10 Tips for the Natural Parent-to-Be | Seventh Generation
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10 Tips for the Natural Parent-to-Be

38 comments
Author: mjb

New BabyI'm 40 weeks pregnant with my first baby and very ready to meet this child. My body is tired and the anticipation clock is tick tick ticking. There is little to do to prepare for his arrival. Everything is buttoned up -- the gutters have been cleaned, the floors are shining, the freezer is stocked full of meals (thanks, friends!), and the car seat has been installed by our local fire department. So now all we need is the baby! I know I should take these last few days to rest but a carnal instinct keeps me moving.

So what is there left to do?

WAIT! I've missed something huge. While I've read all the pregnancy books and magazines in sight, I haven't read any books on how to raise the baby! OH NO! How could this happen? This realization has spun me into panic mode. I have a few hand-me-down parenting books but they are outdated and traditional. I want advice for the "natural" parent and I want it now! So I tap into my social network and ask friends and family to give me their top three pieces of parenting advice. What they told me made me feel a much better. Here are 10 of these mother-to-mother highlights. Please take a look and please share more!

  1. Naturally healthy babies come from naturally healthy mamas! Take good care of yourself.
  2. Newborns don't need a lot of gadgets. Get the basics and add as your baby grows.
  3. Breastfeeding can be a lot harder than you'd think. Not all babies, nor all moms, are "naturals." It often takes work, and in some cases, doesn't work at all. So don't beat yourself up if it just isn't happening.
  4. If you do breastfeed, don't worry about working in some feedings of bottled formula. It doesn't have to be an all or nothing proposition, especially if you'd like a little time to yourself. You can also pump and freeze breast milk.
  5. Feed your baby veggies, and he or she will grow up to be a good veggie eater.
  6. Trust your instincts.
  7. Stick to your guns! Lots of people will tell you that natural doesn't matter.
  8. Instead of off-the-shelf teething gels, find a local aromatherapy shop to create a blend of essential oils for baby's sore gums.
  9. Make your own baby food and freeze it in ice cube trays.
  10. You don't have to be Super Mom. Let your husband, your parents, and your friends take care of you.

photo: Tom Purves

38
Comments

mcpc434 picture
mcpc434
01/18/10
just wondering why you take the time to suggest a mother find HELP with teething gels but do not suggest that breastfeeding difficulties can often be eased by finding HELP. There are many trained and experienced people who can help women and their families achieve breastfeeding success as they define in. It is sad when someone can't meet their breastfeeding goal because they don't know where or how to find help. There is a lot more available than just a few years ago. Every State has WIC (Women, Infant's and Children Special Supplemental Food Pogram) and they are all tasked with promoting and supporting breastfeeding in their communities. If you do not qualify for that program they should still be able to point you to other resources in your community. <a href="http://www.breastmilkcounts.com/" target="_blank">www.breastmilkcounts.com</a> They even help women who don't want to breastfeed but might be interested in pumping and providing their own milk to their babies for a few days or weeks. Every ounce counts...
SoNuts picture
SoNuts
12/28/09
There is no "One True way" so don't try to find it. Forget about those who would judge, and express their opinions as the only way. Narrow-mindedness exists for all topics. Try to do your best as naturally as you can since you know the benefit, but for goodness sakes don't beat yourself up about it when you can't! Parenting and mothering is quite difficult for many, some it just comes naturally, and I learned it all the hard way. And now that I've raised one, half-raised another, I'm doing it all over again by adopting. Yes, I plan on lactating to feed this one because I did with my first and I believe I can do it again. I don't have to take the synthetics if the natural herbs work first, so I'll try that. If all else fails, I will try to make a good milk for my baby rather than the stuff I had supplemented with my first child. My doctor was ignorant of the benefits of continuing to try to breastfeed and supplementing until it works. For some it may not work and that's just life. We cannot all have it the same way or we wouldn't be unique. Celebrate diversity and for trying to do the best thing for your little ones. You are all wonderful mothers!
Noa picture
Noa
12/20/09
I am married with a 17 month son and I was never warned how a male feels during this time. Yes my husband was very happy to be a father but he also felt left out at times. No one ever mentioned how hard being a mother while maintaining a relationship would be. I think there are not enough books about this part of motherhood and someone should definitely write about it. Communication, mutual participation as much as possible, understanding of each others views because not everyone has the same idea on parenting and lots of love. Ooh and one more thing take some time for each other even if it means a two to three hour excursion like a dinner date or a movie. If you are a single mom keep a close network of friends and family (from my experience they always love to spend time with my son)and take some time to yourself.
cparisi110973 picture
cparisi110973
12/19/09
Is anyone else wondering about a bigger problem that we have here in the USA? You can see from all these posts how many women have had problems breastfeeding and how many have tried 110% and how many have still had to give it up. Doesn't it seem strange that something that nature intended has become so difficult. I believe the reason so many women are having so many issues with breastfeeding starts during the babies delivery! Think about how a baby was delivered hundreds of years ago. At home, little support, no drugs. Do you think that women hundreds of years ago had this many problems with breastfeeding? I urge every new mother to look into having a natural birth, with no drug intervention. I had my child at home with a midwife and have never had problems breastfeeding. Every friend of mine has delivered in a hospital environment with drug inervention, and every one of them has had probelms breastfeeding. I am not saying that everyone should have a baby at home, but I am saying that alot more women can have natural births, with no drug intervention and breastfeeding would be alot easier. The USA has gone crazy with c sections and inducing women. Babies come when they are ready to come. I understand that preeclampsia exists and breech babies exist and other medical reasons for having a c section or being inducued, but c sections are being done on women who don't feel like having a vaginal birth. C sections are also being done because the doctor feels the baby is too big for the mother to deliver vaginally. Often this only happens with diabetes babies, but it's being done on normal healthy women. If I had decided to use a doctor and deliver at a hospital, they most likly would have delivered me by C section. The reason............. because I am over 35 years old, I am 5' 7", weighed 120 pounds PRE pregnancy and I delivered a perfectly healthy baby boy weighing 8 lbs 6 oz, vaginally. But in the hospital, they would have said my baby was too large to deliver vaginally for my size!!
DiannaM picture
DiannaM
12/19/09
Become educated on vaccines, medical procedures and your child's overall health and wellness. Do NOT assume because your pediatrician recommends it that it is best for you or even safe for that matter. Be sure your doctor supports your overall views on medical care and find a new pediatrician if you have that funny feeling when they prescribe or suggest something that makes you uncomfortable. Just because someone is a doctor DOES NOT mean that they know best for your child. Same goes for other women who "mean well"-do not assume they know more than you. Find our for yourself and research, research, research. YOU (and your spouse)are your child's advocate and are the only ones that should decide what's best for them.
jaylin76 picture
jaylin76
12/18/09
I had as natural of a pregnancy as I could...avoiding hygiene products such as lotions and shampoos that had bad chemicals, etc. I used water based nail polish, no make-up...Not to mention the food I avoided with harmful ingredients. But I wholeheartedly agree with Seventh Generations item number 3. I thought during pregnancy that nothing would prevent breastfeeding. I ended up with gestational diabetes and an unplanned c-section three and a half weeks early due to placenta failure. Here's where you've judged me...breastfeeding is hard work and I AM NO WUSS! I gave it 110%. My son wouldn't latch. The hospital lactation consultant walked out of my room on me when she gave up trying to get him to latch. I used a shield, I cringed through the pain, I pumped. I took Fenugreek and the prescription med to get my milk going. My son lost too much weight and in the middle of the night at the hospital, the nurse said I MUST give him formula to supplement my breastfeeding attempts. I was crushed. I felt like the worst mom in the world. I was thrilled when I pumped an ounce but the nurse said that the girl down the hall pumps 6 ounces at a time for her twins. Sure, the staff made things worse but my body wasn't cooperating no matter what I did. My pediatrician told me to stop at two weeks because of the level of difficulty. AND for your information I RELACTATED at 7 and a half weeks because I still couldn't live with myself for not breastfeeding. I was still on the two meds, pumping, using a shield. I maxed out at about 4 ounces each time. Was I supposed to let my son die as would happen in "nature"? We were on a regimen at each feeding of breastfeed, supplement with formula and then pump every two hours. In the end, I had no milk. It took months to get over it and I still cry over 2 years later about it. The elitist breastfeeding moms need to learn how to befriend those that have struggled no matter how hard they tried.
Noa picture
Noa
12/18/09
I support all mothers and their personal choice to breast feed or bottle feed. Having wanted a natural delivery and doing everything I could, homeopathic remedies, meditation and you name it to find in the end that my hips were too small. When my doctor told me that I could try induction for another 24 hours or I could get a cesarean I realized that in the end I would have my baby in my arms and that was all that mattered. I knew it was time. So labor did not go as planned but I will say he mesmerized the nurses because that night I was the only cesarean and they fell in love with his good looks. Remember to trust yourself and if you have any doubts ask someone or do research. I find that having friends that I look up to as mothers, fathers, sons and daughters always helps. Keep those friends close by. I breast feed and love every moment of it. At the hospital my little one would nurse for hours and they tried to advise me to give him formula but I didn't think it was a big deal. Sure I was tired and he latched on and didn't want to let go but after three days of intense nursing and sore nipples my milk came in and he slept like an angel. The best remedy I found for sore nipples was to apply breast milk and take warm showers. The lanolin just made my little one suck harder and as soon as I stopped applying it they felt much better and healed. My son is 17 months and I am still nursing this is my choice as a mother and his as my son. So do what works for the both of you. motherhood is truly amazing...
willowsprite picture
willowsprite
12/17/09
My baby didn't "smell so gross" thank you very much. And he's an intelligent, beautiful, creative two year old today, despite being fed "disgusting" formula.
willowsprite picture
willowsprite
12/17/09
"My firm belief is that everyone can nurse they are just too much of a wuss to get through the hard part in the beginning. So suck up any pain you may have in the beginning." I knew some people were adamant about breastfeeding but I never expected anyone to call people names. Obviously, this person has never suffered from post partum depression as I have. In the hospital my son lost a pound and his sodium levels skyrocketed from dehydration. It took forever for my milk to come in. I was so deep in depression and had constant diarrhea and nausea from anxiety from trying to feed him. Not to mention exhaustion from getting up every 2 hours, then trying to keep him awake to feed him, after which I would give up after an hour. So, yeah, after considering jumping in front of a Mac truck many times a day, every day, and feeling like I shouldn't even touch him anymore, we decided to give him formula. It made me very sad, and I felt like a failure, which only added to my depression. After getting lots of extra sleep, medication and therapy, I slowly came back to normalcy. Now I'm pregnant with our second child, and I hope to give breastfeeding another shot, because I know it's best for the baby. Hopefully this time around things will go better, now that I know what will happen. I don't think I'm a wuss for choosing what was best for my family. I wish things has worked out better, but they just didn't.
cparisi110973 picture
cparisi110973
12/17/09
I find it very interesting that all these formula feeding moms feel so embarrassed buying formuala and feeding in public. This article states that only 41.5% of infants are breastfed in the USA and out of those 41.5%, only 31% are breastfeeding at 3 months and only 11% are breastfeeding at 6 months!!! So why on earth would any of these women feel embarrassed when they are actually the MAJORITY. Breastfeeding moms are the MINORITY!!! Hopefully someday this will change but I think we are still a long way off........... <A HREF="http://www.007b.com/early_weaning.php" TARGET="_blank">www.007b.com/early_weaning.php</A>
step_on_me21 picture
step_on_me21
12/17/09
Good for you for giving it your all and doing what you know is right by your child! No one should ever feel embarrased to feed a child, breast or bottle. I can empathize with you as I, too had issues breastfeeding initially and used formula. Every mother needs support. Seventh Generation, however, should be very embarrassed for publishing this misinformed, misguided and slightly inflammatory "Tips" piece.
modee1 picture
modee1
12/17/09
Until you have been through what I have been through in an attempt to breastfeed, you may not judge me and the fact that my 9-month-old son gets half formula and half pumped breastmilk. I would like to offer support to those of you who were embarrassed to feed your baby a bottle in public--I am, too, and I'm even embarrassed to buy formula at the store. However, in order for ME and my baby to survive, even my LC said that it would be best to stop trying to BF for more reasons than I will elaborate on in this forum. As I am teaching my child, we should support each other, not tear each other down. Shame on all of you mothers who call formula "crap." Consider advocating for healthy babies--even if they're not fed to your liking. Will you teach your children to look at others with disdain on the playground if they don't fit in with your beliefs? I hope my child has strong opinions, but respect for his peers and their decisions. And for the expectant mom, I would say... Try to be confident in knowing that YOU know what is best for your baby and you alone. You know him best. Be confident in what he needs... AND, it goes too fast!
amedford picture
amedford
12/17/09
I just wanted to chime in with tfreid so that you would know there's other people with the same experience. My first son ended up in the hospital from dehydration because I tried so hard to breastfeed and listened to my La Leche/Bradley coach who told me that I should absolutely not use formula and that my milk would eventually come in if I didn't supplement. He lost two much weight and when we were in the hospital, I had two different lactation consultants, an occupational therapist looking at his latch, he had an EKG, specialist doctors, everyone checking out him and me making sure we were doing everything we could and I could never even pump more than 1/6 oz. I was absolutely devastated, especially after reading comments similar to those in this thread that insinuated I was not a good mother or hadn't done what I could if I wasn't breastfeeding. I have always been embarrassed to bottle-feed in public because of what I'm sure people are assuming about me. My son is now a healthy 2.5 year old who loves organic food and things most kids would never eat. I now have a 3 month old as well and when he was born I once again determined to give breastfeeding the best chance I could. At 4 days of age, he had lost over a lb and we then knew there was no way for me to nurse him either. I agree that breastfeeding is the best possible scenario, but honestly I'm grateful for the technology that has allowed us to have formula when we need it. If not for that, both of my children would have been a statistic and not the healthy little boys they are now.
newman.elisabeth picture
newman.elisabeth
12/17/09
Hello, I too was disappointed that a great eco-friendly and natural company like Seventh Generation would not more strongly advocate for breastfeeding. The fact of the matter is that all women CAN breastfeed (otherwise, humans would not have such a high propogation of species). Although it can be difficult, it is not only worth it, it is crucial to the overall survival of the human species. I can say this because I had EVERY text book problem with breastfeeding. And I mean every! However, I NEVER once gave my baby formula because it is not how babies are intended to be fed. My daughter is seven months old and has started solid food but as received only breastmilk until she was six months old even though I worked full time. And had a social life . The thought that mothers can't have free time if they breastfeed is simply not true. Furthermore, not only is formula far from the best for babies, it's also an extremeley non-eco friendly alternative and helps to only further disentegrate our world. As for adoptive mothers, I do personally know three adoptive mothers that were able to breastfeed their babies. I know another that was able to purchase breastmilk from a milk bank. I agree these are difficult circumstances and some adoptive parents will not do this which is obviously more than fine since these are extenuating circumstances. However, it is very very possible. Because we unfortunately live in a society where we have the choice to breastfeed or formula feed, we are as a group of people overall uneducated about breastfeeding (which of course is why so many people have problems with it). Congratulations to you on your baby. I do urge you to breastfeed exclusively, not because it's easy, not because it's a political choice, but simply because this is exactly what your body is DESIGNED to do. If we lived two hundred years ago, we would not have the choice of breastfeeding or formula feeding, we would just breastfeed. Our bodies were made to make and sustain our children.
spacecadet picture
spacecadet
12/16/09
Congratulations!!!! I hope you have a wonderful birth! I have a 13 month old baby girl and am enjoying parenthood very much! It is a delightful journey and I have found that I am always learning and gaining new ideas when playing with or teaching my daughter! When I was pregnant, I wanted advice on how to do this whole birth and motherhood naturally as well. I got more advice than I knew what to do with, a lot of it confusing and not so natural. I suggest only taking in what is real to you. It is so easy to take on someone elses idea because it the "best" way to do something. When it comes down to it, you will know what to do. I can't recall using very much of the advice I was given except for these two: Take care of your self and trust your instincts. New motherhood is amazing! I breastfed exclusively and the bond the grew between my daughter and I is impenetrable! Best wishes to you and your bundle!!! P.s. sorry to bring this up but.....whoever posted the formula vs flesh comment must be legally insane or worse. To connect the most natural life-love-nature supporting action (breastfeeding) with 4 psychos is absolutely absurd! Just think about it for a minute....Of the thousands of years humans have been in existence, how many of them do you think were breastfed? Do you seriously find that to be logical reasoning? I hope your children grow to find the truth and beauty of breastfeeding and natural living because you don't know ANYTHING about it.
Astrotrain picture
Astrotrain
12/16/09
First of all, congratulations! Your life is about to change forever, for the better of course ;) Sleeping through the night will be a thing of the past for the first 1-2 years haha. Anyway I am the mom of a 3.5 year old daughter and so much has changed in the few short years since she was born, as I have discovered living "green," organic food, and healthier more natural living. I can advise you of course to make sure your baby bottles and cups are all BPA-free. My daughter was born shortly before the BPA danger became evident and widespread and I still cringe remembering how I used those bottles, boiled and microwaved them even. Now you will know better. Also use organic baby food when the time comes to start solid feeding, around 6 months old. There are also organic formulas you can use which are supposed to be purer than the standard ones, should you choose to use formulas at any given time. I breastfed my daughter until she was about 15 months old, however I did supplement with formula from time to time if for example her grandparents would be looking after her for longer than a few hours. Try to use organic cotton clothing and bedding if possible, it is easier to find now in mainstream stores like Babies R Us and even Wal-Mart. Also use truly natural cleaners in your home and on your baby, brands like Burt's Bees and Jason's have wonderful gentle and natural baby washes, shampoos, and lotions. Of course, use Seventh Generation chlorine free diapers on your baby. I guess just buy everything for your baby at your health food store or natural section of stores and feed the baby organic foods and milk (later on) whenever possible, and you'll be giving him or her the best start in life. These are lessons I wish I would have known with my daughter.
Cheryl Herrick picture
Cheryl Herrick
12/16/09
Seven years ago, I was pregnant and reading Mothering and had lined up my midwife and a doula and my hypnobirthing and had my birth plan all ready when, at my 40 week visit, I found out my very large baby was in the footling breech position. They were ready to whisk me off for an emergency caesarean since I was at term, but then relented and gave me a couple of days to prepare. My beautiful son was born 3 days later to a room filled with 10 or 11 strangers, under the brightest lights I'd ever seen - a pretty different environment than the one I had constructed in my fantasy. It was a good introduction to the humbling reality of parenting. I'm tempted to go on and on with all the things in my life that are different from how I was sure they'd be if only I tried hard enough. But all you expectant parents will be facing the complexities of your own realities soon enough. And I have just this advice: When you're faced with the tough decisions, stay true to what's in your heart. Ask yourself what you'll be sorry you did or didn't do when you look back on these years. And don't stay chained to any dogma that doesn't work for you and your baby. Luck and health and restful nights to you.
njholt picture
njholt
12/16/09
Congratulations on your little one!!! I have a 16 month old breastfed co-sleeper and I'm still not sleeping much. - my beautiful boy is the light of our lives, and people said it would be hard, but it was also a big shock for me the time and effort parenting really takes. You're off to a great start with a full freezer :o) So yes, awesome advice by many- if you can and have the network, getting yourself some time away occasionally is great. Read to your little one from early on- simple board books were a hit from the first couple of months for us. For me, Dr. Sears "the baby book" and Elizabeth Pantleys "gentle baby care" have helped me a lot in scary or frustrating moments. Trust your instincts is probably the best advice I've seen here. There are lots of books and websites (and your local library) for natural baby food- with that, as with breastfeeding/bottle, diapers/EC/potting training, and every other decision you'll make- try and get informed, find a local mommy's group or playdate area and do your best- you'll be fabulous! No one is going to know more than you and trust me, sometimes we just have to wade through until we get there. again, congratulations and best of luck! Noelle
sonicmama picture
sonicmama
12/16/09
Sidestepping the breastmilk/formula debate, I'd like to focus on the third point of the article: "Breastfeeding can be a lot harder than you'd think. Not all babies, nor all moms, are "naturals." It often takes work, and in some cases, doesn't work at all. So don't beat yourself up if it just isn't happening." This is all true - we are lead to believe it is 100% "natural" but much of it is hard to figure out as you go along. There are many steps you can take PRE-BABY to be a successful breastfeeding duo with your baby: - Get informed... read up on it, learn the best positions for the baby, properly latching techniques, etc. I had NO idea of some of these things before I started reading. It is great to be exposed to such things before the baby is born. - Go to a meeting. La Leche League had meetings once a month near my home and I went to two of them before I was pregnant. The group was very low-key and ran the gamut from pregnant mothers to mothers of 1+ year olds with weaning questions. It was probably the most worthwhile thing I did from a breastfeeding standpoint before my baby was born. - If you are really nervous (I was) take a class at your local hosptial or birthing center. Some insurance carriers pay for this (or part of it). Again, latching, positions, etc are better to learn BEFORE the baby comes rather than when you have just given birth and are exhausted with a hungry, crying newborn who won't latch. - Use your common sense. You'll hear a comical amount of anecdotes and old wives tales about getting ready for breastfeeding. Everything from buying expensive salves and ointments to "prepare" your breasts to horrible things like using sandpaper on your nipples to toughen them up. Save your money and save yourself a lot of pain. Nature knows best. You don't need anything as the body takes care of itself. In fact, stop using soap on your nipples in the months leading up to the baby as soap can dry out the natural oils (tidbit I learned in a breastfeeding class). - Take advantage of in-hospital lactation consultants at your hospital when the baby is born. Breastfeeding is tough but it can be easier with some preparation. Don't give up if you can help it! Honestly, I was not looking forward to it but it ended up being incredibly rewarding and worthwhile to me.
cparisi110973 picture
cparisi110973
12/16/09
I think anytime you get into the breastfeeding vs formula feeding debate it gets ugly!! I do believe that most women don't give breastfeeding 110%. But, I also know women that have given it 110% and spent hundreds of dollars on lactation consultants and the baby has still never learned to latch properly. But those same women chose to pump and still give the babies breastmilk even though it takes alot more time and energy. I also feel bad for the moms that do switch to formula because we lack pediatricians in this country that will give moms the help and advice they need about breastfeeing, or even point them in the right direction to get help. From expierience, if you hit one little bump in the road with breastfeeding, your pediatrician will most likely tell you to supplement with formula. Now why is this? Why are they not referring these moms to lactation consultants or to La Leche League? Why are they telling them immediately to supplement with formula? It's sad, maybe someday things will be different...... Formula vs Flesh comment, please tell me that you are joking??
Historygal3 picture
Historygal3
12/16/09
When I was pregnant I read all the advice about what you should and shouldn't do to raise healthy kids. I am happy to say that I had an all natural birth, we use cloth diapers, and breastfeed exclusively. However; we gave up on co-sleeping within two weeks, we gave her a pacifier, I let her cry herself to sleep, I've left her sleeping in the car for a minute to run into a store, and she loves to watch TV; all parent rules I swore I would never break. Stick to your guns on what matters most to you and let the rest go. I have a happy healthy baby and she has a happy healthy mom. In the end that's all that matters.
tfreid picture
tfreid
12/16/09
As someone completely devouted to raising my baby as naturally as I could, it was devestating to me when I COULDN'T breastfeed. When people say "you can always breastfeed if you aren't a wuss about it and don't give up when it is hard", I can only think that they problaby didn't have any troubles with it and don't know what they are talking about. I can tell you that it is not always possible no matter how hard you try. I did everything I could, had a lactation consultant helping me, took medicines, tried weird contraptions, and still the milk didn't come out enough to feed my baby. She lost too much weight too fast and the doctors said it was getting dangerous, so I had to give her formula. I pumped for 3 months to give her what I could make, but it was never more than a few onces at a time, so I had to supplement with formula. I felt like a failure, and seeing articles and posts by people telling me I was a failure or a bad mother didn't help at all. I was embarrasaed to bottle feed out in public for fear of what people (mostly other mothers) would think. What I realized, eventually, is that all the stress I was going through trying to make milk and the time I spent away from my baby pumping, taking herbal supplements (some of which made me very sick), meeting with the lactation consultant, trying different pumps/techniques was precious time away from my baby. What she really needed was my love and attention and to have me not stressed. She is thriving now, a healthy, happy, smart vegetarian 2.5 year old. Do I wish I could have breastfed her? Yes. Am I glad that I was able to feed her formula so she could live past 2 weeks old? You bet I am. I thought about finding a milk supply from other mothers. One of the hospitals about half an hour from my house has a milk bank. But that milk is in short supply and they desperately need it for premature babies and babies with serious illnesses that can't tolerate formula and need all the breastmilk they can get to survive. I didn't feel right taking that away from one of those babies to feed to my baby who tolerated formula fine (and by the way, it didn't make my baby smell gross like mehogref states... she smelled just as sweet as other babies do.) In the end, my advice to you is to do what works for you and your family and don't pay too much attention to what other mothers might think of your choices. Best of luck as you embark on this amazing journey!
amycropp picture
amycropp
12/16/09
As a women preparing for the next chapter in life, becoming a parent, I have to say that I'm shocked by the comments posted. This has completely turned me away from seeking advise from this site. I can not believe how unhelpful these comments have been for a future mother. One can be passionate about these topics but please see the line between passion and down right rudeness.
hjpollock picture
hjpollock
12/16/09
We have used cloth on our one year old ever since her umbilical stump fell off. Just before we switched to solid foods we purchased a Potty Pail and a diaper sprayer. (<A HREF="http://www.thepottypail.com" TARGET="_blank">www.thepottypail.com</A>) WE LOVE IT!! The diaper sprayer takes care of all the poop before it goes in the wash, and the Potty Pail makes it _much_ easier to spray off the diapers into the toilet - no bending over, less chance of sending a spray of poop-filled water all over the bathroom! Plus we _never_ have to smell the poop for more than about a minute post-change - instead of it sitting in some type of diaper pail until emptied, it's flushed down the toilet!
amy trey picture
amy trey
12/16/09
Mom2irishdevils, You are so out of line criticizing the choices other mothers' make. Generations of children were formula-fed and turned out perfectly healthy. Of course breast is best, but there are many perfectly acceptable ways of combining breast and formula, or even--gasp--going all formula if you have to. AND SOME PEOPLE HAVE TO.
vewatson picture
vewatson
12/16/09
I had my 1st child in October and have LOVED using cloth diapers-they just as easy as disposables now! We also use a green bottom cleaner and reusable wipes. Not only is it much better for the environment, its much softer & better for our little one (the fabrics in the diapers and wipes are super soft !), and its SOOOO much cheaper!! After reading the above comment, I realize I haven't hit the solid food stage, but we did install a sprayer beside our toilet to hose off the diapers before washing. I'm not sure if it'll still be easy after soilds enter the picture, but breastfeed babies and all-in-one cloth diapers work really well!
sarajane88 picture
sarajane88
12/16/09
I am shocked by the formula vs flesh comment. Wow. Anyways, excellent points mehogref. I also agree with reading Mothering & attending La Leche League meetings. There may also be an Attachment Parenting group in your area, check meetup.com and attachmentparenting.org. Books by Dr. Sears are wonderful. And why even bother making your own baby food? Just give the baby a little of what you're eating before adding all the seasonings/spices. The main point I try to make to expectant parents is to listen to your heart and not what "everyone else" is doing. Do what YOU feel is best for you & your family. I love this quote: "Being an authentic individual means that you make decisions based on your personal vision of what you believe is best for your family, not simply on what other parents are doing." - Peggy O'Mara, editor of Mothering magazine
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mehogref
12/13/09
Oh my goodness. First of all, congratulations on the pending birth of your first child. The most amazing thing is about to happen to you. That said, I'm sorry everyone is probably freaking you out. But unfortunately, like everything in life, parenthood is not without it's controversy. So stop reading the books and start listening to your inner guide. The books can get you more crazy than they are worth. As for your other points... 1. yes, on the veggies. So important. My kids both eat them, love them, and ask for more. I swear it's because we eat them, and have always given a wide array of fruits and veggies to them. If they don't like them, keep trying!! 100 times if you have to. 2. Breastfeeding is better for the babes. Yes, formula is disgusting. It makes the baby smell so gross and babies are not cows. Their brains are not formed at birth like a cow, so try really hard to nurse. My firm belief is that everyone can nurse they are just too much of a wuss to get through the hard part in the beginning. So suck up any pain you may have in the beginning. Get help from a lactation consultant if you have any difficulty. And be like the engine that could...you can do it!! There shouldn't be an option. That said, if your child is a chow hound, giving yourself a break with a bottle of formula once in a while isn't going to hurt them. Just don't make it a habit. It should be a once in a while thing. Yes, pumping sucks. But buy the good quality Medela and use it if you return to work or miss a feeding. Do your homework on cow's milk. This may help your decision if you waiver. 3. Cloth diapering is worth it. But be realistic. It can get gross when the babies go on solid food. While exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months...enjoy saving all the money and washing them is easy. BF poops are not that bad. Use 7th generation disposables if you want to when you go out. I used cloth on both kids. Switched to disposables when my daughter peed through every kind of cloth I used. So I couldn't take it anymore. She was over a year old. Used them on my son for 6 months. When he went on solids I couldn't handle the dealing with the poop in the washing machine with two kids under the age of 3. Check out the all-in-one or save money and use the chinese prefolds with a pro-wrap. Great for infants!! Oh, and do cloth wipes. They are the best. I just buy a ton of Gerber washcloths. Put them in a solution of water and a little tea tree oil and keep them in a wipe warmer. 4. Inform yourself on immunizations. Be smart. I liked Dr. Sears' book. But in the end it's a personal decision. 5. Use as many organic products as possible! Mattress is important!! Green cleaning products!! Be careful of your personal care products as they contribute to the baby's health. ie. perfume, lotion, shampoo, body wash, deodorant. 6. Read Mothering and like-minded literature. 7. Play with the baby. Be with the baby. Read to the baby. And make he/she a top priority in your life. I see so many kids whose parents don't take the time anymore. That's the main problem we have in our society. Kids need our time and attention. We need to cook them healthy foods, take them outside everyday for fun and exercise, and teach them to be good people. 8. anything else...you'll get to it eventually. Parenthood is the hardest job I've ever had. No one warned me. And as a teacher, I thought I'd be okay. But again, no one warned me. Your own kids are soooooo different. But it's the most important job I'll ever have. And I love it. p.s. I almost forgot. Educate yourself on a natural birth. When you go into labor walk around, stay mobile, and don't lay around. You'll slow the labor down. Hypnobirth was a great tool for pain for me. Don't go to those docs who do a planned cesarean. Try a midwife. They are awesome. Women's bodies are meant to birth. Learn about birthing and what your body is able to do. Don't be afraid. You'll be great.
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mom2irishdevils
12/11/09
tcoop3, if youd like a link to some really inexpensive diapers, ill send it to you, they are only about 9$ a piece (buy them on ebay), and currently its the only diaper in my stash (economics came before brand name or cute patterns!) and its a pocket one size. I love it, so if you are interrested, let me know!
tcoop3 picture
tcoop3
12/10/09
From mom2irishdevils: "However, at least i admit to the things in my life that are unnatural and dont get defensive about it." Exactly that. None of us are perfect. But at least own up to it! People who CHOOSE to formula feed need to realize (how can you not with all the factual information out there) that formula is not even in the same book as breastmilk. I use disposable diapers! It sucks. I know I could do better. And I am going to burn in hell for it. I am presently pregnant (and still nursing my son who is almost 3 years old :)) and I am buying cloth diapers every month to build my supply. This time around, I will cloth dipe! Should be 100% natural then. :)
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tcoop3
12/10/09
I totally agree with mom2irishdevils. There is no comparison to breastmilk. This article makes it seem like it is no big deal. "If it's hard, you did your best." It advocates natural feeding with veggies, but lets formula feeders off the hook. Good nutrition begins with breastmilk. If one is truly unable to (like irishmom said, around 3% world wide), formula is an option. You can also get donor milk or a wet nurse. You can make milk for your child. There are recipes online and in books. Adoptive parents can breastfeed. Formula IS crap, no matter how you look at it. Look at the ingredients. Why wouldn't one want to go the extra mile for their child? Even men can breastfeed (if two gay men - or one - adopted a child, even he could breastfeed). Formula feeding or breastfeeding IS a choice. We don't need to make anyone feel warm and fuzzy about their choices. If we feel we are making the best choices for our children, isn't that all that matters? Mothering is an excellent, reliable source for great NATURAL parenting.
bbputman picture
bbputman
12/10/09
...that people feel free to say offensive things to adoptive parents and then when we express our pov, we're chastised for being defensive. Sad, but true. Enjoy your one-sided debate and narrow pov. I'm done.
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mom2irishdevils
12/10/09
Formula is inferior at best. Unfortuate for adopted babies, but true. Fortunately, you are an adopting parent (applause all around, honestly) and if you are truly trying to be a natural one, at least their table foods can be superior if you choose to make homemade and avoid cooked to death nutrient void jarred foods (organic or not). As for EC, love it in theory, hate it in practice, and virtually impossible with 4 kids under 4 years old :) Seventh Generation may or may not have a formula (no idea, i only buy their cleaning supplies when im too lazy to make them) but that is also moot. If you are touting your Natural Parenting techniques, formula feeding whether it be organic or conventional is 100% lab created and not anywhere in the realm of natural. Im saying this as someone who is not 100% natural either, whos perfect? However, at least i admit to the things in my life that are unnatural and dont get defensive about it.
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wooznie
12/10/09
Before you scream...moderate to fit your lifestyle. Babies can go to the bathroom just like you do. Diaper rash? Not when you use EC (Elimination Communication) or Natural Infant Hygiene. I can count on one hand how many poopy diapers/clothes I've had to change since my daughter was just 3-months old. If you really want to have a natural baby that can be completely potty trained in about a year don't even go the diaper route unless you have to.
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shannonpixie
12/10/09
Insisting that an adoptive mother go through the difficulties of forced lactation is a bit too much imo. I'm totally for breastfeeding, but I think adoption is one of those times where the choice is beyond "what's best for baby". Formula or Breast is a choice, yes, and we know that breast is best. We as a society need to start supporting mothers in making the better choice, not riding them down for choosing the alternative, which is what we tend to do. Of course, all this is moot. Doesn't Seventh Generation have it's own formula?
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jcrissey
12/10/09
It IS possible for ANY woman to breastfeed her child, whether the child is biological or adopted. If a mom-to-be of an adopted infant pumps before her child is born she can stimulate her nipple enough to cause release of the hormone prolactin and the production of breastmilk. Other alternatives for adopted moms are wet nurses or a supportive community. It takes a village to raise a child. This <A HREF="http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/12/01/marquette.moms.nursing.moses/index.html" TARGET="_blank">link</A> describes a mother who died in childbirth and a community of moms who breastfed her child for an ENTIRE year!!! PLEASE let us NEVER forget that our babies are born to breastfed, NATURE is ALWAYS best for mom and baby. Don't let the formula companies convince you otherwise! The best advice I can give to a new mom- is STAY informed, go to a La Leche League meeting while you are still pregnant, and trust your instincts. Peace and Love to all you new mamas!
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bbputman
12/10/09
Formula isn't "crap" for adopted babies.
mom2irishdevils picture
mom2irishdevils
12/10/09
Firstly, even though not all babies or moms are naturals at breastfeeding, it IS important to give it 110% effort because the result is worth it. Formula is crap, and theres ALWAYS resources and help for moms in need. Medically speaking, only about 3% of mothers have valid reasons for not breastfeeding, but 100% of babies are capable of breastfeeding, as they have no ingrained knowledge of silicone nipples as a first preference. If you are trying to be a "natural parent", i cant imagine advocating formula. Pumping yes, but formula no. As for the veggies, its equally as important that the mom be the first one to feed the babie veggies in utero. Your prenatal diet plays a large part in what your baby's preferences are later, they develop tastebuds and can taste the different things in the amniotic fluid. Dont use a traditional pediatrician if you want support in your natural parenting. Either seek out a naturopath or DO, or if none are available, try a family practice, they are generally more receptive to natural parenting overall. Cloth diapers are economical and as easy to use as a dispoable these days. After having twins we spent $280 on cloth diapers (who are 18 months old and still using the same ones), and was spending $1200 a year on Pampers for my older boys who i did not cloth diaper till almost potty trained. if you like readable support for your parenting decisions, buy a digital subscription to Mothering magazine. Very much a valuable natural parenting source and its only $9 for a digital subscription, im on my seccond year of it.