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10 Things To Reduce Your Child's Carbon Footprint

Baby_inGrass_2_300As my wife and I were already consciously evolving our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint, it is only natural that such efforts would be carried over to raising our daughter, Anjali. Taking steps to change our habits and routines was, and is, never easy. Changing such things always involves contemplation, research, motivation and implementation. For us, the contemplation and motivation is generally there already. Implementation is usually easy once the research is done. The research, however, can be time consuming.

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Essex Hospitals Tell Moms to Bring Their Own Formula if NOT Breastfeeding

Photo by Kelly SueBYO formula if you choose not to breastfeed in Chelmsford, UK

BYO formula if you choose not to breastfeed in Chelmsford, UK

Unlike many US hospitals and doctors that give out free samples of formula to new mothers, three Essex hospitals have adopted a policy intended to send the message “breast is best”.  Maternity wards in these hospitals will no longer provide formula.  Parents will have to bring their own.

This policy goes beyond simply eliminating the formula companies’ hospital gift bags that have “been identified as one factor that negatively impacts breastfeeding exclusivity and duration.”

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Indonesia Law Follows Gisele's Advice: Breastfeed or Go To Jail

Photo by AnnieGreenSpringsWomen in Indonesia face prison if they do not breastfeed.

Women in Indonesia face prison if they do not breastfeed.

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen has been an advocate for natural birth, but she upset people during World Breastfeeding Week by suggesting there should be a “a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months.”  She has since “backed down” from these comments, but women in Indonesia face exactly such a law.

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Saudi Cleric: Adult Breastfeeding Allows for Mixing of Unrelated Sexes

Photo by retlaw snellacSaudi fatwa:  women must give breast milk to adult men

Saudi fatwa: women should give breast milk to adult men

We advocate breastfeeding here at Eco Child’s Play in any shape or form, but a fatwa (religious edict) issued by a Saudi cleric last month takes the practice of nourishing a child naturally and uses it to justify unrelated male and female relationships.  Specifically, the edict calls on women to “give their breast milk to male colleagues and acquaintances in order to safeguard the Islamic law that forbids mixing between the sexes,” according to the Times Online.

The adult breastfeeding fatwa is a means of “circumventing” Saudi Islamic law.  New York Daily explains:

As part of Islamic law, men and women are forbidden to be alone together, unless they are blood relatives or have established maternal relations, in order to prevent sexual contact.

As a way to avoid breaking this rule — which can result in lashings or prison time — Sheikh Al Obeikan, adviser to the royal court and consultant to the Ministry of Justice, told Gulf News that women should give their breast milk to male colleagues, acquaintances or anyone with whom they come into regular contact.

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Breastfeeding Advice: Don't Buy Nursing Bras and Tops

Photo by christyscherrerNursing bras and tops aren't necessary

Nursing bras and tops aren't necessary

Inspired by a series we featured last year called Baby Essentials That Aren’t, I decided to share my thoughts on the necessity of nursing bras and tops.  When it came time to buying breastfeeding and baby paraphernalia, I was quite prudent with my purchases. I didn’t want to acquire things I wouldn’t really use or would have a short life of usage, hence I forewent the nursing bras and tops.

This advice may not apply to you if you are a large chested woman, but I found that a normal organic cotton bra was the best thing for nursing. It is important not to wear underwire bras when nursing, as they can cut off milk ducts and cause plugs.  Cotton is the best material, as it is breathable and will maintain proper breast health when nursing.  I looked at nursing bras in stores and even tried them all, but I really didn’t see the convenience of the drop down flap versus simply lifting my bra up.  In fact, the best thing to do when lounging at home is to go braless and give those girls a chance to breath when lactating.

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Bottle Effect: Pumped Breast Milk or Formula Affects Appetite "Self-Regulation"

Photo by Alessandro PerilliBaby bottle feeding affects appetite self-regulation

Baby bottle feeding affects appetite self-regulation

My daughter was a very chunky baby.  I worried she would become an obese child, but every study or book I read said that breastfed babies have lower risks of becoming overweight.  She’s now a slender child, and my worries certainly did not make me change her on-demand feeding habits.

A new study has found that breastfeeding helps children with appetite “self-regulation”, a skill that enables you to stop eating when you are full, even there is still food left on your plate.

Coined the “Bottle Effect“, “Babies who are bottle-fed early on may consume more calories later in infancy than babies who are exclusively breastfed.”

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Cry-It-Out: "Toxic" For Babies' Brains

crying baby A new book puts more pressure on parents to pick up that crying baby, calling the cry-it-out method (CIO) “toxic” and “very bad for brain development,” the BBC reports.

Many of you consider yourself natural or attachment parents, so chances are, you would never consider “Ferberizing” your baby. That’s where you lay baby down awake and occasionally soothe the child, but do not pick her up, even if she cries. This sleep training was popular in our moms’ and grandmothers’ times so as not to “spoil” the child.

But in a new book Dr. Penelope Leach (The Essential First Year – What Babies Need Parents to Know) claims that there is no scientific evidence that cry-it-out works, and is in fact detrimental to babies.

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Gag Me Product of the Week: Chocolate Formula

enfamil Yep. You read that right. As if the formula companies weren’t grossing us out enough with their lies advertising and the “just like breastmilk” song and dance. Enfamil, the evil conglomerate that brought you formula that expands in baby’s belly (yucko!) has now introduced “Enfagrow Chocolate Powder Formula.

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"Breast Milk Satisfies" Billboards Appear in Northern Ohio

Only 58.5% of Ohio’s mothers breastfeed; however, a new campaign aims to change that by advertising on billboards in the Cleveland  and Toledo area.  The ad consists of this cute little boy with breast milk dripping down his chin stating “Breast milk satisfies”, but is that really the best way to encourage moms to breastfeed?  Is satisfaction really going to make moms breastfeed more?

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Health Care Reform: Working Moms Get Private Breast Pumping Rooms

Much of the coverage on Obama’s health care reform law has focused on reducing costs, expanding coverage, and ensuring benefits for children with pre-existing medical conditions. Although the latter is very exciting for our family that includes a son born with a congenital heart defect, the law also supports breast pumping, working moms.

CNN discovered on page 1239 of law that employers with more than 50 employees are required to provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.”  The lactation room must be provided for up to one year after the birth of a child.

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Mothers Who do not Breastfeed 50% More Likely to Develop Type 2 Diabetes

Photo by aldenchadwickneedle500

Breastfeeding reduces risk of type 2 diabetes.

Yesterday, we delivered some somber news regarding breastfeeding and grade III breast cancer tumors.  Although we disagree with the previous study, we felt it was time to deliver some good news about the protection breastfeeding offers to women’s health.

According to an Australian study, motherhood increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life; however, mothers who do not breastfeed are 50% more likely to develop the disease.

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Shocking New Study Finds Long Term Breastfeeding Increases Grade III Breast Cancer Deaths

Photo by c r zFlame retardants found in breast milk to be phased out.

Does breastfeeding increase or decrease breast cancer risks?

It has long been believed that breastfeeding beyond a year reduces the risk of breast cancer in women.  Just last year the New York Times reported:

There is new evidence that breast-feeding is associated with a lower incidence of breast cancer among a group of younger women who are at particularly high risk: those with breast cancer in the family…

But Dr. Stuebe suggested that breast-feeding may prove just as effective a strategy for high-risk women as the use of Tamoxifen, a drug that interferes with estrogen activity and is often used in high-risk women to reduce breast cancer risk.

Though breast-feeding is promoted primarily because it is linked to better health in babies, mothers seem to accrue long-term advantages. Studies have found that women who breast-fed are less likely to develop osteoporosis and ovarian cancer, as well as high blood pressure and heart disease decades later.

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NJ Councilwoman Breastfeeds Baby During Meeting

Photo by blmurchNJ councilwoman breastfeeds during public meeting

NJ councilwoman breastfeeds during public meeting

I have been to plenty of meetings where women in the audience breastfed their babies, but New Jersey councilwoman Larissa Chen-Hoerning took it one step further. Chen-Hoerning breastfed her six-week-old baby during a public meeting. NJ.com explains:

Near the end of the meeting, 3rd Ward Councilwoman Larissa Chen-Hoerning brought her 6-week-old son, Enzo, onto the dais with her and began to breastfeed him while the council debated an ordinance regulating overnight truck parking on borough streets.

Chen-Hoerning said that she doesn’t think the act of nursing her baby, discreetly shielded from view by the desk in front of her, should be stigmatized as dirty or shameful.

“I want to help women say ‘Someone else is out there breastfeeding, and maybe it’s OK to do,’” Chen-Hoerning said last week.

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Before and After: Breastfeeding and Your Boobs (Someone Please Tell Kendra Wilkinson)

Photo by Daquella maneraBefore and after:  Breastfeeding changes your boobs

Before and after: Breastfeeding changes your boobs

I loved the size of my breastfeeding chest. I am tall and thin, so the extra volume was perfect, but of course, it went away. Actually, I didn’t know what would happen to my boobs when I started my long-term commitment to breastfeeding, nor did I really care. Apparently, I am not alone.  Playboy bunny Kendra Wilkinson announced she’d consider breast reduction surgery after breastfeeding because “They’re a little too big now.”  Someone better tell Kendra her current lactating breast size isn’t permanent.

I’ve never heard of Kendra Wilkinson before I came across this bit of celebrity gossip, but it made me laugh.  Kendra had breast augmentation to make herself a 34D at the age of 18.  Fortunately, she was able to breastfeed with these implants, but I find it ironic she now thinks her boobs are too big.  Earth to Kendra…once you stop breastfeeding, your boobs shrivel up.

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