March 24th, 2009 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Breast is BestResources

How to Reduce the Risk of SIDS


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My husband is a worse worry wart than I am (he is sooo going to be in trouble when our girls become teenagers and start bringing the boys home).  One of his biggest worries when our girls were little was SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  Even though we tried to do all the right 'stuff' to reduce the risk - we are non-smokers and our house is smoke-free (check); we had very healthy pregnancies (check); we put our babies to sleep on their backs or sides (check); we breastfed (check); we used a baby sleeping bag and kept the babies' room at an appropriate temperature monitored by a thermometer (check).  We did what we could but of course we still worried.

The good news is, there are many, many more things you can do to reduce the chance of your baby dying of SIDS.  Here is a great complilation from Dr.Sears outlining the latest research on SIDS reduction - so you can perhaps worry just a teensy weensy bit less.  :-)

Drop a comment below with any questions or comments.  We love to hear from you!

March 18th, 2009 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Inside Snugabell

Why Hook & Eye is Better than Velcro®


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I have had a few queries and comments here and there as to why we've chosen to use hook & eye over Velcro for the PumpEase closure.  Let's talk about that shall we?

While I believe that Velcro is a fantastic product, it definitely has its "issues" (that's right... Velcro needs therapy).  Let me explain... my husband likes to wear these cargo-type pants with a gazillion pockets on them.  They also have a gazillion pieces of Velcro on them to close said pockets.  When it comes time to do the wash, they drive me C-R-A-Z-Y!Velcro up close and personal

Before I put my hubby's pants in the washing machine, I must make sure that each and every piece of Velcro is perfectly lined-up with its partner so as to minimize the chance of the hook side of the Velcro catching on and snagging other garments - usually knits - in the wash (look at those evil hooks in the picture to the right!)  Then I have to turn the pants inside-out because there is always a chance of one of those gazillion pieces of Velcro coming undone during the wash, especially after the garment has been around for a while and that dreaded hook side is all caught-up with fuzz, dust, loose threads and hair (yuck). By the time that happens, the loop side has worn out to the point where the loops are no longer um... loopy (they will eventually break after connecting with those evil hooks multiple times).  As a result, the Velcro doesn't stay all close and personal like it did when it was new (but somehow the hook side is still quite capable of snagging other garments and completely ruining them!)  This "matching of Velcro" is, of course, extremely time consuming when I have two little ones running around; I barely find the time to fold the clothes and put them away, let alone all the work actually getting the wash INTO the machine in the first place!

More often than I would like, even with all my preventative action, I pull the clothing out of the washing machine and a lowly piece of Velcro has completely mutilated yet another garment - and it is uncanny how many times that garment belongs to YOURS TRULY!

Why don't I wash my husband's pants separately you ask?  Well, we have a front-loader so as to reduce the number of loads of laundry we do for both economic and environmental reasons, therefore that kind-of defeats the purpose doesn't it?  There are sometimes only one, maybe two pairs of these pants in the laundry at a time.

Why don't I get a new husband?  Uh... NO.  My husband is a keeper!

Why don't I get my husband a wardrobe consultant?  Well, I have tried to convince my... umm, er, sigh!

But I digress, Velcro is especially "attracted" to knits because they too have "loops" as part of their construction (see the diagram to the left).  And guess what?  PumpEase™ are made from a knit.  Are you starting to understand why we chose NOT to use Velcro?

hook & eye

Now some of you may counter that hook & eye will "catch" on things in the wash too.  Yes, that is certainly true, however when you remove the hook & eye that is caught on another garment, you unhook it and that's it.  To avoid this altogether, we recommend either simply hand-washing your PumpEase or washing it in a lingerie bag and hanging it to dry.  Basically, care for your PumpEase in the same way that you care for your better intimates.  On the other hand, there is no way to remove Velcro from the "victim" garment without damaging it in the process.

Another aspect that we considered when making our decision, is that Velcro is extremely noisy when detaching and if your baby is sleeping nearby, this could potentially wake the little monkey.  Apparently the US Army had the Velcro® company develop a "silent version" that reduced the noise by 95% so as not to betray soldiers' positions (it is used profusely on their uniforms), but it is a military secret (no joke).

Finally, we figured that most women are pretty darn familiar with hook & eye considering that has been the primary closure on foundation garments for over 100 years.  What better closure to deal with, bearing in mind that you will likely be bleary-eyed, sleep-deprived and donning and doffing your PumpEase in the dark?  Women are used to hook & eye - we have been fastening and unfastening it "blindly behind our backs" for years!

Tell us what you think - agree? disagree? have another closure idea?  Drop a comment below.

{"Velcro Macro" by Doun is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0}

March 7th, 2009 • Comments: 0 • by Melanie • Health & WellnessResources

Guest Post: Pre and Postnatal Fitness - Helping You Keep Your Resolution

Birds of a Feather Fly Better When They Stick Together - by Melanie Osmack

All of us can exercise on our own. So why don’t most of us do it? And if we do, why do most of us eventually stop?

Exercise psychology is a vast and complex area of study. Through research, experts have found that there are a variety of factors that effect exercise adherence. After almost 20 years in the fitness industry and six years specializing in pre and postnatal fitness, I have learned that a key factor is exercising in a group. Here are the top five reasons to exercise in a group:

You’ll work harder

Exercising in a group is energizing! Most people work an average of 20 per cent harder in a group or with a trainer than when on their own.

You’ll stick to it and so will your baby

People who attend fitness classes or play team sports are 50 per cent more likely to be lifelong exercisers. The children of lifelong exercisers are much more likely to be active themselves.

It’s good for your mental health

Exercise, whether alone or in a group, helps to prevent and manage depression. It clears our minds and releases our natural mood enhancers called endorphins. However, research shows that the mental health benefits are significantly greater when exercising with a supportive group of ‘like people.’ This is especially true for pregnant women and new mothers.

It’s efficient

Women who attend pre or postnatal specific fitness classes often praise the multiple benefits. Not only do they get a great workout, they also get to build relationships with other moms and moms-to-be, learn about their bodies, and gather helpful community information.

It’s good for your baby

While you are pregnant, you will begin to see the value of creating a support network. Having a community means having the support you need to be the best mom you can be. After baby arrives, he’ll benefit from the sights and sounds of coming with you to class. He’ll try to track your movements with his eyes and move with the music. He’ll even grow to interact with the other babies. After a while you’ll notice that attending class has become part of his routine too.

So get out there and find a group fitness class that works for you. You’ll be glad you did!

Melanie Osmack is the founder of Fit 4 Two® Pre and Postnatal Fitness, a BCRPA Registered Group Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer and mom of two. You can contact her at melanie@fit4two.ca

March 2nd, 2009 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Breast is BestResources

The Facts about Environmental Contaminants in Breastmilk

"Contaminants are in breastmilk, but that doesn't mean stop nursing, it means stop polluting. That is the only real workable solution."  Steingraber, S. (2001). Having Faith: an Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood. New York: Perseus Publishing.

I'm always taken aback by people/corporations/doctors/governments that focus on the end-result of an issue instead of what caused it in the first place.  I will liken it to the medical practice of treating symptoms instead of finding out what is causing said symptoms and addressing that.  Take, for example, a person that suffers from chronic headaches.  Don't just give him/her a pain killer, rather FIND OUT why he/she is getting the headaches in the first place!  It could be a sensitivity to something they are eating or something in their environment, eyestrain, stress, dehydration, the possibilities are endless!  And yet, people seem to be OK settling for the "quick fix" - usually drugs.  It is nothing but a bandaid.  Maybe they don't know that they have other choices?

So the formula companies and other 'questionable parties' spearhead these studies about toxins in breastmilk while conveniently skirting around the fact that there are toxins in pretty much everything on earth INCLUDING FORMULA.  Unfortunately, it is an example of the classic scare tactic that is so commonplace in American culture today - another desperate attempt to market their product to the masses.  Their message?  "Don't breastfeed!  You will poison your baby!  Feed your baby formula!  Formula is safe!"

Sidebar:  Did you know that if you Google "help with breastfeeding" or "breastfeeding problems" the top (sponsored) search results are links to formula companies' websites? grrr....

I believe that the information that should instead be shared as a result of these studies and many others is, "The earth is polluted, so much so, that there are toxins in everything from soup to nuts including breastmilk AND formula.  What are we going to do to stop the pollution?"

Tell me what you think.

February 23rd, 2009 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Customer ServiceInside SnugabellResources

Why You Should Wash Before You Wear

I know some people that wouldn't dream of wearing a newly purchased garment before washing it first and yet others that couldn't possibly wait that long and don the new piece immediately.  When prompted, the "have to wash it" crowd explain that they feel the garment is dirty until they wash it themselves.  I can understand that.  But there is another equally important reason to wash your garments before wearing them...

Have you ever had a piece of clothing "fall apart" the first time you washed it or even before you washed it?  An open seam; a hem that has let go; a loose button?  Yes?  Chances are you wore it without washing it first.  When you wash a garment, the threads that make up the stitching swell and their fibers "lock" together.  This makes the stitching more resilient to wear and tear and less likely to "slip" undone and open that seam or let that hem down.

So if having to mend brand new purchases annoys you as it does me, then wash before you wear!bar tacks on your PumpEase!

This goes for your PumpEase™ too!  Your hands-free pumping support has bar tacks at opposite ends of the horn openings to reinforce the area of your PumpEase™ that will sustain the most wear and tear (from insertion and removal of your breast pump horns).  We want this stitching to be locked into place to give you the best performance possible from your purchase, therefore...
please wash your PumpEase before you pump.

So tell us what side of the fence you're on - the "wash before you wear" crowd or the "I can't wait" crowd!