What Goes on at Those La Leche League Meetings?
Many wonder why anyone would have a meeting about breastfeeding. They may ask, "Who goes to these meetings and what do they talk about?"
At Group meetings La Leche League Leaders and other mothers share experiences, give suggestions and offer support and encouragement. LLL meetings are ideal for learning from and making friends with other mothers. These meetings provide time for mother-to-mother sharing in a friendly and accepting atmosphere. The informal meetings are attended by expectant, new and experienced mothers and their babies. Most Groups rotate through a series of breastfeeding topics, however every meeting is different and the questions of the attendees are always given top priority.
Why LLL meetings? In generations past, many mothers had plenty of support for breastfeeding their babies because their mothers, grandmothers and sisters had breastfed. Now many of us live far away from our families and most likely, they didn't breastfed. Breastfeeding is natural, but it is a learned art. Attending an LLL meeting and seeing other mothers breastfeed their babies helps new and expectant mothers learn how to nurture their babies too.
Who attends LLL meetings? Women interested in breastfeeding are welcome to attend LLL meetings. Women are encouraged to begin attending meetings as soon as they know they are pregnant or before, if they are interested! Attending early in a pregnancy gives mothers plenty of time to learn as much as possible about the "womanly art of breastfeeding". Most Groups have an extensive lending library of books especially for breastfeeding families on the topics of breastfeeding, nutrition, parenting and childbirth. The LLL comprehensive guidebook, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, is offered for sale by most Groups. Check out the LLLI Online Store for examples of books often offered in Group libraries and for sale.
What are the meeting topics? In-depth information on breastfeeding is presented through discussions on the following topics:
- The advantages of breastfeeding. Mothers are amazed to hear about the many remarkable qualities of human milk, their bodies fantastic ability to produce milk as well as the positive impact breastfeeding has on families, the environment and society.
- Adjusting to life with a new baby. This meeting focuses on the first six weeks and offers tips to make the transition into being a family as smooth as possible.
- Overcoming difficulties. Leaders and mothers have excellent ideas to help mothers overcome roadblocks that may impede breastfeeding progress.
- Nutrition and weaning. Pregnant women enjoy this topic so they can optimize their unborn baby's health. Mothers learn how to start solids for their babies. Nutritious options for family meals are shared.
LLL meetings can be viewed as a buffet of ideas. Each mother is welcome to select only those that appeal to her and her family.
Remember, with topics so broad and each Group so individual, every meeting is different. The attendees' input and questions are welcome. Some Groups hold special meetings for couples and for mothers of toddlers.
What about the meeting itself? Meetings are led by an accredited LLL Leader. She is a mother who has breastfed her baby and has completed La Leche League's comprehensive training program. During meetings, she shares her knowledge of breastfeeding, encourages others to share their experiences and helps clarify the La Leche League philosophy of mothering through breastfeeding. Her material is validated by experts in medical, psychological, nutritional and child development fields. Leaders present LLLI information in a loosely structured format that allows plenty of time for mother-to-mother sharing and questions. Mothers (and their babies!) enjoy the warm and supportive atmosphere that encourages mothering through breastfeeding.
Now, aren't you wondering where LLL meetings are? Usually they are held in private homes or in the meeting rooms of community halls, churches, libraries or hospitals. (La Leche League is not affiliated with any religion--we are a nonsectarian organization.) Some Groups meet during the day, while others find evening meetings more convenient. To find a Group near you, call 1-800-LALECHE, look at our LLL Web Page Index or follow the hints in our page on finding a local LLL Leader. If you are unable to find a local Group, you may consider attending one of our on-line LLL meetings.
We're looking forward to seeing you and your baby at a Group meeting! If you want to learn more about La Leche League, visit our collection of resources about LLL
Our FAQs present information from La Leche League International on topics of interest to parents of breastfed children. Not all of the information may be pertinent to your family's lifestyle. This information is general in nature and not intended to be advice, medical or otherwise. If you have a serious breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to a La Leche League Leader. Please consult health care professionals on any medical issue, as La Leche League Leaders are not medical practitioners.