Baby Steps Blog

No Biggie – Happy Holidays

Published December 17, 2013

What makes you crazy this time of year? Be very careful – don’t “should” on yourself! (That’s a quote from Jeanne Watson Driscoll) Holidays bring so many different kinds of emotions. Every one of us has memories and traditions, and somehow “the stuff” all gets so wrapped up in there too. We want to tell our kids how much we love them – and all of a sudden we’re wondering if we’re going to be able to do the laundry this week. Or we’ve racked up a credit card bill that is going to be trouble. I have a lot of degrees. I started out in English literature, and then learned a lot about apples, vegetables, Vermont product...

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Ten Ways to Keep Your Kids Healthier This Winter!

Published November 25, 2013

A lot of parenting is just plain common sense. But we’ve lived in a world of antibiotics and immunizations for a long time – sometimes I don’t even think about hygiene and good living as a way to stay healthy. So here’s some food for thought during this season of thanks – and opportunities for eating! 1. Breastfeed Come on, you knew I was going to start with that! But my own opinions set aside, breastfeeding is as close as it gets to magic when it comes to keeping babies healthy. Moms’ milk has antibodies and immunities not only against the illnesses and “predators” she’s come across – she actually makes them on-the-spot...

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Flu Blues?

Published November 14, 2013

I just got my flu shot. The cart comes around at the hospital, I roll up my sleeve, and it’s done. Working with pregnant moms, new moms and babies all the time – I like to do my part to keep everyone healthy. Flu shots aren’t perfect, but they are the best we can do right now – and I like to do my best too! Are you pregnant? Or do you have a baby? Or do you love a baby and hang around with a baby? I hope you will get your flu shot too.

I remember how surprised I was to discover that pregnant women have depressed immune systems. What??!! I was eating well, sleeping lots (well, at least during th...

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Planning Ahead for Postpartum

Published October 3, 2013

I think the advice people get about bringing home a newborn baby sometimes begins and ends with “You will never sleep again”. That is not very useful! (Some people do get, “Sleep when the baby sleeps” which is better, but a post for another day.) Here are some practical things to think about when it comes to bringing home your new baby. Do some research, make your plans from there.

List some ways you will get informed about what it’s really like to have a new baby around the house. You would think this would be simple. But I’m a reader and when I went to Amazon and searched “new baby...

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Back to Work – and Breastfeeding

Published August 22, 2013

Four Do's and a Don't DO know that you will miss your baby like crazy. This is a given. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you how wonderfully satisfying it will be to leave your baby and go to work. Moms often feel guilty too. So if there’s a way you can bargain for more time at home, and you can afford it, don’t be afraid to do it. If you can work less, do it. And if you have to go back to work, know that breastfeeding will be a part of your reward – it will help you and your baby to continue the love affair that you’ve begun.Build some snuggle time into the reunion time of your day. Your child care provider may not mind if...

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Getting It Right for Moms and Babies

Published August 7, 2013

The numbers are in – and New Hampshire is the winner! As a Vermonter, I am envious. But I know we’ll be right up there next time. Ah, you say, The age-old Spat between the States. What’s this one about? Well, if it’s me doing the talking you know – it’s breastfeeding. And the facts revolve around another age-old tale: how you birth does make a difference.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a breastfeeding staff that includes two superstars, Larry Grummer-Strawn and Katherine Shealy. Back in 2005 they published a CDC Guide to Breastfeeding Interventions...

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The Beautiful Round Headed Baby

Published July 25, 2013

How does your baby like to sleep? Since the mid-1990’s we’ve been educating parents to put babies on their backs to sleep. When we first started the Back to Sleep (now Safe to Sleep) campaign, many parents – and grandparents – wondered if babies really would be safe sleeping on their backs. (I think “what if she throws up?” was the major question.) When Back to Sleep began, only 17% of parents said they put their babies to sleep on their backs. By 2006 it was over 75% - and the rate of Sudden Unexplained Infant Death went down considerably. (Why? One theory has to do with slow wave sleep patterns – basically babies that sleep t...

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Good News Iron

Published July 9, 2013

We’ve heard a lot lately about the importance of folic acid, Omega-3’s, and Vitamin D during pregnancy. I was surprised to read an update today about the importance of an old friend – iron – during pregnancy. The study was funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It looked at record for nearly two million women, over nearly fifty years – from 1966 – 2012. That’s a lot of babies, and a lot of good information. Rather than a long study that ran all these years, the authors looked at 92 different studies that had already been done. What they found was that taking an iron supplement during pregnancy Leads...

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Breastfeeding Communities

Published June 26, 2013

I’ve just returned from a trip to Fairbanks, Alaska – my daughter and her family live there. We had a lovely time, and because my grandsons are four and seven, we spend a good bit of time in places where there are lots of families.

One thing really struck me. (Of course you are going to laugh at me – it has to do with breastfeeding!) If I didn’t know you could feed a baby at your breast, I would never know it from my time away.

Why does that matter? Well, we have a breastfeeding initiation rate around 90% here at the hospital in Brattleboro. Sometimes peopl...

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Breastfed babies are the original localvores!

Published June 11, 2013

This past weekend we celebrated  Strolling of the Heifers, where we celebrated the wonders of slow living, local eating, and a fresh approach to life. As you celebrate, remember that our babies, fed at the breast, are getting the very best of local foods! Infant formula is, unfortunately, full of genetically modified ingredients and manufactured ingredients – even organic formula is pretty far-from-mom. A recent New York Times article by well-known writer Michael Pollan was startling in its conclusions and based on recent research at the University of Idaho. The study of babies and their specialized diet has yielded key insights i...

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