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New Mother Packets

Kathy Kerr
Arlington, Virginia, USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 36 No. 2, April-May 2000, pg. 25

Some Leaders have asked what they can include in new mothers' packets. Leaders are eager to share as much helpful information as they can with the mothers who attend Series Meetings.

A woman usually comes to La Leche League because she's heard of the organization. La Leche League International has more than 40 years of history based on countless hours of work and fund raising to build and maintain the organization. A Series Meeting is one culmination of this investment. It is an opportunity to show mothers that they made a good decision to come to LLL for breastfeeding information and support. When these mothers see the vast array of information LLL provides and realize how helpful and accurate this information is, they will be more likely to buy memberships, LLLI books, and products, enabling LLL to continue into the future.

Since LLLI has the best information and products, Leaders are proud to promote LLLI at Series Meetings. A New Mother Packet that a mother takes home from the meeting should reflect the very best that LLLI has to offer.

The LEADER'S HANDBOOK, revised edition, 1998, has suggestions on pages 183-84 on what can be included in New Mother Packets. The list includes

  • LLLI Catalogue, or Affiliate/Area catalogue
  • What Is La Leche League International? or Affiliate/Area equivalent.
  • A Mother's Love, or other introductory brochure
  • Membership information
  • Basic pamphlets and tear-off sheets
  • Sample of NEW BEGINNINGS or equivalent member publication.
  • Group Series Meeting notice
  • Only La Leche League materials may be included in these packets.

The following are some items Leaders have asked about including in New Mother Packets:

Nursing clothing catalogues: Nursing clothes give mothers the opportunity to feel that breastfeeding is a special time in their lives, with a wide range of fashionable outfits available to help them feel good about themselves. However, many women nurse for years without buying a single nursing garment. LLLI does have cooperative arrangements with several companies that distribute breastfeeding fashions. It is appropriate to have catalogues available at meetings for interested mothers. But putting nursing fashion catalogues in New Mother Packets could give mothers the impression that these companies or their products are endorsed by LLLI, which is not true. Packets given to mothers to take home should be used to promote the benefits of breastfeeding and the importance of the information and the support mothers receive from LLL.

Lists of breast pump rental stations: Many LLL Groups are involved in the LLLI Breastfeeding Aid Sales Program with Medela, and other Leaders may have pump rental depots as a type of home business. We do want mothers to know about the availability of pumps and other products through LLL sources in case they find themselves in a situation where one is needed. It is much better for a mother to obtain a pump or other product through a Leader, who can offer the appropriate information and support, than to purchase an unknown product off a store shelf. However, most women will not need to use a breast pump or other breastfeeding aid product. Information about the LLLI Breastfeeding Aid Sales program and lists of local pump rental depots can be made available to interested mothers without including this information in a New Mother Packet.

Breast pump company information sheets: Some breast pump manufacturers offer information sheets that include breastfeeding information. These materials sometimes differ from the information in LLLI publications. If New Mother Packets include these information sheets, mothers may assume the breast pump manufacturers have breastfeeding information that LLL doesn't have. This can be a missed opportunity to promote the valuable information that La Leche League offers.

Of course, it's tempting for Leaders to use free materials provided by commercial companies rather than ordering from LLLI. But stop and think. Series Meetings are the primary place for Leaders to promote LLL. We hope mothers will leave with a positive impression of what LLL has to offer and will value the help and support they receive from its Leaders.

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