Archive for May, 2010

One Happy Mama

May 25, 2010

I LOVE summer days.

I love heading out to the backyard in our jammies because Tristan NEEDS to go in the sand box RIGHT NOW!

I love having the time to prepare a picnic in the middle of the week so that Tristan and I can bike down to the beach and meet daddy for dinner. There’s nothing like spreading out our dusty old Mexican blanket and flopping down under the shade of a giant Red Pine to enjoy the afternoon together. Tristan is very happily entertained searching for pinecones and ants. It doesn’t take him long to want to get “bear nay” (bare naked – which means the state he is in if any previously covered inch of his body is now undressed!) and head into the water with daddy for a splash.

I love to plant my flowers with my little helper, with the intense hope that I really CAN grow something… despite the fact I have killed every plant I have ever attempted to nurture. Yes, this does include bamboo and a cactus.

I love the feeling of being so blessed to have so many friends share a wonderful backyard BBQ. We really are grateful to have so many wonderful people in our lives!

I intensely cherish all of these wonderful days I have with my son. I go to bed completely content in the knowledge that I will never wish that I had snuggled/played/read more with my child… because that is what consumes our days. I know that these days will pass so quickly and I feel honoured and blessed that I get to enjoy them to the fullest with my little man. Every. Single. Day.

Liquid Gold

May 25, 2010

I just finished my very first lactation consultant course, Breastmilk: Function and Composition. I was absolutely enthralled with all of the material I was learning and enjoyed sitting down at night to study. I am happy to report that I did very well (98%, 100% and 98% on the three tests!).

It is recommended that you have six base courses before starting the LC courses. I had most of them, but was missing out on the anatomy/physiology and medical terminology. I figured I would be just fine…. so I didn’t take the ones I was missing. OOPS. I think my brain was strained a little more than it needed to be, so before I continue on I am going to take the couple of courses that I am missing. At least it will save me having to be so dependent on Wikipedia for the next courses!

So about this course…. I always knew that breast milk was the best possible thing a mama could give her baby, and of course everyone has heard the phrase, “breast is best” I just never realized how dramatic an effect breast milk can have. And it’s not just while the baby is nursing;  there are effects from being breastfed (or not) that can continue on into adulthood.

Here are a few of the points that had me most amazed:

  • Breast milk contains hormones which continue to develop an infant’s digestive  and respiratory systems AFTER birth! The extra cool thing about this is that mothers who give birth to premature infants will have MORE of these hormones in their milk!
  • One of the proteins in breast milk (alpha-lactalbumin) takes a form that has demonstrated the ability to kill every tumour cell against which it has been tested. WOW. This may explain why children who are formula fed have higher incidences of cancer. It also may explain why breastfeeding women have lower rates of pre-menopausal breast cancer.
  • I was amazed by the immunological properties of breast milk. When the mother is exposed to a virus or bacteria, her body makes antibodies against the “bug” and IMMEDIATELY sends it to the breast (and hence into the baby.) It is so awesome how fast it happens!
  • On a related note, infants who have been introduced to formula before 6 months of age have a 6x higher rate of pneumonia. They will also have, on average, 3 more ear infections than their breastfed counterparts.
  • Being fed breast milk is the most important preventative factor for MS. This really interests me because I have two aunts living with the disease. I am very curious to find out if they were breastfed or not.
  • Children who are not breastfed are more likely to grow into overweight adults. I had heard this before but never understood the science behind it. Simply put, we have a hormone in our bodies called leptin. It’s job is to regulate food intake and metabolism. Infants who are formula fed have half the normal levels in their bodies! Again… WOW.

The more I read and learn about pregnancy and childbirth and breastfeeding, the more I come to understand that a woman’s body is really a miraculous thing!  I’ve just got to write it one more time…. WOW!  🙂

Psyc 101

May 20, 2010

These last two weeks have shown the most dramatic improvement in Tristan’s speech.  We have been *mildly* concerned for a couple of months and have even taken him to First Words a couple of times. While his vocabulary is huge, the little guy could never seem to get an entire word out – he always stopped after the first syllable. For example, “book” was always “buh”  and “cobra” was “co co.”

I don’t know what has happened this past week but he all of a sudden “gets” it. His little face completely lights up when he says a complete word… he knows he’s done well and his expression beams with pride. My jaw keeps dropping in amazement as he keeps coming out with with these three word phrases!

For a psych major like me who focused on infant and child development, this is so cool! Really cool! A psych experiment right in my own house!

His thirst for knowledge is so awe-inspiring. The kid absolutely ADORES dinosaurs and insists on knowing each and every proper name for each of his figurines. Thank goodness for Google so that I can teach them to myself first! 🙂 He will proudly point out which is the pterodactyl and which is the stegosaurus. And make no mistake…. if you call a little dino by the wrong name, you WILL be corrected by a two year old. 🙂