Three Awesome Things You Can Do From Home

By Shanell Mouland © 2016

A lot of parents today choose to stay home to care for their children – especially with autism in the family. I, too, made this same decision a few years ago for my family. Staying home does not mean you cannot still take on awesome projects and be incredibly productive. There are actually many great things you can do from home and I'd like to take a look at a few of them here.

Start a Blog

One of the reasons I started Go Team Kate is because I wanted to share my experiences and knowledge with the rest of the world. Writing is (un)surprisingly soothing and can help you get a lot of things off your chest. The experiences you have today are also useful for others in the future, making sharing them that much more rewarding.

Besides, blogging is now easier than ever. You can get a hosting account and your own domain name for as little as $1 per month. There are even free services such as that you can use right away. Don’t know what to write about? Start with a journal. Soon, you’ll find a niche you can focus on and can share a lot of valuable information with your readers.

Open an Online Business

A blog is a great start when you’re relatively new to establishing an online presence, but don’t just stop there. A lot of moms are actually making a lot of money running an online business. It doesn’t have to be a particularly difficult or complicated business to run too. If you love baking, for instance, you can start marketing your homemade cookies online.

There are plenty of opportunities to try these days. Reselling existing products can be a good source of income. So can making your own – usually DIY-related products or crafts – and getting together with friends to produce an even wider range of items. You can also sell services online to earn money on a regular basis.

Go Back to School

Thanks to the wonders of distance learning, it is now easy to pursue a degree of your dreams without leaving the comfort of your house. Universities such as Bradley University are opening up courses in everything from management, and business administration, to counseling degrees online. The latter is particularly interesting, as an online counseling degree can turn your love for helping people - and working with children - into a very rewarding career.

Getting started with an online course is just as easy. You can start by picking the right program based on your interests, or the future you would like to pursue. You can then go through the enrollment process and can start the course in no time. Completing classwork, and earning a degree is even easier now that you can rely on online learning platforms to get course materials, access to lecturers, and other aids.

There are plenty of other great things you can do from home. Working with your kids in the home does not have to mean becoming less productive in other areas of your life. The key is finding an activity you love and taking that first step.

Sleeps 'Til Christmas - Countdown For Kids

How many 'sleeps' till Christmas... a fun little countdown for kiddos sent to us from Dreams and The Sleep Matters Club of the UK:

Sally's Story: How One Brave Single Parent Battled Her Addiction and Fought Her Way to Sobriety

By Amanda Bartow,
Recognition Works

I’ve always admired single parents. To me, they are an inspiring symbol of independence: they work tirelessly, don’t rely on others for empowerment, and still manage to impart dynamic values to the families they raise.

I’m also awe-struck by recovering addicts and their tenacity in overcoming the unthinkable challenges life has thrown at them. So I’m very honored that Sally, a survivor who fits both of these bills, shared her story with me.

Sally was with the father of her children, her high school sweetheart, for 17 years. So as difficult as it was to start a life of her own with her kids, her journey was made more difficult by the fact that she was also setting sail on her path to sobriety. If there is one thing we can all learn from Sally’s story, it’s that single parents can overcome any obstacle to forge a path to a better life for themselves — and their families.

‘I came to the realization that I was really screwing up my life.’ 

 Unfortunately, there are many people struggling with addiction issues who can relate to where Sally was in her life for many years: Relying on drugs and alcohol to get her through the day had become so habitual for her that it was hard for her to imagine them not being a part of her daily routine. But while many addicts realize they’ve lost control of their addiction when their career begins to flail, Sally had her lifesaving epiphany only after hitting a major career milestone.

“When you’re in your addiction, you’re fine going to work messed up. That’s how you live your life, so you don’t mind going to work that way,” she admitted. “But winning an award knowing that I had won it while I was screwed up felt terrible. I was conscious of my addiction, and I was embarrassed. And that started the spiral.”

Her addiction was also affecting her family life in a devastating way. “I missed my child’s fifth birthday. I didn’t have control over anything anymore,” she told me.

Reaching out for help 

Sally decided she was ready to make a change — both for her own sake and the well-being of her loved ones. “I knew I couldn’t do it anymore. My kids were suffering, my friends were suffering, my family was suffering,” she said in an interview with Addiction Campuses, the organization that helped her find her sobriety at Turning Point Recovery, their Mississippi location.

She reached out to her best friend, who had already spoken with Sally’s mom to devise a plan to find Sally the support she needed to get her life back on track. “It’s something I’ll never forget,” she confessed. “Support is one of the greatest things you can get throughout the recovery journey.” The unwavering support of two of her most trusted confidantes meant the world to her — and saved her life. “I couldn’t get by without having the support that I do,” she said.

Life in recovery 

Sally, now over a year sober, says her life has never been better. “The cliche thing to say is that treatment is probably going to be the hardest thing you ever do in your life,” she laughed. “But it will all be worth it tomorrow. Everything you do today to surrender yourself will all be worth it.” Not only is she thriving at work, she also enjoys a wonderful relationship with her children, bonds for which she is extremely grateful.

“When you’re an addict, you feel like a horrible person, that you’ve done terrible things and people aren’t going to be able to forgive you,” she said. “But when you work really hard to make yourself healthy and make amends, you find out that people actually have a different view of it.” And she’s proud to share her story to help others, including her fellow single parents who may be struggling with addiction. “I wish more people were comfortable sharing their story and sharing their journey — it would help a lot of people! There might be someone one day who just needs to hear your story,” she told me. “You learn at some point during recovery that there’s nothing to be ashamed of — we’re just like everyone else.”

Sally’s is a wonderful story not just for single-parent families to hear, but everyone. It demonstrates that no matter what challenges you’re facing, no matter what mountains you have to climb, that you can still come out on the other side stronger and happier not only for yourself, but for your family, too.

Parenting in Peace

By Daisy L. Hall
Contact Hall at:

I urge you to be at peace with your children. Many parents are at 'war' with their children - constantly fighting over homework, chores, curfew, etc. Such households are characterized by frustrated, yelling parents; and fearful, crying, unhappy children. If you find a need to chastise or punish your children on a daily basis, there is a need for change. Isn't it time to end the conflict? Make a commitment to peaceful parenting and a peaceful household by embracing the concepts outlined here.

To parent in peace:

1. Give some thought to your childhood. Think about what you liked and did not like about your growing up experience. Think about your childhood relationship with your parents.

Why is this important? Because parents will inevitably relive their childhoods through their children. And, whatever unresolved issues you have from childhood, will show up, one way or another, in your relationship with your children - often in very unhealthy ways.

What issues have you carried into adulthood? Do you have unresolved issues with your parents? Do you have issues around control, sexuality, school performance, anger , trust or intimacy? If so, think about how these issues may be affecting your ability to be a good parent. See my article, Do Your Own Therapy.

2. Think about the problems you are having with your children. For each problem, ask yourself, is this really important? Why does this bother me so much? If the child does not change this behavior, will there be serious consequences? Sometimes a problem becomes a power struggle that the parent is unnecessarily determined to win. But, what value is winning if you destroy your relationship with your child? Ongoing conflict carries with it the risk of seriously damaging the parent-child relationship. And with ongoing conflict, there can be no peace.

3. Accept your child as a separate, unique individual, who at times may think and behave very differently from you. Too often parents are threatened by, or uncomfortable with, differences. Conflicts arise when the parent tries to change the way a child thinks or behaves. Ask yourself, "Is this really a problem I should be concerned about?" Or, is it simply the child expressing his or her unique personality?

For example, you feel your child is much too outgoing and constantly warn him to be more cautious about people, not to be so friendly. After you have adequately expressed your concerns, it may be time to let go and accept the child for who he is. Recognizing that we all learn by experience.

4. Think about the expectations you have of your children. Are they realistic? Are they fair? Children are often held to higher expectations than adults - i.e. "You must always tell the truth," when lying by adults is often excepted or overlooked. Children are often punished for breaking a glass, spilling the milk, or losing his jacket; when adults are not. Children are frequently punished for getting a bad grade, but adults are not punished for getting a bad performance evaluation. In regards to school work, the issue should be, whether or not the child did the best he or she could.

5. Respect your children. Just as adults want and need respect, so do children. Respect your children by listening to them, accepting their individuality, accepting that they are not perfect, allowing them to make mistakes, and allowing them to make decisions and have input about things that affect them (as age appropriate). And remember, if you must demand a child's respect, you don't really have it.

6. Contemplate your concept of a "good child." Is a good child one that always does what he or she is told? Never disobeys? Always does the right thing? Always pleases his parents? Think about it. Would you really want a child like that? And how prepared would such a child be to function in our society? Sometimes "disobedience" can be a sign or strength or independence. If parenting was a simple as telling a child once, parents would not be needed. A child needs to be taught, and teaching and training takes time and repetition. If you have to correct your child many times for the same misbehavior, this does not necessarily mean the child is bad or disrespectful. A child is a work in progress, who will need support and guidance for many years.

And remember, there are no perfect children, as there are no perfect parents. You must forgive yourself for the mistakes you make as a parent, and you must forgive your children. A parent will often be required to forgive a child for not being born at the right time, for not being the child you wanted, for not living up to your expectations, for not fulfilling your dreams, and for making mistakes.

7. Have fun together, as a family. Create your own family traditions. Such as, pizza night or movie night once a week. Make cookies, popcorn, or other treats. Work a puzzle, play a board game, read stories together. Sit down with the children and come up with fun things you can do on your "fun night." Children need to have fun and so do you. I recognize that this can be difficult with our busy lives, however, investing time in your children reaps great rewards.

8. Be a loving parent and do the very best you can. This is the best advice anyone can give a parent. If you are doing the very best you can, there is never any reason for guilt. Most parents "love" their children, but "loving" is about how you treat your children. Be loving with your children. Praise them specifically, give them attention when they're doing things right, show them respect as human beings, and tell them you love them - often.

And, if you are getting it right, you will know. Within your household, there will be smiles, there will be laughter, and there will be peace.

Carnival Cruise Ship Officers Tell Breastfeeding Mother to "Cut it Out!"

On a recent Carnival cruise, North Carolina mom, Crystal Silvas, was nursing her 9 month old daughter aboard near one swimming pool area, when two of the ship's officers began flailing their arms at her in front of other passengers. "The men in white started waving their arms really high and saying to 'cut it out!' and told me I couldn't feed her anywhere outside my stateroom," said Silvas, and added, "It was absolutely the most humiliating moment of my life.

Deeply hurt by the experience, Silvas said the experience "ruined her vacation" and that the weeks following have been "the most stressful" she can imagine. Silvas is mom to two adopted children and reached out to Carnival about its breastfeeding policy, but did not receive a straight answer for two weeks. At that time she reached out to news station, FOX 46 Charlotte, who obtained results for Silvas within hours.

The cruise line has since apologized, and this is Carnival’s complete statement in response:
Guests traveling on a Carnival cruise are free to breastfeed in any location on board. We sincerely apologize if your viewer was given information to the contrary or made to feel uncomfortable. We are further researching this and will ensure the shipboard team is clear that women are free to breastfeed in both public and private areas of the ship. 

Carnival has also offered Silvas and her family a complementary cruise to compensate for this bad experience.


The Breastfeeding Group (for nursing mothers and IBCLCs):

Encouraging breastfeeding items, bracelets, and 'thank you for nursing in public' cards:

Menstrual cups for healthier bodies, happier periods!

Menstrual cups are soft, bendable, reusable, more comfortable, and so much better for our bodies! For those who'd otherwise use tampons, check out the wide variety available today by Googling 'menstrual cup.' There are wide varieties to select from:

Women who opt for pads instead may find they love 'moon pads' (soft, washable, reusable pads) vs. plastics.  Many options exist today for healthier bodies and happier periods.

This post was originally live on Facebook. Image courtesy of GladRags.


Babies Aren't Soldiers

By Melissa Cline
Read in Spanish here

Melissa and her beautiful son.

Back in the day when our baby was colicky, my dear husband (who spent 10 years in the Army and National Guard) commonly suggested that because we had tried everything we knew to do to help him, we should just put our son in his pack-n-play and shut the door. (He thought that this would help me to be less upset about not being able to stop our baby's crying.)

When our son was 8 months old I finally figured out a way to get my husband to really understand why I was so opposed to forcing our baby to cry-it-out (CIO).

Here's how our conversation went:

Hubs: I figured our son could cry in your arms, or cry in his bed - there's really no difference because nothing else is working.

Me: There is a difference to me and to our baby. All that a little baby knows is whether or not someone responds to his needs. I wouldn't want to teach him that it is of no use to ask for help because no one will come anyway. We don't even teach SOLDIERS that! We tell them that someone will always come for you - we don't leave a man behind.

Hubs: Babies aren't soldiers.

Me: Then why would we ask them to be tougher than soldiers?
Hubs: Hm. I never thought of it that way. Good point.

Thank you for all you've done at peaceful parenting to help me get to the place where I feel so confident trusting my parenting instincts.

"Cry-it-out does not lead to 'sleeping through the night' - it results in learned helplessness."

Dear Woman in Target... 'Spoiling that baby' is the most important job I have

By Kelly Dirkes © 2016
Originally shared on Facebook here.
Posted to Peaceful Parenting with author's permission.

Dear Woman in Target,

I've heard it before, you know. That I "spoil that baby."

You were convinced that she'd never learn to be "independent."

I smiled at you, kissed her head, and continued my shopping.

If you only knew what I know.

If you only knew how she spent the first ten months of her life utterly alone inside a sterile metal crib, with nothing to comfort her other than sucking her fingers.

If you only knew what her face looked like the moment her orphanage caregiver handed her to me to cradle for the very first time -- fleeting moments of serenity, commingled with sheer terror. No one had ever held her that way before, and she had no idea what she was supposed to do.

If you only knew that she would lay in her crib after waking and never cry -- because up until now, no one would respond.

If you only knew that anxiety was a standard part of her day, along with banging her head on her crib rails and rocking herself for sensory input and comfort.

If you only knew that that baby in our carrier is heartbreakingly "independent" -- and how we will spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years trying to override the part of her brain that screams "trauma" and "not safe."

If you only knew what I know.

If you only knew that that baby now whimpers when she's put down instead of when she is picked up.

If you only knew that that baby now "sings" at the top of her lungs in the mornings and after her nap, because she knows that her chatter will bring someone to lift her out of her crib and change her diaper.

If you only knew that that baby now rocks to sleep in her Mama's or her Papa's arms instead of rocking herself.

If you only knew that that baby made everyone cry the day she reached out for comfort, totally unprompted.

If you only knew what I know.

"Spoiling that baby" is the most important job I will ever have, and it is a privilege.

I will carry her for a little while longer -- or as long as she'll let me -- because she is learning that she is safe.

That she belongs.

That she is loved.

If you only knew...


To connect with other gentle parenting families:

Babywearing mom or dad? The Babywearing Group:

Nursing School: OB Clinicals and My Experience With Infant Circumcision

By Sophia Murdock, R.N. © 2016

During my second to last semester of nursing school, I went through my OB clinical (which included antepartum, labor and delivery, postpartum, NICU, and OB triage units, as well as lactation consulting) at one of our local hospitals. One morning, before we headed to our assigned unit for the day, my clinical instructor enthusiastically told my group, "If you get the chance to see a circumcision, definitely do it. It's cool!"

I didn't think much of her words at the time. Of course, as nursing students we wanted to see and experience as much as possible. I had unexpectedly found myself enjoying my OB clinical and was so excited and eager to learn as much as I possibly could.

While in the mother/baby (postpartum) unit, the nurse that I was working with that day told me that we'd be assisting with a circumcision. I had never seen one before, so I took the opportunity, not knowing what to expect.

After we had taken the newborn back to the "circ room" in the nursery, I watched the nurse gather the necessary supplies, place him on a plastic board [a circumstraint], and secure his arms and legs with Velcro straps. He started crying as his tiny and delicate body was positioned onto the board, and I instantly felt uncomfortable and disturbed seeing this helpless newborn with his limbs extended in such an unnatural position, against his will. My instincts wanted to unstrap him, pick him up, and comfort and protect him. I felt an intense sensation of apprehension and dread about what would be done to him.

When the doctor entered the room, my body froze, my stomach dropped, and my chest tightened.

This precious baby was an actual person. He was a 2-day-old boy named Landon, but the doctor barely acknowledged him before administering an injection of lidocaine into his penis.

Instantly, Landon began to let out a horrifying cry. It was a sound that is not normally ever heard in nature because this trauma is so far outside of the normal range of experiences and expectations for a newborn.

The doctor, perhaps sensing how horrified I was, tried to assure me that the baby was crying because he didn't like being strapped onto the board. He began the circumcision procedure right away, barely giving the anesthetic any time to take effect.

Landon's cries became even more intense, something I hadn't imagined was possible. It seemed as if his lungs were unable to keep up with his screams, and desperate attempts to maintain his respirations.

Seeing how nonchalant everyone in the room was about Landon's obvious distress was one of the most chilling and harrowing things I had ever witnessed. I honestly don't remember the actual procedure, even though the doctor was explaining it to me. I can't recall a word he said during or after because I wasn't able to focus on anything but Landon's screams and why no one seemed to care. I only remember that the nurse attempted to give him a pacifier with glucose/fructose at some point.

Landon was "sleeping" by the end of the circumcision, but I knew it was from exhaustion and defeat.

I had watched as his fragile, desperate, and immobilized body struggled and resisted until it couldn't do so anymore, and gave up.

Seeing this happen made me feel completely sick to my stomach and I told myself that I would absolutely refuse to watch another circumcision if the opportunity presented itself again. I was unable to stop thinking about what I saw and heard...

The sounds that I heard come from Landon as he screamed and cried out still haunt me to this day.

A few weeks later when I felt somewhat ready to revisit the topic, I began researching why this was being done to infant boys. It didn't take long before I learned the truths about circumcision - truths that were never told to me during nursing school. I was never taught about the possibility of keeping boys intact or anything about the foreskin or intact care.

During one lecture, I learned about post-op circumcision care as if it was the default to circumcise baby boys. It was as if there was no other option -- this was just what we do. My own research revealed that not only was there an alternative, but that this alternative was the only acceptable and ethical option.

I learned that the United States is one of the few countries that is still routinely circumcising newborn babies, and that this procedure is condemned by most of the world, including Europe.

I learned that the foreskin is not just a useless flap of skin at the end of the penis, but it is a normal, healthy, and functioning organ that is present on every mammal, male and female.

I learned that male foreskin has important protective, immunological, and sexual functions.

I learned that for infants and young children, the foreskin is fused to the glans (head) of the penis (as our nails are fused to our fingers), and that circumcision requires the forcible separation of these structures.

I learned that research evidence does not support the alleged health benefits of circumcision (such as a lowered HIV risk and fewer UTIs) and that the studies that did show benefits had relied on flawed methodology.

I learned how easy it is to care for an intact penis on a child, and that cleaning it is just like wiping a finger (as opposed to all of that troublesome circumcision care that I was taught in nursing school).

Most horrifically, I learned that over 100 infant deaths occur yearly from circumcision related complications, such as hemorrhage.

I still believe that Landon's parents, in consenting to the circumcision that I witnessed, truly thought that they were doing what was best for their child. Unfortunately, they weren't given factual and complete information either, and therefore were not able to make an informed decision. They didn't see what their son experienced while restrained to a plastic board, and only saw the "peaceful" sleeping state that his body was in when he was returned to them, post-defeat. Maybe they were told that he "slept right through it" or that he "took it like a champ" just like so many other parents are.

The neuropsychological effects of circumcision have been well-documented, but are almost never spoken of. Most likely, Landon had entered a state of withdrawal, dissociation, and exhaustion after enduring an unbearable trauma to his body that he was unable to escape from.

Like me, you probably haven't heard these truths about circumcision from any health care professional. I still remember how much my faith in the nursing profession shattered on that day. I remember questioning: how could such a blatant violation of the Code of Ethics for Nurses not only be allowed to happen, but be promoted by so many nurses? How could so many members of the "most trusted profession" (as ranked by a yearly Gallop poll - something that was often bragged about by my nursing school professors) be complicit in this atrocity?

Perhaps as you've discovered the truth, you've found yourself asking similar questions.

Parents - as a nurse who has learned the truth, I would like to assure you that you do not need to put your son through this. You do not need to try to convince yourself that your son won't remember being circumcised and that it is "best to get it over and done with while he's a baby." You do not need to attempt to assuage any guilt by telling yourself that he'll thank you for it later. You do not need to suppress and distrust your fundamental, biological instinct to protect your child.

Instead of signing that consent form, ask yourself: what is truly best for my son? If my son could speak up, what would he want for himself?

Instead of telling your doctor that you'd like to have your son circumcised, you can say that you will not allow them to harm your precious child. Instead of handing your son over to be strapped to that board, you can hold his warm and tiny body close to your chest and assure him that he'll be kept safe in your loving arms.

Parents, you have the power to protect your son from the unnecessary pain and trauma that Landon was forced to endure. Keep your son intact.

Graphics by Intact Asheville
Available educational postcards for sharing with patients or friends at

Related reading from registered nurses

On the ethics of registered nurses assisting in forced infant circumcision:

Circumcision: A Male R.N.'s Perspective:

The day I withdrew from nursing school:

The biggest lie told to parents:

If this stained circumstraint could talk:

Nurse's circumcision tools:

Using a catheter without retraction: my nurse did it and so can yours:

Educating parents about circumcision (from Colorado NOCIRC) &
The Elements of Informed Consent (from Colorado NOCIRC):

Ethical Decision Making in the Clinical Setting: Nurses' Rights and Responsibilities:

Medical Professionals for Genital Autonomy (to volunteer to respond to parents' questions or be on the MedPro advisory panel, email


River of Life: Breastfeeding / Natural Weaning Mural in Tijuana, Mexico

By Danelle Frisbie © 2016

A beautiful mural celebrating the joys and goodness of natural weaning is depicted on Tijuana’s largest public health care facility.  The message, painted by Ariana Escudero, is that there is no shame in breastfeeding your baby (of any age). "2 years or more" reads a part of the caption underneath this nursing mom and her little one.

Escudero painted the 45-by-15 foot mural at Hospital General de Tijuana in Zona Río, in part because of the social insults she experienced while breastfeeding her two babies.

"It seemed so important to me to bring this message in this way because many mothers will come [to the hospital], but they’ll come to doctors -- many of whom are surprisingly misinformed about breastfeeding -- just like the general public," says Escudero. This particular hospital is where approximately 90% of local mothers birth their babies, so the mural (at the hospital's main entrance) is seen by most. She continues, "Mothers who decide to breastfeed our children do not have any reason to be censored. That’s why we must normalize it to create a culture of breastfeeding, and fight for women’s right to choose [to nurse their babies]."

Myths and misconception about the normal feeding of human babies is widespread in Mexico. Many mothers say that nursing in public is even more taboo in Mexico than in the United States, and as a result most new mothers are opting for artificial baby feeds, despite the fact that this costs significantly more than breastfeeding (both in immediate formula cost and resulting health care costs for babies who become ill more often without human milk).

One local Tijuana mother, Athena Valencia, writes on Facebook, "This past Friday on a bus in Tijuana a gentleman sat next to me and my baby. From the beginning he looked kind of grumpy... My baby she fidgeted, and the only way to calm her down was to nurse her. He turned around and said, 'That's disgusting!' I felt like crying. This is one of the reasons I don't like breastfeeding in public. But at home, everything works well for me and my baby."

Another mother writes, "[This mural] is so beautiful. I've spent days with my heart broken to pieces just a few steps away from her, but always look back and think how beautiful it is for my baby to live healthy, without pain of disease, and being a mother so many things are represented in this painting."

Due to this social pressure, Mexico has one of the lowest rates of breastfed babies in any Latin American nation - at approximately 14% for babies 0-6 months.

The mural project cost $9,000 in total, half of which was funded by the city, and the other half fundraised. Crianza Alternativa wrote on behalf of this (2014) fundraising effort, "Mexico, a developing country, is particularly vulnerable on the subject of breastfeeding due to high levels of poverty and lack of education on the matter. We have become so unattached with our motherly instincts that we have doubted ourselves on simple things like, 'We can provide full nourishment for our children. We CAN breastfeed.'"

Escudero finished her fantastic work of art during July and August, 2015, and this year all mothers birthing at the hospital will be met with an empowering image as they bring their new babies into the world.

Photograph from Derrik Chinn, San Diego Magazine

Breastfeeding community and support at The Breastfeeding Group:

Excellent breastfeeding books for nursing mothers (read one before your little one arrives):

Related reading (articles at bottom of page):


Nature Connection Pyramid

Nature Connection Pyramid

Further reading on the benefits of getting kids into nature, and many ways to do so in your family and neighborhood: NATURE BOOKS


17 Year Old Girl Dies Undergoing Female Genital Mutilation

Source: Daily Mail
By AFP and Julian Robinson

Egyptian prosecutors are investigating the death of a teenage girl during a female circumcision operation at a private hospital.

Mayar Mohamed Mousa, 17, died in El Canal hospital on Sunday while under full anaesthesia in the province of Suez, said Lotfi Abdel-Samee, the health ministry undersecretary in the province. "This is something that the law has prohibited," stressed Abdel-Same.

Despite the ban in 2008, female genital mutilation (FGM) is still widespread in Egypt, especially in rural areas. It is practised among Muslims as well as Egypt's minority Christians. The law led to the first prison sentence against a doctor in Egypt in January last year, with the girl's father in that case given a three-month suspended sentence.

On Sunday, Mousa's sister had just undergone the operation before she was sent in for surgery. The girls' mother is a nurse, while their late father was a surgeon. The operation was being carried out by a registered female doctor, according to Abdel-Same.

Authorities shut down the hospital on Monday after transferring patients to other hospitals as prosecutors questioned the hospital manager and medical staff involved in the operation, Abdel-Samee said. They have also spoken to the mother, a prosecution official said.

The case was opened after a health inspector reported the circumstances of the girl's death. Medical examiners have carried out an autopsy, and are due to report the cause of death, said Abdel-Same.

While 200 million women and girls worldwide have been subjected to the practise, there have been major strides in Egypt, as well as Liberia, Burkina Faso, and Kenya against FGM, according to Claudia Cappa, the lead author of a February UN children's agency report on the issue.

"The latest figures from the Egypt Demographic and Health Survey show that we're winning," the United Nations Development Programme said in a report last year. "Mothers' attitudes are changing, too," UNDP said. While 92 percent of mothers had undergone the procedure, only 35 percent of them "intend to circumcise their daughters," according to the UNDP report.

Victims of the procedure are left to cope with a range of consequences from bleeding and pain while urinating, extreme discomfort during sex, fatal complications in childbirth and deep psychological trauma.

Daily Mail:

The Guardian:

Related Reading: 

History of Female Circumcision in the United States

Female Genital Mutilation Bill of the United States

The CUT Documentary on FGM

FGM / MGM Similar Attitudes and Misconceptions

FGM / MGM A Visual Comparison

Male and Female Genital Cutting

CNN: Why Egyptian Girls Fear this Summer

Chalk the Walk!

Join us from your neighborhood sidewalk or park as we Chalk The Walk with a baby/child-friendly message! Facebook event page:

This is a fun-in-the-sun, family-friendly awareness raising project that has been loved far and wide in years past. Chalk is cheap ($1-3 at most stores) and can also be homemade (see: It displays colorful messages on any public street/sidewalk/walkway where children and their parents are otherwise free to be, and washes naturally away with the first rainfall.

Pick your passion (birth advocacy? breastfeeding? night time parenting (no CIO)? cloth diapering? gentle 'discipline'? genital autonomy?) select your message, choose your location, gather a few friends and the kids, get your chalk ready... and we'll look forward to seeing your creation this April 30th!

The 1st participant in each U.S. location will receive an advocacy bracelet, set of info stickers, or info cards to continue spreading the message. Find various types in links here:

There will also be a winner in each category who will receive $10 toward advocacy materials of your choice (breastfeeding, babywearing, birth, genital autonomy, etc.).

'Most Creative'

'Most Artistic'

'Most Catchy Phrase'

'Most Public / Biggest'

'Most Beautiful'

'Most Childlike'

Past Winners:

You are welcome to upload photos to the peaceful parenting ( and/or Saving Our Sons ( pages. To be included in the running for prizes, you must *email* your chalk photo(s) and mailing address or state location to or  Doing so will ensure we have your contact information, in case of winning.

Chalk The Walk Albums:



Note: If you do not have time on April 30th, you're welcome to create your chalking prior to this date and submit a photo during the weekend of April 30/May 1 to be included. To win as a "first in state" entry, items cannot be submitted earlier than 9am ET on April 30, 2016.

Happy Chalking! 

Category Winners

First In State Winners
(first name only for privacy)


Robin G.

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico

New York
Ayla W.

North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota

Brittany C.

Jennifer M.


Jenny C.

West Virginia

Cloth Diapering Your Baby After Circumcision

By Kari Osel © 2016 Peaceful Parenting

Each newborn baby arrives into the world with a prepuce organ protecting his or her glans (head) of the penis or clitoris. In baby girls this organ is commonly referred to as the 'clitoral hood' and in baby boys it is often called the 'foreskin.' In some parts of the world girls or boys are circumcised, which removes some or all of this natural protective organ. In the United States, the circumcision of baby girls is illegal by federal law (FGM Bill), though many North American girls are still circumcised each year in 'underground' operations. The two most common forms of infant circumcision of baby boys are by Plastibell and Gomco.

Because a circumcised baby boy’s urethra and sensitive glans (head of his penis) are exposed to the elements, special care must be taken when diapering and tending to this surgical wound. Cloth diapers are easily stained by blood from a baby’s genitals post-circumcision. Vaseline and similar products that are used in an attempt to protect the wound and allow for healing may cause cloth diapers to repel urine. Parents whose babies were circumcised at birth often wonder what the best course of action is at this point to prevent this from happening while using cloth. The following are solutions that have been effective for other families.

1) A strip of fleece or a receiving blanket cut to the appropriate length and width, laid into baby's diaper as a liner between the cloth and Vaseline treatment.

2) A large cotton makeup pad with a dollop of Vaseline on it, applied to your baby's wound and left in place until the next diaper change. This serves as a barrier between the ointment and the diaper. Be sure to use a fresh cotton pad with each change.

3) An ointment called CJ’s BuTTer is sometimes used instead of Vaseline, which is said to be cloth-diaper safe.

4) Cotton prefolds or flats are easiest to launder and care for, to treat stains on, and may be boiled if needed. The downfall is that they do not wick away moisture as pockets (which some babies are sensitive to - leading to rash and irritation). Watching your little one and his/her skin response to different diapering methods is key.

5) Many parents who circumcise their baby use disposables until the time comes when blood stains are no longer a risk factor for their cloth stash. However, if you opt for this means of diapering your baby, be vigilant to check the amount of blood loss during any given hour, and call emergency services immediately if you notice more than a few drops of blood. Hemorrhage post circumcision happens every year in the United States, and a newborn baby only needs to lose 1 ounce of blood to hemorrhage, and 2.3 ounces to die from blood loss. Disposable diapers are designed to hide moisture (including blood) well, and will not show actual amounts lost as clearly as cloth does.

Another important point to consider is your baby’s comfort during the healing weeks. When a baby is born, the prepuce (foreskin/clitoral hood) is tightly adhered to the glans (head) of the clitoris or penis, like your fingernail is tightly fixed to your finger. No matter which method of infant circumcision is used, the prepuce must be probed and ripped apart from the glans. Next, using various methods, an amount of the prepuce is cut off (how much varies according to the individual who is cutting). This is understandably a very painful procedure, and as is the case in many surgeries, the recovery period is often just as painful (if not more so).

Because newborn babies cannot have adequate anesthesia due to their tiny, immature organs, it is especially important for care-givers to make recovery as comfortable as possible. The clitoris or penis is an area of the body that deserves special care as it is the richest part of the human body in terms of nerve endings (and feeling). Cloth diapers are often more comfortable for babies in general than are disposables, and this remains true in the case of those with wounds.

As mentioned above, cloth does not absorb as disposables do (which has the benefit of showing clear blood volume lost), and also is less likely to allow the circumcised genitals to stick to the material of a diaper (causing further pain when a healing wound must be ripped away during diaper changes). Because cloth diapers do not contain chemicals, they are also less likely to irritate sensitive skin.

It is important to change your baby's diaper promptly after urination, and most definitely after defecation, no matter the type of diaper you use post-circumcision. Urine sitting in a diaper is no longer sterile, and a diaper with urine and/or feces in it is not a healthy environment for an open wound. The number one cause of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in babies is fecal matter being pushed into an exposed urethra - whereby bacteria moves up the urinary tract. Be gentle with your little one, give pain medication as your doctor advises or according to weight, nurse often around the clock, sleep safely within an arm's reach of your baby, and change diapers frequently with ample ointment for protection and healing.

Because all babies arrive with a prepuce to naturally protect and keep things out of the urethra, and because there is no open wound while your baby is intact, you do not need to worry about infection or protection at birth when using cloth. For an intact baby (male, female or intersex) the prepuce is a self-sustaining organ and will do all the covering, protecting, and 'cleaning' that is necessary. If you opt to keep your baby intact, simply wipe the outside of the genitals with your choice of wipes, and do not allow anyone to retract your baby's prepuce (not on girls, not on boys). Intact care involves leaving everything alone (no 'cleaning' and no special care). Learn more on intact care here.

Intact Care & Circumcision Care

Find more cloth diapering tips and community at The Cloth and EC Group: or any of these Peaceful Parenting Discussion Groups

I like you just for being YOU! Mr. Fred Rogers' impact on children

Author unknown.

A good portion of my pro-bono work is defending abused children. It’s a cause close to my heart. In the course of my work I met a man who was an adult survivor. You wouldn’t have known it looking at him. He was this gigantic Polynesian guy. Wild curly hair. I think of him every time I see Khal Drogo on GoT. He was counseling some of the little kids, and doing a fantastic job of it. I visited his home to get his opinion on something and I noticed a little toy on his desk. It was Trolley. Naturally curious, I asked him about it. This is what he told me:

"The most dangerous time for me was in the afternoon when my mother got tired and irritable. Like clockwork. Now, she liked to beat me in discreet places so my father wouldn’t see the bruises. That particular day she went for the legs. Not uncommon for her. I was knocked down and couldn’t get back up. Also not uncommon. She gave me one last kick, the one I had come to learn meant ‘I’m done now.' Then she left me there upstairs, face in the carpet, alone.

I tried to get up, but couldn’t. So I dragged myself, arm over arm, to the television, climbed up the tv cabinet and turned on the TV. And there was Mr. Rogers. It was the end of the show and he was having a quiet, calm conversation with those hundreds of kids. In that moment, he seemed to look me in the eye when he said ‘And I like you just for being you.'

In that moment, it was like he was reaching across time and space to say these words to me when I needed them most. It was like the hand of God, if you’re into that kind of thing. It hit me in the soul. I was a miserable little kid. I was sure I was a horrible person. I was sure I deserved every last moment of abuse, every blow, every bad name. I was sure I earned it, sure I didn’t deserve better. I *knew* all of these things... until that moment.

If this man, who I hadn’t even met, liked me just for being me, then I couldn’t be all bad. Then maybe someone could love me, even if it wasn’t my mom. It gave me hope. If that nice man liked me, then I wasn’t a monster. I was worth fighting for.

From that day on, his words were like a secret fortress in my heart. No matter how broken I was, no matter how much it hurt or what was done to me, I could remember his words, get back on my feet, and go on for another day.

That’s why I keep Trolley there. To remind me that, no matter how terrible things look, someone who had never met me liked me just for being me, and that makes even the worst day worth it to me. I know how stupid it sounds, but Mr. Rogers saved my life."

The next time I saw him, he was talking to one of my little clients. When they were done with their session, he helped her out of her chair, took both of her hands, looked her in the eyes and said: 'And remember, I like you just for being you.'

That, to me, is Mr. Rogers’ most powerful legacy. All of the little lives he changed and made better with simple and sincere words of love and kindness.

Explore the ways that peaceful parenting can empower you as a parent, and make the lives of your children even better:

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