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Nancy Mohrbacher: A Non-authoritarian Authority

Seemingly everyone in the lactation community knows Nancy Mohrbacher. Beginning as a La Leche League leader, Nancy is often known for her ability to speak authoritatively to mothers without sounding like an authoritarian. There’s a difference. I’ve owned Nancy’s books for years, but I didn’t meet her until recently. Just being in Nancy’s presence is a treat. She has such an accepting, calming demeanor, and a reassuring voice. I wanted listeners to “meet” Nancy on the show, and I admit feeling disappointed that no one called in with a question for her. But, it’s never too late to ask. Anyone can submit a question to and we’ll send a personal reply, or address the question on a future show.

While I’m the host of this show and have enough expertise to talk for the entire hour by myself, I like to have guests, because I always learn something from them. I may or may not learn any new facts, but I almost always learn about ways to present information in a way I might not have thought about, or I gain insights into myself. Nancy definitely gave me some insight into myself. Towards the end of this show, I described an interaction I had recently had with a breastfeeding mother who was very overwhelmed with the new baby, the job, and a dying grandmother, too. She had asked me for ways to improve her milk supply, and, although I generated several recommendations to fix the problem, none seemed acceptable or realistic to her. On the show, I asked Nancy how she would have responded to this mother. Interestingly, Nancy’s reply focused on values and options. I suddenly realized how much of a fix-it person I am. I don’t feel badly about that—fixing is often needed—but sometimes, fixing isn’t realistic or comfortable. I loved Nancy’s response, and will keep that in my head for a long time.
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