Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cord Blood Donation...A Generous Gift!

Umbilical cord blood consists of stem cells that can "transform" into various types of healthy cell tissue. That tissue may be a treatment for many serious illnesses, including leukemia and other cancers, sickle cell disease, brain tumors, and osteoporosis. In the future, stem cells from donated cord blood may also be used to treat heart disease, vision loss (due to loss of corneal epithelial cells), Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and diabetes.  Unlike the ethical issues that surround embryonic stem cell research, stem cells from live-birth cord blood are collected from an umbilical cord that would otherwise be thrown away, so there are no moral barriers.

Cord blood banking is a popular topic among expectant moms.  If you are expecting, you get bombarded with info in the mail, at the OB’s office, and in a variety of parenting magazines.  Umbilical cord blood is a very valuable resource that can save lives, but what a lot of people don’t know is that you don’t necessarily have to bank it.  A much less common practice is cord blood donation!

Why Donate: Cord blood banking can be very expensive. It costs approximately $1,400 for the collection and storage then about $125 per year.  Donating cord blood is usually FREE.  Whether you plan on banking or donating your cord blood it requires some research and preparation prior to the birth of your baby.  If your labor and delivery hospital is not a collection site, there are private collection centers that will send you the paperwork and collection kit prior to the birth of your little one.

Umbilical cord blood is so valuable, yet it is most often discarded.  People are simply unaware that if you don’t want to bank it, you can donate it!  Another important factor that the banking centers don’t tell you, it that in many cases if your child or a family member needs a cord blood transfusion, it needs to be from an unrelated donor. 

How it Works: Your cord blood donation will be screened for diseases and genetic issues. If the blood does not meet eligibility criteria, it may be used for research (if you gave consent for that use). If the cord blood does meet requirements, it will be stored at a public cord blood bank and entered on a registry which doctors can search to find matches.  Stem cell research has given "the miracle of birth" a whole new meaning: A newly delivered infant has the potential to save the life of another human being, just by donating umbilical cord blood that would otherwise be thrown away.

For more information on umbilical cord blood donation and for a list of collections centers near you check out the link below:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Check Out the Do's and Don't of Post Partum Visits...as described by Mama Vee

A friend recently sent me the link to this blog post because we are both expecting.  In this post Mama Vee, a Vancouver, BC mother, outlines the do's and don't of visiting families with newborns.   Her blog is called "There Are No Ordinary Moments" While reading this post, I remembered back to all the times I had visited families with new babies and when we had visitors when Dylan was born. 

I think she gives a lot of great tips, ones that I will be sure to follow in the future, but I don't think that I would feel comfortable either cleaning up someone else's kitchen/bathroom, or having someone in my kitchen/bathrooms wiping down the counters, or taking out my garbage.  I could see how this would be a really nice gesture, but personally, I would probably feel a bit insulted if someone did this.  Although setting a time limit is probably a good idea, I remember wanting visitors and was happy to see a familiar face after feeling a bit isolated with a newborn.

I LOVE the part about visitors washing their hands before holding the baby.  You would think that people would just automatically do this, but they don't.  I just kept hand sanitizer out in the open and "subtly" suggested to visitors that it was there.  

Check out her post at the link below, it's definitely worth reading!
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Baby Led Weaning by Guest Blogger Amanda McMahon

As this blog generally surrounds making home baby food, the following post does the same, but gives another alternative. Baby-led weaning (BLW) is a way in which we can introduce foods to babies that requires less preparation, but perhaps a bit more diligence. While the name may sound like it is a way to top a baby from breastfeeding, it is not. Of course, with the introduction of any solids, we do start the “weaning” process, but, nutritionally, it is important that for the first year the main nutritional source is breast milk for a nursing baby (or a baby receiving pumped milk).

Once a child is beginning to show signs of desiring solid food, has the ability to move the tongue appropriately, has teeth, a pincer grasp, etc, solid food can be given. While some may introduce mushed baby food between 4-6 months of age, BLW is better with an older child, almost never before 6 months.
Baby led weaning is about introducing foods to a baby that a baby can feed themselves. This way, the child is able to stop when full, and also physically decide how and when to eat. Yes, this can be messy(er), but it also means less preparation. If you’re eating healthy food at home, not adding a bunch of salt, then when you’re eating may be a possibility as some of their early foods.

Common first foods are sliced avocado, slightly teamed carrot chunks, mango, a bit ripe banana or pear or other softer fruit). However, if you start when a baby already has teeth, other common foods are apples, sliced toast, broccoli, or other food that is suitably sized.

Once baby has a good idea of how to go about feeding themselves, most of what you’re otherwise eating can be given to baby. Be sure you’re supervising baby appropriately. If you’re going to be distracted, be safe – don’t walk away when you give your baby that first sample of toast or other “hard” food. Instead, grab the camera, and watch your baby enjoy food! If they aren’t interested, cut back for a week and try again. This can also beneficial for when you’re out and about – much easier to hand baby some of the veggies off of your plate, than to try to maneuver the jars while you’re out at a restaurant or visiting friends and family.
Many do still follow the general idea to not introduce too many new foods at once. However, you will notice that many who even “dabble” in BLW, choose to forego many of the early grains. Nutritionally, breast milk on demand, according to the World Health Organization should cover all the nutrients for a baby’s first year. There may be concerns about iron, but once a baby starts solids, they should still receive the milk they were before for that first year. Any solids should be practice for the mouth muscle, actions, as well as that lovely palate.

If you give BLW a try, don’t feel like you have to only do BLW, there’s no 100 percent way to feed your child, just something that works for your family and is nutritionally complete

Click the link below to check out a video of Amanda's son Rohan eating his first foods using Baby Led Weaning:

About the Author:  Amanda is mom to vivacious Viveka, her 3 year old who taught her about life, and 11 month old Rohan, who with his VBAC entry to the world, healed her: Both keep her smiling daily in Arizona, where she and her husband, Ravi live. In her spare time, she works full time as an analyst, moderates forums for attached parents, and posts on her blog at http://www.facebook.com/l/8f161QMj30r8umW6TG3WI9phlgQ/www.attachedmoms.com

Monday, April 4, 2011

I'll Bring the Appitizers...Mush Homemade Baby Food Joins the Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

If you are a blogger, enjoy reading blogs, or like winning free stuff, you should check out the 5minutesformom.com Ultimate Blog Party.  This site literally has hundreds of links to mom/parent/kid related blogs, businesses, FB pages, and Twitter feeds.  Tons of free giveaway links to amazing stuff!

5 Minutes for Mom is a site dedicated to bringing moms together through the incredible power of the online mom community.  They provide an essential, go-to site for moms that entertains, informs, and promotes the online mom community.   

We love this site and are excited about being added to their blog directory!

Click the link below to view the Mush Homemade Baby Food Interview with 5 Minutes for Mom.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

And the Winner is...

Homemade Baby Food - Carrots 
Congratulations to Runa B. for her winning entry into the Super Baby Food Book Giveaway!  She won a free copy of Super Baby Food, by Ruth Yaron.  This book is an excellent reference for any parent who is starting solids, making homemade baby food, or just has a little one at home.  It's brimming with tips and recipes!  Thanks to Super Baby Food for donating the book copy to our readers for this giveaway!

We would like to thank everyone who submitted an entry.  There are lots of great mommies out there who make baby food because it is healthy for their babies!  Runa B. summed it up best in her response below.

"I make baby food for my little guy for several reasons. The first being that I think it is the healthiest way to go since everything is fresh. When my son started solid food, I bought a jar of organic carrots baby food and made homemade carrots. My husband did a blind taste test and confirmed that the carrots I had made tasted better. Another reason I made baby food for my son is because we have food sensitivities in our family and I worked closely with two naturopathic doctors in introducing single foods and food combinations. By making the food I could control every ingredient that my son ingested. Lastly, I feel like it is money saving to make homemade baby food. And besides all that, it was FUN!!"-Runa B.

Runa's favorite recipe comes from a book called Blender Baby Food.

Tropical Fruit Breeze
juice of your choice 
Blend until you reach the desired consistency.
"I liked it because I could enjoy it too!"-Runa B.

Sounds yummy!  Keep on the lookout for upcoming giveaways for baby food and feeding related products!

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