Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Breastfeeding Moms More Aggressive?!

Turns out- it is true...

Check out this article to find out what us nursing mamas have in common with mama grizzlies!

"Why you shouldn’t challenge a breast-feeding mom to play Call of Duty"

"When you happen upon a couple of bear cubs in the woods, what's the first thing that comes to mind? If you're answer was "I wanna squeeze 'em," you're wrong. It should be "where's the mom?" And with good reason. Numerous non-human mammals are known to exhibit heightened levels of aggression in defense of their young.

But what about humans? A newly published study has revealed the first behavioral evidence for heightened aggression in nursing women. What's more, these women are not only more likely to display aggressive behavior than their formula-feeding peers, they actually exhibit lower systolic blood pressure in the process. Translation? Breast feeding can help you defend your young and help keep you de-stressed.

The researchers' hypothesis — that human mothers would display accentuated aggressiveness while breast feeding — was based on prior research in non-human mammals that shows that lactation enables heightened defensive aggression by decreasing the animal's fear response. Evolutionarily speaking, the ability to react defensively is enormously beneficial to the fitness of a mother and her offspring.
But the scientists couldn't exactly pit these women against legitimately harmful threats, so how did the researchers screen for aggression? Simple: a videogame tournament.

Well, not videogames, per se. Eighteen nursing mothers, 17 formula-feeding moms, and 20 non-mothers were recruited to participate in a computerized, competitive, reaction-time test (okay, a videogame) against a research assistant posing as an overtly confrontational study participant (try to imagine an unnecessarily hostile, pre-teen XBox Live opponent on Call of Duty).
Here's where things get awesome. If the study participant won a round of the competition, she was allowed to press a button that delivered what the researchers describe as a "punitive sound burst" to their overtly hostile opponent (the trained research assistant). For those of you wondering, the "punitive sound burst" in this instance is roughly the equivalent of "booyah, bitch," and has, in fact, been validated as a measure of physical aggression.

The paper's authors describe their findings:
Breast-feeding mothers inflicted louder and longer punitive sound bursts on unduly aggressive confederates than did formula-feeding mothers or women who had never been pregnant.
In fact, mothers who exclusively breast-fed their infants were found to be almost twice as aggressive as formula-feeding women and non-mothers. (It's worth noting that formula-feeding women did not exhibit more aggressive behavior than non-mothers.)
The researchers believe the tendency for breast-feeding mothers to dish out longer and louder punitive sound bursts is mediated by a lactation-related decrease in the body's response to stress. The researchers explain:
Exclusively breast-feeding mothers had lower [blood pressure] during the aggressive encounters relative to the other groups, and [blood pressure] correlated inversely with aggressive behavior. Together, these findings suggest that in humans, as in many other mammalian species, lactating mothers are more likely to aggress against hostile conspecifics than are non-lactating mothers or [women who have never given birth], at least in part because they experience dampened arousal in response to stressful aggressive encounters.
So what's the take home message?

"Breast-feeding mothers aren't going to go out and get into bar fights," said UCLA's Dr. Jennifer Hahn-Holebrook, lead author of the study. "But if someone is threatening them or their infant, our research suggests they may be more likely to defend themselves in an aggressive manner."

The researchers' paper, "Maternal Defense: Breast Feeding Increases Aggression by Reducing Stress" appears in the September issue of Psychological Science
Thanks to Dr. Hahn-Holebrook for the forwarded copy of the paper"


Wow! Don't mess with my kiddos, haha!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Free ebook about Wholesome Eating!

I found a great site called The Morris Tribe about a woman who quit the working world to become a stay-at-home Mom to 9 kids. Yes, 9 kids!! She is honest and so candid about how hard that transition from working to homemaking is...which I can TOTALLY relate to.The book is great and the site is full of inspiration for all parents.

About "Just Get 'Em Fed!", her free ebook about feeding your family whole foods that they will enjoy:

From The Morris Tribe:

"For all of history, the place where food is prepared is where the family unit gathers.
Food bonds people together.  There’s something beautiful about when people eat with one another.  We feel close and related.  The conversation extends a little longer, we smile a little wider and we digest our food better.
Like it or not, moms, what comes out of the kitchen binds the family relationships.  By design or by default, we can greatly influence the mood and temperature of our homes with food.

As a busy mom with 10 people to feed most days, sometimes more, it’s important to get my act together in terms of buying, preparing and serving food.  Yet, Martha Stewart I am not.
That’s why I wrote a FREE eBook “Just Get ‘em Fed“.  ”Just Get ‘em Fed” is a whole food cookbook that teaches you to how to cook thematically and simply….to “Just Get ‘em Fed“.
I’ve been all over the place with food, from growing up on junk food, going organic, then vegetarian and then to whole foods.  I share my food journey with you in the cookbook.  I also talk about meal planning and how cooking thematically is so much easier than conventional planning.
Then, recipes that WE eat, that are tried and true….and that your family will love.
It’s completely free! I don’t even ask for an email, it’s just yours for the printing. Take advantage of this free resource, compliments of “The Morristribe”!"


Monday, August 22, 2011

Fabulous giveaway!!

Head over to my other blog, Mommy Style, for your chance to win The Ultimate Hairstyle Handbook!

It is the coolest book ever and you will love it...thanks to Abby at My Yellow Sandbox for the prize!

Click HERE to enter!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Amazing Breastfeeding Post

I just read the most amazing post and wanted to share it with all of you! Aside from just sounding cute (it is written from the perspective of a newborn...awwww), it has a lot of really important and valuable information. (and a lot of super adorable pictures of nurslings and their mommies!)

Baby Explains- Normal Newborn Behavior- By Diana Cassar-Uhl, IBCLC

Check out this sample from the article, talking about why it is SO important to nurse and nurse OFTEN during the first two weeks and not supplement formula:

"A word about these instincts I feel … I really can’t help it, mommy, that I want to suckle so much.  It’s just how I came out, and there doesn’t seem to be much that I can do about it.  Please believe me, I’m not trying to trick you!  In a few weeks, this need lets up a tiny bit, but for now, suckling is my M.O.  But, do you want to know something really cool?  I’m not the only one who benefits!  When I suckle at your breast in these early days, your body actually activates prolactin receptors!  Isn’t that amazing?  In my first two weeks, the higher I make your prolactin levels go (my suckling triggers a prolactin surge in your body), the more of these receptors get activated in your breasts, and the higher your potential milk production will be for as long as you choose to breastfeed me.  That’s one reason your lactation consultant tells you to wait on introducing that bottle or that binky– this prolactin receptor thing only happens for the first 10-14 days.  After that, the prolatcin surges when I breastfeed are much smaller, so the more receptors there are to gobble up what prolactin is there, the more easily you’ll make all the milk I need."


I do  not know about all of you- but those first few days before your milk comes in are the hardest. Even though I knew what to expect this second time around, I still cried and was so overwhelmed and exhausted. My nipples hurt, I was having such bad uterine contractions and all my son wanted to do was nurse 24 hours a day! But nurse you must!! 

Click HERE to read the entire article and pass it along to every Mom and soon-to-be Mom you know!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Recipes of the Day- Grilled Corn & Red Pepper Salad

The littles will LOVE this one!!! This would be great for ages 9 months and up, once you start giving table food. Thanks to Weelicious for another fabulous recipe.

photo from

Grilled Corn & Red Pepper Salad (Serves 4)

4 Ears of Corn
2 Large Red Peppers, seeds removed and cut into quarters
1/4 Cup Red Onion, diced
1/2 Tsp Paprika
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Juice of 1 Lemon

1 Cup Mozzarella Balls, cut into quarters
1. Preheat grill.
2. Grill corn and peppers for 6 minutes and set aside to cool.*
3. Remove the corn kernels from the cobs and dice the red peppers.
4. Place the corn and peppers in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and combine.
5. Serve.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Baby's Palate and Food Memory


"Baby's Palate And Food Memories Shaped Before Birth"

August 8, 2011
"Want your child to love veggies? Start early. Very early. Research shows that what a woman eats during pregnancy not only nourishes her baby in the womb, but may shape food preferences later in life.
At 21 weeks after conception, a developing baby weighs about as much as a can of Coke — and he or she can taste it, too. Still in the womb, the growing baby gulps down several ounces of amniotic fluid daily. That fluid surrounding the baby is actually flavored by the foods and beverages the mother has eaten in the last few hours.

"Things like vanilla, carrot, garlic, anise, mint — these are some of the flavors that have been shown to be transmitted to amniotic fluid or mother's milk," says Julie Mennella, who studies taste in infants at the Monell Chemical Senses Center. In fact, Mennella says there isn't a single flavor they have found that doesn't show up in utero. Her work has been published in the journal Pediatrics.

The Scent Of Amniotic Fluid
To determine if flavors are passed from the mother to the the baby via the amniotic fluid, researchers gave women garlic capsules or sugar capsules before taking a routine sample of their amniotic fluid — and then asked a panel of people to smell the samples.
"And it was easy," says Mennella. "They could pick out the samples easily from the women who ate garlic." The sense of taste is actually 90-percent smell, she added, so they knew just from the odor that the babies could taste it.

Mennella says she got the idea from dairy farmers, who in the 1960s and 70s were doing research on how the diet of the dairy cow impacted the flavor of the milk. She says cows that graze on wild garlic and onion, or who live in stinking barns, produce milk with distinct flavors.
But Mennella says that not only is the amniotic fluid and breast milk in humans flavored by food just like cows, but memories of these flavors are formed even before birth. That could result in preferences for these foods or odors for a lifetime. In other words, if you eat broccoli while you're pregnant, there's a much better chance your baby will like broccoli.

Mennella says this had already been observed in rabbits, so she decided to test it in human babies — with carrots. Pregnant women were divided into three groups. One group was asked to drink carrot juice every day during their pregnancy, another during breastfeeding and a third to avoid carrots completely. Then when the children began to eat solid food, researchers fed them cereal made either with water, or carrot juice and videotaped their responses.

Things like vanilla, carrot, garlic, anise, mint — these are some of the flavors that have been shown to be transmitted to amniotic fluid or mother's milk.

Introducing Babies To Food Culture
"And just like the European rabbit, the babies who had experienced carrot in amniotic fluid or mother's milk ate more of the carrot-flavored cereal," says Mennella. "And when we analyzed the video tapes they made less negative faces while eating it."

This makes a lot of evolutionary sense, says Mennella. Since mothers tend to feed their children what they eat themselves, it is nature's way of introducing babies to the foods and flavors that they are likely to encounter in their family and their culture.

"Each individual baby is having their own unique experience, it's changing from hour to hour, from day to day, from month to month," says Mennella. "As a stimulus it's providing so much information to that baby about who they are as a family and what are the foods their family enjoys and appreciates."
That very idea got Matty Lau thinking 'how is it that kids in other cultures eat foods that are spicy, bitter, or have pungent flavors?' She's a Chinese-American who had a baby in late July and recalls growing up eating foods most American kids she knows would never touch.
"My parents are great cooks — and so they'll cook things like preserved oysters. I always wondered how it was that I was able to grow up eating bitter vegetables like kale and mustard greens and things like ginger," says Lau.

Instilling A Love Of Chinese Flavors Before Birth

While she was pregnant, she consciously tried to provide her baby with the flavors she loves from her native Chinese cuisine. She the hopes that when her baby is older, it will share her love of flavorful food.

"I was really concerned that my child enjoy food as much as the rest of my family," says Lau.
University of Florida taste researcher Linda Bartoshuk says babies are born with very few hard and fast taste preferences. She says Mennella's work shows that very early exposures to flavors – both before and after birth — make it more likely that children will accept a wide variety of flavors. And when those early exposures are reinforced over a lifetime, Bartoshuk thinks they might have far-reaching implications, even promoting good eating.

"To what extent can we make a baby eat a healthier diet by exposing it to all the right flavors — broccoli, carrots, lima beans, et cetera? Could we do that or not? My guess is we could," says Bartoshuk.

Menella acknowledges that many toddlers will still make a sour face when given broccoli, no matter how much the mother ate while pregnant. And maybe they will never like it. But she says parents should keep exposing young children to these flavors because they can eventually learn to like them."


Saturday, August 6, 2011

How Much Money Can Breastfeeding Save You?

Check out this great article on how much money breastfeeding can save you from Frugal Mama

Check this out-

  • Studies have shown you can save $1000-$3000 per year by breastfeeding

WOW! Make your own baby food and skip the jars and rice cereal and save even more!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hospitals Lack Breastfeeding Support for Moms

According to the CDC- there is a lack of support from hospitals for breastfeeding mothers.

Check out this article that states that less than 4% of hospitals are doing everything they can to help breastfeeding efforts.

I know that at Banner Good Samaritan, I had a good experience. I was allowed to room in with both my sons, I was able to breastfeed within 30 minutes of delivery and I was offered access to lactation consultants. My only complaint? Formula was everywhere! Now, I have no issue with formula in the world- it serves a wonderful purpose. BUT it can seriously derail a Mom's efforts to breastfeed when free cans are just handed out without further education.

What do you think? How was your hospital experience?