(This photo is from the terriorist attack at FT Hood, Texas 2009)
America’s respected military traditions began in the 1600’s with local militias and are strong today. Many of you have family and friends who have paid the ultimate price to support and defend our freedom. Our family is a military family. Our son, Daniel Eastman, is currently serving as Staff Sgt. in the US Marine Corps. Memorial Day recognizes those who paid the ultimate price in serving our country. It is a day when we stop to say thank you to them and their families.
Explanation of the fallen soldier memorial: The rifle is affixed with a bayonet and inverted, signifying that the Soldier went down fighting. The boots signify the Soldier’s last march onto the battlefield. Dog tags are imprinted with the Soldier’s name and hung from the rifle so their identity will never be forgotten. The helmet is placed atop the rifle representing what the Soldier stood for and signifying that their battle is now over. The Battlefield Cross is a sacred symbol amongst military members. Since a funeral is typically not possible during wartime, these symbols serve as a rallying point where surviving members of a unit can mourn and remember their fallen comrades. This Memorial Day, reach out to the Veterans that you know and give them a simple message: “We Remember.” We remember our country’s fallen, your brothers and sisters, and we appreciate and honor their sacrifice. #MemorialDay
Hala kahiki is the Hawaiian word for pineapple. This is a seven-ingredient smoothie that is rich in vitamin C and other nutrients. Spinach gives it a beautiful green color yet it tastes tropically sweet. Great for breakfast or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Can adjust ice or water to achieve desired thickness of smoothie. I prefer mine not very thick.
2 oranges, peeled
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup water
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1 cup red seedless grapes
1 cup crushed ice
2 tablespoons ground flax seed (Optional)
You can add nuts, protein powder, other fruits & veggies, juice, yogurt, etc.
Blend oranges, spinach, water, pineapple, grapes, ice, and flax seed in a blender until smooth.
Another opportunity to include veggies in your children’s diets! The green smoothies look so yummy, don’t they? Serve this with a strawberry hung on the glass and you have a beautiful dessert! Again, add other items to your smoothie to make it more nutritious and delicious!!! You will be the star of the neighborhood!!! Yuppie!!!!!
Place the banana pieces, strawberries, blueberries, milk, vanilla extract, yogurt, and ice cubes in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Summer is the time for healthy fruity deliciousness!!!! Stash your fruit in the freezer and pull it out to make these treats! When fruit is on sale I purchase extra (especially berries). When the bananas are getting old I peel them and freeze them in a ZipLoc bag for this purpose. Find your family favorites and teach your kiddos how to enjoy. We love yogurt, ice cream, veggies, and nuts added to our smoothies.
We can’t do anything about the sweltering summer temperatures (boo!), but we can offer tips for keeping kids cool, calm and collected through the dog days of summer (yay!). Here are some of our favorite ways to beat the heat. And the best part? You can do all of them without breaking a sweat. (Sorry, we had to.)
Keep a beach umbrella and extra water in your car so you can ‘stop and smell the roses’ at the beach or park. Slowing down for a few moments will bless your day and your outlook on the world. When my kids were small and I found myself frustrated with their behavior it was usually because I had too much to do and was impatient with them. You want them to remember the calm happy times you spent together!!! So make them happen! JUDY
1. Keep It Cool (This paragraph was an advertisement). If baby gets sweaty wipe her down and use non-talc powder to help her stay cool. If it is really hot keep her in the shade and keep her cool by laying her on a moist towel with just a diaper on. This will sound crazy, but it is cooler near the floor. It you are at home lay atowel on the floor and sit next to baby while she lays there. She can’t fall off anything and she is in the coolest spot in the house.
When I had a busy 15 month old and a newborn this was my best way to protect the baby. He would get lots of full body hugs, but he was safe on the floor! (Hay, you do what you gotta do!!!)
If you’re planning to log a lot of hours in the sun with your mini-me, you’ll need to keep an arsenal of baby-friendly sunscreen at the ready. Our top pick: Honest Mineral Sunscreen. The zinc oxide-based formula is rated at SPF 50+, and because it’s made with shea butter and coconut oil and without chemicals, parabens, fragrance or dyes, it’s gentle enough for baby. (Find more of our sunscreen recommendations here: The Best Baby Sunscreens.)
2. Take Cover I am editing this thought too. Your newborn can not be in direct sunlight for several months. Her skin is too thin and new. KEEP YOUR NEWBORN OUT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT Always have an umbrella you can use to protect her.
Keep a fisherman’s style hat with a large brim close by. If you have to be out and about without a beach umbrella carry a rain umbrella with you to keep you both out of direct sun. Sunscreen will not protect a newborn’s skin enough to let her take direct sun. Plus, she could overheat in a very short time.
3. Just Breathe To keep baby from feeling hot and bothered this summer, ditch the polyester duds and look to breathable fabrics made from natural fibers. Cotton is a classic pick, but bamboo is taking the children’s textile market by storm for good reason. Not only is it soft and breathable, it absorbs up to three times its own weight to help wick away sweat from babyies’ skin, keeping them cool and dry. (It’s a great choice for bed sheets, too!)
4. Drink Up Keeping baby hydrated is important year-round but even more crucial when the mercury starts to rise. Offer baby liquids frequently, especially when you’re out and about, to ward off dehydration. Keep liquids cool by popping bottles or sippy cups into a small insulated bag with an ice pack when you head outdoors. Planning a longer outing? Freeze liquids before you leave and you’ll have an icy drink to enjoy.
5. Just Add Water A little water exploration can go a long way in creating fun summer experiences with babies—and keeping them cool, of course! Pack the swim diaper and sunscreen and head to your local splash pad or zero-depth entry leisure pool, or bring the fun home with a small inflatable pool, splash mat or water table you can set up in your own backyard.
6. Let Loose Imagine this: It’s hot out, the humidity is high, and you’re trapped in a cocoon of fabric with another human being’s body heat emanating through it. That is how your baby may feel after spending too much time in a carrier this summer. Consider opting for a stroller (with a sufficient sun shade!) instead. If you (or your baby) prefer a carrier, look for one made of light, breathable fabric, such as the Bamboo Moby Wrap, to help keep both of you comfortable. (Check out the latest baby carriers here: The Best New Baby Carriers)
7. Turn Up the Air Adding a portable fan to your baby’s stroller will help keep them cool and comfortable. Our pick: the O2COOL® 4-Inch Portable Stroller Clip Fan has an easy-to-use design that clips onto any stroller frame and a bendable neck that allows you to adjust the direction of the airflow for maximum comfort.
8. Timing Is Everything To avoid the energy drain that comes from being in the heat, plan your outdoor adventures for the early morning or evening hours instead. Besides letting you take advantage of cooler temps, you and baby will benefit from smaller crowds, whether you’re heading to the park (no wait for the baby swings!) or the zoo (finally, a front-row glimpse of the lions!). If you want to get out in the afternoon, choose an indoor spot like an aquarium, pet store or the local mall, where you can take advantage of the AC.
9. Spray It On Most babies have a blast playing outside on a sunny day, but the elements can take their toll quickly on sensitive skin. After extensive sun exposure, reach for a moisturizing spritz like Mustela After Sun Hydrating Spray, which is made with avocado oil and shea butter to soothe, nourish and refresh your little one’s skin.
10. Monitor Magic A baby monitor with up-to-date temperature sensing technology can keep baby sleeping comfortably through those hot summer nights. Because infants aren’t able to regular their body temperatures as well as adults, a too warm or too cool environment can make your little one restless. Most experts recommend setting the thermostat between 68 and 72. One option: The Philips Avent DECT Baby Monitor with Temperature Sensor and Night Mode will not only let you monitor the climate in baby’s room, it allows you to create customizable settings to alert you to changes in nursery temperature changes.
The article below ran in Australia. There heat is much more of a problem than in most of North America. Their suggestions for comfort for mother and baby are both creative and helpful! I hope you enjoy them. Any ideas for cooling down are welcome!!
In most areas of Australia, we face periods of hot weather. This can be exhausting for everyone. Babies and mothers need special attention in extremes of temperature to ensure that they are comfortable and well hydrated. When everyone is hot, often the last thing we want is to sit close to someone else! So it’s not surprising that babies may be fretful and unwilling to breastfeed at these times. In very hot weather, skin contact can be quite uncomfortable for both you and your baby. A towel, pillowcase, or cloth nappy placed between your baby and your arm and body can be helpful. A cool, damp face-washer in the crook of your arm is refreshing too. Lying down to feed may be more comfortable for both of you, as only baby’s mouth and your breast need be in contact. See our article Breastfeeding while lying down for more on how to do this.
If your baby’s skin feels hot to touch, sponge him with lukewarm (body heat) water at frequent intervals. An alternative is bathing often. You only need to use plain water as soap can remove the natural oils from his skin.
Having a glass of water at each breastfeed is one way of making sure your own fluid intake is adequate in these hot conditions. Some mothers find that water bottles placed through the house remind them to drink enough so that they are not thirsty.
Does my baby need extra fluids?
Most parents worry at some stage that their fully-breastfed baby may not be getting enough to drink in hot weather and they ask if they should give boiled water or fruit juice ‘just in case’. The answer in most cases is that extra fluids are not required if your baby is breastfed whenever he needs and this may be more often than usual – just as you are drinking more often.
Breastmilk contains a perfectly balanced ratio of food and water to meet all your baby’s needs. It is a living fluid, ever-changing to suit your baby and even in response to the weather! The first milk your baby gets from a full breast has a low fat content and naturally quenches baby’s thirst. Once the let-down has occurred, the fat content of the milk gradually increases as the breast softens. This later milk has a creamier appearance and satisfies baby’s hunger.
In hot weather a thirsty baby may want to breastfeed more frequently but for shorter periods. In this way he is getting more low-fat milk and so is satisfying his thirst. If you need to be away from your baby, it is preferable that he has your expressed breastmilk (EBM).
An older baby or toddler who is no longer exclusively breastfed may be encouraged to drink water between breastfeeds. You can also offer extra ‘snack’ breastfeeds to keep him well hydrated. Another refreshing idea for toddlers is to freeze fruit pieces, such as orange quarters, peeled banana or slices of pineapple – cooling and fun, just be prepared for the very sticky mess!
Some babies become sleepy travelling in hot weather. You may need to stop and wake your baby for feeds.
The effect of car airconditioners can cause some dehydration – so extra breastfeeds may be necessary on long trips, even if you are cool.
Prams that are enclosed are airless and can get very hot. An open-weave bassinette, cradle, layback stroller, baby hammock, cot or portable cot is probably cooler for your baby to sleep in.
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!!!
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 torso, necks, hands, 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 cotton, voile, 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 yellow, orange, 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:
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
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
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
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.
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.
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!
WHY SOME SHOULDN’T OR ARE UNABLE TO BREASTFEED
by Donna Murray, RN, BSN. Medically reviewed by Meredith Shur, MD. Updates April 11 2021
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.
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:
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.
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 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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)
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
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
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.
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 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
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
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.
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 complications. Pregnancy-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.
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
Ⓒ 2021 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reservedVerywell Family is part of the Dotdash publishing family.