Euphoria’s Blog for Green Mamas

advice, news & freebies

Breastfeeding in Hot Weather August 6, 2009

Filed under: Breastfeeding — Rachel @ 6:22 pm
Tags: , ,

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!
 

Boobs: Economic Stimulus Packages June 2, 2009

Filed under: Breastfeeding — Rachel @ 3:46 pm
Tags: ,

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.

 

Breastmilk Storage Options: Pros & Cons December 11, 2008

Filed under: Breastfeeding — Rachel @ 5:04 pm
Tags:

You’re planning to breastfeed – great!  But if you want to be able to bottle feed for that occasional date or regularly, while you’re at work, you’ll want to be ready to store and serve that precious milk.  The serving is easy (you probably already bought/registered for some bottles), but what about milk storage?  Options abound.  Here’s my thoughts on breastmilk storage options from bags to bottles to trays.

mothers-milk-bagsBreastmilk Freezer Bags

You’ll see these little plastic breastmilk freezer bags at your local Babies R’us.  They’re easy to find, old-fashioned classics, but not at all easy to use.  You cannot pump milk directly into the bags, which leaves you to pour it in.  It’s not so easy to pour milk into a floppy bag.  Spilling just a little is quite frustrating, since every drop is precious (especially if you have milk supply issues).   Plus, if you don’t seal it right with the little bag ties, you’re milk will get freezer burn. 

Pros:  Compact in freezer.

Cons:  The bags are not reusable, so over time the costs add up (20 bags for $16).   Difficult to pour and seal.  Cannot pump into the bag or feed baby from the bag.  Every time you transfer milk, you will probably loose some and do risk contamination. 

Bottom Line:  I used these a few times and quickly decided I did not like them. 

Breastmilk Freezing Trays

Trays are relatively new to the breastmilk storage solution scene.  After pumping, you pour your milk into the tray, which is easy since the trays are rigid and horizontal.  slimlinesSeal with the tray lid and freeze.  Once frozen, pop out your breastmilk cubes/sticks into a large freezer quality storage bag.  Reuse the tray!  Breastmilk trays are designed so that your milk is frozen in one ounce portions.  This makes it easy to defrost just the right amount for baby’s bottle.  Just place the breastmilk portions in the bottle and defrost it right in the bottle.  No waste! 

I tried “Fresh Baby” brand milk trays first, but the ice cube-shaped milk cubes did not fit easily into my wide mouth baby bottles, causing frustration and milk loss as I resorted to jamming them in.  The Sensible Lines milk trays (available at EuphoriaMaternity.com) are better because the slim milk sticks they create are easier to work with. 

Pros:  Compact in freezer.  Most affordable (one set of trays for $18 + large ziplock bags as needed).  No wasted milk.

Cons:  Cannot pump into or feed out of the tray.  Every time you transfer milk, you may loose some and do risk contamination.

Bottom Line:  These were my favorite method of milk storage since they are affordable and allow you to defrost just the right amount of milk each time.  For the eco-sensitive and price-sensitive mama, milk trays are the best choice.

milkmate-systemBreastmilk Storage Bottles

Storing your breastmilk in ready-to-use bottles is probably the most obvious choice.  Many breastmilk storage bottles are designed to work with popular breast pumps, so that you can pump right into the bottle.  The advantages of not transferring the milk after pumping include: no milk loss, no contamination and convenience.  Some storage bottles, like the Mother’s Milkmate collection we offer in our boutique, even have storage racks you can place in your freezer to organize and rotate your frozen milk bottles on a first-in, first-out basis.  You can feed baby right from a storage bottle, if you get the correct attachments to work with the nipple of your choice.  Or, you can pour a defrosted storage bottle into any other bottle when you’re ready to serve. 

Pros:  Convenient.  Most hygienic.  No milk loss.

Cons:  Expensive (6 bottles for $16 – depending on your needs, you may need 12-24 bottles).  Requires the most freezer room. 

Bottom Line:  If your baby will be having more than 3 or so bottles a week, the convenience and hygienic nature of a bottle system is probably worth the cost.  For the mama looking for the easiest option, breastmilk storage bottles are it!

 

Purify Your Breastmilk June 16, 2008

Fit Pregnancy’s current issue has a great article on how mindful mamas can keep their breastmilk pure.   Since scientists can easily test milk for contaminents, we know of quite a few toxins that do find there way to baby through mother’s milk.   Some toxins, like alcohol, clear out from the body rather quickly.  Unfortunately, many more toxins linger in the body for years because they are stored in body fat.  When you breastfeed, your body taps into those fats to make breastmilk.  Experts say that despite these toxins, breastmilk is definitely best for baby.  Still, I know that your goal, like mine, will be to produce the purest milk possible for baby.  Here are some tips from Fit Pregnancy:

  1. Alcohol (consumed): an occasional drink is OK, but do so immediately after nursing to give your body time to clear before the next feeding.
  2. Biphenal A/BPA (consumed/absorbed): Don’t eat or drink from plastics with recylcing code no. 7; avoid canned foods.
  3. Flame Retardants (consumed/inhaled/absorbed): Choose curtains, furniture, and mattresses without brominated flame retardents.
  4. Mercury (consumed): Don’t eat tilefish, shark, swordfish, or king mackeral.   Fit Pregnancy says to “limit tuna”, but from my research, I’d stay clear.
  5. Pesticides (consumed/inhaled/absorbed):  Don’t use flea treatments or insecticides in your home or office.  Eat organic food.
  6. Plastic Softeners/Phthalates (consumed/inhaled/absorbed): Avoid vinyl of any kind (shower curtains, packaging and plastic toys are common culprits),  “cling” wrap, plastics with recycling code no. 3.
  7. Solvents (inhaled/absorbed): Avoid conventional nail polish, nail polish remover, cleaning solvents, paints, dry cleaners and pumping gas.
  8. Synthetic Fragrances (inhaled/absorbed): Choose fragrance-free cosmetics, detergents and deodorants or those fragranced with “essential oils” only. 
  9. Unnecessary Medications (consumed/inhaled/absorbed): Ask your doctor before taking any over-the-counter or prescription drug.  For info on risks, visit motherisk.org. 

Although these recommendations are designed for breastfeeding moms, they really pertain to us all.  If you’re pregnant, your lifestyle protects baby during his or her most critical times.  If your baby is weaned, your child is directly interacting with plastics, cosmetics, mattresses, etc. so you’ll want to purify your lifestyle to support your child’s personal development.  Every step you take to a cleaner, toxin-free life is a step in the right direction for us all!

 

 

 

Stem Cells in Breast Milk! May 12, 2008

Filed under: Breastfeeding — Rachel @ 1:49 pm
Tags: , ,

If you read pregnancy magazines, you’ve heard about stem cells which are typically harvested from cord blood at the time of birth.  Collecting and storing your baby’s stem cells for use later on (which is called cord blood banking) is big-business.  Mega-corporations like CBR cash in on parents’ deep-rooted desire to protect their family’s health by claiming that known and unknown diseases may be treatable by stem cells when they manifest in later years.  

This year Dr. Mark Cregan, a molecular biologist at The University of Western Australia, discovered that human breast milk actually contains stem cells!  Not only does breast milk provide ideal nutrition for baby, it also “contains key markers that guide his or her development into adulthood.”  That’s why breastfeeding makes many diseases less likely and has been shown to increase IQ, for example.  The existence of stem cells in breast milk may explain these benefits and potentially provides many more benefits that are as yet unknown.  Dr. Cregan says that mom’s mammary glands “provide the development guidance to ensure a baby’s genetic destiny is fulfilled.” 

For more on the study visit Breast milk contains stem cells by Catherine Madden.