Links for Thought (Dec 4)

A weekly roundup of helpful and thought-provoking links for mothers and mothers-to-be!

::  Rethinking Swaddling.  A thoughtful perspective on swaddling, backed by research, indicating that in the first days, weeks, and months after birth, infants who spend time unswaddled and skin-to-skin experience better breastfeeding and health outcomes than those who are routinely swaddled. The article is not anti-swaddling – its message: swaddle when needed to calm an overstimulated baby, but remember the importance of skin-to-skin, too!  (Nancy Morhbacher: Breastfeeding Reporter; full article in the International Journal of Childbirth Education is worth reading!)

::  Baby Behavior Basics: Parts One, Two, Three, and Four.  The Secrets of Baby Behavior website is a goldmine of helpful information for both new and experienced parents!  Here’s a taste of its treasures: a four-part series on understanding your newborn’s behavioral cues — and how to accommodate them to create a happy baby and happy parents.  (The Secrets of Baby Behavior, UC-Davis Human Lactation Center)

:: Rub It In: The Case for the Benefits of Vernix Caseosa.  Some call it baby cold cream: the white, waxy substance known as vernix that coats a newborn baby’s skin.  Recent research reveals the incredible antimicrobial and moisturizing properties of vernix caseosa — and indicates that rubbing the vernix into a newborn’s skin, rather than washing it off in a bath, is likely the smarter move.  The vernix hydrates the skin and helps protect the baby from infection by microbes like E. coli, Group B Strep, and yeast.  If you find this blog post a bit too heavy in words like “peptides” and “immune function,” check out this reader-friendly alternative post by doula and midwife Cole Deelah. (Science and Sensibility; Kimmelin Hull, PA, LCCE)

::  The Shape of a Mother. Beautiful photos celebrating the bodies of women who have given birth.  (The Shape of a Mother)

::  Risks of Informal Breastmilk Sharing versus Formula Feeding.  Mothers needing to supplement their breastmilk will be interested in this thorough comparison of the pros and cons of formula use versus breastmilk-sharing.  It’s a personal decision, and each mom should determine what situation is best for her!  Those who decide in favor of breastmilk-sharing can match themselves directly to a breastmilk donor through organizations like Eats on Feets or Milkshare (PhD in Parenting)

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