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What is La Leche League?

What is La Leche League?

A group of people sitting on a couch holding babies

La Leche League (LLL or LLL USA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1956 in Chicago, USA by seven mothers who wanted to give breastfeeding support and guidance to other mothers and new parents. It provides education, encouragement, and invaluable support to mothers seeking to nurture their infants through breastfeeding, chestfeeding, or feeding their child human milk.

An important element of the encouragement LLL offers to families is the diverse communities they create. It resources local groups led by volunteer leaders who have nursed their babies, undergone extensive breastfeeding training, and are accredited as LLL Leaders. Over the decades, it has evolved into an international organization with over 4,000 groups worldwide in 80+ countries. La Leche League International (LLLI) is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) as a world expert in breastfeeding. LLL is committed to supporting diversity and a better understanding of how to breastfeed in ways that support families and parents.

How much does joining La Leche League cost?

LLL support is free. The primary focus is on providing accessible support to all mothers, regardless of their financial situation. However, to become an LLL leader, you may be required to pay a membership or application fee. You may also be needed to purchase resources, such as the current edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, and pay the accreditation fee.

Can I join any LLL USA Branch?

Yes. You can quickly join a local group by visiting the LLL USA website and using the locator to find a group near you.

Where can I find an Accredited Leader by La Leche League International (LLLI)?

La Leche League International accredits leaders who have completed comprehensive training and adhere to the organization’s principles of mother-to-mother support and evidence-based breastfeeding information. An accredited LLL leader leads every local group, so once you sign up, you can access one. You can also use the leader locator on the LLLI website. LLLI has over 4000 leaders in over 80 countries.

Why is Mother to Mother Support Important for Lactation?

A group of women and children sitting on a floor

Mother-to-mother support is an important element for lactating mothers as it offers empathy, understanding, and practical advice from women who have experienced similar challenges. This peer support network fosters confidence and resilience, empowering mothers to overcome obstacles and achieve breastfeeding and nursing goals. Happy moms and well-fed babies makes for healthy parents and thriving families.

How does La Leche League support mothers worldwide?

LLL supports mothers through groups led by volunteer counselors. The LLL leader may offer phone, text, email, and social media support. The LLL leader may also hold physical or virtual meetings to provide information and encouragement to everyone who needs it.

La Leche League supports mothers worldwide through various initiatives, including community outreach programs, educational campaigns, and partnerships with healthcare providers. By advocating for breastfeeding-friendly policies and providing culturally sensitive support, LLL contributes to improving breastfeeding rates and maternal-infant health globally.

La Leche League (LLL) Meetings Offer Support and Information

Breastfeed, breast-feeding, mom

Most LLL groups follow the meeting series format, which consists of four meetings monthly. These meetings tackle various resources and topics, including prenatal issues, childbirth, breastfeeding, nutrition, and weaning for parents. Anyone pregnant, nursing, hand expressing, exclusively pumping, combination feeding, providing human milk (own or donor) for a child, or trying to do so can attend the meeting.

Meetings are led by an accredited LLL leader (breastfeeding counselor). Urgent questions are given priority. Overall, each meeting offers a better understanding of the important elements of breastfeeding. Support is also provided to any parents experiencing pain while nursing or having difficulties with positioning, latch/attachment, etc.

Want to be a La Leche League Leader?

All leaders are expected to meet the LLLI prerequisite to applying for leadership. An essential precondition for applying to be an LLL leader is to have personally breastfed or chest-fed their own babies for at least a year. You also need experience with an LLL group. Visit the leadership FAQ page to learn more about the LLL leaders’ purpose, what they do, benefits, and more.

mom, baby, feet

FAQ

What does “La Leche” mean?

“La Leche” is Spanish for “the milk,” symbolizing the organization’s focus on breastfeeding advocacy.

How can joining a La Leche League group help save me money?

Breastfeeding has many benefits for the healthy development of infants. Human milk confers several health benefits to the mother and infant, which may lead to lower medical costs for both.

Joining a La Leche League group can save money by helping mothers boost human milk production, reducing the need for expensive formula and feeding equipment. The lactation education is generally free to families nursing and breastfeeding, so they can save on the cost of a lactation consultant.

Is LLL good for baby and mother support?

A woman sleeping next to her child

La Leche League’s support contributes to successful breastfeeding outcomes and healthy development of babies, mommies and the whole family.

How did La Leche league start?

La Leche League officially began in 1956. Its inaugural mission was to promote breastfeeding and provide support, education and resources to mothers. It is the world’s oldest and largest breastfeeding support organization, with over 4000 groups worldwide, in 80+ countries.

When did La Leche league Open?

According to the La Leche League site, it opened when the first official meeting was held on October 17, 1956 in the house of Mary White, a co-founder.

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