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Breastfeeding Tips from Bravado!

Breastfeeding is the best nutrition and antibodies you can provide your baby during it’s first year of life and particularly for it’s first 6 months of life. According to a new Study published by Bravado! designs, our top nursing bra brand, breastfeeding is on the rise in North America.

In 2012 77% of new moms nursing their newborn, up 6% from 12 years ago in 2000 in the United States. In Canada breastfeeding rates also continued to rise with 89% of mothers breastfeeding their infants, up 4% from 2003. This is super news for both babies and new mothers as breastfeeding can improve the bond between mothers and their infants and even improve materal health and aid with postpartum weight loss.

Here is Bravado’s List of the Top 7 Benefits of Breastfeeding:

1) Breastmilk contains the right balance of nutrients for your baby.

2) Antibodies in Breast Milk boost your baby’s immune system.

3) Breastfeeding can protect your baby from developing allergies.

4) May lower baby’s risk of SIDS.

5) May protect your child from obesity.

6) May boost your child’s intelligence.

7) May reduce your stress level and risk for post-partum depression.

Although breastfeeding can seem a like perfectly natural thing to do, it may not always feel natural or be easy in the beginning. For many moms (and babies) it can take some time catching onto, breastfeeding every baby can be a different experience. Do not hesitate to get the help you need to get you and your baby on the right track with breastfeeding. Hospitals provide nurses and lactation consultants to guide you in feeding your baby. You can also to nursing support groups, La Leche Leagues and local Moms groups to seek out the help you need for breastfeeding.

Here are some Basic Breastfeeding Tips (as provided by Bravado!)

1) Ask for help right away

The first time you breast-feed your baby – preferably within a few hours after delivery, ask for help. The maternity nurses or a Lactation Consultant can offer breastfeeding tips, stating with how to position the baby on the breast and make sure he or she is latching on correctly.

2) Let your baby set the pace

For the first few weeks, most newborns feed every two to three hours around the clock. Watch for signs of hunger such as restlessness, sucking motions with lip movements.

3) Give it time

If breastfeeding is tougher than you expected, don’t get discouraged. Don’t let a rough start turn you off from breastfeeding. The more your breastfeed your baby, the more milk your breast will produce and the better you will get at it. But do  not hesitate to get the help you need if you do hit a rough patch (back to Step 1 when all else fails!) You will get there with time, patience and practice.

Breastfeeding is a job, but it is so worth it for your baby. It can be exhausting feeding your baby around the clock, so make sure you are getting the nutrition and support you need from friends, relatives, neighbors and anyone else who offers to cook you a meal, help with baby or household chores! Be sure to pat yourself on the back for doing a very good deed for your baby that will reap rewards for your both now and for years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise During Pregnacy to Make your Baby Smart!

As Holiday Season approaches many of us find ourselves munching on more cookies, eating more pie and indulging in bigger meals. It’s easy to do as the weather is cooler and you may be surrounded by friends and family and lots of yummy goodies. Although pregnancy is not a time to diet, it is perfectly ok and even recommended to exercise, especially when you need to offset some extra helpings of stuffing or pumpkin pie.

Not only is exercise good for maintaining a healthy pregnancy weight, it’s also good for your brain, nerves and self-esteem. More recently researchers are uncovering new benefits of exercise to the developing fetus. Two studies presented a few weeks ago at the Society of Neuroscience suggest that exercise during pregnancy gives unborn children a neurological advantage with “more mature and effective brain patterns.” Dave Ellemberg, a neuroscientists at the University of Montreal says active moms can give their kids “a kickstart even before they are born.” He continues, “What we found is that there’s this amazing transfer from what the mother does onto her child.”

What better motivation is there to exercise since not only are you improving your own body and mind during pregnancy but that of your unborn child’s at the same time. Another recent study performed at Dartmouth University found similar results with the potential for exercise to leave “long-lasting effects on the behavior and cognitive function of the offspring.”

Even as little as thirty minutes a day of moderate exercise can help with weight gain, mood and prepare mothers for labor, says Laura Riley, Director of labor and delivery and obstetrics and gynecology at Massachusetts General Hospital. She continues, that pregnant women who exercise are more mobile throughout their pregnancy and report less aches and pains during pregnancy.

How much you exercise and the type of exercise you choose to do should depend on your fitness level. In general it is recommended that women should continue the exercise they already do and just adjust the level to their weight and abilities as the pregnancy progresses. Even just walking will do wonders for your body and your baby.

There are obvious safety precautions such as staying clear of contact sports or those that require advanced coordination, such as biking (maybe consider a stationary bike). Also steer clear of exercise that involves flat on the back positions that can cause back strain or cut off the blood flow. Also you should not do abdominal work since those muscles are stretched to support your baby.

Most importantly stay in tune with your body and take more frequent breaks. Also, be sure to hydrate more often as your body will need more liquids when you are pregnant. Finally be sure to be in close communication with your doctor on all exercise you pursue to make sure it is recommended and safe.

Ivanka Trump Posts Beautiful Post Delivery Photo of Herself and Baby

Ivanka-Trump-DeliveryI admit it, I am a fan of Ivanka Trump. I admire how she can pull off being Donald Trump’s daughter so seamlessly, be a Wharton educated model who seems to also have a mind of her own and avoid the pitfalls of fame and celebrity. I love her style, her composure in the boardroom and in the media crazed public arena. This flawless and gorgeous delivery photo where she is in a hospital gown with no make-up and seemingly unwashed and unstyled hair, she literally glows from the inside out as she cradles her newborn son.

In the photo posted Tuesday to her Tumblr page, Trump holds her newborn son with the accompanying simple caption, “We welcome with love, Joseph Frederick Kushner.”

At last a “natural” delivery photo by a celebrity still in her hospital gown and maternity wristband. It is obvious she has just physically delivered her baby and is both exhausted and proud with a natural inner glow that make-up and airbrushing cannot create.

In today’s Hollywood culture it is expected and lauded for a woman to bounce back to their pre-pregnancy shape in just weeks after delivering their baby. Celebrity birth announcements or Instagram selfies are often airbrushed to achieve perfection. Some celebs avoid the paparazzi altogether to escape the unrealistic pressure, like Kim Kardashian who went M.I.A. for the first time in years for almost three months after delivering daughter North West in June. Fergie, who delivered son Axl in August has still not made an official appearance.

This pressure to achieve a perfect post-baby body has led some to overexert in exercise during and after pregnancy. In September an expectant woman in Los Angeles set off a viral storm with a photo of herself weightlifting a heavy dumbbell while 8 months pregnant. Even if this form of exercise was “safe” for her toned physique it sends out a risky message to expecting moms to follow her lead who may not be in the same mega physical condition while pregnant. Generally it is not a good idea to lift heavy weights while pregnant or perform any extreme physical exercise that your body is not already accustomed to doing.

Even more recently a Sacramento mother of three young children triggered a viral backlash after posting a photo of herself and her washboard abs on Facebook with the accusatory caption “What’s Your Excuse?” Clearly losing weight fast and looking perfect is not an added pressure new mothers need.

We all know it’s hard enough just taking care of the baby and managing a few hours sleep. It is simply not natural to bounce back to pre-baby shape in mere weeks after delivering, nor is it a good idea. Breastfeeding moms in particular need to maintain a very healthy diet and eat enough calories to support their milk production. Any nursing mom knows that feeding the baby around the clock for the first few months is a fulltime job in itself.

So we hope more celebs take the route of Ivanka Trump and reveal more natural looking photos where the emphasis is where it should be, not in showing off but in celebrating the pure joys in life like the arrival of new precious baby.

Is Seafood Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?

Once you’re pregnant, everything you do in your life that affects your health needs to be examined closer to ensure the healthy development of your baby. Nutritional needs top the charts with increased attention to your diet which may be further complicated by morning sickness which, for some women, can last the entire nine months of pregnancy.

It comes as no surprise that lean protein is an optimal source of nutrition for anyone’s diet, but especially an expecting mom. In terms of calories per portion, seafood such as fish, particularly of the salmon variety which packs in those important fatty acids with low calories per portion can be a great choice. However, many pregnant women steer clear from seafood altogether with all the news we hear about mercury levels being dangerously high and a risk for the health of a developing fetus.

While some seafood may be best to avoid during pregnancy, it is not a great idea to cut out seafood altogether as they contain many nutrients that are vital to our baby’s health and development. As the saying goes don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. In the same notion don’t throw all the fish out of your diet with the worries of mercury and contamination, but do choose wisely. There are plenty of great seafood choices that are very beneficial to our developing fetus’ health as well as our own.

For starters, omega-3 fatty acids aid in brain development and provide high levels of lean protein. Fish can serve as a powerful weapon against birth defects when choosing the low mercury varieties such as salmon, sardines, haddock and cod. Seafood which is high in mercury which you should avoid during pregnancy include shark, king mackerel, swordfish and tilefish. In moderation, tuna is not a problem as long as you avoid the albacore and blufin varieties and limit your consumption to a few servings a month.

It is also a good idea to steer clear of fish caught in contaminated lakes or rivers that can carry high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs which could travel to the placenta and affect the development of the fetus. So do be cautious when eating fish from local lakes and rivers.

Raw shellfish and uncooked sushi are also seafood choices you should postpone during pregnancy. Also, make sure that cooked mussels, clams and oysters are actually cooked all the way through so that salmonella is not a threat. Pathogens such as salmonella are destroyed through cooking, otherwise they can cause severe food poisoning in pregnancy and may cross the placenta to the fetus as well.

It is easy to be overwhelmed with all the mercury and food poisoning cautions and simply avoid seafood altogether during pregnancy, but this would be a disservice to your developing baby and yourself as there are so many benefits to safe seafood choices, such as salmon for dinner. Seafood during pregnancy can be a very healthy choice, just choose wisely and space out your seafood meals and portion sizes for moderation.

Olian Maternity 3 Piece Dot Nursing Pajama Set

Are you looking for a special gift for a pregnant friend? Or maybe you just need a comfortable pair of nursing pajamas. One suggestion would be the Olian Maternity 3 Piece Dot Nursing Pajama Set.

This wonderful set is made of a super soft cotton material. It has a pull to the side nursing top along with a pair of full length pajama bottoms. And, to make it even more special, there is the matching baby sleeper. Nothing looks more cute than having friends and family show up at the hosiptal and them see you and your new born sweetie in the same matching pattern.

This Olian nursing pajama set comes in yellow and blue. Yellow is a great option for having a girl or boy and blue is always that favorite baby boy color.

At $94.00, the Olian Maternity 3 Piece Dot Nursing Pajama Set is a great buy for your wife or loved one who is pregnant or already had the baby!

Hillary Duff Looks Great In Maternity Clothes

With her due date right around the corner (February!), Hilary Duff has been all about comfy outfits and a laidback look. We love that she has been relaxing and taking time to get ready for her first pregnancy. Just yesterday she was seen getting a pedicure wearing comfy black maternity yoga pants, a cute striped t-shirt, and a lightweight cardigan. To add a bit of her own personal style, Hilary added a great fedora and bright yellow earrings. For a similar look, pair 1 in the Oven’s Super Soft Ruched Foldover Maternity Pants with their 2 in 1 Maternity/Nursing Tank. Add your own personal style with your favorite earrings, a cute fedora like Hilary’s, or a colorful scarf.

The day before, Hilary looked gorgeous in a laid-back, all black ensemble while out with her super cute hubby Mike Comrie. A long black top showcased her baby bump beautifully and the leggings she wore were comfortable and chic. By pairing it with funky sandals, glasses, and a great purse, Hilary added stylish detail perfectly. If you love her look, try Japanese Weekend’s Over the Belly Maternity Leggings paired with Maternal America’s Ribbed Crew Neck Tee. We love how Hilary paired her outfit with strappy sandals, but for colder weather a great pair of flat boots would look just as stylish.

Throughout her pregnancy, Hilary has stayed very active. A few days ago she left a Pilates class wearing her favorite comfy leggings and a cute grey and white faded shirt. We love the ¾ length sleeves as well as the longer tee to provide plenty of coverage in the last months of pregnancy. We are looking forward to Hilary and Mike welcoming their baby!

Pregnant Tina Fey Is Ready to Pop!!

The 40 year old comedian, Tina Fey, and husband, Jeff Richmond, are expecting their second child any day now. It seems we just can’t get enough of Tina Fey with her Palin impersonations to her award winning show, 30 Rock. However, we will now have to wait till January for the new season to begin. Fey will be playing “mom” to her newborn baby and 5 yr old daughter, Alice.

And the sex of the baby? Fey predicted “It’s going to be a werewolf” to the host, Craig Fergusen, on the Late Show.

Fey also has a new book out, Bossypants, which she began promoting back in April on an Oprah Winfrey appearance. This is when we first learned of the pregnancy and she was already 5 months pregnant. In her memoir, Tina openly agonized about her decision to have a second child in the midst of a demanding career and as she neared the big 4-0. It seemed her overwhelming desire to be a mom once again won out over all the other demands in her life. However Fey has fended off rumors that 30 Rock is coming to an end. So we can hope and expect to see Fey as a busy pregnant and working mom in the months ahead.

Fey certainly knows how to ROCK maternity wear. She has been spotted wearing anything from a tailored, Ann Taylor nautical outfit to a black dress showing off her burgeoning baby bump. One thing for certain, Fey has had fun keeping herself in fashion.

Any day now, the little werewolf should be making an entrance. I know we all can’t wait!!

Sleeping for under seven hours a night greatly raises the risk of catching a cold, US research has suggested.

A team from Carnegie Mellon University found the risk was trebled compared with those who slept for eight hours or more a night.

It is thought that a lack of sleep impairs the immune system and the body’s ability to fight off the viruses that cause colds and flu.

The study appears in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

Previous research has suggested that people who sleep seven to eight hours a night have the lowest rates of heart disease.

However, there has been little direct evidence that getting a good night’s sleep can help ward off a cold.

The researchers studied 153 healthy men and women with an average age of 37 between 2000 and 2004.

Each was interviewed about their sleeping habits over a two-week period.

They were then quarantined and given nasal drops containing rhinovirus, which causes the common cold.

For the following five days the volunteers reported any signs and symptoms of illness, and had mucus samples collected from their nasal passages.

And 28 days after exposure to the virus, blood samples were taken from each volunteer so tests could be carried out to see if they had developed antibodies to fight infection.

Sleep quality

The less an individual slept, the more likely they were to develop a cold.

The quality of sleep also appeared to be important. Volunteers who spent less than 92% of their time in bed asleep were five-and-a-half times more likely to become ill than those who were asleep for at least 98% of their time in bed.

The researchers believe that lack of good quality sleep disturbs regulation of key chemicals produced by the immune system to fight infection.

Professor Ron Eccles, director of the Common Cold Centre at the University of Cardiff, said sleep and the immune system were closely linked.

He said: “The immune system may control the sleep-wake pattern and lack of sleep or sleep disturbance may depress the immune response to infection.

“I do believe there is enough information on this to indicate that lack of sleep or sleep disturbance will reduce our resistance to infections such as colds and flu.”

Dr Adrian Williams, director of the Sleep Disorders Centre, at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, said the study echoed previous work in animals suggesting sleep had an effect on immunity.

Dr Neil Stanley, a sleep expert at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, agreed that previous research had shown that poor sleep impacts on immunity, but he said there was little data on its effect on specific infections, such as colds and flu.

Home For The Holidays

MASSILLON, OH — There’s nothing like being home for the holidays.

Just ask Vince and Amie Spicocchi.

The Massillon couple will spend their first holiday with all of their children – including quintuplets Amie gave birth to by Cesarean in August – under one roof.

“It’s going to be fun,” Vince said.

“The only difference is we are not going to be leaving the house,” Amie added. “We normally visit Vince’s family on Christmas Eve and then my family on Christmas Day.”

Instead, a small gathering of family will join the Spicocchis at their home on Christmas Day to celebrate the babies’ first Christmas.

“This is the first time we are under the same roof for a holiday,” Vince said. “For Thanksgiving, Paige and Enzo were still in the hospital.”

Born nearly four months early at 24 weeks and three days, the quintuplets – Ilah, Paige, Enzo, Ellie and Gia – remained at Akron Children’s Hospital for the first few months of their life. Amie’s due date was Nov. 20.

In singles and pairs, the babies began coming home: Gia was the first on Nov. 10. Her sisters Ilah and Ellie followed on Nov. 12, Paige on Nov. 26, and finally Enzo on Nov. 29.

“I think they are growing very well,” said Amie, now a mother of seven, including the quints and 14-year-old Taylor and 5-year-old Grady. “(Doctors) are very happy with how they have gained (weight).”

Ellie weighs in at 10.1 pounds, followed by Enzo at 9.13 pounds, and the three girls each weigh 9.3 pounds.

“Their weight has been increasing since the time they were discharged,” Vince said. “They are doing what they are suppose to be doing.”

Considering they are multiples and were born premature, the Spicocchis say their babies are doing remarkably well, but they know they are not out of the woods.

“People don’t realize they were only given a 10 percent chance of making it when we found out (we were pregnant with quints),” Vince said. “Here we are now eight or nine months later, not only are they all here but they are doing well. You are humbled by that.”

“People talk about miracles,” Amie said. “The fact that all five of them were delivered is truly a miracle and we don’t take that for granted.”

Vince said the day the babies were born, doctors gave them a 50 percent survival rate.

“We’ve already beaten the odds,” Vince said.

“You are thankful for that each day,” Amie added.

A healthy, happy home

Keeping the babies healthy is of utmost importance.

To that end, house rules have been posted at the front door – the most important keeping hands washed and clean, and not allowing visitors who are sick or who live with someone who is sick.

Other rules: Don’t knock on the door – five babies are sleeping. No unannounced visitors. And no perfume around the babies.

Ellie, her parents say, appears to be coming down with what could be a cold.

“Something like that could knock them down,” Vince said. “You don’t want to introduce any unnecessary germs.”

A helping hand

Juggling five babies is no easy task, and the Spicocchis rely on family and friends to help keep the babies fed and happy.

The babies are fed seven times a day – that’s 35 bottles and about 50 diapers each day.

“The dietitian recently said we could skip one feeding, so we are skipping the 4:30 a.m. feeding,” Amie said.

Vince’s father and stepmother help with the 1:30 a.m. feeding.

“Sometimes it is just us and sometimes there is a person for each baby,” Vince said. “If we have two people show up, it makes it pretty easy.”

Even with extra sets of hands, it takes about an hour to feed all five babies.

“It’s kind of like the movie ‘Groundhog Day,’” Vince said noting once you finish changing, feeding and putting the babies to sleep, it is time to start all over.

The couple is sleeping in shifts, Vince said, joking he sometimes gets out of the 1:30 a.m. feeding if he has to work the next day. Vince is a Massillon firefighter and works a 24-hour shift.

“I try to get a good night sleep (before a shift),” he said.

To give their volunteers a break, they have enlisted the services of PINK – Postpartum Infant Nurturing Kare.

The Jackson Township-based group, Amie said, is not well-known in the area but travels out of state to provide their services.

PINK offers infant assistance for a seven-hour period one to two times a week.

“It gives us a chance to hang out with the other kids or to get some sleep,” Vince said. “They specialize in premature babies and multiples. It gives everyone a break so we don’t overtax our volunteers.”

‘Actual age’

While the quintuplets were born nearly five months ago – on Aug. 3 – doctors still consider them only four weeks old – their adjusted age based on Amie’s due date.

“Their age right now is four and half months but they don’t go by their actual age,” Vince explained. “They look at their level (based on their adjusted age) of around four weeks.

“They are preemie babies and they are still within in the normal range (for size) and are doing normal things. They act just like newborns.”

Adjusting to nine

All the preparation for bringing the babies home paid off, Vince said.

But one thing the couple wasn’t prepared for is the planning it takes just to make doctor visits.

“We’ve only had to take all five (at the same time) once,” he said. “But we really had to plan it out. You need one person inside (the doctor’s office), one person in the car and one person to carry them (into the office).”

After a little trial and error, Vince was able to fit all five of the babies’ car seats in their vehicle, but that only leaves room for two passengers – it doesn’t fit the entire family of nine.

Starting to smile

The couple said people visiting their home are surprised by how calm the environment is with five babies.

“They expect it to be a zoo and it can be,” Vince said.

“There are times when it is pretty crazy,” Amie said.

“It’s amazing how normal they are,” Vince said. “They are starting to smile.”

“It’s reassuring,” Amie said.

Amie and Vince continue to be thankful for the generosity of their family and friends and complete strangers.

“We want to thank everybody who has helped us,” Vince said. “The support from people we don’t know who send us cards and well wishes and donations. It’s overwhelming the support.”

 

Drinking More Milk And Less Soda Helps To Build Strong Bones

This article by Elena Conis, at the Los Angeles Times

Want strong bones? Eat foods high in calcium and vitamin D, get plenty of exercise — and maybe steer clear of soda.

In recent decades, as consumption of the beverage has steadily displaced the consumption of others —particularly milk — studies have consistently linked soda consumption with weaker bones. Now scientists are trying to figure out how and why, precisely, drinking soda may affect skeletons.

One theory is that a component in cola may cause bone to deteriorate; another is that people who drink soda simply drink (and eat) fewer nutritious foods.

In the 1990s, several studies suggested soft-drink consumption might be linked to lower bone mass and reduced bone accretion — the process by which bone is built up — in children, especially teens.

In a study of 127 teens that was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health in 1994, teenage girls who drank carbonated beverages were three times as likely to suffer bone fractures compared with girls who didn’t drink soda. A study by the same author published in the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine in 2000 showed the same effect — and an even stronger one for girls who drank cola beverages, who were five times as likely to suffer bone fractures.

Researchers surmised at the time that soda took its toll on bones because children who drank soda did so in place of milk. Soda drinking was also seen as a marker for a generally unhealthful diet lacking items that help foster strong bones.

It does seem to be true that soda drinkers have worse diets overall. In a study published this month in the Journal of the American Dietetic Assn., for example, among 170 girls followed from age 5 to 15, those who drank soda at age 5 were less likely to drink milk throughout childhood than 5-year-olds who did not drink soda. And they were more likely to consume diets lacking in calcium, fiber, vitamin D, protein, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.

Such findings are significant because as much as 90% of bone mass is acquired in youth, particularly from age 16 to 25, says Dr. Jeri Nieves, director of bone density testing at Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, N.Y.

Children who fail to get enough bone-building nutrients and bone-thickening exercise in their youth end up with increased risk of osteoporosis and fracture as they get older, adds Dr. Robert Murray, director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

But there is also evidence that drinking sodas — specifically, colas — may take a direct toll on the skeleton, says Dr. Katherine Tucker, professor of health sciences at Northeastern University in Boston.

In a large, well-designed study published by Tucker and colleagues in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2006, women enrolled in the ongoing Framingham Osteoporosis Study who drank just three or more colas a week had a 3.7% to 5.4% lower bone mineral density in their hip bones when compared with women who didn’t drink the beverage.

The study also showed what scientists call a dose response: The more soda participants drank, the lower their bone mineral density.

The effect was seen only with colas — non-cola soft drinks, such as ginger ale and orange soda, had no effect on bone density. That finding led Tucker and colleagues to suggest that the phosphoric acid in cola is behind its bone-weakening effects.

Phosphoric acid is added to colas for its tangy flavor. It’s not normally found in the food chain, Tucker says. When ingested, it causes the acidity of the blood to increase; to adjust the blood’s pH, the body draws calcium out of bones and into the bloodstream.

These proposed effects of phosphoric acid on bone are largely theoretical, but they are supported by animal studies and some human research. A Danish study published in the journal Osteoporosis International in 2005 measured the blood levels of bone minerals in a group of men after they consumed a low-calcium diet and 2.5 liters of soda daily for 10 days, and then again after they consumed a normal diet and 2.5 liters of skim milk for 10 days.

During the cola-drinking period, the men had higher blood levels of the bone mineral phosphate, the bone turnover protein osteocalcin and a substance called CTX — results that indicated minerals were being removed from bone, and not replaced, during the soda-drinking period.

Scientists are continuing to test the theory that phosphoric acid in soda harms bones. But even if it turns out that phosphoric acids cause only small or temporary changes in bone composition, these can add up over time, Tucker says.

In the meantime, Nieves suggests, it’s probably wise to limit your intake of soda.

“It’s not like alcohol, where one drink a day is OK,” she says. “Because bone mass is constantly changing throughout life, soda can cause bone loss at any stage.”