How breastfeeding “greenified” my family

The Leaky Boob is joining Wean Green and several others in a birthday party Earth Day scavenger hunt.  Search our site for the next clue and follow it for the chance to win some great prizes from companies that prioritize not only healthy choices for families but for our planet as well.  Have fun and good luck!

WG-earthdayinvitation

 

My mom tells how discovering she was pregnant with her first, my older brother, changed how she took care of herself and the earth.  Immediately, she stopped smoking and refused to let anyone smoke around her.  Addicted to Pepsi, she stopped buying it all together.  She became aware of the amount of waste from buying prepared foods and started cooking from scratch.  When my brother was born she breastfed exclusively and encouraged by the local La Leche League chapter she joined, she explored other healthy choices not only for her baby but for her entire family.  My brother’s intolerance to dairy and soy led to her completely revamping how they ate.  By the time I came along 3 years later, my mother was well on her way to being a “health nut” and growing in her care for the earth through gardening and making increasingly sustainable choices.  In many ways it wasn’t about becoming more healthy, it was about returning to a healthy normal.  From breastfeeding to not smoking to making her own food, my mom was getting back to her biological roots and cleaner air.

Like my mom, parenting has changed my views about health, food, and being aware of how we are treating the earth.  There is plenty of room for our family to grow in these areas, progressively making choices as we learn more.  Always inspired by our children.  A significant portion of what we have learned and chosen to do has come directly from information we’ve received related to pregnancy and breastfeeding.  And we’ve grown from there.  Eventually moving from feeding our babies commercial “baby food” and allowing them to feed themselves, we have found more ways that are healthier choices for our family and more gentle on the earth.  Our hope is to give our children the chance to return to a more normal healthy way of life but also with a planet that has been given that same opportunity.

Building on my mom’s lessons and change, my family is growing and changing, inspired in many ways by breastfeeding and a commitment to give our children not the “best” but the healthy normal we all deserve to have.

green breastfeeding

 

5 ways breastmilk is greenest choice in infant nutrition:

  • Manufacturing requires minimal resources- feed mom.
  • The containers are reusable and biodegradable.
  • If able to feed “straight from the tap there is no plastic or glass necessary.
  • Pumping and bottlefeeding moms still use less plastic than formula storage containers, meaning less waste.
  • Reduced gasoline usage related to manufacturing, shipping, and shopping.

Because sometimes we need a little support in our breastfeeding journey, here are some companies that can help moms “greenify” breastfeeding even more: Motherlove Herbal Company (nipple salve, More Milk supplement), Hygeia (breastpumps, breastmilk storage bags), Bamboobies (breastpads, nipple ointment, therapy pads, nursing bras), PumpEase (Organic hands-free pumping support bra), Little Spruce (organic breastfeeding wear),

 

5 ways to “greenify” your life and nutrition beyond the breast:

  • Try baby-led solids, skip buying manufactured baby food and let your baby feed themselves the same food you eat.
  • Replace plastic storage options (i.e. ziplock baggies) with products like Wean Green glass and reusable snack bags.
  • When introducing a cup, select products like Lifefactory’s sippy bottleKid Basix Safe Sippy, or a small open glass or enamel cup.
  • Listen and encourage your child to listen to their bodies, not force eating everything put before them, we tend to eat less that way.
  • Explore what you can make yourself, using less prepared foods, pick a few options to try and ask if you need each to be individually wrapped or not.

 

Plus one:

Did you know you can be “green” with waste?  Yep!  What you do with the other end of food is important not only for taking care of the planet but there are many reasons to consider the health concerns.  For some that may mean buying unbleached disposable diapers, for others going into cloth diapers, and still others may use elimination communication.  Check out Lovely Pocket DiapersKanga Care, Thirsties, Itty Bitty, and Kelly’s Closet for cloth diapers and information.  We’ve also found great products for taking care of baby bottoms such as diaper salves and baby wash from companies that want to help families care for the health of their babies and the planet such as Earth Mama Angel Baby.

Just like breastfeeding, making green choices doesn’t have to be all or nothing and it’s likely a journey.  One step at a time, spurred on by something or someone important.  Like our children.

________________________

How has pregnancy and breastfeeding influenced you in making healthier or more sustainable choices for your family?

In what ways would you like to improve in how “green” your family lives?

________________________

Apple Park Clue

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Comments

  1. Jessica,

    Thank you so much for participating. This post is amazing. We all love everything you do!! As a mama that struggled with the ‘latch’ it is so important to have friends like you that encourage, educate and share the triumphs and struggles of breastfeeding.

    Miss you, can’t wait to see you!! Kiss your babies for me!!

    Melissa

  2. Rebecca Weiss says:

    would love to win baby products, i’ve loved angel baby’s oil so far.

  3. Breastfeeding has encouraged us to eat better although we were eating pretty good with as little processed food as possible. I’d like to use less paper towels. They are so convenient for all the messes young ones make when they start eating solids, but we use soo many so they aren’t cheap either. HAppy earth day :)

  4. I have four kids, and with each one breast feeding became easier and easier. However, this is the first time I have ever made my baby’s food instead of buying it at the store. No more jars or containers in the trash!

  5. Breastfeeding is a natural beautiful thing that everyone should try. I was not breastfed by my mother, and I am sure my bod with her was never as strong as my other brothers and sisters. Great article.

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