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Music To Our Bellies

Posted by: art mama in WellnessPregnancymusicmotherhoodideasHomelife on

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!





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pregnanthydration.jpgSo 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





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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 folicandfiber.jpgscarier 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. 





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 kiwi.jpg

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 aniStock_000003027558XSmall.jpg 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





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Caffeine and Conception

Posted by: lucy in WellnessPregnancyNutritionglowingGlow Mama on

coffee.jpgFinally, some real answers... They have just released the results of a new medical study (done with the help of 1,000 San Fran /Bay Area pregnant women) that came up with some scary findings.  They concluded that consuming more than 200mg of caffeine a day can doublethe risk of miscarriage!    

But how much is 200mg of caffeine?   Well, here's the caffeine levels in some common drinks (and other things we consume)...       

  • Starbucks "tall" coffee                                     240mg
  • 2 Excedrin extra strength tablets                     130mg
  • Can of Redbull                                                  76mg
  • 8oz cup of black tea                                         47mg
  • Can of Diet Coke                                               47mg
  • Hersey's chocolate bar (1.5oz)                         9mg
  • 12oz bottle of Glow Mama                                0mg

The short lived fix/buzz definitely doesn't seem worth the risk to me.   That's why Glow Mama has 0mg of caffeine per bottle. 

Any good tips for those looking to quit the caffeine?

Link to the Jan 21st NPR article.





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