Read more:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Episode 35 (Epilogue): Teen Pregnancy

Tonight we spoke with Planned Parenthood Community Outreach Coordinator Pat Wolfson, Jennie Hall, a local mom and volunteer at Cyesis, and stay-at-home-teen-mom and Navy Wife Nikki Gottwald. 

The Conversation began with an overview of a report titled, "Birth Rates for U.S. Teenagers Reach Historic Lows for All Age and Ethnic Groups". We discussed the report's conclusion - that teen pregnancy prevention messages were having a positive impact on teen birth rates.

We then brought in Pat Wolfson to give us a micro-level perspective. She indicated that while Sarasota County's teen birth rates are similar to the national average, Manatee County's rates are twice as high. See teen birth rates for all Florida counties here.

Before welcoming Jennie Hall by phone, we discussed the two local teen parent high schools: TAPP and CYESIS. Jennie told us about her experience as a volunteer with the Lullaby League. She said, "most of the [mothers from the Cyesis program] that I have seen are choosing not to be victims. They are really, really working hard in order to get that degree."

Finally we spoke with Nikki Gottwald who attended high school in Sarasota but has since relocated to California with her husband and young daughter. Nikki and her husband Nick made the conscious choice to start a family while Nikki was still in high school. She discussed her struggles and successes and had some advice for teenagers thinking about getting pregnant. "Whether or not you think you can emotionally or physically take on a baby," she said, "do you really think that you can give your baby the best life possible?" She continued, "A lot of teen moms I know think I can give my baby a lot but if I had waiting a little longer I would have been able to give them the world."

Additional Resources:
Real Life: Real Talk - Parent and Teen Sexual Education Appointments
The Source Teen Theatre
How to Talk to Your Children About Sex

Episode 35: Teen Parenting

While teen pregnancy rates are at an all time low, the consequences of an unexpected pregnancy can have a profound impact on the future of a teen. Join The Conversation tonight, Tuesday, 5/29 at 6pm as Ryan and Carmela look at the myriad of issues facing pregnant teens and teen mothers. They will be joined by an expert in the field of pregnancy prevention and community health, a local mom who volunteers with teen parents and their children, and teen mothers themselves.

Tune into WSLR 96.5 LPFM or online at tonight, Tuesday, May 29th at 6:00pm.  The program will also available later in the evening via podcast at

For more information, please contact the hostesses of Maternally Yours at, or on our facebook page at

Maternally Yours,
Cheryl, Carmela, Ryan and Laura

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Episode 34 (Epilogue): Same Sex Parenting

We opened tonight's show about Same Sex Parenting with this now viral clip of Zach Wahls, the son of two mothers, on the floor of the Iowa legislature in 2011. 

We then heard from Nadine Smith, president of Equality Florida ( From this website we have pulled out the following points to remember:
  • In October 2010, Attorney General Bill McCollum announced that the State of Florida was ending the 33-year-old ban on gay adoptions in Florida.
  • Civil rights laws have been passed by the U.S. Congress and by the Florida Legislature that provide legal protections against discrimination in areas such as employment, education, housing, and public accommodations, on the basis of certain specified categories, including race, national origin, sex, age, disability, and others.  There are a number of different federal laws that provide these protections, including the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1991.  
  • Currently, the federal and Florida anti-discrimination laws provide very little legal protection to LGBT citizens subjected to discrimination.  Neither the federal nor Florida anti-discrimination laws include “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” in the list of classifications protected from discrimination.  There is pending legislation, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would add these classifications to the federal laws if passed by Congress and signed into law.   
  • Section 400.6095 of the Florida Statutes provides that hospice facilities shall make their services available to all terminally ill persons and their families without regard to sexual orientation, and Section  397.501 similarly provides that service providers may not deny an individual access to substance abuse services on the basis of sexual preference.   
  • Although the federal and Florida anti-discrimination laws do not specifically prohibit discrimination against LGBT citizens, some cities and counties in Florida have passed their own anti-discrimination ordinances that do prohibit such discrimination within their geographic boundaries.  Some of these municipalities include Broward County, Miami-Dade County, Leon County, Monroe County, Palm  Beach County, Orlando, Tampa, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami Beach, Sarasota, West  Palm Beach, St. Petersburg, Venice, and others.  
  • Florida’s Constitution (Article I) and Section 741.212 of the Florida Statutes effectively “ban marriage for same-sex couples” by defining marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman, and Florida’s Constitution further mandates that “no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.” (Fla. Const. Article I, Section 27) These same laws prohibit Florida from recognizing valid same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions.
  • Currently, Florida does not have any form of statewide recognition of same-sex relationships.  However, similar to municipal ordinances banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, some Florida municipalities as well as public and private employers offer domestic partner benefits to their employees, and some municipalities provide domestic partner registries that allow same-sex couples within their jurisdiction to register and receive certain benefits. Among many other considerations, the inability to enter into a legally recognized marriage means that same-sex partners do  not automatically have authority to make healthcare, childcare, and related life decisions with respect to each other, nor will they automatically inherit each other’s property upon death. 
  • If you are a gay couple, legally married in a state or country that performs such marriages, one significant issue that arises is the ability to file your federal income tax return as married even though the federal government refuses to acknowledge your marriage. 
  • It is important for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender Floridians to be able to protect their families. Without legal protections our families are not able to make vital health care, child care and end of life decisions. nfortunately, right now, marriage is not an option for same-sex couples in Florida. In 2008 Florida passed Amendment 2 which defined marriage as “the union between one man and one woman.”
  • Equality Florida is working with cities, counties and businesses all across the state, and even in the state legislature, to provide domestic partnership benefits for both same-sex and opposite sex unmarried couples. Domestic partnerships provide unmarried couples important, basic legal protections.
  • Right now Florida ranks 5th in the nation, with over 5.5 million people living in communities that recognize domestic partnerships, either through registries or public employer benefits. These places offer benefits for domestic partners not only because it is the right thing to do, but it helps to attract and retain the best and the brightest to their city or county. 
We mentioned the influential moment in Washington during which Nadine Smith handed President Obama a letter asking him take action against Florida's 33-year old law banning same sex adoption. The Administration called Nadine almost immediately thereafter. Four months later, the law was reversed.

Other resources for LGBT parents and their children:
  • NATIONAL: The Family Equality Council connects, supports, and represents the one million lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents in this country and the two million children they are raising. Visit for more information.
  • STATE: Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Visit or for more information, or to download the Legal Handbook for LGBT Floridians and their Families.
  • LOCAL: ALSO Out Youth strives to end all forms of violence, harassment and discrimination based on real or perceived sexual orientation or gender indentity. Our mission is to enhance self-esteem, promote healthy dialogue, and increase awareness of sexual minority issues. Visit for more information.  

Episode 34: Same Sex Parenting

Join The Conversation on Maternally Yours this week on Tuesday, 5/22 at 6pm as Laura and Carmela discuss the issues same sex couples and their chidren face along their family's journey. We will be joined by the president of Equality Florida, Nadine Smith, as well as Maggie Davenport, local mother of two and Assistant Executive Director at ALSO Youth. We will also hear from other LGBT parents around the state by phone.

Tune into WSLR 96.5 LPFM or online at tonight, Tuesday, May 22nd at 6:00pm.  The program will also available later in the evening via podcast at

For more information, please contact the hostesses of Maternally Yours at, or on our facebook page at

Maternally Yours,
Cheryl, Carmela, Ryan and Laura

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Episode 33 (Epilogue): Water Babies

We began tonight's show by welcoming Heidi Dahlborg, Midwife and AquaNatal Instructor, on the phone from Sweden. Heidi discussed the ways AquaNatal can benefit women during pregnancy and labor and highlighted a key element - the community that grows as the bellies and babies grow.

Heidi gave us some great resources including Bathtub Babies, a video by Vera Garibaldi, and the books Aqua Yoga and Water Babies by Francoise Barbir-Scazzocchio (Freedman).

We later introduced Dianne Cutri a Master Instructor from Infant Swimming Resource (ISR). Dianne discussed the Moro Reflex and why it is important to begin formal swim instruction only after this reflex is absent (around 4-6 months). Sitting up, rolling from back to front and back again and other, more advanced muscle development milestones should also be reached before beginning ISR.

Dianne indicated that NO swim technique will "drown proof" a child and stated unequivocally that parents should run away quickly from any program claims it can. We also talked about the abundance of potentially unsafe swim "gear" that parents are tempted to purchase. We were assured by Dianne that YOU, the parent, are your child's best piece of "gear".

Finally, Dianne gave us her Top 3 Swim Dos and Top 3 Swim Don'ts:

Do - Think about adding "Layers of Protection" to your swim experience.
1) Practice segmented supervision (15 min. at a time per adult).
2) Invest in quality pool fencing.
3) Educate yourself and your child by attending lessons.

Don't - Assume Anything!
1) Don't assume anyone else is watching your child.
2) Don't assume your child won't go near the water.
3) Don't assume "it can't happen to you". It can.

In a post-show debrief, Heidi had the following to say on our Facebook page:

I recommend parents find a baby friendly swim class as advised by world leader in gentle swimming instruction Rob McKay from Boca Raton. In contrast to baby friendly classes, ISR teaches children that being in water is about NOT DROWNING, and will give them an unforgettable body level lesson that water is to be feared. There are many kind people who work as ISR teacher, but the methodology is deeply flawed by being based in fear of drowning. 

We appreciate the time and attention both of our guests gave to this topic!

Additional resources:

Caption Contest!

By now you've seen the (is it too soon to call it "infamous"?) TIME Magazine cover. Maybe you loved it at first. Now, maybe you hate it. You have defended it, derided it, and even been in a few Facebook fights over it.

Well, the Maternally Yours Collective is giving you a chance to RE-WRITE it! And you might win one of these beautiful Bumi Sehat t-shirts in the process.

Here's how it works: Post your creative captions to the TIME Magazine cover in the comments below. Post one caption per comment and post as many captions/comments as you like. Each caption/comment will be entered into the contest to win a Bumi Sehat t-shirt (replies to comments will not be entered). Comments will be closed at 5:00pm EST on Tuesday, May 22nd at which time a winner will be drawn at random. The winner's name will be announced LIVE on that night's episode of Maternally Yours. Make sure to leave an email address with your comment (only visible to the blog owners) so we can contact you when you win.

Good luck!    

Episode 33: Water Babies

“We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.” — Jaques Cousteau

Join The Conversation on Maternally Yours this week on Tuesday, 5/15 at 6pm as Carmela and Ryan showcase the wonders of water. In addition to discussing how water can relieve pain and stress during pregnancy and labor, they will offer tips and tricks to keep your “water babies” safe and healthy during summertime water play.

Tune into WSLR 96.5 LPFM or online at tonight, Tuesday, May 15th at 6:00pm.  The program will also available later in the evening via podcast at

For more information, please contact the hostesses of Maternally Yours at, or on our facebook page at

Maternally Yours,
Cheryl, Carmela, Ryan and Laura

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Episode 32: Live Blessingway

Join The Conversation tonight, Tuesday, 5/8 at 6pm as the entire Collective joins together in the first ever live Blessingway on the radio, in honor of our sister and co-hostess Cheryl Kindred. We will be joined by Anni Daulter, author of the new book Sacred Pregnancy, and explore the rites and rituals that honor the journey into motherhood. We will also be opening the phone lines and ask that you call in your wishes and support for Cheryl and her family as they await their newest member.

Tune into WSLR 96.5 LPFM or online at tonight, Tuesday, May 8th at 6:00pm.  The program will also available later in the evening via podcast at

For more information, please contact the hostesses of Maternally Yours at, or on our facebook page at

Maternally Yours,
Cheryl, Carmela, Ryan and Laura

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Episode 31 (Epilogue): International Day of the Midwife

We began tonight's show by airing this sneak preview of the Midwives Alliance of North America's I Am a Midwife educational series, officially launching this Saturday in celebration of International Day of the Midwife. Please share these tools far and wide. Many people still have misconceptions about midwives and the skill and education with which they practice. These videos will be excellent teaching tools.

We then welcomed Ifeyinwa Egwaoje on the air to tell us about The Birthing Project Nigeria. Here she is speaking during her nine months at The Birthing Project USA in New Orleans, about empowering women. We are all deeply inspired by the vision of this young woman and the change she is making throughout the world.

Next we heard from Susan Lambert, Board Member for Casa Materna Mary Ann Jackman in rural Nicaragua. This is a short photo journal of the residential prenatal and postnatal facility, now celebrating twenty years of reducing maternal mortality in Central America.

Nurse Midwife Mary Koroma, our last guest of the show, will be speaking in St. Petersburg tomorrow evening (Wednesday, May 2nd at 6:30pm in the art space at 1100 First Avenue North). She will discuss her fight for infant and maternal health in Sierra Leone, where she founded a Birth Clinic that serves patients and provides training for traditional birth attendants. She has also started projects to raise resources to sustain the clinic while meeting the needs of the community, including four vegetable farms, a community fishing project, and a vocational institute. In this video, she discusses her brilliant, sustainable vision for community driven and people-powered reform. For more information visit

Finally, we revisited our December interview with Ibu Robin Lim of Yayasan Bumi Sehat and her daughter Deja Bernhardt, director of the documentary Guerrilla Midwife, coming to WSLR this Saturday for An Afternoon in Bali. Robin Lim embodies the celebration of the International Day of the Midwife. "The very best way that I know (to reduce maternal and infant mortality) is to support midwifery to mother care," said Lim in her acceptance speech as the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year. Buy your tickets now to see an exclusive film screening of the documentary about her work, as well as live traditional Balinese dance from the Purnama Sari Balinese Dance Company, and an authentic Indonesian meal provided by Curry Creek Cafe.

Finally, we gave thanks for the midwives in our own part of the world, who have welcomed our babies, become our friends, changed our lives, built our village, and underwritten our radio program. Sarasota has a thriving midwifery community with two freestanding birth centers and five licensed midwives, with two more becoming licensed in the coming months. If you are curious about the midwifery model of care, we strongly encourage you to visit Rosemary Birthing Home or Birthways Family Birth Center for a tour.

Happy International Day of the Midwife, and we'll see you at 525 Kumquat Court on Saturday, May 5 from 3 to 6pm for An Afternoon in Bali!

Episode 31: International Day of the Midwife

Join The Conversation this week as Carmela and Laura celebrate International Day of the Midwife. We will hear from Sierra Leone Nurse Midwife Mary Koroma, Susan Lambert of Casa Materna in Nicaragua, and Ifeyinwa Egwaoje of The Birthing Project Nigeria. We will also get you ready for An Afternoon in Bali with more from our exclusive interview with Ibu Robin Lim and Guerrilla Midwife filmmaker Deja Bernhardt.

In celebration of this day, we welcome you to share words of gratitude for your midwife on our facebook page. Tune into WSLR 96.5 LPFM or online at tonight, Tuesday, May 1st at 6:00pm. The program will also available later in the evening via podcast at

For more information, please contact the hostesses of Maternally Yours at, or on our facebook page at

Maternally Yours, 
Cheryl, Carmela, Ryan and Laura