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.)
La Leche League was founded by seven mothers in 1956 to support friends who wanted to breastfeed their babies. They began a grass roots organisation that continues to offer breastfeeding information, encouragement and support to mothers and parents worldwide through a network of thousands of Leaders and groups.
Our philosophy is defined by 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.
- 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 child outgrows the need.
- From infancy on, children need loving guidance which reflects acceptance of their capabilities and sensitivity to their feelings.