Kindle for Breastfeeding Mothers: Is it Green?

Anyone own a Kindle? This wireless reading device costs over $350, but at 10.2 ounces, it weighs less than a paperback book-and weighs much less than the 1,500 books you can store on it. Some claim that a Kindle is cheaper than buying books. As a library devotee, there’s just no way this device would ever pay for itself in my situation. However, the Kindle intrigues me for two reasons: 1. I’ve heard it’s perfect for breastfeeding mothers because it can be held with one hand. Turn the page with just a flick of a button. 2. I’ve read arguments that a Kindle is greener than plain old paper books.

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Breastfeeding Despite the Challenges: Our Green Mom Spotlight Continues

What could be more natural or beautiful than breastfeeding your new baby?  Well, it may be natural, but it’s not always easy.  Erika Jones of Organic Baby Resource shares her experience with breastfeeding for our second green mom spotlight.

Green Baby Guide:  What were the challenges you faced as a breastfeeding mother?

Erika: I’d put the challenges into two categories: mental and physical.

The women I had relied on for support all my life (mom, sister, friends) could provide me with no support or even encouragement in this area. Listening to their stories had me prepared for rather nightmarish outcomes when it came to breastfeeding. I’d tell them I dreamt of breastfeeding and it was a glorious experience and they found it laughable. They meant well; they just hadn’t experienced it that way.
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Green Spotlight: Save by Going Green with Baby!

We interviewed Erika Jones of Organic Baby Resource for this Green Mom Spotlight.  (Check out our last Green Mom Spotlight posts, in which Eileen Spillman provides a planet-saving pep talk, tackles green guilt, and shares her eco-pet peeves.)

Green Baby Guide: Have you been able to save money with eco-friendly choices?  If so, how?

Erika: We saved a ton of money by breastfeeding exclusively, making our own baby food and using food-based skin care such as olive oil to moisturize our skin. We also stopped buying expensive cleaners and detergents. We went back to the basics of vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda.

Green Baby Guide: Would you do anything differently if you had a larger budget?
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Are You (or Your Baby) on a Gluten-free Diet? Here’s the Blog for You!

I’ve known quite a few nursing mothers (including Joy!) who’ve gone on various food-elimination diets while breastfeeding.  Oftentimes, babies who were sensitive to certain foods transmitted through the breast milk end up having food sensitivities when they transition to solid foods as well.

Common problem foods include nuts (read our post about eating nuts while breastfeeding here) and wheat.  If you are on a gluten-free diet, there is an excellent new resource out in the blogosphere: The Gluten Free Gourmand.  The Portland-based writer, Gina E. Kelley, plans to review many of the gluten-free restaurants and products in Portland.  She also writes about topics of interest to our wheat-free friends everywhere:
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The Saturday Question: Was breastfeeding worth it?

There’s no doubt that breastfeeding is best for everyone involved, but many moms aren’t sure they can stick with it in those early sleep-deprived days.  Since breastfeeding is so healthy for mom, baby, and the environment, we’d love to gather up a few of your stories about breastfeeding your baby.   What were the highlights?  What were the challenges?  How did your friends and family react?  Did you manage to breastfeed despite obstacles like working full time or having to pump all your milk and bottle feed?  Your stories will help so many of our readers as they struggle to nourish their babies, save the planet, and get a few hours of sleep now and then.  Thanks so much for sharing!

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The Hidden Costs of Breastfeeding

Before my daughter was born, I knew I wanted to try breastfeeding for all the usual reasons: breast milk is nutritionally perfect for a newborn and helps promote bonding between mother and child.  I’ve got to admit, though, that a big motivation was the idea that it was free!   For that reason alone, I’m glad that breastfeeding ended up working out for us.

A couple days ago I became aware of something I’d never thought about before: the hidden costs of breastfeeding.  Now, breastfeeding is generally much cheaper than formula, which can set parents back $1000 to $2300 in baby’s first year–but it isn’t exactly free.   Working mothers may need to pay for a breast pump and bottles out of pocket if insurance doesn’t cover it, which can cost hundreds of dollars.  My hospital had lactation consultants that were paid for by the county, but some women spend upwards of $1000 for lactation consultants if they’re having trouble with their supply or the baby’s latch.
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Product Review: Danish Wool Nursing Pads

As a notorious cheapskate, it may seem out of character for me to consider wool nursing pads that cost almost $20 a pair. While I was pregnant, I obsessed over this purchase. Nursing pads were something I’d never thought about at all pre-pregnancy. I hadn’t even considered their existence. After doing some reading, I came to the startling realization that lactating women leak. This frightened me.

I learned that there was a simple way to prevent soaking all my shirts in breast milk: wear nursing pads. I didn’t want to buy disposable nursing pads, and I heard cotton nursing pads soaked through too easily and resulted in a cold and clammy chest. Somehow I found www.danishwool.com, a website promoting wool nursing pads. Intriguingly, the website claimed you only really needed one or two pair, because wool has the magical ability to feel dry even when wet. According to the website, the lanolin in the wool “has an antibacterial effect and removes odors.” It goes on to say that “even if wool is wet with sweat, urine or breast-milk, the lanolin goes to work cleansing the wool—it need only be washed when the lanolin needs replenishing.”

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