Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

Breastfeeding advocacy shirt giveaways

Judy at Mother’s Boutique recently starting blogging about breastfeeding and other mommy news like getting your child to take a nap! To kick off the new year, she is giving away breastfeeding advocacy shirts for mom or baby. Visit her blog here to learn how to enter this great giveaway.

She is also having a Valentine’s Day special on pink and red maternity and nursing items in her boutique, so don’t forget to visit her store to save 25% on pink and red items with promotion code VALENTINES25.

About a Mother’s Boutique
When it comes to preparing for your new baby, A Mother’s Boutique is here to help. We carry everything you need from maternity clothing to breastfeeding clothing, nursing bras, breast pumps, slings and breastfeeding accessories.

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Infant death prompts recall of 1.6 millions cribs

I am expecting in 5 weeks and all these crib and bassinet recalls are pretty unsettling. Please check the www.cpsc.gov website to make sure you do not have a crib of bassinet affected by any of these recalls.

From USA Today:

Federal regulators announced the recall today of 1.6 million drop-side cribs following the death of an infant.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says an 8-month-old baby “became entrapped and suffocated when the drop side of the crib detached in a reassembled crib where the safety pegs were not installed.”

Other children were trapped because of the defect, the agency says.

The recall includes 985,000 Delta Enterprise cribs that were manufactured in Taiwan or Indonesia and have the ‘“Crib Trigger Lock with Safety Peg” drop side hardware design.”

“The recalled cribs have date codes ranging from 1995 though December 2005 and one model (4624) was made in 2007,” the CPSC announcement says. “The model numbers are located on the top of the mattress support board.”

The recall also involves 600,000 Delta drop-side cribs that were made in China before 2006.

“We’re erring on the side of caution,” Jack Gutt, a spokesman for New York-based Delta Enterprise, tells the Associated Press. “Anyone who calls and has these cribs that were constructed in these time periods, we’re going to send anybody and everybody either additional safety pegs or the retrofit kit.”

Learn more at www.cribrecallcenter.com. You can also call (800) 816-5304.

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Many car booster seats are not as safe for children as thought

We are in the market for a new car, so I have spent a great deal of time researching cars, safety features, etc. on the Insurance Institure for Highway Safety website. Well, today I saw they have posted results from a study they conducted on the safety of using safety booster seats in the car.

Booster seats are not restaint systems, they are meant to boost a child so the seat belt in the car will properly fit the child to offer the best protection in the event of a crash.

Here is an except from their summary:

Thirteen of the 41 belt-positioning booster seats the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety evaluated with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute did such a poor job of improving the fit of lap and shoulder belts for children that the Institute doesn’t recommend them at all. Ten models are best bets and 5 are good bets. These evaluations are the first to tell consumers how well boosters sold by US retailers improve belt fit for children in cars, minivans, and SUVs. The Institute plans to continue these assessments.

Not-recommended boosters: Boosters the Institute doesn’t recommend are the
- highback Compass B505,
- Compass B510,
- Cosco/Dorel Traveler,
- Evenflo Big Kid Confidence;
- backless Safety Angel Ride Ryte;
- combination Cosco/Dorel Alpha Omega,
- Cosco/Dorel (Eddie Bauer) Summit,
- Cosco Highback Booster,
- Dorel/Safety 1st (Eddie Bauer) Prospect,
- Evenflo Chase Comfort Touch,
- Evenflo Generations,
- Graco CarGo Zephyr, and
- Safety 1st/Dorel Intera.
At least 2 of these models have been discontinued, hopefully replaced by better designs. Booster makers sometimes reuse names and even model numbers for new seats, so manufacture dates and model numbers are important.

Best bets and good bets: The 10 best-bet boosters are the most likely to position not only lap belts but also shoulder portions correctly on many children in many vehicles.
Best bets include 3 backless seats:
- Combi Kobuk,
- Fisher-Price Safe Voyage, and
- Graco TurboBooster.
These may require plastic clips to correctly position shoulder belts.

Six highbacks are best bets:
- Britax Monarch,
- Britax Parkway,
- Fisher-Price Safe Voyage,
- LaRoche Bros. Teddy Bear,
- Recaro Young Style, and
- Volvo booster cushion.

Another best bet is the combination seat Safeguard Go when it’s used as a backless booster. Combination seats convert to boosters by removing their built-in harnesses. At least 5 of the best-bet boosters have been discontinued but still are sold.

The 5 good bets provide acceptable belt fit in almost as many vehicle belt configurations. They are highbacks
- Combi Kobuk,
- Graco TurboBooster, and
- Safety Angel Ride Ryte,

and combinations when used as highbacks.
- Recaro Young Sport and
- Safety 1st/Dorel Apex 65

“Boosters that provide better belt fit aren’t necessarily the priciest,” notes Anne McCartt, Institute senior vice president for research. “Parents don’t have to spend a lot of money for a best bet or good bet booster.” The highback Graco Turbo-Booster, for example, converts to a backless booster and retails for about $50. The backless-only version sells for about $20.

The most important thing to remember is that children need to be in a child restraint system with a 5-point harness until they outgrow the height or weight for the seat. Normally this happens around age 4. Then a child should be in a booster until they can properly fit the standard car safety belt — normally 4’9″ tall and typically 85 pounds is also recommended. A booster will help ensure the car’s safety belt fits the child properly to best protect them should an accident occur.

According to the IIHS:
Boosters are belt positioners, not restraints: When children outgrow child restraints, parents may wonder if boosters are necessary. They are, because safety belts are designed to fit adults and usually don’t fit most kids properly until they’re 4 feet 9 inches tall. About 350 children ages 4-7 die in crashes each year in the United States. An additional 50,000 are injured. Because half of the fatally injured children in this age group ride unrestrained, the first step is to get them belted. Boosters help by improving the fit, effectiveness, and comfort of adult belts.

…Using boosters lowers injury risk by 59 percent compared with belts alone, a 2003 study by the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found. A 2006 study by the same authors found that boosters reduce fatality risk among booster-age children by about 28 percent compared with belts alone.”

More information

More information on child restraints from the IIHS

PDF of booster seats the IIHS evaluated in this study

Video of evaluation

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15 things you should know to care for baby

I thought this was a pretty good little article from USA Weekend.

15 things you need to know to care for Baby
Important lessons from the latest research
By Kelly DiNardo
 
Forget sugar and spice and everything nice. Your little one is a lot more complicated than that. USA WEEKEND wants to make sure you have a recipe for success, so each year we sift through the most recent scientific studies and research to compile this list of the 15 most important findings you need to know. From getting Baby to love her green beans to avoiding tooth decay, we’ve got you covered so your child can be the focus.

1 Help kids eat veggies. “Ignore the faces Baby makes when you introduce new foods,” says Julie Mennella, one of the authors of a study published in Pediatrics that found repeated exposure to veggies increased babies’ consumption. “We gave babies a taste of green beans for several days, and after about eight days, they were more willing to eat it. They learn to like their veggies.”

2 Lower Baby’s allergy risk. Breast-feeding for four to six months may protect against food allergies, says a newly published policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “If you can’t breast-feed and you have a history of allergies, choose a low-allergen formula that’s not the regular milk or soy-based formulas,” says Scott Sicherer, M.D., author of Understanding and Managing Your Child’s Food Allergies. “Also, hold off on solid food until your baby is about 4 to 6 months.”

3 Try honey. In January, the Food and Drug Administration advised that children under age 2 should not be given over-the-counter cough and cold medicines because of potential side effects that include rapid heart rates, convulsions and death. Instead, soothe your child’s cough with a teaspoon of honey. A study done by researchers at Penn State Children’s Hospital in Hershey, Pa., compared a teaspoon of buckwheat honey, honey-flavored cough suppressant and no treatment in 105 children with an upper respiratory tract infection and found that honey worked best at calming coughs. However, do not give honey to babies under the age of 1, as there are rare but severe side effects, including infantile botulism. Instead, when Baby gets a cough or cold, treat symptoms with non-aspirin pain reliever and saline nose drops.

4 Quit smoking. Researchers at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia found that if Mom smoked before breast-feeding, her baby’s sleep was disrupted, and Baby slept for a shorter period of time. “Ideally, Mom will quit smoking,” says Mennella, who co-authored the study. “But if she doesn’t quit, she can time the breast-feeding so that Baby is minimally exposed to the nicotine in the milk. It gets into the milk within a half-hour of smoking and takes two to three hours to leave the body.”

5 Take a test. Well-child visits take about 15 to 30 minutes and cover many issues, including vaccination schedules, so it’s no surprise that when pediatricians are trying to cover so much territory, they fail to identify up to 80% of developmental delays in kids. In a Pediatrics study, researchers found that when parents completed a screening test in which they answered questions about their baby’s development, referral rates for continued evaluation increased by 224%. “Push your doctor to use a standardized developmental tool,” says Hollie Hix-Small, one of the study’s authors. She suggests completing the Ages & Stages questionnaire at asq.uoregon.edu. “It gives parents a better understanding of where their child should be.”

6 Watch Baby’s mouth. Decay in baby teeth is on the rise among 2- to 5-year-olds, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Keith Morley, D.M.D., president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, offers these tips to keep Baby’s teeth in tip-top shape:

Tips
Take Baby to the dentist at age 1.
The dentist can walk parents through a series of things to do with their little one.
Brush Baby’s teeth as soon as they come into his mouth.
Use a fluoride-free toothpaste until he can spit.
Do not let Baby take a bottle to bed if he has teeth.
The sugars in the milk or formula contribute to decay.

7 Go skin to skin. In a review of studies, researchers at Vanderbilt University found that babies who were placed on their mother’s chest with just a blanket over their back were more successful with the initial latching on to Mom’s breast and breast-fed longer. “If possible, hold your newborn there after the first [ever] breast-feeding for about two hours,” says Elizabeth Moore, one of the review’s authors.

8 Skip the bumper. Bumper pads on cribs and bassinets are meant to prevent Baby from hurting herself, but a study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that the risk of accidental death or injury outweighs their possible benefit. The researchers found that over 20 years, there were 27 accidental deaths and 25 non-fatal injuries of children between 1 month and 2 years of age that were attributed to the bumper pads.

9 Turn off the TV. Parents are ignoring the AAP recommendation that children under age 2 not watch TV. According to a study done by researchers at the University of Washington, 40% of babies are regular viewers by the age of 3 months, and 90% of2-year-olds are regular viewers. Studies have shown that early TV viewing is associated with a variety of long-term problems, such as slower development of reading and math skills. Toymakers also are introducing tech devices with screens, like children’s computers, for younger and younger kids. “I don’t see a reason to introduce those products to kids under 2,” says Frederick Zimmerman, the author of the TV study. “Interaction with other people, like parents and older siblings, is far better.”

10 Avoid unnecessary medication. “Every infant under 3 months of age is going to have reflux,” says Vikram Khoshoo, M.D. Khoshoo and researchers from West Jefferson Medical Center near New Orleans measured the reflux, or regurgitation of acid from the stomach into the esophagus, of 44 infants. They found that 42 of the babies were on anti-reflux medication, but only eight should have been. “If your child is gaining weight properly, not having recurrent respiratory problems, not excessively irritable, feeding well and not vomiting blood or bile, they do not need to be on medicine,” Khoshoo says. To help alleviate reflux, give Baby a smaller volume of milk and thicken it with rice cereal, and recline Baby at an angle of about 45 degrees during and after mealtimes. “If that does not help, the child needs to be evaluated,” Khoshoo says. “It’s not good to take unnecessary medications because we are still learning all of the effects.”

11 Check Baby’s head. Since parents have been told to put Baby to sleep on her back to avoid sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the incidence of positional plagiocephaly has increased fivefold. Positional plagiocephaly occurs when Baby’s head becomes slightly misshapen because her skull is soft, and she’s primarily sleeping on one side. Within a year or two, “as the baby starts moving around, they take care of the problem on their own,” says Monica Wehby, M.D., a spokesperson for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. She suggests rolling up a blanket and angling it under Baby’s shoulder and hip to alleviate pressure on the head. “Don’t prop the head or you’ll risk them suffocating themselves. If you’re concerned or it gets worse, mention it to your pediatrician.”

12 Know the signs. It’s estimated that one in 150 kids are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), a group of disorders that affect social behavior and communication skills. Most parents become concerned when Baby is between 15 and 18 months. Although how the disorder presents itself varies, you may want to talk to your doctor if Baby ignores your efforts to draw her attention, seldom makes eye contact and hasn’t begun babbling after 9 months. If Baby has ASD, she may play differently, too. Kids with ASD often lack creativity, engage in repetitive play and develop attachments to common objects, like string, sticks and rocks, rather than store-bought toys.

13 Follow safe swim rules. After age 1, the primary cause of death for kids is injury. In the past five years, there were, on average, 2,200 children younger than 5 years old treated in emergency rooms for swimming pool-related injuries. “The No. 1 rule is that you never leave a child unattended around a swimming pool,” says Larry Baraff, M.D., professor of pediatrics and emergency medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “You have to be paying attention. You can’t be having an intense conversation.”

14 Check your home. More than 90% of injury-related deaths in children under 1 happen at home, according to the CDC. A study published in Pediatrics found that moms reported a greater use of home safety practices than were actually in use. For example, smoke detectors were found in 97% of participants’ homes, but only about half were working. The AAP recommends the following tips to keep your home safe for Baby:
 
Tips
Make sure drapery and blind cords are out of Baby’s reach.
Be certain the smoke detectors work and that there is one in or near Baby’s bedroom.
Place plug protectors in any unused electrical outlets.
Keep all medicines, vitamins, toiletries and any other potentially poisonous substances in cabinets with child-resistant safety latches.

15 Get Baby vaccinated. The AAP issued new vaccination recommendations in 2007. The changes include giving Baby a hepatitis A vaccine at 1 year of age as a two-dose regimen. Each dose should be given at least six months apart. The AAP also recommends two doses of the varicella vaccine (for chickenpox) — the first given to children between 12 and 15 months and the second between 4 and 6 years.

My comments: I think all these are good an important. However, I the AAP, WHO, AAFP and UNICEF all recommened breastfeeding for 6 months and then gradually offering supplemental foods starting at 6 months.

I would also add that there are many benefits to eating organic foods. Young children consume a great amount of pesticides from foods and this could lead to other health issues. Eating organic foods is much healthier.

I know #15 (vaccinating baby) is being debated by many parents. I believe that parents should do the research and decide what is best for their family. Dr. Sear’s “The Vaccine Book” has been very helpful in our decisions about vaccinating our children.

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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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Mother breastfeeding 8 infant earthquake victims

Wow!! What an amazing story!! A Chinese police officer and new mother, has taken in 8 babies to nurse. Three of the infants mother’s were traumatized by the event and it affected their milk supply. Five of the infants were orphaned. This mother is truly a hero.

In such tragic events, artificial feeding becomes dangerous because water supplies often becomes contaiminated. So mixing formula and cleaning necessary supplies becomes a challenge and can endanger the health of an artificially fed infant. Read more here….

Pregnant women told to avoid BPA packaging

I saw this article this morning. Good advice for pregnant & lactating women in avoiding the hormone mimicking BPA.

Pregnant women told to avoid BPA packaging
By Charlotte Eyre
 
03-Apr-2008 – A US health-advocacy group has warned that pregnant women should reduce their exposure to packaging that contains bisphenol A (BPA) to avoid passing the controversial chemical to their unborn children.

The warning, from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), will serve as yet more negative publicity for packaging companies, many of which use BPA when manufacturing polycarbonates for water bottles, canned soups and drinks, and baby food bottles.

“We don’t want to tell people not to eat canned beans or tomatoes,” said CSPI nutritionist David Schardt. “But at the same time, it makes sense for all parents, and especially pregnant and nursing women, to minimize the exposure of their kids’ developing bodies and brains to BPA.”

The group cites a scientific study published by the National Institute of Environmental Health (NIEH) in August last year, which warned that rats exposed to BPA experienced “a wide range of adverse effects”.

While the influence on humans has not yet been fully studied, the NIEH said that the changes in the animals indicated that BPA may provoke childhood health problems such as early onset of puberty, obesity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and urogenital abnormalities.

According to the CSPI, these findings are worrying enough to call for pregnant women to boycott packaging products containing BPA.

“In fact, the food industry could make life easier by phasing it out entirely,” Schart said.

Bisphenol A was first studied in the 1930s as a possible mimic of the hormone estrogen in women. The chemical was later developed to make clear plastics for use in the food industry.

Several scientific results have been conducted into the safey of BPA in recent years, and researchers have also linked it to adult health concerns, especially breast and prostate cancer.

In 2007, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) set a maximum limit for human daily intake of BPA of five milligrams per kilo of body weight per day, but stressed that more studies were needed to link the chemical with human health problems.

The Canadian government has also launched a study into BPA, the results of which are expected later this year.

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  • Breastfeeding Makes Top Ten List of Cancer Preventers

    Breastfeeding Makes Top Ten List of Cancer Preventers

    Breastfeeding has been named as one of the Ten Recommendations to Prevent Cancer by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) following analysis of a major new study.

    The five-year study, released on October 31st found a strong correlation between breastfeeding and the prevention of both pre-menopausal and post-menopausal breast cancer.

    According to the study, breastfeeding lowers a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer throughout her lifetime. Equally important, the evidence shows that infants who are breastfed are likely to have a lower risk of becoming overweight or obese throughout their lives. This also translates into a lower cancer risk.

    Because the evidence is so strong that breastfeeding offers cancer protection to both mothers and their children, the AICR has made breastfeeding one of its “Ten Recommendations to Prevent Cancer.”

    The study states, “at the beginning of life, human milk is best. The evidence that lactation protects the mother against breast cancer at all ages is convincing.” Furthermore, “The evidence on cancer … shows that sustained, exclusive breastfeeding is protective for the mother as well as the child.” This is the first major report to specifically recommend breastfeeding to prevent breast cancer in mothers, and to prevent overweight and obesity in children.

    The study goes on to say that “Other benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and their children are well known. Breastfeeding protects against infections in infancy, protects the development of the immature immune system, protects against other childhood diseases, and is vital for the development of the bond between mother and child. It has many other benefits.” For a complete copy of the AICR report, visit: www.dietandcancerreport.org.

    Throughout its 51-year history, La Leche League International (LLLI) has supported breastfeeding mothers and their children. Celebrating its 50th year in 2006, LLLI continues to reach out to women seeking information, support, and encouragement for breastfeeding their babies. Local LLL Leaders across the United States offer support through local Group meetings and telephone help, online meetings, and a national toll-free 24-hour help line.

    For more information about breastfeeding and for mothers needing assistance with breastfeeding, contact… www.llli.org or 1-800 LA LECHE

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    Estrogen Mimicry of Bisphenol-A Threatens Human and Animal Health

    Very interesting. This article is stating that BPA found in canned foods, baby bottles, plastic containers and wrap, etc. could be a factor in obesity and other health problems, such as diabetes and ADD/ADAH. 

    (NaturalNews) Bisphenol-A could be making us fatter. Diet and too little exercise are the main culprits of what has been called the obesity epidemic, but the hormone mimicker bisphenol-A might be tipping the scales, so to speak.

    Bisphenol-A (BPA) is mainly found in polycarbonate plastic, which is labeled with the number 7; in plastic food wrap, and in the resins that coat the inside of metal cans for food. It is so prevalent in today’s products that it is even in refrigerator shelving, water bottles, plastic food storage containers, water pipes and flooring.

    BPA is an endocrine disrupter that mimics the hormone estrogen. Studies have shown harmful biological effects on animals using low-doses of the chemical and harmful effects on humans have been observed outside of studies. Hormone disrupting effects have been shown to occur at levels of application as low as 2-5 pars per billion and many canned foods are within and over this range. [1] With such a low level of toxicity, it’s easy to see how even a minuscule rate of bisphenol-A (BPA) leakage from plastics disturbs many people. The damaging effects of the chemical include impairment and unnatural changes to sex organs and their functions, increased tumor formation, hyperactivity, neurotoxin effects, and signs of early puberty have been observed. Clearly, BPA’s toxic effects are diverse.

    A recent study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that about 93% of the United States population have bisphenol-A in their body at a median concentration of 2.7 ppb. [2]

    Read the entire article.

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  • Plastics additive raises safety fears

    Plastics additive raises safety fears
    By Wade Rawlins
    McClatchey Newspapers

    The plastic additive is leaching from your water bottles, soda cans, baby bottles, microwaveable dishes — just about anything made of certain lightweight clear plastics.

    And it mimics the hormone estrogen, which some research indicates could harm human health, particularly the development of fetuses and newborn babies.

    Known as BPA, bisphenol-A has been used in commercial production of lightweight plastics and epoxy resins since the 1950s. Billions of pounds are produced annually. Traces of it are found in almost everyone — including the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies.

    Although the chemical industry contends that the weight of scientific evidence on bisphenol-A doesn’t support claims of harm, the chemical remains controversial. Studies flagging the compound’s possible health threat to humans have made people nervous about the plastics they use every day to serve and store food.

    “There is a cause for concern,” said Gerald LeBlanc, chairman of the department of environmental and molecular toxicology at N.C. State.

    “It’s not something we should be sweeping under the rug.”

    Read the entire article.

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