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.

 

Breastfeeding Adopted Baby

Breastfeeding is a beautiful way a mother can provide beneficial nutrients to her baby. A special bond is created through the precious moments of skin on skin contact. By supplying your baby with food from your body, some mother’s believe it’s the greatest experience they can have in their lives. But what about mothers who have chosen to adopt? Many women might not be aware, but breastfeeding your adopted baby can be done. Even if you’ve never given birth or breastfeed before, your body is still capable of producing breast milk. Today we are going to discuss how breastfeeding your adopted baby is beneficial to their health and the bonding experience, along with ways to prepare your body before they come home.

Breastfeeding Adopted BabyPreparing yourself for breastfeeding your new baby can be difficult. Although it’s not an easy task, and it takes a lot of time and real dedication, it can be done and the benefits you will gain are well worth it. Creating that mother/baby bond is the most important thing you need to focus on because most infants who are adopted are known to experience and feel loss and abandonment after delivery. Babies can recognize their mothers right after they are born once they are placed on their mother’s chest. They can identify them through smell and touch. If they are not placed directly in their adoptive mother’s arms they could develop a fear of separation and begin performing a distress call/cry. By supplying your baby with your natural milk you are not only giving them the best nutrients possible, but you are also enhancing the bond and creating an even stronger relationship with your child that they need to feel loved and secure.

Getting your body ready to breastfeed isn’t a tricky process, but it can take a while before you are able to produce enough breast milk to fully feed your baby. Adoption can be an unpredictable course. Some women have no time at all to prepare while others might be given several weeks or even months. If you don’t have time you will still be able to produce milk for your baby, and don’t get turned off if it’s a very small amount at first. What’s amazing about a woman’s body is we can produce breast milk once a baby begins breastfeeding. The suckling sensation triggers our bodies to think we have just given birth! Women who have more time before their child is brought home can have the chance to teach their body how to produce enough milk. You can practice by gently massaging your breasts a few times a day. It’s also recommended and encouraged to try breast pumping to stimulate your breasts even more. The more your breasts are stimulated, and the more milk you pump, the more breast milk your body will produce.

Many women who have trouble producing, or want to make more milk, can be prescribed hormones from their doctors to influence their bodies even more. This can work for several women. Other options include formula or you can try a donor’s breast milk. Whatever you chose just remember it’s all about the bonding experience you share with your little one. And always talk to your doctor or lactation consultant about what’s right for your body and baby if you have any questions or concerns when it comes to breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom

Breastfeeding Benefits for MomWe’ve all heard about the amazing nutritional benefits breastfeeding gives to our babies. Breastmilk supplies crucial vitamins and minerals, and is packed with disease-fighting substances that ward off things like the stomach virus, respiratory illnesses, meningitis and it is even linked to higher IQs. But what about the benefits breastfeeding gives to women?

Breastfeeding creates a special emotional connection between women and their infants. Not only are you giving them the best nutrition for life long benefits, you are also giving yourself those benefits as well. Here are just a few things to consider when debating on whether or not you want to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom:

  • It makes you happy! While you breastfeed the hormone Oxytocin is produced, which is often known as the “cuddle hormone” because it helps creates a bonding feeling and a better overall emotional health.
  • Your body will recover from childbirth faster! Oxytocin, along with creating happiness, helps shrink your uterus after delivery. The hormone helps the uterus contract lessening bleeding and returning the uterus to pre-pregnancy size quicker.
  • You’re at lower risk of developing certain types of diseases! These diseases include breast and ovarian cancer and cardiovascular disease. The longer and more you breastfeed the less likely it is for you to develop high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Breastfeeding also helps with bone strength and reduces your risk of obtaining osteoporosis.
  • Breastfeeding helps you lose weight! You can burn up to 200-500 calories a day. Studies show women who breastfeed often lose more weight and return to pre-pregnancy size faster than women who don’t.
  • Breastfeeding is a form of natural child spacing! Most woman are unaware of this fact, but while you breastfeed your body will delay its monthly cycle. As long as you stick with a regimented breastfeeding schedule you are more than likely to not see your period. However, this only lasts for about six to eight months due to your changing hormones.
  • Costs less than formula and is good for the environment! What’s great about breastfeeding is it doesn’t cost a thing. Formula can cost up to $10 a day, and while being expensive it’s also not the best for our environment. Breastfeeding is a renewable resource, it doesn’t require to be packaged or shipped, therefore reduces pollution, and it can reduce the cost of healthcare.

Before you decide to choose whether or not breastfeeding is for you speak with your doctor and learn about your options. Breastfeeding gives women an experience they can’t have with anything, or anyone, else. It provides a real and special bond between a mother and her baby. For more information about breastfeeding checkout “Breastfeeding A-Z” on our home page.