Breastfeeding = Benefits for Both Mom and Baby

August is National Breastfeeding Month, which is fitting because breastfeeding is once again spiking in popularity among new moms as the preferred method of feeding their newborn babies. Breastfeeding is a personal choice that all mothers make and this trend is very healthy because breastfeeding provides so many benefits to both the mother and her baby.

Chicago Healers Practitioner Dr. Marilyn Mitchell, MD, provides some of the benefits of breastfeeding.

· Nutrients and Enzymes – Babies who are breastfed take in nutrients and enzymes that are perfectly proportioned for a human infant. Bottled milk often comes from cows or soy and lacks the perfect blend of nutrients and enzymes that human milk provides.

· Supplemented Immune System – Breast milk also transmits antibodies from the mother to the infant, which are especially vital during the first few months of life when the infant’s immune system is immature and lacks the ability to produce its own antibodies.

· Healthier Life – Infants who breastfeed generally have fewer illnesses during the breastfeeding period than those who are bottle-fed and develop fewer allergies in their lifetime. Breastfed babies also tend to have less colic, fewer restless episodes, and better sleep patterns than bottle-fed infants.

· Helps Mom, Too – Breastfeeding increases metabolism, which helps with post-partum weight loss. It also helps with mother-child bonding due to the mutually pleasurable experience.

It is also smart for new moms to be aware of what they consume while breastfeeding, as it can affect their child. Here is a list of things to up intake of and things to avoid:

Foods to Eat:

· Fresh fruits and vegetables (organic when possible)

· Protein sources (also organic when possible)

· 8-12 glasses of water, juice, herbal teas

· Calcium rich foods (dairy, greens, legumes)

Foods to Avoid:

· Alcohol

· Caffeinated beverages and all soda pop

· Foods that bother the infant (spices for some)

· Preservatives

About ChicagoHealers.com

Chicago Healers (www.ChicagoHealers.com) is the nation’s pioneer prescreened integrative health care network, offering a comprehensive understanding of each practitioner’s services, approach, and philosophy. Our holistic health experts teach and advocate natural and empowered health and life choices through their practices, the media, educational events, and our website. With close to 200 practitioners and over 300 treatment services, Chicago Healers has provided nearly 400 free educational events for Chicagoans and has been featured in 300+ TV news programs and print publications. For more information, visit www.ChicagoHealers.com.

*Image: koratmember / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

BornFree™’s Breastfeeding Week Giveaway

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, BornFree™ is sponsoring an eco-fabulous giveaway! Whether you are making the transition from breast to bottle, or have just passed from infancy into toddlerhood, BornFree™’s line of BPA-free baby bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers, and feeding accessories give moms everywhere peace of mind that they are using products that will not harm their precious children. A particular favorite of “Mom’s” are the Eco Classic Bottles! From August 1st – August 7th, you can enter to win a BornFree™ bottle daily on Tiny Green Mom!

To enter, BornFree™ asks moms to tell how you transitioned from breast to bottle. Please leave your comment after this post and BornFree™ will select a winner at random to receive a BornFree bottle.

To obtain extra entries:

Follow Tiny Green Mom on Twitter. Leave a comment with your Twitter name to let us know that this has been done. This is only valid for one entry.

Leave a comment on another Tiny Green Mom post. Leave a comment below with the name of the post you commented on. This is only valid for one entry.

Visit BornFree™ on Facebook. Please leave a comment below to let us know you have stopped by their page to learn something new! This is only valid for one entry.

Follow BornFree™ on Twitter. Leave a comment with your Twitter name to let us know that this has been done. This is only valid for one entry.

Blog about this giveaway. You must have a link to this giveaway in your blog post. Please leave a comment with the link to your blog post. This is only valid for one entry.

BornFree™’s Breastfeeding Week Giveaway ends on August 7th, 2011 and is open to the US and Canada only. Please leave your email address in each comment, and make sure to leave a separate comment for every each and every entry that you make so that they will count for you!

Thank you! “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom can’t wait to announce the winner of this fabulous giveaway!

Ameda Purely Yours Ultra Breast Pump

Were you aware that there is a misconception that all breast pumps work the same? In addition to ease and comfort, mothers should also look for breast pumps that prevent bacteria and viruses from entering the milk. Ameda, a proven leader in breast pump innovation and trusted by moms and hospitals for over 65 years, is the world’s only breast pump with a proven Airlock Protection™ barrier. The diaphragm keeps the air from the pump from coming in contact with breast milk while pumping. This, in turn, helps protect breast milk from bacteria, mold and viruses.

Why use the Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump? The Ameda Purely Yours line offers purity, comfort and ease for Mom:

Purity: Ameda has the world’s only breast pump with a proven Airlock Protection™ barrier. The diaphragm keeps the air from the pump from coming in contact with breast milk while pumping. This, in turn, helps protect breast milk from bacteria, mold and viruses.

Comfort: The Ameda CustomFit Flange System™ makes it easy to find a good fit by offering seven flange sizes that adapt to all Ameda breast pumps and HygieniKit™ Milk Collection Systems. The Purely Yours Ultra breast pump includes three of the most commonly-needed flange sizes and easily adapts with four more sizes available separately.

Ease: To help mothers maximize milk flow and comfort, the Purely Yours Ultra features fully independent controls for suction and speed. Mom can select her own speed and suction level from 32 combinations.

For more information about the Ameda Purely Yours Ultra Breast Pump, which features the Airlock Protection and many other hospital-grade features, and to find a $50 off coupon, please visit http://www.ameda.com/general/ameda-mail-rebate.

*Company provided images and information for this article.*

Breastfeeding as a Vegetarian

Although women are expected to “eat for two” in pregnancy, we tend to think that life – and eating habits – will return to normal once the baby is born. Especially if you are breastfeeding, this is simply not true. In fact, a breastfeeding woman needs more calories and a higher quantity of many nutrients than she did in pregnancy.
Unfortunately, increasing your intake of nutrient-dense foods is immensely more difficult with an infant to tend to. Convenience foods are commonly based around meats, so the vegetarian mother has even more of a challenge ahead of her.

Here are five vegetarian foods that are easy to prepare and have on hand throughout the day as you work to nourish yourself and your young baby, whether you are a vegetarian or not:

Vegetarian Soups and Stews – When you get a moment to cook, make the most of it! It’s no harder to make a huge batch of soup than to make a small one, so load up that stock pot with whatever vegetables and beans you have on hand. Whatever extra you have can go in the freezer for a no-prep dinner or back into the fridge as leftovers for a day or two. Soups and stews are so soothing, and the broth is packed with the nutrients in the vegetables.

Nutrient-Dense Dips and Spreads – Nut and seed butters go with a variety of flavors, depending on the nut or seed. Dip veggies and fruit in them or spread them on whole grain crackers and toast. If your dip of choice is Ranch, try a vegan alternative that is made with white beans for added protein and thickness.

Nut Butter Snack Mixes – Tired of apples and almond butter? Try mixing some of your favorite nut butter with bananas, oats, nuts, cinnamon and honey. It is such a treat (especially if you throw in some chocolate chips) and will serve as a great mid-day boost. Be sure to get nut butters that are free of sugar and hydrogenated oils for extra nutrition.

Trail Mixes – If you are sensing a trend with nuts and seeds, you are getting the picture. They are chock full of the protein, essential fats and vitamins that you need to sustain your body and make nourishing milk for your baby. And the best part is, they are easy to grab and go. Keep things interesting by putting a variety of nuts, seeds, dried fruit and even granola in a bag that is easily accessible. A little will take you a long way, and it’s easy to eat one-handed while you nurse.

Veggie Wraps – It’s not so easy to eat a salad while you breastfeed, yet all of the calories you are burning will likely render you starving. Get all the benefits of a great salad and the convenience of a big, hearty burrito by wrapping it up in a whole grain tortilla. You will be more likely to get the vegetables and boost you need, and baby will be less likely to have chopped veggies dropped on his ear.

What are your go-to snacks to get you through the day?

About the Author

Brannan Sirratt has been pregnant, nursing, or both for more than five years and a vegetarian for nearly three. During her most recent pregnancy, she founded The Pregnant Vegetarian, a growing resource for vegetarian mothers through pregnancy and beyond, and she continues to write there and in various corners throughout the web.

The Breastfeeding Mother’s Diet
By Erika Landau, M.D., and Abigail Brenner, M.D.,

As in pregnancy, a breastfeeding mother’s diet should be healthy and balanced. There is simply no need to “eat for two” (or more). The nursing mother needs an extra 500 calories a day, so this is definitely not the time to diet. Good nutrition will result in breast milk that will help the baby grow well. The mother should continue taking prenatal vitamins, because these nutrients will pass to the baby.

While you’re breastfeeding, it is advised not to eat raw fish, raw meat, deli meat, or unpasteurized dairy products. Some fish contain high amounts of methyl mercury. Steer clear of swordfish, shark, king mackerel, or tilefish. Tuna is okay (not solid albacore), as is shrimp, salmon (wild, if possible), or catfish once or twice a week.

Baby Steps: For daily updates on the safety of fish, visit www.epa.gov/waterscience/fish.

Everything the mother eats or drinks goes through the breast milk. Therefore, if the baby seems physically uncomfortable, it may be caused by something that the mother ate the day before. Eliminating the potentially upsetting food for a week usually takes care of it, then you may restart it after that, watching again for any discomfort. Every newborn is different and will react uniquely to different foods or spices.

Breast milk contains many different substances: lactose, milk fat, proteins, minerals, antiinflammatory substances, enzymes that aid in the baby’s digestion, and immunoglobulins that protect the baby against some infections. However, it is lower in fluoride as well as in vitamins D and K.

Although breastfeeding is considered the best nutrition for an infant, breast milk unfortunately doesn’t provide enough vitamin D-a vitamin essential for the development of strong bones and fighting a disease called rickets. If you’re breastfeeding, you can start giving vitamin D in the first month. In the United States, formulas have enough vitamin D added.

The sun helps the body make vitamin D naturally. But because of the risks of being in the sun (skin cancer), most of us use sunscreen. The sunscreen prevents vitamin D from being made in the body. Moreover, it’s not recommended for young infants to be out in direct sun.

All breastfed babies should be given vitamin D, which comes in the form of a solution and is given with a dropper directly into the baby’s mouth. Try to give it between feedings, just in case the baby doesn’t like it and spits it up. It won’t interfere with the rest of the feedings. Make sure you follow the instructions. It’s not a prescription vitamin. Your doctor will tell you when to change the vitamin as the baby grows.

Definition: Rickets is a disease of the bones when they aren’t mineralized and become soft. As a result, bones can easily break, or serious malformations can result. It happens because there is not enough vitamin D, calcium, and phosphate in the body. This is either because of poor diet (for example, breastfed babies who don’t get vitamin D, or because of certain diseases such as kidney and liver diseases, and celiac disease, among others). There are still many countries, unfortunately, where rickets is common.

If the mother is on any medication, she may continue taking it, in most cases. Always ask your obstetrician or pediatrician before starting or stopping a new medication. Smoking or drug use should be stopped while breastfeeding. Alcohol in moderation, such as one or two alcoholic drinks per week (with a lower alcohol level) may not be harmful. It takes 30-90 minutes for the alcohol level to peak and up to 13-16 hours to be eliminated completely. The stronger the alcohol level, the more time it takes to clear.

The breastfeeding mother needs to eat well and keep well hydrated with lots of water.

The above is an excerpt from the book The Essential Guide to Baby’s First Year by Erika Landau, M.D., and Abigail Brenner, M.D. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

Copyright © 2011 Erika Landau, M.D., and Abigail Brenner, M.D., authors of The Essential Guide to Baby’s First Year.

Oh-so-soft for little ones – this smartly designed 3 IN 1 K’tanCloth from Baby K’tan is a nursing cover, blankie and burp cloth all in one! Made of extremely soft 3-ply cotton, the K’tan Cloth features velcro to ensure that it stays put when attached to a stroller, the Baby K’tan Baby Carrier, nursing tank, or diaper bag. Plus, it has an open pocket at the bottom, this handy cloth stays open when in use as a burp cloth to catch inevitable spit-up and drool from baby!

For breastfeeding mamas, the cloth can be used as a discreet nursing cover while on-the-go, but is small enough that it can be tucked away easily into a diaper bag or purse when not in use or attached to a carrier or stroller. Plus, it makes a great shade for baby in a pinch when out in the sun! The K’tanCloth arrives packaged with two cloths in neutral colors, white with black piping and white with beige piping. It makes a fabulous gift for both new moms and seasoned moms who are expecting!

The K’tanCloth costs an affordable $24.99, and can be found online at www.babyktan.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

There are tons of nursing covers available today and it can be quite a task for a nursing mom or mom-to-be to sort through all the different styles and designs to find the perfect one for her!

To help moms become familiar with what is available below are the most common types and the pros and cons of each so that moms can make an informed decision without searching endlessly for information.

Which Nursing Cover is Right for You?

Ponchos

Ponchos go on directly over the head, have full coverage around the front sides and back and fall down to the hips. These are very modern and new to the nursing cover market. The DRIA Nursing Cover is probably the best known.

• Pros: These are full coverage but made of comfortable, breathable material. More modern and available in a variety of prints that can be worn just as a fashion accessory with a pair of jeans. These also double as a car seat and stroller cover.

• Cons: Because these tend to be made of high-quality fabrics and are more versatile than just a nursing cover, they are a bit more expensive than other covers.

Shawls

Shawls are similar to ponchos but are usually much shorter, falling just below the belly-button. They go over the head and cover the shoulders. They do not have any arm holes so it is completely open underneath.

• Pros: These are usually more lightweight than other covers and easy to hold the baby while getting situated.

• Cons: Large neck hole often slips off the shoulders so it is difficult to keep in place. Capes tend to be very short in front and back leaving exposed skin. Not very fashionable – stands out and is obvious to everyone that mom is nursing.

Slings

Slings hang over one shoulder and cross the front of mom’s body to the opposite side’s hip and around the back. The baby rests in the sash on mom’s belly.

• Pros: These are great for carrying newborns and many can be used for nursing. Designed for the mom who is very comfortable nursing in public as they do not cover the baby. Good for hot climates because the baby is exposed.

• Cons: Babies can be easily distracted since they are out in the open. The nipple is also exposed prior to latching and some breast will always show. Moms need to wear a button-down shirt or nursing blouse. They are a bit difficult to put on and get situated.

Aprons

Aprons are designed similar to a kitchen apron, with a loop that goes over the head and is open on the back and sides.

• Pros: Lightweight, easy to put on with one hand. Aprons are longer in the front than a lot of other covers.

• Cons: Does not cover your back or sides so mom needs to wear a button-down shirt or special nursing blouse to stay covered.

Each type of nursing cover has its positive and negative aspects and it really depends on mom’s level of comfort nursing in public on much coverage she may need.

About the Author: S. Sparks is a writer for small businesses and online stores with an emphasis on health and beauty. Some of her most recent work includes articles and press for Budget Wine sites and San Diego DUI Lawyer sites.

*Image provided by DRIA Nursing Cover.*

Mom” recently had the distinct pleasure of being introduced to Melvita, the #1 organic-certified beauty brand from France. This lovely collection of organic products for both mothers and their babies is specifically formulated to be hypoallergenic, alcohol-free and oil-free – perfect for cleansing, soothing and protecting even the most sensitive skin.

Tested by pediatricians and dermatologists, Melvita has created a full line for baby which includes: Shampoo Shower, Cleansing Milk, Moisturizing Milk, Changing Cream, Cleansing Water, Massage Oil, Nappy Change Milk, and Cold Cream Soap.

Mom” especially found the Cleansing Water to be a unique concept – this refreshing water for babies can be applied with a cotton pad or washable wipe, and leaves tender skin clean and smelling sweetly without having to immerse your little one in water. Perfect for times when you need to clean up baby quickly, especially while on-the-go! Another favorite is the Massage Oil, which contains Calendula, Argan and Carrot Oils. This light, relaxing oil glides on without feeling greasy and is wonderfully soothing to baby.

For mothers, Melvita offers 3 fabulous products: Stretch Mark Prevention, Body Milk, and Nipple Balm. The Nipple Balm is both food-based and organic, and does not need to be washed off before breastfeeding baby, as it is safe for ingestion. (a BIG improvement over petroleum-based products!)

This organic line makes a wonderful baby shower gift for both the mama-to-be and her eagerly awaited child. To learn more about Melvita, or to order their organic products for baby & mum, please visit their website.

About Melvita

Melvita offers skin, hair and personal care for the whole family as well as nutritional supplements and its own line of organic honey, that retail between $3 and $56. Founded in the Ardèche, France by beekeeper and biologist Bernard Chevilliat in 1983, Melvita (meaning “honey and life” in Latin) has always been a passionate advocate for the complete organic lifestyle. Each of Melvita’s products carries the prestigious ECOCERT certification, certifying its products are organic and ecological, including packaging and company practices. For more information and to view an inspirational video that explains the heritage and mission of Melvita, visit http://usa.melvita.com.

*Company generously provided samples & images for this review.*

From Earth Mama Angel Baby® comes this wonderful (and FREE!) resource for moms-to-be and nursing moms – A Comprehensive Guide to Herbs and Breastfeeding. This practical guide is jam-packed with tips and advice to mothers who plan to breastfeed or are nursing their babies. An essential reference for every mom, click here to download your copy.

In addition, Earth Mama Angel Baby® is offering Tiny Green Mom readers a 20% disocunt on their Organic Milkmaid Tea. Simply use the code Milkmaid20 upon checkout.

*This is not a paid advertorial. Please see disclosure.*

Mom” at Tiny Green Mom is loving these link picks!

How Long Should You Breastfeed? on Empowering Mommy.

Dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup on Go Green Street.

Vegan Singer Alanis Morrisette Talks About “Compassionate Female Energy” on Ecorazzi.

The NY Times has a Green Blog!