Toast Tuesday…Feeding Baby!

Feeding Baby

Whenever I have an idea about what is needed out there on the “world” wide web…surprise I find it.

That is what happened a few months ago when I was reading about new moms and breastfeeding in New York City where Mayor Bloomberg initiated a program “Latch on NYC”.

Since when does a city mayor have so much to say about how a mom feeds her baby and orders formula kept under lock and key on the maternity floor? I was perplexed by yet another Bloomberg health proclamation.

I believe that moms can choose how to feed their infants

I believe and know that breast milk is best.

I believe that some women cannot breast feed successfully.

I believe that no mom should feel guilty or be made to feel guilty because she chooses not to breast feed.

I believe that hospital staff should be educated and non-judgmental when it comes to a mother’s choice about feeding her baby.

I believe that hospital staff should not bottle feed a baby that is breast feeding without a medical reason to do so and and consulting with the mother.

I believe that when moms are having difficulty breastfeeding their infant they should have a place to go that will encourage them, yet not make them feel guilty and remorseful if they cannot continue to breast feed.

I believe that the Fearless Formula Feeder is a place that women can visit and be supported no matter…whether breast or bottle feeding.

Thank you, Fearless Formula Feeder!


FFF is a blog – and community – dedicated to infant feeding choice, and committed to providing non-judgmental support for all new parents. It exists to protect women from misleading or misrepresented “facts”; essentialist ideals about what mothers should think, feel, or do; government and health authorities who form policy statements based on ambivalent research; and the insidious beast known as Internetus Trolliamus, Mommy Blog Varietal.

via About the FFF | Fearless Formula Feeder.

Weekend Reading…


A month later, the Food and Drug Administration issued a caution that SimplyThick should not be fed to premature infants because it may cause necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, a life-threatening condition that damages intestinal tissue.

At the breastfeeding group that I volunteer at, the most common non-breastfeeding-related concern (or rather, the most common indirectly breastfeeding-related concern) the new mums have is that they are holding their babies too much. This is an open letter to them, and to all mothers who worry that their babies are spending too much time in their arms.

Check out The Artful Parent on Facebook for Valentine ideas for your kids….


Have a good weekend and I hope everyone is safe and warm during the blizzard on the East Coast.


Sharing your kids online…how much is too much???

A brouhaha broke out on Instagram recently over a picture of a 3-year-old eating ice cream while taking a bath. The issue was not about eating ice cream in the bath tub — truthfully I think the concept is brilliant — but instead, everyone freaked out about the blogger publicly posting a full frontal nude photo of her child for the viewing pleasure of her 25,000-plus followers.

via Sharing ‘cute’ naked photos of your kids online: Just don’t –

I have written before about children whose lives are being shared on the internet.

It seems that there is little thought given to how these kids will feel when they are older and happen upon these “stories” about themselves and their families.

It seems that there should be more thought given to the impact that this life sharing can have on a child…this is really uncharted territory. There has never been a generation that has experienced their lives being basically “open books” much less shared with basically the whole internet world with their mom commenting on it.

The therapist part of me says that in the not too distant future this is going to pose a problem for today’s children especially when their lives have been the topic of a mommy blogger since they were born.

In particular, I would pay particular concern to those children, whose lives are basically being exploited by their own parents…by that, I mean that their family “business” or “dirty laundry” so to speak has been blogged to essentially any and all who choose to read it. It is like “Honey Boo Boo” without the cameras. In the not too distant future these kids will be able to read what has been said and commented on…what are they going to think?

I guess what I might do is ask everyone who blogs about their family to read their posts very carefully and ask themselves if it is something that they will want their children to read in the future. Will it follow them around like a big shadow that they simple cannot shed and will they resent you for it in the end.

Parenting carries with it a huge responsibility and keeping your child safe is something that should not be taken lightly…”15 seconds or really a life time  of internet fame” …is it really worth it?



Children and theatre… the possibilities are endless!

child with theatre masks

Theatre has always been magical to me from early childhood school productions to elaborate Broadway shows. It is a way of sharing make believe mixed with a dose of reality.

Children’s theatre is amazing and can provide a child with so many learning opportunities about so many diverse things.

Literature that is turned into a play can be such a learning experience for a child from science to history, to music, to relationships and handling small childhood conflicts.

I love reading children’s books myself and reading them to children makes them all the more special. Children have the uncanny ability to take us by surprise and ask questions that we may not even realize they have swirling around in the little heads

The truth be said, I  cannot think of a better way to help a child learn life lessons than to expose them to literature and theatre.

What do you think?

Here are just a few pieces of reading that comment on what is new and in the works for young audiences.

Chicago has many opportunities to enjoy theatre with your children….the Emerald City Theatre recently had a fantastic production of Knuffle Bunny adapted from the Caldecott Award winning book of the same name.

Do your self and your children or grandchildren a favor and checkout children’s theatre in your community…you might just find another way to laugh and enjoy yourselves together.

In fact “Take A Child to the Theatre Today” is the campaign theme of The International Association of Theaters for Young Audiences for the next three years.

If you take a child to the theater, not only will they practice empathy, they might also laugh uproariously, or come home singing about science, or want to know more about history, or tell you what happened at school today, or spend all dinner discussing music, or learn how to handle conflict, or start becoming future patrons of the arts.

via Lauren Gunderson: How Theater for Young People Could Save the World.



Chicago Children’s Theatre has evolved as both a professional and personal response to the lack of a Chicago company dedicated exclusively to providing high-quality, professional year-round children’s programming. Since its founding, Chicago Children’s Theatre has rigorously pursued its mission to enrich our communities through diverse and significant theatrical programming that engages and inspires the child in all of us.

After the success of its launch production of A Year With Frog and Toad in January 2006 at Goodman Theatre, Chicago Children’s Theatre continues to provide Chicago children and families with the highest level professional theatre programming. There has been tremendous critical and popular support of Chicago Children’s Theatre and its audience continues to grow. In just over six years since the theatre’s inception in 2005, more than 180,000 youth and families have attended its productions.

via About Us | Chicago Children’s Theatre.



Chicago Moms

Emerald City Theatre


Pediatrics…The Role of Traditional and Integrative Medicine

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2012

As a nurse, I am very interested in the role that integrative medicine combined with traditional medicine is playing in healthcare today.

I believe that there is a balance between the mind, the body and the spirit  and that it helps to take care of all of these to attain better health even when a person or child is sick with an illness.

In the case of pediatric arthritis, the recent story in the NY Times highlighted a mother’s concern about her son and his diagnosis of juvenile arthritis. He experienced very debilitating symptoms which interfered with his life as a young boy…sports, school and family activities.

The tenacious spirit of his mother and her willingness to explore integrative medicine as well as traditional medical treatments for pediatric arthritis has made it possible for her son to now enjoy a remission of his symptoms.

There is much to be said for traditional treatments as well as integrative medicine and the balance between them.

This article highlights the need for parents to advocate for their children when it comes to healthcare … it also shows the internal struggle of the mom as well as the struggle between the parents when it comes to making decisions regarding the treatment plan for their little boy.

When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness it is a time of family crisis. All family members are affected…it is a time of disbelief and grief, worry and work to find the best possible treatments.

It is a path that requires an open mind on the part of the parents and sometimes it is helpful to talk to other parents whose children are experiencing the same illness. Today there are many resources available for parents and it is their responsibility to seek them out and make use of them to the best of their abilities.

It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help from social workers or other healthcare professionals in order to accept and deal with a child’s serious illness.

I hope you read this rather lengthy article and appreciate the role and balance of traditional and integrative medicine in today’s healthcare.

In the comments following this article there was concern expressed that this story may encourage parents to choose natural remedies ignoring traditional treatments only to have them fail.

For me, this article illustrates the judicious use of alternative medicine in conjunction with traditional treatments. These parents were not fighting with their child’s physicians they were working with them, which is how it should be, but as we know this is not how it always is.

I am in favor of working with specialists in both traditional and integrative medicine when illness and its symptoms are perplexing. I am in no way endorsing only alternative treatments when it comes to illnesses.

What do you think? Are you familiar with integrative medicine? Do you know of an integrative medicine practice in your area?

The Boy With a Thorn in His Joints –

Pediatric integrative medicine: pediatrics’ newe… [BMC Pediatr. 2012] – PubMed – NCBI.

What is Integrative Pediatrics? – the whole child.

Media « Lawrence Rosen, MD.





Kids and Asthma…Some interesting facts.

Little girls and an I-pad

Asthma is a scary experience particularly when one of your children has asthma. Sometimes new parents may not even recognize the symptoms, since many times the child will present with only a cough initially.

But if your child is having difficulty breathing or catching his breath you should contact your pediatrician or go to the emergency room as soon as possible…you may not actually hear your child wheezing but he may need emergency treatment.

Asthma is a chronic (long-term) inflammatory disease in which the airways become blocked or narrowed. This is usually temporary, but it causes shortness of breath, trouble breathing, and other symptoms. If asthma becomes severe, the person may need emergency treatment to restore normal breathing.

Colds and allergens are two of the most common triggers of asthma in kids. Children with who have asthma are usually evaluated after infancy.

If left untreated asthma in children can become very problematic especially when they have a cold…colds often go straight to their chests and they may experience wheezing and coughing particularly at night and the child may have difficulty sleeping because of it.

Although asthma can have multiple causes, it is not uncommon to see two or more causes present in one child. These kids can experience recurrent bouts with bronchitis, shortness of breath and wheezing, when exercising, weather can also factor into asthma as well as environmental causes.

Here are 7 Interesting Asthma Facts

  • If your young child is exposed to certain environmental factors, she may develop asthma.
  • Your child could have asthma even if he doesn’t wheeze.
  • A doctor might call your child’s symptoms “reactive airway disease” instead of asthma.
  • If your child had eczema as a baby, she is at higher risk for developing asthma later.
  • Asthma doesn’t need to limit your child’s activities.
  • Even if your child has only mild asthma, you shouldn’t let your guard down.
  • Your child’s treatment plan should be reevaluated every three to six months.

Asthma: 7 Surprising Things You Should Know.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America – Information About Asthma, Allergies, Food Allergies and More!.

Childhood Asthma | AAAAI.




Weekend Reading…a time to catch up!


I did teach my kids about drinking when they were teenagers. I recommend a “field” trip to the liquor “supermarket” in your neighborhood with your teen and an honest discussion about responsible drinking. You might even recognize an aisle that is geared toward teen drinkers…see if you can find it without your teens help!

This is a great debate between two NYTimes writers…a dad and a mom…it is wonderful check it out and see if you agree with either side in this discussion.


Immunizations can be a confusing issue for some parents…this post may provide some information on the new guidelines from American Academy of Pediatrics. I am in favor of vaccinations for children and adults too.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and thank you for stopping by!