Archives for June 2015

14 Ways to Soothe a Crying Baby

Whether your baby is colicky or not, every baby cries at some point.  Crying is a baby’s only form of communication in the early months and it is instinct for a baby to let caregivers know when she needs something.  Very quickly parents learn to discern the various cries of their baby because a hungry cry will sound different than a sleepy cry or a dirty diaper cry.  And sometimes babies just cry because they don’t even know what they need or want.

Crying babies can be quite frustrating to parents, especially when the cries seem to be for no good reason.  Next time you’re faced with a fussy baby, try these 14 ways to soothe a crying baby:

  1. 14 Ways to Soothe a Crying BabyHold Your Baby: Experts agree that when a young infant cries, you should pick them up.  Their cries are asking for help and they need to know that someone is there to meet their needs.  Plus, skin-to-skin contact helps calm babies, stabilize their heartbeat (which may be elevated when they are upset) and regulate their temperature.
  2. Sing to Your Baby: Your baby will love the sound of your voice.  After all, she’s been hearing it for the past 9 months from the womb.  Regardless of your ability to carry a tune, your voice will be beautiful music to your baby’s ears.  And the vibrations of your vocal chords will also help soothe your baby if you hold her close while singing.
  3. Shush Your Baby: Your baby is accustomed to the constant sounds of the inner workings of your body such as your blood flow, heart beat and digestion.  So a noise like shushing is comforting to her because it is a familiar sound.  Sometimes a few minutes of shushing right against a baby’s ear is all that’s required to lull her to sleep.
  4. Swaddle Your Baby: The womb offers a warm and tight living space for your baby.  Mimic that experience by swaddling her tightly, especially during sleep time.  This will also help keep her contained so her involuntary arm and leg movements don’t wake her.
  5. Change Positions: Keeping your baby in the same position may get stagnant for her.  Try switching it up by holding her differently every once in awhile.  Also, putting pressure on her belly by holding her upside down along your arm may help relieve gas that could be causing her pain.
  6. Look for Distress: Sometimes babies become fussy because their clothes are too tight, a tag on their clothing is itchy, they have a rash or something else is making them uncomfortable.  Undress your baby and check her over from head-to-toe to look for the culprit.
  7. 14 Ways to Soothe a Crying BabyBreastfeed Your Baby: Breastfeeding is one of the most relaxing, nourishing and fulfilling ways you can soothe a crying baby.  Your breast milk alone can calm your baby but also the act of sucking and the closeness of breastfeeding will keep your baby quiet and happy.
  8. Vibrate Your Baby: Babies love vibrations, which is why many infant chairs have a vibration feature.  If you need more vibration options, hold your baby on top of the washing machine or dryer or drive your baby around the block a few times.  Much like adults, the vibrating movement can put a baby to sleep in no time.
  9. Turn on a Sounds or Music: You can only shush your baby for so long but a machine can go all night.  Use a sound machine with peaceful tunes such as running water, chirping birds or white noise, to help keep the sounds going.  Many babies also like music, which is excellent for your baby’s brain development.
  10. Bathe Your Baby: A warm bath might be a relaxing experience for your baby.  Use bath time as family time where you can caress your baby, look her in the eyes and share loving moments.
  11. Massage Your Baby: After a bath is a great time to give your baby a massage.  Using a natural oil or lotion, gently massage your baby’s arms, legs, belly and back.  This will feel amazing to your baby and your touch will help calm her and meet her emotional needs.
  12. Stroll Your Baby: Like vibrating, strolling can relax a baby quickly.  The constant movement induces drowsiness and she may also enjoy a change of scenery.  If you are trying to calm your baby, remove toys and anything that could over-stimulate your baby during stroller time.
  13. Give Your Baby a Pacifier: A baby’s instinct to suck is a natural way she can “pacify” herself.  Giving her a pacifier will help relieve that desire and soothe your baby.  If your baby likes to suck beyond breastfeeding, she may eventually find her thumb as well.
  14. Rock or Swing Your Baby: Swinging and rocking will remind your baby of her time in utero when she bounced around with your every movement.  Rocking your baby while standing or in a rocking chair may appease her, or try a baby swing that will do the job for you.

Babies will cry, there is no doubt about it.  But these ways to soothe a crying baby can help you keep your little bundle of joy happier and calmer.  Good luck!

World Breastfeeding Week 2015: Let’s Make it Work!

How are you spending your week of August 1st through the 7th? Join us in celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, an annual week-long event that engages women from all around the world with breastfeeding news, support, and community building. This year marks the 24th year for the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, the founding group and champions of moms and babies across the globe. This year’s initiative is “Breastfeeding at Work: Let’s Make it Work!” in remembrance of the 1993 theme: “Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative.”World Breastfeeding Week 2015: Let's Make it Work!

 

In 1992, The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action founded World Breastfeeding Week to bring awareness to deadly infant diseases, fight world hunger, and overall promote breastfeeding worldwide. The World Health Organization and UNICEF joined as partners with the WABA and together they formed the WBW celebration as way to remind mothers, doctors, and family members that breastfeeding an infant yields the best, most cost-effective nutritional diet available. Mothers receive countless health benefits from breastfeeding as well. In 2007, the CDC reported that only 11.3 percent of new mothers exclusively breastfed their child for the first 6 months. In an effort to raise awareness and extend breastfeeding beyond a week or two, the WABA and partners tirelessly champion breastfeeding support so mothers and babies can benefit from the guidance they need for successful nursing.

This year as we follow the 1993 theme, “Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative,” which sadly is still a struggle many women face today, we spread the word and encourage employers and the general public to stop criticizing women for nursing in public but instead embrace the healthy and natural process of breastfeeding. If you would like to help spread the word you can find countless La Leche chapters across the nation hosting Latch On events, and WIC offices are always opening their doors to new mothers facing breastfeeding troubles. Look at your local chapters and see how you can volunteer or participate. Leading Lady/ Loving Moments by Leading Lady is donating nursing bras to WIC offices around the country so nursing moms get the support they need for successful, comfortable breastfeeding. Join the conversation on our Facebook page and share your stories with moms just like you!

 

 

Baby Skin Care in Summer

Baby Skin Care in Summer

Your baby’s soft, delicate skin is surely one of the things you love most about holding her close.  Skin-to-skin time is all the more enjoyable when you can caress her tender skin and share loving moments.  During summertime the sun and pesky insects can threaten the health and comfort of that sensitive, smooth skin, which is why safe baby skin care practices are particularly important in the sunny, hot, buggy summer months.

There are three primary concerns for baby skin care in summer:  the sun, the heat and the bugs.  Today we’re sharing prevention and treatment tips for each of these summer skin care issues.

Baby Skin Care: The Sun

Unfortunately the sun’s rays are not discerning and they can burn even the sweetest, most adorable babies just like anyone else.  As we all know, sunburns really hurt and can even be worse on a baby’s brand new skin.  Plus, sunburns during early childhood increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life.  It is always important to protect your baby’s skin during sun exposure.  There is some debate whether newborns and infants under 3 months should wear sunscreen.  Ask your pediatrician so you can make an informed decision.  If you are given the green light, only apply sunscreens of SPF 30-50 that are especially formulated for babies.  These will be most appropriate for a baby’s sensitive skin.

Beyond sunscreen, keep your baby covered as much as possible.  Sun protective clothing with built-in SPF is ideal.  Always dress your baby in a wide-brim hat to avoid sun on the face and neck.  Find shade under a tree, umbrella or awning whenever possible.  If you plan to spend a day at the beach or pool, umbrellas or tents are necessary to prevent your baby from getting burnt.  Also, try to avoid being outdoors during the peak midday sun hours between noon and 3 p.m.

If your baby does get a sunburn, do your best to cool and soothe her skin to keep her comfortable.  Apply cold washcloths to her skin several times daily to reduce the irritation and redness.  Use a natural aloe vera formula or organic baby lotion to nourish her skin and stimulate rapid re-growth.  You can also try rubbing some breast milk over the affected area to help heal and repair skin quickly.

Baby Skin Care:  The Heat

Babies lack the ability to regulate their own body temperatures.  So when it is hot outside, they may get really hot and sweaty.  Heat rash is caused when sweat glands are clogged, which results in red bumps around the body.  These bumps may be concentrated in certain areas where baby skin folds because they are more susceptible to clogged pores.  Again, keep your baby out of the heat during peek sun hours – even being in the shade during the midday sun can lead to heat rash.  Bring along a fan or cool mist spray bottle to keep your baby cool and always dress her in breathable fabrics.  Limit baby wearing time when it is super hot because the two of you will generate more heat together than separately.

If your baby does get heat rash, bathe her in water of a moderate temperature.  Do not use creams, oils or lotions that could further block pores.  Instead, keep skin clean and dry.  If the rash persists for longer than 5-7 days, call your doctor.  The heat can breed bacterial or yeast infections which will require medications to treat.

Baby Skin Care:  The Bugs

Rather than swatting away bugs, your baby may be fascinated by them.  Bites are a common problem during the summer when bugs are out in abundance.  Dress your baby in long sleeves and pants when you know you’ll be outdoors in a buggy area.  When in a stroller or tent, you can use netting to keep bugs away from your tot.  There are also bands and portable bug repellent devices that you can attach to your stroller or picnic blanket to keep bugs at bay.

Babies under 2 months should not use bug spray.  Although the American Academy for Pediatrics says bug sprays with less than 30% deet are acceptable for babies over 2-months, many baby skin care companies offer a deet-free natural bug spray that may be a better option for babies and young children.  When applying bug spray, avoid the eyes, mouth and hands and wash it off immediately after returning indoors.

Protect your baby’s precious skin with these summer baby skin care tips. We hope you have lots of fun this summer!!

Tips for Breastfeeding in the Summer

In the hot summer months, breastfeeding may become a bit sticky but the heat makes it all-the-more necessary for your baby.  Although the thought of pressing another body against yours during the hottest time of year may seem uncomfortable, don’t let the sun deter you from breastfeeding in the summer.  Today we’re sharing tips for breastfeeding in the summer to keep both you and your baby cool and comfortable.

Tips for Breastfeeding in the SummerTip #1:  Breastfeed more often.

Just like you, your baby may feel thirstier during the summer.  Even when a baby is not hungry, she may need a sip of breast milk to quench her thirst.  If you find your baby to be fussy between feedings, feed her again from the same breast to give her a refreshing drink.  Then start with your other breast at the next full feeding.

Tip #2:  Breast milk provides all the water babies need.

Breast milk is made primarily of water.  Therefore, babies under the age of one do not need to drink any supplemental water.  That phenomenal breast milk satisfies all of her hydration.

Tip #3:  Breast milk changes to meet the needs of your baby. 

This amazing quality of breast milk is quite miraculous.  When your baby is warm, your breast milk automatically adjusts to meet the needs of your baby.  So during the hot months of summer, your breast milk may feel cooler and thinner as it changes to help cool off your little tot.

Tip #4:  Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Since breast milk is made of water, you’ll need to drink lots of it to keep your production in full swing.  Remember, juice, fruits and veggies are all great sources of water beyond drinking plain water.  But be sure to drink extra water when you consume coffee or salty foods that tend to cause dehydration.

Tip #5:  Keep your baby cool.

Babies lack the internal mechanism to self-adjust their body temperatures, which can make them extremely hot in summer months.  While breastfeeding undress your baby down to her diaper.  This will keep both of you cooler and possibly keep your baby awake during feedings too.  Wipe your baby with cool water and be sure your home, especially baby’s room, is set at a comfortable temperature.  You may want to keep an overhead fan or cool mister humidifier on for better air circulation.

L317Tip #6:  Wear breathable nursing clothes.

When you’re comfortable, breastfeeding will be a more enjoyable experience for everyone.  Soft cotton/spandex nursing bras and nursing tank tops are ideal for breastfeeding in the summer.  The drop-down cups make breastfeeding a cinch and the breezy fabric will help keep you cool during skin-to-skin.

Tip #7:  Take a dip.

Swimming with your baby will be refreshing to both of you.  Check with both your OBGYN and pediatrician to ensure you’re cleared for a dip and then take the plunge.  Some babies love swimming while others take longer to warm up to it.  If you don’t have access to a pool, lake or ocean, you can also get in the bathtub with your baby for a little splish-splash time.  Some moms rub breast milk on their breasts to cleanse them after lake or ocean swimming.

Finding Time to be a Fit Mom

What to do about Stretch Marks

Every mom knows squeezing in the time for a workout can be, needless to say, almost impossible. If you’re the type to get up at 5 a.m., or sooner, than I solute you not be like the most of us who love every second of extra sleep we can get. It’s hard balancing cleaning the house, work, packing school lunches, making dinner, and at least getting in thirty minutes of cardio into your day. Many of us have good intentions and pump ourselves up all morning and into our day at work and then when we get home we realize there is no food in the fridge or one of the kids is bored and continues to nag you until bedtime. Do you see where I’m getting at? Sometimes things don’t always go as planned, and when you think you’re going to be good and workout once you get home it just doesn’t seem to happen. However, when we keep pushing your workouts aside your health is also being pushed aside as well.

Yes, you’ve heard all about how incorporating fitness into your daily routine is great for your health. You’ll be happier, you’ll feel better, you’ll have more energy, etc. But what about time? Isn’t that the biggest issue? Well we’re here to help! Today we are not only going to talk about the importance of living a fit and healthy life, but also the efficient way to incorporate workouts into your routine.

To be fit, but more importantly, healthy, you have to want it. Plain and simple. There are thousands and thousands of articles out there that have wonderful workout and diet plans that can fit perfectly into your daily life, but you will never be able to fully stick with it unless you are determined for life. Note that I didn’t say for the week, or for the month, or for the year, but for LIFE. Being healthy is a life decision that you cannot just change after you’re workout plan is finished. You have to want it for life, for your health, for your family, and for yourself. You can do it.

Being a fit mom takes time and energy. It starts off with eating healthier and taking care of your body and mind so in return you have more energy and feel more positive. You’ll need to control your cravings and stay away from eating large amounts of sweets and fried food throughout the week. These changes will not be easy at first. You will give up every now and then, binge eat, and feel sorry for yourself, but that’s okay because you’re human. The real bravery and courage comes from not backing down and admitting to your mistakes and encouraging yourself not to give up again. You can do it. Every mom can be the fit mom she wants to be.

Once you’ve decided this is what you really want you’ll need to set goals. Start doing small at-home workouts in the morning when you wake up and once you get home from work. These could be anywhere from 5-20 minutes long.

Example:

 

Morning Workout                                                                 Afternoon Workout

10 Push Ups                                                                            1 Min Plank

10 Calf Raises                                                                         15 Pushups

20 Jumping Jacks                                                                    30 Mountain Climbers

20 Squats                                                                                1 Min Plank

1 Min Plank

If you set goals for yourself and really push yourself to meet them, you’ll have no problem with finding time during your day to workout. You’ll realize you’re able to do more, lift more weight, run longer, etc. If time is still an issue, try getting your whole family involved in the new healthy lifestyle. One idea is to trade time with your husband or partner so one can watch the kids while the other does their workout. Another is to try and get up a little earlier and do a workout video, go for a run, or a bike ride. It’s easier to do this with a partner so encourage your significant other to do it with you.

A few major issues women have when they begin working out are not feeling confident in themselves or feeling guilty for taking away time from their family to workout. If you’re not feeling confident in your skin this is exactly the reason why you should start living a healthier life style. You’ll be a stronger and happier you once you love the skin your in. At first working out will be intimidating, especially if you going to the gym or taking classes. This feeling will pass but it will take some time. Don’t give up just because you see another women who might have a better body than yours or who can lift more weights than you because just remember that’s not how she has always looked or how much she could lift. Everyone starts off somewhere. A great way to feel better about yourself is to join a women’s group fitness class. Women who empower one another to make themselves feel great is an amazing experience. You’ll gain new friends and you’ll all be working towards a similar goal while you motivate each other on the way!

If you’re feeling guilty about wanting to workout, don’t. Taking the time to do something for yourself is not selfish at all. Everyone needs a hobby and their own personal space sometimes. Taking an hour or more out of your day to help improve your health is definitely not something you should feel guilty about. Your family should be there to encourage you and support your journey to be a healthier you. Once you get there you’ll find you’ll be able to spend even more time with them once you have more energy and a better attitude!

Finding time to workout has many elements you’ll need to overcome. You need to want it and be determined to meet goals and know this isn’t a temporary decision, but a life changing one. It’s okay to make mistakes and cheat every once in a while, and try not to be self-conscious or intimidated at the gym. Everyone has to start somewhere. You can do it if you set your mind to it. Every mom is capable and deserving of reaching her goal weight and happiness.

What to do about Stretch Marks

What to do about Stretch MarksAs your body is changing in many amazing ways, one downside to pregnancy is stretch marks.  While you probably won’t like the way they look, stretch marks are a cosmetic issue that comes with the job of being an expectant mom.  These bothersome signs of pregnancy appear on 90% of women at some point during their 9 months of gestation, according to the American Academy for Dermatology.

Stretch marks occur when your body is growing faster than your skin can stretch.  The elastic fibers beneath the surface of your skin will break, causing the lines we know as stretch marks.  This primarily happens on the belly as that is the area that is growing the fastest.  However, stretch marks can also occur on the arms, thighs and buttocks where women also tend to gain weight during pregnancy.  Stretch marks are genetic and women with lighter skin get pinkish lines while women with darker complexions have lighter lines.

For most women, avoiding stretch marks altogether may be impossible.  However, there are ways to help prevent major scaring from stretch marks.  The best solution is to gain weight slowly.  The College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends women within a normal weight range gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy.  This weight gain helps ensure the baby is getting plenty of nutrients and has the opportunity to grow and develop healthily, while the mother creates the most welcoming environment in her body for the baby.  But with that much weight gain over less than a year’s time, skin has to work hard to stretch quickly.  When women gain weight slowly over the 9 month gestation period, their skin has a better chance of keeping up, which results in less stretch marks.  Rapid weight gain lends itself to more severe stretch marks.

Also during pregnancy and postpartum, women should remain hydrated by drinking plenty of water and hydrate skin topically with natural oils and lotions.  Many women use shea butter, cocoa butter and coconut oils as these nut, bean and fruit byproducts are bursting with essential fatty acids that stimulate the production of collagen and support healthy, adaptable skin cells.  WebMD recommends gels made from onion extract and hyaluronic acid as another natural way to reduce stretch marks.

Beware of creams and lotions that claim to prevent or eliminate stretch marks altogether.  These may contain hydrating and collagen-encouraging ingredients, but there is no magic potion for stretch marks.  If stretch mark creams interest you for hydration purposes, look for those with natural ingredients rather than chemicals and synthetics.  Regardless of what type of natural lotion you select – designed for stretch marks or just a general moisturizer – these products may help relieve itchiness and make your skin feel soft.  And we all know, comfort is key during pregnancy.  So go ahead and use them, just don’t expect miracles.

After pregnancy, you can discuss further stretch mark reduction procedures with your dermatologist.  Professionals can prescribe retinol, a therapeutic grade form of Vitamin A that stimulates the production of collagen and elastin and encourages cell turnover so fresh cells are constantly rising to the surface of your skin.  This can help fade stretch marks significantly.  Other procedures involving dermabrasion and lasers may work as well.

Eating for elasticity is important throughout pregnancy and as your belly returns to its normal shape.  Foods rich in cell-supporting antioxidants such as those with Vitamin A, C and E, essential fatty acids and anti-inflammatories are excellent to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and maintain general good health.  Gelatin is another good choice as it adds elasticity to skin.

Stretch marks are a normal part a pregnant woman’s changing body.  Having a baby requires sacrifices and this is one of many you may face as a mother.  Try not to let it get you down and focus on ways to keep your skin hydrated, nourished and healthy to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.  Any lingering marks can be considered a badge of honor for your beautiful baby.

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is becoming the new must-have for moms and babies! Due to its unique richness of fatty acids it’s proven to be one of the best superfoods. Just like breast milk, coconut oil contains lauric acid, a healthy saturated fat, and with that comes many positive health benefits including better brain function, weight loss, and protection against harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. People who eat a lot of coconut during their lives are considered to be some of the healthiest people on the planet!

Coconut oil has even better benefits for breastfeeding moms and their babies. Feeding your child coconut oil can help their bodies grow up healthy and strong. It can help get rid of lice, ease the pain and itching of bug bites, it’s great for controlling wild hair, particularly curly hair, and it’s perfect to put in the tub for calming bath time. Here are five different ways moms and their babies can benefit from using coconut oil on a daily basis:

For Moms

  1. Breastfeeding Moms: Coconut oil is the best solution for mom’s cracked or sore nipples from breastfeeding. It can be used as a lubricant during breast pumping, and as an anti-itch cream while your belly grows during pregnancy. You can also increase your milk supply by ingesting coconut oil a few times a day.
  2. Beauty: Coconut oil will be your new best friend! Not only can it get rid of your unwanted acne, it’s the perfect moisturizer for your hair and body, a great makeup remover, and it can also help with the appearance of wrinkles! Plus, you can use it as a substitute for regular shaving cream and make your legs feel extra soft and sexy.
  3. Skin: Coconut oil has deep moisturizing abilities so it’s great for eczema and psoriasis along with reducing the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite.
  4. Cooking: Not only can cooking with coconut oil give you amazing nutrients, but it also brings a delicious Mediterranean style. And because coconut oil is a natural energizer you will feel fuller longer and will always be ready to take on the day!
  5. Immune System: Consuming coconut oil helps your body numerously. It’s great for people with digestive problems, and it helps control bad bacteria to help women who struggle from yeast infections. Coconut oil also relieves heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion, and it has anti-viral properties so it’s great for healing scrapes, bruises, and burns without contracting infections.

For Babies

  1. Pain Reliever: Teething can be a very painful process for your baby. Wipe some coconut oil on their gums to relieve the pain.
  2. Skin: Coconut oil is really great for cradle cap and strengthening your baby’s soft spot. It also will warm and turn into a liquid when rubbing it together with your hands so it’s perfect for infant massages, sunscreen, and works well with baby acne.
  3. Immune System: Coconut oil has anti-bacterial, anti-itch, and anti-inflammatory properties and can help with baby allergies, reducing fever, soothing chicken pox, constipation, and getting rid of Thrush.
  4. Diaper Changing: Coconut oil is great for soothing diaper rash and getting rid of stubborn meconium your baby might have during the first few days.
  5. Cooking: Feeding your baby coconut oil will broaden their tasting experience by trying new flavors. It’s also rich in lauric acid just like breast milk so it’s super healthy!

You will love the health benefits coconut oil will give you and your baby! If you’re concerned about allergies or your baby ingesting coconut oil, or other products, make sure to always speak with your doctor or lactation consultant before trying new foods. Also, before you go out and buy coconut oil make sure you are educated on what kind to purchase. Extra virgin coconut oil is all natural and contains no preservatives or harmful ingredients; therefore it’s the best one to buy!

 

 

 

First Father’s Day: The Best Gifts for New Dads

The first Father’s Day is a meaningful occasion for new dads.  While mom has taken the brunt of the physical experience of having a baby, dads are often just as engaged emotionally and mentally in new parenthood.  Therefore, you’ll surely want to celebrate dad in a special way on his first Father’s Day.  For that, you’ll want to know the best gifts for new dads.  We’ve got you covered in our New Dad’s Gift Guide.

Tech-Savvy Dads

motorola-digital-baby-monitorKid-Proof Phone Case:  As soon as your little rug rat is able to grab objects, dad’s shiny phone will certainly look like a lot of fun to fondle, chew on and drop.  Be proactive and buy dad a protective case that will help his phone survive infancy and toddlerhood.

Hi-Tech Baby Monitor:  Baby monitors have come a long way and this is one gadget that can get dads very excited.  Look for a monitor with many features that dad can play with, including a talk-back button and camera movement.  Many new baby monitors can sync with dad’s cell phone so he can keep tabs on baby from the office, a date night with mom or watching a game in another room.

Stroller Phone Pod:  This cool holder allows dad to stroll baby with easy access to his phone.  The stroller phone pods snaps onto the handlebar of the stroller to readily display dad’s phone screen.  And whenever he wants to take a quick pic of his adorable baby, his phone will be right at his fingertips.

In-Charge Dads

Baby Carrier:  We all know babies love to snuggle close to their parents and dads enjoy cuddle time too.  Encourage more skin-to-skin by letting dad do the baby wearing in a dad-friendly baby carrier.  The bonding experience will be invaluable and, while he shows off your cute tot, you can show off your incredibly dedicated partner.

Man Bag:  Every dad needs his own man bag for toting around baby items.  Stock his bag with all the essentials in your diaper bag so he can grab it on the fly when heading out with baby.  He’ll appreciate having his own masculine bag without feeling like he’s carrying around his wife’s purse.  Messenger style bags, one shoulder backpacks or a bag displaying his favorite sports team are all great first Father’s Day gift ideas.

Sports-Loving Dads

youth_baseball_gloves_HBaseball Gloves:  While it may be years before he can use them with junior, having a set of daddy/kid baseball gloves will be something he can look forward to using in years to come.  Plus, he can train your little one to use it from a young age, which should make any sports-loving dad very happy.

Matching Sports Shirts:  Dressing your baby in dad’s favorite sports team gear will certainly melt his heart.  And matching outfits will probably melt yours too.  Look for an infant shirt or onesie with his favorite team or have one custom made online.  We’re sure dad would agree, you can never start too early creating a sports fan.

Fishing Poles:  A toy fishing pole is a fun gift for dad to use with his budding fisherman.  This game may entertain your tot for hours and dad will get a kick out of it too.  This a super gift for dads who love to fish or boat, especially if you are getting him fishing gear for himself.

Sentimental Dads

His Favorite Childhood Book:  Nostalgia is definitely a part of parenthood.  Help dad bring back fond childhood memories by buying a copy of one of his favorite books from when he was a kid.  Designate it as a special daddy book that he can read to your child for years to come.

Handprints & Footprints:  Infancy is a fleeting moment in time.  Commemorate it with framed handprints and footprints for dad to keep forever.  You can cast them or use paint to display your baby’s adorable hands and feet for dad.

Wishing your family a Happy First Father’s Day!

 

Benefits of Cabbage for Sore Breasts

Benefits of Cabbage for Sore BreastsCabbage is an extraordinary thing. Not only can you make delicious recipes from its leaves, but they can give you amazing health benefits. Cabbage has been used for years to treat a number of things including constipation, stomach ulcers, eczema, arthritis, and scurvy, a Vitamin C deficiency disease that many professionals recommend cabbage for because it contains more Vitamin C than oranges. Including cabbage into your everyday diet is one of the best things you can do for your body. It has been known to increase recovery from wounds and damaged tissues, regulate your nervous and digestive systems, and can even help you sustain a healthy weight. Cabbage is also an excellent remedy for women during their maternity to help with discomfort.

While you breastfeed you may experience a time where you will feel uncomfortable, or in pain, from your swollen, engorged breasts. This is a common factor in women who are breastfeeding. It can happen any time during your maternity, but it’s most common during the first few days or weeks and during the following days or weeks after you stop breastfeeding. Engorged breasts can be very painful. Once you have given birth your body begins to produce breast milk to feed your baby. For the first few days trailing your delivery, you will more than likely have difficulty breastfeeding, especially if it’s your first baby. Your baby may have trouble latching and you could go a few days without being able to feed with your breasts. Until you begin a normal breastfeeding schedule you may feel discomfort in your breasts as they fill with unused milk. This discomfort will only last as short while, usually one to two days. Breast pumping can help too.

Cabbage is a great solution for your sore breasts. The leaves have been used for hundreds of years to soothe and cool sore or sprained muscles. Many people use it for sprained ankles or as a substitute for prescribed drugs when they get their wisdom teeth taken out. Many specialists and herbalists believe cabbage is rich in antibiotics and has anti-irritant possessions. Cabbage, just like broccoli and brussel sprouts, contains sinigrin, a glucosinolate which is a natural component in many pungent plants such as mustard and horseradish. When a plant’s leaves or tissues are broken it releases the antioxidants including sinigrin and in return they can heal the problem area naturally and quicker.

For the best use to heal your sore breasts from engorgement purchase a head of green cabbage from your grocery store. Once you get home gently tear off the leaves, wash them, and place in your refrigerator so that they can cool. You don’t necessarily need to put them in the fridge, but cool objects do help with swelling. After they are cool enough you will want to take a rolling pin or some kind of device where you can crush the veins on the leaves. Once you’re done doing this to several leaves place them evenly around each breast so they are covered completely. For the best results leave your breasts covered for twenty to thirty minutes and repeat every four to six hours or until your breasts feel less engorged.

 

Although cabbage leaves have worked for most women to release their pain from their engorged breasts, it’s always important you speak to your lactation consultant or doctor before using anything you’re unsure about because it may be harmful to you if you are allergic. Cabbage, along with many other foods, always need to be washed and cleaned before they can be eaten or put on your body to prevent attaining Listeria.

 

 

 

Breastfeeding vs. Pollution

We love to share new discoveries about breastfeeding and today we’re reporting on some amazing news about breastfeeding and pollution.  A study done out of the University of Basque Country shows that breastfeeding reverses the harmful effects of pollution on babies.  We know breastfeeding offers phenomenal health benefits to both babies and mothers, and now we can add this terrific advantage to the list.

This research specifically focused on pollution particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide that comes from motor emissions and industrial factories.  These two types of harmful pollution are present in high traffic areas and the environment surrounding factories, especially steel factories as was the case in this study.

The study was completed over the course of 9 years.  Beginning in 2006, over 600 pregnant women and their babies have been monitored as part of the research.  The subjects live in an industrial and high-traffic rural area with significant pollution.  Researchers observed motor and mental development in the children up to 15 months old.

TheBreastfeeding vs. Pollution results were astounding!  Newborns and infants who were breastfed for at least four months showed little to no signs of pollutants in their bodies.  This marks the most significant study completed on the correlation between breastfeeding and pollution.

Like many pollutants, the dangerous pollutants in this research have harmful affects on humans, especially babies.  Pollution particle matter and nitrogen dioxide are present in many large, rural cities and industrial areas.  The study indicates that exposure beginning prenatally through toddlerhood can delay and prevent motor and mental development.  In these early stages of life, especially as a fetus, the central nervous system lacks internal detoxification mechanisms.  Therefore, toxins build up in the body and cause physical and mental repercussions.

Pollution is often a silent danger to young children because it is extremely small, invisible and highly mobile.  Particulates can enter the body through the skin and inhalation.  For a baby’s sensitive skin and lungs, the danger of pollution is magnified.

But, according to this latest research, breast milk can reverse the harmful effects of pollution on a baby.  Breast milk contains invaluable antibodies that protect babies in ways their immature bodies could not otherwise do on their own.  These antibodies not only act as a safeguard against immediate threats, but also help strengthen a child’s own immune system to help defend themselves against microbes for their entire lives.

Pollution is often unavoidable but now mothers know one way to combat the harmful effects of pollution:  breastfeeding!  It’s Mother Nature’s time-honored source of nutrition, healing and love. And now it can protect your baby from the dangers of pollution too.

This research was published on May 22, 2015 in Science Daily.