As an international organization, La Leche League standards for Leader accreditation are the same worldwide. All future Leaders are expected to meet the prerequisites to applying for leadership and to value and role-model the organization’s philosophy in their own lives. La Leche League International is committed to serving everyone and seeks the equitable accreditation of a diverse body of Leaders.
Everyone in LLL brings their unique experience, warmth, empathy and other skills to their LLL work, whether they have had one baby or several.
There may be one or more areas where you feel you do not meet the prerequisites to applying for leadership. You are not alone! Many Leaders have had similar concerns. The important thing is to talk over your situation with your Group Leader. If there is no Group or Leader where you are, please fill out the Leader Inquiry Form on the Become a Leader page.
See “Applying for Leadership” Policy in the LLLI PSR for more information. Contact a local Leader for a copy.
The experiences of breastfeeding and mothering are two parts of a whole that is described by LLLI as “mothering through breastfeeding,” as defined below. This personal experience of the breastfeeding and mothering relationship, combined with what the person has learned from others and from LLL resources, provides a strong basis from which to help others. A potential Applicant:
- has breastfed a child for 12 months or more,
- did not introduce complementary foods or supplements until the baby demonstrated a nutritional need for other foods, around the middle of the first year for the healthy full-term baby, and
- has chosen breastfeeding as the optimal way to nourish, nurture and comfort the baby.
The above points refer to a description of a normal/physiological course of breastfeeding and the relationship formed by mothering through breastfeeding as described in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (The Womanly Art), published by LLLI. These measurable behaviors offer an objective way to identify responsive breastfeeding and mothering.
Special consideration will be given to someone whose personal breastfeeding experience is outside the realm of the normal/physiological course of breastfeeding as described above. Leaders may refer to Guidelines for Leaders (Part II, Section A, Item 5) for some examples.
A potential Applicant:
- is a member of LLL or contributes as appropriate for the entity in which the application is being submitted,
- supports LLL purpose, mission, and philosophy,
- has attended at least one series of meetings in person or via the Internet,
- demonstrates a clear understanding that leadership is volunteer work,
- has knowledge of the information contained in the most recent edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, if available in an accessible language and format,
- is willing to create time to fulfill the basic responsibilities of leadership and/or provide other service to LLL, as described under “Definition of an Active Leader” in the LLLI Policies and Standing Rules (PSR; see Cross-References),
- is willing to complete the application work, and
- has a recommendation from an LLL Leader.
A potential Applicant:
- has communication skills in the potential Applicant’s preferred language necessary to begin the application and preparation for accreditation,
- demonstrates an accepting and respectful attitude toward others,
- provides information and support without judgment, and
- is willing to develop further communication skills as needed to fulfill the responsibilities of leadership.