La Leche League offers information and encouragement – primarily through personal help – to women who want to breastfeed their babies. Find out how it can help you.

What is La Leche League New Zealand?

La Leche League (pronounced Lah Lay-chay League) is an organisation founded by seven women who wanted to make breastfeeding easier and more rewarding for both mothers and children.

Founded in the USA in 1956, La Leche League has become an international organisation. Today there are groups all over the world. La Leche League became established in NZ in 1964 and currently has approximately 140 Leaders and 50 Groups around the country.

The league is recognised by the World Health Organisation as the world’s leading authority on breastfeeding. New Zealand’s 140 or so leaders are experienced in breastfeeding, breastfeeding problems, and have been trained in the latest techniques that can make breastfeeding work.

They offer tips and techniques passed down from generation to generation of nursing mothers. It’s a human touch no book or clinic can offer.

What does it do?

La Leche League’s mission is to help mothers to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, education, information, and encouragement and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.

The league offers support, encouragement and information with:

  • Groups in centres throughout New Zealand
  • Monthly meetings to discuss- advantages of breastfeeding- childbirth and the new baby at home

    – the art of breastfeeding and overcoming difficulties

    – nutrition and weaning

  • Additional meetings in some areas
  • Telephone help
  • Parenting toddlers and older children
  • Working and breastfeeding
  • Lending library
  • Books and leaflets for sale
  • Mother-to-mother support
  • Workshops and conferences
  • Membership in the world’s leading breastfeeding support group

How is it funded?

La Leche League New Zealand relies on subscriptions and donations. Membership supports local La Leche League activities, including monthly group meetings, as well as local LLL Leaders, who are always available to answer questions and provide practical tips and emotional support for breastfeeding mothers.

A proportion of membership dues supports the member’s local area and the national organisation of La Leche League New Zealand.

  • Standard Membership ($45 per year) includes 6 issues of the bi-monthly magazine Aroha, and discounts on the costs of seminars, workshops and conferences.
  • Professional Supporting Membership ($79 per year or $59 for students) for Midwives, CBEs, Doctors etc, includes subscriptions to Breastfeeding Communiqué, LLLNZ’s annual publication of articles of medical and scientific interest, 6 issues of Aroha and discounts on the costs of seminars, workshops, conferences and some breastfeeding resources sold by LLLNZ.

How can I get their help?

You can contact La Leche League in your area via the directory of groups on the La Leche League website. Many of the local groups are listed in the white pages of the telephone directory and some also have their own websites. Most midwives and Plunket rooms will also display contact details for the league.

How much does it cost?

Help and information is provided free of charge. Membership fees are $45 a year for individuals and $79 for health professionals ($59 students).

Link to the La Leche League website

This is an easy-to-navigate website with detailed information about the league’s history, philosophy, leader training, and an extensive library of articles on breastfeeding and related topics. The site also provides a link to the La Leche League International site. Also available are news items that have appeared in the media and a section on upcoming events you might like to take part in.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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