Thursday, May 26, 2016

The MOM Foundation Seeks Beautiful Breastfeeding Images

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

The 2016 MOM Foundation breastfeeding calendar was a hit, not only with photographers who were eager to showcase their work, but also with the moms who purchased them. More importantly, it provided some funding to help with the various projects of The MOM Foundation including the following:

  • Bosom Buddies provides gently used nursing bras to low income and teen moms
  • Half-Price Symphony Breast Pump Rental is also available for those moms
  • Professional Lactation Consultation services are offered on sliding-fee scale for all mothers
  • The North Alabama Cloth Diaper Bank provides cloth diaper loans to families in need
Now it's time to kick off our 2017 Calendar promotion!

Calling All Photographers

We are doing things a bit differently this year. Once again we are inviting photographers to submit breastfeeding photos. Each photographer must submit a high resolution image to as well as either a 10X14 or a 16X20 mounted print (or canvas if you prefer) for our August event (details below). The first 31 photos submitted will be featured throughout the month of August in this blog. We will ask each photographer to help us contact the mom to feature her breastfeeding story one day in our Nurturing Moments blog during World Breastfeeding Month. Multiple images may be used in the blog feature if the photographer wishes. 
There is an entry fee this year because we are planning a special event on August 6, where the fourteen images for the calendar will be chosen. If you choose to submit a 10X14, the entry fee is $10. If you would prefer to submit a 16X20, the fee is $25. All submitted images will be returned to the photographer.

A Celebration of Breastfeeding Beauty

On August 6 we will have a very special night at Lifhthouse Photography Studios in The Lumberyard hosted by A Nurturing Moment and Mary Ellen Pollard. We will have wine and cheese as well as musical entertainment. Each of the submitted photos will be displayed, and attendees will vote for their five favorite images. The top 14 vote recipients will be featured in the 2017 MOM Foundation calendar. Tickets will be $10-12, but all participating photographers will attend free of charge. Those photographers who have paid $25 to enter a 16X20 canvas will also receive special recognition in the program. Calendars will also be available for presale that evening with guaranteed delivery at least 2 weeks before Christmas!

Submit Your Photo Now

Are you excited about having your work featured in our blog? Are you looking forward to being part of the 2017 calendar? Then submit your photo today! In your email let us know if you plan to have a 10X14 or a 16X20 canvas for the Celebration. Remember that we will be featuring photos in our blog based on the order in which we receive them! 

Last year's calendar was absolutely beautiful (we still have a few left - recently discounted to just $10), but I can't wait to see what our amazing photographers put together for this year!!

Get your ticket here! The first 25 people to purchase tickets will get the Early Bird price of $10! Or you can come into A Nurturing Moment to get your ticket.

Count Your Many blessings

A couple of nights ago a Facebook post from my sweet friend Ashley Sparks caught my attention. As I read it, her words resonated deep within my spirit. I've lived in third world countries and know just how very true it is that we are blessed beyond belief in this country. Yet even here in the USA there are mothers wondering how they will feed their children dinner tonight. If you've got that figured out, then count your blessings! 

Thank you, Ashley, for this poignant reminder!

Ashley Sparks

May 24 at 7:39 pm

I'm sitting here scrolling through Facebook and I see some friends who are very well off doing exciting things in exciting places that I may never get to do. My first thought is "Man, I wonder if they have any idea how good they have it. This is just the stuff of dreams to most people." 

And then I realize I am sitting here on my front porch, holding an iPhone. A home is the stuff of dreams to most people in the world. A smartphone is an extravagant expense to the vast majority of the global population.
*They probably wonder if I know how good I have it.*

I am listening to my children playing just inside the door, laughing and squealing. Motherhood is something many women dream of, but are unable to achieve even after years of fertility treatments or adoption heartbreaks. There are also many mothers who have had to tell their precious children goodbye far too soon.
*They probably wonder if I know how good I have it.*

I watch my loving, supportive husband pulling into the driveway after a day of gainful employment with benefits. We live in a nation where work is often hard to come by, and full-time jobs with insurance are a coveted commodity. Too many people are jumping from part-time gig to part time gig, praying that their hours aren't cut so that they don't have to choose between paying the rent and putting food on the table.
*They probably wonder if I know how good I have it.*

We are heading to have dinner at a restaurant with my mother-in-law who came into town to see preschool graduation and spend time with her grandchildren. Many parents would give anything for their parents and in-laws to be on this earth to see their grandchildren.
*They probably wonder if I know how good I have it.*

I am preparing for the summer, wondering how I will keep my kids on a good schedule with no school for a whole 68 days. Meanwhile, millions of mothers worldwide would give anything for their children to have access to school for even a few hours a week in a ramshackle building with no supplies.
*They probably wonder if I know how good I have it.*

Right now, somewhere, someone is desperately hoping and praying for the very things you take for granted. Take the old hymn to heart daily: Count your many blessings, see what God has done.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tri-Care Shows Just How Much They Care about Mamas!

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
Those who sacrifice to serve our nation deserve the very best possible care. TriCare was late to the game, but now they are are providing the very best for nursing moms! Nick Letson and his wife Krystal of Heart Sail, Inc. in Decatur, AL, love working with TriCare families to make sure that new moms have exactly what they need.

TriCare will provide you a double electric breast pump as well as all the supplies you could possibly need for up to 36 months per birth event. That means that the mom who is pumping for her toddler or preschooler will still get supplies! It also means that the mom who has two babies eleven months apart gets a new pump for each one.

Heart Sail makes it a point to keep track and follow up with TriCare moms to make sure that they have all the supplies they need. Every 90 days moms are eligible to replace all disposable parts, so Nick's staff calls each TriCare mom to see exactly what she needs. They then ship her new storage bags, pump parts, tubing etc. according to her needs.

TriCare moms can receive Medela, Ardo, Ameda, Spectra, Avent, Evenflo, Tomy or Lansinoh pumps through Heart Sail. Even if you don't live in the Tennessee Valley, you can receive your pump from Heart Sail unless you live in Florida or Indiana. All you have to do is fill out this form on their website!

If you purchased breast pump supplies after December, 2014 and still have your receipt, Heart Sail will provide you the necessary forms and help you get the reimbursement you deserve. Furthermore, if you received a pump through TriCare, but didn't get the supplies you need or are not continuing to receive supplies, let the good folks at Heart Sail take care of you. You can actually just pick up the phone and call them at 855-309-5454 toll free, and they will work with you to make sure you are getting all the benefits that TriCare is willing to provide. Heart Sail will take care of all the paperwork, and you will get your pump!!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

You CAN Breastfeed Your Twins

By Glenni Lorick, IBCLC  
About eighteen months ago, Svenja and Andrew came to my Breastfeeding Multiples class on a Saturday morning. Not too long afterwards they gave birth to their twins. Svenja was determined to breastfeed them, and 16 months later they are still happily nursing. Despite having a C-Section and feeling like her milk was a bit delayed in coming in, Svenja was committed to giving her babies as much breastmilk as possible. When a nurse who understood her reluctance to give any formula to her babies suggested the possibility of donor milk, Svenja knew she had found a solution that would work for her.

Recently Svenja sat down with me to talk about her breastfeeding adventure. If you know anyone who is expecting twins, be sure that they watch this terrific video! We offer our Breastfeeding Multiples class the first Saturday of each month at 10:00. The cost is just $20, and you will leave with the knowledge you need and the confidence that you, too, can nurse your twins!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Surviving Postpartum Depression, Round 2

By Teresa Fleischmann, Guest Blogger

Have you ever experienced something terrible and assumed you had “paid your dues"? Despite all of my head knowledge about the likelihood of experiencing a postpartum mood disorder a second time, my heart was convinced that my first experience was a fluke. There were warning signs. With Ian I had struggled through miscarriage, infertility, difficult pregnancy, traumatic birth, and he was my first baby. After having an amazing delivery with my second child, my daughter Cora, and experiencing no anxiety or depression postpartum, I figured “been there, done that!” What I failed to recognize, was that every pregnancy and postpartum experience is unique.

In August of last year, 2015, I gave birth to my third child, Luke Jeremiah. To be completely honest, I was not super excited when I found out I was pregnant again. After the birth of my daughter we knew our family was not quite complete. We could see God revealing to us that there was another child in our future. Unfortunately, in 2013/2014, we suffered two consecutive miscarriages, with the later one requiring a D&C. Seeing that second line on a pregnancy test had become terrifying, instead of exciting, as if I was just waiting for something to go wrong. I remember telling my doctor that if we lost this one, I was done. My faith had become fleeting, and I was not sure how much more I could take, emotionally, or physically.

God is Faithful and Luke grew healthy and strong. Aside from the annoyance of Gestational Diabetes, my pregnancy was complication free. Delivery went a little awry when I experienced a repeat shoulder dystocia (I had that with Ian as well), but by and large it was nowhere near as complex or traumatic as my first birth. Luke came to us at a hefty 8lbs 15oz, and instantly I knew our family was complete. The first few days at home where enjoyable, but on day 3 I felt the onset of anxiety, OCD and insomnia. I quickly filled my Lexapro prescription, and within 4 days, I was sleeping well again (at least as well as you can with a newborn!) My husband and I clumsily settled into our new life as a family of 5.

Several weeks later, when Luke was 6 weeks old, I got very, very ill. It’s a long painstaking story, but in summary,  I had a stomach and intestinal parasite that led to a bacterial infection. I could not keep anything down, and within 2 weeks I had lost more than 30 pounds. I looked sickly; I was weak. My muscle was deteriorating. The doctor threatened to hospitalize me. It was scary. The stress on my immune system caused me to break out in the shingles. I quickly started spiraling downward. We decided it was time to ask my mother to come stay with us to help with the kids. She got there just in time.

Have you ever experienced something terrible and assumed you had "paid your dues"?

Within a few days of her arrival, the intense insomnia began. I started having flashbacks to my postpartum period with Ian. I became terrified and detached. My anxiety and OCD became more crippling, and my antidepressant wasn’t cutting it anymore. By the time we put all of our “if the crap hits the fan again” plans into place, I was experiencing full blown paranoia and horrible, horrible intrusive thoughts.

My psychiatrist added an antipsychotic medication to my treatment plan, and within a week or so I became stable. My mom stayed for about 6 weeks to help me get my feet back under me. I attended weekly counseling sessions diligently, and my AMAZING support system of family and friends surrounded me and helped in any and every way possible.

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it is hard to fight the stigma. Hard to admit that I experienced a Postpartum Mood Disorder again. Hard to swallow antipsychotic medication. Insanely hard to remind myself that those horrible, horrible intrusive thoughts were not my own. But, alas, it is only a stigma. I have battled a real, miserable, horrible, monstrous beast named Postpartum Depression AGAIN, and by the Grace of God and the help of my support system, I have come out victorious!

If you or someone you know is experiencing a Pregnancy Related Mood Disorder, please reach out for help. Fight the stigma. Fight for your family. Your family needs YOU! With the proper treatment plan you absolutely will get better!!

I am so very thankful for the two following resources. Both provide free materials, information and social support for women and their families.
Postpartum Support International 
Postpartum Progress           

Teresa Fleischmann is a volunteer at home wife and Mom. She is a Postpartum Anxiety, Postpartum PTSD, Postpartum OCD & Postpartum Depression survivor. She founded the Huntsville Postpartum Support Network providing in person and online support to women experiencing PMADs. If you are a local mom in need of online support, you can email your request here. She is also a state co-coordinator for Postpartum Support International, and co-leads an annual fundraiser for Postpartum Progress called Climb Out of the Darkness. You can register to join her here at

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Win Big at Rosie's Plaza Spring Festival

We are giving away this Sona glider.

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

This Saturday is full of terrific events! In the morning we have Babypalooza at the VBC from 10-2. After shopping til you drop, head on over to the Rosie's Plaza at the corner of Byrd Spring and Memorial Parkway SW to relax and celebrate from 3-6 pm. It is going to be a full afternoon of family fun and delicious food samples! The Kozmic Mama Band will provide entertainment, and the kiddos can get their faces painted.

Yummy Food Samples

We've got some terrific food available in our shopping center! (That's actually my chief complaint about working's tempting to eat too much, and it always smells SOOOO good!) Rosie's will provide chips, salsa and queso. The Blue Plate Cafe will have Iced Tea and Lemonade as well as food samples. Finally, Nick's Ristorante will bring some delicious appetizers and Italian dip sandwich wedges. 

Ruth's Nutrition is giving away this
aromatherapy diffuser

Great Door Prizes

You won't believe the amazing door prizes that will be given away on Saturday! You can go into each individual business to register for a chance to win.

Selman Dental is offering a ZOOM Teeth Whitening valued at $375 and a Sonicare Toothbursh valued at $150.
Sullins Eye Care is giving away a pair of Maui Jim Polarized sunglasses valued at over $150.
Ruth's Nutrition is offering an Aromatherapy Diffuser with essential oil valued at $68 and a basket of health products worth more than $100.
The Blue Plate Café will have 6 Meal for Two gift certificates to give away.
Huntsville Fitness is giving away a 3 month gym membership valued at $160 as well as an $85 Rhino Roller.
Krav Maga Self Defense & Fitness will be giving 2 memberships for 1 month each. ($100 value)
Win this watch from B & B Jewelers.
Mint Julep Market Place will have a gift basket worth $200
The Winning Edge has a $250 Rawlings Heart of the Hide Baseball Glove that they are giving away.
Rosie's Restaurants will be giving $25 gift cards.
Synergy Salon is offering 2 gift certificates worth $50 each and one Aveda head to Toe Basket valued at $150.
B & B Jewelers is giving away a $150 value Bering Watch.
State Farm is offering a $50 gift certificate to Rosie's
Angel's Island Coffee will give away 2 gourmet coffee gift baskets each worth about $20.
Nick's Ristorante will offer a gift certificate for a dinner for two
Finally we will be giving away a Sona Glider by Best Chairs valued at $485, a Breastfeeding Calendar and certificate for a lactation consultation valued at over $100, and a Gender Reveal from the 4D Ultrasound Lady valued at $50.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Don't Miss Babypalooza!!

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
A week from this Saturday the VBC will be filled with expectant parents, new mommies and adorable babies and toddlers when Babypalooza comes to Huntsville! If you are looking for everything baby, then don't miss this fun event from 10:00 - 2:00 in the North Hall. The Babypalooza tour, sponsored by Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Alabama visits 5 different cities across Alabama as well as sites in Mississippi and Tennessee. Huntsville sponsors include Crestwood Hospital, Lexus of Huntsville, Alfa Insurance, WOW and Rocket City Mom as well as three local radio stations, Sunny 98.1, Star 99, and Rocket 95.1.

Natural Parenting Area

A Nurturing Moment is proud to sponsor the Natural Parenting Area. We will have a "Meet the Doula" option where local doulas will be available to answer questions and interact with moms. We will have both labor and postpartum doulas available. We will also have mini seminars on breastfeeding, cloth diapering and baby wearing throughout the day. In our nursing area, we will have a lactation consultant available as well as a baby scale that can actually measure how much your baby takes in a feed. 

Fun for Everyone

Babypalooza is a celebration of life. It is FREE to attend, and it is really like a big baby shower with raffles, complimentary samples, coupons, and interactive baby shower game stations. Giveaways will include car seats, diaper bags, strollers and more. Exhibitors include Babies R Us, 4D Mommies Ultrasound, Covenant Classical School, Nothing Bundt Cake Bakery. Rocket City Chiropractic, and a wonderful variety of other businesses offering amazing things for moms and babies in the Tennessee Valley. Attendees will also receive a goodie bag with lots of terrific samples. So mark your calendar for NEXT Saturday, and register here so the organizers will know you are coming!