Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Please Vote AGAIN! - No presidential controversy here!

9 Months & Beyond, LLC needs YOUR VOTE!!
I have always been passionate about voting but this time it's personal!

You can vote here: 9 Months & Beyond on Ideablob

9 Months & Beyond, LLC, my company is up for the $10,000 prize this month at Ideablob.com! And voting for us is how we win the money. Voting for 9 Months & Beyond is so much easier than voting for president. No long lines, no registration cards or IDs, no complicated voting machines or hanging chads. Just a simple online registration (and no spam in my experience) and one click to vote.

All, I can do is to ask you to vote. If you blog or twitter, please let other people know! I am very far behind right now, but only in 4th place. I have until October 31st to accumulate votes. Please, please, please, vote!

My idea is inspired by places like this all over the United States:

Mommy Matters
Natural Resources
Happy Bambino
Isis Maternity

and others....

But no one has done it in Nashville or surrounding cities in the south...

So, please, vote, please pass the word....I would really appreciate it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

October is Attachment Parenting Month

October Attachment Parenting Month

What: Attachment Parenting International (API), along with the Sears family and other prominent AP supporters, have declared October to be Attachment Parenting (AP) Month.

The AP Month vision is to create one strong voice for AP through activities, events and information and to celebrate what we believe in — the value of “Giving Our Children Presence” for our families and for our communities.

Who: All parents, AP partners and like minds around the world are invited and encouraged to join with us in “Giving Our Children Presence” during the first annual Attachment Parenting Month.

Why: “Giving Our Children Presence” is the theme for AP Month 2008 and an antidote to the upcoming holidays so often filled with the giving of material presents. During AP Month, parents are challenged to incorporate more family time into each day and AP Month partners will offer resources to support and sustain these efforts all year round.

Key AP Month Goals include unifying the AP voice to:
1. Offer parents and adults support and confidence in “Giving Our Children Presence” to last a lifetime
2. Promote awareness of AP
3. Educate about API, other AP Month sponsors and their services
4. Provide a source of funds to support the API mission

Resources: The AP Month Central website is the gateway to information about AP Month. It includes a calendar of activities in which to participate and the AP Month Toolkit as resource for you to use to plan and promoting your own events and activities for October.

API's Eight Principles of Parenting:

* Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting
* Feed with Love and Respect
* Respond with Sensitivity
* Use Nurturing Touch
* Engage in Nighttime Parenting
* Provide Consistent and Loving Care
* Practice Positive Discipline
* Strive for Balance in Your Personal and Family Life

See http://www.attachmentparenting.org/ for local events and more information.

Monday, September 22, 2008

September is National Infant Mortality Month

A while back I found Jennie Joseph on the internet. Immediately, I thought, "OOhhh, that's someone I would like to meet.". The next time I make it to Florida, I hope to visit one of her centers and perhaps take her to lunch and just soak in her wisdom for a while.

Anyway, here is her post on her website about National Infant Mortality Month. Tennessee, where I live seriously must address this issue. Memphis has a very high infant mortality rate - a baby dies every 43 minutes.

Why does this relate to Mochamilk? One, this is a huge issue in the African-American community that we must address. Two, doulas and breastfeeding supporters can directly affect infant mortality rates. A woman supported with a network of information, caregivers and caring friends, family and professionals is less likely to deliver preterm AND more likely to breastfeed. Those are real things that bring down infant mortality.

Take some time and look around Jennie Joseph's site and learn about what she is doing. It is inspiring to all.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pain Relief that only mom can give!

It has become standard practice for several of the hospitals in our area (Nashville) to give sugar-water to newborns during heel sticks and vaccinations immediately after birth. The most disturbing part to me, is that they do not often ask parent's permission. My theory is because it is given with a syringe and not a nipple, they think, "it won't affect breastfeeding". How about the permeable immature gut....can you say blood sugar spike, friends? Diabetes later in life? No studies done on long term effect or even short term, but hey, it's just a little sugar water, right?

Anyway, I am happy to report that a study just came out showing that breastfeeding DURING a procedure like a heel stick is MORE effective than sugar water for easing infant pain.

See the Medline article here: Nursing beats Sugar water for easing infant pain.

I would love to hear comments from mothers who have offered to (and been told they can't or shouldn't) and those who have nursed infants through medical procedures.
Please feel free to leave a comment.

Also, please still vote for us at Ideablob.com . We could win $10,000 to open our own free-standing center. Please vote today for 9 Months & Beyond Pregnancy and Parenting Center.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I know it's been a long time....but I can explain


My business, 9 Months & Beyond, LLC which offers breastfeeding and childbirth support in the non-cyber world, is growing like crazy! We have moved into a pediatric office in a great part of town. We have converted an exam room at Maryland Farms Pediatrics into a small office for Lactation Consultations and doula interviews. We also use the lobby for Hypnobabies Childbirth classes and the conference room for our already popular Weigh To Go, Baby! Weigh-ins and Breastfeeding support group. It is going so well and we are helping so many moms and really having a great time.

So, you think I would be happy, right? Well, I want to take it even bigger! I want a free-standing (or in a strip mall) center where we can offer classes, support groups, lactation consultations, prenatal and mama-baby exercise, yoga, dance, art, etc. We would have a small amount of retail for hard to find objects like slings, positive parenting books, mama-baby exercise videos etc). I am working on firming up the business plan and possibly looking for an investor.

BUT, here's where you can help. Go to Ideablob.com and vote for 9 Months & Beyond! We could win $10,000 which would help us move into a larger location, buy furniture, library items, and have leverage with an investor.

My Idea

Please vote for us. Please blog about it so others will vote for us.
If you have one of these centers, please let me call you or email you and ask questions because I need a mentor.

For an idea of what my vision looks like see these places: Happy Bambino, Natural Resources, Tulip Grove, Day One and Zenana Spa.

Of course, mine will be different, because it will meet the needs of families in Middle Tennessee!

Vote for us here:

Thanks for reading this blog (even though I haven't kept it up) and thanks for all your support!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fireworks and Free stuff

Here's a Contest I would LOVE one of my readers to win:
Win the Essential Babywearing Stash from Along for the Ride (one Beco Butterfly, one Hotsling baby pouch, one BabyHawk Mei Tai, one Zolowear Ring Sling, and one Gypsy Mama Wrap)

We all know babywearing facilitates easier, more frequent breastfeeding...so go enter already. And tell em where you heard about it!

Oh, And Happy 4th of July! Go nurse your baby at a Fireworks show!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Interesting comments on breastfeeding, pumping and Milk banks from Rebecca Walker (Daughter of Alice Walker)

I am ashamed to say that I had no idea that Alice Walker had a daughter, let alone a grown daughter that is a writer. Ironically, I saw Alice Walker on TV the other day (yes I watch Book TV) and was struck again by how beautiful and interesting Alice Walker is. It also realized how I desperately need to learn to enjoy fiction again. All I read are breastfeeding textbooks and birth/breastfeeding/baby care books and articles. My brain needs a vacation!

So, Kimberly Traylor, the brilliant director of The Village in Texas, passed along this article by Rebecca Walker. She recently had a child and went on to breastfeed for 3 months before quitting due to work and antidepressants. You can read her full explanation and thoughts on pumping, her emotional response to weaning early and her revelations on the milk banks.

While I think it is great that 1) she breastfed at all, 2) she is even discussing breastfeeding and breastmilk and milk banks in the "black community" and 3) that women commenting on her site are speaking about breastfeeding positively, I can't help be a little saddened by her comments. I understand she has to work, has to eat, has to provide, but I just wished we could live in a "perfect world". A world with more support, guidance and acceptance of the postpartum feelings of anxiety, depression and disappointment that so many of us feel. I wish there was a better understanding of the "safer" mood medications so that mothers know how much is getting to their babies. I completely support her decision to limit her baby's exposure to any drug, but did she truly weigh it against the chemicals in formula and the drugs and chemicals often found in municipal water supplies, the water which would have been mixed with the formula to make her baby's food? Did she speak to a health professional (like an IBCLC) who could help her wade through all of those factors before removing the protective bubble of breastmilk for her baby? Probably not. We don't view formula as really that much different from breastmilk when it comes down to it.

As far as work as a reason for stopping, that is even more distressing. If a woman who is basically running her own schedule of speaking and writing can not able to pump...we live in a very sad society. I rent hospital grade breastpumps. I have had clients who are public speakers take pumps all over the country. They pump on planes, in cars, in closets, in offices, in dressing rooms. They send milk home to their babies, carry it on planes or tearfully dump it out in front of TSA officers who don't even understand their own regulations. There are mothers who make it work. Period. They are not willing to do less for their infant because of the demands of their jobs. Speakers, doctors, singers, saleswomen, teachers, nurses, etc. who make sacrifices because they are willing to step out on a limb and insist that their baby be taken into account as part of their "package". Again, I think had she had the support of a healthcare provider who worked with her to keep breastmilk as a part of her baby's life, perhaps things would have worked out differently.

I don't want to point fingers as part of the "mommy wars". She did the best with what she had. She now says she might have chosen the banked milk had she known then what she knows now. Maybe the answer is more IBCLCs, especially more African-American breastfeeding counselors, helpers and IBCLCs. She is a highly educated, probably affluent African-American woman though, surely she knew where and how to get assistance. Surely she read all the books. But for some reason, still found her options limited.

So on one hand I say, "Hooray!" We are talking about breastfeeding, milk banks and how important this all is. On the other hand, will moms look at Rebecca Walker and think if she could only do 3 months, with the resources she has, how could I possibly do more? Let's just hope this opens up conversation about breastfeeding, mothering, choices and more...just like any amount of breastmilk is good for a baby, any amount of discussion about these issues is great too. Right?