We believe in the immeasurable value of mothering and of breastfeeding. Whatever your family looks like we are here to support you with your breastfeeding goals.
In the last year our 234 volunteer Leaders
- led face-to-face meetings in 70 groups
- supported 12000 mums face-to-face
- facilitated 40 Facebook groups providing information & support
- took 10000 helpline calls and
- answered 650 online helpforms
Read more about
- Local and face-to-face support
- La Leche League’s Mission and Philosophy
- When breastfeeding isn’t working
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
- Our Council of Directors
- Our Annual Report and Financial Statement
- Professional Liaison Department
- Panel of Professional Advisors
- La Leche League International
- La Leche League GB
Our warm and friendly breastfeeding counsellors (Leaders) provide mother to mother support for breastfeeding via meetings, helpforms, phonecalls and social media. We have over 230 Leaders across Great Britain and the Isle of Man: they have all breastfed their own babies and have undergone a rigorous accreditation process with La Leche League International, in breastfeeding support and counselling skills. Every single Leader, Director and Trustee of LLLGB is a volunteer. LLL Leaders offer support with the normal course of breastfeeding. Our Professional Liasion Department, and Panel of Professional Advisors enable our Leaders to investigate more complex breastfeeding issues.
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 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, which we continue to use today:
- Mothering through breastfeeding is the most natural and effective way of understanding and satisfying the needs of the baby.
- Mother and baby need to be together early and often to establish a satisfying relationship and an adequate milk supply.
- 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
- Human milk is the natural food for babies, uniquely meeting their changing needs.
- For the healthy, full-term baby, breast milk is the only food necessary until the baby shows signs of needing solids, about the middle of the first year after birth.
- Ideally the breastfeeding relationship will continue until the baby outgrows the need.
- Alert and active participation by the mother in childbirth is a help in getting breastfeeding off to a good start.
- Breastfeeding is enhanced and the nursing couple sustained by the loving support, help, and companionship of the baby’s father. A father’s unique relationship with his baby is an important element in the child’s development from early infancy.* Read more
- Good nutrition means eating a well-balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible.
- From infancy on, children need loving guidance which reflects acceptance of their capabilities and sensitivity to their feelings.
*LLLGB recognises the role of support as an important factor in the success of the breastfeeding relationship and understands every mother needs a system of support around her. Therefore, this concept can be read as being about a father, partner, grandma, sister, friend or any other person who gives that support.
La Leche League GB is not a pressure group. Our wish is to offer families accurate information so that they can make informed decisions that feel right for themselves and their child. Breastfeeding is the optimal food for a baby, as it is uniquely made up of the exact nutrients needed for each individual baby for at least the first six months. New discoveries are still being made about the way various components of breastmilk work to aid the growth and development of babies.
However, there are times when, due to individual circumstances, mothers are unable to breastfeed or feel it is really not for them. Then what is important to a child is the love, care, warmth and bonding they experience. LLL Leaders can provide a listening ear for parents to talk about their feelings, and concerns, enabling them to discuss the situation with someone who will be completely non-judgmental. We don’t offer advice as every mother/baby relationship is unique and what is right for one will not be right for another, but we offer information to empower mothers to make a decision that is right for them.
LLL accredited Leaders are mothers who have breastfed their own babies, but many of us first contacted LLL because of difficulties with feeding, or because we had previously stopped breastfeeding a baby before we wanted to. LLL Leaders know that when a mother needs a bit of help it can’t wait until tomorrow. We offer mother-to-mother support via groups, phone calls and emails and have a range of online support options. While we do represent the views of breastfeeding families in any discussions on breastfeeding both in the media and via government committees, as well as organisations such as NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) and the BFLG (Baby Feeding Law Group), we will never try to persuade anyone to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding provides a baby with everything it needs, but mothers who don’t breastfeed will find the way that suits them to nourish and cherish their child. The most important thing is that families feel they have been able to make an informed choice and do what is right for them in their personal situation.
Now in its 8th edition, our bestselling book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding builds on our philosophy.
LLL knows how rewarding and challenging mothering can be.
This book was developed to address a lot of your questions about breastfeeding and mothering,
and to inspire you to be the best mother you can be.
LLLGB is governed by a Council of Directors (the trustees), elected from the body of LLL Leaders.
Find out more about them, and how to get in touch here.
Every year we produce an extensive Annual Report which describes our main activities, projects and achievements. We submit full accounts to Companies House and The Charity Commission.
LLLGB Annual Report & Financial Statement 2011
LLLGB Annual Report & Financial Statement 2012
LLLGB Annual Report & Financial Statement 2013
LLLGB Annual Report & Financial Statement 2014
LLLGB Annual Report & Financial Statement 2015
LLLGB Annual Report & Financial Statement 2016
LLLGB Annual Report & Financial Statement 2017
The Professional Liaison (PL) Department is a small department within LLLGB providing support and information to Leaders dealing with medical queries. Our PL Department are part of a wider LLL Global PL Group.
The LLLGB Panel of Professional Advisors (PPA) are a body of experts in breastfeeding and birth research and practice. They advise our Professional Liaison Department and support us with medical queries and challenges.
La Leche League International (LLLI) is recognised by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a world expert in the field of breastfeeding : there are around 2,500 LLL groups worldwide in 70 countries and on every continent except Antarctica, they all provide mother to mother breastfeeding support.
LLLI maintains a close working relationship with the World Health Organisation: because of the influence of LLL the WHO recognises the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of the baby’s life, which the NHS in the UK also adopted as best practice. LLLI are partners with WABA.
Find resources from LLLI here.
LLL began in Britain in 1971, registered as a UK charity in 1981, and became an LLLI Affiliate in 1984.
We celebrated our 45th anniversary in 2016.
LLLGB has representative Leaders sitting on non-partisan, cross party government working groups on child health; we provide evidence based responses to Government consultations; we provide accurate information to the media; we advocate for breastfeeding mothers and babies.
Many LLLGB Leaders are active in their communities helping to ensure quality breastfeeding support is available to mothers, many sit on:
Infant Feeding Strategy Groups, Breastfeeding Local Implementation Groups, Maternity Services Liaison Committees.
LLLGB was one of the lead organisations in forming an alliance of breastfeeding organisations to produce the “Breastfeeding Supplement” to the parliamentary “1001 Critical Days” initiative.
We are a mother support partner organisation in the UK World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative , a member of Baby Feeding Law Group and a stakeholder in Best Beginnings maternal mental health project. We are represented on many NICE consultations.
Photo courtesy of Lois Rowlands, © 2016