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  1. Does this sound familiar? You have a breastfeeding problem and go to your doctor, who looks back at you with a blank stare. Or recommends you switch to formula. Or sends you to another doctor who doesn’t know what to do. Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common. It happened to me when I had my first baby! I saw a lactation consultant as well as my OB/gyn for recurrent plugged ducts and eventually saw a breast surgeon who couldn’t figure out what was going on. Thankfully, we ruled out anything serious, but I continued to struggle with an uncomfortable situation throughout my lactation journey. As a direct result of my difficulty getting answers to my breastfeeding problems, I pursued specialized training in lactation and discovered the field of Breastfeeding and Lactation Medicine (BFLM). Excellent breastfeeding and chestfeeding support can and does come from various professionals: lactation consultants, counselors, specialists, midwives, doulas, and yes - OB/GYNs, pediatricians, and family medicine doctors. Believe me, if I didn’t have lactation consultants helping me through my journey, I don’t think I would have made it through in one piece! But when I, like many, encountered a more complex problem that required physician expertise, I couldn’t find anyone to help. Through my professional goals of learning more about lactation, I learned about a little-known group of physicians who had been treating breastfeeding conditions for years – physicians with expertise in the medical nuances, evaluation, and treatment of lactation-related problems. I took every course and went to every conference I could find in the field. Since the start of my training, BFLM has become a board-certified medical specialty through the North American Board of Breastfeeding and Lactation Medicine. BFLM provides something distinctive. It is a niche within medicine where providers from different specialties acquire specialized training in caring for breastfeeding dyads. BFLM physicians are different from other lactation professionals in that we can diagnose, order labs or imaging, and prescribe medications or other treatments as part of our care. We are equipped with evidence-based medical expertise to provide that crucial support that was lacking during my journey. BFLM covers a wide range of concerns: painful latch, high or low milk production, recurrent plugged ducts and mastitis, persistent breast and nipple pain, tongue tie concerns, and maternal or infant medical conditions affecting breastfeeding. It also includes support for mothers with twins, re-lactation, and inducing lactation for adoptive or non-birthing parents wishing to lactate. With the addition of BFLM physicians to women’s care teams, I hope that no one feels that their only choice is to switch to formula because they cannot find the support they need. How to feed your infant is a personal choice, and I support families regardless of their choices. However, I strongly advocate for access to appropriate support to make sure that those who do choose to breastfeed or chestfeed can be given their best chance at reaching their goals.
  2. NPN Amy J.

    The Ultimate Baby Shower

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    All new and expecting parents are invited to Chicago's Ultimate Baby Shower! Sample products, relax in the mini-spa area, hear from experts, connect with local providers, and build your community of parent friends at this one-of-a-kind event. Learn more and purchase tickets here: npnparents.org/babyshower Do you have questions for the organizers? Let us know. Would you like your business to be part of this amazing event? Please tell us.
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    VIP Tickets You are purchasing VIP Tickets to The Ultimate Baby Shower. Click the green "Register Now" button to purchase. Mobile users, scroll down. VIP tickets give you access to the expo, breakout sessions with Chicago parenting experts, info bag, mini spa area, gift bag, and keynote speaker. $45 each. To purchase General Admission or Special Guest tickets, click here $20 General Admission: Expo access, breakout sessions with Chicago parenting experts, and info bag $30 Special Guest: Expo access, breakout sessions with Chicago parenting experts, info bag, and mini-spa area $45 VIP: Expo access, breakout sessions with Chicago parenting experts, info bag, mini-spa area, gift bag, and keynote speaker Do you have questions for the organizers? Let us know. Would you like your business to be part of this amazing event? Please tell us.
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    General Admission Tickets You are purchasing General Admission Tickets to The Ultimate Baby Shower. Click the green "Register Now" button to purchase. Mobile users, scroll down. General Admission gives you access to the expo, breakout sessions with Chicago parenting experts, and info bag. $20 each. To purchase Special Guest or VIP tickets, click here $20 General Admission: Expo access, breakout sessions with Chicago parenting experts, and info bag $30 Special Guest: Expo access, breakout sessions with Chicago parenting experts, info bag, and mini-spa area $45 VIP: Expo access, breakout sessions with Chicago parenting experts, info bag, mini-spa area, gift bag, and keynote speaker Do you have questions for the organizers? Let us know. Would you like your business to be involved in this amazing event? Click here to let us know.
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    Special Guest Tickets You are purchasing Special Guest Tickets to The Ultimate Baby Shower. Click the green "Register Now" button to purchase. Mobile users, scroll down. Special Guest Tickets give you access to the expo, breakout sessions with Chicago parenting experts, info bag, and mini-spa area. $25 each. To purchase General Admission or VIP tickets, click here $20 General Admission: Expo access, breakout sessions with Chicago parenting experts, and info bag $30 Special Guest: Expo access, breakout sessions with Chicago parenting experts, info bag, and mini-spa area $45 VIP: Expo access, breakout sessions with Chicago parenting experts, info bag, mini-spa area, gift bag, and keynote speaker Do you have questions for the organizers? Let us know. Would you like your business to be a part of this event? Let us know!
  6. The NPN team is pleased to introduce Dr. Cindy Rubin, owner of In Touch Pediatrics and Lactation as a resident expert at NPN. This is your chance to ask her everything you wanted to know about the fourth trimester, infant pediatrics, breastfeeding, and more. Post your questions for Dr. Rubin on the NPN Discussion Forum on Tuesday, February 27th from 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM. Dr. Rubin will answer your questions that evening. Once all questions are answered, we will close the thread, but it will live on in the forum for your reference. Go ahead and ask her anything! A bit about Dr. Rubin: Dr. Rubin is a general pediatrician and board-certified breastfeeding medicine specialist practicing in the Western Suburbs of Chicago. She worked as an outpatient general pediatrician at a large academic center for 13 years before opening her Direct Care practice, In Touch Pediatrics and Lactation. Dr. Rubin loves providing care in patients’ homes, when and where they need it most! Her personal journeys with postpartum and breastfeeding led her to focus on improving care in this field for everyone! She offers physician-level lactation consults and in-home postpartum newborn and mom support packages (pediatric and lactation) in the Chicagoland area. She continues to be involved in teaching medical students as the adviser for her Breastfeeding and Lactation 4th Year Elective, and she serves as the Co-Chair for the Committee on Breastfeeding for the Illinois chapter of the AAP. She is also a founding board member of the North American Board of Breastfeeding and Lactation Medicine. Important Information about this Event: NPN's Discussion Forum is available to NPN members only. Not a member of NPN? Join now and use promo code join30off to save $30. Don't miss everything that NPN has to offer new and expecting parents: Childcare Daycare & School Search Developmental Differences Discussion Forum Things to do NPN Member Discounts
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    Join us for Sunday play at City Garden Waldorf School! Play and mingle with other NPN families in this beautiful space! Families will enjoy bread-making, puppet play, and open play. Plus you can talk with City Garden teachers about their program and Waldorf early childhood education. This playdate is designed especially for children who are two through five years old and their parents, but children of all ages and expecting parents are welcome. Learn more about City Garden Waldorf School and their parent-child classes that start Saturday, January 20th here. Read more about City Garden Waldorf School in this article in Block Club Chicago and this feature on WGN. City Garden Waldorf School is located at 920 W 19th St, Chicago, IL 60608. There is ample street parking on 19th Street. Enter the school through the garden located between 920 and 912 W. 19th Street.
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    NPN's New Parents Group is your monthly opportunity to meet other new parents in a comfortable and relaxed setting. If you are a new parent with a child under two years old we hope you join us! Come on your own or bring your baby with you. Older siblings are welcome too. This group is exclusively for parents of Neighborhood Parents Network, Bubbles Academy, Chicago Moms Network, and Olive You Nanny. Not connected with any of these organizations? Join NPN now using promo code NewMom24 to save $30 on your NPN membership and we'll connect you to the other amazing organizations too! Plus, right now, NPN members get a discount at Bubbles Academy! (Click here for details.) Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2024 Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM Location: Bubbles Academy Arts-Integrated Preschool in Bucktown, 2184 N. Elston Ave. Parking: Free parking in the lot next to the building Questions? Email amy@npnparents.org Don't miss everything that NPN has to offer new and expecting parents: Childcare School Search Developmental Differences Discussion Forum Things to do Discounts
  9. until
    NPN's New Parents Group is your monthly opportunity to meet other new parents in a comfortable and relaxed setting. If you are a new parent with a child under two years old we hope you join us! Come on your own or bring your baby with you. Older siblings are welcome too. This group is exclusively for parents of Neighborhood Parents Network, Bubbles Academy, Chicago Moms Network, and Olive You Nanny. Not connected with any of these organizations? Join NPN now using promo code NewMom24 to save $30 on your NPN membership and we'll connect you to the other amazing organizations too! Plus, right now, NPN members get a discount at Bubbles Academy! (Click here for details.) Date: Thursday, February 22, 2024 Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM Location: Bubbles Academy's Gold Coast location, at 900 N. Michigan Ave. Parking: You can access the Bubbles Academy space via the 900 Self-Park Garage (August Level) or elevators from Michigan Avenue. Bubbles Academy is located on Level 6, across from Bloomingdales, down the corridor to the parking garage. Parking validation provided The current validation provides up to 3 hours of parking for a $10 fee. Please note the parking validation criteria can change at any time and is managed by the shopping center. Questions? Email amy@npnparents.org Don't miss everything that NPN has to offer new and expecting parents: Childcare School Search Developmental Differences Discussion Forum Things to do Discounts
  10. The NPN team is pleased to introduce Sarah Davis, founder and CEO of Olive You Nanny as a resident expert at NPN. You've watched her in NPN's live sessions, read her articles on our website, and seen her recommended on the forum. Now is your chance to ask her everything you wanted to know about the process of hiring, working with, and building a positive relationship with your nanny. Post your questions for Sarah on the NPN Discussion Forum on Thursday, November 30th from 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM. Sarah will answer your questions throughout the day. Once all questions are answered, we will close the thread, but it will live on in the forum for your reference. Go ahead and ask her anything! A bit about Sarah: Sarah Davis is the Founder and CEO of Olive You Nanny and its sister brand, Olive Us. Sarah began her entrepreneurial career as a nanny in her early high school years. She moved from a small town in Wisconsin to San Francisco after school for a nanny role. She moved to Denver and then Chicago, learning about what it took to build a successful career as a nanny. Each time she moved, she was met with the same reality - there were no agencies who cared about the personal connections between families and nannies. They didn’t seem to understand that nannies are an integral part of each family they work for. So, in 2005, she began sourcing and matching nannies for families in Chicago. She would meet with the families in their homes and then meet with the potential nannies in person as well, asking more profound questions about their personalities, their parenting styles, and more. She officially launched Olive You Nanny in 2005. Since then, Olive You Nanny has expanded to 8 cities, including Austin, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Phoenix. In each city, they provide full-service support to families. Important Information about this Event: NPN's Discussion Forum is available to NPN members only. Not a member of NPN? Join now and use promo code join30off to save $30. Other NPN programming for New Parents 11/15 Developmental Differences Parent Support Group 11/29 Member Networking (NPN members only) 12/3 NPN Playdate at Mary Meyer School 12/12 New Parents Group (NPN members only)
  11. NPN Amy J.

    New Parents Group - Virtual

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    NPN's New Parents Group is your monthly opportunity to join in on a casual conversation centered around topics that matter to you. Unlike our monthly webinars that are more structured and have a presenter and topic - you get to lead the discussion or just observe and chime in as you see fit; think of it as our forum in real life! Amy from the NPN staff team will join you. If you've been craving connection as a new mom or a new dad or a new parent, we hope you join us. This group is designed for parents of children under age two, but this is not a hard and fast rule. If your child is older, or if you have multiple children of many ages, you are welcome here. RSVP today! You will receive an email confirmation, including the Zoom link, immediately upon registration. We will also send you the Zoom link shortly before the event. These chats are for NPN members only. Parents only, please (no therapists, students or business owners). Not a member? For a limited time, you can join NPN using promo code NewMom23 and save $20 on your membership.
  12. until
    NPN Parent Chats are your monthly virtual opportunity to join in on a casual conversation centered around topics that matter to you. Unlike our monthly webinars that are more structured and have a presenter and topic - you get to lead the discussion, vent about current happenings, or just observe and chime in as you see fit; think of it as our forum in video format! Sitaara and Amy from the NPN staff team will join you. If you've been craving connection, we hope you join us. RSVP today! You will receive an email confirmation, including the Zoom link, immediately upon registration. We will also send you the Zoom link the morning of the event. These chats are for NPN members only. Not a member? For a limited time, join NPN for $20 using promo code school23. This also gets you into the school fair for free!
  13. NPN Amy J.

    Head, Heart, Hand Parenting

    In this video, join Reena Vohra Morgan of Hive Educational Consulting and Parent Coaching as she shares a parent-centric framework grounded in attachment theory, brain science, and responsive parenting strategies. In this introductory workshop, you will learn ten pillars that can help you develop healthier family relationships and bring more peace, calm, and joy to your home. This session is useful for parents with children of any age, from 0 to adulthood. This video was recorded live on 8/11/23.
  14. NPN Amy J.

    Head, Heart, Hand Parenting

    until
    Join Reena Vohra Morgan of Hive Educational Consulting as she shares a parent centric framework grounded in attachment theory, brain science and responsive parenting strategies. In this introductory workshop, you will learn ten pillars that can help you develop healthier family relationships and bring more peace, calm, and joy to your home. This session is useful for parents with children of any age, from 0 to adulthood. Reena Vohra Morgan is a mother to three children and has over twenty years of experience in education. She holds a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Development, Montessori certificates, and is a Jai Certified Parenting Coach. In combination with theoretical knowledge, practical experience, and compassion, Reena uses a strengths-based, reflective approach to coach and empower educators and parents. She offers concrete strategies, tools, and manageable action plans to support adults who interact directly with children. Reena is certified in positive discipline and Resources for Infant EduCareers (REI). Reena resides in Chicago with her family. Questions? Contact Amy at amy@npnparents.org.
  15. until
    Join us for Sunday play at Sacred Heart Schools! There will be fun activities and open play on the turf field if it is nice out or in the gym in case of inclement weather. Parents, relax and enjoy coffee and light bites during this relaxed, fun morning! This event is for kids aged 2 - 5 years old. Spots are limited so register today! Sacred Heart is located at 6250 N. Sheridan Road in Chicago. Park in any of the school lots: https://www.shschicago.org/directions-parking
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    We're excited to launch Parent Chats! Your monthly virtual opportunity to join in on a casual conversation centered around topics that matter to you. Unlike our monthly webinars that are more structured and have a presenter and topic - you get to lead the discussion, vent about current happenings, or just observe and chime in as you see fit; think of it as our forum in video format! Sitaara and Amy from the NPN staff team will join you. If you've been craving connection but not eager about getting out in the real world for it to happen - we hope you join us. Here are the topics and dates for each Parent Chat this June through August. Participating parents will be automatically entered to win raffle prizes at each chat! In this June chat, focusing on pregnancy - preschool, you could win: - A one hour consultation with infant sleep expert, Serene Swaddles - A one hour consultation with childbirth educator, Serene Swaddles - A birth options consultation with Jo Ann Lindberg of Birthlink June 9th: Chat about the early years: pregnancy - preschool July 14th: Talk about the elementary school years: Kindergarten - 6th grade August 18th: Celebrate the tween-teen years: 7th grade - 12th grade
  17. until
    Event Details: Give your baby a smart start! Maya Smart, author of Reading for Our Lives, will describe how reading unfolds from birth through the early elementary years and outline what caregivers can do to nurture it at each stage. You will leave armed with information about the six parent levers for literacy success, plus easy and research-based ways to nurture your child’s language and literacy development from the start. Chicago Public Library staff will facilitate an active play space for children and a caregiver before, during and after the presentation to demonstrate early literacy skills in action! Register for this event on the Chicago Public Library's website by clicking here. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: Children's Services (312) 747-4780 REGISTER HERE This event takes place in person at Harold Washington Library Center @ 400 S. State Street Chicago IL 60605. Masks are strongly encouraged in all CPL locations. Register by the start of the event. Chicago Public Library cannot collect personal information online from kids 0 to 13. A parent or guardian’s email address must be used to register.
  18. until
    NPN Playdates are back! Join us for Sunday Family Day at Park West Cooperative! Come and experience a fun day of play in one of Park West Cooperative's award-winning classrooms! Let your child's imagination be your guide and follow them as they explore sand and water, paint, playdough, games, blocks, puzzles, and more. We will have our classrooms and gym space open for families to explore. There will be allergy-friendly snacks provided! This event is for kids aged 2 - 5 years old. Spots are limited so register today! Park West Cooperative is located at 2214 N Bissell St, Chicago, IL 60614
  19. until
    NPN Playdates are back! Join us for Sunday play at Lycee Francais de Chicago! There will be fun arts & crafts activities, open gym and snacks for the kids! Parents, grab a cup of coffee, relax and enjoy as your kids experience some fun activities! This event is for kids aged 2 - 5 years old. Spots are limited so register today! Lycee Francais Chicago is located at 1929 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640 (plenty of street parking available)
  20. until
    NPN Playdates are back! Join us for play at Bubbles Academy Arts-Integrated Preschool! Your kiddos will have fun exploring their Meadows & Mountains Play spaces! Or they can express their creativity with an art activity! There will be coffee for the parents and light snack for the kiddos. Parent relax and enjoy as your kids experience some fun activities! This event is for kids aged 2 - 5 years old. Spots are limited so register today! Bubble Academy Arts-Integrated Preschool is located at 2184 N. Elston, Chicago, IL 60614 Parking lot is towards the back of the building.
  21. until
    NPN Playdates are back! Join us for Sunday play at Kids Work Chicago Riverview! Their large indoor and outdoor play space will be open, fall themed crafts will be available, plus a goodie bags with snacks for the kids! Parents come and relax and enjoy as your kids experience some fun activities! This event is for kids aged 2 - 5 years old. Spots are limited so register today! Kids Work Chicago Riverview is located at 3429 N. California Ave, near I-94 on California between Addison and Belmont. Parking lot in front of the building has plenty of spaces and there is also ample street parking in the neighborhood!
  22. until
    Join our friends at Babies, Tots n' More for this goldmine of a sale! This sale is NOT a garage sale. It is NOT a thrift sale. They only accept quality items that are free of stains, meet current styles, and are in working order. Babies, Tots n’ More is not a year round store. They hold seasonal events that feature thousands of quality, gently-used or new items from hundreds of families throughout Chicagoland. Items include children’s clothing (through Youth Size 16), shoes, toys, books, games, baby equipment, women’s sporting goods, housewares, sports equipment, furniture n’ more. There is something for everyone! Register to Consign & Enter Items by Tuesday, October 4 Pre-sales: Thursday, October 6, Purchase pre-sale tickets here Public Event: Friday, October 7, 9AM – 7PM Half-Price Sale: Saturday, October 8, 8AM – 1PM Make sure you grab your fanny pack or wristlet. They do not allow any large purses, diaper bags or backpacks into the sale. They must be the size of a piece of paper or smaller.
  23. until
    Join our friends at Babies, Tots n' More for this goldmine of a sale! This sale is NOT a garage sale. It is NOT a thrift sale. They only accept quality items that are free of stains, meet current styles, and are in working order. Babies, Tots n’ More is not a year round store. They hold seasonal events that feature thousands of quality, gently-used or new items from hundreds of families throughout Chicagoland. Items include children’s clothing (through Youth Size 16), shoes, toys, books, games, baby equipment, women’s sporting goods, housewares, sports equipment, furniture n’ more. There is something for everyone! Register to Consign & Enter Items by Tuesday, October 4 Pre-sales: Thursday, October 6, Purchase pre-sale tickets here Public Event: Friday, October 7, 9AM – 7PM Half-Price Sale: Saturday, October 8, 8AM – 1PM Make sure you grab your fanny pack or wristlet. They do not allow any large purses, diaper bags or backpacks into the sale. They must be the size of a piece of paper or smaller.
  24. until
    Join our friends at Babies, Tots n' More for this goldmine of a sale! This sale is NOT a garage sale. It is NOT a thrift sale. They only accept quality items that are free of stains, meet current styles, and are in working order. Babies, Tots n’ More is not a year round store. They hold seasonal events that feature thousands of quality, gently-used or new items from hundreds of families throughout Chicagoland. Items include children’s clothing (through Youth Size 16), shoes, toys, books, games, baby equipment, women’s sporting goods, housewares, sports equipment, furniture n’ more. There is something for everyone! Register to Consign & Enter Items by Tuesday, October 4 Pre-sales: Thursday, October 6, Purchase pre-sale tickets here Public Event: Friday, October 7, 9AM – 7PM Half-Price Sale: Saturday, October 8, 8AM – 1PM Make sure you grab your fanny pack or wristlet. They do not allow any large purses, diaper bags or backpacks into the sale. They must be the size of a piece of paper or smaller.
  25. Like many milestones in motherhood, I turned to social media and my friends who were moms to set my expectations for returning to work after maternity leave with my first daughter. The narrative was this: You will dread the end of maternity leave and curse the swift passage of time. You will feel your heart break and probably sob as you leave your child with another care provider. You will spend your entire work day trying to focus while only being able to think of your child. You will feel pulled in two directions, but mostly in one direction: home with your baby. When my turn came to drop off my 3-month-old at daycare, however, I found that very little of my experience mirrored the typical tale. Although I had some anxiety about leaving her with relative strangers for the first time, after just one week back at work, I felt unexpectedly happy and at peace. [Related: 3 things working moms shouldn't feel guilty about] Perhaps it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that I felt relief when others felt dread. After all, much of my postpartum experience to that point had veered from what seemed to be the norm. I struggled with postpartum depression, which left me feeling distant and somewhat detached from my daughter. I felt lost, scared and completely out of my element. My daughter was a horrible sleeper, making me a jittery, barely-present zombie just trying to make it through every day. When I was back at work, it felt like a gift to put my mind toward a challenge outside the eat-sleep-diaper routine, laugh with coworkers, look presentable and use the bathroom or drink a cup of coffee uninterrupted. After three months of total shell shock, I felt like I was seeing the sun again. As the months passed and I slowly overcame PPD and yet still had no greater desire to be at home, I started to feel guilty. I wondered what my happiness at work said about me. How could I be the only one who seemed absolutely certain that working five days a week was the best thing for me? If I were a more natural mother, would I want to be home with my baby like everyone else? [Related: Navigating the Great Resignation as a parent] But motherhood, it turns out, is much like the introvert/extrovert dichotomy. Where some moms derive their energy and sense of purpose from working, others find it at home with their kids (or some combination of the two). When motherhood worries consume me or I have a bad night of sleep, work provides a chance to step away, surround myself with other adults and remember that life goes on. Work helps me recharge my emotional batteries and regain my sense of self so that I'm a happier, healthier, more confident mom. Best of all, the fulfillment I get from work makes me the best version of myself so that I can be the best mom to my daughters. After several years as a working mom, I've become more comfortable in my skin. And the more conversations I have with other moms, the more I realize I’m not actually alone after all. During a daycare social event last summer, another mom confessed to me in a hushed tone, “Sometimes the weekends are so long and hard for me. Sometimes…I look forward to Monday. Am I a horrible person?” I smiled as I told her, with confidence and not an ounce of guilt, that I felt the exact same way.

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