breastfeeding and bonding

Pregnancy Diet Tips

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  1. Limit junk foods, fats and refined foods. Avoid high sugar foods. Just the amount of sugar equal to 1 1/2 cans of soda daily increases risk for preeclampsia (pregnancy toxemia and high blood pressure) 17 times! Focus on a whole foods diet. Shop the parameters of grocery stores where the real food is, or shop in a health food store.

  2. Eat a wide range of healthy foods to assure the baby access to all nutrients. Avoid cabbages, onions, and garlic. They can upset body balance during pregnancy. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onion, milk and chocolate (the worst!) can aggravate colic in nursing babies. Avoid red meats.

  3. Work with a qualified health practitioner to help determine which herbs and supplements are right for you.

  4. Don’t fast—even for short periods where fasting might be helpful, like constipation, or to overcome a cold. Food energy and nutrient content may be diminished too much.

  5. Avoid chemicalized, smoked, preserved, and artificially colored foods. Eliminate deli meats like ham, bologna and salami since they contain numerous chemicals.

  6. Avoid caffeine (5 or more cups of coffee daily is linked to spontaneous abortion) and tobacco (linked to pregnancy complications, low birth weight, stillbirths, and SIDS- see below).

  7. Avoid chemical solvents, and CFCs such as hair spray, and cat litter. Your system may be able to handle these things without undue damage; the baby’s can’t. Even during nursing, toxic amounts occur easily.

  8. There’s evidence which suggests using non-stick pans may cause birth defects or infertility. Consider stainless steel, glassware or cast iron pans for your cooking needs during pregnancy.

  9. Avoid smoking and secondary smoke. Your baby, like you, metabolizes the harmful cancer-causing residues of tobacco. The chance of low birth weight, SIDS and miscarriage is much more likely if you smoke. Smoker’s infants have a mortality rate 30% higher than a non-smoker’s. Nursing babies take in small amounts of nicotine with breast milk, and become prone to chronic respiratory infections. Research shows smoking during pregnancy may also double your child’s risk of having ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

  10. Alcohol exposure is the most common cause of mental retardation in the U.S. More American babies are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) than with Down Syndrome. Don’t drink to prevent FAS, mental retardation and motor-skill problems. Even small amounts of alcohol (3 to 6 ounces daily) may increase your child’s risk of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. We recommend no alcohol at all during pregnancy.

To your best health,

Sarah Abernathy

New Theories on Colic

Harvey Karp, M.D., author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, theorizes that colicky babies are suffering from what he calls “the missing 4th trimester” in their first three months of life. During this time, he believes that babies are missing a calming reflex, which was stimulated by the sounds and comforts of the womb. After a few months, most babies adapt to the drastic change, develop new calming reflexes and cry less. If you are nursing, watch your diet carefully. Sometimes mother’s milk is acidic from stress or diet. Avoid cow’s milk, cabbage, brussels sprouts, onions, garlic, yeasted breads, fried and fast foods. If nursing, consider a weak fennel seed tea or Earth Mama Angel Baby Milkmaid tea with added herbs to soothe baby’s digestion. Avoid red meat, chocolate, alcohol, sugary foods and caffeine until the child’s digestion improves. Tried and true digestive remedy for colic: try Gripe Water with ginger and fennel.

If symptoms don’t resolve after a few months or are accompanied by frequent vomiting, it may be a sign of infant GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Consult with a pediatric gastroenterologist if you suspect your child has GERD.

To Life-long health,

Sarah Abernathy

Natural Baby Care

Caring for a new baby can feel like a daunting task, even for an experienced mom. In response, the baby industry is booming! There are literally hundreds of products to comfort and care for babies. And, there are hundreds of self-help books and websites with the “answers” to raising a healthy, happy baby. Through all of this, parents want to know what really works and what doesn’t. The truth is every baby is different and what works for one may not work for another. The best medicine for your baby is love, patience and thoughtful care. And there’s no question that once bonding through holding and breastfeeding is established, pretty much nobody can comfort a baby better than Mom herself. New babies instinctively know their Moms, by smell and by sight. Dads, too, play a key role. Babies recognize Dad as a caregiver, and will usually be soothed and calmed through his loving touch and care.

-Sarah