A fascinating new book about breastfeeding support has been launched in New Zealand.
Latching On: 50 years of breastfeeding support – La Leche League in New Zealand 1964-2014 tells how, as breastfeeding rates plunged during the 1960s, a group of mothers began a quiet revolution that was to change the way New Zealand babies were fed.
Following the lead of an American voluntary organisation, the women set up a remarkable mother-to-mother support group, which met for the first time on 25 April 1964 in the Auckland suburb of Mt Albert. La Leche League had officially arrived in New Zealand.
Latching On is a comprehensive account of what followed over the next 50 years as La Leche League groups sprang up across the country. The impact of the organisation’s work was far reaching; not only did New Zealand’s breastfeeding rates soar but, in making breastfeeding a more public and, at times, controversial issue, the organisation drew attention to the need to support and protect a woman’s right to breastfeed.
Written by freelance public historian Louise Shaw, this is much more than a ‘who said what, where and when’ account of the country’s leading breastfeeding support organisation; it is a valuable insight into the history of breastfeeding in New Zealand and the societal context La Leche League grew up in.
Latching On is available through La Leche League’s online shop LLLNZshop.org.nz