The Bottom Of A Mom's Purse

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Should Hospitals Stop Giving out Formula? October 24, 2012

            No, hospitals should continue to provide new mothers with options and choices. The American Academy of Pediatrics Recommend exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months, then up to a year with solids introduced. After a year, continue as long as the mother and child desire. Hospitals are encouraged by consumer and health organizations to promote breast as the best way to feed your infant. It is said that sixty-six percent of hospitals still give away formula samples. Advocates for breastfeeding say that samples shouldn’t be given out because they believe that the samples may discourage breastfeeding for new moms. What about the moms who give birth to premies and/ or multiples or are sick? Exclusive breastfeeding may not be an option. For mothers who choose not to breast feed for whatever the reason may be, shouldn’t be left in the dark about what choices they have as far as formula. The decision whether to breastfeed or to bottle feed should come from the mother, not from the general public.

 

Who are the people who are seeking the change? Many are children of mothers who most likely did not breastfeed. In the early fifties breastfeeding was considered old-fashioned and unsanitary. In 1971, only twenty-four percent of mothers chose to breastfeed. By six months of age only five percent were still breastfeeding. Surely these children did not starve. They were fed formula. The generation survived and many as we all know thrived as well. Today, even the major formula companies such as Nestle, Enfamil and Similac agree that breast is best.

 

There are hundreds of diapers to choose from, major companies give hospitals sample packs to give to new mothers (even though cloth diapering is better for the environment as well as your wallet). This allows the mother simply to sample, try out and possibly continue with use of the brand outside of the hospital. Formula should be no different. There are over 50 different kinds of formula to choose from. Is it really “fair” to essentially withhold information or opportunity about what to feed their child just because others simply don’t agree with her choice? The AAP stated that as of 2010, out of the eighty percent of mothers who plan to breastfeed, seventy-five percent of new moms actually have breastfed, only forty percent breastfed exclusively for the first 3 months. Only 50 percent continue to do so until six months of age, with 14 to 17 percent doing so exclusively. It’s pretty safe to say that most mothers will at some point give their infant formula. So when the time does come to give formula, those samples may help guide mothers to which product fits their infants needs. As the American Hospital Association stated to Fox News, “Having information and resources available for mothers who choose not to breastfeed is a responsible and supportive approach for the hospital”.

 

Many fear that the accessibility of the formula is an incentive for exhausted and stressed out new moms to hand-off the baby to a nurse for a bottle feeding. Is giving a mother no other alternatives the answer, especially a mother who is sleep deprived and facing frustration with breastfeeding? Formula can offer moms a chance to sleep, offer the same “feeding time bond” between a father and baby, or even give breastfeeding moms with dry, cracked or sore nipples a chance to recover. Due to all the available research that has been done over 40 years and more, we can all agree that breastfeeding is best and hospitals should continue to support mothers trying to breastfeed. But taking away formula isn’t taking away the true problem for those who struggle with breastfeeding. All hospitals and birthing centers should be providing on site lactation consultants, as well as resources outside the hospital. Doctors and pediatricians should be taking the time to talk to the mother and question how well the feedings are going and offering helpful advice. Education should be given to all maternity ward staff throughout the hospitals across the nation. New moms should be educated and encouraged to start and continue breastfeeding, but not by making them feel as if they don’t have a choice. Blaming the samples on providing temptation would be much like arguing that free condoms are incentive for teens to engage in pre-marital sex. If a mother wants to breastfeed then she should be prepared for the hurdles ahead. This is why education is important. Taking away samples is another way to promote the endless propaganda associated with breastfeeding. Even though formula is not harmful in any way (with the exception of a small handful of isolated incidents in the last thirty years), and infants have proved to thrive on formula, America has found countless ways to make bottle feeding moms feel ashamed. This is just another way to encourage the shame.

 

Are formula companies really using new moms as a way of marketing? Most likely, at least no more or less than McDonald’s is using our children to market their product. What company isn’t trying to market to us, no matter who we are. We have the option to say no. We have the ability to make decisions and choices for you and your family. Do we eat whatever television tells us to? If every time you went to the market and they gave out a free bucket of lard, would you eat it just because it was given to you? Chances are, after knowing the risks and benefits (if any) you would be able to come up with a decision that fits your own body and life style. Every company that chooses to stuff their offers, products and samples in to the goodie bag that you take home from the hospital is trying to market to you. Yes, the company that provides a hospital with samples is hoping that you choose that brand. It may or may not be a more expensive brand, but we as Americans have the choice and ability to do the necessary research to find the differences in costs and features. We do this continuously with millions of other products and services.

 

If what formula companies and hospitals are doing is wrong, then what about the government program Women, Infant, and Children? WIC is a Federal grant program that provides low-income families with free healthy food for pregnant and nursing moms and children, as well as free formula for infants. WIC is available in all fifty states as well as many islands. WIC, just like any decent health professionals, do everything that they can to promote breastfeeding as the best way to feed your infant, but for those that do choose to formula feed, they have no problem providing new mothers with iron-fortified infant formula. The agency is required by law to establish competitive contracts with formula companies that are willing to provide rebates. The rebates allow the price of formula to drop down to an average of twenty-five cents a can. The program benefits 9.17 million people each month, including 53 percent of all the infants that are born in the USA. Half of all infant formula sold in the US is through WIC. Even with the readily available free formula that WIC provides, the number of WIC participated moms that choose to breastfeed have continued to rise. The program has proven that while providing infant formula (which is free just like the samples given out at the hospitals) they can still persuade new moms to choose to breastfeed.

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Mom Shopping October 5, 2012

I apologize to my readers, I’ve just been so busy I haven’t had not a moment to write. (was that a double negative?) The kids have kept me quite busy. With Elyssa in cheer and Olivia wanting to be stuck to me like glue, it never stops. Recently my friend from Texas moved back home. It is so wonderful to have her and her daughter around.

With Fall time comes fairs and here in New England, For those of you across the globe who don’t know, It’s the Big E, or less commonly known as the Big Eastern States Exposition. It comes every year and it’s a blast to be had by all ages. It really is an amazing event. There are all kinds of shows like Jeff Dunham and Alan Jackson, as well as other entertainment. There are animals, and animal shows throughout the grounds.

 

When we saw these playful guys we couldn’t resist. They’re among the seal and sea-lion family, but for the life of me I can’t remember what they’re called. Other than the fish breath they were quite pleasant.

Even Olivia enjoyed the petting zoo. We spent the day on rides (for both kids and adults), eating amazing food, and walking about the different vendors. We had a lot of fun, and can’t wait for next year.

 

So with a new shopping gal pal around, I’ve had another excuse (not that I needed one) to do just that. Recently we went to Kohls, one of my favorite stores. They have great clothes for me, as well as the kids. Best of all, prices are very reasonable. The downfall, the shopping carts. My big ol’ pumpkin of a kid, was still too small to ride. She’s six months old and yes, old enough to sit unsupported, but still she wobbled as we pushed her throughout the store. Before she could sit, I was forced to either carry her in the car seat, or bring her stroller.

Some parents, will go as far to argue that car seats aren’t safe on top of the standard shopping carts anyway, but honestly I believe that car seat makers say that simply for liability reasons. I find that the car seat snap in to a cart just like it would snap to the base. Trips to BJ’s or any market would be miserable if I put her in the basket portion of the cart.

From what I’ve heard around the country, not every Kohls has these horrible carts, leaving a mom with so few options, but what a store in the next state over has, doesn’t help me in any way. Sure, for some bringing the stroller or a baby wrap is no big deal, but for many, it’s a big inconvenience, a pain, and a hassle. I won’t stop shopping at Kohls, but I’m definitely less inclined to shop here with the tiny tot in tow.

So the ongoing battle of making life functional with children continues to go on, But I must say the daily struggles do seem minimal. Until next time my readers…

 

True Fun For the Fam July 14, 2012

Filed under: Family — xmommy1x @ 12:14 am
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Talk about unexpected fun! I took the kids to a pottery studio the other day. They carry tones of unpainted pottery (like banks, dishware and such), You pick a piece and you paint it to your liking. The put it in a kiln (it’s like a big oven) and its glazed, shiny and ready for use.

 

Elyssa choose a hello kitty bank, and I a turtle; Sheila’s feeling lonely back in Texas I thought I’d send her something to cheer her up (she likes turtles).

I actually enjoyed it. The baby was content sitting in her car seat playing with toys. We were there about an hour or so.

The place I went to isn’t a chain, but I believe there are all kinds of these little studios around the country.

What’s even better, At night, they have a Bring Your Own Booze policy for adults. I’m not a heavy drinker by any means, but the idea of sipping wine with other adults and painting pottery, sounds like a great refresher for those looking to restore sanity by engaging with other adult (who are probably parents  as well).

Its gonna take two weeks till we can pick up our pieces, and it was a little pricy, but not too bad . But it’s all worth it. The studio also does jewelry making , glass fusing, and mosaics.  I’ve even convinced Jeff to come with me one night! The possibilities are endless here, and you don’t need any talent to do it. I’m all about different and this is definetly it.

 

Life Can Happen Fast July 13, 2012

Filed under: Family — xmommy1x @ 3:18 am
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Last few weeks have been non-stop. It’s been cook-outs, pools, beaches and more, not to mention an ER visit with the wee one. In case all that fun was throwing all life off-balance, for whatever reason my sides/ribs have been horribly sore. It seems whenever I inflate my lungs, they apply pressure to whatever is hurting.

I don’t know if that’s even possible, but that’s what it feels like.

Really it’s only bad when I hiccup or yawn, which got me wondering (This right here is where it all starts, the  “wonder”):

Why do we yawn?

I’ve head a few different reasons over the years, but never really thought about it (or cared). I searched on good ol wiki for the true reason only to find out that my trusted goto site didn’t haven any more of an idea than I did.  A few theories that could go either way on whether they could be right or not. But that’s it.

So being out at strange houses (by strange I just mean houses other than ours) it’s always a question of what we’re gonna bring for the baby to sit/ lay in. Sometimes its the bouncy others it’s the stroller. Up until now it wasn’t a huge deal because she was probably gonna sleep most of the time, but now she tends to want to be apart of the crowd.

So a few years ago I saw something in target unlike anything I had seen before. It was a seat for babies who couldn’t support their heads yet. Unlike a bouncy, the BUMBO allows infants to fully sit up.

It’s perfect! Well, almost. It does have a few drawbacks:

 There are times where you might not want your little one so close to the ground.

Depending on your baby, he or she may grow out of the sit rather quickly. It supposed to go to 22lbs

This short use item has a price tag of 40 dollars or more!

 My best advice for acquiring this quite nifty piece of baby gear, Craigslist! I found it for 15 dollars from a mother who said her 9 month old who [get ready…] grew out of the wonder seat. Actually, I saw three within two days. There are trays that can be attached, new Amazon has them for less than 10 dollars.

So in all it is worth having, but it is not worth the price. Just be smart.

 

Good Friends, Good Food July 5, 2012

Filed under: Family,Food — xmommy1x @ 3:23 am
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Ass a child I was very a picky eater. Worse, my mother just accepted it and didn’t generally make me eat anything I didn’t want to. I didn’t starve, she made a point of buying and making the things that I did eat. Now, Later in life, I’m still somewhat of a picky eater, but at least I’m more willing to try new things. I love eating out at new non-chain places or ordering non familiar dishes at familiar restaurants. It’s fun! With that being said, One of my best friends flew up from Texas and was here visiting friends and family.  She has a little girl about 18 months or so.

 

I found it interesting to watch and interact with her because its been a long time since Elyssa was that little and Olivia is still a bit away from being that big. At the same time she found amusement in playing with an older more interactive child. We had quite the day! We played games throughout the house including Hide and Seek.

 We walked to the local school yard and played and ran in the hot sun.

 

Once dinner time came around we ended up at the local Ihop. I love breakfast anytime of day. I don’t see the taboo in eating “breakfast” for dinner. As long as it’s somewhat healthy and/ or balanced. We knew Ihop would be perfect for the kids most of all. It’s nice, but not so nice that you worry about the mess kids leave behind. I got the bacon omelet with pancakes. Minus the chaos of the children, it was really good. I loved it. It had this amazing cheese sauce in the middle, and of course tons of bacon.

 

We hung out a bit longer until the children tiered out. I was purely exhausted. The heat, the excitement of it all, I was happy to end the day and put my feet up. Sheila is one of my best friends and even though she is [what seems like] a million miles away, we do a lot together throughout the year.

 

Being a stay at home mom can become very isolating. I find myself looking forward to cookouts and other get-togethers more so than I used to. For most of us it is in our human nature to be social. We thrive on human interaction. Don’t fight it, embrace it!

 

Man has it been… June 25, 2012

Filed under: Family — xmommy1x @ 1:15 am
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Man has it been hot. We live in New England, so we get all kinds of weather. Here and there we go through little heat waves. Anything 90+ degrees for three days we consider it a heat wave. It’s hard to imagine that there are places that 90+ is the norm.

 

Today is much cooler though. It’s a nice 85 out. My oldest is with my mom and Jeff is out fishing, so just Olivia and I.

 

I know some people like baby wearing, but I feel like I might bump into something and hurt her. Luckily she likes her swing (especially when I have cleaning to do). sadly yes, I have the house mostly to myself on a beauful day and the only thing I want to do is clean. “you know you’re a mom when…” I cleaned for a while and realized Olivia’s been quiet/ asleep for a while, even after I shut it off.

 

Jeff’s grandparents came for a visit a short time ago and his grandmother actually asked if the swing ran on a crank! Her son (Jeff’s dad) replied with “No ma! They have electricity”. It was an amusing moment to say the least. As we chatted, I realized how far we’ve come is such a short time.

The hand crank swings were horrible (but the intention was great). Once you wound the crank it was only good for a short time before someone had to rewind it often causing the baby to wake. How effective they were, I am unsure since this was before my time.

I remember my younger cousins having a battery operated swing that took about four D batteries. Thankfully, ours plugs in. I would hate to run out of batteries in the middle of a fussy night. We all know that’s the only time they would die.

But even further than the plug, not only does this swing play music, has six different settings and vibrates, but the seat detaches with the push of a button and turns into a bouncy! I wasn’t going to even buy a bouncy, just to save money. Plus I figured with all the other stuff we had, We didn’t really NEED a bouncy. But since it came with it and wasn’t any pricey-er than the rest, (I think we paid about $120) we said “why not“! It’s great because it fits nicely ::Note that I say nicely, not easily:: into the trunk. It gives we some where to put Olivia down when we’re visiting grandparents. Plus the vibrating motion is attached to the seat so it still vibrates on the go.

I guess out of all the gear we got, the swing is one of my favorites. One thing that I wish I did get was a bigger wallet for all those medical cards that came with the new baby. I guess that’s my new excuse to go shopping!

I wonder, whats one things other moms coun’t live without?

 

Happy Fathers Day! June 18, 2012

Happy fathers day to all the great fathers out there. I Hope everyone enjoyed their day regardless of parental status. It was a warm day so I took the girls to my dads.

My little Olivia. Jeff decided to spend the day on the couch.  He works all week I guess he’s earned it. I however, did not want to spend the day in the house all day. It wasn’t much but it was nice to get out. Not having my own car is mentally crippling me. I’m so bored. I shouldn’t complain, I worked hard for more than four years, sometimes working two or three jobs at once. So its kinda nice to slow down (as much you can with an infant and a 6-year-old)! Being a stay at home has its benefits definitely, but not having my own income is what’s killing me. It would be different in we could really afford for me to stay home. Sigh

 

So I was taking some courses this past spring and while doing research, I came across an article about a new trend. Stay at home dads. I knew they were out there (though I don’t personally know any), but I never really though about it being any different from a stay at home mom. apparently, according to the U.S. Census Bureau Stay at home dads are considered “child-care”.

 

Seems a bit bias. Stay at home moms are providers and stay at home dads are babysitters. Some would ask “who cares what the government labels us as?” but in a way it doesn matter, (at least a little). Dad’s that choose to stay home face a lot of discrimination. Even I’m not sure that I would be comfortable with the idea. being labeled as “childcare arrangement” isn’t pushing the movement any further.

 

We are stuck in some ways, and well progressed in others. I think as a woman I feel a need to be taken care of and protected. Yet, my sense of independence wants my own life/ money. In an even slightly perfect world, I would love to win even just a small fortune (well, who wouldn’t want that). Not tons, but just enough.

 

We can all dream can’t we?