Last week, I wrote about how a breastfeeding support group, any local group that brings experienced mothers together with new mothers, can help you find success in breastfeeding.
The best-known breastfeeding support group internationally is La Leche League International (LLLI). The experience of most mothers with La Leche League is through local meetings or through contact with a local leaders. La Leche League Leaders are experienced breastfeeding mothers who have been trained to support other breastfeeding mothers.
From Local Support to International Activism
La Leche League started as a local group of seven women concerned that breastfeeding rates had dropped to just 20% in the U.S. in the mid-1950s. They provided support and expert advice. By the early 1960s, they began to establish chapters and very quickly became an international organization.
The current organization is built on a philosophy of support for the natural processes of breastfeeding and a singleness of purpose that keeps the organization focused. They have been active in building the support systems that women need for successful breastfeeding around the world.
The La Leche League website offers a wide variety of online breastfeeding resources to help you succeed in breastfeeding your baby, but the heart of the organization is in the face-to-face meetings of mothers.
LLL also provides directories of local meetings in Canada, the U.S., and internationally. Through these groups you will find a carefully trained and accredited Leader, a breastfeeding mother who can support you in your choice to breastfeed. A LLL Leader offers classes, answers questions by phone and by email, distributes the latest breasfeeding information, and becomes an anchor to a local support group. You will find local LLL groups here:
Because local representatives have been trained to follow the same strict focus and up-to-date information, you are likely to find a similar experience at most LLL meetings. If you are looking for free-flowing conversation and socializing or if you are looking for a group that will support your all-around natural parenting choices, La Leche League is not that group.