Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In memory of Betty Wagner Spandikow

It is with great sadness that we have learned that Betty Wagner Spandikow, co-Founder of La Leche League International, passed away peacefully in the Chicago area on Sunday, October 26.
In 1956, Betty Wagner and six other women met in Franklin Park, Illinois to share information on how to successfully breastfeed their babies. The group quickly attracted the attention of other women and became an organization called "La Leche League." Betty was expecting their fifth child, and when asked to be a part of the group that was being organized to help breastfeeding mothers, she was eager to join. The breastfeeding support group had been fascinated by the importance placed on breastfeeding by early Spanish settlers in America who, in 1598 dedicated a shrine to "Nuestra Senora de la Leche y Buen Parto" ("Our Lady of Happy Delivery and Plentiful Milk." They captured the Spanish word for milk, "leche," and from these roots grew La Leche League International, a breastfeeding support not-for-profit organization. LLLI has groups in every U.S. state and in 64 different countries. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding has been translated into eight languages and Braille.

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