Yes, breastfeeding mamas – this tops “Mom’s” list of absolute must-haves when purchasing items for a new baby! My Brest Friend has been a tried and true friend throughout breastfeeding as it is firm and attaches to you so your baby can lay comfortably when resting or feeding. It is not floppy, bulky or unstable – plus, with the strap that goes around your body, it stays put! Initially recommended by another friend who breastfed her son, My Brest Friend has lasted through infancy and beyond in “Mom’s” house! Even other family members have been known to wear it when feeding baby with a bottle of breast milk – because it is nice and firm, it makes both bottle feeding and breastfeeding a breeze.

If you are an expectant mom searching for the essentials to buy before baby is born, My Brest Friend should be at the top of your list, and if you are searching for a gift that will really be appreciated by the mommy-t0-be, this is it! (well, this and a cleaning service!)

To learn more about My Brest Friend, or to order online, visit www.onestepahead.com.

*Images provided by One Step Ahead.*

 

Nursing mamas want to feel comfortable and confident when feeding their little ones while on-the-go! The Simply Good Nursing Cover Duo makes this possible – the cover stays firmly in place with high-grade Velcro tabs, and it is lightweight so it will keep both mom & baby cool. Plus, the larger ridged opening at the top makes it easy for mom to view her little one as the baby is nursing. With an attachable burp cloth to quickly wipe up dribbles and drool, this nursing cover duo should be renamed the dynamic duo!

For fashionistas who don’t want to throw the baby’s swaddle blanket loosely over their chest & shoulders, the Nursing Cover Duo is available in two gorgeous color patterns & styles – all with a matching burp cloth! Stylish and practical, the Nursing Cover Duo is the perfect gift for any expecting mom or even seasoned mom in need of something a bit more colorful to use while breastfeeding. “Mom” loves that the cover comes with a cute little carrying bag and additional matching burp cloth (because you just go through so many of them in a day!).

Fabulous features of the Nursing Cover Duo include:

•Interchangeable burp cloth and additional burp cloth included.
•Front pocket for storing pacifier or pad.
•Large enough to cover the entire upper body to nurse in privacy and comfort, or even to pump at the office.
•The wide rigid opening enables mom to see her baby at all times and ensures that the baby can breathe freely.
•The wide rigid opening allow mom to check that baby has latch correctly while nursing.
•The Nursing Cover and Burp cloth feature high-grade Velcro style fasteners, ensuring the cover will stay in place.
•It can be used as a shade for your baby’s delicate skin on sunny days (provides no UV protection) or even a light blanket on windy days.
•Reduces the need for mother to buy expensive specialty nursing apparel.
•Includes a matching carry bag, so moms can easily take the cover with them, or use it for dirty baby clothes.
•Includes an additional burp cloth to help ensure that one cloth is always clean and ready to go.
•Fabric is 100% quality Cotton, very breathable.
•Machine Washable.

To view tips on how to use the Nursing Cover Duo, or to order online, visit www.simplygoodus.com.

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

Your Nutrition and Breastfeeding

Good nutrition plays an important role whenever a new mother decides to breastfeed. Nursing babies are dependent upon their mothers to provide the best possible nutrition via breast milk. If you are a new mom, a healthy and balanced diet should be a priority for you while breastfeeding. Below are a few tips to help you and your baby get off to a good start.

Up Your Calories: When you are nursing, you are expending at least an additional 500 calories per day. Since your body needs to be constantly producing milk for your baby, you will have to keep your energy going strong. Speak with your doctor about what your target weight and appropriate calorie intake should be while nursing to keep you and the baby healthy.

Drink More Water: Breastfeeding mothers may feel thirstier than usual so drink at least ten 8-ounce glasses of water per day. While breastfeeding it is also important to gauge your fluid consumption. A lack of water while breastfeeding may lead to increased fatigue and constipation. You can determine if you are getting enough water by checking the color of your urine; when it appears dark and concentrated, your body’s telling you to drink more water.

Stay Clear of Alcohol: Lots of things that you consume can wind up in your breast milk – including alcohol. Alcohol can also leave you feeling drained and tired, can impact your baby’s sleep cycle, and may alter motor development and inhibit your baby’s weight gain. While the American Academy of Pediatrics says that occasional use of alcohol while breastfeeding is acceptable, it’s certainly not encouraged. If you have a drink, experts suggest waiting 2-3 hours after drinking before you begin to breastfeed.

Drink Caffeine in Moderation: While small amounts of caffeine are usually fine, some infants may be sensitive to its affects. Caffeine is approved by The American Academy of Pediatrics for breastfeeding mothers, but one study suggested that large amounts of caffeine might deplete the iron content in breast milk. Speak with your physician about your caffeine consumption and how it may impact both you and your baby. If in doubt, stick with water and juices.

Consume a Diverse Diet: A diverse diet means that a lactating mother will be able to obtain a variety of micronutrients from many sources. If you are breastfeeding, you should get your nutrients from a wide array; make certain that your diet incorporates different fruits, vegetables and grains.

Vegetarian is Fine: There are plenty of healthy vegetarians and vegans (who don’t consume any meat, eggs or dairy products) who are moms and who have successfully breastfed their babies with no ill effects. If you have either a vegetarian or vegan diet, just make sure to eat properly and take a multivitamin that’s been approved by your doctor.

Eat Frequently: While breastfeeding, how often you eat is just as important as what you eat. One of the best ways to keep your energy up is to eat several small meals each day rather than the standard three. Multiple meals will help to keep your energy levels consistent throughout the day.

Increase Your B Vitamins: B Vitamins are a group of nutrients often found together in various foods, and they promote healthy cell metabolism. When vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12 are combined they are known as “B Complex.” Since they are water soluble (meaning that excess amounts are excreted by the body through the urine), B vitamins should be taken daily.

Up Your Folic Acid, Iron and Zinc: Folic acid is instrumental in creating red blood cells and warding off anemia. Iron transports oxygen throughout our bodies and helps store it in the muscle. Zinc promotes healing as well as normal growth and development. Women who are nursing often need greater amounts of these three nutrients. Speak with your healthcare provider and ask them to recommend the amount that will be most beneficial to you and your baby.

Consider Nutritional Supplements: If you are a nursing mother who regularly suffers from certain medical conditions such as anemia, you should speak with your doctor about nutritional supplements. In some cases, both mothers and their babies will benefit from this extra nutritional boost of vitamins and minerals.

Breastfeeding is an important part of motherhood that contributes to the well being of your newborn child. Speak with your healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns about your nutritional requirements while breastfeeding. Together you will be able to develop sound guidelines certain to keep you and your baby healthy and happy.

About the Author

Carrie Atkins feels fortunate to have been able to nurse her three children as a stay-at-home mom. She also writes content for sites conducting reverse phone lookup services.

Top Tips on Breastfeeding

Although breastfeeding is actually a natural life progression, most mothers aren’t aware of the benefits that it could have on their babies. And, since a lot of negativity seems to surround the topic, first-time mothers end up getting dissuaded from maintaining this very beneficial practice. Learn more about it here.

The first couple of days after delivery, mothers don’t actually produce any milk in their breasts. Instead, they produce colostrum, which is filled with all of the nutrients that newborn babies need. Colostrum is also easy to digest, helps prevent jaundice, and provides babies with protective antibodies.

What most mothers are worried about during these earlier days is that their babies aren’t getting enough to eat. What they don’t know is that newborn babies have tiny stomachs, so instead of eating a lot at once, they need to eat small portions more frequently instead. Besides, the more frequent a mother feeds her baby, the better her milk production will be in the long run.

Another thing you should know is that babies who breastfeed exclusively don’t need any water yet since breast milk can give them all of the fluids they need. The foremilk that comes out during the beginning of each feeding quenches thirst, and if your baby is still hungry, he will stay on your breasts a little longer in order to benefit from the hindmilk that is more filling. Conversely, babies who drink formula milk need water in order to prevent constipation.

If you want to encourage breastfeeding in your baby, it would be highly recommended not to give him any pacifiers or bottles during his first month of life. Your baby has to learn how to breastfeed, too, after all, and introducing a pacifier will just confuse him since the suckling action for a pacifier isn’t the same as that of breasts.

Introducing bottles early on can cause certain problems, too. Babies are very smart and they will soon realize that it is easier to get milk out of a bottle as opposed to from a breast, so your milk supply might get destroyed faster this way. Although some babies have no trouble interchanging between breasts and bottles, this doesn’t happen all the time. So, when it comes to bottles, proceed with caution – most of all if you want to continue breastfeeding for some time.

In case you didn’t know, breastfeeding is actually encouraged for the first six months of a baby’s life. In fact, your baby won’t need any other kind of nutrition aside from your breast milk during this time. After those six months, you can start introducing solids if you want; but it would still be advisable to keep breastfeeding since babies can benefit from it up to two years of age.

About the Author

This article was written by Allice L. who writes on behalf of w3Toledo, a web design and Toledo SEO firm that recommends this Toledo storage facility.

*Image: phanlop88 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

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.

Starting out Right with Baby

By Dr. Rebecca Asmar

When you work in preventative health care, a newborn infant is somewhat of a “holy grail.” A completely clean slate at birth, the newborn offers physicians the opportunity to work purely with health optimization. No chronic symptoms to unravel, no life history to contend with, the only job is to maintain and promote proper function on all levels. Here are the seven things Dr. Asmar recommends to all new parents to maximize their baby’s health going forward.

Routine: Establishing a daily routine and sticking with it can transform not only your experience as a parent, but your child’s health. This routine should include a regular wake and sleep cycle, standard meal times and even set times to be at home or to be out of the house. As your baby learns that everything you do is to be expected and routine, he/she will be establishing a strong circadian rhythm, which will assist with proper hormone balance. Maintaining a balanced daily hormonal rhythm will improve sleep schedules, focus and attention, mood and learning.

Sunshine: Getting out in the sun is important for every human being. Exposure to the sun stimulates the production of Vitamin D beneath the surface of the skin. I mention this to all parents because recent medical advice has been to keep your baby’s delicate skin out of the sun or to cover it in sunscreen if you do go out. Never let your baby develop a sunburn, but thirty minutes of unprotected sun exposure per day is safe and healthy. And don’t forget the benefits of fresh air.

Water: Every human being needs to drink adequate amounts of water per day, but conventional wisdom has said not to dilute your baby’s nutrient intake in the form of breast milk by giving water as a drink early on. Dr. Asmar recommends that new parents start giving water right away. Start with a dropper full or two and, as your baby grows, increase this gradually until your baby is drinking the recommended ½ its body weight in ounces.

Sleep: So much happens during sleep, especially when it comes to neurological development. Memory research has shown that during the somnolent hours new learning is consolidated or stabilized in neural networks. Sleep also restores our homeostasis by providing an opportunity for micro-healing to occur. One of the most crucial parts of a baby’s routine, regular sleep patterns should be emphasized from day one. A completely dark sleep environment for your child is one of the most important factors to create.

Castor Oil: Castor oil applied externally to a baby’s abdomen will promote health and homeostasis. This therapy, in use for over 2000 years, may be the single most effective tool you will have to influence the future health of your child. Ricinoleic acid (the active ingredient in castor oil) causes contraction of vessels. For this reason, many people remember being fed it during their childhood to promote evacuation of stool. But, internal use of castor oil is no longer recommended. Instead, we recommend you use it externally to cause contraction of lymphatic vessels (just underneath the surface of the skin). The movement of lymph will enhance detoxification of your tissues, increase vigilance of the immune system and aid in healthy digestive processes by decongesting the abdominal area. In addition, the ricinoleic acid triggers autonomic nervous system activity and promotes balanced parasympathetic (rest & digest) nervous function.

Probiotics: Too many to name, numerous studies have shown the impact of probiotics on digestive and immune health in adults. Weighing over three pounds, the bacteria in our gut outnumber our own native cells. And, about 30% of every stool that passes consists of dead bacteria. Since we evacuate these cultures every day and they are so crucial to our health, we MUST replace them with the proper strains. A recent large, longitudinal study has demonstrated not only that probiotics are 100% safe in children, but that the simple use of probiotics reduces allergies and atopic eczema in infants and toddlers. The results of this study will be published in the fall of 2011.

EFAs: Crucial to the developing nervous system, DHA acts as the primary structural component of your baby’s growing brain. Without adequate intake by mom during pregnancy, her stores will get depleted as the fetus begins to steal the DHA from mom’s brain in order to build its own nervous system. The high required levels continue through at least 3 years of age. In fact, high maternal consumption of fatty fish during pregnancy has been correlated with improved infant cognition. So, due the concerns about mercury in fish, Dr. Asmar highly recommends pregnant women supplements their diets with fish oil containing at least 3 grams of combined DHA and EPA.

About the Author

Dr. Rebecca Asmar, ND maintains an open, general family practice focused on optimizing health and overcoming chronic illness. She specializes in the treatment of children, autism, diabetes, hormonal problems, autoimmune disease and cancer.

The Run: Moving Natural Medicine Forward is an extraordinary 3,250-Mile run across America! Naturopathic Physician Dr. Dennis Godby and a fantastic team are setting out to increase awareness, educate and empower people about natural health care options, preventing disease, finding and treating the cause of illness, and revitalizing the nation’s health. The RUN is the primary project of the Institute for Natural Medicine, a public advocacy non-profit organization. Learn more at http://www.therun.org.

* Image: Dynamite Imagery / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

How to Keep the Romance Alive (after the Arrival of Children)

No matter how you look at it, kids can take a bite out of your life. They demand time, attention, and love, all of which you and your spouse will likely take away from each other to give to your children. There’s nothing wrong with this; it’s only the natural order of things that the attention of parents should be diverted by their offspring. But that doesn’t mean you should completely disregard the person who helped you to create said kids. In fact, you’re going to have to make an extra effort on the relationship front if you want to keep the spark alive once children arrive on the scene. Here are just a few ways to fall back in love when your life doesn’t seem to have room for it.

1. Go on dates. There’s really no better way to rekindle romance than to get away from the kids for a while and spend some quality time alone with your partner. Every couple should be able to get out at least once a month by simply arranging for a sitter (instead of grumbling about the cost, consider that it’s far less expensive than couples therapy), although more often is even better. Or if you have family or trusted friends nearby (grandparents, godparents, etc.), see if you can’t get a weekend away every now and then. Making time to reconnect will ensure that the romance remains.

2. Ask for input. You aren’t in this alone; if you’re the only one making an effort you’re going to fail. So try talking to your partner about how you feel, explaining what you need, and then asking what he/she needs out of the relationship. It is often difficult to have these conversations, as they can be emotional affairs, but it is necessary to communicate with your partner on this level in order that each of you can fully understand the wants and needs of the other.

3. Try something new. Take a cooking class, go for a hike, or visit an art museum with your partner. It’s all too easy to fall into the rut of conversations that become boring because neither of you has anything new to say. This will quickly turn your relationship stale. By throwing new activities into the mix (even if you have your kids tag along), you’ll have something interesting to discuss, creating a bond that deepens your relationship.

4. Have fun. No matter what you’re doing, you should always try to have a good time, and you and your partner can do this together. Cooking dinner, sorting laundry, and any other mundane household chore can become a fun activity if you behave in a playful manner. So rather than letting the daily grind get you down, find ways to make it fun instead. And don’t ever hesitate to plant a smooch on your honey!

5. See a counselor. If nothing seems to be working and the rift between you and your partner is growing, then perhaps it’s time to seek professional help. By attending therapy sessions (or saving some time and money with marriage counseling online) you can get an outside perspective on your situation and begin working through some of the problems that are keeping you and your partner from connecting romantically.