Local News, News

Special Addition : HMHB Featured Community Organization

posted on Sep 11, 2013 in Local News, News by
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After 13 years on North Lamar, Special Addition has moved to a new beautiful location.
Come by and welcome them to the neighborhood at 7301 Burnet Rd.

If you haven’t been to Special Addition, now would be a great time to experience the excellent service, expertise, and take a look at all of the amazing products and services that they offer. Special Addition has Largest selection of maternity and nursing clothing in Central Texas. Professionally-fitted nursing bras – in difficult to find sizes from 32A – 52M. Breastfeeding Support through trained staff Breastfeeding Classes Three IBCLC’s on staff and one more to be added. Breastpump rental/sales/service. Breastfeeding accessories. Best Chairs Gliders Cloth Diapers and diapering products Collegiate Infant Clothing NEW – A nice selection of infant clothing -12/18 months.

Special Addition is throwing a party in celebration of their new bigger location and you are invited.  View the event on the calendar here or print out the schedule of events here.
Please show your support for this great community resource.  They have served Central Texas mothers for 19 years and have been valued community partner in all of our breastfeeding efforts.

SA grand reopening

September 13 and 14

7301 Burnet Road Austin, Texas [map]

Register for great gifts including a $300 Gift Certificate, Professional Grade Breastpump, Books, and other cool gifts! Pick up your Gift Bag with lots of helpful goodies for your pregnancy or breastfeeding.


10:15 – 11:30 Baby Carrier Workshop. Come laugh and learn with Sling Guru, Tracy Urban. Bring your carrier or try one of ours.

12:00 – 2:00 Book Signing Event. Visit with author, Allison Amador, and illustrator, Tammy Stanley, and get your child’s very own personalized book, Goodnight Austin – the hottest of children’s book for all Austinites.

12:00 – 3:00 Receive a complimentary Health Screening (Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Glucose, and Lymph Screenings by Accolade Home Health.

12:30 – 1:00  How can a Doula make child birth and life after easier?   Q&A by Shelly Scota on Doula Labor Support and Postpartum Doula Care.

1:30 – 3:00 Baby Carrier Workshop. Come laugh and learn with Sling Guru, Tracy Urban. Bring your carrier or use one of ours.

3:00 – 3:45 Infant Safety Class. Join Allison Coleman, from Austin Baby Guru, to learn more about infant CPR and choking as well as an overview of other safety issues.

10:00 – 5:00 Visit with Becky Kittleman, of Becky Kittleman Photography, to discuss pregnancy, mommy & baby, or family portraits. Begin planning for your holiday gifts with a lovely portrait.


10:15 – 11:30 Baby Carrier Workshop. Come laugh and learn with Sling Guru, Tracy Urban. Bring your carrier or try one of ours.

11:30 – 12:30 Mothers Milk Bank. Learn more about the miracle of mothers’ milk and The Mothers’ Milk Bank of Austin. Question and Answer Session on MMBA’s mission, how to become a donor, and the process of milk banking.

12:30 – 1:00  How can a Doula make birth and life easier?  Q&A on Doula Labor Support and Postpartum Doula Care.

1:30 – 2:30 Cloth Diapering 101 with diapering expert, Victoria O’Neal. Get an overview of the world of cloth diapers, wraps, liners, swim diapers and all those confusing areas of cloth diapering.

3:00 – 3:45 Infant CPR and Choking Overview. Presented by Allison Coleman from Austin Baby Guru.

3:00 – 5:00 Amy’s Ice Cream Sidewalk Party! Finish up the day with some Amy’s Ice Cream and balloons for the little ones!

5:00 Door Prize Drawing


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Update: AISD rescinds discriminatory breastfeeding policy. New policy must be written.

posted on Jan 02, 2013 in Central Texas News, Current Efforts, HMHB News, Local News by

We have made a difference Austin!

Effective immediately the AISD policy which meshed federal legislation providing reasonable break time for nursing mothers and the Texas right to breastfeed law has been rescinded.

It was reported that the former policy was based on a common practice but never in writing and left up to the discretion of principal until Mrs Donmoyer (the mother listed in a previous post) challenged this practice and encouraged them to look at the law and develop a policy that complies.  What they came up with was just the opposite.  Who knows how many nursing mothers were made to feel ashamed for feeding their babies, but with your action it will not happen again (at least not in Austin).  If you never saw the policy, it stated:

“A district shall provide a parent or visitor who has properly checked in at a campus during the school day, a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion by the students, employees, and the public, which shall be used to breastfeed or express milk.

The principal or designee shall direct the parent or visitor to the place designated by the principal for breastfeeding or expressing milk.”

The current Texas statute states:

Sec. 165.001 – the legislature finds that breastfeeding a baby is an important and basic act of nurture that must be encouraged in the interests of maternal and child health and family values.  In compliance with the breastfeeding program established under the federal Child Nutrition Act of 1966, the legislature recognized breastfeeding as the best method of infant nutrition

Sec.165.002  Right to breastfeed

A mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.

Federal legislation which gives moms the right to pump for their babies while at work states:

“An employer shall provide (a) reasonable break time for an employee to express breastmilk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk; and (b) a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.

you may notice that the areas underlined in both the AISD policy and the pumping policy for employees are identical.  They were not however, intended for the same population.  This discussion has brought to light a larger question in the right to breastfeed debate.  The logic for this policy was that a mother is only authorized to breastfeed wherever the school district designated as the nursing / pumping room.  So if they designated a broom closet to be the breastfeeding / pumping room, according to this policy, as long as it wasn’t a bathroom and definitely out of view from anyone, it would be fine.  This logic goes completely against the intent of both pieces of legislation which is to increase breastfeeding rates, but it was their logic none the less.  If this was the logic of one of the largest school districts in the United States, how many others are doing the same?

Our work is not finished

Now that this policy has been rescinded, a new one must be put in it’s place.  Members of HMHB and the mom who stood up to AISD will be meeting with school board members to provide guidance.  Please add your suggestions and words of support here, at www.keepaustinnip.blogspot.com or by e mailing school board members trustees@austinisd.org

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Breastfeeding Challenge 2012

posted on Oct 11, 2012 in Current Efforts, HMHB News, Local News by
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Even with the rainy day many moms and babies joined us for the Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge.








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Action Alert! WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program May Be Defunded

posted on Jun 16, 2012 in Central Texas News, Local News, National News, News, Statewide News by

Peer support makes a difference for breastfeeding moms…
Tell Congress to Fund WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselors in FY 2013!

Take Action Now!

Below is an excerpt from the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) Call To Action.

Yesterday, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin released the National Prevention Council Action Plan, which “outlines the federal commitment to implementing…the nation’s first ever National Prevention Strategy.”

Recommendation #5 under the Strategy’s Healthy Eating section specifically calls to: “Support policies and programs that promote breastfeeding,”

Another recent highlight for breastfeeding was last month’s release of the Institute of Medicine report, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention, which calls in Strategy 4-4 to “promote breastfeeding-friendly environments.”
Our Nation’s public health leaders are coming together to call for real changes in the policies, systems, and environments that impact breastfeeding families. But despite the fact that these two new documents, as well as The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, and the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report, call for the expansion of breastfeeding peer support programs, we’ve just learned that the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA, and Related Agencies has passed a Fiscal Year 2013 bill which would cut all funding for WIC breastfeeding peer counselors.

Mother-to-mother support has proven to be one of the most successful approaches to encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies.  It has been so successful that after piloting this project, it was established as a core service in the WIC Program. Texas had a head start on this initiative; our state was one of the first in the nation to implement a Peer Counselor Program. The national WIC organization states that “The failure to fund breastfeeding peer counselors would mean an immediate loss of jobs and a reduction in breastfeeding rates.” WIC estimates that women who attend its breastfeeding support groups are twice as likely to plan to breastfeed as those who do not.
Since the program began in April 1991, over 3,500 mothers have been trained in Texas as breastfeeding peer counselors and numerous studies have confirmed the success and importance of peer support.

  1.  Effect of Peer Counselors on Breastfeeding Initiation, Exclusivity, and Duration Among Low-income Urban Women Naomi Kistin, Rachel Abramson, and Peg Dublin. J Hum Lact, March 1994; vol. 10, 1: pp. 11-15.
  2. The Differential Impact of WIC Peer Counseling Programs on Breastfeeding Initiation across the State of Maryland. Gross S., Resnik A., et al. J Hum Lact, November 2009; vol. 25, 4: pp. 435-443
  3. They’ve Walked in My Shoes”: Mothers of Very Low Birth Weight Infants and Their Experiences With Breastfeeding Peer Counselors in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  Rossman B., Engstrom J., Meier P., et al.       J Hum Lact, February 2011; vol. 27, 1: pp. 14-24
  4. The Effect of a Peer Counseling Program on Breastfeeding Initiation and Longevity in a Low-income Rural Population. Shaw E., Kaczorowski J. J Hum Lact, March 1999; vol. 15, 1: pp. 19-25.


As of April 2012 Texas WIC population has met the Healthy People 2020 goals for breastfeeding innitaition at 81.9%  See the progress WIC has made since the Peer Counselor program began below.


Info from http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/wichd/lactate/statistics.shtm

Take Action Now to protect this resource for new families.

It will only take a few minutes and could make a difference for millions of mothers across the United States.

Share your experience as a WIC mom here

Beyond talking to your representative please also contact

https://carterforms.house.gov/email-john2/.  And anyone else on the sub committee.


The full list of committee members listed here.


  • Harold Rogers, Kentucky, Chairman
  • C.W. Bill Young, Florida
  • Jerry Lewis, California
  • Frank R. Wolf, Virginia
  • Jack Kingston, Georgia
  • Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, New Jersey
  • Tom Latham, Iowa
  • Robert B. Aderholt, Alabama
  • Jo Ann Emerson, Missouri
  • Kay Granger, Texas
  • Michael K. Simpson, Idaho
  • John Abney Culberson, Texas
  • Ander Crenshaw, Florida
  • Denny Rehberg, Montana
  • John R. Carter, Texas
  • Rodney Alexander, Louisiana
  • Ken Calvert, California
  • Jo Bonner, Alabama
  • Steven C. LaTourette, Ohio
  • Tom Cole, Oklahoma
  • Jeff Flake, Arizona
  • Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida
  • Charles W. Dent, Pennsylvania
  • Steve Austria, Ohio
  • Cynthia M. Lummis, Wyoming
  • Tom Graves, Georgia
  • Kevin Yoder, Kansas
  • Steve Womack, Arkansas
  • Alan Nunnelee, Mississippi


  • Norman D. Dicks, Washington
  • Marcy Kaptur, Ohio
  • Peter J. Visclosky, Indiana
  • Nita M. Lowey, New York
  • José E. Serrano, New York
  • Rosa L. DeLauro, Connecticut
  • James P. Moran, Virginia
  • John W. Olver, Massachusetts
  • Ed Pastor, Arizona
  • David E. Price, North Carolina
  • Maurice D. Hinchey, New York
  • Lucille Roybal-Allard, California
  • Sam Farr, California
  • Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., Illinois
  • Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania
  • Steven R. Rothman, New Jersey
  • Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., Georgia
  • Barbara Lee, California
  • Adam B. Schiff, California
  • Michael M. Honda, California
  • Betty McCollum, Minnesota
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GALS making a difference (Giving Austin Labor Support)

posted on Jun 01, 2012 in Central Texas News, HMHB News, Local News by

This Friday June 1st a local volunteer organization GALS (Giving Austin Labor Support) is hosting a fund raiser to increase their resources and provide our most at risk populations with access to free labor support.  Their stated mission is to provide emotional , physical, and informational support to empower women through their birth experience.

Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth…

  • Tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
  • Reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
  • Reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps, vacuum extraction, cesarean section
  •  Reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals
Research shows that parents who receive doula support…
  • Feel more secured and cared for
  • Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
  • Have greater success with breastfeeding
  • Have greater self-confidence
  • Have less postpartum depression
  • Have lower incidence of abuse

GALS was established by an amazingly resourceful Labor and Delivery nurse at University Medical Center Brackenridge, Brigid Dodson, that witnessed too many moms coming into the delivery room with no support for their labor.  Many were completely alone or had a partner that had no idea how to support her though the intense journey of labor.  Often there was also a language barrier that made it difficult for the mom to express her wishes and concerns to nursing staff.  She put out a call to the community for birth professionals willing to volunteer their time to improve the health outcomes for this high risk population and approached the administration of her hospital with a plan to make this partnership a reality.  GALS started out with 4 volunteers almost 4 years ago and has since blossomed into a recognised support organization which not only helps moms in need but also provides experience for aspiring trained doulas to meet the requirements for certification as a professional doula.

GALS currently has 38 volunteers at different levels of expertise and activity.  Some volunteers are certified through DONA and other credentialing agencies, others are working towards certification.  GALS also has a partnership with Any Baby Can which matches labor support companions with an ABC client prenatally.  Other volunteers work on an on-call basis.  When a call comes in to the dispatch line, a labor support companion to meet the mom mid-labor at the hospital. 

Hospital staff will call for a host of reasons – Mom has no support person at all or maybe the mom is having a more difficult labor than anticipated and needs some extra support.

GALS volunteers attended over 50 births last year, over half of which were non-English speaking.

GALS is currently only partnered with Brackenridge and Any Baby Can, but is looking to expand their partnership with St Davids Medical Center and other local hospitals.  There is also a need for more volunteers and resources to maintain retention of volunteers.  “Without those volunteers this organization simply would not work.” Says GALS coordinator Karli Hetherington.

GALS is currently in need of funds to expand services and hire a full-time program coordinator as well as maintain operating costs of a dispatch phone line, training materials, and uniforms.

Join us in supporting this non profit organization and improve health outcomes for moms and new babies as they are welcomed into this world.  If you are seeing this post after the event, it is not too late you can still make a difference. Donate to GALS here  If you would like tickets, you can get them here

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