On Saturday, March 10, 2012 I was lucky enough to attend one day of the La Leche League of Illinois Breastfeeding and Parenting Conference. I was not aware of the conference until a friend/acquaintance of mine that is a doula (or basically a certified and trained birth assistant) informed me of the conference. For doulas the conference offers continuing education credits, and, of course, an enhanced understanding of breastfeeding and many other topics relevant to their field. Out of many choices I attended the following sessions:
- Green Living 101 with Danielle Koprowski, Holistic Moms Network
- Loving Guidance: Becoming Brain Smart with Leslie Groth, Conscious Discipline Faciltator
- Managing Fertility Naturally, taught by substitute and almost cancelled
- Stone Age Babies In a Space Age World? James McKenna, PhD
- Lunch break and exhibits
- Roots to Wings with Donna Brooks
I did not attend the Night Owl Session, “Roots to Wings, Parenting and Growth in LLL” with Marian Tompson and the family entertainment and close of exhibits and silent auction. I registered just for one day of the conference instead of all three days. I though it was great, and not just people in the field and moms and pregnant women could benefit, but single women and teenagers and even dads and many other people. Everyone should probably go or could benefit from it.
Here are some highlights and resources from the Green Living 101 class:
- The instructor asked the class what they wanted to review and took questions. Most people were interested in green cleaning rather than green cooking. I have included some resources mentioned that were new to me and some good tips I would not have thought of.
- Consider using a water and or air filter. When you dust, do not use a dry cloth. Use a microfiber cloth with a vinegar spray.
- foodnews.org – lists the clean 15 and dirty dozen. Sometimes it is the type of pesticide that is used that matters as some are much stronger than others. Sometimes organic food can be more contaminated because of the location it is grown in and air pollution.
- Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) - receives no money from organic companies and works off of donations. They offer ratings on products such as lotions, sunblocks, and shampoos. Not all products are rated, but it is a good place to find something made in a way less harsh on the environment.
- mercola.com – the number one natural health site on the Internet, you can probably find the same products sold on the site cheaper somewhere else
- Clean with vinegar, but if you have to use chemicals try a diluted bleach like Biokleen Bac-Out (not sure if I have that spelled right), which you should mix with water as it is a concentrated bottle.
- Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide mixed together can really disinfect and are just as effective as bleach.
- You can use baking soda and vinegar in the toilet and as a spray for the sink.
- There is a multi-level marketing company called, Young Living, that sells Thieves Cleaner and you can use it on mildew and mold. It requires more work than chemicals but if you work hard you will have results. The story is supposedly something to the effect that a group of thieves that were spice traders, used the blend to rob plague victims and never caught the disease themselves. When facing sentencing with the queen, to avoid death they gave the blend ingredients away.
- Find local co-ops/farmers, Community-supported agriculture (CSAs), go to open farm days. The Weston A. Price Foundation (westonaprice.org) can help you find local, organic food and much more.
Highlights and resources from the Loving Guidance session:
- The speaker, Leslie Groth, was a volunteer and did not receive any payment for the presentation. She completed some of the classes and the methods worked for her and it motivated her to become a volunteer. However, she can receive free resources to give out at presentations if you order a book such as Difficult to Discipline from consciousdiscipline.com and tell them you know about through Leslie Groth from the La Leche League conference.
- Some other good books include Four Brain Smart Principles: Loving Guidance Conscious Discipline by Dr. Becky A. Bailey and I Love You Rituals
- Conscious Discipline also offers a summer in Orlando Florida and two-day workshops nationwide throughout the year, and DVDS, audio lectures and more
- youtube.com/lovingdiscipline – responose from instructors help you with situation
- facebook.com/conscious discipline
Highlights and resources from Managing Fertility Naturally:
- This was a presentation given by a sub for the doula that actually gives the class. The sub was a teacher for the Couple to Couple League. The PowerPoint presentation mentioned Toni Weschler’s book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility, and the Couple to Couple League classes. The Couple to Couple League classes welcome everyone from singles to couples that are not yet married to couples married with children. Not only is it a several session class, but opportunities for mentoring with couples that practice the method(s) are plentiful. In the future I would like to take a Couple to Couple League class. The method can also alert you to health issues, and of course there are no side effects from pills or devices. If practiced correctly it is highly effective. More is known now about the woman’s fertility cycle than ever before.
Stone Age Babies In a Space Age World? James McKenna, PhD
- This was a presentation by Dr. McKenna and his findings from his Mother-Baby Behavorial Sleep Labortory. The PowerPoint had lots of graphs and pictures and explanations. The research findings were that responsible an safe co-sleeping has benefits. He said he wishes it wasn’t true, but that is what the findings are. There are many ways to safely
- co-sleep and there is even a safe bedside crib you can buy. For a long time in history co-sleeping was the norm, and is
still very common in some parts of the world. Many babies have died probably from being smothered with blankets making it hard for them to breath while co-sleeping. There are also babies that have co-slept and never had any issues. It is a controversial issue and some agencies do not support co-sleeping while others support safe and responsible co-sleeping.
Highlights and resources from Roots to Wings
- This was about interactive storytelling with kids such as having them jump over a ball while reciting Jack Be Nimble Jack Be Quick. The presenter pretty much performed stories with a puppet doll, folding a blanket through a story, Jack a Bones Wooden Man, and finger stories (e.g. Where Is Pumpkin, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wiggle and Rattle, On This Side Of the Mountain, This Little Piggy, Humpty Dumpty).
- She explained how the Waldorf Early Education Childhood Association of North America is really into imaginative play. They do not expect children to sit and look at computer screens all the time. Children have energy, and human contact is important to them. Waldorf has a costly private school, and they teach language with rhythm rather than memorizing the alphabet.
- National Lewis University offers storytelling conferences.
- Other songs and nursery rhymes to explore include Mother Goose, clean-up songs, Head Shoulders Knees, and Mary Thienes Schunaman (cleaning songs, advent, Christmas, seasons).
Even just the one day I spent at the conference was very nice. The people attending were friendly, and you can see from the pictures I was able to get a lot of free books and resources. The one table or exhibit was from a former La Leche League leader, and she was apparently clearing out her inventory. Most of the items in the picture I gave to my friend/acquaintance that is a doula. She gives the items to her clients. There were actually more items this, and other people took also took many items, but probably not as much as me. Some of the them I am looking into placing them on eBay or Amazon. That is time-consuming and many of the items do not sell or take forever to sell, but I will probably try it. I am also considering sending some of the items to a book swap. A lot of the information is specific to Illinois and the United States, but some of the concepts can probably transfer to other locations and or the information is just interesting.