Books I Recommend Reading During Pregnancy

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I am someone who likes to prepare and plan. I also like to research and read about a lot of things that may come up in our lives. One of these things is pregnancy. Especially after my first pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum when I ended up feeling defeated and not as educated as I should have been. During my first pregnancy, I read the ONE book I believe most, if not all pregnant women read: What to Expect When You’re Expecting. And honestly, while it was fun getting all the little facts about my growing baby every week, it does not give much realistic advice on preparing for a natural birth and knowing red flags when it comes to maternity care. I personally, would not recommend this book to any woman and have since thrown out my copy. Since having my first child, I have become somewhat of a birth and breastfeeding advocate and believe in sharing as much information and helping to educate others. I completely believe in the saying “when you know better, you do better” and believe women should educate themselves on ALL of their options when it comes to pregnancy, childbirth and beyond. I decided to compile a list of books I have found helpful (and some books I am currently reading) about natural pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.

Books I Have Read

  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – This is by far my favorite! It is written by Ina May Gaskin who started The Farm in Tennessee. She has 30+ years Midwifery experience and in my opinion, THE best in the field. This book really makes you feel empowered and is all about helping women believe in their bodies. It has some positive birth stories, what many practitioners fail to tell you about the interventions used these days, how to create a peaceful birthing atmosphere and MUCH more.
  • Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding – Another by Ina May. Great resource, full of information and everything you need to know about breastfeeding your baby. She talks about the benefits of breastfeeding, challenges, weaning, pumps etc.
  • Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers – I read this book while pregnant with my first child. I knew I wanted to breastfeed and this book DEFINITELY came in handy! Now looking back on my breastfeeding journey and have nursed 2 newborns, babies and toddlers, I know I owe some of my success to the realistic advice of this book. I really loved how easy this book was to navigate and looking up something if I had a specific question.
  • Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care – I found this book VERY interesting. It is a long read and shares a lot of information and statistics plus the history of maternity care. I really found that this book opened my eyes and was one of the reason I continue to research and ask questions! It really will benefit ANY woman who is pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant regardless of the type of birth you want.
  • The Other Baby Book: A Natural Approach to Baby’s First Year – Exactly as the title states, it is a natural approach to parenting and caring for baby in the first year. It is all about following your intuition and more of the attachment parenting or “crunchy” way of doing things. Topics include, birth, breastfeeding, sleeping, sign language and baby led weaning. It was a very easy and fast read!

Books I am Currently Reading

  • Birthing From Within – I am about halfway through this book this pregnancy. It is a VERY spiritual and holistic approach on pregnancy, labor and birth. It helps teach women that birth is not a huge medical problem but natural and more of a rite of passage. It offers exercises and techniques for women to look inside themselves and discover any fears they may have about birth and ways to overcome them. There are techniques for coping with labor without the use of drugs and a section for the fathers/ birth partners explaining their role. It also touches on some basic newborn care.

Books I will be Reading This Pregnancy

  • Childbirth Without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth – I have yet to read this one, but it comes highly recommended for those wanting a natural birth. I will update once I have read it!!

**BONUS** Documentaries I Recommend

  • The Business of Being Born – This documentary explores maternity care in the U.S. I HIGHLY recommend for any expectant or soon to be expecting mama AND father/ birth partner. I watched it on Netflix.
  • More Business of Being Born – A 4 part continuation of The Business of Being Born. A conversation with Ina May Gaskin, exploring options and a part on VBACs. Also watched this one on Netflix.
  • The Milky Way – A wonderful doc on breastfeeding. The lack of support many women have when it comes to breastfeeding in the U.S., a look at how things are done in the U.S. vs other parts of the world. Very informative and a great watch for those interested in breastfeeding. (My son and I have a breastfeeding picture cameo in this doc too 😉 )
  • Breastmilk – This one is on Netflix, I plan on watching it VERY soon and will update!

What books have you read and found helpful in preparing for your birth?

All images ©2014-2015 NaturallyAwesomeMama All Rights Reserved

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3 Year Breastfeeding Milestone: Busting Common Myths *PART 2*

This is part 2 of a series I am doing in celebration of me reaching the 3 year milestone of breastfeeding one of my children. You can see Part 1 here if you missed it. I am busting common breastfeeding myths and setting the facts straight. I compiled this list from things I have either been told or heard at one point or another. There are also a few that friends of mine wanted me to touch on. Enjoy!

Nursing Braydon (2 1/2 mos old) at local 4th of July Parade

Nursing Braydon (2 1/2 mos old) at local 4th of July Parade

 

Help! I am not producing enough because my baby nurses a lot / or when I pump I only get a couple ounces”

These are probably two of the most common concerns/ myths I hear. There are MANY reasons a breast fed baby could be nursing more often. ie: growth spurt, building supply, mother is on her period (some women report a dip in supply due to hormones during her cycle), baby is just hungry, nursing for comfort.

As far as getting a small amount of milk when pumping. A breast pump will never be as efficient at getting milk from the breast as a baby. So while you may only pump 2 ounces, there could really be 4, 5 or 6 ounces in your breasts. It could be the type of pump (manual or electric) or just your body. My body does not react well to electric pumps. I can have engorged breasts and get maybe an ounce or two out with my electric pump. Now when I use my manual pump, I have gotten as much as 10 ounces out in one pumping session. If you are a mother who has recently gone back to work and is noticing a decrease in the amount of milk you are pumping, it could very well be the start of a supply issue as like I said, a pump will never completely drain a breast the way a baby will. You would want to look into ways of increasing your supply.

 

“I  just found out I am pregnant, now I need to stop breastfeeding my first child”

This one is something I even hear women say that their doctors told them. It can be true depending on circumstances but in MOST cases, a woman can breastfeed throughout a subsequent pregnancy no problem. The main concern with this is that breastfeeding releases a hormone called oxytocin which is the same hormone that causes contractions during labor. So if you are a woman with a history of preterm labor, you will want to discuss this with your doctor. If you have no history of this, you are most likely just fine to nurse on! I personally have breastfed for 5 months of my second pregnancy with out any concerns or problems arising. In fact, my midwife encouraged me to continue nursing while I was pregnant.

 

“You can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding”

While many still believe this to be true, it is false. It is still very possible to get pregnant while breast feeding. Been there, done that 😉 While some women notice that their period is slow to return, not all women are so lucky and will have their first post partum cycle return within the first 6 months to a year. Even if you are not getting a regular cycle yet, you can still get pregnant! So if you are wanting to avoid pregnancy while nursing you will want to talk to your care provider about which contraception is best for you or use natural family planning (NFP).

 

“Breast milk is only good for the first year, once a child turns one, you must wean because there is no nutritional value”

This is another one that I just shake my head at. I think this one is more or less because of society’s view on breastfeeding past infancy. Many people think it is unnecessary, inappropriate or selfish of the mother. There is NO expiration on a mother’s breast milk. In fact:

In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:

  • 29% of energy requirements
  • 43% of protein requirements
  • 36% of calcium requirements
  • 75% of vitamin A requirements
  • 76% of folate requirements
  • 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
  • 60% of vitamin C requirements

– Dewey 2001

I actually have great peace of mind since I continue to nurse my kids past 1 year because we all know toddlers can be picky eaters. But knowing that they are also getting breast milk makes me feel better knowing they are getting complete nutrition on their pickiest days.

Shayne (18 mos) in his breastfeeding "gymnurstics" shirt after we participated in the Big Latch On

Shayne (18 mos) in his breastfeeding “gymnurstics” shirt after we participated in the Big Latch On

 

“If you breastfeed, your child will be a picky eater”

It is actually quite the opposite. While toddlers in general are picky eaters, breast fed toddlers tend to be less picky because the taste and flavor of breast milk changes depending on what the mother eats. So while they are nursing, they are getting an assortment of flavors before they even start solids.

 

“I am sick (or taking a medication) so I have to stop breastfeeding”

I get asked this one by every mother who comes to me for help. What bugs me even more is when she tells me her doctor said she should probably stop for this reason. I have breast fed through sinus infections, the flu, colds etc. The good thing about the time we live in is that there has been lots of research on medications that are safe for a breastfeeding mother to take through out many illnesses. If you are sick and needing medication, be sure to talk to your doctor about prescribing a safe medication. There are also many resources online, my favorite being KellyMom, who has charts and lists of medications that are safe. And as I mentioned in part 1, it is actually good to continue nursing a baby through sickness because your body will be busy creating antibodies that your baby will receive via breast milk and so he may not even get sick or may have a toned down version or shortened length of illness. A mother can still continue nursing if she ends up with mastitis. I have not ever had this personally, but have heard many women successful in continuing their breastfeeding journey through clogged ducts and mastitis. I have heard it can be very painful but very possible.

 

“my baby is having an allergic reaction to my breast milk so the pediatrician said I need to switch to formula”

It is actually EXTREMELY rare for a baby to be allergic to his mother’s breast milk. Our milk is made for our babies. There are extreme cases of life threatening illnesses (galactosemia being the most common but still very rare) where immediate weaning is the only choice. In most cases, what is confused is that baby is reacting to food proteins that have been passed into the mother’s milk after she ate it. Most common being dairy. I talk about this in my blog post, Breastfeeding a Child With Food Allergies. If your child’s pediatrician is recommending weaning, I highly encourage the mother to start an elimination diet and contacting her local La Leche League or lactation consultant for assistance.

 

I hope this has been helpful to any mamas who are currently breast feeding and don’t have a lot of support or any woman wanting to eventually breast feed. I do believe having faith in yourself PLUS having a support system helps with having success. My husband has been 100% supportive in me breastfeeding our children and I know that has really played a huge role in our breastfeeding journey. If you have questions, please post in the comments. I am in no way a certified lactation consultant, so if you are really struggling, I urge you to contact one. Also, if you are looking for support, look for your local La Leche League group. If there is a question or myth you didn’t see in this 2 part series, please leave it in the comments and I just might make a part 3. Also, if you like what you see, please share and “like” my post at the bottom of this page!

Breast feeding is really more than just feeding your child. It is also comfort, bonding and love. It is one of the most rewarding things I have been able to do for our children as a parent and I feel extremely lucky that I have been able to do it. If you are a mama wanting to breastfeed, I urge you to prepare yourself mentally. Check out the resources I love below for more information. You can do it!

Did you miss Part 1? Check it out here.

 

Resources I Love:

 

 

 

 

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The information in this blog is my opinion and should only ever be used in place of your doctor’s advice at your own risk. As always, do your research and decide what is best for you and your family!

 

 

All Images ©2014 NaturallyAwesomeMama All Rights Reserved

3 Year Breastfeeding Milestone: Busting Common Myths *PART 1*

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Shayne nursing at 18 months old

 

This month marks 36 months 3 years that I have been breastfeeding one of my children. My first son self weaned, while I was pregnant with his brother, when he was 22 months. And now my second son is still nursing at 14 months of age! In this post, I will touch on my breastfeeding journey and bust down common myths I have heard.

When I got pregnant with my first son, Shayne, I knew I wanted to breastfeed without a doubt. I figured that is why I have breasts, why women lactate during and after pregnancy and it just seemed like the natural thing to do, and of course, IT’S FREE! It wasn’t until I started reading books and I took a class that I realized breast milk and breastfeeding is so much more than food or the alternative to formula. Breastfeeding for me has become a beautiful act of bonding and love. I feel so grateful to have been able to supply both of my children with the best nutrition possible. My breast feeding journey has been amazing and I will be quite honest, it has come pretty easy to me. Even though Shayne was born via cesarean section, I made sure to try and nurse him right away when I finally was out of recovery. We had a few latch issues in the beginning and I quickly learned to listen to my gut instincts and listened to his cues. I was able to nurse him just shy of two years when he decided he was done. With Braydon, I felt even more prepared, I had been through it before and knew what to look for when it came to latch issues. He was a bit more eager to nurse and was a pro from day one. The first couple days, we perfected his latch and we have been going strong since.

Of course, I believe that I prepared myself and had realistic expectations and I know this played a huge part in the ease and success I have had. I took a class while I was pregnant that was all about breastfeeding, pumping, how to solve common issues etc and I have read numerous books and articles on the subject. I also had a wonderful support system. My mom breast fed my brother and myself. My husband went to the breastfeeding class with me and learned a lot as well and supported me 100%. I know breastfeeding can be very hard and trying for many moms, especially those who don’t have support. I only hope that the following information will be helpful for new moms who are interested in breast feeding.

I decided to split this into two posts because it is a lot of information!

BUSTING THE MYTHS

“there is nothing special about breast milk, you can get the same nutrition from formula”

Breast milk is probably the most amazing liquid or “super food” out there. It is high in fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, hormones and immune boosters. In fact, when a nursing mother or child is sick or exposed to an illness or germs, the mother’s milk will create antibodies against these germs and in turn the nursing baby will receive these antibodies. Now while formula does contain essential fats, vitamins, minerals, hormones and enzymes they are artificial and not absorbed nearly as well and the enzymes/ hormones while not human to begin with, many are destroyed through processing. The protein in breast milk is also much easier digested while the casein protein in formula can be very difficult for many babies to digest and many are allergic to it at some point or another.

 

“if I breastfeed, I won’t ever get a break or be able to leave the house”

While it may seem like you are constantly nursing during the first few weeks, it is all worth it and baby is busy building your supply up. The thing with breast milk is that a baby’s body is able to digest it so well and efficiently, that they do tend to eat more often than a baby who is formula fed. Typically, once a breast fed baby reaches the second or third month, they will start to spread out the time between feedings. As far as being able to go out, I personally was not up for leaving my baby the first couple months. I simply would bring my baby with me and wear him in a baby carrier or ring sling. I was able to breast feed him in these and get out of the house. Some mothers choose to pump their milk so they can leave bottles if they decide to leave the house without baby. I do warn mother’s to wait at least 4-6 weeks before introducing a bottle of breast milk to avoid nipple confusion and to be sure that their supply has been established.

Out with Braydon (3-4 weeks old). Highly recommend baby wearing. Makes breastfeeding discreet ;-)

Out with Braydon (3-4 weeks old). Highly recommend baby wearing. Makes breastfeeding discreet 😉

 

“I want my partner, husband, mother etc to be able to bond with baby by feeding him too”

This one always confuses me when I hear it. Not because I think it is a bad reason or an excuse, but because I find it silly that some people think the only way to bond with a baby is by feeding him. My husband would be the first person to tell you he has had no problem whatsoever bonding with our two boys early on. I was working part time with our first so he did get to feed him a bottle a few times but Braydon has never, I repeat never received a bottle. And I would say he is very much quite fond of my husband. Same thing with grandparents. I know my mom feels that she has been able to bond with both of her grandchildren without having to feed them. Other ways I like to suggest to families who are wondering how Daddy can bond in the early months would be: skin to skin contact, changing diapers, letting mom take a shower by herself while he watches baby or baby wearing.

 

“You must nurse baby no sooner than every 2 hours and no later than every 4 hours”

I was told by the postpartum nurses after my first son was born this. I was told to write down the time and how long he nursed on each side. In fact when I was in the hospital after my csection, the nurse would come in every 2 hours on the dot and if I wasn’t nursing him, she would ask me why and tell me I had to. And if I tried nursing him before the 2 hour mark, I was told I will give him an upset stomach. By his third week of life, I read another book and decided I would watch my baby not the clock and that was the best thing I could do. By the time I had my second son, it made breastfeeding even less stressful because I could offer the breast anytime, if he nursed great, if not, that’s fine too. Another way to think about it, do you eat at the same time every day? Probably not. Why should we expect our babies to wait two hours if they are hungry at 1 hour and 30 minutes? Listen to you baby!

 

“my baby’s pediatrician said I am overfeeding my baby because he nurses so much”

The great thing about breast feeding: you CANNOT over feed an exclusively breast fed baby. By exclusively breast fed I am referring to the baby does not receive anything else (solids, formula) besides breast milk. And just because this one bugs me so much, I will repeat, YOU CANNOT OVERFEED AN EXCLUSIVELY BREASTFED BABY!

 

“my baby’s pediatrician says I have to supplement with formula because he has jaundice”

I was told this with BOTH of my boys during their first week of life. And guess what? I did not supplement, I nursed as often as my baby wanted and their jaundice cleared up by their 2 week check. However, neither of my boys had extreme cases of jaundice, as I realize some babies do. But even according to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM), who published protocol in treatment of jaundice in breastfed babies, supplementation should only be used in certain cases such as:

i. A clear indication of inadequate intake as defined by weight loss in excess of 10% after attempts to after attempts to correct breastfeeding problems.

ii. Failure in milk production or transfer adjusted for duration of breastfeeding and documented by pre- and post feeding weights after attempts to increase milk production and milk transfer.

iii. Evidence of dehydration defined by significant alterations in serum electrolytes, especially hypernatremia, and or clinical evidence of significant dehydration (poor skin turgor, sunken fontanelle, dry mouth, etc.).

I highly recommend any mother who is told to supplement because of jaundice read the article. The ABM also states that:

Jaundice and some degree of hyperbilirubinemia are normal and expected aspects of newborn development. Breastfeeding is also a normal and expected aspect of infancy and childhood. 53

If you are a breastfeeding mother and are told you need to supplement and are worried about supply, I highly encourage you to seek out a certified lactation consultant.

 

“my baby’s pediatrician says I have to supplement with formula because according to growth charts, my baby isn’t growing at the rate he would like to see or is below average on the growth charts”

I know firsthand that being slow to grow or below average is not a reason to rush and supplement. My first, once he turned a year, started to plateau and his growth slowed a bit. He also started walking and becoming much more active around this time. We also found out he was allergic to some foods so we were making a lot of changes in his diet and my diet since he was still nursing. I actually ended up switching drs and getting a second opinion and 3rd opinion before finding a dr who supported my choices and said there is nothing wrong with his growth. He was small but he was growing at his own rate and on his own curve. This can happen to many babies. Many drs also use charts for formula fed babies which will show different growth curves compared to breast fed babies. If your baby’s dr recommends supplementation due to baby not growing according to the charts, I would say visit a certified lactation consultant and get a 2nd opinion. A lactation consultant can also do weigh in feeds to make sure baby is transferring enough milk. Sometimes correcting latch is all you need! And last but not least, have a doctor check for tongue tie, especially if baby seems like he is struggling to get milk out or just seems to be having a hard time at breast (fussy, latching/unlatching, painful latch).

 

Please leave comments if there are any other myths you want addressed and I will add it to PART 2! There are MANY more myths I will be busting in the next post!

 

 

 

Resources I Love:

 

 

 

 

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The information in this blog is my opinion and should never be used in place of your doctor’s advice.

 

 

All Images ©2014 NaturallyAwesomeMama All Rights Reserved

Breastfeeding a Child With Food Allergies

I will be concentrating on the subject of breastfeeding this month. This month mark 3 years that I have been nursing one of my children. It is something very important to me. Although, these posts are not meant to bash or put down any mother who wasn’t able to breast feed as long as she would liked or just chose not to breast feed, I will be stressing the importance of breastfeeding. I believe there can never be too much information out there on the subject. One aspect that has been part of my breastfeeding journey is food allergies. I personally know a few moms who dealt with food allergies in a nursing child and have also heard of MANY moms going through it. There seems to be much misinformation on the subject and I would like to share my story and opinion on the matter.

My first child was born in January of 2011. Luckily, I was able to exclusively breastfeed him until he started solids. During his 3rd month of life, we noticed he was getting red rashes on his cheeks and behind the folds in his knees and creases of his elbows. Of course, being a first time mom, I made sure to bring it up to his pediatrician at the time. The doctor assured me it was normal and that many infants get this “baby eczema” and that it would go away over time. I trusted our pediatrician and didn’t think anything of it. This was until it started getting much worse! It was at the point, people would ask me what is wrong with his face since the rashes were so noticeable and raw, red. At another appointment, I brought it up to his doctor again. I was told I could use hydrocortisone cream on it and it would help clear it up. Even though I wasn’t as “natural” as I am now, I still looked for the most natural form of this cream, knowing it is a steroid. We went with the Aveeno brand of it and started using it. It did help in reducing it but it never went away. I knew this wasn’t normal but still trusted my doctor that it would one day clear up.

Shayne almost 6 months, you can see the bright red rashes on his face :-(

Shayne almost 6 months, you can see the bright red rashes on his face 😦

By the time, he was 10 months, we started introducing more solids and noticed that EVERYTHING we would feed to him, he would break out in hives and get itchy around his mouth, neck, hands…basically anywhere that touched the food. This scared me as I knew it was some sort of allergic reaction. We immediately put solids on hold and this time I demanded that his pediatrician give me a referral to a pediatric allergist. I was scared to feed my child and this was not okay. Right before his first birthday, we got an appointment with an allergist. We explained everything we had been going through and he confirmed my gut instincts in that the eczema was NOT normal. He said that it is most likely food allergies and that since I was nursing, the eczema was caused by me eating what he was allergic to and him getting it through my milk causing the reaction. We were able to do skin testing since he was almost a year old and we didn’t know how many things he would be allergic too considering it seemed he was reacting to everything. We were able to confirm all dairy, all egg, avocado and strawberries. We were told to avoid them in everything and if I wanted to continue nursing, that I would have to cut it out of my diet.

This was a lot to take in. I went home and found that dairy and egg is seriously in EVERYTHING! …well almost. Right away, I quit eating dairy and eggs and we noticed his eczema started clearing up within a week of me removing these things from my diet. It was a huge adjustment but well worth it if I could continue giving my child the best nutrition. I felt guilty that I didn’t try harder and that essentially it was my milk making my child feel bad. It not only explained his eczema but also his issues with sleeping (we had to make sure he was at an incline because he would spit up a lot), his gassiness and just overall fussiness as a baby.

Today he is almost 3 1/2 years old. We do see an allergist regularly, we left his previous pediatrician due to his lack of concern and other issues. Shayne has been diagnosed as asthmatic this year on top of his food allergies. He has outgrown 2 of his 4 allergies but is still VERY allergic (however, not anaphylactic) to all dairy and all eggs. We do have an epi- pen with us at ALL times now and keep one in the house. His eczema has cleared up 100% without any medications or steroid creams. We are very diligent in watching what he eats and we typically prepare and bring food for him everywhere we go to be safe. He is a happy, healthy, normal 3 year old. To him, this is normal.

Shayne, 3 yrs, about to enjoy "safe" dessert from a vegan restaurant

Shayne, 3 yrs, about to enjoy “safe” dessert from a vegan restaurant

I wanted to tell our story because I have also heard many moms be told they MUST stop nursing and feed either soy or anti-allergen formula when they experience food allergies in their nursing babies. In most cases, doing food elimination, if baby is younger or allergy testing when baby is older (like we did) will help you avoid having to quit nursing. I understand some mothers have kids who have an endless list of food allergies and an anti-allergen formula may be easier. Of course that is something each individual family would have to weigh the pros and cons and decide on their own. With us though, me avoiding the foods was the natural answer. I knew breastfeeding was best for my child and me cutting those foods out of my diet was easy (and still cheaper) than buying a hypoallergenic formula. Plus, I knew this way he could continue getting the added benefits past infancy from nursing which I figured he needed considering everything his body went through most of his first year.

Signs of Possible Food Allergies in a Breast Fed Baby

Symptoms typically show up within 4-24 hours of exposure in breast fed babies:

  • eczema
  • fussiness after nursing
  • inconsolable crying and issues sleeping
  • stool with blood or mucous
  • hives or other skin rashes
  • ear infections
  • dry skin
  • wheezing or asthma
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • gas, stomach upset
  • vomiting or a lot of spitting up

Most common food allergies are cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy and corn.

If you suspect your baby has a food allergy, it is typically recommended to start with dairy, as that is most commonly the culprit. The mother should eliminate that food from her diet for a minimum of 3 weeks or more as many allergens can stay in your system for a week or longer after eliminating it. If you notice an improvement in baby’s symptoms after removing a certain food, it is most likely a culprit. If no improvement, then it may be time to eliminate another food. Some mom’s will eliminate all of the main common allergens and after a month or so, start reintroducing one at a time over the course of a couple weeks per allergen and once symptoms pop back up, they can pin point which one is the culprit. Depending on the severity of symptoms, the mother may be able to just limit the amount she eats of that allergen instead of completely eliminating it.

Dairy Allergies

Many people confuse dairy allergy with being lactose intolerant. They are two different things. Having a dairy allergy is when the individual is allergic to the protein in cow’s milk. This is why many who are allergic to dairy can also be sensitive to beef. Many will also be sensitive to goat’s milk as the proteins are similar. Many will also react to soy. Being lactose intolerant is when the person’s body has a slower time in breaking down the sugar, lactose. Switching to a lactose free diet, will not help a person who has a dairy allergy. The good thing, is many children outgrow their dairy allergy by 6-18 months and most will by 3 years of age.

Preventing Food Allergies

As far as preventing food allergies, there isn’t a sure fire way to do this. Of course genetics and family history play a huge role in whether or not a child will have food allergies. According to AAP guidelines, a mother should not avoid or eliminate any foods during pregnancy or breast feeding. There is very little evidence that delaying solids past 6 months decreases chances of having food allergies. Exclusive breast feeding for the first 4-6 months is recommended and endorsed with continuing to breastfeed until a year or beyond. If formula is to be used, soy is no longer the main recommendation in preventing dairy allergies, like in the past. AAP is recommending hydrolyzed formula be used instead which does contain cow proteins but they are broken down so they are less likely to be allergenic. They are also saying there is no need to delay certain allergenic foods such at dairy, eggs or peanuts but don’t give an outline on how to go about introducing these to at risk or high risk babies.

As always, contact your pediatrician or allergist when seeking medical advice. But just know that having a nursling with food allergies does not mean you must end your breastfeeding journey. Shayne went on to nurse until just before his second birthday, a whole year after we found out about his food allergies. It can be very challenging and was a huge adjustment for me but in the end it paid off and I don’t regret making the changes I did.

Resources:

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The contents of this blog are my own opinion and experiences. If you are needing advice, always contact a medical professional.

All Images ©2014 NaturallyAwesomeMama All Rights Reserved

PRT- Earth Mama Angel Baby

prodrevtues

I will be starting a new series of posts called, Product Review Tuesday (or PRT). I know, I know, creative right 🙂 Anyway, I get asked A LOT what I use on us, our kids, about certain foods and many other products we use because we do strive for living as naturally and chemical free as we can. I also have a lot of new items I will be trying for the first time in the upcoming months and thought it would be nice to share my opinions on them as I know being a mom myself, I am always looking for fun, new items to try out that may be helpful for myself or the kids.

I thought I would start off with one of my absolute favorite brands, Earth Mama Angel Baby (EMAB). They are a wonderful company out of Oregon who have created a wonderful line of organic, chemical free products for mamas, mamas to be and babies/ children. Don’t worry about the men in your life, even Kyle has been known to use some of these products 😉 I decided I wanted to review their products because I have pretty much tried and owned almost every single of the items they sell. I guess it’s a bit of an obsession… But no, really, I love their products and would recommend them to anyone looking for get smelling, gentle, safe, chemical free, organic body products that actually work!

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My personal stash, minus a few items that are currently in use

Here is EMAB’s mission:

Earth Mama believes in the natural process of birth, and the healing power of nature. Our mission is to provide safe, herbal alternatives for pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, and babies of all ages, and to help educate people about traditional plant medicine and safe personal care. We manufacture natural and organic products that work, combining generations of women’s wisdom and traditional plant medicine with the safety and assurances of contemporary evidence based research. If it doesn’t measure up to Mama’s standards, it doesn’t leave the building. That’s Mama’s Promise®. – EarthMamaAngelBaby.com

They never use lanolin, SLS, preservatives or parabens. Their products are certified organic, cruelty free, vegan and non-GMO verified.

For Mama/ Mama to Be

For Mama/ Mama to Be

Another thing I love about their products is that there are many alternative uses for them. For example, I have used their mama bottom spray and mama bottom balm for aftershave because I have sensitive skin and tend to get red bumps on my legs after shaving. I either spray the spray or put some of the balm on my legs after I shave and I no longer get the red rashes or bumps! Both these products were great for healing after my vaginal birth as well!

The lotion and oil smell amazing. I used them on my growing pregnancy belly during my second pregnancy. They helped get rid of any itching from the stretching skin on my belly and in my opinion helped reduce the amount of stretch marks I got.

The soap is castile soap and it foams. So revitalizing and energizing, great for any mama! It is gentle and leaves my skin feeling clean, not like I have a film left over like when I used chemical based soaps in the past.

Nipple Butter is great! I love that it can be used over and over for soothing sore or cracked nipples. And you don’t have to worry about wiping it off before baby nurses because it is 100% safe. It has a wonderful cocoa smell because of the cocoa butter in it and it really heals. I used it during the first few weeks after having Braydon and I was only sore for about a week as compared to 4-6 weeks with my first when I used a lanolin based product. When you no longer need it for soothing sore breasts, it is great for cracked, chapped baby cheeks during the winter months or dry skin on mama or daddy!

Organic Herbal Teas

Organic Herbal Teas

I only have a few of their teas but have been lucky enough to try all of them besides the No More Milk Tea. The Heartburn Tea was PERFECT for soothing heartburn during my second pregnancy! I was actually skeptical at first but then I tried it and it really works. After pregnancy, it can be used for stomach aches or heartburn. The Milkmaid Tea is great for breast feeding mamas who want a delicious tea that will help increase milk supply. I found that I had a remarkable increase in my supply within 24 hours of drinking some. The Third Trimester Tea is great for the last trimester of your pregnancy. It contains red raspberry leaf which helps tone your uterus for labor. The Monthly Comfort Tea is great for that special time of the month and during postpartum. It is very calming and helps whenever hormones are raging! They also have Peaceful Mama tea which is a nice calming tea that tastes amazing and Morning Wellness Tea for pregnancy and nausea.

For Baby

For Baby

I really like their products for baby. I really love that they have two scents of their soaps. They have orange vanilla and lavender. Both are amazing. I will warn that since they are castile soaps, you need to be sure to avoid eye contact because it can burn baby eyes. The lotion is very soothing and keeps our baby’s skin extremely soft! The oil is great for super dry skin in the winter. And the Baby Bottom Balm is one of the most fast acting, healing diaper rash balms I have used. Plus it also smells so good! The bottom balm can be used for healing scrapes, minor burns, chapped skin, rashes (even fungal rashes) and thrush.

All of their products, if you haven’t notice by now, smell so good. I have been known to just open up a jar and smell it because they just soothe you by smelling it. A lot of people worry about the price or the size. Yes, they do run a bit more expensive than most chemical laden products but I believe you get what you pay for. And I mean it when I say a little goes a looooong way with all of their products. I have only had to buy replacements for the teas and soaps over the last 2 years and we use their stuff everyday.

I really encourage you to check them out if you are looking for a new bath and body product, that is organic and chemical free, for your whole family. Also, check out their alternative uses for their products and see if one would be useful if you are looking for something more specific.

 

 

**Please note: I am in no way affliated with Earth Mama Angel Baby nor do I receive any type of compensation from them for sharing their products. I just am a very happy consumer who loves their products and wants to share my opinion with others.

 

 

 

 

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