I remember counting down the days until my first baby was 6 months old. I was staying at home, taking approximately 236 pictures of my amazing infant per day, and could not wait to introduce a new element into our daily lives: REAL FOOD.
As you all know, I am a huge breastfeeding advocate. I believe (and research shows) that breastmilk is the best source of nutrients for babies up until a year of age, and exclusively for the first 6-9 months. But once your baby shows an interest in food and is at least 6 months of age, it is go time! I immediately assumed that you HAD to purchase jarred organic mystery foods. However, when I opened the first jar and realized I was about to feed my child something I wouldn’t eat myself; I trashed it and donated the rest. It was homemade baby food for my girl. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are a few real organic jarred foods that have ZERO preservatives, fillers, and dyes, but it is just so much easier to make your own!
A baby should never have “cereal.” He shouldn’t have it as a first food; she should not have it as a “thickening agent” added to a bottle to help her sleep through the night. It should not be added to a bottle to help an infant with reflux. Cereal has absolutely no good purpose in a baby’s body.
We wonder why people are addicted to sugars and starches, but yet the past 50 years, babies have been introduced to a rice cereal as their first food. It is engrained in us.
Birthing at home is a gentle, peaceful way to bring your child earthside. There is a calmness about being in your place of comfort. I couldn’t imagine birthing anywhere else. I am currently in planning mode. I wouldn’t call it nesting, as it is baby #4 and we pretty much have everything (boobs, cloth diapers, clothes, and love), but I’m definitely excited to plan. This is our third homebirth and each time, I learn something new that I would like to include in the birth. I figured, why save all this fun information for myself when I can share it with you!
(Scroll down to skip right to the best choices, but please read WHY they are the best options.)
Formula companies are screaming at moms to choose formula. They boast that their “formula” is the best for your baby. Some say that you should supplement breastmilk with their brand to ensure baby receives all needed nutrients. This is a hard and scary place for a new mom to be. You want to do the right thing, but what is the right thing? The answer is not what the big companies want you to know: BREAST FEED. Yes, it’s simple. Nurse your baby. Nothing else is needed.
EXCEPT that sometimes, something bigger than you intervenes and you cannot breastfeed. I urge you to look into milk sharing and milk banks as your first choice if nursing is not in your power. (I will blog on milk sharing soon.)
(Pictures throughout are from Christine’s beautiful homebirth VBAC journey.)
You have in your arms a beautiful child already, maybe more than one. You are all happy and healthy, but something about your previous birth haunts you. Something says, “I want to do it different next time.”
Take charge of your pregnancy and birth. You CAN have a VBAC. Having worked with several couples striving for this goal, I have created a “To-Do List” for couples to complete on their beautiful journey to healing and (hopefully natural) vaginal birth.
Did you know that most couples spend more time working on their baby registry than they do preparing for labor? They spend more time dreaming and setting up a nursery than educating themselves on birthing.
Do not fall into this category! Do not just walk into the two hour hospital class that covers a medicated birth, bathing/swaddling, and breastfeeding basics all in one breath. You only have one shot at this pregnancy, this birth, and this baby’s infancy. You will make plenty of mistakes (DUH – no one is perfect), but you want to have no regrets.