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Hey Laura, tell me about breastfeeding during pregnancy

HVW writes:

My son is 18 months old and nurses 4-5 times a day, and seems to be in the process of cutting back on his daytime nursing in the past few months. My husband and I are tentatively planning to try for #2 starting in the next few weeks. My son was conceived on the first “try” but you never know how long it will take. My goal is to nurse my first son for at least 2 years, although at this age I do not mind if I end up having to supplement some with cow’s milk or other dairy products (he does eat cheese at this time but I don’t give him cow’s milk).

I know that often pregnancy reduces or dries up milk supply. I have seen a variety of data on how many women do lose their milk supply...

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Hey Laura, do amber necklaces help with teething pain?

Carissa writes:

Can you tell me about amber necklaces and the benefits of babies/toddlers wearing them? A quick Google search told me they are to help relieve pain from teething. . .is there anything else? I noticed your girls wear them; what has been your experience with them?

Amber has been used for centuries for its topical analgesic effects. The succinic acid in amber is said to reduce inflammation. Of course, as with many ancient natural remedies, amber has been vaunted as a veritable cure-all with not a whole lot of solid scientific backing to prove it. It does have a very interesting cultural history, which you can read about here.

In my research, I kept coming across the mention...

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Hey Laura, what can I do about diaper rash?

Beth writes:

What do I do about the diaper rash on my baby’s bum?  I’ve heard the zinc oxide creams will leave ugly stains on my cloth diapers plus buildup, so what do you recommend?  I’m not sure why he’s got the rash—I change the diapers frequently and it doesn’t look like a yeast infection.  Plus, it doesn’t seem to matter if I use cloth or disposable diapers.  I guess he’s just got a deep butt crack (sounds horrible!) and it’s a challenge to keep dry.  I’m trying to air it out whenever I change him, but obviously I don’t want to wait around in the middle of the night too often.  Anyway, just wondered if you had a cream that might work.

Diaper rash is par for the course in just about...

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Hey Laura, let’s talk about babywearing

Michelle writes:

My neighbor has a 2 week old who is still pretty small (don’t think she’s hit 7lbs yet) and she wants to do a carrier (especially when walking her lab/australian shepherd mix).  I got her a mei tai type carrier (though the pouch seems much smaller than when I had a baby hawk), and i think she has an ergo type one also.  I still need to help her figure out the mai tai wrap in general, but she is worried about which one gives the best support for this newborn time.  Thoughts on how to use what she has best or other carriers that are better for this (and future) stage?

First of all, Michelle, you are an awesome neighbor! The gift of babywearing is one that just keeps on...

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Snippets: Gifts for New and Expecting Parents

A while ago (before I started this blog), a friend of mine asked for some suggestions for useful and unique gifts for new and expecting parents. I’ve expanded my original answer just a bit for posting here. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill diaper cakes and layettes! ;)

Big Stuff
If the new parents are particularly special to you, or if you are feeling particularly generous, here are some big ticket items I highly recommend.

Miyo Baby Baby Hammock - Just what it sounds like - it’s a great bed alternative for the first 5-7 months. I like the Miyo best because it is simple and has a really beautiful looking stand, but there are other brands/styles like: the Kanoe, the Hushamok, which has a...

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Hey Laura, is soy okay for babies?

Sophia writes:

I’m a vegetarian.  Thus far, so is my 1-year-old daughter. 

Anyway, a big source of protein for her (now that she’s about 70% on solids), is soy.  I do have some concerns now though, since I’ve been coming across some literature suggesting that soy could be harmful to babies- particularly baby girls- in their future years.  Your thoughts?

You’ve probably been reading about phytoestrogens. Here is a thoughtful article discussing the issues. Mark’s Daily Apple, a primal eating blog that I’ve been enoying lately, gives a nice summary as well. Basically, the plant estrogens in soy mimic estrogens in the body and can contribute to cancer risk and tumors. Studies also show that...

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Hey Laura, do sick babies need to nurse?

Brandi, The Friendly Doula, writes:

I have a family whose 5 month old is sick for the fist time since a difficult birth. The mom took the kiddo to the Drs today and the Dr wants her to stop nursing and give the child nothing but pedialyte for the next 48 hours. This to me makes no sense and seems to risk an already difficultly established nursing relationship (the baby didnt nurse for almost 2 weeks after birth) , but i have no backing to support my instincts here… help?!

This is completely ignorant and potentially harmful advice; in my opinion doctors who are this uneducated about a breastfed baby’s health ought to be out of a job. And possibly kicked in the head. :)

He’s wrong. Do more...

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