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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live on an island in Alaska, and there is zero LLLI presence here, and no other group. I would like to start something myself, like a support group for breastfeeding moms, but really don't want to try to become an LLL leader long distance, especially since I have never been able to attend a meeting before and can't afford to travel now. Anybody have any advice about where to start or what to do/not to do in order to establish a group that will survive?
 

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Congrats on your desire to start a BF mom's group!<br><br>
I started a group several years back and have always loved it. My motivations were to help other moms like me and to make new BF mom friends.<br><br>
The good thing about having my own group that was not affiliated w/ LLL was that I could choose any topic I wanted. I did so depending on the makeup of our group at the time. Over the years we have had almost all pg women, then all moms w/ newborns, then all moms w/ older babies, then we would get a new influx of pg moms. So it is very flexible. Sometimes I would also want to talk about something that was not directly BF. For example having a homebirth midwife as a guest speaker, talking about cloth diapering, circ, etc. My friend in the next town was a LLL leader and her mtgs were very different. There is a list of topics you rotate, she couldn't always find comfortable places to meet, and it was more formal and more of a presentation and then Q and A session. She liked coming to my mtgs and I enjoyed hers. For moms who are already seasoned BF it seems like LLL can get a little boring though. (For me and others I know anyway). Don't get me wrong though, I love LLL.<br><br>
It took about 6 months for anyone to start coming to my meetings. At first it was just me and my sis (both of us were BF babies). I put fliers up at the WIC offices, health food stores, and anywhere else there was a community bulletin that I could post. Eventually people started coming and when I moved my group was huge. We had playgroups, playground dates, baby cafes at the local coffee shop, BBQs in the summer and once a month meetings. I am happy to say one of our members took over my group and it is still thriving.<br><br>
I have been dying to start another group but I live in a tiny apt. that is not condusive to company.<br><br>
You may wonder whether to meet in your house or somewhere else. You definately have to weigh the pros and cons of each. I preferred my house (having tried other places) because it was just so much more comfortable and the moms seemed to respond better and were more likely to come. It is also less formal, we preferred to have discussions, not just presentations. Plus I had a playroom where the kids could dissapear for awhile.<br><br>
Good luck, hope I was helpful!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for the info! I'm currently trying to get the local parks & rec to donate time in their toddler room for meetings so that we have a really child friendly environment. I've been offered the board room at the state health center, but feels too intimidating... Anyway, still working out the details, but I'm grateful to know that you've succeeded so well also without being affiliated with LLLI. I'm also glad you told me how long it took for people to really start coming. That will really be a good thought to hold on to if we don't get a good response at first!<br><br>
Do you think that monthly meetings were best? Or is more frequency helpful?<br>
Thanks!
 

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I just help start a BF support group for low-income urban moms! I worked at a Community Health Center with a glaring lack of lactation support, so I found an unbelievably helpful mentor in a former-LLL leader IBCLC who runs a non-profit Maternal-Child advocacy organization, and convinced her to help me start the group. We're calling it "Eat at Mom's" and it is just in the start-up phase, but we've got lots of public health nurses on board, too. Now we just need to break through transportation and child care barriers and get some more moms to come...<br><br>
For meeting space, we're using a conference room in a Transitional Apartment and Parenting Center (housing for teen moms) run by Salvation Army....
 

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Monthly was good, but those of us that became friends saw each other more often. Believe me, the month flies by, especially when you are getting your topic info together, guest speakers, etc. If the group of moms that your group attracts want to meat more often then that's great! I really looked forward to the meetings.<br><br>
Right now I don't have any friends at all in the town I live in, let alone a support network of other BF moms. I really miss it and will start a group as soon as I get a space. It has been on my mind since I moved. Women really need that closeness. It feeds our souls.<br><br>
Good luck!
 
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