La Leche League Leaders

La Leche League Leaders
La Leche League Leaders

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Get to know your local leader - Monica

Each month, we'll feature one of your local Charleston leaders so you can get to know the LLLadies a little better.

Monica Pelletier
How many children do you have? 
Reid (3yrs) and Boyd (4 months)
How long have you been involved with LLL and what brought you to your first meeting? 
I went to my first meeting when Reid was around 5 months old. After attending many mom groups around town, I hadn't found anyone that I really clicked with. I went to a couple LLL meetings and met one awesome mom and we became fast friends (our little guys were just 3 weeks apart). Unfortunately  she moved to Florida just a few short months later. So I started attending LLL meetings again. Not only did I benefit breastfeeding support, but I also met a ton of other moms that shared in my parenting beliefs. 

I became a leader in the Fall of 2012.
What is your favorite philosophy concept and why?
"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."

I wouldn't know where I would be without my supportive husband. I don't know how many times he's been mad that I'm the only one that can nurse. But he has the touch to get Boyd to sleep (jiggle, jiggle, jiggle, shush, shush, shush) and is Reid's favorite person in the world--who else can tackle and race and roll around in the dirt as well as Daddy?!
What is one thing you have a great deal of experience or familiarity with?
Tongue Tie and Over Supply.  Reid had a tongue tie that we didn't catch until he was 15 months old.  I never had any pain associated with nursing and he was gaining fine so I never guessed. But he wasn't ever interested in solids. When my dental hygentist caught the tongue tie, we figured out that he wasn't eating because the tie was preventing him from moving food around his mouth correctly so he was gagging. 

I had oversupply with Reid but never complained because I thought having too much milk was a good thing. So I leaked. And leaked. And leaked!  At 9 months, I was still leaking and had overactive and painful let-down. I don't remember when it finally stopped but it went on way too long. 

With Boyd, I had oversupply and overactive let-down right away. But this time I had my LLLadies behind me and knew that this was a problem that could be fixed. A combination of a few strategies fixed me right up and turned my unhappy, gassy, diaper rash baby back to a happy boy.
What is your favorite meeting topic?
"Nutrition and weaning. Pregnant women enjoy this topic so they can optimize their unborn baby's health. Mothers learn how to start solids for their babies. Nutritious options for family meals are shared."

I have a master's degree in holistic nutrition, so I'm always up for talking about when, how and what to feed your little one. 
Favorite thing and least favorite thing about being a LLL Leader?
Favorite thing: being the connector to introduce moms at meetings that can hang out outside of LLL and become wonderful supporters for each other.
Least favorite thing: Not hearing back from moms after a meeting, email or helping call.  I always hope things are going well and will email moms to check back but not everyone gives us updates.
Favorite music, book, food, color, activity?
Music: Jimmy Buffet. Turn it up loud and it can wipe away any bad thoughts. 
Book: There are so many! Most unique: Ella Minnow Pea. Made me cry: Time Traveler's Wife. Made me think: The Story of B.
Food: Fish sandwich from BO's Fish Wagon in Key West. 
Color: Hmmm, toss up between lime green and Caribbean blue
Activity: I am a DIY freak. Refinishing furniture, cooking, baking, sewing, gardening, name it!

Past Jobs:
I always think it's so funny how once we become stay at home moms that we don't even ask each other what we did before.   And yet, I am so far removed from that person now that I guess it doesn't really match my mommy-ness anyway. Way back in the day, I used to be in marketing and public relations. My husband and I used to live in the Washington, DC area where I worked for a boating and fishing organization. I had a $5 million budget each year to spend on TV, radio and print ads and another $400,000 on public relations efforts. To say it was fun is an understatement! I got to travel the country with celebrities promoting fishing and boating. Yes, it was a dream job!  

But we wanted to have kids and be able to afford a single family home (DC is SO expensive!) so we headed south. And although I miss the jet-setting career, moving to Mount Pleasant has been the best decision ever. I had a couple marketing and PR jobs here and then was able to quit to be CEO of the kids.

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