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La Leche League Philosophy

The basic philosophy of La Leche League is summarized in the following statements:

Mothering through breast­feeding is the most natural and effective way of understanding and satisfying the needs of the baby.

Mother and baby need to be together early and often to establish a satisfying relationship and an adequate milk supply.

In the early years the baby has an intense need to be with his mother which is as basic as his need for food.

Breast milk is the superior infant food.

For the healthy, full-term baby, breast milk is the only food necessary until the baby shows signs of needing solids, about the middle of the first year after birth.

Ideally the breast­feeding relationship will continue until the baby outgrows the need.

Alert and active participation by the mother in childbirth is a help in getting breast­feeding off to a good start.

Breast­feeding is enhanced and the nursing couple sustained by the loving support, help, and companionship of the baby's father. A father's unique relationship with his baby is an important element in the child's development from early infancy.

Good nutrition means eating a well-balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible.

From infancy on, children need loving guidance which reflects acceptance of their capabilities and sensitivity to their feelings.

The ideals and principles of mothering which are the foundation of LLL's beliefs are further developed in The Womanly Art Of Breast­feeding, the most comprehensive handbook on breast­feeding and parenting ever published. It has provided needed answers to three generations of nursing mothers on every aspect of breast­feeding.

Reprinted by permission from La Leche League International.

This document is available as LLLI Publication No. 5, "La Leche League's Purpose and Philosophy".

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