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Baby-Friendly Mom's Night Out!

Bobbi Thompson
Janesville, WI, US
From: Leaven, Vol. 44, No. 4, 2008, p. 15

Many at-home mothers spend most of their time taking care of their children while fathers are away at work or, in some cases, involved in other activities. Mothers do not always get the recognition they deserve for the incredible job they do raising a family. So in order to reward mothers for their incredible contribution to their families, the La Leche Leche Group of Rock County, Wisconsin, USA decided to give mothers a night they would not soon forget.

In honor of Mother's Day, our Group had a "Mothers' Night Out" that encouraged mothers of all ages to attend (breastfeeding babies welcome) while enjoying an evening of pampering, food, and relaxation.

Tickets were sold for $13 (US) for non-members and $10 (US) for members of any La Leche League Group. Tickets included pampering sessions and dinner. As mothers arrived they received a breastfeeding advocacy bag filled with La Leche League information and their tickets were placed in a basket for a door prize drawing.

Pampering sessions were provided by local businesses and consisted of many different types of massage, reflexology, craniosacral therapy, infant massage instruction, yoga techniques for mother and baby, nails, makeup, facials, aromatherapy, and naturopathic consults. Mothers were able to visit all the booths and choose up to five 15-minute sessions.

In between sessions, socializing, and dinner that was provided mostly by local businesses, mothers were able to visit the vendor tables selling products or advertising their business. Those booths offered unique baby apparel, natural foods, natural body care, photography, jewelry, and prenatal/postpartum services.

Throughout the evening we had a disc jockey making announcements and drawing door prizes. The prizes ranged in value from $7 to $150 (US) and we had enough donations so that all attendees received one.

We had a La Leche League display that consisted of four big display boards on breastfeeding, La Leche League, and our Group information.

Tables were decorated with beautiful flower plants donated by a florist, table cloths by an event business, and homemade donation pots for contributions.

We also raised money by charging for the vendor booths and vendor meal tickets. One of the highlights of the evening was the live music provide by a string quartet. What a way to top off the event!

The disc jockey, quartet, and pampering booths all donated their time and the job center donated the space. The only costs we incurred were printing, advertising, some food, give-away items, and a free membership as a door prize.

We started planning for the event three months in advance and the work was shared by my co-Leader and two other Group members. The amount of money that was raised was not much compared with the huge amount of work that went into it, but it was great fun. We looked at it as more than just a fundraiser, but a great way to connect mothers, support the close infant-mother bond, and nurture ourselves. And, it was an affordable price for an extravagant event!

Almost 50 mothers and 20 babies attended. We maxed out on the number of tickets we could sell and the number of booths and vendors we had room for. We well exceeded our vision for this initially small event and we plan to make this an annual mother's "month" event. In the future, we will have to plan for a larger facility and allow more time.

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