Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Say Good-bye to Drab Hospital Gowns!

Giving birth is a really big deal! You plan and prepare for it for months; you might even have a detailed birth plan! Then the long-awaited day finally arrives. If you're having a hospital birth, you check in and change into...that HIDEOUS hospital gown! But you don't have to do that!!

Today's moms have some amazing options that are both stylish and comfortable. The first option is the Gownie by Baby Be Mine. This stylish cotton gown snaps down the back for easy access and also snaps right below each shoulder to allow access for exams and breastfeeding. They come in three sizes, S-M, L-XL, and XL-XXL.

We've had moms get baby's name or initials monogrammed on the front of their gownie. Mothers who have a C-Section find that the Gownie makes a very comfortable gown to wear during the recovery period.

Another terrific option for today's mother is the Birthing Gown by BG DesignWear for HealthCare. These heavenly soft gowns are designed to wrap around mother so that one size fits most moms. The back opens easily for epidural access if necessary. The velcro at the shoulders allows for incredible skin-to-skin contact and very easy breastfeeding.

This gown is so much more than just a birthing gown. It is a wonderful nursing gown. In fact, we've had moms purchase the Gownie for giving birth and the Birthing Gown to use at home after baby comes. It feels so good on, that you really won't want to take it off!

As you plan your birth don't forget to plan something very comfy to wear! You can even put your gown on your baby shower registry at A Nurturing Moment. That way your friends and family can get you something you'll enjoy for months to come!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas with the In-laws (or outlaws....)

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. I am blessed to have a great relationship with my in-laws, but having a lot of extended family at Christmas can be just a bit stressful. It can be especially difficult if you're breastfeeding and your mother-in-law thinks you should "just give that baby a bottle..."

Over the last few years, I've had more than one new mother crying in my office because of holiday stress compounded by in-laws who don't respect her parenting style. If this sounds like you, then get your hubby and sit down together for 3 minutes while you read and discuss the following tips for dealing with Christmas with the extended family.

  1. Boundaries are critically important. And Dad is the best one to set them, especially if his family is the one who's giving you a hard time. You don't want to hurt feelings, but it's very important to explain in unconditional terms that you are breastfeeding your baby. Any comments or behaviors that undermine this relationship will not be tolerated.
  2. Stress can cause problems with letdown, plugged ducts, and lead to a reduced supply. Therefore, do all you can to reduce stress during the holiday season.
  3. If you are a guest in someone's home, and they aren't comfortable with your breastfeeding, try as much as possible to plan your baby's feeds around mealtime and other important family moments. Maybe you can feed baby a little early before he gets very hungry. If not, then Dad needs to run interference while you slip off to nurse.
  4. If you're in your own home and your guests aren't comfortable with your breastfeeding, you have a couple of choices. You can either nurse discreetly with a cover, or Dad can play host while you excuse yourself to feed your baby. You need to do whichever is more comfortable for you. Remember Tip #1!
  5. If your mother or mother-in-law is causing your hurt, she might benefit from reading the blog Grandma Time. If she has specific questions or concerns about breastfeeding, this article might be helpful.
  6. Remember that YOU are the expert on your baby, not your mother-in-law or even your mother...even if she is a pediatric nurse! Follow your gut and kindly but firmly stick to your guns.
If you have tips that have worked for you, please leave a comment....your tips will help another mom! We wish you a very Merry Christmas full of Nurturing Moments with your family!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Walmart Removes Enfamil in Wake of Infant's Death

My heart is absolutely breaking for the parents of little Avery Cornett who died Sunday at just 10 days of age. No parent should ever have to bury a child, and to lose a precious baby right here at Christmas is just devastating.

I don't know any of the circumstances surrounding little Avery's death except what is readily available in the news. He died Sunday of a rare bacterial infection called  Cronobacter sakazakaii after being taken to the hospital by his parents for lethargy and an apparent stomach ache. This rare bacteria is an environmental contaminant which primarily affects newborn infants who have received infant formula.

For mothers who aren't producing sufficient breast milk or have physiological impediments to breastfeeding, infant formula can be a godsend. And I am a huge proponent of "no-guilt" mothering. There is enough pressure on mothers that I really don't think we should ever add anything to produce guilt.

However, there is a reason why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies receive only their mother's milk for the first six months of their life. Breast milk is biologically designed to coat the gut of a newborn and help protect it from harmful bacteria. It has a host of immunological properties that boost the baby's immune system and help keep him healthy. In fact, if a baby is unable to nurse at his mother's breast, they recommend that he be given expressed breast milk, preferably that of his own mother. But they recommend donor milk from a human milk bank as the second best option. Infant formula is a last resort.

According to the Lebanon Daily Record, the hometown newspaper in the Southern Missouri town where the family lives, little Avery had been fed Enfamil Newborn upon the recommendation of the hospital staff. The local Lebanon Walmart where the formula was purchased responded immediately by pulling the product from store shelves. The corporate offices also responded quickly. Walmart spokesperson Dianna Gee told the Record, "Out of an abundance of caution, we have removed the remaining product from that store's shelves and we are also notifying other stores across the country to remove product of the same lot number as well." 

According to the Associated Press article at USA Today, the lot number in question is  ZP1K7G.  Mead-Johnson, the maker of Enfamil does conduct rigorous testing of each batch of formula. Their records show that the lot in question had tested negative for Cronobacter. Nevertheless, the CDC and the FDA are continuing to investigate the situation. Gena Tertizzi of the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement, "At this point it has not been determined whether the illness is linked to the formula or an outside source."

We will continue following this story to see what happens with the CDC and FDA investigations. If you must use infant formula, be sure to wash your hands with soap and hot water before preparing it, and to prepare just enough for each feed. If you're worried that your baby just doesn't seem normal, trust your gut and get him to the doctor!  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Don't Know Nuthin' 'Bout Birthin' Babies

After assuring Gone With the Wind heroine Scarlett O'hara Butler that she would be able to help her give birth, when the moment finally came, Prissy admitted in a panic, "I don't know nuthin' 'bout birthin' babies, Miss Scarlett." I thought about that scene yesterday as I reflected on all the expectant mothers who pass through A Nurturing Moment. 

I have to admit that in recent years I have become quite the birth junkie. When I had my first baby 23 years ago, I  attended the prepared childbirth class offered by my hospital. One mother in our group of about 16 couples wanted a non-medicated birth. Quite frankly, I thought she was crazy! I wanted my epidural because I sure wasn't going to go through THAT with no medication to help me! My "prepared epidural" class gave me the basic information I needed, and I didn't have time to do much other reading because I spent all my evening hours grading AP English essays or coaching cheerleaders.

After several weeks of bedrest following a preterm labor scare, I was overjoyed when I went for a checkup at 38 weeks, and my doctor told me I was in labor. I didn't really know I was in labor, but he said I was, so I figured I must be! He told me to head on over to the adjoining hospital to have a baby. Once I was all checked in, he came in and broke my water, and I did start feeling some contractions. It wasn't too bad, and pretty soon they came in to tell me it was time for my epidural. IT HURT LIKE HECK!!!! But then my husband and I just played cards and watched TV until they said it was time to push, because I really couldn't feel much of anything. Once they told me I could push, I tried to, but since I couldn't feel any contractions, my pushing was pretty ineffective. After two and half hours of that, they finally used forceps to get her out. She had swallowed blood during the ordeal of pushing, so they whisked her off to the nursery, and I didn't even get to see her or nurse her for three hours.
When I got pregnant again, I decided that I would educate myself this time around. I wasn't ever going to go through something like that again. So I read the classic book Childbirth Without Fear by Dr. Grantly Dick-Read. I found a nurse midwife and planned the kind of birth I wanted. It was wonderful! I had my third and fourth babies the same way, and became a fairly outspoken proponent of a mother's right to have childbirth her way. I was never comfortable with a home birth; I preferred a hospital or birth center, but I encourage mothers to do their own research and make an educated decision about the birth they want.

So when mothers come into the store early in their pregnancy, I often talk to them about their birth wishes. I try to encourage moms to do some good reading early on. One great resource is The Birth Book by Dr. William and Martha Sears. This book explores all the options available to parents and helps them make an informed choice about the kind of birth they want. 

Another resource we have on hand is Prepared Childbirth The Family Way by Debbie Amis and Jeanne Green. This wonderful manual does a terrific job of helping a mother understand exactly what her body is doing during each stage of labor. It gives her exercises she can do throughout her pregnancy to help her body prepare for the work of labor.

It doesn't matter how busy you are with your job or how crazy your life is, if you're pregnant, you owe it to yourself and to your baby to make the time to learn a little something about birthin' babies! 

If you've already had a child or two, please leave a comment below about your birth experience and what made it good or bad. Your comments can help other mothers in the decisions they have to make!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Lord's First Supper

In this morning's sermon, my husband painted such a vivid word picture of Jesus' birth. He drew us back to Bethlehem where a very young woman, exhausted from the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem was experiencing the sharp pangs of labor. Her husband knew that this was no ordinary baby who was about to be born. He was still amazed at the words of the angel who had told him that Mary was carrying the Son of God.

As they searched for a place to stay, Joseph may have wondered why in the world God hadn't made things a little easier for them. Unable to even find a room in an inn, they ended up being lodged in the stable. Mary was just thankful for a place to finally rest as she entered the transition phase of labor and felt the urge to push. Surely she longed to have her mother or aunt at her side, but Scripture doesn't even record the presence of a midwife. With just Joseph to help her, the Bible says "Mary brought forth her first born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes."
Mary lovingly breastfed Jesus. 

Mary gazed in awe at her newborn son as he took his first meal at her breast. The afterbirth pains intensified a bit, ensuring that her uterus would begin the process of returning to its normal size, and she wouldn't hemorrhage. Perhaps she dozed a bit on the straw in the stable. Though it would have been common for an infant to sleep with his mother, there may not have been a suitable place for them to sleep, so after feeding her sweet new baby, she placed the peacefully sleeping infant in the only safe place they could find, the feeding trough for the animals. 

The Bible records the Lord's Last Supper in the upper room with his disciples. However, nothing is written about his first supper. What a precious moment that must have been for both mother and child. She was holding the incarnate God, the promised Messiah in her arms, giving him warmth, comfort and nourishment from her breast. It was the first of many such moments that Mary would share with her baby Jesus. A host of artists have sought to depict the precious bond that existed between the infant Savior and his mother. Pictures from the Renaissance typically depict a chubby, happy baby contentedly feeding at his mother’s breast. Often in these pictures both mother and child have a halo, or angels hover around them. Certainly there is no Biblical basis for the halo, and it is doubtful that angels flew around every time Jesus nursed. Nevertheless, the artists did get one very important thing right: Jesus was lovingly and tenderly breastfed by his mother.

In the Roman world of that time breastmilk substitutes made and marketed by large pharmaceutical firms obviously did not exist. So Mary didn’t have much choice. However, Mary didn’t just breastfeed Jesus for lack of a better alternative. To Mary’s Jewish mind, nurturing her infant at her breast was part of God’s wonderful design for mothers and babies – a design that has not changed in the 2000 years since Jesus walked on this earth. So this Christmas as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let's take just a moment to think about the Lord's First Supper and thank God for the gift of breastfeeding.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Tongue-Tie Success Story

by Amy Castor, Guest Blogger

I loved nursing my first son, Jaxon, but we had to overcome almost every  obstacle in the book, it seemed. So when I was preparing for my second child, I made sure I had the right bras, had my Motherlove Nipple Cream, had my new pump and wasn't afraid to use it in spite of what my mom said. Moreover, I was bound and determined to teach this little girl to latch on to my somewhat flat nipples from the get go and not use a nipple shield. My son had eventually learned, so I was more confident and knew what to expect, or so I thought. 

Clarissa was born naturally at Crestwood Medical Center. My husband caught her and put her on my bare chest right away. I didn't let them take her off of me for a good while, and tried to get her to nurse for a bit with very mild success. She weighed 8 lb. 5 oz. Therefore, when she slept a lot and only nursed for a minute or two most times at the hospital, I wasn't too worried. Jaxon had been the same way. I also had some great nurses, and the lactation consultants are fabulous, so I picked up some new tricks. 

Then we went home. My milk came in, and I could tell she wasn't latching on well; it seemed that her tongue wasn't going all the way over her bottom gums. After a few days, nursing on the left side was especially painful, and I had scabs! So we went to A Nurturing Moment to get some more gel pads. Glenni was so great; she sat down with us right away and used her finger to feel Clarissa's suck. She looked at her tongue and declared fairly confidently she had a somewhat viscous, type 3 frenulum, which basically meant - no wonder my nipple was tore up! She was slightly tongue tied! Who knew? I hadn't heard of such a thing until recently, and it seemed this was a very common problem. Glenni was like my fairy Godmother, and bibbity-bobbity-boo, she called Dr. Hagood, scheduled my appointment, called Clarissa's pediatrician, and we went in the next business day to see if Dr. Hagood would clip her tongue.

I waited for the doctor, wondering if I was a bad mom to be inflicting what I thought would be so much pain on my baby. When he came in, he was so kind; he talked to me for a minute, looked at my little girl and said he could do it. We went to the "operating room" and a sweet nurse, who had recently had a baby, held Clarissa. Dr. Hagood poked his fingers in her mouth, which made her cry the most, rubbed some novacaine under her tongue, gave it a second to kick in, took the scissors, lifted her tongue, and snip! I think the lifting of her tongue bothered her worse than the snip. He used one tiny piece of gauze to stop the bleeding, and after a few seconds, they handed her to me so she could nurse again to soothe her. She wasn't too interested, and her tongue was numb, so she didn't latch on well, but she calmed down instantly just being at my breast. It was far less traumatic than I thought it would be! She wasn't bleeding and I didn't have to do anything different for her to heal.

So at the next feeding, she latched right on to my left side, which had healed as I was pumping the left and nursing from the right. There was no pain! I said, "Oh, this is what nursing is supposed to feel like!" I was so happy! We did a little bit of suck training, like Glenni showed me, and now Clarissa is nursing like a little champ! I am pain-free, and nursing is a breeze! It makes me wonder if my son had been slightly tongue-tied too. It was seldom this comfortable with him, and I nursed him 13 months!
I am hoping for even more months to nurse my daughter, and I'm so thankful for Glenni and Dr. Hagood and his staff! It's amazing the huge difference such a small adjustment can make!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Target Stores Target Nursing Moms...Again!

It looks like big-box retailer Target has once again targeted breastfeeding mothers for harassment. It was just two years ago that a Michigan Target forced a nursing mother to leave the store. They actually called the police on her, saying that what she was doing was illegal! However, following that incident, a Target spokesperson said the company policy was not anti-breastfeeding. Apparently that changed at some point!

Michelle nursing her baby (different day) at Target.
Just two weeks ago Michelle Hickman of Houston, Texas, was accosted by Target personnel as she fed her hungry baby. Here is Michelle's story in her own words:
 I'm not the best public speaker or the most educated or outspoken person in breastfeeding rights but I am a mom of 4 who has been harassed and humiliated by Target for nursing by infant in their store. On November 29th around 7-8pm, I was Christmas shopping with a basket full of items when my infant woke up hungry, so I found a remote area of the store in the ladies clothing department close to the fitting rooms and sat Indian style on the floor next to my basket and a display of jeans and nursed my hungry baby with a blanket completely covering him. Briefly I will say that 2 women employees came and verbally asked me to move. The 2nd one told me that Target employees had been told/trained to interrupt nursing and to redirect mothers to the fitting rooms. Even after I informed the 2nd employee of my legal right to nurse in public she still suggested me moving closer to the jean display, turning to face another direction, and also turn my basket a certain way which would have put me practically underneath the jean display and totally barricaded me in. Employee #2 even said in a hint around but threatening way you can get a ticket and be reported for indecent exposure when nothing was being exposed and there was more boob showing from low cut shirts several shoppers were wearing that night. This does not include the other 3-4 employees besides the 2 verbal ones who were all watching and making a spectacle of my nursing by walking by standing around pretending to do something and giving me mean looks and shaking their heads no back and forth. In a side note not a single non-employee customer ever saw the incident so I'm not sure why the employees were trying to act like I was offending "the public" and that it was their job to step in. 
After I left the store I decided to call the Target corporate office during normal business hours the following day on November 30th,  and speak to a guest relations person to notify them of the situation and to suggest that they educate their employees as to the legal right I have to nurse in public. The phone call however took a turn for the worse. The lady (I wish I would have gotten her name) told me that she and Target were aware of our legal rights as nursing mothers, but that Target has different policies because they are a family friendly public place. I can't think of a more family friendly act than breastfeeding and providing the irrefutably proven healthiest diet to my baby. She continued to inform me repetitively that Target's policies were different than the law and even went as far to say several times that just because it is a woman's right to nurse in public even without a nursing cover like I was using doesn't mean women should walk around and I quote "flaunting it" and was extremely rude. I also talked to the supervisor of this rude lady and that didn't get anywhere either.
It saddens me that mothers are being treated this way as if breastfeeding is vile and offensive. If this would have happened to me with the first child I nursed I would have considered giving up on nursing due to embarrassment and that is what concerns me the most. I know that breastmilk is best and that nursing is hard work and a selfless act that mothers choose to do for their babies, and I would hate for this to happen to someone else causing them to give up on nursing. Please help me support the best nutrition for babies and to make a stand in support of nursing in public so this doesn't happen again.

In this country we have some powerful ways to effect change when it is needed. That's exactly what Michelle and some of her friends are doing. They've organized an international Target Nurse-In  for Wednesday, December 28 at 10:00 am. I would love to see our local moms get involved. We have two Target stores in Huntsville that our moms can target! I know this is the second time in two weeks I've blogged about nursing in public, but no mother should ever feel discriminated against for the way she feeds her baby!

Basics by Bravado...Looks like a Body-Silk knock-off.
Last year Target entered into an exclusive relationship with Bravado Designs (now a subsidiary of Medela). Bravado is manufacturing a less-expensive line of bras and tanks for Target. The way Bravado explained it to us retailers was that this allowed women who can't afford Bravado bras to get a good bra for less money. They said that the tanks aren't the same quality as the tanks we sell, and the knock-off of the Body Silk is just that...a knock-off. Then they added that their hope was to expose women to the Bravado name in hopes that they'd look for the "real thing."     Really??

I'm sure I'm not the only Bravado retailer who was a little miffed that they wouldn't give us access to these new products. I'd love to be able to offer a less expensive Bravado option to our moms! We focus a lot of our energy on helping low-income moms!

I decided to call the Target Corporate Customer Service line (800) 440-0680  this morning.  I explained that as a lactation consultant I do sometimes tell mothers about the Bravado bras at Target, and I was concerned about my clients being made to feel uncomfortable if they needed to nurse. I was put on hold, then the representative came back on the line and said, "Guests who choose to nurse in our stores are welcome to do so without being made to feel uncomfortable." She added that they may nurse anywhere in the store they wish, and if they choose to use a dressing room, they may do so without being made to feel rushed.

So let's see what happens on December 28! Leave a comment telling which Target you'll be nursing at. I would suggest that if Target is rude in any way whatsoever to any nursing mother, we begin a boycott of all breastfeeding-related products. They sell a lot of Medela products in addition to their Bravado line. I really hope that Targets all over the country make nursing mothers feel comfortable. After all, it's their bottom line that's at stake!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Helping Low- Income Moms is Our Passion!

A Nurturing Moment exists to provide information, support and encouragement for hopeful, expectant  and new parents. We love helping new mothers successfully breastfeed their babies. But we have a particular passion for low-income and teen moms through our non-profit sister organization, the MOM Foundation. While all babies will benefit from breastfeeding, babies born to mothers living in poverty and to teen moms desperately need the specific advantages inherent to mother's milk.

We currently have several projects that are designed to support this particular group of moms and babies.

  1. Bosom Buddies - this project provides gently used nursing bras to mothers who receive WIC benefits. We measure the mothers who come to us, and search through our boxes of donated nursing bras to find them two bras that will work perfectly for them. Sometimes we don't have the right size, but we really try to find something.
  2. Sliding Scale Lactation Consultations - The normal fee for a lactation consultation at A Nurturing Moment is $60. We spend as much time as it takes with each mother to resolve whatever problems she and her baby are having. Some mothers just aren't able to pay that amount. So we offer a sliding-scale where mothers pay between between $10 and $60. We tell them that they can name the amount, and we don't ask any questions about financial status. The only reason we feel it necessary to ask for a $10 fee is because we have learned the hard way that when a consult is free, many times the mothers don't take our recommendations as seriously as they do when they pay a little bit for it. Occasionally, however, we do have a mother for whom $10 is a hardship, and we still provide her the help she needs.
  3. Book Project - We want to purchase enough copies of Why Should I Nurse My Baby? by Pamela Wiggins so that every uninsured or Medicaid mother in Madison Copy can receive a copy.
  4.  Breastfeeding Education and Support for Moms in Public Housing - We are currently planning a Baby Day kick-off event at the Oscar Mason Center. We will begin offering a support program for mothers in public housing. They will receive instruction in breastfeeding, infant massage and baby sign language, and will have the opportunity to attend weekly meetings with other moms.
We are so thankful for our ANM family. We have seen your generosity in so many ways. As we approach Christmas, we're sharing some ways that you can share the Christmas spirit with North Alabama moms and babies.
  • We always need gently used nursing bras. We'll even give you a discount on your purchase when you bring them in. Save 5% for one, 10% for 2 and 15% for 3 or more. And our Christmas gift to  you is that for the month of December, this will be added to any other savings you may be receiving!''
  • The MOM Foundation is looking for both individual and corporate sponsors to help subsidize the work we do with low-income mothers. If you know of someone who needs an end-of-the-year tax deduction, we can help since we are a 501 (c)3. 
  • We have created a causes page on Facebook. You can help us get the word out by sharing it with everyone you know.
  • Glenni's birthday is coming up, and she's created a very special birthday wish. A gift of any amount will help make a difference for a low-income mom and baby!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Daddy's Role in Breastfeeding

Image: Louisa Stokes / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
When I teach a breastfeeding class, I always ask the dads to come, too. It's really important for Dad to be there for several reasons. The most obvious one is that Dad is the most important support person for his wife. He needs to know how breastfeeding works. Since pregnant women tend to have "Mommy Brain," Dad may remember some points that Mom forgets. But there are several other really important things that Dad can do to help make breastfeeding successful.

  1. Dad can get a better view of baby's latch than Mom can. I teach Dad to look for flanged lips and a deep latch.
  2. Dad can help make sure that baby has a good suck/swallow ratio. He can watch the sucks and listen for swallows. The ratio should be 1:1 or 1:2. 
  3. He can help Mom with things like suck training and syringe feeding if necessary.
  4. He can make sure that Mom gets the 2400 calories that she needs every day and make sure that she drinks plenty of water.
  5. He has the very important responsibility of protecting Mom from too many visitors and/or relatives who aren't supportive of her breastfeeding efforts.
Dad is going to stay very busy! The wonderful book by Dr. Robert Sears and his brother, Dr. James Sears, Father's First Steps makes a great gift for any expectant dad. Their list of 25 things that every new father should know will further help Dad be a terrific breastfeeding father! 

If your husband was a terrific breastfeeding father, leave a comment telling just how he supported you. A great dad deserves some special recognition!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December Give-Aways

We've got a couple of pretty cool give-aways going on right now.

The first is tickets for your family to the Veggie Tales Little Drummer Boy next Tuesday, December 13 at 6:00 pm at the Monaco. To enter come into A Nurturing Moment and give us your name and phone number or leave a comment on this blog with your name. Tell us the number of tickets you need for your family. On Saturday after our New and Expectant Parents' Meet-up, we'll announce the winners.

The second is our 3000 Facebook Follower Give-away. It's so easy to enter, but we haven't had a lot of entries yet. I don't really understand why! The more friends you send to our Facebook page, the more chances you have to win. Just ask your friends to post a message saying you sent them. For every friend you send, you get one entry!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Please Nurse in the Ladies' Room!

Photo from ZoloWear ring slings.
Today a mom asked me if businesses could make you go to the restroom to nurse your baby. Apparently a local business has signs up about it's nursing area in the ladies' room. She doesn't follow the suggestion, however, and discreetly nurses wherever she pleases. The truth is that nobody even notices that a mother is breastfeeding if she's wearing a baby sling and being discreet about it.

In my reply to her, I mentioned the Alabama state law which states, "A mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be present." It's great that a business actually provides a place for mothers to breastfeed because some new mothers really aren't quite ready to nurse in public yet, so a comfortable lounge area might be just what she needs. However, it is unfortunate that we still have some businesses in the Tennessee Valley that frown on breastfeeding mothers. In the last year I've heard of at least one restaurant that asked a nursing mother to move because she was "bothering another patron." Why couldn't the person who was bothered just move?

So why is it that some people are so bothered by the sight of a breastfeeding mother? Are they just as irritated by the site of a scantily-clad young woman? I wonder what would happen if a mother decided to breastfeed her baby at Hooters??

I do have a couple of theories about why some people get upset, but I'd love to know what you think!

  1. Those who didn't breastfeed may feel somewhat threatened by the site of a woman breastfeeding. Perhaps it makes them feel guilty.
  2. They don't understand that a baby nursing from his mother's breast is eating in the most natural way possible, and a baby drinking from a bottle is actually eating in a very artificial way. 
  3. They believe that a mother feeding her baby should be a private thing. It's okay for them to eat a meal in public, but heaven-forbid a hungry baby do so (unless he's being artificially fed...see #2)
  4. They equate breastfeeding with other bodily functions that are best done in private...The only problem is that breastfeeding is filling up a tummy, not emptying it!
  5. They think of breasts in purely sexual terms and fail to recognize the true biological function of the human breast.
The fact of the matter is that in many countries around the world, nobody gives a nursing mother a second glance. The culture as a whole recognizes the truth that breastfeeding is the ideal way to feed an infant. Our culture, however, perceives bottle-feeding as the norm; therefore, a mother who deviates from that norm and breastfeeds her baby in the public must be a little off in some way. 

If we ever hope the reach the Healthy People 2020 breastfeeding goals of 81.9% of all mothers initiating breastfeeding and 60.6% or all mothers still breastfeeding at 6 months, we are going to have to see some sweeping cultural  changes. We as a society need to make it comfortable for mothers to nurse wherever they happen to be. If you see the symbol to the left, you can be assured that you have found a business that is breastfeeding-friendly.

Have you had businesses that have made you feel either very comfortable or very uncomfortable about nursing there? I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, December 2, 2011

5 Steps to Choosing Your Baby's Doctor

One of the many things that expectant parents begin to think about is choosing a doctor for their baby. Many parents want a pediatrician because of their specialized training with infants and children. However, sometimes parents who have a family doctor they really like will choose to have the baby go to the same doctor they do. They like the idea of one doctor who knows the family health history caring for the entire family. Many family doctors love seeing babies and are extremely competent in caring for them.

So how do you go about finding the right doctor for your baby if you don't have a family doctor you're comfortable with? Here are some tips that might help.

  1. Write down the three things that are most important to you. For example, maybe breastfeeding is a high priority, or maybe you want to delay vaccinations. Maybe you want a doctor who doesn't charge for after-hours phone calls. Or perhaps Saturday office hours are very important to you. Think through what you want and prioritize your list.
  2. Talk to your friends, to nurses you know, to mothers at work or church about the doctors they use. Ask what they do like and don't like about the doctor. Make a list of 2 - 4 doctors that you would like to interview. Recently on our Facebook page, several mothers talked about doctors they like in Huntsville, Athens and Decatur.
  3. Call each doctor on your list to make an appointment. Some doctors are less open than others to this, but it's the only way you can decide if you and the doctor you choose will see eye to eye on your non-negotiables.
  4. Create a few questions to ask your doctor based on your priorities from #1. For example, if breastfeeding is a high priority, ask what percentage of his 3 month old patients are exclusively breastfed. As you interview each doctor, take note of how you interact with his or her personality. Would you be comfortable seeing the person on a regular basis?
  5. Choose your doctor based on your research. But remember, YOU are the expert on your baby. You know your baby better than anybody else. God gave you the awesome responsibility of caring for this new life, but He also equipped you with very strong maternal instincts. Trust them!
If you have a doctor you absolutely love, leave a comment here so other moms will know what makes him or her so amazing! (No negative comments, please)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

3000 Follower Give-Away

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Every once in a while you approach a milestone that you want to celebrate with your friends. That's where we are with our Facebook page! It's especially fun when your friends help you celebrate. Our friend Ruth Dennison with Shopping Tips and Tricks is donating Ruby, the ladybug red Trunki to help us make this milestone as much fun as possible for you. If you like to save money, Ruth's site is a terrific resource. You can also follow her on Facebook for the most updated announcements of her deals.

Another terrific prize is a beautiful hand-painted Christmas Light of Mine Ornament. These beautiful ornaments are individually hand-painted in a small studio in Lynchburg, VA. Artist Amy Calandra Davis has designed a wide range of  lovely ornaments - some whimsical, some more traditional - that will become a treasured part of your family's Christmas tradition. The winner will be able to choose from our ample selection of boxed or hanging ornaments.

The final prize is a snuggly snowman Angel Dear lovie. The soft texture will make this one of your baby's very favorite cuddle toys.

So are you excited about being part of this terrific contest yet? It's really easy! All you have to do is like our Facebook page and send your friends to like it, too! You can enter the contest below one time when you like our page and one time for sending a friend to like our page. Every friend you send to our page needs to leave a post saying you sent them. You will get one entry for every friend who says you sent them (we'll go in and add your name as many times as we need to! It's gonna be fun!!) We will announce our winners the day after we reach 3000 followers.

Are you ready? Let's Go!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

His Very Own Chair!

Every time one particular little boy comes into the store, he makes a beeline for a little brown recliner that is just his size. He loves sitting in that chair. What he doesn't know is that on Christmas morning, he's going to wake up to find that chair in his very own living room! I can just imagine his excitement when he sees it. Hopefully his mom and dad will get some good pictures for us to post.

What toddler, preschooler or older child wouldn't love a chair sized just for him or her? At A Nurturing Moment, we sell the Kidz World line of furniture for children and teens. These sturdy chairs are made in the USA.
They are built just like adult furniture with hardwood frames so you can rest assured that your child's chair will be around for years to come!

We have a wide variety of styles and fabrics that you can choose from. If you like John Deere, we've got a girl's version in purple as well as the trademark green. Mossy Oak fan? We've got it - in fact, you can order many of these chairs in child size, tween size or adult size...so if you're a dyed-in-the-wool hunting enthusiast, why not get Dad a matching chair?  Does your little guy love Toy Story? Do you have a little Princess? Then you'll love the Disney line of furniture! Maybe Barbies or dinosaurs are the big thing in your house. We've got a chair for that, too! If Spiderman is your son's hero, why not get him his very own Spidey chair! Maybe you have a family of sports enthusiasts. Thirty-one different collegiate fabrics are available including most of the SEC teams!

Do you think you'd love one of these chairs? If you order by December 1, you'll save 15% off the already very reasonable price!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Small Business Saturday

Everybody knows all about Black Friday. But did you know that small, local retailers have another very important day? It is Small Business Saturday! Today has been a terrific day at ANM, but we're really excited about tomorrow, too!

If you have an American Express card, you can actually get $25 worth of merchandise from any locally-owned business for FREE! Here's how it works: Register your AMEX card here. Go to your favorite local small business and spend at least $25. Pay using your AMEX. When you get your bill, you will have a $25 credit. Isn't that fantastic!

We have lots of terrific local businesses that are participating. You can scroll down on this page and enter your zip code to see all the retailers who are involved.

Some of the terrific local shops that are participating include Fleet Feet and Spoiled Rockin' Kids. After shopping, visit our neighbor Victoria's Cafe for a terrific lunchtime treat!

Our Small Business Saturday specials include the following:

  • Cloth diapers and furniture are 5% off
  • Everything else is 10% off
  • Use your AMEX card and save an additional 10%!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankfulness Leads to Giving!

We have a lot to be thankful for this year at A Nurturing Moment. Last year at this time we wouldn't have been able to imagine that we would be where we are now! We've expanded in so many ways - more space, more employees, more products and more opportunities to help moms and babies.

You may have heard us talk about our sister non-profit organization, the MOM Foundation (formerly Moms Nurturing Moms). We are so thankful for the opportunity we've been given to partner with Huntsville Housing Authority and look for ways to encourage low-income moms. Statistics show that in our country women with more education and a higher income are more likely to breastfeed. Sadly, many of the women we will be working with have never been exposed to breastfeeding. Because they can receive free infant formula from the WIC program, many of them are not willing to even consider breastfeeding.

Baby Day at Mason Court
Our goal is to get to know many of the moms there, earn their trust, and meet as many of their needs as we can. On December 5 we will have a Baby Day at Mason Court where we'll have lots of things going on for moms and babies. One thing we would like to be able to do is provide free gently used infant and toddler clothing to the moms who attend.

Bosom Buddies Program
We also have another program in place to help low-income moms, the Bosom Buddies program. Mothers who receive WIC assistance are eligible to receive 2 gently used nursing bras every 6 months as long as they're breastfeeding. We've been giving out a lot of bras lately, so our supply is running low in several sizes. This evening a precious young mom could only find one bra that worked for her. When that happens, we give them a discount if they decide to purchase another one.

We Need YOU!
We really want to continue and even expand our programs, be we are really dependent upon you! Here's how you can help...and how we will say THANK YOU for giving!

  • Bring in gently used clean infant and toddler clothing between now and Dec. 3 for Baby Day at Mason Court. Recieve a 10% discount on your purchase.
  • Bring in gently used clean nursing bras (the size must be visible). Receive 5% for one bra, 10% off for 2 and 15% off for 3 or more.
Unfortunately, we can't combine these discounts with other promotions, but we will always give you the best promotion you qualify for when several promotions are available!

Thank You!
Thank you so much for being part of the ANM family and helping us reach out to as many mothers as we can in the Tennessee Valley! We appreciate you so much! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family, and leave us a note telling us what you're thankful for this year!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Difference Between Breast Milk and Formula

Recently an expectant mom was in the store getting some last minute supplies for her baby. I love getting to know our customers, and since I'm a lactation consultant, I usually ask moms if they plan to breastfeed. Usually they say "yes." Sometimes they are undecided, but want to try. And every once in while, a mom will flat out say "no." That's what this mom said. But her reason absolutely floored me. She said, "I don't have to pay for formula, I'll just get it free, so there's no need to breastfeed." I was so taken aback by her comment that I was speechless!

I've had some time to think about it now, and if I could have that conversation again, here is what I would say:
"Breast Milk actually sets the standard for what your baby needs. We often say it is 'ideal' or 'nature's perfect' food for baby. However, it really is the norm. Anything else is substandard. Breastmilk is a living fluid filled with antibodies, enzymes, proteins and nutrients that are specifically designed for your baby. In fact, your breast milk changes as your baby grows.

"The very first milk your baby receives is called colostrum. It is particularly high in antibodies. In fact, doctors sometimes refer to colostrum as baby's first vaccination. It helps to protect baby's lungs, throat and intestines, and to "seal" baby's intestines to prevent harmful substances from penetrating the gut. It also has a laxative effect to help baby eliminate the meconium more quickly and prevent newborn jaundice. The small quantities of colostrum that your newborn receives are the perfect amount for his tiny stomach and readily digested. It is low in fat, but high in proteins and carbohydrates so baby gets exactly what his body can handle.

"No formula has ever been created to even attempt to replicate the properties of colostrum. So even if a mother isn't planning to breastfeed, we encourage her to pump her colostrum and give that to her baby.

"Between the 2nd and 6th day of baby's life, your breast milk "comes in." The breasts fill up and begin producing more copious supplies of milk designed to fill baby up and help baby achieve optimal growth. Actually for about the first two weeks, colostrum is still present in the milk, so we call it "transitional milk."

"Your milk changes from morning to evening and continues to evolve to meet your growing baby's needs.  In the morning you have a more abundant supply of milk, but in the evening it is higher in long-chain fatty acids. No man-made substance can copy these diurnal variations!"

That is what I would have said if I had been able to collect my thoughts quickly enough. And I would have told her that when her baby gets a little older, the amount of free formula she gets won't be enough to satisfy him, so she'll still end up buying formula. Then I might have added that by not providing breast milk for her baby, she is increasing her baby's risk of developing a myriad of health problems from juvenile diabetes to obesity to  childhood leukemia.

Do you think it would have made a difference?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Black Friday GiveAway

Are you making shopping plans yet for Black Friday?
We'll be opening at 9:00 am with some great deals just for you!

  • From 9-10 cloth diapers and furniture will be 15% off, everything else will be 25% off! 
  • The rest of the day cloth diapers and furniture will be 10% off. 
  • From 10 - 12 everything else will be 20% off. 
  • From 12-5 everything else will be 15% off! 
Take a look at our Black Friday give-away!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


It's a ride-on toy! No, it's a pull-toy!  No, it's a child-sized carry-on suitcase! Actually, it's all three!! It's a Trunki!

If you're planning to travel at all this Thanksgiving or Christmas, you need a Trunki for your little one! The innovative design provides the perfect blend of fun and practicality for your child. He will have a place where he can safely store his toys, then  lock it with the "key" attached to the pull. An optional storage bag which fits inside the Trunki provides safe storage for small toys or can be used as a child-sized shoulder bag. Another option is a saddle to make Trunki a little more comfortable for a long ride through the airport. Trunki fits easily under airplane seats and is within the FAA guidelines for carry-on luggage.

Several sets of stickers are available so that your child can personalize Trunki and make it his very own unique creation. Face stickers help Trunki have a personality all its own. Alphabet letter stickers let your child name Trunki, and location stickers let your little traveler show where all she has been!

This Saturday, we're kicking off our holiday season with a TRUNKI show from 11-2. We'll have snacks, lots of Trunkis to choose from, and loads of fun! All Trunkis and Trunki supplies will be 10% off. If you buy a Trunki, a Saddle Bag and a Trunki Tote, you'll also receive one pack of free stickers. Everybody who buys a Trunki will also get a Trunki balloon to take home while supplies last!

Make plans now to join us for this fun event! And take a few minutes to enter our TRUNKI show contest where you can win your choice of  a Saddle Bag or a Trunki Tote!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Life Well Lived

This afternoon I found myself in the hospital room of one of our church elders. This precious man has been a part of our lives for the nearly 7 years that my husband has pastored our little church. He is usually the first one there Sunday mornings to make sure the heat or air is on and to make sure everything is ready. He sang in the choir. His commitment to the Lord, to his family and to his church has been such an example to so many. But today I saw a very different man lying in that bed. Weakened by the ravages of cancer, he didn't even recognize us as my husband leaned over to pray with him. As I hugged his hurting wife, the tears flowed.

Moments earlier we had all been waiting out in the hall when a bubbly toddler full of life and energy bounded up to give his great-grandma a hug. His smile was contagious! His mama who was grieving over her grandfather's condition couldn't help but offer a dimpled smile as her precious little boy hugged her leg. Even Great-Grandma who is in the process of losing the man she has spent her life with smiled at the little one who was oblivious to the hurt around him.

I thought for a moment about the family gathered there. Four generations had come together to love and support each other. I thought about some of the stories I've heard about our precious elder and his wife when they were younger. He came from a big family, and I have really enjoyed hearing about some of their escapades! Then I thought about what a gift they have given their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Their example, their love, their legacy of faith are being passed down from generation to generation. 

We're all at different stages of parenting...most of my readers are young mothers. Some are not-so-young mothers like me, and some may be grandmothers. But we can all strive to have the kind of life that will leave an impact on generations to come. It's a challenge that I want to take!

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Special Thanks to our Military Men and Women

We are so blessed to live in a country where we take freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom from servitude for granted. Is the USA perfect? NO. But the freedom we have here to pursue the American dream, to worship as we please and to raise our children according to our values is truly a blessing. We have an immigration problem in part because people from other countries don't have the same opportunities we do here!

So today it is appropriate for us to pause and say THANK YOU to the men and women who have made the sacrifices necessary to serve in our military. There are lots of ways to do this:

  • If you own a business, give them a special discount. We are offering a 20% discount today, but we always have a 10% military discount.
  • Say Thank You to any service man or woman you see in uniform.
  • Send a letter to a soldier who is serving overseas. If you don't know anybody who is serving, you can still get involved here.
  • Get involved as a volunteer with the National Military Family Association. This is a great way to support the families who also make real sacrifices.
  • Are you interested in childbirth and supporting mothers? Operation Special Delivery provides doulas for military moms whose husbands are deployed.
  • Send a care package to a deployed service person through Operation Gratitude.
If you are in the military or married to a service person, please let me take this opportunity to say a heartfelt THANK YOU so much! God Bless You!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Yeastie Beasties

Candida A. is a nasty little fungal infection that likes to move in and take over, Unfortunately it makes breastfeeding very uncomfortable. We see lots of moms with sore nipples that can be attributed to a yeast infection. Sometimes the baby may have thrush in his mouth, but not always!


  • New nipple pain after pain-free nursing
  • Deep shooting breast pain. It may present as extremely painful let-down but will usually also occur 1/2 hour to 1 hour after nursing
  • Purplish-red color on the nipples OR shiny nipples OR whitish dry looking skin on nipples
  • White patches in baby's mouth that won't scrape off or an angry red bumpy diaper rash.


If you're not sure whether you're dealing with thrush or not, but you have some (or all) of these symptoms, then see a lactation consultant or La Leche League leader. There is no diagnostic test. Sometimes a doctor may think everything looks normal (after all, aren't all nipples kind of pink?) However, when the mom is treated for thrush, the pain resolves! So if you have an International Board Certified Lactation  Consultant who can contact your doctor with her evaluation of your condition, that may help since IBCLC's are generally recognized as the true experts on all things related to breastfeeding.

  • Dr. Jack Newman has a terrific protocol for the treatment of Candida. We have had great success with it when it is followed to the T!  
  • The first step is the APNO (All Purpose Nipple Ointment) available at local compounding pharmacies like Sterling Pharmacy, Madison Drugs or Huntsville Compounding Pharmacy. You have to have a prescription from your doctor. Ask that they compound it with Flucanazole instead of Micanazole. 
  • Several local pharmacies actually compound Lactation Consultant Nipple Ointment which is not quite prescription strength but still very effective. You will find it at Sure Save Pharmacy, at County Line and 72, Madison Drugs and Sterling Pharmacy.
  • Gentian Violet, is messy, but very effective. It is available locally in Huntsville at Madison Drugs, First Pharmacy or Sure Save at County Line and 72.  
  • Be sure to ask your baby's pediatrician to treat your baby with either oral Nystatin or oral Diflucan (preferred) if you don't use the Gentian Violet.
  • If you do end up needing Diflucan (Flucanazole) be certain that your doctor understands Dr. Newman's protocol. You need a 400 mg. loading dose and 100 mg. twice a day for at least 2 weeks or until you are symptom free for a week.
  • Be sure to keep your nipples dry. Bra pads with any plastic may aggravate the problem. If you use cloth pads, change them frequently. This is a good time to switch to a pad that wicks the moisture away from the breast.
  • Keep everything that comes in contact with baby's mouth clean - lots of moms actually boil pacifiers etc.
  • Wash bras and pads in hot water
  • If yeast persists, check out a Candida Diet.  Some mothers finally find relief when they take this step!
If you think you may have a problem with Yeastie Beasties, give us a call! We're the Yeastie Beastie Busters!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Let Us Know What You Think

Our goal at A Nurturing Moment is to provide you with the support and encouragement you need as you go through your pregnancy and embark on your parenting journey. We do that by providing support groups like Mommy Milk Meet-up and New and Expectant Parents' Meet-up. We also offer a variety of classes including breastfeeding, prenatal yoga, infant massage, childbirth and Music Together.  Our two International Board Certified Lactation Consultants are available to help you any time you have a breastfeeding problem. We'll listen to your concerns and give you advice over the phone, or you can make an appointment to come into the store for a consultation. We'll even come to you, if that would be easier! One of us is available 24/7. If the store is closed, you can call Glenni's cell phone at 256-658-8210.

We also try to provide the products that will make breastfeeding - and parenting in general - easier. From the Woombie swaddler to the Arm's Reach Co-sleeper, our products are designed to help you provide the very best, safest environment for your little one. That's why we only carry GreenGuard Certified cribs and crib mattresses - we want you  to know that when you buy an ANM product, it is the best available for your family!

Your feedback helps us know what we're doing right and what we need to do better. That's why we're having a contest this week encouraging you to leave your feedback. Our listing at Google places has a special place for you to leave a review. Please take just a moment to let us know what you think, then check it off in the contest below. You'll be entered to win some fun prizes that you and baby are sure to enjoy!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

One Mom's Take on Thirsties, Rumparooz and Kawaii

by Kaylee Hocking, guest blogger

I have been cloth diapering since my little girl was about 7 months old. Recently she has been leaking at night since she wakes about every two hours to nurse.

I had been using the Kawaii overnight diapers but some nights her pajamas would be wet around her legs so I tried many things: stripping, more inserts... nothing seemed to help. So I decided to try my Thirsties cover or my Rumparooz cover with a Thirsties duo sta-dry microfiber and hemp insert.

So far she has had no leaks with these. I had tried the Rumparooz pocket diaper since they have a double gusset too, but the fleece goes halfway up the elastic just like on all my other pocket diapers, and they just all seem to wick onto her pajamas.

The Thirsties velcro cover was one of the first covers I tried. I had not used it much but went to use it the other night and noticed the inner elastic gusset wasn't very elastic. I have hardly used it, so I think it might just have been poorly made. Now I check them to make sure the gusset doesn't seem loose or worn out looking before I buy a Thirsties cover. I had bought that one online, so I didn't get to look at it first.

I like the Rumparooz a little bit more for my baby right now since she has thinned out from crawling and pulling up. They work great on her thinner thighs because they have a tighter fit. On a baby with chunky thighs it would probably be too tight. We are concerned that it may even inhibit her crawling during the day, so we only use them at night and use Kawaii pockets during the day.

I think as she gets bigger the Thirsties cover will last her longer as she begins potty training.  I have also found that the snaps are best for night time, since I can adjust them tighter around the legs and looser around her stomach if I need to. I do like velcro during the day for pocket diapers (since she is so wiggly right now) as long as they are under clothes.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nap Nanny Makes Sleep a Reality

Just over a year ago, much to the dismay of many parents, the Nap Nanny was recalled because a child had actually died in one. Then why in the world is this a product that we would promote? That's a terrific question - I'm so glad you asked it!!

The new Nap Nanny Chill has undergone a design revision to make it safer. After voluntarily recalling all the current Nap Nannies, the creators waged a full-fledged media campaign to make sure that parents were using their product correctly. It turns out that the child who died was in a Nap Nanny that had been placed in a crib -A HUGE NO-NO!! In fact, Nap Nanny posted this video to instruct parents on the proper use of their product.

So what is it about the Nap Nanny that makes us want to carry it? First of all, it's important to emphasize that the company makes no medical claims whatsoever about their product. They don't claim that it helps with reflux. The certainly don't claim that it reduces SIDS. So what does it do? It provides a very safe separate-but-proximate sleep environment for infants who weigh at least 8 lbs. When used correctly, the Nap Nanny will be placed on the floor. It angles baby's body in such a way that  baby can fall asleep and stay asleep more comfortably. That's great news for parents who are sleep deprived and worried sick over their infant. When used according to directions, the Nap Nanny offers a completely safe place for baby to sleep. 

What makes it different from wedges? A wedge is actually placed in the crib under the mattress. Often babies tend to slide down. If baby slides down or isn't placed correctly, airway constriction can occur. The Nap Nanny has a harness that securely fastens baby in place. The manufacturer says that once a baby is mobile and starting to sit up, he should not be left in the Nap Nanny to sleep. However, as baby gets older, the Nap Nanny morphs into the ideal toddler recliner. It's the perfect little seat for him to sit in while he looks at a book or plays quietly in his room.

The big question is, "With a price tag of $130, is it really worth it?" One of our ANM moms said this: "A life saver!!!! He had colic real bad and once we got one he started sleeping through the night!"  Another said, 
"We have one and love it!" and a third mom commented, "We love ours!"

If you're ready to get some sleep, come on by and check out the Nap Nanny. Mention this blog post, and save 10% off the regular price!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Family Credits Britax With Saving Daughters' Lives

Jonathan Sherrill of Carmel, Indiana, is one very thankful daddy. On the morning of October 5, 2011 he had just dropped his son off at kindergarten and was headed to the preschool his two daughters attend when his minivan was struck head-on by a driver who had crossed the interstate median. Miraculously, he survived the crash with just a broken kneecap, some damage to his leg and some road rash. He heard his daughters screaming, and turned around, expecting the worst, only to find that they were absolutely unscathed still sitting securely in their car seats in the midst of the twisted wreckage that had been their minivan.
His story emphasizing the importance of properly installed car seats was featured on the news where he lives. In that story he credited the car seats with saving the girls' lives. But he didn't say what brand they were. However, he also wrote a letter to Britax in which he said, "While the local news story mainly highlighted my comments related to the importance of the child safety seats in general, clearly the quality and safety features of the Britax Marathon car seats are to be credited for saving the lives of my daughters." He added, "we are thankful that we chose to spend the additional money for the Britax car seats over the competitive brands – clearly we paid more for better quality. And we immediately replaced the Britax Marathon’s (sic) with (3) new Britax Frontier 85 Combination Harness-­‐2-­‐Booster® Seats – as seen on the news story in the rental van. My wife and I continue to insist that our children utilize the five-­‐point harness until their weight exceeds the maximum limit."

 At A Nurturing Moment we only carry one brand of car seats because we are convinced that Britax really are the best available seats for the money. Between now and November 15, we have a special offer when you buy a Britax Bouldevard 70. Just in time for those Thanksgiving and Christmas trips, you will get a free travel cart with your seat! So come on by and take a look at a Britax!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Win a Free "A Child Is Born" Session

It does seem early to start thinking about Christmas, but before you know it, you'll be sending out your Christmas cards. What a terrific time to send everybody updated pictures of your growing family. We appreciate Mary Ellen Pollard of Lighthouse Photography for helping us create a beautiful, traditional option for your Christmas picture this year. You may include your whole family or just feature your children. It's entirely up to you!

We are so excited about our unique Christmas pictures that we want to give one of our families the opportunity to win a $75 package! Or you can choose to apply your winnings to a more expensive package. All you have to do is call the store to book your photo session, then you have 3 other options for entering as well!. If you've already booked your session, then you can mark that as done and enter using the three other options.

Another thing that makes these sessions so special is that a portion of the proceeds go to benefit the MOM Foundation. This non-profit is dedicated to helping low-income and teen moms breastfeed successfully. They are partnering with the Village of Promise to bring breastfeeding support to Huntsville Public Housing areas.

We do ask that you prepay when reserving your spot, but the winner will receive a refund on the day of the photo shoot. Call today to reserve your spot and enter to win the $75 package!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Grandma Time

Since our move to our new location, our Grandma traffic has increased. I think it's because of our proximity to Victoria's Cafe, a perennial favorite with ladies of all ages in Huntsville! At any rate, I love it when ladies about my age come in and eagerly search for the perfect gift item. It's really fun to see their excitement about their grandbabies.

I love to engage them in conversation and hear all about the pregnant daughter or daughter-in-law, or the new baby who has just joined the family. Those who are grandmothers-to-be for the very first time joyfully anticipate stepping into this new season of life. They can't wait to be part of that baby's life.

And unfortunately, therein lies the problem for some new moms. Every mother wants the chance to parent her baby the way she feels is best. There is a lot of  information available today that wasn't available 20 or 30 years ago. What your mother or mother-in-law did may not be exactly what you want to do. Perhaps your mother-in-law didn't breastfeed and can't imagine why you want to. Every time your baby cries, she assumes he's hungry and urges you to give him formula. Or maybe your mother thinks you are spoiling your baby by wearing her and picking her up when she cries.

It is extremely challenging for a new mother to get conflicting advice on every side. While you don't want to alienate your mother or mother-in-law, you do want to help her understand your need to parent your way and, if necessary, learn from your own mistakes just like she did. There are several things you can do to reassure her that you want her to be part of your baby's life while simultaneously letting her know you need your space.

  • If you're breastfeeding, give her a copy of an article written just for grandmothers about nursing
  • If you are focused on having an attached relationship with your infant, and the grandmothers don't understand, Dr. Jim Sears has some helpful words
  • Sometimes giving her something meaningful to do can help. Ask your parents or in-laws to focus on the legacy they leave as grandparents by encouraging them to chronicle their lives for your children in a special journal
  • Write a letter affirming her and letting her know specifically how she can help you as a new mother
  • Feel free to send (or bring) her to ANM where we'll gently affirm what a great job you're doing as a mom, and help Grandma relax a little bit.
Whether you're a mom or a grandma, remember that kind, encouraging words are wonderful building blocks for life-long relationships. Be sure to use plenty of them as you interact with the most important people in your life!