Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Not alone

On Friday, I went to the monthly La Leche League meeting. I expected to be surrounded by very new mothers and pregnant women but, in fact, there were at least 3 other babies who are older than S and some of their mothers are even back to work fulltime. I couldn't believe that there are actually other women in France who pump at work! I felt so much better and it totally renewed my motivation and my desire to keep nursing S until she is a year old (at least a year I should say).

In France, it is common for women to nurse for only 3 months which is "déjà pas mal" (already pretty good), if babies are breast fed at all. See, one of the things I've learned about giving birth in France and being a young woman here is that I am seen as a sexual creature. Whipping a breast out in public to feed my baby - no matter how discrete - is pretty shocking. And then let's talk about the reéducation de la périnée (perinium physical therapy). How many countries can you think of provide all new moms with a prescription to do biofeedback on the perinium when leaving the hospital? They say it's to prevent prolapse and incontinence, but I'm sure it's to get you back into proper sexual working order. Needless to say, breastfeeding interferes with that since it turns your lovely breasts into sacks of milk and diverts your hormones towards your baby.

So back to La Leche League, I was so glad to have gone to the meeting and really wish I had been able to go more often in the past few months. I've been on on-line forums and such and talking to friends back home about breastfeeding, but it's not the same as seeing real live nursing moms. Can you imagine sitting around in a group of women with their breasts hanging out and little babies suckling away? It's so liberating!

I can't wait for next months meeting!

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