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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Green Baby

I feel like this is a hot topic, at least for me at the moment, with lots of friends being pregnant or having a baby.

From an environmental point of view, breast is best (and from pretty much any other view as well, just to make that clear! But since this is an environmental blog, let's focus on that for now).

Just think about how many bottles, cans, energy to warm up and sterilize/clean and to produce that sugary formula you can save if you exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of your baby's life! You don't need any outside energy (other than your own, which is a good thing in terms of loosing that baby weight, trust me!) to produce this wonderful liquid for your little one. It doesn't need to be stored or warmed up, is always available and at the right temperature and always exactly the formula the baby needs at that very moment. And it's absolutely free!!!

 This is a picture from my news - I think it shows so well the intimacy and the bonding between mother and baby.

The most valuable advice I have to offer for new moms who want to breastfeed is this: get a fantastic support network! Find other moms who have successfully breastfed and enjoyed the experience, look for groups in your area (when we lived in Long Island, I was part of two breastfeeding support groups that were both part of hospital programs - the lactation consultant, Paula LaRocchia, was wonderful and I still call her, years later, whenever I have questions about nursing - we learn as we go!).
Join La Leche in a local chapter and get your husband on board, and this might be the most important thing.
There are tons of great websites out there for breastfeeding moms. Best for babes or Kelly's mom are just two examples.

 I have been breastfeeding for some years now, and find it the most enjoyable thing in the world!

Here are some other things to think about when you're having a baby and know somebody who's expecting:
  • Diapers: the greenest option in our society is cloth diapering. I understand that's not for everybody, but there are other options besides the conventional plastic-made store brands out there. Go for a natural brand that's made without harsh ingredients (for example 7th Generation, but there are many more out there), it's better for your baby and the environment
  • Baby food: once you decide it's time to start the solids, think about making your own. You can't be more in control if you opt for that, and it's easy. Just steam one vegetable (usually start with the orange ones, like carrots, sweet potatoes etc.), and blend it. You can than freeze little portions of it so you don't have to do it every single day. I have asked a nice neighbor to pass empty baby food jars on to me and used those as containers for freezing.
  • Go easy on cleaning products. No need for harsh chemicals. Studies suggest that it's far healthier for babies to be exposed to the normal household germs rather than exposing them to the chemicals found in conventional cleaners. As for the laundry detergent - same goes here: opt for a mild, chemical-free one and never use bleach!
  • Toys: first of all: how many toys does a baby really need? Second, avoid the battery-operated ones. The batteries are, literally, hard for the planet to digest and all the sounds and colors are way too much for little babies anyways. Look for natural, wooden toys that leave some room for imagination. With my own kids, I have found that there's no need for any toys until they're about a half year old.

Enjoy your pregnancy, your baby or the babies in your life! They're so pure and such a joy. Be a good role model for them and show them how to respect our Mother Earth. It's an amazing journey!

I'd be happy to go more into detail about baby issues. If this is something you're interested in, let me know.


  1. Thank you for posting this. This is a very important topic. Especially, when we consider how many women give up nursing because it is difficult for them or they think they aren't producing enough milk. Women used to be surrounded by women and these issues were much more easily resolved. So a good support system is essential. And I would like to add on the topic of batteries. Please be extremely careful if you do have battery operated toys. Especially the small lithium batteries. Children have been known to eat them and they can cause great damage internally.

  2. Thank you for pointing that out! Yes, batteries are a dangerous thing for babies and for the environment. Staying away from them as much as possible is the best way to prevent accidents and to keep the planet a bit cleaner.