La Leche League is an international charity, started in the U.S. in the 1950s. Its aim is simply to provide mother-to-mother support for breastfeeding.
Here are the LLL Mission Statement and Philiosophy from the La Leche League GB website.
The La Leche League Mission is to help mothers 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. Visit the La Leche League GB website for more information.
La Leche League was founded by seven mothers to support friends who wanted to breastfeed their babies in the 1950s. They began a grass roots organisation that continues to offer breastfeeding information, encouragement and support to mothers worldwide through a network of thousands of Leaders and Groups.
In the early decades of LLLI, the Founders and other Leaders summarised their philosophy in the following ten concepts:
- 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.
- Human milk is the natural food for babies, uniquely meeting their changing needs.
- 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.
The LLL breastfeeding book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, builds on this philosophy. LLL knows how challenging mothering is and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding was developed to address a lot of your questions about breastfeeding and parenting and to inspire you to be the best mother you can be.