Members! I am Anne Smith, IBCLC and I'll share a bit about myself
here. I became a certified La Leche Leader in 1978, when my
first child was a toddler. I guess you could say that Josh started
it all. I was 20 years old, and he was a scrawny thirty-five
week preemie. He looked a lot like a Shar-pei puppy, but I thought
he was beautiful.
I was an
“earth mother” back when natural childbirth, Lamaze classes,
and fathers in the delivery room were just becoming popular.
I was determined to do everything naturally (including breastfeeding,
even though no one in my family had ever breastfed successfully).
I did manage to breastfeed Josh, but ended up being given lots
and lots of drugs after I dilated from 2-10 cm. in less than
thirty minutes. Apparently, at that point I loudly told my husband
and anyone else who would listen that I had changed my mind
about the whole natural childbirth thing – I no longer wanted
to be a martyr, and begged for drugs/and/or a c-section.
for less than a year, weaning himself way before I was ready.
At thirty-five weeks, he weighed 7 pounds and was 21” long.
The doctors said he would be big when he grew up, and they were
right. He’s now 6’7”, plays a mean game of volleyball, and is
entering graduate school to work on a PhD in BioMedicine.
I was hooked
on breastfeeding after my first baby, and knew I would nurse
my other babies no matter what obstacles I had to overcome.
I actually planned on having a dozen children, but fortunately
I came to my senses when I was halfway there.
was born in 1978, he made his appearance in an elevator on the
way up to the maternity floor. Somewhere in Alabama, there is
a woman who was a fourteen-year old candy striper twenty-one
years ago who was assigned to escort me to the seventh floor
where the delivery rooms were. Surprise! I’ve never seen a human
being turn that shade of green except in science fiction movies.
She’s probably scarred for life.
a big baby (8 lbs, 12 oz) but didn’t gain weight well after the
early weeks. In fact, an evil and sadistic doctor told me that
he was going to be brain damaged because my milk wasn’t rich
enough, and I was starving him to death. Shows how much she
knew – he’s now 22, 6’2”, and weighs about 150 lbs soaking wet.
He graduated from art school in Baltimore, and besides making
straight A’s, he has a great sense of humor. He went to the
Halloween party last year dressed as a matchstick. Perfect costume.
child (a girl), now 20 years old, was born at home. Everything
went great. She’s now a beautiful girl (has done some modeling),
is 6’ tall, and is a junior in college who makes straight A’s,
plays varsity volleyball, and wants to become a teacher when
three (ages 13, 11, and 8) were born either at home, or (in
the case of the 13 year old) in the front seat of the car traveling
down the highway at 90 mph. I’m the only person I know who had
to deliver her own baby because my husband was in serious denial
about the whole situation and refused to stop the car and pull
over. It all turned out fine, though, and the kids in the back
seat watching thought it was all very cool.
share my home with a Basset Hound named Maddie (dumb as a box
of rocks), an Australian Shepherd named Hayley (a brain surgeon
compared to Maddie), two cats named Gracie and Sophie (Hayley
thinks they are sheep and keeps trying to herd them), 2 hamsters
named Bunny and Chestnut, two newts named Isaac and Fig, and assorted
fish who all have names but I can’t remember them. Sometimes
I have trouble remembering the children’s names. There is never
a dull moment at our house.
So, I have
breastfed a total of six children (three boys, three girls).
My nursing experiences have been varied – some weaned early,
some late. Some gained weight quickly, some were at the 10th
percentile. Some slept through the night early, some were still
waking during the night when they were three or four. I’ve experienced
just about everything first hand at one time or another – cracked
nipples, mastitis, engorgement, colic, slow weight gain, jaundice,
that my first hand experience plus my more than twenty years
experience of counseling nursing mothers are my most important
credentials. Nursing my six children has brought more joy into
my life than I ever would have thought possible, and I will
do everything I can to help you experience a positive breastfeeding
relationship with your new little one.