Cold and flu season is upon us and unfortunately, some lactating mamas will find themselves stricken by an inconvenient virus.
There is some confusion surrounding breastfeeding while ill but the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that "it is not necessary to discontinue or interrupt breastfeeding. Through breastfeeding, the infant will receive the antibodies that the mother is producing to fight the illness." HealthyChildren.org spells it out even more clearly by stating that "if you develop a cold while breastfeeding, for example, you are likely to pass the cold germs on to your baby—but the antibodies your body produces to fight that cold also will be passed on through your milk. These antibodies will help your infant conquer the cold germs quickly and effectively and possibly avoid developing the cold altogether."
So, along with good hygiene practices like thorough hand-washing and using the crook of your arm as a "cough pocket," breastfeeding is an excellent way to protect your child from falling ill. If you breastfeed your child while you are suffering from a cold or flu virus, you don't risk spreading your germs through your milk, you spread protection in the form of antibodies your body is producing to fight the virus.
Don't forget to practice self-care if you end up catching a nasty bug. Drink plenty of fluids, ask your doctor which cold and flu medications are safe to take while nursing, and get as much rest as possible; pump your milk (using your PumpEase hands-free pumping bra, naturally) and ask your partner to take a night feed so you can get some uninterrupted, restorative sleep.
A baby formula ban in New York City? With the media in a frenzy over the issue, it's tough to keep the facts straight. Amy West, our Social Media Diva, lays out the real deal.
If you think Mayor Bloomberg is "banning formula" in NYC, you are mistaken.
Right now, formula companies give hospitals all manner of free crap (nipples, bottles, formula, very expensive preemie formula) in exchange for exclusive marketing agreements (along the lines of "all moms who pass through labor & delivery WILL leave with a formula swag bag"). Research shows that moms are extremely likely to (A) stick with the brand presented to them in the hospital and (B) not meet their own personal breastfeeding goals based on the interference of this marketing.
Mayor Bloomberg is seeking to end this predatory marketing. In doing so, formula makers will no longer be able to strike these agreements with hospitals and hospitals will have to pay for the things they currently get for free (from formula companies).
So formula isn't being banned or even restricted. Just like Tylenol or any other pharmaceutical in the hospital, formula will be purchased, tracked, and given out upon request. The difference is that instead of moms who are trying in earnest to breastfeed going home with formula that's been proven to sabotage breastfeeding relationships, only moms who are actively choosing formula will receive it.
Why would we begrudge hospitals for tracking the use of something they now have to pay for? Why would we begrudge Mayor Bloomberg for ending what has been a long-standing unethical marketing practice that has such lasting and sweeping effects?
Please leave your comments below and ask your friends what they think.
We love our Facebook fans and so does Dionna of Code Name: Mama. To celebrate the amazing communities we have both built, we have joined forces with her - and a host of other natural-minded companies and WAHMs - to bring you a Fabulous Giveaway Blitz worth over $550! You can enter to win one of more than 20 fabulous prizes, both from our company and from the other totally terrific sponsors!
Two Easy Ways to Enter
- Entering is easy via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post. You get entries for liking the pages of each company featured here. Be sure to like *all* of the pages for 50 bonus entries!
- Check in at Code Name: Mama's Facebook page every day. In the days and weeks to come, she'll be sharing fun questions and prompts related to each of the companies. Everyone who comments on the Giveaway Blitz Facebook threads will get an extra entry (one extra entry per thread).
Participating Companies and Prizes
Check out the haul of prizes up for grabs! For more about each company, please check out the giveaway post at Code Name: Mama.
Momzelle is giving away a $25 gift card.
Mama and Baby Love is giving away two copies of From Your Freezer to Your Family: Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes e-cookbook (ARV $5.99 x 2 = $11.98).
Snugabell™ Mom & Baby Gear (that's us ;-)) is giving away a Toni Top™ 3/4 Sleeve, our "bump, breast & beyond™" top in the size and color of the winner's choice (ARV $66).
Silly Bear Handmade is giving away a set of 8 cloth napkins and coordinating un-paper towel set in a pattern of the winner's choice (ARV $40).
Making Mama's Milk & More is giving away a one month supply of lactation cookies (ARV $48).
Hybrid Rasta Mama is giving away 5 copies of her e-book, Coconut Oil For Your Skin – Nourishing Your Body From the Outside In (ARV $6.95 x 5 = $34.75).
Brittany from Mama's Felt Cafe is giving away a Waldorf-inspired felt fairy tea time playset (ARV $35).
Laura at Thirty One Gifts is giving away a thermal lunch tote with personalization (ARV $25).
Sparkle Stories is giving away a year's subscription (four one hour stories) of their Sparkle Car Series (ARV $24).
Pat from Heal Thyself is giving away one 12 month membership to the Heal Thyself! site (ARV $20).
Terri from Monkey Baby Naturals is giving away a bottle of Baby Goo (an organic, herbal diaper rash/skin irritation salve), and a Lavender & Tea Tree Deodorant (ARV $21.48).
Amy from Presence Parenting is giving away three 45 minute Nurturing Presence sessions (ARV $52.50 x 3 = $157.50).
Simply Natural Toys is giving away a $25 gift certificate.
JhaZamoraS Publishing is giving away a set of breastfeeding-themed greeting cards (ARV $10).
Shannon at Diaper Parties is giving away a $15 gift certificate (please select Shannon Riley as your consultant if you make a purchase).
Anktangle Creations is giving away one pair of baby leggings (ARV $8).
Who wouldn't love to win even ONE of these fantastic prizes? Go now. Enter. I am sprinkling the faerie dust upon your entry as we speak...
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Hi! My name is Crystal – Office Diva extraordinaire at Snugabell Mom & Baby Gear. Some would say I am the “newbie” and I would have to agree.
I took over from Robyn after she moved 465 miles north to Prince George and thus into new roles at Snugabell.
I have only been here a few short months and so far it has been great. I love the people I work with and I am definitely learning about everything there is to know about the business. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not have kids, but when I do (and I will most certainly have little ones), I am going to know everything from A to Z about breastfeeding and pumping!
I grew up in Burnaby, British Columbia (born and raised), actually not too far from Snugabell (ah, must be a perfect fit). After high school, I attended Douglas College in New Westminster, BC. For the past eight or so years I have worked as an Administrative/Executive Assistant, along with working as a server at restaurants/pubs (yes, busy girl), and in between going back to school to graduate with Honours in Business Management. Now we come to the end of my journey (this one at least), and it has stopped at Snugabell. It’s so amazing to be working around so many wonderful people, some of which that are even in another country!
I have an amazing, kind, generous, and loving boyfriend Harley, and we have been together just about a year. We love traveling, even if it’s the odd weekend out of the city including most recently Las Vegas for my birthday. I would really love to visit more exotic countries in my travels, but there is lots of time to do that! Now that the summer weather is slowly coming to visit, you can find me anywhere outside - going for runs, hikes, camping, relaxing at the beach, you name it! For now, I will enjoy what Vancouver has to offer and work a little in between. ;)
By now you've pretty well gotten to know the Snugabell Team, with the exception of Head Mama in Charge Wendy herself. Take a closer look at Wendy with today's Q&A, which includes the Snugabell backstory, some insight into the woman herself, and something about jumping out of an airplane!
So how’d it all begin? When I was pregnant with my first daughter, a good friend of mine asked me if I was going to pump. I asked her why I would need to (we get a full year of maternity leave here in Canada). She said that she pumped so that her husband could take the occasional feeding, which gave her a bit of flexibility as well as her husband, bonding time with the baby. I talked it over with my husband Mike and he agreed it would be a good idea.
And then? When I started pumping, I quickly became frustrated with the fact that you could do *nothing* other than sit and hold the flanges on your breasts. Aside from the postpartum Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which left my hands completely numb with pins and needles after just a few minutes of holding the flanges, I was bored silly and instead of relaxing (and helping my milk to flow) I sat there thinking about all the housework and work-work (Snugabell is my second business) that needed to be done. It wasn't long before I was Googling "hand-free pumping" and "pump hands-free" as I figured there *must* be something available to hold your pump for you. There were a few products, none of which I was willing to part with my hard-earned money for, and all of which were ugly.
With my background in the apparel industry, I knew I could do better and so I mocked-up the first PumpEase from some scraps in my studio. A few people caught wind of my invention and encouraged me to take it to market. The fact that PumpEase would be available in pretty prints was a no-brainer for me - I didn't even consider anything else. Function, quality and making it pretty were all equally important to the design process.
What's the best part of your job? Helping moms enhance their breastfeeding relationships with their babies. Nothing gets me going more than a mom telling us that our products made the difference between quitting breastfeeding and persevering. It literally brings tears to my eyes that we have that much reach. I never imagined that happening…or how amazing it would feel.
What's the most challenging job you ever had? The most challenging job that I've ever had is being a parent -- hands down. I'm an overachiever and tend to do most things that I undertake well. If I don't do something well, I hire someone that does. Unfortunately this doesn't apply to being a mom so I find myself struggling with this on a daily basis.
Tell us about your family. I have two beautiful girls, Antonia (7) and Michaela (5) as well as my wonderfully supportive husband, Mike.
What does breastfeeding mean to you? When I see a mom breastfeeding, all is good in the world. When I see a mom formula feeding, I wonder what tripped her up - what misinformation did she receive, why weren't people there to support her? I feel sad. And I feel sad because I know what it is like to be on that side. I was a misinformed mom myself (and I consider myself to be fairly intelligent, so I understand how easily it can happen). I breastfed both of my daughters for about seven months each. With Antonia, I quit. I kept delaying that quit date (which in hindsight, should have been a sign that I didn't really want to quit). I had it in my head that I "wanted my body back" as we were getting married. With Michaela, I thought she weaned herself - years later, armed with the knowledge from starting this business, I realized it was just a nursing strike. I would have killed for the resources then, that are available now (KellyMom, Best for Babes, Motherwear’s Breastfeeding Blog, and the list goes on). I often tell my husband that I wish we could have another baby so that I could put to good use all of the new knowledge that I have. Having said that, starting Snugabell did inspire my sister Denise to exclusively breastfeed and for much longer with her second baby than she did with her first.
What the hardest part about being a parent (that shouldn’t be)? Always feeling like I'm failing.
What's the best thing to do on a day off? Anything with the fam - snuggle on the couch and watch a movie, go for a hike, explore our city...
Where do you see Snugabell in five years? I see us in a bigger office, with a few more employees, in 500+ stores with a couple of major chains in there. I also see us getting more involved in the social side of breastfeeding promotion and support.
If not Snugabell, what? My other passion in life - not nearly as compelling - is jewellery. I'd love to take a silversmithing course and start designing!
What’s something readers might not know about you? I love things that scare the crap out of me: bungee jumping, rollercoasters, motorcycles… Jumping out of an airplane is next on the list!