Even before Little Bear was a reality, my husband and I were committed to breastfeeding. The benefits to little ones are well documented, and we wanted to give our baby the best start to life that we could. So when developing a birth plan, we included a line indicating that as soon as she was born she would be placed on me—skin to skin. Some of the things I read said that newborns, right after they are born, will root around until they latch because the instinct to nurse is so strong. I couldn’t wait to see and experience that magical moment.
Well, that moment never came.
For some reason, our Little Bear refused to latch. Even after an appointment with the hospital’s lactation consultant and the efforts of several kind nurses, our daughter just wouldn’t cooperate. There were no typical reasons for the problem, they just said “she is stubborn.” All the experts said she would latch; it probably would just take a few days to get the hang of it.
After nearly three weeks of struggling to get her to nurse while she fought my efforts, I was ready to give up. In desperation I contacted a local chapter of the La Leche League. At first I was hesitant because I had the impression that La Leche League was a group of militant moms conducting public breastfeeding sit-ins and nursing until their kids were like 10 years old. My hesitancy and false ideas were quickly quelled.
Patti, one of the group’s leaders, proved to be an invaluable helper. She patiently emailed with me, sent over resources for me to read, and answered all my questions. She was even willing to come over to my house to help! With her assistance and encouragement, my little one and I were able to find a hold that worked for us and the latch finally came. It didn’t happen overnight. It actually took another couple of weeks. But by five weeks, we were exclusively breastfeeding—no more bottles!
I am so grateful for Patti and the La Leche League of Richfield-Bloomington for the guidance and support generously provided. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
For those living in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, mark your calendars for the fourth annual garage sale fundraiser hosted by La Leche League of Richfield-Bloomington. All funds received will support its volunteer efforts to provide free mother-to-mother breastfeeding support. The sale will be held on Friday, May 30, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. And if you have anything to donate to the sale, contact Patti at lll <dot> pattir <at> gmail <dot> com.