Posted on March 2nd, 2009 No comments
I had always heard that pregnant women should avoid deli meats, hot dogs, and other pre-cooked meats. I never really knew why until recently.
In general, I know to avoid certain things during pregnancy…smoking, alcohol, and certain foods. Not smoking is an easy one for me, because I never have and never will smoke. Alcohol is also easy, because I rarely have any in the first place. I’ll have an occasional glass of wine on a special occasion or with the ladies from my local Mom’s Club. As for food…
I know to avoid foods that contain nitrates, nitrites, or sodium nitrates. Foods that usually contain these are hot dogs, salami, luncheon meats, and smoked fish and meats. They are used as a preservative in these foods. I recently found out that nitrates in food can be converted to nitrites, which can react in your stomach to form nitrosamines, potent cancer-causing agents. As I would NOT like to risk getting cancer from what I eat, I will avoid these foods, especially while I’m pregnant. I am unable to find more thorough information about nitrates, etc. related specifically to pregnancy, although this page on iVillage, talks about nitrites in well water causing miscarriage.
The other big thing related to food I just found out about is Listeriosis, and I must say what I read shocked me.
Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating foods contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Pregnant women are 20 times more likely than other healthy adults to get listeriosis. About one-third of listeriosis cases happen during pregnancy.
You get listeriosis by eating food contaminated with Listeria. Babies can be born with listeriosis if their mothers eat contaminated food during pregnancy. The bacterium has been found in a variety of raw foods, such as uncooked meats and vegetables, as well as in processed foods that become contaminated after processing, such as soft cheeses and cold cuts at the deli counter. Unpasteurized (raw) milk or foods made from unpasteurized milk may contain the bacterium.
Listeria is killed by pasteurization and cooking; however, in certain ready-to-eat foods such as hot dogs and deli meats, contamination may occur after cooking but before packaging.
A person with listeriosis has fever, muscle aches, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. If the infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions can occur.
Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness; however, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection of the newborn. When infection occurs during pregnancy, antibiotics given promptly to the pregnant woman can often prevent infection of the fetus or newborn. Even with prompt treatment, some infections result in death.
I knew to avoid soft cheeses (feta is the only one I really like), unpasteurized foods, and cold cuts without ever really looking into why. I can’t believe I went through an entire pregnancy and I’m now almost halfway through my second and have only just now found out this information.
Part of the reason I wrote this post was to hopefully inform other pregnant women who are searching for information on this subject. I don’t mean for it to scare anyone or to add more foods to the “unsafe during pregnancy” list, but really wanted to share what I learned.
As a mother of one and soon-to-be two, I feel it’s my job to protect my children and do whatever I can to keep them safe. That begins with being safe and healthy during pregnancy and doing my best to avoid anything that could be bad for my developing baby. I feel better about avoiding these foods now that I know the reasons behind why I should avoid them.
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Posted on August 13th, 2008 No comments
This is the tenth thing in my Top 10 Things I Could Not Have Lived Without During My Baby’s First Year post.
It is very helpful to have a portable seat for your child. I found this most useful when I needed to use the bathroom, hang out outside, etc.
We have a Fisher Price Infant-To-Toddler Rocker and love it! It’s a 3-stage item (again, to get the most bang for your buck). When Samantha was a newborn, we would put the stabilizer bar up so she could look at the colorful toys danging above her head.
Posted on August 10th, 2008 No comments
This is ninth thing in my Top 10 Things I Could Not Have Lived Without During My Baby’s First Year post.
We have a rear view mirror in each of our vehicles and I would highly recommend one! Samantha is still rear-facing and with a mirror, we can see her, what she’s doing, if she’s sleeping, etc. We have a Blue Ridge SafeFit Baby In Sight mirror.
I read that some people actually recommended NOT having one of these mirrors, because of the risk of injury from the mirror during a car crash. I decided to take the risk, because it gives me great peace of mind to be able to see Samantha and for her to be able to see who was in the front seat, to a point.
Posted on August 6th, 2008 3 comments
This is the eighth item in my Top 10 Things I Could Not Have Lived Without During My Baby’s First Year post.
We used a baby bath tub for the first nine or so months of Samantha’s life. We put it in our kitchen sink and washed her there. We used a Safety 1st Comfy Duck Bath Center and loved it! It fit perfectly in our standard-size sink, had a drain hole for the water, a temperature strip, two recessed holes for shampoo or toys, the foam part the baby lays on is slip-proof, and it came with a rinse cup and a sling for a newborn. We never used the sling because it basically suspended the baby over the water, instead of having her lay in it (not enough slack in the design of the sling).
My only complaint about this tub was that it was difficult to rinse the shampoo out of Samantha’s hair (what little she had!). The tub was inclined enough that, if we poured water on her head, it would go in her face. We ended up turning her whole body around and holding her over the end of the tub/sink with one arm, and rinsing with the other. It was a bit of a pain with a crying, wriggling newborn, but not too bad with an older baby who was accustomed to the process.
When Samantha was sitting up well and outgrew her baby bath tub, we bought a bath seat. We purchased an Aquababy Bath Ring. We’re very pleased with it. Even though Sam is sitting up just fine on her own, I still wouldn’t trust her to sit still in a tub for a bath. I’m sure she would squirm around, try to stand up, etc. With the seat she sits still, except when she can’t reach a toy floating in the water.
Posted on August 3rd, 2008 No comments
This is the seventh item in my Top 10 Things I Could Not Have Lived Without During My Baby’s First Year post.
We absolutely loved having an exersaucer! We got an Evenflo ExerSaucer Delux – Wild Thing when Samantha was about five months old. She loved the attached toys and they kept her busy! This particular model was nice because the legs were spring-loaded, and Sam loved to bounce up and down in it!
I did all the research about exersaucers versus walkers and based my decision on the goal we wanted to accomplish: keep the baby in one place and entertained so I could do things like make lunch, go to the bathroom (very important), etc.
For the first few months we had the exersaucer in the living room, where we spent most of our time. We were careful not to over-use it and didn’t put Sam in it too long or too often. Then for a couple of more months, we put it in our bathroom, so Samantha could play in it while we each took a shower. It worked out very well in that setting, especially because our bathroom was big enough.
Posted on July 30th, 2008 No comments
This is the sixth item in my Top 10 Things I Could Not Have Lived Without During My Baby’s First Year post.
Carriers are a huge help, especially with babies who want to be held a lot. I believe the term is “baby wearing.” We started off with an Infantino 6-in-1 Rider. When we were picking out products before we had Samantha (and even still) I look for things that can be used for different stages of development or have multiple uses, so we get the most bang for our buck. The 6-in-1 rider looked great, because it has 6 uses: carrier facing in, carrier facing out, backpack, car seat support, chair harness, and shopping cart seat. We both used it a few times as a carrier facing in and it was great. When I began using it as a carrier facing out, Samantha didn’t seem totally comfortable in it, and I actually feel like it was too tight across her chest (I thought she breathed funny when she was in it). As for the other functions, I think I used it once as a chair harness (you just strap it to a chair so she sits up). We didn’t use it at all for the other three functions.
We later decided to buy an Evenflo Snugli Front & Back Pack Carrier. We like this one a lot! It’s comfortable to wear, and Samantha seemed comfortable in it. It seems much sturdier and better made than the Infantino. We’ve only used it in the facing front position. This one has two zippered vents in the front, plus a pocket on the front for your cell phone and other small things.
My mom found us a second-hand LL Bean Kids hiking backpack. It works great for hiking, being in crowds of people where a stroller would be difficult to push, and walking up and down your driveway when it’s too muddy to drive on *sigh.* It’s got lots of cushioning in the shoulder straps, a waist strap, sternum strap, and mesh pockets on the back. It even has a detachable bag that hangs underneath. I tried to find it online so I could link to it, but I think it was actually recalled because people let their babies fall through the leg holes that stuff like that. The only one I found was on e-Bay. I’d definitely recommend something similar if you spend time in the great outdoors!
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Posted on July 27th, 2008 No comments
This is the fifth thing in my Top 10 Things I Could Not Have Lived Without During My Baby’s First Year post.
We have a Graco Bumper Jumper and Samantha loved it! It held onto the door frame securely and was height adjustable. It came with a couple of hanging toys, there was a tray for more toys or whatever you want to put on it, and this one had a rubber bumper around it so it didn’t make marks on the door frame. Samantha loved jumping up and down in it, and being able to turn herself around to face another direction. She actually put herself to sleep in it at least one time…she just gently bounced herself to sleep!
I would probably recommend a doorway jumper as opposed to a stationary jumper. Between high chairs, swings, and all the other baby equipment that sits on the floor and takes up space, a doorway jumper is smaller and portable and you can easily move it if it’s in your way.
Posted on July 23rd, 2008 No comments
This is the fourth item in my Top 10 Things I Could Not Have Lived Without During My Baby’s First Year post.
We used a Bumbo Baby Sitter for several months. It’s basically a firm foam seat that a baby can sit up in, even before they can sit up on their own. As soon as a baby can hold up their head, they can sit up in a Bumbo seat! We used this all the time with Samantha so she didn’t always have to be laying down in her swing or other seats. You can even buy a plastic try that fits on the front. We used this as her travel high chair and it worked great! It’s easily washable and quite light. I believe the only other seat similar is the bebePOD.
Posted on July 20th, 2008 No comments
This is the third thing in my Top 10 Things I Could Not Have Lived Without During My Baby’s First Year post.
This was definitely a great thing to have! It gave Samantha a clean place to practice being on her tummy, even if the rest of the floor wasn’t spotless. The one we have, Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Kick ‘N Crawl Aquarum, is great because it’s a 3-stage mat. First, it’s a tummy time mat with colorful characters and toys for a baby to look at, then it’s an overhead gym with dangling toys and a ball, then it’s a tunnel with dangling toys for baby to crawl through.
This particular one was great also because it rolled up easily and fairly small to travel with.
Tummy Time Mat
Posted on July 16th, 2008 No comments
This is the second item in my Top 10 Things I Could Not Have Lived Without During My Baby’s First Year post.
Since babies loved to be rocked, and Samantha particularly loved to be in motion, an automatic swing is a great thing to have! We have a Graco Swing ‘N Bounce 2-in-1 Infant Swing. Sam didn’t actually use her swing a whole lot. She did like it occasionally, though. It was very useful for the times when she wanted to be held and rocked a lot; we’d put her in, turn it on, and she was all set! She did fall asleep in it quite a few times.
This one had a couple of toys and a tray area (not that they’re eating finger foods at this age), and it had toys and a mirror hanging overhead. The other nice feature was that the whole seat detached from the swing and it could be used as a bouncy seat that vibrated. We didn’t actually use this that much, probably because we were given a separate seat similar to it that we used more often.