getting to experience that feeling, of holding my sweet sweet baby and feeding him/her, looking each other in the eyes. All the baths and diaper changes in the world can't replicate it. I wouldn't dream of denying that to my partner, and I firmly believe that any "harm" caused by DP feeding the baby a 2 hour old bottle of EBM each night is overcome tenfold by a more secure bond with him. 

 

Poetics aside, that's why they chose to use the imagery of a man feeding his child. HIS child. Because it is, in the experiences of a great many people, the ultimate way to bond with baby. I understand the hierarchy of "goodness" in infant feeding. I can understand feeling that having a father feed EBM isn't enough of a bonding experience in many families to "risk" the health consequences. Most of all, I understand LLL's extremely narrow views on infant feeding. However, I don't understand feeling that your situation is universal and should apply to everyone, and varying from it is bad. It smacks of extremism, and I maintain my PETA comparison (of excluding the "lesser", NOT their advertising techniques). 


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#70 of 246 Old 12-23-2012, 03:19 PM
 
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Poetics aside, that's why they chose to use the imagery of a man feeding his child. HIS child. Because it is, in the experiences of a great many people, the ultimate way to bond with baby. I understand the hierarchy of "goodness" in infant feeding. I can understand feeling that having a father feed EBM isn't enough of a bonding experience in many families to "risk" the health consequences. Most of all, I understand LLL's extremely narrow views on infant feeding. However, I don't understand feeling that your situation is universal and should apply to everyone, and varying from it is bad. It smacks of extremism, and I maintain my PETA comparison (of excluding the "lesser", NOT their advertising techniques). 

LLL holds scientifically, evidenced based views on infant feeding and they don't apologize for it, but they do absolutely support a moms decision to do whatever they feel is best for their family. It is completely possible that an INDIVIDUAL leader (or obviously more than one) was not the most judicious because of her own personally held views, but it is absolutely not LLL as a whole.

PETA has been classified as a terrorist threat, so in my mind he comparison is not accurate. Google "PETA terrorism" and you come up with a slew of articles and links, but google "LLLI terrorism" and you won't come up with any because there aren't any. LLL Leaders and members are NOT terrorists or nazis, and they aren't even that extreme, any more than extended breastfeeding is extreme.

Here is LLLI's actual philosophy. THIS is what Leaders are supposed to espouse, with the knowledge that there are many ways to get there and what works for one family might not work for another. I copied and pasted but the link is here too. Http://www.llli.org/philosophy.html


The basic philosophy of La Leche League is summarized in the following statements:

1. Mothering through breastfeeding is the most natural and effective way of understanding and satisfying the needs of the baby.
2. Mother and baby need to be together early and often to establish a satisfying relationship and an adequate milk supply.
3. In the early years the baby has an intense need to be with his mother which is as basic as his need for food.
4. Breast milk is the superior infant food.
5. For the healthy, full-term baby, breast milk is the only food necessary until the baby shows signs of needing solids, about the middle of the first year after birth.
6. Ideally the breastfeeding relationship will continue until the baby outgrows the need.
7. Alert and active participation by the mother in childbirth is a help in getting breastfeeding off to a good start.
8. Breastfeeding is enhanced and the nursing couple sustained by the loving support, help, and companionship of the baby's father. A father's unique relationship with his baby is an important element in the child's development from early infancy.
9. Good nutrition means eating a well-balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible.
10. From infancy on, children need loving guidance which reflects acceptance of their capabilities and sensitivity to their feelings.

Here are llli's requirements for Leadership and what leaders are supposed to do. The documents appendix 17 & appendix 18 are probably the most helpful in understanding the philosophy as well as understanding that LLLI recognizes differences in a family's mothering path and experiences. http://www.llli.org/lad/talll/basicdocs.html

Lastly, if anyone is interested you can buy or borrow from the library an LLLI Leader's Handbook. Amazon has them for about $7 used. It might help in understanding more of what Leaders are supposed to do as opposed to what an individual leader did at a particular meeting.

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#71 of 246 Old 12-24-2012, 11:56 AM
 
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Thankyou Greenmama for your carefully thought out and educated responses. There are lots of LLL Leaders around on here, who try their best by giving up hours of their time every week to try to help women with no recompense. Not every mother is going to be open to hearing evidence based information, it is after all a very different message than we usually get from our doctors and peers. However it is completely necessary, how can we make informed decisions without evidence? LLL Leaders have their own families and personal commitments, ideally every group would run meetings at weekends and evenings as well as during the week but the hours of work necessary to run such differently scheduled meetings make it an impossibility for many leaders. 

We know that images of bottlefeeding in the media act to promote bottlefeeding. This has been studied for many years. In a discussion of breastfeeding and how it fits into family life bottles can have their place, but in a health promoting advertisement there was no need to normalise that image at all.

I am really surprised by these posts, this is not what I expect on mothering.com. This is after all the LACTIVISM forum and yet we have responses on this thread dismissing lactivists as nazis? 

 

The Politics of Breastfeeding is a fabulous read about just how important the images we see around us are. In an ideal world breastfeeding would be the only images we would see in the media, while accurate information about how (and the reasons why) to bottlefeed safely should come from healthcare providers on a one to one basis as needed.

 

Without LLL I would have felt very alone once my first toddler passed 12 months old and we were still nursing. I found an incredible amount of support from them and a whole community of wonderful people.  

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#72 of 246 Old 12-24-2012, 12:35 PM
 
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I reiterate that I think LLL does great and wonderful things. It is a very passionate and worthy organization. I don't feel that disbanding it is the right direction and I'm not upset about them promoting breastfeeding.

 

I also don't feel bad about referring to them as a zealous organization. I don't think they are fascists or Nazis--I think they are passionate. Sometimes passionate people have a hard time seeing the person they are interacting with and that means that sometimes individual leaders are overly intense. 

 

I don't think that means that any of them are bad or terrible. I think that it means that when a mom heads off to LLL she should keep in mind that leaders are just people and people vary in how wonderful they are. Keep in mind that you have to be your own advocate because LLL will not understand the full constellation of issues in your life.

 

I'm not *upset* about LLL asking for a bottle feeding image to be removed in the anti-smoking ad. But I don't think it is as necessary as they do. That's ok. I am not the public face for breast feeding. :)

 

Which is to say... I think the ability to criticize organizations is one of the most important things we can do. Not wholesale, not just deriding for fun. But I disagree with this particular decision. That's ok. I'm not slamming the organization when I think "Oh I would have handled that differently".

 

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#73 of 246 Old 12-24-2012, 06:32 PM
 
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Basically, I think LLL should meet mothers where they are, and provide support and information that is helpful for their situation.

 

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#74 of 246 Old 12-24-2012, 08:19 PM
 
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I think LLL was right about bottle feeding having no place in a public health ad. I also think the meetings are very cult like and hard for mothers who aren't completely onboard with nursing until second grade to attend.
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Second grade? Aren't most kids in second grade six or seven? I doubt most LLL groups advocate that. Let's stop being silly.

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#76 of 246 Old 12-24-2012, 09:23 PM
 
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Yet another patronizing "I suppose if you can't give your baby the absolute best, you need to tell yourself it's okay to make yourself feel better" response about pumped milk. It's a wonder anyone bothers to pump at this point, given that this is the party line about whether pumping is even worth it. I, personally, have never felt that my kid got fed bronze-medal nourishment, so arguments about me just feeling guilty are off base, but I would like to be able to support other working moms who want to feed breastmilk, and denigrating their choices isn't going to win any converts to the pumping cause.

Once again, the linked article "proving" pumping is inferior does not in fact say that. It doesn't rank the options, or provide handy numbered list of holiness. In fact, it talks about global strategies for ensuring that the children of working mothers get breastmilk.

I have repeatedly gone looking for the "evidence" for the numbered ranking of from-the-breast, pumped-in-bottle, donor milk, formula. I chased down citation after citation. None of them say what anti-pumped milk advocates insist they say. I have read just about everything WHO has put out on the subject at this point, and time and again I see them misquoted by people.

Everyone cites WHO. The article they cite most commonly is referring specifically to premature babies born in refugee camps or other tenuous sanitation scenarios. And it does not rank the breastmilk options in order, either!

So if lll is going to tell people that pumped milk is a second best choice? I'd like to actually see the evidence that it is based on?
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#77 of 246 Old 12-25-2012, 08:38 AM
 
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I think LLL was right about bottle feeding having no place in a public health ad. I also think the meetings are very cult like and hard for mothers who aren't completely onboard with nursing until second grade to attend.

 

most people i know wean by age 4. ive only know a handful of women who weaned by age 6 and they were in kindy not second grade


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#78 of 246 Old 12-25-2012, 09:54 AM
 
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most people i know wean by age 4. ive only know a handful of women who weaned by age 6 and they were in kindy not second grade

bigeyes.gif Given how few women I know who make it to one year you just made her point for her.

 

My kids only nursed till 3 and 2. I'm obviously a slacker who doesn't care about them.


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Yet another patronizing "I suppose if you can't give your baby the absolute best, you need to tell yourself it's okay to make yourself feel better" response about pumped milk. It's a wonder anyone bothers to pump at this point, given that this is the party line about whether pumping is even worth it. I, personally, have never felt that my kid got fed bronze-medal nourishment, so arguments about me just feeling guilty are off base, but I would like to be able to support other working moms who want to feed breastmilk, and denigrating their choices isn't going to win any converts to the pumping cause.
Once again, the linked article "proving" pumping is inferior does not in fact say that. It doesn't rank the options, or provide handy numbered list of holiness. In fact, it talks about global strategies for ensuring that the children of working mothers get breastmilk.
I have repeatedly gone looking for the "evidence" for the numbered ranking of from-the-breast, pumped-in-bottle, donor milk, formula. I chased down citation after citation. None of them say what anti-pumped milk advocates insist they say. I have read just about everything WHO has put out on the subject at this point, and time and again I see them misquoted by people.
Everyone cites WHO. The article they cite most commonly is referring specifically to premature babies born in refugee camps or other tenuous sanitation scenarios. And it does not rank the breastmilk options in order, either!
So if lll is going to tell people that pumped milk is a second best choice? I'd like to actually see the evidence that it is based on?

 

Nutrients in food begin to degrade a soon as the food is produced. This isn't breastmilk-specific; it's just a fact about all food. Milk sucked straight from the breast is the very freshest. After that, pumped milk these days is usually stored so well that it's still pretty darn fresh! Therefore, it's the next best thing.

 

There's no one to blame: LLL didn't invent the laws of chemistry. That's just how it works.

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#80 of 246 Old 12-25-2012, 10:35 AM
 
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bigeyes.gif  Given how few women I know who make it to one year you just made her point for her.

My kids only nursed till 3 and 2. I'm obviously a slacker who doesn't care about them.

That's what my local LLL group thought when I gently weaned my dd at age three. It was a crushing experience but it had been hard anyways because I was really ready to be done at two and a half and had gotten a lot of crap for wanting to be done then.
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#81 of 246 Old 12-25-2012, 11:46 AM
 
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bigeyes.gif  Given how few women I know who make it to one year you just made her point for her.

My kids only nursed till 3 and 2. I'm obviously a slacker who doesn't care about them.

No one said you were a slacker, and the remark about nursing until 6 or 7 was hearsay. Not directly from LLL. I really wonder how much was actually said, and how much is rumor (which can be exaggerated)!

I've not had any misinformation or negative remarks from anyone who is or was a LLL leader. This is a case where I need to experience it to believe it. My appologies to those who have personally had negative experiences, but I cannot tell what is real and what is rumor.
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#82 of 246 Old 12-25-2012, 11:52 AM
 
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If LLL really is so bad, why aren't other breastfeeding support groups being formed, and remaining in existence? Instead of complaining, fill the void.
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#83 of 246 Old 12-25-2012, 12:06 PM
 
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If LLL really is so bad, why aren't other breastfeeding support groups being formed, and remaining in existence? Instead of complaining, fill the void.

Actually in my area there are three others now and the LLL group I was in tanked about a year after I left. There is also one specifically for teen moms. They are all run by lactation consultants and have thrived and built good reputations whereas the LLL continues to have a bad one despite being gone for six years.
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#84 of 246 Old 12-25-2012, 12:28 PM
 
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If there are other groups, then just join a group that better meets your needs. There's reason to attack LLL.

I joined a breastfeeding support group when my child was a baby. It was not LLL. The group provided great support for working moms and recommended Ferber's sleep book. It did not meet all of my needs, but met some. I appreciated what I got that helped and left the rest. There's no reason to attack them. That group collapsed when the founders wanted to move on, and passed the reigns to other women. I think it's a shame, even though it was not an ideal fit for me.

I am disappointed that some MDC moms aren't demonstrating the behavior they wanted from LLL leaders.
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#85 of 246 Old 12-25-2012, 12:34 PM
 
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I am disappointed that some MDC moms aren't demonstrating the behavior they wanted from LLL leaders.

 

I do. I talk to everyone I know who is pregnant about breastfeeding. I give them all the factual information I possibly can and then I tell them that I will love them and support them no matter what they decide. I have close friends who have bottle fed their babies donated breastmilk for years. I have friends who have pumped exclusively for years. I have friends who have nursed till four or five. I have friends who have bottle fed formula from day one.

 

I care that they are nice to their kids. That is what I want from LLL. 

 

And dogmatically, emphatically saying over and over that you won't believe something until it happens to you... well... uhm... Yeah.


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#86 of 246 Old 12-25-2012, 12:47 PM
 
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To clarify, I believe it is possible without it happening to me, but would not accept it as fact without hard evidence. And being attacking to LLL is not behaving the way good leaders should behave.
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#87 of 246 Old 12-25-2012, 01:30 PM
 
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Unless you can pinpoint how I have "attacked" them... uhm... dude. You need to relax. It's freaking Christmas. No one is attacking LLL just because we occasionally have different opinions. 

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My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#88 of 246 Old 12-25-2012, 01:42 PM
 
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So you should get to say what you want, but I shouldn't because it's Christmas?!? Dude! I don't drink kool-aid, no matter who offers it. But I do have other things to attend to, given the time. Farewell, until another time!
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#89 of 246 Old 12-25-2012, 02:24 PM
 
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I don't think it is attacking to point out where the organization needs to grow and I think it is sad that the organization resists growth and allows their name to be tarnished by continuing to deny the need for growth by denying any problem and telling people to go elsewhere rather than trying to change. LLL can do great work, I loved feeling like I wasn't alone when I was in the group. I hear in some areas they do great work and there was a time I completely adored and embraced what my group was doing, but I mostly hear about how bad they are and I experienced and witnessrd how they marganalized mothers first hand. Having mostly a bad reputation and not being willing to address it is how organizations fail. It is how ours fell and LLL should be working harder to prevent that not to defend it.
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#90 of 246 Old 12-26-2012, 04:45 PM
 
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They told her she wasn't allowed to do mother to mother milk share.

Every LLL is defined by the people in that location. LLL very deliberately hunts for very impassioned people.
 

LLL isn't allowed to say what's allowed.  Individual people may say that "LLL doesn't allow this," but that is contrary to both their stated purposes and intentions.  If members misinterpret or screw up or get judgmental, it isn't the fault of the organization itself. 

 

I very much agree that "every LLL is defined by the people in that location."  As far as the "hunting" aspect, that sounds kind of creepy to me, though I will admit I heard the same thing about them until I went to an actual meeting and found a pretty nice group of women who were looking for support and companionship....in addition to, when needed, breastfeeding help.


 sleepytime.gif I got tired of my signature, but I still love my children and husband and miss my little brotherkid.gif

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