Thursday, September 25, 2014

Childhood Cancer Can Devastate Families

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC and Reva Everetts
Thomas "Superman" Sullivan
When Reva first came to A Nurturing Moment last spring, she said that one of her passions was helping families who are dealing with Childhood Cancer. She makes special gifts for these children and sends them packaged with lots of love. She also makes special childhood cancer awareness items to sell and donates the proceeds to non-profits raising money for research like St. Baldrick's FoundationSt. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and Alex's Lemonade Stand (be sure to have a tissue if you click on that last link!)

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, so Reva created a very special window for A Nurturing Moment featuring the following little heroes.

Thomas Sullivan: June 22 2006 - May 28 2013. Lost battle right after 7th birthday.

Thomas Sullivan, also known as "Superman" went in for a routine eye exam on December 8, 2011. When the optimist dilated his eyes he found something behind the eye. Thomas was sent to the doctor, and after an abundance of tests, MRI scans and blood work, he was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma. On December 28th he had a port inserted for chemotherapy and other medicines to be administered. A spinal puncture revealed that Thomas had cancer cells in his spinal fluid, so he would have to receive the highest dose of radiation. On April 3, 2013, after losing most of his strength and ability/want to do anything, he muttered the words to his mother, "I want to go home." The next day they began at home hospice care.
Lexi Lee

Thomas had a HUGE support system throughout his journey. Forty-five thousand prayer warriors followed his story through social media. There was a prayer circle that surrounded him at his home after they started at home hospice care. After he lost his battle on May 28, 2013, the outpouring of people that came to show love, support, and share in the sadness at "Superman's" funeral was surreal.

Lexi Lee, Moulton, Al

Lexi was taken to a doctor after her mother had noticed that she had abnormal bruising. These were not your typical toddler burises; rather, they were bruises that just kept showing up for no apparent reason and not going away. From that day on, it was a whirlwind of events for Lexi and her family.

Penelope Davis
Lexi was officially diagnosed with leukemia in September of 2013. She still undergoes chemotherapy and vigorous blood work to check all of her levels. Lexi and her family have fought an amazing fight and are winning! She has been battling for about a year now, and while she has ups and downs, some moodiness, fatigue and nausea, she has managed through all of this to somehow keep a bright smile on her beautiful face. God has blessed Lexi thus far, but there is still a tremendous need for prayer, support and love for her, her mother Jenna, father Chase, and the rest of their family.

Penelope Davis

The day that changed the Davis' lives was January 18, 2014. Penelope's story is a very sad, short lived, but realistic take on how this awful disease can snatch these tiny humans, these precious souls, our babies away from us in an instant. Penelope had started running into things and acting a little different than her regular self so her parents decided to take her to the doctor. Three short days later, Penelope was diagnosed with stage IV (4) Neuroblastoma. After many scans, bloodwork, and checkups, it was discovered that sweet Penelope had tumors not only in her skull, but in her abdomen and spine, and the cancerous cells had also spread to her bone marrow. Unfortunately, Penelope didn't get to fight for long. She lost her battle just 4 short months later on May 26, 2014.

Sophia Flint

Sophia Flint

On January 8, 2013, Sophia's mother took her to the doctor; from that day on, their lives were forever changed. They were told that Sophia's liver is 3 times the size of a "normal" liver for her age. Furthermore, her blood cells were depleted to 1/6 of what they were supposed to be.

On January 10, a bone marrow test determined that Sophia had A.L.L. (acute lymphatic leukemia), and that it had spread to 70% of her little body. Sophia has fought a long fight and is now in remission! She was able to start school and begin to socialize with other children this year. Nevertheless, she is still undergoing chemotherapy; her last treatment is scheduled for January 2015.

If you drop by the store, you will see pictures of each one of these precious children in our window. We have a jar where Reva is collecting money for childhood cancer research. In addition, 10% of all sales made on Saturday, Sept. 27 will be donated to Alex's Lemonade Stand to further the research efforts.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Comfy Mommy, Cozy Baby

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
In my breastfeeding classes, I tell expectant parents the only two pieces of furniture they really need for baby right away are a comfy nursing chair and a co-sleeper or bassinet right next to their bed.
What??? No CRIB???
 Nope, a crib isn't one of the early essentials...let's look at why:

A Cozy Place for Baby

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep in the same room as their parents, but not in the same bed. They encourage parents to place the infant's bassinet or crib next to the parent's bed. The beauty of the Arm's Reach Co-sleeper is that it allows your baby to be in the recommended "separate but proximate" sleep environment, but baby is easily accessible for night feedings. Because the side on the co-sleeper drops, and the co-sleeper attaches securely to the parent's bed, it is the perfect place for baby. According to information from Arm's Reach, even with the millions of parents who have utilized their co-sleepers, no infant death attributable to SIDS has ever occurred.

Arm's Reach has both mini and standard options. The mini is more like a bassinet size which baby will outgrow more quickly. A bassinet or cradle next to the bed is also a good option, but not quite as convenient for Mom. Some parents actually do bring the crib into their room and put it next to the bed. That is another safe option.

The one place a parent must NEVER fall asleep with a baby is in a recliner or on a sofa. That is far more dangerous than any other infant sleep situation. This article by Dr. James McKenna does a great job of addressing infant sleep.

A Comfy Place for Mom

Much of Mom's time will be spent with baby snuggled at the breast nursing. In the early days, some moms do nurse sitting in bed, but that can get uncomfortable after a while. A comfy sofa or loveseat is certainly an option. But many mothers want a special chair in baby's room or in their own bedroom where they can comfortably establish a successful breastfeeding relationship. When I was nursing my babies I had a Bentwood rocker. It was nice, but honestly, I was more comfortable on our loveseat. However, when I inherited my grandfather's La-Z-Boy recliner, I found my nursing home!

Today's moms want both comfort and style. The Best Chairs Storytime Series offers both! Whether you want a traditional wooden glider or prefer a more modern swivel glider or even a recliner that swivels and glides, they have what you're looking for! You can even go to their design center and build the chair of your dreams. Because all their products are made in the USA, you know that you're getting real quality. I love the way they stand behind their chairs!

Make sure you pick a chair that is a comfortable height for you. You may find that a nursing stool is a nice addition. You want to be sure that you have room for pillows to support your baby in either a cradle or a football hold. You need to be able to sit back comfortably and be well supported.  The beauty of a swivel glider is that it allows you to turn in all directions. That can be a life saver if you happen to have a busy toddler running around while you nurse your new baby.

The nice thing about a recliner is that it is ideal for laid back breastfeeding. This natural position works well for many mothers and babies, and can be especially comfortable following a C-Section. Of course it is critically important NOT to fall asleep with baby in the chair. If you feel very drowsy, you will be much safer nursing in your bed than in your chair. Middle of the night feedings in particular are probably safer in the bed.

We Want to Help You Get What You Need

At A Nurturing Moment we don't carry cribs or fancy nursery furniture. But we do carry Arm's Reach Co-sleepers and Best Chairs! We try to have to best price in town and even offer free local delivery! As an added bonus, with approved credit you can finance any furniture purchase depending on the amount for up to a year with no money down! Our passion is helping moms and babies, and we look forward to helping YOU get off to the very best start with your little blessing. 

This week only, when you mention this blog post, save 10% on any chair you order! Saturday, Sept. 20 is the final day for this offer!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Probiotics and Your Baby

By Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

Yesterday somebody asked me about why and how an infant should be given probiotics. Those are really important questions, so let's look at the answers.

What is a Probiotic?

A Probiotic is composed of living organisms -  "friendly" bacteria - that help keep the body healthy. There are various strains of probiotics, many of which are a form of lactobacillus. When babies receive breastmilk, they actually get prebiotics which promote the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria or flora. The low concentration of proteins and phosphates in breast milk, as well as the presence of lactoferrin, lactose, nucleotides and oligosaccharides may account for this effect.  

Why Give a Baby Probiotics?

Mothers who are exclusively breastfeeding often choose not to give anything other than breast milk to their infants. However, there is some preliminary research that may indicate the ability of probiotics to reduce colic in infants. Also, any time a mother or baby receives antibiotics, the healthy bacteria in baby's gut can be altered. We know that when mother's take probiotics, they pass the healthy benefits on to their breastfed babies. However, some doctors do recommend that infants receive probiotics as well, especially if mother and baby are both dealing with Candida A. (thrush). Of course, any time a nursing mother takes antibiotics, she should always plan to take probiotics, as well.

How to Give a Baby Probiotics

When a mother takes probiotics, her baby does receive the beneficial effects. Unless baby is having specific issues necessiating a probiotic, he may very well get all he needs via his mother's milk. If he does need an infant probiotic, many experts recommend using a powdered probiotic designed for babies and applying just a little to the nipple before nursing. Probiotic infant drops also exist, but an exclusively breastfed baby probably doesn't need to go that route. It is always a good idea to talk with your baby's physician about anything you are giving him. But there are generally no harmful side effects to small amounts of probiotics.  Always be sure to follow the manufacturer's dosing  recommendations.

If you have used probiotics with your baby, please leave a comment about your experience, what brand you used and what effects you saw. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"My Smart Hands" Classes Help Baby Communicate

By Shelley Lawson, My Smart Hands instructor
Imagine…communicating with your baby before he or she can even speak, and/or being able to communicate more effectively with your toddler. Now you can! My name is Shelley, and I am so excited to be able to be teaching baby sign language classes in the Huntsville area! I am licensed through the My Smart Hands program, a 100% ASL baby sign language program. My Smart Hands is the first baby signing program to receive the Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA) award of excellence.
Baby sign language reduces frustration, accelerates verbal development and strengthens cognitive skills. It also enhances child-parent bonding through time spent teaching signs to your baby. Research shows that preverbal infants can communicate through the use of sign language long before they can verbalize their needs.
In a playful, educational and language-rich environment, caregivers and children will build their American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary through instruction, interactive games and songs. You will learn recommended first signs; we will discuss the benefits of using ASL with infants and demonstrate easy techniques for successfully integrating signs into everyday life. Some of the ASL vocabulary covered for this age group includes: everyday words, family, food, animals, emotions, opposites, bed time and play signs. All of our classes include a full color MSH™ curriculum book with a CD of the songs we teach. The books have pictures of the signs learned along with descriptions for easy reference long after the class is over! Currently, I am offering the Level 1 class on Sundays from October 5th to November 23rd. The classes will be held from 3-4 at A Nurturing Moment. Cost is $150 (this includes the cost of the curriculum book). Visit for more information, or email me at Please register by September 16. Want proof that baby sign language can work? Check out this video of My Smart Hands founder, Laura Berg, and her daughter Fireese: