Posts Tagged ‘breastmilk’

Lead found in Medela Cooler Carrier

Apparently I am behind the times on this one. Last year, the Center for Environmental Health tested the Medela Cooler Carrier and found traces of lead. I was less than thrilled to hear about this since I have been carrying my daughter’s organic milk in it to daycare for the last 2 years and used it to carry the breast milk I pumped for her at work for over a year.

Medela believes the coolers are safe and lead free, but, being the great company they are, are gladly replacing them if you are concerned. So mine is on its way back to Medela. The downside is it takes 6 weeks to receive the replacement and since I am pumping now for my 4 month old son, I needed something now.

So I went to www.reusablebags.com where this is a selection of lead-free bags. I got a Munchler’s lunch backback for my daughter to carry her milk – CUTE!!!! She will be able to use this bag for a long time. Very cute and durable. It’s a backpack style, so she can easily put it on and carry it. Highly recommend.

For my son I purchased an ACME lunch bag which works perfectly for baby bottles, much better than the likely lead-tainted freebies that you get in the hospital. I got a second one in another color that I use to carry the pumped milk. It’s a little big for that purpose, but I will be able to use the bag for lunches or otherwise when I am done pumping, which is what I wanted anyway.

Check all your milk, bottle and lunch cooler bags. Many are made of vinyl/PVC and likely contain lead. There are many very cute, lead free options available, so why risk lead exposure?

Even though the food or milk may not come in direct contact with the bag, contamination is still probable since you touch the bag, then your food, your breast pump parts, whatever the case may be.

Click here to find out if your Medela cooler is affected and if so how to return your Medela Cooler for a refund or replacement.

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Larrivo maternity nursingwear review and giveaway!!

I used to think nursing tops were not necessary, just another way for someone to make some money. Then Judy from A Mother’s Boutique asked if I would try Larrivo’s Emily nursing tunic, so I agreed. The first night I used this as sleepwear, I totally got the whole nursing top thing. It was soooo much easier than wrestling with an oversized t-shirt while half-awake at 3am as my son was desperately trying to latch on.

Showing drop cup access in Madison

Now I want to know if this baby comes in long sleeved versions as it’s getting right cold outside, and is there such a thing as a nursing robe for those cold nights, or is that taking things a bit too far?

I now wish I would have invested in a couple nursing tops and dresses that I could have worn to church, weddings and other family events that I have attended during my nursing career. The investment would have paid for itself. Yes, I’m kicking myself. After all, this is my 2nd child and my first nursed for more than 2 years. I admit I am a little slow to adapt.

The tunic has a built-in bra, so you don’t have to lift your shirt (and expose that post-baby belly), or dig down the neck opening to unsnap the cup when you are trying to discreetly nurse in public, or battle a hungry baby. It also features easy-to-use and drop down cups that snap open and closed easily with one hand (very important).

I have the tunic in Skye. Alone it looks like sleepwear, but when you pair it with some cute leggings and a jacket, you are ready for a day (or night) out on the town. Or for a business look, I think the Skye cami would look really cute under a sand-colored suit. Also, the empire waist style is forgiving – it’s slightly ‘flowy’ helping to disguise that lingering baby belly. Or can even be worn throughout pregnancy.

Comfort is also important, and the Emily nursing tunic delivers. It’s very soft and offers good bra support as well. It’s definitely comfortable to sleep in, so you know it will be comfortable for any event.

The Larrivo Emily nursing wear is a winner in my book!

You can buy Larrivo nursing tops at A Mother’s Boutique or enter to win one here! Winner will receive their choice of the tunic or dress style in either the Skye or Madison Garden print.

To be entered into this contest please leave a comment on this post which tells us which is your favorite type of nursing access – drop cup or empire – In addition, please tell us if you think you would wear these pieces for sleepwear or daywear – This is MANDATORY in order to be considered for a prize.

Get bonus entries!! You can enter for extra chances to win one of these great tunics or dresses by doing any of the activities below. Just be sure to come back here and leave us a comment for each one – letting us know which ones you completed.

1) Sign up to be a fan of Larrivo on facebook.

2) Spread the word! Tweet about this post and link back to it – be sure to include @greenparenting in your tweet and a link back to this page, and leave a comment here with a link to your tweet (you can do this once per day during the contest).

3) Spread the word some more! Post about this contest on facebook and tell all of your friends about it! (you can do this once per day during the contest)

4) Don’t have a blog, not on facebook or twitter? No problem, we want you to have extra chances to win too – so go ahead and send an email to any of your pregnant or nursing friends. Be sure to cc: us on your email (bhamgreenparent@gmail.com) and leave a comment here too! We promise not to add anyone to any mailing lists unless they specifically request to be added.

5) Purchase any item from Larrivo in A Mother’s Boutique Store – and leave a comment here with the last 4-digits of your order number. You will get 4 extra chances to win for every purchase!

That’s it! Lots of ways to win a tunics or chemise dress from Larrivo!! This contest ends 12/29/09 at 11:59pm EST. All entrants will be verified and must complete the mandatory entry before completing the ‘extra’ entries. Invalid entries will be disqualified. This contest is open to people with US-based delivery addresses ONLY. Winner must respond to email within 48 hours or we reserve the right to choose another winner.

Disclosure:
This product was received free of charge from Larrivo and A Mother’s Boutique. No compensation was received for writing this review. The opinions expressed here are my own fully, honest opinions and in no way was influenced by receiving this product.

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Chemicals that could contaminate baby formula

Recently parents have been scared by melamine tainting baby formula, even in the US, but the Daily Green has a list of 5 chemicals that could be lurking in infant formula and offers tips on how to reduce your baby’s exposure to these chemicals.

Obviously, breastfeeding is the best way to avoid this situation, eventhough yes breastmilk can contain chemicals as well. But the many benefits to breastmilk far outweigh these risks.

The 5 chemicals that could be found in formula are BPA (from the lining of the metal cans); chemicals such as weed killer, pesticides, arsenic, etc. found in water that is used to mix the formula; manufacturing by-products; MSG; and genetically modified ingredients.

Simple solutions include using BPA free bottles and sippy cups for feeding and organic formula (such as Earth’s Best or Baby’s Only) in plastic (not metal) containers.

To read the entire article and learn more tips on how to protect your baby here

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Did the plastics industry write the FDA’s report on BPA?

I found this article awhile back saying the FDA’s report on the safety of BPA, released in August, may have been written by the folks at the plastics industry, who obviously have a large stake here.

MILWAUKEE, WISC.; October 23, 2008 (WPVI) — A government saying that bisphenol A, a controversial chemical in plastics was safe came largely from research supplies by the plastics industry.

In a special report, writers for the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal say the FDA’s own documents say most of the work was prepared by major stakeholders in keeping bisphenol A, also called BPA, on the market.

That includes Stephen Hentges, executive director of the American Chemistry Council’s group on bisphenol A, who commissioned a review of all studies of the neurotoxicity of bisphenol A and submitted it to the FDA. The FDA then used that report as the foundation for its evaluation of the chemical on neural and behavioral development. The American Chemistry Council is a trade group representing chemical manufacturers.

The FDA’s report, which came out in August, said concerns about BPA were unfounded. It is used in baby bottles, water bottles, the linings of infant formula containers, dental sealants, eyeglasses, and inside food cans.

One month later, advisers from the National Toxicology Program – an FDA advisory panel – came to the opposite conclusion – that there is cause for concern on how BPA affects fetuses, infants, and children, as well as how it affects development of the brain and prostate gland.

A congressional committee is now investigating the August report, and the FDA’s links to the plastics industry. The agency had been criticized before for using industry figures to make its case for BPA’s safety. The FDA has promised to do an independent study on BPA safety, but that has yet to be done.

Bisphenol A has been detected in the urine of 93% of those tested.

Last weekend, the Canadian government officially declared BPA as a toxin, and banned its use in baby bottles and children’s products.

Numerous university studies on BPA using lab aninmals showed the potential for serious health effects.

A government committee is currently analyzing the initial FDA report finding no harm. Its report is due out on in Washington next Friday, October 31st.

/end article

Additionally, there was a report earlier this week that one of the top FDA officials reviewing the BPA case accepted a bribe from the plastics industry. 

The good news is there are folks in the US who are taking action.
Attorneys general of 3 states have written letters to 11 companies asking them to ban the use of BPA in their products. This includes popular bottle and formula makers.
– The Environmental Working Group continues to study BPA in formula and issue the findings so parents can choose safer formulas.
– Blogs by concerned parents are helping spread the word and providing parents with lists of BPA-free options so they may choose safer products for their children.

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BPA free bottles, sippy cups and food storage

Updated 2/10/10

Most parents are ready to pull their hair out trying to find BPA-free products for their kids. So I have compiled a cheat sheet to help you wade through the large selection of bottles, sippy cups, storage containers, snack cups, etc.

If you are aware of a BPA-free bottle or sippy that is not on the list, please let me know and I will add it. That said, this may not be a comprehensive list as new products are released all the time. Additionally, please be aware that Avent, Dr. Brown’s, Nuby, Gerber and others DO have products made of polycarbonate plastics and therefore NOT BPA free, so please choose wisely. I hope this relieves some concerns or helps you select products that are considered safe.

BPA FREE BOTTLES
Adiri Natural Nursers 
Avent: Avent “Via” disposable bottles, Avent BPA-free bottles, Avent Tempo Liners 
Babisil Silbottles 
BornFree – All bottles and cups BPA free (9oz bottle, 5 oz bottle) *see note
Dr Brown’s: Glass Bottles (all vent system pieces BPA Free), Dr. Browns Polypropylene bottles
Evenflo: EvenFlo Glass bottles, Classic Tinted Polypropylene bottles
Gerber: Gerber Clearview, Fashion Tints (also called “Plastic Pastels”), Gerber GentleFlow
Green to Grow Bottles **see note
Innobaby Silicone Bottle

Medela: All bottles (newer version, standard bottles)
Munchkin Dora BPA Free bottle 
Momo: Momo Glass Bottles, Plastic Wide Neck Bottles, Silicone Bottles
Nuby: Standard Neck Non-Drip Bottle, Wide-Neck Non-Drip Bottle, Wide-Neck Bottle with Handles and Non-Drip Nipple, Standard Neck Bottle with Handles and Non-Drip Nipple, 3-Stage Wide Neck Easy Grip Feeding System with Non-Drip Nipple, Silicone Bottle
Nuture Pure Glass bottles 
Parent’s Choice Bottles (available at Walmart)
Playtex: Original Nurser, Opaque Soft Bottle (discontinued), Playtex Drop in liners
Sassy: MAM bottles (UltiVent), Baby Food Nurser Kit 
Siliskin Glass Bottles 
ThinkBaby Bottles (Whole Foods carries these as well)
Thermobaby glass bottles
Tommee Tippee Easyflow Bottle to Cup
Weego Glass Bottles

BPA FREE SIPPY CUPS
Avent Magic Cups 
Boon Sippy 
BornFree sippy/drinking cups
Evenflo: Fun Sip Insulated Spill-proof Cup, Fun Sip Insulated Straw Cup
Kleen Kanteen

Gerber: Sip & Smile Spill-proof Cup, Easy Grip Insulated Soft Straw Cup, Insulated Cool Cup, Gerber® Fun Grips® Cup, Gerber® Fun Grips® Color Change Cup, Grins & Giggles Spill-proof Cup, Gerber® Sip & Smile™ Cup 
GrowPure Multi-Stage Feeder and Sippy Cup 
iPlay Aqua Bottle
Kid Basix The Safe Sippy 
Munchkin: Cupsicle, Cupsicle Straw Cup, Big Kid Sippy Cup, Mighty Grip Flip Straw Cup, Mighty Grip Trainer Cup, licensed character Sports Bottles, Re-usable Straw Cups, Re-usable Spill-proof Cups 
Nuby: No-Spill Sports Sipper, Insulated Soft Silicone Spout Cup, Soft Spout Easy Grip Cup, Gripper Cup with Soft Silicone SpoutTinted Mega Sipper, 7oz Tumblers
Playtex: Coolster Tumbler, Insulator, Einstein Sip & Discover Training Cup, Sipster, Create My Own, Quick Straw, Insulator Sport, Sip and Discover, First Sipster, Einstein Sip & Discover Insulated Straw Cup
SIGG Toddler Water Bottles (new version, bronze inner coating contains BPA, new version does not)
The First Years: Take & Toss, Spill-proof Cup, Insulated Cup, Licensed character sippy cups, Insulated Spill-proof Cup, 2 Handled Cups
Thermos Foogo Sippy Cups, and FUNtainer Straw Bottles
ThinkBaby Training Cup 
Tommee Tippee First Cup, Easiflow Cup, Easiflow Insulated Cup, Easiflow Open Cup, Tip It Up CupLansinoh Bottles (all)

BPA FREE MILK / LIQUID / POWDER STORAGE
Ameda Mother’s Milk Storage Bags
Avent Via 8-oz. Nurser Kit 
Avent Snack Cup / Formula Dispenser 
Baby Cubes 
Bailey Milk Storage Bags (Nurture lll pump tubing BPA Free as well)
Bailey Storage Bottles (as well as all parts of their “double collection kit”)
Dr. Brown’s Breastmilk Storage Bags
Gerber Breastmilk Storage Bags 
Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags 
Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bottles 
Mother’s Milkmate Storage bottles, and storage rack with 10 bottles 
Medela Milk Storage bottles (also have a 2.7 oz bottle) and breastpump accessories 
Munchkin Powdered Formula Dispensers
Playtex Breastmilk storage kit 
Sassy Formula Dispenser
The First Years Easy Pour Breastmilk Storage bags

Sensible Lines Milk Trays

BPA FREE BABY FOOD STORAGE
Baby Cubes 
BornFree Thermal Food Jar
First Years Take and Toss snackers 
Gerber bunch of bowls
Laptop Lunch System
Munchkin: Baby Food Grinder, Fresh Food Feeder
So Easy Fresh Baby Food Kit, and additional trays 
Thermos FUNtainer stainless steel food container

BPA FREE SNACK CONTAINERS
Boon Snack Ball
Munchkin: Snack Catcher, Snack n’ Serve Cups, Snack Dispenser
RazBaBY formula and snack dispensers 
Snack Trap 
The First Years: take and toss snack savers, 6 pack of snack cups 

** Dr Browns bottle nipples fit with Green to Grow bottles. As we know once a baby is comfy with something it’s sometimes a pain to change so it’s good to know we don’t have to change everything if we don’t have to. Alicia of The Soft Landing did a more exhaustive report on what nipples fit what bottles. Read about it on her blog here.

Visit Z Recommends for product reviews on many of these BPA-free products. They have done an outstanding job of researching and reviewing these products.

What is Bisphenol A?
Bisphenol A is a harmful chemical found in polycarbonate plastic which is used to make many popular baby bottles and sippy cups, among other things. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that mimics the action of the human hormone estrogen, which alters our body’s natural pattern. BPA can leach from polycarbonate plastic, usually a hard, clear plastic that is common of many products we use everyday. Effects at even low BPA exposure include prostate cancer, breast cancer, early puberty onset, alterations in gender-specific behavior, decreased sperm count, affects on fertility, behavioral effects including hyperactivity, increased aggressiveness, impaired learning and other changes in behavior, and other problems.

Many companies use this chemical in their packaging including cans, soda cans, and plastic food containers. There is a risk of absorbing this chemical through the use of containing foods and liquids but can also leech into our water systems through landfills.

Many leading experts argue that the use of Bisphenol is safe to the human public but research may begin to further prove otherwise. No level of BPA has been deemed as safe by independent research.

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US Government says BPA is harmful 
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BPA is found in infant formula 
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Breastmilk contains stem cells

Nursing is more than breastfeeding

I thought this was a great little article at SAFbaby.

Breastfeeding isn’t only about providing mother’s milk. While seldom recognized in literature, doctors’ advice or common conversation, there’s a whole lot more to breastfeeding than nutrition and immunity, and some of this can be achieved during bottlefeeding as well.

Breastfeeding has taken quite a bashing over the last century. In order to rebuild acceptance of breastfeeding, breastfeeding advocates have focused on the importance its nutritive and immune support roles. But breastfeeding is designed to be much more than just providing food — it is a time for nursing, a time for comfort and nurturing. This is a time for studying and memorizing each other’s faces, for speaking or singing to your baby and developing her trust and nonverbal communication.
Read more…

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Vitamin D deficiency in breastfed babies and everyone else

This irks me every time I read about it. Breastmilk is deficient in vitamin D. Infants are at risk. Come on people!! This is sooo easy to fix. Get your but outside and get some sun on your skin!! Studies show you only need 5 to 10 minutes of sunlight (without sunscreen) 2 to 3 times a week for your body to make enough vitamin D. You also only need filtered sunlight. Darker skinned folks may need more sun to absorb enough vitamin D.

Another option to ensure your breastfed baby is getting enough vitamin D is to offer supplement drops. Don’t wait for your pediatrician to recommend them –ask about them and do so early on. A breast feeding mother also needs to ensure she is getting enough vitamin D to up the amount in her milk — get in the sun,  eat foods rich in vitamin D such as salmon, drink your milk fortified with vitamin D. Those in areas where there is limited sunlight or can’t be in sunlight should talk to their doctor about supplements. Do be careful with supplements, as taking 2 multivitamins contain too much vitamin A which can be toxic.

Vitamin D deficiency is thought to lead to certain cancers, diabetes and other diseases. So this is certainly not an issue that is isolated to infants. Everyone needs to ensure they are getting the appropriate amount of vitaman D each day.

Mininmum daily vitamin day intakes, which are set by the Institute of Medicine are: 200 IU daily for children and young adults, 400 IU for those ages 51 to 70 and 600 IU for those 71 and older. And some proponents recommend 1,000 IU per day.

Studies also show the BEST time for an infant to get vitamin D is in the womb. Children whose mothers get plenty of vitamin D during pregnancy have bigger, stronger bones at age 9. In fact, maternal vitamin D matters more than all the milk children drink in those first nine years.

I am so tired of hearing that breast feeding causes vitamin D deficiency I could scream. Yes, there are some very real side effects of vitamin D deficiency, such as rickets, but this is prevantable by ensuring the infant and mother get their recommended intake of vitamin D. Throughout history babies were breastfed, and before the invention of TV and fear of skin cancer, vitamin D deficiency was not an issue because people spent most of the day outdoors.

Everyone needs to take this issue seriously, not just mothers with breastfed infants.

New Evidence On Benefits Of Breast Feeding

Researchers in Switzerland and Australia have identified proteins in human breastmilk — not present in cow’s milk — that may fight disease by helping remove bacteria, viruses and other dangerous pathogen’s from an infant’s gastrointestinal tract.

I didn’t think this was really news, as disease fighting antibodies has long been touted as a benefit of breastfeeding. However, this study has identified WHY this is the case. Human milk contains 2 sugar-based proteins that is lacking in cow’s milk. Previous studies have shown that these proteins can block certain receptors in the GI track that are main attachment sites for E. coli, Helicobacter pylory and other disease-causing microbes, which then prevents infection. Since cow’s milk lacks these proteins, it does not offer the same protection from disease.

Read the entire article here. 

Antibacterial products contain toxin Triclosan

Go figure, in our germophobe nation, many people use antibacterial products. Over the last few years, it’s come to public light that really these products are no better than regular soap and water. If the active ingredient in your antibacterial product is Triclosan, as it is in half of all hand soaps, then you are exposing yourself (and your family) to this toxic chemical.

In a press release, EWG states

“Triclosan has been linked to cancer in lab animals, has been targeted for removal from some stores in Europe for its health and environmental risks, and the American Medical Association recommends against its use in the home. It is also linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, and low levels of triclosan may disrupt the thyroid hormone system. Thyroid hormones are essential to proper growth and development, particularly for brain growth in utero and during infancy.

Triclosan breaks down into very toxic chemicals, including a form of dioxin; methyl triclosan, which is acutely toxic to aquatic life; and chloroform, a carcinogen formed when triclosan mixes with tap water that has been treated with chlorine. Scientists surveyed 85 U.S. rivers and streams, and found traces of triclosan in more than half.”

The EWG published its own study and provides a guide on triclosan and how to avoid it and its cousin triclocarban.

This toxin poses a risk to everyone, but mostly fetuses, infants and young children. It’s found in many everyday products – such as cutting boards, shower curtains, credit cards, baby bibs, counter tops, soap and more. It can be passed by a mother to a fetus and to her infant through her breast milk.

It’s best to just avoid this toxin by reading product labels and using the EWG guide on where to look for and how to avoid it.  

Once again, the FDA is failing to protect us from toxins. Several stores in Europe are looking into banning all products containing triclosan.

I use Dr. Bronner’s soap and love it. I have eczema and it’s mild on my skin. I like the baby mild soap , but there are many other “flavors” including Hemp Eucalyptus, and Hemp Lavender; and they also have liquid versions such as Hemp Almond, Hemp Tea Tree  or Hemp Peppermint.

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Flavor of breastmilk may influence child eating habits

Any breastfeeding mother will tell you that her diet can definitely affect her milk, but this takes a step beyond that saying the varying flavor of breastmilk can influence the child’s eating habits when he starts eating solid foods. The study suggests that breastfed babies are used to a variety of flavors and are more willing to accept new foods than a formula fed baby. Formula is very bland and the flavor never changes, so a formula fed baby may not be as willing to give a new food much of a chance.

I can definitely see this with my daughter who breastfed until she was 2. She still nurses occasionally. My daughter eats pretty much anything, especially hummus, lima beans, Mexican food, broccoli, and jambalaya. She also will eat salsa and likes spicier foods. I will say that I ate a lot of all these foods when I was pregnant and nursing. Other moms I talk to (who I know formula fed) are in envy of the variety of foods she will eat.

Now of course, this is not an exact science. There will be breastfed babies who are picky eaters and formula fed ones who will eat absolutely anything you put in front of them. But for sure the flavor of breastmilk definitely changes, and that is something that is only beneficial. More research would need to be done to get a better idea of the extent breastmilk can influence a child’s eating habits later in life. And as more mother’s are making the decision to breastfeed, that could help encourage better eating habits and lower the rates of childhood obesity.

Read the entire article here.

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