12 Days of #LovingMoments Photo Contest – Nursing Bra Giveaway

12 Days of #LovingMoments Photo Contest – Nursing Bra GiveawayWe know you and your families are preparing for holiday festivities in fun and exciting ways. Sharing the holidays with your new baby is particularly eventful as they get to enjoy the sights, sounds and wonders of the season. We want to share in your holiday spirit with another festive photo contest!

Our 12 Days of #LovingMoments photo contest begins today December 15 and runs through December 26. Share a photo of your nursling doing whatever your family does during the holiday season for a chance to win a nursing bra of your choice from our Loving Moments by Leading Lady collection. You can submit photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram by tagging Loving Moments and using the hashtag #LovingMoments. Find out more below.

We can’t wait to see how your family celebrates the season!

12 Days of #LovingMoments Photo Contest

Dates: Thursday, December 15 – Monday, December 26

How to Enter:  Share a photo of your nursling doing something festive during the holiday season on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram + tag Loving Moments + use the hashtag #LovingMoments. (Only entries tagged using the # will be considered.)

Tag Loving Moments on Facebook: @LovingMomentsBras.

Tag Loving Moments on Twitter @LovingMomentsBr.

Tag Loving Moments on Instagram @LovingMomentsBras.

What You’ll Win: 5 winners will be selected and announced on Thursday, December 29. These lucky mamas will receive the nursing bra of her choice from the Loving Moments by Leading Lady collection.

Additional Information: Photos submitted may be shared by Loving Moments on all social media channels (Facebook, Twitter & Instragram) and our Mommy Moments blog regardless of where they were originally posted. By submitting a photo, you agree to allow Loving Moments by Leading Lady to use it across channels.

Giveaway Rules & Regulations:

  • Entries will be accepted during the specified timeframe only. Entries submitted outside the contest window will not be considered.
  • Winners are selected at the discretion of Loving Moments by Leading Lady.
  • 5 winners will be selected to receive one prize each.
  • Failure to claim prize within 10 days of notification will result in forfeiture of prize.
  • Prizes subject to availability based on winner’s size, color and product selection. If the preferred prize is not available, the winner can make another selection.
  • May not be combined with any other coupon code offers.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • Please allow up to 21 days for shipping after a prize has been selected.
  • Not valid with previous or future purchases.
  • Giveaway may be discontinued at anytime without notice.

Good luck!

 

Meningitis Symptoms in Babies and Young Children

Even with new technology and immunizations, meningitis is on the rise. Just in the UK alone there is an estimated 1,870 cases if meningitis B each year. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) between the years of 2003-2007, 4,100 cases of bacterial meningitis occurred, and of those cases 500 individuals died. Meningitis affects not only adults and children, but babies as well. Yes, this deathly infection is affecting babies across the world, and with similar symptoms as the flu, it can often be mistaken for another illness and unfortunately go untreated.

 

Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges, which are the three membranes that line the skull and vertebral canal that surround the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can be either a viral or bacterial infection. While both can be very serious, bacterial meningitis is categorized as the deathly and can be very hard to treat. The most common strain of bacteria that causes meningitis in infants and young children in the U.S. is called Streptococcus pneumoniae or pneumococcus. This strain is what normally causes ear infections and pneumonia. A few other strains that can such as Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus inflenzae, and Listeria monocytogenes have been known to be linked to meningitis as well.

When children are diagnosed with meningitis they often have the following symptoms: high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, vomiting, confusion, sleepiness, rash, and sensitivity to light. While these signs are easy to mistake for the flu, it can be easier to diagnose when your child can verbally discuss their symptoms with you. With a baby, you may have a harder time figuring out what is wrong, especially since meningitis symptoms for a baby can be a little different. Meningitis indicators for an infant include fever, crying, sleepiness, loss of appetite, stiffness in the neck, and maybe no signs at all. Some symptoms to look out for are cold hands and feet, vomiting, the dislike of being handled, unresponsive and drowsy, pale and blotchy skin, bulging of the soft spot, and convulsions.

Meningitis symptoms can occur in any order and might seem like they came out of nowhere. It’s important to know how to protect your baby from this infection and where to go if you need help. Today it’s important to get your child vaccinated to protect them from dangerous diseases and infections like meningitis. For babies and teens there is the meningococcal vaccine. This vaccine is given in a series of shots and can be offered at any time during a child’s life, but it is recommended to be given as soon as possible, especially to those high at risk for meningitis. Teens should be vaccinated between the ages of 13-18.

 

There are very serious risk factors for those who are diagnosed with meningitis and go untreated. While viral meningitis can be treated, bacterial meningitis is serious and can lead to death. It’s important to discuss meningitis symptoms with your doctor so you are aware if your baby begins to show similar signs.

 

 

Benefits of Baby Yoga

Stretching and movement is extremely important for both men and women. Just like adults, babies need movement as well to build strength and development. One way to do this is through yoga and building strength within their bodies to promote muscle development along with other beneficial simulations.

The practice of yoga is practiced all around the world and has been known to be extremely beneficial because it builds a healthy body and wellbeing. While this has helped many adults, studios have been popping up that cater towards baby yoga. Today we are sharing five reasons why baby yoga is beneficial:

 

  1. Promotes Digestion: When a baby practices yoga with their mothers they are able to do specific movements that aid towards their digestion. Yoga promotes regular bowl movements and lessens the chance of your baby becoming constipated. Regular knee movements and stretches will release tension in your baby’s stomach which will give them relief from gas and any other troubles.
  2. Stimulates Muscle and Nerve Development: Through yoga babies can become more aware of their bodies, specifically their arms and legs because they will be strengthening their muscles. Yoga also promotes upper body and neck strength. This can be done when you lay your baby on their tummies and they are more prone to trying to lift their head to see what is going on. These movements will further flexibility and balance as well. In addition, yoga stimulates a baby’s senses once they become more aware of their bodies and their movements.
  3. Reduces Stress: Because yoga is a calming exercise it reduces the stress hormone cortisol. This is true for babies as well. When stress and anxiety are reduced in your baby they often times will have a more restful behavior, which can lead to better and longer sleep.
  4. Creates a Stronger Bond between Parents and their Babies: Parents can become more in tune with their baby’s needs when they practice yoga or daily movements with their child. Yoga promotes confidence in parents and gives them more self-assurance when handling their baby. Yoga also encourages play and interaction between baby and parent. When a parent is more confident they are able to recognize their child’s needs and wants.
  5. Promotes Socialization for both Mothers and Babies: Baby yoga isn’t just relaxing it can also be fun and promote socialization for moms and babies. When moms participate in classes they can meet other moms, and babies can become accustomed to seeing other children and people.

 

Loving Moments’ Legging Giveaway!

L401-LeggingsHere at Loving Moments we are all about the awesome benefits breastfeeding gives to mommies and babies. Breastfeeding is the ultimate nutrition because it supplies all the necessary nutrients for proper development, protects your baby against illness and disease, it fights against allergies and obesity, it’s easily digested, and breast milk caters to your baby’s specific needs through their saliva!

 

This week we are encouraging our audience to think again about the benefits breastfeeding can give to our little ones. With this special sweepstake, we are giving away maternity leggings to the first fifteen people to email us a breastfeeding fact! The first five will win an additional prize along with their leggings!

 

The rules of this giveaway are simple: please email us at avannoy@leadinglady.com with a breastfeeding fact, your pant size from M-2XL, your bra size, and mailing address. The breastfeeding fact must not be one listed above in the first paragraph, but something else that is interesting and not so well known. You must also list the source from where you found the fact. Our Loving Moments’ Legging Giveaway will only be available until Friday, October 31st!

 

Breastfeeding and a Baby’s Speech Development

From a previous post, we have learned how truly amazing and beneficial breastfeeding can be to a baby’s overall health and development. Certain areas such as a baby’s brain, stomach, and mouth can be correctly developed to take on each specific role they uphold in the body because of the advances breastfeeding provides. Today we are sharing another: breastfeeding and a baby’s speech development.

 

With further research on the past blog, “Breastfeeding and a Baby’s Oral Health and Development,” we have found this already beneficial incident goes even further and promotes proper language development! When a baby breastfeeds they are strengthening their mouths, specifically their tongue, lips, and jaw, and while they are improving their facial muscles for eating, they are also developing their mouths for correct pronunciation and speech.

As a baby breastfeeds their tongue works hard to pull milk from their mother’s nipple. By means of growing, their appetite will grow as well, and they will pull for more milk, strengthening their tongue and securing it at the back of their mouth. The tongue is significant when it comes to pronouncing specific words and sounds, just like the lips are. When the tongue is able to support itself and move self-sufficiently away from the lips and jaw it can help the child later in life with speech. Furthermore, while breastfeeding promotes oral muscle development, it also strengthens the roof of the mouth, which is a soft cartilage during infancy, but later turns to bone as they grow. As we learned before, a proper arch development of the roof is necessary for correct oral growth, and as a result it’s also essential for speech development.

When compared to bottle feeding, breastmilk needs to be worked for, and this is why breastfeeding builds a strong jaw. Most of the time bottles are far too easy for a baby, and they do not have to squeeze or suck hard enough to eat. The effort needed is then lost, and therefore so is the advancement. In addition, the nipple of the bottle may be too big and the milk may flow too quickly. This causes the baby to push their tongues forward to stop the milk instead of suckling. This can possibly cause problems later, and this could be the reason for some speech difficulties some children face.

 

Breastfeeding and a Baby’s Stomach

A women’s breastmilk has been feeding babies for many years. After the formula industry took off, mothers turned to bottle feeding because it seemed to save time and energy. However, after some time and research numerous health problems began to rise, such as child obesity, infections, food allergies, and issues with immune systems. Poor immune systems is one of the biggest problems we face today because babies are not getting the proper essentials they need during infancy to grow up strong and healthy.

 

Today we are going to discuss the benefits breastmilk has on a baby’ stomach:

 

If you are unaware, your gut is almost 70% of your immune system, which means your gut plays a significant role in your health and well-being. When a baby is born, and before they reach the age of six months, they have immature digestive systems, and their gastrointestinal tract does not produce the enzymes they need to protect their stomach. They are completely dependent on their nutrition they receive during this short period of their lives. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months after birth because breastmilk contains the specific nutrition and enzymes a baby needs to proper gut development.

While breastmilk contains specific enzymes your baby needs for gut development and immune protection, such as sIgA, amylase, and lipase, it also contains proteins and other good bacteria which help protect your baby from the dangers in the environment. These elements are crucial for your baby’s gut health because their stomach is then able to gather good bacteria to line their guts before bad bacteria can get in and potentially cause harm.

One of the best antibodies in breastmilk is sIgA, which is a passive form of antibody protection that lines the GI tract. SIgA also plays a key role in protecting susceptible areas such as the oral cavity and lungs, and it even helps us as we get older from forms of illness and stress. SIgA is a primary gut immune defense, and when disturbed our bodies become more prone to reactions associated with IgE, an inflammatory reaction, and IgG, which can result in sickness, food allergies, and other sensitivities.

Breastfeeding also helps with digestion. A baby who breastfeeds is able to digest their food a lot faster than a baby who is fed formula because breastmilk is easier on the stomach. Furthermore, breastfeed babies have also been known to have a more acidic stomach. This is why formula fed babies become constipated more often, and why their stools tend to be denser.

 

Developing a strong gut health is important for everyone, but especially babies because they are more prone to illnesses earlier in their lives. When babies are breastfeed they are able to obtain all the necessary enzymes and good bacteria they need to help ward off disease and potential harm, unlike formula that doesn’t have sIgA which is detrimental during the first few months.

 

Fighting the Peanut Allergy

You may have noticed more and more children are being diagnosed with a peanut allergy. In fact, in the past decade allergies to peanuts have doubled. For years scientists have been working hard to find out how to explain the increasing rates of food allergies. In the past, pediatricians have cautioned parents not to feed their babies peanut products until they’ve reached three years of age because they feared their immune systems could not handle an allergic reaction. However, new information from the American Academy of Pediatrics recently stated introducing peanuts to your child sooner may be the key to crushing this allergy.

According to the article “Is It Really Safe to Give Babies Peanut Butter?” by Adrienne Lafrance, featured in The Atlantic: Health online magazine, researchers are now saying they may have made a mistake. Scott Sicherer, a pediatrician and researcher at the Jaffe Food Allergry Institute at Mount Sinai, was part of a team of doctors formed in 2008, who believed parents didn’t need to wait to introduce peanut products to their otherwise, healthy babies. Sicherer and the rest of the team came together because they challenged the fact that there was no significant evidence supporting the idea that children who waited until an appropriate age to try peanut products, would not obtain the allergy. In fact, they argue not giving your child these type of products earlier on may be the problem all together.

In their study, Sicherer and the other doctors tested more than 500 infants who were at high risk for peanut allergies. At random, they picked who would consume the peanut products and who wouldn’t. When the children reached the age of five, both groups were tested to see how their bodies reacted, and Sicherer and his team found an astonishing discovery. Those who had peanut products in their daily diet beginning at an earlier age were far less likely to react compared to those who didn’t.

Does this mean it’s safe to give our babies small amounts peanut products right away? Further in Lafrance’s interview with Scott Sicherer, he goes on to say that every baby is different and many factors play into what is appropriate for each child. The American Academy of Pediatrics is not promoting feeding your infants peanut butter, but to discuss the possibility with your pediatrician because they know you and your child the best.

 

 

Reference

Lafrance, Adrienne. “Is It Really Safe to Give Babies Peanut Butter?” The Atlantic: Health. Feb. 2015. The Atlantic. Aug. 2015.

 

The Healthy Way to Gain Weight during Pregnancy

The Healthy Way to Gain Weight during PregnancyMost women have no problem at all gaining weight during their pregnancies. Yet, there are those who struggle to put on the pounds they need in order for their baby to be healthy and strong at delivery. On average, normal weight women need to gain 25-35 pounds, overweight women should only gain 15-25, and women who are underweight should gain around 28-40 pounds. Women who are not able to gain the appropriate weight are putting their babies at high risk of many problems, including being born prematurely or suffering growth restriction in the uterus. To keep moms on track during their pregnancy doctors say they should be consuming an extra 300 calories a day. However, this does not mean junk food and other processed foods are the way to go. Today we are going to discuss three ways to gain healthy weight during your pregnancy to secure yours and your baby’s wellbeing:

 

  1. Eat More and More Often

If you’re struggling to eat those extra 300 calories, a great way to help is by eating five to six small meals a day rather than 3 large meals. You might think you’re eating all the time, but in fact, eating more meals a day can actually help you eat more and help you gain the necessary weight you need for pregnancy. Pre-pack your meals once a week to help keep your organized and prepared. Make sure to keep snacks on hand, especially at work, or in the car. Eating six small meals a day will boost your calorie intake and keep you at a healthy weight.

  1. Eat High Calorie Foods

Eat foods that pack a punch. You want to find foods that are healthy and nutritional for your body, and if you’re underweight, look for foods high in calorie intake. Foods high in protein, such as cheese, nuts, and hard boiled eggs are great snack options, and easy to prepare. Protein shakes are another great option when you’d rather drink your food rather than eat. They are perfect in the morning when you’re getting ready for work or for a meal when you get home. They are quick and easy to make, and their effective. However, don’t put too much emphasis on liquid shakes because your body needs wholefoods to digest and process. Another idea, if approved by your doctor, is to try supplements. Adding protein powder or carb powder to your cereal or yogurt is tasty and will give you the calories you need.

  1. Find a Diet that Works for You

It’s always great to try new and healthy foods, but make sure you consult your doctor before trying something you’re unsure of, especially while you’re pregnant. Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble gaining the appropriate weight. They will know just how you can put on the calories, and which foods to eat and stay away from.

 

 

Welcome World Breastfeeding Week!

Welcome World Breastfeeding Week!

WIC counselor from Tawas City, MI sharing a precious, breastfeeding moment with her baby.

The annual World Breastfeeding Week started this past Saturday, August 1st! The world celebration of breastfeeding has occurred every year since 1991, when the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) was formed. This week long event encourages women to embrace their motherly attributes and praise their abilities to give their children the essential nutrients they need to grow up healthy and strong!

We’ve all heard about the benefits breastfeeding has for both mom and baby, but did you know breast milk is constantly changing to meet the needs of our children? Researchers and moms are continuously finding ways breastfeeding is better and better, and how it out wins formula every single time. Breast milk gives our children the best possible nutrients and protection. Moms who breastfeed are shown to have lower risks of cancers, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, etc., and babies who drink breast milk are given immediate and long term protection and have a lower risk of infections, obesity, and cancers. What’s even more amazing about the power of breast milk is it can alter its self to meet a baby’s needs. When a baby breastfeeds their saliva communicates with the mother’s body and their breast milk can give the baby anything they need at that time. If they are sick the milk will produce extra antibodies and antioxidants to help them recover and feel better. Same goes if the mother is sick!

During this week, August 1st to the 7th, organizations such as, La Leche League and WIC (Women, Infant, and Children) are hosting special events for breastfeeding moms and their babies. This year’s theme: Breastfeeding at Work: Let’s Make it Work! will be all about women who want to continue breastfeeding while they pursue their careers. A few spotlighted events are Camden County, NJ, who will be hosting their “Big Latch On” affair where global counts of mothers simultaneously nurse their babies for one minute, and in Caldwell, ID where the Southwest District Health WIC has their “Latch On” event, which this year will be a full day of giving breastfeeding mom’s tips on how to tie both breastfeeding and work together!

 

Find your local chapter near you and checkout all the excitement going on this week and celebrate breastfeeding as it should be: loving, nurturing, and supportive!

 

 

Caring for a Premature Baby

Caring for a Premature BabyIt’s an extremely joyous thing to have another life growing inside you. It’s even more exciting knowing you’re about to be a mother, but when your baby arrives earlier than expected, those feelings of joy and excitement can be washed away completely, and be replaced with fear and anxiety. For a baby to be considered premature they have to be born before thirty-seven complete weeks of pregnancy. Their bodies are not fully developed and this is why many have difficulties with breathing, feeding, keeping their body temperature regulated, or jaundice, which is quite common for premature babies.

Today we are going to discuss a few issues that are most common for premature babies and how you can keep the love and excitement flourishing through this difficult time:

After you’ve given birth to your new little one, they will more than likely have to be transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit for few weeks, or even months in order for your doctors and nurses to monitor their breathing, heart rate, and organ development. While it will be hard to see your tiny bundle of joy hooked up to a ventilator, it’s important to understand your doctor and their team is doing everything they can to provide the best care for your baby. To calm your anxiety, don’t be afraid to ask questions and do a little research. It’s okay to be a concerned parent! Knowing what exactly is going on with your baby will keep you connected to them and ease the tension you may have with the whole situation.

When your baby is ready to come home, and your doctor believes their health is strong enough to be taken out of neonatal care, you may be feeling another rush of anxiety and might think how are you going to give them the proper care they need outside of the hospital? Preemies need a lot of attention to maintain a stable temperature, especially during night time and bath time. Monitored sleep is a big issue for premature babies because cot death can occur. Cot death is an unexplained occurrence when a baby dies suddenly and unexpectedly. This can occur for a preemie because their body temperature can change in a range of seconds. Because you can’t possible watch your baby every minute of the day, you must be aware of their body temp and know the precautions of cot death. Talk to your doctor about a bed time routine and how to check your baby’s body temperature. If they are feeling slightly cold layering is an option. However, you want to be careful not to layer them too much because then they could over heat. Other ways to prevent cot death are to always lie your baby on their back to sleep, don’t fall asleep with your baby while you’re sitting or lying on the sofa, don’t let them sleep with a pillow, and make sure their head isn’t covered with bedding.

Bath time is another way your baby could be losing heat. How often you wash your baby depends on how premature he or she is. At first you should only be using water and never use soap without being told otherwise. Depending on their skin they may be sensitive and you don’t want to cause any infections. When their skin becomes wet they can become cold quickly. Once you’re done with their bath try cuddling them to your skin. This will create more heat and help regulate their body temperature. It’s a good idea to ask your doctor if you can watch the nurses wash your baby while they are still in the hospital. Watching professionals is good practice for at home.

Just like any baby, sleeping and feeding are huge factors for a preemies’ health. You might not think they will eat as much as a normal baby, but they actually need to eat more. They need to be feed more often so they can grow up strong and healthy. If you can, start breastfeeding right away once you leave the hospital. You can store milk and be ready for when your baby comes home. Talk to your doctor about a breastfeeding schedule and how often you need to feed. Breastmilk is one of the best things you can give to your baby because it is packed with key vitamins and minerals needed for your preemie to fully develop their organs. Sleeping is also something you should ask your doctor about because your preemie is going to have a harder time falling asleep than most babies. Ask your doctor about a proper sleep schedule where you can monitor your baby.

One of the best things you can do with your preemie is to spend time with them. The first couple months are going to be quiet ones because you’re not going to want to disturb your baby with lots of company or take them places because they are more prone to infections due to their underdeveloped bodies. While they are in the hospital try to visit as much as you can. Watch the nurses and doctors as they care for them, ask to be a part of bath time, and hold them as much as possible. Creating a mother and baby bond is very important, and getting yourself prepared before you bring them home will help immensely with your anxiety and stress.