New Podcast - Cure Your Cravings

April 8, 2008 | 2 Comments

Diana Walker of The Cravings Coach has decided to launch a podcast!

She will be sharing tips and advice to help moms live healthier lives and overcome their cravings for salt, sugar, carbs, caffeine… you name it.

Go have a listen and check out her Cravings Secrets ebook too while you’re at it. :-)


Attachment Parenting International Announces New Parenting Education Program

April 2, 2008 | Leave a Comment

attachment parenting internationalLast year on the show, I was honored to interview Lysa Parker, cofounder of Attachment Parenting International.

Attachment parenting was a word I heard a Mom say over 9 years ago at a meeting for parents who had taken Bradley Method childbirth classes. I thought it sounded so strange, but then I realized it embodied what I believed and what I had been doing with my young baby: cosleeping, nursing on cue, responding to baby’s needs, wearing him in a soft cloth carrier, etc. 

API has some exciting stuff going on right now to help parents learn and keep the principles of attachment parenting and I’m happy to help them spread the word.

What Is Attachment Parenting International?

API is a non-profit organization that promotes parenting practices that create strong, healthy emotional bonds between children and their parents. Some of the changes they would like to announce include:

  • A newly redesigned web site and new logo at Attachment;
  • Attachment parenting worldwide support forums;
  • Parent Education Program - a comprehensive series of classes for every stage and age of child development from infancy through adulthood;
  • A new book based on API’s Eight Principles of Attachment Parenting by API co-founders Lysa Parker and Barbara Nicholson which is expected to be available this summer;
  • A series of podcasts, webinars, chats, and forums with API Advisory Board members and other supporters of AP. Future events are scheduled with Dr. Bob Sears, Dr. James McKenna, and Kathleen Kendall Tacket. Check out the events page for more information.

These are just a few of many exciting things going on at API. I hope you’ll stop by and check it out for yourself.

Breastfeeding and Yeast Infection - Taming the yeast beast

March 30, 2008 | 8 Comments

Now that it’s getting warm out, it’s time for me to write about an issue that might be affecting a nursing mommy out there: breastfeeding and yeast infection (thrush). Troubles with yeast are more common in the warmer months because yeast loves to hang out in damp warm sweaty places.

Thrush is one of those things that can creep up on a nursing mother and cause pain, even lead to her giving up breastfeeding. Sometimes women have no idea that a yeast infection is what’s causing their pain. It’s not understood very well and many women don’t even know that yeast infection of the breast exists. But it does!

I struggled with it for a long time when my oldest was born. At first it was just painful nipples, but because I didn’t know how to resolve it, it got much worse. The pain was very bad - I felt as if someone was sticking ice picks into my back. (This is because the yeast can colonize the milk producing glands high in the breast.) Even my shirt rubbing across my chest hurt. It felt like sandpaper.

I wonder how many moms have given up breastfeeding because they thought it was “supposed” to hurt like this?

I finally kicked it, but me, my baby AND baby daddy had to be treated. (Yes, it can be passed through THAT kind of contact too, and men are usually asymptomatic.) He and I took Diflucan, and that was enough to stop the cycle of transmitting it back and forth.

I have thrush and it really sucks!

As was mentioned before, sometimes a breastfeeding mother will suffer from pain during nursing which she thinks is “normal”. But breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt. Repeat after me: pain with breastfeeding is common, not normal. If everyone knows what they’re doing and there are no anatomical anomolies (I just love saying that!), then there won’t be any pain. I had no pain nursing babies 2, 3 and 4 because we didn’t have this issue.

What often precipitates yeast troubles is that mother takes antibiotics around her birth (often in the case of a Cesarean delivery or a postpartum urinary tract infection) and comes down with symptoms. The baby may have thrush in his mouth, or he may not. He may have a diaper rash or he may not. But the baby and Mom pass the yeast infection back and forth. Baby may even be fussy at the breast. Mom thinks it’s “her milk”, and weans. This is a sad outcome.

While it is “normal” (again - in the sense of common) to experience some soreness with the initiation of breastfeeding, especially in the first time Mom, this should be little more than a temporary discomfort that goes away after the first few days or weeks. The tissue is becoming used to a new activity. It Mom is having PAIN, that is not normal and is a sign that something is wrong. Normal soreness typically only hurts when baby first latches on, then subsides as the feeding continues. Yeast hurts all the time, even when baby isn’t feeding and gets worse over time.If Mom has seen a Lactation Consultant or La Leche League leader and corrected any problems with latch on or positioning and baby’s anatomy is normal, she should suspect yeast.

This is especially true if Mom has had antibiotics, eats a high sugar diet, baby has any signs of thrush (white patches in the mouth, crying/fussing when feeding, diaper rash) or Mom’s partner suffers from yeast related symptoms (itching in the boy bits, although as I said, men usually get off scott free in this area).Keep in mind that weaning won’t make the yeast go away. It will just move to the vagina or gut if Mom weans the baby (it’s probably already there anyway), and the baby will have pain in his mouth when he bottle feeds also. Better to just get rid of the yeast altogether. Shall we?

Natural Treatments For Breast Yeast And Infant Thrush

Baking soda
Baking soda can be an effective treatment for thrush. It changes the ph of the skin, inhibiting fungal growth. You can make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to Mom’s nipples. Rinse off before feeding the baby. Baby can also take baths with a little baking soda sprinkled in the water, which will soothe any yeasty diaper rash (it looks bright red and hurts).

Vinegar also kills yeast by changing the alkaline/acid balance of the skin, in the opposite way that baking soda does (obviously you would choose one or the other, not both treatments!). It can be irritating to the skin however, so care is needed. One  tablespoon added to a cup of water and applied to Mom’s nipples several times a day with a cotton pad can help.Olive Oil and Coconut Oil
Olive and coconut oil are highly nutritious for lactating women and should be used daily in the diet. Both have antifungal properties and coconut oil in particular is excellent for immune system health. Coconut oil is delicious for baking, added to smoothies, used to cook eggs, etc. Olive oil is delicious in soups, casseroles, used to cook meats, etc. Olive oil and coconut oil can also be taken straight from the spoon.

Some moms have had success applying a bit of oil to their nipples. both for pain and to help heal the infection. I wouldn’t recommend leaving it on if the baby is a newborn, but it’s fine for older babies who are eating solid foods.

Don’t shy away from healthy fats if you’re in your reproductive years ladies. These two fats don’t make you fat. Nursing Mothers all over the world since the beginning of time have thrived on high fat diets. Low fat is not healthy for the lactating or pregnant woman. And eating cheap oils means the fat in your breastmilk is of lower quality.

Strict Hygiene
Fungus is very hardy. Good hygiene is important if you want to prevent reoccurence. Wash your nursing bras and pads, panties and cloth diapers in hot water and do a double rinse. Add vinegar to the first rinse to help kill yeast and prevent irritation from detergents. Wash your hands well with hot soapy water after using the toilet or changing diapers.

If you’re using any bottles or pacifiers, boil them before use. Throw away nipples and pacifiers after treating the thrush and buy new ones. Or better yet don’t use them if at all possible. Be sure to sanitize your breast pump parts too if you use one.

Avoid plastic backed nursing pads. They create moisture and heat which yeast loves. Use cloth nursing pads instead. Go braless when you can to let the breasts air out. And don’t use any type of soap on the breasts, ever.It’s a good idea for Mom and baby to use their own towels and washcloths for awhile. Launder them separately, using the vinegar rinse mentioned above. If it’s hot and sunny out, hang them in the sun to help kill yeast.

Wipe baby’s mouth with a clean wet washcloth or cloth napkin after feeding.

Garlic and Pau d’Arco have antifungal and immune building properties. Native Remedies is a good source of these and other anti candida supplements. Caprylic acid and oregano oil are also antifungal, and they’re found in Yeast Assassin.

Another thing that will help is supplementing with probiotics. Eat plenty of plain yogurt, kefir and cultured veggies like homemade sauerkraut. These kinds of foods contain lots of beneficial bacteria that help keep the yeast in check in the gut. It’s also very important to eliminate sugar while treating yeast infections. This will be hard because you’ll crave it something terrible! But stay strong and remove sugar, white flour, all junk food and simple carbs (white rice and even fruit) for awhile. Eat plenty of meat and protein, and tons of vegetables while you’re clearing the infection.

There are some prescription medications that you can get for yeast troubles from your baby’s Pediatrician or your OB/GYN. One is Nystatin. It’s commonly prescribed as a liquid suspension. It’s sticky and full of sugar. I hated using that stuff. It didn’t work, and it only made me and the baby and my clothes stick together like glue. And the sugar content - hello!

Another old fashioned remedy is Gentian Violet, sold in some pharmacies. I tried this one too and it’s messy to work with because it stains everything bright purple. I couldn’t take my baby out for a week because he looked like Papa Smurf. And I had to wear an old purple T shirt so as not to ruin my entire wardrobe. But it is pretty effective. There are some concerns about Gentian Violet being carcinogenic with long term exposure, but it typically only has to be used for a day or two to work so most people who care about babies and mothers say it’s ok for this short term use. It’s also very inexpensive and available without a Doctor’s prescription or even a visit to the office.

Diflucan was the ticket for me. Along with the nutrition and other self help measures listed above, we finally kicked it for good. The thing with Diflucan is that a lot of Doctors who are ignorant of how breastfeeding works will tell you that it’s not safe for nursing moms. That’s pretty ridiculous because Diflucan is prescribed for premature infants! Medications and Mother’s Milk is considered the authoritative source on the safety of various drugs for breastfeeding women and Diflucan gets the ok. As for me, we had tried everything else first and the meds helped me get relief, fast so it was worth it.

Have you ever had breast yeast and what did you do about it? Do tell!

Are You Reading These Reviews?

March 28, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Do you ever read the reviews on the Natural Mom Product Reviews site?

We’ve gotten some really great reviews lately. Thanks to those of you who submitted well written reviews! (And the Paypal cash was nice, no?) ;)

It helps to get someone else’s opinion before you spend your hard earned money on stuff. Go read some of these:

If you’re a mom in business you can send your products to me and I will review them personally. Contact me at carrie at naturalmomstalkradio dot com if you’re interested.

Tuesday Tidbits: Cloth pads for African girls, Beef recall

February 19, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Tuesday Tidbits is where I publish little bits of news and info that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere else. If you want to play along, grab the code for the graphic (I host it and all cause I’m cool like that) on the right sidebar.

1- Barbara of Mom2Mom Lounge interviewed me asking questions about working from home and enjoying passive income while raising your kidlets. There’s some valuable advice in there so go check it out.

2- Have you talked to your kids about the choking game?

3- Have you seen those Proctor and Gamble ads encouraging you to buy their tampons so that African girls can get free tampons? Don’t do it. Crunchy chicken has a MUCH better idea. Tampons, waste incinerators and voodoo=bad. Washable absorbent cloth pads=good. Ok?

She’ll be featured on the show in a few weeks so stay tuned, but in the meantime see what awesome nonprofitness she is doing for these girls who often miss school during their monthlies. Rock on sista.902652_cows_in_field.jpg

4- The U.S. has announced the largest beef recall in history. This is so sad, considering the meat was earmarked for use in public schools. I’m thankful that sitting in my freezer are organic grass fed beef, pork and chicken from a small Tennessee farm who does monthly deliveries to Atlanta. I feel much safer knowing the people who handle my meat.

Ahem. Seriously folks, organic meat is worth the added expense. If you haven’t found a source of safe meat yet, try EatWild or LocalHarvest.



You Scratch My Back, I Scratch Yours

February 17, 2008 | 2 Comments

Have you heard about Scratchback? It’s kind of like a fancy tip jar, but with a nice twist for the tipper: you get a link from my site to yours.

Scroll down and look at the right sidebar here, under Subscribe to Natural Moms News.

See the links? Click on the Show some love, tip me link. You can get a link from this blog for only (right now) $3. That is VERY cheap. Considering I get $50 - $125 for advertisers on my podcast.

So if you’re on a budget and want some extra traffic to your blog or site, leave me a tip!

Like Blogger for Chocolate #1

February 14, 2008 | Leave a Comment

Today’s the day for the Blogging For Chocolate Contest at Moms Talk Radio. It’s going to be a busy day for me ladies. So hold on to your feed reader, here goes!

* Show that inspired this post: Wahm Talk Radio Coffee with Kelly: “Examining and Improving Your Business in 2008

* 100 words: This episode was one of my favorite recent shows. Coffee with Kelly’s are always so enjoyable. Kelly is one of my favorite internet marketing coaches, for a couple of reasons:

  • She tells it like it is! I always know that I can trust Kelly to tell it straight up, even if that means she admits to changing her mind from time to time about certain things. I’ve seen her change her position on an issue a time or two, and she’s not afraid to let you know. That really builds trust. Kelly has a lot of integrity and I respect that. She’s kind, but she’s no shrinking violet.
  • Kelly is inspiring but not intimidating. It was Kelly that inspired me to launch Natural Moms Talk Radio! I honestly doubt that the idea would have ever come to me to start an internet talk radio show, but Kelly must have seen something in me that I didn’t recognize in myself, and I’m glad she did. As far as not being intimidating, I find Kelly easy to talk to, and that’s why I’ve hired her on a couple of occasions for some business coaching.

Anyway, back to this particular show. I decided at the end of 2007 that I was going to do the exact same thing Kelly talked about on that episode: spend time improving all of my online projects (products, content websites, ecourses and the podcast) rather than start anything new.

I got rid of a ton of stuff in ‘07 in my business. I sold websites, gave up a couple of projects that weren’t working, got clear on my focus and shaved off everything else.

If you’re a work at home Mom, are you thinking about how you can improve what you’ve already got going on? 

The lesson may take awhile to learn, but I’ve now gotten to the point where I can easily tell myself NO to new information products, ideas, joint ventures, domains, and other shiny objects that may not serve to truly further my goals. I don’t want to get distracted. Focus pays off both in peace of mind AND in bottom line income.

If you need some help in this area, check out Kelly’s The Power of a Focused Business.

* Link to Moms Talk Radio

Questions from Moms: Can You Help?

January 22, 2008 | 1 Comment

This week I got a couple of questions from subscribers and thought I would post them here to see if you smart ladies had any advice.

The first is from a subscriber to my newsletter about limiting TV. She asks:

Dear Carrie,

We are doing well with our now much limited use of TV (I would say at the most 3hrs a week total). 

However, I am really struggling with things to do with my almost three year old son.  My girls are doing well.  They are 8 and 6 and they are being more creative, pulling out all kinds of toys rarely played with, going outside more and generally living life more. 

But my son is the hard one.  Also, I find I’m not getting any housework done because I’m having to entertain my kids so much.  Our house is staying a wreck most of the time and I’m struggling with this aspect.  Help!!!!!!!!!!  Do you have any solutions?

Mom R

I totally understand this problem! It’s definitely an issue with kids around 3 and 4. One thing I’ve done that helps is to keep a large box (at their level so they can get it themselves) in the kitchen full of art materials: paper, colored pencils, crayons, stickers, watercolors, coloring books, paper dolls, etc. My 4 year old gravitates to it several times a day as does the 2 year old.

Some other activities that he could do by himself that come to mind are: playing with wooden blocks, train sets or Lego type toys, doing easy chores (he could help you work, I find that mine loved to help at that age but would also lose interest quickly, giving me a few minutes to finish up), cutting old magazines with safety scissors (my 2 year old loves to look through old parenting magazines and pick out all the babies), easy puzzles… I’m sure you could come up with a list if you brainstorm, and suggest something for him to do when he’s bored.

I can’t (nor would I want to, even if I didn’t have other responsibilities) spend all day playing with my kids. I think it’s important for kids to learn to entertain themselves for a part of the day even when they’re younger.

So I encourage mine to get involved in activities that are age appropriate. Sometimes it takes a little nudging. I kick them out encourage mine to go outside a couple of times a day if it’s pleasant, and once if it isn’t pleasant. LOL! That may or may not be possible for you depending on your living situation. It’s safe for me to turn mine loose outside where I live.

Can you encourage the older kids to involve the little one in their play? I know sometimes that’s hard, but I’m not above paying my oldest son .50 to swing the baby outside so I can get some pressing task accomplished.

Also, it will get easier. The youngest will adjust to not being entertained so much by you or some external stimuli.

The second email is from a Mom who wants to find a safer crib for her baby. She writes:

Hi Carrie,

Can you tell me where I would find a solid wood crib that is unfinished, or is finished using natural products? It seems there are lots of companies that claim to be non-toxic, but the U.S. regulations for this aren’t great to begin with so I don’t really trust it.

Mama B

I didn’t have much advice for her because I never had a crib, my babies coslept. But I’m quite sure there are companies that produce baby furniture made from sustainable goods and that are non toxic. I suggested she look for companies online and call their 800 number to do some more detective work.

Do you know of a specific resource for her?

Thanks for the input Moms! :-)

Parenting Your Teen

November 27, 2007 | 2 Comments

Aurelia Williams is a Moms Talk Radio show host. Her show is Parenting My Teen. Aurelia has been a guest two times on my show and I’ve always appreciated her no-nonsense wisdom. I decided to ask her a few questions about her podcast.

- Tell me what you hope parents will gain from your show

First and foremost I want parents to gain the feeling of SUPPORT! I find that a lot of parents of teenagers feel so helpless and very alone when it comes to issues surrounding parenting their teens so I really want all parents to gain some support from the show. That feeling of “Wow, I am not alone” or “Wow, I know just how that person feels” is really comforting to any parent and it is something that I pride myself in providing. Knowledge is also something that I want all parents to gain. I love being able to share my expertise and have other experts on the show to really tackle some of the tough issues. It is with support and knowledge that parents grow and learn in order to better raise their children.

- What is the biggest challenge parents face raising teens?

The Biggest (wow that’s a hard one). While there are many challenges to choose from I would say Understanding your teen would be the biggest challenge. It truly is hard to watch your teenager make choices that are just “out there” and still try to understand them. It really is hard for a lot of parents to think back to their own teenage years and remember how confusing, hormonal and pressure-filled those tender years were.

Many times parents really think their teens are just crazy.. and at times, they may act that way (LOL) so understanding the “How’s and Why’s” of your teen I believe is the biggest challenge.

- How can a parent of young kids like myself pave the way now for a healthier teen/parent relationship?

I love this question because that means that you (and other parents) are looking towards the future. I would say that from the very beginning to always allow your child to come to you and just be themselves, talk, ask questions..etc. Raising your child in an open and loving way automatically opens the lines of communication and as your child grows, so does that communication. So I would suggest asking your children questions, showing them you are concerned and that their likes and dislikes are also important to you.

For instance if you have a little boy that just LOVES the Power Rangers, get on the floor and openly play and talk to him. It seems like such a small thing but really, open communication and letting your child know that you are always there is key. That’s something that will stay with your child until adulthood.

- What is one thing parents can do daily to establish good communication with their teen?

Listen Daily. Yes, just listen. When your teen comes to you with a problem, please be open to listen, hear them out and not interrupt their flow of the conversation. What this does automatically is let them know that you are there and you are willing to hear them out. This then encourages them to talk more and open up more to you. Try not to belittle and criticize at all, that is very damaging and to be honest teens do that far too much on their own so, as a parent we should steer clear from it.

Letting your teen know you are there to talk/listen in a non-judgmental way is the best thing that you can do. Daily I would suggest that you ask your child how their day was, sit down and talk about “their world”, have a one on one “fun day” with your teen. You’ll be surprised how much they open up when they are comfortable.

- We always hear negative things, what’s one of the positives of raising teenagers?

The fact that you are preparing a young adult for full adulthood is positive! That is the one thing that gets me through parenting my 2 teens. Knowing that everything thing I do, say and portray to them will have a lasting impact into their journey to adulthood is a HUGE positive for me. That means to me that I am contributing to the Universe the way that God intended me to do. Teens are fun, loving and very complex but with the right parenting you have the absolute joy of seeing them off into the “real world” of life.

Thanks Aurelia! Check out Aurelia’s ebook on Family Time here.

Come Celebrate With Me - Mom’s Money #18

November 8, 2007 | 1 Comment

As you probably know I’m a co-host of the Mom’s Money podcast. This week, I was the start of the show. I shared with Kelly that I paid off my credit cards, so for the first time in about 4 years I’m unsecured debt free!

I’m going to write a more lengthy blog post later, but for now if you haven’t listened yet, please go listen. :-)


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