Leader Applicants complete their application with the guidance of a Group Leader (where available) and a member of the Leader Accreditation Department (LAD). Leaders are accredited in accordance with LLL policies governing accreditation practices. Our goal is to accredit Leaders whose knowledge and skills reflect a balance of the practical, physical, and interpersonal aspects of helping others experience “mothering through breastfeeding.” La Leche League (LLL) is committed to serving everyone interested in breastfeeding their baby. We seek the equitable accreditation of a diverse body of Leaders.
Introduction to Application Work
Each section below contains its own relevant video to help guide you through the application process
The Applicant and LAD representative dialogue about how LLL philosophy is reflected in breastfeeding and parenting choices and how Leaders communicate this philosophy. They discuss each of the ten concepts and how these concepts reflect the Applicant’s experience and relate to future work as a Leader.
Applicants research breastfeeding topics using the Breastfeeding Resource Guide (BRG) or an approved equivalent. This can be completed alone, as self-study, or by working together with a supporting Leader and/or other Applicants. The goal of this exercise is to help Applicants learn where to find information on specific breastfeeding topics.
Working on the BRG, Applicants become familiar with:
- Basic breastfeeding management and problem-solving techniques.
- Basic lactation physiology.
- How active participation in childbirth can facilitate the initiation and establishment of breastfeeding.
- The normal course of breastfeeding.
Applicants and supporting Leaders review together the Checklist of Topics in Preparation for Leadership (Checklist). This discussion expands on the information in the Leader’s Handbook, which Applicants read, if available in an accessible language and format .
Checklist topics explore in detail the basic Leader responsibilities:
- Helping mothers and parents one-to-one by phone, email, text, or in person.
- Planning and leading LLL Meetings.
- Supervising the management of an LLL Group.
- Keeping up to date on breastfeeding information.
- Helping other find out about leadership and prepare to become LLL Leaders.
Applicants may also complete the following optional exercises:
- Bias Exercise
- Mixing Causes Exercise
- Listening Exercise
To become familiar with breastfeeding management information and practical parenting recommendations, Applicants read:The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, if available in an accessible language and format.
To learn about basic Leader responsibilities, Applicants read the Leader’s Handbook, if available in an accessible language and format.
Applicants develop a comprehensive understanding of how different methods of delivery and childbirth experiences affect the start of breastfeeding in one of the following ways:
- Reading the LAD publication, Childbirth and Breastfeeding or another book on breastfeeding.
- Attending a session or webinar on this topic.
- Having an in-depth discussions with a Leader who is well-informed about the topic.
- Reflecting on one’s experience as a birth attendant, for example.
Other recommended La Leche League reading, resources and opportunities for Applicants include:
- LLL books, pamphlets, and information sheets.
- Area/Area Network/Affiliate Leader publications.
- Leader Applicant newsletter (where available).
- Leader publications, such as Leader Today.
- Parent publications, such as Breastfeeding Today.
- Communication Skills Department sessions.
- Leader/Leader Applicant workshops.
- LLL online/in-person conferences.
To practice one-on-one helping and Group facilitation skills, Applicants and supporting Leaders complete the Preview of Helping Questions and Group Management (Preview). It can be started at any time throughout the application. The Preview brings together the information, learning, and skills covered during the application period. It is completed using any of the following: practice emails, texts, or phone calls; role-play; discussion; mock meetings.
Where there is no Leader or Group, the corresponding LAD representative does the Preview with the Applicant or assigns a Leader who can communicate with the Applicant in methods other than in person.