• Decoded: Organic Formula

    Breaking down the what, why and which ones of the organic formula marketplace.


    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    If you’re taking the formula route, there are more options for you and your little one than ever before. And as the formula market evolves and expands, many of those options now include organic products to meet the growing demand for quality and sustainable ingredients. But, with all of the available options, a quick trip down the formula aisle can easily turn into a long, overwhelming whirlwind.

    The FDA sets very rigid regulations and holds strict nutritional requirements for all infant formula. So, feel confident that any formula you choose will provide your baby with all of his or her nutritional needs for calories, protein, fat and the essential vitamins and minerals. That is why the nutritional breakdowns, ie the nutrition facts, are pretty comparable amongst all formulas.

    What: What really differentiates organic from conventional formulas are the sources and quality of the ingredients. In addition to being more environmentally sustainable, organic formulas are made with non-GMO plant-derived ingredients, free of pesticide and herbicide residue, and with milk ingredients from cows, free of antibiotics or growth hormones. Unfortunately, organic formulas are more expensive, and are not as easily available (hello Amazon Prime). And, organic options don’t exist for more specialized, allergy friendly formulas.

    Why: All formulas, organic and conventional alike are very processed, so it is not entirely clear if the organic seal comes with significant health advantage. It is always a challenge to find studies conducted on infants, and hard data isn’t always available. The few studies done have not found detectible levels of pesticide residue in infant formulas, nor have they found any health risks associated with milk from cows treated with hormones or antibiotics. But, what we do know is from adult studies, which have shown as much as a 33% reduction in pesticides found in organic products. While the organic and non-GMO landscape is constantly changing and in question, at the moment it is the best seal we have. So if your budget permits, it’s worthwhile to go organic to protect the environment and to reduce your baby’s potential exposure to pesticide, hormone and antibiotic residue.

    Who: The main players in the organic formula market are Nature’s One Baby’s Only*,Earth’s Best and Honest Co., whose formula lines are exclusively organic; Bright Beginnings and Parent’s Choice both of which have organic and conventional formulas; and Similac, which is the only major mainstream formula company offering a single organic formula: Similac Advance Organic. These formulas differ in what sources of protein and carbohydrates are used, and if essential fatty acids are added.

    Organic formulas can be divided into two main categories: standard cow’s milk and specialty soy or lactose-free formulas. Let’s take a closer look at what’s inside.

    Standard Cow’s Milk Based Organic Formula

    Fat: All standard organic formulas contain a blend of easy to digest vegetable oils that include sunflower, safflower, coconut and soybean oils. All of these oils, including the soybean, are highly refined so there is little risk of any allergic reactions.

    Protein: Standard organic formulas use a blend of the milk proteins whey and casein. Formulas should be designed to closely mimic breast milk, which has a much higher ratio of whey than casein. Earth’s Best and Honest Co. add additional concentrated whey to more closely replicate the protein breakdown of breast milk, whereas other organic formulas do not resulting in higher amounts of casein.

    Carbohydrate: The carbohydrate, or sugar, in breast milk is lactose, however all of the organic formula companies replace some or all the lactose with less expensive sugars. Earth’s Best and Honest Co actually maintain some lactose but use glucose syrup solids as an additional carb source. Baby’s Only use no lactose, and use organic brown rice syrup as the sole carbohydrate source, but rest assured that the syrup is vigorously filtered and tested to ensure undetectable levels of arsenic. Bright Beginnings, Parent’s Choice and Similac Organic replace all of the lactose with glucose solids, maltodextrin (corn sugar), and/or sugar. The health effect of different sugar sources in infant formulas has not been well studied. What has been studied are the benefits of lactose, and the blood sugar spiking effects of highly processed sugars like maltodextrin, so if applied to infant formulas, it would be convincing to choose lactose based formulas when possible.

    DHA & ARA: The fatty acids found naturally in breast milk have known respiratory, and cognitive benefits, yet are one of the few essential nutrients not required in baby formulas. There has been some question about the integrity of the form of DHA & ARA approved for use in formulas, but because there is little evidence substantiating the claims most brands add DHA & ARA. To give parents the choice, Nature’s One has both a formula with and one without DHA & ARA, and Honest Co does not add the essential fatty acid to its formula. If you choose a formula without the DHA & ARA it is recommended to supplement.

    Specialty Reduced Lactose & Soy Based Organic Formula

    Earth’s Best and Nature’s One are the only two brands mentioned with a line of organic reduced lactose and soy based formulas. Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity and Baby’s Only Lactorelief formulas are great alternatives for fussier babies needing gentler, easier to tolerate formula. Soy formulas should be avoided unless specifically advised by your pediatrician for a medical reason.

    *There is some confusion as to whether Nature’s One Baby’s Only formula is suitable for infants. It is marketed and labeled as a toddler formula as an attempt to promote breastfeeding until 1 year of age, however it is designed and suitable for infants.

    This article is by Nicole Silber, courtesy of Well Rounded NY. Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

  • EWG's Guide To Safe Sunscreens: Nine Naturals Sunscreen Has Highest Safety Rating!

    At Nine Naturals, we believe that not only is it important to use sunscreen year round, but it's also important to make sure that you are using the right sunscreen that's all natural and safe for you and your family. We couldn't be more excited to have our Natural Sunscreen SPF 32 receive the highest safety rating by the Environmental Working Group's Sunscreen Guide! Check out Nine Naturals on EWG's website and read more about how to stay safe in the sun.

    Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 3.50.54 PM

  • Smitten Studio's Sarah Sherman Samuel Loves Nine Naturals!

    We couldn't be more thrilled to be on Smitten Studio's Sarah Sherman Samuel's list of pregnancy beauty products to love! When asked if there were any special beauty products she fell in love with during her pregnancy, Sarah replied:

    "I really like the Nine Naturals product line. I used their shampoo ($20), conditioner ($20), body wash ($20), which smells amazing, and the belly butter ($35), which also smells delicious."  Thanks for the love Sarah! Read Sarah's Style Bisro feature here.


  • Things We've Read: Week of May 25th, 2015

    thingsweveread_v9-e1410377703926Blind Mom Goes In For An Ultrasound, Now Watch What The Doctor Does (Little Things): One doctor helps a blind mom experience the beauty of motherhood through this thoughtful gesture.

    The Secret Sadness of Pregnancy With Depression (NYTimes): Pregnancy is a trying time of many physical, emotional and identity changes, particularly more so for expectant mothers with depression.

    'Mom Body' Comic Nails The Emotional Exhaustion (And Eventual Joy) Of Pregnancy (HuffPost): In celebration of real mom bods, a story of pregnancy in comic form.

    A Bittersweet Goodbye to Pregnancy (HuffPost): One mom's reflections on her pregnancy moments.

    Prototype for 1st Home Pregnancy Test Going to Auction (NBC): The prototype of the first home pregnancy test designed in 1968 is up for auction in NYC!

    Your Health Insurer Wants to Know Exactly When You Get Pregnant (Bloomberg): Insurers are partnering with pregnancy apps to ensure healthy pregnancies and to lower potential medical costs from complications.

  • The Three Stages Of Labor

     Stages of Labor

    Want to know what to expect when you go into labor? Buckle your seat belts for the three-phase breakdown.

    First Stage: The first stage of labor begins with contractions and progresses until your cervix is fully dilated.

    1. Early Labor: Your cervix gradually thins out -- known as effacing -- and opens. Contractions during this phase can be hard to distinguish from Braxton-Hicks, or “practice” contractions; you’ll know soon enough, however, if it’s the real thing. If you feel like moving around, taking a walk can be a nice distraction (and, some women say, method for moving labor along). If it’s the middle of the night and you feel like you can sleep between contractions, let your body rest for the hard work ahead.
    2. Active Labor (Transition): This is what birth professionals refer to as “transition;” contractions become longer, stronger and progressively closer together, and your cervix opens -- or dilates -- at a faster rate, preparing for your baby to pass through it. The rule of thumb is to call your midwife or doctor when contractions become regular and painful -- it’ll be difficult to talk when they’re happening -- and occur at a rate of five minutes apart. This is a good time to try out any pain-management techniques, such as breathing exercises, you may have learned leading up to labor.
    3. Transition is the last phase of active labor;  you may scream, vomit, moan -- it’s      different for everyone. Do whatever you feel inclined to and ride the waves; your body knows what it’s doing, and it’s producing hormones to help you with the process.

    Second Stage (Pushing): The second stage of labor begins when your cervix is fully dilated, and concludes with your baby’s delivery. Some women find that pushing offers some relief during contractions. Use your moments between contractions to breathe; and try to stay directly in the present moment, rather than thinking ahead to the next contraction. The hardest part of the pushing stage is that final contraction -- and final push -- when your baby emerges. But as soon as it’s over, your baby will have arrived! 

    Third Stage: The third stage begins when your baby is born and ends when you deliver your placenta. Your uterus will resume contractions a few minutes after your baby is born, and your doctor or midwife will ask you to push a few times again in order to delivery the placenta. Don’t worry -- this part is nothing compared to what you’ve already done, and you’ll hardly notice or care; your attention will be entirely focused on your beautiful new baby. Congratulations, mama -- you did it!

  • Baby Fashion: Headbands

    Because it’s never too early to accessorize.

    Putting a baby into a headband is one of those trends you either love or loathe. We’re kind of loving it at the moment, and with the right headband, we think you will too. We’ve rounded up a collection of some of our favorite headband makers, all of which feature unique styles, cool patterns and fun colors. So start accessorizing.

    Article & Photos courtesy of Well Rounded NY

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  • Things We've Read: Week of May 18th

    Pregnancy News Nine Naturals Things We've Read

    11 Types of Dads You Meet on the Maternity Ward (Cafe Stir): Read about the different types of dads you will meet at the maternity ward. Which one was your partner?

    Mounting Evidence of Advantages for Children of Working Mothers (NYTimes): There are social and educational benefits to children who have working moms.

    Let the Kids Learn Through Play (NYTimes): Researchers have found that playtime is essential to children's development.

    This Solar-Powered Kit Is Saving Hundreds Of Thousands Of Mothers' And Newborns' Lives (HuffPost): Savings thousands of lives by improving the conditions of childbirth, especially in low-resource areas.

    Postnatal Depletion (Goop): Having a baby exacts an emotional and physical toll. Read more to learn how to recover from postnatal depletion and "baby brain".

    Health Risks Beneath the Painted Beauty in America's Nail Salons (Epoch Times): Toxic chemicals in nail care products pose health risks, especially to nail salon workers.

  • Well Rounded Recipes: Orzo and Pesto

    These healthy springtime dishes are perfect for a new mom.

    recipe orzo pesto

    Article & Photos courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Springtime calls for lightened up, fresh flavors. These two recipes are great for afternoon mommy-gatherings and playdates. They’re both free of gluten, dairy and soy and loaded with protein and fiber so you can feel good about eat nourishing bite.

    Serve the orzo as a main dish or a side dish alongside sandwiches or a tender green salad with fresh fruit. Try the pesto served atop gluten-free whole grain crackers as well as in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches and wraps. It’s also a great dip to serve with tortilla chips or tossed into a gluten-free pasta dish.

    Both recipes are versatile and can be served in numerous ways for luncheons or baby showers, too! You may choose to serve these springtime recipes al fresco in the sunshine or indoors when it showers.

    gluten-free spring orzoWarm Weather Sundried Tomato & Garlic Orzo
    This orzo dish can be prepared and served on the dinner table for a weeknight meal in less than 30 minutes. Leftovers are great the next day served over a bed of dark leafy greens such as baby spinach or baby kale. The hummus and almonds give you a hearty dose of protein to keep you satisfied and give you energy for your day, whether you are nursing or running after the little ones. Extra-virgin olive oil, sundried tomatoes and garlic make this dish dance when they’re tossed with the cooked pasta. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Serves 4
    12 oz. gluten-free orzo pasta
    1 garlic clove, minced
    4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    1 1/2 lbs. fresh baby spinach
    1/4 tsp. sea salt
    1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup plain hummus
    3 tbsp. whole almonds
    10 sundried tomatoes in oil, drained

    1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place pasta back in the empty pot. Add garlic and olive oil; cook for 3 minutes. Add spinach, sea salt and pepper; cook for another 3 minutes or until spinach is wilted.
    2. Remove from heat; add in hummus and sundried tomatoes. Transfer to a large serving bowl and top with almonds.

    Almond Spinach Dairy-Free PestoSpring Almond Spinach Dairy-Free Pesto
    This is an easy homemade condiment that you can serve on gluten-free whole grain crackers or toast. It also makes a lovely topping for sandwiches and burgers in place of mustard or mayo. It’s full of protein from the almonds and lots of fiber as well as antioxidants and nutrients in the organic spinach and garlic to keep you and your baby healthy!

    Makes 1 cup
    · 4 cups organic baby spinach (such as Earthbound Farm)
    · ¼ cup slivered almonds
    · 4 Tbsp. olive oil
    · 1 large garlic clove
    · Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

    In a food processor, pulse ingredients until it forms a pesto consistency-smooth yet a little chunky if desired. Serve with gluten-free toast or crackers.

    This article is by Amie Valpone, courtesy of Well Rounded NY. Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

  • Things We've Read: Week of May 11th, 2015


    Ditch the Chemicals! 5 Head-To-Toe DIY Beauty Treatments (MindBodyGreen): Five truly all-natural DIY beauty treatments to try!

    I Confess: I Use A Bumper (WellRounded NY): "There are a few teeny weenie things that I kindofsortof don’t exactly tell the whole truth about... "

    Obese Pregnant Scots Women Given Personal Trainers (The Scotsman): A government-funded initiative to combat and reduce diagnoses of maternal diabetes.

    Will Pregnancy Tests In Alaska Bars Dissuade Moms-To-Be From Drinking? (NPR): A new strategy to raise awareness of the dangers of binge drinking during pregnancy.

    How Maintaining Regular Exercise Helped Me During And After Pregnancy (Treehugger): How staying active helped ease discomforts during and after pregnancy for this mom.

    Beauty And The Bump: Sarah Gibson Tuttle's Picks for Pregnancy And Beyond (The Hive): On Nine Naturals Shampoo, "I literally fell in love. It’s my favorite beauty product right now – smells great and gets so sudsy. It makes me feel like I’m in a Pantene commercial!"

    What If Protections For Pregnant Workers Sideline Women's Progress? (WSJ): Employers are struggling to find the sensitive balance to address the needs of pregnant workers without impeding on their careers.

    WHO: Progress in Millennium Development Goals Still Not Sufficient (VOA): Maternal mortality has decreased by half worldwide since 1990, though it still missed its targeted three-quarter reduction.

  • Top 5 Reasons To Shop At Destination Maternity!

    5 Reasons To Shop at Destination Maternity

    All of us at Nine Naturals love Destination Maternity - a go-to haven for all moms and moms-to-be. From making emergency runs when the last pair of pre-pregnancy pants stop fitting to finding the perfect belly butter to help keep pesky stretch marks away, a mom-to-be can find everything she needs at Destination Maternity. If you aren't already shopping at Destination Maternity, here are our top 5 reasons why you should:

    5. Easily accessible restrooms and free beverages
    Destination Maternity stores are well-stocked with water and juice and have easily accessible restrooms for a pregnant woman's convenience.

    4. Entertainment for kids
    Finding the right fitting clothes for your ever-changing body can take time! Select Destination Maternity locations have play areas for your little ones and a relaxation area for fathers-to-be to keep them entertained while you shop.

    3. Prenatal friendly spa services
    Select Destination Maternity locations feature the Edamame Maternity Spa - what's better than treating yourself to a post shopping pre-natal facial or massage?

    2. The best selection of maternity denim
    Destination Maternity features a wide selection of maternity jeans from the top denim designers in every wash and cut you could imagine!

    1. A highly curated beauty section
    The staff at Destination Maternity understand what it’s like as a mom-to-be. They share your priorities, which is why they offer products that are safe and natural. Get Nine Naturals at Destination Maternity Today!

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