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But they're crazy...you know...breastfeeding hippies...

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Sometimes you realize that social stigmas get so deeply intrenched in our subconscious that it's almost comical.

When I was growing up, my only knowledge of LLL was the lady down the street that wore funny turtleneck sweaters, called her middle son "smiley" (his name was edward) and breastfed her kids until they were 3 or 4. She was one of those crazy, hippy, granola breastfeeding types. She was a LLL leader. You know...ond of those *weird* people. ;)

Since shortly before Emmitt was born, I've been thinking about going to my local LLL meetings. I only have one friend who is breastfeeding. She's the only person my age I know that does or has. I'm the first in generations in my family and my husband's family to breastfeed. Other breastfeedign mom intrigue me. LLL intrigues me. I'd like to go.

So why haven't I?

I was thinking about that today and realized that I haven't gone because in my mind, I still view LLL as "THOSE people." You know...those crazy moms that breastfeed their kids for a long time, that obsess over healthy things, that go "overboard" about breast milk. That's not me...I'm NORMAL.

And then it hit me.

And I laughed.

Seriously? I think I'm normal and they're the weird breastfeeding fanatics?

I'm the one that EPed for 14 months.
I'm the one that home births.
I'm the one that donates milk to the milk bank.
I'm the one that has shared breast milk with a friend. (more on this in another post)
I'm the one that offered to re-lactate to help share milk with another friend.
I'm the one that suggested we give breast milk to my great aunt who is losing weight rapidly.
I'm the one that runs a site called "The Lactivist"
I'm the one that organized a nurse-in.
I'm the one that wears shirts that say "That's my baby's lunch you're staring at"
I'm the one that will breastfeed any time, any place and no, I don't use a blanket.
I'm the one that's started feeding my two year old breastmilk after a year of not having it. (more on this later too)

And I think that LLL members are over the top?

Who am I kidding? They'll probably be the ones thinking that *I'M* the crazy breastfeeding fanatic.

Funny how long it can take to shed prejudices from our subconscious even after we've shed them from our intellectual sides.

There's a meeting this Tuesday at 9:30 about 10 minutes from my house. I think I need to go.


  1. Blogger Leah | 6:09 AM |  

    That cracks me up! Actually, the "weirdness" of the group really depends on the specific group. Some are really hippie, some are militant, some are totally normal, some are a mix. Mine is very skewed to the normal side - I don't think anyone even babywears much! But that's one of the nice things - especially if you're in a large-ish city or metro area, you can go to different meetings to find a group that really fits you.

  2. Anonymous Alena | 3:04 PM |  

    Great post! I share a lot of your feelings on the subject. When I was pregnant, I attended a LLL meeting with a friend. They had some snacks there, and I saw a 3 year old girl eat some cantelope and then hop on her mother's lap to breastfeed. I found it to be really strange. Why on earth would a kid would still be breastfeeding if she can eat normal people food?

    Fast forward to now. My son is 2 years 3 months. Today he had meatballs and mashed potatoes. And then he nursed.

  3. Anonymous Anonymous | 3:16 PM |  

    I'm one of those LLL 'freaks'! And the other day I got called a hippie! I was so proud!

    Welcome to the LLL freak club and enjoy your first meeting!!

  4. Anonymous Anonymous | 3:39 PM |  

    LOL! I was scared to go to my first meeting too because I thought they would all be hairy legged hippies nursing 8 year olds.

    So I went, and there were two hairy legs, and a hippie or two, but also a Grandma, college grads, upper middle class WASPs, etc... too funny ;)

    Then I became a Leader :)

  5. Blogger Judy | 10:15 AM |  

    LOL. Seriously, you weren't in recovery with me as soon as my eyes popped open from a traumatic c-section worried that I would not pump soon enough and lose my supply, and you did not sort of demand a breast pump from my nurse before my catheter was out and before I cared about anything after the surgery.

    And I don't remember you there with me the same night showing me how to use the pump shortly after I returned from the NICU after seeing my daughter for the first time.

    I don't know why I just thought of this, but about the funniest thing I heard from my lactation consultant was, "I know you need your rest, but you need to pump every two hours to establish your supply." Sure, whatever. :)

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