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Thursday, November 17, 2005


Kristin H.

Wow. Interesting! Though I've always had a vague idea of what LLL is about (and known some leaders) I had never read the philosophy statement. It does seem ridiculous, to be basically cutting off a whole group of women who could so benefit from (and bring perspective to) the organization. How frustrating!


Agreed. Not everyone has the resources available to them to allow for stay at home parenting or more flexible child care arrangements. I am the primary breadwinner in my house, and for my husband to quit his job we would have to give up the house we bought specifically so Miss K could grow up in the kind of neighborhood we had as kids. That doesn't mean I don't love my child with desperation, or that I don't find ways to make sure she gets really GOOD time with me, even if it's not as much of it as I would like. I think you can work full time and still be a good mom. My kid is happy, and so am I.


I don't get it. Breastfeeding aside, why is it so important that the baby be with mom instead of dad?


This is the very reason I avoided LLL when I was pregnant and then once I had breastfeeding problems early on. I am convinced I would still be nursing if I had had good help and support early post partum. LLL could have provided that support, but I feared being judged for returning to work when my baby was three months old.

Drama Queen

I have to say that I'm bothered by that specific concept (well, not the concept, but the way many within League interpret it), but I've found in recent years, things are changing.

Changes are really starting on a local level (groups in the area starting to hold Saturday and evening meetings and really rallying to the support of legislation for those who work and breastfeed) and that is slowly trickling up the chain of command.

I do want to point out that LLL is not adverse to moms who work outside the home (although I admit some folks involved with it at various levels may give that impression). I think the newest edition of the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding doesn't go far enough to include such moms, but it is better than what has been said in the past. And yeah, the wording of that concept leaves it up to ugly interpretations.

Oh,and I wanted to point out that only one specific aspect of the philosophy was mentioned and there are ten (for which you posted the link. Thanks). I just want to make sure everyone realizes that one point is NOT the entire philosophy. I find that the more people understand LLL philosophy, the more they understand what we're really about.


Hi--I'm blogging with you today about It's a Boy, and while I haven't read that post yet (I'm waiting until I've written mine), I thought your discussion of LLL is very interesting. Are you in Philly? I didn't go to any LLL meetings until after I had moved from Philly to St. Louis--it wasn't so much that I needed breastfeeding support, but I wanted to meet people, especially people who had nursed toddlers.

I tend to be neurotic about LLL and expect to get criticized. After the last meeting, I realized I was conflating LLL with the critical voices in my head. Everyone in my group has been surprisingly supportive of my attempts to reduce nursing (to 4 times a day for a toddler) and eliminate night nursing. I don't think I could be a leader, though, because of the sleep concept--I forget how it's worded, but we definitely didn't do the family bed, and we did some modified sleep training when my son was 10 months old. I think it's a shame, though, because I'm a former teacher and I'd be interested in being a leader--and I don't think sleeping arrangements should matter as long as they don't interfere with breastfeeding.

Okay, off to work on my book tour blog.


Hmm, now I don't see the sleep stuff listed in the 10 concepts. But I know it's on their web site somewhere.


My take on the issue of working mothers becoming Leaders is that the main concern is that the mother herself not take on too much. LLL is there to support breastfeeding mothers and their families. LLL wants women who can devote their time and energies first to their families and whatever they can to LLL. It's not asking to be the love of your life; having "outside" interests is encouraged! It's imortant to know one's own limits and be able to prioritize. For example, one Leader Applicant in our group is a full-time worker and a full-time mom. She's finding ways to prioritize and meet her family's needs, while finding ways to help in LLL. My co-leader is a single, working mom and she only takes phone calls and manages our group website. It can be done!

I think it's great to have a diverse group of women as LLL Leaders! Your personal experience of finding what worked best for you and your family in regards to breastfeeding and working can be also seen as a strength to add to informing and encouraging other women in similar situations!! It's just that example of one person's success that can inspire another working mom to define her own mothering and breastfeeding success!

It might be a good idea to ask yourself honestly WHY you'd want to be a Leader. Here's the FAQ part of the LLLI website about becoming a Leader.


If your goal is not just to help educate and encourage breastfeeding mothers through monthly meetings and phone calls, perhaps you might consider starting a Working Mom support group in your area, outside the LLL arena. Perhaps there is a way to satisfy your desire to connect with other like-minded moms without going the LLL route. The world needs compassionate, energetic women like you in all spheres!

As for the person who mentioned they didn't think they could be a Leader as they didn't co-sleep: There is no one "LLL" way of living that all members or Leaders must conform to. The 10 concepts mentioned (http://www.lalecheleague.org/philosophy.html) are important to follow, but it's not a strict code of living. Many families find different ways of sharing sleep that provide the most rest for the most people. A baby who sleeps in a crib or a toddler who had his own bed are not reasons to be kept from LLL Leadership. The idea that a respectful relationship that neets baby's needs, as well as mom and dad's is the priority here, not the sleep arrangement. When mothers attend monthly LLL meetings, a Leader will tell the attendees that some of what they hear may be new to them and advise the mothers to use what they feel will work best for them and leave what doesn't. The mother is seen as the expert for her own family's needs--there really are many different ways to compassionately care for one's family. Here's a link to the benefits of co-sleeping and how it can affect the breastfeeding relationship:


From our local website, regarding SIDS:


Another LLL take on co-sleeping:


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