Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Aint no party like a tummy time party! Wait...tummy time sucks!

How often have you heard a parent say, "My baby hates tummy time"? All the time right?! I can't think of many parent friends of mine who have uttered the words, "My baby loves being put face down on the floor."

I get the push from pediatricians about it, they don't want to see a bunch of kids with flat heads from lying on their backs all day. Babies need to develop their neck and back muscles to eventually be able to roll over, sit up, crawl, etc. But why is the only answer to this "Tummy Time"? And think of how many companies sell tummy time mats and tummy time toys! I doubt many parents even get in the often recommended almost two hours of tummy time per day anyway! Honestly, it's a bunch of BS.

Solution? Anything that causes your baby to work their neck and back muscles, and gets them off their backs, counts as "tummy time". Pick your baby up, WEAR your baby!!, or even lay your baby on you and read a book together :) Placing a newborn baby face down on a mat on the floor and letting them fuss, and often cry, is simply cruel, especially when there are other options. Once your child gets older and stronger, and begins rolling and pushing up, they will want to spend time in the tummy time position, and that's great. But before that, when they are so tiny, why?!!

Kingston likes being on his belly now, but only just now at almost 4 months :)


Don't care what I think? Fine. Here's more....

Irene Gutteridge, director and producer of "Baby Liv" videos, told Janet Lansbury that she feels not only is Tummy Time unnecessary, but that it's cruel. Gutteridge says that babies who have not yet developed the ability to roll onto their bellies really aren't designed to be there:
Putting infants on their tummies without having them go through the process of getting to their tummy on their own is analogous to injecting their back extensor muscles with that local anesthetic. They are paralyzed and basically unable to access their back extensor muscles, mainly because the actual act of getting to their tummy from their back (something that takes months!) is what forms their spinal curves -- the lumbar, thoracic, and cervical -- and in turn gives them strength in their back muscles.
(borrowed from http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/124365/tummy_time_is_unnecessary_and)


Thursday, February 14, 2013

this stuff is freakin awesome!

Itty bitty Kingston...about 12 hours old. 20mL of Similac NeoSure per feeding or else it was forced down his tube. The napkin under his chin was for when he threw up. Which he did, every time.

I got rid of my children's first pediatrician when she told me I "might as well get the boys used to formula, as moms of twins rarely have success breastfeeding"....mmm hmmm....
Blogging and nursing....can't do that with bottles and two 3 month olds!
Well here I am 15 weeks later doing just fine...through bottles, pacifiers, NICU feeding tubes, forced formula, and the challenge of keeping 2 tiny humans alive and thriving...I understand it's not easy at first, hell some times it feels damn near impossible, but man is it worth it.

HOLY WHOA!!! It's like powdered Doritos!
My guys were born early and had to spend a week in the NICU. During that time they were on a strict 3 hour feeding schedule. Every mL they ate was closely monitored and recorded. I was told I could nurse, but blood tests would need to be done twice daily, so pumping and bottles would be best. That's what I did. Some nurses felt that the 2 extra calorie per ounce "NeoSure" by Similac was better than breastmilk....that's what my kiddos were fed much of the time. They HATED it. They would take forever eating it, choke on it, spit it up, etc. But if it was my milk? They ate it quickly and fell asleep. Needless to say they lost a lot of weight in the hospital. All that choking and force feeding takes a lot out of you! They lost about a pound each...and when you're only 6 pounds to begin with, that's a lot! After 3 weeks at home though, nursing on demand, they had gained over 2 pounds each...and they didn't get a drop of formula.

Here's a tiny little note to new moms..........
It's not for a lack of trying on the formula company's part though! I mean jeez, every time I opened the mailbox there was another "care package" from Gerber, Similac, or Enfamil. Each FULL of FREEEEEE formula, lots of coupons, ice packs, cooler bags, free bottles, pregnancy journals, baby books, and more! Their branding was all over the house! I will say that inside these mailings there was always a very tiny part of the page that reminded mothers that breast feeding was recommended. Very, very tiny part of a page. Oh and check out how the heart symbol stands for FORMULA!
Oh and I love how the mailings always include an insert that gives information about breast milk being best for the first 6 months, and then a weaning schedule (which gets you down to nursing just once a day in ONLY 13 days!?  I feel like this encourages women to give up nursing at that point, no? Funny, since the world health organization recommends breast milk for a least the first 2 years of life....
Some free similac crap
It's no secret breast milk has benefits that far outweigh formula. Between the antibodies that you are passing along, the fact that it is created specifically for your baby, and at the very least the fact that it's free (?!) It's sort of hard to argue with mother nature... You squirt it on a scratch and it's healed. You can't overfeed with it. It's super transportable once pumped...it's good for 4 to 6 hours at room temperature! It keeps in a feezer for MONTHS! If you pump and bottle feed, these things don't really even need to be sanitized (talking "need" here...I'm sure you'll still sanitize, but in a pinch you're fine!) All of the leukocytes found in breast milk are what makes it so darn awesome. They are living cells that are only found in breast milk.  They help fight infection.  It is the antibodies, living cells, enzymes, and hormones that make breast milk ideal.  These cannot be added to formula.
my fridge

my freezer (stupid similac ice packs)

Want to know what else is in there? (borrowed from americanpregnancy.org)

Proteins

Human milk contains two types of proteins: whey and casein.  Approximately 60% is whey, while 40% is casein.  This balance of the proteins allows for quick and easy digestion.  If artificial milk, also called formula, has a greater percentage of casein, it will be more difficult for the baby to digest.  Approximately 60-80% of all protein in human milk is whey protein.  These proteins have great infection-protection properties.
Listed below are specific proteins that are found in breast milk and their benefits:
  • Lactoferrin inhibits the growth of iron-dependent bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.  This inhibits certain organisms, such as coliforms and yeast, that require iron.
  • Secretory IgA also works to protect the infant from viruses and bacteria, specifically those that the baby, mom, and family are exposed to.  It also helps to protect against E. Coli and possibly allergies.  Other immunoglobulins, including IgG and IgM, in breast milk also help protect against bacterial and viral infections.  Eating fish can help increase the amount of these proteins in your breast milk.
  • Lysozyme is an enzyme that protects the infant against E. Coli and Salmonella. It also promotes the growth of healthy intestinal flora and has anti-inflammatory functions.
  • Bifidus factor supports the growth of lactobacillus.  Lactobacillus is a beneficial bacteria that protects the baby against harmful bacteria by creating an acidic environment where it cannot survive

Fats

Human milk also contains fats that are essential for the health of your baby.  It is necessary for brain development, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and is a primary calorie source.  Long chain fatty acids are needed for brain, retina, and nervous system development.  They are deposited in the brain during the last trimester of pregnancy and are also found in breast milk.

Vitamins

The amount and types of vitamins in breast milk is directly related to the mother’s vitamin intake.  This is why it is essential that she gets adequate nutrition, including vitamins.  Fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K, are all vital to the infant’s health.  Water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, and panthothenic acid are also essential.  Because of the need for these vitamins, many healthcare providers and lactation consultants will have nursing mothers continue on prenatal vitamins.

Carbohydrates

Lactose is the primary carbohydrate found in human milk.  It accounts for approximately 40% of the total calories provided by breast milk.  Lactose helps to decrease the amount of unhealthy bacteria in the stomach, which improves the absorption of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.  It helps to fight disease and promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the stomach.

Seriously...the stuff is awesome.

Now here's the deal, in the first few days after delivery you're not going to make much. You may only have drops! I did. I didn't even write down (as the hospital wanted me to) how much I made the first 24 hours...because it was too little to measure, but it was so important that my babies got it. That stuff, the thick yellow first drops, it's called colostrum.
Day 3...about 25mL total during one pumping for my guys to share...and I was THRILLED!

What is colostrum? How does it benefit my baby? (borrowed from llli.org)

Your breasts produce colostrum beginning during pregnancy and continuing through the early days of breastfeeding. This special milk is yellow to orange in color and thick and sticky. It is low in fat, and high in carbohydrates, protein, and antibodies to help keep your baby healthy. Colostrum is extremely easy to digest, and is therefore the perfect first food for your baby. It is low in volume (measurable in teaspoons rather than ounces), but high in concentrated nutrition for the newborn. Colostrum has a laxative effect on the baby, helping him pass his early stools, which aids in the excretion of excess bilirubin and helps prevent jaundice.
When your baby is breastfed early and often, your breasts will begin producing mature milk around the third or fourth day after birth. Your milk will then increase in volume and will generally begin to appear thinner and whiter (more opaque) in color. In those first few days it is extremely important to breastfeed your newborn at least 8-12 times each 24 hours, and more often is even better. This allows your baby to get all the benefits of the colostrum and also stimulates production of a plentiful supply of mature milk. Frequent breastfeeding also helps prevent engorgement.
Your colostrum provides not only perfect nutrition tailored to the needs of your newborn, but also large amounts of living cells which will defend your baby against many harmful agents. The concentration of immune factors is much higher in colostrum than in mature milk.
Colostrum actually works as a natural and 100% safe vaccine. It contains large quantities of an antibody called secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) which is a new substance to the newborn. Before your baby was born, he received the benefit of another antibody, called IgG, through your placenta. IgG worked through the baby's circulatory system, but IgA protects the baby in the places most likely to come under attack from germs, namely the mucous membranes in the throat, lungs, and intestines.
Colostrum has an especially important role to play in the baby's gastrointestinal tract. A newborn's intestines are very permeable. Colostrum seals the holes by "painting" the gastrointestinal tract with a barrier which mostly prevents foreign substances from penetrating and possibly sensitizing a baby to foods the mother has eaten.
Colostrum also contains high concentrations of leukocytes, protective white cells which can destroy disease-causing bacteria and viruses.
The colostrum gradually changes to mature milk during the first two weeks after birth. During this transition, the concentrations of the antibodies in your milk decrease, but your milk volume greatly increases. The disease-fighting properties of human milk do not disappear with the colostrum. In fact, as long as your baby receives your milk, he will receive immunological protection against many different viruses and bacteria.

Stomach capacity of the newborn (SOOOO IMPORTANT!)

When mothers hear that colostrum is measurable in teaspoons rather than ounces, they often wonder if that can really be enough for their babies. The short answer is that colostrum is the only food healthy, full-term babies need. The following is an explanation:
A 1 day old baby's stomach capacity is about 5-7 ml, or about the size of a marble. Interestingly, researchers have found that the day-old newborn's stomach does not stretch to hold more. Since the walls of the newborn's stomach stays firm, extra milk is most often expelled (spit up). Your colostrum is just the right amount for your baby's first feedings!
By day 3, the newborn's stomach capacity has grown to about 0.75-1 oz, or about the size of a "shooter" marble. Small, frequent feedings assure that your baby takes in all the milk he needs.
Around day 7, the newborn's stomach capacity is now about 1.5-2 oz, or about the size of a ping-pong ball. Continued frequent feeding will assure that your baby takes in all the milk he needs, and your milk production meets his demands.
Infant Stomach Capacity
Infant Stomach Capacity


The more milk your body thinks you need, the more it will try to make. With the proper latch (or pump) your body will (in most cases) eventually adjust to make enough milk for your baby (or babies). DO NOT blindly believe that you don't have enough just because you aren't producing bottle fulls. And once your body does adjust, most women get a couple ounces when pumping. And that's awesome! Your baby is always more efficient than a pump. If you pump 2 ounces, your baby might be able to get 3 or 4! Also, many pediatricians still use formula fed baby growth charts, and may tell you that your healthy breastfed baby is in a low weight or height percentile. Probably not. If your child is growing out their clothes, peeing normally, smiling, and happy then chances are things are fine. Not every baby is going to be a sumo wrestler, and that's totally normal.
Notice how I didn't fill in Day1? It was only drops! And all those numbers are mL. I was made only 2 ounces total on Day 2, and that is considered a lot!

I'm going to stop now before I mention anything about formula recalls due to "bug parts" being found in there......we'll leave it at the fact that even moms who smoke regularly are advised to breastfeed their babies before giving formula, by the American Association of Pediatrics!  Breast milk is that awesome.

**No part of this blog is meant to insult any moms. I am trying to shed some light on the formula companies' sneaky little ways of making formula seem so enticing and so easy. So many new mothers are not guided properly on how to nurse, how to pump, normal amounts, etc. and are left believe "they don't have enough milk" or that they "can't" breastfeed. It's crap. Now you know. Know better, do better.





Thursday, February 7, 2013

Have they really grown that much already? 3 month update

Kingston helping mommy blog ;)

You hear it all the time as a parent, "you better take tons of pictures, it all goes by too quickly." In the moment it's hard to imagine the tiny little peanuts you have in your arms ever getting any bigger than they are. Slowly, day by day, they do. I think it's noticed first when their feety pajamas don't fit quite right, or when the neck of their onesie begins to pull down toward their belly button. Then you realize that your itty bitty babies are getting much less itty bitty, but you can't seem to remember them any other way.

Steve and I were at a restaurant on Saturday night with a bunch of other parent friends of ours. One couple had twin girls who are about 8 weeks old. I told Steve to go see them and he came back saying "Oh man they're small!" I had to remind him that our boys weren't even as big as them at 8 weeks! It's amazing how fast they grow. So far I say the biggest change has been between Christmas (8 weeks) and now. They are finally getting chubby!!!

At a little over 3 months our boys are:

Kingston - Born at 5lb 15oz 19.5 in - 3 months 12lb 4 oz 23 in
Langston - Born at 5lb 9oz 8.1 in- 3 months 11lb 14 oz 22.75 in

They're DOUBLE the size! It's just so strange to think about, it's almost unreal. I know by this time next year my head will be spinning...and they'll be running around!! :)

So here we go...from baby birds to rolly pollys 

9 weeks in the belly :)



Langston- 1 day old (grumpy old man)

Kingston- 1 day old (chicken legs!!)


Just came home from the NICU!
Kingston before his first bath at home...OMG he's teeny!!!
Little birds...2 weeks

Just chillin'...3 weeks
5 weeks...binky pros!
Ready for Christmas! 8 weeks


Tonight...13 weeks (Kingston didn't feel like staying awake for this one)



Sunday, February 3, 2013

Mommy and Daddy Fitness!!!

Lets rewind 3 months. Our babies had just come home. The pregnancy was over. I couldn't wait to work out! I remember getting the go ahead from the doctor. I also remember realizing that it really wasn't just about if I was physically able to get through a workout, but more about whether or not I had reliable childcare for the hour or so it was going to take.

My babies were newborns. They slept ALL the time. It seemed ridiculous that I couldn't just bring them with me. My husband is a personal trainer and I still couldn't work out! It was driving me nuts. Then I met a bunch of other mothers who were also having trouble working out. I mean, what were we all supposed to do with our babies while we worked to get back in shape?!

That's when it dawned on me to sit down with Steve and discuss the idea of starting our own fitness classes. Classes that catered to the postpartum woman, that the babies could attend and even be a part of, and that could also include older children and fathers. Steve is a certified personal trainer, and I'm certified to teach group fitness classes. It made sense that we should pursue this idea if our area needed it. After some brainstorming we decided to see if there was actually an interest out there for this. We advertised and put on our first Boot Camp with Your Baby class. We expected 6 people...24 moms were there.
First Boot Camp With Your Baby...24 parents!

With the interest that seems to be out there for a class like this, we have decided to start a business called Mommy and Daddy Fitness. We will teach boot camp style classes that included babies, toddlers, and children. Dads are encouraged to attend classes FOR FREE as well as receive FREE classes with Steve just for showing the moms support.

Another plus? Classes are $5. For the cost of a latte your entire family can come get a workout that will be challenging for dads, safe for new moms, include the kids, and help introduce families to one another.