Big City Moms’ Event Prepared Moms to Make Healthy Decision

Last Tuesday (October 6th) I attended the Big City Moms‘ Biggest Baby Shower Ever, held at the American Girl Place in New York City.     It was an awesome event and the line to get in went down the block.   All three floors were chock full of vendors, delicious treats, and fabulous moms-to-be chatting, checking out the goods, and asking questions about baby car, safety and sleep habits.

Seminars on a variety of topics were held on the first floor every twenty minutes or so.   I thought Big City Moms did a great job addressing subjects that moms are interested in; including sleep, feeding, and safety.    As fun as it is to shop and prepare the nursury it is so important the new mothers have the information they need to make healthy decisions!

FBGreen-CoverThe first seminar that I did not want to miss was Dr. Alan Greene speaking about “Feeding Baby Green:  Teaching Your Baby to Love Healthy Foods.”   Boy is this guy excited about babies eating!!   He talked about how babies’ tastebuds are actually most sensitive in utero, and that they practice swallowing before they are born, drinking up to 3 cups of amniotic fluid per day!   Dr. Greene explained that not all nutrients pass through the umbilical cord, and that the baby is actually bonding with and getting to know his mother.    I really appreciated his non-judgmental style of speaking that addressed the concerns of mothers who were planning to breastfeed as well as those who were not.   He talked about “imprinting” and how babies who are breastfed get thousands of different flavors from mothers’ milk, exposing their tastebuds early on, and suggested that formula feeding moms switch brands a few times to change things up.   Dr. Greene doesn’t go for a lot of the standard feeding advice given by many pediatricians, especially as far as allergies and feeding schedules, and he explains why in his book, which was included in the gift bags.   I found his lecture to be super interesting and informative and well, really intuitive!   As a mom I always wondered why introducing solids had to be this highly controlled experiment, when really, babies have been reaching out of the sling for millenia to grab a bit of what’s going into mama’s mouth.

Me and Dr. Alan Greene at the Big City Moms Event

Me and Dr. Alan Greene at the Big City Moms Event

I was fortunate to get a chance to speak with Dr. Greene before his talk . . . I knew about his great work with Healthy Child, Healthy World and was excited to meet him.   I told him about what Best for Babes was doing and right off the bat he bubbled over with enthusiasm and fired off some recent breastfeeding research studies.   It was clear that he is very pro-breastfeeding and very knowledgeable about lactation science.   I told him I thought it was great that the Born Free bottles were BPA-free and hoped that the company would become WHO Code Compliant.  Dr. Greene shared that his wife is a breast cancer survivor (like my business partner, Danielle Rigg), and we talked about how strange it was that the big breast cancer organizations didn’t jump with joy over a recent study showing that women with a family history of breast cancer can reduce their risk by 60% — yes, 60% — if they breastfeed their babies.  We see eye to eye on a number of things and I was thrilled to meet him.

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Kelly Rutherford & Me (Bettina Forbes, Co-Founder, Best for Babes)

The last seminar of the evening was actress Kelly Rutherford speaking about “Socially Conscious Mothering.”   She is incredibly down to earth and warm and spent most of the time answering questions from the floor.    She has a very nurturing style and made me feel like we’re all in this together, trying to do our best as parents, picking ourselves and each other up when we fall.   She talked about some of the personal decisions she had made, including tandem nursing (see our interview with her) and her choice not to vaccinate.   I appreciated that she was very open as a mother who is trying to parent in a socially conscious way, and shared her own experience.   I think she is an awesome role model and all the expecting moms really enjoyed talking to her.  Best for Babes is very lucky to have her as a Champion for Moms!

All in all it was a great evening and a great resource for moms-to-be.   Everyone left with a huge gift bag filled with gorgeous items, and better prepared for motherhood!



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4 Comments | Last revised on 10/13/2009


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4 Responses to Big City Moms’ Event Prepared Moms to Make Healthy Decision

  1. Kathy says:

    Hmm,

    I looked at Dr. Greene’s website and he doesn’t seem to have ay different ideas on solids than the usual line of 4-6 months, start with rice, then green vegetables etc. He even said some babies can start as early as 3 months since their caloric needs increase at that point.

  2. Amber McCann says:

    As a lactation counselor and someone who works closely with women who have had breast cancer (www.womansplaceonmain.com), I’m thrilled about the studies connecting breastfeeding and a lower risk of breast cancer. I see the direct effects!

    I so love what you are doing with this site and organization. Keep up the good work!

  3. Bettina says:

    @Kathy — Dr. Greene may have changed his recommendation in his new book. He distinctly said at the event that breastfeeding babies should not get solids until 6 months, which is in line with major respected health recommendations. The way he explained it, breastfeeding babies get so many flavors and awesome nutrition from breastfeeding that they don’t need early introduction of solids.

  4. Alan Greene says:

    My take on the best timing to start solid foods is different than what I’ve seen elsewhere. It depends on what kids are taking before that first bite of solids.

    Breast-fed babies are already getting perfect, complex real food. Not only does breast milk provide ideal nutrient building blocks, provide ideal immune building blocks, provide an ideal closeness with Mom, and provide the greenest feeding choice imaginable, but it also provides a myriad of subtly different flavor combinations — helping to teach the baby to enjoy variety and to enjoy the foods that Mom eats. I suggest exclusive breastfeeding until babies vigorously demand solids, usually about 6 months (watching the baby for cues, not the calendar). Continuing breastfeeding in addition to solids remains valuable long after the first birthday.

    Formula-fed babies, though, are getting a simple, processed food that addresses only the main nutrient needs we understand so far. I’m grateful we have them for when needed, but the babies are exposed to only one flavor profile, again and again for months on end. I suggest starting real food much earlier for these babies, when they demonstrate strong interest in what Mom is eating — usually around 4 months. This gives them complex nutrients for building blocks now and extends the window of flavor-preference learning before Neophobia (a phase of suspicion of new foods) sets in with toddlerhood.

    Delaying or avoiding any real food beyond 4 to 6 months has never been shown to decrease allergies. Rather, I suggest avoiding the most allergenic foods when a child is taking antibiotics or when the gut is otherwise inflamed, as from illness.

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