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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Episode 9, Revisited: A Healthy Baby is Worth the Wait

Join a revisited episode of The Conversation tonight, Tuesday, October 29th as we reflect on the new definitions of term pregnancy issued by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists with a look back at one of our earliest episodes, outlining the many reasons to allow your baby to get to full term. 

In the United States, 1 in 8 babies is born prematurely, and in Florida the numbers are even higher. Prematurity is the leading killer of America's newborns, and those who survive often have lifelong health problems. One preventable contributing factor to our high premature birth rates is early elective delivery, via induction or scheduled cesarean.

In this episode, Laura and Cheryl discuss the importance of full-term birth with Dr. Washington Hill, former director of Maternal Fetal Medicine for the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System. They learned what his hospital was doing in partnership with March of Dimes and the Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions to end early elective delivery.   

Have a question for our hosts? Please email us or post to our facebook page.

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

For more information or to submit questions for our hosts our our guest, please contact the hostesses of Maternally Yours at, or on our facebook page at

Maternally Yours, 
Cheryl, Carmela, Ryan and Laura

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Episode 108 (Epilogue): Kids and Art

Tonight’s show discussed children and art. Involvement in the arts has shown to have positive implications for children, such as increased ability in math, reading, and critical thinking, as well as better cognitive ability and verbal skill. Tamara Teeter Knapp and Bonnie Wilson came in to talk about creating art with children as well as how children can interact with the art of others.

Tamara Teeter Knapp is an arts educator and expressive arts facilitator, and in 2007 joined with three women to form Expressive Arts Florida. With us, she discussed the individual benefits of children creating their own art, ways to inspire kids to interact with art, how often kids should have the opportunity to create their own art, how to incorporate art into every kid’s home, basic essential materials, art with kids resources, and the benefits of art classes. Specifically, Tamara teaches local classes in the Waldorf style. Waldorf style integrates art into all aspects of the child’s curriculum and espouses the belief that everything is beautiful, influencing the feeling and moral education of the child.  If you would like to find out more about her program or these classes, you can visit

Bonnie Wilson is the Scholastic Programs Coordinator at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, where she oversees the museum’s school-related programming. With Bonnie we discussed how children can interact with the art of others, specifically with regard to the Ringling museum and the many ways they make art accessible, fun, and exciting to kids. Furthermore, Bonnie discussed with us how to teach kids museum manners, how parents can get their children to think critically about art, and ways parents can explore art with their kids outside the museum. The Ringling museum is open 7 days a week from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and until 8:00 pm on Thursdays. To learn more about the Ringling museum, you can visit To call for general information, you can call 941-359-5700.

Birth in the news links:

Health care reform implications for women pros and cons:

Kate Middleton Postpartum Depression:

Guest resources mentioned:

Online interactive art resources for children:

Episode 108: Kids and Art

Join The Conversation Tuesday, October 22nd at 6:00pm ET Cheryl and Carmela discuss all aspects of art with kids. We will explore the emotional importance and developmental benefits of fostering creativity in young children and give practical advice about how to share the joy of art with your little ones, with special guests Tamara Teeter Knapp of Expressive Arts Florida and Bonnie Wilson from the Ringling Museum of Art.

Have a question for our guests? Please email us or post to our facebook page.

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

For more information or to submit questions for our hosts our our guest, please contact the hostesses of Maternally Yours at, or on our facebook page at

Maternally Yours, 
Cheryl, Carmela, Ryan and Laura

Monday, October 14, 2013

Episode 107: Fall Membership Drive

Join the entire Maternally Yours Collective Tuesday October 15th at 6pm ET for our wild and crazy fall membership drive spectacular! We will be joined by local moms Jessica Falde and Angie and Christin Perkinson who will help us continue our membership drive tradition of sharing birth stories. (And these are some wild ones!)


Between the four of us, it takes about 60 hours of hard work to produce a month of content for Maternally Yours. We are volunteers--paid by spiritual fulfillment and not by U.S. currency. However we do ask that you support our station, because without their building, electricity, station manager, tower, signal, soundboard, microphones, computers, equipment, and LPFM license--we would not be here. Those things all take money to maintain, and unlike NPR stations, we don't get a penny from the government, it is 100% from YOU. 
So if you like our show and want to see it continue, please call us Tuesday night between 6 and 7 at (941) 954-8636, or go online (it's not too early) at and be sure to write Maternally Yours in your notes. 

Community Radio allows us to connect YOU with the people and resources you need to make informed decisions throughout your childbearing years.


Now it's your turn!
Please call in TUESDAY NIGHT to support our show, and community radio! You can pledge your support during the show in any amount by calling (941) 894-6469 or (941) 954-8636. You can also make your pledge now or any time this week at

After you've supported us, SHARE your good deed on facebook and twitter so people know that you support independent media, informed consumerism and evidence-based maternity care.

Some of you already have pledged your support. We will issue our official love list after the show, but one listener got us all choked up. She donated "$107 for the 107 episodes of Maternally Yours. Not much $ but what I can give. Thank you ladies for changing my life as a mother and bettering my child and future children's lives."

You all keep us going, it's as simple as that. THANK YOU.

Gratefully and Maternally Yours, 
Cheryl, Carmela, Ryan and Laura

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Episode 106 (Epilogue): Down Syndrome

October is Down syndrome Awareness Month. There are three types of Down syndrome: trisomy 21 (a condition where individuals have 47 chromosomes in each cell instead of 46 as a result of nondisjunction) accounts for 95% of cases, translocation (occurs when part of chromosome 21 breaks off during cell division and attaches to another chromosome) accounts for about 4% of cases, and mosaicism (some of the cells contain typical chromosome amount, others have an extra) accounts for about 1% of cases. Each type occurs as a result of an extra copy of the chromosome 21. 

We first talked with Dr. Melissa Crenshaw, a pediatric clinical geneticist, about different types of Down syndrome, unique health risks of the Down’s population, and genetic screening options. Additionally, we discussed the new technology that has been shown to silence the chromosome responsible for eliciting the effects of Down syndrome. She informed us that this silencing technology is using the same naturally occurring process that silences the X chromosome in women, but that it is too early to accurately gauge the possible medical and health outcomes resulting from this treatment.

Next, we spoke with Anne Hathorn and Lisa Underwood, both mothers raising children with Down syndrome. These mothers were kind enough to share with us their birth stories, the way in which they were told that their children had Down syndrome, what resources were/are of particular help for them, and how their children have enriched their lives. Furthermore, Lisa Underwood shared with us information about Manasota BUDS, a group dedicated to Down syndrome advocacy. Manasota BUDS offers a support group for new parents of Down syndrome babies, a teen group, art therapy for children, a dad’s group, a lending library, scholarships for kids to attend camp or for people to attend meetings and conferences, and a group for pregnant women among the many resources they offer. They also offer informative kits to pregnant women who have had prenatal testing and diagnosis as well as new parents of Down syndrome babies, with books, videos, and information. On Saturday October 19th Manasota BUDS is holding the 12th Annual Buddy Walk, a walk for raising Down syndrome awareness! 

To learn more about Manasota Buds, visit
Birth in the News:

Links we mentioned on the show: (Lisa Underwood's advocacy group) (Down Syndrome Necklace)

From Melinda Coulter, Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities: - this is the national organization - this is a Pinellas chapter - family network on disability - Project 10 (transition education network) - Florida Developmental Disabilities Council - Florida Developmental Disabilities Council’s publications page (check out child development section)  another good resource on their list is Planning Ahead - Florida’s Early Steps program through Children’s Medical Services (dept. of health) - Early Steps Provider Relations Liaisons by region in FL

Guest Post on Down Syndrome: More Alike Than Different

Photo credit: Nicole Williams, Memories for Keepsake
What I've learned as a parent of a child with Down syndrome:

1) The misconception that Down syndrome is most common with older parents.  I was 28 when my daughter was born and never expected to give birth to a child with Down syndrome.  I quickly learned that although the chances of Down syndrome are higher for women over 35, more babies with Down syndrome are born to women under 35.

2) I wish I knew then, what I know now.  When my daughter was born, I knew nothing about Down syndrome. I had no idea what to expect, and no idea just how normal our lives would be.  Much of the NICU staff told us all the things to worry about, the medical problems she could face, the delays to expect, etc.   I felt like my world was being flipped upside down, and that all of our dreams for the future were over.

I quickly realized how wrong I was.

One of the most important phrases in our world is "more alike than different."  Sure, she has delays, extra medical appointments, therapies, etc.  But in the grand scheme of things, she is more like every other child than she is different, no matter how many chromosomes she has.

Kennedy is an amazing little girl. She loves to dance, she loves the beach. She is the best big sister that my son could ask for.  She is a ray of sunlight and happiness, most of the time.  She's also a typical 2.5 year old who throws tantrums, wants to be heard, has feelings, wants, and desires.  As she grows up, she will continue to have feelings, dreams and goals.  They may not be the goals I always dreamed of for her, but that can be true for children without Down syndrome as well.  At the end of the day, my husband and I will do everything we can to support her and help her achieve her goals.

3) The abortion rate for women with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome is high. Very high. I'm not surprised, based on some of the negativity I have seen and heard from doctors.  I feel like there is so much more education to be done on the part of the doctors delivering the information and on the preconceived ideas that people have about individuals with Down syndrome. I think the abortion rate may continue to increase with the availability of the minimally invasive blood tests.

But on the flip side, if we (parents of children with Ds) and the medical community can do something to make society see our children as valuable members of society, and not the "burden" that many people believe, those numbers can decrease.  I do not believe that these tests are the end of Down syndrome. There will always be a population who doesn't care how many chromosomes their child has.  There is part of the population who doesn't have prenatal testing. That's where we fell into. We knew the results wouldn't matter.

And even though Kennedy had a congenital heart defect, and I had top notch prenatal care, her diagnosis was a surprise at birth.  It was shocking and scary, and at the time I sort of wished I had known. Just to better prepare myself.  But I probably would have worried a lot more too.  In the end, everything worked out just the way it was supposed to.

When my daughter was born I said to my mom, "I don't know how to be the mom of a child with special needs."  I didn't think I was strong enough. I didn't think I could get through her open heart surgery.  But you never know how strong you are until you have to be.  I will always advocate for my daughter, as well as all of my children.  I thought Down syndrome would be the center of our universe.  But now, there are days that I don't even think about it.  In fact, a lot of days, I don't think about it.  She is a person, before her diagnosis. A "typical" 2.5 year old that happens to have an extra chromosome.

Jennifer Merritt is a stay at home mom, married to a wonderful man, and raising their beautiful daughter, Kennedy and her little brother Caleb. She blogs about her experience with Down syndrome at Life As We Know It.

Episode 106: Down Syndrome

Photo credits (left to right): Nicole Williams, Lisa Underwood, Sabrina Bean, Anne Hathorn
Join the Conversation tonight, Tuesday, October 8th at 6pm ET as Laura and Carmela talk about Down syndrome, our most common chromosomal variation. We'll hear from Pediatric Genetics Specialist Dr. Melissa Crenshaw, who will bring us up to speed on the latest research in genetic testing, and explain the new science that could potentially silence the extra chromosome in Down syndrome. Then we'll meet Anne Hathorn and Lisa Underwood, two mothers who are raising children with Down's, who will share their experiences as we ask the question: is it the chromosome that needs to be silenced? Or the stigma surrounding it? We'll also learn what resources and support are available nationally, statewide, and right here in Sarasota through Manasota BUDS.
Have a question for our guests? Please email us or post to our facebook page.

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

For more information or to submit questions for our hosts our our guest, please contact the hostesses of Maternally Yours at, or on our facebook page at

Maternally Yours, 
Cheryl, Carmela, Ryan and Laura

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Episode 105: Breast Health

Join the Conversation on Tuesday October 1st at 6pm ET as Ryan and Cheryl mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month by welcoming breast health professionals to share ways that we can keep our breasts healthy throughout our childbearing years. In addition to investigating what normal, healthy breasts should look and feel like, we will also discuss breast self exams, thermography, and other ways we can uniquely care for our breasts with Dr. Dwight Fitch, Radiation Oncologist and American Cancer Society Representative, and Dr. Michele Louiselle, Doctor of Oriental Medicine and Thermographer.

Have a question for our guests? Please email us or post to our facebook page.

Tune into WSLR 96.5 LPFM or online at tonight, Tuesday, October 1st at 6:00pm ET. The program will also available later in the evening via podcast at
For more information or to submit questions for our hosts our our guest, please contact the hostesses of Maternally Yours at, or on our facebook page at

Maternally Yours,
Cheryl, Carmela, Ryan and Laura