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A Breastfeeding or Lactation Room is a private room other than a bathroom, that is shielded from public view and interruption, and is used by mothers who breastfeed or express breast milk by breast pumping.

Why Black Moms Fear For Their Lives

Why Black Moms Fear For Their Lives

I have given birth three times in the past four years, each time in a different hospital with a very different experience. A year or so after my first child was born a friend sent me an NPR feature on traumatic child birth in the US, and I wasn’t surprised to see the hospital where I had my first featured in it. I discovered that those on Medicaid (like I was), but most especially black and brown women had received lackluster to terrible care in that hospital. Still trying to understand why I had been treated the way I was there, I started to look a little deeper into the issues pregnant women face in the US today.

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How to Talk to Children About Violence

How to Talk to Children About Violence

It’s pretty hard to escape the news nowadays, even our youngest ones are often exposed to it in some form or other, as much as we try to shield them from it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing: I personally feel that my parents helped grow my empathy through my exposure to the world and in how they explained events to me. But it’s important to talk to kids about events in a way that they not only understand it, but also provides them with the ability to process it correctly. Amongst the uptick of mass shootings and now compulsory lockdown training in all schools, it’s hard for parents to find the middle ground between shielding kids from violence and risking traumatizing them. One of my children has already been diagnosed with anxiety at an early age, and these type of conversations are very tough for us. This is why I have put together some guidelines on how to address traumatic events like mass shootings with our kids.

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Why 2018 is All About Women

Why 2018 is All About Women

A year ago I was about 20 weeks pregnant with my third child and painting t-shirts for the initial Women’s March that took place on January 21st. I painted t-shirts for my sister, for my friends, for my two little girls, and for myself, trying to infuse as much love and power into each brush stroke and each word that I painted. We would be marching together, strong, raising our voices as one. We marched over here in Sacramento with thousands and thousands of women, men, and children, carrying banners for truth, equality, love, and justice. It kicked off what I now see as a year of hope, a year of despair, a year of strength, and a year of rebuilding. 2017 was a transition year, where the population began to question everything again. 2017 was a year of sinking deep to climb up higher, a year of profound reflection.

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Girl Scouts: Don't Force Your Daughters to Hug

Girl Scouts: Don't Force Your Daughters to Hug

Right before Thanksgiving the Girl Scouts of the USA released a statement asking parents to restrain from forcing their daughters to hug and kiss other family members. As soon as I read it I wanted to jump around and give the entire Girl Scouts movement a massive high five – because we ALL need to hear this. This year we have started to see a huge shift in talking about sexual harassment and assault, and while there is a lot of work to be done to make real change, we can start by giving our future generations the tools to make a huge difference.

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Forget Tandem Nursing, This Mama TRI-ANDUM Nursed!

Forget Tandem Nursing, This Mama TRI-ANDUM Nursed!

When I first set out on my breastfeeding journey I thought we wouldn’t make it to 6 months. If you told me that not only would I nurse through one pregnancy and then tandem nurse after that, but that I would go on to tandem nursing through a third pregnancy and then triandem nurse, I would have laughed. But here we are, three and a half years after I had my first child, still nursing her, her two year old sister, and their 4 month old brother. Turns out I’m not alone either! While triandem nursing is a little more on the rarer side, tandem nursing isn’t THAT infrequent. I have found however that many women have felt that they needed to wean before nursing another, even if this wasn’t really what they wanted to do.

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Are You Happy, Mama?

Are You Happy, Mama?

The other day my three year old looked at me and said: “Are you happy Mama?” I responded with “of course I’m happy love!”, and she went back to playing. But I know the phrase wasn’t an innocent one, as my eldest is very observant and in tune with the emotions flying around her. So I started to ask myself if she possibly thought I was unhappy... I’m not unhappy, not at all, but I do have a lot of anxiety that I repress as much as possible, and there has been a lot going on over the past few months: new baby, new home, some financial struggles, my partner working two jobs, and then starting the therapy process for my eldest’s own anxiety issues. Her simple question really got me thinking about how we communicate with our children and how this may or may not affect them adversely.

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Mamas, We Need to Talk About Consent

Mamas, We Need to Talk About Consent

It’s all over the news: Weinstein, Spacey, the president, the #metoo campaign, and people speaking up and speaking out about sexual harassment, assault, and violence. Now is the time to not only talk about what continues to be normalized behavior in our society but also to talk about how we can make REAL change. As parents we talk about looking for signs of abuse, and preventing abuse, but how can we actually help our children see and know the signs of danger? How can we also help our children to NOT become perpetrators of assault and harassment?

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