La Leche League Breast Feeding International (LLLI) is a worldwide
organization dedicated to helping mothers breastfeed successfully.
According to the organization’s website, the mission of LLLI" 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."
History of La Leche League Breast Feeding International
The first meeting was held in 1956, and the organization really started
to take off when it received an endorsement from Dr. Grantley-Dick Read, an
expert on natural childbirth who as popular in the 1950s and 1960s. In
1962, the first official chapters of the La Leche League were formed,
and in 1964, the group officially added “International" to its name.
LLLI published its first book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, in 1958
and had since published many different breastfeeding resources, books,
and articles. There are currently LLLI chapters in many different
countries and all 50 states in the United States, and the LLLI website
is also translated into 12 different languages as part of the
organization’s dedication to providing help and information to as many
people as possible.
Services and Support of La Leche League Breast Feeding International
LLLI offers several different services and modes of support to
breastfeeding mothers, interested care providers, and anyone else
looking into the topic of breastfeeding. LLLI is known specifically for
its many local chapters and in-person meetings where you can get
personal breastfeeding support from La Leche League International
leaders and other breastfeeding mothers. However, the organization also
offers phone consultations with local chapter leaders, email help,
information on common breastfeeding problems and issues on the website’s
“Answer Pages," and there is also an online forum that allows mothers
and leaders to provide peer support via an online community.
While LLLI leaders are not required to have any formal training
like International Board Certified Lactation Consultants are, they must
have personal breastfeeding/mothering experience and complete
organization’s required readings and preparations to obtain
accreditation. Each leader comes from a different breastfeeding
background and brings her own experiences to the table. If you are
currently looking for an LLLI group and find that the leader of one
chapter is not quite what you are looking for, try a different group!
Also, you may find invaluable support in the mothers that attend the
meetings even though they are not accredited through LLLI.
Finding a Chapter Near You
There are several different ways you can get in touch with your local
LLLI chapter. There is a directory on the website that lists all of the
chapters internationally. You can also check with your local
pediatrician, hospital, or lactation consultant to see if they are aware
of a meeting in your area. Local chapters may also be listed in the
phone book. Don’t forget, if you cannot find a chapter near you, there
are many other ways to get breastfeeding support through LLLI, and you
may even consider starting a local chapter yourself.