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I have been a legal resident of the United States for many years now and considered this country as my home. Today I officially became an American citizen, and couldn’t be more proud to finally call myself an American. Immigrants such as myself come to the United States because of the opportunities available here. Most of which is either overlooked, taken for granted, or just plain ignored by many U.S. citizens who never had to think about or go through this process. You are free to be the person you choose to be, free to practice any religion or not practice a religion at all, whatever it may be you are in a country with endless possibilities. These are just a few of the reasons that I decided to take the oath and officially become an American. The process is long and tedious, expensive and time consuming but in the end, once completed, it is gratifying and well worth the effort. At the ceremony itself, there were 52 immigrants from 37 different countries from around the world all waiting and wanting one thing, to finally be apart of a country that has given us shelter and allowed us to call it our home. For me the most important thing of all becoming a U.S. citizen is that now I get to vote. I am a woman, I am a minority, and I am happy to use the right that so many before me have fought for. At the end of the ceremony, all 52 of us can now finally call ourselves Citizens of the United States of America and it’s something that will stay in my memory for the rest of my life.

Unfortunately, the question “how long should a mother nurse her baby?” does not have an easy answer. Advice given by people, whether its doctors, a breastfeeding counselor or your mother, it is confusing and contradictory. Everyone you talk to has different advice for you. Combine this with the fact that every mom & baby are different, and you have good reason to be wondering what is the best thing to do. Breastfeeding is by far the best way to feed your baby.

Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby’s development for the first year or more Breast milk changes as your baby grows and is the only food needed for the first 4 to 6 months.  So does that mean you should only breastfeed for the first 4 to 6 months and then stop? Wean your baby at one year? Yes? No? Maybe?

I encourage all moms to at least start breastfeeding as it is best for your baby! No formula can duplicate what “mother nature” has given you. How long? Each mother and baby are unique so only you know the answer to that question. For me, I breastfed my first child only for the first four months and then weaned her on to a bottle. I only did so because of the stress I was going through at the time and didn’t feel she would benefit from the amount of stress and worries I was dealing with at the time. We still bonded over a bottle and had our “alone” time but now that I’m pregnant with my second, I plan on breastfeeding for at least a year or until the baby gets teeth. After a year though and when the baby has teeth, I think is a bit too long although in places outside of the U.S., some mom’s breastfeed until the child is 4-5 yrs.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends at least one year or for as long as mutually desired by mom and baby.

If you’d like to read more about this topic and hear what other moms are saying, read the article published in this month’s Hudson Valley Parent, “To breastfeed or not to…” By Claudia Caruna.

Getting new products in the office is always fun but when you have the opportunity to getDSC01163 something really great and try it out, it’s even better. I had the pleasure of receiving this amazing stroller and infant carrier from Britax. I wasn’t familiar with the brand so I did a little research to find out more about the product I was “testing” and couldn’t resist writing about how amazing this stroller is! My daughter Ella loved going for walks in this stroller, the ride is so smooth and comfortable that she even fell asleep!!

The Britax Chaperone Stroller combines the ultimate in convenience, comfort and style and it is the perfect match to the safest infant carrier to date according to Babies r us. The britax-chaperone-21-060-lstroller comes unassembled but it was very easy to put together, I did it in about 25 mins in the office. It can accommodate infants 6mths to 55lbs or from birth if used with the infant carrier. Some of the features I love are the easy one-hand fold with automatic chassis lock, all wheel suspension for a smooth ride, five-point harness and the 3-position recline. It’s a bit pricey by retailing at $299.99 but I think its well worth the price. I’m confident you will fall in love with this stroller the minute it arrives!! You can find both products by visiting http://www.britaxusa.com.

britax-chaperone-infant carrierThe infant carrier that I also had the pleasure of reviewing comes attached to the base and is very easy to install. I am having my second child in January so I will be updating this post with pictures but so far I was very pleased with the installation part of the infant carrier. The Britax Chaperone Infant Carrier/Car Seat is touted as the “industry leading front, rear and side impact protection” car seat and is considered to be the “safest infant carrier to date” by Babies r us. It comes equipped with True Side Impact Protection and a patented anti-rebound bar for added safety in the event of an accident. It can accommodate an infant rear facing from four to 30 lbs and up to 32 inches tall and is compatible with the Britax Chaperone Stroller and other major brands. The fabric is high quality and easy-to-clean. Retails for $229.99 and can be found at Babies r us online only or by visiting: http://www.britaxusa.com/ for more locations.

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