How to Keep Baby Cool in a Car Seat: 10 Helpful Tips

As summer draws near we are all considering how to keep our babies cool. There are many items that can be purchased for this purpose. However, my hope is you can glean information form this article that will help you think of ways to use what you already have for this purpose. It is easy to buy everything in sight and then be buried in stuff.

Use the ideas here to help you keep you and baby cool. This article is especially about keeping cool in the car as you travel. Many of these thoughts will help you out doors and at home.

Make water and cool drinks easily available. Make your own popsicles from juice or purred fruit. These are a healthy treat. Breastfeed on demand. Use fans when you are able. Seek out the shade. Do not be out and about during the hottest times of the day. Arrange you schedule so you can be at home or in another air-conditioned place during the heat. My OB always said long walks in air-conditioned malls! That works for everyone! have so much fun this summer and KEEP COOl!!!

JUDY

1. Dress Smartly

1. Dress Your Baby Smartly

Remember the rule of thumb: If it’s TOO HOT for you, it’s going to be too hot for your baby. A hot car will be uncomfortable for anyone!

Newborn babies can only sweat on their foreheads. For premature babies, they might not even sweat.

A toddler will start sweating in their torsoneckshands, and feet. Kids can easily overheat, that’s why IT’S IMPORTANT to choose the right material to start off your car trip.

Since it’s summer, you should choose to dress your child in BREATHABLE material. The best materials to keep a child cool during the summer are cottonvoile, and jersey knit

AVOID materials such as fleece, flannel, and wool. Dress your child in light clothing. Avoid things that can overheat them, such as socks and hats.

2. Avoid Peak Temperatures

Prepare materials you can layer instead, such as a thin blanket. This will help in case the air-conditioning gets too cold or if the temperature suddenly drops while you keep cool in the car.

Avoid traveling with your kids during the hottest time of the day, which is between 10 am to 2 pm.

To play it safe, we recommend avoiding up to 4 pm. These are the HOTTEST hours, so your baby is at a higher risk of overheating and sunburn.

That’s why, when traveling with kids, it’s best to do it in the early mornings or later in the afternoon.

You should park in shaded areas whenever possible. Even if it’s going to be farther away from your destination. Believe me, it’s going to be worth it.

Leave all your windows slightly open. Since heat gets trapped inside cars, leaving the windows slightly open will help regulate the heat.

3. Choose the Right Car Seat

Tips for Choosing a Car Seat Color

With a baby, EVERY DETAIL MATTERS. Wouldn’t you agree? This includes the color and material of infant car seats.

Dark car seat colors, such as black or navy, are good for keeping the car seat clean from any stains. However, the DOWNSIDE is that these car seat colors absorb heat in the summer time.

The temperature inside your car will be hotter than the outside.

To illustrate, imagine that the outside temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This means cars can easily reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 minutes.

So, what’s a safe color for infant car seats? White.

Lighter car seat colors do not attract heat because they reflect all visible wavelengths of light. Besides white, there’s also yelloworange, and red.

Tips for Choosing Car Seat Material

Granted, it will be difficult to find an infant car seat that’s all-white. Most infant convertible car seats are available in black only.

That’s why the next thing you can do is to inspect the material of the infant car seat.

Car seat materials usually come in 3 types:

  • Fabric
  • Vinyl
  • Leather

You’ll want to avoid fabric and vinyl car seats as they can get very hot during the summer. Vinyl car seats, in particular, aren’t as breathable as leather.

That leaves us with fabric car seats, such as nylon or polyester. Fabric car seats provide comfort and breathability in all four seasons.

However, keep in mind that fabric car seats are more prone to stains. These types of convertible car seats can also absorb moisture and cause odors.

Try Britax Cool-Flow Car Seats

Britax Cool-Flow

If you live in a really hot and humid area, we recommend investing in a cool-flow car seat. Britax cool-flow car seats are a great option.

Britax cool-flow car seats are available in 3 options:

  • Infant Car Seat: 4 to 35 lbs, less than 32 inches tall
  • Convertible Car Seat: For up to 65 lbs, less than 49 inches tall
  • Booster Car Seat: For 25 to 120 lbs, 30 to 62 inches tall

They also have a “One4Life” cool-flow car seat. These are all-in-one car seats that can freely convert from an infant car seat to a convertible car seat or booster car seat.

Britax car seats feature their Cool Flow Technology. The Cool Flow technology features a ventilated mesh fabric, which IMPROVES air flow to keep baby cool and comfy.

The Cool Flow design is available for all car seats. This includes the infant car seat, convertible car seat, and booster car seat.

Plus, Britax cool-flow car seats have a ClickTight Installation Technology. This makes installing the cool-flow car seat quicker and easier—just like buckling a seat belt.

4. Use a Car Seat Cover

4. Use a Cover

Car seat covers are a great way to add an extra layer of protection. Keep in mind though, that you use car seat covers when your child’s car seat is not in use.

Of course, there’s always the option to use reflective sun shades or towels to cover the car seat while your car is parked. However, car seat covers will be much more effective. For example:

  • A car seat cover will fit most car seats, whether you’re using a convertible car seat or booster seat.
  • Some car seats also come with a seat sun shield. Though it’s MORE EXPENSIVE, this product features a durable material to shield direct sunlight off the car seat.
  • There’s also the option to have breathable mesh fabric. A multi-purpose car seat cover blocks out the sun, rain, and insects. It’s also compatible with an infant carrier and strollers.

Car seat covers are available in all shapes, sizes, and price points. So it’s something we recommend all parents invest in, especially if you tend to park outdoors.

5. Use a Car Seat Cooler

5. Use a Cooler

Another effective solution is using a car seat cooler. Think of a car seat cooler as an upgraded version of a car seat cover.

Car seat coolers are freezable cooling pads or mats for babies. These coolers are intended to keep the car seat cool while your baby isn’t using it.

All you have to do is throw it in the freezer overnight. Then, unfold it and drape it over your baby’s car seat.

Important note: You should NOT let your child sit on top of the cooler mat. It can cause freezer burn even if it’s summer.

Instead, you should place it on their car seat about 10 to 15 minutes before the car trip. The cooling mat will cool down the car seat, belt, and buckle.

Our personal favorite is the Carats cooling pad

6. Open All Windows Once You Start Your Car

6. Open All Windows

Open the window as soon as you turn on the car. This will help the heat escape and regulate the air flow.

Take note you should do this BEFORE turning on the A/C. Why?

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not because of benzene, which is a carcinogen!

There was an email hoax a few years ago saying that turning on the A/C as soon as you get into your car will release harmful chemicals, including benzene.

However, that was proven to be false. Instead, you should open your window because of thegreenhouse effect.

When your car is parked with the windows closed, this causes your car to warm up and get heat trapped inside the car.

So, opening your windows for a minute or two will allow the HOT AIR from the inside of your car to go outside. This will make your car cool down FASTER.

You could also have a remote car starter. This handy feature will be helpful if you live in areas where summer is unforgiving.

7. Point the A/C Towards Your Child (or Get a Noggle!)

7. Point the A-C

After you’ve followed Tip #6, it’s time to turn on the air-conditioning.

Point the air vents towards your baby. It’s best if your car has a rear A/C duct so the back seat will be cool throughout the car ride.

If you don’t, don’t worry. You can invest in a Noggle.

What is a Noggle, you ask?

Noggle is a mini duct work to extend your car vents. You install it on the vent tube of your car so that you can keep the cool air flow from your car’s dash towards your baby in the back seat.

Here’s what we like about Noggles:

  • Easy to remove and install
  • Available for both forward-facing and rear-facing babies
  • Multiple sizes available: 6ft, 8ft, or 10ft options
  • Can be used in the summer and winter months

On that note, some parents might wonder: Windows or A/C?

We don’t recommend having the windows open during car rides. If you’re driving at a fast speed, the wind from the air can make your child struggle to breathe.

That’s why we prefer turning the A/C on. If you’re worried about your child catching a cold, prepare items you can layer. Or don’t set the temperature too low.

8. Block the Sun

8. Block the Sun

Buy Window Shades

Window shades, or reflective sun shades, are a great way to block out harmful UV radiation.

Some window shades cover the entire window but we find the partial ones work well too.

A normal mesh sun shade works fine and won’t break the bank.

However, if you want something more child-friendly, you can consider a printed one. Kids can look at it during car rides so they’ll be entertained.

You can choose from 3 types of reflective sun shades:

  • Accordion: With this option, it will open and close by folding. It’s typically placed on the windshield. However, it can be bulky to store and carry around.
  • Mesh: This is an inexpensive, lightweight option that covers the side windows. It blocks out most UV rays and they’re easy to install. However, it can affect visibility while driving (unless it’s a roller shade).
  • Custom-Fit: For this option, it will be customized to your car model’s windshield. So it will cover the entire glass to provide full coverage. This will require more effort on your side as you would need to measure and get a customized sunshade.

Tint Your Windows

Some parents don’t like using reflective sun shades during the car ride.

Some flimsy sunshades can easily fly off, hurting your child in the process. Plus, some of them may affect visibility when changing lanes or parking the car.

As such, another option would be tinting your windows. Most people think tinting a window is for additional privacy but tinted windows also combat heat.

However, tinting a window helps block off sunlight. This will REGULATE  your baby’s body temperature during the hot summer. In fact, many window tints block up to 99% of harmful UV rays.

Plus, in case of a car accident, a tinted window can prevent shattered glass from flying inside of your car.

If you’re from the United States, refer your state laws regarding tinting your windows.

9. Help Your Baby Cool Down

9. Help Cool Down

With blazing-hot temperatures, sometimes it’s only a matter of time before your child becomes too warm.

Don’t worry, there are several ways to help your baby cool down.

One of them is having the following items in your car at all times. These will keep your baby cool in the car, or help your little one cool down:

Cooling Towels

Cooling towels are a quick way to cool off your baby. These will bring down their body temperature and help with OVERHEATING.

A cooling towel is made with evaporative fiber. It retains water while remaining dry to the touch.

All you have to do is add water and wring it out. Place the towel on body parts that feel warm to the touch, such as the neck and shoulders.

To keep it safe, we recommend placing the cooling towel on the hips or legs of your baby. This is to PREVENT your baby from chewing on the towel.

Spray Bottle

A spray bottle is a CHEAPER ALTERNATIVE to cooling towels. A small 2 oz bottle will cost you about a dollar or less.

Fill up the spray bottle with cool waterSpray it on your baby as needed. You can wipe away the excess moisture using a towel.

Some spray bottles have a master setting in them. Others even have a small fan attached to it.

Personally, we’ve never tried either. However, it could be a convenient little feature. But for safety purposes (i.e. choking hazard), WE DON’T recommend it for younger children.

For older kids, you could buy them a spray fan or regular fan. This way, kids can hold it in place to cool down their body temperature.

But again, for safety purposes, it’s better to tuck it away when you start driving. Even if the fans have soft blades, they might hurt their fingers or it might be a choking hazard too.

Keeping Your Baby Hydrated

Besides cooling towels and spray bottles, it’s important to keep your baby hydrated in the hot summer. Hydration is key in regulating body temperature.

For a toddler and older kids, you can keep a cool water bottle inside the car. You can give them small amounts of water. And if needed, breastmilk or formula feeds to supplement it.

However, if your baby is less than 6 months old, do NOT give them water as it can hinder growth. Formula and breastmilk already contain 85% or more water, so it’s enough to keep them hydrated.

It’s also advisable to have ice packs in a car cooler. You can use it as a backup option for cooling towels or spray bottles.

Place a few ice cubes in a towel and wrap it tightly. Gently massage the ice pack to where your baby feels warm, such as the shoulders.

10. Don’t Leave Your Baby Alone in the Car

10. Don’t Leave Your Baby Alone

This might sound obvious, but never leave your baby alone in the car.

A parked car can become hot very quickly. It can reach up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit in extreme summer temperatures.

This is enough to melt your water bottle and sunglasses.

And yet, the news reports many children STILL DYING of heatstroke. According to the National Safety Councilan average of 38 children die each year because they were left unattended inside the car.

That’s why it’s important to emphasize this point: NEVER leave your child alone in the car, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

When getting out of the car, always ask yourself: “Where’s the baby?”

Kids also climb into unattended vehicles. So always make sure to lock your car doors and trunk.

Information on Why Some are Unable to Breastfeed

Girls, we are so fortunate to live in a time when breastfeeding is encouraged. In my training in lactation I learned there have been times in American history where breastfeeding was shunned by the medical establishment. I remember hearing a woman say she talked with her Obstetrician about breastfeeding and he asked “Why on earth would you want to do that?” How discouraging!!!

Current scientific research is so supportive of breastfeeding it is difficult to imagine not considering it. The information available regarding hormones released in both mother and baby during the act of breastfeeding is staggering!!! Our bodies were designed to provide this precious food for our babies and it benefits both mother and child. These hormones embellish the emotional bond between mother and baby, they help mom’s body recover from labor, they stabilize baby’s body temperature and blood sugars, and the list goes on and on.

As a doula my greatest encouragement to you is to commit to breastfeeding and do it alone for three weeks. It takes that long for your milk supply to stabilize. Remember, your world has just turned upside down. You are no longer just you, you are now a mom. That is a huge adjustment. Allow yourself the time to absorb this. Feed your baby on demand, when ever he wakes to eat feed him. This reeks havoc on your sleep, but stabilizes soon. If, after three weeks things have not improved get some help. Ask the staff at your OB’s office. Contact your doula or midwife. There are many who wish to help.

I find very often moms believe they are not making enough milk. This is rarely the case, but it is a consistent concern. If your baby is putting on weight you are fine. The goal is that your baby returns to birth weight within two weeks. If you make this goal you are doing well. Baby’s tummy is about the size of a pea at birth. It takes time for it to stretch out. Colostrum is what your body provides baby the first few days of life. It is sparse but extremely nutritious. Around three days your milk will come in. As baby drinks more your body produces more. It is truly an amazing system. At three, six, and twelve weeks your baby will go through growth spurts and need more milk. Your body will produce it. You don’t even have to think about it.

Allow yourself the relaxed time to let this natural process take its course. It is the most healthy thing for both you and your baby. In the long term you will both benefit greatly emotionally and physically. It just takes time. Surround yourself with supportive friends, family, and medical staff. You will be amazed at your progress!

JUDY

WHY SOME SHOULDN’T OR ARE UNABLE TO BREASTFEED

by Donna Murray, RN, BSN. Medically reviewed by Meredith Shur, MD. Updates April 11 2021

https://www.verywellfamily.com/why-some-women-cant-breastfeed-4153606

Please find excerpts from this article below. As always, further research on your own will answer more questions. Asking questions is always a good thing! Please let me know if I can help!!!

Breastfeeding is beneficial for both parents and babies, which is why experts recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life. However, while most birthing parents can breastfeed, there are sometimes contraindications.https://ac0d3f87e708989d374e940fc8cead18.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

There are a few reasons why someone should not or may not be able to breastfeed their baby. For example, some parents cannot produce a healthy breast milk supply, while others may take certain medications or need to undergo a medical treatment that isn’t breastfeeding safe. There are also a few medical conditions that aren’t compatible with breastfeeding. In some situations, the parent may be able to pump and provide their baby with breast milk in a bottle, or they may be able to stop breastfeeding temporarily then restart.

Contraindicated Medicines 

Many medications, including those that require a prescription, are compatible with breastfeeding, but some are not. Some medications can pose a risk to a breastfed babies when taken by the breastfeeding parent, such as:

  • Chemotherapy drugs2
  • Antiretroviral medications
  • Radioactive iodine
  • Some sedatives
  • Seizure medication
  • Medicines that may cause drowsiness
  • Medications that suppress breathing

Other medications can cause a decrease in the milk supply, making them a less favorable choice for breastfeeding parents. These include cold and sinus medications that contain pseudoephedrine, as well as certain types of hormonal birth control.

https://ac0d3f87e708989d374e940fc8cead18.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Discuss all medications with your doctor before breastfeeding—not just new ones. They can let you know if they’re safe to use while you’re breastfeeding.

Substance Use 

It is not safe to use recreational drugs while breastfeeding because these substances can get into your breast milk and pass to the baby, which can cause irritability, sleepiness, poor feeding, growth problems, neurological damage, or even death. If you’re struggling with addiction, help is available.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

If you are sober or in treatment, you may be able to breastfeed safely.3If you have a history of drug use but no longer use substances and want to nurse your baby, consult your healthcare provider for guidance

Infectious Diseases 

Many common infections are easily treated and do not interfere with breastfeeding or harm the baby. However, there are a few infectious diseases that can pass to a baby through breast milk, and in some cases, the risk of transmission outweighs the benefits of breastfeeding.

HIV 

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). A mother who has HIV can pass the virus to her child through breastfeeding and her breast milk.

Since AIDS does not have a cure, a mother who is HIV positive should not breastfeed if she lives in an area of the world where a safe alternative such as infant formula is available. However, in countries where a safe replacement is not possible, exclusive breastfeeding may be recommended.4

HTLV 

The human T-cell lymphotropic virus 1 (HTLV-1) is a virus that can lead to leukemia and lymphoma. Human T-cell lymphotropic virus 2 (HTLV-2) can cause brain and lung issues. These viruses may not cause any symptoms at all, but they are lifelong conditions for which there is no cure. Since HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 can pass to a baby through breast milk, babies born to parents who are positive for HTLV should not breastfeed.

However, studies show that HTLV-1 cells can be destroyed by the freezing and thawing of expressed breast milk if the milk is frozen at a temperature of -4 degrees F (-20 C) or below for more than 12 hours.5

Active Tuberculosis Infection 

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection in the lungs. It is passed through respiratory droplets, not by breastfeeding or breast milk. However, a parent can give active tuberculosis to a child through coughing, sneezing, and touching. When a parent has active TB, but their baby does not, the parent should not be in close contact with the baby and therefore should not breastfeed.

Since tuberculosis is not transmitted through breast milk, a baby can receive pumped breast milk until breastfeeding can begin after about two weeks of treatment. When both breastfeeding parent and baby have TB, they can stay together during treatment, and the baby can breastfeed.

Herpes on the Breast 

Herpes is not passed through breast milk, so as long as the lesions are not on the breast, any lesions on other body parts are covered, and thorough hand washing is performed, it is safe to breastfeed.6However, when there are active lesions on the breast, breastfeeding is dangerous as the herpes virus can be deadly to a baby.

Baby’s Medical Needs 

Most babies can breastfeed. Even infants born with conditions such as prematurity, cleft lip and palate, or Down syndrome who may not be able to take the breast right away can still take pumped breast milk in a bottle. With patience, time, and help, these babies may go on to breastfeed successfully.

It’s only when a baby is born with one of a few rare genetic metabolic conditions that breastfeeding may not be possible. But, even then, sometimes a baby can still partially breastfeed.

Classic Galactosemia 

Galactosemia is the body’s inability to break down galactose. Galactose is a part of the milk sugar lactose, and lactose is the main sugar in breast milk. So, if a baby tests positive for classic galactosemia, they cannot breastfeed or take breast milk in a bottle.7

 The child will need a special infant formula and a galactose-free diet to prevent severe complications such as jaundice, vomiting, diarrhea, long-term developmental problems, and death.

A less severe form of galactosemia is called Duarte’s galactosemia. Children with Duarte’s galactosemia can break down some galactose. Under the direct care of a doctor specializing in metabolic disorders, it may be possible to breastfeed babies with Duarte’s galactosemia while supplementing with the galactose-free formula. The doctor will have to monitor the baby’s galactose levels frequently to make sure that they stay under control.

Phenylketonuria (PKU) 

A baby with PKU can’t break down phenylalanine, an amino acid. If phenylalanine builds up in the baby’s body, it can cause brain damage. Therefore, babies with PKU need a diet low in phenylalanine.

There is a special infant formula for infants with PKU. But, since breast milk is low in phenylalanine, a baby with PKU may be able to combine breastfeeding and formula feeding with a special formula. The amount of breastfeeding needs to be controlled, and the baby has to have regular blood work and careful monitoring.

Maple Syrup Urine Disease 

A baby born with maple syrup urine disease cannot break down the amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. When these amino acids accumulate in the baby’s blood, they give off a sweet maple syrup scent that is noticeable in the urine, ear wax, and sweat. The build-up of these amino acids can cause sleepiness, poor feeding, vomiting, seizures, coma, and death.

To fulfill the baby’s nutritional needs, your baby’s doctor will order a special infant formula that does not contain the three amino acids leucine, isoleucine, valine. The doctor may also recommend partial breastfeeding if the amount of breast milk is carefully measured and the baby is monitored closely.

1. Galactosemia. If the infant is born with this rare genetic metabolic disease, breastfeeding is impossible. Many states test for this disorder, but early diagnosis is important. It is imperative that those with the condition avoid all milk products throughout life. The rate among white infants is 1 in 60,000, according to the US National Library of Medicine.

2. Mothers who have HIV. The disease can be transferred easily to the infant through breast milk.

3. Mothers with active and untreated tuberculosis. This is highly contagious, but for mothers who have been treated and no longer infectious, it is safe to nurse their babies.

4. Mothers have cancer and are taking chemotherapy drugs or other drugs toxic to baby. These medications can cross into the breast milk to the baby.

5. Mother is undergoing radiation treatment. This is a temporary situation, so moms can breastfeed once the radiation treatments have ended.

6. Mother has a severe illness such as sepsis that may be carried to the baby. 

7. Mother is infected with hepatitis B or C. If it’s hepatitis B, the baby should be vaccinated within 48 hours of birth. If it’s hepatitis C, according to the Children’s Health Network, avoid nursing if nipples are cracked or bleeding.

8. If mother has herpes virus and has related sores on her nipples. However, breastfeeding may resume once the sores have healed.

9. Mother is infected with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I or II. 

10. Mother uses illicit drugs such as cocaine, other hard drugs, or uses marijuana, drinks alcohol or smokes cigarettes and is unable to stop. In such cases, mothers should seek treatment whether or not she is nursing for her own health and her child’s welfare however.

5 Reasons Why Women Don’t Breastfeed

1. The biggest reason: 31 percent of women stated, “My baby had difficulty nursing.” Most new moms do have some initial difficulties in the early weeks, and if they don’t know it will get better, or know how to get help, they are likely to give up due to latch on problems, nipple pain or concerns about whether they are doing it correctly. According to a national survey, up to 47 percent of women were not told of breastfeeding resources available to them while in the hospital after giving birth.

2. Bottle feeding is perceived as easier, is the second most common reason. For those who have breastfed successfully, this one seems highly arguable. Breastfeeding requires no bottles, no midnight runs to the store, certainly less prep time and no cash outlay. This again would seem tied to how prepared and informed new mothers are about breastfeeding options.

3. It was tough to get started nursing the baby, is tied as the second reason women give for not breastfeeding. First timers must admit, the early weeks are indeed the hardest weeks. Your nipples may seem to be ready to fall off, depending on your particular sensitivity, and your milk supply isn’t established yet so you may experience painful swelling or engorgement at times. Once more, better information and preparation as well as support seems the answer to this common problem.

4. I didn’t get the support I needed. This next most common reason cited seems to combine all the earlier responses. These women just realized this as the root of the problem with nursing their babies. Hospitals make it far easier to bottle feed, handing out free formula, coupons for formula, supplementing with formula or water, offering newborns pacifiers before baby has learned to deal with mama’s nipples adequately, and don’t as a rule actively support breastfeeding or provide new moms with instruction on the nitty-gritty how to’s.

5. I knew I wouldn’t breastfeed long anyway, as I have to go back to work soon. Working and breastfeeding are definitely more challenging than staying home and nursing. However, should women be given more tips, as easy access to breast pumps and other supplies as they are formula, the numbers would likely change

How to Cultivate Your Milk Supply

Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to help your baby grow and protect her from illness. Rarely, there are reasons mothers are unable to lactate (breastfeed). In a future installment we will discuss some of the reasons mothers can not breastfeed, but for the vast majority of families this is the most convenient, healthy, and inexpensive way to feed babies.

The time period during the first three weeks of your baby’s life is the easiest time to establish your milk supply. Feeding “on demand”, when ever baby wishes, sets your supply. Mothers need to drink more water than they ever though possible during this time. Water clears your body homes and medications after birth. It helps your body heal from pregnancy and your delivery. Figure out a way to record how much water you drink in each 24 hour period. Below find some suggestions.

RECORD YOUR WATER INTAKE Write it down, have a gallon size container on the counter filled each day and record how much you drink. Use an app on your phone and add a hash tag # each time you drink a liter or quart. Record your food intake and on that form mark the number of ounces you drink each day. Find a system that works for you and follow through with it for at least a month. Any professional with whom you work, if you are having problems, is going to ask how much water you are dinking.

REST UP – LIVE STRESS FREE A pediatrician with whom I work states emphatically, “The most important part of breastfeeding is a relaxed mother!” This is important. Pregnancy is stressful. You are waiting to meet your little human! You want to do everything perfectly for her. Until she arrives you know so little about her. What will your birth be like? There are a million and one questions surrounding this time in your life. Do what ever you need to in order to make it as stress free as possible. Give yourself the time and space to enjoy these precious moments. They can not be replaced.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEACEFUL PEOPLE. The first few weeks after your deliver is a time to heal, relax, establish your milk supply, and get to know you baby. Plan to stay home. Carefully guard your time and energy. Before baby arrives talk extensively with those who will be with you. Talk about whether or not you will receive guests, how meals will be provided, who will be able to hold baby, etc, etc., etc. I encourage you not to receive guests for at least a week. This may sound crazy, but so many new things will be going on in your day to day. Allowing yourself to stabilize before “entertaining” is vital. You will be grateful you did.

ACCEPT HELP WHEN OFFERED. If someone offers to drop by a meal, let them. If someone offers to do your laundry or clean your home, let them. If your older children are invited to visit friends or relatives allow them to enjoy the adventure and you take a nap! This is the time to baby yourself and accept help. Be aware of who you are considering and let them know your need to rest. This isn’t a time to visit, that will come later. Let them know how grateful you are for their kindness and repay them later on. We all need help.

Below find a few of my favorite lactation cookie recipes. These add great nutrients to your diet and help your milk come in. Plus they are tasty!!! Ask a friend to make them for you after baby comes. She will love doing it for you and you will enjoy the treat!!

JUDY

KATRINA’S NO BAKE LACTATION COOKIES!!!!

https://theherbalhealingmama.com/2015/08/08/katrinas-no-bake-lactation- cookies/ 

Recipe generously shared with us from Katrina Spain. 

These cookies are absolutely delicious! They help increase milk supply for the breastfeeding mama & are super easy to make! (No baking required!) 

A note from Katrina about these awesome cookies:These no-bake cookies increased my supply SO MUCH! I was engorged! They can be dairy free if you use non-dairy milk for those of you with allergies or preferences. 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of milk of choice (Regular, Coconut, Almond, Soy, Etc.) 

1/2 cup coconut oil


1 cup sugar (Raw, cane would be the healthiest choice)

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup of raw cacao or cocoa powder 

3 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal 

1 cup smooth peanut butter

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract Large pinch of salt 

(Some people like to add in flax seeds brewer’s yeast or fenugreek for extra boosting properties.) You can add dried fruit, white or dark chocolate chips, and or your favorite nuts. 

Instructions: 

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. (or grease lightly) Bring the sugar, milk, coconut oil and cocoa to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then let boil for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat.

Add the oats, peanut butter, vanilla and salt, and stir to combine.  Spoon onto parchment and let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.

OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP LACTATION COOKIES

Total time. 27mins. Yield: 54. small. cookies/ 41⁄2dozen  Prep 15 min  Bake 12 min,  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.

INGREDIENTS
1 cup butter/ butter Crisco
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar  4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons flax seed meal 2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips
2 -4 tablespoons brewer’s yeast

DIRECTIONS Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Beat butter and sugars and 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 mixture. 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. Store in airtight container or freeze.

Baby Birth Weight Statistics

https://www.verywellfamily.com/baby-birth-weight-statistics-2633630#:~:text=The%20mean%20or%20average%20birth%20 weight%20in%20the,normal%20range%20for%20a%20full-term% 20newborn.%202%20%EF%BB%BF

The definition of average, normal, small, and large babies

By Vincent Iannelli, MD  Fact checked by Andrea Rice Updated on June 29, 2020

Baby birth weights in the US

The mean or average birth weight in the United States is approximately 7.5 pounds (3,400 grams).1

However, average does not necessarily mean normal. A birth weight between 5.5 pounds (2,500 grams) and up to 10 pounds (4,500 grams) is considered to fall in a normal range for a full-term newborn.2

Newborns that are on the smaller side might be referred to as low birth weight or small for gestational age.3 Babies that are larger are considered to be large for gestational age.4

This article discusses birth weights in America. As you will see, normal birth weights vary drastically. I encourage you to read lots. If you have questions about the birth weight of your newborn talk with friends and relatives about family birth weights and the health of their babies. My belief is you will be more comfortable if you see the wide variation between birth weights even in your own family. Talk with aunties and gramas about their births and the weights of their babies. It will make them feel a part of your excitement and experience. Ask them questions. You do not have to do what they are telling you to do, but you can always say thank you and be kind. This will open the doors for their sharing and help later.

JUDY

The Statistics 

According to a detailed report from the National Center for Heath Statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 3,853,472 births registered in the United States in 2017.5

In the U.S., state laws require that birth certificates are completed for all births. Federal law mandates the collection and publication of all births and other vital statistics data, which is then compiled by The National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) to provide statistical information from birth certificates.

Here is some information about the birth population gleaned from the data.

Averages

Although babies come in many sizes (from just under 1 pound to more than 16 pounds) data from 2017 revealed that:

  • The average weight at birth was between 6 pounds, 9 ounces (3,000 grams), and 7 pounds, 11 ounces (3,500 grams).6
  • 8.28% of babies were considered to be low birth weight (defined as less than 5.5 pounds or about 2,500 grams).7
  • 1.4% of babies were very low birth weight (less than 3.3 pounds or 1,500 grams).8Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Osterman MJK, Driscoll AK. Births: Final data for 2018. National Vital Statistics Reports. 2019;68(13
  • Roughly 9% of babies were large for gestational age at birth.9
  • The average length of a full-term infant was 20 inches.
  • The normal range for full-term infants was 18 inches to 22 inches.2

Interesting Trends 

Research has shown that kids and adolescents are getting bigger—a trend that is termed the childhood obesity epidemic.11 Based on findings in older children and teems, it would be natural to assume that newborn babies are also getting bigger.

However, statistics show that babies are actually getting smaller.12 It’s unclear as to why, since research has not shown a direct link between lower mean birthweight and an increase in premature babies, nor is there a direct correlation to other independent factors such as more Cesarean births.

While the exact cause of the decline in birth weight is unknown,12 it could be attributed to trends in maternal diet, physical activity, socioeconomic factors, environmental exposures, or even other, unrecorded medical conditions.

Recent Trends in Average Birth Weight

  • 1990: 7 lbs., 9.4 oz (3,441 g)
  • 1995: 7 lbs., 9.17 oz (3,435 g)
  • 2000: 7 lbs., 8.95 oz (3,429 g)
  • 2005: 7 lbs., 7.54 oz (3,389 g)

Terminology 

There are different terms that are used to describe birth weight.13 When babies are born preterm or postdate (overdue), the terms can become a little confusing.

Rather than using absolute weight, the terms that are used to describe gestational age more accurately reflect a baby’s size.

Depending on a baby’s weight at birth and their gestational age, a special growth chart is used to classify infants into one of the following categories.13

Birth weight:

  • Extremely low birth weight (ELBW). Birth weight less than 2 pounds (1,000 grams)14
  • Very low birth weight (VLBW). Birth weight less than 3.4 pounds (1,500 grams)
  • Low birth weight (LBW). Birth weight less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces (2,500 grams)14
  • Normal birth weight. Between 5 pounds, 8 ounces (2,500 grams) and 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams)
  • High birth weight (HBW). Birth weight of more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams)15

Gestational age:

  • Small for gestational age (SGA). Birth weight less than the 10th percentile for a child born at that gestational age16
  • Appropriate for gestational age (AGA). Birth weight from the 10th percentile to the 90th percentile relative to other babies born at that gestational age17
  • Large for gestational age (LGA). Birth weight greater than the 90th percentile based on gestational age (also called fetal macrosomia)18

The term intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is sometimes used to describe a baby with a birth weight lower than expected for gestational age. However, it is most often used to describe a fetus that is growing less than expected during pregnancy.19

Why Are There Different Classifications? 

Birth weight and gestational age classifications are useful because they often correspond with clinical care and treatment.

Birth weight can predict short and long-term health complications, including chronic disease risk—even among full-term births.20



Many of the terms listed above can be used together. For example, a premature baby could be born with low birth weight (or even extremely low birth weight) but still be at an appropriate weight for their gestational age.

On the other hand, a full-term baby born at 5.5 pounds (2,500 grams) would likely be classified as being both SGA and IUGR.14

Factors Affecting Birth Weight 

There are many different factors used to determine a baby’s birth weight, including age, genetics, and certain lifestyle factors of the mother.

Age 

Young mothers (teens) tend to have smaller babies,21 as do mothers of advanced maternal age (over 35). However, research has also shown a connection between advanced maternal age and high birth weight as well.22https://85cfdd63d256dd8c2453149c88db27b3.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Genetics 

Genetics also play a role in birth weight. The genetic characteristics of both parents are important. One difference, however, is that the mother’s weight at her own birth has a greater impact than the father’s birth weight.23

Smoking 

Mothers who smoke tend to have smaller babies, as physiological changes related to smoking reduce the nutrients supplied to the baby.24 Exposure to secondhand smoke is also correlated with low birth weight and other complications such as IUGR.25

In 2016, 7.2% of women who gave birth reported smoking during pregnancy.26

Nutrition 

Maternal nutrition can also affect an infant’s birth weight. A mother’s weight gain in pregnancy is influenced by different factors, including her socioeconomic conditions, pregnancy and non-pregnancy related health conditions, and genetics.

Prenatal Care 

A lack of early and regular prenatal care has been associated with lower birth weight babies.27 A lack of prenatal care might result from poor access to health care (for example, options are limited by geographic location), mental health concerns, or socioeconomic conditions.

Overall Maternal (and Paternal) Health 

The health of an infant’s mother and father can also affect a newborn’s birth weight.13

  • Mother’s weight at conception. Women who are heavier when they become pregnant may have larger babies.28
  • Mother’s blood sugar and blood pressure. Having a history of high blood pressure before pregnancy has been associated with smaller babies.29 Having a history of diabetes (preexisting diabetes) is associated with larger-than-normal babies.30
  • Pregnancy complicationsPregnancy-induced hypertension or PIN (high blood pressure during pregnancy) and gestational diabetes (diabetes related to pregnancy) also affect birth weight. PIN is associated with smaller babies and gestational diabetes is linked to large-for-gestational-age babies.31
  • Uterine conditions. Certain hereditary uterine conditions (such as a bicornuate uterus), as well as acquired conditions (fibroids), can result in lower birth weight.32
  • Substance abuse. Alcohol and drug use can also affect the birth weight of a baby, typically leading to smaller birth weights.

Other Factors 

While many factors can be modified, there are some factors that cannot be changed, such as:

  • Sex at birth: Male infants tend to weigh slightly more at birth than female infants.23
  • Birth order: First babies tend to weigh less than subsequent babies.33
  • Multiples: Twins and other multiples are usually smaller than singletons.

Monitoring Newborn Weight Gain 

If your baby is full-term, of normal birth weight, and has no medical conditions, it’s not usually necessary to weigh your baby as long as they are eating well, have wet diapers, and are developing normally.

Your pediatrician will check your newborn’s weight at each well-child visit and let you know if there is any cause for concern.

If your infant is low birth weight, was born prematurely, or your pediatrician has any other concerns, you will likely be asked to make more frequent visits to the clinic for weight checks.

Average weight gain can vary for children who are born with low birth weight or are large for gestational age. For example, premature babies often undergo catch-up growth.Adjusted Age in Premature Infants

If your baby was born early, your pediatrician will explain growth expectations. Otherwise, your baby’s weight gain by age can be monitored using the following guidelines.

Initial Weight Loss 

Babies usually lose weight at first. This weight loss is roughly 5% of body weight in babies who are bottle-feeding and 7 to 10% in babies who are breastfeeding.34

Babies usually regain their birth weight by 10 to 14 days of age.

The First 3 Months 

In the first 3 months of life, babies gain an average of 1.5 to 2 pounds per month35 and grow an average of 2 centimeters (around 1 inch) per month. Your pediatrician will talk about normal growth rates for young children.

Your doctor can also show you where your child is on a growth chart—a graph that compares your baby’s height and weight to other babies of the same age.

4 to 6 Months 

Between the age of 4 months and 6 months, babies put on weight less rapidly at around 1 to 1.25 pounds per month and are growing 1/2 to 1 inch each month.36 By around the 5-month mark, a baby’s birth weight is usually doubled.

6 Months to 1 Year 

Weight gain begins to slow down between 6 months and 9 months of age, with growth in length being roughly 3/8 of an inch (1 centimeter) per month from 6 months to 12 months. Birth weight is usually tripled by around 1 year of age.37Average Infant Growth: Birth to 1 Year

1 to 2 Years 

On average, your baby’s weight will roughly quadruple by the time they are about 2 and a half years old.38 At this age, there are calculations you can use to estimate your child’s adult height.

A Word From Verywell 

The birth weight of babies can vary and will be affected by many factors. A baby’s birth weight does not necessarily predict a child’s adult size. Some very-low-birth-weight babies grow up to be quite tall or large, while large-for-gestational-age babies might be small adults.

Whatever your baby’s birth weight is, your pediatrician will help you understand the growth expectations for your baby. They can use graphs to show you where your child falls in terms of their growth, and how their growth might affect their health.Was this page helpful?Article SourcesMORE INBaby’s First Year Guide

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Does My Baby Have Colic?

New Parents hear the word colic and cringe with good reason. Colic is one of the many digestive (?) ailments affecting many newborns. Those of us the the infant care business deal with all kinds of issues in the first three months of life. These days have been tabled “The fourth Try-mester” for allot of reasons. Digestive ailments seem to be a part fo the first three months of life for almost all babies. Their bodies take that long to acclimate to life outside the womb. Second time parents will remember their first baby had similar issues and they rectified right around three months.

Know there is hope! There is the greatest reality that these issues your newborn suffers (and you too) will disappear soon.

Most likely there will be some issue your baby struggles with until the growth spurt at three months. Around that time almost every thing disappears and life settles down. Much of my job is helping parents understand this dilemma. There are suggestions for treatment, yet even doctors will tell you these treatments do not alleviate all the symptoms and you will still have struggles. Be encouraged, you are almost there!!! Below find an article from WEBMD discussing symptoms and treatments. One of my greatest encouragements is to talk with friends who have newborns. You will learn tons and realize you are not alone in your adventure!!! They will have suggestions for you and you will come to realize these are simply some of the things you will experience along the way.

JUDY

PREGNANCY
BABY
   WEBMD

Colic in Babies

https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/what-is-colic#1

What Is Colic?

Colic is when an infant who isn’t sick or hungry cries for more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week, for more than 3 weeks. The condition is a bit of a mystery, but experts agree on a few things:

  • Colic is likely to start around 2 weeks of age if your infant is full-term, or later if they were born prematurely.
  • It almost always goes away on its own by 3 or 4 months of age.
  • It can happen regardless of your baby’s sex, their birth order, and whether you breast– or bottle-feed.
  • Kids who had colic grow up no differently from those who didn’t.

Colic Causes

Doctors don’t know exactly what causes colic. Some theories about what’s behind it include:

  • A growing digestive system with muscles that often spasm
  •  Gas
  • Hormones that cause belly pain or crankiness
  • A sensitivity to light, noise, etc., or too much stimulation
  • A developing nervous system
  • An early form of childhood migraine
  • Fear, frustration, or excitement

Many health conditions can look like colic. If you’re worried about your baby, your doctor can do a full exam to rule out problems such as:

Colic Symptoms

Infants often show signs of colic at the same time every day, usually in the evening. You might notice that your child cries:

  • With no clear reason (such as hunger or a dirty diaper)
  • Like they’re in pain
  • Along with clenched fists, stiff arms, an arched back, or curled legs
  • While turning bright red

Your child might swallow a lot of air while they’re crying. This can give them gasand make their belly tight or swollen.

Colic Diagnosis

There’s no test for colic. Your baby’s doctor will ask about their symptoms and medical history. The doctor will do a physical exam, focusing on things like:

They might order some tests to rule out other problems.

Colic Treatment

Because there’s no clear cause of colic, there’s no one treatment. Your child’s doctor will recommend some things that might calm them down. Try them one at a time. If one doesn’t work after a few days, try another.

Colic will get better on its own. You may just have to wait for the fussiness to improve when your baby is about 4 months old.

Some steps to soothe your infant include:

  • Make sure they aren’t hungry.
  • If you’re breastfeeding, ask your doctor whether the medications you take or the food you eat might cause irritation or an allergic reaction in your child.
  • Change their body position. Have them sit up or lie down. Hold them while you walk around. Rock them or massage their back.
  • Use a pacifier.
  • Swaddle your baby.
  • Hold them with their bare skin against your own.
  • Use white noise (like a fan, washing machine, or dishwasher) or a recording of a heartbeat.
  • Take them for a car ride.
  • Put them in a swing or vibrating seat.

Parent Self-Care for Colic Stress

A baby with colic can be a challenge. Many parents feel overwhelmed, angry, or resentful toward a cranky child. These feelings don’t make you a bad parent. Remember that you didn’t cause the colic and that it will get better.

 It’s OK to put your baby in a crib or playpen for 10 minutes or so while you leave the room to collect yourself. Ask friends, family, or babysitters for help if you need a break. Lowering your own stress level will help your baby, too.

10 Indicators of Acid Reflux’s Effect on Infants

https://www.healthline.com/health/gerd/recognize-gerd-infants

The diagnosis of Reflux is common these days. I find it more and more often in the families with whom I provide postpartum douse services. Below find the obvious symptoms of this condition. It is important, as parents, to understand any issues your baby may have. I believe strongly in active participation of parents in making choices in medical treatment for their infants. Before you agree to treatment for a particular condition in your baby be sure you are aware of the symptoms and the side affects of any medications that may be prescribed. Ask questions about the long term affects of the condition as opposed to the complications that may result from medication. Talk with your friends and relatives who may have experienced the condition with their infants. If you are inclined, look into homeopathic ways of dealing with the issue at hand. More education can only give you a border foundation from which to make decisions. Do not hesitate to contact those in the field of infant care. Our goal is to provide you and your infant with the best experiences possible as you navigate the adventure of parenthood!!

JUDY


Indicators of Reflux: Infants are more prone to acid reflux because their LES may be weak or underdeveloped. In fact, it’s estimated that more than half of all infants experience acid reflux to some degree.
The condition usually peaks at age 4 months and goes away on its own between 12 and 18 months of age.
It’s rare for an infant’s symptoms to continue past 24 months. If they persist, it may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is a more severe condition. While they may vary, the 10 most common signs of acid reflux or GERD in infants include:


1 spitting up and vomiting
2 refusal to eat and difficulty eating or swallowing
3 irritability during feeding
4 wet burps or hiccups
5 failure to gain weight
6 abnormal arching
7 frequent coughing or recurrent pneumonia
8 gagging or choking
9 chest pain or heartburn

10 disturbed sleep


Spitting up and vomiting

Spitting up is normal for infants. However, forceful spit-up may be a symptom of GERD. This is especially true if your infant is older than 12 months and still spitting up forcefully after meals.
Spitting up blood, green or yellow fluid, or a substance that looks like coffee grounds may also signify GERD or other more serious disorders.
Spitting up is normally painless. Your baby should still appear happy and healthy after spitting up. Forceful spitting up or vomiting is more painful and will be followed by crying and fussing.
Refusal to eat and difficulty eating or swallowing
Your infant may refuse to eat if they experience pain during feeding. This pain might be due to the irritation that occurs when the contents of the stomach come back up into their esophagus.
Irritability during feeding


Wet burps or hiccups

A wet burp or wet hiccup is when an infant spits up liquid when they burp or hiccup. This can be a symptom of acid reflux or, less commonly, GERD.


Failure to gain weight

Weight loss or failure to gain weight may occur as a result of excessive vomiting or poor feeding associated with acid reflux or GERD.


Abnormal arching

Infants may arch their body during or after feeding. It’s thought that this may be due to a painful burning sensation caused by the buildup of stomach fluid in the esophagus.
Abnormal arching may be a neurologic problem on its own. However, it can be a symptom of GERD if your baby also spits up or refuses to eat.


Frequent coughing or recurrent pneumonia

Your infant may cough frequently due to acid or food coming up into the back of the throat. The regurgitated food can also be inhaled into the lungs and windpipe, which may lead to chemical or bacterial pneumonia.
Other respiratory problems, such as asthma, can develop as a result of GERD as well.


Gagging or choking

Your baby may gag or choke when stomach contents flow back into their esophagus. The position of your baby’s body during feeding can make it worse.Gravity helps keep the contents of the stomach down. It’s best to keep your infant in an upright position for at least 30 minutes after feeding them to prevent food or milk from coming back up.


Disturbed sleep

GERD and reflux can make it more difficult for your baby to sleep through the night.

Try to feed your baby long before bedtime so stomach contents have a chance to settle fully. There are other ways to help your baby sleep, too.


Takeaway

It’s important to speak with your baby’s doctor or pediatrician if you think your infant has GERD.
The doctor can rule out other conditions or confirm a GERD diagnosis. They can also suggest certain lifestyle changes that may help treat your baby’s GERD or acid reflux.
Last medically reviewed on July 3, 2017

Take It Easy On Yourself!

Our last blog entry discussed the ancient Chinese tradition of confinement for new mothers. Immediately after birth new mommies need time to recover. They need to allow their bodies the luxury of rest, good nourishment and peace. After a difficult or prolonged labor moms need to be babied and cared for. I encourage you to think of this before you deliver. Plan to take several weeks away from your regular life for bonding with your baby. Give yourself the time to get breastfeeding down. Doulas will tell you to give you baby only breastmilk for at least the first three weeks. It takes your body that long to establish a healthy milk supply.

Breastfeeding is designed to help your body return to normal. The contractions you feel in your abdomen when breastfeeding cause your uterus to contract back to it’s pre-delivery size. In addition, hormones released during breastfeeding help your baby and you to bond. These hormones bring euphoria, causing you to literally fall in love with your baby! The hormones released in your breastmilk encourage your baby to trust and depend upon you. Research continues to find new physical benefits for both mother and baby in longterm lactation! I recently read a study showing that women who breastfeed at least a year have lower rates of breast cancer after the age of sixty!

One of the conversations I have with new mommies is the importance of having a few moments just for them each day. I encourage them think about what brings them peace and make sure they enjoy a bit of time each day experiencing it. For you it might be reading your favorite book. taking a walk around the block alone, a phono call with a dear friend, etc. For one mommy I worked with it was planting flowers. Each morning she would put her infant daughter in a wrap and go out in to the backyard and plant rose bushes. This refreshed her and gave her a respite from the chaos of having a new baby in the house. It will not be easy to carve out the time, but it will help you gain a wonderful perspective on your hectic days!

In western society we have lost the understanding that having a baby changes everything in your life. I so appreciate the cultures where this is a consideration. The first few weeks of you baby’s life are precious. They are irretrievable. Taking the time to relax, recuperate, and enjoy your baby allows you to build a firm foundation of confidence and trust in your abilities as a mom. This time is extremely valuable. It is this way each time you deliver a baby.

If you have a Cesarean Section it is even more important that you arrange your schedule to allow yourself to recover. Having a baby takes nine months of energy, emotion, nutrients, and more. If surgery is required at your delivery you will have experienced a major life event. Physically you will have a more complicated time. Immediately after birth you will have to recover from the medications used during surgery. This takes a day or two. I know after my C-Section I had a reaction to the anesthetic used and was incoherent and vomiting for 24 hours. Friends came to visit and I didn’t remember they had been there. It was tough. My Cesarean was after 20 hours of induced labor. In addition to the surgery my body was exhausted and sore from the induction. I remember my newborn was in his bassinet crying and I was in so much pain I could not move to help him. I lay in my bed crying. This was my sixth delivery. No one had warned me. I had small children and a newborn at home and no help. It was a year before I felt normal.

As the years have progressed I have come to appreciate the professionals in the infant care industry. At this point I encourage anyone delivering at a hospital to take a professional with them. The Covid restrictions have recked havoc on birth experiences. Forcing young women to chose between their mothers and their husbands has caused great distress. Having your significant other present is vital, this baby belongs to you both. Sharing in the birth process is beautiful and so important. However, loosing the input for someone who has gone through the process is a huge negative. When you are in labor your body is contracting, your hormones are raging and you are not yourself. The decisions you make regarding your immediate care are suspect. Please take someone with you who has been through the process and is able to help you make tough decisions.

In closing enjoy this wonderful time in you life! Plan ahead so you can find peace and rest in the best way for you. Be willing to part with a few dollars if it streamlines your recovery. You will not regret it.

JUDY

Postpartum Nutrition

Ancient Cultures: How new mom’s were cared for

The options to new mothers for nutrition and wonderful postpartum care are endless!! As my education in postpartum care continues I am becoming more aware of the traditions and benefits of other cultures in caring for new moms.

In serving several Chinese families the things I have leaned in the process have been fascinating. In ancient Chinese culture the month after the birth of a baby was considered to be a time of confinement. New mothers did not leave the house. They did not cook or clean. They rested, healed, and learned to care for their newborns. Relatives cooked a special diet for them, cleaned, washed, and provided all their needs.

The Chinese call it zuo yue zi, which means “to sit a month.” In addition, the mother must also follow a very strict diet. “Confinement meals” are prepared during the month, and postpartum mothers must only eat what is given and nothing else. This age-old tradition dates back to year 960 and is still very commonly practiced in Asia.

This confinement diet can be delivered to your home if you have no-one to prepare it for you. It consists of foods, tea. vegetables and herbs designed to help your body heal and encourage milk production. These dishes look delicious and would be wonderful any time.

Learning about nutrition will benefit you as your baby grows and you seek the best foods for your family. Check out the recipes and selections in the Pentrist link below.

Best Chinese Confinement Recipes

What Is Moxibustion?

https://www.healthline.com/health/moxibustion

EASTERN BASED PROCEDURE USING ACUPUNCTURE

There are many situations in pregnancy in which the moxibustion process has proven beneficia. In addition to helping in the process of turning a breach baby, it has the possibiliiy of moving a placenta-previa. This is the condition where the placenta has attached itself covering the cervix. This can be a highly risky situation if it remains at the time of delivery. The placenta is the physical point of attachment for nourishment and oxygen for the developing baby. The cervix is the muscle holding the baby safely in the uterus. In the process of birth the cervix slowly opens allowing the baby to pass through the birth canal into the world. if the cervix is compromised in any way there is a high risk for hemorrhage. Because of this problem a Cesarean Section would be necessary. The possibility of moving the placenta away from the cervix is greatly desired. Moxibustion/acupuncture treatments offer this opportunity. JUDY

Practitioners believe that heat resulting from the treatments help stimulate the acupuncture points and improve the flow of qi (energy) in your body. According to traditional Chinese medicine practices, this increased circulation can help with a range of health issues.

How is it done?

Moxibustion can be applied directly or indirectly.

In direct moxibustion, the moxa cone rests on your body at the treatment point. The practitioner lights the cone and lets it burn slowly until your skin begins to turn red. Once you begin to feel heat, the practitioner removes it.

Indirect moxibustion is more commonly practiced. It’s also a safer option, since the burning moxa doesn’t actually touch your skin. Instead, the practitioner will hold it about an inch from your body. They’ll remove it once your skin becomes red and warm.

Another method of indirect moxibustion uses an 

insulating layer of salt or garlic between the cone and your skin.

Can I do it myself?

Moxibustion is traditionally done by a skilled practitioner.

If you’re not sure how to find one, consider starting your search by looking for an acupuncturist in your area. Moxibustion is often done alongside acupuncture, and some acupuncturists also do moxibustion.

You can try indirect moxibustion on your own, but it’s safest to have a professional give you a demonstration first. They can show you not only how to do it without burning yourself, but also the best areas to focus on for your needs.

Can it actually help to turn a breech baby?

Moxibustion is perhaps best known for being an alternative way to help with breech presentation. This happens when a baby’s in a bottom-down position during birth, which makes the process much more difficult. 

It’s usually done around 34 weeks with indirect moxibustion around an acupuncture point called bladder67, sometimes called zhiyin or reaching yin. This spot lies on the outer part of your pinkie toe. 

For safety and effectiveness, it’s best to have this done by a professional. Some hospitals, especially in the U.K., even have midwives and obstetricians trained in acupuncture and moxibustion on staff. Acupuncturists should also be licensed by your state. 

A 2018 reviewTrusted Source of studies on moxibustion for breech presentation concluded that there is some evidence that it may work. But the review authors also noted that there still isn’t a ton of high-quality research on the subject.

What else do people use it for?

People use moxibustion for a range of issues, including:

  • gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and constipation
  • menstrual cramps
  • pain, including pain from arthritis, joint or muscle pain, and chronic pain
  • cancer-related nausea
  • urinary incontinence
  • asthma symptoms
  • eczema
  • fatigue
  • cold and flu prevention

But again, there isn’t much research to back up these uses. A 2010 evaluation of reviewsTrusted Sourcelooked at the use of moxibustion for:

  • ulcerative colitis
  • cancer
  • stroke rehabilitation
  • high blood pressure
  • pain
  • breech presentation

acupuncture point called bladder67, sometimes called zhiyin or reaching yin. This spot lies on the outer part of your pinkie toe. 

For safety and effectiveness, it’s best to have this done by a professional. Some hospitals, especially in the U.K., even have midwives and obstetricians trained in acupuncture and moxibustion on staff. Acupuncturists should also be licensed by your state. 

A 2018 reviewTrusted Source of studies on moxibustion for breech presentation concluded that there is some evidence that it may work. But the review authors also noted that there still isn’t a ton of high-quality research on the subject.

Is it safe to try?

Even if there isn’t much clear evidence behind it, moxibustion may still be worth a try if you’re exploring alternative treatments. But it does come with a few risks.

The biggest risk comes from how easy it is to burn yourself in the process. For this reason, it’s best to stick with indirect moxibustion, especially if you’re doing it on your own. This allows for some space between the burning moxa and your skin.

In addition, a 2014 review identified some potential side effects of moxibustion, including:

  • allergic reaction to moxa
  • sore throat or coughing from moxa smoke
  • nausea and vomiting
  • fetal distress and premature birth
  • dark patches of skin
  • basal cell carcinoma

In very rare cases, death can result from the procedure.

PREGNANCY PRECAUTIONS

This review also noted that some women using moxibustion for breech presentation experienced nausea and contractions. Because of this, along with the risk of fetal distress and premature birth, it’s best to do moxibustion under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

Keep your doctor in the loop as well, in case something doesn’t feel quite right. 

If you’re trying it at home, be aware that some people find the odor of moxa smoke to be very similar to cannabis smoke. If you live in place where cannabis use is illegal, this could potentially cause some problems with your neighbors or law enforcement.

The bottom line

Moxibustion is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that people use for a variety of health issues. While there’s not much evidence to back up the potential health benefits of moxibustion, it may be an alternative option for turning a breech baby. 

If you want to try moxibustion, start by finding an experienced practitioner or acupuncturist. You can try it on your own, but it’s still best to have it done professionally a few times so you know how to do it safely.

The Possibility of Turning a Breach Baby

The article below opens up the possibility of turning your breach baby at the end of your pregnancy. It is one of many theories on attempting this outcome. Research indicates many advantages to acupuncture therapies in health situations. Review this information and decide whether or not you believe it will serve you. My goal here is to offer you possibilities. There are many other ways midwives and doulas assist in turning breach babies late in pregnancy. Investigate them. Avoiding a Cesearan Section is high motivation to do so.

JUDY

HOLISTIC HEALTH   HERBAL MEDICINE

How Moxibustion Is Used in Traditional Chinese Therapy

By 

Cathy Wong  Medically reviewed by  Arno Kroner, DAOM, LAc 

Updated on January 23, 2021

https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-moxibustion-88935

Moxibustion is an alternative therapy that involves burning herbs and applying the heat that’s produced to specific points on the body. A technique used in traditional Chinese medicine and in Tibetan medicine, moxibustion can be administered in conjunction with acupuncture, or a stick can be used to apply heat with smokeless moxibustion.

Uses 

According to alternative medicine practitioners, the heat generated during moxibustion helps increase the flow of vital energy (also known as “qi” or “chi”) throughout the body via certain pathways (known as “meridians“).

In traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating the flow of chi is considered essen

tial to achieving health and wellness. In fact, this approach to healthcare is based on the belief that blockages in the flow of chi contribute to physical and mental health problems.

Alternative medicine practitioners often use moxibustion to help treat the following health problems:1

What Moxibustion Involves 

There are two main types of moxibustion: direct and indirect. Indirect moxibustion is the technique most commonly used today.

  • Burning moxa (a substance created from dried leaves of the herbs mugwort or wormwood) on top of the acupuncture needle
  • The practitioner may set the burning moxa over a layer of ginger, garlic, or salt placed on the patient’s skin
  • Applying heat to acupuncture points from an electrical source.
  • Holding the burning moxa above the skin for several minutes

During direct moxibustion, the burning moxa is placed directly on the skin. Since this technique can cause pain and scarring, direct moxibustion is no longer used very often.1

Benefits

To date, studies have begun examining the safety and effectiveness of moxibustion in the treatment of health conditions. For example, it has been shown to help some types of kidney disease.2

Here’s a look at some of the evidence related to moxibustion:

1) Hot Flashes

In a 2009 study of 51 postmenopausal women, researchers found that 14 sessions of moxibustion reduced the frequency and severity of hot flashes.3

2) Ulcerative Colitis

Available scientific evidence doesn’t support the use of moxibustion in the treatment of ulcerative colitis (a type of inflammatory bowel disease), according to a research review published in 2010. The review’s authors analyzed five clinical trials and determined that moxibustion did show some benefits for people with ulcerative colitis. However, all of the reviewed studies were found to be of low quality.4

Additional studies examining the safety and efficacy of moxibustion in the treatment of ulcerative colitis are ongoing.5

3) Breech Birth

Moxibustion has been considered a potential way to decrease the risk of breech birth. But in a report published in 2005, scientists found insufficient evidence to support the use of moxibustion in correcting a breech presentation. The report’s authors sized up three clinical trials (involving a total of 597 women) and concluded that more research is needed before moxibustion can be recommended to women looking to avoid a breech birth. However, the report did find that moxibustion may reduce the need for certain medical procedures typically used to correct a breech presentation.6

Caveats 

Oils from mugwort and wormwood may cause toxic reactions when taken internally.

If you’re considering the use of moxibustion for any type of health condition, make sure to consult your doctor before undergoing treatment. It’s especially important to talk to your doctor if you’re considering the use of moxibustion while pregnant.