Amy's Corner. our lactation consultant answers your questions about nursing.

Dreamy Baby Photography from Sioin Liao

Wengenn-A-Priceless-Gem1000With her breathtaking, absolutely magical photographs, California artist and mother Sioin Queenie Liao has turned naptime into a work of art. Inspired by artists Adele Enerson and Anne Geddes, Liao used her son Wengenn’s daily naps as a canvas for her experimental photos. Her images depict what Wengenn’s dreams might look like, or even about what Lo wishes he were dreaming. Even though he’s asleep in every photo, Liao’s son plays a crucial role in every photograph, and we can imagine how quickly and quietly she must have worked to capture each scene without waking her son up.

Queenie attributes her first exposure to this style of baby photography to Adele Enerson’s book, When my Baby Dreams. Once she became fascinated by the concept, she tapped into her childhood imagination: “I grew up indulging myself in fairy tales. Those fairy tales from my childhood gave me a multitude of ideas to try out.” Whether her son is creating his own masterpiece or sailing on a boat to dreamland, Liao combines imaginative scenarios with everyday objects we might not associate with dreams. Overall, the project successfully captures how dreams are overlooked as we get older and how much fun we can have incorporating them into our adult imaginations.

Wengenn-Magic-Sail-Ride1000How did Sioin manage to create such elaborate scenes? Besides being blessed with a sound sleeper, Liao explained that her scenes were mostly created beforehand: “after Wengenn fell asleep, I would place him at the center of the theme I’d created and start taking pictures.” Some of Liao’s images show her son in special outfits or costumes to compliment the scene. Even though Sioin created her dreamscape scenes beforehand, from the way her son’s positioned or interacting with props you can assume that she very carefully inserted him into each scene without disturbing his nap!

Sioin’s images can be viewed at wengenninwonderland.com and her American book is forthcoming.

Breastfeeding Restrictions: Can You Eat Spicy Foods?

can-a-breastfeeding-mom-eat-spicy-foodsYou were careful about your diet during pregnancy, but now that you’re breastfeeding, do you still have to follow the same kinds of dietary restrictions? Some moms hear that they should avoid all pungent or spicy foods while nursing based on the same general idea behind avoiding sushi and goat cheese while expecting—that baby eats what mom eats. So, is that true? Thankfully, there is no real evidence that mom can’t enjoy spicy peppers or garlic while breastfeeding!

In fact, there has been some evidence that a mother’s garlic-influenced diet will help a distracted baby nurse more. Babies respond to the different breast milk flavors and actually take in more breast milk than this mom myth would have you believe. Even if your mouth is burning after consuming a particularly spicy meal, you won’t need to fear that your baby will taste the same level of heat while nursing; breast milk tends to taste on the sweeter side and does not fully absorb flavor or spice like you might imagine it would.

Exposing your baby to a wide variety of flavors and foods is beneficial in the long run, too. By starting with subtle taste differences via your breast milk, your child will be more prepared for a variety of solid foods once you transition from nursing as your child’s primary food source. Healthy growth and nutrition is supported by a varied diet full of fresh produce and protein, so there’s no need to worry about sticking to basics for your baby’s benefit. Go ahead, indulge in some spice!

What kinds of flavor do you like to add to your meals? Let us know in the comments, new moms!

 

Photo attribution

12 Up and Coming Baby Names in 2014 from Nameberry.com

iStock_000008954862SmallGame of Thrones must be making its mark on U.S. culture because popular baby name website Nameberry.com recently announced 12 up-and-coming baby names for 2014, and more than a few sound reminiscent of characters on the popular HBO show. From Shakespearian heroines to Olympic soccer stars, these names pop up in subtle ways across our culture and might just be the next names you choose for your own children or suggest to a friend.

Nameberry predicts that names like Celia, Faye and Leonore are among the girls’ names that will make a comeback with expecting parents this year. Slightly whimsical and old-fashioned, these names are shared by princesses, actresses, and Shakespeare characters. Liv, Magnolia, and Margot are also beautiful girls’ names that made the list. Magnolia in particular is a quaint update to the flowers-as-name trend we’ve seen before with Daisy, Poppy, and Rose.

Two of the boys’ names included on Nameberry’s baby names list are repurposed nouns with particularly masculine overtones. Blaise and Justus, names which are derived from blaze and justice, evoke power and righteousness. Cassian, another baby boy name that makes the cut, sounds the most like a medieval hero and has ancient Roman roots. These interesting boys’ names are joined by Huxley, Miller, and Tobin as the other picks that round out the soon-to-be-popular baby names for boys list. Even though these three names sound more like surnames than first names, Nameberry is confident that the trend will continue to grow more popular this century. Celebrities like Stella McCartney and Melissa Ethridge have named their sons Miller, while Karolina Kurachova has a son named Tobin.

What do you think of this crop of baby names, moms-to-be? Any you would consider for your unborn child? Let us know which names you like or which baby names you think are missing from this list in the comments.

LPGA Pro Golfer Danah Bordner Shares Tour Update and Exciting Family News

danah-and-taylor-lpga-instagramLeading Lady SpokesMom and Pro golfer Danah Bordner has exciting news to share with our nursing moms’ community—she and husband Steve Bordner are expecting baby #2! Danah’s first child, daughter Taylor, will step into her big-sister role in August. Congratulations to the Bordner family from all of us at Leading Lady!

Danah competes professionally on the LPGA tour and will continue to sink putts until early May. We’ll be cheering Danah on at the LPGA LOTTE Championship presented by J Golf in Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii starting April 16th.

How is Danah’s daughter Taylor taking the new baby news? Danah told us, “Taylor is very excited to be a big sister and has learned to say the word ‘baby’ while pointing at my belly!” Taylor is almost 18 months old and joins her mom at golf tournaments when possible. The whole family currently resides in sunny Florida.

Best of luck on your upcoming tournament, Danah! Leading Lady is proud to sponsor such an amazing mom and athlete.

Celebrity Baby Round Up: Springtime Pregnancies in Hollywood

Forget flowers, babies are popping up all over Hollywood! Baby bumps are in season, and we’ve got a new batch of pregnant celebrities to watch for the best in maternity fashion.

mila-kunis-ashton-kutcher-pregnancy-announcementJackie and Kelso forever—who would have thought that life would imitate art when it came to Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher? The newly engaged pair, who first met on the set of That 70’s Show in 1998, played fictional couple Jackie and Kelso throughout most of the show’s duration. An insider recently confirmed Mila’s pregnancy and the couple will welcome a baby this summer. One thing’s for sure, Mila and Ashton’s baby will have a great head of hair!

scarlett-johansson-pregnantLook who else is expecting: Scarlett Johansson and fiance recently announced that they’re welcoming their first child together this year! The actress has been looking radiant lately, and we’re happy to report that she’s 5 months along with her little one. Scarlett will still reprise her role as the Black Widow in the upcoming Avengers sequel, but sources are saying that her involvement won’t be nearly as pronounced in the second movie because of her pregnancy.

Chris Hemsworth and wife Elsa Pataky welcomed twin boys in Los Angeles on March 21st. The boys’ names have not yet been released. Hemsworth is reprising his role as Thor in the next Avenger’s installment that’s already in development. The couple’s first child, India Rose, has two new playmates to keep her company and we’re sure all three kids will keep Elsa busy.

More stars who are expecting: Alyssa Milano and husband are expecting their second child together this year. Now that Christopher Nolan’s successful Batman franchise has ended, actor Christian Bale has more time to focus on his family, and he and his wife recently announced that they were expecting their second child as well! Model Doutzen Kroes is joining in one the second-baby trend as too: the Dutch beauty is expecting a little girl with her DJ husband.

Olivia Wilde, Kristen Cavallari, and Kerry Washington are all nearing their due dates, which means that we’ll get excited over their newborn photos and celebrity baby names soon!

NICU Babies Respond to Volunteer Hugs and Cuddles

NICU-Babies-Respond-to-Volunteer-Hugs-and-CuddlesHugs and kisses have been known to soothe most cuts and bruises children come home with from the playground, but now there’s scientific evidence that shows how cuddling and reassuring words can help relax babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Babies who spend time in the NICU are surrounded by a hubbub of machines, noises, tubes, and lights that can be disorienting. Special NICU volunteers, the “cuddlers,” visit the hospital for the sole purpose of providing hugs and quiet cuddles with babies whose parents are not able to stay in the hospital around the clock.

Aside from providing reassurance and genuine comfort for these babies, doctors have measured the effects of a volunteer’s touch and have found that babies are less stressed, have a more stable body temperature, and even stronger vital signs and pain tolerance. Cuddlers simply hold these babies and speak to them in soothing tones. A much needed break from monitor beeps, these babies cling to human contact and benefit greatly from hugs.

Many of those who volunteer in the NICU are retired or have previously had a child stay in the NICU before coming home after birth. Whatever their reason for visiting these babies, each volunteer has a significant impact on the baby they hold in their arms. Parents of children in the NICU are grateful as well; with work schedules and other children at home, some parents are not able to spend every possible hour in the hospital. Knowing that their newborn is in the arms of a loving volunteer may ease a parent’s worry and guilt about their baby being in the hospital alone.

Interested in becoming a cuddler? Check with your local hospital and NICU to see if they support a volunteer program.

 

Photo attribution

Sleep Habits Moms Should Have

how-to-fall-asleep-fast-for-momsIf you’re a mom with a napping-age baby or child, we’re sure that your primary focus is set on getting your baby to fall asleep (and stay asleep). But what about your own sleep habits? Sure, all moms can relate to being tired, but getting enough sleep enables you to keep up with your kids during playtime. Even though we can’t add a few more hours to each day just for rest, we can pass along these sleep habit tips from the Center for Disease Control that will help you create a solid sleep schedule.

According to the CDC, getting enough sleep is an important factor for staying healthy in general. You’re less likely to develop a chronic disease or fall victim to endless bouts of the sniffles if you’re getting more than 6 hours of shut eye a night. Healthy mom, healthy baby, right? Set the example and keep your own health up so your kids are less likely to pick up that cold you’ve been fighting for weeks on end.

What’s your nighttime routine like after you’ve wrangled the kids into bed? Set a bedtime for yourself as well as your kids and try to stick to it. Your body will naturally feel sleepiness cues if you’re good about keeping a sleep schedule. To help get into a routine, avoid visually stimulating activities (like watching television, netflixing, or reading a magazine) and to stick good old-fashioned print books to help you drift off.

This may strike you as a silly question, but the CDC prompts you to ask yourself: is your bed comfortable? Is it a place you look forward to sleeping? It’s worth noting if you actually like climbing into bed or not because you might need to make adjustments to help you sleep more soundly. Make sure you have all of the blankets and pillows you need to feel comfy. Invest in thick shades if you need a darkened room to sleep in. Even a sleep machine might help lull you into slumber while drowning out street sounds that are potentially disturbing your sleep.

Don’t underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep! Sweet dreams, moms.

 

Photo attribution

Breastfeeding Advocacy and Awareness for Dads

 

hector-cruz-if-i-could-i-would

It’s nothing new to see moms advocating for universal support towards public breastfeeding, and now dads are joining the fight too—Project Breastfeeding is a dad-created non-profit organization that calls for dads to support their wives who struggle with breastfeeding both in the home and in public.

Hector Cruz is a freelance photographer whose wife recently gave birth to their first child, a girl. Cruz’s wife Nicole had a hard time breastfeeding baby Sophia and Hector felt unprepared to help his wife nurse successfully—Nicole had attended a breastfeeding class for moms only before their daughter’s arrival. Also, the Cruz family found less-than-enthusiastic breastfeeding help at the hospital where they had delivered Sophia.

Determined to help his wife, Hector first acknowledged his lack of information about breastfeeding. “I wish I could say I was an enlightened guy, but I wasn’t. I figured women have breasts, a baby has a mouth, it all works, and there are never any issues” Cruz told Fox News in a recent interview. When he realized that he was “very, very wrong” Hector decided to remedy his family’s tough situation by opening up his family to the larger breastfeeding community.

hector-cruz-if-i-could-i-would-2Cruz’s photography background came in handy for his newfound project; Hector cultivated a series of photographs that feature men holding their babies in breastfeeding positions (shirtless as well!) with the caption: “If I could, I would.” Cruz explains that his slogan is meant to share a father’s frustrations towards his own breastfeeding limitations, as well as his unconditional support for his wife and child. Born from his own experiences, Cruz’s new campaign is widely accepted by breastfeeding groups across the country. Hoping to establish a new breastfeeding curriculum for both men and women, Cruz wants to provide essential breastfeeding information for new and expecting parents.

Remember, dads, that even though you cannot physically nurse your newborn like your wife can, you can contribute by bringing mom water or something to eat while she nurses, watching the other kids while she breastfeeds in (relative) peace, and even getting up and giving baby a bottle of breast milk in the middle of the night. Showing your support is a great way to help keep your wife feeling confident about breastfeeding.

What do you think of Hector’s photographs and campaign? Let us know in the comments.

Pregnant Celebrities Wow with Red Carpet Dresses at 2014 Oscars

kerry-washington-oscarsIt’s safe to say that these are some of the most fashionable moms-to-be we’ve ever seen on the red carpet! Now that awards season has come to an end, we’re ready to look at some of the glamorous pregnancy moments from the 2014 Oscars ceremony.

Kerry Washington looked so beautiful in her soft amethyst Jason Wu gown that we didn’t even notice her damp hemline at first! The Scandal star’s gown featured a simple silver bar detail in the neckline and paired well with the diamond and silver bracelets Kerry chose. Her shoes, which were heavily embellished silver heels, shone brightly and gave her entire look the pop it needed. Washington even managed to successfully match her lipstick to her nail polish—a deep burgundy and plum mix—without looking overdone. A pregnancy fashion A+ for Kerry!

elsa-patasky-chris-hemsworthElsa Pataky, married to Thor actor Chris Hemsworth and currently expecting twins, looked radiant in her bejeweled teal Elie Saab ensemble. Elsa’s heavily draped gown featured a very low drop-waist, which worked well with her enormous baby bump. The intricate blue beading over a nude slip looked beautiful against the blonde actress. Elsa and Chris’ outfits looked great together too—the actor wore a burgundy suit. What a beautiful couple!

olivia-wilde-oscarsActress Olivia Wilde, whose emerald Dolce and Gabbana gown wowed at the Golden Globes, went for a demure, sophisticated look at the Oscars. Dressed in a high-necked black Valentino gown, Olivia pulled off her classic Hollywood look with white teardrop earrings, striking cat-eye makeup, and tousled curls in the perfect “messy” updo. Her D&G gown featured a single white back panel that made her overall look more modern. Olivia’s baby bump was definitely cloaked by her mostly-black ensemble, but from side pictures, it was plain to see that she’s not too far off from her May due date.

These actresses might not have won Oscars at last Sunday’s Academy Awards, but they certainly wowed us with some of the best red carpet pregnancy fashion looks!

Why Pregnancy Brings Out Varicose Veins and How to Treat Them

Why-Pregnancy-Brings-Out-Varicose-Veins-and-How-to-Treat-ThemStretch marks are a common cause for concern among pregnant women, but those pesky white lines are not the only body changes a woman’s body endures while expecting. Varicose veins, which refer to the bluish-purple, highly pronounced veins generally in the legs, are commonly exacerbated by pregnancy.

Why does pregnancy accelerate varicose vein formation? They’re a common nuisance—over half of women report having them—and there are genetic predispositions that make one woman more likely to develop them than another. Inheriting weak vein walls adds to the likelihood of an individual having varicose veins.

Because the baby derives its blood supply directly from the mother, a woman’s heart has to work much harder to pump blood throughout her own body and her baby’s. Even the extra pelvic pressure a woman experiences as her womb expands adds to her newly-bulging veins. To top it off, the hormone progesterone (which plays a major role in a woman’s pregnancy development) naturally dilates the veins which causes extra discomfort as blood pools.

What can you do to slow down the progression of your varicose veins? Try wearing compression hose specially designed to constrict blood flow. These pregnancy tights will combat the swelling you experience in your legs. Getting regular exercise and keeping your legs elevated when you can have also been proven to work against varicose vein development. If you experience extreme, uncomfortable swelling, be sure to let your doctor know—he or she might prescribe antibiotics to help ease your pain. Applying warm compresses to particularly sore spots might provide some at-home relief as well.

Stay healthy, moms-to-be!

 

Photo attribution

meet AMY
Submit your own question to be answered.
Please provide us with your name, email address and question, and you may find it as the next featured Q+A on Amy's Corner.
Terms and Conditions.



Search our past Q+A's.
Choose a topic that interests you to view only related Q+A's.

4th of July
academy awards
Alyssa Milano
American Heart Association
anaphylactic shock
Anne Geddes
Ashton Kutcher
babies
baby
baby boy names
Baby bumps
Baby Care
Baby Gender
Baby Gifts
baby girl names
Baby Halloween Costumes
baby name
Baby Names
baby news
baby photography
baby pictures
baby schedule
Baby Selfies
Baby Shower
Baby Skin Care
baby sleep schedule
Babymoon Destinations
Babymooning
big sister
birth
birth plan
Biting
bleeding gums
Body Acceptance
Bottle Feeding
boy names
Bra Fit Tips
Breast Cancer Awareness
breast milk
Breast Milk Production
Breast Reduction and Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding Advice
breastfeeding after c-section
Breastfeeding and Baby's Brain
Breastfeeding and Bonding with Baby
Breastfeeding and Earth Day
Breastfeeding and Exercise
Breastfeeding and Health Care
Breastfeeding and Ovulating
Breastfeeding and Pregnancy
Breastfeeding Benefits
Breastfeeding Classes
breastfeeding diet restrictions
Breastfeeding During the Holidays
Breastfeeding Education
Breastfeeding in Public
Breastfeeding Policy
breastfeeding positions
Breastfeeding Registry
Breastfeeding Support
Breastfeeding Support Groups
Breastfeeding Tips
bump style
c-section
caesarean section
Caffeine
cdc
Celebrity
Celebrity Babies
celebrity pregnancies
child.
children
Children's Play
Chris Hemsworth
Christian Bale
Christopher Nolan
Cluster Feeding
Comfortable Bras
compression tights
Creativity
cuddle
cuddling
Cute Babies
dads
Danah Bordner
delivery
dental health
dentist
dietary restrictions
Dinovember
Doutzen Kroes
Drew Barrymore
Elie Saab
Elsa Pataky
Emily blunt
Extended Breastfeeding
Facebook
family
family physician
Family Planning
fashion
Father's Day
Fertility Calendar
Flying While Pregnant
food allergies
Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding
Fussy Baby
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones HBO
Gender Prediction
Getting Pregnant
Gift Ideas
girl names
golf
health benefits of breastfeeding
healthy
Healthy Breakfasts
healthy diet
Healthy Eating
Heart disease
holiday schedule
Holidays
Hollywood
hospital
Hospital Bag Checklist
how to fall asleep
how to fall asleep fast
how to go to sleep
how to sleep better
Illness
Imagination
In the Media
infant
infants
Jason Goldberg
Jason Wu
john krasinski
Just for Fun
Kerry Washington
Kids
Kraft Nabisco tournament
Kristen Cavallari
Labor Day
lack of sleep
Lactation Consultant
Latching On
laura silverman
Losing Baby Weight
Losing Weight After Pregnancy
LPGA
LPGA tour
maternity
Mila Kunis
Milk Supply
mom
moms
mother
Mother's Day
nameberry baby names
nameberry unusual names
National Breastfeeding Month
National Heart Month
Neonatal
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
New Years Resolutions
newborn
newborn photography
newborns
NICU
Nipple Confusion
Nipple Soreness
nursing
Nursing Bras
Nursing Fashion
Nursing Mom's Lifestyle
Nursing Positions
Nursing Supplies
Nursing Tank Tops
nutrition
Old Wives Tale Gender Prediction
Olivia Wilde
Oscar awards
Oscars
Ovarian Cancer Awareness
Parental Guidance
parenting
parents
peanut allergies
peanut allergy
peanut allergy symptoms
photography
physician
Pregnancy
pregnancy announcement
Pregnancy Calendar
Pregnancy Discrimination
pregnancy fashion
pregnancy gingivitis
pregnancy health
Pregnancy in the work place
Pregnancy Myths
Pregnancy Stretch Marks
pregnant
Pregnant Belly
pregnant celebrities
pregnant women
Preparing to Breastfeed
progesterone
Pumping
red carpet
red carpet dresses
Returning to Work
Scarlett Johansson
Selfie
Sexy Nursing Bras
Shakespeare
Sheryl Sandberg
simon cowell
sleep
sleep schedule
sleep tips
sleeping
soleil moon frye
sound machine
spicy foods
spider veins
spokesmom
Spring Fashion
Storing Breaskmilk
style
Sugar
Sugar substitutes
Thanksgiving Activities
that 70s show
The Cost of Breastfeeding
the golden rule
The History of Breastfeeding
Traveling
Twins
twitter
unique baby boy names
unique baby girl names
unique baby names
Vacations
Vaccines
Valentine's Day
Valentino
varicose veins
varicose veins treatment
volunteer
volunteering
white noise machine
World Breastfeeding Week