Why do we fatten babies?

My baby is 11 months. She is long and has never had a roll of fat! She developed well and hit all her milestones. Childhood obesity is a major issue in this country. If our babies are healthy, why fatten them up? Why give them bad habits now at this important learning stage?

We as adults are not all the same. We didn’t grow the same height and weight until adulthood hood, why do we expect our babies to all be Xpounds and Ylength at Zmonths?

If baby is happy and healthy can’t we love them and enjoy them and not worry about making them fat in a society full of unhealthy food products, misinformation, diet fads and heart disease and cancer?

One thing to note for consideration our parents or maybe their parents ate a certain way and fatten up baby for energy level reasons. Mine ate to walk everywhere, tend their own food and carry out a technology free life. They burned every ounce of fuel they consumed. We in the other hand sit all day and consume specially formulated products. I say all this to ask, do our babies really need to be fat and if so why?

A momma wrote:

My daughter is a happy and healthy baby. Although I am a little concerned that she is underweight. At 8 months she weighs just shy of 12 pounds. She has been strictly on breast milk since she was born. At 6 months we began to introduce purées to her. Her pediatrician isn’t too concerned since she’s growing length wise and reaching her developmental milestones.

Any recommendations on specific foods to help her add some weight?

Calcium rich foods during pregnancy

CALCIUM-RICH FOODS

Nutrient-rich foods are particularly important in pregnancy, and of particular importance is the mineral calcium, which is a key component in building healthy bones and teeth. Approximately ninety-nine percent of the body’s calcium is stored in the bones and teeth. The rest of the calcium in the body has other important uses, such as some exocytosis, especially neurotransmitter release, and muscle contraction. Long-term calcium deficiency can lead to rickets and poor blood clotting. High calcium intakes or high calcium absorption were previously thought to contribute to the development of kidney stones. However, a high calcium intake has been associated with a lower risk for kidney stones in more recent research. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium.

Dairy products, such as milk and cheese, are a well-known source of calcium. However, some individuals are allergic to dairy products and even more people, particularly those of non Indo-European descent, are lactose-intolerant, leaving them unable to consume non-fermented dairy products in quantities larger than about half a liter per serving. Others, such as vegans, avoid dairy products for ethical and/or health reasons. Fortunately, many good sources of calcium exist. These include seaweeds such as kelp, wakame and hijiki; nuts and seeds (like almonds and sesame); blackstrap molasses; beans; oranges; figs; quinoa; amaranth; collard greens; okra; rutabaga; broccoli; dandelion leaves; kale; and fortified products such as orange juice and soy milk. (However, calcium fortified orange juice often contains vitamin D3 derived from lanolin, and is thus unacceptable for vegans.) Cultivated vegetables generally have less calcium than wild plants. (Some of the above info obtained from Wikipedia.)

Below are listed some calcium-rich foods with the average amount of the mineral in a one cup serving (unless otherwise specified).

Food —- Calcium (mgs)

Green Leafy Vegetables


Collard greens —- 300

Wild greens —- 350

Broccoli —- 150

Kale —- 179

Spinach —- 278

Turnip Grass —- 229

 

Sea Vegetables

Hijiki —-610

Wakame —- 520

Kombu (kelp) —- 305

Agar-agar 400

Dulse —-567

Beet Greens —- 165

Bok Choy —- 200

Mustard greens —- 150

Rhubarb —- 348

Watercress —- 53

Parsley —-122

Dandelion greens —- 147

 

 

 

 

Fish (bones the major source of Calcium)

 

Sardines (w/ bones) —- 300  (3 ½ oz serving)

Salmon —- 431

Oysters (raw) —- 226

Beans and Legumes

 

Tofu (firm) —- 80 – 150   (4 oz)                                  Black beans —- 135

Tempeh —- 172                                                               Pinto beans —- 128

Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)  cooked —- 150  (1 cup)   Tortillas, corn —- 120  (2)

Nuts and Seeds

 

Sesame seeds —- 300  (5 tbsp)                               Almonds —- 300  (1 cup)

Sunflower seeds —- 174  (hulled, 1 cup)                  Brazil Nuts —- 260  “  “

Hazel nuts —- 282 (1 cup)

Dairy

 

Milk:

         Skim —- 300

      Whole —- 288

Cheese (Amer., swiss, cheddar) —- 300  (1 ½ oz)

Ice Milk —- 204

Non-fat yoghurt —- 294

Cottage Cheese (lowfat)—- 150

Herbs rich in calcium (soaked in apple cider vinegar for 6 weeks):

 

Yellow dock (also high in iron), dandelion, oatstraw, nettles, raspberry, comfrey, red clover, plantain and wild greens.

Other Sources

 

Blackstrap Molasses —- 137  (1tbsp)

Orange Juice (Calcium fortified) —- 210

If your diet is rich in the above foods and you take a prenatal vitamin daily, you may not have to supplement. If you do choose to do so, the information below may be used as a guide. Note that Vitamin D, essential for Ca absorption, is the sunshine vitamin. Try to get at least 20 minutes daily if possible, without shades.

Most experts recommend that supplements be taken with food and that no more than 600 mg should be taken at a time because the percent of calcium absorbed decreases as the amount of calcium in the supplement increases.[5] It is recommended to spread doses throughout the day. Recommended daily calcium intake for adults ranges from 1000 to 1500 mg. It is recommended to take supplements with food to aid in absorption.

Vitamin D is added to some calcium supplements. Proper vitamin D status is important because vitamin D is converted to a hormone in the body which then induces the synthesis of intestinal proteins responsible for calcium absorption.

  • The absorption of calcium from most food and commonly-used dietary supplements is very similar. This is contrary to what many calcium supplement manufacturers claim in their promotional materials.
  • Milk is an excellent source of dietary calcium because it has a high concentration of calcium and the calcium in milk is excellently absorbed.
  • Calcium carbonate is the most common and least expensive calcium supplement. It should be taken with food. It depends on low pH levels (high acidity) for proper absorption in the intestine. Some studies suggests that the absorption of calcium from calcium carbonate is similar to the absorption of calcium from milk. While most people digest calcium carbonate very well, some might develop gastrointestinal discomfort or gas. Taking magnesium with it can help to avoid constipation. Calcium carbonate is 40% elemental calcium. 1000 mg will provide 400 mg of calcium. However, supplement labels will usually indicate how much calcium is present in each serving, not how much calcium carbonate is present.
  • Coral Calcium is a salt of calcium derived from fossilized coral reefs. Coral calcium is composed of calcium carbonate and trace minerals.
  • Calcium citrate can be taken without food and is the supplement of choice for individuals with achlorhydria or who are taking histamine-2 blockers or proton-pump inhibitors. It is more easily digested and absorbed than calcium carbonate if taken on empty stomach and less likely to cause constipation and gas than calcium carbonate. It also has a lower risk of contributing to the formation of kidney stones. Calcium citrate is about 21% elemental calcium. 1000 mg will provide 210 mg of calcium. It is more expensive than calcium carbonate and more of it must be taken to get the same amount of calcium.
  • Calcium phosphate costs more than calcium carbonate, but less than calcium citrate. It is easily absorbed and is less likely to cause constipation and gas than either.
  • Calcium lactate has similar absorption as calcium carbonate, but is more expensive. Calcium lactate and calcium gluconate are less concentrated forms of calcium and are not practical oral supplements.
  • Calcium chelates are synthetic calcium compounds, with calcium bound to an organic molecule, such as malate, aspartate, or fumarate. These forms of calcium may be better absorbed on an empty stomach. However, in general they are absorbed similarly to calcium carbonate and other common calcium supplements when taken with food. The ‘chelate’ mimics the action that natural food performs by keeping the calcium soluble in the intestine. Thus, on an empty stomach, in some individuals, chelates might theoretically be absorbed better.
  • Microcrystalline hydroxyapatite (MH) is marketed as a calcium supplement, and has in some randomized trials been found to be more effective than calcium carbonate.
  • Orange juice with calcium added is a good dietary source for persons who have lactose intolerance.

 

The first months of breastfeeding are extremely difficult if left to yourself. Seeing it helped me tremendously! Understanding that my baby’s tummy was very very tiny helped me to not stress about not having a lot of milk by adult standards. 

This was when we were still working on latch but the babe was hungry and I needed to not stress out. 

Looking back on Day 1 of breastfeeding. I was confident I & my cub could do this. I didn’t know what the big deal was.
I text my doula for reassurance.
“Hi Tanya. I know Ivy doesnt need a lot but is one hand expressed breast good or does she need two in one feeding?”
“She’s good with what ever you produce if there’s more give her more let her feed on demand”

It has been work! It’s not hard there’s just no one to watch and no one to show and sit by my side for more than an hour or one feeding

When your a parent you learn not to fight your kid, but to roll with the punches.

Danii Oliver

Activities for Babies- Pre Crawlers Stage

I’ve played sensory games with Ivy since she was 3 months old now 5 months. 

Thinks that change before her eyes, 
Playing with different textures of fabric and toys 
I use a touch based app I built that incorporated sound color and vibrations 
Now we let her taste different things mostly bitter and sour 
and soon we’ll be smelling the spice cabinet. 
We also have singing time, music time, baby fingers signing time, dance time, exercise time incorporating tummy time and more, massage and then of course going outside for fresh air be it for a walk or for swimming, new moms group or yoga. The later being our social time. I know Ivy is only 5 months but it’s important to me that she start out living a productive life and volunteers for a nap rather than I force her. She is very curious and requires a lot of engagement and stimuli. 
I know all babies are different so I hope a few of these are good idea options for you. 

Practicing our back carries with our new wraps. This is West Indian Madras Fabric. Our own native woven wrap!

Gel capsules can be bought online or at health food markets. Also a dehydrator can be used instead of an oven.

Ivy-D is wiped out after her first Swimming Lesson today at Aquabeba.

Advice about the Birthing Process

1. Advice about labor: Stay home! 
  • No matter where you plan to birth your baby, stay home and comfortable as long as possible. Conduct your normal life as much as you can until you can’t anymore. From there get all hands on deck, the birth team members that is, and send all nah sayers and nervous family members away. 
  • Keep drinking water. Eat for energy. Stock up on different types of foods. I thought I’d have veggies or smoothies but when the vomiting started I didn’t want to see food. My husband had a bowl of cereal and I barked at him for it the smell bothered me, However I still needed to eat. Luckily I had honey sticks around and my Doula simply squeezed it in my mouth giving me I much needed boost of energy. 
  • Remember that labor is really what you make it. If you are fearful of pain and unsure of your body’s abilities you will experience that. If you prepare, have a positive mind full of excitement about meeting your baby you will have a pleasurable time. 
  • Labor is work… enjoy the job it’s not like it’s your 9-5. It’s the performance you’ve been prepping for for -40+ weeks. “Break a leg” 
2. Anything you thought would be beyond you that you faced anyway?
  • I didn’t think I could go through early labor alone. I thought I needed to have my team and doula with me at the start but it was just me and my husband for go long time and we did it. He really remembered all we practiced and was a great coach. I was even able to let him sleep and not freak out. 
3. What you wish you’d done differently? (lots of you say you wish you’d hired a doula so please include that if it describes you)
  • Ate more food. I was very absorbed in in my work making sure not to tense up. I had a back up doula who didn’t know my plans and I didn’t want to be demanding of her. Besides by the time my doula got there I was very far along. I needed to eat more in the morning and wasn’t thinking about it. 
4. What you’re glad you did exactly as you did it?
  • I am glad I stayed home. I researched statistics, watched videos, read books, heard stories and had bad experiences with institutions. Staying Home avoided all issues and lead to nothing but everything my husband, myself, our midwife and our family wanted. I am glad my birthing experience was comfortable, no stress, no panic, NOT RUSHED, in the water and surrounded by family and friends. My active labor was 20 hours, if we didn’t stay home I would have been forced into a C-section on a fear tactic. I am glad I did my homework to find the safest and most support place to bring my baby in to this world. 
  • Glad I researched and studied up on and took classes on the birthing process. Because we knew what would happen we freaked out about nothing.
  • Glad I built a personal birth team. Every member played a MUCH MORE needed role than I thought. (I was worried I had too many people but we even got 3 last minute members) 
5. What you can tell them about how they will feel about their babies.
  • When my babe came out I looked at her and said, “Wow your a real person!” I think if you are not drugged up and given your baby right away you will feel like your in the presence of an untampered bundle of pure JOY. There is an immediate attachment! You won’t want to let your little thing go. Like getting your bestest fravoritest toy and not wanting to share it. 

My house has been taken over by the baby!