1. Hey Miami Mamas! Free theater movement class for kids + teens (8-18) on Sat, Feb 16!
    High Res

    Hey Miami Mamas! Free theater movement class for kids + teens (8-18) on Sat, Feb 16!

  2. Improving Birth Rally Miami Joins Over 100 U.S. Cities.

    It’s officially LABOR Day and at 10 a.m., Improving Birth National Rally for Change Miami
    will join 106 U.S. cities in a rally for change! This is about moms and babies. It is not about home birth, hospital birth or birth center birth. It isn’t about using only a midwife or an obstetrician. It isn’t about doulas. It isn’t about circumcision, vaccines, or any other topics. It is about mothers and babies getting respectful evidence-based care in whatever setting and through whatever care provider the family chooses. We are rallying to reduce non-medically necessary inductions and c-sections and improve mortality rates. Women and babies should not be dying at the rate that is occurring in the United States. 

    Fact: The U.S. outspends every country in the world for maternity care, and yet we rank #49 for maternal mortality rates. “Women in the U.S. face a greater risk of maternal death than nearly all European countries, as well as Canada and several countries in Asia and the Middle East.” –Amnesty International

    Our sisters deserve better care! If you can’t attend, please spread the word! 

    Invite: http://www.facebook.com/events/364039886998392/
    Read more in the Chicago Tribune!

    #birthrallymiami
     
  3. Win a Free Miami Spice Dinner for Two from Munckin Fun

    I love food. There may be nothing I love more. You know, in the proverbial sense. Of course, I love my husband and son more. But, oh food comes SO close! And what’s better than a delicious meal in equally delicious company? Every mama deserves a night out here and there weekly without worrying about the bill. “Dinner for two” is music to my ears but "free dinner for two" is a party in my mouth! 

    Well, Munchkin Fun and Miami Spice most certainly think one of you amazing mama’s deserves the treat! So they’ve teamed up to give TWO lucky mama’s a free Miami Spice dinner for two! Just head over to Munchkin Fun to enter and while you’re there, make sure to subscribe to their weekly newsletter - great info always. 

    What is Miami Spice?

    (Have you been living under a rock!? Of course not, you’re a mom - you’ve been busy doing that!)

    Miami Spice is a mouth-watering summer restaurant promotion designed to showcase the very best of Miami cuisine. Remember when you said “the holidays are my favorite time of year!” That’s about to change. (It comes around August and September and related to Miami Spa Month in July in August - they are equally awesome so heads up on that too.)

    More than 140 of Miami’s finest restaurants will offer three-course meals (Lunches $19 or $23, Dinners $33 or $39) featuring signature dishes created by world-renowned chefs. The restaurant program runs August 1-September 30, 2012. Miami Spice is organized by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB); presented by American Express and sponsored by Stella Artois and BACARDI® rum.

  4. National Improving Birth Rally hits Miami on Labor Day

    Give birth to the largest women’s rights movement in decades!

    ImprovingBirth.org is calling upon mothers, birth professionals, health professionals, activists, supporters, families and friends and anyone interested in improving birth in the United State to rally together on Monday, September 3rd from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon in order to raise awareness and promote the normalcy and power of birth. The South Florida  event joins 86 U.S. cities and counting who are organizing the awareness rally including New York City, Chicago, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The event will take place in the heart of Miami’s Downtown at Bayfront Park.

    Why is this event important in Miami? 

    Improving Birth aims at working together to reduce the unnecessary induction and unnecessary c-section rates in the United States. 

    As of last year, the state of Florida held quite a dubious record: the highest Caesarean rate in the country. In Florida, however, there is no city that has a higher C-section rate than Miami.

    In all of Florida, Miami has the highest number of hospitals that are delivering more babies via C-section than natural deliveries.

    Reproductive justice advocates and some public health professionals have been wary of the rising rate of C-sections, or Caesarean sections, in the U.S.; many advocates, researchers and doctors claim the rate increase is a sign of trouble.

    According to a recent HealthGrades Obstetrics and Gynecology in American Hospitals report, Florida’s C-section rate was 38.6 percent in 2010 — the highest in the nation. The lowest rate belonged to Utah, which had a 22.4 percent C-section rate. The national C-section rate between 2002 and 2009 rose from 27 percent of all single births to 34 percent.

    HealthGrades says this “an all time high.”

    According to information provided and certified by the Agency for Health Care Administration’s Florida Center for Health Information and Policy Analysis, five hospitals in Miami alone reported a C-section rate higher than 50 percent. That means multiple hospitals in Miami are currently performing more Caesarians than natural child births. Miami is leading the nation in Caesarian sections.

    World Health Organization weighs in. 

    Recent studies reaffirm earlier World Health Organization recommendations about optimal cesarean section rates. The best outcomes for mothers and babies appear to occur with cesarean section rates of 5 percent to 10 percent, which fall within the medically necessary range. Rates above 15 percent seem to do more harm than good.

    Right now there is no bigger cause for concern than Miami.

    Miami, alone, accounted for six out of the seven hospitals in Florida with a C-section rate of over 50 percent, according to data from the Agency for Health Care Administration.

    In 2010, South Miami Hospital reported a 62 percent C-section rate. Behind South Miami, Kendall Regional Medical Center reported a 59 percent rate, Mercy Hospital also reported 59 percent, Jackson Memorial reported 57 percent, Hialeah Hospital reported a 56 percent rate and Mount Sinai Hospital reported a 52 percent C-section rate. With the exception of Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, each of the state’s hospitals performing over 50 percent of deliveries via C-section were located in the Miami-Dade area.

    According to South Florida Parenting, from 2009 to 2010, Kendall Regional Medical Center reported a 70 percent C-section rate, one of the highest rates seen in the state.

    Manuel Fermin, the CEO of the Healthy Start Coalition of Miami-Dade, says hospitals in Miami that report these types of numbers are not looking out for women. He says that doctors and hospitals can end up making more money from C-sections, as compared to vaginal births. Coupled with decreased risk, C-sections are better for hospitals’ bottom line.

    “Here in Miami, this has become a business,” Fermin says.”It is so out of whack it’s scary. You don’t find this anywhere else in the U.S.”

    However, Dr. Aaron Elkin, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist, says it is not that simple.

    First, he explains, there is little difference in the cost of C-sections and vaginal births. While C-sections require the cost of surgery, vaginal births rack up costs in the long monitoring process. The equipment and the presence of nurses for such a long period of time, Elkin explains, disproves the assertion the C-sections make more money for hospitals. While it may have been different in the past, he says it is no longer the case.

    “We no longer get paid more for Caesareans,” he tells The Florida Independent. “The reimbursements from insurance and even Medicaid are the same.”

    The biggest factor explaining the C-section rate in Miami, according to Elkin, is the rate of repeat C-sections.

    He says that in Miami there is a high rate of immigrant women from South America who have elective C-sections. Because women can risk a uterine rupture by having a vaginal birth after a prior C-section, most doctors and patients decide together that another C-section is the best course of action.

    Elkin says he agrees that 70 percent is a high number.

    Other doctors have pointed to the fact that “obstetricians fear malpractice suits if mother or baby is injured during a protracted labor and delivery” and the rising health complications from the increase in obese mothers, according to reporting from St. Petersburg Times.

    Either way, public health professionals such as Fermin says this is a growing problem in Miami-Dade that needs to be addressed.

    ImprovingBirth.org insists that their intention is to create awareness on a national level and not protest individual hospitals as this is a growing national problem and not just attributed to one location. 

    Evidence supports:

    -No inductions unless medically indicated.

    -Interventions only when medically necessary.

    -Movement and intermittent monitoring improve birth experience.

    -Vaginal birth after Cesarean is possible.

    -No inductions are needed for “big” babies.

    "I want to Improve Birth! How can I help?"

    1) LIKE the page on Facebook
    3) Invite your friends to attend!
    4) Volunteer!
    5) SHOW UP on Labor Day at 10 a.m. sharp! 

    For more information, to find a rally near you, or to start your own rally in your city, visit: www.improvingbirth.org.

    (Source: washingtonindependent.com)

  5. Downtown Miami is now totally connected! Join us on Saturday to celebrate the arrival of the Metrorail Orange Line Service from Miami International Airport to Downtown, and all the other amazing ways to get around the Magic City! 
Fun for the whole family from 1 to 4, then take the trolley to Mary Brickell Village for Miami’s 116th birthday! 

    Downtown Miami is now totally connected! Join us on Saturday to celebrate the arrival of the Metrorail Orange Line Service from Miami International Airport to Downtown, and all the other amazing ways to get around the Magic City! 

    Fun for the whole family from 1 to 4, then take the trolley to Mary Brickell Village for Miami’s 116th birthday! 

  6. Play-In Offers Babysitting Services During Wynwood Art Walk!

    Let’s face it. Second Saturday (Wynwood) Art Walk is the hottest Saturday night in Miami if you’re an art junkie or at the very least a cultured mama. But sometimes abuela (aka your loyal babysitter) herself may want to head out to Art Walk herself. (As in my case!) 

    Luckily, Play-In thought of way to make everyone happy. Located in the heart of Wynwood Arts District, Play-In is “an indoor multi-sensory environment, where all children ages 1 and up can come together. We are unique from all other indoor playgrounds because our play area is set up with each child’s sensory system in mind, and offers specialized equipment to help kids achieve balance. Play-in provides a space for genuine exploration, imagination and fun.”

    Sounds like a winner to me!  

    They had me at ball-pit!”

    Is there an adult version?

    Mini Gallery Night at Play-In takes place during Wynwood Art Walk. Potty-trained children 3 and up (up to can be dropped off at 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. and will happily enjoy free play in their multi-sensory gym and art and craft activities, perfect for your precious little Picasso. At only $30, $10 little dollars per hour, your little one will let you enjoy dinner at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar or Joey’s without feeling the fear of flash-fried bok choy flinging across the restaurant. (Hey, it happens to the best of us.) Best yet, Play-In is located right across the street.

    Space is limited to the first 25 children so make sure to RSVP your spot here before some other in-the-know-not-so-rookie-mommy beats you to it! 

    Play-In Features:
    • Indoor Open Play and We-Play - Drop in any time!
    • ABA and Recreational Therapy
    • Occupational and Speech Therapy
    • Yoga Classes
    • Homework Helper
    • Trazos Art Academy
    • Birthday Parties
    • Summer Camps
     Mini-Gallery Night <— WINNING! 

    Find out more about their events including a special parenting workshop bootcamp on Conscious Discipline® and more at: Play-In Miami Events.

                     

  7. Save the Date for Rocko Rocket book reading on July 13!

    Rocko Rocket book reading at Tutti Bambini Maternity Concierge on July 13th at 2 p.m.! So much fun!

    Love what this family is doing and how they’ve inspired their little one to write a children’s book. Read my blog post for more details and how you can help make this dream a reality by backing them up on Kickstarter!


  8. Back up Rocko Rocket on Kickstarter! Only 11 days to go!

    I’m in love with this project! Seeking everyone and anyone with a soft spot for helping dreams come true to back this brilliant children’s book titled Rocko Rocket: Rocko’s Big Launch on Kickstarter! I can’t wait to have the first copy for my son, Rock! (What a perfect title!) Read below and watch the video here to learn more about this adorable children’s book that will hopefully not only launch Rocko but kickstart the series! 

    Even if you donate $5, $10 or $20, I am sure it will be greatly appreciated! But even more so, spread the word as well. After all, we’re all in this together! 

    From Rocko Rocket’s Kickstarter Page:

    We are seeking your support to “kickstart our Rocko Rocket project. After many years, we decided to go forward with our dream of publishing a children’s book series that kids and adults will love reading.  We think our character is inspiring, lovable, and unique. We have worked hard to prepare this project for success, and we hope we can count on your support. It costs ninety dollars to print one hard cover Rocko Rocket book.  In order to bring the cost down, we need to print 1,000 books or more. We need a minimum investment of $10,000 to self-publish 1,000 books. Please support and “kickstart” our vision. 

    Rocko Rocket Book One

    Rocko’s Big Launch

    Rocko must launch his first rocket if he is to become a rocket scientist. He dreams of building a rocket and going to outer space. Rocko has a big imagination, but he  learns he will have to persevere to make his dreams come true.

    Rocko’s Audience

    This book promotes science, space exploration and a love of reading and learning. Rocko Rocket encourages children in grades 1st -3rd to have faith in what they imagine for themselves and to never give up. It’s for parents, teachers, and adults who want to inspire the children in their lives to reach for the stars.

    Everyone loves Rocko…

    Through a book series and free on-line supplements for fans, parents, and teachers, Rocko will capture hearts and minds. Rocko’s Big Launchintroduces readers into the world of a unique and unforgettable character. Rocko’s love for rockets and his endearing message attracts diverse audiences.

    Budget

    Our printing budget is $10,000.

    If we exceed our goal by $15,000 we will use those funds to begin production on the second Rocko Rocket book and develop a website for Rocko Rocket. We wil use the remaining funds to engineer the Rocko Rocket theme song and send it out to all of our backers as an unexpected gift.

  9. First Ever Green Baby Fair Miami this Saturday!

    Saw this and of course had to give it two green thumbs up! The first annual Green Baby Fair Miami takes place THIS Saturday, June 23rd at the Little Haiti Cultural Center. Great informational workshops for new and expecting moms! 

    The workshops include subjects that should be on the “Need to Know About” list for any mommy, especially those interested in the attachment parenting / holistic route. 

    You can purchase your $10 ticket on-line as well as raffle tickets for some great mommy-finds. Kids under 18 are free and there will be food trucks like our favorites Ms. Cheezious and Purple People Eatery on-site for those lunch time hunger pangs with vegetarian and vegan options available. 

    Kudos to the event organizers (The Gathering Place) for putting together such a great community resource! 

    For more information visit: http://www.greenbabyfair.com/

  10. Call to artists, families and activists! Let’s Color Miami!

    In 2009, Hands on Miami (who we all dearly miss) organized Hands on Miami Day, the annual city-wide volunteer day with projects stretching all across the county from beach cleanup, beautifying gardens and painting murals like the project I was involved in with my then boyfriend and now husband. (At the time, a lot of our dates involved joint volunteer projects.) We both look back at the day and how great it felt to start with a blank canvas and see it develop into a happy backdrop for the children to play at this Homestead Miami elementary school. A group of volunteers who started off as strangers became friends over the course of the day. I was inspired. 

    Now, years later, I would love to join our community resources, organize volunteers and form a committee to make this happen. I want to beautify 3 schools before the end of the year. My first step was to send an e-mail to Mr. Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent of Miami Dade Public Schools which I did just before this post. 

    If you’re interested, please add yourself to the Facebook group (Color Miami) so we can have open conversation with others involved and interested in this community project.

    Let’s make this happen!  

    Before:

    After: