Meet Your La Leche League Leaders

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I would like for you to get to know our local La Leche League leaders! These amazing ladies have helped countless women have a better breastfeeding relationship with their babies, overcome challenges and grow as mothers. Meet the women who support breastfeeding moms at every stage of their journey and be sure to visit them at the Suncoast LLL Facebook page and Suncoast LLL website:

JULIA 

I’m Julia Griffith and I’ve been a La Leche League Leader for 29 years. My baby boy just got married this year! My husband and I retired and moved to Florida seven years ago. We spend nine months at our home in Osprey and 3 months on our boat up in Michigan on Lake Erie but you can always reach me. My home phone is forwarded (941-918-1767) and my e-mail is juliagriffith@msn.com. I love to be there for moms because I remember the first time I called in tears with a common problem – engorgement. The Leader told me to take a hot shower and hand express before nursing to soften up the breast so my son could latch on. Still good advice today.

Here’s another tip. The research tells us that exclusively breastfed babies take in an average of 25 oz (750 mL) per day between the ages of 1 month and 6 months. Different babies take in different amounts of milk; a typical range of milk intakes is 19-30 oz per day (570-900 mL per day). Isn’t it interesting that the amount of milk baby needs doesn’t change during this time, except for a few days during a growth spurt! Breastfed babies typically nurse 8 – 12 times a day so the amount at any one feeding is small. If you need to leave your baby with dad or other caretaker you can divide 25 ounces by the number of feedings your baby has each day and it will give you a ballpark figure to pump for the sitter.

You can support LLL by coming to our meetings and referring your friends. Meetings are free! Our informal Cafe La Leche Meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 on the first Monday of the month at Starbucks at Fruitville and Honore is now open to dads. Our 2nd Thursday meeting at 10 am at Rosemary Birthing Center is just for women. If you keep coming to meetings you will want to become a member. You can ask any Leader about that and we have a low cost $25 membership. Another way to support our local La Leche League group is with iGive! Shop online at over 680 brand name stores, and a portion of each purchase is donated to LLL of Sarasota! Or, search using iGive. $0.02 donated for every search!! The proceeds will help moms of the future to breastfeed successfully! The money helps with our publicity efforts, books for the library, information sheets for moms in difficulty and Leader education. Go to this URL to get started: www.iGive.com/LLLsarasota

LAURA KATI

I’m Laura Kati Serbin, I go by both Laura and Kati, so please don’t worry about what you call me. This fall I am celebrating 10 years as an accredited La Leche League leader. I am mama to 3 wonderful children aged 13-7. I was blessed with a wonderfully supportive family so I didn’t find LLL until I was pregnant with my second child and faced with tandem nursing.

I love being a La Leche League leader. My favorite part is knowing that I’m helping. I love when a mom comes to a meeting after calling with a problem and things are better. I love watching the babies in our group grow from tiny newborns to chunky breastfed toddlers. I love knowing that I was able to help a mom enjoy her breastfeeding relationship. I love watching the friendships in our group flourish and grow beyond the nursing years.

One of my favorite aspects of leading meetings is when expectant mothers come. I encourage all pregnant moms to attend as many LLL meetings as possible. I really feel like you can’t be too prepared. After you give birth there are so many things going on and our meetings give mom the tools to meet breastfeeding head on.

Joyfully,
Kati

TANYA

Hello, my name is Tanya, I am a mother of 3 children and I consider myself very lucky to have learned about La Leche League before my first baby was born. I have received a lot of conflicting advice from family, friends, doctors, books and information from La Leche League was what really resonated with me and it just made sense. I am truly honored to return the favor and be able to share information and support with other mothers. Mother to mother support is what La Leche League is all about and really the best way you can both benefit yourself and support your local group is by coming to the meetings. You get to meet new friends, get great breastfeeding info from other mothers – real people who’ve been there and know what you are going through. Experienced mothers are also encouraged to come and support those who are just starting out on their parenting journey. There is also a La Leche Leage conference coming up in fall – make it a small family vacation and come on out! There is something to do and learn for everyone. Hope to see you there and at the next meeting! 🙂

***Save the Date*** Feel the LLLove
31st Annual Breastfeeding and Parenting Conference
Presented by  LLL of Florida & Caribbean Islands
October 20 & 21, 2012 (1- & 2-day options available)
at Royal Plaza Hotel ~ Downtown Disney, Orlando, FL Royal Plaza Hotel
For reservations call 1-800-248-7890 and mention La Leche League
or visit Royal Plaza reservations
The LLL rate of $109/night includes free parking and internet.

For updates about the conference like this FB page: https://www.facebook.com/FLCIConference

SARAH

My name is Sarah Emprimo-Schwartz, and I am the La Leche League leader who covers the south county – Venice, Englewood, and North Port.  I’m a mother of two gorgeous girls who teach me daily how to be a more involved and aware parent.  My favorite thing about being involved in La Leche League is being able to encourage and support the mother-baby dyad.  There really is no better feeling than looking around at a meeting and seeing all the lives that are enriched through the breastfeeding relationship.

I would encourage all pregnant mothers to start attending La Leche League meetings prior to giving birth.  There is nothing like being informed and educated about the nursing process before you being, and it’s important to have a supportive community to encourage you on your journey.

JESSICA

I’m Jessica, mother of 3 awesome kids ages 9, 7, and 2. (Here’s a picture of my 2-year-old demonstrating a perfect football hold!) I’m a wife and mother above all else, but I’m also a part-time photographer and an accredited La Leche League Leader. During downtime I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, creative projects, going to the beach, and traveling. My struggles with breastfeeding as a new mother led me to LLL, and I learned so much more than just the technical aspects of nursing through my contacts there – the mother to mother support changed the way that I viewed myself as a mother, and I began to look at my children through new eyes as I learned more and more. I found so much benefit in this type of support that I chose to give it back and help other moms on their journey through nursing and mothering.

I can be reached at 941-807-6040 or jessica@sneeked.com.

DEBBIE

I am Debbie Eldridge – I have been a La Leche League Leader for 14 years. I am a second generation Leader… My Mother was also a La Leche League Leader, and I have fond memories of LLL from my childhood. My dear son, Blake, is 16 and recently got his driver’s license.  I can’t believe he is going to be a Junior this year at Riverview!

One of my favorite things about being a Leader is sharing information with mothers and empowering them with the knowledge to do what is best for their families. I also enjoy meeting so many wonderful, kind, nurturing, amazing mothers and watching their sweet babies grow.
Something I would recommend for expectant mothers, is to attend as many LLL meetings as possible before delivery and to read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. There is SO much information out there on breastfeeding, and not all of it is correct or current. It is nice to know that La Leche League offers mothers both current and correct breastfeeding information, as well as priceless mother-to-mother support.
One of the most common questions that mothers have is, “Am I making enough milk for my baby?” Since breasts don’t have ounce marker lines, many mothers are concerned about how to tell if their baby is getting enough. At La Leche League meetings mothers learn about breastmilk production and what to look for to know that their baby is getting enough.  Breastmilk is produced based on supply and demand – the more the breasts are stimulated (through nursing or pumping), the more milk will be made. And what goes in must come out…..
Typically during the first few days, while the baby is receiving mother’s thick, immunity-boosting colostrum, he will wet only one or two diapers per day.
Once mother’s milk comes in, usually on the third or fourth day, the baby should begin to have 6-8 wet cloth diapers (5-6 wet disposable diapers) per day. (An easy way to feel the weight of a wet disposable diaper is to pour 2-4 tablespoons of water in a dry diaper.)
In addition, most young babies will have at least two to five bowel movements every 24 hours for the first several months, although some babies will switch to less frequent but large bowel movements at about 6 weeks.
These are additional important signs that indicate your baby is receiving enough milk:
  • The baby nurses frequently averaging at least 8-12 feedings per 24-hour period.
  • The baby is allowed to determine the length of the feeding, which may be 10 to 20 minutes per breast or longer.
  • Baby’s swallowing sounds are audible as he is breastfeeding.
  • The baby should gain at least 4-7 ounces per week after the fourth day of life.
  • The baby will be alert and active, appear healthy, have good color, firm skin, and will be growing in length and head circumference.
La Leche League has been such an incredible resource to mothers for 56 years. There are many ways to support LLL to ensure that it is around for future mothers and their babies. You can become a LLL member, shop/ search online through iGive (http://www.iGive.com/LLLsarasota), print and redeem coupons through Common Kindness-search La Leche League under zip code 34241 (http://www.commonkindness.com/org/1258599), or attend a LLL conference.

 

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