Mama Knows Breast

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Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

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When I was pregnant with our first son, I took a breastfeeding class. My husband came too. We took notes, and gave ourselves a big pat on the back for being so “prepared.” Yeah, right.
Sure enough, when that little baby boy was born, we were in for a bit of a shock. We quickly realized we had no idea what we were doing. (Rather, I should say, I had no idea what I was doing in the breastfeeding department). Fortunately, we stumbled along, got help from some lactation consultants, and even managed to enjoy the whole newborn experience enough to repeat the exercise a mere 18 months later.
Then of course I wrote “Mama Knows Breast.” Why? Because I figured that I probably wasn’t the only new mom out there who could have used a little more guidance than a two hour class. So I wrote the book I wanted to read…a “it’s-gonna-be-ok-take-a-deep-breathe-guide to the whole breastfeeding thing.”
And now, thanks to technology, we have some help via the internet. My blogging friends have spent some time writing their thoughts on pregnancy and breastfeeding as part of our monthly breastfeeding carnival. Here are the links:
Breastfeeding 123: Ten Tips on How A Pregnant Woman Can Prepare For Breastfeeding
Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: A Breastfeeding-Friendly Birth Plan
BreastfeedingMums: Preparing for Breastfeeding
Natural Moms Talk Radio: Breastfeeding during Pregnancy and Tandem Nursing
Crunchy Domestic Goddess: Breastfeeding while Pregnant (Trying at Times but Ultimately Worthwhile)
Permission to Mother: Low Milk Supply in Pregnancy
API Speaks: On Breastfeeding while Pregnant
Milk Donor Mama: Her Experience of Preparing for Breastfeeding and the Advice She Offers Now

Check Out Vital Juice Daily

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Every so often I come across a new website that makes me think, “Wow! This site is really beautiful. What a great design…time to re-do my site.” Well here’s my latest find…Vital Juice Daily.
vital juice daily.jpg
Of course there’s a lot more to Vital Juice than the colors that remind me of a cranberry and orange juice mix. Vital Juice is all about living a healthy life. There’s information about nutrition, fitness, healing, beauty, green living and social responsibility. Right now, I’m focusing on the Recipes page. There’s a lot of good advice here, including what to buy in the supermarket. And here’s a link to all of the mom and baby stories in their archives.
If you dig around the site, I’m sure you’ll find some useful information. There are editions geared towards New York and Los Angeles. And you can sign up here for a daily email.
Now full disclosure…I’m actually on Vital Juice today, as a sidebar to a breastfeeding story that has tips for nursing moms. Here’s the link. But I would have written about them anyway…despite their kind mention of my book.
Now…for that site redesign of Mama Knows Breast. Time to get cracking…

Chinese Policewoman Breastfeeds Infants After China Earthquake

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This is a remarkable story. A Chinese policewoman, who is helping during the earthquake aftermath, is breastfeeding 8 infants who are either orphans, or whose mothers are unable to feed them because of the trauma. Here’s a story on CNN. Here’s another link to the story.
china+policewoman.JPG Photo via
The Motherwear Blog also has a story about how breastfeeding can save lives during a natural disaster.

Health Benefits of Breastfeeding

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There are always new stories about the health benefits of breastfeeding. Here are some recent ones:
Breastfeeding can reduce the mother’s risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis.. Here’s another article on this from the NYT.
A new study suggests that a mother’s seizure medication taken to control epilepsy is not harmful to her breastfed infant. The findings are preliminary, and not considered definitive.
Finally, a new study found that breastfeeding can reduce the mother’s risk of getting metabolic syndrome, a combination of factors that puts you at risk for heart disease and diabetes. Here’s a definition of metabolic syndrome. (Via Motherwear blog).

Organic Formula and Sugar

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Here’s an interesting story from yesterday’s New York Times. It talks about how Similac Organic formula is sweetened with sucrose. Here’s an excerpt from the story.
Parents may be buying it because they believe that organic is healthier, but babies may have a reason of their own for preferring Similac Organic: it is significantly sweeter than other formulas. It is the only major brand of organic formula that is sweetened with cane sugar, or sucrose, which is much sweeter than sugars used in other formulas.
No health problems in babies have been associated with Similac Organic. But to pediatricians, there are risks in giving babies cane sugar: Sucrose can harm tooth enamel faster than other sugars; once babies get used to its sweeter taste, they might resist less sweet formulas or solid foods; and some studies suggest that they might overeat, leading to rapid weight gain in the first year, which is often a statistical predictor of childhood obesity.
Asked about these concerns, Carolyn Valek, a spokeswoman for Abbott Nutrition, the division of Abbott Laboratories that makes Similac Organic, said that sucrose had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and was considered “safe and well established.” Ms. Valek said that Similac Organic had no more sweetener than other formulas and that prolonged contact with any kind of sugar could cause tooth decay.
In Europe, where sudden increases in childhood obesity are a pressing public health issue, sucrose-sweetened formulas will be banned by the end of 2009, except when ordered by a doctor for babies with severe allergies. The 27 countries of the European Union adopted the new rules according to the recommendations of the group’s Scientific Committee on Food, which found that sucrose provided no particular nutritional advantages, could, in rare cases, bring about a fatal metabolic disorder, and might lead to overfeeding.

Cate Blanchett and Breastfeeding

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Actress Cate Blanchett, who is starring in the new Indiana Jones movie with Harrison Ford, just had her third child, Iggy. And according to the The Daily Telegraph, Iggy’s breastfeeding delayed Blanchett’s appearance before the press. Here’s a bit from the Telegraph story:

WITH a gurgle, a look, then a cry, Oscar winner Cate Blanchett’s four-week-old son Iggy almost thwarted the world premiere of the fourth instalment of the Indiana Jones movies by demanding mum feed him.
Blanchett, who turned 39 this week, was about to face the international cameras at the Cannes Film Festival in France to promote the big budget Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull when baby Ignatius wanted to be breast fed.
Hollywood heavyweights Harrison Ford and Karen Allen stepped in with an extra long interview session before a smiling, radiant Blanchett strode in.
“He’s just down the corridor with my mum,” she declared by way of explanation.

So all I have to say is…Go Iggy, Go Iggy.

Winners of the Hands Free Bra, Adiri Bottles, and Graco Activity Center

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Thanks to everyone who participated in the contests for the bra, bottles and Graco Activity Center. Will the following winners please send me their addresses?
The Graco Activity Center goes to Kristin:
We borrowed one of these from my sister when my girl was a baby. Anytime I needed a few minutes to clean or cook dinner, I’d plop my girl in it and she would play happily for quite some time. Sad thing is, we had to give it back when we moved cross-country last summer. Now that I am due with #2 (arriving any day now!), I have been lamenting the fact that money is just too tight to buy another one. I have been wondering what I am going to do with this child when dinner time rolls around and she just isn’t happy on the floor…
The Hands Free Bra goes to Caryn.
As a nurse I only get 2 maybe 3 times to pump in a 12 hour day. Unfortunately I also have to EAT at this time. I would say that a hands free bra would be AWESOME. I could eat AND pump without having to rush one or the other.
There are two Adiri bottle winners:

I would love to win these bottles because I am due with my second child in September. I am one of the many unlucky women in the United States who will have to go back to work at only 6 weeks post-partum. I breastfed my son for the first year and have every intention of doing that with my daughter. I know it would help me feel so much better about having to give my daughter a bottle of expressed milk if I knew it was one that was as close to breast shaped as possible.
I need these amazing bottles for my son. Up to now, he has been exclusively breastfed, but in the first week in June I have a week where I have to work every day and will be away from him for 4 hours each morning. I dread it, but I think these bottles would really help him during that time.

Winners of the Book “Margarita Mama”

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And now for the winners of the new book “Margarita Mama: Mocktails for Moms To Be.” Thanks to everyone who submitted a comment to the contest, telling us their pregnancy cravings.
Alyssa, the author, picked the following winners. Ladies, please email me if you won:
Biggest craving: I took the train the entire time i was pregnant,it was during all of the sweaty months. people would have this oniony body odor that would make me want chicken soup and lobster bisque. Gross in retrospect yes but I would stop at nothing to get these two soups!
My biggest craving were those red, white and blue popsicles which isn’t weird in and of itself but this was January! I sent Hubby to the local gas station every night to get them!
Biggest craving: Fish & Chips from Arctic Circle. I had to have them almost every day. Even when labor started, I made my hubby stop at Arctic Circle on the way to the hospital and I ate my fish in the car.
I would love these books for my daughter-in-law who is pregnant with her first baby.
My husband and I were living in Scotland during the first 13 weeks of my pregnancy. Scottish food is very…heavy. I was so nauseous…all day…every day. The only thing I wanted was cheese. Grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese…cheese!
Biggest craving: I craved Margaritas!! My husband was so sweet and helped me out by making me some delicious “virgin” ones. They tasted pretty good!!
my craving was for honey…but i was lucky .a very elderly neighbor had his own bee hives,when he found out i was craving it ,he brought me a fresh quart every week!! i still remeber that fondly 28 years later…and by the way,what is my 28 year old’s fav thing to eat??HONEY,,,LOL
And my craziest craving was for tons and tons of strawberries. It was an expensive craving, because this was not during strawberry season and I could eat half a pound of them in one sitting.
Strangest Craving: FISH!!! I have ALWAYS hated all fish and seafood. The smell alone makes me nauseous, but for some reason when I was preggo with my first, I craved it SO BAD! I still couldn’t get past the mental part of actually allowing myself to eat it, but I would go to fast food places, order a fish sandwich and just smell it! WIERDO! ;-)
I craved lemon juice with a little bit of water and without sugar.
My biggest craving and how I satisfied it…I had craved fruit, but I think the biggest fit I had with one was I wanted Iced Coffee Frappacino-like drink. Problem was I didn’t consume caffine and I had gestational diabetes. I went to a specialty coffee shop and had them make a custom-made drink. It was sugar free, caffine free, and the best tasting coffee drink I ever had. They even put a very small dollop of whip cream with cinnamon spice. YUM!

Winners of the Book “The Rookie Mom’s Handbook”

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Thanks to everyone who sent in their “rookie mom” mistakes for the Mother’s Day Contest here. Boy have we all done some pretty funny things! And below you’ll find the ten winners of the new book “The Rookie Mom’s Handbook.” The authors themselves picked their favorite entries. Let me know if you’re on the list!
My biggest rookie mistake is a classic I am sure any mom of a little boy has made…. What am I going to do with a winkie?” I think I asked that 100 times the last 1/2 of my pregnancy. I soon found out. I made the mistake of changing my little guy slowly and took the chance of getting a diaper with ease. Before I knew what had happen, I had pee shot in my eye. (I had glasses on, no clue how he managed that one) Then rookie mom here decided to scream…in my mouth the pee went! NOW…I KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH A WINKIE!! FYI- my next baby boy never got me like that and never will.
Biggest mistake – not finishing the remodel on our old house BEFORE the first baby. Now four years and two kids later, I’m stuck in remodel land and miserable with it. No time, no money.
When my son was three weeks old, I was so tired that one evening I brushed my teeth with diaper ointment (which came in a tube) instead of toothpaste and only noticed a while afterwards because my lips were white. And…I did it again a few weeks later.
biggest rookie mistake: I would say not taking folks up on their offers to help out, or not speaking up more on the train when i was 8 months pregnant and people wouldn’t get up.
My biggest rookie mistake was putting carrier into the car without the baby being buckled. We had been somewhere and I unbuckled her and never buckled it back up. When I went to get her out and saw that I felt like the worst mom in the world.
My biggest rookie mom mistake was comparing my baby to other babies too much. It is hard not to compare but it just made me worry if my baby wasn’t doing something someone else was at the same age.
Danielle S.:
Biggest Rookie Mistake: Telling everyone when I was pregnant “I’d never let my child…” I’ve had to eat ALOT of crow! LOL!
My biggest (or um, grossest) mistake as a pregnant mom was not realizing I could no longer overeat. I used to LOVE Fuddrucker’s, and one day after the morning sickness had subsided (I was sick the first half of my pregnancy) I asked my husband to take me there. After consuming my burger and wayyy too many potato wedges with cheese, we got in the car to leave and the baby was crowding my stomach. I told my husband to stay in the right lane in case we had to pull over, but did he listen? We were in the left lane about to turn when it hit me. “Jordan. PULL! OVER!” It was dark, and he couldn’t find the parking lot, so I ended up puking in the middle of the front lawn of a church. I felt terrible about it, but at least they weren’t having a service that night!
My biggest mistake was putting the baby in bed with me when I wasn’t really awake. Bonk! I didn’t make that mistake again!
(I’ve loved the Rookie Moms forever!)
My biggest mistake was not getting help sooner when breastfeeding wasn’t going well. My daughter lost too much weight because she wasn’t latching on right and I then spent the next two weeks seeing a lactation consultant frequently to get her back on track and get my supply back up. I knew it would be hard, but it was a lot of work. I ended up breastfeeding successfully for 11 months while working full time, though! :)

A Mother’s Day Radio Interview

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Click here to listen to an interview with me and two other mom bloggers from New York City Moms Blog. It aired this past weekend on WFUV, 90.7 in New York City. It was part of a Mother’s Day special on the show Cityscape and it aired on May 10.
We talk about the trying to find the perfect double stroller; letting our kids pee in public; breastfeeding on the subway and whether you have to “dress up” to drop your kids off at school. George Bodarky, the show host, was a great interviewer. I think he could have kept us talking for hours…and certainly a lot of stuff didn’t even make it into the piece.
My co-moms in the interview are Mama Bird Diaries and One Of Those Horrible Moms. Kelcey (Mama Bird) has some pictures of our radio debut on this post (make sure you scroll down).