LLL Fife & Tayside is a lovely vibrant group which has been providing support to local mothers for 20 years!
Our current offering to mothers includes two monthly meetings in different towns, along with a new monthly virtual meeting. We have two active LLL Leaders (plus one temporarily inactive), who run the meetings, facilitate discussions on our closed Facebook group, take one-to-one helping calls/emails, and contribute in various other ways to reaching mothers and sharing information locally.
As with all LLL groups, we accept mothers wherever they are in their own mothering journey, and are pleased to support them in meeting their own breastfeeding goals. Some mothers come to just a couple of meetings, while others become regulars for several years. Everyone is welcome!
Over the last couple of years we have grown our membership and are very grateful to our Members for choosing to support us financially and in other ways. Of the £30 Membership Fee, £9 goes to a member’s local group. The central contribution to LLLGB helps to pay for the LLLGB Shop, the LLLGB Helpline, the LLLGB website, the Professional Liaison Department and all other central support functions for Leaders. We use the local group portion of memberships to help us pay Leader Fees, Group Dues and for our library, leaflets and “dear new/experienced mother” packs which are available to all mothers in the group.
We value our Members opinions and include them in discussions about the future direction of our group whenever possible.
We usually talk about “paying it forward” – the support from LLL Leaders and groups is free at source, but we do rely on funding from donations and memberships to enable us to do the work we do. Membership is a way of ensuring we can continue to be there for mothers of the future.
We asked some of our Members to share their thoughts on Membership:
Anna: I initially joined 4 years ago having discovered LLL meetings but only being able to make it along occasionally due to living a very long way from one . Receiving the magazine felt like getting to have a whole load of lovely inspiring supportive women come to my house and sit on my sofa! It’s essentially like a meeting in an envelope. And then later, living nearer to meetings, I stayed a member because I wanted to help others access that same amazing support and because the magazine filled the gap between the meetings very nicely. Now, having just ended my breastfeeding journey as my younger one has weaned, but beginning a new journey as a breastfeeding supporter, I will stay a member because I can’t imagine not being! I still love reading the magazine and coming to the meetings, and being amazed by people’s different journeys as breastfeeding mothers, and also I’m group treasurer so I know how much we rely on people’s memberships for local as well as national work.
Sarah: I joined as a member because I wanted to give something back. LLL has given me so much support and friendship. I’m proud that my small financial contribution enables these fantastic volunteer Leaders to be trained to give free advice to anyone that needs it, and to continue running groups which can feel like a haven for breastfeeding mums.
Luisa: Compared to the many, inspiring mums I met at our local LLL, my breastfeeding journey didn’t present any major issues. And yet, the community of friends, the support and encouragement I received quickly convinced me to become a member. Through my membership, I hope that the many mums who can’t come to meetings regularly will receive the same amount of friendship and support, delivered in the kind and knowledgeable way that I have learnt to appreciate so much!
Morna: Being a member is so much more than attending a meeting. It’s about enabling wonderful resources to be created for breastfeeding mothers, it’s about training kind volunteers to be Leaders who can then support and guide mother’s during their breastfeeding journey and finally allow the incredible work of La Leche League to continue to grow.
Nikki: I’ve been a member of LLL for over 11 years now, through two children and lots of breastfeeding heartache. The local LLL support has and continues to get me through hard times and is there to turn to when it gets tough.
Anita: The support of other Mums at my first La Leche League meeting was a revelation. I was a new Mum on my first (scary) solo outing in the car with my 2 week old on the one hour round trip to the meeting. I was struggling to breastfeed, feeling under attack because of my daughter’s slow weight gain, and desperately in need of reassurance which I found in abundance. The welcome I received (bumbling in well after the meeting had started) was like getting a huge hug. One that I really needed. Membership was a way to pay it forward. Support for breastfeeding Mums can be so hard to access in some areas and La Leche League needs all the help it can get to continue to reach out to Mums in need. It comes with benefits too, not least the connection you get to Mums who are part of La Leche League all over the UK and all over the world. It’s a wonderful feeling to be part of such a special network of amazing women.
Emma: I only discovered La Leche League properly after the birth of my second son. Breastfeeding my firstborn had been fraught with problems, and although I spoke with a LLL Leader once on the phone during the really bad times, it was just one conversation in a battering hailstorm of conflicting advice from all directions. Looking back, I wish I’d filtered out some of the other advice and attended a meeting but in my hopeless fog, it all just seemed too much! After my second son’s birth, I sought reassurance from LLL again: his tongue and lip tie were causing me discomfort and I wanted a bit of reassurance. I attended my first meeting on the recommendation of the Leader I spoke to that day – I couldn’t have known then what an amazing group of women I would meet and how attending wasn’t so much about problem-solving, but about a feeling of coming home to a safe haven where I found understanding and friendship. That sense of LLL solidarity has sustained me on the journey to where I am now, still nursing my 3 year old with quiet confidence, knowing there is a network of like-minded mothers who understand. Becoming a member was, for me, a way to acknowledge the value of what La Leche League achieves and play a small part in helping it continue to do so.
Kelly: I was lucky in that my mother introduced me to LLL and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding while I was pregnant with my first child having attended LLL meetings herself throughout my childhood whilst feeding her own babies. I grew up seeing breastfeeding as the normal way to feed a baby yet claimed in my twenties that I could not imagine doing it myself. Roll on 10 years and pregnancy hormones, with some help from the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, and this was the only way I was willing to feed my baby. The LLL concept of mothering through breastfeeding particularly resonates and makes perfect sense to me. My mother is still in touch with the amazing women she met in LLL all those years ago and I continue to be inspired and encouraged by that same spirit in my local group 30 or so years later. The membership fee is worth it if even one other mother receives the support and empowerment she needs to feed her baby.
Find your local LLL group here.
Written by Katy Brown and mothers of LLL Fife and Tayside.