Below are several frequently asked questions Applicants have about leadership.
If you have additional questions, talk with your supporting Leader and/or LAD representative.
Don’t worry! Probably every Leader has experienced that at some time or another. Remember that no-one expects you to know the answer to every breastfeeding question. It is fine to say that you don’t know, and that you will get back to the mother or parent as soon as you research more information.
During your application you will practice skills that will help you to cope with helping questions, and you will learn how to use your resources to find the information you need.
- You can gather information about the situation and the person’s contact information. After consulting your resources you can get back to the mother.
- Remember that other Leaders are a resource you can call upon.
- Make use of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
- You can contact the Professional Liaison Department in your Area for extra help if necessary.
At La Leche League meetings, we offer each other mother-to-mother, peer-to-peer support. We exchange our experiences and what we have learned from breastfeeding our babies.
Sometimes a mother asks a question that requires a fuller or more informed response, or is clearly asking for specific expertise on the subject. If you, as an Applicant, have had a similar experience, you can offer ideas on what you found helpful. Otherwise, the you would refer to the Group Leader who could direct the mother to the appropriate resources.
As a Leader Applicant, there may be times when the edges seem to be blurred, when you are not sure whether it is right for you to answer a helping question.
- Leader Applicants are not official representatives of La Leche League (and thus not covered by LLL’s legal liability insurance). For this reason it isn’t necessary (and often is not desirable) to answer breastfeeding questions beyond your own experience and knowledge as a mother. Carefully choosing how and with whom you share your status as a Leader Applicant can help to avoid situations where a person thinks you represent LLL.
- There may still be times when a mother or parent asks you questions about breastfeeding or chestfeeding. In those cases, you will want to make it clear that you are not a Leader and do not represent La Leche League. You can then refer the person to an accredited Leader; or, if no Leader is available, you might choose to help find the answer to the questions in an unofficial capacity. Share sections of the The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding or suggest links to the LLLI website. You might also consider introducing other websites which are in agreement with LLL philosophy. This allows the mother or parent to research the information on their own.
It is important for you to clear up any confusion about leadership responsibilities and behaviors before accreditation. Also, in most cases your Leader is your future co-Leader; open communication can help you develop a strong working relationship. If you’re not sure how to approach the Leader or what to say, your corresponding LAD representative would be a good resource. What you share with the LAD will not be passed along to your Leader without your permission.
- A La Leche League Leader is a resource for information and support about breastfeeding/nursing and some related subjects. Leaders are not expected to answer questions that fall outside of our area of expertise.
- If we suggest the names of specific organizations or individuals (such as midwives or parenting groups), we risk implying endorsement by La Leche League.
- If a mother asks you to recommend particular groups or individuals that are not affiliated with LLL (such as a physician, midwife, or a caesarean support group), you can explain that, as a Leader and representative of LLL, it would be outside of the mission of LLL to make these types of recommendations, since they fall outside of our mission to provide breastfeeding support and information. You might suggest that the mother or parent approach other Group members outside of meeting time for this type of information to see a specific health provider, facility, or service they found helpful.
How wonderful that you are already thinking about helping a Leader Applicant yourself! Your enthusiasm for leadership will communicate itself to the Applicants you work with in the future.
- All accredited Leaders can recommend and work with Leader Applicants from the day they become Leaders.
- As a Leader, you will have completed all accreditation requirements and have all of the knowledge and skills necessary to help anyone who is breastfeeding. You can pass this knowledge along to an Applicant at any point after becoming a Leader.
- One of our basic responsibilities as a Leader is to help others find out about leadership and prepare to become LLL Leaders.
- Chapter 5 of the Leader’s Handbook provides a great deal of information about working with Leader Applicants.
- During your application, you could collect information that will help you to work with an Applicant yourself; for instance, you could save pertinent articles and file them.
- Your local LAD representative is a resource you can call upon.
- If you have suggestions for developing ideas for leadership accreditation, please share them with your LAD representative – we really do want to know how we can make the leadership application the best possible experience for Applicants!
If you have derived special pleasure and satisfaction from your application, you might like to think about the possibility of joining the Leader Accreditation Department (LAD) yourself at some time in the future. Please talk to your LAD representative, who will be very glad to discuss this with you when you feel ready to take on further responsibility within the organization.