La Leche League International

Breastfeeding Support, Education and Assistance

Breastfeeding Support Group. Steve Debenport/Getty Images

La Leche League International was founded in the 1950s by seven women from Illinois. They were a group of mothers who began sharing their advice and experiences about breastfeeding with pregnant women and other mothers in their local area. This idea of mothers helping mothers caught on and quickly spread.

Now, La Leche League International is a large non-profit organization with local chapters across the entire United States and in 68 other countries.

La Leche League may have grown, but the core belief of mother-to-mother support has not changed. The organization is dedicated to supplying information, education, advice, encouragement and support to breastfeeding mothers. Assistance is provided 24 hours a day by specially trained leaders through group meetings, individual counseling both in-person or over the telephone, a variety of publications and a website.

Local meetings are free and are often held in members' homes or in public meeting places. Attending a La Leche meeting while you are pregnant is a great way to prepare for breastfeeding.

Once your baby arrives, you can take him or her with you to meetings. These meetings are a wonderful opportunity to socialize with other moms, ask questions, and listen to the experiences of other women. La Leche meetings are also a great place to find support and encouragement if you choose to breastfeed beyond a year.

Many mothers who belong to the La Leche community nurse their children for two years, three years or even longer.

If you are interested in attending a meeting where you live, check the La Leche League International website. If you cannot find a group in your local area, you may want to think about becoming a leader and starting a group of your own.


La Leche League International. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding Eighth Edition. Ballantine Books. New York. 2010.

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