Mother’s milk: DePaul’s Archives revisits the story of La Leche League
October 27, 2011
DePaul’s Special Collections and Archives will host an opening reception for the exhibit “Mother’s Milk: The Story of La Leche League” on Nov. 3 from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
La Leche League (LLL) was formed in 1956 in Franklin Park by a group of seven mothers to provide breastfeeding help and support to those who wanted it. Breastfeeding was not encouraged by the medical establishment at the time and not practiced widely enough for women who wanted to breastfeed to have practical support.
Mary White and Marian Tompson realized that there was a need for information and advice and began to hold meetings with a group of five friends. The founding mothers of LLL were Mary Ann Cahill, Edwina Froehlich, Mary Ann Kerwin, Viola Lennon, Tompson, Betty Wagner and White.
LLL quickly developed to become a national and then an international organization. It now has a presence in more than 60 countries. The Special Collections and Archives exhibit focuses on the way that LLL reached out to women across the world though members meetings, conferences and publications.
Notable items in the collection include photos and memorabilia from the attendance of Princess Grace of Monaco at LLL’s 1971 Chicago conference and examples of LLL’s many publications, including its best-known book “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding,” originally published in 1958 and now in its eighth edition. The archives of LLL are newly available for research in DePaul’s Special Collections and Archives Department.
'Founding mothers' will be in attendance
Attending the reception will be three of the founding mothers of LLL, Marian Tompson, Mary Ann Cahill, and Mary Ann Kerwin, members of the LLL Board of Directors and Jule Ward, author of the book “La Leche League: At the Crossroads of Medicine, Feminism, and Religion.” The exhibit will run through December 2011.
For more information about the exhibit or reception, please call 5-7864 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Special Collections and Archives Department is in Room 314 of the Richardson Library.