Our 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.
(From LLLI Policies and Standing Rules Notebook, May 89; rev Apr 93)
La Leche League was founded by seven mothers to support friends who wanted to breastfeed their babies in 1956. 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.
- Human milk is the natural food for babies, uniquely meeting their changing needs.
- Alert and active participation by the mother in childbirth is a help in getting breastfeeding off to a good start.
- Mother and baby need to be together early and often to establish a satisfying breastfeeding relationship and reliable milk production.
- Breastfeeding is enhanced by the loving support of the baby’s father, a co-parent, a partner, and/or close family members who value the breastfeeding relationship.
- In the early years, the baby has an intense need to be with his mother which is as basic as his need for food. Read more
- For the healthy, full-term baby, human milk is the only food necessary until the baby shows signs of readiness for complementary foods, about the middle of the first year after birth.
- Good nutrition means eating a well-balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible.
- Ideally the breastfeeding relationship will continue until the baby outgrows the need.
- From infancy on, children need loving guidance which reflects acceptance of their capabilities and sensitivity to their feelings.