Events coming up during the next two weeks (updated)

Political activity slows down during the summer, especially in an off-year, but there’s still plenty for progressives to do. Event details are after the jump. Please post a comment or send me an e-mail if you know of other events I’ve left out.

If you live near southeast Iowa, please consider volunteering for Curt Hanson, Democratic candidate for the September 1 special election in Iowa House district 90. UPDATE: Senator Tom Harkin is headlining a fundraiser for Hanson on Saturday, Augsut 1. Details below.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is looking for volunteers during the Iowa State Fair (August 13-23):

The Iowa DNR River Programs will be at the Iowa State Fair this year and requests your help to staff our booth at the DNR building. We will have a River Programs staff person there the whole time, but our space is much larger this year. Because of the large number of visitors who pass through the building, any help we can get is greatly appreciated. We are asking for a 5 hour shift from each volunteer. You may sign up for more than one shift if you’d like. The morning shift will be from 9:00 to 2:00 and the afternoon shift will be from 2:00 to 7:00.  What you get: A River Programs Volunteer Cap and a ticket to the fair the day you volunteer, and the satisfaction of knowing you made a difference.

Please respond by email or phone with your desired shift(s) and availability Thursday, August 13th through Sunday August 23rd to John Wenck, IDNR River programs outreach coordinator,, 515-281-8969 or 515-491-9881.

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A bunch of links on breastfeeding toddlers

I haven’t written a breastfeeding diary here since I took on Hanna Rosin two months ago, but the Iowa blogger at Fat Single Mom Takes on the World informed me that  there was some kind of "online carnival" last week about nursing toddlers. (Here are some links.)

I figured now is as good a time as any to compile information about breastfeeding beyond a child’s first birthday.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, continued breastfeeding until a baby is at least 12 months old, and after that as long as it is mutually desirable for mother and baby to keep nursing.

The World Health Organization recommends nursing at least to age two, and beyond that age if mother and child wish to keep nursing.

This power point presentation by Dr. Jack Newman, author of the Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers, contains lots of information about nursing toddlers. Dr. Newman also provides various views on what should be considered the “normal” age for weaning in humans.

Resources for women who are nursing beyond 12 months of age:

   *This page at KellyMom lists numerous advantages of extended nursing, for mothers as well as for children. (Links to references are provided.)

   *Mothering Your Nursing Toddler by Norma Jane Bumgarner is a must-read book.

   *The Attachment Parenting International site includes interactive forums for your own questions as well as these answers to frequently-asked questions about nursing toddlers.

   *La Leche League International provides lots of information, especially here.

Speaking of breastfeeding, at Mother Talkers prgrsvmama26 brings us the news that Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York will reintroduce the Breastfeeding Promotion Act in June. Click the link for more details about this bill and what you can do to support it.

Here is some information about the economic benefits (for employers as well as employees) of helping working mothers to breastfeed.

According to this page on the National Conference of State Legislatures site, 23 states have adopted laws related to breastfeeding in the workplace, but Iowa is not one of them. On the plus side, Iowa is among 43 states with laws allowing women to breastfeed in any public or private location. Iowa is also one of 12 states that exempt nursing mothers from jury duty. La Leche League has compiled more detailed information on breastfeeding and the law in the U.S. and around the world.

Mother's Day open thread with lots of links

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers in the Bleeding Heartland community. The new thing I learned today is that Julia Ward Howe envisioned Mother’s Day as an anti-war day of action by women of all nations.

We are going to a picnic and nature walk instead.

Good resources for pregnant women or mothers:

Attachment Parenting International (includes discussion forums on lots of topics)

Mothering magazine’s site and discussion forums

International Cesarean Awareness Network (and more resources for women wanting to reduce their risk of surgical birth)

La Leche League

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood: Reclaiming Childhood from Corporate Marketers

Here are a few good reasons to wear your baby and some benefits of encouraging your children to play outdoors.

Good blogs for mothers: Mother Talkers (a community blog) and Momocrats

If Mother’s Day is painful for you, either because your mother didn’t provide the childhood you would have wanted, or because you are the parent of a child who has died, I recommend this diary Cronesense posted at Daily Kos two years ago: Mother’s Day – the other side of the coin. Frankenoid’s diary, Mother’s Day in the Land of the Bereaved, is also very moving.

Please use this thread to share any thoughts about this day or pay tribute to any inspiring mom in your life. Last year I wrote about my friend LaVon Griffieon.

UPDATE: Good post by DarkSyde at Daily Kos.

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