Breastfeeding could save the US $13 billion dollars, US employers must now provide women with time and space to express their milk, even the new Adam Sandler flick features a four 48 month old child breastfeeding; it all sounds good, and then we find out that Enfamil now has a new flavored formula – chocolate, created especially for toddlers, and suddenly I want to crawl back into bed again.
Melissa Bartick (chair of the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition) had an impressive study published in Pediatrics recently. Her figures show that in addition to saving the US $13 billion dollars in health care costs over 900 lives could be saved as well if breastfeeding rates were to meet US recommendations. Her follow up article (“Peaceful Revolution”) calls for women to feel anger (rather than guilt) for the lack of support they receive. Amie Newman however believes that it will take more than public policy and knowing about health care cost to get women on board. Using herself as an example, she nursed her first child for a few days and her second for three years. The only thing that had changed was her frame of mind. While visiting Vermont’s only “Baby Friendly” hospital recently I had a conversation with their Lactation Consultant Terry Donofrio voiced similar concerns. “It used to be that women chose breastfeeding as a lifestyle. Today they choose it for health reasons but they don’t have the lifestyle to accommodate it,” says Terry. I have to agree. Having to go back to work before your baby has even started solids is not conducive to breastfeeding. Nor is the new IPhone app that lets you keep track of every feed, and don’t even get me started on the number of mothers who are scared silly at the thought of taking their baby to bed with them. We need a cultural change as well.
Thanks to Obama’s new health care package (“Thank you, page 1239!”) we now have a law guaranteeing mothers who work in a company with over 50 employees time and space to express their milk. (Notice I didn’t say pump? I’ve met mothers who work full time and hand express. They were able to meet their baby’s need without any help from Medela, thank you very much!) What we don’t know yet is how the law will be enforced, what a “reasonable” amount of space looks like, and whether or not women will get paid for their “lactation time”. It’s a step in the right direction if the direction we want to go in is separating moms and babies. I would have preferred a six month paid maternity leave, but beggars can’t be choosers.
In the medical news, there was an interesting Canadian study that showed that the negative effects of giving your children fast food can erase some of the positive benefits of breastfeeding (Higher asthma rates linked to fast food.) The rise of celiac disease in Sweden in the 1980’s has been tied to the recommendation at the time to wait before weaning to introduce gluten. Weaning was early in those days and the amounts of gluten recommended were high. And how it was wonderful to see an article about reducing pain during vaccinations recommending that the baby breastfeed during the inoculation! I will always remember the story Diane Bagley once told me about her daughter Leah. Leah was a still a young nursing toddler when she fell and cut her finger. After no one could her to hold her hand still at the ER Diane insisted that they let her nurse her while they stitched her up. The staff watched in amazement as Leah held out her tiny hand and nursed until the stitches were complete. (Diane by the way is the graphic designer for the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition – she did the wonderful “For All Walks of Life” campaign!)
While we’re talking about medical advice, a study about advice given over the internet used breastfeeding as one of their topics found that only 200 out of 500 studied sites gave advice that was reliable But as Alicia Huntley one of my Facebook friends pointed out “ah, but what it the ‘right’ answer? Particularly on areas of controversy such as vaccination, or HIV and breastfeeding?” That’s something to think about, but on the other hand just this week Parenting.com in an article about how to save money pointed out that breastfeeding is never really free and then encouraged mothers to ask their pediatrician for some of that free formula they always seem to have on hand. Great….Another article wonders why there is so much cat fighting over parenting issues and breastfeeding in particular. She wonders if parenting bloggers are really more polarized than political shock jocks or even sports commentators?
Last but not least will someone please explain to me what the big fuss is in Ohio? A breastfeeding campaign that includes a billboard of a black baby with breast milk dribbling down his chin has upset quite a few folks. Apparently it’s not the slogan (“Breast Milk Satisfies”) that has people upset. It’s the idea of human milk on a baby’s chin that bothers them. “ Never mind how cute or attractive people find the “Got Milk” campaigns and the trademark milk mustaches. A baby with breast milk on its chin is disgusting, you know, because it came from a woman and not a cow. “ Like I said I just don’t get it.
And for those of you who have been wondering where I’ve been lately; two funerals, a speaking engagement (my talk “Going Baby Friendly in New England” went well thanks!), and a new dog have kept me busy. The dog is a year old, she wasn’t house broken, and couldn’t do stairs. She is a shelter dog with “issues”. So far she has chewed through two leashes, the power cord to my lap top (twice), and her dog bed. She has peed on the couch three times. This is my first dog ever and I feel like a new mother who doesn’t know how to do anything right. I’m sure the whole experience is going to make me a better lactation consultant – if I can only live through it! (Did I mention we have five cats?)
As always I love to hear from you.
Kathy Abbott IBCLC
On Facebook:” Breastfeeding in the News”
NEW Enfagrow™ PREMIUM™ Chocolate
A delicious new flavor for toddlers 12 months and older – with prebiotics for digestive health!
As your child grows from an infant to a toddler, he’s probably becoming pickier about what he eats. Now more than ever, ensuring that he gets complete nutrition can be a challenge
The Burden of Suboptimal Breastfeeding in the United States: A Pediatric Cost Analysis
way, the United States incurs $13 billion
in excess costs annually and suffers 911
preventable deaths per year because
our breastfeeding rates fall far below
medical recommendations. Substantial
gains could be made with exclusive
breastfeeding for 4 months and any
breastfeeding at 6 months.
Got Breast Milk? First We Need Equity (Aime Newman)
Turns out, breastfeeding a baby is not some secret society to which only some women hold the password. I breastfed my daughter for three years, enjoying (almost) every moment of it in a way I have never and certainly will never experience again. It had as much to do with my frame of mind as anything else.
Which is why solely focusing on public policy or solely focusing on the health benefits of breastfeeding or solely focusing on just trying to convince moms of how wonderful breastfeeding can be are not panaceas.
A study that finds that breastfeeding saves money and lives is not earth-shattering. But what we do with this information has the potential to be. From public spaces to workplaces, hospital rooms to women’s living rooms, society must expand its notion of what women need to feed their babies from birth and beyond.
Cat fight on the mom blog: Are we meaner than the sports blogs?
In a groundbreaking segment, the Today show figured out that Moms are mean to each other on parenting blogs. Shocking I know!! (They also pieced together like Sherlock Holmes that people trying to egg on others are called “trolls.”)
I also try to avoid breastfeeding/formula feeding whenever possible. You may not have noticed but I was a day late on that breastfeeding story last week because I just didn’t want to get into. I only used the story when I had the angle of how can we facilitate 90 percent breastfeeding instead of should 90 percent breastfeed. The facilitating discussion went really well. The other discussion would have gotten ugly!
Internet advice may not be reliable for your kid’s health—study
Details of the study
For the study, the researchers used Google to seek facts about five conditions–HIV breastfeeding, mastitis breastfeeding (breastfeeding while the breast tissue is inflamed), baby sleeping
position along with green vomit and MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and autism.
On observing the sites for child healthcare information, the researchers found that the type of guidance offered differed notably.
They also found that half of the search results were unable to answer the question typed.
The study also revealed that mere 200 out of 500 studied sites were able to offer accurate information and also that government-run websites were the only absolutely dependable source.
In other words, 39 percent of the 500 results gave accurate information while 11 percent gave the wrong answer; the most incorrect replies being given to search results regarding MMR and autism along with HIV and breastfeeding.
A BREASTFEEDING ROOM OF ONE’S OWN
A nifty provision in the healthcare bill is a boon to working moms
Thank you, page 1239! Deep within the new health care bill, right before the part where the Rostovs flee Moscow, there’s a neat provision that will thrill working mothers. CNN notes this week that companies with 50 or more employees are now required to provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.”
Peaceful Revolution: Motherhood & the $13 Billion Dollar Guilt
Do you feel guilty for not breastfeeding? Or do you feel angry because it didn’t have to be this way?
Higher asthma rates linked to fast food
The Canadians were puzzled: Could fast food override some of the benefits of breastfeeding?
Their study involved children born in Manitoba in 1995. The team looked at 246 children, aged eight to 10, diagnosed with asthma, and 477 children without asthma. Parents filled out questionnaires that asked, among other things, “how often has your child eaten burgers or fast food in the last week” and “when did your child first have any formula/cow’s milk?”
Children who ate fast foods more than once or twice a week — more than half the children studied — were almost twice as likely to have asthma.
Children who were breastfed exclusively for more than three months had a lower risk of asthma. But the association disappeared in kids who ate fast food frequently, compared to those who occasionally or rarely consumed fast food.
Save on the Top 3 New-Baby Expenses (parenting.com)
COST SAVING STRATEGIES ESSNETIAL FOR KEEPING YOUR FAMILY’S BABY BUDGET IN CHECK DURING YOUR CHILD’S FIRST YEAR.
By Rachel Grumman, Babytalk
Eating Up the Budget
Formula costs a minimum of $1,500 the first year, according to Bradford — more if you use one that’s gluten-free or contains prebiotics. Although breastfeeding is less expensive, “there’s a fallacy that breastfeeding is free,” says Bradford. A breast pump can run $250 to $300, then there’s nursing bras, pads, and breast milk freezer bags. How to save: Pediatricians often have free formula samples, notes Sandberg. Also, sign up for coupons at the formula company’s website. If you’re breastfeeding, “buy breast pads and freezer bags month-to-month and finish them before buying another,” says Bradford. “Women often don’t know how long they’ll breastfeed and supplies are expensive.” Also, rather than buying the 2- to 4-ounce baby bottles that you’ll only use for a few months, buy the 8-ounce bottles, which have greater longevity.
Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups”
“Breastfeeding a four year old. Ick! Ptoeey! Gross! Yup, this film is going to make money.”
Quick steps to lessen pain to your baby
- Let the medical assistant offer the injection at this point while you are breastfeeding. You can also switch the baby to a pacifier.
- No talking throughout or after the injection until the baby stops crying. Whether or not there is crying do the next step.
- Offer the baby breast milk. Remember the endorphins effect. Or if you don’t breastfeed, offer the baby the pacifier. Continue not talking. Begin doing the next step.
Companies must soon provide private space for mothers to pump breast milk: Health Care Fact Check
Lactation-room requirements will take effect as soon as the Labor Department lays out some basic rules in the coming months. Until then, there are several uncertainties about the law, according to law firms, trade associations and advocates of breastfeeding.
For one, the provision says mothers must be given a “reasonable” amount of time to lactate, without defining what is reasonable.
The law also says employees do not have to be paid for work during their lactation time. That could cause confusion, because it is contrary to the existing Fair Labor Standards Act mandate “that employers pay employees for breaks of less than 20 minutes,” according to a primer on the new law by Jackson Lewis.
It’s also unclear how the law will be enforced, although the Labor Department should provide guidance on that, says Gina Ciagne, director of breastfeeding and consumer relations at Lansinoh Laboratories, a manufacturer of lactation supplies.
For employers, the law could raise other practical concerns. Retailers with small stores might have to give up sales space for lactation rooms. The law does not specify the size but says the place may not be a bathroom and must be private, shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public.
Asked if employers are scratching their heads over all this, DeFilippis said it’s too soon because “I think that most employers probably aren’t aware of it.”
Celiac Disease and Breastfeeding – The Missing Link
Celiac disease became a rising epidemic in Sweden in the mid 1980′s. The influx of celiac patients under 2 years old was cause for concern, considering neighboring countries were seeing a decline in celiac patients during that same time period. The Swedish celiac epidemic pattern was eventually correlated to the new dietary guidelines, which as a result of the study, were later changed. The initial dietary guidelines mandated that infants were to be introduced to gluten only after they were weaned from breastfeeding, and larger amounts of gluten were given to the infants during this time.
The recommended age is older than 4 months of age, but younger than 7 months. It is also recommended to introduce gluten gradually, in small amounts and while your child is still nursing.
Ohio Billboard Promotes Breastfeeding, Offends Some
The billboard in question features a young child with a little bit of milk dripping out of its mouth and the slogan “Breast milk satisfies.” The kid looks pretty satisifed so far as one can tell from a staged photo. There are no bare breasts in sight, so what’s everyone finding so offensive about this ad? Apparently, it’s the fact that the milk coming out of the baby’s mouth is breast milk.
Never mind how cute or attractive people find the “Got Milk” campaigns and the trademark milk mustaches. A baby with breast milk on its chin is disgusting, you know, because it came from a woman and not a cow.