Benefits of Eating the Placenta

Placenta in a Jar

Placenta in a Jar

Before Franci was born, I had heard enough anecdotal evidence in favor of eating the placenta (in capsule form, over the course of several weeks) that I decided to give it a try. My midwife is experienced in the preparation and encapsulation and believes in its benefits, so there was no reason not to try it out.

It turns out there is no scientific evidence to support placentophagy, which is the technical term for placental consumption. There is also no evidence to debunk the benefits either. At this point, no one has bothered to look into it at all beyond a small team from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. And all they’ve done so far was interview 189 women who “use the Internet and consumed their placenta”.

Is it unethical to give away your drop-side crib?

As of last June, it became illegal to sell new or used drop-side cribs in the U.S.   So Joy asked, “What should you do with your drop-side crib?” and readers came up with solutions. Joy, for example, plans to pass her drop-side crib on to another family–along with information about the ban and the crib immobilizer kit that makes it impossible to lower crib rails.

These sides don’t drop!

Commenters have chimed in with offers to donate their sturdy drop-side cribs to other readers free of charge. Today I approved a comment from Megan, who says, “So glad everyone is just giving away drop down cribs despite the ban. Way to think of others and their children.”

Green Baby Guide in The Huffington Post

We’ve had many brushes with fame in our four years of blogging, but were honored to be quoted in a Huffington Post article on BPA Monday. I was interviewed about the delicate balance between fear and ignorance in the midst of recent BPA studies. (The quote and link are in the last few paragraphs of the article.)

It was also a delight to see that our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, was favorably reviewed in Eugene Magazine. Through all of the three years that we wrote and rewrote that manuscript, we tried to keep the tone educational, humorous, and humble. It was a quite validating that Emily Grosvenor’s review agreed with our intentions. She writes, “The authors tackle some of the hairiest topics of green babying–cloth diapering, making your own baby food, and buying recycled baby furniture and gear–while avoiding the kind of language that can easily turn conversations on these subjects into Mommy Wars.” How lovely to be recognized for writing a book that focuses on green progress instead of perfection.

Nursing Tanks: Have You Tried Them?

Nursing tanks were my absolute favorite breastfeeding support gear. While I was quite comfortable nursing in public, I loved that they helped me to flash as little flesh as possible. And they also provide post-pregnancy tummy coverage and an extra layer of warmth in the chilly months.

If you’d prefer an all-in-one nursing tank, Glamourmom’s Nursing Bra Tank is a good option. It’s extra long to accommodate our shifting sizes in the months after baby and comes with a soft cup bra built into the tank. Clips allow you to fold down the top part of the tank for easy nursing access.

National Costume Swap Day is Coming!

Halloween, already? Not exactly, but National Costume Swap day is less than three weeks away and we wanted to be sure to give our readers ample time to prepare. In years past, we seem to announce the event just after it occurs, or maybe the day before. Not this year!

On Saturday, October 8th, families across the nation will trade old costumes in for new trick-or-treat wear. It’s green, it’s free, and it’s a great way to connect with local families. And the truth is, no matter how adorable our children look in their baby bumblebee costumes, they can usually only wear them once. Why not share them with someone else?

Make Shopping Easier With The Good Guide’s Transparency Toolbar

Have you ever longed for a personalized shopping assistant? Someone who can brief you on which products are best so that you can make quick decisions before the baby wakes up/your children start flinging legos at each other/the casserole burns in the oven? What if that assistant (let’s call her Betty) could also help you select goods that dovetail with your values, leaving you with a green afterglow following 15 minutes of online shopping?

She’s here! She’s free! She’s not actually human, but she’s more thorough than any person could ever be.

The Good Guide’s Transparency Toolbar
(you may still call it Betty if you like) provides you with detailed product information for online shopping. You’ll be able to quickly bypass green claims, using the Transparency Toolbar’s data to choose items that are non-toxic, eco-friendly, and socially responsible.

Happy Earth-Friendly, Budget-Friendly Independence Day!

Happy Fourth of July! It’s a great day to reflect on what independence means to our family. Making choices to reduce, reuse and recycle may make us feel good, but there are heaps of other benefits to consider.

This thrifty, green lifestyle leads brings financial freedom as we save by buying less and purchasing secondhand items. That allows for economic offsetting, or the ability to splurge on the things that really matter to us. Maybe for your crowd it’s organic strawberries, an Ergo carrier, or a weekend camping trip, but making conscious choices about consumption opens up options. Buying less stuff also provides us the independence of extra space (with less to trip over!) as we tend to our babies.

Used-Drop Side Crib Sales Banned: Are Landfills the Only Option?

As of yesterday, all new and used drop-side crib sales in the United States are banned.  Crib manufacturers have already adapted, but what happens to every drop-side crib currently in use?  Are they all destined for disposal?

The government ban states that no crib manufactured before July 23, 2010 can be sold or even donated.  It extends to cribs sold at yard sales, resale shops, and on craigslist.

Honestly, it makes me feel ill.  I know that more than 30 babies died in the past dozen years from drop side cribs, and obviously better standards needed to be enforced.  Still, why can’t people use a crib immobilizer kit that will make any drop-side crib into a safe, stationary sleeping space for baby?   People can buy it for ten dollars and install it in under an hour.

Sophie the Giraffe: A Classic BPA-Free Teething Toy

Looking for the perfect teether?  Vulli’s Sophie the Giraffe toy is a classic that parents heartily endorse.  It’s always been BPA and phthalate free and has lots of lovely angles for baby to gnaw on. It’s currently 28% off on Amazon, making it just $17.00.   It’s also much larger than other teething toys which will extend its appeal long after baby’s gums stop aching.

Parent recommendations are paramount when considering a new product, and Sophie the Giraffe was very positively reviewed  by over 1,000 people.  The toy is crafted from 100% natural rubber that comes from the Hevea Tree and decorated with food grade paints that are safe for babies.  Sophie has been around since 1961, but was more popular in Europe than here in the U.S.  Still, it’s always been natural and is again coming into fashion now that parents are worried about toxins in children’s teething toys.

Pumping Extra Milk While Breastfeeding to Get More Sleep

A new mom is struggling horribly through her first few months with her baby. She can’t seem to nap during the day. At night, when the baby awakens, her and her husband spend hours trying to soothe her down. Neither parent is getting needed rest, and everyone is at the breaking point.

I don’t actually know this woman, but a close friend of mine has been sharing her story with me and it pains me. Why? Because I remember that desperate hysteria of exhaustion from my first days as a new mom–and how impossible it was to even think of solutions.