La Leche League Leaders

La Leche League Leaders
La Leche League Leaders

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Get to Know Your Local Leaders - Carissa

My name is Carissa and I've been a leader for almost 3 years. I have three boys aged five, three, and four months. I have been nursing non-stop for five years, that's through two pregnancies! My first experience with La Leche League came from reading an older Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. As a newly pregnant woman many people gave me their old books to read, including some that were not very baby friendly or peaceful for that matter. I am really grateful for reading the Womanly Art while pregnant with my first and then attending my first couple of meetings before the birth. It made all the difference in my mothering path.

I live in Mt. Pleasant with my husband who is originally from South Africa. I am originally from Texas, but have lived in South Carolina since 1997. Most of those years are in the Charleston area, except for a couple of years in Columbia. In my free time I like to do yoga, run, knit, sew, and various DIY projects. We are just starting to home-school our oldest this year and are looking forward to the journey that will bring.

I am passionate about natural childbirth. My first was born at Charleston Birth Place and my other two sons were born at home with a home-birth midwife. It is a La Leche League belief that alert and active participation by the mother in childbirth is helpful in getting breastfeeding off to a good start. What led me to seek an out of hospital birth was a feeling that I could not birth there. I happened to search for a birth center and to my amazement one was opening soon. If you want to read more about LLL philosophy go here.

Some of the breastfeeding issues I have personal experience with are thrush, food protein intolerance/elimination diets, reflux, and tongue and lip ties. I've had thrush twice with my third baby and was thankful for gentian violet. Both my second and third babies have been unable to tolerate gluten, dairy, and soy. My second also had a few other foods including chocolate that were not happy foods. My third baby was the tongue and lip tied one, who we had revised with laser. Both my second and third babies were very fussy as newborns and have/had reflux, one big life saver is baby-wearing. Without baby-wearing my life would be so much harder, and it is the only way I can keep up with my older boys. The reflux we treated naturally through diet changes for me, homeopathic means, and probiotics.

Some of my favorite things about La Leche League are meeting other moms going through the same things and being able to support and encourage each other through the ups and down times. I also love how La Leche League was started by a group of moms who wanted to help others with breastfeeding and that has continued through the years, generating tons of great research. I love attending meetings because it's like getting a recharge to your mothering battery.

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