Exclusive Breast Feeding – We did it our way…

“Food, the forgotten medicine” (c) 

REAL FOOD for baby

This is a post about the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding.

That said, it’s important to point out that everybodies path is different, we couldn’t quite believe how much pressure you face after you leave the hospital with your bundle of joy.  Mums have it particularly tough of course with the realisation that you’re solely responsible for providing the energy and sustenance to grow an actual human being!   Functioning on very little sleep and bombarded with 24/7 access-all-areas internet and media coverage of how to do the right thing for your child it’s easy to reach overwhelm!

This ridiculous NHS advert is just one example – i can only assume it was conceived by a group of clueless advertising executives – the underlying message is that, not only do we expect you to single-handely breastfeed your child, but we expect you to look glamourous in the process!  (*)

An ill-conceived NHS Advert!
An ill-conceived NHS Advert circa 2010

The book ‘Breast is Best’ was written way back in 1978 and yet the World Health Organisation (WHO), together with UNICEF are still (report February 2015) raising awareness of the benefits of breastmilk as the cornerstone of child nutrition, health and development.

Breastmilk is nature’s perfect food. It is universally available. Its benefits last a lifetime, for mother as well as child…Exclusive breastfeeding – defined as the practice of only giving an infant breast-milk for the first 6 months of life (no other food or water) – has the single largest potential impact on child mortality of any preventive intervention. — WHO (2015)

It’s my personal belief and inline with current Health guidelines in the UK, US and Australia (to name a few) that babies where possible (there are certain clinical reasons where breastfeeding is not an option – HIV or taking certain medications that may be harmful to baby) should be given breast-milk and breast-milk only for the first 6months of life.

“Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby. Exclusive breastfeeding (giving your baby breast milk only) is recommended for around the first six months of your baby’s life” NHS, UK

Introduction of complementary feedings before 6 months of age generally does not increase total caloric intake or rate of growth and only substitutes foods that lack the protective components of human milk. — Roberta J. Cohen et al. 

Our son was exclusively breast fed for the first 6 months of his life, and whilst I would never judge anyone who chooses another route, I am surprised that only 38% of infants aged 0 to 6 months being exclusively breastfed globally.

There is also an incredible amount of pressure to start weaning early for a multitude of bonkers reasons and we faced our fair share! Click here to read results of a survey that demonstrates this.

I am incredibly proud our my partner in her journey through EBF and of our baby who has been just bouncingly happy throughout the process!  Some days she really felt she was in prep to run a marathon and we ensured she had plenty of good fats, protein and fresh vegetables.

We have just started weaning working with real foods and tuning into our sense of what is right for our son Leander, after all ‘every baby is different’.  In my next post I’ll share the start of that journey with you…

You are a brilliant parent and all your baby needs that’s all you need to know!

With love for a BRILLIANT parental journey,

Manos

PS – I offer personalised nutrition plans for nursing mothers and weaning babies.  Please contact me for more information.

(*) It is not my intention to add to the already oppressive message that you MUST breastfeed…but simply advise, best where possible, but if this places mum in an unsustainable and dangerous position then she should certainly not hesitate to examine other options.

Further Reading

Introducing Solid Foods Too Soon

Is baby ready for solids?

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Chew Your Food II – The Eagerly Anticipated Sequel

Chewbacca dandruff
Chewie had terrible dandruff before we cleaned up his diet.

 

If you haven’t read, ‘Chew Your Food’ (find it below) , then please read that first.

If you have read it, and haven’t slept since Christmas waiting for the sequel, then fear not, here it is!!!

Here’s the inside scoop… my correspondence with Chewie’s distressed owner – she’s graciously let me share it here so we can heal doggies all over the World one tummy at a time!

Hi C

Hope you’re well! 🙂

SUPER DOGGY-FOOD

Dogs are essentially wolves – They prize organ meats, and they actually get a lot of their energy from undigested grass and plants in the tummy of their prey.  They are great survivors and not afraid of a bit of scavenging -berries, herbs, grasses, plants and the odd worm!

Whilst farmers have historically shot wolves to protect their sheep I’ve yet to find one who was worried about wolves decimating their wheat fields.

And yet wheat, along with oats and corn (cereals), are the main ingredients in commercial dog foods. It’s not hard to see why – cheap to produce, easy to store and transport &  bulky, they look good value for money!

To that end, lets remove the grains, and replace with organ meats and plant material (vegetables)  – which we’ll need to cook as Chewie’s never been exposed to raw food – and see how he’s doing in a months time.

Remember to consult with your vet, but here’s what I feed my two beauties!

THE PROTEIN & FATS

2lbs LIVER
2lbs HEART
2lbs KIDNEY
1lbs CATERING MINCE (the fattier the better!)

Find your largest pan. Fry the mince before adding the other ingredients. Add 1-2 cloves of garlic (helps with digestion, fleas & ticks – too much is toxic), and a tablespoon of dried parsley (anti-inflammatory) or mint (doggy breath!).

Mix everything together as it’s cooking. Cover and cook for a further 45mins. Stir periodically to stop sticking.

THE CARBOHYDRATES

3 LARGE POTATOES
4 CARROTS – top & tail
1 SWEDE – peeled
1 LARGE TURNIP
1 PACK OF CELERY
1 PACK OF LEEKS
2 APPLES – Cored
HANDFUL OF BERRIES – Optional

Keep things simple – peel if you need to, chop everything the same size, place in large pan and cover with water. Boil and simmer until soft.  Drain water and blend with hand blender (wand type) or similar food processor.

This little lot will pack your pup with fibre (soluble – the good kind!) and keep a spring in his step.

Look for a glossy coat and an extra bounce (I’m serious!) in a few weeks!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Yours in healing

Manos Venus

 

Chewie’s owner followed the guidelines above to the letter and guess what?

 

NO MORE EXPENSIVE VET VISITS

 

Chewie made a complete recovery…YAY!!!

 

2013-12-08 13.31.39
Chewie with an extra spring in his step shows his pall a clean set of paws as he races away!

 

This recovery didn’t surprise me if I’m’ honest.

 

However the speed of recovery was remarkable – within a week Chewie’s welts had all but dissipated and, he’d stopped scratching his ears.

 

Luckily Chewie had youth on his side, and so was able to demonstrate an astonishing ability to self-heal – A few more years on commercial dog food and it would’ve been a different story!

 

If you have, or know, a dog with similar ailments, at least consider the dogs diet before pumping the poor thing with drugs – consult a  holistic veterinarian for professional advice.

 

Yours in Hound Health

 

Manos

Detox from Detox

20131208-213851.jpgYou know the holiday drill by now…eat, eat, drink, eat, be merry, eat, drink, eat, eat, be merry some more, eat, get sick of eating, drink, get sick of drinking, eat some more, feel terrible… January D E T O X

Come the New Year you’ve eaten so much crap that paying someone £75 to wrap you in cling-film, and tell you to eat nothing but lemon & maple syrup for a month seems like good advice.

Detoxes have been described as pseudoscience and, whilst I agree that there’s a lot of quackery out there, a detox is simply screening what we eat and having faith that our bodies have an innate ability to heal themselves given half a chance.

If done correctly, a decent detox reminds us that it’s normal to have lots of energy, and that it’s not natural to feel bloated, sluggish, or suffer brain-fog on a day-to-day basis.

Why don’t you join me here in January to see how I fine-tune my system ready for the New Year ahead.

Yours in Mystical Magic and plain science,

Manos