Archive for category nursing

The conversation is changing

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about motherhood in general. I mean, besides my constant complaints…

Lots of cool stuff going on today–actually all of this week. As I’ve mentioned and tweeted about frequently, as a blogger and writer, I’m often asked to attend cool events. Today’s event is a rather cool one, and one that I’ve spoken about candidly, but have treaded lightly for reasons I’ll explain below.

I have such fond memories of my whole nursing experience. Ok, so maybe I might have wanted to punish a certain snoring someone because I was exhausted from all the on-demand nursing at 3 and 4am. But overall, nursing was just one of those things that worked out for me.

And if you know me or read this blog enough to know, nothing ever quite works out the way it should…

except my whole breastfeeding experience.

Ok, I vehemently take that back.

I might have pumped in a storage closet/defunct kitchenette for almost a year.

photo credit:  Roboto_san

photo credit: Roboto_san

Yeah…everything went smoothly for me except that.

As a full time work outside of the home mama, where I pumped twice a day was a small detail, right?

WRONG.

Oh so wrong.

Until now, I’ve never felt that I was one to preach to the masses about breastfeeding. Quite honestly, I know it may even make some of you, my readers, my family, my friends uncomfortable. I know this.

But that’s about to change.

Today, I was invited to attend the Bravado Breastfeeding Launch Event, which is geared to be an intimate event in NYC celebrating the launch of BBIC, the information arm of Bravado Designs. The event is described as being a roundtable filled with data and commentary where the BBIC will share their research and findings based on 17 years of expertise and as told by 80,000 moms.

As a  first time mom who read books, upon books about motherhood and how to be a “great” mom, I truly didn’t know nearly enough about breastfeeding. I have often referred to Kellymom, but obviously there’s so much more to know about the topic, which is why I’m so honored to have been invited to such a groundbreaking event.

From this event, I hope to share some new-found knowledge about breastfeeding on this blog, and perhaps, in print somewhere.

Mamas, no one should ever have to pump in a supply closet, dirty restroom or anywhere else that’s unsanitary. EVAH.

Stay tuned to find out what I leared at the BBIC launch event or better yet, follow me on Twitter or along on the webcast!

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All day buffet and the 18m growth spurt

I was planning a thorough developmental update to coincide with Jack turning 18 months in just a few short days, but considering I’ve had to stop everything I was doing every hour ON the hour, almost every day for the past week, I can’t help but wonder, ‘what the hell is going on!?‘ To be a little more specific, Jack and I get up between 6-7am every day. Before I even sit up out of bed, I can see my child signing “eat,” in synchronicity with Jeff’s alarm. If I’m not up fast enough, the signs quickly morph into a more demanding, “Mama, UP! UP, MAMA, UP!

Coffee isn’t even made before I start the boy’s breakfast. First course: Banana and milk. Before I can even pour water into the coffee maker, he’s swallowed the banana whole and tries to hand the banana peel through the safety gate into the kitchen. And this is how the current all-day eating binge begins.

More, pleaseIt wasn’t always like this. Actually, up until a few weeks ago, his eating patterns were so predictable: 3 meals and 2 snacks that were eaten, not inhaled. His meals are usually whatever I’m eating–nothing too crazy. Fruit and cereal for breakfast, pasta or leftovers for lunch and dinner always varies, from baked chicken to beef tenderloin to fishsticks on Fridays. 9 times out of 10, he eats the entire meal and often asks for seconds when Jeff eats his dinner. Now, it seems like he eats 4 meals and snacks all day. When I say snacks, I push the healthy stuff: fruit, yogurt and cereal, with animal crackers and flavored ricecakes as “treats.”

I’m cautiously optimistic when I think this, but the kid is a good eater…for now. But this good eating routine has gone into overdrive lately. As if the sickness and sleeplessness from a few weeks ago didn’t slow us down enough, once all that is done, we’re onto the all-day eating buffet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining that he’s a decent eater or that he’s healthy and continues to grow like a weed. I’m just trying to wrap my brain around this current phase and the constant eating and the nonstop signing for ‘more.’ When I say constant, I truly mean that. This phase reminds me of his many infant growth spurts and the cluster feedings, but instead of nursing, I’m constantly dishing crackers, cutting fruit and wiping sticky fingers! If he’s hungry and I’m too slow for his liking, I can see him in my peripheral vision plucking crumbs out of the newly vacuumed carpet or finding crackers that he’s hidden in his toybox. ewwww.

And then it occurred to me, he hasn’t really grown that much in the past few months, so this must be a major growth spurt. After a little digging, it looks like I’m definitely not alone.
I haven’t noticed the physical outcome of this so-called growth spurt yet. But seriously, at 29 lbs how much bigger can he get?

Oh, and don’t be fooled: the all day buffet is just a small source of our exhaustion/my fast track to insanity. More on the defiant, Mr. Independent, Captain Destructor, curious little lovebug later. It’s time to eat AGAIN.

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12 months

So sorry for being so MIA.  Like Jack, I really haven’t been myself lately—more on that next week.  My last day of work is next Wednesday.  It’s bittersweet.  Onward and upward.  Speaking of which, have you met my 1 year old?

My sweet, sweet little boy.  How did you get so big so damn fast?

These days, I’m completely exhausted.  I’m tired from wiping snot, exhausted from chasing this boy, doing dishes by hand, picking up wooden blocks, chasing this boy and fishing random objects out of his mouth.  I’m sure there’s more, but I’m too tired to think.

Oh dear God.  This child is into everything.  Anything that was of importance, uh, is no longer important.  He continues to destroy everything.  This weekend, we discovered that our DVD player is no longer working, and it has our WI trip slideshow in it!  Yeah.  Guess whose little fingers like to poke at the DVD player? uh huh.

When he’s not breaking electronic equipment, Jack can be found climbing furniture and TOYS.  Note to self:  leave all plastic toys that double as ladders at mom’s house in VIRGINIA.  Together with the climbing, he is walking– yay!  As of early last week, Jack’s been walking about 85-90% of the time.  He showed off a few of his skills for family and friends when we were back home, but now he’s really on the go.  He gets a big kick out of it when we cheer and clap once he’s made his destination.  He totally “gets” the whole walking thing!

Now that Jack is officially everywhere, he’s also become extremely conversational and sociable as well. No real words, just made up ones.   When I call for him, he’ll try to say his name (DDDDaaat!) or just lots of mamamamama right back at me.  When we read, his “words” are much MUCH louder than mine nowadays.  His signing has really flourished.  More, eat, drink, book, dog, hot, sleep and thank you are the main signs that we use for now.  It was so cool when he finally grasped the signing and would tell us what he needed without us even initiating.  Jeff said, the other day while I was out shopping, Jack was in mid-play then crawled over to him, signed sleepy and curled up on his daddy’s shoulder.  Too cute.
12 Months
Jack’s social skills are flourishing so much more now, too.  He flirts and tries to befriend kids of all ages every chance he gets.  Last Sunday, he freaked out the poor little girl behind us because he was trying to touch her hand to make nice. haha.  I definitely attribute his friendliness and outgoing nature, not only to family, but to the great teachers at his daycare.  He loves the other kids and teachers, it’ll be sad to say goodbye for now.

Jack’s size has pretty much stayed the same from last month.  He’s mainly in 24m, but still wears some 18m clothes.   The belly never seems to fit–poor guy.  He’s still in size 4 diapers, and I assume he’ll stay in that size for a few more months.  He’s still heavy, teetering in the high 20s.  We missed his 12m appointment, so we’ll have to update those stats.

The boy likes to eat, but it has to be timely.  If we get home too late from daycare, he pitches a fit and goes on strike.  He eats any and everything, with pizza, pasta, chicken, mango, bananas and peas as his faves.  We just started giving him juice a few weeks ago, but milk and water are still #1.  We have yet to switch over to cow’s milk at our dr’s suggestion.  Jack’s still trying to fight off that upper respiratory infection, so until he does, we were told not to change his diet too drastically.

Separation anxiety is big right now: he’s still a mama’s boy and loses his mind when I leave the room. He started with the toddler tantrums a few weeks ago. It’s so hard and frustrating, but signing has really helped us out. I heart baby signing.

In spite of the meltdowns (from both him and me)  Jack is such a handsome, active, lovey and bubbly little dude.  Those little boy hugs remind me how much I LOVE love LOVE being a mom.  Now that I’m closing one chapter and Jeff and I are both embarking on our own separate and new(ish) professional journeys (new responsibilities for him and freelance for me), it’s only fitting that it coincides with another year of Jack’s growth.

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Report: Vitamin D Deficiency in Babies is a Problem

I just finished reading an article in the Times regarding Vitamin D deficiency. It’s not new news, but the article basically highlights some research that reveals the effects of vitamin D deficiency, primarily in exclusively breastfed babies. What really grabbed my attention was that a specific case was written about in a journal about an 11-month old.

Before I impose my own thoughts, I just thought I’d post a few key sentences.

Physicians have known for more than a century that exclusive breast-feeding may be associated with vitamin D deficiency and rickets, and that the condition is easily prevented and treated with inexpensive vitamin drops or cod liver oil. But doctors are reluctant to say anything that might discourage breast-feeding.

Some doctors and public health officials say conditions may be ripe for rickets to re-emerge: more infants are being breast-fed for extended periods, children are drinking more juice or soda and less milk, and they are spending less time exposed to sunlight, which enables the skin to synthesize vitamin D.

The study, published in The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine in June, found that breast-feeding without supplementation was a significant risk factor.

“I completely support breast-feeding, and I think breast milk is the perfect food, and the healthiest way to nourish an infant,” said Dr. Catherine M. Gordon, director of the bone health program at Children’s Hospital Boston and an author of several studies on vitamin D deficiency, including Aleanie’s case.
“However,” Dr. Gordon continued, “we’re finding so many mothers are vitamin D deficient themselves that the milk is therefore deficient, so many babies can’t keep their levels up. They may start their lives vitamin D deficient, and then all they’re getting is vitamin D deficient breast milk.”

As a (shameful) sun worshiper and someone who continues to BF in the evenings IN addition to various meals, my first thought is, whatever happened to everything in moderation?

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10 Months: He’s a real human being

Jack hit the big 1-0 on Sunday. Ten months seems so “old” but still so young…
Nevertheless, our baby has become quite the little boy–a mischievous and curious one at that. As in, he takes pride in finding the smallest speck of dirt in our almost daily-vacuumed carpet and shoving that small speck into his mouth the minute all three of look away. Just yesterday in fact, he took it upon himself to reach up onto our entryway table to snatch a small section of a paper towel and chew it like cud. Of course, he crawled away as fast as he could, clearly defining his guilt. After trying to calmly retract it with my finger and then fish it out, he freaked but knew exactly what he did was a no-no.

10 months old

Speaking of no-no, Jack has become quite the copycat even moreso than before. Since we seem to say no-no or not for Jackson more times than we can count, the kid knows what is, and what is not a no-no. What I mean by that is, he doesn’t always understand the concept of no, but he “gets” that when he reaches for certain things, mom or dad will immediately say no-no or not for Jackson. And in some cases, we just do the finger wag and shake our head. So every time he reaches for the low-lying cable box, he’ll turn around and wag that little finger of his…right before he lunges forward and pushes all the buttons with that same wagging little finger anyway. Better yet, since flowers around the apartment are inevitably off limits, he knows mama will wag her finger if he even looks that way. So when we were in Trader Joe’s the other weekend, as we passed the floral section, Jack smiled and wagged his little finger. haha. Besides no-no, he’s grasping a few signs, including drink, eat and some more. The best of all, he loves to blow kisses. Even though he gets the concept of blowing kisses, he kind of forgets to release the actual kiss. He “gets” it. Well, almost!

As a family member candidly said to me the other week, “He’s a real human being now!”
Why yes, yes he is ;)

His appearance, to me at least, changes daily. He looks like a little boy and is so far removed from the baby stage. His hair is long, much lighter and shaggy-like. People are starting to ask if he is a boy or girl–or if we had his hair cut like that? He’s still very fair-skinned, much like his father. We think he still sports equal likenesses of the both of us. However, I see so much of my older brother in him. He has 8 teeth as of today which, we’re often told by other parents that it seems like a lot for his age. Alas, we were assured by Jason’s brother who is a pediatric dentist that all baby teeth grow in at drastically different paces.
Jack, for the most part is a great eater. I usually make things for dinner that he can have and feed him smaller bits and pieces. Well, as of last week, he demands that he feeds himself. Slivers of chicken breast, pasta, squash, peas and brown rice are his favorites for mealtime. Bananas, Smart Puffs, mangoes and Goldfish crackers are his idea of fun snacks. Jack still drinks 3 or so bottles/cups of formula a day. When I get home, he nurses in the evening and early morning. My fears of inadvertent weaning never happened while we were apart. He actually picked it back up, without skipping a beat. Since he doesn’t nurse too frequently anymore, we’ll more than likely observe baby-led weaning by his first birthday.

On the mobile front, in order to efficiently get into absolutely everything, Jack loves to cruise and stand. If he can’t get somewhere, he doesn’t bother with the uncertainty of cruising, but instead, relies on the swiftness of crawling. The minute he hears the bathroom door open–otherwise known as the outlet to his duck tub– he sprints for it! It doesn’t matter where he is, if that door is open, by the time you’re done washing your hands, Jack is on the other side banging for you to let him in.
Size-wise, Jack is hovering in the 24-25 lb. range. He seems to be much taller, but weight-wise I don’t think he’s changed much. He’s still wearing some 12m clothes, but moreso 18m-24m. One of the brands that I like for t-shirts, he’s actually in 2T already.

His personality continues to blossom as quickly as his babbling turns into more definitive syllables. He seems to make friends almost everywhere we go with both, the young and old. He waves hi in that coy school boy sort of way. Just the other day, as we were perusing through the fruit section of Whole Foods, Jack quickly befriended any lady that gave him attention. By the time we got to the bread aisle, he was giving googly eyes and professing his love to another nice lady. And now, if you can imagine, Jack is punctuating this charm with blowing kisses. If I didn’t know any better, I think our kid is quite the flirt. On the other end of the spectrum, however, he get pretty frazzled when other kids are aggressive or too loud for his comfort level. He knows what he likes and what he does not like and expresses it all in such a way that makes sense to me. In line with knowing what he wants, the kid continues to be such a thespian. If he’s thirsty or wants more water after I’ve taken away his sippy cuppy after he’s flung it on the floor for the 25th time, he will let out the most obnoxious fake cough. As if the fake cough isn’t enough, he now does an exasperating release and will bury his head onto the floor if something doesn’t go his way, such as mommy and daddy leaving.

Oh boy, separation anxiety. This topic deserves its own post. Separation anxiety, at the moment, is definitely a major struggle. It’s something that has surfaced in the last few months, but definitely became more prevalent once he came back from Va. As guilty as this makes me feel, my friend promises me that all kids go through this stage, some more than others. As much as I think this 25 growth on my leg, hip, arm is cute, it does wear on me and tends to be a bit much when he doesn’t want anyone else! On the bright side, I do enjoy those days when I am the center of his universe. In a few years, like we were told, there will be a day when daddy walks on water and he’ll be like, “mommy who?” For now, he’s a mama’s boy.

Without a doubt, that clingyness solidifies my path in life and the importance of balancing it all. And not just for my sake.

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10 Months: He’s a real human being

Jack hit the big 1-0 on Sunday. Ten months seems so “old” but still so young…
Nevertheless, our baby has become quite the little boy–a mischievous and curious one at that. As in, he takes pride in finding the smallest speck of dirt in our almost daily-vacuumed carpet and shoving that small speck into his mouth the minute all three of look away. Just yesterday in fact, he took it upon himself to reach up onto our entryway table to snatch a small section of a paper towel and chew it like cud. Of course, he crawled away as fast as he could, clearly defining his guilt. After trying to calmly retract it with my finger and then fish it out, he freaked but knew exactly what he did was a no-no.

10 months old

Speaking of no-no, Jack has become quite the copycat even moreso than before. Since we seem to say no-no or not for Jackson more times than we can count, the kid knows what is, and what is not a no-no. What I mean by that is, he doesn’t always understand the concept of no, but he “gets” that when he reaches for certain things, mom or dad will immediately say no-no or not for Jackson. And in some cases, we just do the finger wag and shake our head. So every time he reaches for the low-lying cable box, he’ll turn around and wag that little finger of his…right before he lunges forward and pushes all the buttons with that same wagging little finger anyway. Better yet, since flowers around the apartment are inevitably off limits, he knows mama will wag her finger if he even looks that way. So when we were in Trader Joe’s the other weekend, as we passed the floral section, Jack smiled and wagged his little finger. haha. Besides no-no, he’s grasping a few signs, including drink, eat and some more. The best of all, he loves to blow kisses. Even though he gets the concept of blowing kisses, he kind of forgets to release the actual kiss. He “gets” it. Well, almost!

As a family member candidly said to me the other week, “He’s a real human being now!”
Why yes, yes he is ;)

His appearance, to me at least, changes daily. He looks like a little boy and is so far removed from the baby stage. His hair is long, much lighter and shaggy-like. People are starting to ask if he is a boy or girl–or if we had his hair cut like that? He’s still very fair-skinned, much like his father. We think he still sports equal likenesses of the both of us. However, I see so much of my older brother in him. He has 8 teeth as of today which, we’re often told by other parents that it seems like a lot for his age. Alas, we were assured by Jason’s brother who is a pediatric dentist that all baby teeth grow in at drastically different paces.
Jack, for the most part is a great eater. I usually make things for dinner that he can have and feed him smaller bits and pieces. Well, as of last week, he demands that he feeds himself. Slivers of chicken breast, pasta, squash, peas and brown rice are his favorites for mealtime. Bananas, Smart Puffs, mangoes and Goldfish crackers are his idea of fun snacks. Jack still drinks 3 or so bottles/cups of formula a day. When I get home, he nurses in the evening and early morning. My fears of inadvertent weaning never happened while we were apart. He actually picked it back up, without skipping a beat. Since he doesn’t nurse too frequently anymore, we’ll more than likely observe baby-led weaning by his first birthday.

On the mobile front, in order to efficiently get into absolutely everything, Jack loves to cruise and stand. If he can’t get somewhere, he doesn’t bother with the uncertainty of cruising, but instead, relies on the swiftness of crawling. The minute he hears the bathroom door open–otherwise known as the outlet to his duck tub– he sprints for it! It doesn’t matter where he is, if that door is open, by the time you’re done washing your hands, Jack is on the other side banging for you to let him in.
Size-wise, Jack is hovering in the 24-25 lb. range. He seems to be much taller, but weight-wise I don’t think he’s changed much. He’s still wearing some 12m clothes, but moreso 18m-24m. One of the brands that I like for t-shirts, he’s actually in 2T already.

His personality continues to blossom as quickly as his babbling turns into more definitive syllables. He seems to make friends almost everywhere we go with both, the young and old. He waves hi in that coy school boy sort of way. Just the other day, as we were perusing through the fruit section of Whole Foods, Jack quickly befriended any lady that gave him attention. By the time we got to the bread aisle, he was giving googly eyes and professing his love to another nice lady. And now, if you can imagine, Jack is punctuating this charm with blowing kisses. If I didn’t know any better, I think our kid is quite the flirt. On the other end of the spectrum, however, he get pretty frazzled when other kids are aggressive or too loud for his comfort level. He knows what he likes and what he does not like and expresses it all in such a way that makes sense to me. In line with knowing what he wants, the kid continues to be such a thespian. If he’s thirsty or wants more water after I’ve taken away his sippy cuppy after he’s flung it on the floor for the 25th time, he will let out the most obnoxious fake cough. As if the fake cough isn’t enough, he now does an exasperating release and will bury his head onto the floor if something doesn’t go his way, such as mommy and daddy leaving.

Oh boy, separation anxiety. This topic deserves its own post. Separation anxiety, at the moment, is definitely a major struggle. It’s something that has surfaced in the last few months, but definitely became more prevalent once he came back from Va. As guilty as this makes me feel, my friend promises me that all kids go through this stage, some more than others. As much as I think this 25 growth on my leg, hip, arm is cute, it does wear on me and tends to be a bit much when he doesn’t want anyone else! On the bright side, I do enjoy those days when I am the center of his universe. In a few years, like we were told, there will be a day when daddy walks on water and he’ll be like, “mommy who?” For now, he’s a mama’s boy.

Without a doubt, that clingyness solidifies my path in life and the importance of balancing it all. And not just for my sake.

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Baby Bottles, BPA, oh my!

I’m not sure if I’ve talked about the love Jack has for his transitional cup. In case I haven’t, let me just say this child LOVES this cup. He thinks it’s so great, he will go on a baby hunger strike if we don’t give him his sippy cup while eating his food. (well, as much as a feisty 6 month old can) While we only fill this “magical” cup up with a few ounces of water to go along with his solids, I can’t grasp why he loves it so much. Perhaps it’s the alarming brightness? Maybe it’s because he’s thinks he’s cool when he uses his “wings” to get the water out? Or maybe it’s because of the novelty of this whole new development— I just don’t know.
Well, whatever it is, I’m glad he loves it as much as we do.

Jack hearts his cupThe kid has awesome foresight and he doesn’t even know it. As a newborn, he rejected some bottles we were given. Those bottles are now confirmed to be grouped in the polycarbonate bottles that are creating a lot of media buzz.
And now, as we turn the corner into 7 months, the kid is so enamored by this wonderful transition cup, which happens to be a Born Free BPA-free sippy cup. It’s one of the most highly regarded baby items in our home right now.

My kid’s foresight aside, the terms, polycarbonate bottles and BPA, have been in the news quite a bit these past few weeks. Just last week, The Today Show did a segment called, The Truth About Bottles. The show overviewed the dangers of certain plastic bottles which contain BPA.
That show created so much hysteria buzz, they did a follow up segment the next day to clarify some questions.

This report about Nalgene bottles being pulled made me feel the need to post the stuff I’ve found over the past few months as a new mom. But most importantly, The Times reported today that Canada is at the forefront and is moving toward banning bottles with BPA.

The health minister, Tony Clement, told reporters that after reviewing 150 research papers on B.P.A. and conducting its own studies, his department concluded that the chemical posed the most risk for newborns and children up to the age of 18 months. The minister said that animal studies suggest “there will be behavioral and neural symptoms later in life.”

This talk about polycarbonate bottles and BPA is not new news. Many researchers and blogs have been talking about it for years. It just so happens that it’s permeating mainstream media outlets and now, consumers are starting to pay more attention.

The GreenGuide said:

A 1999 study of polycarbonate baby bottles published in the Japanese Journal of Health Sciences found that new bottles, washed gently before using, leached 3.5 ppb of BPA into water, while extremely worn and scratched bottles leached levels of BPA as high as 28 ppb. Another 1999 Consumer Reports analysis found that BPA migrated from polycarbonate baby bottles into simulated formula when the formula was boiled inside the bottle for 20-30 minutes. And several scientific studies have reported that bisphenol-A can leach from plastic when heated, exposed to acidic solutions or after prolonged use. And baby bottles aren’t the only place BPA is found, a 2007 survey done by the Environmental Working Group found the chemical in formula as well.

HealthyChild.org, a nonprofit organization who are dedicated to protecting the health and well being of children from harmful environmental exposures, say:

Since the late 1990s, there have been allegations that the chemical industry has distorted science to show that BPA poses no threat to human health. The allegations of bias have carried over to the government’s current evaluation.

When we’re bombarded by so many tests, research and reports, what are we, as consumers, supposed to do? While we all try not to over-parent, I do believe its in our best interest to be educated consumers. As the saying goes, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

As the reports and research are flooding in, what does it all mean? I’m no expert here, but my livelihood depends on thorough research. And as always, I need to understand.

My personal research dates back to August 2007, just weeks before the boy was born. There’s a ton of research and reports out there, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed. So what does it all mean? Here is what I found:

What is BPA?

The Center for Health, Environment and Justice define Bisphenol-A (BPA) as a high-volume production chemical used to make epoxy resin and
polycarbonate plastic products, including some kinds of water bottles, baby bottles, and food storage and heating containers. It is also used in the lining of metal food cans and in dental sealants, and is an additive to certain plastics used in children’s toys. The chemical was first developed as a synthetic estrogen and was later polymerized to produce polycarbonate.

How is BPA harmful?

Bisphenol-A mimics estrogen activity and is known as an “endocrine disruptor,” a chemical that interferes with the hormonal system in animals and humans and contributes to adverse health effects. Bisphenol-A also causes a variety of impacts through mechanisms of action that are
probably unrelated to estrogenic properties.environment california

Bisphenol A is a developmental, neural, and reproductive toxicant, Environment California says. From their thorough report, Toxic Baby Bottles, they found that:

* Scientists have linked very low doses of bisphenol A exposure to cancers, impaired immune function, early onset of puberty, obesity, diabetes, and hyperactivity, among other problems.
* For example, in one recent study, a single, low dose of bisphenol A administered to a newborn rat resulted in hyperactive behavior.
* Bisphenol A is most commonly used to make clear polycarbonate plastic for consumer products, such as baby bottles. Through use, this plastic breaks down and leaches bisphenol A into liquids and food to which it comes into contact.

* The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found bisphenol A in the urine of over 95% of people they tested.
* Alarmingly, the median level of bisphenol A in humans is higher than the level that causes adverse effects in animal studies.

What do we do?

Environment California says,

Parents have the right to know about chemicals in the products they purchase for their children. In the absence of good government regulations, but armed with the knowledge that some chemicals are a cause for concern, parents can take a few simple actions to limit their child’s exposure to these and other toxic chemicals.
At the store, parents should select baby bottles that are made from glass or a safer non-polycarbonate plastic. At home, parents should avoid washing plastic dishware with harsh dishwashing soap and hot water, which may allow chemicals to leach out of the plastic.

Environmental Working Group makes these suggestions:

Nipple: Start with a clear silicone nipple.
Latex rubber nipples can cause allergic reactions and can contain impurities linked to cancer.
Bottle: Use glass.
Plastic bottles can leach a toxic chemical called bisphenol A (BPA)
into formula. Avoid clear, hard plastic bottles marked with a 7 or “PC.”
Water: Use filtered tap water.
If your water is fluoridated, use a reverse osmosis filter to remove fluoride, which the American Dental Association recommends avoiding when reconstituting formula. If your water is not fluoridated use a carbon filter. If you choose bottled water make sure it’s fluoride-free.

What is being done?

The government said they are investigating BPA in Infant Formula Liners, but much more needs to be done. Most importantly, Canada has banned the BPA bottles. It was also reported in the Times that NY Senator Charles E. Schumer, said in a statement that he intended to introduce a bill that would create a widespread ban on B.P.A.-related plastics. It would prohibit their use in all children’s products as well as any product use to carry food or beverages for adults.

What is safe?

As EWG suggests, avoid clear, hard plastic bottles marked with a 7 or PC. so what baby bottles does that leave? I know Born Free, Green to Grow, thinkbaby Bottles and Medela Storage System are all safe.
The Soft Landing, one of my favorite blogs, has done some great reports. The recently posted Learning Your Way Around BPA.

ZRecs, another of my must-read resource blogs, has a great lineup of safe(r) bottles and cups.

And if you need even more links, here are even more sites that I’ve compiled:

Plastic Chart
Bisphenol-A Free.org
ABC report on BPA
The Green Guide
Breastfeeding Blog
Chicago Tribune’s Julie Deardorff

Mama Knows Breast
Nature Moms
Baby Bargains-BPA Free Product suggestions
Plastic Bottles Suck- Babble
Baby 411 consumer alert

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Six crazy months

Six months ago, I was miserable and swollen with anxiety. Six months later, I’m swollen with pride but still miserable*

We’ve come so far in just six months. Every night Jeff and I hover over the boy and cheesily whisper to each other, “can you believe he’s ours?”

To answer that rhetorical statement, no, I can’t. I still can’t believe we’re responsible for this funny little guy.

And you know what? So far, so good.

jack6m1.jpg
I think.

There have been many nights over the past 6 months where I was mentally packing my bags and searching for the keys to drive myself to the loony bin. The breastfeeding, the mom constantly in my face, other relatives making judgments, the working mom juggling act, squeezing in some time for friends, finding the composure to still be a wife and searching for my professional higher ground– this motherhood stuff is no joke.

And Jeff is already naming the rest of the litter. HAHAHAHA.

It’s no wonder why I enjoy vodka so much.

And then, as quick as I envision myself en route to the crazy house, our sweet boy grabs my face with his chubby arms, pulls me close and plants an open mouth drooly kiss and emits a faint noise—an inaudible version of “mwah.”

Mwah!

That’s all it takes.

I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since the summer time. I have scars from PUPPPs, reminders of my first few months as a very hormonal new mom. My guilty pleasure, bargain shopping, doesn’t produce bags full of clothes for me any more. Now, it’s bags full of diapers and butt cream for the boy.

Without a doubt, motherhood suits me more than I ever thought it would. It’s been a fun first 6 months.
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The science of solids

I read this article this morning and it reminded me so much of an ongoing debate with my own mom.

Phrases like, “Well, I did xyz with you and you turned out fine…” “That’s how we did it when you were a baby…” are commonplace in our abode these days. More often than not, I try to dodge my mom’s comments, not out disrespect, but to avoid the head-butting with my mom on modern childrearing practices.

It’s a slippery slope having my mom around and being such an active part of our childrearing. It’s one aspect of this journey where we consider ourselves extremely lucky, but it goes without saying that we “pay” in many different ways. We often combat cultural conflicts amidst all the other interesting scenarios, which to me, is the most torturous trivial.

In almost all cases, yes, my mother knows best.

In cases where my kid is concerned, I’m trying my damnedest to learn what’s best.
Without sounding like a self-righteous a-hole, I have to tread lightly and remind my mom that it’s not the 70s.

According to Dr. Sears,

many practices that were common three decades ago are now known– and proven– to be unhealthy, maybe even dangerous to an infant.

If I did everything my mom told me I should do, I’d be feeding him water regularly instead of breastfeeding on demand, putting him asleep on his belly, starting him on solids (in the bottle) at 3 weeks old, exercising his nose daily (?!), keeping him indoors until May and gnawing on an eggroll. (just kidding about that last one)

While these aren’t necessarily bad, they’re not things that we want to do. Just like all the opinion-givers, my mom means well. What’s proven to be difficult is explaining this to someone who has many more years aboard the mothership– just a different fleet.

People, I have never claimed to be a purveyor of all things baby. In fact, I have no clue what I’m doing most of the time. What I’m learning through this process is to trust my maternal instincts and follow up with a little reading.

Where my kid is concerned, I can’t wing it. At the very least, I owe it to my kid to do my homework.

I’m glad I trusted my instinct and was so relieved when I read this:

There is no exact science to introducing solids. Just do your best to follow your baby’s cues about when to increase the amount of solids, and take care to ensure that breastmilk remains baby’s primary source of nutrition for the first year.

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5 months already?!

Can someone hit the brakes? Please, make time slow down for a while!

We had brunch with some friends on Sunday. There was no room for his stroller, so we collapsed it and plopped the baby in one of those wooden restaurant high chairs. Mind you, he’s still working on sitting on his own, so he was a bit wobbly. As we sat there in this neighborhood restaurant with our friends, it totally hit me–my baby looks like such a big kid.
5 months old
Well, maybe not big, but he’s getting there and fast!

It’s so hard to believe we’re already at month 5. How did this happen so quickly? They said it would fly by, but I never thought it would go THIS fast.

Remember when he looked like this?
jack at three weeks

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