Tag Archives: health

New Law Helps Breastfeeding Mothers

 

Working mothers have had to tailor their schedule to pump breast milk during the day. It is hard to find the time and more importantly, a place, for this while at work. 

Life should get a little more comfortable for working, nursing mothers thanks to Obama’s new healthcare plan.  CNN reports page 1239 of the health care bill requires employers to provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.”

Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of the nonprofit research organization Families and Work Institute told CNN, “It reflects both a shifting attitude, a shifting reality, and also the impact of research that shows that it’s healthier for the kids, and therefore good for the company, good for the family.”

A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics shows that breastfeeding newborns during their first six months could save almost 1,000 lives and billions of dollars annually.

Item Courtesy Modern Mom

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Study doubts breastfeeding benefit for eczema

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Breastfeeding is often advocated as a way to help prevent allergies in babies at high risk, but a new study finds that infants breastfed for longer periods may actually be more likely to develop the allergic skin condition eczema.

The study followed 321 infants who were at increased risk of allergies because their mothers had a history of asthma. Researchers found that among those who were breastfed exclusively for more than six months, 55 percent developed eczema by age 2.

That compared with 37 percent of those breastfed exclusively for three to six months, and 29 percent of babies given breast milk alone for less than three months.

On the other hand, the babies were less likely to develop wheezing symptoms as long as they were still being breastfed. Wheezing — difficult breathing marked by a high-pitched whistling sound — is a common symptom of respiratory infections in infants and young children because their airways are so small; but it can also be a marker of an increased asthma risk later on.

Exactly why breastfeeding had different associations with eczema and wheezing is not certain. But several previous studies have found a similar pattern.

Taken together, the findings suggest that extended breastfeeding should not be recommended as a way to prevent eczema in high-risk babies, Dr. Hans Bisgaard and colleagues at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark write in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

That does not mean, however, that women with a history of allergies or asthma should avoid breastfeeding, according to Bisgaard. “There are many good reasons why the mother should breastfeed her child,” he told Reuters Health in an email.

Breast milk is considered the best, most balanced form of nutrition for infants, and experts generally recommend that babies be breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life.

As for why longer breastfeeding might contribute to eczema in high-risk babies, it’s possible, according to Bisgaard’s team, that mothers with allergies can transmit a “risk factor” for eczema through their breast milk — such as antibodies or other immune system substances that promote the allergy.

The fatty-acid makeup of the breast milk could also be a factor, the researchers note. In a previous study of the same group of mothers, Bisgaard’s team found that the women’s breast milk generally had lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids than that of mothers without allergies; there is some evidence that omega-3 fats are protective against allergies and asthma.

There was no strong evidence from the current study, however, that the fatty acid content of mothers’ milk was important in eczema risk. “Therefore, follow-up studies regarding other possible immune modulating factors are planned,” Bisgaard said.

The current findings are based on 321 children who were followed starting at the age of 1 month. Their parents kept diaries to record any “wheezy episodes” — defined as three consecutive days of the breathing problem — and cases of eczema were diagnosed by the researchers.

Overall, 69 babies were breastfed exclusively for less than three months, 203 for three to six months and 49 for more than six months.

When the researchers accounted for a number of factors in eczema risk — including birth weight, parents’ history of eczema and the presence of a cat or dog at home — babies who were still being exclusively breastfed between the ages of 6 and 9 months were more than six times more likely to develop eczema by age 2 than those who were no longer being fed breast milk alone.

When it came to wheezing, the majority of the babies — 262 — had at least one episode. However, babies who were still being exclusively breastfed had a one-third lower risk than infants the same age who had stopped.

Breastfeeding, according to Bisgaard’s team, may help reduce wheezing episodes by protecting babies from respiratory infections — the primary cause of wheezing that early in life.

Because all of the mothers in the study had a history of asthma, the findings cannot be generalized to other women, Bisgaard said. Further studies are needed to better understand how longer breastfeeding might affect average-risk babies’ odds of eczema or wheezing, according to the researcher.

SOURCE: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, March 2010.

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WonderWoman Wednesdays…Tamika L. Gardner, Founder of The Baby Chef

This week’s WonderWoman is Tamika L. Gardner, Founder of The Baby Chef™. Tamika started The Baby Chef™ after creating SimplyBabyFoodRecipes.net, with the belief that every baby deserves the right to experience fresh and healthy food. Simply Baby Food Recipes offers lots of homemade baby food recipes that are easy to make and healthy for babies and toddlers. The Baby Chef™ ensures that parents will be fully equipped to make their own baby food, while making life easier with unique products that save on food preparation. Additionally, The Baby Chef offers other unique and natural products for babies and children. Here’s how Tamika did it…

When did you have the light bulb moments that became SimplyBabyFoodRecipes.net and The Baby Chef?

When I was pregnant with my first born, Nikai, I knew I was going to breastfeed her because of all the great benefits that it offers.  However, when Nikai was ready to graduate to solids, at about 6 months, I did not like the idea of buying store-bought food in a jar for two main reasons – the lack of freshness and taste, and the price. 

We had already saved hundreds of dollars through breastfeeding and I wanted to continue those savings.  So I received some advice from my grandmother, who never fed her children baby food from the jar because it wasn’t invented yet!  My father, my uncles and aunts all grew up on mashed potatoes and mashed up collard greens and cornbread.  That was the moment the light bulb went off and I researched infant feeding on the internet and eventually made my website in one weekend.

After having an internet presence for a few years, I wanted to offer parents the tools they need to make homemade baby food and other feeding accessories.  Then The Baby Chef™ was born.

How did you get the business started? 

It was really easy for me to start the business online.  I partnered up with a couple of distributors/manufacturers and had a virtual grand opening of August 2008.  

What is a typical day like for you Tamika?

Having two very young children only 18 months apart, my day is extremely busy.  I spend most of the day caring for them.  However, since I am cooking three meals a day plus snacks, I do not lose out on an opportunity to make a recipe.  So therefore I keep a camera in my kitchen and I take picture of things that were a hit and I’ll upload them to my site with the recipe.  Most of them are on-the-fly concoctions.  I spend time in the evening checking and processing orders, and working on a new business venture that will launch within the next couple of months for mothers-to-be.

You recently featured the Apple Smash Smoothie on SimplyBabyFoodRecipes.net, sounds yummy! Where do you get your inspiration for baby food recipes?

Cooking is a passion of mine and I love trying new recipes.  The inspiration comes from within most of the time.  Sometimes I could be laying in the bed and think of something new to try.   Or, I could be at the grocery store and see an interesting vegetable or fruit to experiment with.  I also get lots of inspiration from the Food Network.

What do you suggest for moms with babies and toddlers that are picky eaters?

Well I have a lot of experience in that category because even I have picky eaters!  My husband, Troy, will tell you that we eat like Kings and Queens in my household.  I go out of my way to make sure my food is restaurant quality in presentation and taste, but my kids still have picky tendencies.  They weren’t that way when they were babies, but now that they are 2 and 3 years old, they suddenly don’t like foods I used to feed them.

So here are a few tips for getting your kids to eat:

1.  Never express that you don’t like something in front of your child.  They may decide that they don’t like it just because you don’t.

2.  Offer your child a variety of food so that you can find out what they do like.  It is natural for children to dislike food.  Even adults have likes and dislikes so don’t think your child has a problem.

3.  Expand your child’s horizons by offering them food that you wouldn’t eat or dislike.  You may find that they do like foods that you dislike.

4.  Season vegetables thoroughly, especially canned vegetables.  Vegetables taste best when they are seasoned well with butter and other spices. 

5.  Be consistent and keep offering your child the same food even if they don’t like it at first.  You may find that they will eventually like the food after a few times so don’t give up.

6.  Don’t reward your child with dessert or other sweet treats if they don’t eat their meal.  In fact, it’s best to not offer desert or other sweet treats at all until they develop good eating habits.  Otherwise, they will learn that they can skip out on the meal and go straight to junk food, which can further add to the childhood obesity problem.


What are the most effective ways you have promoted and marketed The Baby Chef? What’s your best marketing tip?

The most effective way I have promoted The Baby Chef™ is through SimplyBabyFoodRecipes.net.  The people who are looking for recipes are the ones who need the tools to make baby food.  Search Engine Optimization is also very key in getting my site in the Search Engines.

I highly recommend spending time on Search Engine Optimization.  It works and I have not had to invest in expensive pay-per-click campaigns because people find my site organically.  However, it is more work involved and can be costly if you don’t know how to do it yourself.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself? What advice would you give someone else starting their own business?

I’ve learned a lot through trial and error, and I’ve learned from my mistakes.  I’ve learned that things take time and to not try to be Super Woman, trying to do everything at once.

The advice I would give someone else trying to start their own business would be to keep taking strides toward achieving your goals, even if the strides are small sometimes.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and it will take time to have a viable business.  Also, if something is not working the way you thought, then change your plan, but don’t give up.

What goals do you have for The Baby Chef this year?

The Baby Chef™ will be going through some changes this year, but for all good.  There will be a book and an ebook coming out soon and a series of cookbooks for 2010.  Also, The Baby Chef Store will be changing, and will be a part of another site that caters to moms and children (you will still be able to reach the store at www.TheBabyChefStore.com).

The main goal of The Baby Chef ™ is to help parent nurture healthy children, which my main goal, and this will be accomplished through the books.  Prices on the site will also be reduced to give parents incentive to make their own food, should they wish to purchase.  However, buying expensive gadgets and tools are not necessary.  I made my own food and I didn’t have any of the products that I sell at the time.

What have you learned on your business journey that you’d like to share with other business owners?

I have learned to stick to my goals and to continue to ask for guidance and inspiration from my higher power.  At times, I considered shutting down everything because it is a lot to handle with young kids.  However, I have come too far and I don’t give up easy!

I have learned to be flexible, to change things as needed, and to not second guess myself.  When I get an inspiration or gut feeling, I act on it right away.  Both The Baby Chef and Simply Baby Food Recipes were weekend wonders, meaning they both were created and live on the internet in a weekend.

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Fact Fridays…Guest Post: Top Tips for Problem Free Breastfeeding

 

Our post for this week’s “Fact Fridays” for breastfeeding is from Jodie Fuller, one of our MomPals or should I say MumPals, from across the pond! Jodie manages to write these gems while being mum-in-chief of http://www.my-babyshop.co.uk, http://www.my-beautyshop.co.uk, and http://www.my-bookstore.co.uk. I don’t know where she finds the time, bravo girl! Check Jodie’s sites when you get a chance for great baby products and to grab yourself some great practical products and gifts!

Top Tips for Problem Free Breastfeeding

Shall I? Shall I not? Why do we have a choice? Because of the invention of formula! Imagine if formula was never invented we would not be having this conversation! It is because of the freedom of choice and products available to us, that we are faced with some tricky choices. In the 3rd world and poor countries, formula is not available and therefore breastfeeding is the ONLY choice. Where formula has started to be introduced to poor countries, they now face the huge problem of newborns becoming sick due to poor hygiene and lack of sterile conditions formula requires.

A woman’s breast is DESIGNED to produce milk. Experts agree that breast milk is the best food for your baby; in fact, it is perfect food and completely clean, packed with anti-bodies and contains just the right amount of nutrients. Breastfeeding is also good for women, protecting them against breast cancer, ovarian cancer and hip fractures!

 It supports the baby’s immune system and is a natural protector! Knowing how your milk is produced will help you understand some of the initial problems you may be faced with.

Babies who are given nothing but breast milk for more than three months, have been found to have higher IQ’s than those given formula milk.

I will give you some top tips from myself and other mums who have overcome the problems you will face when breastfeeding, so you can find the strength to carry on when those around you may not be supporting you!

To do all you can to help the breastfeeding go well, consider this check list:

  • Make a firm decision to breastfeed (or not to) during pregnancy and stick to it!
  • Feed your newborn as soon as you can after delivery, this will help with bonding.
  • Don’t be put off if you can’t get baby to latch on first time, it takes practice, and is not your babies problem, other than the baby having actual, clinically “tongue tied”, there is no excuse why your baby cannot learn. It is getting into the right positions and then practice it.
  • Feed on demand day and night, it sounds wrong, but you will find great peace not trying to get a “routine” from day one! It is very stressful when you are constantly asked “are you in a routine yet”. You will find this will automatically fall into its own “routine” without being forced into one. Less stress for everyone!
  • Get your midwife to help you with latching on techniques and be patient.
  • Don’t give your baby a bottle in the first 4 weeks – this will just confuse the whole situation and will not solve any problem you thought it would solve. Baby will become confused about how to then latch on to the bottle and will have further problems switching back and forth.
  • Make regular contact with a local breastfeeding counsellor – I attended a breastfeeding group weekly which really helped morale and we shared problems and issues and got them resolved with like minded mums.
  • Be patient. Think of it as a skill you need to learn.
  • Ask for help WHEN you need it, don’t be too proud to get help

Breastfeeding gives you plenty of opportunities to bond.

I have breastfed two babies and although it was very tough, hard, draining at times, worrying and intense, I wouldn’t change what I did for the world.

I provided my daughters with the very best possible start with the very best milk (from me, made for them) and I feel liberated and proud to of done just that.

There are many products out there to support you in being comfortable in the breastfeeding world, and in my experience, a good, well supportive shaped pillow is a great one to have. 

Jodie Fuller

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Fit Fridays… Is Yoga Ok During Pregnancy?

Yoga is a great way to stay active and fit during your pregnancy. Yoga’s focus on breathing will help you throughout your pregnancy and definitely through labor! If you’re new to yoga, consult with your doctor before starting any fitness program during pregnancy. If you’re a seasoned yogini, consult with you doctor before continuing your program as well and let your yoga instructors know you are pregnant and which trimester you are in so they can suggest the right poses and posture modifications.

For more info on yoga during pregnancy and to find the safest poses, check out Baby Center.com

Yoga Video Courtesy of Purple Yoga Hawaii

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Tasty Tuesdays…Citrus Coconut Squash Bisque

Coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils on Earth, though it’s often overlooked because of saturated fat content. Coconut has been used for centuries for it’s healing properties and it’s satisfying taste. Some of it’s properties include: killing viruses, bacteria, fungi, and yeast; Improving insulin secretion and glucose utilization; and helping to protect against osteoporosis, to name just a few.

Get more info on this wonder oil here, and add some of coconut’s health benefits to your life with this yummy Citrus Coconut Squash Bisque recipe. A simple soup recipe that’s quick and tastes gourmet? Sign me up!!!

Courtesy of Practical Yoga

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