Have you ever wondered what exactly is in breastmilk?Â What are the specific nutrients that make this natural miracle the perfect food for babies? Â Today’s natural parenting post is from Breastfeeding.com, an excellent online resource for breastfeeding mothers.Â Researchers have been conducting studies for years to learn more about the elements of breastmilk and wanted to share this article with some interesting information.
Nursing mothers have long known that by breastfeeding, they are passing on immunities to their babies to help fight viruses and illnesses.Â Now, researchers believe they are beginning to understand exactly how that illness protection works.
A group of researchers have identified a specific kind of protein in breastmilk that helps jump-start a baby’s immune system, providing active protection to the baby.Â The protein, called soluble CD14, works to develop B cells, which are immune cells that are instrumental in the production of antibodies.
Researchers had known about CD14 for some time, but they had not clearly understood its function.
“This is the first demonstration of this biological activity of the molecule and the fact that it is so extraordinarily enriched in mammary secretions,” Dr. Julius told Reuters news service.
Dr. Julius and his colleagues at the University of Western Ontario, Osaka University and Toronto-based GEMMA Biotechnology Inc. studied CD14 and the B cells in mice to come up with their findings.Â Further tests revealed that human milk and colostrum are rich in CD14.
Click here to read an abstract of this study.
A research study with fathers and their babies was carried out in Australia in 1992. It was shown that at 12 weeks old, babies who were massaged from when they were 4 weeks oldÂ greeted their fathers with more eye contact, smiling, vocalizing and touch than those who were not.Â In addition, the fathers showed greater day to day involvement with their infants.Â Regular infant massage allows fathers and babies to enjoy a level of intimacy that mothers experience through breastfeeding.
Research over the past 20 years is demonstrating the many positive effects ofÂ Baby MassageÂ to include better emotional well being for the infant and numerous physical benefits such as:
Improves relaxation and release of accumulated stress
Strengthens digestive, circulatory and gastrointestinal systems, which can lead to weight gain
Reduces discomfort from teething, congestion, gas, colic and emotional stress
Improves muscle tone coordination
Increases elimination, circulation and respiration
Improves sleep patterns
In addition, there are many benefits to the parent of giving massage :
Improves ability to read infant cues
Improves synchrony between caregiver and infant
Increases confidence in parenting
Increases communication-verbal and non-verbal
Provides time to share, and quality time
Parenting for many comes as a surprise. We’re suddenly filled with so many questions and so little time. But one simple thing can go a long way in building bonds of love and reassurance between parents and baby and that is the simple act of “a loving touch”.
This is the beauty of touch and baby massage. For five minutes you can give your baby your undivided attention. Gently stroking their tender skin, you establish a powerful nonverbal communication with your child from the very beginning.
And if you are reading this and your baby is already a year or older… it’s not too late to start. All children need a caring touch.Â Â For more info, see tips on baby massageand how to make your own organic baby massage oil.
I originally posted this in Dec 2009 but it seems appropriate to post again now. Happy Spring !
One positive that has emerged from the difficult times we are in, is that we are learning to live more simply. From growing a vegetable garden to making home cooked meals (instead of eating out) we are spending less time shopping and consuming. As we enter this holiday season I hope that you can continue to consume less without feeling guilty.
You might even discover that Simple is even better than you could have imagined.
This song Tis A Gift To Be Simple was originally written by Joseph Bracket a Shaker in 1848. Â I really like the newer verses that go with this melody. Â You’ll find the original verse with the sheet music
Tis the gift to be loved and that love to return,
‘Tis the gift to be taught and a richer gift to learn,
And when we expect of others what we try to live each day,
Then we’ll all live together and we’ll all learn to say,
‘Tis the gift to have friends and a true friend to be,
‘Tis the gift to think of others not to only think of “me”,
And when we hear what others really think and really feel,
Then we’ll all live together with a love that is real.
I have devoted my time and efforts to advocating a cloth diapering system because I believe the diaper choice you make will have a lasting effect on your baby and the future of our planet.Â Here are 10 reasons why cloth diapering is more sustainable than disposables and better for the environment:
1. Disposable diapers use 2x as much water as cotton diapers.
2. Disposable diapers use 3x as much energy as cotton diapers.
3. Disposable diapers generate 60x more solid waste than cotton diapers.
4. Disposable diapers use 20x as much raw materials as cotton diapers
5. 1 billion trees per year are destroyed to make disposable diapers—approximately 4.5 for each baby who uses them
6. It takes between 200-500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose.
7. Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent 30% of non-biodegradable waste
8. 1 ton of garbage is created for each baby who uses disposable diapers
9. 1 cup of crude oil is used for the plastic in 1 disposable diaper
10. 18 billion disposalbe diapers are used in the U.S. each year Â enough to stretch to the moon and back 9 times
The sources for the facts listed above are the following: Sierra Club, Californians Against Waste, Rhode Island Solid Waste Management Agency, Lehrberguer Report on the Impact of Diapers on the Environment, Greenpeace, Environmental Defense Fund, Center for Policy Alternatives
Many expecting parents are currently engaged in what I call- “The Great Diaper Debate”.Â They want to do right for the environment and they also want to make the best choice for their baby.Â As expecting parents do more research, they will find numerous arguments out there for both sides- Pro-Disposable and Pro-Cloth.
We are obviously on the Pro-Cloth diapering side after more than 25 years of experience with cloth diapers so I would like to share some thoughts on cloth diapering for you to consider:
Try It Before You Buy It. If you are curious if cloth diapers are right for your baby- I suggest trying them out for a few days with a Sample Package .Â That way, you can really compare the differences between disposable and cloth diaperingÂ before making a commitment.
Cloth diapering is messy and inconvenient is an old myth. Cloth Diapering has come a long way.Â The days of pins, dunking, plastic, toxic mess are long gone. In fact, many of the parents we know who are new to cloth diapering shocked at how easy it really is.Â Innovation and new advances in technology combined with the advances in organic materials have really made a huge difference to the cloth diapering industry.
Reasons why cloth diapers are better:
You’ll save more than $2500 over the cost of disposables.
A disposable diaper is used for 2 hours â€“ a cloth diaper is used for 3 years. Think of all the resources used to produce a product that will last for only 2 hours and then be thrown away. Think about where all the billions of throw-away diapers are going to end up.
You can give your baby 100% natural cotton — wouldnâ€™t you rather have soft cotton next to your skin instead of wood pulp, chemicals and plastic?
Babies Potty Train Earlier when they use cotton because they can feel the wetness.
Babies learn by imitation. You can teach them by example, the responsible way of dealing with waste. You donâ€™t just wrap it up and throw it away.
Agree?Â Disagree?Â We want to continue this discussion!Â For questions or additional benefits of cloth diapering- please leave a comment on our blog or on our Facebook page.