Dear TIME: Are you LAME enough?

The new TIME cover, featuring a beautiful blond woman standing upright and breastfeeding her almost-4-year-old son, is creating waves already. Personally, I’m tired of the whole conversation already. And not interested in reading the actual article. And a great fan of Dr. Sears and attachment parenting, for the record.

What I did enjoy, however, are some “alternative covers” created by Babble, with some headlines that really reflect what TIME is trying to accomplish here.

My favorite is this one:

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Amen to that. The only time it is socially acceptable to put breasts on a family-style magazine is when it come to breastfeeding. Then it’s OK to let it all hang out. There is nothing about this cover that reflects the values of attachment parenting– nothing wholesome or nurturing about it. Instead, it’s suggestive, obnoxious, and obviously  meant to get attention. Come on, TIME, get a life!

See more great alternative covers at Babble!

Colic and the Elimination Diet

The difference between a fussy baby and a colicky baby, according to Dr. Sears, is that a fussy baby can be comforted when being held and soothed, while colicky babies are actually in pain and don’t respond to any sort of comforting. The term “colic” comes from the Greek kolikos, meaning “suffering in the colon.” These babies are hurting, not just high-needs.

So what can you do to help them?

If your baby is breastfeeding, you may have to sit down and think about your diet. The foods you eat affect your baby, and something in your milk could be causing his horrible tummy-aches and ear-piercing cries.

The idea of an elimination diet was developed by William G. Crook, M.D. (Detecting Your Hidden Allergies, Jackson, Tenn: Professional Books, 1987) and adapted by lactation counselor Martha Sears as follows:

The diet is based on eating the least allergenic food in each of the food groups. It can take up to two weeks for the offending foods to get out of your system, and bring your baby some relief.

1. For the first 2 weeks, eat only the following foods:

  • range-fed turkey and lamb
  • baked or boiled potatoes and sweet potatoes (with salt and pepper only)
  • rice and millet as your only grain
  • cooked green and yellow squash for your vegetable
  • pears and diluted pear juice for your fruit
  • Drink a rice-based beverage drink in place of milk on cereal or in cooking. Do not yet use soy beverage. (Rice products, such as rice beverage, rice-based frozen dessert, rice pasta, rice flour, and millet are available in nutrition stores.)
  • Take a calcium supplement.

2. At the end of two weeks (sooner if the colic subsides)  gradually add other foods to your diet, one every four days. Begin with those less commonly allergenic such as sunflower seeds, carrots, beets, salmon, oats, grapes, California avocado, peaches.

3. Wait a while before you add wheat, beef, eggs, nuts, and corn. Avoid for the longest time dairy products, soy products, peanuts, shellfish, coffee, tea, colas and other beverages containing caffeine, chocolate, gas-producing vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, green peppers), tomatoes, and citrus fruits. Vegetables and fruits are often tolerated in cooked form sooner than in raw form.

4. Keep a record of the foods you eat and the problem behaviors. You’ll hope to see a correlation between what you’ve eaten in the past day or two, and baby’s fussy spells. Writing everything down helps you stay objective, which is hard to do when you are sleep-deprived. This is especially important when baby has stayed fussy past four months of age.

5. Do not starve yourself. Although your choices will be very limited at first, you can still eat a nutritious diet. Eat more of the “safe” food until you determine what your baby can tolerate.

6. Older babies are often less sensitive to fruits and veges, so protein elimination is generally recommended. This means cutting out dairy, beef, eggs, chicken, shellfish, soy, corn, wheat, and peanuts, in addition to any other foods you suspect bother your baby.

The good news: Dr. Sears states that colicky babies usually respond to mother’s diet changes dramatically and quickly, often within one or two days. It may take longer with an older baby who is night-waking. Often , mothers will find that their baby may sleep better for a few nights only to start waking again a lot for a few days or a week, at which point the sleep again improves. It’s important to know this so you will not think “it isn’t working,”  and give up.

For more information on colic and tips to help you through it, visit Dr. Sear’s Coping with Colic page!

feature photo via Hug Your Baby

The Breastfeeding-Cosleeping-Postpartum Depression Connection

These days, it’s rare to find anyone who’s gonna argue with you that breastfeeding is best for baby, whenever possible.  What they don’t realize is that breastfeeding is best for MOM, too.  And there are still plenty of people with their fists up, ready to knock down any mention of co-sleeping, despite all the benefits that co-sleeping moms and babies report (that is, I’m sure the babies would report, if they could speak!)!

So I was intrigued to read Nancy Mohrbacher‘s blog entry, Formula Supplements Put Mothers at Risk, which explains a number of reasons that breasfeeding and cosleeping are best for mom as well as baby.

Many moms are mistakenly informed that if they bottle feed and let someone else help with night feedings, they will sleep better and longer. Some people also believe that if mom sleeps separate from her baby, she will sleep better, undisturbed.  They conclude that a well-rested mother will be better equipped to hand the stresses of the post-partum period, thus relieving symptoms of postpartum depression.

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Not so, says a new study!

This study, which will appear in the June issue of the journal Clinical Lactation, surveyed 6410 mothers during the first year after birth.  Although all new mothers experience fatigue, it found that exclusively breastfeeding mothers not only slept significantly more hours during the night than other mothers but also reported significantly more energy during the day, a better mood, better overall health, and a greater sense of well-being.  Another surprising finding was that there was no statistically significant difference in any of these areas between the mixed-feed and the exclusively formula-feeding groups. (From Formula Supplements Put Mothers at Risk)

So while we all want to make sure new mothers, especially those at-risk for PPD, are happy and well-rested, strategies that separate and supplement newborns are misguided.  Instead of making mom’s life easier, they actually put her at greater risk of poor sleeping, poor health, and depression.

These benefits are in addition to many others! Breast milk builds your baby’s immune system, improves his brain function and raises IQ, reduces mom’s risk of cancers and other health conditions, helps her loose her pregnancy weight faster, and provides emotional comfort and bonding for both mothers and babies… among others!

Read more on the benefits of breastfeeding at nancymohrbacher.com.

Nursing On the Go with the GoPillow!

Ever tried breastfeeding your baby on a warm day? Outdoors? In an office? A mall? A park?

We all know the standard breastfeeding position: Mom cradles the baby’s head on her arm, so that baby can rest and feed comfortably.  Boppies and breastfeeding pillows are nice too.  But if you’ve ever breastfed a baby you might also recall the way your arm and the baby’s head get sweaty and sticky on warm days, making the whole experience not so comfortable after all.

Here’s an amazing product that excels in the multitasking department. Moms everywhere give it two thumbs up and we think it’s a great idea, too! The GoPillow serves the following needs:

  • A wearable breast feeding pillow, which cradles baby’s head while keep everyone sweat-free (on warm days) and cozy (on cool days)
  • Designed for comfortable cradling
  • Built-in cover-up blanket which you can throw over your shoulder for privacy
  • Pillow and body wrap for babies and toddlers, great for on-the-go naps
  • Portable diaper changing surface
  • Sun and wind shield for babies and toddlers
  • Arm cushion for carrying babies and toddlers
  • Arm warmer during cold weather (especially during outdoor activities)
  • Super soft plush available in baby pink or baby blue.
  • http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_full_width/hash/26/b3/26b34c3fd401288b649f572ea1b6c33f.JPG

Here’s a very short video illustrating how the GoPillow can be used:

It’s great for babies…

…and toddlers!

http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_full_width/hash/45/ba/45ba907e1803feec41de2d4c60be3afb.jpg

For more info and to order, visit SimplyNecessary.com.

Vitamin D Levels for Pregnant Women: Experts Recommend 8 Times Higher than FNB Levels

Thousands of studies over the last 10 years have shown that high doses of vitamin D are crucial to maintaining health in many areas. The Vitamin D Council, a highly regarded non-profit organization states: “Higher doses of Vitamin D help in many areas of health, among them: heart health, brain health, pancreatic health, muscle health, nerve health, eye health, immune health, colon health, liver health, mood health, skin health, and especially fetal health.” (emphasis added)

For this reason, the Institute of Medicine Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) has created a tumult for stating that the high levels of vitamin D currently being recommended by many health professionals are unnecessary and may even be toxic (November 2010). The FNB only slightly increased its recommended daily intake of vitamin D from 200 IU to 600 IU. In contrast, Harvard newsletter (December 2010) recommends 1,000-2,000 IU of vitamin D per day, while the Vitamin D Council recommends up to 5,000 IU a day.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/uploadedImages/articles/issues/2008-02-01/VitaminD.jpg

image credit: Mother Earth News

The fact that there is no difference between the amounts of D a 15 pound baby and a 300 pound man should take is deemed “absurd” by experts. When it comes to pregnant women, the FNB also makes no differentiation.  But respected vitamin D experts recommend at least 4,000 IU a day, and 6,000 for nursing mothers.

In response to the conclusions of the FNB panel, the Vitamin D Council statement responds:

“Disturbingly, this FNB committee focused on bone health… and ignored the thousands of studies from the last ten years… Tens of millions of pregnant women and their breast-feeding infants are severely vitamin D deficient, resulting in a great increase in the medieval disease, rickets. The FNB report seems to reason that if so many pregnant women have low vitamin D blood levels then it must be OK because such low levels are so common…

“Pregnant women taking 400 IU/day have the same blood levels as pregnant women not taking vitamin D; that is, 400 IU is a meaninglessly small dose for pregnant women. Even taking 2,000 IU/day of vitamin D will only increase the vitamin D levels of most pregnant women by about 10 points, depending mainly on their weight. Professor Bruce Hollis has shown that 2,000 IU/day does not raise vitamin D to healthy or natural levels in either pregnant or lactating women. Therefore supplementing with higher amounts — like 5000 IU/day — is crucial for those women who want their fetus to enjoy optimal vitamin D levels, and the future health benefits that go along with it.

“My advice, especially for pregnant women: continue taking 5,000 IU/day until your 25(OH)D is between 50–80 ng/mL (the vitamin D blood levels obtained by humans who live and work in the sun and the mid-point of the current reference ranges at all American laboratories).

“Gestational vitamin D deficiency is not only associated with rickets, but a significantly increased risk of neonatal pneumonia, a doubled risk for preeclampsia, a tripled risk for gestational diabetes, and a quadrupled risk for primary cesarean section.

“Today, the FNB has failed millions of pregnant women whose as yet unborn babies will pay the price. Let us hope the FNB will comply with the spirit of “transparency” by quickly responding to our Freedom of Information requests.”

How To Get Enough Vitamin D

There are 3 ways for adults to ensure adequate levels of vitamin D: (Vitamin D Council recommendations)

  • regularly receive midday sun exposure in the late spring, summer, and early fall, exposing as much of the skin as possible for 20–30 minutes (being careful to never burn). (Those with dark skin will need longer exposure time — up to six times longer.)
  • regularly use a sun bed (avoiding sunburn) during the colder months.
  • take 5,000 IU per day for 2–3 months, then obtain a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. Adjust your dosage so that blood levels are between 50–80 ng/mL (or 125–200 nM/L) year-round.

The Benefits of Extended Breastfeeding

Nursing your baby provides many opportunities for bonding, and the benefits for mom and baby extend into the toddler years. But how can you silence the critics who exclaim, “You’re still nursing?”

Q. I’m still nursing my two-year-old daughter. We both love the bond created by breastfeeding, and neither of us is ready to give it up. However, most of my friends and family strongly think it’s time to wean her. How can I cope with the disapproval?

Dr. William Sears answers this question on Parenting.com. In spite of today’s health-conscious, natural-is-better attitude, people still find it odd to breastfeed a baby beyond the “infant” stage.  But Dr. Sears is on this mom’s side, saying, “If it’s working for you and your child, and your mothering instinct tells you it’s right  — it’s right! In my opinion, you’re a health-savvy, modern mom, and it seems that your friends and relatives are old-fashioned and misinformed. As a pediatrician and parent, it grieves me to hear well-meaning critics ask a breastfeeding mother, “You’re still nursing?”

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photo: Breastfeeding Moms Unite

Extended breastfeeding is indeed a wise, long-term investment in your child’s future. Here are a few things to remember when discussing this issue:

Science backs Breastfeeding. Many medical journals carry articles proving the long-term health benefits of breastfeeding. The incidence of many illnesses, both childhood and adult, are lowered by breastfeeding, including diabetes, heart disease, and central nervous system degenerative disorders (such as multiple sclerosis). The most fascinating studies show that the longer and more frequently a mom nurses her baby, the smarter her child is likely to become. The brain grows more during the first two years of life than any other time, nearly tripling in size from birth to two years of age. During this crucial time of brain development, the “smart fats” unique to mom’s breast milk (namely, omega-3 fatty acid, also known as DHA) seem to provide an intellectual advantage for breastfed babies.

Babies who breastfeed for extended periods of time are healthier overall.  These other health benefits include:

  • Leaner bodies with less risk of obesity.
  • Improved vision, since the eye is similar to the brain in regards to nervous tissue.
  • Better hearing due to a lower incidence of ear infections.
  • Their dental health is generally good, since the natural sucking action of the breastfed infant helps incoming teeth align properly.
  • Intestinal health is also much better than those of non-breastfed babies, as breast milk is easier to digest, reducing spit-up, reflux, and constipation.
  • A toddler’s immune system functions much better since breastmilk contains an immunoglobulin (IGA) which coats the lining of the intestines, which helps prevent germs from penetrating through.
  • Even the skin of these babies is smoother and more supple.

World opinion is on your side. The World Health Organization (WHO) officially recommends mothers breastfeed until three years of age. (Yes, you did read that right!) Even the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends mothers should breastfeed “at least until one year of age and then as long as baby and mother mutually want to.”

It’s better for Mom’s health. Extended breastfeeding reduces the risk of uterine, ovarian, and breast cancers. Breastfeeding women also have a lower incidence of osteoporosis later in life.

It’s better for your toddler’s behavior. Dr. Sears has observed many extended breastfeeders in his pediatric practice, and knows that breastfed toddlers are easier to discipline. Breastfeeding is an exercise in baby reading, which enables a mother to more easily read her baby’s cues and intervene before a discipline situation gets out of hand. Nursing is also a wonderful calming tool for both Mom and baby.

Blame it on your doctor. One of the easiest ways to silence critics is the phrase: “My doctor advised me to.” You can go on to explain that your doctor (yes, Dr. Sears counts!) told you about all the recent research extolling the benefits of extended breastfeeding.

Let your child silence the critics. Once your friends and relatives see the benefits of your breastfeeding bond, your growth as a mother, and the emotional, intellectual and physical health of your child, they will serve as convincing testimonies to the value of extended breastfeeding.

Read more at Parenting.com and Ask Dr. Sears

Sales on Stylish, Sensible Nursing Cover-ups

Whether or not it’s OK to nurse in public seems to be debatable for some people, but I see nothing wrong with it– as long as you are covered up. Moms with nursing babies need to get out of the house, too, and when you are your baby’s sole source of food, you simply don’t have a choice NOT to breastfeed when the need arises.

I also don’t think Mom’s should have to duck into the nearest bathroom when baby gets hungry. Besides for the fact that it’s just plain yucky and often uncomfortable, the fact is that sometimes a private spot is just not available! So that’s why you may want to invest in a snazzy little cover-up to give you a bit of privacy when you’re nursing on the go.  It will even come in handy at home, when you have company and don’t want to miss any of the action!

Udder Covers

Great for the stylish cow–I mean woman!
Rigid neckline gives you direct eye contact with baby.
Made of 100% breathable cotton.
Stainless steel d-rings allow fully adjustable neckline.
Machine washable.

YOU CAN GET ONE FREE (just pay shipping) if you enter the code “BACKORDER” when ordering! I don’t know how long this will last, so if you want one, grab it now!

Get yours at uddercovers.com

Under Wraps Nursing Poncho

This is a great thing if you want all-around coverage!

  • Uniquely designed to be worn during pregnancy, while breastfeeding or just because.
  • Wear it while nursing or even as a fashion piece.
  • Neck line design allows mom to latch baby easily without exposing anything!

Get yours here for $39.99.

Under Wraps Nursing Poncho ™ by Victoria Laurin  & Baby-Breastfeeding, nursing cover, nursing wrap, nursing cover  up

Hooter Hiders

If the name alone is not enough to make you want one, maybe the buy-one-get-one-free offer will (good until June 28)!

Hooter Hiders Logo

Head Rush Nursing Covers

Breastfeeding in public can now be a pleasant experience with these lightweight, cotton, nursing cover. Plus, you get $10 off their Spring Styles!

  • Complete 360-degree coverage
  • Front pockets for pacifiers, nursing pads, etc.
  • Lace panel in front for ventilation and eye contact.
  • Burp cloth and drawstring bag included.
  • Can be used as a stroller canopy and baby blanket!
  • 100% cotton and machine washable.

Hot Pink Nursing Cover Blue and Pink Flowers Nursing Cover Black  Nursing Cover Light Brown With Flowers Nursing Cover

Breastfeeding, Dieting, and Weight Loss

Congratulations, you have a new baby! Amidst all the excitement and exhaustion, we know there’s one thought niggling at the back of your mind… when will I get out of these maternity clothes and back into clothes my “real” size?! Ah, have patience… Remember that your pregnancy weight wasn’t gained overnight. And for many moms, it won’t disappear that quickly, either.

The extra weight is there for a reason!

La Leche League points out that one reason you gained extra weight during pregnancy is so you would have plenty of reserves for feeding your baby. This is particularly reassuring for nursing mothers because it means that breastfeeding help in shedding these extra pounds, as the “reserve” are converted into nutritious breast milk for you baby.

Breastfeeding helps with weight loss

You may be surprised at how much weight you can loose in the early months by simply following a normal diet and eating when you’re hungry. The LLLI BREASTFEEDING ANSWER BOOK says, “Breastfeeding mothers tend to lose more weight when their babies are three to six months old than formula-feeding mothers who consume fewer calories… Another study of mothers at one month postpartum found that mothers who breastfed (either exclusively or partially) had slimmer hips and weighed less than women whose babies received only formula…” (Yet another good reason to nurse your baby!)

Breastfeeding mothers can loose about one pound per week, while still consuming 1500 to 1800 calories per day.  The BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board says that most nursing moms actually need more like 2,000 to 2,700 calories per day! It’s very important to eat well in order to feel good, prevent mood swings, and have energy to care for your baby (especially if you are compensating for lack of sleep!).

It’s interesting to note that the composition of your milk really does not vary much with your diet. LLLI points out that mothers in famine conditions can produce perfectly nutritious milk for their babies. The main reason it’s important to eat well during lactation is for yourself– your health may suffer if too many of your own reserves are used to provide milk. Be sure to take care of yourself by “eating to hunger” and “drinking to thirst.”

Exercise and Dieting

If you feel like to need to actively work to lose weight, it is best to wait at least 2 months for your body to recover from childbirth and establish a good milk supply. Starting a diet too soon after giving birth can delay your recovery, affect your milk supply, and make you feel more tired (and no one with a newborn needs to feel MORE tired!). Always check with your doctor about increasing your activity level or reducing your calorie intake.

Exercise, not just calorie-counting, is important if you want to loose weight.  Try to be more active, whether it means hitting the gym or just walking your baby in the stroller instead of driving everywhere.

Don’t skip meals in an attempt to lose weight. It won’t help because you’ll be more likely to eat more at other meals. All you’ll accomplish is probably making yourself feel tired and grouchy. Breakfast really is important in helping you stay active and energized throughout the day. According to the National Weight Control Registry, 78% of successful dieters eat breakfast daily.

Go Slow

BabyCenter explains another danger of strict, restrictive diets. Too-rapid weight loss can release toxins that are stored in your body fat into your bloodstream and milk supply. These toxins include environmental contaminants like the heavy metals lead and mercury, persistent organic pollutants like PCBs and dioxins, and solvents.

Be realistic about weight loss

You should know that not everyone is able to return to their exact pre-pregnancy weight or shape. Pregnancy often causes permanent changes such as a softer belly, a larger waistline, and wider hips. With this in mind, you might want to adjust your goals a bit. (For a reality check, see Baby Center’s photo gallery of real post-baby bellies.)

Make good food choices

Some good food choices include:

  • low-fat milk and dairy products
  • whole grain products like whole wheat bread and whole grain cereal
  • high-fiber, low fat fruits (like apples, oranges, and berries)
  • raw vegetables (like carrots, jicama, and red pepper strips)
  • broiled or baked foods rather than fried foods
  • limit sweets and processed snack foods
  • choose “good” fats (mono- and polyunsaturated fats) like olive oil, avocado, olives, nuts and seeds, and fatty fish like salmon.
  • cut calories by drinking water instead of juice, soda, and coffee

Some suggestions for squeezing more fruits and veggies into your diet:

  • Make fruit (or veggie) smoothies
  • use fruit or vegetable salsas or sauces made from puréed vegetables over fish or chicken
  • add shredded carrots to your sandwich
  • try grilled vegetables,
  • try puréed vegetable soups. Puréeing gives you a creamy soup without having to add cream.

feature image from www.indidenim.com

Obesity, Bariatric Surgery, and Pregnancy

Morbidly obese women are often infertile, according to The Consumer Guide to Bariatric Surgery, but if they are able to become pregnant, they are considered high risk.  These women are more likely to experience pregnancy-related complications, including gestational diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia (high blood pressure, fluid buildup in the body and protein in the urine during pregnancy) and fetal distress. And they are more likely to require a cesarean or C-section delivery.

So is it safe to become pregnant after weight loss surgery? If so, how long should you wait? What can you do to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery after gastric bypass, gastric banding or other bariatric surgery? While many questions remain, the latest reports suggest that pregnancy after bariatric surgery is actually safer than becoming pregnant while still obese!

According to Science Daily, a recent study published in International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics finds that women who undergo bariatric surgery will reduce the risk of medical and obstetric complications when they become pregnant. The study was conducted by researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s (BGU) Faculty of Health Sciences.

The study indicated that the risk of gestational diabetes alone drops by 60 percent when an obese woman has bariatric surgery before getting pregnant. There were significantly lower rates of hypertensive disorders in general and severe pre-eclampsia in particular, as well as lower rates of diabetes mellitus and anemia following bariatric surgery.

Science Daily reports that the prevalence of people who are overweight or obese has increased dramatically in high-income countries over the past 20 years. In the United States, for example, some two-thirds (65.1%) of Americans aged 20 years or older are considered overweight; one-third (30.4%) are considered obese, and 4.9% are morbidly obese. Between 1999 and 2002, close to one-third of women of childbearing age in the United States were classified as obese.

In response, the incidence of bariatric surgery in the United States increased by 800 percent between 1998 and 2005. The Consumer Guide to Bariatric Surgery asserts that women of reproductive age (18 to 45) accounted for 83 percent of these weight loss surgeries (more than 50,000 women each year).

Wait Before Attempting Pregnancy After Bariatric Surgery

Women of childbearing age who wish to become pregnant after gastric bypass surgery or other malabsorptiove surgeries such as the duodenal switch procedure should wait 18 months, because this is when the rapid weight loss occurs. It can be challenging to meet nutritional needs during this time without the added concerns of pregnancy. Such rapid weight loss may deprive a developing fetus of the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive.

Gastric banding induces more gradual weight loss and does not cause any nutritional issues. Women who get banded should wait about six months before becoming pregnant so they will be at a healthy weight during pregnancy.

Women who are overweight or obese may have difficulty getting pregnant, but weight loss increases fertility. In fact, infertility issues linked to obesity are often resolved as hormones return to more natural levels.  Most surgeons advise women of childbearing age to use reliable contraception during the waiting period.

Will You Need a C-Section?

There is no medical reason that women who have become pregnant after bariatric surgery should require a C-section delivery, but they do seem to be more likely to deliver via C-section. Talk to your obstetrician about your chances of needing a C-section delivery as well as your preferences for delivering your baby. While a C-section is a relatively safe way to deliver a baby, it does carry more risks than vaginal delivery.

Make sure your Nutritional Needs are Met

The Consumer Guide to Bariatric Surgery advises you to make your obstetrician aware of the type of bariatric surgery that you had, and be in contact with your bariatric surgeon during your pregnancy to make sure you and your baby are getting proper nutrition. You may be referred to a registered dietitian to help make sure you are getting proper nutrition during pregnancy. Women who have had gastric banding have the same nutritional requirements as women who have not had gastric banding. Women who have had malabsorptive weight loss surgery such as gastric bypass or biliopancreatic diversion may need regular blood tests to check for nutrient deficiencies during pregnancy.

Prenatal vitamins are an important part of a healthy pregnancy and contain many essential nutrients. Women should start taking prenatal vitamins before they even become pregnant.

Gastric Banding: Special Pregnancy Issues

Gastric banding surgery is adjustable. Some women who are pregnant require deflation of the band due to severe nausea and vomiting, which can occur during pregnancy and as a result of gastric banding. This is typically an individual decision. If you are having severe morning sickness, your bariatric surgeon may deflate the band to help you feel better. Your surgeon can also loosen your band so you can eat more. However, many women don’t have to touch their band at all during pregnancy.

Women who have undergone gastric banding before pregnancy may have trouble tolerating over-sized prenatal vitamins. They may develop heartburn, or the prenatal vitamin may remain in their esophagus, causing ulcers. Talk to your obstetrician about chewable or liquid prenatal vitamins to avoid these complications.

Breastfeeding After Bariatric Surgery

Women who become pregnant after bariatric surgery can still breastfeed, provided there are continued nutritional monitoring and supplementation. Talk to your surgeon, obstetrician, a lactation consultant and/or a registered dietician to make sure you and your baby are getting all the nutrition you need.It’s also important to make sure you are drinking enough water so your milk does not dry up.

Please visit The Consumer Guide to Bariatric Surgery to find out more about weight-loss surgery and pregnancy-related issues.

The value of Homeopathy during Pregnancy & Childbirth

Some women choose to live with the discomfort of morning sickness or heartburn, rather than seek treatment, because they are concerned about the possible side effects on their unborn child. But there is another safe alternative. The Society of Homeopaths says that the gentle system of homeopathic medicine is ideal for pregnant women.

Homeopathy is based on treating each person as an individual, with highly diluted substances given in mainly tablet form, which trigger the body’s natural system of healing. Based on your experiences and symptoms, a homeopath will match the most appropriate medicine to you.  Homeopathic medicines are safe for your growing baby (and even your newborn) because only a minute amount of the active ingredient is used in their preparation.

These remedies can help you feel healthy and energetic, which in turn has positive effects on your baby. A mother who is full of vitality and energy provides her baby with the ideal conditions in which to thrive.

Homeopathic medicine during Pregnancy

Physical and emotional changes during pregnancy may cause a variety of health problems. The following list includes some common symptoms that may be helped by professional homeopathic treatment:

  • morning sickness
  • nausea
  • mild urinary problems
  • diarrhoea
  • heartburn
  • anaemia
  • varicose veins
  • backache
  • cramps
  • thrush
  • emotional distress.
  • raised blood pressure

Homeopathic medicine during Labor & After Birth

In addition to the conditions listed about, homeopahty can help you through labor, after-birth healing, breastfeeding, and even before you get pregnant– during the conception stage. Some of these situations include:

  • cervix which is slow to dilate
  • pain
  • excessive bleeding
  • retained placenta
  • labor that is too fast
  • metal and physical exhaustion
  • after-birth shock or exhaustion
  • after-birth pain and soreness
  • post-natal ‘blues’
  • stitches and scars
  • sore, cracked nipples
  • breast infections (mastitis)

Homeopathic medicine for your Baby

Babies tend to respond quickly to homeopathic treatment. There are homeopathic remedies to help relieve mild discomforts as well as more serious problems. Consult a trained homeopathic doctor if want homeopathic treatment for your baby.

  • babies who are bruised from a long labor or a forceps delivery
  • colic
  • teething
  • diaper rash
  • ear infections
  • fever
  • side effects from vaccinations

Remember, it is especially important during pregnancy to take care of your over-all health. Eat well from a wide range of foods, take a vitamin and mineral supplements if needed, avoid smoking and alcohol, get plenty of rest, and exercise regularly.

Click this link to view a detailed list of homeopathic remedies associated with pregnancy & childbirth.

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