What is La Leche League?
La Leche League is an international, nonprofit, nonsectarian organization dedicated to providing support, encouragement, information, and education to mothers who want to breastfeed.
Our Mission is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.
La Leche League was founded to give information and encouragement, mainly through personal help, to all mothers who want to breastfeed their babies. While complementing the care of the physician and other health care professionals, it recognizes the unique importance of one mother helping another to perceive the needs of her child and to learn the best means of fulfilling those needs.
LLL believes that breastfeeding, with its many important physical and psychological advantages, is best for baby and mother and is the ideal way to initiate good parent-child relationships. The loving help and support of the father enables the mother to focus on mothering so that together the parents develop close relationships which strengthen the family and thus the whole fabric of society.
LLL further believes that mothering through breastfeeding deepens a mother's understanding and acceptance of the responsibilities and rewards of her special role in the family. As a woman grows in mothering she grows as a human being, and every other role she may fill in her lifetime is enriched by the insights and humanity she brings to it from her experiences as a mother.
The League's purpose is distinct. This singleness of purpose does not prevent interaction with other organizations with compatible purposes, but La Leche League will carefully guard against allying itself with another cause, however worthwhile that cause may be.
How did LLL begin?
La Leche League began with a dream that all mothers who want to breastfeed their babies would be able to do so.
Each of the seven Founders of LLL had overcome their own difficulties before they were able to breastfeed with confidence and ease. They knew of many mothers who were unable to breastfeed simply because they had no one to turn to for information and support and they desperately wanted to change that.
Armed with their collective knowledge from breastfeeding their own children, and with the support of two local doctors, they held a meeting for their pregnant friends on an October evening in 1956. The rest is history.
To see how LLL began and how it continues on today, please watch this informative video:
For additional information, please see:
Does LLL have a philosophy?
The basic philosophy of LLL is expressed in THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING and can be summarized as ten concepts
Please note that LLL does not expect that all mothers LLL serves will subscribe to the principles of LLL philosophy. As always, take what works for you and leave the rest!
Does LLL support a particular religion or political party over other religions or political parties?
LLL is a nonsectarian organization dedicated to providing education, information, support, and encouragement to anyone who wants to breastfeed. LLL avoids "mixing causes".
LLL does not ally itself with, or take an official stance on, any social, political, or religious issue, nor any other issue that is not directly related to breastfeeding.
Is LLL anti-formula?
Can a mother apply to become an LLL Leader if she has worked outside the home or used formula?
A mother may have unusual circumstances yet still have an experience of mothering through breastfeeding that is consistent with LLL philosophy.
The prerequisites for becoming an LLL Leader can be found on the Thinking About LLL Leadership? FAQ page
If a mother decides that LLL Leadership is not for her, there are many other ways
that she can help breastfeeding mothers and LLL.
What if a mother can't afford the cost of the application to become LLL Leader?
The cost of becoming a Leader
is kept to an absolute minimum.
If an interested mother cannot afford the necessary fees and materials, there is often financial aid available through her Area or Group to assist in covering the cost. There are also International grants available to mothers who qualify.
Are LLL Series Meetings and programs geared towards middle-class, stay-at-home mothers?
LLL Leaders strive to support all mothers in their communities who wants to breastfeed
It is known that daytime meetings are not always compatible with the schedules of mothers who work outside the home. And yet in some areas, LLL Series Meetings are only scheduled in the morning or mid-afternoon hours. Please note that this is not the result of LLL policy, but rather is due to constraints on the local LLL Leaders' time and availability.
Some LLL Leaders find that daytime meetings allow them to achieve the best balance between their volunteer work and the needs of their own families. If there are no evening meetings offered in your community, please talk to your local LLL Leader about the possiblity of starting an evening or weekend meeting. Your input and support is valuable and will be welcomed.
Mothers are often surprised to learn that LLLI has Leader volunteers all over the USA (including the island territories), Canada, Central America, South America, Asia, Europe, New Zealand, and South Africa. Well over two thousand volunteer Leaders hold Series Meetings every month in locations around the globe.
Additional meetings are often held to help meet the needs of the community, including night, weekend, couple, or toddler meetings. Some Groups even offer weekly, informal drop-in style meetings in coffee houses or cafes.
Leaders are regularly working to reach underserved populations through such activities as holding breastfeeding classes for teen mothers, or assisting in outreach campaigns in low income communities. LLL also works with government agencies to provide information for mothers, such as that which is provided through The National Women's Health Information Center and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program).
You can read more on these pages:
I heard something about LLL and I don't know if it's true. Who can I ask?
You can ask any of the forum moderators, or feel free to post on the forum. A Leader would be happy to answer your question. There are many myths about LLL and we are happy to tell you what is fact and what is fiction.