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?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

And this is news?

I love my husband. Not only did he take me out for a wonderful birthday dinner last night at the fabulous Cheescake Factory (can you say Avacado Egrolls, friends?) and shower me with gifts (he really went overboard) but today he sends me this article: Breastfeeding Associated with Increase in Intelligence in today's news.

And then he says, "And this is NEWS?!?!?!?"

Then I think of my sisters and even more so, my "sistahs" whose partners/boyfriends/husbands are not supportive of breastfeeding because they have to share (Those are my boobies!), it might make her boobs sag, or they just don't understand what the big deal is with breastfeeding.

And by the way, breastfed babies don't have increased intelligence. They have NORMAL intelligence. Formula fed babies, unfortunately are at increased risk of lowered intelligence. Think of it as an investment in your child's ability to get college scholarships!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Breastfeeding Celebrity Mom

Meet Iyari Limon - actress AND new mom.

She talks about her birth experience, breastfeeding, relationships and enjoying your baby on Celebrity Baby Blog. See the interview and very cute pictures of her and her family here.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Today is IBCLC day - a day to celebrate the more than 16,000 International Board Certified Lactation Consultants in 70 countries worldwide. They are mothers, grandmothers, nurses, doctors, current and retired La Leche League Leaders, public health professionals, women AND men and most importantly individuals who understand and value the importance of breastmilk and breastfeeding.

Today, I want to say THANK YOU to each of you who have studied, worked with mothers, fathers and babies and have taken and passed the IBLCE exam and continued to get education in order to serve the families in your community. You work as a detective - putting together the puzzles of lactation challenges and devising plans to get reluctant babies back to the breast all the way to helping a mother with a medical challenge balance breastfeeding and medical treatments. You work LONG hours and are not paid what you are worth. Most of you pay for your own training, seek out your own mentors and often work in challenging or hostile environments.

THANK YOU for your dedication, your hard work, your respect of the mother-baby dyad. THANK YOU for not giving up, for supporting, for listening and for being a part of the healthcare team.

THANK YOU for being there and for answering the call to be a servant and a guide! For all your work and dedication - I say THANKS!!

God Bless the Lactation Consultants! Hip Hip Hooray! It's IBCLC DAY!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Slurp N Burp - The Blog!

While at the La Leche League International 50th Anniversary Conference this past summer I tried to visit the exhibit hall as much as possible. I didn't have nearly enough time to look at all the innovative products and ideas surrounding breastfeeding. My favorite part was meeting all these amazing mamas and papas who came up with breastfeeding related products to solve their own problems and help others.

One really creative, brilliant and innovative mama I met was Missy, inventor of the Slurp N Burp. I was so impressed I bought one for myself and several to sell.

Missy has started joined the world of blogging. And here's the exciting part - the blog is going to be interactive. She wants your stories, your thoughts, your experiences to pass on to the rest of the world. She will be sharing the thoughts of a different mama each day.

So, visit Share the Joys of Breastfeeding and Share your joys with the world!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Q: What do you do if someone tells you to nurse in a bathroom?

A: Contact FirstRight, a new advocacy group that "aspires to ensure freedom from discrimination for breastfeeding mothers and their children."

FirstRight says they work collaboratively with other organizations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding as the cultural norm.

So, if you need help latching your baby on or dealing with sore nipples call La Leche League. If someone tries to kick you out of Applebees for breastfeeding, call FirstRight.

The FirstRight website links to their committees - a discrimination task force, Education committee and legislative committee. There are also links to their advisory counsel (each member is pictured breastfeeding their child(ren) and a form where you can report breastfeeding discrimination. However, they are not lawyers. My guess is they will help and support you are if planning a nurse-in or trying to write or encourage legislation to protect or promote breastfeeding in your state.

Good to see mamas coming together to make a difference in the world!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Can we talk about Target?

Confession time....I have the grand opening date of the new Super Target written in my planner...March 9th (in case you were wondering). Okay, true confession, I have it memorized and I look longingly at the freshly built building each day as I drive to pick up the children from school. It is a beautiful sight.

So, yes, I do like Target. Is it perfect? No. They advertise Formula, break the WHO Code like every other American store, but I think, I really think, they must have buyers who are more breastfeeding friendly or savy. According to this Lactivist post from 2006, they support breastfeeding in their stores.

I have been meaning to write about Target since my visit a few weeks ago where I saw these products for the first time:

1. Hotslings: Target has been carrying Hotslings pouch slings online for some time and even in selected stores. When they first started carrying them, they were only going to be in two Nashville stores, neither of which were near me. Since corporate stores often try a product in a few stores before expanding them to all or most stores I wondered if they would sell enough to expand. Well, low and behold, there were 3 Hotslings on a hook in the Franklin Target! I couldn't believe it. Finally a decent sling (pouch) that could be bought in a normal store, not a boutique, specialty store, hospital lactation boutique etc. I have so many parents ask where to buy a sling...so glad I can finally point those wanting a pouch to their local Target store.

I know slings and babywearing is not directly connected to breastfeeding but as we say in La Leche League..."many mothers find" that babywearing helps stimulate milk supply, makes breastfeeding easier because the baby is right there and can nurse hands free and it makes for a happier baby".

Target also now carries Peanut Shell pouch and wrap slings online and a variety of other baby carriers. Maybe Target will be a part of the babywearing revolution helping to normalize parent-child togetherness in our culture!

2.Bebe au Lait/ Hooter Hiders nursing covers: Now, while I wouldn't personally use them, (I prefer the Slurp N Burp which I didn't even use much b/c I don't plan far enough ahead to pack it or take it out :)) I am glad that Target (a normal, non-boutiqey store) is carrying a fashionable nursing covers. Until now, the only nursing covers you could find at Target or Walmart were these aweful hospital gown-esque covers from The First Years or something. I wouldn't even want one as a gift. For moms who are avid about covering about nursing, I am glad they have a cute fashionable option they can grab at the local Target. There was quite a large selection on the end of an isle too. When I saw it, I thought, this is good and bad. Good that moms will say - hey oh yeah, I will be breastfeeding after I have this baby. What about nursing in public. Maybe instead of pumping and bottlefeeding in public, more will register for or buy the Bebe au Lait cover. On the other hand, will it send the message that you need to be covered to breastfeed?

3. My third find at Target had nothing to do with breastfeeding really, but this item has been popular in the alterna-mom sphere for a while as well as in the celeb world. A large percentage of cloth diapering moms also breastfeed, so I have run across this product and while I have never used them, I do think they are adorable. They are Baby Legs - a baby leg warmer of sorts that you can put on your baby when they are only wearing a diaper. They are super cute and make diaper changing or infant potty training/elimination communication easier. Maybe all that is going mainstream too.

Go check out your local Target and see what new items they have. And buy a new mama in your life a sling!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Breastmilk: Baby's 2nd placenta

So, I am the last breastfeeding blogger to cover the news out on Monday that breastmilk contains stem cells . I am very excited about this discovery for several reasons.

1. We can always make more milk. Just think, your baby comes down with a cancer that is cured with stem cells or has sickle cell anemia and all you have to do is pump a few ounces, send it to a lab and get the cure (I am sure it won't be that easy, I'm not a scientist), well, maybe it's more complicated than that but it could mean a renewable source of stem cells for various treatments to diseases.

2.It could end the whole debate/issue with embryonic stem cells. Why use an embryo if you don't have too?

3. It shows just another way that breastmilk is a living, changing, vital fluid. Not just water or a formula-like substance.

The statement that really caught my eye was what Dr. Cregan had to say about how breastmilk programs the baby's cells and continues the work that the placenta began.

The article from Science Alert says:

He believes that it not only meets all the nutritional needs of a growing infant but contains key markers that guide his or her development into adulthood.

“We already know how breast milk provides for the baby’s nutritional needs, but we are only just beginning to understand that it probably performs many other functions,” says Dr Cregan, a molecular biologist at The University of Western Australia.

He says that, in essence, a new mother’s mammary glands take over from the placenta to provide the development guidance to ensure a baby’s genetic destiny is fulfilled.

Breastmilk provides developmental guidance and genetic programing into adulthood.

That's one to add to the reasons to breastfeed list!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Blogging opportunity for all you mamas out there!

Jennifer James of the Black Breastfeeding Blog and The Mom Bloggers Club is looking for fabulous mama writers to share their experiences with the rest of us! See the information below and contact Jennifer for more information.

The Mom Bloggers Club has partnered with Hybrid Mom (http://www.hybridmom.com) to provide mom bloggers with a great opportunity to be published!

Hybrid Mom, a site focusing on the "real world" of a new generation of moms, will be re-launching soon and would love to publish your work.

Interested? Please email me at jenniferj@hybridmom.com for writer's guidelines. Act fast, the deadline for early submissions is Friday, February 15, 2008.

We'd love to see your work on HybridMom.com.

Visit Mom Bloggers Club at: http://www.mombloggersclub.com

Good luck!