Thursday, March 31, 2011

PCOS and Breastfeeding

Someone close to me has PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and was dealing with breastfeeding issues of low milk supply which lead to a failure to thrive (FTT) in her infant son. In a desperate attempt to help her in anyway I could I came across a lot of information that maybe isn't readily known or available to the public. It took a good part of the day and constant Google searches and cross referencing to find what I found.
There IS a correlation between the two. PCOS is known to cause low milk supply in about 1/3 of women who are diagnosed with it. PCOS effect about 15% of women, so only about 5% of women have this problem with PCOS effecting their milk supply and therefor not a lot of research has been done on it. It is heartbreaking to think that these women have so much trouble just getting pregnant and carrying a baby to full term and now they have a 1 in 3 chance of struggling with milk production too, which can halt BF.
So what did I find. I found that PCOS is caused by hormone imbalances which can cause the following symptoms: an irregular or late onset of the menstrual cycle, fertility problems, recurrent miscarriages, excessive body or facial hair, head-hair loss, acne and weight problems, insulin resistance and blood lipid abnormalities. Gestational and adult-onset diabetes can also occur. PCOS is now seen as a potential marker for heart disease in women due to insulin issues. While PCOS symptoms usually start in adolescence, in some women they do not develop until their early to mid-twenties. While PCOS is treatable, and long term improvement is obtainable, there is no cure. (Information from
The reason why this causes low milk production is according to Lisa Marasco, (leading researcher on the correlation between PCOS and low milk supply) there are several different ways that PCOS could potentially interfere with breastfeeding. (the following information is from
  1. Due to the hormonal imbalances which occur, there is the potential for poor breast tissue development during puberty and pregnancy. Fewer menstrual cycles in early puberty can translate into less estrogen to develop mammary tissue.
  2. Prolactin and oxytocin are two of the main hormones involved in the onset of lactation. Women with PCOS have higher levels of androgen hormones that can interfere with prolactin reaching its receptors.
  3. In addition, if too few prolactin receptors were formed during pregnancy, milk production will be limited.
  4. Estrogen is known to inhibit lactation, particularly in the early days after delivery. Women with PCOS typically have an imbalance called “estrogen dominance.” If estrogen levels are not down-regulated after birth, circulating estrogen may interfere with lactation. This is why the contraceptive pill is not recommended for breastfeeding mothers.
  5. Insulin resistance may affect breast growth and milk synthesis. Insulin is known to be an important factor in lactation in conjunction with prolactin and cortisol.
So what can be done? Firstly, if you are a mother who has PCOS you already did a great job even achieving motherhood, and now attempting BF is another amazing feat. Take a breath and pat yourself on the back. You are doing great!
Now if you would like to increase milk supply hear are some things you can try. (from
     1. PCOS can lead to sugar cravings. The minerals chromium and vanadium can help with this. Insulin resistance, a key symptom of PCOS, plays a role in sugar cravings. It is worthwhile to follow dietary principles to improve insulin sensitivity: Avoid foods that lead to a sharp spike in blood sugar, and prefer foods with a so-called low glycemic index. Breastfeeding is a time when all mothers naturally tend to crave sugar. Remember that breastfeeding removes sugar from the blood, making a breastfeeding a different situation from other times. For instance, diabetics frequently see improvement while breastfeeding because breastfeeding naturally lowers their blood sugar. This removal of sugar requires a regular tanking of new sugar from food that contains more natural sugar, higher on the GI list, such as fruit, starchy grains, and sweet vegetables.While breastfeeding, a mother can beat her sugar cravings and maintain steady blood sugar levels by eating and snacking every two to three hours on healthy, whole foods. Getting healthy fats and a source of protein with each meal or snack will also help keep blood sugar levels steady. 
     2. As for dieting to lose weight, a common concern of mothers with PCOS, remember that actively trying to lose weight while breastfeeding can damage a shaky milk supply. For low-supply mothers, even a small but sudden weight loss can translate into significantly less milk. Slow and steady does it. There is time ahead to lose weight. 
     3. Stress management: Stress levels can have a real impact on your milk production – from difficulty in achieving a let-down to more chronic low supply effects. 
     4. Herbal remedies for lactation. A selection of herbs which help the body prepare for lactation can be started during pregnancy and continued when the baby arrives. Examples of these are alfalfa leaf, red raspberry leaf, nettle, oat straw, dandelion leaf and red clover.

The information I found also spoke of two drugs which may help Metformin and Domperidone. The first is used to control the glucose intolerance and the second is known to increase milk production. As with all drugs please talk to a doctor before taking anything like this. They have been known to help but a doctor is always best when dealing with anything not herbal.
So this is my blog post for a Green Mommy close to my heart. I hope the information I shared with her, as well as this blog post helps. From what I learned today there is no cure for PCOS and no real cure for the havoc it can wreak on your milk supply. There is however the knowledge that though you may struggle you are doing the best thing you can for your baby. You are providing the most nutritious and immune boosting food that your can give an infant. Hugs and Love to all BFing Moms but especially to ones struggling with PCOS.

April is Earth Month

Earth Month starts tomorrow. The Green Mommy Blog will post a new greener living tip every day. So be looking for those. So what are you doing this Earth Day? Or Earth Month? Let me know and you could end up being featured on the blog.

Wild Center Hosting a Build Greener Expo

The local Wild Center, located in Tupper Lake NY is hosting an Expo for Building Greener. This expo is for "Builders, interested home owners and people who want to see the absolute latest green building ideas can gather at The Wild Center’s Build a Greener Adirondacks Expo. You’ll meet some of the nation’s leading practitioners who will convene in the Adirondacks to give us all a green leg up on our building ideas."
The expo is going to take place April 29th-May 1st. You can register for the event on their website.  Hope anyone local who wants to learn how to build greener homes and businesses will come. It should be very educational.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Green Mommy Finds

Here are some Green Mommy finds for companies and blogs that are doing the right thing.

The Green Mommy Hosting a Location for Cloth Diaper Change

The Great Diaper Change  is taking place on Earth Day this year. I for one am excited and have signed up to host a location in Ive's Park Potsdam. I don't know who will show up but I will be there. The idea is to have babies all over the world changed at the same time in a public place all in cloth diapers. This will hopefully get cloth diapers into the record books. Also for Earth Day Aleks and I will be strolling about town picking up trash is the park and downtown. The event is at 9 AM Earth Day (April 23rd) so join us in the park and change your cloth diapered baby.

New Fuel Source Discovered in Insects

Ok Green Mommies.. this one is pretty cool. In the search for new power sources scientists have seen inspiration in insect eating carnivorous plants. So far they have created lamps, clocks and robots that all run by catching flies on fly paper and scraping it into a power cell which digests the fly and creates power. The clock can run for 12 days on 8 flies. It is a basically inexhaustible source of power. If we could harness this on the large scale we could replace gasoline and nuclear power.
Here is the original story:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Baby Food Recipes

Ok so this was a subject near and dear to my heart last year at this time since my own little one was 4 months at the end of February and was 10 months by the end of July. Therefor his primary baby food making days were all last spring and summer. Once fall came around though he began to eat what we ate and so I haven't talked much on the subject since. Now I have a whole bumper crop of new Mommies who have little ones 4-10 months who have been asking me, "How do you make your own baby food? What recipes did you use?"
Well the first question I already posted on a few times here, here, and here, but the second one I have not posted on. I have not posted any of my recipes. I gave a rough outline for people to use.. but not any real recipes. So here are some of mine and I will hopefully be adding more from some other Moms.

Stage 1: 4(6)-8 months. At this stage baby cereal and soft cooked thinly pureed fruits and veggies should be baby's first solid food experiences.  Single ingredients only and at a space of 4 days to a week with introducing each new food. You do not want to introduce meats at this stage. Some possible foods for this stage are: banana, pear, avocado, plum, apple, white rice, brown rice, blueberry, papaya, melon, wheat, oats, carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin, peas, green beans, zucchini, bell pepper, asparagus. Since you are best offering single ingredients only at this stage I will not post recipes, but instead a sort of how to. First take the fruit or vegetable and cook in down in some water. You do not have to do this with some of your juicier things like melons or berries. After cooked drain most of the water if you are going to puree with breastmilk. If you are not going to puree with breastmilk use some of the water the veggies were cooked in. Don't use juice as that adds unneeded sugar. If using breastmilk take enough out of the freezer/ or pump enough so that you can puree the cooked veggies or fruit to the right consistency.... very thin and with no bumps or lumps. This will be the same for all the stage 1 foods except like I said anything juicy can just be pureed with out being cooked. Most babies at this stage have begun teething. Another great thing to do is freeze or refrigerate melon pieces or a grape and then place it in a baby teething mesh.

Stage 2: 8-10 months. Spices, meats, eggs, and raw fruits can be introduced at this stage. With Stage two the possibilities are endless.. keep trying new food combinations. See what your baby likes.Here are some of the ones I loved to make for my baby.

Yogurt and sweet potatoes and cereal. Prepare pureed sweet potatoes like before and mix with baby's favorite cereal until it is well mixed. Now layer it with plain organic yogurt in a mini parfait. My Bug loved this.

Chicken and rice with peas.Cook a single or piece of boneless chicken breast. Puree with breastmilk. It doesn't have to be super pureed since texture begins to be introduced at this stage. Now cook and puree the peas and mix the chicken and peas purees with a little rice cereal. Add spices if you want to but be careful with salt.

Sweet potatoes and apples. (same as stage one only now mix the two)

Egg yolk and cheese. cook the egg yolk very carefully and mash with fork, mix in a little shredded cheese. You can puree  it more but most babies can handle this.

Stage 3: 10-12 months. This is the last stage before baby can basically eat whatever you make for yourself and the rest of the family. At this stage chopped foods, fork mashed foods or bite sized finger foods are great. The only no no's are cows milk and honey but all other foods can be tried at this stage if not already tried. I actually invented a kind of baby food for this stage that used up whatever stage one or two foods I might still have frozen in the freezer or canned. This is a simple and healthy way to not waste the foods they have grown out of but instead incorporate it into a new and interesting stage 3 food. I posted about it here before but I will explain a bit more. Basically you are going to use the pureed foods as a sauce base. Now add whatever fun pasta shapes you want and some small easy to eat veggies.. I love peas, and a meat chopped into small pieces. Chicken or turkey works well. Now these meals can either be eaten as you make them or frozen a week's worth at a time.

Good luck Green Mommies!!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Interview with a Green Mommy!

I am going to start doing some interviews from time to time with real Green Mommies like you that are working hard every day to raise kids who know how to live Green and try to leave a smaller carbon footprint day by day. Today's interview is with Mrs. Shauna Kingston.

The Green Mommy: How long have you been a Mom?

Shauna K: I have been a mother for eight years and I have three children.

The Green Mommy: When did you first realize you wanted to be a greener Mom?

Shauna K:  I wanted to become a greener mom when I looked at a big thing of Tide and realized they did not list the ingredients I have always used Tide and its about $20.00 a thing and then I went to look on the cascade dish washing detergent also made by Proctor & Gamble and no ingredients was listed I was disgusted then I realized How easy things can be made by yourself if you have the time. So then I decided to sell my products to mothers that want them but don't have the time to make:) Plus it was more cost efficient for everyone.

The Green Mommy: Did you want to be greener for your kids?

Shauna K:  I wanted to become greener for my kids I want them to learn not take things for granted and that things are just things so they don't have to lead a materialistic lifestyle and just because you don't have something that someone else has does not mean you don't have to be happy! Let me just add in there they don't go without though that's for sure. Just to tell you a little about us we used to live in the town of Madrid in a very small house we are a family of 5 we did have a 2 lot property though for lots of land about 3 acres then we sold that in Dec 2009 and bought a remodelled farm house about 2 miles from the old house but still in Madrid. We now have animals and 7 acres of land and live in a home that's about 4000 square feet not to green but we need the space for my business and our family of 5. As you know I'm a registered daycare and my husband works for the town of Madrid he makes decent money but my business has slowed down a little but that's okay because I know how to be green and efficient lol. Just thought you would like to know some background info for your own interest:) back to the survey.

The Green Mommy: I really like that you have learned that being Green not only is good for your children and the planet but for saving money too. People often think being green is more money but it is actually a lot less. What products do you make?

Shauna K:  I make laundry detergent, dish washing detergent, going to be more household products to come. I raise chickens so I can sell their brown eggs and use their eggs for us to eat and they are free range only on the weekends because of daycare, I breed and sell bunnies I have some that are free range all the time I limit how many I let run free so we are not over populated and so there is no inter breeding and some special ones in cages because we do live in the country lol. I have rain buckets to catch the rainwater to water the animals and in the winter I just use the snow. I'm going to try to make other products I'm just getting started. Also my eight year old Keli wants to make jewellery and sell it:)

The Green Mommy: That is great! I love Mommy made products. I recently started making crocheted and knitted hats. I may start a local coalition of Green Mom's to sell their products. I will keep you updated. What other green things do you do that you can suggest to other Moms?

Shauna K: When cooking I like to try and make a lot of things from scratch like pies, dough,cookies it can be so easy most of the time. I'm an electric freak I tell everyone shut the light off if not in use my kids have just about mastered this lol . We never watch tv at dinner time!! I use rechargeable led flashlights, floresent work lights or at xmas the christmas lights for lighting at night during the long winter months I only use my dryer if I have to. I have not used it yet this month I hang my clothes up on hangers instead of using the dryer. We shut things off when not in use I even unplug the microwave. Our electric still runs about$ 190.00 a month but slowly decreasing. I also track the electric from day to day to see what might of used the most electricity. We just bought a new hot water heater so it will be more efficient and we are recycling our old one my hubby's dad needs one. I use coupons. I also will get discounts at Lowes because they will beat the computers price plus knock more off. I buy things second hand as much as possible if I can't I search the internet for the best price. I use things that we already have when trying to build, fix or make something and I'm trying to get the hubby to do the same. In the summer I have a garden and I might try canning this fall. I try to be self sufficient and independent as much as possible:) I could go on for hours on how to be green lol.

The Green Mommy: That's great! We actually have so many used and thrift stores around here that it is almost silly to buy new. I have made several posts about how much I love our local thrift stores. Canning is so much fun. I try to can at least a little each fall. I can give you some recipes if you want. If another green mom wanted to buy your products how would she go about doing that?

Shauna K: I sell my green products, bunnies, eggs and items I no longer need on craigslist or I can be contacted through fb @ shauna peck kingston.

The Green Mommy: How has being a green mommy changed your outlook on life and being a Mom?

Shauna K: Being green has changed my outlook on life because I don't need to buy all these fancy products, or eggs or other things from the store and a lot of things can be done or homemade by yourself if you have the time and its made me become a better mom because my kids are seeing me make these things and get excited with the outcome and they see how easy it can be and I know what's in the products that they are going to come in contact with. My daughter got so excited the first time she found out I made the chicken pot pie from scratch that was exciting for me to lol. She had to ask me mommy what's scratch so now she announces to everyone when we eat things from scratch lol.

The Green Mommy: That is so neat. I can't wait until Bug is really old enough to understand fully everything Mommy does. He likes to help me though which is the first step. We do a lot of science experiment to show him what pollution is and what acid rain is. If you could give any advice to Moms struggling to stay green what would that advice be?

Shauna K: The best advice I could give is ask yourself do I really need this thing if its something you want or do I just want it to have. Also try to be creative as possible you would be amazed at what you have in your home that you could use to make things:) Thanks Shay:)

The Green Mommy: Thanks Shauna!

Monday, March 21, 2011

I am syndicated on Facebook!

Soy.... not as healthy as we think?

A friend responded to my post the other day about how Silk produces their soy milk in wind powered factories and she set me straight on the ins and outs of soy milk. No while I still agree that anything produced in a wind powered factory is something to be happy about, as it turns out the product being produced in this case may not be very GREEN at all.
As it turns out, "Soy contains goitrogens which can damage thyroid function and phytates which prevent the absorption of minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Soy has toxic levels of aluminum and manganese. In fact, soy baby formula has 80 times the amount of manganese as breast milk and can directly cause brain dysfunction. There is the hormonal equivalent of 4-5 birth control pills in a daily dose of soy formula, which can cause significantly premature puberty and other sexual abnormalities, and an increased risk of cancer. Nearly 20 percent of U.S. infants are fed soy formula, but the estrogens in soy can harm a baby’s sexual development and reproductive health. Infants fed soy formula have up to 20,000 times the amount of estrogen in their circulation than babies fed other formulas."
(info from (
She goes on to say that soy has been genetically modified to contain the toxic pesticide Roundup right in it's genes. To that I say eewwwww. So every bite of that tasty tofu is just full of pesticide. Another scary fact is that soy production uses hexane, "a petroleum-based solvent and known neurotoxin—to process soy ingredients found in many food products. Hexane is listed as a hazardous air pollutant with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) making this so called health food an environmental nightmare. Air pollutants are defined as airborne compounds “that cause or may cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental and ecological effects”."
But wait that's not all folks.. that is just what soy beans do to you... wait until you hear what they do to the environment....
"Soybeans are also wrecking havoc across the rainforests with farmers clear cutting, hoping to cash in on the soy craze. In fact, 80% of the soy grown is for animal feed which is a tragic reason to destroy our oxygen supply considering no animal naturally eats legumes."
So there you go all my Green Mommies and Aspiring Green Mommies. I was wrong. Not about wind power, but about soy. Let's find some other wind powered factories to support because this Green Mommy has had her last sip of Silk.

New Regulations on Car Seats

I know this doesn't really have much to do with being green but it has everything to do with being a Mom. The AAP recently passed new regulations and standards concerning car seat safety for young children, toddlers and babies. They now state that a baby should remain rear facing until at least two and preferably until 4 years of age.
This disturbing but informative video explains why:
I watched that video, showed it to my husband and we both decided our son who has been front facing since his 1st birthday will now be switched back to rear facing until his 2nd one.
So what do you guys think?

Friday, March 18, 2011

So much...too much to talk about?

Ok so this may end up being an all encompassing post because I have too much to talk about!
Ok so first off the Green Mommy and Hubby Man bought a car. Yes we bought a car. So I guess I can no longer say I am a super greenie hoofing it everywhere or biking. That being said we bought a car that for it's size has really decent gas mileage and we are averaging about 20$ a week in gas which is better than most tiny sedans. I also have been biking almost as much and walking everywhere I can. With the weather turning nicer we will really only use it to go out of town or to get groceries. So my carbon footprint hasn't gone up that much. Plus not that we planned it this way but our car is green. I thought that was so fitting that we own a green car. I call it the Green Machine!
Which brings me to my next subject. It is getting greener out. Spring has sprung even here in the frozen north. I love it. I can see tufts of grass here and there. Soon I will start a new garden and with the soon departure of our bothersome upstairs neighbors I will feel better in our yard and able to spread out more. They are due to depart in May so soon enough that I can still start a garden and have harvest this fall. I got to take my little man out for a walk today and play in the warm sunshine.
My next subject is that I want to discuss three products.
One is purex laundry detergent. When every store I know got rid of Ecos (I guess it wasn't selling?) I have been frantic to replace it. I normally use purex baby because it is hypoallergenic and if not green at least won't use harsh chemicals on our skin. Yesterday I found out that purex is now making a hypoallergenic detergent, made from naturally sourced ingredients and scented with essential oils with no dyes or perfumes. It is called Purex Natural Elements. I need to do a tad more research before I promote this as a Green product but so far so good and it smells wonderful. I am not itchy and our clothes are soft and super clean.
The next product is Stonyfield Organic Yogurt. How good is that stuff???? OMG! Me and Bug have been long time lovers of it. I started eating it around when I got pregnant and he started on it around 8 months. We eat it by the huge tub fulls. Recently though they started a Stonyfield rewards program. Check it out. Type in the code on the lid and you can build up points to free stuff. It's great!
The last product is Silk Soy Milk! YUM! Not only yummy and nutritious but I recently found out that it is made from factories that run entirely on wind and solar power. How great and Green is that?
So this Green Mommy give a thumbs up to all three companies! Go drink some silk, eat some Stonyfield and wash you clothes in purex natural elements. :)
Until later Green Mommies.. HUGS and enjoy this gorgeous sunshine!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Two Videos I Wanted To Share

I wanted to share these two videos. The first is the reason why I am a Mom. The second is how beautiful it can be where I live which is the reason why I am a Green Mommy. Enjoy!

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