Thursday, May 25, 2017

Local Businesses Roll Out the Red Carpet for Breastfeeding Moms

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

North Alabama is home to some amazing businesses that really understand how important it is to support their tiniest clients...and their mothers who are nursing them. Our moms have weighed in on which stores, restaurants and other businesses have made them feel welcome as they nursed their babies, and we want to share these with you. Be sure to thank these businesses for their outstanding customer service!


Alchemy at Lowe Mill   Lindsay says they were wonderful when she was having her non-dairy small latte there!

Bravo at Bridge Street  This restaurant gets our 5 star rating! Amanda was there the other night as part of a graduation party. While they waited up front for the party room to be set up, her baby got hungry. When the hostess noticed she was nursing she asked Amanda if she'd like a glass of water or sweet tea. Once they were seated the manager came out and brought a car seat hammock, helping them get settled in. When they saw her get out a bag of breastmilk to heat up, the waiter brought a glass of scalding water to warm it, and the female waitress assisting with the party noticed the glass was too full, so she brought a coffee cup and poured some of the milk into it, explaining that she heated her milk that way, too. Amanda never had to ask for anything. They obviously had a process in place and were very comfortable with nursing mothers. 

Buffalo Wild Wings in Huntsville  Leah has high compliments for their staff's treatment of breastfeeding mothers.

Casa Blanca  Justen said that the waiter took her order without any hesitation while she was nursing uncovered. He acted like it was a totally normal day for him, which was really nice.

Nothing But Noodles in Huntsville  Leah says their staff was particularly great about her nursing.

Phil Sandoval's  Holly says that although both of her nurslings are past the typical nursing age, this restaurant has always been super welcoming!

Rosie's on South Parkway  Keli notes that she breastfeeds here all the time. She has never felt uncomfortable, and they have always made her feel welcome!

Tzakikis in Madison  Rebekah says that they are SUPER welcoming and supportive of nursing mommas! Sometimes the girls from the Madison Breastfeeding group will go there for lunch, and they have everything all set up for them. She says this restaurant is awesome!


Moms and Babies are always welcome to hang out at
A Nurturing Moment
A Nurturing Moment  Rebecca says that so far this is the only place she has nursed in public. Rebekah adds that it is great to be able to shop and not feel judged or rushed with her nursing Toddlet. Kristi says she loves stopping by ANM to nurse when she is out this way. We offer nursing mothers a comfy place to sit as well as nursing pillows if necessary. We also have a refrigerator stocked with water because we know mamas get thirsty when nursing.

Acorn Treasures Caitlyn and Rebekah both say they are great.

Belk  Mary was shopping for her 8 year old when her baby got fussy. They showed her to a comfortable area by the dressing rooms, then left her alone to nurse in privacy.

Costco  Marie says they have a nursing room set up near their employee break room. Once when she was there the lady checking receipts saw that she was sitting at one of the tables to nurse. When Marie walked by her later, the lady told her that it was available if she needed it.

Posh Mommy & Baby, Too  Rebekah says they are great with nursing moms.

Professional Services

Dr. Patty Long welcomes nursing moms
Advanced Eye Care of Madison   Rebecca says that her eye doctor is incredibly supportive of breastfeeding. She was there when her baby was just a month old and they were still struggling with nursing. They gave her an exam room and told her to take all the time she needed to feed her baby. Furthermore, the staff - including her doctor - encouraged her to continue breastfeeding and made sure that she had a lactation consultant when she admitted that she was having problems. This is one business that really cares about their clients!

Chase Animal Hospital  April says that she had a bit of a wait there, and her baby got hungry. The doctor came in and said that she was breastfeeding, too. It made her feel much less self conscious.

Long Chiropractic  Rebekah says that Dr. Patty Long is very breastfeeding friendly.

Madison Speech Associates  While she was there, the receptionist and SLP overheard Claire mention that she was about to feed her daughter. They set her up in a private room during her son's speech therapy.

Whitesburg Gardens  Samantha is usually nursing her baby in her sling as she goes into her grandmother's nursing home. She has received verbal praise for breastfeeding from the employees. She has also had nurses or other employees peak in at her baby and talk to her while she's feeding without even a second glance. 


Insanity Skate Complex Mary praises the way they handled a guy who was harassing her as she nursed in a corner away from everyone: they threw him out!

Marriott Hotel by Space and Rocket Center  Sarah was there for a conference, and they had no place to pump aside from the restroom. However, a very kind female administrator let Sarah use her personal office.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Attachment Parenting Produced an Amazing Graduate

Last year in Colombia
by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

This has been a very special week in our family's life. My baby graduated from high school (for the second time) Friday night. His first graduation happened last year in Cali, Colombia, where he had spent his junior year. In Cali they only have 11 years of school, so he graduated with his eleventh grade class there and received a special honor because of his outstanding grades and his contributions to the school despite everything being in Spanish. By the time we went to Cali last year to see him graduate, he was completely fluent in Spanish.

But he wanted to come back to his school here, Westminster Christian Academy, to finish his senior year. He took 3 Advanced Placement courses this year and continued his habit of making straight A's, graduating with a 4.2 GPA. He has known since he was 12 that he wanted to serve his country as a military aviator. This year he applied to Annapolis, applied for a Navy ROTC scholarship and actually enlisted as a Navy Nuke! We were overjoyed when he received the NROTC scholarship to Auburn University where he will study Aerospace Engineering. Thursday afternoon at the awards ceremony two US Navy officers and the recruiter who has worked closely with John Carl all year presented him with a huge check representing his scholarship.
John's Navy ROTC Scholarship

John Carl is a product of Attachment Parenting. He nursed until he was two and a half. He slept with us as a baby and toddler. He was a product of gentle discipline, and always had a deep desire to please us. We were asked to write a letter to be given him at senior breakfast. I want to share with you what we wrote.

Our precious, amazing son,

It is such a privilege to be your parents. You have brought so much joy and love into this family, and each family member has been touched by you in different ways. You have a strong relationship with each of your siblings, and Dad and I both really enjoy just being with you, too. From the time you were just a baby, you have always been a truly delightful person to be around.

I remember taking you to Nido when you were just three years old. You loved stopping by the panaderia on the corner to grab a special treat. Everybody loved seeing you come by! You were such a precious little caballero (NOT caballo)! Then you started Pre-K at Westminster, and everybody just loved you. You may actually be the only student who has been at Evangel, M&M, North Hills and Brockway campuses! From the earliest days at Westminster you excelled in everything. You wanted to do well; I think it was important to you that we were proud of you, but I also think you had an inner drive to succeed!
John's Spirit of Auburn Scholarship

When it came to sports, you never held back even a tiny bit. I wonder how many students have actually been forbidden to play football and soccer at recess?? You may have been a bit small for your age, but you were the most aggressive athlete out there many times! You allowed sports to shape you into a keen competitor who is fit both physically and mentally for the many challenges that lie ahead. I think now you can see that the many years of sports weren’t about winning or losing. Rather, they were about helping you become the man you are today.

I remember when you were 12 and told us you were going to be a military pilot and study aerospace engineering. You never wavered in your determination to pursue a military career, even going to the point of actually enlisting. The night you got word that you were awarded your NROTC scholarship was one of the happiest moments of my life! We would have been proud of you as a Nuke, but we are so thankful you can go in as an officer doing what you really want to do!

I will never forget the day we were walking around Colegio Americano and you told me you wanted to spend your junior year there. Letting you go to Cali last year was one of the hardest things we have ever done in our life. But we didn’t have a choice because the same God that was speaking to your heart was speaking to our hearts as well. We were so proud of you at graduation last year. You had grown so much during that year in so many ways.  Your accomplishments at Colegio Americano still amaze us, and we are so thankful that you had that life-changing experience.

We are so proud of our Honor graduate!
For many people, the high school years are the best time of their life. Not you! For many people, college is the best time of their life. Not you! The best time of your life will be the day that you are living today in the presence of your Savior. As you look back on your life when you are our age, may you see a lifetime that is full of God’s richest blessings, a lifetime that has been spent serving Christ and serving others, a lifetime that has made a difference in this world.  Cling to Christ like a shipwrecked sailor clings to his raft. Hold tight to Him in the bad times, but especially in the good times!

Son, we love you more than words could ever begin to express, and our hearts are bursting with pride as we see you graduate today. Last year’s graduation was just a prelude to this year’s. And tonight’s graduation is but a prelude to the rest of your life!

Mom and Dad

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Local Mom Makes Heartfelt Plea for ABA Coverage for Spectrum Individuals

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC
This morning I read the following letter that my friend Ashley Sparks wrote to Senator Paul Sanford. Ashley is an amazing woman who eloquently advocates not only for her daughter, Brinley, but for all individuals on the Autism Spectrum. I have known Ashley since before Brinley was born. I remember when she suspected that Brinley might have a problem, and when Brinley received her diagnosis. Ashley, like many other mothers of children on the Autism Spectrum, pours her heart and soul into advocating for her daughter!  

A Bill mandating insurance coverage for the expensive ABA therapy needed by children on the Autism Spectrum passed the House by a unanimous vote. However in the Senate, it was referred to committee. Senator Sanford was only one of two "No" votes in the committee that approved the bill 14-2. My prayer is that this letter touches Senator Sanford's heart and the hearts of other Senators who may happen to see it. Please share it far and wide in the hope that every Alabama state senator will see it and understand how critical the ABA funding really is!  

Senator Sanford,
I would be surprised if you remembered me, but we spoke at length several times during your first campaign. At the time, I had no idea my second child would have an autism diagnosis and would struggle to get through a normal day without sensory overwhelm and, often, violent meltdowns. I just knew you coached my cousin's basketball team, ran a killer barbecue joint, and supported the legalization of midwives. Each time I spoke to you I was encouraged because I felt you were someone I could count on to always do the right thing. Your integrity was what stood out to me, above all else. So I not only voted for you, I campaigned for you. I walked streets and handed out flyers, I advocated for you to anyone who would listen, and I held signs on election day.
I know that often the "right thing" is not always black and white, especially in the murky political world. I understand that you have firm beliefs in small government, and the right of the free market to regulate itself. As such, I can understand why you would balk at a bill mandating private insurance companies to cover any specific therapies.
Brinley in the middle of a meltdown. I wasn't able to touch
her for nearly half an hour while she screamed "Mommy!
Help me!" She could not tolerate being touched due to her
sensory overwhelm, but wanted my help. There is nothing
 more heartbreaking than watching your child suffer
when you are helpless to fix it.

But senator, I do believe that this is one of those times that departure from your political principles is not only reasonable, it is critical. You see, a free market might well regulate itself into including these coverages through competition. There are compelling arguments on both sides of the fence about the feasibility of that actually coming to pass. However, it requires a great deal of something of which we simply don't have the luxury - time.

My daughter, Brinley, is six years old. She has already lost the most critical years for ABA therapy, but if this bill were passed, she could still greatly benefit from therapy. She might one day sit in a regular classroom, at least for part of her day. She might be able to go out to a restaurant without covering her ears and screaming halfway through the meal because of her learned coping skills. She might even, someday, be independent enough to have a job and even a home of her own. But only if her critical supports are provided. As you can see, I can't wait for a free market to sort itself out. Neither can the other 50,000 plus individuals in Alabama with Autism Spectrum Disorders. While we respect that economics must be a considered factor, we must prioritize our children's greatest needs. For Brinley and tens of thousands of others, that need is ABA and the time it is needed is yesterday.

Senator, I am urging you - no, pleading with you - to support this bill. I am begging you to support the removal of the amendment capping the age at 16. Autism is a lifelong condition and while the greatest needs for ABA are in the younger years, the need for access doesn't magically disappear at any given age. A child who required thirty hours of ABA at age six might only require a couple of hours a week at age sixteen, but they may still desperately need that support at a time in their lives when their worlds continue to change rapidly. I am also asking in desperation that you remove the amendment that would limit coverage requirements to plans for fifty or more employees. This would exclude at least half of Alabama families, and severely limit tangible job opportunities for parents of children on the spectrum. It would prevent parents from venturing into small business for themselves, and could easily become a functional cap on the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of Alabamians. Please, sir, don't let that happen.
Brinley with her service-dog-in-training, Max. Moments like this
we get to see our daughter - really see her, and not just her autism.
Moments like this give us hope. ABA therapy would mean far
more moments like this and fewer like the one above.

I voted for you in the confidence that you would always do the right thing. I was so disheartened to hear your votes in committee the other day because it was clear to me that you and I were not on the same page about what the right thing was regarding this bill.

Please look at this sweet girl. Look in the faces of our children who need this therapy to lead lives with meaningful communication and relationships. They need this therapy to lead full lives. I think when you look at them, senator, you will know in your heart that the right thing to do in this situation is not about political philosophy, but about human dignity - and that is passing this bill, preferably free of the amendments.
Thank you for your time. You have my faith to do the right thing.
Ashley Sparks

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Join Us Saturday at Babypalooza

Come celebrate all things Baby!
by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

It's time once again to celebrate everything BABY this Saturday when the Babypalooza tour hits Huntsville. From 9:00 - 1:00 the North Hall of the VBC will be transformed into a  veritable candy store for expectant and new parents! Exhibitors will have everything from baby registry information to safety tips to adorable outfits for your little bundle of joy!

Babies R Us will be present with information on setting up your registry, door prizes, and other goodies. Aetna is sponsoring the Child Safety Area where the focus will be safe sleep, infant CPR, and other topics relevant to keeping your little angel safe. Local preschools, retailers and medical professionals will all be on hand to help make the day memorable for you.  Baby shower games throughout the day will keep it fun!

But Babypalooza isn't just about fun and games. It is also about education. Dana Stone of Rest Assured Consulting will be talking about how to help your child get a good night's sleep. Crestwood Hospital will be offering a series of classes throughout the day.

9:45 Breastfeeding
10:15 Overcoming Breastfeeding Obstacles
10:45 Crestwood Maternity Unit Tour
11:15 Q & A with OB Nursing Staff

A Nurturing Moment will also have a full schedule of classes throughout the day:

9:15 Nutrition in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding - Join Freida Houck, certified instructor with the LEAN program to learn how to feed yourself so that baby gets optimal nutrition.
10:00 Post Partum Depression - Alicia Schuster-Couch of New Leaf Counseling Services of the TN Valley will discuss maternal mental and emotional health issues and how to know if you need extra help.
10:45 Cloth Diapering - Margaret Harmon will  teach the basics of cloth diapering. This is a great introductory class for anybody thinking about trying cloth.
11:30 Your Birth Plan - Bradley Instructor Ashlea Sukhwani help you figure out what you want to include in your birth plan.
12:15 Hypnobabies - Hannah Ellis, Hypnobabies certified doula will talk to you about this fascinating approach to childbirth. 

We will also have several doulas present throughout the day so that you can actually meet them and talk about the possibility of having a doula present for your birth. Our spot is right by the nursing room, and we will have a baby scale set up so that you can actually weigh your baby before nursing and after nursing to see exactly how much milk baby is getting. I will be available to check your baby's latch and answer any breastfeeding questions you have.

Make your plans now to attend, and we'll see you Saturday!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Does Calling Breastfeeding "Natural" Make Moms Choose NOT to Vaccinate?

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

I was at Rick's Barbecue Thursday night with my son when I saw Tucker Carlson interviewing Cathy Areu about an article that had been published in Pediatrics, the professional journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics about a year ago. That interview, in which Ms. Areu argued that finally there was a study showing that breastfeeding isn't natural and that fathers can just as easily feed their babies as mothers can, made me go in search of this ridiculous study. When I found it, I realized that it was highly likely that neither Ms. Areu nor Tucker Carlson had actually read the manuscript which was not a study at all, but rather a piece posted in the Perspectives section of Pediatrics. I don't know what Areu and Carlson were discussing, but it certainly wasn't the article I read!
Dr. Jessica Martucci

 The piece, entitled "Unintended Consequences of Invoking the 'Natural' in Breastfeeding Promotion" is authored by two PhD's. Anne Barnhill, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. Jessica Martucci, PhD is a Fellow of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the same university. She was a faculty member in the History department at Mississippi State University, but a recent employee search indicates that she is no longer there. In 2015, Mantucci published an interesting history of modern breastfeeding called Back to the Breast: Natural Motherhood and Breastfeeding in America. She recounts the struggles that mothers had in the middle of the 20th century to breastfeed, the emergence of La Leche League as a voice for mothers, and the resurgence of breastfeeding in recent years. One breastfeeding advocate who heard Mantucci speak in 2013 came away from the evening with the sense that she was not a proponent of breastfeeding. It is worth noting that her primary area of interest is in relationship to how history and policy affect women's and LGBT health.

Knowing who authored the piece does shed some light on it. However, the authors are NOT saying that breastfeeding isn't natural. Rather, they are concerned that the use of the word "natural" to promote breastfeeding could have some unintended ethical consequences. They discuss two areas of particular concern.


Their first argument has to do with their fear that parents will equate "natural" with not vaccinating. She seems to think that hearing the word "natural" applied to breastfeeding will inevitably lead some parents to think they should avoid anything not "natural." Somehow that word will turn everybody into some kind of crazy fringe anti-vaxing hippie:
Breastfeeding actually is baby's "first immunization"
"Studies have shown that parents who resist vaccination tend to inhabit networks of like-minded individuals with similar beliefs. These pockets of antivaccination sentiment tend to overlap with reliance on and interest in complementary and alternative medicine, skepticism of institutional authority,  and a strong commitment and interest in health knowledge, autonomy, and healthy living practices."
Dr. Mark Sloan, a pediatrician in Petaluma CA says this in response to that argument:
"The idea that the use of 'natural' to promote breastfeeding will lead parents to question the 'unnaturalness' of vaccination hinges on a false dichotomy: that parents considering vaccination are faced with a binary choice between the natural (probiotics, herbs, nutritional supplements, etc.) and the unnatural (manufactured vaccines). In reality, parents often choose a mix of these measures, none of which are completely natural in the Oxford Dictionary sense. The drive to protect our children from infectious diseases—whether by amulets, prayer, vaccination, or the harvesting, processing, packaging and sale of herbs, supplements and the like—has always involved a substantial degree of human intervention."
 Dr. Joan Y. Meek, a pediatrician at the Florida State University College of Medicine, together with colleagues Dr. Julie Ware and Dr. Lawrence M. Noble, offers us the ideal way to juxtapose vaccinations and breastfeeding:
"The ideal way to connect breastfeeding with vaccinations is to highlight breastfeeding as the 'first immunization' recognizing the abundant immune protective factors present in breastmilk, and especially in colostrum."

Gender Roles
Breastmilk really is nature's perfect infant food.

The second area of concern they raise has to do with the ethics of promoting a gender role by saying that breastfeeding is natural. They argue that when we talk about breastfeeding in terms of it being a "natural" function, we are entering into a controversial area where public policy does not belong.
"Coupling nature with motherhood, however, can inadvertently support biologically deterministic arguments about the roles of men and women in the family (for example, that women should be the primary caretakers of children). Referencing the 'natural' in breastfeeding promotion, then, may inadvertently endorse a controversial set of values about family life and gender roles, which would be ethically inappropriate."
So apparently if we say that breastfeeding is the natural way to feed our babies, we are politically incorrect misogynistic throwbacks to a bygone era where June Cleaver stayed home dutifully caring for Wally and the Beaver.

Breastfeeding is a pure, natural act of love
THAT IS RIDICULOUS! I have had the privilege of meeting families in all kinds of situations during my time at A Nurturing Moment. We have mothers who are the breadwinners in their families who take their breastpumps to work so that Dad will have plenty of NATURAL breastmilk to feed baby the next day. We have families where both parents are working outside the home and Mom is pumping each day. We have families where Dad works outside of the home and Mom works in the home caring for their children. We have families with two mothers. I have seen it all and supported each type of family in their specific situation. I cannot imagine a single one of these mothers being offended that breastfeeding has been called natural.

Dr. Meek and her colleagues say it best:
"Choosing our words carefully in health promotion is important, but even more important is the effect our words have on the desired health outcomes. Just as the authors are concerned about a theoretical effect of breastfeeding promotion on vaccine rates, we are concerned about the effect of their article, and other similar articles, on breastfeeding promotion and rates. Let us state clearly that breastfeeding is the normative standard for infant feeding, and other feeding methods put mothers and children at risk for both short and long-term adverse health outcomes."