4 Breastfeeding Tips to Stop Pain

With no difficulty, an experienced mom has a way to deal with everything. For example, breastfeeding. I ever saw a mother attach a screaming baby to her breast carefully, then calming her promptly, while telling a waitress she would prefer to a salad with the Thousand Island dressing. breastfeeding-tipsThis good example might encourage you that you will find nursing just so easy. It would be very discouraging if you are the one carrying a crying infant but don’t know how to feed her/him in a comfortable way. Don’t be mad with it, here are 4 breastfeeding tips to help you out from the pain of lactating. Follow these ways and you will be the easygoing experienced mother yourself in no time.

No.1 Hold your baby in the latch

You will possible feel a severe pain if your baby isn’t taking the areola into his/her mouth entirely. So a correct posture is halfway success that you baby is latching on comfortable. Please get help from your pediatrician or a lactation consultant before you leave the hospital.

No.2 Prepare for nursing

It is not just mean you are wearing a maternity clothing when breastfeeding, you should apply a safe, all natural ingredient nipple butter on your nipples before/after each time of your nursing. You may choose this toxin-free, no preservatives product Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter (Amazon link: http://amzn.to/1ne3xEd) .

No.3 Breast milk flows freely

If you have milk ducts clogged engorgement when you miss some feedings for some reason, it leads to a more serious pain consequently in the most time. You may suffers from the engorgement, as a much larger breast or both. It can be relieved by feeding your baby from two breasts frequently. Or if you have to be apart from your baby for a long time, please prepare a breasting pump when necessary. Keep in mind it may leads to mastitis, a kind of breast infection if you ignore this pain.

No.4 Be careful with thrush

The oral thrush, a very common infection in infants’ mouth and mother’s nipples by yeast. Although it could be harmless and often goes away without treatment, but causes an extreme pains between baby and mom. There are some ways to decrease the risk of thrush as below:

  • Intake a probiotic supplement, you may refer to here to choose a best infant probiotic
  • Sterilization for pacifiers, milk bottles and pumps before each use
  • After breastfeeding, dry your breasts in air
  • Wash baby clothing, diapers and your feeding bras frequently and sterilized thoroughly

Once you begin a rocky startup, with the above experience of breastfeeding tips and more patience, I believe that you will join the ranks of confident moms in no time. You will find it is worth for these efforts when you look down at the baby in a sound sleep against your chest.

Folate – An Essential in Prenatal Vitamins

Folate, also known as folic acid, vitamin B9, plays a key role in cell division in human body. It is an important essential in prenatal vitamins. In some researches, we found it reduce the risk of heart disease, and it is helpful lessen the incidence rate of some cancers.

folate-prenatal vitaminsYou can find the folate from dark green leafy vegetables, and oranges. These are natural good source of folate, but the synthetic source of folic acid seems has a twice absorption and a more bioavailability as well as the natural source folate.

There are two new synthetic source of folate products, Metafolin and Quatrefolic were accepted by FDA individually in 2001 and 2010. With stabilized form in Metafolin (calcium salt, Metafolin® is a registered trademark of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany) and Quatrefolic (glucosamine salt, Quatrefolic® is a registered trademark of Gnosis S.p.A. Corporation), they have an active compound, called L-5-methylfolate, which is same created in the body as folate and folic acid does. People with common genetic mutations were suggested to take these new forms, as it was proved to have more effectiveness than folic acid in a short term.

Benefits for pregnant women
It is helpful to reduce the risk of spina bifida in fetus if folate consumed in prenatal vitamins by pregnant women. Folate is also proved to lessen the occurrence of leukemia and some other defects among infants.

A research from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo announced that, the women took folic acid (400 mcg per day) from 4 weeks before to 8 weeks after their pregnancy had a 39% lower risk of autistic disorder in children, compared to the children whose mothers didn’t have any folic acid supplement.

But many pregnancies are unplanned, it is difficult to recommend a folic acid supplement before conception. Most of time the neural tube defects may have already occurred, because the average of first antenatal visit normally is 9 weeks.

Since 1998, folic acid were fortificated in cereal grains mandatorily and as a result, there is less than 1% of people in Americans have folate deficiency. Then over 50 countries around the world have followed this mandatory fortification with folic acid.

Recommended dose
As a result, the RDAs doses are based on the regular food sources, if you are taking folic acid in prenatal vitamins or fortificated food, which are twice absorbs in the body, you have to take 1/2 following RDAs:

For Children 1 – 3 years old: 150 mcg
Children 4 – 8 years old: 200 mcg
Children 9 – 13 years old: 300 mcg
Over 14 years old: 400 mcg
Pregnant women: 600 mcg
Lactating women: 500 mcg

The ULs of folate (total amount from fortified food and supplements):
For Children 1 – 3 years old: 300 mcg
Children 4 – 8 years old: 400 mcg
Children 9 – 13 years old: 600 mcg
Children 14 – 18 years old: 800 mcg
Individual over 19 years old: 1,000 mcg

There are increasing concerns for the folic acid intake 1000 mcg per day from supplement, associated with a more than doubling risk of prostate cancer. Meanwhile, the folate from natural sources was not found any risk raised.

Although folate may reduce the incidence rate of cancer, e.g. the notably colorectal cancer, there are some concerns about the exceed folic acid from supplements and fortificated foods may increase the risk of cancerous tumors or pre-cancerous. For example, it was observed that the risk of colorectal cancer was increased after the country began to fortify the wheat flour with folic acid in Chile and other countries in 2009.

But according to a recent study in U.S. (2011), there was no significant association found between the colorectal cancer and folic acid serving. In contrast, this study found a 19% reducing in the risk of colon cancer comparing the people took the highest dose of folic acid (including both of the natural folate and folic acid) to those with the lowest dose intake.

Improve Digestion and Immunity – Find the Best Probiotics for Infants

Before pick out the best probiotic supplements, we’d like to understand what the probiotics is for firstly, and how we can call a probiotics product is the best probiotics.

best probiotic supplements

What is the probiotics?

A definition from the World Health Organization, 2001:
Probiotics is live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.

You can found these ‘friendly’ strains of bacteria in our dietary everywhere, in yogurt, cheese, and some fermented foods.

We calculate the number of live organism cells with CFU (Colony Forming Units).

Why do we need probiotics, especially for pregnant women and infants?

  • Antibiotic-associated Diarrhea (AAD). Some evidence proved that probiotic shows benefits to support the treatment of AAD. This kind of AAD will happened among 20% of children after an antibiotic treatment.
  • Infections. A few strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) may decrease the dental caries in children, reported by one clinical trials; these LAB product might be helpful for the children who are affected by rotavirus infections.
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis. Some clinical researches proved that the probiotics possibly reduce the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis and the death rate in premature infants.
  •  Eczema. From 2007 to 2011, there were a lot of evidences found to prove the effectiveness from probiotics intake during pregnancy and infancy, reduced from 34% to 26% in the rate of atopic dermatitis in fourteen trial studies.

You may find some useful strains of probiotics when you’re conceived or nursing. Here is the benefits of different probiotics from recent research:

Lactobacillus paracasei St11 (or NCC2461):
Reduce the diarrhea rate in children;

Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM combined with Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis Bi-007:
Decrease running nose by 59%, coughing by 62%, fever by 73% and shorten the duration of above symptoms by 48%;

Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730 (Lactobacillus reuteri SD2112):
Mitigation diarrhea in children; reduce crying in colicky babies; fever and diarrhea in children;

S. salivarius K12 (Bactoblis®, BLIS K12®):
Fewer throat infection, streptococcal infections reduced by 96%, viral oropharyngeal infections reduced by 80%

Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis (DSM 17938, daughter strain of ATCC 55730):
Shorten the duration in diarrhea children, reduce crying in colicky babies; reduce diarrhea rate in children; affect children’s chronic constipation and functional abdominal pain; decrease in feeding intolerance and hospitalization duration if given to premature babies;

Lactobacillus GG (a strain if Lactobacillus casei):
Reduce the severity and frequency of abdominal pain in the children aged from 5 to 14.

Lactobacillus fermentum CECT5716 or Lactobacillus salivarius CECT5713:
Helpful in the mastitis in breastfeeding mothers and a lower rate of recurrence of this inflection than those took an antibiotic;

Base on the current literature we had researched, taking probiotics when in pregnancy or lactating doesn’t have any evidence for adverse effect for women and fetuses or infants

What is the best probiotics for infants?

You may refer to following tips before pick out the best probiotic supplements.
1. It’s better if the probiotic has FOS (fructooligosaccharides, a kind of Prebiotics) essential in the supplement formula. FOS is an assistant fuel for bacteria bioactivity when absorbs in the gastrointestinal tract. It is termed synbiotics when combine probiotics and prebiotics in one capsule.
2. Take the proper strains of probiotics suits your specific purpose. As you know from the introduction of probiotics benefits listed above, for your daily health support you can choose a combined probiotics supplement. But you’d better find the right strain which shown to work for your condition.
3. Make sure if the dosage intake provides an adequate number of organisms for your symptom. From some clinical trials, you cannot see any benefit until you take enough dose probiotics.
4. The enteric coated or microencapsulation of the probiotics supplement can ensure the viability of organisms survive from stomach acid and break apart to release ingredients in small and large intestines.
5. Keep probiotic supplement out of heat, light and moisture. Some may need store in fridge after open.
6. Compare the price. We will compare the vary product and find the best probiotics supplement with best price-value ratio.

There are few probiotic supplements designed for infant or kids. Some of them were found contains less amount than their label from a testing report by ConsumerLab. Here we have some recommendations for different demands:

Best Probiotic Supplement for children over 3 months:
Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Kids, 96 Grams
Multiple strains of Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus;
Supports digestive and immune system;
Inulin (a kind of prebiotic) supports the growth of probiotics;
23 RAW and organic fruits and vegetables;
5 billion CFU per serve for children over 3 months;
With USDA organic certification;
Store in a dry place at 71°F (22°C) or below. Best if refrigerated;

Best Probiotics for infants:
Gerber Soothe Colic Drops
Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis® (DSM 17938);
Shorten crying time 50%, relief from infancy colic;
100 million CFU, 5 drops per serving, safe for infants;
Store in a cool, dry place. Maximum 77°F/22°C

What is the probiotic side effects?

It is safe for most of the healthy people if take probiotics in an appropriate dose. Occasionally some people may feel a more digestive gas after a probiotic serving.

In some rare reports in 2012, two cases with eosinophilic syndrome (a kind of autoimmune disease) were in onset after taking probiotics. Another woman developed eosinophilic esophagitis several weeks after serving Pearl IC in 2012.

These reactions are uncommon, but we still need to watch out if any allergic reaction by your immune system after probiotics intake.

Maybe you’re interested in:

How to choose the best prenatal vitamins?

Recommendation for best fish oil for pregnancy

Find out the best multivitamin for women


Iodine: One-third of U.S. pregnant women are in iodine deficiency minimally

According to a report from American Academy of Pediatrics published May 24, 2014 said that, a lot of women in the United States are with iodine deficiency when they’re in reproductive age. It may because the salt in their daily dietary is not iodized.

iodine deficiencyIodine is one of the essential nutrient for thyroid hormones. Any iodine deficiency will cause a hypothyroidism, with the symptom of over weighted, energy deficiency or goiter. You may eat some foods with iodine rich, like seafood, seaweed and kelp. Also some table salt is iodized, you can choose it from market.

On the other hand, too much iodine intake in your dietary will also cause hypothyroidism. A research initialed in Journal of Pediatrics, announced that excess intake of 12.5 mg iodine when the mothers were pregnant or breastfeeding, caused three infants were developed thyroid hormone deficiency. The researcher agreed that it was important for taking supplement contains iodine, but they also stressed that it will cause a negative effect of exceeding the safe threshold of iodine. There are 10 times iodine levels in the infants’ blood than the healthy babies. The study stated that most of the congenital hypothyroidism occurred in infant is resulting from an iodine deficiency instead of an over intake of iodine supplement. In the developed country, the iodized salt plays an important and helpful role to reduce the iodine deficiency commonly, nevertheless, the salt in processed foods is not iodized in a general speaking.

So what’s the RDAs (Recommended Dietary Allowances) and ULs(Upper Tolerable intake levels) for iodine? From the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the expectant women requires a dosage of 150 mcg iodine nutrient from 197 mcg potassium iodine.

Here is the RDAs dosage for different ages:

Age 1 – 8: 90 mcg

Age 9 – 13: 120 mcg

Age 14 and older: 150 mcg

Pregnant women: 220 mcg

Lactating women: 290 mcg

ULs for different ages:

Age 1 – 3: 220 mcg

Age 4 – 8: 300 mcg

Age 9 – 13: 600 mcg

Age 14 – 18: 900 mcg

Age 19 and above: 1,100 mcg

In the United States, most of the prenatal and lactating women are taking nutrient supplement, but only 15% – 20% of the supplement contains the essential of iodine! Many of prenatal vitamins don’t have any iodine. Even it contains, the dosage is less than 150 mcg. You can learn to how to choose the best prenatal vitamins from here.


Recommendation for best fish oil for pregnancy

You will get professional recommendation from obstetric doctor or pharmacist to take prenatal fish oil or DHA product when you’re in pregnancy besides the prenatal vitamins. The fish oil contains DHA, EPA and other fatty acids nutrients which will help either the brain/retina development for fetus, or it will provide the nutrient for the pregnant women’s cognitive ability. Most of the time, pregnant women feel like to always forget things in their daily life. There are some conclusions from a research in London that there will be brain atrophy when women are in pregnancy, because the fetus consumes phospholipids from mother during the development for brain and nerve system. It seems that mother’s brain cells become smaller other than the reduction of total quantity. There are other benefits when taking prenatal fish oil: less postpartum depression; decrease the premature birth rate; less fetal/infant death; less egg allergy and eczema tendency for babies. But which one is the best fish oil (DHA) in the market for pregnant woman?

What criteria it is for the best fish oil (DHA) for pregnancy?

  1. You can tell the fish original source, fish type from product label. In order to avoid the pollution circumstance, PCBs, heavy metals (e.g. mercury), we need to know where the fish are caught from. It is safer if the fish is smaller (e.g. salmon, sardine), as dioxins trend to accumulate on the food chain. So now, we have new resource from krill, calamari, even from Algae, a kind of marine plant.
  2. If it is purified or any 3rd party research institute to ensure its quality and freshness.
  3. Is it easy to swallow and no fishy burp or aftertaste? Some flavors are added to fish oil to make the capsule smells better. An enteric coat softgel delivers the fish oil in small intestine to avoid fishy burp.
  4. Is the dosage enough? Although there is no DV (Daily Value) of EPA/DHA established by FDA or USDA, an editorial suggests to take 200mg DHA per day for pregnant women and the benefits of higher dosage intakes is still not clear. A research in Mexico shows that 400mg prenatal DHA will reduce the risk of a cold the infant might catch. A higher dosage with 800mg DHA/100mg EPA study in England concluded that there will be a lower risk of premature birth and a lower occurrence of egg allergy in infants.
  5. There are three forms of fish oil: Triglyceride, Ethyl Ester and Re-esterified forms. We should choose fish oil in Triglyceride or Re-esterified forms other than in Ethyl Ester form, which means more effective absorption in body.

We list following prenatal DHA, these products are the most popular sellers in market, and we will compare them to find out the best fish oil (DHA) for pregnancy.

best fish oil for pregnancyNo. 3 New Chapter Wholemega Prenatal, 90 Softgels

  • 100% pure wild Alaskan salmon
  • No 3rd party test; Non GMO verified
  • Small softgel, easy to swallow; partial feedback for fishy aftertaste
  • 220mg DHA, 180mg EPA, and other omega 5,6,7,8,9, with 2 soft gels, twice daily
  • Form not listed


No. 2 Nordic Naturals – Prenatal DHA – Unflavored – 500 mg 180 – Softgelbest fish oil for pregnancy

  • Fish oil in deep sea, processed in Norway, using anchovies and sardines
  • 3rd party test to ensure freshness and purity
  • Smaller pills for easy swallow, unflavored gel
  • 450mg DHA, 90mg EPA daily serve with 2 softgels
  • in Triglyceride form


No. 1 GNC Women’s Prenatal DHA, Softgels, 30 eabest fish oil for pregnancy

  • Plant source DHA, from marine Algae oil, Schizochytrium
  • GNC triple strength fish oil serial products passed through Consumerlab fish oil testing, but this product was not included
  • Normal size; enteric coated soft gel ensure it break down and absorb in small intestine
  • 300mg DHA, one soft gel per day
  • Not listed, normally DHA/EPA from Algae oil is in triglyceride form

GNC Women’s Prenatal DHA is the best prenatal DHA product we recommended here. It is safe for its algae source, and enteric coating technology reduces the unpleasant aftertaste. A report about fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review (Including Krill, Algae, and Calamari Oil) from Consumerlab initiated on 8/10/2012, ten omega-3 products from GNC were verified and passed the testing, including GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil + Resveratrol, GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil + Vitamin D-3, GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil Sport, GNC Ultra Omega Krill Oil, etc. So GNC is a reliable brand in supplement, especially in omega-3 production.

How to choose the best prenatal vitamins?

This article is about to find out the best prenatal vitamins you can choose.

We get benefits from the prenatal multivitamins supplement with sufficient nutrition for both maternal and fetus. Pregnant woman will suffer from nutrient deficiency, e.g. lack of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, folate, zinc and iron may lead to fetal defects. To ensure a healthy pregnancy, we need more nutrient than our normal time and it is suggested by health care professional to take prenatal vitamins three months early when you have conception plan.

It is able to soothe your stomach and reduce the vomit and nausea symptom that the mom-to-be will be possibly experiencing in the morning during pregnancy. The symptom often begins in the first trimester, mostly caused by a kind of hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). It is generated when in pregnancy, especially the nutrition deficient women in vitamin B6.

Here are some tips for your reference when you’re facing hundreds of prenatal products on the market:

  •  Are the ingredients safe for you?

Most of the time, we should choose the nutrition sourcing from natural fruit/vegetable. Natural source means more biological activity than the supplement from synthetics, and fewer side effects than synthetics do. Sometimes if the product has a Non GMO label, it gives us more confidence when we take it.

  • Is the dosage perfect for you?

The institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of the Sciences has some recommendation for the pregnancy women. You can refer to the RDAs (Recommended Dietary Allowances) and ULs (Upper Tolerable intake levels) for each nutrient from here. Meanwhile we shall watch carefully for the daily life when you are pregnant. Is the calcium dosage enough for you even after you consume some milk but still feel contraction in your legs?

  • Is the nutrition formula reasonable?

For example, for the best absorption of calcium to keep the bone healthy, we’d like to see there are the magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K ingredients listed in the formula at the same time.

  • Does the formula contain a complete nutrition ingredient?

You can find the folate (folic acid) in each of prenatal product, as we know that the folic acid intake before and during the early pregnancy will prevent fetus from spina bifida. But one of the most important nutrients is missing from some brand products, iodine. Iodine deficiency is a major cause of intellectual disability for children; research has shown that the mothers with low iodine intake will possibly lead to an autistic child. In U.S. there are one-third of conceptional women are minimally in short of iodine. So the American Academy of Pediatrics had a statement announced in May 2014, suggesting pregnant women to take 150 mcg iodine containing prenatal vitamins.

  • Easy to swallow, easy to break apart in stomach without nausea

Disintegration, it means the supplement ingredient will be more efficiently absorbed by your body. And your stomach will not feel any discomfort when you swallow it if all ingredients are coming from natural food or herb.

We recommend the following prenatal vitamins for your consideration

These prenatal vitamins have the natural organic ingredients, not only that the vitamins and minerals are included in their formula, but also there are additional herb, vegetable and fruit extract enriched to provide a healthy metabolism for pregnant women.

  1. New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin, 192 Tablets; New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin Trimester , 270 Tablets (same formula with 192 tablets)
  2. MegaFood Baby & Me Prenatal Vitamin Tablets 120 tablets
  3. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw
    Prenatal Multivitamin, 180 Capsules
  4. Garden of Life Kind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin, 180 Organic Tablets
Product Ingredient Non GMO Easy to
1.New Chapter Perfect Prenatal
Multivitaminbest prenatl vitamins
Folate: 600 mcgCalcium:
from Algae 75 mgIodine:
90 mcg
Herb; Organic vegetable food
Probiotics Contains Fermented soy and fermented wheat
2.MegaFood Baby & Me Prenatal Vitaminmegafood_prenatal_vitamins Natural Folate: from broccoli 800 mcg Calcium: 75 mg Iodine: 150 mcg Organic Herb; Organic fruit Digestive Enzymes Soy Free
3.Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw
Prenatal Multivitamin, 180 Capsulesbest prenatal vitamins
Folate:800 mcgCalcium:
125 mgIodine:
150 mcg
RAW Organic Fruit
& Vegetable Blend;RAW Organic Sprout
Ginger;Probiotics;Enzymes Contains (Fermented) soy
4.Garden of Life Kind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin, 180
Organic Tablets
best prenatal vitamins
Natural Folate: from organic lemon 800 mcg Calcium: from organic wrightia tinctoria 5 mg Iodine from organic Kelp: 150 mcg USDA organic certificated;Non GMO verified Organic ginger; organic peppermint to soothing
No soy,
no corn

Although New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin is the best seller in Amazon Prenatal Vitamins department, we here found that other two products MegaFood Baby & Me Prenatal Vitamin and Garden of Life Kind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin, 180 Organic Tablets are more preferred products than it. Both of them don’t contain any soy ingredient that someone may suffer from soy allergy.

Finally, which is the best prenatal vitamins within above two products?

So from the daily cost consideration, we recommend that:

Garden of Life Kind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin

is the best prenatal vitamins as it provides a complete nutrient with a lower cost than MegaFood’s.

The data in above table indicates that, the multivitamins vary in their ingredients. It is not so easy to precisely to compare two products. Garden of Life Kind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin has less calcium (5 mg per day) than MegaFood Baby & Me Prenatal Vitamin (75 mg daily). You may have other calcium supplement intake while you take this prenatal multivitamins.

For the best fish oil for pregnancy, you may refer here;

For the best calcium supplement, you can learn from here.

We don’t recommend following prenatal multivitamins though they’re very popular among some people.

Product Reject Reason
Rainbow Light Prenatal Petite Mini, 180-Count use folic acid, synthetics source
Rainbow Light, Prenatal One Multivitamin, 90 Tablets use folic acid, synthetics source; no iodine
Light Complete Prenatal System Food Based Tablets 180 tablets
use folic acid, synthetics source
Nature Made
Prenatal Multi + Dha, 200mg, 150 Softgels
use folic acid, synthetics source; no iodine; It contains artificial colors red 40, yellow 6, blue 1, as you
know red 40 will lead to an ADHD or Attention Deficit Disorder for children
Twinlab Pre-Natal Care, Multi Vitamin Caps, 120 Capsules use folic acid, synthetics source

If you’re taking some medicine or before surgery, please consult your obstetric doctor or pharmacist before you take the prenatal product.

Hope this article about the best prenatal vitamins may help you somehow; we’ll be appreciated if you can share it with your friends by pressing the share button below.

What’s new for the best prenatal vitamins in 2016?

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