Baby Cold and Flu Season Must Haves

Slide11. NoseFrida 2. Cool Mist Humidifier 3. Thermometer 4. Disinfectant Wipes 5. Hand Sanitizer

1. NoseFrida the SnotSucker- Everyone I know swears by the NoseFrida. Unfortunately we had little…shall I say no success with it for Layla. She ended up screaming and crying, producing more snot then she initially had. Most suggest to use it after a bath or with saline drops to soften up those boogies.

2. Crane Drop Shape Cool Mist Humidifier – A humidifier is a must. We have ours on in the nursery every night during the winter months when the weather is dry and the heater is running. If you do not want the humidifier on all the time, make sure to use it when your baby is sick because the humidified air helps your baby breath more comfortably.

3. Braun Ear Thermometer - Another huge must. Most doctors (including myself) will tell you that a rectal temperature is more accurate so use a rectal thermometer. I used to give this advice only until I had a baby and realized how difficult taking an accurate rectal temperature is. This ear thermometer is a life saver and works instantaneously before your baby has time to get mad at your for sticking something in his ear.

4. Disinfectant Wipes - I like using either Babyganics or Seventh Generation disinfecting wipes around the house all the time, but especially when someone is sick in at home. They clean up those germs without any alcohol in their products.

5. Hand Sanitizer - I keep a bottle of Babyganics Hand Sanitizer on the changing table to use with poopy diapers and always have a small bottle of EO Hand Sanitizer Spray in my diaper bag for when we are on the run. Otherwise I prefer to use good old soap and water to kill those germs at home.

Measles Outbreak Linked to Disneyland

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This post is only to bring awareness and not start a debate about vaccines vs anti-vaccine campaigns. Unfortunately there has been a rise in measles cases and 12 suspected cases have been recently linked to Disneyland. It’s scary because there are so many young kiddos at Disneyland that can get exposed to such airborne viruses. We were actually there today, but with the release of the news report we cut our visit short to be extra cautious, though so far the cases were reported from over 2 weeks ago. Luckily we have annual passes and can go back anytime! Please be careful with your little ones, especially in crowded areas during the winter season when viruses are on the rise.

Home Pharmacy Must Haves

Slide21. A&D Ointment 2. Motrin Infant Drops 3. Infants Tylenol 4. Carlson Vitamin D Drops 5. Nose Frida

A&D Ointment is great to use at the first sign of a diaper rash. By the next diaper change, the rash already looks better.

Motrin and Tylenol are important to have in case your little one comes down with a fever, whether it’s from a cold or vaccines, you do not want to be running to the drug store when your baby is sick.

Carlson Vitamin D drops are great for breastfed babies because vitamin D is poorly passed through breast milk. Infants should have apx 400 IU of vitamin D daily and these drops are perfect because you get all of that in one drop. You can put a drop on your nipple and nurse or on your bottle nipple.

The Nose Frida is great when your little ones nose is stuffed up. Loosen up those boogies with a warm bath or saline drops then use the Frida to get them out.

No More K Cups

I just saw this interesting post on Facebook from another blog (The Mommy Illuminati) about K-Cups and their potential danger to our health. So many of us, including myself, drink our morning coffee from the quick and easy K Cups but looks like those days must come to an end. We’ve all heard about the dangers of chemicals released from heated plastic, but it never crossed my mind that each time I use my Keurig I am heating the plastic K-cup with boiling water.

When I found out I was pregnant, I made a point to cut down my use of plastic products to decrease my risk of exposure to BPA. I got rid of all my plastic containers and bottles, replacing everything with glass. Looks like I’ll be getting rid of my Keurig now :-(. For all those mammas or mammas-to-be, start brewing your coffee fresh. If you do not want to get rid of your Keurig, you can get a reusable stainless steel K-cup. Another alternative to your quick morning coffee is using a french press or a single serve coffee maker.

Hydration While Breastfeeding

water2You remember when you were pregnant everyone, including this blog, kept on telling you how important it is to stay hydrated while pregnant?!?! We’ll it’s just as important, if not more, while you are breast feeding. The only way to produce enough milk for your baby is to get enough fluid in to your own body. The minimum amount of fluid you need in a day to produce adequate milk is at least two liters worth…yes thats equivalent to the size of a large soda bottle (or 4 small 500ml water bottles). But don’t forget, this is the minimum amount and soda or any fluids that dehydrate your body do not count! The best thing you can have is just pure good old water, but juice, milk, etc can count towards your total daily fluid intake. If the weather is hot, don’t forget, you are losing some of your body’s water from your skin so you need to put even more water back into your body. If your newborn is not producing enough urine or poop…one reason could be he/she is not getting enough milk and is becoming dehydrated. It is important to increase your fluid intake to make more (adequate) milk so your newborn can have more to feed on. [If your baby continues to have changes in his/her urine or stool habits, please make sure you contact your baby’s doctor immediately]  Don’t forget to keep hydrated!

Importance of Folic Acid During Pregnancy

folic acidThe second you get pregnant, the first question your doctor will ask you is “when was your last period” and then he/she will ask you, “are you taking prenatal vitamins”? Hopefully you will have the right answer to both! Prenatal vitamins have the essential vitamins your body needs while pregnant, and most importantly, they contain folic acid. It has been shown that adequate levels of folic acid can help prevent neural tube defects in your unborn fetus. The good news is, folate (the natural version of folic acid) is found in a lot of foods we eat such as green leafy vegetables, oranges, legumes and beef liver. The bad new is that the amount of folate absorbed by your body is not always enough. Fortunately, supplemental forms (aka vitamins) of folic acid are well absorbed and vastly available.
There are hundreds of prenatal vitamin brands out there and thankfully in addition to pill form, they can now be found as liquid or gummy. Yes, I will admit, I am one of those peps that even at the age of 30, still chokes on pills so I opt for anything in gummy form. No one brand is superior than the other as long as it has the appropriate amount of folic acid you need. Here are some guidelines to go by:
1. Most of you will fall into this category: For primary prevention in low risk pregnancy, you need 0.4 mg (or 400mcg) daily. It is recommended that you start supplementation one month prior to pregnancy, or as soon as you find out you are pregnant.
2. For women with a child previous affected with a neural tube defect, it is suggested to have 4mg per day, and beginning supplementation one month prior to getting pregnant and continuing through at least the first trimester.
3. For women with pregestational diabetes (that is diabetes diagnosed prior to becoming pregnant, or women taking valproate or carbamazapine, should take 4mg of folic acid daily starting one month prior to conception and continuing through at least the first trimester of pregnancy.
*Please do not use this supplement or any other supplements if you have ever experienced an allergic reaction after previously taking them.

Prenatal Vitamins

gummyprenatalprenatalvitpillThe second you get pregnant, the first question your doctor will ask you is “when was your last period” and then he/she will ask you, “are you taking prenatal vitamins”? Hopefully you will have the right answer to both! Prenatal vitamins have the essential vitamins your body needs while pregnant, and most importantly, they contain folic acid. It has been shown that adequate levels of folic acid can help prevent neural tube defects in your unborn fetus. The good news is, folate (the natural version of folic acid) is found in a lot of foods we eat such as green leafy vegetables, oranges, legumes and beef liver. The bad new is that the amount of folate absorbed by your body is not always enough. Fortunately, supplemental forms (aka vitamins) of folic acid are well absorbed and vastly available.
There are hundreds of prenatal vitamin brands out there and thankfully in addition to the pill form, they can now be found as liquid or gummy tabs. Yes, I will admit, I am one of those peps that even at the age of 30,  I still choke on pills so I opt for anything in gummy form. No one brand is superior than the other as long as it has the appropriate amount of folic acid you need. Here are some guidelines to go by:
1. Most of you will fall into this category: For primary prevention in low risk pregnancy, you need 0.4 mg (or 400mcg) daily. It is recommended that you start supplementation one month prior to pregnancy, or as soon as you find out you are pregnant.
2. For women with a child previous affected with a neural tube defect, it is suggested to have 4mg per day, and beginning supplementation one month prior to getting pregnant and continuing through at least the first trimester.
3. For women with pregestational diabetes (that is diabetes diagnosed prior to becoming pregnant, or women taking valproate or carbamazapine, should take 4mg of folic acid daily starting one month prior to conception and continuing through at least the first trimester of pregnancy.
*Please do not use this supplement or any other supplements if you have ever experienced an allergic reaction after previously taking them. Please discuss any questions or concerns with your physician.

New Years Resolution…Getting Healthy

chipsaladLike most people, one of my new years resolutions was to eat healthier. Unfortunately, I love to eat out!!! Everything just tastes so much better when someone else makes it, right?!?! With that being said, you have no control over what goes in your food when you eat out. So my solution is to take baby steps…with my lifestyle I cannot completely give up eating out so I am going to try to make healthier choices. For example, today for lunch I went to Chipotle. I love Chiptole because you get to choose what goes in your meal and all of their ingredients are fresh. I got the burrito bowl which allows me to cut out the tortilla and choose the ingredients that go inside basically my salad. I opted for brown rice over the white rice (smaller portion) for my carbohydrate portion, black beans and barbacoa (half of the portion size) for my protein and then loaded up on lettuce, corn salsa and pico de gallo salsa. I love to get guacamole and salsa on the side so I can add to my meal for taste. It’s a great replacement for salad dressing which can have a couple hundred calories in each serving.

I’ll keep you posted on healthy meal options as they come up. What are your healthy meal choices??? Please share them with all of us!!! Cheers to a healthy 2013!!

chipcupSalsasalad

 

 

Pregnancy Weight Gain

Perfect posting just in time for the holiday season!!! With all the yummy holiday treats…even if you are not pregnant you are at risk of gaining too much weight! First and foremost, remember being pregnant DOES NOT mean you are eating for two! During your first trimester (first three months of pregnancy) you do not even need to increase your daily calorie intake. Starting your second trimester, you should increase your intake by 200-300 more calories per day. This is equivalent to a bagel with no cream cheese or a piece of fruit and granola bar…it’s really not as much as your think! But do not stress if one day you feel like you overate. Some women feel a lot more hungry while pregnant and as long as you are spacing your meals out and your weight gain is gradual, its OK. Like everything else in pregnancy, calorie intake and weight gain is person dependent. If you have nausea and vomiting and the only thing that looks good is pizza, by all means eat it! But on the other hand, if you feel like you can eat the world, try to control the portions you have and opt for the healthier food choices. Just remember moderation and the most important thing…stay hydrated.
Weight gain in pregnancy is generally gauged based on your BMI (body mass index) which is calculated based on your height and weight. In a nutshell, here are some guidelines to go by (don’t forget, these are just recommended guidelines. Please confirm your personal situation with your own doctor).

  • If your pre-pregnancy weight is normal, that is  a BMI of 18.5-24.9, it is recommended you gain between 25-35 pounds.
  • If you are underweight prior to getting pregnant, that is a BMI of less than 18.5, you get to gain a little more weight during your pregnancy. Gain anywhere between 28-40 pounds
  • If you begin your pregnancy overweight, with a BMI of 25-29, should limit your weight gain to between 15-25 pounds
  • If you are obese pre-pregnancy, with a BMI of 30 or more, you should limit your weight gain to about 11-20 pounds.
  • Do not aim to ever lose weight during pregnancy.

Just in case you were wondering…where does the weight gain go???

  • By the end of your pregnancy, about 7-8 account for the baby
  • About 1.5 pounds of placenta
  • 3 to 4 pounds goes to increased fluid volume.
  • Your uterus will be about 2 pounds
  • 1-3 pounds goes to growing breast tissue
  • 3- 4 pounds for increased blood volume.
  • 2 pounds for your amniotic fluid
  • 6-8 pounds goes to maternal fat stores

What are your pregnancy cravings and healthy (or unhealthy ;-)) snack picks?!?!?

Photo credit: Pinterest

Breastfeeding

The first few days after your baby is born, do not expect to make much milk…in fact you only make about one ounce per day. Yup, that’s less than a shot of your favorite espresso or tequila (of course when your not breastfeeding ;-))…however you chose to measure it by! You’re probably thinking how is my baby supposed to get his/her nutrients to grow and better yet not starve on just one ounce of milk, but that’s all your little one needs the first few days of life!  Your initial milk, also known as colostrum, has all the nutrients your baby needs but in a very concentrated low volume form. Colostrum is more viscous (thick) and yellowish in color than you would expect milk to be. That’s because it is full of proteins, growth factors and antibodies that your baby needs. A newborn has immature immune and digestive systems. The antibodies in colostrum are passively passed on to your baby through your breast milk and helps protect him/her in the early state when their immune systems are not fully developed. Your colostrum also has important components for your baby’s immature digestive system including a laxative component that helps your baby pass their first stool, aka meconium…that black, sticky, tarry like poop! 

Put your worries aside. The best thing you can give your baby in the first few days of life is that measly one ounce of colostrum each day. Don’t give up on breast feeding even if you feel like nothing is coming out…don’t forget all of that trying only adds up to about one ounce for the first five days or so anyways. As the days go by, you will produce more milk, it will become more white and fluid like. Thats when it will start leaking and you will be wishing it was back to those colostrum days! Good luck!