Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Milk Please! (or not)

As a mom I have to make decisions for myself and my child. One of those decisions is to allow my daughter to self wean and not give her cows milk. I often get the question "What's wrong with cows milk?" and usually I respond with "nothing!" because I don't like confrontation. However, now I feel the need to explain myself (so people stop thinking I am so crazy!!)

Reason #1:
If you know me you know that I LOVE ice cream and milk chocolate and pretty much anything with dairy in it. BUT, it makes me sick. I am just one of the 66% of people who have lactose intolerance. That's right, you heard right, 2/3 of the worlds population have lactose intolerance. Why is that so, you may ask. Humans need an enzyme called lactase in order to digest lactose. We stop producing that enzyme between 2 and 5 years old. (Makes sense right? That's when babies naturally wean from their mothers breast!)

Reason #2:
Did you know that we are the only mammal that drinks another species milk? ALSO, did you know that we are the only species that drinks milk past infancy? 
Human milk is the perfect mixture of fat, protein, lactose and vitamins made for baby humans.
Cows milk is the perfect mixture of fat, protein, lactose and vitamins made for baby cows.
I am not raising a 200 pound child with 4 digestive compartments. (She is barely 20 lbs actually.)
Cows are much larger than us and grow much larger and much faster for a reason!

Reason #3:
Cows milk has 59 active hormones and tons of allergens, cholesterol and fat. In fact, most cows milk sold in America is genetically modified! Have you ever wondered why the average American cow is twice the size of a naturally grown cow raised elsewhere?

See the difference in size? That's what those lovely growth hormones do to a cow, what are they doing to obese America?

Reason #4:
The number one reason people drink cows milk is because, milk has a lot of calcium and calcium builds strong bones. In a way, that logic could make sense. But let's think about that for a moment. There are approximately 35 mg of calcium/100 ml in human milk and a whopping 130 mg of calcium/100 ml in cow milk, but those facts look only good on paper. The amount a child will actually absorb into their non-cow body is less than 30%! So at most they are getting 39 mg/100ml but their bodies won’t use it the same. Studies have shown that people that consume dairy on a daily basis actually have less calcium in their blood than those that get their calcium from leafy green vegetables. Interesting isn't it? Let me show you a study showing that calcium from cows milk does NOT make strong bones.  <<Click here to see the full text!

In the Harvard study, women consuming greater amounts of calcium from dairy foods had significantly INCREASED risks of hip fractures, while no increase in fracture risk was observed for the same levels of calcium from nondairy sources.

Reason #5:
Three of those 59 active hormones found in cows milk are  testosterone, estradiol and progesterone. They sound familiar huh? That's because two of the three hormones are found in birth control!! These hormones are used to prevent pregnancy. Ever wonder why there has been such a decline in fertility in the Western World? This may answer that question.  

I have barely touched the subject as there are many more reasons scientists believe that cows milk is detrimental to our health. These are my personal reasons to have made the decision not to wean my daughter and give her cows milk. That said, I am not against cow's milk. I believe that everyone has the right to make an educated decision for themselves and their children. All I ask is that you respect ours!

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why I Became a Doula

Me and Faye Rosalina

Why I Became a Doula
By: Chloe Chrysanthus

When I got pregnant I became determined to birth naturally. I did research day and night on ways to stay comfortable during labor, practices in hospitals, and things that could go wrong. I educated myself on every possible decision I could make. I decided to use a midwife at a local hospital that was known for it's birthing options. After having a very long and hard labor I did more research to determine what I could do differently for my next birth. That's when I learned about doulas. At the time I thought it was silly to hire someone you don't know to support you during labor. But after attending a friends birth, I realized how important that extra support really is. It became important to me to provide the support women need during their pregnancy, labor, birth, breastfeeding and postpartum. I believe that every woman should be able to birth the way they choose and I want to be there to help make that happen.

I fell in love with birth. While that seems silly to many, to me birth is the most amazing, passionate and beautiful experience of a persons life. After attending just one birth I was hooked on the adrenaline rush you receive as baby makes their entrance into the world. I have never felt such a connection to anything before I started with labor, birth and breastfeeding support. Birth gives me a calm and peaceful feeling for days after. Working as a doula gives me purpose and clarity in a messy world.

I hope to spread awareness of the importance of doulas. I also hope to offer my services to those who may not normally be able to afford such support. In conclusion I'd like to quote the wise Dr. J.H. Kennel, "If doulas were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it." 
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Monday, November 5, 2012

Our month in photos!

Lily rode a tiger!
We took a trip to Fells Point with Uncle Dustyn and Aunt Olivia 

Uncle Dustyn came to visit!
Lily met her brand new (adorable) cousin!
Lily moved into her new big girl bed!
We got our cool new Baby Jogger Summit XC!
We de-molded the bath tub, then enjoyed it :)
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Don't Blink!

It's funny to think, the person I was just 5 years ago is not who I am today. That girl was young and free. I know what you're thinking, "you're young and free now"! Let me explain. 

The summer before my 18th birthday I would spend my days speeding around on country roads, blasting music with the windows down. I would text my friends 24/7 even sleeping with my fist clinched around my phone in case it vibrated. I didn't want to miss out on a thing. I would go out every night, and all day on weekends. I felt prisoner by the curfew my parents gave me and rolled my eyes when they warned me not to walk out of the movie theatre alone. Everything made me giggle and blush. I wanted to be "cool". The kind of cool my friends were. They wore skinny jeans, listened to rock music, went to concerts. Oh, and I loved horror movies. I tried so hard to be someone I wasn't. I wanted to make everyone happy, no matter what it took! I made silly decisions by deciding what I thought I should be, instead of what I was. 

As I drove to a clients home today, A song came on from that summer, Summertime by Kenny Chesney. It reminded me of the nights I lay awake texting boys with the brightness on my phone turned off so my parents wouldn't notice.  I never thought of the future, or even what may happen next. I was focused on me.

Fast forward 5 years years. As my 23rd birthday approaches (yikes, time flies!) I think of how things have changed. Though I still enjoy riding on country roads, I mostly just take the highway. I drive the speed limit and notice when a kid is strapped in their car seat wrong. I cringe when I see people texting and driving and when I watch horror movies. I am overly aware of the terrible things that could happen and I do all I can to prevent them. I would still do just about anything to make others happy, but I am more focused on my family and what I enjoy. I have found something I am passionate about, something that makes me feel like this world will be a beautiful place one day.  And yes, I happily wear flared jeans and tennis shoes without any desire to become like the cool kids. The truth is, my experiences and memories make me who I am today. I wonder who I will be in another five years. 

(On another note, today my parents were telling me about their weekend. It seems like once the kids leave home it's time to party again!!)

When did you notice you were a "grown up"?
What do you miss (or not) about the so called fun years?
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Sunday, November 4, 2012

5 Most Important Rules of Being a Mother

1. Go with your gut. Your body, your baby, you DO know whats best!! Don't let others second guessing (which they will) effect you. Mom DOES know best.

2. Baby will bump their head, fall, get ouchies and cry. It's not your fault!! Try to relax, it's going to happen sooner or later and baby will be fine!

3. Opinions are like noses, every one has one and they all smell. Other people will give their opinion, their horror stories and their own experience. Learn to block it out because it will effect the way you think.

4. Let go of the fear. Every woman goes through the stages of fear. Where they are scared of the birth, the recovery, being a good mom, being alone with baby, breastfeeding or even all of it. You have to believe in yourself. Know that everything WILL be ok. Have faith in yourself, know that you were made to have babies, it is a normal function. Your body knows what to do and so does that maternal instinct ;)

5. Remember you. You are important too! Go take a nap, have plenty of help lined up (it doesn't mean you fail, it means you are human !) Pin It Now!
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