Do you know that formula is not equal substitute for breast milk? Babies are meant to drink breast milk. It is how God created us, to survive solely off our mother as an infant. Breast milk has a few fantastic benefits that seem to get overlooked sometimes:
- Antibodies, provides an immune system that will stick with your baby for life. It is like the perfect vaccine.
- Nutritionally exactly what your baby requires. It is unique from person to person created specifically for your baby.
- Protective against respiratory problems in the infant
- Equivalent to running 60 minutes/day for the mother. It shrinks back down the uterus and puts the mother back into pre-pregnancy condition. Do you know anyone who left the hospital and went for a 60 minute run directly after birth? No. It is God's way of providing those exercise benefits without requiring such stress on the woman's body.
- Women who breast feed have lower rates of certain breast and ovarian cancers.
- Mom/baby bonding
Most women are capable of breastfeeding. From what people tell me, it seems it can be difficult and take some time for the baby to really latch on, but it is worth a little struggle.
Now what makes me crazy and got me thinking about this is when a client informed me that she felt very uncomfortable breastfeeding anywhere but her home. She said that people look at her funny and her job did not have a room for her to pump besides the bathroom. If a baby is meant to eat from a breast, then why in world do we find it odd or even offensive when a women goes to feed her baby? Why does a women have to do it in secret like no one knows a baby breastfeeds? I know why but I think it is stupid. We have sexualized the breast so much that we have taken it away from its actual function and purpose. When we were in India, one of the teachers was still breastfeeding her son and it was no problem for her to breastfeed him anywhere we went. She was not flashing everyone around, she had her saree to cover herself, but it was normal and natural and EXPECTED for her to feed her baby! If you are planning to be a mom or currently pregnant, please learn to breastfeed. The rest of you, start expecting American women to feed their infants in the best way possible: breasfeeding. Encourage someone you know to breastfeed!
Disclaimer: I want to recognize that some women (a very small minority) are unable to breastfeed either due to their baby having a genetic disorder, the mother carrying HIV, taking medications necessary but that pass into the breast milk, or an infection resulting in the removal of the duct. For these women, breastfeeding causes more damage than good and that is when formula is appropriate and necessary.
"I lost eight pounds in the first week!" A common testimonial from a fad dieter. Unfortunately, fad diets such as the Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet do not lead to permanent weight loss primarily because they promote a diet that is difficult or impossible to maintain as a normal human being. Try eliminating your favorite food in the world or going out to a nice dinner with friends only to bring along your frozen meal? We do it for a few weeks or maybe months, but not years. Sure success stories exist and someone has lost weight with a fad diet, but if the chance of survival when flying in an airplane were the same as the chance of losing weight long term with a fad diet, no one would fly. So why do we keep dieting?
I think we don't know what else to do! People are desperate to lose weight and healthy balanced eating does not lead to immediate weight loss therefore it has not been highly publicized. Overweight people are not lazy people, in fact, they can be some of the most diligent people when it comes to fad dieting. It is like taking an antibiotic to cure a yeast infection - you are treating the wrong thing and exacerbating the problem. Help someone get out of the dieting rat race and send them to a dietitian to learn healthy balanced eating for permanent weight loss! (No supplements or prepackaged foods necessary) :)
Coke and Pepsi are popular targets getting blamed for obesity, hyperactivity and cancer. However, last time I checked these companies are unable to force one to consume their products. Let's refrain from playing the blame game and take responsibility for our own decisions and the consequences those decisions bring. We are free to choose what we put into our bodies and how often. I am going to make a claim that will not likely be widely popular, but is the truth: obesity in this county is a direct result of a lack in personal responsibility. The "it is not my fault" culture we live in has convinced Americans that their weight is the product of society, genetics, and a busy schedule oh and don't forget to blame the weather also because it makes you eat and not exercise. People believe that eating healthy is expensive and to top it all off their taste buds do not allow them to eat vegetables. With all these difficulties and obstacles, it is no longer possible for Americans to maintain a healthy body weight and those that do simply got good genes - or so we believe. We have surrendered our choice and responsibility in order to do what comes easiest. Consequentially, we have surrendered our freedom to choose and now over 1/3 of children in this country are obese and over 1/2 of all Americans are overweight. Diabetes and heart disease are expressing themselves in teenagers and young adults and even with the diseases, Americans are not reclaiming their freedom to choose health.
I am not trying to be rude or harsh; I simply face this lie everyday in my line of work and it makes me very frustrated and maybe angry that educated, intelligent people continue to believe these lies. I want to deliver the truth because there is freedom in the truth: overweight people choose to be overweight and because ultimately it is their CHOICE to put food into their mouth or not. The freedom of this truth is that you can choose to lose the extra pounds and live at a healthy body weight. People who come into my office after years of dieting without any success feel defeated and give into the lies of this culture that it is all out of their control. Dieting does not work! That is the problem - not that you cannot lose weight. If a child tries to learn to swim by jumping in the water and blowing bubbles yet continually sinks to the bottom, it is not that the child cannot swim - he just doesn't know how. Stop playing the blame game. Take responsibility and choose to reach your goals. I would be happy to help you!
The leaves are changing colors and the air feels crisp! Today, the weather really started to cool down here in North Carolina. My summer clothes have been put away until next season and the sweaters have been resurrected. With the weather change, I notice that my wardrobe isn't all that gets a makeover.
My diet transforms into warm and comforting dishes. The cool crisp salad gets exchanged for a hot vegetable soup. Every morning, I love a warm mug of hot tea. At times, I treat myself to a mocha or pumpkin spiced latte from Starbucks. These foods bring warmth and comfort to the cool, dark days of fall and winter.
What are you finding yourself craving this fall? Resist the urge to add creamy, calorie dense foods into your regular routine and find comfort in the warm, healthy alternatives!
Nutrition from the dietitian
Blog of Abrea Nutrition.