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.
The basic philosophy of La Leche League is summarized in the following statements:
- 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
- Breast milk is the superior infant food.
- 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.
- 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.
The ideals and principles of parenting which are the foundation of LLLI beliefs are further developed in THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING, the most comprehensive handbook on breastfeeding and parenting ever published. It has provided needed answers to three generations of nursing families on every aspect of breastfeeding.
La Leche League began in 1956 as a meeting of seven friends, at a time when nursing parents found it difficult to find either information or support from their communities or doctors. Since then, La Leche League has grown into an international organization with groups in over 60 countries, providing personal support to help people reach their nursing goals.
La Leche League Internaitonal (LLLI) serves as a non-governmental organization consultant for UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), acts as a registered Private Voluntary Organization for the US Agency of International Development (USAID), is an accredited member of the US Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies National Coalition, is a member of the Child Survival Collaborations and Resources Group (CORE), and is a founding member of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA).
LLLI is the world's largest resource for publications about breastfeeding and related topics. The information that they provide is reviewed by a Health Advisory Council made up of doctors and other health care professionals.