La Leche League of Massachusetts/Rhode Island/Vermont is part of La Leche League International, an international, nonprofit, nonsectarian organization dedicated to providing support, encouragement, information, and education to those who choose to breastfeed.
The La Leche League International Mission
Our mission is to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.
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.
- Human milk is the natural food for babies, uniquely meeting their changing needs.
- 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 LLLI 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.
Paula Manley Area Coordinator of Leaders
Paula Manley serves as the Area Coordinator of Leaders for LLL of MA/RI/VT. In this role, she is responsible for leading the administrative Area Team that oversees a regional network of over 140 breastfeeding counselors and 30 support groups in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Paula has been involved in La Leche League for several years, first as a member and then as an accredited LLL Leader. As a new mother, the encouragement and support she received from the Leaders and other mothers in her local Group inspired Paula to become a Leader. Prior to her role as ACL she spent three years as Area Conference Coordinator.
She lives in Kingston, MA with her husband and daughter.
Kim Bradlee Area Database Administrator and Area Secretary
As the Area Data Administrator / Area Secretary for LLL of MA/RI/VT, Kim Bradlee keeps the database of Leaders up-to-date. This information is then used for the Area Directory, Sectional Directories, Yahoo groups, and conference mailings. She has been a Leader for more than 20 years, has three adult children, and lives in Bradford MA.
Yvonne Maalouf Area Professional Liaison
Yvonne Maalouf serves as the Area Professional Liaison (APL) for Leaders in the Area. In this capacity she assists Group Leaders with the additional resources and support for complex breastfeeding issues that often arise from challenging medical and legal concerns. Yvonne was introduced to La Leche League through reading The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding more than 15 years ago. The support and encouragement she received while attending local meetings is what inspired her to become an accredited Leader and actively lead meetings. Yvonne lives with her husband, daughter, and son in Marshfield, MA.
Kathy Drury Interim Communication Skills Instructor Coordinator
Kathy Drury serves as the Communications Skills Instructor (CSI) for LLL of MA/RI/VT. She presents workshops where participants practice skills for effective inter-personal communication. She has led LLL meetings in the Greater Nashua, NH region since 1993, and loves watching mothers and babies grow together. Kathy has two children, and lives with her husband in Nashua, NH.
Darlene Utzinger Coordinator of Leader Accreditation
Darlene is the Coordinator of Leader Accreditation (CLA) for LLL of MA/RI/VT. She works with some of the dearest members of La Leche League, Leader Applicants. Along with the Leaders who sponsor them, Darlene works to prepare Leader Applicants for one of the richest and most generous endeavors a mother can have, helping other mothers and babies to breastfeed. As a mother and a Leader, Darlene has been involved with La Leche League for periods of time since the 1970s. She has worked with Leader Applicants from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, The Netherlands, Belgium, Korea, and Abu Dhabi.
Darlene is blessed to be the mother of five grown children and fourteen beautiful grandchildren. La Leche League has been a guiding light for her family and her heart is permanently entwined with its extraordinary and precious people.
Paula Manley, Acting Area Conference Coordinator
Amy Shaw Area Finance Coordinator
Amy Shaw serves as Area Finance Coordinator. She was accredited as a Leader in 1982. Before becoming AFC Amy worked in Leader Accreditation for 21 years, served as Director for LLL Alliance for 10 years, served on LLL USA Council and Interim Council, serving on the LLL Breastfeeding Helpline-US Advisory Council, was a member of the LLLI Global Leaders’ Committee. Amy is the mother of three grown sons, all married, and currently has four grandchildren.
Area Publications Coordinator
We currently have an opening on the Area Team for a motivated individual to serve as Area Publications Coordinator (APC). The APC is the head of the Publications Department and oversees the production of the Area Leader Letter Yankee WeLLLspring, which is now in a blog format and available to Area Leaders on our website. Leaders who would like to find out more about what is involved should contact the ACL.