La Leche League (www.lalecheleague.org) (LLLI) is a worldwide organization dedicated to helping mothers and babies with breastfeeding. I've been involved in it - in one capacity or another - for many years. I still am working with the Leader Accreditation Department, accrediting more Leaders to help more moms and babies here in my neck of the woods and throughout the world.
On Sunday, May 25th, Edwina Froehlich (one of the seven LLLI Founders) suffered a stroke. All of us who care deeply about her are waiting, watching, and praying - while we wait for more information. The last we heard, they are still doing some testing, but she is quite old (90+) so expectations are not high. In her honor, as well as the other six Founders (also old but not as old as Edwina), today I will share some breastfeeding and baby related thoughts.
From Your Amazing Newborn, by Klaus and Klaus (I met them - a husband/wife team - at an LLL Area Conference a few years ago.):
"...In addition, when the infant suckles from the breast, special cells in both the mother's and infant's brains secrete oxytocin (also known as the "cuddle hormone") into the brain. Increased brain oxytocin results in slight sleepiness, milk euphoria, a raised threshold for pain and, most appropriately, increased love for the baby."Dr. Naomi Baumslag: "In many parts of the world, a woman would be considered guilt of neglect for weaning a child less than two years old."
And the rest of these are from Seven Voices, One Dream, a book about the history of La Leche League:
Marian Tompson said: "And then one day, as I was leaving Mary's, I was standing on the steps of her house and we were debating for the umpteenth time whether or not to do this. And I finally said, "You know, Mary, if we can help mothers nurse their babies, then we will be helping families, and if we are helping families, we will be helping society. So I think we ought to try it." So that's when we made the decision to go ahead with it."
"Along the way, Mary White became known as the "guardian angel" of the mother-baby relationship. Mary never hesitated to speak out. Circumstances might change, she'd remind the group, but a baby's needs do not."
About people who supported LLL from early on: "Oh, and Dr. Kimball - E. Robbins Kimball. We first heard of him as being very supportive of breastfeeding. We later found out that what had convinced him that breastfeeding was really special was when he was part of the Army liberating the prisoner-of-war camps in WWII. He said that while the adults might be skin and bones, the toddlers that were being breastfed were running around and were healthy. He realized that even if a mother was malnourished, she still could feed her baby very adequately."
I've met all seven Founders, several times. I've co-spoken with a few of them in Area Conference sessions over the years. I love each of them and the work they started. For the sake of my grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, I'm grateful La Leche League exists.
Enough for today. I'll find a picture of Edwina and I together from last year's International Conference to add to this post soon. (now added to the top)