La Leche League’s 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 meetings are led by an accredited LLL Leader. She is a mother who has breastfed her baby and has completed LLL’s comprehensive training program. During meetings, she shares her knowledge of breastfeeding, encourages others to share their experiences, and helps clarify the LLL philosophy of mothering through breastfeeding. Her material is validated by experts in medical, psychological, nutritional, and child development fields.
La Leche League was started in 1956 by a group of seven women. It has since grown to be an international non-profit organization supporting breastfeeding throughout the world.
La Leche League’s basic philosophy is:
- Mothering through breastfeeding is the most natural and effective way of understanding and satisfying the needs of the baby.
- Mother and baby need to be together early and often to establish a satisfying relationship and an adequate milk supply.
- In the early years the baby has an intense need to be with his mother which is as basic as his need for food.
- Breast milk is the superior infant food.
- For the healthy, full-term baby, breast milk is the only food necessary until the baby shows signs of needing solids, about the middle of the first year after birth.
- Ideally the breastfeeding relationship will continue until the baby outgrows the need.
- Alert and active participation by the mother in childbirth is a help in getting breastfeeding off to a good start.
- Breastfeeding is enhanced and the nursing couple sustained by the loving support, help, and companionship of the baby’s father. A father’s unique relationship with his baby is an important element in the child’s development from early infancy.
- Good nutrition means eating a well-balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible.
- From infancy on, children need loving guidance which reflects acceptance of their capabilities and sensitivity to their feelings.