Archive for the ‘Breastfeeding’ Category

Earthley Earth Day Sale

Get your cart ready! This is a ONE DAY sale for Earth Day 4/22. Watch for the code on 4/22.

Are you getting enough Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin at all; it is a pre-hormone. It helps to regulate many of the hormones in our bodies, as well as the use of other vitamins. There are two major types: D2, or ergocalciferol; and D3, or cholecalciferol. D3 is more natural and much better absorbed. Most fortified foods contain D2, because it is cheaper.

Vitamin D is essential to absorb calcium and promote proper bone health. Children who are not exposed to enough Vitamin D often experience soft, fragile or misshapen bones.

Did you know that between 75-90% of people are said to be deficient in Vitamin D (depending on skin pigment), according to the National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20133466

Making sure you have optimal levels of Vitamin D can decrease your chance of:

❌ Heart Disease
❌ Cancer
❌ Diabetes
❌ Depression
❌ Fatigue
❌ Weakness
❌ Pain
❌ Cardiovascular Disease.

Studies have shown that doses of 800–5,000 international units of Vitamin D per day can improve musculoskeletal health by naturally slowing aging of the skeletal structure and reducing the rate of fractures and falls in older adults that are over 65. Spending just ten minutes per day in the natural sunshine can increase your Vitamin D absorption by up to 10,000 units – yet unfortunately most people do not go outside often enough and most people do not go outside often enough and most occupations require people to work indoors.

Did you know? Increased sunlight exposure and circulating levels of vitamin D are associated with the reduced occurrence and mortality in many types of cancer.

Sources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3355893/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17556697

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0199265

Vitamin D has also been shown to protect against autoimmune disease by protecting cells from inflammation.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15585788

Read more: https://draxe.com/nutrition/vitamin-d-deficiency-symptoms/

There are very few food sources of vitamin D (other than the sun!). Cod liver oil remains the best source but is important to balance it with vitamin A for optimal absorption, which is why a whole-food source like cod liver oil is the best idea.

Do you feel like you get enough Vitamin D? If no, read on….

Lard from pastured pigs is another good source; fish is a minor source (salmon, tuna, mackeral). All plant sources unfortunately only contain only D2, which is not well absorbed.

Vitamin D requires fat to be absorbed, because it is a fat-soluble vitamin. If you are not consuming enough dietary fat, you will not reap the benefits! This is why most food sources are fat like lard or fatty sources like mackeral.

Interestingly, these same fats can protect your skin from the sun so that you do not burn. Consume plenty of saturated fats, and plenty of water while you are in the sun (or when you get sun frequently) to minimize burns and maximize synthesis.

How do you know if you are vitamin d deficient?

According to Mercy Medical Center 42% of Americans are!

“About 42% of the US population is vitamin D deficient with some populations having even higher levels of deficiency, including pre-menopausal women, those with poor nutrition habits, people over age 65, Caucasians who avoid even minimal sun exposure, and those who take prescription medication long term for heartburn, acid reflux, and constipation. Studies show people with darker skin, such as African Americans and Latinos, are also at risk for lower vitamin D levels because high amounts of melanin in skin reduce the body’s ability to produce vitamin D from sunlight. In addition, certain chronic conditions—such as celiac disease, bariatric surgery, obesity, and chronic kidney or liver disease—can contribute to deficiency.”
https://www.cantonmercy.org/healthchat/42-percent-of-americans-are-vitamin-d-deficient/

“Of the 4962 participants interviewed in this study by NHANES 2011-2012, 1981 (39.92%) were vitamin D deficient (serum levels less than 50 nmol/L), a proportion that has remained consistent since 2005-2006, when NHANES found 40% of the population to be vitamin D deficient.”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6075634/

Do you experience:

➡️ Frequent Illness
➡️ Fatigue
➡️ Poor quality of sleep
➡️ Hair Loss
➡️ High Blood Sugar
➡️ Depression
➡️ Slow healing wounds
➡️ Muscle Pain
➡️ Obesity
➡️ Anxiety
➡️ Back Pain
➡️ Chronic Inflammation
➡️ Auto Immunity

Earthley’s natural Vitamin D Cream is based on cod liver oil, which contains both vitamins A and D, as well as some vitamin E and K2. The fat-soluble vitamins are balanced so that they can be used by the body in the easiest way possible, allowing it to be the most beneficial.

Contains approximately:
150 IU vitamin D
1500 IU vitamin A
Trace amounts of vitamin E
Trace amounts of vitamin K2
Per 1 tsp.

I have always had low Vitamin D levels despite taking high doses of Vitamin D supplements. I started using Earthley’s vitamin D cream and has bloodwork done about 6 weeks later and for the first time in forever, my levels were normal! And even during winter months! This stuff works! Learn more about this cream here.

Learn more here: https://modernalternativemama.com/2011/4/4/monday-health-wellness-vitamin-d/

Handmade herbal tinctures

At Earthley we provide a wide variety of herbal remedies and that includes herbal tinctures. 🌿

Some of the herbal remedies we offer are:

🌿 Anti-Inflammatory
This herbal extract helps to calm the body, reduce inflammation, and provide immune support.

🌿 Anxiety Relief
This gentle, yet powerful formula can: Relieve anxious feeling, encourage calm mood, improve mental clarity and focus, improve sleep quality and reduce depression symptoms.

🌿 Calm and Clarity
Helps to promote even mood, better energy, and better mental clarity.

🌿 Candida Cleanse
Fight the overgrowth of Candida and inflammation, and support your liver naturally.

🌿 Cough Be Gone
This tincture can remove extra mucus, soothe sore throats, and promote lung health and detoxification.

🌿 Digest-Ease
Get relief from indigestion, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and bloating.

🌿 Digest-Support
Promote better nutrient absorption and, as a result, alleviate symptoms like gas, bloating, indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea.

🌿 Ease the Ache
Perfect for menstrual cramps, bloating, “heavy” feeling, heavy bleeding, mood swings, postpartum period.

🌿 Elderberry
This blend of immune-boosting herbs is like a one-two punch for colds, coughs, sore throats, and more, in a shelf-stable elderberry drops tincture.

🌿 Energy Plus
Herbal iron supplement is made from herbs that are rich in natural iron, vitamin C, and B-complex.

🌿 Feel Better Fast
Knock out coughs, sniffles, upset tummies, keep fevers in a safe range, and get you and your kiddos back on their feet.

🌿 Fertili-Boost
To help women prepare for a healthy pregnancy, and promote healthy fertility!

🌿 Immune-Biotic
Uses immune-supporting herbs to give your body a jump start to fight off germs. Take for three to seven days and kick that cold or flu to the curb.

🌿 Liver Love
Supports liver function and detox.

🌿 Mama’s Magic Milk Boost
Natural ways to increase breast milk, you have found the best lactation supplement on the market.

A tincture is a super-concentrated herbal solution.

This is how we make herbal tinctures:

Dry herbs are weighed out into a measuring cup to get a precise amount, and then poured into 1-gallon glass jars. Once all the herbs are added, we add alcohol or glycerin (diluted to the proper ratios). The jars then head to the shelf to sit for 4 weeks, before they’re strained and bottled.

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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Extreme breastfeeding – 20/20
Nursing is more than breastfeeding
Why doctors are so wrong about solids

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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Organic Milk vs Hormone Free Milk

Alison asked if hormone-free milk was as good as organic.

As for as Organic milk vs hormone free, neither will have the hormone added, but the hormone “free”-only will still have pesticide residue. Organic milk comes from cows fed an organic diet – grain or grass. In most cases, organic cows are treated better (more room per cow, most organic cows graze in an open pasture), while conventional cows don’t have much room to move around. So that to me even means healthier milk since cows treated better tend to be healthier anyway, thus not needing antibiotics, etc.

art_rbst_free_milk_cnn

Hormone free vs organic – cows naturally produce hormones, so the milk is not entirely hormone free, however no synthetic hormones are added (which to me is still better than conventional milk). However, it seems as though “hormone-free” is more of a marketing term.

CNN also reported on this topic pointing out research has shown there is no difference in milk from cows treated with rbST and cows that were not. However, the author echos many who feel “science” and the FDA has let us down before and consumers are questioning the safety of, well everything.

But then again, Natural News debunks that and gives a glowing review of why adding hormones is not good, including pus getting into the milk from these cows who often get mastitis due to the overproduction of milk and these cows are then given antibiotics to treat the mastitis infection. Now, who wants all that in their milk?

Benefits of Organic Milk
Here is another very good article showing the benefits of organic milk vs conventional milk. Such benefits include less pesticide contamination, more vitamins and antioxidants, improves the quality of breastmilk and helps prevent asthma and eczema in children. Read the entire article for more benefits.

SFMilk-FamilyAs for as choosing a good organic milk, first things first – Horizon milk is not really organic, which is really sad considering it is the best selling brand of organic milk. There are several links on there, one of which is a link to thorough research of many organic brands of milk rated on how “organic” they really are. So if you choose to stay/go organic, you can choose a good brand. Also, you can usually sign up on the manufacturer’s website and get coupons — for example, Stonyfield Farm or Organic Valley may send out coupons in a newsletter.

We eat the “dirty dozen” fruits and veggies (mostly these are the ones where the outer skin is exposed like peaches, grapes, strawberries, potatoes, apples…) these are the ones that will have the most pesticides and bananas for example, do not have near as many pesticides since it is protected by a thick peel. So I get organic apples, but not bananas. I say that to give you an example that there are tradeoffs. You don’t have to go 100% organic on everything. To me, milk is one of those areas where the benefit definitely shows organic to be better.

Certainly cost is a factor. I get our milk from Whole Foods. If you drink a lot of milk or you have room in your freezer, Whole Foods gives you 10% off if you purchase a case of milk (4 gallons). We go through that in about 10-14 days, so I do this sometimes, but it’s a little hard to drink that much milk when we still give our 3 year old whole milk. And I am not sure about freezing milk, have not tried it, but know people who have with great success. And as mentioned, you can usually sign up to get newsletters which may contain coupons.

Related Articles
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Diapers on sale!

Diapers.com is having a sale on diapers. Check out their great sale. Save an additional $10 by using coupon code AMOMS10 at checkout! Code applies to new customers.

Diapers.com has expanded their offerings and now offers all kinds of gear, trinkets and whatnot for babies, including feeding supplies for breastfeeding, bottle feeding and solids; cloth diapering; strollers and other gear; toys including wood; formula and so much more!

Don’t forget to use coupon code AMOMS10 to save $10! Oh, and if you spend $49+ you will also get free 2 day shipping! 

Shop now because the sale ends at the end of February!

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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Kids Lungs Benefit from Longer Breastfeeding

I thought this study was very interesting. In a nutshell, the study concluded that children breastfed exclusively for at least 4 months, had greater lung capacity and airflow than those children who were bottle fed. The study surveyed 1033 10 year olds, in 3 different groups. One was exclusively breastfed, the other exclusively bottle fed and the last group a mix of breast and bottle.

The greatest benefit was among those who were breastfed the longest and no benefits was shown for those breastfed less than 4 months.

The interesting part is the benefit is not believed to be from the breastmilk, but from the act of suckling since it takes more effort to extract milk from the breast than the bottle.

“The physical exercise caused by suckling at the breast – about six times daily on average for more than 4 months — may result in increased lung capacity and increased airflow in breast-fed children compared with bottle-fed children,” Dr. Ikechukwu U. Ogbuanu told Reuters Health.

Read the entire article here.

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Extreme Breastfeeding — 20/20

OK, so I didn’t watch 20/20’s episode on Extreme Mothering. I was interested in the breastfeeding portion, but I knew the stance they would take, so I didn’t even bother watching.

It almost humors me that people are so against “extended breastfeeding” when they know absolutely nothing about breastfeeding period. Breastfeeding is a wonderful experience and the American Academy of Family Physicians, the World Health Organization and UNICEF all recommend a MINIMUM of 2 years of breastfeeding. That’s just the bottom requirement. It’s like getting a D, you just passed.

The mother featured in the 20/20 episode was breastfeeding her 6 year old. Her older 2 children also breastfed for about that long as well. All 3 kids are great, outgoing kids. Nature supports breastfeeding until about 8 years of age, so this mother/child relationship still has a few good years in it. 🙂

Nature supports extended breastfeeding for many reasons:

1. The natural age of weaning is approximately 2.5 – 7 years of age with 4 as the median age.

2. During childhood, the child’s immune system is still developing, thus the antibodies in mama’s milk offer immunity support during these years.

3. Between the ages of 5 and 8 a child’s milk teethfall out, permanant teeth come in and the jaw line changes in such the child loses the suckling reflux necessary for nursing.

4. The brain is still developing and breastmilk offers the best balance of fats needed for this development.

There are many biological reasons and this mom does a great job of outlining them here.

There are many great reasons to breastfeed period, other than the ease of it — healthier child, lower cancer rates for mom and child, great bonding experience, higher child IQ, lower rates of diabetes, fewer ear infections, etc. Plus, breastmilk is great for curing many common ailments like pink eye, cold sores, diaper rash, ear infections, etc.

So really people, if you don’t know your facts, don’t comment on how breastfeeding past a certain age or milestone (like you must stop when a baby gets teeth — that is just ridiculous!), because the facts just are not on your side. Now you may not like it or agree with it, which is fine, but that is your opinion and nothing more. My daughter weaned at 28 months when I was halfway through my pregnancy with my son. My husband was like all the naysayers, but once he saw what great benefits it had for our daughter, he is now a lactavist! We will also let our son wean himself when he and I are ready.

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