La Leche League Leaders

La Leche League Leaders
La Leche League Leaders

Friday, May 31, 2013

Get to know your local leaders - Marlo

My name is Marlo, I have four children, Jacob who is 13, Estelle who is 10, Gavin who is 6 and Lilah who is 4.  I’ve been a LLL leader since March of 2004.  I started attending LLL meetings here in Mt. Pleasant in February of 2000, when I had my first baby.  I knew even before I was pregnant that I would breastfeed.  My mom spoke often of the help and support LLL provided to nursing mothers, and how women shouldn’t be afraid to reach out for support.  I attended my first meeting when my son Jacob was one month old in March of 2000.  There I felt validated, and supported and at the end of the meeting couldn’t wait for the next one.  I wished the meetings were weekly!  I met lots of like-minded moms there including my current co-leader, Elizabeth, with her first son who was 2 weeks younger than mine.   My family moved to Virginia in 2001 and Florida in 2003 and back to Mt. Pleasant in 2005.   Little did we know that Elizabeth and I would be leading meetings together 4 years later back in Mt. Pleasant.
I graduated from the University of Florida, with a commission in the US Navy.  I spent five years as an officer in the USN, stationed in Meridian and Pascagoula, Mississippi.  I am grateful for the job I had, but it wasn’t for me, and working in the military did not go with my desire to stay at home with my babies.  I married my husband Joe while I was in Meridian, but we held off on having children until I was out of the Navy.  Joe got a job here in Mt. Pleasant when I finished in the military and I got a part time job as a household manager for a family in Wild Dunes, whom I still work for one day a week now!  I enjoy running and doing Bikram yoga.  In high school I swam competitively.  My father was a Marine and my first two years of high school were spent in Gaeta, Italy, where I went to an American high school, but I learned how to speak Italian.  I even swam for an Italian swim team.
My favorite philosophy concept from LLL is “mothering through breastfeeding is the most natural and effective way of understanding and satisfying the needs of the baby”.  Like any new, first time mom, I had no idea what being a mother and taking care of a baby would be like.  I quickly found though, that breastfeeding was almost always what either one of us ever needed.  I kept all of my babies close to me in a sling through the second year.  As long as my babies had access to the breast and I had them close by or in a sling, we were both content.  I realized breast milk was not only food and nourishment for my children, but the act of breastfeeding was also a huge comfort for them, and a major relaxant for me!  I was amazed with each child how they grew from my milk alone, how they ceased crying and were content when nursing was offered, and how much they needed me and I needed them.
Having nursed three babies, I thought I knew it all…but when my fourth baby came a long, she taught me a thing or two!  Nursing Lilah was not as easy as it was with the others.  We took longer to get “know” each other and figure out how to nurse.  We had trouble with latch, but we were both persistent and with some help from LLL (yes even Leaders need help sometimes!), were able to overcome our initial difficulties.
My favorite meeting topic is adjusting to life with a new baby.  Those first six weeks, although idyllic, are often the most difficult for breastfeeding moms/babies.  The transition to being a family of 3, 4, 5…etc… doesn’t always go smoothly, and I enjoy offering tips to make things easier.  Each new baby brings a new family dynamic.  Even though I thought I knew what to expect with babies 2, 3, and 4, there were always unexpected challenges.  There are so many tips to offer new moms to make those first six weeks run a little smoother.  Moms need to be restful and in bed with baby, bonding, establishing breastfeeding and enjoying each other as much as possible in the beginning.  This isn’t always easy with a house to clean, laundry, meals to make and other little children around.  Believe me, I know!!!
I think the most frustrating question/statement I hear is “I just couldn’t make enough milk”.  Breastfeeding is about supply and demand.  The more you nurse the more you make.  There are extenuating circumstances, but normally it is as easy as feeding on demand, early and often in those early weeks, to get a good supply established.  Breastfeeding is a commitment you make to your baby and yourself for good health and bonding, and believe me, you will never regret it!




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