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!