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February 2011 - Attached at the Heart

API Links you to...

News on breastfeeding surprises; long-term effects of mothering styles; obese infants; API co-founders book signing; and teens, peers, risks, and community.

Editor's Picks

Why Spoiled Babies Grow Up to Be Smarter, Kinder Kids
Over the last several decades, more and more research has suggested that experiences in early life - even prenatal life - can have a disproportionate influence on the development of personality and physical and mental health. Now new studies confirm earlier work suggesting that children who get more positive touch and affection during infancy turn out to be kinder, more intelligent, and more caring about others.

Meet the Newest Mom Blogging about AP: Mayim Bialik
From her blog:
"I don’t like labels. In my 35 years, I have been labeled: short (until I no longer was), flat-chested (until I no longer was), “Blossom,” (OK, I am still labeled that even though I technically no longer am), and now: 'Attachment Parent.'
"I know what you’re thinking: AP parents are self-righteous, privileged, over-psychoanalyzed martyrs who (especially if they are celebrities) pretend to have the time, energy, patience and abundant love to be with their kids all the time without giving them any limits, boundaries or sense of independence.
"Did I cover it all?"

Environmental Contaminants in Breastmilk Decrease over Time
The levels of environmental contaminants in a mother's body decrease during breastfeeding. After a year of lactation, the levels of a number of environmental contaminants in breastmilk drop by 15 to 94 percent.

Perception of "Daddy Time" Can Lead to Bullying
Do your children think you work too much and don't spend enough time with them? If so, their perception could lead to bullying behavior.

Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting

Toxins Found in Pregnant U.S. Women
Multiple chemicals, including some banned since the 1970s and others used in such items as nonstick cookware, furniture, processed foods, and beauty products, were found in the blood and urine of pregnant U.S. women.

Mothering Styles Can Predict Adult Relationships
Anxious about the stability of your relationship with your romantic partner? Uncomfortable relying on a friend? It could be because of how your mother treated you as a toddler, reports a new study that finds that such treatment can predict your experiences in these adult relationships.

Special! Special! Become a member today and receive the API teleseminar Loveline with Dr. Laura Markham on Marriage and Parenting FREE!

Feeding with Love and Respect

Child Obesity Linked to Formula and Early Start on Solids
A new study sheds light on ways to fight childhood obesity - before infants are even out of the cradle. Formula-fed babies who begin solid foods too early - before they're 4 months old - are six times as likely to become obese by age 3, compared with babies who start on solids later.

Infants Are Not Exempt from Obesity Epidemic
Most people understand that children are part of the obesity epidemic. However, a revealing new study finds that obesity might begin in babies as young as nine months old.

Preschool Kids Know What They Like: Salt, Sugar and Fat
A child's taste preferences begin at home and most often involve salt, sugar, and fat. And young kids learn quickly what brands deliver the goods.

Surgeon General’s Call to Action:? A Roadmap to Improving Support for Breastfeeding Mothers
Three out of four women in the United States provide their infants with the healthiest start in life by breastfeeding. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin calls on the entire nation to support the removal of barriers to this important public health behavior.
The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding is an unprecedented document from the nation's highest medical source, calling on health care providers, employers, insurers, policymakers, researchers, and the community at large to take 20 concrete action steps to support mothers in reaching their personal breastfeeding goals.

Responding with Sensitivity

Attached at the Heart - We Heart Parents!
What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day (and buy gifts) than to come to Earth Fare in Huntsville, Alabama, on February 13 at noon for a book signing by the API cofounders! Attached at the Heart is a perfect gift for parents-to-be, parents of young children, and grandparents to learn how to grow a true heart-to-heart connection with their children. If you've read Attached at the Heart, consider giving a signed copy to someone you know. At least come by and say hello and please spread the word to your friends! Or contact API to arrange a book signing in your community.

Ensure Safe Sleep, Emotionally and Physically

API Board Member Gena Kirby Weighs in on Safe Bedsharing with KXAN
"Austin mom Gena Kirby still shares a bed with her nearly 2-year-old daughter Charlie, and her two older girls also slept with Kirby and her husband. Gena is on the Board of Directors of Attachment Parenting International, a nonprofit group promoting parenting practices that the organization’s website says 'create strong, healthy emotional bonds between children and parents.'"

API Reads ...Natural Alarm Signals and Parent-Child Attachment

This month we're reading Instead of Medicating and Punishing: Healing the Causes of Our Children’s Acting-Out Behavior by Parenting and Educating the Way Nature Intended by Laurie A. Couture. The author hopes you gain the following from joining us on this reading journey:
"What I wish for parents to gain from reading my book is that a secure parent-child attachment is nature's intent for all mammals and affects our children and our world holistically. A secure parent-child attachment requires compassionate nurturing, freedom, and joy in living and learning and meeting children's holistic needs from pregnancy through late adolescence. When children act out, it is a natural alarm signaling to us that something inside of the child or in the child's environment is distressing to them. We can heal children's behavioral, emotional, and learning challenges by heeding these natural alarm signals and reconnecting to nature's cycle of parent-child attachment.”

Consistent and Loving Care

API Board Member Lu Hanessian Comments on Parents Competing for the Attention of Screen-Saturated Teens
Tennessee parents should be wary of too much "screen time." A recent Kaiser Family Foundation study of 2,000 children aged 8 to 18 nationwide found they spend an average of over seven hours a day interacting with digital media. Lu Hanessian, mother, journalist, and author of Let the Baby Drive, says too much screen time makes it difficult for children to relate to their parents and other children. "I am actually quite concerned and disturbed by the amount of time that children today, teenagers, are spending on devices and computers. It actually concerns me not just for the kids, but for their future."

Having a Strong Community Protects Adolescents from Risky Health Behaviors
Children who grow up in poverty have health problems as adults. But a new study finds that poor adolescents who live in communities with more social cohesiveness and control get some measure of protection; they're less likely to smoke and be obese as adolescents.

Practice Positive Discipline

Global Summit on Ending Corporate Punishment and Promoting Positive Discipline
Registrations are being accepted now for this June 2011 conference in Dallas, Texas, that will assemble, for the first time, an international group of leading policy makers, attorneys, educators, children's rights activists, and researchers from multiple disciplines (e.g., anthropology, criminology, history, medicine psychology, social work, and sociology) as well as other interested individuals who concur that corporal punishment of children is an unsuitable and potentially damaging way to discipline and teach children.

Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

The Presence of Peers Heightens Teens' Sensitivity to Rewards of a Risk
It's well known that teenagers take risks - and that when they do, they like to have company. Teens are five times more likely to be in a car accident when in a group than when driving alone, and they are more likely to commit a crime in a group.

Parenting Too

Smoking Habits Are Transmitted from Mother to Daughter and Father to Son
In homes where both parents are present, there is a significant degree of inter-generational transmission of smoking habits between parents and children, particularly between individuals of the same gender.

Infants Ascribe Social Dominance to Larger Individuals
We may be born with some grasp of social hierarchy and how it relates to physical size.

Read Together, Read Across America on March 2
Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss. Snuggle up and read together!


Dear Supporter,

When I had my second child, I thought breastfeeding would be a breeze. After all, I'd successfully nursed a micropreemie and  earned the nickname "The Dairy Queen" in the NICU.

I was a pro.



The birth of my second child was crash refresher course in Attachment Parenting. I had to relearn how to follow the cues of my baby and respect her needs because they were oh so different from my first child's.

After many tears (mine, not hers) and patience (hers, not mine) that wore thin after months of tantrums (both of ours), we finally worked out our breastfeeding relationship.

By that time, she'd earned her own nicknames ("Ellie May Clamp-It" and "the Lamprey" spring to mind). And she'd educated me and caused me to educate myself. I practically became an expert in breastfeeding and foremilk issues.

Thank goodness I'd become so comfortable with the ideas behind Attachment Parenting (even though I hadn't officially found API just yet). If I hadn't, I might have given up breastfeeding - and years of that close bond. I'm so glad I didn't.

Even today that bond continues. Now that she's about to have her thirteenth birthday, I'm even more grateful that we have a strong, close, powerful relationship - which can, at least partly, be attributed to that early breastfeeding dynamic.

This month you'll find a number of interesting articles on breastfeeding, in addition to other tidbits you won't want to miss. You'll see
- how some researchers in Britain are questioning if "breast only" is best for the first six months,
- who children pick up their smoking habits from,
- how long contaminants in breastmilk stick around,
- how sharing childcare duties may increase parental conflict (huh?) - see "Parenting Too," and
- if "Daddy time" decreases bullying (it might not be what you think!).

This month we welcome Lea Mock of API of Houston, Central Texas, and Christian Emmert of Tri-Cities API as new Leaders! Welcome!

Camille North,
API Links Editor

Please let us know what you like and what could be better about Links.

API is a free enewsletter, dedicated to bringing you information to support you in your parenting journey.

Love the Art This Month?

These cropped images ("Homeschooling" and "Sleep, Baby, Sleep") are just portions of these brilliant pieces of art!
Check out all the artwork of
Erika Hastings at

What's New in Our Store?

A new shipment of Attached at the Heart by Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker!

Want to Honor Someone for
Valentine's Day?

Take a look at our tributes ...
and add your own!

In Honor of Reedy Hickey
Mom, Thank you for all of

your love and support these
past four months. You have
really helped us become a very attached and loving family.
~ Love, Hilary and Jacob

In Honor of Reedy Hickey
ReeRee, We are very grateful
for the quality time you have gotten to spend with us since
we were born. We will always remember this!
~ Love, Ansley and Chloe

Do Well and Do Good...

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Did Any of These Links
Make You Think?

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"The Critical Importance of Nurturing Touch"

Accepted poster submission to be shared by Lysa Parker and Barbara Nicholson at the
Global Summit on Ending
Corporal Punishment and Promoting Positive Discipline
June 2011, Dallas, Texas

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