Euphoria’s Blog for Green Mamas

advice, news & freebies

Enter to Win a Nursing Wardrobe from Blissful Babes! September 17, 2009

Filed under: Breastfeeding,Giveaways — Rachel @ 6:26 pm

hoodyEvery season we fall in love with Blissful Babes designs for breastfeeding moms.  Here’s your chance to win 6 tops and 1 two-piece lounge set from Blissful Babes’ Fall 2009 collection!  This generous prize package retails at over $380 and includes both casual and dressy styles to help you breastfeed discreetly wherever you find yourself.  Both nursing tops shown here are up for grabs!    butterfly tunicUnfortunately, we only have the prize wardrobe available in size small, which fits up to womens size 6.   Sorry, ladies, I wish we had it available for any size!

How do you enter?  Glad you asked.  This time we’re looking for feedback, opinions, comments and suggestions for how we can improve our boutiques at www.EuphoriaMaternity.com and www.EuphoriaBaby.com.  Please share any information you feel may help us make positive changes.  As a small family business in today’s economy, we can use your help!  Consider our products, return policies, customer service, website design.. anything and everything.  What are we doing right?  What doesn’t work for you?  How can we improve?  If you’ve shopped with us before, what made you choose Euphoria?  If you haven’t shopped with us, is there something holding you back?

Enter to win! One lucky reader will win a 7 piece Nursing Wardrobe from Blissful Babes fall 09 collection.  Enter now through October 30th (11:59 EST) by adding your feedback and suggestions to this blog post.  We’ll choose one random winner!

NOTE:   Just after this post (I know, what timing…) our blog moved.  Please enter your comment at the NEW POST!

Shipping included.  Winner will be notified by email, at which point a shipping address  will be requested. Open to U.S. residents only.

For TWO extra entries, blog about this giveaway and link it back to my blog.  Make sure to leave a separate comment on this blog post for your two extra entries.

 

Breastfeeding in Hot Weather August 6, 2009

Filed under: Breastfeeding — Rachel @ 6:22 pm
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bloomstTemps are near 100 degrees all this week!  I am reminded of how breastfeeding in the heat can lead to a sticky situation.  Here are some tips for staying cool:

  1. Wear less.  A layered nursing shirt + nursing bra  + pads = one hot mama.  If the sun has you beat, consider picking up one or two nursing tops with built-in nursing bras.  It feels sooooo good to lose a layer.  My favorite, by far, is the Bravado essential nursing tank.  It’s made by a bra company (one of the best), so it’s really supportive, even for bigger gals.  It also comes in bra sizes and lots of colors!  This top is also perfect for sleeping – so you can get use out of it all winter long.
  2. Don’t Cover Baby.  When feeding baby in public or among friends, even a thin nursing cover traps in heat.  Skin to skin contact with your baby is going to make both of you sweat… but you don’t have to wear a blanket.  Slurp & Burp nursing covers cover your breast, not baby.  They make breastfeeding discreetly possible in any top.  It’s an extra layer for you, but at least your baby will be able to breathe!
  3. Drink up, Mama!  People used to recommend giving a baby straight water, in addition to breastfeeding, during hot summer months.  Now we know that amazing breastmilk actually adjusts to have a higher water content at times when baby needs more hydration.  So, don’t give baby a bottle.  Just be sure you drink up!
 

Criticism & Your Response when Breastfeeding an Older Toddler July 2, 2009

Filed under: Breastfeeding — Rachel @ 2:28 pm
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position 1There’s a great article on www.Mindful-Mama.com (which you really should visit, if you haven’t already!) for mamas who are breastfeeding an older toddler.  By the time your little one is about 16 months old, you’re likely to get odd glances and surprised questions if you continue to breastfeed your child in the States.  When and how you wean your child is a very personal decision, one that should be made by each mother and child without pressure from strangers or friends.  When the Weaning Police Come a’Knocking, by Shea Adelson, shares some  great tips for dealing with criticism, including surrounding yourself with like-minded mamas, knowing the health benefits, trusting your instincts, and being prepared with a response.

It’s that last part, “being prepared with a response,” that most moms really wish they had down.  Here are Shea’s suggestions:

Crafting Your Response

  1. Start with getting clear about your reasoning by asking yourself some questions such as: Why do you breastfeed? What is important or meaningful to you about it?
  2. Then consider what comes up for you. When it happens, what feelings do you experience? Possibilities include anger, embarrassment, hurt, annoyance, and confusion, among others. Dealing with your inner voices can dilute that feeling of being charged.
  3. Finally, think about what you want to happen in a moment of criticism and the words you might use to get that result. Do you want to embarrass the person back (ha!), or educate them, or politely change the subject?

Once we have the answers to some of these questions, the words will flow. And, as always, when we are feeling emotionally triggered, it can help to pause and collect ourselves before responding so we can be as effective in our communication as possible.

I love that, in conclusion, Shea reminds us to practice forgiveness.  “Remember that most judgment and criticism comes from ignorance.”  So true.  Criticism is always hard to take, but each instance is an opportunity to share something new with the other that may change their life.

 

Pollution Undermines YOUR Ability to Breastfeed June 20, 2009

Filed under: Breastfeeding,Pregnancy — Rachel @ 5:43 pm
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When I was pregnant with my first child, I read “Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood“.  Having been raised with little concern for the environment, this was THE book that opened my eyes to exactly how significantly environmental pollution effects my life, and the life then growing within my womb.  Sandra Steingrabber shares the story of her pregnancy, birth and new motherhood, with complete honesty about the bumps along the way and with humour that really carries the story along.  Meandering throughout the tale are scientific insights into the way the environment effects pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.  I’d venture to say that most mindful mamas would love the book!  It’s an inspiring and empowering story.

I was reminded of “Having Faith”  this morning, as I considered sharing with you some depressing news.  Scientists have recently learned that dioxin exposure during pregnancy can reduce growth of breast tissue necessary for breastfeeding by about 50%.  According to the report, it gets worse:  dioxin alters milk-producing genes, resulting in fewer mature lobules and ductal branches which make and deliver milk.  So, that means less breast growth and improperly developed milk ducts.  Sigh…  And we wonder why so many well-meaning mothers struggle to produce enough milk for their babies.

What is dioxin?  It’s a chemical bi-product of many manufacturing processes (like bleaching paper and fabrics) and of waste incineration at factories, municipalities and homes.   During such processes, dioxin is released into air and water.  Humans are exposed routinely when breathing and in some of the healthy foods we eat.  Specifically, dioxins tend to build up in the fat of livestock and fish and in the fatty portion of dairy products.  But, pregnant women are NOT to attempt to reduce their intake of these healthy foods!  Dioxin exposure is also a concern with the use of bleached tampons.

Basically, scientists and health experts are saying there’s little any pregnant woman can do to reduce her personal dioxin exposure immediately.  What we CAN do is support legislation that regulates industries and municipal waste incinerators that contribute greatly to the pollution.  Also, don’t burn garbage at home, avoid buying bleached products (tampons, disposable diapers, sheets, etc), and reduce waste by recycling and composting. 

To read more about the effects of dioxin, see Chemical Stops Breasts from Growing Bigger.

 

Boobs: Economic Stimulus Packages June 2, 2009

Filed under: Breastfeeding — Rachel @ 3:46 pm
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Clever.  At the bottom the ad reads, “Breastfeeding boosts your bank account and your baby’s immune system – saving you on hospital visits, doctor’s bills, medicine and missed days of work.  It could also save billions on health care costs…”  Yes, yes yes!  That’s the kind of “stimulus package” this nation needs!

This ad is published by Best for Babes, a “non-profit dedicated to giving breastfeeding a makeover and to revealing and removing the ‘booby traps’- the barriers to breastfeeding that keep tripping women up!”  There website is filled with inspiring and helpful info for breastfeeding moms. 

One article written by Danielle Rigg lists celebrated and lesser known facts about the benefits of breastfeeding.  Here’s the list, but for detailed information be sure to read the entire article: Your Mom-Made Wonderfood™: Dazzling and amazing benefits

 
-Breastfeeding Your Baby Girl Reduces Her Lifetime Risk of Breast Cancer by as much as 25%.
-Your Milk is a Daily Vaccine Against Every Virus You Come Into Contact with.
-Your Baby is born with an Immature Digestive System. Your Perfect Milk Completes the Development of Your Baby’s Stomach Lining Making it 15x Thicker Than that of a Formula-Fed Baby.
-Your Milk Jump-Starts Your Baby’s Immune System.
-Breastfeeding Helps Babies Regulate Their Breathing.
-Your Milk Provides Perfect and Varying Proportions of Fat, Carbohydrates and Protein For Babies of Different Ages.
-Breastfed Babies Make Better Eaters as Toddlers.
-Your Milk Knocks a Baby Out Like Nothin’ Else!
-Breastfeeding Has a Calming Effect on You Too.
-Breastfeeding is a Great Pain Reliever and Soother.
-Breastfed Children Cope Better with Stressful Situations Years After Being Weaned.
-Breast milk Goes Down Easy and Stays Down.
-What Hooters? They’re Heaters! Your Breasts Are Able to Detect Even a One Degree Drop in Your Baby’s Temperature and Warm Up.
-Breastfed Babies Have Luminous Skin and they Smell Like Vanilla Beans.
-Breast Milk Poop Doesn’t Smell that Bad.
-Breastfeeding Protects Against Cavities.
-Breastfeeding Can Reduce the Need for Braces.
-Breastfeeding Reduces Bed-Wetting.
-Breastfeeding Increases Organ Acceptance in Case of Transplant.
-Breastfeeding Increases Vaccine Effectiveness.
-Help for the Color Blind – Your Areola Have Darkened to Help Baby Hit that Bullseye!
-Help for the Farsighted – Newborns Only See Objects Clearly Within 8-10 Inches, the Exact Distance Between Your Nipple and Your Face.
-Breast Milk May Help Clear Up Eye Infections.
-Breast Milk Can Be Left at Room Temperature for Several Hours.
-Breastfeeding Moms Sleep More.

 

Breastfeeding the Newborn May 9, 2009

Filed under: Breastfeeding — Rachel @ 7:01 pm
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My mom is lucky enough to be in California right now, helping out my sister who gave birth to a newborn on Monday.  We just chatted about how everything is going, and she asked me some questions about breastfeeding.  My sister hopes to breastfeed this little one longer than she’s managed before.  Here is some advice I gave her in response to her questions:

  • Skip the Night Bottle idea.  Although it sounds so nice, letting your partner feed baby at night while you get some much-needed sleep isn’t usually a good idea.  In reality, mom will awaken when baby cries for that 3 am feeding.  She’ll have to wake her partner (who is likely to sleep right through it all) to remind him to go fix that bottle.  Off he goes to the kitchen to measure, pour, warm and return.  All the while, baby is crying and mother is… what?  Sleeping while her baby cries?  Probably not.  Holding the baby?  Maybe.  Whether holding or lying still, her milk is definitely letting down and filling up those nursing pads.  All that milk is wasted while she tries to sleep through baby’s noisy gulps.  Now, even if she manages to get into a sleep-through-it-all routine, this itself is still a potential problem.  In order to keep up her breastmilk supply, she needs to be feeding baby or pumping every time baby wants to eat.   By sleeping through one feeding every night, she sets herself up for milk supply problems, all the while allowing her frozen milk supply to dwindle. 
  • Introduce the Bottle around 2 Weeks.  It’s smart to allow mom and baby to grow good and dependent on regular breastfeeding before introducing the bottle.  2 weeks of feeding on demand, with no breaks, will set mom up for a good milk supply.  It also gives baby plenty of time to learn how to latch on before introducing a whole new skill – bottle feeding.  But, don’t wait too long.  By 3 weeks old, introduce the bottle!  Bottle feeding early on lessens your chances of ending up with a baby who won’t take any bottle.
  • Start stocking up on milk now.  Where does the breastmilk for that first bottle come from?  Mom can pump, in addition to her regular on-demand feeding.  But, that’s going to be a lot of hard work!  The easiest way to get a few bottles of milk stowed away is to collect milk during feedings those first few weeks (and beyond, if it works for you).  To do this, place a breast shell on one breast before starting to feed baby.  Feed baby on the opposite side, and watch as your letdown fills up that shell.  Keep cleaning the breast shell between feedings and emptying it into a refrigerated bottle.  At the end of the day, freeze what you’ve collected, which may be a half to a full bottle, depending on your letdown.
  • It’s fine to use a pacifier.  Although experts used to worry that early pacifier use may interfere with establishing breastfeeding, studies have shown that this is not the case.  Apparently, even a newborn gets the difference between an object used for self-soothing, non-nutritional sucking and mom’s breasts – the source of food.  If you plan to use a pacifier, don’t hold back.  Go ahead and let baby suck to sleep!
 

But What about My Tuna Sandwich? May 7, 2009

Filed under: Breastfeeding,Healthy Living,Pregnancy — Rachel @ 3:04 pm
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Let’s face it, when most of us eat fish… it’s tuna from a can.  Since eating DHA-rich fish is so important for our health – especially if we’re pregnant, nursing or feeding a young child – a cursory reading of my last post may send you to the cupboard for some tuna.

STOP!  Did you know that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) strongly recommends that pregnant or breastfeeding women and children under 5  “not eat albacore tuna at all, because a significant portion of albacore tuna has very high mercury levels.”  Basing their conclusions on the FDA’s own guidelines for what constitutes a safe amount of mercury, the EWG warns, “People eating this tuna will exceed safe exposure levels by a wide margin.”  And, what about light tuna?  We don’t know.  Light tuna contains less mercury, but no one (including the FDA) has determined what amount is safe for pregnant women.

You can get all the details at EWG’s Tuna Calculator.  The calculator will determine how much tuna you can safely eat, based on your weight, if you’re NOT pregnant, nursing or a child under 5.

P.S.  Need another reason to ditch the canned tuna?  It’s CANNED.  Canned foods are lined with BPA-tainted plastic.  Yup, virtually all of them!  Only a very, very few brands are starting to use non-BPA can linings, but they’re few and far between and very hard to find in your local store.