Becoming a LLL Leader
Please read the information on this page to see if you meet the LLLI Prerequisites for Applying for Leadership, and to learn about what La Leche League (LLL) believes and the responsibilities of a LLL Leader.
Before you apply to become a LLL Leader, you will need to have an in-depth discussion with a current Leader about the prerequisites, LLL philosophy, Leader responsibilites and the work required during the application period. If you are both in agreement to move forward, the Leader will write a recommendation and you will fill out the application form and pay the Leader application fee.
Are you already attending LLL Series Meetings? If so, discuss the information on this page with one of the Group Leaders.
Is there a LLL Group near you? (Click here to find your local Group). If yes, start attending meetings to learn what LLL Leaders do and how they support breastfeeding mothers/parents. If you decide that you'd like to become a LLL Leader, talk with one of the Group Leaders, who can share more details about leadership, and help you decide if leadership is right for you.
What if there's no LLL Group nearby? You can still apply to become a LLL Leader. If you live in an area with no LLL Group or Leader, contact the Coordinator of Leader Accreditation (CLA) for your Area (see below) or contact the Administrator of Leader Accreditation at firstname.lastname@example.org A representative of the Leader Accreditation Department (LAD) will answer your questions and have a pre-application discussion with you.
Applying for Leadership
The prerequisites to applying are:
The experiences of breastfeeding and mothering are two parts of a whole that is described by LLLI as “mothering through breastfeeding,” as defined below. This personal experience of the breastfeeding and mothering relationship, combined with what you have learned from others and from LLL resources, provides a strong basis from which to help others.
A potential Applicant:
- has breastfed a child for 12 months or more,
- did not introduce complementary foods or supplements until the baby demonstrated a nutritional need for other foods, around the middle of the first year for the healthy full-term baby, and
- has chosen breastfeeding as the optimal way to nourish, nurture and comfort the baby.
The above points refer to a description of a normal/physiological course of breastfeeding and the relationship formed by mothering through breastfeeding as described in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (The Womanly Art), published by LLLI. These measurable behaviors offer an objective way to identify responsive breastfeeding and mothering.
Special consideration will be given to someone whose personal breastfeeding experience is outside the realm of the normal/physiological course of breastfeeding as described above.
A potential Applicant:
- is a member of La Leche League. (The LLLC Leader Application fee includes LLL membership which is required to meet the prerequisites to applying for leadership.)
- supports La Leche League (LLL) purpose, mission and philosophy
- has attended at least one series of meetings (where available) and has demonstrated a commitment to LLL
- has read and is familiar with the contents of the most recent edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (if available in an accessible language) and is aware that this is a primary source of breastfeeding information and philosophy for LLL Leaders
- has a recommendation from an LLL Leader
A potential Applicant:
- has sufficient command of language, either written or oral, to complete the application and preparation for accreditation and to fulfill the responsibilities of LLL leadership
- has an accepting and respectful attitude toward others
- exhibits warmth and empathy towards others
- demonstrates or is willing to develop effective, empowering communication skills
La Leche League Philosophy
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.
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 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, 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.
La Leche League's Purpose
La Leche League was founded to give information and encouragement, mainly through personal help, to all mothers and parents who want to breastfeed/chestfeed their babies. While complementing the care of the physician and other health care professionals, La Leche League recognizes the unique importance of one mother/parent helping another to perceive the needs of the child and to learn the best means of fulfilling those needs.
La Leche League is a worldwide, educational, nonsectarian, nondiscriminatory service organization.
LLLI is committed to serving everyone inclusive 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, or other protected status.
Responsibilities of an LLL Leader
Helps mothers/parents one-to-one, by telephone or in person, keeping accurate records of all helping situations
Plans and leads monthly Series Meetings
Supervises the management of the Group, including finances, Group workers, Group Library, and materials for sale; reports monthly about LLL activities
Keeps up to date on all important breastfeeding information, taking advantage of LLL‘s opportunities for continuing education through publications, meetings, correspondence, and the network of resource Leaders
Takes an active role in helping others find out about leadership and helps them prepare to become LLL Leaders
Where there is more than one Leader in a Group, the duties are shared.
To Learn More About LLL:
Read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and other LLLI books, Breastfeeding Today and information sheets.
Make a financial donation so LLLC can continuing supporting breastfeeding families.
Attend Series Meetings, if available. You‘ll become part of a mother-to-mother/peer-to-peer support network that provides information and encouragement and find helpful information in the Group Library.
Volunteer to help the Group as (for instance) librarian, treasurer, hostess.
Extend your network and learn more about breastfeeding and parenting by attending local La Leche League conferences.
Coordinators of Leader Accreditation
Québec and Eastern Ontario
Central and Southern Ontario