Monday, December 30, 2013

The Mom Foundation Provided Over $1500 in Lactation Services in 2013

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

We've just finished tallying our figures from 2013, and this year The MOM Foundation provided $1781 in lactation consultation services to mothers who otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford to get breastfeeding help! An average of 1 out of every 4 consults this year has been reduced fee. We are so thankful that we have been able to help these moms!

We have also given out dozens of nursing bras this year. We have plenty of bras in 38, but are low on 32 and 34 band sizes as well as the larger sizes over 40. Remember that any time you bring in a bra for our Bosom Buddy program, we give you a discount on that day's purchases!

We have several projects in the works as we enter 2014. Of course we will continue to offer a sliding fee scale for our in-store consults. We are also focused on educating the demographic of moms who might not normally consider breastfeeding as an option. Our goal is to make sure that every mom in the Tennessee Valley knows the benefits of breastfeeding and can get the support she needs.

One of our newest initiatives at A Nurturing Moment is our Skype consults. If you can't make it to the store, we can actually do a consult via Skype. You will be in the privacy of your own home, and we will be able to evaluate your breastfeeding via webcam and make suggestions. The cost for a Skype consult is just $45. The best part is that a portion of every Skype consult fee goes toward helping a low-income or teen mom get breastfeeding support!

If you've been abundantly blessed this year and want to make an end-of-the year donation to an organization that is making a difference in the lives of local moms, please consider the MOM Foundation! If you have any questions, feel free to call Glenni at 256-658-8210.

Friday, December 27, 2013

We Have One Month to Get a Breastfeeding Stamp!

One of our moms created a new petition for a breastfeeding stamp! Apparently the last attempt fell short of the 100,000 votes needed. The petition was just created today, so we have ONE MONTH to get the needed signatures so that the White House will at least know that this is an important issue to a large segment of Americans.

Many other countries have beautiful stamps representing breastfeeding. This beautiful stamp from Luxembourg honoring World Breastfeeding Week in 2003 is just one of many from around the world.

Nicaragua is another country that has a beautiful stamp depicting the loving bond between a mother and her breastfeeding child.

It's time for the United States to jump on board. So PLEASE do two things immediately!!
First, go to the petition and sign it!!
Next share it via Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, any blog you might have. We need to get the word out quickly to get 100,000 votes in a month. There's no reason this can't go viral! YOU can make it happen!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Enjoy Every Moment of Christmas!

Christmas is full of wonder for little ones!
By Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

If you have little ones, you are in an AMAZING season of life! Christmas is especially full of wonder by the time they are about 2 years old. It is incredible to look at Christmas through a child's eyes! Their wonder, excitement, faith and joy are inspiring.

Keeping Sight of What Matters

It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of buying gifts, baking, wrapping presents and decorating that we miss the small joys of the season. Take time today to create memories with your children - make some fun pictures, pile in the car to drive around looking at Christmas lights, wrap your kids up in ribbon and make a game out of it! Don't let the holiday demands that you place on yourself rob you of the joy in each moment.

Remember what Christmas is really about. It isn't about glittery trees or fancy gifts. It's not about a perfectly roasted turkey or plates of delicious cookies. Fundamentally Christmas is about a baby being born.  It's about a tiny family of 2 becoming 3 in an event that would change the course of human history. So take time to celebrate YOUR family, the 2 that became 3, or 4, or more!

The Guy in the Red Suit

Children watching the lighting of the Advent Candle at church.
Every family has to decide for itself how to handle gift giving and Santa Clause. We chose to teach our children from the beginning that their presents came from Mom and Dad. We talked about Saint Nicholas and the importance of giving to others, but we sought to maintain the focus of Christmas on Christ. I remember the Christmas I learned the truth about Santa Clause when I was a little girl. I was seven years old, and absolutely devastated! It ruined Christmas for me that year. I never wanted my children to go through that, so we just never made a big deal out of Santa.

Nevertheless, to this day any child who is at home in our family on Christmas morning has a SPECIAL gift sitting out next to his or her stocking on Christmas morning. It might be the video game he has been begging for, or the new cell phone or computer she needs. Some years it was a Lego set or a special doll. Last year for my son it was a hunting rifle that had belonged to his grandfather. I'm thankful we still have two children at home this Christmas!

Some families have a VERY special gift this year!

Make Memories That You'll Treasure

When all is said and done, the gifts opened, the paper thrown away, what will you be left with? Will you remember the look on your husband's face when he opened his special present? Will you have a mental snapshot of the delight on your little one's face as she opened her gifts? Take time to savor each gift, each moment, each surprise. Christmas is day full of magic, so open your heart, slow down, and take in each magical moment.

Sometimes we're so busy trying to record each moment that we don't actually get to enjoy it! Recording the memories is great, but be sure to enjoy them as they occur. 

All of us in the ANM family wish YOUR family a wonderful, memory-filled Christmas!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Wool Nursing Pads Provide Breathable Solution

One of my favorite companies is Babee Greens.  Recently my friend Tia, who owns Babee Greens included a set of wool breast pads in an order she sent me. I honestly didn't think moms would like wool nursing pads because I figured they would be rough and scratchy. Boy was I wrong!

These pads are made of the softest imaginable Merino Wool which is Oeko Tex 100 certified. The two layer pads offer the extreme absorbancy of wool as well as wool's natural breathability.  

I decided the best thing to do would be to give them to a new mom to try. I've known Aimee Park for several years, and I knew she would give me a good, honest, straightforward evaluation. I figured if they passed muster with Aimee, they were probably worth bringing into the store!

Just this week, I received Aimee's review:

I LOVE these nursing pads! I was not sure what to expect, but I did think that they would be really scratchy. I was wrong. They are so soft and feel really good against my skin. They are really absorbent and allow my skin to breathe. A huge plus is that you don’t have to wash them all the time. You can just let them dry out and then use them again (a big deal for busy mommies). They are bigger than some regular nursing pads and have a dart that allows them to conform to your shape. I would definitely recommend these to other nursing mommies!

I really do love these pads! Please let me know when you get some more in. I would like to get another pair.
Thank you very much!

Fortunately, we do have more in now, and Aimee got a second pair just today. But there are plenty left for you! So come on by and get what may be the best nursing pad you'll ever own!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Engorgement 911!

Image from gynaeonline
by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
I frequently get calls from moms who are experiencing engorgement, the painful over-fullness of the breasts that sometimes happens when a mom's milk first comes in, usually around day 4 or 5 of baby's life. I have a 3 step protocol that I offer these moms, and it has been VERY effective. Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so first, let's look at how to prevent it!


The best way to prevent engorgement is to nurse frequently during the first week of your baby's life. By frequently I mean 10-12 times a day. If your breasts don't have the chance to get overfull, you won't get engorged. But once engorgement begins, it can be a downhill spiral because baby is unable to latch on to the engorged nipple and areola, the milk doesn't flow readily, and there are so many other fluids, not just milk that are contributing to the painful swelling of your breasts. It is very important not to let more than a 3 hour stretch of time pass from the beginning of a feed to the beginning of the next feed. 

Often a mother may sleep a longer stretch at night, and when she awakens, she is miserably engorged. Your baby needs to sleep in your room, ideally right next to your bed, and you need to be sure to feed at least every 3 hours (or more frequently) during the night. If baby isn't willing or able to nurse, then you need a good pump (ideally hospital grade) for that first week. All of our Madison county hospitals will give you a breastpump rental kit if you ask for it.  Be sure NOT to leave the hospital without it! Your insurance pays for it, and having that kit just might be a lifesaver. You can rent a hospital grade pump for just $5.00 a day or $25.00 a week. If baby isn't nursing well, you NEED to make that investment!

Glenni's 3 Easy Steps to Relieving Engorgement

As a lactation consultant, I do see a lot of engorgement. Over the years I have developed an easy 3 step protocol to help mothers relieve the discomfort. 

1. Soften the Areola
If you try to nurse on an engorged breast, your nipples will take a beating! Often a baby who was nursing great in the hospital ends up mangling mom's nipples when she get gets engorged. The solution is NOT TO NURSE until you have softened the nipple and areola.

Softening the areala requires two things: moist heat and milk extraction. The ideal moist heat is a comfortably hot shower. While you are in the shower, you will manually express enough milk to soften the areola. If you can't take a shower you can actually put your breast in a basin of warm water and express, or you can use a moist hot washcloth on your breasts before expressing or pumping. Sometimes it actually requires a hospital grade pump to really get the milk flowing.  Once you have softened the areola, it's time for step 2.

2. Nurse Baby
You want to make certain you get a good deep latch. Lead with baby's chin, be sure his mouth is wide open, and come up and on. This is important because without a good deep latch baby can't effectively nurse and drain the breast. If the latch isn't as deep as you'd like it to be, slide a finger between baby's chin and your breast, and pull it down while you pull baby's head in closer. The latch should NOT hurt. If it hurts, you need to see a lactation consultant to figure out what is wrong!

If baby only nurses on one side, or for some reason doesn't nurse well, then use a breast pump. The goal is simply to relieve fullness, not necessarily drain the breast. If you need to pump instead of nursing baby, continue applying moist heat to the breast as you pump. You may find that pumping each breast individually and massaging as you pump will help you better empty the milk.
Once you have nursed or pumped, you may find that your breasts still feel a little hard. That's why we use step 3.

3. Apply Cold Cabbage Leaves
Cabbage contains sinigrin (allylisothiocyanate) rapine, mustard oil, magnesium, oxylate and sulphur
heterosides. The theory behind the use of cabbage leaves to reduce swelling is that they open the capillaries to allow improved blood flow. They also seem to help the body reabsorb excess fluids. You need to use common green cabbage. Wash it and remove the core, then peel off the leaves. Place them in a container of water in the refrigerator.  After nursing, if your breasts still feel full, crush their veins and apply the cold cabbage leaves for about 20 minutes. If they get hot from the heat in your breast, you can switch out and apply fresh leaves.

How Long Until Engorgement is Gone?

It truly varies from mother to mother, but I have seen some women get past engorgement using these three steps in just 3 or 4 feedings. Other women require several days of treatment following this protocol. If you begin the treatment at the first sign of engorgement, you will probably find that it works more quickly for you. 

A final word of caution is in order. If you have symptoms of engorgement, but you also have red streaks on your breasts and flu-like symptoms, then you probably have mastitis. You need to call your doctor immediately for antibiotics, keep the breast as empty as possible, and rest, rest, rest, rest!!

Please leave your feedback about how this protocol has worked for you!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Give a PERSONALIZED Gift this Christmas

 by Glenni Lorick. IBCLC

Is there a child in your life who needs a special Christmas present? How about a dress up set with her name on it? Or a train table with his name on it? For toddlers there are personalized puzzles, personalized classic wooden toys and personalized fill & spill toys.

Children who like pretend play will love a kitchen with their name on it. They can even get cutting food with their name!

The best part of all is that you can get Melissa and Doug personalized toys for as low as $9 when you take advantage of the terrific sale at A Nurturing Moment this week! When you purchase a toy for a hospitalized child a 20% off, you will save 10% on anything else you purchase in the store! If you pay with a check, we will make it 15%!

If you want to take advantage of this, you MUST act quickly!! We will be making our big Melissa and Doug order Friday afternoon! So pick out what you want and give us a call or come on in! The special child in your life will thank you!!

This week only, receive FREE personalization and 10% off your purchase at ANM - through 1:00 pm on 12/6/13

Monday, December 2, 2013

Make Christmas Special for a Hospitalized Child

Brian Bellomy and his helpful State Farm staff!
by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

We love our neighbors here at 7540 Memorial Parkway! They are all amazing businesses. But I am especially excited about what our new neighbor, the Brian Bellomy State Farm Agency, is doing. Cindy from their office dropped off the following flier the other day:

Please join in helping kids who will be hospitalized during the holidays. We will be taking donations of new unopened toys/games/arts and crafts until 12/13/13 to deliver to the pediatric patients at Huntsville Hospital. You can bring the donations by our office at 7540 Memorial Parkway SW Suite S in the Rosie's Cantina Shopping Center

Donated toys will be given to pediatric patients
As I've gotten to know Brian, I have seen that he approaches his business very professionally, but seeks to integrate his Christian faith into all he does. This project is just an outworking of that approach. We are thrilled to help support this donation drive. 

If you decide you'd like to buy a toy here for the drive, you will receive a 20% discount on it and a 10% discount on anything else you purchase during your visit. We want to do all we can to help make this drive a huge success!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving, Thankfulness, and Christmas Shopping

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
I've been dismayed by how many stores are advertising their Thanksgiving Day hours and sales. What happened to the day that was all about family? Instead of spending the day enjoying the parade, the delicious smells wafting from the kitchen, and the relaxed time with family, many people are rushing out the door to get a jump on Christmas shopping.

Now I'm all about bargains and savings. In fact, I'm always looking for ways to save money, and I consider myself a pretty savvy bargain hunter. But it seems that we've gotten our priorities increasingly skewed. As long as shoppers are willing to rush out the door before even eating their pumpkin pie, retailers are going to open their doors to take advantage of them! Unfortunately, it is the sales force that gets caught in the middle. They end up having to be away from family on a day that has traditionally been a long-awaited holiday.

And what about Christmas? Is it really all about the fancy gifts? How many families put themselves into financial distress trying to make Christmas special? What are we really celebrating? It seems that maybe in our frantic efforts to shop as early as possible, we might have lost the essence of what Christmas is really all about. The first Christmas gift didn't come wrapped in shiny paper with glossy ribbons. No, He entered the world in the humblest of surroundings. There was a great celebration, to be certain, but its focus was the Christ of Christmas, nothing more or less.  Just as the wise men brought gifts to the Christmas child, so we give gifts today, but the gifts should never overshadow the One whom we celebrate!

With that in mind, we've decided to offer the following Thanksgiving week opportunities at A Nurturing Moment.

Pre-Thanksgiving Sale

Since we won't be open Thanksgiving, and we understand that many people hate getting out on Black Friday, we have a few very special pre-Thanksgiving savings.
  • All hair bows are 15% off
  • All diapers and diaper orders are 10% off
  • All Best Chairs on the floor are HALF PRICE.

Black Friday Sale

We are going to open at our normal time on Black Friday. We have family, and so do you, and we recognize that, while some people LOVE getting out early to shop, we have historically done very well opening later!
  • From 10:00 - 12:00 EVERYTHING in the store will be 20% off.
  • From 12:00 - 5:00 EVERYTHING in the store will be 10% off.

Small Business Saturday

We are happy to join American Express in declaring Nov. 30 Small Business Saturday! When you register your American Express Card here, you will get $10 back when you spend $10 or more at a participating small business. You MUST register your card, though!
  • Everything in the store will be 10% off all day in honor of Small Business Saturday!

Thank You!

Thank you so much for being part of the ANM family and for spending your dollars locally! We are so honored to be able to serve you!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Life Is Good and the Terrific Twos!

One of the women I most admire!
by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

This morning I had the privilege of listening to a woman whom I have come to deeply admire, Angela Loehr Chrysler. She mentioned that one of her favorite product lines is Life Is Good because she is drawn to the optimistic attitudes of the founders, Bert and John Jacobs. They started from scratch and have built a brand out of optimism!

Now if you know me very well, you know that I am a "Glass is half-full" kind of gal. Even when things are cloudy, I'm out there looking for the silver lining that I KNOW has to be there! So even though I've seen the adorable Life Is Good line of products, I really paid attention when Angela mentioned them this morning.

She went on to talk about the importance of optimism in every area of our lives. She mentioned as an example her parenting experience. Instead of thinking of her daughter (who is now 9) as having gone through the "terrible twos," she thought of them as the "terrific twos"! Now that's my kind of parenting philosophy!

I don't know how much of the Attachment philosophy Angela embraces, and honestly, it doesn't really matter where you fall on the attachment spectrum when it comes to embracing each parenting moment. So how do the "terrific twos" differ from the "terrible twos"?  Let's look at some specific examples:

  • Your two year old is whiny and demanding that you hold her.  A terrible two mom might think she's being spoiled and get frustrated or perhaps discipline her. A terrific two mom, on the other hand, will take a moment to ask herself a couple of questions: "Is my child tired? hungry? not feeling well? Have I been too busy to focus on her?" Usually there is a legitimate reason behind the whiny behavior. When you take a moment to really listen to your child's heart, you will figure it out. Rather than creating a spoiled, demanding child, you will create a child who knows she can communicate with you. In fact, you can begin to gently teach her non-whiny methods of communicating. 

  • Your two year old bites, kicks or hits another child in play. A terrible two mom may be quick to spank or perhaps even "bite" her child back. However, a terrific two mom will be quick to remove her child from the situation and assess what is going on with him. Obviously he is frustrated about something. He must learn that biting, kicking and hitting are not acceptable behaviors. When he has behaviors like that, he will not be allowed to play anymore. She will focus on figuring out what lies behind his behavior and changing that situation.

  • Your two year old throws a temper tantrum in the middle of the grocery store because she wants
    you to buy her something.
    A terrible two mom may do one of two things: give in and buy it to get the kid to shut up, or discipline her harshly to make her stop. A terrific two mom might just stop right there and hold her tightly until she settles down. The solution may even involve leaving the store because Mom recognizes that her child is hungry, tired or not feeling well.

  • Your two year old refuses to eat and actually throws the food you made on the ground. A terrible two mom might get angry and yell. Or she might just give in and give her something that she will eat. A terrific two mom, however, will understand that toddlers sometimes don't want to eat. Nevertheless, instead of going on to dessert, she will patiently and lovingly explain that little girls who don't eat their meals don't get dessert. That same food she threw down earlier will still be available when she's hungry.
So how do you view your toddler? How do you view life? Is Life Good? Is your glass half full? If so, you've probably got a TERRIFIC TWO year old!!

Now, I'm off to do some Christmas shopping at the Life Is Good online store!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Breast Milk Handling 101: A Primer for Childcare Workers

Photo from
by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

Just the other day I got a call from a mom who was pretty upset when she picked up her baby from daycare to find that they had microwaved her milk to heat it, despite the fact that she had actually purchased a bottle warmer specifically for them to warm her breast milk. She had every reason to be upset! Microwaving breast milk actually causes changes in its nutritional composition. It can also cause "hot spots" where one part of the milk is actually hot enough to scald baby's mouth.  She asked me if I had information I could provide her for her daycare. The CDC has put together a terrific handout on handling breast milk that you can print and post as a reference for workers.

Breast milk Handling Facts 

Take good care of a mother's "liquid gold"!
  1. Breast milk is NOT gross. It is not an unclean bodily fluid. Nor is it unsanitary. It is actually full of live antibodies that will help the baby you are about to feed stay healthy. Baby's mama has made the decision to provide him breast milk because she knows it is the ideal food, perfectly designed for his optimal growth. As baby grows, the milk he receives will change somewhat in composition to keep us with his changing needs.
  2. Never microwave breast milk. Since breast milk IS a living fluid, microwave radiation can actually alter it's nutritional make up. It can cause certain components to break down and can significantly altar the anti-infective components of breast milk. There are a variety of alternative methods for heating breast milk. Immersing it in warm water or using a bottle warmer is ideal.
  3. Do NOT shake breast milk. Instead, gently swirl it to mix the hindmilk and foremilk. Shaking it can begin to break down of nutrients and can also introduce air into the milk, causing baby to have an upset tummy!
  4. After you have fed a baby part of a bottle of breast milk, you can't save it for the next feed. When baby's saliva comes in contact with the milk, it begins to break down the components. Therefore, give baby just the amount of milk you think he will take. It is better to have to add another ounce than to have an ounce left over that you must discard. To his mama, that milk is liquid gold, so it kills her to know that even a drop goes to waste.
Our ANM babies LOVE their mama milk!!

Help Baby Stay Healthy

A mother produces antibodies in her milk to any bug, virus, or illness that she comes in contact with. That's why it's a really good idea for a breastfeeding mother to spend a few moments cooing over and playing with all the other babies in the room. It's also a good idea for her to give the workers a hug. It will help her baby to stay healthier because she will have come in contact with whatever germs happen to be in his daycare environment and will pass antibodies to those specific germs to her baby. Encourage your breastfeeding mothers to take just a minute extra every day getting all those good germs!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

21 Days of Thanksgiving

From West Seattle Montessori School
In November our thoughts often turn to thankfulness. At A Nurturing Moment we have much for which to give thanks. The outpouring of support and encouragement since I posted our long-term vision last month has been overwhelming!

Our Moms Say Thank You

Several moms who have benefited from the programs which The Mom Foundation supports have taken time to express their thankfulness for the program. In the interest of privacy, some names have been changed if a mother has communicated with us in a private manner.

Marla was referred to us by Motherhood Maternity. Because she was on the WIC program, she was able to take advantage of our Bosom Buddies program. She says, "I am sooo thankful for the bra program. If I hadn't heard of it (from an employee at Motherhood), I would be wearing the wrong size bra. I did that with my last baby. The two bras I received are the only nursing bras I have. I just can't afford $50 for a bra, so the program has been a lifesaver. Thank you so much!!!"

Samantha had this to say, "I'm thankful for Glenni always being there when I needed her no matter what!"  

Brittany added, "So thankful for Glenni and your sliding scale." 

Jennifer said, "I am VERY thankful for the sliding scale! I wouldn't have been able to come in otherwise! Thank you so much! God will bless you for all you're doing!"  

From Struggle to Victory.

We Say Thank You

God does bless us each day through so many of you. Just days after I posted our vision blog, one of our moms came in to talk to me about a foundation for which she is a board member. They have given us a $1000 grant to put toward our work. We are seeking to match that grant, and are already 1/3 of the way there! You can make a tax deducible donation to The Mom Foundation here, or via check made out to The Mom Foundation.

Each day for the rest of the month we will post something we're thankful for on our page. We invite you to participate with something you're thankful for each day, too. It's amazing how giving thanks in every circumstance really DOES change your attitude, make you happier, and contribute to increasingly more positive outcomes!

What are YOU thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Planning Your Maternity Leave

From Today's Parent
You've made it through the first trimester of your pregnancy and feel halfway human at work again. But now it's time to think about your maternity leave! It may still be several months away, but experts say that planning in advance is the smartest thing you can do. Recently we asked some of our ANM moms what they wish they had known ahead of time about maternity leave.

Prepare Financially

Maybe you have been putting away part of every paycheck to prepare. Or perhaps you are just
Google images
living from paycheck to paycheck. The reality is that your finances WILL change when you add a new member to your family. Kimberly Rotter examines this issue pretty thoroughly in this post on the Credit Card Insider Blog.

One of our moms suggested that you save all your vacation and personal time so you can add weeks to the 6/8 weeks your employer gives you.

Prepare Professionally

If your job is important to you, you need to make sure that you have all your bases covered before returning to work. Some of our moms found that their employer considered their maternity leave permanent. They said that it was hard to get back into the swing of things at work. If you are in a position of responsibility, it will be important for you to make sure that you have properly trained your replacement and that everyone on your team will respect and respond properly to that person. 

One mom suggested that you "get all the info on paperwork from HR well in advance. Work with your boss to make sure you don't leave things in a mess (have someone who knows what you were working on so they can cover.) Start tying up loose ends as your due date gets closer. Keep your boss informed on how long you will be out." She recommended reminding your boss, "I will be out in about X weeks. Is there anything you need before I go...I'll be back 12 weeks afterward."  

If you are due for a performance evaluation while you will be on leave, be sure to communicate with your boss about that. One of our moms noted that her employer conducted her performance review while she was on leave.

If you are a teacher, you will need to make sure that your students will be covering the material they need to cover and getting the instruction they need. Careful planning will help significantly. However, one of our moms said, "Relax! Life will go on without you in the classroom for a few weeks."

Prepare Emotionally

Several of our moms mentioned feeling lonely and isolated when they were on maternity leave. One mom suggested that you should find things to do or line up visits with people. However, another mom offered the suggestion that you may actually need to rest more and limit visitors! One excellent suggestion was to "Let other people help when they offer...even if it's just doing your dishes." Other great advice included, "Be sure to start pumping early." (Usually we recommend beginning to pump daily after the first feed each morning once your supply is established.) Be sure to introduce a bottle when baby is about a month old.

Some moms found that they were more than ready to return to work when their leave ended. One
mom said, "It is okay to want to go back to work. Some people aren't meant to stay home." Another mom added, "13 weeks was enough for me. I was ready to have adult time again!" Don't feel guilty if you are eager to get back to work. One mom recalled, "I used to feel bad for loving my work and not wanting to stay hom." Guilt takes way too much energy! Don't do that to yourself!

On the other hand, some moms really struggle with the idea of returning to work. One mom remembers, "I took 16 weeks of maternity leave thinking it would be enough. I wish someone had told me not to bother with maternity leave and just go ahead and follow my instinct and quit right then. Haha! I took that leave, went back to work, then immediately put in my notice to quit after almost 9 years...and never looked back!"  Another mom concurred, "Now I couldn't imagine going back to work just to leave my baby with someone else!"

You may decide that you really would like to stay home, but just don't know how to swing it. This blog has some pretty creative ideas for ways that you can boost your family's finances if you do decide to stay home after baby comes. Of course I am passionate about helping moms stay home by helping them save money and make money. I would be happy to talk with you about it.

Remember, 9 months will go by faster than you can imagine. Regardless of what you plan to do, make sure you do have a plan!!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ankyloglossia and Breastfeeding

From Santa Barbara Lactation: Anterior tongue tie.
By Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

Ankyloglossia is the medical term for tongue tie. It simply means that the little piece of tissue which attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth is preventing the tongue from moving enough to nurse effectively. I've been a lactation consultant for nearly 20 years, and clearly recall the first time I really identified it as a problem for a mom and baby. It was 1998, and we were serving as missionaries in Lima, Peru. A friend who knew that I had worked a lot with breastfeeding moms called me to see if I could help a new mom with their mission organization. The mom was trying desperately to nurse her baby, but he just screamed and cried. He would try to nurse, but kept losing weight.

As soon as he opened his mouth, it was very clear to me that he had a classic tongue-tie. The frenulum was attached just below the tip of the tongue, and his tongue had a "heart-shaped" appearance. I had already been in touch with Nair Carrasco from CEPREN in Lima, so I called her to ask if she knew of anyone who might be willing to clip it. She referred me to an absolutely amazing pediatrician named Dra. Sicilia Bellomo. Dra. Bellomo was able to see her very quickly and clipped the baby's frenulum in her office right away. Immediately he was able to latch on and effectively nurse. He went on to gain weight very well, and his mom's sore nipples healed up nicely.

Posterior Tongue-tie
I was so excited to see such immediate results, so from that point on, I was careful to look for that kind of tongue-tie if there were a breastfeeding problem. I had learned early in my lactation career that some babies had a difficult time getting their tongues over their gum lines, and I had successfully helped numerous babies learn to suck more effectively using a suck-training technique. However, I found that some babies still had a difficult time, some moms nipples still ended up looking sort of flattened or ridged, and sometimes we still had some clicking that just wasn't normal.

Fast forward to the International Lactation Consultant Convention in 2008. For the first time I
learned about 4 different types of tongue-tie and how they can affect the breastfeeding relationship. As I began to apply this new information to my practice, I found that I was seeing more and more babies with tongue-tie issues. I worried for a while that I was "tongue-tie crazy." I quickly found that although our local ENT's would readily clip anterior or classic tongue-ties, nobody was willing to clip a posterior tongue-tie. In fact, the mother would often be told that her baby just had a "short tongue."

A tongue-tie that has just been clipped.
I began sending patients out of state when I knew that we had a posterior tongue-tie problem. At first I had to send them to Mississippi to Dr. Becky Saenz. Then the pediatric ENT practice at Vanderbilt began performing this procedure. I also discovered the importance of checking for upper lip tie at this point. The relief for our moms when they could nurse pain-free and begin making more milk was palpable!

Just a few weeks ago we had a La Leche League Gold Standard mini-conference at Calhoun College in Decatur. One of the topics there was tongue-tie. Several of my colleagues and I began trying to locate a provider who will use a laser to correct the tongue-tie and upper lip tie. Just this week I discovered that at Children's in Birmingham they will use a laser for the upper lip frenulum, but not the frenulum under the tongue. I hope that will change soon!

Appearance after a laser release of tongue-tie
Symptoms of tongue-tie include the following:
  • Pain when nursing
  • Poor milk supply (although some mothers actually end up with oversupply because their bodies are over-compensating for baby's weak suck)
  • Excessive gassiness and reflux
  • LONG nursing sessions (usually mothers with tongue-tied babies will complain that it takes baby 45 minutes or more to nurse.)
If you suspect that your baby is tongue-tied, you need to see a lactation consultant who has experience in identifying tongue-tie. She should also discuss post-frenotomy care with you. Dealing with your baby's tongue-tie just might be the key to preserving your breastfeeding relationship!

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Chair for Your Church

By Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
It thrills me to be able to help church nurseries have top quality, comfortable nursing chairs from the Best Chairs Storytime Series for their mamas and babies. This year we've been able to help a couple of churches do just that, and it was a blessing for us as well as for them!

Because my husband has been in the ministry for the last 30 years, and we have served in a variety of churches, I have seen how church finances operate. I understand the budgetary constraints churches are under, and I also understand the need to practice good stewardship of the resources God has provided.

My children have been in a variety of church nurseries, and I have nursed in comfy gliders, in rickety rocking chairs, and on hard back folding chairs. Of course, I've done my share of baby-wearing and nursing in the pew, too, but that's another story for another day!

That being said, we have put together a program just to help churches purchase the comfy gliders they need. When you use a church check to purchase your gliders, you will save 20% on the regular purchase price. You get to pick out your material and your chair style (we have gliders, swivel gliders and recliners). Your chairs will be here within 4 -6 weeks. We will even deliver your chairs, if you need us to (for churches in Madison County). This allows you to get top-quality gliders that will hold up to years and years of mama/baby use in your nursery at about the same price you would pay for a discount brand. All we ask is that you make information about A Nurturing Moment available to your parents. We will supply you with business cards and fliers to place in your nursery.

Make sure that whoever is in charge of your church nursery sees this blog, because we are excited about helping churches all over the Tennessee Valley have the BEST chairs possible!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Long-Term Vision

If you've been around A Nurturing Moment very much, you know that I often say I have the best job in the world. I love getting to help mothers breastfeed their babies. I love holding sweet newborns on a daily basis! I love encouraging moms and seeing their excitement when baby latches on and nurses well!

You may have also noticed the cross with Jeremiah 29:11 sitting in front of the desktop computer on  our counter. It is there as a constant reminder to me that A Nurturing Moment doesn't belong to me. It belongs to my Lord.  Therefore, as I make plans for the future of this business, I want to make sure that I am simply following His leading. I want to reflect Him in my interactions with customers, vendors, creditors, my landlord...everyone I meet. I know I don't always do as good a job of that as I should...I'm definitely still a work in progress!! But I AM in progress...He is guiding my steps daily! In fact, He often uses you, the mothers I work with, to help me gain wisdom and direction.

A Corner Of Our Own 
I don't remember the exact day when I first felt drawn to consider the piece of property at the corner of Airport Rd. and Memorial Parkway. But I do remember getting chills of confirmation the first time I pulled in the parking lot and actually drove around it. I believe that is supposed to be the ultimate location for A Nurturing Moment! I've told a lot of you that in person, but this is the first time I have actually written it down for the whole world to see! It's one thing to talk about a vision for the future, but quite another to step out in faith and record it for all posterity. After all, what if it doesn't happen?  I guess that's just a risk I will have to take.

So here is the vision that I believe God has placed in my heart for A Nurturing Moment - I will bullet the various parts of it to make it easier to read (and digest!)

    View Larger Map
  • Purchase the piece of property on the northwest corner of Airport Rd. and Memorial Parkway.
  • Tear down the abandoned and dilapidated restaurant that currently occupies that corner, and build a two story building there.
  • The first floor will house A Nurturing Moment. Our actual storefront doesn't really need to be much bigger than what we have now. However, we will have a MUCH larger classroom area that will also serve as a Mom Internet Cafe and hangout spot. I also want a small separate classroom for prenatal yoga and infant massage. There will be a couple of offices for lactation consultation and a place for doulas to meet with their clients. The Mom Foundation office will be there as well.
  • The second floor will be home to a Birthing Center owned and operated by an Ob/Gyn who employs midwives! It will offer a homelike environment with the security of knowing you are just minutes from the hospital in case of an emergency. Although they are very common in other parts of the country, there is not a single birthing center in Alabama. About 17 years ago, Crestwood actually did open a birthing center with a Certified Nurse Midwife as the administrator. It was phenomenal, as any mother who delivered there will tell you. It was, however, also very short lived. It just wasn't the right time! I also hope to have a chiropracter who specializes in working with mothers and babies in the office space there. 
Getting From Here to There

A dream is a wonderful thing to have. All too often, however, we look at our dreams and think they are impossible to attain, so we just give up. If I didn't feel so certain that this is the direction the Lord wants us to go, I certainly wouldn't think there is any way we can ever get there. But I am absolutely convinced that this IS the path we're supposed to be on. So I am taking the necessary steps to move in that direction.

We are in a 5 year lease that began last October. So we have 4 years to purchase our corner and build A Nurturing Moment there. The asking price for that corner was somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.6 million dollars the last time I checked. Then we have to demolish the building that is there and rebuild. And I really don't think that I am supposed to incur any more debt. In fact, the more I learn about business, the more I really hate debt.

That sounds like a pretty impossible order. Actually from a purely human standpoint it sounds just plain foolish. So how in the world are we going to get there? 

As I pray about it, several action steps stand out in my mind:
  1. Be the very best at what we do. We provide education, information, support and encouragement for hopeful, expectant and new parents. We need to be the #1 resource in North Alabama for new parents. We need to make every mother who walks through our door know how special she is and how glad we are that she came to see us. If we don't have what she needs, we need to figure out who does and help her get it as quickly as possible.
  2. Seek partners for The Mom Foundation. We are the only non-profit that I know of in North Alabama dedicated to providing professional breastfeeding support to low-income and teen moms. We have attempted to write several grant proposals, but don't really know what we're doing. We need someone experienced in non-profit fundraising to come alongside us and guide us as we grow the non-profit arm of A Nurturing Moment. On average we provide about $250 worth of lactation services a month right now to mothers who would not otherwise be able to get the help. We also give out numerous nursing bras each month to moms in the WIC progam.
  3. Publish The Creator's Guide to Infant Feeding. Although many outstanding books have been written about breastfeeding, not a single one that I've ever read approaches it from a Christian perspective. So several years ago, I wrote this book. I have looked at several publishing options and even had a literary agent working with me for a while. Unfortunately the one deal we were able to get with a major publisher fell through. However, with renewed interest in breastfeeding in this country, I think it is time to publish.
  4. Talk openly about our vision any time I have the opportunity. It is amazing how God puts the right people in your path at the right time. I have no idea who all will be involved in the project, but I do know that I certainly won't achieve it by myself! I've already met an amazing commercial interior architectural designer who I know will be instrumental in the design of our new facility.
  5. Build a team of families who will become an integral part of this vision. We are already doing this
    through Team National, an innovative purchasing co-op concept that allows members to save money on the things they buy every day for their families. It also allows them to create a Plan B income that they can use as a college fund, retirement plan or to pay off debt. Many families actually find that the income will allow them to gain more time freedom to actually spend quality time with their children. I am convinced that without Team National, this dream would be nothing more than a pipe dream for me. However, Team National is giving me a way to earn the capitol I will need to make this vision a reality by October of 2017!
Get Involved 

The one thing of which I'm certain is that it will be impossible to achieve this dream by myself. Our Nurturing Moment family will accomplish this together! I need your input. I need to know what we're doing right and where we need to improve. As we get closer, I will put together a focus group of moms to help us design the ideal space. Your suggestions are our lifeblood!

As you read through the action steps, maybe one of them struck you. Maybe you have a specific talent that you would like to offer. It has been so exciting to see various ANM moms take leadership in different local outreaches to other moms that have come out of our store. Maybe you have professional abilities or a relationship with a foundation or corporation that would align well with our goals. Maybe you just like the idea of saving money or making money.

 Perhaps you don't feel like you have much to offer aside from your prayers; that is definitely our greatest need! Please pray for wisdom for me and for clear direction. Pray for God's provision, and pray that we would be a tremendous blessing to moms all over North Alabama.

I have really bared my heart  tonight. But I believe that this is the right time to do so. I'm excited about what the future holds for us and can't wait to see it unfold! Thanks for coming along for the ride!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

These Aren't Your Mamas Lullabies (or Maybe They Are....)

By Marley Phillips

The new generation of parents is so much more progressive than any other generation before us, per usual. We are way too sophisticated to drive around blasting Barney songs in our Prius. On the other hand, you probably don't want to lull your children to sleep with Metallica's "Enter Sandman." Or maybe you do. This is a judge-free zone.

If you happen to be one of those totally hip parents who plan on raising rockstar babies with an impeccable taste in music, I have made an amazing discovery. Ready to have your universe rocked? What about your mind blown? You sure? Positive? OK, I think you can handle it. 

This amazing company aptly named "Rockabye Baby!" creates baby-friendly versions of the most popular songs from your favorite bands. With over 50 different bands choices, there's most definitely a CD for every member of the family, including the grandparents (We all know how much Grandma loves Jay-Z, after all.) I've listened to about half of all of the samples so far, and I absolutely love it. If you happen to come into A Nurturing Moment and see me passed out at the desk, you can blame the Lullaby Renditions of the Beatles' album. And for all you country music fans out there, they have a new line of music called "Hushabye Baby!" with some popular country artists from every generation.

I'm going to list all of the bands available at the bottom of this so you can decide which CD's you're going to buym because they seriously are too cute and too awesome to resist. We have a few sample CDs at A Nurturing Moment, or you can go online and sample every album. We're making our first order next week, so you have the opportunity to pre-order CD's you want this week at a discount! The regular price is $16.98, but you can order one for just $14.98 this week. Want more than one? The pre-order price for multiple CD's is just $12.98! You can't beat that, so give us a call today to let us know how you want to rock your baby!

Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of:
Michael Jackson
The White Stripes
Elton John
The Beatles (There are 2 Beatles' albums)
U2 (Also has 2 albums)
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Dave Matthews Band
Bob Marley
Pearl Jam
Def Leppard
Foo Fighters
Depeche Mode
The Police
Van Halen
Led Zeppelin
Kanye West
Bon Jovi
The Smiths
Guns N' Roses
Elvis Presley
The Flaming Lips
No Doubt
Pink Floyd
The Rolling Stones
Black Sabbath
Green Day
The Cure
The Smashing Pumpkins
The Eagles
The Beach Boys
The Pixies
Nine Inch Nails
The Ramones
Queens of the Stone Age
Hushabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of:
Carrie Underwood
Dolly Parton
Garth Brooks
George Strait
Johnny Cash
Patsy Cline
Rascall Flatts
Vince Gill
Willie Nelson
Taylor Swift

Friday, October 11, 2013

Suds Diaper Service Offers Cloth Diapering Alternative for North Alabama Families!

About 7 months ago a nice-looking, professionally dressed man walked through my front door, shook my hand and said, "Hi, I'm Rich, Linda Sturmfels' husband. I want to talk to you about starting a cloth diapering service." Rich was not the first person to talk to me about this idea. I have encouraged two or three other people who have mentioned the idea to me to run with it. None of them ever did. Something about Rich's manner, though, told me that this time it might really happen!

Over the next few months we continued to talk, and I was thrilled to see Rich's plans come together. Here's what you need to know about Rich: he's an aerospace engineer. So when he makes plans, he is extremely detailed and meticulous! Therefore, I feel like I can recommend this diaper service to our moms with absolute confidence that you will be 100% satisfied with SUDS Diaper Service! 

Thirsties Diaper Covers are part of your package deal!
For parents who want to cloth diaper, but don't want to wash diapers every other day, SUDS will do it for you! The weekly cost is just $25, or you can pay just $100 per month. You can even get a 6 month package for just $499! You will receive enough prefold diapers to last your baby for a week. You'll put your dirty diapers in the bag they provide, and once a week they'll come by and pick them up, leaving you a new batch of fresh clean diapers!

The only thing you'll have to purchase is your diaper covers and fasteners - we're putting together a special package deal for Suds customers that will save you money on that. You may also choose to purchase a diaper pail that will accommodate the bag containing the diapers.

All Suds families will receive a sample of Magic Bum cloth safe diaper oil. Made right here in the Tennessee Valley, Magic Bum is composed of all natural ingredients that protect, soothe and heal baby's tender little bottom without damaging your cloth diapers or leaving harsh petroleum or chemical residues. Families that choose to continue using Magic Bum will be able to purchase it at A Nurturing Moment.

You will get to choose a Rumparooz Li'l Joey Cover, too!
How Do I Get Started?

It's easy! Suds has a convenient online sign-up form! Just give them your information, and they will be in touch with you! On November 12 they will make their first deliveries of diapers! You can even order before your due date so that you will have diapers on hand when baby arrives!!

If you already have a stash of cloth diapers, and you just want to get them refreshed, Suds has a service for you, too! For just $40/load, Suds will wash your diapers using their highly controlled wash cycle in a commercial grade machine. The Suds laundry process will leave your diapers clean and bacteria free; in fact, it is accredited by an independent lab!

Win One Month of Diaper Service!

A Nurturing Moment is teaming up with Suds Diaper Service to offer one lucky family one free month of Diaper Service! There are several ways to enter. Good luck and happy diapering! 

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

You Can Make a Difference for a Nicaraguan Child!

Guest Blog
By Cari Worshek       

We often look at mission trips as something that only certain people participate in.  They are for people who have a certain calling on their lives and/or have plenty of money and time off from work.  They are for people who want to travel overseas and help those in other parts of the world.  While some of those things are true, we have ALL been given a global mission to love God and to love our neighbors beginning in our homes and neighborhoods and extending to the ends of the earth. 
            Compass Life began with a calling to unite all in the same mission…the mission given by God to ALL people.  One of the ways we do this is though our annual 50X Campaign.  We are collecting new to nearly new summer clothes for adults and children, toys, hats and shoes for the people of Nicaragua.  The items will be shipped in November 2013 and in February, 2014, a team from Huntsville will travel over as part of a team sharing the love of Christ through word and deed to approximately 4000 people.  In addition to sharing about God’s love through His Word and ministering to spiritual needs, the team will minister to physical needs through medical, dental, and vision clinics as well as a gift store where families are given beans and rice, Bibles, and the items collected through the 50X campaign. 
            50X is a great way for even the youngest child to participate in “the Mission” by donating toys, clothes, etc.  When discussing this with your children, remind them that the children in Nicaragua don’t need toys just like they don’t need toys, but it is a way for them to share a smile with someone who lives in a different country.  It is a way to be part of the mission team! When packing away your summer clothes, cleaning out your garage, closet, etc. please pack up those nearly new items and drop them off at one of our locations.  If you don’t have to drop them off, we’ll be glad to arrange a time to come and get them. 
            After “going” on my first mission trip last September, I see even more how important the entire team is to “the Mission.”  The team, made up of those sending, praying and going, is integral in the mission.  With a goal of 50 boxes to be shipped last year as well, God’s people blew us away as the “team” gave more than 100 boxes worth of donations AND a group of dedicated people to pack those boxes in the blazing summer heat.  God led His people to generously give money in support of sending people who felt called to go. The prayers of so many were evident as we arrived in Tisma, Nicaragua with many softened hearts eager to hear of God’s love for them.  God even rallied a group of people to provide meals to the families who had a member away on the trip.  The blessings go on and on!  I know that Jesus said to “go and make disciples” but I wonder if the ones “going, praying and supporting” are receiving the discipleship, training and blessing as much or more than they are giving it?!?! 
            These are some questions I pondered after spending a week there last year…What is it about being
in Nicaragua that allows you to love so freely?  What is it that allows a team to bond so quickly?  What is it that makes you so sad to leave a group of people that you have only known for a few days?  What is it that would make our dentist choose not to wear a mask while performing dental work because "with the language barrier, I would have nothing without my smile?"  What is it that would let a group of women use less than desirable bathrooms, sleep on pads on a floor with the potential of critters, etc. without a second thought?  What is it that would sustain a group of people to get out of their comfort zones to serve wherever they were needed and to do it all with overflowing hearts?  What is it that would allow us to sweat 24/7 and not get grossed out by the smells...or even notice them?  What is it that would allow a preteen to get back in the truck and notice that his soft drink had been consumed and say "oh well, he needed it more than me?"  What is it that would stir people on our team to give away the clothes and shoes they were wearing?  What is it that makes me excited that our supplies were held up in customs?  What is it that kept my children from complaining or whining about going to bed, getting up, or ANYTHING?  What is it that allowed our children to play for hours with children who spoke a different language and laid their heads to sleep at night on plastic bottles?  What is it that made them leave hats and sunglasses for their new friends and want to move there?  What is it that makes a ten year old so excited about the number of children that accepted their Creator’s love and forgiveness for the first time?  What is it that allows you to be so exhausted yet so exhilarated that you don’t really want to sleep?  What is it that causes you to want to hug every person you see no matter how dirty they may be?  What is it that makes you so content with a cold shower by a garden hose inside a metal box under the stars?  What is it that allowed a team member to work out in the heat with very little shade working with dirty animals and coming back for a few minute nap on the hard dirty floor before going out again?  What is that allowed my husband to “give up” on sermon preparation and let God speak through Him to convey His love for the lost and not skip a beat even with a translator in the middle?  What is it that still makes me tear up at the sight of the pictures?

           I have to believe it is our AWESOME God’s plan. I have to believe that it is God’s grace.  I have to believe it is being centered on His path...and that it can be in my home, in my community, in Nicaragua or wherever He has me.  I have to believe that it is loving Him and our neighbors globally.   I have to believe it is living with open hands and clean hearts remembering that nothing is ours and everything we have comes from Him and is to be used for Him.  I have to believe it is complete surrender to His will and trusting that His will is best.  I have to believe it is reminding ourselves that this life is not about us at all, but about His glory and the redemption of precious souls to our Creator.  I have to believe it is because He did not save us to merely survive in our comfort zones, but to live ABUNDANTLY--not necessarily with an abundance of things--wherever that may be!  I have to believe it is depending FULLY on Him.  I have to believe it is throwing all of our expectations and demands aside.   I have to believe it is the prayers of His people.  I have to believe it is because I can't, but He can...that with Him all things are possible!  I have to believe that it is His Holy Spirit in and through us.  I have to believe that His Word IS TRUE and that centered on His path there is JOY!

Cari Worshek

For more information on 50X, go here or email Frances Walker at
You can bring your donations to A Nurturing Moment. We are a drop off location!!