By Emily Wade Adams, CNC for Natal-Nutrition.com
We’ve all heard the old adage, “You are what you eat.” This concept is even more important during pregnancy. Not only are you what you eat, but your baby is what you eat. As soon as conception occurs the embryo requires nutrients for developmental processes like cellular division and protein synthesis to occur. The baby’s growth and development are extremely rapid, and if the appropriate nutrients aren’t available when the baby needs them that part of its development will be abnormal or could even fail completely. With that in mind, it’s easy to see how nutrient deficiencies can seriously compromise your baby’s health.
While in utero, the baby’s nutritional needs take precedence, so it’s not uncommon for mothers to become nutrient deficient, too. Nutrient deficiencies can set you up for a more difficult pregnancy and postpartum period. Whether you want to prevent health complications for your baby or yourself, it’s imperative to get the best nutrition possible while you’re pregnant.
With its reliance on processed foods, which have had their nutrients refined away, it’s easy to see why the standard American diet lacks essential vitamins and minerals (Hudson, 2008). This is bad enough for everyday health, but it’s especially harmful during pregnancy, when many vitamin and mineral needs increase to account for the baby’s growing demands. For example, the RDAs for folate, magnesium, zinc and iron all increase during pregnancy.
Here are five tips to help you eat a nutrient-rich diet and ensure your baby’s optimal development: (more…)
From the crib to the coffin, our bodies crave activity. Whether you are a newborn, a young child or a nonagenarian, see how yoga can be a mainstay for a healthy and happy quality of life.
We are natural born yogis.
Babies are natural yogis. We are all born with an innate ability to breathe, move, stretch, and rest; yet many of us quickly forget about these inherent qualities. Not only are yoga poses such as the happy baby pose appropriately named, babies are great yoga teachers because they remind us how exciting and exhilarating it is to move our bodies generously. Whether we believe it or not, it seems we are born to practice yoga. Just watch happy babies grab their toes and kick their legs up in the air and you may soon realize what you might be missing. Have you been neglecting your own mind and body over the years?
If you are one of the many stiff, tense and tired individuals who don’t get enough exercise, please keep reading and let the following examples inspire you to get moving.
Celebrity Bethenny Frankel has said that she’s raising her new baby as a vegetarian. Many people flock to “follow the stars”, but is this a case of an action that could harm your baby?
One of the most oft heard concerns about avoiding meat products in your baby’s diet is that if you don’t feed a baby meat, he won’t get enough protein for proper growth. Many people feel that meat, particularly red meat, is the only real source of protein. This is false. There are two main sources of protein; meat and plants. At face value, though, you might see why people would think that – the main element in meat that is essential would be all nine amino acids, and no one plant offers all nine. However, by eating combinations of vegetables and grains, you can combine the amino acids to form a complete protein.
It’s important to realize, though, that many of us overestimate the amount of protein needed for proper nutrition. Current recommended values are approximately one gram of protein per pound of body weight during the first year of life, with the ratio dropping to half a gram of protein per pound in the second through fifteenth year.
It’s well known that babies are not a lover of vegetables. Researchers have long wondered why this is, surmising that it could be due to the somewhat bitter taste of many vegetables. Maybe it’s because the parent doesn’t like vegetables and so the distaste is passed on. Parents have long been instructed to introduce vegetables into their babies’ diet in order to try to offset a sweet tooth. Now, recent research has shown a new way to help teach your baby to love vegetables – even earlier than first foods.
The study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, demonstrated that strong flavors were passed from mother to baby via the amniotic fluid. These flavors were also passed along to the baby via breast milk after birth.
“Things like vanilla, carrot, garlic, anise, mint — these are some of the flavors that have been shown to be transmitted to amniotic fluid or mother’s milk,” study leader Julie Mennella told NPR News.
Most people think of “baby fat” as natural for infants and toddlers, but a new report from the Institute of Medicine says that childhood obesity is likely to continue into adulthood. Released yesterday, the report states that more than 20 percent of children between the ages of two and five are already overweight or obese. “What happens to a child during the first years of life is important to their current and future health,” the report states. “However, national efforts to prevent obesity have not paid enough attention to infants, toddlers, and preschool children.”
To combat the health consequences of early childhood obesity, the IOM also released a set of recommended prevention policies. The recommendations are mostly aimed at early childcare providers, educators and healthcare professionals, but the recommendations certainly apply to parents as well.
Yoga is truly for everybody – babies included. Just like prenatal yoga, yoga for teens and yoga for kids, yoga for babies is fast becoming a popular class for moms and their newborns.
Here is what you need to know about yoga for babies.
Yoga for babies classes are meant to give moms and babies a chance to bond as well as provide mothers with a bit of exercise. In addition, moms can learn new ways to relax their infant, say for instance, when he or she is crying and a bottle, nap or change of diaper isn’t doing the trick. Yoga for babies also provides mothers with simple movements and exercises they can do for their child in order to bring relief to a colicky baby or reduce gas pains.
It’s alarming enough that developed nations are grappling with the adverse health effects of obesity. However, if being obese can have a direct impact on the chances of an innocent newborn’s survival, this brings the crisis to a whole new level.
That’s just what is concerning experts in the UK, as there seems to be a correlation between newborn survival rates and the weight of the mothers.
There is good news from is the Perinatal Mortality 2009 report: since 2000 stillbirth and neonatal mortality rates have been trending downward in the UK. However in 2009, of those mothers who had a stillbirth or whose babies died in the neonatal period, 10 percent had a Body Mass Index of 35 or higher. An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
Lena Fokina and baby yoga; Image via Dadwagon.com
As a yoga practitioner and instructor, I see some pretty wild things. Once while I was in India studying yoga, I witnessed a Westerner who consumed nothing but beets. Beets and yoga were his life and, yes, he did have a reddish hue to him.
It’s one thing to impart some extreme behavior onto yourself, but it’s a whole other issue to do it to someone else. So when I saw this baby yoga video of a yoga instructor who tosses, turns, and twists a two-week old baby in a series of yoga poses, I actually had to turn away. (more…)
In 2001, the World Health Organization that mothers exclusively breastfeed their babies until six months, but now some scientists are worried that this practice may be harmful. An article published in the British Medical Journal presented evidence that failing to introduce any solid food before six months may increase a baby’s rick for iron deficiency, anemia and celiac disease.
However, Mary Fewtrell of the University College London Institute of Child Health says few mothers are able to follow the WHO guidelines, which were also recommended by the UK’s government starting in 2003. Fewtrell said that most mothers find that their babies want more food than they can provide before six months, and that few mothers feed their children exclusively breast milk before the age of six months. “About 1% were doing it in 2005, although probably more now,” she said. “But only about 20% breastfeed at all at six months. It is not a common behavior.”