Friday, November 17, 2006

What is La Leche League?

La Leche League (LLL) groups around the world run discussion meetings for mothers, generally once a month, which cover all aspects of breastfeeding, from getting started right through until weaning. At LLL meetings, you can bring your babies, your stories and experiences, and also your questions. You can make friends with other like-minded mothers, and get heaps of up-to-date and relevant information on breastfeeding whatever the stage of your baby.

LLL was founded 50 years ago by a group of seven mothers who were breastfeeding at a time when few people were supportive of it. They quickly found that there were many other mothers like them, who knew breastfeeding was best for them and their babies but no one had much information on it. So the network of mothers supporting other mothers grew and grew, and now LLL groups are in over 60 countries of the world!

The Leaders at the meetings are all volunteers, experienced breastfeeding mothers themselves who have completed the training required to become accredited and run a group. Groups are supported entirely by the memberships they sell. You don't have to be a member to attend a meeting or to call a Leader for support, but by joining, you help to keep the library stocked, to ensure that LLL is here for future mothers, and that the Leaders can receive further education and materials to offer the best help they can to mothers.

In Japan we have the following English speaking groups.
Tokyo: Tokyo Central and Tokyo West
There are English speaking Leaders available to help mothers in Sendai, Wakkanai (northern Hokkaido), Atsugi, Yokota and Okinawa.
Japanese groups and Leaders can be found through their website.

If you are a breastfeeding mother and would like to learn more about how to become a LLL Leader and start groups in your area, LLL International has a website where you can get that information. Of course it also carries heaps of breastfeeding and parenting resources, and there are interactive discussion forums where parents can ask breastfeeding questions too.

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