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Healthy Mamas and Breastfeeding Back Survival

health happy round-up

Welcome to a weekly series on Traveling with Baby, Health Happy Round-Up that  focuses on multiple aspects of wholesome living and optimal health for the entire family.  Each weekend, Traveling with Baby will share some insightful news, recipes, and tips to help you consider fresh new perspectives on wholesome and happy health.

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Hey Moms!

If you’re an expectant or nursing mom living near Charlottesville, there’s not one, but TWO opportunities to attend a free Healthy Mama Workshop taught by moi.

The first Healthy Mama Workshop will include postural considerations for mom and baby in breastfeeding and babywearing at 11:45 AM on Saturday, November 7th at Downtown ACAC located at 111 Monticello Avenue. The event is part of ACAC’s pre-natal and post-natal seminar, and it’s free and open to the general public. Refreshments will be served, and new moms and their children will have the opportunity to socialize and meet with others.  So fun!  Bring your baby carrier and nursing pillow, if you have one.healthy mama small

The second workshop takes place on Friday, November 13th at 4PM at Sugar Snap Consignment located at York Place on the historic Downtown Mall.  This workshop is primarily focused on postural considerations for mom and baby during breastfeeding.  Bring your nursing pillow, if you have one.

Both events are free and open to the general public.

I’m soooo excited to share the Healthy Mama Workshops with Charlottesville mothers. I want to help new moms learn how to take of themselves while nursing, so they’re confident, and comfortable at giving their 100% to baby and continuing a wonderful breastfeeding bonding experience.

I previously taught the Healthy Mama Workshops at Nature’s Child in 2008, and ACAC’s pre-natal seminar in October 2009. For more information on the Healthy Mama Workshops, please visit www.scoliosisdoc.com.

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Infant Circumcision – Tradition or Necessity?

As parents, there are so many decisions to make when having a baby from what type of health care provider you will choose (OB-GYN or midwife or both) to where you will birth (hospital, birthing center, or home) to what will happen immediately after your baby’s born.  Among genetic disease testing, vitamin K injections, to whether your baby will get a bottle of glucose or be allowed to breastfeed FIRST, and administration of silver nitrate in baby’s eyes (just in case she might get gonorrhea from passing through the birth canal), another decision on the menu is whether or not to circumcise your infant boy’s penis.

It’s basically routine to have the procedure, and in the United States, it’s rather unorthodox (no pun intended) to NOT conclude with the procedure.  So, if you’ve made up your mind that your baby boy will have a circumcision, then just for the sake of understanding why other parents choose not to, then please forge ahead in this post.  If you’re on the fence and you may be considering waiting on the circumcision or not proceeding, then I hope you find the following information helpful in guiding your decision.  Warning: this post is unabashedly one-sided.  I fully and completely disagree with infant circumcision, whether it’s for a male or female.  You’ll very easily hear the pro-arguments from almost any health care provider in a hospital.  You’ll have to search a little harder to find points of view in agreement with me.  However, if you’re one to go along with the crowd, consider that the infant circumcision rates in the U.S. are slowly decreasing.  On the east and west coasts, the rate for circumcision is roughly 50% of newborn males.

History

I recommend visiting the site for the International Coalition for Genital Integrity which recognizes the inherent right for all human beings to have an intact body.  Without sexual, racial, or religious prejudice, the ICGI affirms this basic human right.  The ICGI created a powerful slideshow on the history of the medicalization of circumcision to show how the hype, generated from skewed study results caused increases in circumcision rates in the U.S., U.K., and the world before “medicine” was indeed scientific in creating objective, unbiased study results.  When further studies indicated health risks caused by circumcision, they were discontinued in the United Kingdom.  But, don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself.

Doctors in the English-speaking countries started circumcising babies in the mid-1800s “to prevent masturbation,” which was blamed for causing many diseases, including epilepsy, tuberculosis, and insanity. Other reasons have been given since then, but all of them, including the claim that circumcision prevents cancer of the penis, cancer of the cervix, and venereal diseases, have been disproven. We now know that the foreskin is a normal, sensitive, functional part of the body.–NOCIRC Pamphlet3

Another fantastic resource is the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (a.k.a. NOCIRC)  This educational, not-for-profit organization which is on the roster of the economic and social council of the United Nations serves as a wealth of information in regard to care of normal penile anatomy and it offers information about circumcision and the care of the circumcised as well as the intact penis.  You can access NOCIRC’s educational publications in both English and Español.

For those contemplating infant circumcision, read “Answers to Your Questions about Infant Circumcision“.  If you’ve made the choice to not circumcise your son, you may now have questions regarding hygeine and foreskin retraction.  You’ll find answers to those questions with this NOCIRC informational article.  You’ll also be able to print out pdf versions of these pamphlets for family members who may question your no circumcision parenting choice.

If you choose to proceed with a circumcision, NOCIRC also has a pahmplet which covers what to expect for post-operative care and any complications which may arise.  International NOCIRC affiliate organizations can be found here.

Before our son was born, and before we knew our baby was a he, we read through NOCIRC literature which helped us to confirm our decision to avoid circumcision.  The American Academy of Pediatrics claims,

the foreskin protects the glans penis throughout life.

This directory compiles research and studies regarding complications, risks, and adverse affects of circumcision.  There are studies that exist that suggest that circumcision may help reduce urinary tract infection (UTI) , but the reality is that there is not a significant nor direct correlation.  Nothing comes secondary to providing and eventually teaching your son good hygiene to prevent UTI’s.

Get a BPA-Free Magic Cup from Avent . . . It’s ABOUT Time!

I previously posted about Bisphenol-A Free baby bottles here. I recently found more info on this hot topic regarding baby health. First, I recommend visiting the Z Recommends site which has tons of info on BPA including rankings of baby product manufacturers, a mobile phone texting resource, and a BPA-Free report.

Next, I highly suggest parents check out the Bisphenol-A Free website which also has tons of resources and weblinks following this topic. This is the site where I found the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Smart Use of Food Plastics and Healther Food Uses of Plastics printable pdf guide.

I contacted Canadian Buzz Bishop whose blog has a post boasting a creative use of the BPA-containing Nalgene bottles (nightlight anyone?). I found his blog via a post on London Drugs accepting BPA baby bottles and providing FREE in store credit. I also read this post on Avent making bottles with BPA. Since I don’t live in Canada, and I really wanted to find a way to make better use of my Avent Isis Uno breast pump, I wanted to know what options I had.

Currently, I pump into an Avent bottle, and then I immediately transfer it to a BPA-Free Medela bag or BPA-Free Born Free bottle for milk storage. Buzz directed me to Smart Canucks site which, for Canadians, enables free samples of Avent’s BPA-free bottle and sippy cup.

I called the toll free number (after being on hold for 8+ minutes and listening to a recording in French and English), and was finally in touch with a live Avent customer service representative. She kindly offered to send me a free Magic Cup which can be used with my breast pump and used as a sippy cup. So, U.S. residents can access Avent’s BPA-free stuff now, too. It also helped that I told her that I’m currently an Avent user. She suspected that Avent will soon make a BPA-free funnel for the breast pumps, too.

To contact Avent in the U.S., call 1-800-542-8368, but you’ll also get results with the Canadian number 1-800-843-2174

Update (5/22/2008)

I called the U.S. Avent number today for information regarding the free Magic Cup, and I encountered a very hostile Customer Service Representative who just wanted to read her script and tell me how “SAFE” the Avent bottles were, since BPA is only leeched if milk is heated in the bottles.  I told her how BPA is leeched through scratched plastic, and she proceeded to interrupt me by constantly saying, “ma’am . . . ma’am”.   She denied having a supervisor to whom I could speak (she said there is no boss for customer service).  After the way she acted, I believe it!

Additionally, phthalates are equally harmful (neural excitotoxin) and can be found in most soft plastic baby toys (and women’s nail polish) . . . in fact, most anything that’s not a rock-hard plastic. eHow published an article on how to stay away from phthlates in baby toys.

Update 6/27/2008

I found some great info on Safe Mama that most Babies R Us retailers will accept new and used bottles with BPA.  Whether or not they need a receipt for the exchange depends on the particular store.