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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Episode 48 (Epilogue): Bullying

Before we began tonight's Conversation, we spoke with Laura Irmis of the Tampa Birth Network, local coordinator for the National Rally for Change, taking place on Labor Day in over 100 cities around the country. Visit Improving Birth to find a rally near you, and gather on Monday from 10am to noon to be part of a full scale Birth Revolution.

We started the evening's Conversation about bullying with this powerful trailer from the film Bully, part of The Bully Project. We introduced the topic by citing statistics from this article, namely that: Bullying can take many forms:

  • Physical: hitting, kicking, pinching, punching, scratching, spitting or any other form of physical attack, or damage or theft of someone else’s belongings
  • Verbal: name calling, insulting, making racist, sexist or homophobic jokes, remarks or teasing, using sexually suggestive or abusive language, offensive remarks
  • Indirect: spreading nasty stories about someone, exclusion from social groups, being made the subject of malicious rumours, sending abusive mail, and email and text messages (cyberbullying)
  • Cyberbullying: Bullying through text message, picture/video clip, phone call bullying, email, chat room, instant messaging or websites/social networking (e.g. MySpace, YouTube and Facebook)
How Big Is the Problem? According to studies from 2010:
  • It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students, according to the National Education Association.
  • American schools harbor approximately 2.1 million bullies and 2.7 million of their victims, says Dan Olweus of the National School Safety Center.
  • 1 in 7 students in grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying.
  • 56 percent of students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school.
  • 71 percent of students report incidents of bullying as a problem at their school.
  • 282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month.
  • 90 percent of fourth through eighth graders report being victims of bullying.
  • According to bullying statistics, 1 out of every 10 students who drops out of school does so because of repeated bullying.
  • Among students, homicide perpetrators were more than twice as likely as homicide victims to have been bullied by peers.
  • Bullying statistics say revenge is the strongest motivation for school shootings.
  • 87 percent of students said shootings are motivated by a desire to get back at those who have hurt them.
  • 54 percent of students said witnessing physical abuse at home can lead to violence in school.
  • Harassment and bullying have been linked to 75 percent of school-shooting incidents.
(CNN) The Department of Education held its third annual federal Bullying Prevention Summit in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. The goal of the event was to spread awareness of and brainstorm initiatives to combat bullying, an ongoing issue facing many students. In recent months, President Obama has endorsed two anti-bullying bills in Congress, the Student Non-Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act—both efforts to protect students and end bullying in schools. states that 49 of the 50 U.S.states have anti-bullying legislation in place. Florida's law, the "Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act", has been hailed as the best anti-bullying law written to date. 

Sarasota County Schools offers a website dedicated to pupil support services, and at the top it provides resources for violence prevention and highlights cyberbullying issues. Its website provides direct contact information including email addresses of school personnel who can assist with bullying issues and reporting.

We welcomed our first guest, Jen Hancock, to tell us about The Bully Vaccine. Jen says that the key to vaccinating yourself against becoming the victim of a bully is to not give the bully the response he or she is looking for. And that ANY threat of violence, or of course actual violence, MUST be reported--every single time. She also pointed out that we need to stop labeling bullying in an amorphous way, as it has become an almost meaningless term--and start calling out specific behaviors. On her website, Jen offers her book as well as a toolkit for children and parents. Consider signing the pledge to donate one copy of The Bully Vaccine to your local school or library.

We then spoke with Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Tim Enos. Tim urged parents to monitor their children's internet usage. If a child is being cyber-bullied, he recommends that everything be logged, saved and printed. He warned against sites like Chat Roulette, Tumblr, IMGFave and Facebook, and reminded us that with smartphones and gaming devices equipped with internet services, it is all too easy for this method of stalking to continue. He tells parents to simply be educated. He offers parent and teacher education through the Sarasota County School Board at (941) 927-4190.

Finally, we welcomed Sue Westcott and Maggie Davenport of ALSO Youth. ALSO Youth strives to end all forms of violence, harassment and discrimination based on real or percieved sexual orientation or gender identity. ALSO Youth is spearheading Stand Up Sarasota, a week of events September 4-7, to encourage our community to Stand Up against bullying and discrimination. On Thursday, September 6, from 5-8pm, you are encouraged to attend the Stand Up Sarasota Symposium: Standing up to keep your kids safe, supported and healthy. This a free event held at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 3975 Fruitville Rd. Sarasota, 34232. Dinner will be provided. FREE copies of The Bully Vaccine will also be available. Space is limited so please RSVP by calling (941) 951-2576.

For a complete listing of events please visit ALSO Youth. National resources for kids and parents:

Episode 48: Bullying

Join the conversation tonight, August 28th at 6pm as Laura and Carmela welcome Jennifer Hancock, author of The Bully Vaccine, as well as Tim Enos of the Sarasota County Sheriff's Department, a local expert on bullying and its prevention. We will also be joined by Sue Westcott and Maggie Davenport of ALSO Youth, who are spearheading Stand Up Sarasota: a week of events to encourage our community to Stand Up against bullying and discrimination.

Tune into WSLR 96.5 LPFM or online at tonight, Tuesday, August 28th at 6:00pm.  The program will also available later in the evening right here on our website.

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, August 21, 2012

Episode 47 (Epilogue): Twins!

11 year old twins Pushpa and Assata Alayande

Tonight we talked about all things TWINS! At the top of the show we mentioned the Twins Days Festival and cited a recent report from the National Center for Health Statistics. We also cited a fascinating article from National Geographic, examining twins to find out if nature, nurture, or something else entirely, is responsible for who we are.

First, we spoke to Dr. Karen Matta-Toomey about the physiology of twin pregnancies and births. Dr. Matta-Toomey explained that if the first twin is head down and larger than the second twin, vaginal birth should be a choice for healthy pregnant women. She also emphasized the need for moms of twins to make sure they are getting adequate nutrition, we welcomed Karen Gromada of Mothering Multiples on the air. Here is the sample birth plan Karen has created for mothers of two or more. Our favorite quote of the evening--when asked how breastfeeding can be done, Karen said: "Well, we have two breasts." Karen also referred listeners to the AP Multiples Group on Yahoo for support.

Our conversation with moms Lori Abdulla and Heather Green was incredibly thought provoking. Heather mentioned Florida Statute 1003.06, which allows parents to choose whether Florida public schools place the siblings in the same classroom or in separate classrooms. And Lori stressed the importance of being fully informed while remaining flexible in the knowledge that in birth and parenting, things may go a bit differently than we expect. Lori also produces personalized books for kids at

Here is the overview on twin birth from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

And here is a very thorough look at twins from

And finally, you are invited to the Sarasota Parents of Multiples Garage Sale!

WHEN: Saturday, August 25, 2012
TIME: 8am - 1pm
WHERE: Kids Activity Center
188440 Cooper CReek Blvd. Suite 102
University Park, FL 34201

The Sarasota Parents of Multiples Club (S.P.O.M.) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 to provide support, friendship, knowledge, and enjoyment for parents of twins, triplets, and more. For information contact Gina Harper: 941-806-8852 or Christen Wolfinger: 727-235-9304.

Thanks for listening!

Episode 47: Twins!

Join the conversation tonight, August 21st at 6pm as Laura and Carmela talk about TWINS! We will welcome experts Karen Gramada, author of the highly acclaimed book Mothering Multiples, local obstetrician Dr. Karen Matta-Toomey, and two mothers who’ve been doubly blessed. We'll also learn about local resources just for families with multiples.

Tune into WSLR 96.5 LPFM or online at tonight, Tuesday, August 21st at 6:00pm.  The program will also available later in the evening right here on our website.

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, August 14, 2012

Episode 46 (Epilogue): Schooling Options

Tonight on Maternally Yours, Ryan and Laura discussed the myriad of options Sarasota parents have when choosing methods of education for our children. We heard from parents of students who are members of the public, Montessori, Waldorf, homeschool and unschooling philosophies. The Conversation was insanely informative, if we do say so ourselves, and we encourage you to listen to the full podcast.

Below is a listing of resources we used in preparing for the show in addition to resources shared by our guests. Since we ran short on time, and our gusts we unable to share their entire breadth of knowledge of their own education philosophies, we will continue adding to this post as their resources trickle in.

National Resources and Citations from this Episode:

Sarasota County Public School Resources:

School Board Monthly Work Session
1960 Landings Blvd.- Confrence Room 315
1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
Regular School Board Meeting
1980 Landings Blvd.
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Joint Meeting with Sarasota County School Board and Sarasota County Commission
Location-1660 Ringling Blvd.

School Board
1960 Landings Boulevard
Sarasota, Florida 34231
Green 3rd Floor
Phone: (941) 927-9000 ext. 31147
Fax: (941) 927-4025
5 Publicly elected officials: Caroline Zucker, Dr. Carol Todd, Frank Kovach, Shirley Brown, Jane Goodwin

Radical Unschooling Resources:

Big Book of Unschooling by Sandra Dodd

Moving A Puddle by Sandra Dodd

Parenting a Free Child by Rue Kream

Local families interested in Unschooling should not miss the upcoming Florida Unschooling Conference  which takes place October 14-18 in Treasure Island, Florida.

Kati also encourages families interested in Radical Unschooling to search Facebook or "friend" her at

Homeschooling Resources:

Montessori Resources:

Waldorf Resources:

Episode 46: Schooling Options

Join the Conversation tonight, 8/14 at 6pm EST as Ryan and Laura discuss the myriad of options Sarasota parents have when choosing methods of education for our children. We will hear from parents of students who are members of the public, Montessori, Waldorf, homeschool and unschooling philosophies. Sharpen your pencils and Join the Education Conversation!

Tune into WSLR 96.5 LPFM or online at tonight, Tuesday, August 14th 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, August 7, 2012

Episode 45 (Epilogue): World Breastfeeding Week

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! Click here for audio coverage of Saturday's Big Latch On 2012, during which over 8,600 mothers and babies nursed simultaneously around the world.
We kicked off tonight with an interview with the beautiful Anni Daulter of Sacred Pregnancy. Anni told us about her upcoming Sacred Pregnancy Retreat in Ojai, California from November 2-5. For more information please contact Anni at

Next we talked about the history of World Breastfeeding Week and shared the recently released CDC 2012 Breastfeeding Report Card. We also talked about lending support to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, who we are hopeful will become a Baby Friendly Hospital in conjunction with their new tower. To become a Baby Friendly Hospital, as designated by UNICEF and WHO, a hospital must meet these ten criteria:
  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
  6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice “rooming in”-- allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
We then welcomed Jamee Thumm of the Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County, Inc. Jamee talked about the 2011 and upcoming 2014 Breastfeeding Survey, the Breastfeeding Advocates of Sarasota County (which meets next on September 19th at 10:30-12:00 at the Sarasota County Health Dept Rm 2063 on Ringling Blvd), and Healthy Start's World Breastfeeding Week celebration, including the 7th Annual Door Decorating Contest and a Proclamation from City of Sarasota Mayor Suzanne Atwell which reads:

WHEREAS, breastfeeding promotes bonding between mothers and children, creating a strong foundation for nurturing family relationships, and provides an excellent nutritional start for babies; and

WHEREAS, breastfeeding is the natural way to feed an infant, laying a foundation for lasting health and wellness for both mother and child, and for optimal health, breastfeeding is all that is needed for the first six months and should continue when babies start eating other foods; and

WHEREAS, breast milk is easily digested and contains antibodies from the mother that pass to the baby and naturally builds a healthy immune system to prevent illness and allergies; and

WHEREAS, the benefits of breastfeeding are weight loss, reduces chances of breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, helps contract the uterus after birth, releases oxytocin and promotes maternal bonding; and

WHEREAS, Healthy Start Coalition, LeLeche League and Breastfeeding Advocates of Sarasota, supports continued research and education in promoting breastfeeding as a high priority to improve the health of all babies. 

NOW, THEREFORE, the City Commission of the City of Sarasota, Florida, and on behalf of the citizens of our community, takes great pride in recognizing August 1-7, 2012 as “Breastfeeding Awareness Week,” a week of special importance and worthy of the recognition of the citizens of the City of Sarasota.

Jamee also would like our listeners to know that the Healthy Start Coalition helps breastfeeding moms that are returning to work with tips for talking to their bosses, knowing their rights, helping workplaces accommodate breastfeeding mothers and assisting with creating a workplace breastfeeding policy. Please contact Jamee at or call her at 941-373-7070 ext 303 for more information.

Then we welcomed Jeanie De La, Certified Lactation Counselor, on the air to talk about resources available to nursing mothers in Sarasota County. These include:

FL Breastfeeding Coalition (
Breastfeeding for African American Women (
The March of Dimes (

Office of Women’s Health BF Help Line
(M-F 9 am-6 pm EST) 1-800-994-9662
African-American Breastfeeding Alliance
(M-F 9 am-5 pm EST) 1-877-532-8535

• Healthy Start will assist ANY new mom who needs help solving breastfeeding problems.  
Call (941) 861-2905.
• Healthy Start Coalition’s Save My Life Program for African Americans.  Beverly Phelps 
can be reached for one-on-one free breastfeeding support at (941) 373-7070, ext. 306.
• Healthy Start for Spanish speaking moms: Call Suzanne Sendlebach at (941) 861-2605 
for breastfeeding classes and home support.  

Breastfeeding Warm Line: 917-7413
Breastfeeding Classes: 917-1700
• Sarasota Memorial Home Health – One free home visit for all mothers who deliver at Sarasota Memorial through Nurses for New Moms Program.  Additional lactation nurse assistance and/or home health aid assistance available. Call (941) 917-7730 for information. 

North Port ER and Healthcare Center, 2345 Bobcat Village Center Road
Tuesdays 10—11:30 AM, Call (941) 917– 1700 for more information. 

Kati Serbin: 726-5135
Monthly meetings are held in Sarasota, North Port, and
Bradenton. Call for more information.

First Presbyterian Church 2050 Oak St., Sarasota
Jeannie: (941) 266-4156

WIC and Nutrition Breastfeeding Coordinators:
Aubrey Will (Sarasota) - 861-2960
Susan Kling & June Vargas (Venice) - 861-3336
• WIC moms (Sarasota County): Call your peer counselor at the WIC office (941) 861-2929 

Walgreens: Waldemere Plaza - 955-6012, Bee Ridge & 41 - 926-2522

Finally, we welcomed Kati Serbin, La Leche League leader and co-organizer of the Big Latch On 2012. Kati told our listeners about La Leche League and when meetings take place:
  • First Monday of the month at 6:30 pm: Cafe La Leche, partners welcome! (Starbucks on Fruitville and Honore)
  • Second Thursday of the month at 10:00 am at Rosemary Birthing Home
You can call a La Leche League leader any time for breastfeeding support. These are our community leaders:
Julia           941-918-1767
Jessica       941-866-0295
Tanya         ‎941-350-1537
Kati             941-726-5135
Amber       954-624-5348
Christine    941-374-3870

La Leche League Series Meetings are open to all interested women (pregnant, nursing and otherwise). Mothers bring their questions and concerns about breastfeeding. There is also a planned topic of discussion that covers the practical, physical, and psychological aspects of breastfeeding. No two meetings are quite the same. Series meetings tend to focus on nursing during the first year. Moms nursing children of any age are always welcome and encouraged to come share triumphs and trials, enjoy mother-to-mother support, gather information and form relationships with other nursing moms. LLL groups have informal discussions.Children are welcome.

We opened the conversation to all of our experts and learned quite a lot. Jeanie De La cited the book "The Wonder Weeks" and we all agreed that support only becomes more important as newborns and nursing relationships grow.

Episode 45: World Breastfeeding Week

Join the Conversation on Tuesday, 8/7 at 6pm EST as Laura and Ryan wrap up World Breastfeeding Week with local leaders in breastfeeding support from Healthy Start, La Leche League, and Sarasota Memorial Hospital. We will be opening the phone lines so that our expert guests can answer your questions on all things breastfeeding. Join the Breastfeeding Conversation!

Tune into WSLR 96.5 LPFM or online at tonight, Tuesday, August 7th 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