Collection of Katrina sites, stories, articles

It has now been nearly four weeks since the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. I had not yet posted on this topic because I felt ill-equipped to comment on it. I don’t live near any of the affected areas, I don’t personally know anyone who was there. I only know what I see on the news or read on the internet, which I have to admit, hasn’t been a lot because I rarely watch the news and I haven’t been seeking it out on the internet until recently.

Immediately after the devastation, there was talk on several of my message boards – people wanting to help in any way that they could. Many organized relief efforts in their own small ways. One woman volunteered to accept clothing donations and notified others in her area of where trucks accepting donations could be located. Another woman asked for donations and tried to find jobs for a displaced family who would be staying in her city. Another asked for donations for a family that was staying with her sister. A coworker of Jody’s promised to match any donations people make to him before passing the money on to a charity. Another coworker, a dog lover, is making plans to travel to Louisiana to assist with the animal rescue efforts. It’s heartwarming to see people doing whatever they can to help with the efforts.

I can’t imagine being in the situation that so many are. Many lost everything in the storm, including pets, family and friends. My heart goes out to those who were affected.

I can’t imagine being stranded on a rooftop for days, without food or water, while helicopters flew overhead. I couldn’t believe that several days after the hurricane, there were still people stuck in situations like that. How many survived the storm only to die waiting for help? It’s incomprehensible.

I decided a few days ago to start a small collection of informative links regarding Hurricane Katrina. Yes, it’s been nearly a month since the disaster took place, but we can’t forget that these people will continue to need help for quite some time. If you have a link that you feel should be included here (especially regarding any families you know in need of help or donations), please leave me a comment with it. Thank you.

I read today that many people who’ve finally been allowed back into New Orleans are now being evacuated again as Hurricane Rita approaches. I can only hope this hurricane weakens as it approaches land and doesn’t cause any more damage or fatalities.

A very brief collection of Katrina sites/stories.

Want to help?
A Mom in the Swamp – A blogging mama displaced by Katrina
Red Cross – Includes Family Links Registry, online donations, volunteer opportunities
Charity Navigator – How You Can Help The Victims Of Hurricane Katrina
Donate to the United Way

News:
Hurricane Katrina Timeline on Widipedia
Hurricane Katrina and holocaust: Slow response or deliberate extermination?
Pres. Bush admits failure on hurricane response
Barbara Bush says things are working out “very well” for the poor refugees

Local stories:
— Locally, three Great Harvest Bread Company stores donated 100% of bread sales on Sunday, Sept. 11, to Katrina Relief. The stores are usually closed on Sundays, but they opened for several hours on Sept. 11 to sell their two most popular types of bread for $5/loaf to raise money. They made $26,000.
Jody‘s work matched any contributions made by employees. The company was able to send $10,000 to relief efforts.
Out of harm’s way – Family finds open arms in Longmont after fleeing devastation

Help for children (information from the American Academy of Pediatrics):
Resources to Help Cope with Natural and Other Disasters – For children, parents and pediatricians
An Open Letter to Health Care Providers Attending to Families Affected by Hurricane Katrina: The Role of Human Milk and Breastfeeding – Why it’s so important that women who are able to breastfeed do so, especially during disasters. “Human milk is a valuable resource that can not only protect the vulnerable infant from disease, but can also promote psychological health and comfort during stressful times. Human milk reduces pain and promotes more rapid healing after injuries and infections. While maternal health is of great importance, it should be recognized that even the malnourished mother will produce milk of good quality for her infant.” Also worth noting that when there isn’t clean water to mix with formula, breastmilk is always readily available.

Help for animals:
Hurricane Katrina Animal Rescue
Pet Finder: Hurricane Katrina Updates and Links of Interest

People/companies helping with relief efforts:
Lance Armstrong gives $500,000 to relief efforts
Celebs donate to Hurricane Katrina relief
More celebs donate
Roundup of companies donating to Katrina victims
Companies pitch in for Katrina relief

Also, human milk banks are “available to provide milk to Katrina Hurricane victim babies/children with a medically indicated need for human milk and who do not have their own mother’s milk available.” As a result, there is an increased need for donor mothers. If you have a large amount of breastmilk stored and don’t see an immediate need for it, please consider donating.

HMBANA (Human Milk Bank Association of North America).
Our hearts are with the people whose lives have been directly affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Please help us spread the word that HMBANA milk banks are available to provide milk to Katrina Hurricane victim babies/children with a medically indicated need for human milk and who do not have their own mother’s milk available. This will also require an increase in donor mothers. Help us inform interested lactating mothers, especially those in states with milk banks to call their nearest donor milk bank for further information.

Approval as a donor involves a triple screening process beginning with an initial phone screening for medical, dietary and lifestyle factors which might make the donor ineligible, followed by written documentation of their medical history and a signed medical release to be sent to both mom and baby’s health care providers, and last would be the willingess to have blood work drawn. Our screening process is similar to those used when one donates blood. I am most grateful for your assistance in this matter.

Georgia Morrow
Program Director
Mothers’ Milk Bank of Ohio
614.544.5906
gmorrow@ohiohealth.com

For more information visit: Human Milk Bank Association of North America (w/ milk bank locations)

Thank you for reading. And thank you to everyone who has done their part (big or small) to help the victims of Katrina. It’s wonderful to see the goodness in people when they band together for a common cause. Peace.

New study on extended nursing


According to a recent article published on Forbes.com, “The longer a mother breast-feeds, the higher the fat and energy content of her breast milk.”

“This is the first study to analyze the fat and energy content of breast milk of mothers who breast-feed for longer than a year,” said study co-author Dr. Ronit Lubetzky, who is with the department of pediatrics at Dana Children’s Hospital at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel. “There are more and more women who choose to breast-feed for longer time periods, and not many studies about the nutritional value of their milk during this prolonged lactation.”

“This is a nicely done study which looked at a question that really needed to be answered,” added Dr. Ruth Lawrence, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and a member of the executive committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ section on breast-feeding. “I think many people’s general impression is if you continue to breast-feed beyond a year, probably the nutrient value drops, and this is quite different information and very important.”

Read the entire article here.

It’s very exciting to see that there are FINALLY studies being done on nursing past 12 months. I know many cultures have been practicing extended nursing for ages, but perhaps as more and more women do so in the Western world, we’ll see more studies of this sort.

I think it’s especially valuable because many people (including doctors – I know from personal experience) think that after 12 months, there’s no or little nutritional value to breastfeeding and this study proves otherwise.

More from the study:

It’s not clear what the effects of this higher energy and fat content are on a child’s health.

“We showed that the milk of mothers who breast-fed more than a year had a very high fat content,” Lubetzky said. “That contradicts the claim that breast-feeding at this stage has no nutritional contribution. On the other hand, the long-term effect of such a high-fat intake has not been studied.”

“The constituents of fat and human milk are very different than what we provide in formula today. One of the most important constituents of human milk is cholesterol. Formula does not,” Lawrence said. “There are many people who think that probably one of the problems with cholesterol today occurs because infants have not had any cholesterol in the first few months of life; perhaps the body doesn’t learn to deal with it. There are studies that show that young adults have much lower cholesterol levels if they were breast-fed than if they were bottle-fed.”

Still, Lawrence added, this is an area that needs to be researched further.

Lubetzky agreed. “Further studies should analyze this milk fat qualitatively, and try to sort out the influence of prolonged breast-feeding on cardiovascular issues,” she said.

Obviously, since extended nursing is a big part of my and Ava’s lives, this kind of stuff is fascinating to me.

I hope we continue to see more studies and more findings on the results of prolonged breastfeeding, especially in relation to immunities, the avoidance of allergies and the psychological effects. I think there is a lot to be learned.

Here’s another interesting article on extended nursing – Nursing Beyond One Year.

Free Tibet


I’ve seen the bumper stickers and heard the expression “Free Tibet” for years now, but I never really understood what was going on over there or took the time to learn about their plight.

So last night Jody and I sat down to watch “Tibet – Cry of the Snow Lion.”

Ten years in the making, this feature-length documentary was filmed during nine remarkable journeys throughout Tibet, India and Nepal. Taking viewers to the long-forbidden “rooftop of the world” with an unprecedented richness of imagery, the film powerfully chronicles the dark secrets of Tibet’s recent past through interviews, personal stories and archival images.

It was such an eye-opener and so very sad to see how the Chinese have and continue to repress the Tibetans. I can understand this kind of treatment happening in the past, but here we are, in the year 2005. What is wrong with the rest of the world that we allow this genocide to continue?

If anyone is interested, there’s a good history of the Chinese rule over Tibet over on Wikipedia. I’d try to explain it myself, but that site does a far better job than I could do.

One of the things that’s really frustrating to me is that in 1989 the Chinese government likely kidnapped the new Panchen Lama (a six-year-old boy who was chosen by the current Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the previous Panchen Lama). They then named their own Panchen Lama, thereby acknowledging Buddhism, but trying to keep it under their control. The Panchen Lama will be responsible for naming the reincarnated Dalai Lama after the current one dies. I don’t know if the Chinese really think the Tibetans and Buddhists are going to acknowledge the person they made their puppet Panchen Lama chose, but I can’t see that happening. But what will happen to Buddhism?

Watching that movie and hearing the stories of the horrible things the Chinese have done to the Buddhist monks and nuns is heart-breaking and incredibly frustrating. Here are a people who don’t seem to have a violent bone in their body, yet they are being imprisoned, tortured beyond belief and often killed. How can this happen? How can they continue to get away with it?

It made me very upset over the current state of affairs. I want to do something, but I don’t know what. Part of me thinks a large-scale organized boycott of all products made in China is necessary, but that seems so extreme. And would it even matter? Ugh.

I want to raise awareness at the very least. I am sure so many people have no idea this is going on. I mean, I didn’t! I knew Tibet wanted to be freed, but I had no idea why or from what! A “Free Tibet” bumper sticker seems so cliche. Will anyone even care to find out why Tibet needs to be freed?

I decided to look up “Free Tibet” stickers to see what is out there and I came across a website that reports some very different findings than what is portrayed in the movie. Of course, there are two sides to every story and while I still think that a lot of what the Chinese did and does is absolutely wrong and extreme, I’m wondering if some good didn’t come out of their occupying Tibet in the first place. Hmmm. (Scratching my head.) Guess I have more reading to do.

Random thoughts

I feel like I haven’t been posting anything of substance lately except pics, money woes and rants about my stinkin’ refrigerator.

Here it is, almost Friday again (where did the week go?) which means we are gearing up for another SPF (Self Portrait Friday). Katy hasn’t announced the theme yet though.

And do I have anything of substance to write about today? Eh, not really. :oP

Ava is sleeping on me with a boob in her mouth at the moment. I’d go lay her down but she really needs to get a good nap in today because we’re heading out to a meeting (for the advisory committee of that new attachment parenting group I’m involved in) in a litle bit and I want her to be well-rested. So I’ll just keep her here with me. πŸ™‚ The group’s first meeting is less than a month away! I’m excited but also a bit concerned as I wonder what kind of turnout we’ll have. Guess we shall see.

I cut Ava’s hair last night. She was in desperate need of a trim. Surprisingly, it didn’t turn out as bad as I thought it might. Maybe I’ll post a pic. I just took one of her earlier because besides the new haircut, she’s also wearing a new dress today – one that Aunt Carrie bought her in India. She got her a couple punjabi suits too, but they are too small for my large Western baby. πŸ˜‰

I do want to give a shout out to Brad over at Greystone Inn. He was nice enough to put up a link to my AP store on his site. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Brad. One of the storylines Brad’s comic strip follows is the adventures of Mac and Samantha – new parents who are practicing attachment parenting. He now has a book for sale with a collection of his AP strips called Prodromal Teeth. “The best of the Greystone strips about pregnancy and parenthood, reformatted into a graphic novel layout. Positive themes of attachment parenting such as breastfeeding and natural childbirth make this a terrific gift for parents-to-be.”

Well, the lil chica has arisen, so I’m off. πŸ™‚

Announcing my new store! :)

I’m happy to announce my new store (through CafePress) – Attached At The Hip – is NOW online!

Attached At The Hip sells primarily advocacy clothing, stickers, buttons, etc. with logos that promote attachment parenting ideals such as breastfeeding, baby wearing, gentle discipline, natural birthing and more.

I also offer some non-AP logos for announcing an expected baby (I’m going to be a big brother/sister shirts) and crunchy/granola attire for mamas and the whole tree-hugging family. In addition, there are shirts for domestic “divas” and “goddesses.”

I’m very excited to get this off the ground and, while I am hoping it will be a profitable venture for me, I am also just glad to be spreading the word about attachment parenting.

The awesome thing is that most everything is handled through CafePress. They take the orders, they print the shirts/merchandise, they collect the money, they ship the product, they handle returns, etc. The bad thing about that is that they make most of the money. πŸ˜‰ But every little bit I make will help. πŸ™‚

I’m currently offering a special of $5 off any purchase of $50 or more. Use coupon code: B2SALE when you check out.

Please feel free to give it a look-see and let me know what you think. If you have any ideas on how I can improve upon it, I am all ears. πŸ™‚

Also, CafePress is planning on starting an affiliate program in September so if anyone is interested in linking to my store and making some money off any sales you generate, let me know. πŸ™‚

Thanks for letting me share.

When did nursing in public become a crime?

It’s been a while since I’ve written about any breastfeeding injustices in the world (not for lack of material, just lack of time). But a few things have surfaced recently in my very own state that have me shaking my head and wondering “what the hell.”

In the Rocky Mountain News:

Five-month-old Nicholas Monroe got hungry Friday while touring the state Capitol with his parents.His mom, 27-year-old Stephanie Monroe, of Rifle, decided that two comfortable-looking couches in the reception area of the governor’s office would be a good place to breast-feed him.

An office receptionist, she says, told her to go somewhere else, suggesting the basement of the building.

The entire article can be found here.

While the receptionist may have been uncomfortable with the woman nursing (though I can’t imagine why since the baby was even covered with a blanket), she had no right to ask the mother to move elsewhere. You see, Colorado passed a state law last year that says a woman is allowed to breastfeed in any place she has a right to be.

How is it that this woman – a receptionist in the governor’s office – isn’t aware that? Beats the heck out of me.

Elsewhere in the state…
In July, a woman breastfeeding her son at Carter Lake was ticketed for “knowingly (exposing) one’s genitals in a public place.” Read the article here.

Since when did breasts become genitals I ask you?! Somebody (the female ranger who issued the ticket) needs an anatomy lesson as well as to brush up on Colorado laws. The ticket has since been dismissed.

One of the things that gets me is that in both instances, it was a woman finding fault with the mother nursing in public (both whom, according to the articles, were doing it quite discreetly). Why are these women to quick to jump on nursing mothers’ cases?

And in national news…
On NBC’s Today Show this week, Dr. Judith Reichman discussed why “breast is best” when it comes to the health of baby and mom.

Dr. Reichman states, “ItÒ€ℒs clear that these experts (American Academy of Pediatrics) feel that infants should be exclusively breast-fed for the first six months of life. And they also recommend that breast-feeding be continued for 12 months with the addition of complementary food. Finally, breast-feeding for the first two years of life is encouraged.”

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, it was a WONDERFUL segment (Kudos to NBC for supporting breastfeeding!!) UNTIL Katie Couric opened her big mouth and said that “But when they can ask for it, they are too old, right?” Chuckle, chuckle. And then said something about thinking it’s “creepy” when children ask to nurse.

Why is it that when children are able to communicate their wants and needs, it suddenly becomes “creepy” to give them what they desire? When kids are old enough to ask for a hug, should we refuse them that? When they are old enough to ask for a drink of water, should we say no? What the hell is the difference?

Wise up, Katie. Do some research and stop interjecting your opinion into stories. It makes for lousy journalism.

By the way, the worldwide weaning average is somewhere between 4 and 6 years.