Join Us At The Cleveland Birth Expo

Placenta encapsulation Cleveland The Nurturing Root Ohio

Come visit The Nurturing Root, Cleveland Natural Birth, and dozens of other vendors and speakers, for the second annual Cleveland Birth Expo. You can connect with doulas, childbirth educators, midwives, chiropractors, baby wearing professionals and so many other perinatal experts to help you on your journey to parenthood. This event will also have five different seminar-style presentations about different pregnancy, birth, and postpartum topics. There will also be goodie bags and door and raffle prizes. If you are planning a pregnancy, expecting, or are a new parent, this event is for you! Admission is free!

Event Details: The Cleveland Birth Expo, Sunday, April 15, 2018, from 10am-3pm at Holiday Inn Independence-S, 6001 Rockside Road, Independence, OH 44131

The Nurturing Root is honored to support families during the transition to parenthood. We offer premiere placenta encapsulation, placenta tincture, and placenta art print services throughout greater Northeast Ohio. It is an honor to serve your family! Please contact us to learn more.

 

 

The Best Free Holiday Events In Cleveland

Free Holiday Events and activities in Cleveland and northeast Ohio The Nurturing Root

The Holiday Season, the most wonderful time of the year, is often a bustling season, as well! There are just so many work, school, community, and family gatherings to attend. While planning parties, making gifts, and baking goodies can be festive, it is also exhausting. In order to maintain that high holiday spirit, it is helpful to connect with family and friends, in a purposeful way, throughout the season. Intentionally gathering together, for meaningful rituals, is a fantastic way to stay present and celebrate. Here are five, totally free, exceptionally merry events happening around Cleveland, this December. Take some time to savor this joyous time with those you hold dear!

Candy Land Has Gone WILD!
November 18, 2017 – January 1, 2018 @ 12pm-5pm 
Lake Metroparks, Penitentiary Glen Reservation, 8668 Kirtland-Chardon Road, Kirtland

Candy Land has gone WILD! is a family-centered activity, that features an indoor, life-sized Candy Land board game, but with a nature-inspired twist. Families draw a card, and become the game piece, moving along the board from space to space. Along the way, their travels take them through a beautifully decorated wonderland, where they can discover the many gifts nature brings us, throughout the year. In addition to the festive display, visitors can also enjoy activities, crafts, train rides, and scavenger hunts. The Kevin P. Clinton Wildlife Center animal rehabilitation center is also open for families to meet native Ohio wildlife, including a red fox, bald eagle and other birds of prey. Come to Penitentiary Glen, with the family, to enjoy this inspired event.

Festival Of Trees
November 21, 2017 – December 23, 2017, Times Vary
Allen Theatre, 1407 Euclid Avenue

This family-friendly event is hosted throughout the lobbies of the Allen Theatre, at Playhouse Square. Enjoy dozens of festive Christmas trees, masterfully decorated by local designers. This delightful showcase, is a wonderful opportunity to gain some holiday design inspiration. After visiting the Festival of Trees, take a short stroll down Euclid Avenue to Pour Cleveland, an awesome progressive coffee house.   

Holiday CircleFest
Saturday, December 2, 2017 and Sunday, December 3, 2017, Times Vary
Events centered around Wade Oval, 10820 East Boulevard

Come experience so many of Cleveland’s cultural treasures during the 24th Annual Holiday CircleFest. Enjoy a curated holiday market, free horse-drawn carriage rides, live music, ice carving demonstrations, pictures with Santa, yummy refreshments, and so much more! On Sunday December 3rd, over a dozen of University Circle’s renowned museums, gardens, galleries, churches, and schools welcome visitors, free of charge, offer several activities, music, food, fun, and shopping. At 5:30pm, there will be a special Wade Oval tree lighting, followed by a magical Winter lights lantern procession. CircleFest is the merriest way to commence the holiday season.

OM For The Holidays
Sunday, December 3, 2017 @ 10am – 3pm
Red Space, 2400 Superior Avenue, East

Om For The Holidays is an event created to help people heal, relax, restore, and revive themselves during this bustling holiday season. Come to connect with yourself and others during yoga events, a SOUL coaching session, live music, and a sound healing experience. There will also be a section of local vendors, selling an array thoughtful holiday gifts, treats, and services.

Winter Solstice Concert
Saturday, December 22, 2017 @ 7pm-8pm
Cleveland Metroparks, South Chagrin Reservation- Look About Lodge, 37374 Miles Road, Bentleyville

Gather friends, family, and neighbors to celebrate the Winter Solstice, an ancient, earth-honoring tradition!  This peaceful and enriching evening features a traditional holiday concert, by the woodwind trio, Phoenix Down. Stay cozy in a beautiful wood lodge, warm up by the fire, and welcome Father Winter, during this lovely event. Reservation is required.

The Nurturing Root loves to support and educate families in Cleveland and throughout Northeast Ohio. We offer an exceptional array of Birth Boot Camp natural childbirth courses and holistic newborn care classes, in-home placenta encapsulation, and family-centered postpartum doula and infant care support. We are honored to serve your family. Please contact us for more information, today!

If you are an expectant person, a parent, or wellness professional interested in holistic pregnancy, birth, and parenting topics, we encourage you to join this FREE Cleveland Birth Village Community. Stay updated about all of our events, meetings, and workshops, by signing up for our newsletter!

Holiday blessings to your family from The Nurturing Root!

Natural Pain Relief Options For Birth

comfort measure techniques and natural pain relief for labor The Nurturing Root

Maybe you are looking to have a natural birth experience? Or perhaps, you plan on getting that epidural as soon as you get to the hospital! No matter what your ideal birth looks like, the majority of women will benefit from some great natural pain relief options and techniques to help them get through contractions!

Labor is so aptly named, as it is the purposeful hard work you do, on the final journey to meet your baby! During labor your body goes through incredible physical, emotional, and hormonal changes. This transformation of birth is often accompanied by a substantial degree of discomfort. Of course laboring women want to mitigate pain, but short of using pharmacological interventions, how do you really reduce pain in labor and birth? You support your body’s own natural pain relieving abilities! Here is the key to natural pain relief: During birth you want to reduce cortisol levels, the hormone produced in response to stress, and catecholamines, the ‘fight or flight’ hormones, produced in response of fear. And you want to increase oxytocin and beta-endorphin levels, to help facilitate labor, provide a sense of euphoria, and alleviate pain. The following seven natural pain relief options for birth help your body balance specific hormones, to ease labor discomforts.

Education
Educating yourself about pregnancy, labor, and birth will help build your knowledge, prepare you emotionally and mentally, and give you the necessary tools and techniques to navigate the modern birth landscape. Education serves as an important natural pain relief tool, because you are replacing fear of the unknown with information and excitement about your birth. When you know what to expect from the birth process, it becomes much easier to cope with the pain of labor. You can educate yourself by taking a comprehensive childbirth course, read birth stories, and find informational and supportive books about the birth process. Knowing what to expect will build your confidence and prove to be a powerful pain relief tool!

Relaxation
There are several facets to relaxation that you should consider. You want to create a relaxing birth environment and learn to relax, both physically and emotionally. Employing this trifecta will serve as exceptional natural pain relief during labor. First, you want to create a relaxing birth environment. Curating a serene atmosphere with dim lighting, candles, aromatherapy, and calming music can get the oxytocin flowing, and ease tension to help you enjoy labor.

It is also important to relax both physically and emotionally. A recent study suggests engaging in relaxation exercises, through a mindfulness-based practice during pregnancy, can help reduce anxiety and facilitate an easier and more satisfying birth experience. Mindfulness is simply a state of awareness, that arises from paying attention to the present moment. This mindfulness app, specifically created for pregnancy, birth, and parenthood, is a fantastic training tool to help you engage in relaxation wherever you are. There are also several simple, but effective exercises that will teach you how to relax your muscles during times of tension and stress. To benefit most from these physical and emotional relaxation exercises, set aside time once or twice per day during your pregnancy. Relaxation training can truly help you have an amazing birth experience.

Movement
Your baby must navigate down and out through your pelvis during labor and birth. Movement is key in facilitating this, and serves as an important pain relief strategy for you. Getting into a more upright position, or even just changing positions regularly can really help you manage even the most intense contractions. Movement can speed up a slow labor, help a posterior baby turn into a more optimal (and less painful!) position, and help you get a little more comfortable. Consider taking a walk, spending time on a birth ball, or use the support of your partner’s body to sway through contractions. Finding rhythm and ritual through movement is a fantastic pain coping mechanism.

Water
Hydrotherapy is a scientifically proven natural, stress reducing and pain relief technique. Laboring in a warm bath can provide an incredible level of pain reduction. Taking a hot shower can be exceptionally relaxing, while helping you get upright, which helps baby move down and through your pelvis.

Acupressure
Acupressure is based on principles from Traditional Chinese Medicine, an ancient and holistically focused wellness practice. Utilizing and applying direct pressure to specific points on the body during labor, may provide you with phenomenal pain relief. Acupressure is a wonderfully convenient and cost-effective pain relief tool. You can take advantage of the benefits almost anywhere, and without any special equipment. When direct and appropriate pressure is applied to this area of the back and on the feet, relief from uncomfortable back labor may be alleviated, almost effortlessly.

Massage
The demonstrated pain relief benefits of massage during labor are extensive. There are both physical and emotional advantages to massage therapy during labor and birth. It can relax tense muscles, easing the pain of contractions, shorten labor, facilitate rest, ease anxiety, and promote a sense of serenity. Your partner or birth support person can help you access the amazing pain relief options of massage by following these techniques.

Emotional Support
Having a supportive birth team is one of the most effective natural pain relief tools available! It is crucial to find a provider you trust, who encourages your birth philosophy, educate your birth partner, and hire a birth doula! A doula is a trained maternal support practitioner who provides emotional, physical, and educational assistance to a laboring mother and her birth partner. Evidence overwhelmingly supports having a doula as a powerful natural pain relief option. With dedicated labor support, women are more likely to have a satisfying and positive birth experience and require less medical pain management. Doulas can provide comfort with numerous pain-relief techniques that help reduce anxiety and fear, support physical and emotional relaxation, promote an uncomplicated physiological birth, and facilitate a positive birth environment.

Birth can be a joyous occasion for the the entire family. With the right preparation, support, and natural pain relief options, you can absolutely have the best (and possibly pain-free) birth experience. If you would like more natural pain relief tips, tools, and techniques, enroll in our Natural Pain Relief Strategies For Labor Workshop. This incredible class helps couples gain an amazing sense of self-reliance, so they can cope with labor beautifully.

The Nurturing Root loves to support and educate families in Cleveland and throughout Northeast Ohio. We offer an exceptional array of Birth Boot Camp natural childbirth courses and holistic newborn care classes, in-home placenta encapsulation, and family-centered postpartum doula and infant care support. We are honored to serve your family. Please contact us for more information, today!

If you are an expectant mother, a parent, or wellness professional interested in holistic pregnancy, birth, and parenting topics, we encourage you to join our FREE Cleveland Birth Village Community. We have an active and engaged Facebook group and host free monthly gatherings to discuss all things birth! We are also very excited to facilitate several events this Autumn and Winter. Stay updated, by signing up for our newsletter!

We are also thrilled to announce, that our blog was just featured in Feedspot blog reader’s Top 100 Parenting Blogs. Subscribe to The Nurturing Root’s blog via feedspot, for free, and receive weekly updates from our posts and other amazing pregnancy, birth, and parenting sites!

Help Us Support Babies Need Boxes Ohio

Babies Need Boxes Donation Drive The Nurturing Root Cleveland Doula Support

Please help us honor all mothers and babies in Cleveland, by supporting our Babies Need Boxes donation drive!  Babies Need Boxes Ohio is a non-profit organization that provides expectant and new families with a high-quality maternity package, based off the Finnish Baby Box tradition.

Babies Need Boxes Ohio supplies expectant and new families with a safe sleep space (baby box), newborn and postpartum essentials, perinatal education, and community resources. Babies Need Boxes wants to equip families for parenthood with tangible resources and education, honor women during their transition to motherhood, and help all babies thrive. With the universal distribution of baby boxes in Ohio, including the perinatal education and access to community resources, Babies Need Boxes hopes to reduce the risk of sleep-related infant deaths, and help people understand racial disparities related to infant mortality.  Celina Cunanan-Kelly, Division Chief of Nurse Midwifery at University Hospitals, and Babies Need Boxes board member, says “We don’t really think that [the box] itself is going to stop infant sleep-related deaths, but it’s a way for us to give parents the education and tools to make that less likely, [and to] help them succeed!” The goal with this universal distribution approach, and scope of education that Babies Need Boxes provides, will not only help families better access a safe sleep space and essential items, but will ultimately engage the greater Cleveland community in conversations regarding racial inequity in childbirth, and help build the commitment needed to lower our infant mortality rates.  

The Nurturing Root is thrilled to team up with Nurtured Foundation Doula Services to coordinate an autumn donation drive that benefits Babies Need Boxes Ohio. Throughout September and October, we are gathering newborn essential and postpartum care items to include in the baby boxes. We are striving to collect high-quality, natural care items, that are made with sustainable, non-toxic ingredients.

We need your help to collect the following new items:

  • 100% Cotton Prefold Cloth Diapers  
  • Waterproof Cloth Diaper Covers
  • Hypoallergenic Diaper Rash Cream
  • Newborn Caps, Socks, + Mittens
  • Unscented Lip Balm
  • Organic Nipple Salve

We welcome your donations either in-person or online. If you reside on the westside of Cleveland and want to donate, please contact Lisa Falkenstein, with Nurtured Foundation. If you are interested in donating items on the eastside, please contact Alayna Spratley, with The Nurturing Root. Additionally, you can easily donate supplies directly to Babies Need Boxes Ohio via THIS Amazon Wish List. Online donations ship directly to the local chapter’s office in Shaker Heights. Babies Need Boxes also welcomes monetary donations, here. Your gifts to Babies Need Boxes are tax deductible, and their 501(C)(3) tax ID number is, 47-3926384. Please share THIS informational flier about the donation drive, with friends, family, businesses, and organizations that want to help, as well.

It is truly an honor to support Northeast Ohio families as a volunteer board member with Babies Need Boxes Ohio, and as the Ohio Director with The Nurturing Root. Please help us support the amazing work of Babies Need Boxes Ohio. Donate items here!   

babies need boxes donation the nurturing root doula care

If you would like a baby box, register with Baby Box University, select the ‘Ohio Syllabus’ and complete the watchlist and quiz. The videos discuss various topics, including: the prenatal and postpartum period, safe-sleep practices, breastfeeding, child-spacing, and perinatal mental health. Once you correctly complete the quiz, you can print your certificate and pick-up a baby box at participating locations, or have it mailed to your home.

You can also receive a baby box, with essential items, by attending the Babies Need Boxes October education series, at the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, Lee Road location. After attending all three sessions, families are eligible for a baby box. Please see the session descriptions, below:

Session 1: Baby Care: Come learn how to read baby’s cues and how to soothe baby with movement, rituals, and songs. During baby’s active state we will share how to engage baby in playful, brain building activities. This session is facilitated by Elizabeth Dreyfuss, Executive Director of Babies Need Boxes Ohio, and early childhood educator with Hathaway Brown, and Alayna Spratley, volunteer Assistant Director of Babies Need Boxes Ohio and the Ohio Director of The Nurturing Root. Saturday October 7, 2017 at 11:00am

Session 2: Safe Sleep Come learn about the most recent research on how to keep baby safe while sleeping soundly. This session is facilitated by Celina Cunanan-Kelly, Certified Nurse Midwife and Division Chief of Nurse Midwifery for University Hospitals, and Da’Na Langford, Certified Nurse Midwife with University Hospitals. Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 11:00am

Session 3: Postpartum Health for Mom and Baby After baby is born there are two people to care for, baby and mom. Learn ways to incorporate self–care rituals into your daily routine. Also, come hear the best ways to feed baby and how to prepare nutritious snacks for busy families. This session is facilitated by Lisa Falkenstein, certified postpartum doula, breastfeeding educator, and owner of Nurtured Foundation Doula Services, and Chauntia Williams, Babies Need Boxes board member and dedicated family advocate, committed to improving the community through education and awareness.

We are truly grateful for the work that Babies Need Boxes is doing to help families throughout Cleveland, and hope you feel as compelled as we do, to support this amazing non-profit organization. Make sure to share THIS INFORMATION about the Babies Need Boxes Donation Drive with friends, family, colleagues, and organizations that would like to help, as well!

The Nurturing Root loves to support and educate families in Cleveland and throughout Northeast Ohio. We offer an exceptional array of Birth Boot Camp natural childbirth courses and holistic newborn care classes, in-home placenta encapsulation, and family-centered postpartum doula and infant care support. We are honored to serve your family. Please contact us for more information, today!

If you are an expectant mother, a parent, or wellness professional interested in holistic pregnancy, birth, and parenting topics, we encourage you to join our FREE Cleveland Birth Village Community. We have an active and engaged facebook group and host free monthly gatherings to discuss all things birth! We are also very excited to facilitate several events this autumn. Stay updated, by signing up for our newsletter!

We are also thrilled to announce, that our blog was just featured in Feedspot blog reader’s Top 100 Parenting Blogs. Subscribe to The Nurturing Root’s blog via feedspot, for free, and receive weekly updates from our posts and other amazing pregnancy, birth, and parenting sites!

7 Tips To Prepare For A Natural Birth

tips for and unmedicated natural birth the nurturing root ohio doula

Did you know that 85% of pregnant women are able to have a safe natural childbirth experience? But, only about 2% of American women give birth without any interventions. What is the disconnect? Certainly choice plays a role. Some women aren’t necessarily interested in unmedicated childbirth. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control National Vital Statistics Report, over 60% of women use an epidural for pain relief in labor. Also our culture and institutions impact a mother’s ability to birth naturally. Since one in three women welcome their babies via surgery, desiring a natural childbirth can feel somewhat unattainable. Know that if you are considering natural childbirth, it is so crucial to properly prepare yourself. With commitment and support, you can have an awesome, unmedicated birth experience! Follow these 7 tips, and you will be on target to have the best natural birth!

Be thoughtful when selecting a birth location!
In most places throughout the United States, you have access to three different birth locations. Mothers can give birth in a hospital setting, at a freestanding birth center, or at home. There are benefits and risks to all of these locations. You also need to decide where you feel most comfortable having your baby. If you really want an unmedicated natural birth experience in a hospital setting, find out what the c-section rate is for the facility you are considering. Individual hospital c-section rates vary widely, even within the same community. If you are thinking about having your baby at a freestanding birth center, this study presents great evidence to support safe and satisfying birth outcomes for mom and baby in a center environment. The study explains that if you have a low-risk, healthy pregnancy, your chances of having a c-section (via hospital transfer) is only 6% at a birth center, versus a 25% chance of c-section if you birth at a hospital. Your risk of interventions and c-section are lowest if you are planning a home birth. In this significant study, which analyzed nearly 17,000 planned home births, nearly 96% of women delivered their babies vaginally, and only 4.5% required pitocin to start or augment their labor. Compare this to a 30% induction rate in a hospital setting for first-time, low-risk mothers. Where you decide to birth matters! Understand the risks and benefits of different birth locations, and choose wisely.

Select a midwife as your prenatal provider!
Just like birth location, the provider you choose to see during pregnancy, and to attend your birth, has huge implications in your ability to have a natural birth experience. If you are having a healthy, normal pregnancy absolutely choose a midwife over an OB/GYN. The midwifery model of care sees pregnancy as a normal life event, that almost always results in a healthy mother and child. Midwives view pregnancy and birth through a holistic lens, and support women with more individualized care and minimize technological interventions. They also will identify and refer expectant mothers to obstetrical care, when truly necessary. There are several types of midwives, including Certified Nurse Midwives, Certified Professional Midwives, licensed midwives, and direct-entry midwives. The majority of pregnant women are able to access midwifery care in a hospital, birth center, and/or home environment. Research midwives in your area, find out if they attend births in your desired setting, and select a midwife that encourages your wishes for an unmedicated birth!

Take a comprehensive natural childbirth course!
Everyone knows that knowledge is power! Simply wishing for a natural birth will almost certainly not get you there. Educating yourself about birth will help build your knowledge, prepare you emotionally and mentally, and give you the necessary tools and techniques to navigate the modern birth landscape. Invest in a thoughtful, comprehensive childbirth education program that prepares both you and your partner for natural birth. Look for natural childbirth classes that covers staying low-risk in pregnancy, nutrition, exercise, relaxation techniques, choosing a care provider and birth location, anatomy and physiology of labor, birth-partner preparations, common policies and procedures, breastfeeding, newborn care, and possible complications, interventions, and alternatives. A great childbirth education course will really build your natural birthing confidence and abilities!

Take exceptional care of your body!
Preparing your body for birth is crucial. Having a healthy, nutrient rich diet and exercising regularly and appropriately, provides a strong foundation for natural birth. Caring for your body and baby with proper nutrition and exercise will help keep you low-risk, and may alleviate common pregnancy related ailments. Also consider chiropractic care during pregnancy. Find and visit a chiropractor certified in the Webster Technique. A chiropractor can help balance your pelvis and spine, so your baby can find the best position for birth. A review of studies found that women who received regular chiropractic adjustments throughout pregnancy had 39% shorter labors. Achieving optimal wellness with diet, exercise, and chiropractic will pay off big time!

Practice mindfulness!
Training your mind and heart for natural birth is just as important as preparing your body. A recent study suggests engaging in a mindfulness-based practice during pregnancy can help reduce anxiety and facilitate an easier and more satisfying birth experience. Mindfulness is simply a state of awareness, that arises from paying attention to the present moment. A prenatal mindfulness practice can be applied in a variety of ways. You may choose to facilitate your own quiet meditative practice, choose visualization exercises, engage in progressive relaxation, or even use a mindfulness app, specifically created for pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. Whatever you choose, mindfulness is a practice, so set aside time once or twice per day, and focus on the moment, to help you achieve an amazing natural birth.

Find your tribe!
Connect to other pregnant and new mothers that are interested in natural birth. It is so bizarre, but culturally normal, for veteran moms to share pregnancy and birth horror stories with expectant mothers. Disregard this negativity, and find your natural birth tribe. You can, of course, find a community of like-minded natural mothers everywhere online. If available, search for and attend a birth group or mama’s circle in your area. Cleveland mothers interested in natural pregnancy, birth, and parenting should join Cleveland Birth Village. Cleveland Birth Village has a FREE facebook group and hosts FREE monthly gatherings for families interested in natural birth and parenting topics.

Hire a doula!
Regardless of the type of birth you want or ultimately have, you should hire a birth doula! A doula is a trained maternal support practitioner who provides emotional, physical, and educational assistance to a laboring mother and her birth partner. Doulas help families have a safe, memorable, and empowering birth experience. Evidence overwhelmingly supports having a doula present during labor. With continuous labor support, women are more likely to have a satisfying and positive birth experience, less likely to have surgical interventions, and require less medical pain management. Birthing women with doulas also have shorter labors and fewer birth-related complications for mom and baby.

Having a natural birth is biologically normal, and most often physically and emotionally ideal, for mom and baby. It can prove to be a positive experience for the entire family, as well. With the right preparation, support, and education, you can absolutely achieve the best natural birth.

The Nurturing Root loves to support families that desire an unmedicated birth. We offer an exceptional array of Birth Boot Camp natural childbirth courses and holistic newborn care classes to support you during this exciting time of transition. Additionally, we support Cleveland families with in-home placenta encapsulation and family-centered postpartum doula and infant care support. We are honored to serve your family. Please contact us for more information, today!

If you are an expectant mother, a parent, or wellness professional interested in holistic pregnancy, birth, and parenting topics, we encourage you to join our FREE Cleveland Birth Village Community. We have an active facebook group and host monthly gatherings to discuss all things birth! We are also very excited to facilitate several events this autumn. Stay updated, by signing up for our newsletter!

Maryland Court Delivers A Hostile Ruling To Breastfeeding Mother

The Nurturing Root Supports Breastfeeding Northeast Ohio

A breastfeeding mother in Maryland is fighting a magistrate’s order allowing the father of their infant, the right to feed the exclusively breastfed baby formula, during overnight visits.

Amber Brown and Corey Lewis, residents of Charles County Maryland, welcomed a baby boy in February 2017, but separated shortly after their child’s birth. During a custody hearing in July, Monise Brown, a county magistrate facilitated a disagreement between Ms. Brown and Mr. Lewis’ beliefs regarding how to feed their baby during overnight visitations. The baby’s mother was exclusively breastfeeding her infant, and was not able to express enough breastmilk to send with the baby for overnight visits, with the father. Mr. Lewis insisted that he should be allowed overnight visits, and has the right to feed his baby formula during that time.

Magistrate Brown agreed with the father, stating “breast-feeding is not a reason to prevent [Lewis’s] visitation, and that insisting on breast-feeding would be considered deliberate alienation of [Lewis],” according to Ms. Brown’s attorney.

The mother filed a request for exception, providing a note from her son’s pediatrician stating the baby could not tolerate formula. At a follow-up hearing, in August, a second court official, Magistrate Mitsy Metzgar, agreed with the initial recommendation, forcing the Mother to comply with the overnight visitation ruling, that includes allowing the father the right to feed his exclusively breastfed infant, formula. Even though the American Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organization strongly recommend infants be fed only breastmilk for the first six months of life, and Maryland law protects and states a vested interest in the infant and mother nursing relationship, as a basis to promote family values and public acceptance of breastfeeding, two court magistrates support detrimental recommendations for this mother-baby dyad.

This insulting arrangement in the custody ruling, comes at a very ironic time. Throughout the month of August, several organizations and coalitions spotlight breastfeeding with National Breastfeeding Month, World Breastfeeding Week, and Black Breastfeeding Week. Huge efforts are made to highlight and celebrate the importance of increasing a collaborative effort to generate a breastfeeding-friendly landscape. It appears that our culture and courts have quite a bit of remedial work to do, if they want to support and honor breastfeeding mothers, babies, and families!

The Nurturing Root proudly supports breastfeeding mothers. The health of our families, communities, institutions, and societies, are inextricably linked to our commitment to honoring breastfeeding mothers and babies.