Controversial Topic:

Often, in the field of infant care, there are topics about which many disagree.   Currently the major medical authorities with in our industry do not recommend the use of marijuana for women who are pregnant or lactating.  There are no doubt individual practitioners and doctors who believe this this practice to be acceptable.  However, announcing this publicly would not be wise.  Over the next few entries I will be providing articles evaluating this topic.  Please review them and come to your own conclusion.  I would love to hear your thoughts.





The use or abuse of either illegal or prescription drugs during pregnancy can affect health outcomes for both mother and infant. In 2013, 19.8 million individuals reported using marijuana within the last month.1 With the rise in legalization of recreational and medical marijuana across the United States, there is potential for increased use among pregnant women. The prevalence of marijuana use during pregnancy ranges 2-27% depending on the population and method of detection.1

Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, and can be smoked, consumed or inhaled as vapor (“dabbing”) to produce a high. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main active chemical in marijuana. Some evidence has shown that babies who drink breast milk containing THC absorb and metabolize THC.1,2 However, there is inconsistent data on the ability of THC to cross the placenta during pregnancy and the specific effects of marijuana use on infants during lactation and breastfeeding.4

March of Dimes recommends that women do not use marijuana during pregnancy or breastfeeding. There is no known safe amount of marijuana use during pregnancy.  Some research as found an association between marajuana use during pregnancy and poor birth outcomes including preterm birth, stillborn, low birth weights and impaired brain development.  However, other studies have not found these assiciations   The specific effects of marijuana on pregnancy and the developing fetus are uncertain, in part because some individuals use other drugs, including tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drugs that are associated with adverse outcomes.  The March of Dimes recommends that women who are pregnant contemplating pregnancy should not use marijuana.  Additional research is needed to further examine how use of marijuana impacts risk for poor outcomes for women and infants.

March of Dimes opposes policies and programs that impose punitive measures on pregnant women who use or abuse drugs.

In some states, policymakers have proposed punitive measures for women who use or abuse drugs during pregnancy. The March of Dimes believes that targeting women for criminal prosecution or forced treatment is inappropriate and will drive women away from prenatal care vital both for them and their children. Health care providers should counsel women about the potential consequences of marijuana use during pregnancy.

1. Metz, T., Stickrath, E. Marijuana use in pregnancy and lactation: a review of the evidence. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2015;1-18
2. Conner et al. Maternal Marijuana use and Neonatal Morbidity. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology(2015), doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2015.05.050.
3. CDPHE. Marijuana Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Findings Summary. August 2014.                                                                                                                                     4. Committee on Obstetric Practice. Marijuana Use During Pregnancy and Lactation, Committee Opinion No. 637. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology(2015); 126:234- 238

Massage Therapy for Pregnant and Postpartum Women


                       MASSAGE THERAPY


When women are pregnant their bodies go through a multitude of changes.  Water is retained, skin and muscles are stretched, hormones change.  Each pregnancy is different, but all bring great changes physically and psychologically.  Pregnant women find massage a wonderful means of gaining comfort during these many changes.  Below you will find lots off practical ways massage contributes to healthy pregnancies.                       JUDY


These are the massage therapies that you experience while you’re pregnant and they don’t just benefit you, but the baby as well. Following are some of the benefits of prenatal massage therapies:

  • Reduces back pain

A backache is the most common issue almost all pregnant women suffer from; regular prenatal massage can help you get rid of back pain.

  • Reduces edema

You will generally see all the pregnant women out there with swollen hands and feet as well as the swollen belly, the best cure for this is, again, prenatal massage. Ditch those anti-swelling medications as they may harm the child and get prenatal massage therapies.

  • Better sleep

Due to lots of hormonal changes going on inside the body, many women find it hard to sleep at night, and they remain uneasy and uncomfortable throughout the night. Prenatal massage improves the quality of sleep to a great degree.

  • Reduces muscle tension and headaches 

Most women complain about stretched muscles in pregnancy. Prenatal massage therapies are proven to be very beneficial for muscle tension and the usual pregnancy headaches that are mostly caused because of hormonal changes and stress.



These are the therapies that you take after giving birth to your child. They bring along amazing benefits for you, help with weight loss and shapes your body more than any other thing. Following are some great benefits of postnatal massage therapies:

  • Pain relief

Recommended Post:  How to Prevent Headaches and Migraines in summer

Giving birth is not an easy thing. After delivery, the body is mostly achy and you are all in pain. The postnatal massage therapies help in relieving the pain and make you feel a little more comfortable with the physical changes your body has gone through.

  • Regulates hormones

Pregnancy is all about raging hormones, and lots of hormonal changes; postnatal massage therapies are proven to be the best remedy to regulate the hormones. Instead of drugs, try this simple and home remedy of postnatal massage.

  • Improves breastfeeding

Regular postnatal massage is very helpful in improving breastfeeding. For all the women who suffer from low milk production issue, postnatal massage is an ideal solution.

  • Stress reduction

Another great benefit of postnatal massage is that it reduces stress. There are many women out there who are suffering from postnatal depression, and they take over-the-counter drugs to cure this disorder. It can be easily treated with getting postnatal massage therapies on a regular basis.



The benefits of skin to skin contact from both mother and baby continue to amaze the scientific establishment!

As the data comes in, scientific findings show us that skin to skin contact is not only important for newborns immediately after birth and beyond.  It is also extremely helpful both physically and psychologically for mommy!  The list of benefits goes on and on.  Mommies who practice skin to skin contact with their newborns heal more quickly.  They have improved milk supply.  They tend to be healthier mentally!  All in all skin to skin contact improves health and wellness for mommies and babies.  Please look into this subject.  You will find incredible support!



Benefits for Mothers


Kangaroo Care increases the levels of maternal oxytocin, which serves to restore mom’s pre-pregnancy hormonal levels and reduce the risk of postpartum depression.


Studies have shown that moms who practice Kangaroo Care from the start are more likely to continue exclusive breastfeeding when they bring baby home. The surge in maternal oxytocin and prolactin levels in the early hours after birth appear to have long-term effects in increased milk production. Moms who experience breastfeeding difficulties are likely to see near-immediate improvements by practicing Kangaroo Care for at least 60 minutes per session, 1-2 times a day.


Increased levels of maternal oxytocin are released while mom is holding baby in Kangaroo Care, which in turn…

  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Lowers cortisol levels (stress hormone)
  • Reduces postpartum bleeding
  • Increases pain tolerance



The increased levels of maternal oxytocin, a natural hormone that creates a “relaxation and well-being” response, aids in mom responding with nurturing and affectionate behaviors toward her baby. Mom is more sensitive and aware of her baby’s needs and feels more confident about her parenting skills.


How Much Skin to Skin Contact Can Benefit Your Newborn!

Below find many very foundational benefits of skin to skin contact for newborns scientifically proven over decades of study.  Read up on this phenomena as your baby’s due date approaches.  It is amazing how simply taking the time to sit and hold you baby close can make such a huge difference in their well being and yours!

Enjoy and have so much fun!!!  Happy parenting!!!







Over 40 years of research has proven that in the early months of life, Skin-to-Skin contact, also referred to as Kangaroo Care, creates remarkable benefits for you and your baby.

Positioning baby on your bare chest, for an uninterrupted 60 minutes, triggers a hormonal cascade that delivers the following advantages:

  • Accelerates:  BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

Skin-to-Skin contact is a multi-sensory experience. Holding baby on your skin increases the development of essential neural pathways, which accelerates brain maturation. In addition, research shows that kangaroo’ed babies spend more time in quiet sleep, which enhances organizational patterns in the brain and decreases baby’s stress responses.


The direct connection with your skin during Kangaroo Care soothes baby so much that babies’ cortisol levels (stress hormone) are measurably lowered after only 20 minutes of being held Skin-to-Skin. And, remarkably, their pain is reduced when held Skin-to-Skin. As a result, babies who experience regular Kangaroo Care often cry less and appear less agitated.

  • Regulates:   BODY TEMPERATURE

Maintaining body temperature is essential for young infants who do not yet have the skills to keep themselves warm. Nature takes care of that through a process known as thermoregulation. Within minutes of being held Skin-to-Skin, the mother’s breasts automatically adjust to cool baby down or warm him up, in response to what baby needs. And if you have twins, mom’s breasts can act independently to take care of multiple babies at once.

  • Improves:   QUALITY OF SLEEP

Development of mature brain function in infants depends on the quality of their sleep cycling. During Kangaroo Care, most infants fall asleep easily, and achieve what is called “Quiet Sleep”, a natural deep sleep for 60 minutes or more. This is important, because research points to Quiet Sleep as one of the most beneficial for accelerating brain patterning and maturation.

  • Enhances:   IMMUNE SYSTEM

Baby’s immune system is stimulated when placed Skin-to-Skin. Mom’s mature immune system passes antibodies through her skin and breast milk to baby. Being on mom’s skin also increases baby’s skin hydration, which provides a protective barrier from harmful bacteria entering baby’s skin.

  • Stimulates:    DIGESTION & WEIGHT GAIN

Kangaroo Care reduces cortisol + somatostatin in babies, allowing for better absorption and digestion of nutrients, while lessening gastrointestinal problems. With a reduction of these hormones, their bodies preserve brown fat (healthy fat babies are born with), helping to maintain birth weight and keep a warm body temperature. As a result, baby’s body does not have to burn its own fat stores to stay warm, resulting in better weight gain. After just one hour of Skin-to-Skin, the infant’s digestive system is restored to the right balance for optimal GI function.

  • Synchronizes:     HEART RATE & BREATHING

Simply put, through Kangaroo Care, baby’s body learns to self-regulate, resulting in a regular and stable heart beat and breathing pattern. 75% of sporadic breathing and slow heart rate episodes are reduced through Skin-to-Skin.


Studies have shown that newborns held Skin-to-Skin immediately after birth are TWICE AS LIKELY to breastfeed within the first hour than swaddled newborns. 60 minutes of Skin-to-Skin increases feeding frequency and raises prolactin levels in mom, a hormone critical for maintaining an adequate milk supply.

Info. on Newborn Sleep

It is always interesting to pull out the infant sleep articles and study.  Everyone and his brother has an opinion about how newborns should sleep.  Personally I find that newborns sleep constantly.  The article below says newborns sleep 14 to 17 hours a day.  Have you ever heard of newborn who is awake 10 hours a day?  Most newborns will barely wake to eat.  Often that is one of the major difficulties for new parents.  Baby sleeps through everything!!  Yet, I am of the belief that it is good to digest as much information as possible prior to coming to a decision regarding major topics.  Sleep is one of those gigantic issues with which each of us must grapple.  So hear goes……..

Knowing the ins and outs of your baby’s sleep habits and patterns is key.

Whoever coined the term “sleep like a baby” didn’t know much about them, because newborns are restless sleepers, hungry every few hours, and rarely, if ever, make it through the night without waking up. If you’re worried your newborn’s sleep habits, remind yourself of these facts — then relax and enjoy that adorable child of yours.

Newborn sleep basics

It helps to remember a few tenets of newborn baby sleep so you don’t tear your hair out when you’re up in the middle of the night time and time again:

1. Little ones vary in their sleep needs. Newborns up to 3 months old need 14 to 17 hours of sleep, and infants up to 12 months need 12 to 16 hours (including naps). But before you decide your baby is sleeping way more (or way less) than that, remember that quality sleep matters too. So if your baby seems healthy and well-rested, don’t get too hung up on how much or how little he sleeps.

2. Newborns need to eat around-the-clock. Newborns have very tiny tummies, so while it would be nice to load up your baby with breast milk or formula at bedtime and not hear from him til morning, it doesn’t work that way … at least not yet. Newborns need a snack at least every two to four hours; a five-hour stretch is actually considered a full night’s sleep for a baby this age.

So how do you know when your baby’s whimpers, snorts and occasional night wakings are a call for food? The key is to learn to differentiate between “feed me!” sounds and all the rest so you can respond quickly when he’s truly hungry (with the hope that, after a little treat, he’ll drift back to dreamland quickly) or let him stay sleeping if he’s asleep.

3. Newborns are restless sleepers. While older children (and new parents) can snooze peacefully for hours, young babies squirm around and actually wake up…a lot. That’s because around half of their sleep time is spent in REM (rapid eye movement) mode — that light, active sleep during which babies move, dream, and maybe wake with a whimper. Don’t worry. As he matures, his sleeping patterns will too, with fewer REM cycles and more periods of deeper, quieter sleep.

4. Newborns are noisy sleepers. Irregular breathing that may include short pauses and weird noises is rarely cause for alarm, but it can freak new parents out. Here are some facts on your baby’s respiratory development to put things in perspective: A newborn’s normal breathing rate is about 40 to 60 breaths a minute while he’s awake, though that may slow by half once he’s asleep. Or, he might take shallow, rapid breaths for 15 to 20 seconds followed by a total pause in which he stops breathing entirely for a few seconds. You can blame all this on the immature breathing-control center in his brain, which is still a work in progress.

Study resources:

A few more Quick Summer Treats!

Fresh Fruit with Lemon Cream

Serves 2

Fresh Fruit with Lemon Cream

4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese

¾ cup low-fat vanilla or plain yogurt

1 tsp. honey

2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest

2 cups fresh blueberries or mixed berries

4 tsp. granola, sunflower seeds, walnuts

Using a fork, break up cream cheese in a medium bowl. Drain off any liquid from the yogurt; add yogurt to the bowl along with honey. Using an electric mixer, beat at high speed until light and creamy. Stir in lemon zest. Layer the lemon cream, berries, and granola in parfait dishes, wineglasses, or tall water glassed.  We did them in pint sized Mason jars to enjoy the beautiful colors!  Sprinkle with remaining granola. If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Serves 2

NUTRITION: 288 calories; 12g fat (34.0% calories from fat); 12g protein; 40g carbohydrates; 4g dietary fiber; 32 mg cholesterol.

This recipe is taken from Healthy Happy Cooking.

Lisa Lewis is the author of Healthy Happy Cooking. Her cooking skills have been a part of First Place for Health wellness weeks and other events for many years. She provided recipes for 15 of the First Place for Health Bible studies and is a contributing author in Better Together and Healthy Holiday Living. She partners with community networks, including the Real Food Project, to provide free healthy cooking classes to communities.

This is one of those treats you have to take time to make.  But it is so yummy!  I could not resist sending it off to you!  Fresh fruit and yoghurt with a little of the granola from the earlier recipe sent.  A true summer delight.  Maybe this is one of the goodies your mom or a good friend makes when she comes to visit.  It is hardy enough to serve as lunch!  Send her the recipe and ask her to pick up the ingredients.  You can enjoy your lemon cream and fruit together!  


Another wonderful cool summer drink!

Triple Berry Freeze  (sorry no photo)

Number of Servings 2


2 cups sparkling water

1 cup lemon sorbet

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 cup frozen blackberries


Place sparkling water and sorbet in a blender, and process until well blended. Add raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and honey; process until mixture is smooth.

Nutrition Information:  212 Calories, 52g Carbohydrate, 5.6g Fiber, 4mg Sodium,             52mg Calcium


More Easy Food Prep for All Mommies

Granola with Fruit and Cinnamon

Granola with Fruit and Cinnamon
Serving Size   1/2 c
Number of Servings  6
1/4 cup slivered almonds                                           1/4 cup honey                                                               1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract                                    1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 cups dry old-fashioned oatmeal                         2 cups bran flakes                                                  3/4 cup dried apple pieces (or dried fruit)           1/2 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Transfer immediately to a plate to cool. Raise the temperature of the oven to 350 F.  In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, applesauce, vanilla and cinnamon. Set aside.In a large bowl, add the oatmeal and bran flakes. Stir to mix well. Add the honey mixture and toss with your hands. Don’t break the clumps apart.  Spread the cereal mixture evenly onto a baking sheet. Place in the oven and, stirring occasionally, bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine the cereal mixture, toasted almonds, apple pieces and raisins. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Nutrition Information
163 Calories (11% Calories from fat); 2g Fat; 4g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 4g Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 115mg Sodium; 27mg Calcium

Granola is a healthy staple in ‘quick food prep.’  It can be eaten with milk or yoghurt as a meal.  It can be a snack you have in you purse when you or your kids need a quick nutritious treat.  It can be sprinkled over cottage cheese, fruit, etc to add nutrients to other food.  Over all, having it around saves time and tastes great!

Easy Meal Prep For New Mommies


Cool Summer Favorites

One of my favorite ways to use quart-sized canning jars is to pack them with salads. I can make them on Sunday night and just grab and go all week. There are a few keys to layering your salad so it is fresh and crispy when you are ready to eat it.

When working with new mommies I find nutrition is a great consideration.  I encourage them to plan meals ahead of time.  It is important to have easy meals ready to go in the refrigerator to take out in a moment.  The thought of sitting down at the table for a real feast is wonderful, however, in the first few weeks after birth, this usually does not  happen.  There is no schedule when you have a newborn.  It takes a few weeks to find your “New Normal”.  During that time have things in the refrigerator you can pull out with one hand and easily eat.  Yoghurt, burritos, crackers spread with tuna or peanut butter, really anything you would enjoy that you will eat.  It has to be something you want or you will not eat it.

Often mommies will look around at 2:00 in the afternoon and realize they haven’t eaten all day!  They are not feeling well, nothing sounds good, and no one is making sure they are nourished.  A physical trainer will tell you to eat small meals five or more times a day.  Each meal should include a protein, a fat, and a carb.  Protein: fish, egg, tuna, lean beef, cheese, turkey, chicken, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc.  Fat:  peanut butter, nuts, banana, avocado, potato chips, butter, etc.  Carb: vegetables, fruit, crackers, bread, dried fruit, tortillas, rolls, baguettes, pita chips, etc.  Combining these to create easy ‘reach for it’ meals is fun.  Example:  tuna (w mayo) & chips, quesadillas (cheese, butter, tortilla), cottage cheese and berries, toast w/ peanut butter & milk…..  We are not looking for full food group meals here, we are looking for nutrition on the run.  Things you will want to eat.  I repeat, if it is not something you enjoy it simply will not happen.

I encourage new mommies to keep a list of what they eat.  A food chart is easy.  It is good for several reasons.  It helps mom and family know mommy is eating.  It helps one remember what she ate in case baby is struggling with gas.  It gives you and idea of what foods help you feel your best.

Below find some salads to prepare for your refrigerator.  They are healthy and can be made to your liking.  If you have a mother or friend who can do this preparation for you during the first few weeks that would be great.  These items are fresh so they have to be made and eaten within a few days.

Green Salad with Apples & Walnut Dressing

Green Salad with Apples & Walnut Dressing

Dressing first! —This keeps everything from getting soggy.  Or leave out until you are ready to eat and pour over.

Hardier ingredients next—onions (be careful these can overpower everything else), carrots, beans, peas, bell pepper, olives, etc. These will get great flavor from sitting in the dressing, too! Apples will work in this layer too. Be sure to give them a little lemon juice/water bath before adding to keep them from browning.

Keep layering—Pack your layers tightly. The less air between layers, the longer it will stay fresh.

Last layer—Your healthy extras and/or cheeses.

HEALTHY HACK: Freshen up your limp kale or other vegetables by dropping them into ice water. Plants wilt due to water loss. Ice water restores their crispness.

One more thing—If you are using less hardy options like guacamole, avocado, or hard-boiled eggs, you might pack them separately and add right before you serve. Here is a salad that works well in a jar.


Green Salad with Apples & Walnut Dressing

2 tbsp. cider vinegar

2 tbsp. maple syrup

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. olive oil

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground red pepper

4 tbsp. chopped walnuts

2 cup (2-inch) julienne cut apples (dip in lemon juice to keep from turning brown)

6 cups salad greens

Combine vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, walnuts, and oil. Place in bottom of a jar. Add apples and then salad greens. Serves 4

NUTRITION: 101 calories; 4g fat (30.2% calories from fat); 3g protein; 16g carbohydrates;4g dietary fiber; 0mg cholesterol; 120mg sodium.


Korean Salad



1 bag fresh spinach  (I used ¾ Costco bag)

1 bag bean sprouts

1 lg can sliced water chest nuts

6 hard boiled eggs

6 oz protein garnish of your choice, nuts, crumbled feta, chopped bacon pieces, etc.

Directions:  combine all the veggies, egg, & protein in a large bowl.  Place in individual portions in jars, ZipLoc Bags, sealable plastic containers, whichever you like best.



1 C virgin olive oil

¼ red wine vinegar

1 T. dried onion pieces

1 T. worcestershire sauce

½ C catsup

½ C. sugar

Directions:  Ingredients provide 1 pint dressing (I always double the recipe, it fills a qt Mason jar)  Heat ingredients in microwave for several minutes until flavors are melded.  Serve hot.  Dressing can be stored in sealed jar in refrigerator for as long as you like.  I have a friend who uses it for meat marinade!




Fun Delicious Ways to Keep Cool This Summer!!!

This delicious & nutritious mocktail is perfect for you breastfeeding & pregnant moms, is super kid friendly and can even be spiked with some rum… you know, if you’re into that sort of thing! It is so easy to make, is incredibly hydrating and is exactly what you need to cool you down in a jiffy.
So what do you need for this amazingly refreshing treat? 
  • 2 cups Frozen Strawberries
  • 8 limes (for fresh lime juice or a 1/2 cup of Rose’s Lime Juice)
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup (1/2 c. sugar dissolved in 1/2 c. water)
  • 1.5 cups of ice
Combine all of this into a blender and pulse until the ice is crushed to your desired consistency. Pour into an ice-cold glass, top with a sprig of mint and ENJOY!
Pour some into your Yeti tumbler and take it to the beach or bring a large batch to the neighborhood barbecue. No matter what, it will be a huge hit!
More Ideas For Keeping Cool………………
1.  Cold Water with a little Mint or Lime!
2.  Lots of Ice Cubes in your drinks!
3.  Just for fun make Ice Cubes With Berries, Mint, Lemon Juice in them!  Yum. Yum!
4.  Purchase a double layer metal water bottle.   They are available at Costco, Homegoods, Amazon and more.  They will literally keep your ice water, with ice, cold for 24 hours!!!!!!  Too Cool

Contigo Couture 20 oz Water Bottle, 2-pack

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Yummy Recipes for Lactation Cookies Everyone Can Enjoy

Below find a recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies. These taste incredible and are healthy.  In addition they facilitate milk supply for mommies.  Past entries have shared other recipes.  Hope you find them yummy and helpful!!!  Who can not resist a good cookie?

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies

TOTAL TIME          27 mins                       Yield: 54 small cookies / 4½ dozen

  • Prep 15 MINS  Bake 12 MINS                   Preheat oven to 350°.

This recipe is great for mothers who are breastfeeding. It helps to maintain or increase your milk supply. Use more brewers yeast and oatmeal if you want to increase your milk supply. You can add white chocolate chips, shaved coconut, raisins, nuts, dried cranberries, etc. depending upon your preference.  They taste great for everyone!!!



Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.  Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar well.  Add eggs and mix well.  Add flaxseed mix and vanilla, beat well.  Sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to butter mix.  Stir in oats and chips.  Scoop onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Let set for a couple minutes then remove from cookie sheet.  Stop in airtight container.