I can't express enough how grateful I am for the incredible support I received from La Leche League South Africa during my breastfeeding journey. With my second child, I was determined to breastfeed, despite a challenging experience with my first child that lasted only three weeks (due to a lack of support and guidance).
Discovering La Leche League and joining their Facebook group was a game-changer for me. I was fortunate to connect with Simone, a volunteer Leader, who became my lifeline. Simone provided invaluable guidance, sending me videos and images on positioning and expressing, answering my endless questions, and offering unwavering encouragement. But it wasn't just Simone; the entire La Leche League community was a source of inspiration and motivation. Every time I had a question or felt overwhelmed, I turned to the Facebook group. I found myself surrounded by a tribe of mothers who had been through similar experiences and were eager to help. The outpouring of support and advice I received was beyond words.
My initial goal was to breastfeed for four months, and I considered it a massive achievement. However, once I mastered the correct positioning and latch, I realised that breastfeeding was easier and more fulfilling than using formula. My left breast stopped producing milk at four months, which could have been the end of my journey. But Simone and the group assured me that I could continue with just one breast. I was willing to be lopsided if it meant providing the best for my baby. I pumped at work, dividing my lunch breaks into three mini-expressing sessions, just enough to supply the nanny for the next day. I continued this journey with one breast, and I didn't care about the cosmetics—I was overjoyed to nourish my baby.
My breastfeeding journey continued all the way to 17 months when my little one naturally weaned herself from the breast. I never thought I'd reach this milestone, but La Leche League and their amazing team of dedicated women made it possible.
If you're considering breastfeeding, remember that you're not alone, and there's a world of support out there. Take it one day at a time, without setting rigid timelines. My journey is proof that you can do it. I can't thank La Leche League and their incredible team of ladies enough for the support I received and all they do for new moms. You truly made a difference in my life and my child's.
With heartfelt gratitude, Tracey Burgess
[Note from La Leche League South Africa:
This mom’s story illustrates that with perseverance and support, we can overcome obstacles. It also shows that one can succeed even with baby feeding on one breast only. We won’t know why in this case – it can happen that a baby favours one side only, or sometimes a mom has had surgery or has a physical limitation on one side. Our bodies are incredible and can produce milk anyway!]