Author(s): Louise Shaw
During the 1960s, as breastfeeding rates plummeted, 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 documents the rapid growth of the organisation in a fascinating account of what followed over the next 50 years, making it a valuable insight into the history of breastfeeding in New Zealand and the societal context La Leche League grew up in.
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, so began the important role of advocacy to support and protect a woman's right to breastfeed.
Louise Shaw is a freelance public historian. In Latching On she has combined her interest in both educational & women's history. Shaw has also written In Our Hands: 100 Years of Physiotherapy at Otago 1913-2013.