Archive for the ‘Breastfeeding’ Category

What is co-sleeping? When parents share their bed with their infant. It is pretty controversial in the United States. Is it loving your child or is it not safe?

I know plenty of parents who do it because it is so hard to get their kids to go to sleep…but honestly, the parents I do know that don’t do it have a better quality of life and their children seem to be more independent.

Why do some people choose to co-sleep?

  • Encourages breastfeeding by making nighttime breastfeeding more convenient
  • Makes it easier for a nursing mother to get her sleep cycle in sync with her baby’s
  • Helps babies fall asleep more easily, especially during their first few months and when they wake up in the middle of the night
  • Helps babies get more nighttime sleep (because they awaken more frequently with shorter duration of feeds, which can add up to a greater amount of sleep throughout the night)
  • Helps parents who are separated from their babies during the day regain the closeness with their infant that they feel they missed

Safety Hazard to Co-sleep?
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns parents not to place their infants to sleep in adult beds, stating that the practice puts babies at risk of suffocation and strangulation. And the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) agrees.

Other Risks of Co-Sleeping?

  • Other children — particularly toddlers — because they might not be aware of the baby’s presence
  • Parents who are under the influence of alcohol or any drug because that could diminish their awareness of the baby
  • Parents who smoke because the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is greater

Tips to helping your child sleep alone:

  1. Eliminate distractions: remove TVs, computers, and other electronic devices from your kiddo’s room to create an environment meant for sleep.
  2. Routine, Routine, Routine: establish a bedtime routine where your child takes a warm bath, puts on their PJs, brushes their teeth and then read a few nice bedtime stories together. In this way your child feels more secure about going to bed and helps them out psychologically by reducing nighttime anxiety.
  3. Leave the room: leave the room before your child falls asleep so that he or she is not depending on you being in the room to actually fall asleep.
  4. No Monsters: add security by giving your child stuffed animals, fav blankies to reassure your children of “happy” things in their room and not scary monsters under the bed.
  5. Be consistent: if your child crawls into bed with you in the middle of night, take your wandering kiddo back to his or her room and assure them they must stay in their room and then go back to your bed. Don’t try to explain too much or you will be giving into what they want, for you to stay with them in their room at their bed.
  6. Reward: once your child starts to try and sleep alone – reward your kiddos with a favorite breakfast, extra bedtime book, anything to make them realize that if they stay in bed, they can be rewarded (just don’t go overboard!)

Read Full Post »

I read this past Friday that the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) issued a warning to women who get donated breast milk from Facebook. That seemed a little wild to me – my thoughts were how sanitary is this and who is regulating it…and more importantly, is this safe? Facebook now helps moms in need of breast milk? Who knew a movie up for an Academy Award had such power!

Director Laraine Lockhart-Borman of the Mothers' Milk Bank of Denver, Colorado holds just a few of the 2000-5000 ounces of breastmilk processed there each week.

Apparently the group on Facebook was called “Eats on Feets” and was set up by an Arizona mom who had an over supply of breast milk. This Fb page stirred the hearts and needs of many moms out there and to date, there are 116 Eats on Feets Facebook chapters in about 3 dozen countries.

Recently, the FDA posted a warning on the Eats on Feets website and warned that the milk that hasn’t been screen adequately may carry infectious diseases, be contaminated or pose safety risks to your baby. What is the response of the moms?

Some women in the group say they trust the “mother-to-mother” bond and don’t mind the risks. Would you feel comfortable letting another woman nurse your baby? Many women are! More and more women are also making informal arrangements where a nursing mother helps out a friend who is struggling to breastfeed by sharing her milk. Who knew!

Although “cross-nursing” is not always and “acceptable” or mainstream way to feed a baby, according to USA Today, “With a growing number of doctors saying breast milk is the best food for babies, especially hospitalized preemies struggling to gain weight, the demand for milk donations is increasing. The amount of donated milk distributed by the 10 banks of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America is growing rapidly but is still far below what’s needed, says Pauline Sakamoto, president of the association.”

In 2008, there were 1.4 million ounces donated to milk banks across the country, but experts say demand reaches as high as nearly 9 million ounces.  If you are interested in helping a struggling mother, go to the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.  If you are interested in being a donor mother – here are a few of the main requirements:

  • Be in good health
  • Willing to undergo a blood test (at the milk bank’s expense)
  • Not regularly using medication or herbal supplements (with exception of progestin-only birth control pills or injections, Synthroid, insulin, prenatal vitamins; for other exceptions, please contact a milk bank for more information)
  • Willing to donate at least 100 ounces of milk; some banks have a higher minimum

Read Full Post »

I was having a conversation with an elderly lady in the waiting room and she told me a story about her great grandson. She thought perhaps he may be a bit too old to still be breastfeeding. She was traveling to Vermont with him and his family when he started to throw a tantrum. He stood in his seat, pounding his fists on the headrest while chanting at the top of lungs,


–Daniel, age 5

Editor’s Note:
Please spread the giggles by sharing your funny quotes with us!

Read Full Post »

Okay, okay, so us ladies all live in a world where we try to be healthy and stay slender and as soon as you get pregnant, the fear of being unhealthy and gaining weight can get even scarier.  For example, eat your greens and no more ice cream because it is “bad”.  Ha! 

I hear mom’s all the time ponder whether or not the food they are eating while they are pregnant affects their baby’s tastes and food likes/dislikes. Of course every mom knows it is important to think about what they eat during pregnancy as sharing and teaching their future babies how to eat healthy.

During pregnancy, your baby is fed nutrients through the umbilical cord. At the same time, the amniotic fluid, which surrounds the baby, takes on the flavor of the foods you eat. Even though your baby isn’t technically ingesting the amniotic fluid the way you ingest food, the baby is constantly swallowing it and tasting the same flavors that you do. Thus, as a mommy – you have a huge impact on your child’s palette before its even born!

In addition, if you choose to nurse your child, your breast milk will take on the flavors of the foods you eat. Certain flavors come through stronger than others, such as onion, garlic or mint.  My advice? Try to eat a good variety of foods, and your child will get used to experiencing new flavors on an everyday basis, and will be less resistant in the future to trying new foods when he or she is older.

In a 2001 experiment conducted by Julie Menella, a psychobiologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, a group of pregnant women was asked to drink carrot juice during their third trimester; another group of pregnant women drank water instead. Six months later, the women’s infants were offered cereal mixed with carrot juice, and their facial expressions were videotaped while they ate. The offspring of the carrot juice-drinking women consumed more carrot-flavored cereal than babies who had not been exposed to the stuff before birth, and appeared to like its taste more.

What is interesting is that a mother’s eating habits while the baby is in the womb can correlate to various cultures and their cuisines. For example, certain flavors or tastes of particular foods are most likely introduced before birth and can affect a child’s likes towards certain foods. For example, I am half Chinese and as a baby in the womb I tended to eat Chinese food and not much dairy. Today I am allergic to most dairy products and crave Chinese food (ever since I was born).

Menella stated that “when a baby is born, he is not a blank slate. He has already been shaped by a rich array of sensory experiences that we are only now beginning to understand.”

There is no true verdict on whether your diet during pregnancy can affect your baby’s tendency toward food sensitivities or allergies, but the fairest answer is that we don’t really know for sure. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that mothers at high risk of having an infant with food allergies—women with a family history—consider avoiding peanuts, one of the most highly allergenic of all foods, during the third trimester.

Read Full Post »

No, I did NOT say that!

No, I did NOT say that!

My friend, Jessica’s daughter figured out how to take photos with her iPhone. As Jessica scrolled through her phone’s photos, she found pictures of EVERYTHING going on in their house: Her daughter’s bedroom, the play room, home decorations, and and yes… a VERY candid shot of Jessica nursing her newborn baby. She tried to delete the photo but her daughter ran off with her phone saying,

Mommy, don’t worry. There’s NOOOOO nipple in the shot!”

– Kya, age 5

Editor’s Note:
Please spread the giggles by sharing your funny quotes with us!

Read Full Post »

No, I did NOT say that!

No, I did NOT say that!

One day, while at my parents’ house waiting for guests to arrive, I was sitting in the family room nursing my newborn son. I heard the doorbell ring, signaling that my brother and his family had arrived. My 6-year old nephew came barreling into the room, gasped and froze. Then said,

Oops! Sorry… I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were BEST-feeding!”

– Jordan, Age 6

Haha! Yes, little does he know that breastfeeding is the BEST.

Editor’s Note:
Please spread the giggles by sharing your funny quotes with us!

Read Full Post »

Our family moved to a new community when my daughter was 14 months old. It was tough to be a stay at home mom and figure out how to meet new people. I decided to try a local LeLeche League meeting. My daughter and I had a solid breastfeeding relationship going (and yes, she was a nursing toddler). I just felt drawn to meet other mothers in similar situations. One of the best finds from attending this meeting was hearing about a Wednesday playgroup. I got the information and called the woman who organized the activities.


It was fall season, but the group of moms and toddlers meet every Wednesday morning for two hours with varied activities each week. One week they would do an outdoor adventure, one week they would meet at someone’s home and play with the toys there, and the other two weeks of the month, they would meet at a preschool room of a local church. Such a schedule evolved, as the mothers wanted to avoid spending time at the local McDonalds during those months of poor weather! They meet at local parks during the summer months.

At first, I wondered what a playgroup would be like – would I get to talk with other mothers and visit about parenting ideas? Would my child make new friends and learn different social skills than she got when we were home alone? I soon realized these were high expectations. At the playgroup gatherings those first few months I had to stay pretty close to my daughter as she wanted that more than playing with other children. More than once I wondered if we were getting anything out of it, but the chance to interact with other families made me keep going back each week. Slowly, as my daughter grew up and her confidence blossomed, she was able to play on her own or with others. The mothers could talk a little until a fight broke out about toys, or a child began to do something dangerous.

I began to see it as a new fact of life that seldom were sentences (yet alone conversations) completed without interruptions from children’s needs. The same group continued to meet weekly and time passed into years of attending playgroup. The children watched each other grow up, learned from one another, and the mother’s friendships deepened. As new families would join, we could learn from one another, hear different perspectives on parenting, and see the diversity in children’s behaviors (that was helpful for me – the mother of one!).

One five-year old boy told his mom, “The play is for the kids and the group is for the moms.” He was sure correct on this, as the playgroup gatherings were like a form of therapy and sanity for us all. It’s been seven years now and although schools have forced us apart, our playgroup still comes together for social gatherings several times a year! I’ve been grateful and thankful for this group of families helping me along my parenting journey.

Read Full Post »