We provide mother-to-mother, parent-to-parent breastfeeding support across Great Britain and the Isle of Man. We believe that mothering through breastfeeding is the most natural and effective way of understanding and satisfying the needs of your baby.
Our trained breastfeeding counsellors are all volunteers who have nursed their own babies, completed breastfeeding support training, and are accredited as LLL Leaders. Our volunteers provide a wide range of support options including phone, text, chat, email, helpforms, and social media. LLL Leaders also run breastfeeding support meetings which offer a safe space to talk about breastfeeding and chestfeeding in a group or one-to-one, hear how others have overcome their own challenges, meet other nursing parents, and make friends.
At LLLGB, we support you to provide human milk for your baby, however that looks for you and your family. We are committed to serving everyone – mothers, parents, families – regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental ability, socio-economic status, political views, gender identity, sexual orientation, family structure, cultural values and beliefs.
In 2022, our 200+ volunteer Leaders
- provided face-to-face support meetings in 120+ locations
- supported 1,000+ parents face-to-face or over video call
- facilitated 40+ Facebook groups providing information & support
- responded to 8,000+ social media contacts
- took 2,500+ phone calls
- answered 1,000+ online helpforms
Read more about
- LLL’s Mission and Philosophy
- When breastfeeding isn’t working
- Book: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
- Our Council of Directors
- Our Annual Report and Financial Statement
- Professional Liaison (PL) Department and Panel of Professional Advisors (PPA)
- La Leche League International
- La Leche League GB
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 supply.
- 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.
LLLGB is not a pressure group. We strive to offer families accurate, evidence-based information so that they can make informed decisions that feel right for themselves and their child. We support you to achieve your nursing goals, whatever they may be, for example breastfeeding for one week, combi feeding, or exclusively expressing.
If you are unable to breastfeed or don’t feel it is right for you, you can still talk to us. Our volunteers 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 Leaders have all nursed their own babies, but many of them first contacted LLL because of difficulties with feeding, or because they had previously stopped breastfeeding a baby before they wanted to. We will never try to persuade anyone to breastfeed.
Now in its 8th edition, our bestselling book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding builds on our philosophy.
LLL knows how rewarding and challenging mothering and parenting can be. This book was developed to address many 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. Every single Leader, Director and Trustee of LLLGB is a volunteer. 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 2022
LLLGB Annual Report & Financial Statement 2021
LLLGB Annual Report & Financial Statement 2020
LLLGB Annual Report & Financial Statement 2019
LLLGB Annual Report & Financial Statement 2018
LLL Leaders offer support with the normal course of breastfeeding. 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.
Our Professional Liasion Department and Panel of Professional Advisors enable our Leaders to investigate more complex breastfeeding issues.
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 80+ countries and on every continent except Antarctica. They all provide mother-to-mother and parent-to-parent 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 UK NHS has 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 50th anniversary in 2021.
LLLGB is represented across many different forums. We highlight and promote the views of breastfeeding families. For example:
- LLLGB representative Leaders sit on non-partisan, cross party government working groups on child health e.g. All Party Parliamentary Group on Infant Feeding and Inequalities;
- we provide evidence-based responses to government consultations e.g. 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 provide evidence-based information to NGOs (e.g. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Baby Feeding Law Group (BFLG));
- LLLGB have representation on UNICEF’s National Scoping Project for mother-to-mother support groups and UNICEF’s BFIcommittee;
- We were involved in the founding of Baby Sleep Info Source (BASIS);
- We are a mother support partner organisation in the UK World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative;
- We are a member of World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA);
- We are a stakeholder in Best Beginningsmaternal mental health project;
- We represent the view of breastfeeding families and provide accurate information to the media;
- we advocate for breastfeeding mothers, families and babies.
Many LLLGB Leaders are active in their communities helping to ensure quality breastfeeding support is available to mothers. Many Leaders sit on: Infant Feeding Strategy Groups, Breastfeeding Local Implementation Groups, and Maternity Voices Partnerships.
LLLGB supports the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). We believe that breastfeeding is an integral part of ensuring the health and wellbeing of all children.
Last Updated July 2023
Photo courtesy of Lois Rowlands, © 2016