Wednesday, December 30, 2009

great site for chemical info in toys and baby gear

i wish i had known about this site,, when i was shopping for a car seat.  they have a thorough database of baby and children's toys, car seats, and more (including cars, adult fashion, and pet products).  for each of these items, healthy stuff lets you know what the chemical are present and what their levels are.  there is also health info on the chemicals.  check it out!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

hospital birth? have your birth plan in hand!

do you have a vision of your baby's birth?  there are a lot of things to consider and you may not want to leave all of them to chance (or up to your doctor or the hospital staff).  try to give a brief, but as thorough as necessary, written plan to your doctor in advance of the things that pertain to him.  you may want to discuss your decisions about some of the following things with your birth partner in advance, so he/she can advocate for you:

can midwife check your dilation at home?
natural induction options
when to head to the hospital during labor
walking epidural available?
fetal heart monitor turned down
antibiotics for strep b (can be avoided by taking probiotics)
enema or not
feelings toward c-section
feelings toward vacuum extraction/forceps
cord clamping (how long after birth?  cord blood banking?)
baby on chest immediately after birth
baby rubbed/wiped off after birth or not
baby weighed next to mother on rolling scale
special clothing/blanket/cap for baby
circumcision or not
infant eye treatment or not
vitamin k (oral or injection) or not
metabolic screening blood test or not
hearing test or not

certainly, you can ask your doctor's advice or have the nurses do what they think is best, but it is your baby's experience (and health), and you may want to research some of these things.  i will try to address most or all of them in this blog.

your little one won't drink the prune juice?

are you trying to beat your baby's case of constipation with prune juice, but he just refuses to drink the stuff?  you may want to see if he'll take it spoon fed out of a little bowl or buy a glass dropper and sneak some into his mouth.  you gotta do what you gotta do...oh and buy organic whenever possible.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

what to get a one-year-old...

by the age of one, babies can start to hone their artistic expression. go for non-toxic finger paints or fat crayons.  this guidecraft tabletop paper center ($40) is a nice portable option to set up your baby's "canvas" anywhere in or out of the house.  it has suction cups on the bottom, so you can attach it to a tabletop or the floor.  replacement rolls are available for $13.

what to get a 6-month-old....

believe it or not, babies as young as six months old really enjoy musical instruments.  they certainly contribute to their understanding of cause and effect.  some great ones for the tiny guys are baby pianos, tambourines, and drums, and by the age of 11 months or so they may master the harmonica and kazoo too...weeee!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

it's official. many people think natural birth refers only to the baby coming out of the vagina.

should i clarify?  maybe this will help illustrate my point...

i was reading a little story in us magazine (ok, yes, if a rag mag is in front of me, i read it) where that chic kendra, hef's ex-girlfriend, was talking about how she was really hoping for a natural birth (which of course made me go, "hmmm...naw.").  well, she talks about how after hours of being induced with pitocin, she starts realizing that she's probably not going to have a natural birth (which of course made me go, "um, doesn't natural birth mean no drugs?").  she ended up in with c-section.

twice in the last year, i have had dads say to me, "yeah, my wife had a natural birth." and i go "oh cool!  really?!"---then about 2 minutes later it comes out that since the baby was not a c-section, he called it a natural birth.  and in fact his wife had an epidural and then some....

it seems like since c-sections are so common now (1 in 3 births), people are calling vaginal births natural births.  does this mean we have to be more specific and call what used to be called a natural birth an unmedicated birth?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

dr. mercola's no-nonsense guide to a naturally healthy pregnancy and baby

this is a really great up-to-date guide if you are pregnant.  please check it out here.


grandparents are a wonderful thing!  may we all be so blessed to experience their amazing-ness.  came across this article "how to be a fantastic grandparent" that you may want to anonymously send to your mother-in-law if necessary.

...yep, that's the prezzie with his grammy and grampy above.

Friday, December 18, 2009

is the heat in your house drying you out?

during the winter, we tend to stay indoors and crank up the heat. unfortunately, this dries out the protective mucous in the nasal passages which may cause viruses to get into our bloodstream.

consider these nifty and cheap magnet sheets to stick over the vents in your bedroom if you need to run the heat at night in the whole house.  to keep yourself warm in your now non-heated arctic room, invest in a warm wool blanket or down comforter, dress warmly....and enjoy your healthy sinuses!  please see this and also this previous post on sinus wellness in wintertime.

bed bath and beyond and most local hardware stores sell 3-packs for around $10.

hopefully, you won't need to invest in a heat sheet 2-person survival blanket. um, what?

why buy baby spoons?

not only do these little cappuccino spoons come in handy at any given restaurant for your baby to "chew" on while teething, but they are a nice affordable option for when he starts solids.  many baby spoons are entirely plastic or have a rubber coating over the end, but as long as you test for heat and make sure your baby isn't cramming these into his teeth, these stainless steel demi tasse spoons are all good.

they are the perfect size and the price is right (8 for $10)!  maybe buy 2 sets....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

an article that may make you want to stand up and cheer!

this awesome article was on the front page of this morning (kudos, cnn) about a woman who REALLY did not want a c-section.  it was her fourth child, and her local hospital insisted that she have one because one of her other children was born as a c-section.  this hospital would not do a vbac (vaginal birth after c-section) because "they have a slightly higher risk for complications", so she moved 6 hours away in the final weeks of her pregnancy in order to have a vaginal birth.  and she had one!   wahoo!

this article is great, because it has a really smart list of questions at the bottom that all mothers should be knowledgeable of if they would prefer to avoid a c-section.  for example:

2. "Doctor, what would happen if we waited an hour or two?"
The vast majority of the time, when your doctor or midwife tells you it's time for a C-section, it's not an emergency, Flamm says.
In many cases, women just need more time to labor, he adds. In fact, he says the No. 1 reason for a C-section is "failure to progress" during labor. "If that's what we're talking about, then it's not an emergency," he says.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

sh*t happens : you may as well learn some natural tricks

let me just get right down to it....constipation is a fact of life that becomes really scary in the days immediately after giving birth (stay with me here, even if you aren't pregnant).  you'll read in one of my previous posts that fruit, and pure prune juice, should be priority food staples in the days after having a baby.  try to steer clear of pain killers if possible as they are notorious for clogging you up even more so.

here are some tips that i learned from my physical therapist to help if you are constipated and find yourself scared and on the toilet:

*breathe deep with good posture

*release your tailbone so that it relaxes toward the back of your body

*press on your perineum to aim your bowel movement toward the back (away from your vagina/stitches)

*squat on the floor with your feet flat (reflexology points help) and thighs pressed against abdomen--you may poop on the floor, but who cares?

*if you prefer, do the last position balancing on the toilet seat (i know)

*sing or talk out loud

i know most of these sound insane, but i swear they work.  i swear.  i am speaking from experience.

Monday, December 14, 2009

natural rubber pacifiers

ok, i admit, i was a little down on pacifiers before i became a mother. for some reason, i guess i always associated them with neglectful parents that shoved them into their kids' mouths to get them to stop crying.  or maybe i had a fear of having a 7-year-old that wouldn't part with his paci.

none of this shit matters to me anymore.  if a paci works, use it.  my son wasn't interested in one for the first 3 months of his life.  then one day, he couldn't settle into his nap, but guess what did the trick?? he's one and still naps with one.  it also settles him in the car sometimes. if he's walking into 5th grade with one, we'll deal with it then...not worried about it.

you'll see my previous post below about an infant's and child's need to suck from birth (whether it's a thumb of a pacifier) for at least 2 years. i say give 'em what they need!

if you're concerned about the excessive exposure to the toxins in the rubber or silicone nipple, check out these european natural rubber pacifiers by natursutten.  i recommend buying at least a 2 pack of whatever size/age baby is at...meaning, they are sized 0-6 months and 6 months onward.

btw, go for the "orthodontic" style.  that other lightbulb shape they make has never worked for any moms i know.

here is the product description:

All Natursutten pacifiers are made from pure, natural rubber from the tree Hevea brasiliensi. Natursutten pacifiers are conform to the Pacifier Safety requirements by European standard EN 1400. Made in the E.U. No allergy causing substance (the protein that on rare occasions can provoke a latex allergy is eliminated during production) No artificial color. No chemicals softener; parabens, PVC, phtalates and BPA (bisphenol-A) free. Rubber pacifier are softer than silicone, the Natursutten pacifiers are extremely hygienic because they are molded in one piece. This means there is no joints or cracks where dirt and bacteria can accumulate. Natursutten pacifiers shield is larger than conventional shields in order to prevent babies to squeeze the flexible material enough to get into their mouth. It will also not leave marks on babies' face. Because of their natural quality, Natursutten pacifiers should be replaced every 4 to 5 weeks.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

to go along with your paci...

 me,  you're going to want to buy a clip-on pacifier bungee---when the round natural pacis hit the floor, they roll for miles sometimes!  babies love to chew on these bungees, so you may want to buy an organic one.  binkee bungee makes the only organic one i've ever been able to find.  works may want to buy 2.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

ok. have me admitted....

i just got excited over a hemp cotton sandwich bag sold on the site!

this is my new favorite site!  i was in search of some affordable stainless dishes for my son (and hadn't fully committed to feeding him out of a metal dog bowl, yet) and came across this, my fantasy site. yes, i am laughing out loud at how ridiculous i am, don't worry.

but seriously folks, these guys have an awesome assortment of everything from stainless leftovers boxes to wool insulated lunch bags to stainless water dispensers (get rid of your plastic water cooler!). wow.  some really unique stuff.

10% off with offer code FUNNEWSTUFF until dec 15th
free shipping on orders over $100 until dec 15th

coming soon--stainless ice cube trays--wahoo!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

great splurge toddler gift that can last years...

little ones go crazy for bikes, so why not get them one that's just their size?  kettler makes an awesome trike that kids can start riding at the age of 1 on up through the age of 5 (granted, they say "designed for 18 months to 5 years", but our tall 1-year-old loves his).  the size is adjustable, and you can even add on a tandem seat so a sibling or friend can ride!

the kettler air navigator (photo above) is their top of the line trike for $220. they also have a cool go green trike (photo below) for $70 that's made of recycled plastic and steel (yea!).

many of the trikes have a front pedal and steering lock for wee ones who just want to be pushed.  purchase the footrest if neccessary for these little riders.

with the push bar attached, these trikes are a great alternative to a stroller in a safe environment.

if you'd like to see a side by side comparison of the features of trikes kettler offers click here.

be sure to buy any of the following accessories your trike may need:

push bar
foot rest (for little feet that cannot reach pedals)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

is thumb sucking normal?

it makes me sad when i hear stories of kids who are shamed or have oral thumb-pricking devices implanted, because they suck their thumbs.   it is believed by some that kids suck their thumbs to make up for what they aren't getting at the breast.   according to author and anthropology professor, kathy dettwyler phd, thumb sucking is not seen in babies in nepal, india, ecuador, papua new guinea, mexico, south africa and more.  here is a tidbit from her website:

"My own research suggests that the absolute minimum time human children have evolved to expect breastfeeding to continue is 2.5 years, with a range of 2.5 to 7 years. Thus, one would expect that for many of them, their sucking instincts will remain strong throughout this period, and thus one would expect a child nursed for 2 years to be very likely to still have the instinctive urge to suck til 6, 7, 8 years or even longer. I strongly encourage parents of thumb-suckers to let their children suck their thumbs (fingers, pacifiers) as long as they need to."

read more on this by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

i know i'm preaching to the choir here, but did you know....

.....that the world health organization says the following about breastfeeding?:

"A recent review of evidence has shown that, on a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the optimal way of feeding infants.  Thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond."

To enable mothers to establish and sustain exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, WHO and UNICEF recommend:

*Initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of life
*Exclusive breastfeeding - that is the infant only receives breastmilk without any additional food or drink, not even water
*Breastfeeding on demand - that is as often as the child wants, day and night
*No use of bottles, teats or pacifiers"

ok, did you hear that people?  "up to 2 years of age or beyond!!"  it is not creepy or infantalizing to breastfeed babies over the age of 6 months---so please be sure to show the love (instead of the stink eye) to mothers who chose to do so.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

dr. bronners is the real deal in organic skincare (and more)

it's amazing how many companies now tout themselves as natural or organic.  the term natural is not regulated, so clorox, for example, could advertise itself as a natural product.   as could mccdonald's.  as could tylenol...ok, you get the idea.

the term organic is regulated by the usda.  a product is legally organic if at least 95% of its ingredients are organic.

one company that stands the organic test of time is dr. bronners magic soaps.  the family of soapmakers has been making soaps for over 150 years (originally from southern germany).   the 5th generation of soapmakers is now running the company based in southern california.

they have a wonderful selection of organic products including bar and liquid body soap, hard surface cleaners, and even lip balm, shaving cream, and body lotion.  they are sold in natural food stores like whole foods, trader joes and even target.

the soap's name, dr. bronner's magic soap, is true.  it does a great job and can clean almost anything like magic ; body (baby!), floor, counters, walls, dishes, pets, and fruit.

this is a great side by side comparison of their products to other supposedly organic lines.   these other poser lines have ingredients (that end in "eth" or "PEG") that contain trace 1, 4 dioxane and formaldehyde, which are probable human carcinogens (and often in baby shampoo!).   read more about 1, 4 dioxane and formaldehyde in kids bath products here.

some stocking stuffer dr. bronners items are 15% off this month on their website.

get discounts on tons of websites!

always check on for discount codes before you make a purchase online.  just type your desired website into retail me not's search box, and out come any and all discount codes--including free shipping codes.  the codes are posted by normal folks that receive them and are ever-so-kind enough to share them with the world.

Monday, December 7, 2009

natural solutions to sinus problems : number one, neti pot

if you are a freaky natural person like me, you may have heard of a neti pot by now.  and it may bring you joy to use it.  it brings me joy---but again, i'm a little freaky.

so i can rest my tired tired mind, i will provide you with the information that this neti pot maker provides:

"Neti Pot naturally cleanses, refreshes, and protects the nasal passages, one of our body's first lines of defense against illness. Recommended by doctors and pharmacists worldwide, the Neti Pot has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to alleviate sinus and allergy problems. Recent clinical studies have shown that nasal irrigation is effective in improving symptoms of patients with frequent sinusitis."

basically, a neti pot is a small ceramic pot that you put warm salt water in and pour into one nostril while it drains out the other.  this sounds scary, but it's snot (punny).  the warm water breaks up mucous and cleans out the sinuses.  the water drains straight out the opposite nostril--it is actually quite soothing.   see a youtube video here.  

some people use a neti pot daily.  i use mine if i feel a sinus headache coming on, have dry sinuses, or am feeling a little clogged.  my sister-in-law cured a year of sinus infections (unaffected by many doses of antibiotics) during pregnancy with the use of a neti pot.

to make your non-iodized salt water that goes into the neti pot, you can use either an easily dissolved saline solution that is often sold alongside neti pots or sea salt or himalayan pink salt (the best for its nutrients!).  some people even put drops of sesame oil into their nose afterwards to moisturize.  i know, i'm really pushing my luck here.

whole foods stocks these ($12) as do some drug stores now.

natural solutions to sinus problems : number two, humidifiers

humidifiers are wonderful machines.   they are particularly wonderful in the winter months when we need to run the heat in our homes.  dry air reeks havoc on your sinuses.   use one in your bedroom (and your kids') every night.  it can cure everything from dry sinuses to much more serious sinus conditions.   on a side note, try to avoid running the heat at night if possible--cozy up with some warm pj's and a fluffy down comforter.

if you live in the desert (aka los angeles), like me, you may want to invest in a decent one as you can easily use it every night of the year for relief.

if you are staying at a hotel, which typically has very dry air in wintertime, housekeeping may have a humidifier you can borrow.  if not, you can use a little travel humidifier ($40) on your bedside table. you just screw a large bottle of drinking water into it, and you're good to go.

air-o-swiss is a tried and true brand that has many great models. their top of the line models ($200) have lcd screens that show you the humidity in the room and will adjust the amount of mist released accordingly.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

need a green playpen?

if you're searching for a playpen option that is not plastic, you may want to check out herlag by kettler's collapsible wooden options.  if you're not familiar with herlag (distributed by kettler in the u.s.), they are a german company that has been around since 1883.  i tend to gravitate toward their products when given chance as they are more on the green side.

playpens are great for allowing mom and dad to be handsfree once baby starts moving around (4-7 months, onward).  ours has become like an island in our kitchen that i can roll onto the back deck too.

the solid beechwood playpen comes in two shapes/sizes:

48"x 48" square
42" x 50" hexagon (not collapsible)

to see photos and more info click here.
best prices click here.  or search locally on craigslist.

not plastic
large with more open sides than plastic playpen
base has 3 height adjustments
wheels roll or lock
use inside or out
collapsible (not available in hexagonal style)

*base is made of "safe" chipboard (read more at asterisk below)
base is covered in foam and vinyl
padding options are semi-hideous

how i got around negatives:
buy plywood made with non-toxic glues and make own base.
cover plywood base with natural latex foam, or other padding, and heavy canvas fabric.
make own removable canvas cover sheet.  bumper pads negotiable--only necessary for catching escaping toys and limbs (until baby is more in control, around 6 months-ish).

in los angeles, richard jebejian 310 854 4450 accomodates all of my crazy green upholstery requests (including the ones above) and can source the green components including non-toxic plywood, natural latex, and organic fabrics.

*kettler's national sales manager sent me the following info re the formaldehyde in the chipboard/mdf base, for what it's worth: "The material used is a Standard E1 Chipboard. The amount of free formaldehyde in 100 g. is below 8 mg. therefore achieving the highest world standards."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

20 mothers breastfeed newborn after mother passes away

this is an incredibly beautiful and sad story:

Nursing Moses: Moms step in after infant's mother dies
The day Charles Moses Martin Goodrich entered the world, a new community was conceived.

As the newborn breathed in life, his mother, Susan Goodrich, began to die. Less than 12 hours after having her son, the 46-year-old mother of four was gone. The cause was a rare amniotic fluid embolism.

It was January 2009, and shell-shocked widower Robbie Goodrich was forced to immediately think of the baby's most basic need: milk.

For $5 an ounce, he could have purchased frozen donor breast milk, the kind of sustenance he knew his wife wanted for the boy. There was talk of tracking down a wet nurse. A friend left a message offering to breast-feed the newborn herself.

What evolved in the coming days still touches Goodrich. More than 20 mothers in Marquette, a city of 20,000 in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, volunteered to nurse baby Moses.

All these months later, they're still at it.

"It's been such an incredible outpouring of community love for this child of mine," said Goodrich, a 44-year-old history professor at Northern Michigan University, where his late wife worked, too, teaching Spanish and Portuguese. "This has certainly stretched the parameters of what is public. I've had to open the door to complete strangers, inviting them into the most private, intimate part of my life."

Carrie Fiocchi, 29, was first to breast-feed Moses. She'd received a call from a nurse midwife who belonged to her Unitarian Universalist church.

When she heard what had happened to the Goodrich family, both she and her husband, with whom she immediately shared the story, fell apart. They were first-time parents to a 6-week-old girl.

They'd realize later that they had met Robbie years before. But in that moment, they didn't hesitate to help a stranger. The next morning, Fiocchi walked into Goodrich's home, where grieving family members had gathered in preparation for Susan's funeral, and took Moses into her arms.

"It was awkward and very sad and really wonderful at the same time," said Fiocchi, who has nursed Moses at 9 a.m. every day since then, with daughter Siri in tow.

Her husband, Matt, has developed a friendship with Goodrich and tags along with his wife and daughter at least once a week. He added, "Not being able to do anything myself, feeling kind of impotent, for me it was a matter of wanting to help and feeling privileged to be involved in any way."

The inclination to volunteer similarly drove Kyra Fillmore, 31.

"Ever since I became a mother, I've felt a connection with other mothers," said Fillmore, who has three children. "I was nervous. It was very emotional. I didn't know what to expect. But I felt like I needed to do this for Susan, even though I didn't know her."

A handful of mothers did know Susan and loved her for her brilliance, wit and passionate spirit.

A former student of Susan's from a decade earlier, Karla Niemi, 30, said that helping has brought her a sense of peace. And a former student of Robbie's who then became a close friend of the couple's, Sarah McDougall, 28, said that nursing Moses "gave me a way to be there for her and her family in a way I wouldn't have known how to do otherwise."

It turned out that finding volunteers was the easy part, said Nicoletta Fraire, 35, who considered Susan her closest friend in Marquette and organized the effort. And they'd checked with specialists to know that what they were doing was safe. The difficult part, Fraire said, was working out logistics, especially in the beginning.

Initially, there were seven women a day to juggle. Some of the moms had easy-to-remember set schedules, others had more staggered assignments, and then there were those on call. Many could travel to Moses, but some needed the baby to come to them. And donations for night feedings had to be gathered.

Over the months, some women moved away, weaned their own children or became pregnant. New eager-to-help moms cropped up. Toss in occasional sicknesses and vacations, and the feedings -- which the group set out to continue for at least a year -- became a carefully orchestrated dance.

A white board mapping out the choreographed schedule still stands in Goodrich's dining room.

But making sure Moses was cared for, although complicated, was something Fraire wanted -- even needed -- to do.

"I didn't see it as a hard job but mostly as something that's helped me fill the void," she said. "I did it for Susan. I know she would have done it for me."

Not only have these women helped Moses, the steady flow of company -- which often includes kids and husbands -- has nurtured Goodrich, too. It has been a constant in his life and his home, where he's also raising Julia, his and Susan's 2∏ -year-old daughter. Two older kids from Susan's first marriage live nearby with their biological father.

"I don't know if you can make this year any easier," said Goodrich, who is emotionally still muddling through. "But I have people there to share it with me. And you can imagine, they're compassionate, empathetic people."

Just as these moms have cuddled and nourished Moses, their own children feel embraced in the Goodrich home and often beeline to where the snacks are stored. Husbands read to Julia while their wives nurse the baby, and Robbie bonds with families who've become an extension of his own.

Mothers who've stopped breast-feeding still check in and come by for regular visits. The group stays in touch on Facebook, by phone and over shared meals and walks. Friendships, outside the Goodrich household, have been formed. They all gathered to celebrate when Moses ate his first solids.

"It's a valuable gift for everyone involved," said Tina Taylor, 39, who prolonged the nursing of her own youngest child so she could continue feeding Moses. "It's taught us the importance of family, community and sharing."

Taylor and the more than two dozen other women who've nursed Moses know they cannot replace what was lost hours after he was born. But the father they've reached out to help says they've given his son something he could have never provided on his own.

"He's a healthy, happy, well-adjusted boy," he said, "who has always known a mother's love."

Friday, December 4, 2009

tell all your friends : women can birth babies without drugs

these are the posts where i risk losing my own friends, but what can i say?  just because i am trying to spread the word on how positive the unmedicated birth experience is, doesn't mean i am a hater on all of those who chose to do otherwise.  plus, look, sometimes i just have to rant!

i often feel like we need a news flash (breaking news!!) about how women have been birthing babies since the beginning of time without drugs.  our bodies are created for this.   unfortunately, the media and society and the medical community consistently espouse fear about the pain of childbirth---and the relief of the almighty epidural.  imagine the possibilities if the opposite were happening.

of course, there are times when life or death is truly on the line, and interventions must be made--that is not what i am questioning.

you are not "super woman" if you choose natural birth.  you are woman.  unfortunately, you are seen as  "taking a risk" by most, because natural birth is no longer the norm.  the fact of the matter is that "the norm" (fun with quotes this morning, sorry) is birthing without drugs....see the last 2 million years.  the epidural has only been publicly administered for 50-ish years.

will someone please provide me with a long term study of the effects on humans of the following birth interventions?

--cesarean section (over 32% of births in the u.s., world health org suggests no higher than 15%,  u.s. rate in 1965 was 4.5%)
--premature umbilical cord clamping

if you are pregnant, please read this article on c-sections

the awesome pregnancy site, childbirth connection, has a wonderful, super informative page about cesarean sections.   here are some tidbits:

"Reasons for the Rising Cesarean Section Rate

The following interconnected factors appear to be pushing the cesarean rate upward.

Low priority of enhancing women's own abilities to give birth
Care that supports physiologic labor, such as providing continuous support during labor through a doula or other companion and using hands-to-belly movements to turn a breech (buttocks- or feet-first) baby to a head-first position, reduces the likelihood of a cesarean section. The decision to switch to cesarean is often made when caregivers could use watchful waiting, positioning and movement, comfort measures, oral nourishment and other approaches to facilitating labor progress. The cesarean section rate could be greatly lowered through such care.

Side effects of common labor interventions
Current research suggests that some labor interventions make a c-section more likely. For example, labor induction among first-time mothers when the cervix is not soft and ready to open appears to increase the likelihood of cesarean birth. Continuous electronic fetal monitoring has been associated with greater likelihood of a cesarean. Having an epidural early in labor or without a high-dose boost of synthetic oxytocin ("Pitocin") seems to increase the likelihood of a c-section."

read the entire article here.

expect the unexpected...

....not to be confused with what to expect when you're expecting....

i recently came across a lovely story about a second time mom who desired a home birth VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarian).  i would like to share it in defense of women who end up in unwanted cesarians, yet make the experience as peaceful as possible.   click here for this well-photographed story.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

need an enchanting and unique heirloom baby girl gift?

these dreamy kathleen whitaker bonnets made of heirloom hankies are meant to be worn by a baby girl during her infancy, then used later as her "something old" on her wedding day.  so pretty.  i love them.

wait until you see how beautiful these handmade bonnets are.

please click here to see her entire collection online.

local : 2nd annual RIE infant/toddler conference

this is some crazy advanced notice, but on june 6, 2010, there is a rie conference in los angeles.  the advance registration deadline is april 1, 2010.  tickets are cheaper if you buy before this deadline.

the theme of the conference is " rie and attachment theory : why earliest relationships matter".

register online at

it will be at the skirball center, and is a full day including several lectures and a brunch.  please click the above link for more info.

sckoon organics on sale!

great baby and kids organic clothing site, sckoon, has a ton of cute stuff on sale and is offering free shipping until this sunday, dec 6th.

my son lives in the striped pants in every color.  the quality is awesome!

free shipping code is SCKOON2112.  expires this sunday dec 6th.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

important information on vitamin d

perhaps you have been hearing the buzz this last year about the incredible value of vitamin d.  you will not hear about it from the big drug companies (aka the government and media) as they have no way to capitalize off of vitamin d.  you can get it for free from the sun or a basic vitamin.

more and more information is coming out about vitamin d's benefits including reducing cancer and countless other diseases.    it is so easy to make sure you are getting enough vitamin d---get a blood test of your vitamin levels.  if you are low, as 85%-95% of americans supposedly are, start taking it daily in the form of d3 cholecalciferol (5,000-10,000 iu).   getting 10-20 minutes of sun, without sunscreen, around high noon will help too.

please read more amazing vitamin d info here.

mercola has a vitamin d3 spray.  click here for an easy dissolvable sub-lingual form.

UPDATE : a japanese study has shown that children who take vitamin d3 are 58% less likely to catch influenza a!

UPDATE : the american academy of pediatrics recommends pregnant women take 4,000 iu daily of vitamin d3.