API Links - February 2012:
Happy Valentine's Day!

We're Attached at the Heart, Valentine!

We want to help you be "attached at the heart" too with a copy of Attached at the Heart! Visit the API Facebook page today, Valentine's Day, and share who you love that made practicing AP important to your life.

We will select a random winner from among the comments to receive a copy of Attached at the Heart! If you've already read Attached at the Heart, share who you love and what you love about the book, and among those comments we will select a second random winner to designate a copy of Attached at the Heart to go to his or her public library, community center, or local parenting support group library.

Editor's Picks

Valentine’s Day at Hogwarts
The attachment theory of love in the world of Harry Potter.

New Study Confirms That Mom's Love Good for Child's Brain
School-age children whose mothers nurtured them early in life have brains with a larger hippocampus, a key structure important to learning, memory, and response to stress.

25 Rules for Mothers of Sons
"I hope to inspire other moms who are loving, and struggling, and tired, and proud, and eager to support the boys in their lives. You are the most important woman in his life, his first teacher, and the one he will look to for permission for the rest of his life. From 'Can I go play with them?' to 'Should I ask her to marry me?'  Its a big job, but as the mumma, we're up for it."

50 Rules for Dads of Daughters
"1. Love her mom....
"2. Always be there...."

API Member and Want to Know How Else You Can Help?
If you're a current API member and wonder how else you can help further the important message of secure attachment, consider opting for an electronic version of The Attached Family, rather than the printed and mailed copy you receive now. To change your preferences, email our Membership Liaison.

There are benefits! API is now publishing a longer issue of The Attached Family that is only available electronically, or through "print on demand."

Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting

Births Attended by Midwives Safe, Need Fewer Interventions
A review of 21 studies comparing births attended by certified nurse midwives or physicians found no difference in infant outcomes between the 2 groups, and less use of interventions such as labor induction, episiotomy, and epidurals by the nurses.

What Is the Impact of the Internet on Decision-Making in Pregnancy? A Global Study
Women need access to evidence-based information to make informed choices in pregnancy. A search for health information is one of the major reasons that people worldwide access the Internet.

CDC: Home Births Rise Nearly 30 Percent in U.S.
The rate of home births in the United States has made a dramatic upturn since 2004, reversing a trend of decline throughout the 1990s.

Richmond-Area Hospitals Move toward Baby-Friendly Status
Hospitals in Richmond, Virginia, offer families plenty of childbirth and new-baby perks - whirlpool tubs to labor in, free parenting classes and, at one health system, an uninterrupted "magic hour" right after birth for mother-infant bonding.

The Attached Family "Families at Play" Issue Is Available Now!
Watch your inboxes and mailboxes for your issue of The Attached Family "Families at Play," with tips, helpful and inspiring articles, the latest and tried and true on the topic of play! Features articles by international play expert Fred Donaldson, Larry Cohen, API contributing writers, and others.

Feeding with Love and Respect

Baby Knows Best: Baby-Led Weaning Promotes Healthy Food Preferences
Babies who are weaned using solid finger food are more likely to develop healthier food preferences and are less likely to become overweight as children than those who are spoon-fed pureed food.

Lung Function at School Age Better Thanks to Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is linked to enhanced lung function at school age, especially in children born to asthmatic mothers.

Positive Parenting during Early Childhood May Prevent Obesity
Programs that support parents during their child's early years hold promise for obesity prevention.

Volunteers Needed to Help with Breastfeeding Training
Vanderbilt University is looking for volunteers to help train resident physicians in breastfeeding latch and positioning. The Baby Friendly Initiative requires that resident doctors have breastfeeding training, and the purpose of the "latch on" session is to provide this education.

Moms with new babies, moms who are nursing toddlers, moms that are currently tandem nursing, and moms who are currently pregnant and planning on tandem nursing are all needed. A lactation consultant will go over latch and positioning. The goal is for residents to understand nursing from a mother's perspective. (What better person to ask than the nursing mom?!)

The session is scheduled for January 31st from 12:00-1:30 at VUMC. Questions? Call Dr. Johnston (Pediatrician, Children's Clinic East Hermitage), 615-232-8033, ext. 137.

Ensure Safe Sleep, Emotionally and Physically

Confession: This Pediatrician Is a Sleep Softie
"This may not be a great confession to make as a pediatrician, but when it comes to sleep and kids, I am a total softie."

Sleepy Students Are at Greater Risk for Substance Abuse
It's a fact: Sleep is food for the brain; critical to our well-being. When we do not get our needed amount of sleep, our bodies and minds suffer as sleep deprivation kicks in. We feel grouchy and irritable, and our level of alertness declines, as well as our coordination and our ability to react. Our thinking becomes clouded and we may struggle to remember, concentrate, and make decisions. For youth, insufficient sleep is additionally shown to be associated with a variety of health-risk behaviors, including adolescent drug and alcohol use.

API Annual Appeal
You heard our appeal for help in our time of need and responded with incredible support and desire for this mission to continue.

We are passionate in agreement that API's work, while making tremendous strides, is not yet finished. Thank you for all of your generous financial gifts to API in support of the 2011 annual appeal. We received more donations, from more individuals, from more countries, than any other appeal in API's history, and with our ongoing revenue programs, nearing our budget for 2012.

We celebrate and we will continue to do our part, working creatively and efficiently for the greatest impact, making changes to help API be sustainable for the long term. We hope you will continue to support API with the enthusiasm you have shown, as we are held in the public trust, and rely on financial contributions. We firmly believe there is no better investment than investing in parents and children and their well being, for their individual benefit, as well as the society at large in every facet of life.

Also of Note ...

Parent-Led Discussion Enhances Children’s Learning from Television
In a first-of-its-kind study, children showed significant gains in vocabulary and comprehension when parents asked them questions about the content, rather than simply parking them in front of the screen.

What Would Honest Abe Lincoln Say?
A national ethics survey on American youth finds one in three high schoolers stealing from a store in the past year, two in five lying to save money, and eight out of ten lying to their parents.

Consistent and Loving Care

Mothers, Daycare, and Child Wellbeing in New Zealand
While the long-term effects of daycare and cortisol release are not fully understood, New Zealand must pause for thought, adhere to the tradition of a principle of precaution, and assume that generally, maternal care during early child development is better than daycare for child wellbeing and later development. This is justified and prudent.

Practice Positive Discipline

Child Abuse Affects More U.S. Kids Than SIDS
Parents are usually the perpetrators of abuse, largely because they are unprepared to deal with kids' crying. A little education could help reverse the trend.

Physical Punishment of Children Potentially Harmful to Their Long-Term Development
"Physicians have a primary responsibility for translating research and evidence into guidance for parents and children, and they are credible and influential voices for advancing public education and policy concerning population health," state the authors. They can educate parents on typical childhood behaviours, suggest positive disciplinary approaches, and refer patients to public health and parenting programs and other resources.

Strive for Balance in Personal and Family Life

A Reminder That Every Day Should Be Valentine's Day
API's interview with Harville Hendrix, Imago Relationship Therapy founder.

Reflection on How Couplehood Changes with Kids
"It's 11 at night and I'm preparing for a rare evening with my husband. He's coming home from a four-hour round trip to pick up a bale of hay for our goats and sheep, and called to say he was stopping to pick up a pizza. I've got one kid in bed and the other sleeping on the couch.
"I almost don't know what to do with myself. Do I dare say I'm a little nervous? ..."

API in the News!

Attached at the Heart - Richmond Attachment Parenting
"There is no set way to practice attachment parenting. Every family unit is different and must determine what works best within that unit. There is no rule book. There is no right or wrong way to do this thing. However, there are ways of going about things that can support and encourage attachment, and there are ways that can break down and destroy attachment."


Dear Supporter,

AP parents have a secret. A secret about Valentine's Day.

Want to know what it is? It won't come as a surprise. You won't even say, "Ah, yes." You might be wonder that it's a secret at all.

It's this:

For AP parents, every day is Valentine's Day!

We don't wait until the greeting-card companies tell us it's time to express our love. We don't wait until the calendar says that one special day has arrived.

We express our love every day to our children and our partners. We write notes, give kisses, dole out hugs, cuddle into the night, and give our loved ones the respect they deserve. We tell our families every day, in myriad ways, "I love you. I cherish you. I value you. I respect you."

So this Valentine's Day, as you see people scrambling for the last bunch of wilted roses in the grocery store or fighting over the last card in the picked-over selection, you can smile to yourself, knowing that you have a secret.

Oh, and you know what candy makers really need to market? Chocytocin. Yes, chocolate and oxytocin bon-bons. Now THAT I would hope to get on Valentine's Day!


In this month's Links, we bring you news on

- how home births are on the rise and are safe,
- how baby-led weaning and positive parenting encourages life-long eating health, and
- how mom's love is good for the brain. 

This month we welcome two new Leaders to the API family:

Crystal Fisher, API of Champlain Valley, Vermonet, and Michelle Dunne, API of Ashburn, Virginia. 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.

Barbara Nicholson,
API Co-founder, Named a 2012 Celebration of Women Mentoring Women Honoree

by the Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker (MIHOW) Program at the Center for Health Services, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

"The spirit of MIHOW is embodied in the idea that women are powerful because they see and nurture the power in others. A mentor is someone who impacts her community by recognizing strengths in places where others don't see them and by helping women build on those strengths to find their own power."

The MIHOW Program is a peer-to peer mentoring program that helps low-income mothers in isolated and underserved communities be the best parents they can be.

MIHOW workers visit mothers in their own homes to help them help themselves - building the mother's confidence and skills to get the health and social services her family needs.

Congratulations, Barbara!
All of us at API thank you for all the mentoring you have done for us.

In Honor of...

Samantha Gray and her family
for their incredible and selfless support of API
~ Janet Jendron

Nancy Franklin who requested donations in lieu of Christmas gifts
~ Barbara Brueggeman

Janet Jendron
I have to be one of the proudest daughters in the world.
I love you Mom!!
~ Claudia Jendron

My beautiful children Delilah and Asher
Thank you API for the amazing support and gift you have given me in the knowledge that I am doing the best for my amazing kids by following my instincts. And thank you for making it possible for me to know every day that I am not alone!
~ Patricia Mackie

Volunteer with API!

Business Management Coordinator

Development Director

Visit the links for descriptions, or email Samantha Gray for more information.

API is also interested in individuals to write grants. Experience helpful but not necessary.

Want to volunteer but don't see a position of interest? Contact us and we'll get you involved!

La Leche League of Illinois Breastfeeding Conference

"Breastfeeding, Roots to Wings"

Hear API Advisory Board member, James McKenna, PhD!

Hear also from:

Director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at Notre Dame University who studies how sleeping and co-sleeping environments
affect mothers, breastfeeding, and infants’ physiological and psychological well-being and development.

Diana Cassar-Uhl, IBCLC, who is passionate about being an agent for change. Listen to her presentation on Vitamin D and its role in breastfeeding mothers, and supporting mothers with mammary hypoplasia/insufficient glandular tissue.

Marian Tompson, LLLI founder, featuring her newest book, Passionate Journey, My Unexpected Life

Holiday Inn
Schaumburg/Rolling Meadows
March 9-11, 2012

Early registration deadline is fast approaching. 
Online Registration is LIVE and ready to go!
Come for one speaker, one day, or all 3 days.

Do Well and Do Good...

Support the mission of API and connect with your target audience.

Contact us
to help you create an advertising package to fit your message and budget.

API is proactively engaged with organizations with diverse missions and activities in order to leverage and expand our work in supporting all parents, children and families to promote secure attachments and strong, positive relationships.

Want to Make a Difference?
You can now apply online
and learn more about
becoming an API Leader!

Did You Learn Anything This Month from Links?

If so, we couldn't be happier! Help us educate others too. Please consider donating $20, $10, or even $5. API is a non-profit organization and it depends on your tax-deductible donations.

Photos by tiarescott from here and by Joshua Barnett (contemplicity) from here.

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