#TLBmoves: Let’s Get Moving and Win!

So much of our lives revolve around feeding our families and sometimes that is fun, sometimes it’s draining.

Seriously, how can they be hungry again!

But nourishment isn’t the same thing as just feeding. Related, but not the same.

Nourishment is so much more than just nutrition for our bodies; our spirits find nourishment in connection, our relationships find nourishment in each other, our children find nourishment in our arms, our minds are nourished through learning and conversation, and our hearts are nourished by being with the people we love.

Which is why we’re hoping to nourish you with a giveaway to compliment your nourishment journey wherever it takes you. #TLBnourish giveaway is all about supporting you as your nourish those you love.

#TLBmoves Giveaway Bundle includes items from Thinkbaby Thinksport, Belabumbum, and Tula Baby Carriers.

 

The Giveaway!

 

Thinkbaby Thinksport

Thinkbaby_favoredby

Thinkbaby Thinksport, Title Sponsor for this #TLBmoves campaign, is featuring 2 great products.  Learn more about the Thinkbaby Sunscreen and Thinksport Insulated Sport Bottles below. Check out their website for different these great items and more.
 

Thinkbaby Sunscreen

  • First Sunscreen to pass Whole Foods Premium Care Requirements
  • Top Rated by EWG with a “1” rating since 2010
  • Free of biologically harmful chemicals. No Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, or UV Chemical absorbers.
  • Highest SPF 50+ (per FDA 2012 Rules – any sunscreens boasting higher are falsely marketing)
  • Highest level of Broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection (per FDA 2012 Rules)
  • Highest level of water resistance (80 minutes) (per FDA 2012 Rules)
  • Non-nano formulation – Average particle size >100micron
  • Non-aerosol formulation (High concern of both ineffectiveness and particulates being inhaled)
  • Paraben, phthalates, PABA and 1,4 dioxane free
  • Applies and absorbs easily.  Non-oily feel.
  • Sunscreen produced in the USA
  • Does not have an obtrusive smell that many organic sunscreens have.
  • A member of the Safe Cosmetics Campaign Compact
  • Foundering member Sun Safety Coalition
  • Gluten free  (third-party verified)
  • No animal testing (Leaping Bunny member)
  • More awards than any other sun care line
  • Featured in: Tennis, Bicycling, Natural Child, Daily Candy (top pick), Men’s Health (top pick), Competitor, Backpacker (Top Pick), Standard, People Magazine (Must haves), Pharmacy Times, Men’s Journal (top pick), Chicago Tribune, The Bump (Top pick), Favored.by (Top Pick), Times Square, The Daily Green, YNN News, Denver News (Must haves), Triathlete, Cribsie and Red Hat Product Finalist. Eco – Excellence Finalist. Silver Award NAPPA, Baby Maternity Magazine (Top pick), Babble (Top 10 Best), Its a Belly (Seal of Excellence), Metro Moms (Hottest Product), Green Scene Mom (Winner) and a whole lot of blog reviews…

Why sunscreen?

The majority of sunscreens currently on the market are full of questionable ingredients and known carcinogens. Simply look at the ingredients and you’ll quickly realize you don’t recognize any of them. Many existing sunscreens have been brought to market with little concern for their safety. Not only do ingredients in sunscreen interact with skin, but data shows after application of lotions, some of the same chemicals can be detected in the bloodstream. Most people wear sunscreen to reduce the chance of developing cancer, so why apply something that could potentially increase this risk? This question has unfortunately left many people moving away from using sunscreen at all.

How is the Thinkbaby and Thinksport different?

At Thinkbaby and Thinksport, we are continually expanding our mission to provide safe products by identifying consumer product categories with known human health issues. Specifically, we target products that contain high levels of hormone disruptors and carcinogens. We then work with leading scientists worldwide to create safe alternatives.

  • Thinkbaby and Thinksport sunscreen is highly effective, falls into the highest category for water resistance and has a sensible SPF 50+ rating. A quick look on your local drugstore shelf will show an increasing number of chemical sunscreens boasting ultra-high SPFs of 70 and greater. An SPF higher than SPF 30 offers only minimal improvement in sun protection and does not provide insight into its ability to protect from both UVA and UVB. Instead, these ultra-high SPFs are inflated through the use of chemical UV absorbers.   The FDA has recently ruled that SPF numbers above 50 are not allowed. They have also ruled the terms “Sweatproof” and “Waterproof” as false claims.
  • You should know that the effective difference between SPF 30 and SPF 100 is approximately 2.5% difference. Don’t be misled by ultra-high SPF numbers. Additionally, Thinkbaby and Thinksport sunscreens utilize average zinc oxide particles greater than 110nm. Kevin Brodwick, founder of Thinkbaby and Thinksport explains why: “We always use the precautionary principle and as we expect the debate on the safety of nano particles to continue, we asked a simple question: Does the product have to contain nano particles to be an effective sunscreen? The answer is, quite simply, “NO”!
  • We also do not and will not use aerosol dispensers, nor should you.  Scientists have shown that parents apply 25% of the correct amount when using aerosol.  As the SPF is actually a logarithmic function,  if you are applying a SPF 100, you’re actually only putting on SPF equivalent of 3.  More importantly, there is significant concern that children and parents are inhaling the particulates.  If you look at the ingredients in aerosol sunscreens, you’ll quickly determine why you don’t want to breathe it.

Retail Value:  $12.99 for 3oz and $23.99 for 6oz  (shipping in US & Canada only)

For more information visit Thinkbaby

 

Thinksport Insulated Sports bottles –

  • Double-walled and vacuum-sealed stainless steel – keeps contents hot or cold for hours
  • Perfect for hot or cold beverages – does not sweat (for cold contents) or burn your hand (for hot contents)
  • Contoured design – makes the bottle easy to hold and visually distinctive from the many, many straight-walled bottles
  • Removable mesh filter – keeps ice from blocking the drinking spout and allows users to conveniently brew tea on the go
  • Unsurpassed testing for material safety – our products undergo rigorous chemical and biologic testing to insure they do not contain toxic chemicals
  • Available sizes: 750ml (25oz), 500ml (17oz) and 350ml (12oz)
  • Available colors: Natural silver, matte black, blue, purple, green and orange.  Light Blue, White and Light Pink available in some sizes

How long does your bottle keep drinks cold?

The short answer is results will vary….but a long time!  Because of all of the different situations out there, we do not guarantee a time period.  The 25oz bottles hold ice cold for approximately 18 hours. Some tell us about how they left their Thinksport bottle in the car in 100 degree weather only to return to clinking ice five hours later.  Others tell us how we kept their drinks cold for longer than 24 hours.  One customer even put our bottle in a thermal testing chamber and reported that it was the best bottle he had ever seen.  On average the sports bottles hold contents hot for 4 hours.  Because of the double-walled construction you also won’t feel the temperature of the products. So its important to be careful if you’ve placed hot liquids into the bottle.

Do your bottles fit in cup holders or water bottle cages?  

Our 350ml/12oz and 500ml/17oz bottles are designed to fit in car cup holders while our 750ml/25oz bottles fit some (but not all).  12oz and 500ml bottles will fit into water bottles cages.  The 750ml fits most bottle cages on spin bikes.

The perfect all around bottle!  Great for….

  •        Having cold / hot beverages at the office.
  •        Going for hikes or camping.
  •        Throwing into the backpack for school.
  •        Your yoga, cross-fit or spin class holder of lifesaving water.
  •        A companion while you work in the garden.
  •        Long road trips to your in-laws.  
  •        Bedside for late night dry mouth situations.

Retail Value: $19.99 / 17oz sports bottle – $17.99 / 12oz sports bottle $15.99    (shipping in US & Canada only)

For more information visit Thinksport.

 

Belabumbum

BelabumbumActiveLogo

Belabumbum’s Ultra Smooth Nursing Sports Bra offers medium-impact support with wireless microfiber cups lined with cotton and removable spacer pads to provide coverage and wick away moisture. The bra’s side cup is made with breathable stretch mesh and elasticized for fit. Ventilated side panels transfer moisture and heat away from mom. 

Retail Value: $69.00 (shipping to US only)

For more information visit Belabumbum

 

Tula Baby

TulaLogo

Prance is a Tula Coast carrier with a whimsical, spirited print. Fields of flowers and happy, prancing unicorns fill the design that is paired with a fun purple canvas and mesh center panel. Prance is the ultimate wish come true!

Tula Coast is designed to bring a cool breeze to your day! This line of Tula Baby Carriers offers a reinterpretation of our original framed panel design using breathable mesh material which creates a ventilated carrier perfectly suited for active lifestyles and warm weather locales.

Retail Value: Prance is $149 (standard) and $169 (toddler)  (International shipping available)

For more information visit Tula.

 

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TLBmoves giveaway image

Prize Bundle Total Value : $246.98

 

Thinkbaby Thinksport – Sunscreen $12.99 value for 3oz, Sports bottle $15.99 value for 12oz

Belabumbum – Nursing pumping bra, $69.00 value

Tula – Prance Carrier$149.00 value

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Good luck to everyone!  Please use the widget below to enter. The giveaway is open from now through July 30, 2016. A big thanks to Thinkbaby Thinksport, Belabumbum, and Tula Baby Carriers for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding women. 

This giveaway is open to participants in the USA.

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Breastfeeding When You Are Sick

by Shari Criso, RN, CNM, IBCLC

This post made possible by the support of EvenFlo Feeding

Evenflo-Feeding-Brand-Ad_25AUG15

 

When it comes to breastfeeding, one of the myths that drives me absolutely crazy and could actually be dangerous for your baby, is the idea that if you as a breastfeeding mom are sick, that you should discontinue breastfeeding until you feel better.

This is advice that is often given to moms by their pediatricians or obstetricians and it’s actually the complete opposite of what you want to do!

When you breastfeed, your body passes along the antibodies of what you’ve been exposed to, directly to the baby. When you get sick, antibodies are created and immediately passed into your breastmilk. So what that means for you and your baby is that if you are breastfeeding and you have a virus or you are ill, your baby is actually immediately receiving specific antibodies for the exact illness you have at that moment. This will actually help keep your baby well, rather than make your baby sick.

BreastfeedingWhenYouAreSick_15APR16

What CAN make your baby sick, is to stop breastfeeding during these times! Regardless of whether you are breastfeeding or not, your baby is going to be exposed to you, because you will be with your baby. They will have the exposure anyway, but without the protection of your milk they are much more vulnerable.

I’ll tell you a little personal story… when I had my first daughter my husband Joe and I got the flu really bad. We were sick in bed for days! We had this little 2 month old, and I was like “what am I going to do with her?” All we could do was put her in the bed between us, and just let her nurse, nurse, nurse, the whole time! Now, we were new parents at the time, and even with all the skills and knowledge that I had, we were still scared and nervous. I was so afraid she would get sick. That never happened! Here was this little one who just nursed away in this sick bed with my husband and me and never got sick herself.

This is very typical, very normal, and what you’ll usually see – and if they do get sick, the illness will be so much less than if you weren’t breastfeeding.

So whether it’s stomach flu, regular flu, or any other kind of illness, especially if you’re sick or anyone in the home is sick, make sure you continue to breastfeed, because that is going to be the best way to keep your baby healthy.

Shari Criso MSN, RN, CNM, IBCLC

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Find more from Shari supporting your parenting journey including infant feeding at on Facebook, My Baby Experts©

Thanks for Evenflo Feeding, Inc.‘s generous support for families in their feeding journey.

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More Than Mommy Exhaustion: How I recovered my energy and health

by Carrie Saum

Mommy exhaustion.

I know you’ve felt it. Too many nights waking up with your tiny baby, fussy toddler, or insomniac older children. Feeding on demand, pumping around the clock, midnight and 2am boob snacks that stretch to 4am. School projects, sleep regressions, a few minutes of Me Time between 11:31-11:57 pm after all the dishes are done, lunches are made, and housework is sort of caught up.

You pour another cup of coffee at noon, after reheating your first cup approximately six times in the microwave. You try an energy drink mix that your friend is selling. And still. You are so worn out, you can barely string five words together to create a coherent thought.

You resolve to take walks, get outside, or try that pilates DVD you’ve had for ages. You feel good about your choice, but you are wiped out for the rest of the afternoon, trying to recover your shaking muscles and push through the exhaustion until you can climb into bed.

You resolve to eat better, cut out the junk and convenience foods, and maybe that will help you feel more energetic, too. After a few weeks, you see a marginal improvement, but it’s not enough of a pay-off for the sacrifice you are making.

And let’s not even talk about the weight gain.

You wonder if maybe you’re missing something but chalk it up to this season in life where sleep is scarce, demands are abundant, and time for self-care is at a high premium. Of course you’re depleted. Who wouldn’t be?

A few months ago, I brought up my debilitating exhaustion to my doctor. Being a mom herself, she’s familiar with all that goes along with it. She encouraged me to see if there might be an underlying problem in addition to this season of life. She told me about a blood panel called The Boston Heart. The Boston Heart tests multiple vitamins, nutrients, and hormones using a fast blood test. Many insurance plans cover it 100%, even if you have high deductibles. I checked into my insurance coverage, and sure enough, it was covered. No money out of my pocket to get some information about unidentified issues I might have which would paint a bigger picture of my health, instead of just chalking it up to parenthood.

When my results came back, I was shocked. Even though my thyroid was in surprisingly good shape, (which I thought was the culprit), my niacin levels were incredibly low. And you know what happens when your body doesn’t have enough niacin? Your muscles shake when you exert them. Daily tasks wear you out. Do you know what makes it worse? Not getting enough sleep, too much stress, and eating processed foods.

Magnesium, Omega 3, Vitamin D3, and my progesterone were also very low, all of which are easily depleted during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Hello, depression! So, no matter how much sleep, good food, or exercise I was getting, I still felt like crap because I was drawing from a dry well.

I began supplementing with food-grade vitamins immediately, on the recommendation from my doctor. My trusty pre-natal vitamins weren’t enough for my specific needs, and I sealed them up tight and put them in my refrigerator for future use. I strategized to get veggies in every meal, and keep seasonal fruit on hand for when the sugar cravings were too much. I added as many healthy, unadulterated fats as I could. I whipped up a salad dressing using hemp seed oil, which is full of Omega 3, and a little apple cider vinegar. Buttered coffee was always on hand. We stocked our refrigerator with grass-fed meats and veggies to lightly sauté or roast as the main course for all three meals.

OvereasyFriedEggSalad

My go-to meal for quick, easy nutrition: Two sunnyside up fried eggs over greens with hemp seed oil, ACV, and dried herbs. Perfection.

Oh, and I put a total moratorium on strenuous exercise, eating out, and plans with friends before noon and after 5pm on the days I wasn’t working. I also went to bed at 9:30. It meant less Me Time. It meant I often went to bed with dirty dishes in the sink, my floors unswept, and wore the same pair of jeans six times before washing. But it was only for a few weeks and it was vital for my recovery.

I found that watering and weeding my garden while my toddler played close by was enough exertion for me. I also found that I relaxed on a deeper level than I have in years because I gave myself permission to stop trying to do it all. I just did some, accepted what I was capable of in that time frame, and waited until I felt replenished to rejoin the world.

GardenPlay

We happily kept it low key in the community garden.

After the three week moratorium was over, (and believe me, it was hard saying no to things), I started slow. I worked hard to begin refilling my very limited well. Being gentle with my body and my psyche was my number one priority. This is how I came back to the world:

  • A walk in the park.
  • Running up and down the stairs to the basement doing laundry.
  • Vigorous weeding and replanting in my garden.
  • A pilates DVD, increasing by 5 minutes at time.
  • Doing something fun before doing work. On purpose.
  • Saying yes only if it felt 100% doable and okay.

These little things added up quickly. But I want to be clear: I stopped when I was tired. Not exhausted. Not beyond my limit. Not when I was shaking and close to dry heaving. Maybe that works for some people, but it doesn’t work in recovery mode.

Last week, I took a very long walk, pushing my two year old in a stroller the whole way up and down hills that would have had me shaking with exertion after 10 minutes a few months ago. I walked at a pace I felt comfortable with. I stopped and pushed my son on a swing and then stopped again a little later to get an iced decaf coffee at one of my favorite neighborhood places. As I pushed my son up the final, excruciatingly steep hill, I huffed and puffed but I did NOT slow down. My brain wanted to quit but my body was up for the challenge. I spent the rest of the afternoon working, cooking, and playing with my son. I’m not joking when I say that has never happened before on the days I worked out.

And later that week when we braved a trip to the beach, I chased my toddler all over the beach, splashed with him in the water, and played soccer on the hard packed sand without getting winded.

MommyandEHugPoint

Playing hard at the beach with my little boy, feeling super energetic, happy, and proudly rockin’ my bikini.

These bodies of ours are amazing. We are resilient. We are tough. But being exhausted all the time is not normal. Even for you, mama. Be gentle with that body. Be kind to your skin and your bones and your blood and your squishy places and your soul. And find what works for you to feel like yourself again.

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If you like this article, check out Peace In The Passing: Why My Early Miscarriage Was A Relief and her series on #TinyTriumphs over on Our Stable Table.


IMG_2895Carrie Saum brings a passion for wellness and over a decade of experience in health care to her clients. A certified Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor (AWC) from the Kerala Ayurveda Academy, she empowers individuals and families to achieve health and balance through time-honored practices and health knowledge. Carrie has extensive first-hand experience in vast array of medical and service fields.
With background in paramedic medicine, Carrie spent ten years serving in the non-profit sector managing organizations, programs, and orchestrating resources to meet health needs of people across the United States and abroad in countries such as Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, and Zambia. As an AWC, Carrie currently coaches her clients and their families about topics including nutrition, weight loss, and stress management. In addition to her work as a wellness counselor, Carrie is a passionate “foodie” and the voice behind OurStableTable.com. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and young son.

 

 

 

 

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Fitness and Breastfeeding

by Star Rodriguiz, IBCLC

fitness, fit moms, fitness for moms, walking, breastfeeding and fitness

Moms can burn 500 calories a day while breastfeeding.  So that’s all you have to do, right?  Just breastfeed?  And the weight will all magically fall off and you will look like Giselle?

Breastfeeding can absolutely help you to lose weight, but many moms find that they need to embark on a plan of diet and exercise, too.  (And, just for good measure, please let me remind you not to begin a diet/exercise plan without consulting a medical professional and all that jazz.  Also, don’t rush into physical activity right after having a baby, take the time you need to really heal and adjust to having a new baby, pushing your body too soon could lead to further health issues.  Most moms find they need to wait at least 6 weeks, often closer to 12 weeks postpartum before they start exercising.)

BUT WAIT!  There are a lot of things that people talk about with diet and exercise and breastfeeding that make doing it seem…well, like maybe not the best idea.  So what’s the reality?  Can you safely breastfeed and lose weight?  Or exercise?

I am so glad that I just asked that for you.  The short answer is yes!  Of course!  But the long answer is addressed below, as we unmask three very common breastfeeding myths…

Myth #1You need to eat A LOT to make milk, and drink A LOT, too.

Ok, so here’s the deal.  When you are breastfeeding, you should eat to hunger and drink to thirst.  So, if you’re hungry?  Eat something.  If you’re thirsty?  Drink something.  You may find yourself ravenous, or you may find that your appetite has changed little.  Listen to your body’s cues.  There’s probably little to no need to shove extra food in your mouth or force yourself to drink excessive amounts.  In fact, over drinking water has been linked to a lowered supply.  You may find yourself thirstier, and if you genuinely feel that you need to drink, do it.  Just don’t force a specific amount down your throat in hopes that you will increase supply.

Now, that doesn’t mean you should rejoice and eat whatever, whenever.  Eating a mostly healthy and balanced diet is important.  Few of us are going to be able to eat perfectly all the time, though, especially with a new baby.  So I always tell my clients to continue to take a multivitamin, like their prenatal, throughout the breastfeeding relationship.  Moms probably need some extra Vitamin D, too.  (See this study for more information.)  Most moms can safely take 4000-6000 IUs a day.  This will not only help you, but can help to increase the Vitamin D in your breastmilk, too.  However, you should check with your doctor before increasing any dosages or starting any new vitamins.

Myth #2- You can’t cut calories while breastfeeding.

Not entirely true.  You probably should wait to diet until at least 6-8 weeks, and you shouldn’t go from eating, say, 2500 calories a day to 1500 overnight.  But as long as you have an established supply, decrease your calories slowly, and go no lower than 1500-1800 calories per day as appropriate for your body type, you can absolutely work on losing some weight.  1-2 pounds a week is a pretty safe range of loss, whether or not you are breastfeeding.

Some popular programs have developed breastfeeding options to help moms lose weight safely while breastfeeding.  Weight Watchers and My Fitness Pal both have breastfeeding options.

Myth #3Exercising while breastfeeding will make my supply lower/make my milk gross or sour!

Let’s talk about exercise decreasing supply, first.  If you are constantly working out to exhaustion (and you’re probably not.  I did P90X for about a month when I was in the third month of breastfeeding my daughter, and it didn’t fall into the exhaustive, supply-diminishing category,) yes, you may see some reduction in supply.  Regular, moderate exercise, however, might actually increase your production, although that’s not guaranteed.  Even high intensity exercise when it’s balanced well with adequate caloric intake, is fine and many mothers experience no trouble with high intensity work outs.

Raise your hand if you’ve heard that your baby won’t drink your milk if you have been exercising, because lactic acid will build up and sour your milk.  The entire premise for this was one study with a whole lot of issues. Further studies have not been able to replicate this, and have, instead, pretty clearly shown that babies don’t refuse the breast after exercising.  Anecdotal evidence, while not “official,” shows that many breastfeeding mothers experience quite the satisfied customer in their breastfed baby following even intense work outs.

One thing you do need to worry about while breastfeeding and exercising is wearing a supportive bra that isn’t too tight.  Some sports bras can be really, really binding.  You want to avoid that, obviously, to keep from having issues with plugged ducts and the like.

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Have you heard any other breastfeeding and fitness myths?  Did you lose weight or become more fit while nursing?  Let us know in the comments!

 

 Star Rodriguiz, IBCLC, began her career helping women breastfeed as a breastfeeding peer counselor for a WIC in the Midwest.  Today she is a hospital based lactation consultant who also does private practice work through Lactastic Services.  She recently moved to the northern US with her two daughters and they are learning to cope with early October snowfalls (her Facebook page is here, go “like” for great support). 
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Breastfeeding: a Piece of the Larger Puzzle

 by Christie Haskell

image credit: flickr user ned the head

I’m sitting outside, laptop on a picnic table, watching my almost-3 year old daughter run around, play in dirt, draw on the patio with chalk and talking to the neighbor girls through the fence. Little things that seem menial mean so much to her. A robin landing on the ground to eat fallen crabapples fascinates her, and has created a whole interest in birds, of which she can now identify many. Childhood, the large and small parts, is so important for the framework that determines who our kids become as adults.

We let them play in dirt because it’s not harmful, it’s fun, and we know it’s good for their immune systems.

We let them explore as much as we can so they can learn about their environment, but still pull them back before they can do something that would really injure them so they can learn to explore, but safely.

We allow them treats because life is supposed to be about enjoyment, and a popsicle on a hot day is one of those things that makes childhood wonderful, but we also give them healthy meals because it’s important for their bodies to grow strong, their immune systems to function and for their lives.

I think it’s fair to say all of those things are true, yes? But it’s funny to me, because when discussions about certainly parenting choices arise, it’s inevitable that at some point, someone will say something like:

“In fifteen years, if you walked into their classroom, you would have no idea who was breastfed and who wasn’t.”

That’s true, of course. I can’t look around at teens and say, “Yup, nursed. Not nursed. Supplemented for two months.” No way. It’s not like breastfeeding or formula feeding creates purple kids and orange kids. However, it’s the sentiment behind it – that your choices when they’re children don’t matter – that is inherently flawed. Just like the examples I gave above, we know that the things we do for our children whether they’re newborns, toddlers, in elementary school or teenagers has an effect on them in the future. If it didn’t, why would we bother?

Some people eat junk food and stay thin and don’t have vitamin deficiencies, but that’s certainly not something you count on. We are safe to assume that a child is going to be healthier, stronger, grow to a better potential and even do better in school when they have a breakfast of eggs anf fresh fruit than a bowl of Cocoa Puffs every morning, or a dinner of baked eggplant parmesan instead of McDonald’s. In fact, it’s not just safe to assume, it’s kind of common knowledge and no one in their right mind would argue that the child eating unhealthily is better off than the other child, or that it would have no affect on the child’s future health or day-to-day function.

image credit: flickr user clogsilk

So, why when the discussion turns around to breastfeeding, is this truth, that their diet and bodies affect them both at the moment and long-term, suddenly dismissed?

No, I can’t walk into a high school classroom and tell you who is breastfed or who was formula fed or any combination of the two. I would never presume to be able to. However, what is true is that if you broke the children up into groups, of those with illnesses, allergies, those who were overweight or missed school often from weaker immune systems, you’re likely to find some similarities there.

I’m not saying the healthy kids would all be breastfed, not at all. I’m saying that you’re more likely to find that the healthier groups have families who eat healthy, are more active, and yes, ALSO that the children were more likely to be breastfed. I’m sure you’d find some exclusively formula-fed children whose families eat healthy there as well, because we all know it’s not just breastfeeding or just diet or just genetics, but a combination of everything, a bunch of little puzzle pieces that make up the whole picture that is your child.

We accept that there are certain ways to raise children that promote health more than others, and breastfeeding is no exception to that.

No, again, I can’t walk into a classroom and single out the breastfed children, however that may be the puzzle piece that makes the difference between which group of children your child stands in. When you put together a puzzle, you work hard to put every single piece in the right place. You wouldn’t get rid of some of the pieces that are harder to fit, because who knows if that one piece is actually a very important part of the final picture? Children are just the same – we can’t claim on one hand that healthy diets for children create healthy habits and healthy adults, and on the other hand say it doesn’t matter if you breastfeed because no one will be able to tell.

It’s not what people can see from the outside that matters anyway – I also couldn’t walk in and tell you which child has been raised as a homophobe or which one kicks his dog when he’s mad. Each puzzle piece that makes up your child is unique, is important, and deserves your best effort to put in the right spot so the final picture is as healthy, as happy, and as good as you can possibly make it.

 

 Christie Haskell is a writer, coffee addict, and mother to two adorable, hilarious and exhausting  children. She has written for CafeMom’s The Stir, Daily Momtra, Attachment Parenting International and Brio Birth, where she currently now tells other writers what to do as well. She’s a  huge car seat advocate after her own traumatic accident as a teen, and babbles endlessly about babies,  birth, breastfeeding, boycotting (Nestle) and other crunchy things that don’t start with a P.  Find her on Facebook here.
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