In 2016 La Leche League celebrates two special dates: the 60th anniversary of LLL International and the 45th anniversary of La Leche League GB.
In 1956 in Chicago, Illinois, seven women decided that they would try to offer support to women who wanted to breastfeed their babies but were not getting the help they needed. They started a small group for local mothers and thought that it would be a short-lived venture.
From this small beginning, La Leche League grew into an international organisation with 6000 Leaders in 77 countries. It is recognised as an authority on breastfeeding and is respected by health professionals throughout the world. Its influence has been immeasurable and has had a direct bearing on many of the changes that have occurred in infant-care practices since LLL’s beginning.
LLL believed that mothers needed to be together for early nursing and uninterrupted bonding. They challenged the beliefs of the day, and many of the things they spoke out about are accepted today as optimal practice. LLL helped to give breastfeeding back to mothers.
The LLLI 60th Anniversary year starts on October 1, 2016, and runs through to September 30, 2017. We want to celebrate our heritage, our achievements, our mission, our way of working, our founders, our Leaders and the mothers and families we have helped over the last 60 years.
To see how LLL International will be celebrating this milestone go to:
La Leche League GB
La Leche League first became established in Great Britain in 1971. Towards the end of the seventies it was suggested that LLLGB become an autonomous organisation. It would remain affiliated to LLLI and would be identical or very similar in structure with the same commitments. The philosophy would remain intact, along with the structure of meetings, and Leader support.
To see how LLLGB will be celebrating and find out about our Conference go to:
and book tickets here:
At the heart of LLL
The heart of LLL’s work has always been mothering through breastfeeding, and the foundation of our effectiveness has always been mother-to-mother support. LLL’s approach has spread all over the globe and now we are the largest voluntary women’s health organisation in the world.
Most importantly, however, LLL has enriched the lives of thousands of mothers, babies and families. Seven mothers from Chicago set out to help a few local women and ended up changing things for the better across the world.
LLL in today’s world
Each generation of women has to adapt to the needs and challenges of the day, but babies and mothers continue to look for support with breastfeeding and mothering; thanks to the seven Founders, LLL is there to provide it.
Marian Tompson, one of LLL’s Founders, said they never imagined there would still be a need for the organisation all these years down the line. Even though LLL has achieved so much over the years, we are still providing an essential role for new mothers.
Women have the same concerns and questions as previous generations, but LLL has adapted and changed to reach women through social media and online
Hello from Ayu
My name is Ayu and I will be travelling around the world with my baby Paco for one year, from 1st October 2016 – 30 September 2017, celebrating 60 years of La Leche League International. I am hoping to meet many wonderful LLL people while visiting different countries.
I was born in Colombia with many other dolls; you can read about it here: www.babyayu.com.
I have already visited Frankfurt to spend time with LLL Leaders at a European Meeting and there I was adopted by an LLL Leader from Switzerland. Together we are planning my great adventure and now I’m ready to leave for New Zealand. I’m looking forward to it – I may not make it all the way from New Zealand in time for LLLGB’s Conference in October so I’ve arranged for some of my cousins to attend. I hope you’ll give them a warm welcome.
To the future
La Leche League as an organisation has been building a legacy for future generations; and the Founders have built La Leche League to stand as their legacy to the world.
Along with LLL celebrations, there are two other significant anniversaries this year. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action1 (WABA) and the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) both celebrate their 25th anniversary. BFHI was launched as a global initiative by the WHO and UNICEF. The basis of the BFHI are the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.
The Ten Steps forms a guideline for every facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infants.