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!

 

 

 

Benefits of Infant Massage

Benefits of Infant MassageDid you know that the sense of touch is your baby’s most developed sensation at birth? Touch gives babies and their loved ones the ability to connect. During the first year, or at least before they are able to speak, touch is their primary way of communication between you and your baby. When your baby begins to cry you usually pick them up and bring them to your shoulder, sometimes gently caressing their back as you soothe them. When they are hungry you bring them to your breast creating skin on skin contact as you breastfeed. Both of these are important communication situations where touch is used to make your baby feel both calm and secure. As they begin to grow they use their sense of touch to learn by feeling and observing objects, and their environment. This is where parents use phrases like “hot” or “cold” to describe certain things that could be harmful.

Touch is more than a comfort and a learning process; it can also help with your baby’s developmental progression by strengthening their body and their mind. Infant massages have amazing developmental benefits that can help your baby in many ways. Many professionals encourage mothers and care givers to practice infant massage with their baby almost every day to help boost and support their bodies. Here are just a few things infant massage can do for your little one:

 

Emotional Health Benefits

Infant massages are great for a baby’s overall health. Studies have proven that a daily massage has impacted an infant’s emotional health in such a positive way. Because touch is a baby’s first sense, massages can help them relax, and when a baby is comfortable and relaxed their body releases the “happy” hormone, oxytocin. Oxytocin in turn lowers stress levels, decreases the feeling of fear and fussiness, and it enhances the feelings of love and security. When a baby or toddler feels safe they are able to feel more comfortable in their surroundings, which helps their ability to fall asleep faster and for longer periods of time. Infant massages also give the baby and their caregiver the chance to spend precious moments together they can both look forward to at the end of the day.

 

Developmental Health Benefits

Touch is the only way a baby is able to learn about their body and help themselves become developmentally strong. When a baby begins to recognize their legs and feet they will start trying to use them more and more, and soon learn how to control their muscle coordination. As you massage your infant you will play with their legs and feet stimulating their brain’s knowledge of their lower bodies and promoting their want to crawl and walk quicker. Infant massages also have huge benefits for babies who were born premature or those who are mentally fragile. Massage can help them become more alert and active, and for premature babies it can help them gain weight by strengthening their digestive, circulatory, and gastrointestinal systems.

 

Immune System Benefits

As your baby grows one of the things you will worry about is whether or not they have a healthy immune system. As stated above, infant massage can increase your baby’s overall health by strengthening their digestive, circulatory and gastrointestinal systems. It can increase an infant’s resistance to infections and enhance their body’s ability to get nourishment to important areas. Massage improves relaxation and decreases stress levels while their bodies produce more of the oxytocin hormone. It can also ease pain and increase a baby’s pain tolerance once they begin teething, or if they become injured or ill. Facial massages, just like adults, can help with sinus and head tension as well.

 

Mother and Baby Bonding Benefits

Bonding with your baby is very important. It increases a parent’s self-esteem and makes them feel they are really doing their best to love and provide for their little one. Through infant massage parents will be able to give their baby more attention they need to feel secure and loved. Many parents have found infant massage has made them more aware of their baby’s wants and needs and are able to tell certain cues apart and be more attentive of how to comfort them and ease their fussiness. Infant massage isn’t just time for mommy and baby but also a great way for dads, partners, and other loved ones to spend precious moments with their baby and strengthen their bond as well.

 

Practicing infant massages with your baby is a very smart and fun thing to do. However, if you are thinking about trying it out and are unsure where to begin, or what’s safe for your baby, make sure you search for trained professionals in your area that teach infant massage. Babies are delicate and the best way to care for them is to be 100% sure you know what you are doing, especially when it comes to massage.

 

 

Baby Names

Picking the name of your future child is pretty overwhelming. Not only do you want to like the way it sounds but you want it to have meaning; and you want it to be unique; and you want it to have something to do with the seasons; and you want it to come with a cute nickname; and you want no one else in Mommy & Me to have it. That’s a long list to fill and chances are you’ll come up with a bunch that you love and your partner does not, and vice versa.

Honestly, with all the options out there, it can be a little stressful. Not to mention the fact that all your relatives, friends, new acquaintances, and basically anyone that knows your pregnant will be offering up their own ideas. It never hurts to be open to their thoughts but remember that the choice comes down to you and your spouse. Begin discussing the topic immediately and it wouldn’t hurt to set some initial rules to stick to. Also, keep a list of names you love that you can continue adding to as your pregnancy progresses!

Here are some thinks to keep in mind when considering your future child’s name:

 

baby namesWell-matched Sound:

It is important to choose a name that flows agreeably with your last name. More often than not, long first names sound better with short last names. Likewise, short first names sound better with long last names. Try to avoid puns and a first name that rhymes with your last name. They may be fun for the first couple days but your child will be forced to stick with it for the rest of their life.

 

Friends and Family:

Many children are named after a close family member or friend and this can give you a relatively decent sized list to consider. However, never allow yourself to be pressured into choosing a name you and your partner don’t like. Listen to everyone’s ideas and decide on your own time; and don’t tell anyone the name until after your baby is born.

 

Meaning:

Not many people will immediately know the meaning of your child’s name but that does not mean it can’t play a part in helping you choose. Search some name indexes and try your best to stick to the positive. Your little one may not be happy to learn their handsome name Braxton actually means: “from a brown farm”.

 

Uniqueness:

A unique name choice can help your child stand out from the traditional crowd of normal names. Yet, it is important to remember that a name that is hard to pronounce may bring unwanted attention. Try and find an appropriate balance: if you have a traditional last name, try an interesting first, and vice versa.

 

Nicknames:

An ugly or cruel nickname has the capability to follow a child all throughout school so consider any potential issues with your name choice. Do your best to rule out anything obvious and remember that just because you don’t see something doesn’t mean one of your child’s classmates won’t.

 

Ancestry:

Ancestors make up who we are and some parents find it fun to explore their past and choose a name to mirror this. Frequently, the names discovered will end up serving as ideal middle names.

 

Remember, these guidelines are not set in stone. The only real thing that matters is that you and your partner agree upon a name you truly love.

Breastfeeding Positions

Breastfeeding Positions If you’ve begun nursing, you have probably undergone a few frustrating arm positions to try and hold your little one in the most comfortable spot. And while there are a number of ways to safely hold your baby while breastfeeding, mothers must be aware of the strain they could potentially be putting on their child’s neck.

We have collected a few safe breastfeeding holds that allow your little one to nurse comfortably without turning his or her neck.

 

 

The Cradle

Place your baby’s head in the crook of your arm and support their back with your forearm and bottom with your hand. This allows your little one to lie sideways while facing you, with your breast directly in front of them.

 

The Football

Position your baby under your arm like a football and support their head with your hand and their body with your forearm. Like the cradle position, this allows them direct breast access.

 

Breastfeeding Positions The Side

One of the more relaxing positions, this allows you to lie down on your side with your baby facing you. Use pillows to prop up your head and shoulder and nurse comfortably with your baby resting by your side.

 

 

No matter what position you choose, remember to always stabilize your child’s head and neck and speak with your lactation specialist to learn to best course for you. Every mother is unique and specific actions may be recommended for you and your child.

 

Happy Nursing!

How to Produce More Breast Milk

If you’ve begun nursing you’ve probably occasionally had one of the breastfeeding mothers’ biggest concerns: is my baby getting enough milk?

It is important to remember that there are only a very small percent of mothers who cannot produce enough milk for their child and there are always steps to take to help produce more.

However, if you are feeling like your milk supply is a little low there are a few suggestions that could help you increase.

 

How to Produce More Breast Milk

  • Take care of yourself: Drink enough fluids and eat healthily. Never try dieting while you’re nursing, especially in the beginning when you are still forming your breast milk supply. You and your little one need you to stay healthy!

 

  • Nurse regularly, for as long as your baby will nurse: Nurse as frequently as possible and as often as your baby is hungry. The more you nurse, the better for you and your little one!

 

  • Offer your baby both of your breasts while feeding: ‘Switch nursing’ is incredibly helpful as it helps your baby to feed longer. When your child begins to slow down their suckling on your first breast, quickly switch them over to the second. Then switch again when their suckling begins to slow, until you have offered each breast twice.

 

  • Gently massage your breasts as you nurse: This helps the richer, high calorie milk let down more easily and stimulates breast milk flow.

 

In most normal cases a mother will always be able to produce enough milk for their hungry baby; but it is always helpful to be proactive and talk with a specialist to see what your options are if you are looking to increase your supply.

 

Make sure to talk with your lactation consultant to find the best course of action that is right for you. Every nursing mother is unique and specific recommendations or steps may be necessary.

Teething Symptoms

So your little one has started teething?

Teething SymptomsCongratulations! This is an exciting milestone in their young life so make sure you take as many adorable pictures as you can!

Despite the utter cuteness of teeth buds sprouting through, many parents worry about the uncomfortable symptoms their child may be experiencing. Some even believe teething causes physical illnesses such as fever and diarrhea, although this hasn’t been proven. If your child is ill, make sure you take them to their pediatrician immediately.

 

There are a few traditional symptoms you can expect to see when your child begins teething.

 

These include:

  • Biting
  • Drooling
  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Declining food
  • Swelling, sensitive gums

 

To help with these irritating symptoms, parents can give their child something safe to chew on, such as a teething ring of even a cold washcloth. If your child seems to be in harmful discomfort, take them to their pediatrician and discuss further options.

 

Remember to set up regular appointments with your children’s doctor and discuss any questions you may have. Every child is unique and specific recommendations and steps may be recommended for their safety and health.

Breast Milk Storage

If you have decided to use a breast pump to ensure your child a nutritious feeding when you’re apart, you have probably begun wondering how to properly and safely store your breast milk. Your breast milk is the best source of nutrition for your baby and it’s full of components to help strengthen their health.

Make sure to protect its nutrients by using the appropriate containers and storing practices.

 

Breast Milk StorageWhat is the best type of breast milk storage?

Remember to efficiently wash your hands before pumping or handling breast milk. Once your hands are clean and dry, store breast milk in a clean glass or plastic container with a secure lid or cap. While there are specifically made breast milk storage bags, we would recommend against them if possible as they leak, spill, and are easily polluted.

DO NOT store any expressed milk in disposable bottles or bags such as plastic water bottle containers or zip-lock baggies.

 

How should I label and store my containers?

It is essential to label all breast milk storage with the date it was pumped and stored with a water-resistant ink and label. Place the container(s) in the back of the refrigerator or freezer and make sure not to store them on the door.

Never fill your containers to the brim: breast milk expands during cooling and freezing.

 

How long will my stored breast milk stay good?

Different storing methods, containers, and cooling systems will make exact storing times vary. However, there are a few general recommendations that can be put to use for healthy babies:

 

Using a refrigerator: Breast milk can be safely stored in the back of your refrigerator for 5-8 days.

Using a freezer: Breast milk can be safely stored in the back of your traditional refrigerator-freezer for up to 3-6 months.

Keeping at room temperature: Recently pumped breast milk can remain at room temperature for up to 6 hours. However, if the room is particularly warm the milk should be transferred to a refrigerator or freezer.

 

Is it safe to add fresh milk to previously stored breast milk?

Yes, although the freshly expressed milk should be cooled before adding: adding warm breast milk to cold will potentially thaw the already frozen or chilled milk.

Do NOT combine milk that is expressed from different days; store these separately.

 

Whatever option you choose, make sure to set up a meeting with your doctor prior to storing your breast milk. Specific steps and recommendations may be made that would be best for you as a mother.

Breastfeeding while Pregnant

Breastfeeding while pregnant is more than just safe, it’s natural. Your body is designed to work miracles when it comes to your children. Not only can you breastfeed while pregnant but, after birthing your second child, you can nurse both little ones at once. Breastfeeding twins or two different aged siblings at once is called “tandem nursing” and it is incredibly common and healthy.

 

Breastfeeding while Pregnant While pregnant, many women worry about producing enough nutrients for both their growing baby and nursling and fear they will have to drastically increase their food intake. In reality, our remarkable bodies only require a well-balanced, nutritious diet. If you’re feeling hungry then go ahead and eat! If you’re feeling thirsty then drink! Trust your body and give it whatever it needs.

 

There are a few side effects to consider if this is your first time breastfeeding while pregnant:

 

All of these are normal and should be expected:

  • Different looking and tasting breast milk
    • Towards the end of a woman’s pregnancy, her body will begin to produce thicker, yellowish milk which will stop after the first few days of a baby’s birth. This is called colostrum and it is both normal and healthy.

 

  • A slight lessening of your breast milk supply
    • Hormonal changes will cause a woman’s milk supply to slightly decrease most likely by the second trimester.

 

  • Nipples far more tender than normal
    • As many women gently massage their tender breasts and nipples for comfort, some soon-to-be mothers are worried that the stimulation will cause an early birth as it helps the body produce oxytocin (a hormone that plays a large roll in contractions). In truth, the oxytocin produced is not enough to cause an early birth during normal circumstances.

 

Make sure to always speak to your lactation consultant prior to nursing while pregnant or participating in tandem nursing. Every woman is unique and specific steps and suggestions may be recommended that are essential for you as a mother.

 

How to Choose a Breast Pump

How to Choose a Breast PumpFor some mothers, the idea of using a breast pump can seem unnatural and distant. And while there is nothing more beautiful than breastfeeding your child naturally, occasionally time is short and a nursing pump becomes necessary. So whether you are deciding to return to work and would like to leave the babysitter a supply of your milk for feedings, or your husband wants a chance to feed his child, a breast pump will make it possible.

Every mother’s life is different and, in certain cases, a breast pump isn’t needed. But, if the time comes and it is, there are a few key things to know before moving forward.

 

Breast Pump Options:

There are two main types of breast pumps for a mother to choose from: electric or manual. Both use a phalange that is attached to the nipple to mimic an infant extracting their mother’s milk. It is essential to choose the phalange size that best fits your nipple and place it correctly to prevent any irritation.

For an electric breast pump, the machine does all the work. You simply attach the phalange to your nipple, turn it on, sit back and wait. We recommend purchasing a hands-free pump so you won’t have to maintain the phalange and can read a magazine or book instead. However, it is always wise to have a manual pump in case of a situation where your electrical power source is unavailable.

For a manual breast pump, a squeezing or plunging mechanism is required to extract your breast milk which is then collected in the attached container. It will usually take much longer than an electric pump, although the situation will be completely controlled by the mother.

Either way, make sure to set up a meeting to speak with your lactation consultant prior to purchasing. Every nursing mother is different and specific breast pumps and steps may be suggested that would be best for you.

 

Try your choice of breast pump while wearing our Loving Moments nursing bras and enjoy the comfort and support you’ll surely need!

SIDS and Breastfeeding: Crib and Sleeping Safety Tips

New moms have a lot to worry about.  Among the most common fears is SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  This is the name given to unexplained infant deaths.  However now doctors believe there are risk factors that contribute to SIDS that vary depending on the age of the baby.

The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that SIDS effects 81 in every 100,000 babies.  That’s a pretty scary statistic for new parents.  So it’s important to educate yourself on the risk factors of SIDS, which are most commonly related to suffocation.

SIDS and Breastfeeding: Crib and Sleeping Safety TipsIn 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed its recommendation for safe sleeping positions for babies.  Their “back to sleep” message dramatically decreased SIDS deaths.  Why is it important for babies to sleep on their backs?  A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics found that most SIDS deaths occur because the baby stops breathing for some reason and does not change positions to clear her airways.  Many infants who sleep on their stomach are more prone to sleep soundly and therefore not wake up when their airway is blocked.  This is especially apparent for babies who typically sleep on their backs but somehow end up on their stomachs and aren’t accustomed to accommodating their new position.

Risk of death due to sleep-breathing issues is most common in young infants; reports of SIDS deaths fall off after around 6 months.  But for older babies who die of SIDS, the risk factors usually involve their sleep environment more than their own ability to regulate breathing.  The same study found that older infants who died of SIDS were either co-sleeping with an adult or had blankets, pillows and stuffed animals surrounding them.  This type of sleep setup increases risk for unintentional suffocation.

There are things you can do to reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS.  First, follow the AAP recommendation of putting your baby to sleep on her back.  She may roll over, but if she’s strong enough to do that, she is probably strong enough to regulate her breathing.  To help strengthen muscles, be sure to give your little one plenty of tummy time every day starting as soon as you get home from the hospital.  Even if it’s not your baby’s favorite position, a few minutes will make a big difference as her muscles develop.

Keep your baby’s sleep space clear.  Avoid blankets, pillows, toys and bumpers that are potential risks of suffocation or strangulation.  Until your pediatrician gives you the green light, all your baby needs is a crib with four sturdy rails and a fitted sheet.  Even mobiles can be dangerous if your baby can swat at it or if any of the pieces could accidentally fall into the crib.

Co-sleeping is a risk factor for SIDS, but becomes a tricky subject for breastfeeding moms.  If you want to preserve your own sleep as much as possible, the happy median is putting a crib in your bedroom to give your baby her sleep space while allowing you very easy access to her during feedings.

The good news is that breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk of SIDS.  Renowned specialist in pediatric care Dr. William Sears says there are several reasons why breastfeeding helps reduce SIDS:  breast milk fights respiratory infections (as well as many other inflections too); breastfeeding builds smart brains that can signal the respiratory system to react faster; breast milk is pure and doesn’t clog airways with allergens; breastfed babies have less acid reflux that may be a choking hazard; breastfeeding is soothing and promotes calm and well-organized sleep cycles; and breastfeeding improves breathing and swallowing coordination.  Dr. Sears also suggests that hormones stimulated in the mother from breastfeeding make her more in-tune and alert with changes in her baby, even while sleeping.

Educate yourself on the risks of SIDS for every stage of infancy and take the necessary precautions to keep your little lovey safe.