La Leche League International
What is La Leche League and what is its purpose? How did La Leche League begin? This article gives you the answers.
La Leche League is a not for profit organization whose goal is to provide support and education for women who wish to breastfeed. It was founded in 1956 by seven mothers in Franklin Park, Illinois. The founders of La Leche League were reacting against the fact that breastfeeding was out of the norm when they were giving birth and nursing their children. Additionally, these women were Catholic and incorporated the ideologies of Catholicism of the 1950s. They were inspired by the act of Spanish settlers in America in 1598 who erected a shrine to "Nuestra Senora de la Leche y Buen Parto," which means "Our Lady of Happy Delivery and Plentiful Milk."
Because the word "breast" was banned from newspapers in the 1950s, the founders chose to use the Spanish word "leche" which means "milk." La Leche League proclaims breastfeeding to be better for the newborn both psychologically and physiologically. It encourages the involvement of fathers and strongly supports full-time motherhood.
The classic text used and recommended by La Leche League is The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Today there are chapters in 66 countries around the world that continue to have a strong influence over the breastfeeding practices of new mothers.