Breast. No Bottle.

To nurse, or not to nurse: that is not a question!

Hollowing out La Leche League

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La Leche League used to be and organization for mothers. Its model of work was mother-to-mother support governed by a very particular set of philosophical principals and guidelines that reflected a respectful attitude towards women. In the recent 10-15 years all of this has changed, partly due to inept management by professional administrators, partly due to high level of IBCLC penetration within the organization. The following are a few examples from both American and international scene of what goes on in La Leche League of today.

  1. Abandonment of peer to peer principles of work. La Leche League of Russia is headed by several IBCLCs which promptly changed the word leader to consultant thus tipping the scale of peer to peer interaction towards the authoritarian model of expert to mother.
  2. Obscuring women in favor of milk. Poor training of leaders worldwide resulted in lack of understanding what set LLLI apart from other organizations that help women. As a result, LLL Russia promptly added the milk focused help approach in addition to their expert based model of help, which turned LLL Russia into yet another milk consultant organization.
  3. Abandoning the rule to act only as Leaders within LLLI. LLL forums for leaders do not follow the rule to avoid announcing your professional credentials outside of LLL. Nurses, doctors, nutritionists could not use their professional status to either undermine other mother-leaders or add authority and weight to their words and lower the importance of what other women without credentials have to say. In LLL of today IBCLCs openly use their titles to suppress what non-credentialed leaders have to say. LLL management turns a blind eye.
  4. Abandoning the rule of direct counseling. LLL used to have a rule that prohibited third party counseling of mothers. It means that if a concerned dad or a well-meaning grandma called LLL, leaders would insist upon talking directly to the mother, not counsel the mother via dad or grandmother. Not any more. 99% of responding leaders today, many of whom are IBCLCs, apply random medical knowledge to third party accounts of breastfeeding and recommend medical interventions. This stems from poor training of LLL volunteers worldwide as to their roles and means to achieve them as well as from poor enforcement of leader-IBCLC capacity differentiation.

I argue all of the above is a public concern to women because LLLI misrepresents what it does to the public (words do not align with actions) , uses a supposedly maternal organization to exert professional  and medicinal control upon women via IBCLCs who do not differentiate between their volunteer and professional roles, as well as suppress womanly ways of peer sharing and knowledge accumulation in favor of medicinal and professional knowledge.


Written by Medical Nemesis

March 19, 2016 at 06:55

Posted in Other

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To nurse, or not to nurse: that is not a question!

Breast. No Bottle.

To nurse, or not to nurse: that is not a question!

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