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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is especially for those of you w/ chronic problems, low supply, etc. Do you go regularly? How do you feel your issues are presented and talked about, specifically to new moms? I've been w/ the same group for 4.5 yrs and I got really mad at the last meeting b/c it seems every problem I have or have/had was brushed off to new moms as 'things that won't happen' etc. It hurt more than anything b/c I've known these people for so long and I've worked my ass off trying to provide my kids w/ the best I can. I'm just wondering if other moms have had these experiences b/c I know in our group, we don't have anyone (but me it seems) that has chronic bfing issues and it makes me wonder if it's b/c of the way it's handled in group that people are afraid or just don't feel comfortable coming. I would love to be a leader and have a group for people who are having difficulties and need to use formula or whatever and don't want to feel the shame often associated w/ it at these meetings. Anyone?
 

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I attended LLL meetings when I was pregnant and after DD was born up to about 5 months. I liked the group but had to stop going when DD's nap time changed and conflicted. I think all of the groups are different. Some can be very rude and uninviting to women who have problems or bottlefeed, and some are very accepting.<br><br>
I had lots of problems. Failure to latch, nipple shields, nursing strikes, thrush, and finally a permanent strike that left me EPing. Once I was EPing, I could never pump enough. My max was 27 oz and DD was taking 40 oz at her peak. So even as an EPer , I felt like a failure. I was in tears when she went on her last strike and told the group I probably wouldn't be going to meetings anymore as I wouldn't fit in. The leader said I was welcome to continue going and that I was breastfeeding, just not directly. She also made a point of saying that women should not be judgemental of women who have bottles in public because we don't know what they have been through and it could be breastmilk in the bottle.<br><br>
Maybe you should see if there is another group in your area that you could try going to.
 

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first off I am so sorry to hear you are not feeling supported. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">: Hugs!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">:<br><br>
I am also an EPer and I go regularly to an LLL group. the leaders are great and very supportive. When I first went they initially offered support and wanted to help me get my 5mth old DD back to the breast until they realized I had already tried ALL of their suggestions<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">. Basically I represent to the new moms how important it is to get educated about BFing, don't always just expect that it will just magically work out. I always say get your support network together before you need it.<br><br>
Also we have more than one mom in our group who used formula for their first child mostly due to BFing problems and bad advice after birth so it seems that everyone is very understanding. And we have another who needed a helper to latch her DD for the first month after she was born at every feeding since she would not stay on. They used a syringe to shoot milk into her cheek to keep her from popping off. So it seems that their are a fare share of "problems" being accepted in our group and I would say it is really because of the leaders, they are totally non-judgmental.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your input. I actually do plan on trying other groups in the area, if nothing else, I'm always curious as to how other groups are. I tried one and it was too structured for me and the one person I know there is moving. There are 3 or 4 others though to try. I mentioned how I felt to a good friend who is training to be a leader.
 

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Considering that one meeting is entitled Overcoming Difficulties, that shouldn't really happen! "Horror stories" can be scary for new moms (kind of like birth horror stories can be when you're pregnant!) but simply discussing a possible common complication is not the same as graphic detail about a huge hole in the areola. Have you considered bringing your concerns to the Leader(s) outside of a meeting, expressing your feelings?
 

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I attend regularly. I speak openly about my issues (hypoplasia, SNS user, donor human milk) when appropriate. I do encourage a tentative new/pregnant mom by saying "everything will be fine" because in all likelihood they will be. I don't try to hide my issues either because I have garnered much of the support I've needed to make it through this ordeal from others who have had similar problems. My leaders know that if anyone needs SNS help, info on alternatives to supplementing with commercial formula, or low supply issues, they can have someone contact me.
 

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I only started going to LLL after my boys were 1 year old. I did talk with a LLL leader on the phone when my twins were first born, and she did have some helpful suggestions for low supply, but not a whole lot beyond nurse, nurse, nurse.<br><br>
I think most of them are afraid of recommending stronger measures (herbs, asking about prescription meds like domperidone or reglan) because they don't want to look like they are "acting like health professionals" and getting the LLL in trouble. Maybe part of it is they run into SO many people who really don't nurse often enough that they have a hard time believing when somebody really does, and really is having a medical issue?? Hard to know.<br>
Anyway my local LLL is very supportive of my efforts, either that or I have just developed a thick skin at this late stage of the game. I KNOW that it isn't "my fault" so I don't take any anti-formula-feeding-by-choice comments made in passing to heart, because I know they have nothing to do with me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">:.
 

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Your problems were probably "brushed aside" in an effort not to terrify new moms into thinking breastfeeding is terribly challenging. It's hard to meet everyone's needs at a meeting, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't let your group know how you're feeling, and give them a chance to show you how much they value and support you as a group mother.<br><br>
You've been going to the group for a long time, so you know better than we do if they're worth giving another chance, or if it's really time for you to move on.
 

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There have been times, and it is frustrating. Thrush is real, food allergies/intolerances are real. I truly hope that most other moms don't know what a TED but they need to be talked about and often aren't. Luckily, as the leaders haven't changed, the members have to some extent and we've ended up with a group that often takes over and will discuss problems while making sure new moms or moms to be know they aren't the norm.<br><br>
Right now I have to say that my monthly LLL meeting is absolutely necessary to keep me BFing when I am eating 4 foods (no starch) and failing food trials often. The leaders may not be what I need, but the members are and I just keep thinking that if there is one mom out there who I can help with info on never ending thrush (with DS) or severe food intolerance, it will have all been worthwhile on the days the meetings annoy me!
 

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I went to a local LLL meeting and I'm in the process of relactation. Everyone there was very friendly and helpful. I'm using an SNS and pumping and there was another mom there that had to use an SNS for quite some time so she helped with that. The other leader is a LC so she was helpful as well. I didn't feel like anyone judged me for the troubles I was having and what I was going through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys, you have made some great points. I think part of why I was upset is that I still haven't fully dealt w/ my issues w/ Ilana and it's hard sometimes. We went through so much w/ Evan and AJ had to be mostly ff, that I was determined to make this 'work' w/ Ilana and it just hasn't gone according to plan. I love my LLL group, but I find my food allergy group much more supportive at this time, even though I'm back to eating a normal diet.<br><br>
Kerri, I feel the same way and I have been able to help several moms who have come in w/ MSPI issues etc. The TED was of course super hard w/ Evan and it didn't make it any easier that most people thought I was exaggerating and Evan was just being 'normal' etc. My one leader said 'oh, Jennifer' when I told her I had weaned Evan right after he turned 1 b/c I just couldn't keep on the TED anymore. My other leader we much more supportive and commended me for doing all that I had done. I guess it's just hard for people to really understand what it's like if they've never BTDT. I am sending my one leader info on MSPI vs LI b/c she is very uneducated about it and that's something that really does bother me.<br><br>
I actually found another LLL group that we could walk to! We're going next month and it'll be nice to get out and walk w/ the kids. All the meetings are on different days so I could go to all of them every month if I wanted. lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I sent my one leader this link. <a href="http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/lactose-intolerance.html" target="_blank">http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns...tolerance.html</a> I also mentioned I didn't feel very good coming out of this last meeting, but didn't really go into details. I know it was sort of passive agressive, but that leaves the ball in her court I guess as to if she wants to know why. Hopefully this link will help b/c I've just heard her talk about lactose intolerance one too many times now...
 

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I'm active with my local LLL and the two groups of leaders I know the best are wonderful... all moms are very welcome at meetings whether there are problems or not. Lately, it seems like we haven't had many moms with low supply problems although we occasionally have a mom with a preemie who isn't quite to breast 100% of the time yet.<br><br>
I think it does vary, from what I've heard from others... worth checking into though! I've made lots of friends over the past couple of years, through LLL.
 

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Just wanted to say I'm learning a lot from this thread. I'm about to complete my leader training for LLL and I do see moms who really, really need help and don't necessarily get what they need. This is helping me to see how important it is to create and environment where moms feel safe and not judged.
 

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I can't know exactly how you feel since I have no idea what MSPI & TED are. However, I have some experience with moderate food intolerances, foremilk/hindmilk imbalance &/or secondary lactose intolerance, colic, a jaundiced sluggish newborn (nip & napper), pumping & supply issues (as a full time working mom), etc., etc., etc.<br><br>
Weeks or months after bringing DD1 home (I don't remember specifically, it's all a blur now) I finally called LLL and I knew I was in trouble when the leader told me I knew more about foremilk/hindmilk imbalance &/or secondary lactose intolerance than she did. I started going to the meetings and continued going for the morale support but I would occasionally get the same feeling you seem to have gotten ... that I was some sort of a downer for trying to warn women about these potential issues. In particular I tried to make it my personal mission to warn women who would probably have to return to work about the importance of nursing early and often in order to try and establish a strong "set point" or "baseline" supply.<br><br>
The other thing that really annoyed me at the time was that I printed out a lot of online research on foremilk/hindmilk imbalance and secondary lactose intolerance but when I went to the meeting the leader didn't seem to want a copy. Since then I have learned they can only keep approved literature in the library but it still bothers me that she never read it over or even seemed to make a mental note in case she ran into another Mom with similar issues.<br><br>
I have found that some LLL leaders are very touchy and sensitive to anything that might give the impression that nursing is difficult or complicated. I understand that you don't want to unnecessarily turn women off of nursing but it seems to me that you should prepare them for the likelihood of some common problems --that are easily overcome if you recognize them-- and even alert them to the possibility of less common problems that are very difficult to deal with if you don't recognize them.<br><br>
In fairness not all leaders are LCs and shouldn't be expected to have that level of expertise. On the other hand they shouldn't discourage women from sharing the benefit of their experience in the process of seeking some morale support.<br><br>
Having said all of the above, I respect and admire every LLL leader for the time, energy and effort they donate to LLL. Just getting the small mountain of books to and from the car alone is quite a job. And I believe each and every one is a dues paying member.<br><br>
I think the big reason I keep going is that occasionally I run into a Working & Pumping mom that I think might benefit from my experience. That means a lot to me since I only remember one full time working Mom going to a meeting with any regularity during that first year or so with DD1. Also, going to meetings now gives me a chance to do my part to normalize extended & tandem nursing.<br><br>
FWIW, you have my morale support ... for all the good it does you since I don't have any idea what MSPI & TED are!<br><br>
~Cath
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Be glad you don't know what MSPI and TED are. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> It's milk/soy protein intolerance and total elimination diet. All of my kids have been MSPI so we're old pros at that.<br><br>
I got a LONG e-mail back from my leader and I'm not sure I'll respond b/c I don't know what to say. She starts w/ saying one thing in regards to LI and bfing and then says something else later so it was very confusing at the least. I think all in all she just has her terminology confused some, so I guess I can cool down about that. I'm trying a few new meetings this month just so I can see how other places do things and I think it will be fun.
 
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