hi Illiana! so good to "see" you
hi Illiana! so good to "see" you
Congrats on your pregnancy! I sort of recognize your face from around the boards in general, I guess, but I know I wasn't around for any of your births.
Can I ask about your transition from LLL to BF USA? I've never had a bad experience with my local group of LLL, but I know another mom who is moving forward with BF USA.
Sure Mara, I am pretty much an open book :) I love LLL and what the founding mothers created. When those 7 women started meetings in their homes to support one another they never envisioned LLL as it exists today. They didn't make goals thinking ahead to what society might turn into. They were 7 wealthier,well off white women, who were all SAHM who wanted to see their babies breastfeeding, find societal support and help other mothers along the way. At the local level LLL is still filling a wonderful need. However the greater organization and structure is a huge MESS. So manya things have taken place over the last 6 years that have made me cringe and cry and caused great pain and heaviness in my heart. Founding mothers were pushed off the board, long standing faithful and dedicated Leaders were driven away, money was wasted, Information was ignored ect. Any organization goes through growing pains. but it got so bad. At one point some leaders were filing grievance concerns (through the grievance policy) and the board decided to eliminate the grievance policy in response. There is no transparency. Breastfeeding USA was founded by a group of long standing, dedicated LLL Leaders (many of whom are also IBCLC). At that point BFUSA welcomed any and all to come and study and learn and share. The mission was simple. Keep the focus on Breastfeeding. Be inclusive to all mothers of all races, creeds, parenting styles, working as well as SAHM and focus on evidence based breastfeeding information. When Nancy Morbachers book Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple was published. LLL made a sweeping statement tell all leaders they were NOT to use the book as a reference (this was after widespread complaints that the main text (The Breastfeeding Answer Book) was widely outdated and innacurate. Many leaders were outraged. Then new boundaries were formed and leader dues were more than doubled and group dues were also doubled. The board refused to provide any transparency and simply said the "fees" for paying the board and other duties were on the backs of leaders. That is what sent me right over the edge (along with the area dues, local dues, and the charges to both area, national and international for every fundraiser done) At the end of the day leaders were paying a LOT to volunteer their time, paying for texts, paying (or working their butts off) for group dues and getting NOTHING in return. No flyers, no handouts no nothing (everything was available for purchase) The combination of drastic cost increase couled with the refusal to allow working mothers to become leaders (despite some who pumped 100% and nursed into toddlerhood) put me over the edge. The board is a dictatorship. Breastfeeding USA is compeltely transparent. Every counselor get s avote, an equal vote and open say. IT is designed to serve ALL mothers and not shame moms who work, moms who do not co-sleep, moms who can't avoid seperation, moms who don't babywear. All those things are promoted - but always with an evidence based focus, always with the most current information, but always with the principal that breastfeeding is the primary focus. It was a very hard decesion. I love the founding LLL mothers I had the privledge of meeting, the women I served with, I love the mothers I served - the reality is I am serving the same mothers, and filling much the same role. Only I have an organization that helps me monetarily with things I need to make it better and grow, who is current on research and information, who is amazingly transparent on goals and where money is going, and doesn't cost me anything more than remaining a member. I never had a bad experience with a local "ground level" group. That is NOT why I left. I left because I was being abused and taken advantage of with no respect for my time, dedication, money, or service by the organization I was VOLUNTEERING for. The transition was simple for my group and actually we continue to grow more so that when it was LLL. In the end I think there is room in this Country for moe than one form of support for moms who wish to breastfeed, and I was to spend my time, money, and effort with the organization which is most focused on taking care of their volunteers and ALL Mothers wanting to breastfeed
Hi Erika! your twins are the same age as my daughter, we were on here together then. Congrats on you pregnancy! We're pregnant together again this time! I'm due in August (but I had two more little critters in the meantime!!!)
The LLL story sounds completely crazy! It's so sad that such a long standing and wonderful organization should lose its focus and integrity that way. The odd thing is that I just got an email about a new LLL chapter opening near me in Israel, is the international program run by the same board? not that it would stop me from going to meetings, but I'm interested to know if it's connected.
HH9M to you! Looking forward to sharing the journey!
awesome Ayelet! so fun :)
Ultimately they are all linked. it should not stop moms from going to meetings, especially when their are no other options. It changes for me how to spend my volunteer hours and money.
Thanks for sharing. I had heard that a lot of stuff "up high" was pretty messy. It really is unfortunate.