Prerequisites

Introduction

As an international organization, La Leche League (LLL) 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 (LLLI) 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 a 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.

 

Personal Experience Prerequisites

Individuals refer to breastfeeding in different ways, such as suckling, nursing or chestfeeding. For this policy, LLLI defines all of these terms as referring to feeding a child directly from the breast.

Experience with breastfeeding and nurturing through breastfeeding, plus the personal experience with La Leche League via in-person or virtual Group meetings and website resources, give an Applicant a strong basis for helping others as a Leader.

A potential Applicant:

  • has breastfed, nursed, chestfed or suckled a child for 12 months or more,
  • has introduced complementary foods when baby showed signs of readiness, around the middle of the first year for the healthy full-term baby, and
  • has chosen attentive breastfeeding as the way to provide touch, comfort, warmth, protection, security, and responsiveness, as well as nourishment.

Special consideration is given to someone whose personal breastfeeding experience is outside the usual course of breastfeeding as described in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, due to medical, physiological, or anatomical issues impacting either partner in the breastfeeding dyad.

Some examples requiring special consideration are:

  • low milk supply because of breast surgery or insufficient mammary tissue,
  • induced lactation,
  • adoptive nursing,
  • temporary interruption of breastfeeding because of a serious medical condition; or the need to take a medication incompatible with nursing, or
  • inability of baby to latch, temporarily or permanently, due to conditions such as cleft lip/palate, prematurity, or genetic disorder.

For the Personal Experience Prerequisites to be met under the special consideration guidelines, the potential Applicant has demonstrated attentive breastfeeding as the way to provide touch, comfort, warmth, protection, security, and responsiveness, as well as nourishment.

The supporting Leader consults a LAD representative when the personal breastfeeding experience differs from the Personal Experience Prerequisites and might warrant special consideration.

 

Organizational Experience Prerequisites

A potential Applicant:

  • is a member of LLL or contributes as appropriate for the entity in which the application is being submitted,
  • supports LLL Vision, Mission, and Philosophy,
  • when possible, has attended at least four LLL meetings in person or online,
  • 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 in the LLL Policies and Standing Rules,
  • is willing to complete the application work, and
  • has a recommendation from an LLL Leader.

 

Personal Skills Prerequisites

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.

See Applying for Leadership Policy in the LLL Policy and Standing Rules for more information.

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