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excellent blog awards February 1, 2008

Posted by guinever in birth, doula, homeschooling.
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excellentblog.jpgIt seems that the excellent blog award is making its rounds through all the birthing blogs because I received the award twice last weekend from a couple educators at Independent Childbirth. Thanks, Nicole for granting me this award “for the Best Menu Bar and Side Bar.” She says “I have loads of easy to find, user-friendly information on her blog. And it doesn’t look messy!”

Thanks, Sheridan, for saying that “I have wonderful supportive posts on all topics, from first foods to positive birth stories. Ask her questions and she will give you thoughtful inspirational answers.”

In order to accept this award, I must pass it along to at least 10 other blogs. I’ve decided to give a few to pregnancy related sites, but I’m also branching out a little bit. Here are my picks:

  1. I’m sending this award over to joyful chaos for her step-by-step front wrap baby carrier tutorial in pictures. I love reading her varied blog about parenting and homeschooling.
  2. to the Mother Tongue for being a funny, sometimes outrageous mothering blog. Here’s the straight dirt on cloth diapering and read about her gameshow debut.
  3. to Belly Tales, the diary of a midwife (used to be the diary of a student midwife). Here are a few videos she posted of Angelina the Midwife.
  4. to Well Preserved for being a nice birth blog with an emphasis on VBAC with a local flair. Here’s a post about births on TV.
  5. to the new Independent Childbirth blog for being a diverse group of birth junkies.
  6. to Mountain Shade, for her breathtaking photographs of Alaska. See the photos of dall sheep and rainbows.
  7. to Tea Time with Liz for having the best ever photograph of brownies and milk.
  8. to the Thinking Mother for being, well, a thinking mother. Her posts are thoroughly researched. Read all about cacoa and her homemade hot cocoa recipe.
  9. to a Fresh Start for gracefully moving through her life after the death of her husband…read about what would have been her 19th anniversary.
  10. and last but not least, to dooalot for posting crazy pictures from the 1970’s of when she was a kid.
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starting baby on solids foods: how to know when and what to feed December 14, 2007

Posted by guinever in babies, breastfeeding, homeschooling.
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126026933v15_240x240_front_color-white.jpgDon’t you just love this onesie? When I took one of my babies to the pediatrician for his 6 month check-up, the conversation went something like this:

Pediatrician: So have you started giving your baby solid food yet?

Thinking mother: No, not yet.

Pediatrician: Well, when are you going to start?

Me: When my milk isn’t meeting his needs anymore.

Pediatrician: Well, when do you think that’s going to be? …a good time to start is when your baby is around 6 months old.

Me: I really don’t know at this point. It could be next week or maybe not for a few months. He’s pretty healthy, isn’t he? I mean look at those thighs. My milk is all he needs right now.

Pediatrician: hmm. (laughing), I guess you’re right. He is a little chunk. And he’s healthy (looking at the medical chart), you haven’t brought him in for any sick visits.

Tips on knowing when to start your baby on solid food:

  • Look at your baby, not at the calendar for knowing when to start solid food; it could be anywhere between 5 and 10 months of age for healthy babies
  • Baby just seems a little fussy after feedings, not as satisfied as he once was
  • Baby wakes up at night after sleeping through the night (this could have other causes like teething or sickness)
  • Baby watches your every move while eating like he wants to get in on the action too
  • Baby starts grabbing your food (can be confusing because babies naturally want to grab everything)
  • If baby thrusts his tongue out at you and seems to gag on the food, he’s not ready. Try again in a few days.

baby’s first perfect foods

  • applesauceavocado.jpg
  • mashed up bananas with a little breastmilk to thin it banana.jpgout
  • mashed up avocado with a little breastmilk in it
  • baby cereals made with breastmilk
  • pears, apples, boiled to soften them
  • sweet potatoes, thinned with breastmilk

what the pediatricians say

* Pediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life and provides continuing protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection. Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child.

* Complementary foods rich in iron should be introduced gradually beginning around 6 months of age. Unique needs or feeding behaviors of individual infants may indicate a need for introduction of complementary foods as early as 4 months of age, whereas other infants may not be ready to accept other foods until approximately 8 months of age.

* Introduction of complementary feedings before 6 months of age generally does not increase total caloric intake or rate of growth and only substitutes foods that lack the protective components of human milk.

* During the first 6 months of age, even in hot climates, water and juice are unnecessary for breastfed infants and may introduce contaminants or allergens.

* Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother, especially in delaying return of fertility (thereby promoting optimal intervals between births). * There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer.

Excerpts from the American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement on Breastfeeding and use of human milk section 10.

looking for birth stories to be included on my website December 7, 2007

Posted by guinever in birth stories, birth story, doula, family, health, home birth, homebirth, homeschooling, midwifery.
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I am looking for more birth stories for my website. Since I have only birthed five children, I am limited in the number I have to offer, so I’m asking for yours. I will be choosy in the birth stories that I publish. This is a natural birth website. This fact doesn’t rule out births where drugs and surgery were involved if you were well-informed during your pregnancy and labor and made decisions accordingly.

  • What I’m looking for: It doesn’t matter where you gave birth– home, birth center or hospital. Things to include would be what you did during pregnancy to prepare yourself for a natural birth, what techniques helped during labor and what things didn’t. If you chose medical intervention, tell me why and how it helped you (or not.) I’m looking for birth stories that will inspire other women to birth naturally. Keep it positive and upbeat.
  • I’m also looking for HBAC and VBAC stories. If you don’t know what that is, then it doesn’t apply to you. In other words, I want to hear about your journey to vaginal birth after surgical birth.
  • What I’m not looking for: standard induction, epidural hospital births. There are plenty of other places on the web who publish those. I don’t want to hear about how painful or unbearable your labor was until you got the drugs.
  • Do not include the name of your hospital, doctor or midwife
  • Guidelines for submission: Use a spell checker. Have someone else read it for grammar and clarity of thought. I don’t have time to do a lot of editing. Do not type in all caps. There is no word limit. It can be as long as you want provided that everything you include adds to the story and isn’t redundant. Absolutely no swearing or crass language will be accepted. Common birth language like “vagina” is perfectly fine when used appropriately.
  • How to submit: You can cut and paste your story into the comment section at the bottom of this article and it will be sent to me via e-mail (it will not appear on the website here). If accepted, it will be posted on this site in a separate article and be listed with other birth stories.

I look forward to reading your birth story.