QUESTIONS & ANSWERS TO EXPAND YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE BOARD DECISION Regarding Revisions to Appendices 17 and 18 of the LLLI Policies and Standing Rules Notebook (LLLI PSR) – concise version:

8 November  2018

At the meeting on November 8, 2018 the LLLI Board of Directors (Board) voted “That the prerequisites for application for leadership will focus on the mother-baby relationship as evidenced by ongoing breastfeeding and responsive mothering at 12 months or beyond in conjunction with the other concepts and that mother-baby separation will not be considered.”

This will help achieve more equitable attention to the concepts, prerequisites and accreditation standards for anyone interested in becoming an LLL Leader.

Some guiding Q&As follow in this document. Please also refer to the Q&A document on the LLLI website for more detailed explanations at If you have questions that have not been answered, contact your Area/ DCE representatives, or the LLLI Board at

 What has and has not changed?

“In the early years the baby has an intense need to be with his mother which is as basic as his need for food.” Anyone interested in LLLI leadership will still dialogue on their understanding of this concept, its importance, and how they exemplify it in their parenting as a model for others. LLLI continues to focus on how the mother demonstrates her responsiveness to her baby, understanding of her baby’s cues, and attention to her baby’s needs.

Separation itself will not exclude a mother from applying for leadership. Leaders and Leader Accreditation Department (LAD) representatives are encouraged to focus on what the mother is doing to sustain breastfeeding her baby and their relationship. You will discuss how the potential Applicant demonstrates responsive mothering when she is with her baby.  LLLI values what she has done to maintain the mothering-through-breastfeeding experience. Please discuss how she understands this concept and how it is reflected in her mothering when she and baby are together.

How does this affect Leaders and LAD representatives?

 The new approach will allow Leaders and LAD to focus on the entire mothering through breastfeeding relationship. If the baby is still breastfeeding at least for one year, it indicates a strong mothering-through-breastfeeding relationship. A supporting Leader will be able to dialogue as she has always done in most cases and explore the full mother-baby relationship when talking with potential Leader Applicants, without any one particular aspect taking greater precedence. A LAD representative will continue to focus on the entire mother-baby relationship when dialoguing with potential Leader Applicants without one topic receiving more emphasis than another. Leaders and LAD representatives will continue to explore all the concepts and how the mother incorporates them into her own life.

How do we know how the mother and baby interact in the case of isolated potential Applicants for leadership?

The Board encourages Leaders and LAD representatives to use online communication to know a potential Applicant as well as possible. It is common for the LAD to ask an isolated potential Applicant to write her personal history before her application starts. In this way, the mother and the LAD can get to know each other so that the corresponding LAD representative becomes confident enough to write the Leader Recommendation form. In some cases, a Leader in another location may be assigned to have the same dialogue.

Further information

The Board is currently compiling supportive data which validate what LLL has been saying for 62 years. LLL knew the importance of our philosophy long before science began to validate our concepts with evidence-based research. Please refer to our article A More Encompassing Way to Look at Mothering-through-Breastfeeding” which includes numerous relevant references, listed at the end.

Appendix 17: Concept Policy Statements from LLLI Policies and Standing Rules Notebook (LLLI PSR)
Appendix 18: Applying For Leadership from LLLI Policies and Standing Rules Notebook (LLLI PSR)

Questions and Answers Regarding Revisions to Appendices 17 and 18:
Questions & Answers To Expand Your Understanding Of The Board Decision Regarding Revisions To Appendices 17 And 18 

You may also want to contact your local LAD representatives, your Area or DCE Council or the LLLI Board. Contact the Board at