Monday, June 30, 2014

High 5 Rocket Quilt

I was blown away Saturday morning when Beth Partain walked in with her mom and 3 children. She smiled and handed me something, explaining that her mom had made it for us to raffle off as part of the Give a High 5 for ANM campaign. When I unfolded it, I saw a magnificent hand made rocket quilt! The detailing is exquisite, down to the rocket on the back of the quilt and the very cool graph paper material!

Kathleen Payment, Beth's mother, is the lady who so lovingly made this quilt. It was her way of saying "Thank you" for helping her grandbabies receive breast milk for the first year (or more) of their lives. Beth feels like she wouldn't have made it through breastfeeding without the support she got from A Nurturing Moment. The fact that Kathleen put so much time, effort and money into this labor of love for us makes it extra special.

She wanted us to raffle it, so that's what we are doing. She has at least $75 worth of all organic cotton in the quilt and hours of loving labor! Each raffle entry is $10. You can enter 1 of two ways: Use the Rafflecopter system below and make your payment through Paypal to For every $10 donation you will receive one entry. Or you can enter at the store using cash, check or credit card. We will add your information into the Rafflecopter database  - one entry for every $10 you donate! We've already started getting entries at the store and will be adding them to the database in the next few days!

The winner will be drawn on August 9 at the end of the "Give a High 5 for ANM" promotion!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Worshipping with Your Baby

My husband pastors a small church with a lot of older members. When babies, toddlers or children come, everyone is delighted. Nobody is bothered by the sound of a little one in the service. In fact, some folks say that it brings joy to their hearts because they recognize that children are the future of the church.

Over the years I have nursed my babies in a wide variety of churches. I always wore them in a sling and made sure that I was dressed so that I could breastfeed discreetly. I've never had anyone say anything unkind about it or suggest that I leave a service. However, there have been times when we have taken advantage of the loving care provided by our church nursery. Busy toddlers were happier there, and Mama could worship better...especially since she didn't have Daddy sitting beside her to help with the kids (Sunday is often his busiest work day!)

I recently asked a group of mothers on the Facebook page for The Creator's Guide to Infant Feeding this question: "Does your baby go into worship with you, or do you use the church nursery? Why?" The responses offered a terrific cross-section of perspectives.

Baby Goes to the Nursery

About half of the moms said that the nursery was their place of choice for baby. One mom said, "Nursery! They have (gone there) since they were 6-8 weeks old. They get such a bond with the sweet ladies that take care of them. There's no way I could deny that!" She even went on to fondly tag one of those sweet ladies in her post.

Another mother responded, "While baby was little and sleepy enough to sleep through most of the service he was with me. After he was old enough to crawl he was just too active. so to the nursery! And our church assigns a number. If your baby is crying/needs you, you get called out. And there's a nursing room." 

A third mother had a hybrid approach: "We keep them with us while they are little and quiet, then when they start wanting to play and talk they go to he nursery (1 1/2 to 3ish), then back with us to learn to worship/sit around age 3."

Finally one mother expressed her conflicting feelings this way: "He has only been to nursery twice. Need to try again because it's distracting keeping him in service. He doesn't do well with strangers, so it gives me anxiety to leave him."  

Baby Stays With Mom

However, several of the mothers said they prefer to keep baby in the service with them. One mother said, "We go on Saturday nights so my husband can go, too, and there is no nursery. We both also agree that they need to be in the service with us to learn how to grow in the church. Besides, how can I nurse on demand if I'm away from baby?"

A mother whose church is meeting in a non-traditional setting had this to say: "(Baby stays) with me. At our current church, we meet at a bank in a large room so it's a different church setting than a typical one. My 7 month old will sit in my lap playing, then when we sing in the hallway, I'll let her play on a blanket on the floor so she can move around." 

Another mother explained her reasoning a little more in-depth: "I'm in love with the idea of family integrated worship so they stay with us. We homechurch so all of the families' kids are in service. The Bible says to know those who labor among you, and usually we didn't know people working in the nurseries. At one church they wouldn't call me when the baby would cry his eyes out, although I asked the director of the area and workers in the class to call me if he cried for me at all. They would just hold him and try to comfort him while he was screaming. I finally went back there one day and saw him screaming and never took him back. Best decision I ever made. That was baby #4, and we haven't put our kids in class since; we are on #8."

You're the Expert

It really all boils down to mom's comfort level, the climate of the church, and personal preference. Every mother and baby is different, so what works for one family may not work for another. And each congregation is different, as well. The bottom line is that within the body of Christ, we need to recognize that parenting is NOT a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. 

Godly parents cross the spectrum from devotees to Dr. Sears to Gary Ezzo followers. The most important thing to ask ourselves is, "Are we raising our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?" Some parents may have greater emphasis on nurture, while others may have greater emphasis on admonition. Ideally, we want to give our children both. Strong doses of nurture in the earliest months of life lay a solid foundation for a lifelong relationship of trust between mother and child! This is not to say that babies can't be nurtured by loving nursery workers. They can! However, if you have young mothers in your congregation who feel led to keep their babies with them in the service, then it is a good thing to do all you can to make those families feel as comfortable as possible!

What has your experience been? What advice can you offer other families? I would LOVE your input on this conversation!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

"Fed by God's Design" Logo Contest

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

This is just a working cover, not the final one!
In conjunction with the publication of my book, The Creator's Guide to Infant Feeding, we want to release a special line of onsies, bibs, burp cloths, etc. that highlight the fact that baby is being fed according to God's design. Reva with Sew Me Happy has agreed to create the items, and we will market them through A Nurturing Moment.

The phrase we have come up with is "Fed by God's Design," but we need a logo. I know that many of our mamas are creative and artistic so I thought it would be a good idea to let you create our logo!

What does "Fed by God's Design" mean to you? What images does it bring to mind? How can you embody those words in an artistic representation that will captivate minds and hearts?

In the quest to normalize breastfeeding in our culture, I really want to see it fully accepted within Christian circles as the optimal and Biblical way to feed a baby. I realize that some mothers truly can't breastfeed, and I love and respect and want to encourage those mothers because I know how hard they have tried. This isn't about causing any mother to feel guilt; rather it is about celebrating the Creator's incredible design for mothers and babies.
I'm excited that Reva is part of this adventure!

So put on your creative thinking cap, pick up a pen or mouse and start designing a logo that will help change hearts and minds! Please send your finished work to or bring it by the store. The deadline is Monday, July 7. That week a committee will meet to evaluate the logos and pick the one that they feel best embodies the concept.

The winner will receive a onesie, a bib and a burp cloth gift set with the Fed by God's Design logo!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Give A High 5 for ANM

One of the great groups to come out of ANM!
By Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

We love our mamas and babies. You are the reason we are here! Our passion is to help make the early days of parenting and breastfeeding your baby as easy as possible!

We have been through lots of changes over the years. Some of the business decisions we have made ended up hurting us more than helping us. However, our desire to provide the very best possible service to every one or our mamas has remained the same.

We Are a Community

One of the things that I love the most about A Nurturing Moment is that we have cultivated a real sense of community here. Our ANM family keeps growing as new parents connect with us and with each other and find ways to plug in. Whether it is Mommy Milk Meet-up, a cloth diapering class, an attachment parenting meet-up or a Rocket City Sling Swap get together, our families love to be with each other. Often we will have two or three moms just plan to meet here to hang out, catch up or even trade some diapers or handmade goodies.

Join the fun at Mom Prom!
Some of the moms in our community have really stepped into leadership positions with organizations that are dear to our heart. From ICAN to the North Alabama Cloth Diaper Bank, our ANM mamas are growing into amazing leaders and mentors for other moms. I am so proud of every one of our moms who has stepped out of her comfort zone to serve other mothers.

We Are Struggling

You may have noticed that we don't always have as much stock as we need - we may be low on cloth diapers or bras, for example. We try to manage the resources we've been given very wisely, but we do have some debt that is really hurting us. Our goal is to always pay our bills and still have money for plenty of inventory so you will have what you need any time you come in!

You Can Be Part of the Solution

Over the next couple of months we have some creative initiatives that will involve you! Later this summer you will have a chance to be part of the publication process for Glenni's book, The Creator's Guide to Infant Feeding. We will have some really exciting opportunities for you to be involved, maybe even have your baby's picture on the cover of the book!

Give a High 5 for ANM!
But for right now we have a really fun way you can help make a difference. Give A High 5 for ANM is a campaign that will allow you to have your child's hand print permanently placed on our wall! For a minimum donation of just $20 per hand print, you will be able to participate! We will apply paint to your child's hand, and let him give our wall a high 5! Then we will write his name and age right underneath it! Isn't that cool?

We will have two dates in June, two in July and two in August.
  • June 21 and 28 from 11-3
  • July 12 and 19 from 11-3
  • August 2 and 9 from 11 - 3
So make your plans now to be one of the very first to give a High 5 for ANM!!! Then share this post with 10 mommy friends who would love to have their child's hand print on our wall, too!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Nursing Your Busy Baby

Baby Miles like to play with his toes!
by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
You're trying to quietly nurse your baby when all of a sudden a session of "gymnurstics" breaks is nursing while trying to stand on his head! Perhaps you've noticed that the older your baby gets, the more quickly he gets distracted at the breast. It can really be frustrating! You never knew your nipples would stretch like THAT! You might even worry that his easy distractability is affecting your milk supply.

Normal Nursing Behavior

Nothing like a foot in the neck...
Believe it or not, this is actually normal behavior as a baby gets older. There are several reasons why some older babies have a hard time being still to nurse like they used to: 
  • Increasing curiosity about the world around them - around 5-6 months many babies are focused on learning about everything around them. As his tummy starts getting full, his little brain starts focusing on his surroundings. Anything out of the ordinary is cause for exploration. If this describes your baby, be thankful for his inquisitive little mind!
  • Ability to drain breast quickly - some babies get to the point where they can polish off a good 4-5 oz. meal from mama in 5 minutes flat. Once they're done, they don't have any desire to hang out and waste good daylight that could be used for exploration!
    ...or in the chin!
  • Heightened awareness of external stimuli - in the second half of baby's first year, his little ears are picking up every distracting sound. Phone conversations, TV, older siblings...anything is more interesting than just hanging out at mama's breast, and baby just HAS to turn to see what's going on because he can't stand to miss out on anything!
  •  Inquisitiveness about their own body - as babies grow, they like to play with their toes and fingers, stretch their legs out and kick, and experience new tactile sensations.

Finding a Sanity-Saving Solution

Alisha's ballerina baby eating happily!
If you find yourself with a very busy nursling, there IS hope! The first and most important thing you can do is accept the fact that your baby is NOT trying to be "bad." Your baby is curious, intelligent and eager to learn. You just need to create an environment that is conducive to nursing!
Even Merbabies practice Gymnurstics!
  • Nurse in the same place consistently. Sometimes it is helpful to even darken the room. When there isn't anything new or stimulating for baby to see or hear, you are more likely to complete a feed.
  •  Wear a necklace that baby can play with as he nurses. That will keep his mind and fingers busy, and he may be more likely to completely finish a feed before wanting to explore his surroundings.
  • Don't give solids before nursing. Make sure baby is hungry and ready to eat before you start nursing him. Once you start solids, make sure that they come after breastfeeding, not before. 
  • Nurse when baby is sleepy - right before or right after a nap is a great time to nurse. If you try to nurse when he's in a "busy" mood, you might end up feeling frustrated.
  • Remember that babies go through phases. Your baby who wants to play instead of nurse this week may want to nurse every 2 hours next week. You are the expert on your baby, so trust your gut, and enjoy each special season of his life!!