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Books, Journals, New Media
April 25, 2001

La Leche LeagueLa Leche League: At the Crossroads of Medicine, Feminism, and Religion

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 2001;285(16):2136-2137. doi:10.1001/jama.285.16.2136-JBK0425-5-1

La Leche League was founded in 1956 by seven women who came together with a shared belief in the moral imperative to breastfeed. At that time, breastfeeding was not popular among US women or, for that matter, within the medical community, with breastfeeding rates at around 20%. In fact, as Jule DeJager Ward notes in her book La Leche League: At the Crossroads of Medicine, Feminism, and Religion, the founders believed that the "unsupportive, ill-informed, technologically-oriented medical world was perpetrating an injustice on women." The founders' goals, then, were to give "correct" information to mothers hoping to breastfeed, replacing the "misinformation" they often received from doctors, and to offer "mother-to-mother support that doctors could not give to pregnant or new mothers."

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