A Green Guide To Having a Newborn
It can be overwhelming for first time Mama’s to know what baby essentials are really necessary since we are bombarded with thinking we need allll these things!
HMP’s Top Essentials for Baby:
Tata’s, diapers, wipes & sleepers! Honestly, these are the most important things for baby! Breastfeeding around the clock is so challenging at first. There are many support groups in the Cleveland area, so please don’t hesitate to reach out. Seventh Generation & Honest Diapers is what we used. Bum Genius is cloth diapers, and props to you if you can do this!! I just found out about water wipes and we’ve been loving them. They are 99% water with a pinch of essential oil.
Organic Snuggle Me. We keep our littles next to us for at least 3 months in this sleeper.
Event Glass Bottles. By now you have probably heard of the BPA dangers in plastic. The only problem with buying BPA-FREE is that it is a marketing tactic most of the time. They just swap out BPA for it’s cousin, bisphenol S (BPS). This has very similar structure and equal intrinsic properties. Just to be safe, buy glass bottles. You can also buy very small glass jars and store your breastmilk in there. I did not do this, but looking back, I should have! If you use the plastic breastfeeding storage bags, let it sit out at room temperature to thaw, and pour into a glass bottle to warm up in warm water.
HMP’s quick guide for having a Newborn
1.Clamp the cord 2-3 minutes (or later). Wait until the cord stops pulsing, This varies from baby to baby. A Swedish study showed the benefits of delayed cord clamping, especially in boys. They had better social and fine motor skill than babies whose cords were cut within ten seconds of being born.
“Anemia in infancy is universal. When babies are born, they have many extra red blood cells, which break down, releasing the yellow pigment bilirubin. Jaundice, caused by rapid breakdown of red blood cells, is easily managed. Anemia, caused by inadequate red blood cells, is common by 6-9 months and is much harder to manage. By delaying cord clamping, evidence suggests, we can reduce anemia during the first year of life.” (The Vaccine Friendly Plan, #cuttherushnothecord)
2. The scoop on eye goop. Leave the babies eyes alone. Antibiotic eye ointment is optional and completely unnecessary if you’ve had a c- section. It is needed ONLY if you’ve tested positive for venereal disease (STD’s). Babies born in the 1980’s had silver nitrate applied to their eyes, and then eventually found that it is very irritating to the eyes. This method was started in the 1880s after doctors realized it prevented gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease. If you are receiving prenatal care, routine screening is done to test for STD’s. Unnecessarily giving newborns antibiotics may compromise beneficial bacteria, which is tremendously beneficial to their developing immune systems.
3. Yes to kangaroo care. As long as mom and baby are stable, immediate skin to skin contact is the best postpartum medicine. If mom can’t have skin to skin contact right away, another loving person can step up and do this for her. You can’t spoil a newborn!
4. Decline the hepatitis B vaccine. “No thanks”. You may have to say this more than once due to nursing shift changes. The hepatitis b vaccine in infancy is not supported by scientific evidence (or even common sense!). There are 250 micrograms of aluminum in the hepatitis B vaccine. The safe amount of aluminum exposure for newborns is 16-20 micrograms/ per day according to the FDA. This is FIFTEEN times the FDA limit on aluminum exposure. Babies born to moms who tested negative for hepatitis B, are not intravenous drug users or prostitutes, should not give the vaccine to their baby. However, if the mother tests positive for hepatitis B, the baby should get the vaccine. In the 1980’s the vaccine was recommended for refugees who came from countries where hepatitis B is endemic, and for people who had other risk factors, like IV drug use. In 1991, the FDA changed the recommendation to EVERY newborn in America. The reason for this was “universal vaccination would catch all the drug addict and promiscuous hepatitis –B- positive moms who were being missed due to poor prenatal care, inadequate testing, and dishonesty about their risk factors and were thus passing the infection on to their newborns, and also to potentially develop a population that would be immune to hepatitis B”. Fewer than 0.1% of U.S. mothers have hepatitis B. Remember, everything crosses the blood brain barrier until 2 years old, so if you want your child to be vaccinated with hepatitis B, wait until their teenage years. You can also read vaccine inserts here, and here, before you are in the hospital. You may be surprised to see that there are so many ‘suspected causal connection to components of ENGERIX-B’ such as seizures, eczema, multiple sclerosis, paralysis, and asthma like symptoms. Adverse reactions include apnea, which is temporary cessation of breathing. Apnea cannot be monitored when you leave the hospital which can result in death, which would be coined as “SIDS”.
5. Nurse your newborn. Nursing your newborn takes time, patience, support. It is extremely painful in the first couple weeks! Formula is made from cow’s milk that is dried and has corn syrup (GMO filled corn syrup may I add), and a host of other things like synthetic isolated vitamins, BPA, and omega-6 fatty acids extracted using the toxic chemical hexane. Breast milk is so superior to cow’s milk. Even if you have to supplement in the beginning due to jaundice, and low breast milk supply, don’t give up. You may find yourself exclusively breastfeeding after that phase. I will be the first to say that something that is supposed to be so natural can be so unnatural. The constant worry of having enough milk, chasing your other kids around, not eating enough which results in low breast milk supply, the hassle of washing/drying breast milk supplies, constantly being thirsty, up more at night vs. bottle fed babies, is so much more work than formula! But it is worth it. I know some Moms try everything and still cannot breastfeed. I recommend buying an organic based formula like Ultra Bright Beginnings or check out babyorganic.com for other organic formulas.
6. Ask for aluminum-free vitamin k All newborns are born with low stores of vitamin K, and synthesize only after their intestines are populated with beneficial bacteria via their mother’s breast milk. Low vitamin K at birth makes a small percentage of infants more vulnerable to uncontrollable bleeding, which can lead to brain damage (if the bleeding is in the brain) or intestinal and digestive problems (if bleeding is in the intestines).
7. Back to sleep. Babies should be laid on their backs on an organic, flame-retardant free mattress, unless they are sleeping on your chest.
Sites that carry green mattresses:
8. Doula and Placental encapsulation. “The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves”. A doula is there to emotionally, physically and spiritually support the entire family throughout the birthing process. She has a deep understanding of how the female body works. She knows what it is like to give birth and understands how feeling emotionally supported can improve the birth experience. Through this constant support, she helps the family to find the comfort and confidence they need to have a more enjoyable birth. While others involved may be focused on monitors and charting, the doula remains focused on the laboring woman and partner, providing them with support and information, options not opinions.” I recommend Strong Momma Doula Services.
While I haven’t done placental encapsulation, I have been meeting more and more moms who have and only have great experiences to say about it. A local group of midwives in Lakewood, Ohio, Circle of Life Birth Services, offer this and do everything for you! It is said that placental encapsulation can improve mood, energy, reduce bleeding, restore essential minerals, reduce risk of postpartum depression, increase milk supply, balance postpartum hormones, and speed healing.
9. Skip the soap. The baby’s skin-protecting vernix (the white coating over much a of a newborn’s body) contains powerful antifungal and antimicrobial agents. Washing removes the smell of the amniotic fluid that has surrounded your baby for 9 months and is a familiar bond your baby has with you. Save the bath for 1-4 weeks after birth. Stay away from Johnson & Johnson shampoo. While they finally admitted and removed formaldehyde and 1,4 dioxane in 2013, I would not trust a company who had these carcinogens in their baby shampoo in the first place! I recommend Shea Moisture ( which is in most local retailers like Target, Heinens and Walmart), NYR Organic Baby Soap, or Dr. Bronners Baby Soap.
10. NO TYLENOL (Acetaminophen) Oh my word!! If you get your baby boy circumcised, it will automatically update your baby’s chart to receive tylenol around the clock! And this is without asking your permission. Even though I didn’t know as much about tylenol 10 years ago, I’m so thankful that it just did not make sense to me to give my son tylenol (and he was even sleeping everytime the nurse asked!) at all, let alone every 4-6 hours. You have to make sure the nurses ‘refuse’ for every scheduled time, not just the once (I know, as I’m a nurse :) ) There are so many studies now on the harmful effects of tylenol and baby, during pregnancy and after birth. NEVER give tylenol after vaccines as well. It blocks your bodies largest antioxidant, glutathione, which literally makes it almost impossible for your child to detox harmful ingredients. It is also known that Tylenol increases your child’s risk of getting asthma.
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