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LLLI and the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) collaborate for "The State of the Art of Mother Support Summit"

Rebecca Magalhães
LLLI Director of External Relations and Advocacy
Paulina Smith
Coordinator of WABA Mother Support Task Force
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 24 No. 5, September-October 2007, p. 237

The State of the Art of Mother Support Summit was held in Chicago, July 18 and 19 at the Hilton Chicago to honor the LLLI Founders and to celebrate the LLLI 50th Anniversary. The Mother Support Summit was planned and implemented by LLLI and WABA. Fifty participants from 24 countries came together to showcase the value and the need for support for breastfeeding mothers. The purpose of the Summit was to discuss and decide on the actions that can be taken to increase the visibility of the value and need for support.

Edwina Froehlich, LLLI Founder, delivered the opening keynote address, sharing stories on LLLI’s beginning and regaling the audience with anecdotes of half a century as LLLI expanded to reach more mothers and babies worldwide and began networking with other agencies, organizations, and institutions.

Prior to the Summit, participants and other interested people carried out an e-dialogue that focused on four questions related to support:

  • What element or component has the most effective and positive influence on supporting the breastfeeding mother?
  • What are the obstacles that hinder or impede a positive breastfeeding experience?
  • What is the single most effective action worldwide for improving/increasing support for the breastfeeding mother and baby)?
  • In what way could we collaborate in order to get international recognition for the need for mother support?

Utilizing the summaries from the e-dialogue discussions, participants took part in work issues groups, panel sessions, and action work groups to arrive at a consensus of what actions are needed to work with mother support in the coming years.

The Founders had a simple dream and the LLLI/WABA Mother Support Summit was a demonstration of how far their dream has come and the level of "support" their dream has from many people and organizations around the world. For more information on the LLLI/WABA Mother Support Summit, contact Rebecca Magalhães at RMagalhaes at llli dot org or Paulina Smith at smithpc and att dot net dot mx.

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