To honor all the beautiful and exhausted moms and moms-to-be out there, we are giving away two fantastic prizes to the most creative mommy photos we receive. Simply email us your photo (of you and your bump and/or baby) to and you could receive one of these fabulous gifts on your doorstep... timed to arrived just after the last of your Mother's Day chocolates have been eaten and flowers wilted!
24 bottles of Glow Mama and a gorgeous Earth Mama Angel Baby Pampering Kit (either Pregnancy or Postpartum) wrapped up in a soft and snug fleecy baby blanket made from Eco SpunTM. Thats over $100 value!
Glow Mama is packed with the pre and post natal vitamins you need right now, is completely natural, made with real juice, and yet is only 70 calories per bottle. Turn it into a delicious mocktail or gulp it down straight from the bottle.
Not so small print:
Photos we receive will be included (without names or emails) on our Glow Mama Flickr page.
We never pass on names, emails or photos to 3rd parties.
We will contact the winners by email to obtain their mailing address
Yes, photos which include a bottle of Glow Mama are considered extra creative!
Only one photo entry per mama
We can only ship prizes to US addresses
Entries close midnight PST on May 16th, 2008 so photos taken at your Mother's day celebration can be included.
Posted by: Glow Mama in Pregnancy, Our Friends, mama on Apr 03, 2008
Only one week to go to one of THE chic baby events of the year. It's a weekend long, one -of-a-kind showcase for stylish moms and trendy tots at the Los Angeles Convention Center Saturday April 12 and Sunday April 13. It's a great chance to be wowed by over 300 exquisite products, services and entertainment options.
They're selling tickets online at http://www.babycelebrationla.com/ , where, if you are among the first 100 to enter each day, you will receive a Baby Booty Bag filled to the brim with gifted goodies! At the show they've having a Gymboree Play Area, several mom pampering areas, fashion shows and even a Baby2Baby booth where you can help them donate 48 car seats in 48 hours to families unable to purchase car seats. They've also got some great giveaways...you might even win a "Babymoon" getaway for two from "Barefoot & Pregnant" in Sausalito California worth $2,000.00...cool!
As a long-time music lover, I always enjoyed hearing stories about pregnant women who played music to their bellies only to have that child later become a musical prodigy. One friend told me a story about a husband who played his guitar right up against his wife's pregnant belly and their son became a guitar whiz. Unfortunately, I only appreciate music, and besides my wishlist accomplishment of learning to play the cello for a brief stint, and my husband's attempt to learn the bass guitar, we can only play our eclectic mix of CD's like the best of them.
Of course I want to believe that music-lovers and musicians will raise the same. And it makes sense, doesn't it, that if we expose our little ones to music of all types when they are dancing and tumbling around in the womb, they will come out as natural born appreciators of music. But I was interested to see if there were studies on this topic, and "hear" is what I found out....
It is a common belief that if you play calming music or lullabies to your baby in utero--for instance, placing your iPod headphones on the belly--your little peanut will react by kicking and moving, or becoming suddenly still, especially in the third trimester. Some even believe that music played while in the womb will be remembered by the baby up to a year after birth.
According to an article on SmartMommy.com , it is believed that in the 7th month of pregnancy, the soothing sounds of music in the womb can stimulate your baby's ear, brain and body development in preparation for sound and language comprehension. Thomas Verny, M.D., author of The Secret Life of the Unborn Child (Dell, 1994) said, "Musicologists seem to agree that rhythms, similar to the mother's heartbeat, have the most calming effect" on babies in utero. This can also be used as a tool to calm a fussy newborn.
One woman reported to BBC News Health : "I used to have a daily bath and listen to Ella Fitzgerald at 6pm. It was my peace time. When she was born she was very fractious with colic. We used to play Ella Fitzgerald at 3am to try to settle her, and it really worked."
But there are differing opinions on what is called the "Mozart Effect," which says that playing classical music to babies in utero increases brain activity and stimulation, which thereby is an intelligence and IQ booster. An online BBC article --Does Classical Music Make Babies Smarter? -- states that "Numerous studies conclude that playing music to babies in the womb and in the early years helps build the neural bridges along which thoughts and information travel. And research suggests it can stimulate the brain's alpha waves, creating a feeling of calm."
It's a fact that a fetus develops their ability to hear 5 months into pregnancy, and can therefore react to sounds outside the womb, but there is no hard evidence that proves that playing classical music is a direct link to higher intellectual development.
In the same BBC article, Professor Paul Robertson, a leading expert in musicology, believes it's important the best music is made available to babies at the earliest possible stage of their growth.
My thoughts are, whether my baby becomes the next little genius or not, it can't hurt to encourage her development with this great source of entertainment (that is far better than TV). If nothing else, it will be a way to bond with your baby before she arrives, and it will definitely be a way to share a fun and necessary form of the Arts for many years to come. So crank up that CD, go to Baby & Me music classes, and enjoy your happy time together!
Posted by: lucy in motherhood, Moms Groups, mama on Mar 27, 2008
While sometimes I think just making it to the end of the day without too many Dora songs, tears, food related tantrums, hubbie frowns, missed calls or neglected emails deserves a medal... there are a lot of true supermoms out there who deserve an real award. I was so excited to discover my city honors a new woman each year who "goes beyond the daily responsibilities of parenting and/or grand parenting by becoming extremely active in the lives of citizens in the community", in fact, this is their 55th year! How cool is that!?
Follow this link for more info on Oakland's award, or comment here to tell us about your city's or organization's mom award.
So important in fact, that our recent article on keeping hydrated with Glow Mama was posted on the American Pregnancy Association website. Here's what our resident pre and post natal nutrition expert Julie says...
Good hydration is extremely important for a healthy pregnancy and postpartum period. Water flushes waste products from the cells and aids in liver and kidney function for both mom and the baby. During pregnancy, water is also needed for the body's expansion as mom's blood volume increases significantly. Insufficient water intake can be a factor in constipation, preterm labor, and miscarriage, and even slight dehydration can cause or contribute to fatigue. Proper hydration is also important for adequate breast milk production and flow.
Most women know about the need for proper hydration during pregnancy, but many do not get adequate fluid intake. Some women do not like drinking water; others say they are not generally thirsty. Additionally, women are often unaware that some beverages are actually dehydrating.
Read the whole article
Posted by: doctormama in Pregnancy, Nutrition, fish on Mar 08, 2008
In all of my pregnancies, the taste, the smell, even just the thought of cooked fish could send me right into gagfests. No worries, I thought, I don't want to expose my baby to all that mercury anyway. And, not to mention, our oceans and fish supplies are suffering due to bad fishing practices, so no need to contribute to that environmental quagmire.
But then the news came out that pregnant mamas who eat fish have smarter more coordinated babies (a Harvard study in June 2005 and a British study in Feb 2007), and I had reason to revisit the fish issue. Or at least find a way to get those potent omega -3 fatty acids in me and my in utero baby and my young children's developing brains!
What about just taking fish oil supplements and not have to think about it? Unfortunately, there is no way (yet) of knowing that there is no mercury in them and/or that they are coming from eco-friendly sources. Give it a few years and some regulation getting involved and that will probably be a great option.
So back to the fish. From my research I knew that mercury is truly bad news and has seriously detrimental effects on young nervous systems in particular. Not worth rolling that dice. I also had tacked up in my kitchen the Environmental Defense Fund's "eco-worst" list of fish to avoid if you care about our planet. So where was I to find fish that was safe to eat, that I could swallow without puking and that I could eat without feeling guilty?
My list had dwindled down to: wild salmon, pacific halibut, and yellowfin tuna, caught in US waters.
Fast forward to a recent date night with my husband when we visited our favorite sushi bar. As we settled in, the sushi chef asked, "How's the sushi baby?" Two years later, he still remembers me for eating sushi right through the ninth month of my last pregnancy. And I'm not talking just California rolls, girls, I mean the real deal sashimi. Sushi?!?!? I hear you scream, but it's RAW!!! Yes. And a food borne illness in pregnancy should be avoided at all costs. With names like Listeria, Salmonella, Shigella, better to leave them on an exotic baby name list, as my girlfriend suggested, than have them wreaking havoc on your GI system. So why would I risk it? Well, they do it in Japan and the reason is that if you are eating the freshest of the best, as I was, you can eliminate your risk. I trusted my sushi source; he would rather die than have someone be sick from his sushi. And in over 20 years of eating there, no one I know ever has been.
And so with that assurance, I gorged on high grade sushi, which never has a fishy smell so I never once gagged. The result? My little "sushi baby" - is one smart whippersnapper, if I do say so myself, who happens to love eating raw fish too.
Where does your
milk dollar go? Do you buck up for organic? Go rBGH-free? Regular? Raw? Non/Low/Full-Fat? Heck, there's even a brand that supports my kid's school. WAY too many choices - for what should be one of the (few) simple buying decisions at the grocery.
I personally buy organic some of the time (when it's on sale or I have a coupon) but almost always hormone-free. Thing is, depending on what store I go to (and I frequent many) there are different brands available that make my choices more complicated.
I'm often tempted by store brand organic milk because it's less expensive. But have you heard about the Horizon/Aurora Organic boycott? The Organic Consumer's Association is leading the charge to boycott this company (owned by Dean Foods) because they have been pushing the limits on organic standards by using factory farm feedlots where the animals have little or no access to pasture.
So, if you care about maintaining organic standards, then consider passing on not only the Horizon Organic brand but the private label brands that use the same supplier. As far as I know, these brands include: Costco's "Kirkland Signature," Target's "Archer Farm", Walmart's "Great Value", Safeway's "O" organics brand, Publix's "High Meadows,"Giant's "Natures Promise," and Wild Oats' organic milk.
Trader Joe's and Whole Foods "365' brand of organic milk appear to be OK. Let's hope so anyway! (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about any of this)
If you want to get into some heavy details, check out the Cornucopia Institute's research project on Maintaining the Integrity of Organic Milk. If not, just enjoy their great graphic illustration of the situation!
I want to keep this as simple as possible.... rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) is given to cows to increase their milk production. It is bad for:
- COWS - because it can lead to chronic mastitis (if you've ever breast fed, you know what that means and why you don't EVER want to have it!). And because of the risk of infection, herds are treated with lots of antibiotics.
- PEOPLE - because the resulting milk has high levels of Insulin-like Growth Hormone (IGF-1). Research has shown that elevated levels of IGF-1 is linked to an increased risk of breast, colorectal and prostrate cancer.
Use of rBGH is banned in Canada and the European Union. It's allowed here in the U.S. but the movement to stop using it is getting bigger by the day. All Trader Joe's milk (organic and non) is rBGH-free. Starbucks offers rBGH-free milk in all their U.S. stores and is working toward a complete switch. Kroger is officially rBGH-free in the West and their switch will be nationwide by Feb. 2008.
Fortunately, rBGH-free milk is easy to find and while you do pay a premium, it is not as spendy as organic. A good compromise if you ask me.
Most people I know buy 1% or skim. I buy 2% because it's what I grew up with and what my family likes. My son had a pediatrician who gave me a hard time about switching to skim. I switched doctors instead. I'm not an expert, but I'm not afraid of a little bit of fat.
Anyone out there a raw milk fan? I've never tried it but I know there are people who think it is MUCH healthier than pasteurized milk. You can learn more from the Campaign for Real Milk (a project of the Weston A. Price foundation).
Supporting your School? Here in Minnesota, I try to buy Kemps Select brand (rBGH-free) because saving the cap means money for Drew's school. Just one more thing to think about in the complicated process of feeding your family...
Did you know that it wasn't until 1997 that grains started being fortified with folic acid? And that doing so has contributed to a 26% decline in neural tube birth defects (disorders in an infant's spine and brain)? - impressive don't you think! The March of Dimes has also uncovered a sad stat though - that only 12% of women know that they should be consuming at least 400mg of folic acid before pregnancy, made
scarier by the stat that 50% of American pregnancies are unplanned.
What are they doing about it? - launching a new "folic acid for a healthy pregnancy" seal for bread products that have over 40mg of folic acid.
What are we doing about it? - continuing to be champions for pregnancy and women's general wellness education... and telling everyone that each bottle of Glow Mama has 100mg of folic acid.
It also wasn't until ten years ago that the first official health claim was approved - that oat fiber, as part of a heart-healthy diet can reduce the risk of heart disease. A recent review published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine has verified that the fiber in oats lowers both total and LDL cholesterol, and that the phenols they contain have antioxidant properties. While Glow Mama doesn't contain fiber derived from oats (can you imagine what that would be like to drink?) it does contain lots of natural fiber derived from veggies - 4grams of it per bottle to be exact. That's 16% of your daily recommended fiber intake, or the equivalent to eating a bowl of porridge.
A lot of people are curious about the kiwi and why we chose to make Glow Mama from real kiwifruit juice. So, while I'm not a kiwifruit expert, grower, salesperson or spokesperson... I am a fan, and I'd like for them to have their 15 minutes in the spotlight. So here are some of the facts, straight from the California Kiwifruit Commission.
Check out the folic acid, fiber and vitamin C levels in particular - great for us moms and moms-to-be!
Did you know kiwifruit has the highest level of Vitamin C? Kiwifruit has almost twice the Vitamin C of an orange. A serving of kiwifruit (two medium) provides about 230% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance. Vitamin C aids in wound healing, iron absorption and maintains bones, blood vessels and teeth.
Did you know kiwifruit outranks bananas as the top low-sodium, high potassium fruit? A serving of kiwifruit contains an average of 20% more potassium than a banana. Potassium is an important mineral that controls heart activity and works with sodium to maintain fluid balance in the body.
Did you know kiwifruit is a good low-fat source of Vitamin E? A serving of kiwifruit has some 10% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance. Kiwifruit actually has twice the Vitamin E of an avocado, but has only 60% of the avocado's calories. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant and may reduce the risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer.
Did you know there are few foods equal to kiwifruit in folic acid? Kiwifruit provides 10% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of folic acid, or folate. Folic acid is essential to the reproduction and formation of red blood cells. Lack of folic acid can contribute to some problems of anemia and it is especially important for expectant mothers to protect against birth defects.
Did you know kiwifruit is especially rich in lutein? Kiwifruit ranked higher than spinach and all other fruits and vegetables, except yellow corn, for its lutein content. Lutein is an antioxidant that may decrease the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration.
Did you know kiwifruit is an excellent source of dietary fiber? Kiwifruit provides both soluble and insoluble forms of fiber (16% USRDA), providing more than a serving of bran flakes and four times that of a cup of chopped celery. Soluble fiber appears to play a protective role in heart disease and diabetes, while insoluble fiber aids in prevention of constipation, diverticulosis, hemorrhoids and some forms of cancer.
Did you know all the other rich minerals that are in kiwifruit? Besides potassium, there are four minerals contained in kiwifruit which have a nutrient density of one or more. These are: calcium (RDA of 5.5%); Iron (RDA, 4%); Magnesium (RDA, 6%) and Copper (RDA, 8%). In addition, kiwifruit is an unusual supplier of some new researched trace minerals including Manganese, essential to the enzymes involved in the body's use of protein and food energy, and Chromium, known to be a key factor in regulating the heartbeat and the body's use of carbohydrates.
Did you know kiwifruit promotes heart health? Enjoying just a couple of kiwifruit each day can significantly lower your risk for blood clots (platelet aggregation reduction 18%) and reduce the amount of fats (15% reduction of triglycerides) in your blood.
Did you know kiwifruit protects against Cancer and aids in DNA repair? Eating kiwifruit daily can provide substantial protection against DNA damage that can trigger cancer and, more significantly, greatly speeds the repair of DNA damage.
Did you know kiwifruit is the most nutrient dense fruit? A study conducted by Dr. Paul Lachance of Rutgers University evaluated the nutritional value of fruits to determine-ounce for ounce-which provide the most nutrition. The study found that out of the 27 most commonly consumed fruits; kiwifruit is the most nutrient dense.
California Kiwifruit Commission
Posted by: mindfulmomma in environment on Feb 13, 2008
I've been wanting to start making some of my own household cleaning products for some time now. It looks so easy, it's better for the environment, saves money, a no brainer, huh?
Thing is, a person like me is always thinking way too big - as in 'I need to buy every possible ingredient, read every source of information and experiment like crazy before I write a post about
this topic.' Aaaah, but I caught myself - and this time I'm taking baby steps.
No, I don't have the borax or the soap flakes or the washing soda yet. But I do have ingredients that I already have in my house: baking soda, vinegar and some essential oils.
I whipped up a simple sink scrub that made my stainless steel kitchen sink shine and left the whole kitchen smelling fresh. Oh, and the 'volcano' action you get when you mix the baking soda and vinegar is a fun little science experiment for the kiddos - so get them in on the action!
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup white vinegar
3-5 drops of essential oil (those with antibacterial properties include lavender, lemon, lime, orange, sandalwood, cypress, chamomile, rosemary, thyme, lemongrass and others)
I used an essential oil blend from Aura Cacia. I love their Essential Solutions blends because I don't have to buy a bunch of individual oils. They create the blends for various effects: Creative Juice is energizing, Pep Talk is refreshing, Chill Pill is soothing and Mellow Mix (the one that I use) is calming with lavender, lemon, sandalwood, roman chamomile, petitgrain and neroli oils. It smells SO good!
I also made a garbage pail freshener using the same essential oil blend. Just fill a spray bottle with water, add 8-12 drops of essential oil and viola - you're armed and ready to overcome the stench of a stinky pail - without filling the air with toxic chemicals.
Watch out, I just might try some more! I'll keep you posted as I work my way through the book The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier. It's got some great tips and over 100 recipes for anyone inclined to DIY.