“Baby Friendly” Gets A Rap Video!

A rap song about Baby Friendly hospitals?? Leave it to Melissa Bartick and and the creative folks at both the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition and the Breastfeeding Coalition of Oregon to find a way to make the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) actually seem relevant and hip.  Now on YouTube, “A Tale of Two Births: The Baby Friendly Rap” is a must see for mothers every where!

The video begins with a male rapper lamenting that you mothers might be brainwashed by tv “but your baby knows the way it’s supposed to be.” and goes on to hit all the common barriers to breastfeeding, from medicated births, mother baby separation, and of course infant formula (or as its called in the rap “form-u-lay”).  Interspersed throughout the video a trio of sultry female voices consisting of a doula (complete with super hero cape!), a female doctor, and a nurse croon together on the spicy refrain,   “…skin to skin, it’s the perfect start.  Skin to skin it’s never going to stop.”   

The video begins by portraying a mother having the birth she wants, a natural, unmedicated vaginal birth (or as I call it – the ‘untethered birth’, no electronic monitors, & no IV attached to her arm!), with her doula and partner by her side.  The baby is placed skin to skin and immediately begins to breastfeed with a perfect latch.

In the second half of the video the same mother is shown experiencing the more typical American birth, no doula, the usual birth interventions (“they gotta get him out with some instruments”), mother and baby are separated (“The cold cold scale, and then the first bath. His temperature drops in the aftermath.”) and then the baby is whisked away to the nursery and given formula to bring his blood sugar up. (According to the CDC almost 25% of babies in the US are given formula before they leave the hospital!).

By the time mom gets her baby back and he is swaddled so tightly he can’t even find the breast (“Wrapped like a burrito, they hand him back. He can barely move, he just feels trapped.”).  Essentially, the breastfeeding train has been derailed before it could even leave the station.

Of course most mothers don’t know that common hospital practices interfere with breastfeeding, and because they don’t know they blame themselves. (“With all his troubles, you can’t make enough milk. You blamin’ yourself, fillin’ up with lotsa guilt.”) Unfortunately most health providers also don’t know that  ‘Baby Friendly’ hospitals exist, and why would they?  Here it is 20 years after the World Health Organization (WHO) first introduced the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and the US has only 140 Baby Friendly facilities.  That’s less than 5%.  By comparison, Sweden has been 100% Baby Friendly since 1997, and there are currently over 6,000 Baby Friendly facilities in China alone!

And it because mothers don’t know that Baby Friendly hospitals exists that makes the ending to the Baby Friendly Rap even more poignant. Instead of flaming the ‘mommy breastfeeding wars’ further, the song ends instead with an offer of absolution.  To any mother who found breastfeeding to be frustrating and who thinks she failed, please listen carefully as the trio of women shake their heads wisely at the end of the video as they sing “It’s not your fault, it’s not your fault.”

In case you want to sing along, here are the lyrics:

“A Tale of Two Births: The Baby-Friendly Rap”


“Gonna tell you a tale, a tale of two births,
Gonna milk this story for all that it’s worth
You might be brainwashed if you seen on TV
But your baby knows the way it’s supposed to be
A doula at your side will prove her worth,
‘Cause you might not need a c-section or medicated birth
Baby is born and is brought to your chest
Then snuggles with mom, no baths, no tests.
He hears the song of mom’s heartbeat
Stays perfectly warm with her body heat.
All he needs is to be near your heart
And skin-to-skin, it ain’t never gonna stop
All he needs is a blanket on top
And skin-to-skin, it ain’t never gonna stop
He smells the milk with a deep deep breath
Then crawls his way over to his mama’s breast
After a while, he takes his first meal
Latches on by himself, and it’s the real deal
His mouth opens wide with the perfect latch
Like a miracle, it’s easy after that.
When he’s done there’ll be plenty of time
For docs and nurses to get in line
You get to sleep with your baby at your side

No one’s gonna bother you takin’ extra vital signs
Your visitors they can wait ‘til you get home,
You even turn the ringer off your cellular phone.
Those Baby-Friendly hospitals sho’ are smart
Skin to skin, it’s the perfect start
Baby-Friendly hospital sho’ know how to rock
Skin to skin, it ain’t never gonna stop.

But this ain’t what happens in the USA
When a pregnant lady gives birth today
There’s no doula to coach you through all the labor
You got no power, like you signed some kinda waiver.
Before you know it, your baby’s in distress
So they gotta get him out with some instruments
A vacuum, a section, is that the new plan?
Mama’s soft warm chest replaced with a heat lamp
The cold cold scale, and then the first bath
His temperature drops in the aftermath
Oh no, they say, he’s in a bad way
So they whisk him off to the nurser-ay
Nurser-ay, nurser-ay, stay away from the nurser-ay
The cold, and being away from his mama
Can drop his blood sugar because othe trauma
It just gets worse, ‘cause then they say
Gotta give this baby some form-u-lay
Form-u-lay, form-u-lay, stay away from the form-u-lay
Wrapped like a burrito, they hand him back
He can barely move, he just feels trapped
Then he can’t get that perfect latch,
Breastfeeding won’t be easy after all of that.
With all his troubles, you can’t make enough milk
You blamin’ yourself, fillin’ up with lotsa guilt
But it’s not your fault, the answer is logical
Push for your birth at a Baby-Friendly hospital.
It’s not your fault, it’s not your fault
Speak up for your baby, keep him close to your heart
Skin-to-skin, it’s the perfect start
Skin to skin
Skin to skin, it’s the perfect start
Skin to skin
Skin to skin, it ain’t never gonna stop”

© 2012 Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition and the Breastfeeding Coalition of Oregon

2 Comments

Filed under Baby Friendly Hospitals, breastfeeding, the curious lactivist, Uncategorized

Off to San Diego!

Hello All,

This Friday I’m off to California where my daughter & I will be doing a little mother daughter road trip (give me strength – she’s 14, what on earth was I thinking??). We’ll start in Santa Barbara (the same day as Prince William & Princess Kate my daughter informs me!) drive down to Los Angeles, and end in San Diego where I’ll be attending the International Consultant’s Association’s  Annual Conference.  This will be my first time attending the ILCA conference and I’m proud to say I’ll be attending as a speaker!

The idea for my talk, “From Johnny Appleseed to Woodstock: Going Baby Friendly In New England” originated from a series of road trips I made two years ago.  At the time 100% of the hospitals in Sweden were “Baby Friendly” (i.e. breastfeeding friendly) while in the US it was less than 3%. That bothered me, but what bothered me even more was the knowledge that here in Massachusetts we had only one certified “Baby Friendly” hospital while rural Maine already had five, and even tiny Rhode Island had three! Being curious (I am after all the Curious Lactivist!) I wanted to know why Massachusetts was so far behind, so in 2009 I got in my car and drove to ten “Baby Friendly” hospitals in five different states where I asked two questions; “How did you become “Baby Friendly”? & “What are the challenges you face in remaining “Baby Friendly” today?

The answers were fascinating! Their stories ranged from the small hospital in Maine where the nurses simply said to each other, “You know those things that we didn’t like about our own birth experiences; let’s just not do that here.”, to the lactation consultant in Rhode Island who inspired an enthusiastic group of young nurses to follow in her footsteps, to the hospital in New Hampshire where one key person had so completely blocked efforts to become “Baby Friendly” the hospital had to withdraw from the certification process entirely, and yet today not only are they certified, they even keep a supply of donor milk on hand for any baby who needs to be supplemented for medical reasons!

In addition to speaking at the conference I’ll also be in the exhibit hall helping out Ron Daley the owner of “Supple Cups” at his booth.  Ron and I live in the same town and when I found out he wouldn’t be able to attend I offered to help him out.  If you haven’t heard of them “Supple Cups” came out about three years ago as a tool for aiding women with inverted or flat nipples.  Unlike nipple shields that are used during feeding, “Supple Cups” are a small silicone cup (about the size of a thimble) that gently draws the nipple out.  By wearing them before or during pregnancy they can aid in elongating the truly inverted (i.e. tethered) nipple.  In the postnatal period “Supple Cups” can also be used to help draw out the nipple that has disappeared due to engorgement (especially during the colostrum period for engorgement caused by IV fluids!), in many cases making them a great alternative to the dreaded nipple shield.  (Look for Julie Bouchet-Horowitz’s soon to be published study on “Supple Cups” in the journal “Clinical Lactation”.)

So if I can survive the road trip with my 14 year old it promises to be an exciting conference.  I’m hoping to connect with as many familiar faces as possible, so if you’ll be at the conference please look for me in the exhibit hall (I’ll be in Booth 95, next to the folks at Mother Art), or come hear me speak on Sunday morning (and no I won’t be mad if you’ve already signed up to hear Miriam Labbok or Karen Gromada, who can blame you?).  I’m looking forward to saying hi to folks and if you have any stories about either “Baby Friendly” or “Supple Cups” I would love to hear them!

1 Comment

Filed under breastfeeding, inverted nipples, lactivist, supple cups, the curious lactivist, Uncategorized

Breastfeeding in the News: April 21st – 30th, 2010

In a move straight out of a Hollywood movie leaflets denouncing Nestle’s flagrant disregard for the WHO Code dropped through a hole in the ceiling of the Palais recently and floated onto the table in front of the startled Nestle executives below.  Nestle indignantly responded by insisting that they abide by the law in all countries and that in fact they had received very few complaints about their marketing of infant formula.Governments are not making these calls, Nestle abides by the law in every country.” This should serve as a reminder to the rest of us that it is the law of the land that carries the greatest weight.  Unfortunately thirty plus years of boycotting hasn’t even made Nestle blink.

The incident reminded me of a meeting of Human Resource executives that I attended a few years ago.  I was there pitching a lactation support program for businesses.  After enthusiastically touting the benefits of supporting breastfeeding mothers in the workplace (“Companies save $3 for every $1 spent on breastfeeding support.”), one HR woman interrupted me and asked point blank, “Is there a law requiring this?”  There was no law, and the discussion was quickly dropped. 

Happily today there is a new federal law but as I mentioned before the details still have to be worked out.  It is interesting to note that prior to this law the issues of work breaks was covered by state laws only. “Until this amendment, rest break requirements had been the subject of state regulation.So this is new territory for federal law makers. Luckily state and local laws will still supersede the federal rules which means that Oregon’s $1,000 fine for each missed “breast milk expression session” will still stand, and employees in Monterey will still receive extra training and support. 

In science news HAMLET a component of breast milk now believed to kill 40 different types of cancer cells including bladder cancer is being touted as the next big thing in cancer research.   HAMLETs which are formed by “combining alpha-lactalbumin in the milk and oleic acid which is found in babies’ stomachs,” are remarkable not just for their ability to kill cancer but also the way they leave all healthy cells intact.  In other science news another study noted that babies who were breastfed showed better lung capabilities which were still measurable at 8 years of age.  A study showing that obese women who got extra breastfeeding counseling not only breastfed longer they their babies had fewer fevers and upper respiratory infections and were 3.5 times less likely to be hospitalized during their first 3 months of life.”  Across the pond the Brits just held their first conference exploring the benefits of breastfeeding for babies with developmental disabilities!  I would love to see more of that done here.

In Uganda they noted a suspicious rise in breast cancer in younger women. The same article noted that, “Breastfeeding also changes the make-up of a mother’s breast cells, making them more resistant to cancer.”  And that “Breastfeeding will also rid the breast toxins like carcinogens that are likely to cause cancer in the future.”  While I’m glad to see them put in a plug for breastfeeding I’m not entirely sure they got this exactly right.  Can any of my more knowledgeable readers set me straight on this?  And while we’re talking about Uganda I’m happy to report that the issue of breastfeeding mothers in prison has been looked into, and that mothers now receive their own special cells.  This is one of those times when the child’s rights supersede the mother’s.

For years we’ve been pushing for more breastfeeding using evidence based studies as our strongest ally, but we tend to ignore any evidence showing that breast milk often contains toxin.   One author insists, “Were it regulated like infant formula, the breast milk of many US mothers would not be able to be legally sold on supermarket shelves.”  We find ourselves in the delicate position of ignoring the canary in the mine (canaries would die from the poisoned air before the effects on miners could be noticed), and still trying to convince society to accept breastfeeding as normal.  As blogger Anna Fahey puts it “The choice is a personal one, but a choice there should be! And it should never be a question of choosing the lesser of two evils. We have a shared responsibility to safeguard the basic human right to grow up untainted by damaging chemicals.”

An interesting study in Australia showed that positive interest in breastfeeding did not mean that mothers would breastfeed longer.  And to answer the question, “What do women really want?” the answer was clearly that they wanted more support.  In fact, “It is not important what people close to them think about their decision to breastfeed, what is important is the support they receive.” This may sound like a conundrum but I totally get it.  My mother constantly questioned me about my decision to breastfeed but at the same time she did everything she could to help make it work.  She even vocally defended me against all nay sayers as she would not tolerate any criticisms from others.  That was her job!  (Speaking of grandmothers I totally applaud a local health department’s decision to host a “Grandmother’s Tea … to educate, influence and encourage Grandmothers’ support of breastfeeding.”)

As always the conversation about breastfeeding continues. From car seat analogies, to letters to tv news producers (by the way ABC news got slammed for using a doctor known for accepting money from formula companies as one of their “expert opinions” on a breastfeeding piece), to books for fathers (“Breastfeeding Facts For Fathers” Platypus Media), to celebrity complaints about breastfeeding police everyone has an opinion.  What is most interesting to me is the way the conversation is being portrayed in the movies and on TV.  As breastfeeding infants becomes more accepted there has been a trend towards making more jokes about breastfeeding the older child.    One piece took this to the farthest extreme with a really funny bit about a mother nursing her 30 year old son (“I Want My Bitty”).  And I have to admit I loved Pam’s return to work on the “Office” and the moment when she realized she was feeling engorged.  Not being able to find her breast pump (a non-lactating coworker had slipped off to the bathroom to give it a try -“Wow. This is like the Cadillac of breast pumps!”) her coworker Dwight who was brought up on a farm offers to assist her with hand expression, “Three squeezes and I would drain you.”  

But if you only have time to read one story today make it “A Unique Challenge to Breastfeeding” by Michael Wuebben a CBS News producer.  He tells the loving story of how his own child was born with a rare medical condition that left the baby physically unable to move his facial muscles, and how the child’s mother never gave up on breastfeeding.  It is beautifully written and adds a potent counter weight to all those stories we hear from mothers who “had to give up” for reasons x, y, and z.

As always I love hearing from you (remember links to all the stories are below).  I hope you all had a Mother’s Day that was as pleasant as mine.  My daughter made a poster filled with pictures of the two of us and across the top she wrote “Best Friends”.  I couldn’t ask for anything more than that! 

Kathy Abbott IBCLC
www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com

www.TheCuriousLactivist.Wordpress.com

On Facebook:” Breastfeeding in the News”           

The risks of non-compliance with Oregon’s milk expression law

Penalties for noncompliance are similar to those that may be assessed for other wage and hour violations, and may be as high as $1,000 per missed breast milk expression session, possibly as much as $2,000 on an average work day. There is no statute of limitations regarding when an employee may file a complaint.

… But for some women working in places that are slow to change, they fear they would be asking their employer for too much or inconveniencing their colleagues. In addition some women just don’t feel comfortable discussing breast milk expression with their direct supervisor or human resources department. Even with all these progressive reforms the burden is on working women.

Marion Rice is workplace lactation support specialist with the Nursing Mothers Counsel of Oregon.

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/04/the_risks_of_noncompliance_wit.html    

Almeda County to lower flags in remembrance of Livermore baby (San Jose Mercury News)  

Police arrested Jessica Adams last week on suspicion of murder after a yearlong investigation. Police said during that time, they learned she had been continually smoking methamphetamine for four days leading up to Gary’s death. She had not slept at all during that time, and when she finally fell asleep on March 19, Gary was with her on the couch.

Police say Adams told them she had stopped breastfeeding the baby March 12 because she planned on using the drug.

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_14984679?nclick_check=1

Most Hilarious Breastfeeding video ever!

Sometimes we all need a little laugh though, right? And so, in the interest of easing a little breastfeeding debate tension, check out this clip from the UK comedy Little Britain. The episode is called “Meet the Parents.” But it should be called “I Want My Bitty!

http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/102144/Most_Hilarious_Breastfeeding_Video_Ever

BBC News: Cultural Barrier to breastfeeding older children

“Once I gave birth to Jonathan and I started breastfeeding, I thought we’ll just get to six months and then I thought we’ll go to a year and then it never stopped.

“And here I am five years on. It became a natural thing.”

“I’m a firm believer that Jonathan should choose his own path in life,” she said.

Ms Hurst said breastfeeding Jonathan would stop when he lost the ability to suckle as his milk teeth fell out

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/south_yorkshire/8652825.stm

Does breastfeeding protect against asthma? (Reuters)

The extended and exclusive diet of breast milk also resulted in better lung function at age 8, the researchers report in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63R4TL20100428

Ugandan News: Conservative Party calls for special (jail) cells for breastfeeding mothers

The President of CP says the breastfeeding mothers jailed at Luzira prison have told him that they are finding it hard to produce enough milk for their babies because of the poor meals.

Inmates at Luzira and other prisons in Uganda get one meal a day at 2:00pm and a cup of porridge at 8:00am daily. The major food they get is posho and beans.

http://www.ugpulse.com/articles/daily/news.asp?about=CP+calls+for+special+cells+for+breast+feeding+mothers+&ID=14323

First UK conference to address benefits of breastfeeding for babies with developmental disabilities

Dr Roja Sooben at the University’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work has organised the conference  called,  Breastfeeding infants with developmental disabilities – let’s talk about it!, which will take place at the University on 11th  May.

  http://www.news-medical.net/news/20100429/First-UK-conference-to-address-benefits-of-breastfeeding-for-babies-with-developmental-disabilities.aspx

The Day WHEN breast isn’t BEST

But as Sandra Steingraber (author, biologist, and breastfeeding advocate who’s written and lectured extensively on the subject) points out, breast milk commonly violates Food and Drug Administration levels for poisonous substances in food. She writes: “Were it regulated like infant formula, the breast milk of many US mothers would not be able to be legally sold on supermarket shelves.”

…The choice is a personal one, but a choice there should be! And it should never be a question of choosing the lesser of two evils. We have a shared responsibility to safeguard the basic human right to grow up untainted by damaging chemicals. Put another way, chemical risks in today’s environment aren’t a matter of choice; they’re an assault on basic rights.

http://daily.sightline.org/daily_score/archive/2010/04/28/is-breast-always-best

A Unique Challenge to Breastfeeding

Michael Wuebben is a CBSNews.com senior producer overseeing video production and original video programming.

Finally we knew something. He couldn’t suck because he couldn’t move the muscles of his face. He didn’t react because his muscles were weak and he couldn’t blink.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504544_162-20003507-504544.html

Monterey County Adopts breastfeeding Policy

Existing law provides for unpaid break time and appropriate facilities for lactating employees to express milk for their infant children. The Monterey County policy includes additional provisions for training and support to maximize the benefits of breastfeeding for employees and their children.

http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/20100428/NEWS01/4280316

http://www.janeparker.org/breastfeeding     

New Book: Fathers Critical to Success of Breastfeeding

One key message in Breastfeeding Facts for Fathers (Platypus Media, 2009, 41 pages) is made quite clear upfront: You are critical to the success of breastfeeding

In fact, the book cites a study showing that when fathers are completely supportive of breastfeeding, mothers working outside the home breastfeed 98% of the time, compared to mothers whose partners were indifferent to breastfeeding, who breastfeed 26.9% of the time.  The book also notes that the father is the “first person to show his baby that feeding does not equal love.”

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/new-book-fathers-critical-to-success-of-breastfeeding

Kate Ford

But the 32-year-old is loving her new role as a mum – although she is not a fan of the breastfeeding police. She said: “I didn’t breastfeed. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, it just didn’t work for me.“I did manage to express some milk for Otis for the first few months, though. “The thing about the breastfeeding police is that they bring so much guilt to women that don’t manage to, or aren’t able to breastfeed. “I think that’s a shame. “Breastfeeding is the most healthy thing, but it’s not the end of the world if you can’t do it. “If it doesn’t work for you, don’t cut yourself up about it.“It’s more important for your baby to be with a happy, contented mother – not one who’s distressed because she can’t breastfeed.”

http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/news/2010/04/27/kate-ford-won-t-let-son-otis-see-her-coronation-street-return-as-tracy-barlow-115875-22214220/

Breastfeeding: Why the Controversy?  

If I had a dime for every blog post, news article, or discussion I’ve had regarding breastfeeding over the last eight years, I’d be a rich woman.  

My personal advice to mom’s who are concerned about breastfeeding is the following:

  • Screw the store clerks. If your baby is hungry, feed him.
  • Stop breastfeeding when you want to stop breastfeeding. Guess what, I breastfed my children until they were…. oh wait IT DOESN’T MATTER. My kids are not yours so it doesn’t matter what I did. And guess what? I don’t care how long you breastfeed yours, whether it’s for one year or five.
  • If people don’t like the breastfeeding photos you post on your Facebook profile, they don’t have to look at them.
  • Call your HR person. That’s right, the laws they are a changin’. This country is attempting to make itself more family friendly and one way they’re doing that is by requiring your company to make it possible for you to breastfeed. If your boss doesn’t like it, tell him to call congress and complain, but leave you to your business. And clarify that it’s YOUR business not his.

When will we finally reach a point in society that says “breast is best, end of story”?

http://www.life360.com/blog/breastfeeding-why-the-controversy/

Are today’s young women more at risk?

Kampala Uganda— THE Ministry of Health recently announced that there is an increase in the cases of breast cancer among women less than 40 years of age. Reports show that the age trend of breast cancer has changed from 40-50 years to 30-40 years of age, compared to the Western world, where the diagnosis is still among the old – 50-plus years.

Murokora says breastfeeding helps by reducing the oestrogen levels in the body. Oestrogen increases a person’s risk of developing breast cancer. Breastfeeding also changes the make-up of a mother’s breast cells, making them more resistant to cancer. Breastfeeding will also rid the breast toxins like carcinogens that are likely to cause cancer in the future.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201004270148.html

It’s okay to stop breastfeeding.

I feel like the breastfeeding issue is almost as polarizing as the last presidential election in this country.

http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/102066/Its_Okay_to_Stop_Breastfeeding  

Peer counseling, support can improve breastfeeding success in obese women

++++Conn. 154 puerta rican –

predominantly Puerto Rican, low-income, and had less than a high-school education For instance, women in the ‘intervention’ group were visited three times in their homes during late pregnancy and 11 more times in the first few months after birth. Whereas 16% and 46% of the women in the ‘control’ group had stopped breastfeeding by 2 and 8 weeks postpartum, respectively, only 7% and 33% of the women in the ‘intervention’ group had stopped++++++

And to add even more bang for the buck, babies of mothers who received the extra counseling were 3.5 times less likely to be hospitalized during their first 3 months of life. This was mostly due to lower rates of respiratory infections and fever.

http://www.dnaindia.com/health/report_peer-counseling-support-can-improve-breastfeeding-success-in-obese-women_1375830

Khloe Kardashian wants to start breastfeeding someone after seeing the weight drop off her sister Kourtney

“If that’s all it takes, breastfeeding? Then someone breastfeed off of me! I don’t care,” joked Khloe in an interview with Us magazine.

http://www.musicrooms.net/showbiz/5886-Khloe-Kardashian-Wants-Start-Breastfeeding.html

Nursing can be a challenge for working moms

Companies save $3 for every $1 spent on breastfeeding support.

http://www.uticaod.com/health/x57966717/Nursing-can-be-a-challenge-for-working-moms

The Back Up Plan (Movie Review) – Pregnant with Problems

The biggest laughs come from the ingloriousness of being pregnant and giving birth, but their overworked bits — like home birth and a toddler breastfeeding — are all gags we’ve seen and heard before

http://www.buzzsugar.com/Back-up-Plan-Movie-Review-Starring-Jennifer-Lopez-Alex-OLoughlin-8206763

United States: FLSA Amended to Require Breaks and Space to Express Breast Milk for Nursing Mothers

Until this amendment, rest break requirements had been the subject of state regulation. The FLSA does not require employers to provide breaks or meal periods to workers. Unless rest breaks are required by state law, when and how they are provided has traditionally been a matter of agreement between the employer and employee.

http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/article.asp?articleid=99004

Keeping the Breastfeeding Conversation Going

We got a lot of great response from our recent video segment “The Challenges of Breastfeeding.”

Again, we love the “100 letters” challenge. Please leave comments below on this blog post and let us know what you thought of the piece. And also share your ideas for future Health and Wellness segments.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504544_162-20003186-504544.html

Mums need more support

 

Friday, 23 April 2010
Queensland University of TechnologyJoy Parkinson“Ms Parkinson said if governments wanted to increase breastfeeding rates they needed to increase loyalty to the act of breastfeeding and this would be best achieved by encouraging support from family and friends.”

“There needs to be a more mother-centred approach as opposed to a baby-centred approach,” she said.

“One of the most surprising things that came out of this study was that positive attitudes towards breastfeeding didn’t equate to larger numbers of women breastfeeding for longer.”

http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20102304-20885-2.html

Health Department to hold Grandmother’s Tea (IL)

Michele Beckstrom, RN of the Health Department notes, “This Grandmother’s Tea is being held to educate, influence and encourage Grandmothers’ support of breastfeeding.”

http://qconline.com/archives/qco/display.php?id=489641

The Office Review: “Secretary’s Day”

It’s the third week now. Dwight prepping to help Pa , Meredith using her apparatus in the bathroom … how long can the writers milk (har har) the breastfeeding jokes?

Dwight: Three squeezes and I would drain you.

Meredith: This is like the Cadillac of breast pumps

http://www.tvfanatic.com/2010/04/the-office-review-secretarys-day/

Breastfeed for the Health of the Nation?

Not nursing has major societal and health consequences — but even so, mothers deserve our support and understanding, not our judgment.

Ellen Painter Dollar, guest blogger

While 43 percent of American mothers do some breastfeeding, only 12 percent breastfeed exclusively for the first six months as recommended. Advocates argue that breastfeeding’s life-saving qualities should convince mothers to do it, and everyone else to support them, without all the drama about choices and guilt. The blogger Feminist Breeder, for example, had this to say: “You know what else saves lives? Car seats. So, why aren’t people spitting mad at the [National Highway Traffic Safety Administration] for saying that? Why aren’t they leaving thousands of comments on car seat articles saying, ‘But I just couldn’t afford a car seat, why are you trying to make me feel guilty?!’ Well, maybe it’s because our society will admit that car seats save lives, and we’re willing to give them out free at fire stations and hospitals if we have to because it is that important.”

…This latest study makes clear that nursing is much more than a personal lifestyle choice the rest of us have no obligation to support. New mothers need hospital policies that give priority to breastfeeding; low-cost or insurance-covered lactation assistance; paid maternity leave; flexible workplace policies; and husbands, relatives, friends and neighbors who help care for other children and manage the household during an infant’s first months.

…Because breastfeeding involves unpredictable, limited human bodies, it is not directly comparable to life-saving technologies. Using an infant car seat, for example, does not require a mother to wake up every 90 minutes throughout the night, grit her teeth as her baby latches onto sore nipples, and lock herself in a bathroom stall at work to attach a mechanical contraption to sensitive body parts (although the recent health-care overhaul, which requires large employers to provide a private, non-bathroom space for women to pump breast milk, should make this task less unpleasant for some).

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/women/2010/04/breastfeed_for_the_health_of_t.html

Why this Earth mother hates Earth Day

“I see Earth Day as the new Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, a Hallmark holiday for us to give lip service to the environment. There are contrary forces, good in the mix – but then there are good things in the mix of Mother’s Day or Father’s Day or Valentines as well. But the reality of Mother’s Day doesn’t seem to be that it inspires us to be more respectful of the needs of mothers – what comes out of Mother’s Day isn’t more calls for breastfeeding stations and child friendly policies, but a “we told you we loved you last Sunday…aren’t we done yet?” The same is true of Valentines Day – there’s no compelling reason to believe that once a year special chocolates and sex really do all that much to lower the national divorce rate.”

http://blog.beliefnet.com/roddreher/2010/04/why-this-earth-mother-hates-earth-day.html

Breastfeeding Advocates Red-Flag ABC News Story

(April 21) — An international breastfeeding advocacy group is accusing ABC News of failing to reveal that a pediatrician it quoted in a report critical of a breastfeeding study is a formula industry spokeswoman.

ABC News did not respond to several e-mails sent by AOL News to its media relations department for comment. Beard said she was called by an ABC News reporter for comment and was not asked about her industry ties, which she noted are “open information,” or available online.

She said she does not believe her work for Nestle “had any relevance to this comment” she made in the ABC News report.

http://www.aolnews.com/health/article/breastfeeding-advocates-red-flag-abc-news-story/19449346

Breast Milk Kills Cancer Claim Scientists

Mothers should breastfeed their babies because a substance in their milk kills cancer, researchers claim.

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent
Published: 6:00PM BST 20 Apr 2010

The same compound, Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumour cells or HAMLET, could be a common cancer treatment for adults within five years.

Human trials have shown HAMLET can kill bladder cancer and laboratory tests have found it kills 40 different types of cancer. But crucially, the chemical does not kill healthy cells which means it does not cause the nasty side effects of current chemotherapy treatments.  “HAMLET is produced by combining alpha-lactalbumin in the milk and oleic acid which is found in babies’ stomachs,” he said.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7611360/Breast-milk-kills-cancers-claim-scientists.html

Nestle Challeneged on baby milk health claims

By Lorraine Heller, 21-Apr-2010

Related topics: Health claims, Industry, Maternal & infant health

Greenpeace activists cut through the ceiling of the Palais in Lausanne, dropping flyers and absailing above the audience, while shareholders were also addressed by a baby milk activist who claimed the firm is still not abiding by marketing standards adopted by the World Health Assembly.

Patti Rundall, OBE, policy director at Baby Milk Action, said the health claims Nestle was using on its infant formula were misleading and putting the health of babies at risk. She called on Nestle shareholders to “try and find a way to bring an end to this interminable problem that is causing so much harm to children.”

Nestle this morning reiterated to NutraIngredients that it abides by the law in every country where it sells its products.

‘Protect’ is misleading

Rundall, who was able to speak at the shareholder meeting as she owns 200 Nestle shares, said she represented “thousands of citizens and IBFAN (International Baby Food Action Network) groups around the world who monitor the marketing of baby foods”.

Rundall specifically took issue with the health claims being made on the firm’s infant formula and called for the company to remove the ‘Protect’ logo from the product labels. She also said the labels should carry the correct warning language, which alerts parents to potential intrinsic bacterial contamination of the product.

Abiding by laws

Nestle said its ‘Protect’ range of products and its infant formulas are sold in over 100 countries around the world. “To date, other than via Baby Milk Action, no other complaint about the logo’s potential to mislead mothers has been received,” said the company.

It added that the action group was the only one to be calling for the firm to stop making nutrition and health claims. Governments are not making these calls, Nestle abides by the law in every country.”

Nestle told NutraIngredients that “there has been very little pressure (on its infant formula marketing practices) for a number of years” and that calls to stop making health claims on its infant formula are unique to Baby Milk Action.

Rundall responded that 23 health professionals and mother support groups in the UK alone are calling for the removal of health claims, which, she claims, is in line with Codex regulations.  

http://www.dairyreporter.com/Products/Nestle-challenged-on-baby-milk-health-claims

Leave a comment

Filed under breastfeeding, Breastfeeding in the News, the curious lactivist, Uncategorized

Breastfeeding in the News: April 13th – 20th, 2010

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
www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com 

www.TheCuriousLactivist.Wordpress.com 

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

http://www.enfamil.com/app/iwp/enfamil/productDetail.do?dm=enf&id=-12781&iwpst=B2C&ls=0&csred=1&r=3449233698

The Burden of Suboptimal Breastfeeding in the United States: A Pediatric Cost Analysis

Framed another

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.      

http://sz0155.wc.mail.comcast.net/service/home/~/Bartick%20Reinhold%202010.pdf?auth=co&loc=en_US&id=171920&part=2

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.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amie-newman/got-breast-milk-first-we_b_532424.html

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!

http://blogs.ajc.com/momania/2010/04/13/cat-fight-on-the-mom-blog-are-we-meaner-than-the-sports-blogs/?cxntfid=blogs_momania

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.

http://www.themedguru.com/20100413/newsfeature/internet-advice-may-not-be-reliable-your-kid-s-health-study-86133985.html

A BREASTFEEDING ROOM OF ONE’S OWN

A nifty provision in the healthcare bill is a boon to working moms

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

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.” 

http://www.salon.com/life/broadsheet/2010/04/13/breastfeeding_rooms/   

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?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-bartick/ipeaceful-revolutioni-mot_b_536659.html

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.

http://www.windsorstar.com/health/Higher+asthma+rates+linked+fast+food/1226588/story.html

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.

http://www.parenting.com/article/Mom/Work–Family/Save-on-the-Top-3-New-Baby-Expenses

Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups”

Breastfeeding a four year old. Ick! Ptoeey! Gross! Yup, this film is going to make money.”

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/jjmnolte/2010/04/16/new-trailer-adam-sandlers-grown-ups/

Quick steps to lessen pain to your baby

  1. Let the medical assistant offer the injection at this point while you are breastfeeding.  You can also switch the baby to a pacifier.
  2.  No talking throughout or after the injection until the baby stops crying.  Whether or not there is crying do the next step.
  1. 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.

 

http://www.officialwire.com/main.php?action=posted_news&rid=130634http://www.officialwire.com/main.php?action=posted_news&rid=130634

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.”

http://www.cleveland.com/medical/index.ssf/2010/04/companies_must_soon_provide_pr.html

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.

http://www.celiac.com/articles/22092/1/Celiac-Disease-and-Breastfeeding—The-Missing-Link/Page1.html

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.

http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/13682

1 Comment

Filed under breastfeeding, Breastfeeding in the News, the curious lactivist

Breastfeeding in the News March 9th – March 18th, 2010

When the government in Taipei enacted a law mandating breastfeeding rooms in public buildings it was hailed as a symbol for “the enhancement of women’s rights”.  Compare that to here in the US where acceptance of breastfeeding varies widely from state to state.  In New Jersey a council woman was photographed arguing her point as she stood and nursed her attached baby.  Said one politician, “If that’s her forte, God bless her.” Meanwhile in North Carolina a woman who couldn’t afford child care began nursing her baby in an unemployment office.  Despite the fact that North Carolina has a law protecting the rights of mother’s breastfeeding in public she was asked to leave.   According to the NC Employment Security Commission they “do not prohibit a mother from breastfeeding, but do have a breastfeeding policy.” The policy states they will offer private rooms, if available, for the mother. If not, they ask the mothers wanting to breastfeed to cover-up or step outside.”   Never mind the issue of state law versus private policy; this is an employment office we are talking about!  Where is the enhancement of “women’s rights” in this case?

In other world news mothers in Kenya are protesting the withdrawal of free formula, a policy that was instituted when it was learned that the survival rate of babies born with HIV was higher than those who are formula fed.  One mother spoke against the policy “because I cannot generate enough breast milk, I wean my babies at two months. Six months is unworkable.”   Meanwhile in Cuba 98% of babies leave the hospital exclusively breastfeeding!  Down under the Australian Premier has decided that whenever Labor MP Rite Saffioti wants to leave the chamber to nurse her baby a Liberal will be asked to leave as well.  I wonder how the Liberals feel about this.  (Only a politician would come up with such a solution.)

 In the UK a committee is investigating the increasingly blurred line between the marketing of infant formula and so called “follow up” formula.  In Scotland policy makers are taking their cues from the Harlem, New York by adopting a program created there that includes home visits during pregnancy and for the first two years.  I love it when the vision of innovative locals gets the notice it deserves! In France however the land where the “crèche” (daycare) was invented, the concept of the “good mother” does not even exist, and according to one author that is a good thing.  In France it’s wife first, worker second, and mother last.  See what century’s of wet nursing can do to a country. 

In what’s now being called the “Air Freshener” incident a mother in Britain was told she couldn’t nurse in the dressing room of a charity run clothing store because she was told “your breast milk stinks”.  So much for the ‘oxytocin factor’ bringing out the best in people.  Breastfeeding issues made two advice columns this week, the first was a question I certainly had never considered before.  In Backpacker.com a hiker wanted to know if the smell of his wife’s pumped milk would attract bears.  I wanted to know why the baby wasn’t with her, but according to my Facebook friends there are mothers who leave their baby at home and climb a mountain carrying a breast pump instead.  In a UK column advice giver “Claire” bravely takes on the thorny question of breastfeeding a toddler in public. Her answer was a gem, “It pains me to have to break it to you but I’m not, in fact, a world authority on breastfeeding. I’ve never done it and to be honest I find the whole concept quite baffling. I’m not sure why you have written to me or indeed anyone as it is quite clear that no one could convince you that breastfeeding a toddler is a good idea. The puzzle is why it bothers you so much. If your friend ends up standing in the school canteen offering her breasts up as an alternative to mini pizzas then so be it.”

A new issue of La Leche League’s most famous book “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” is scheduled to arrive in July!  This will be the first updated edition in six years and from what I hear it will include some major revisions.  There is also a new book out from a different publisher about breastfeeding older children, and by older I mean the 6 years old not the 6 months.  Medela has a new link on their website for those looking for advice on how to get lactation coverage from their insurance companies.    

  In consumer news slings took a hit when the US  Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that in the last 20 years 14 infant deaths had been associated with slings.  According to the report “many of the babies whose deaths they are investigating were either born prematurely, had breathing difficulties (eg because they had a cold) or they were a low birthweight twin.”  A follow up article by the New York Times notes that the number of slings available has exploded in recent years.  We all remember how Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (which includes crib makers) came out with all those studies against co-sleeping, considering how many slings are made by smaller women owned businesses I would hate to see this organization take on slings as well (especially since only one sling manufacturer was implicated).  One way to avoid this is for sling makers to police themselves.  It would not be a bad idea for certain standards to be created and in my humble opinion the best way to do that is to join the American Society for Testing and Materials (http://www.astm.org/ ).  The ASTM is a highly respected voluntary organization that is a well known leader in creating standards around the globe.  Check it out ladies; don’t let the Goliath’s of the world get their way!

In science news  ‘pregnancy brain’ has been associated with a lack of fatty acids (which presumably have been suctioned off by the fetus) and does not return to normal until the baby reaches 6 months.  Whether or not lower levels of fatty acids is a true deficit to a woman’s ability to think I’m not sure.  What I am sure of is that this will be used a new marketing tool for yet another perinatal product shortly.

I have to thank you all for patience in waiting for this latest edition of “Breastfeeding in the News”.  In the past two weeks I have visited five Baby Friendly hospitals in New England for a fascinating look at the process of going Baby Friendly.  When I was done with that I finally caved in to my daughter’s constant request for a dog. (For three years she has added the word “puppy” to every shopping list I have ever written.)  Never mind that we have five cats, never mind that I have never owned a dog before, I caved in and now we have a gentle, one year old, thirty pound, West Virginian, shelter dog who was not house broken and apparently had never seen stairs before.   On the second day we had her she busted out of her crate and chewed the power cord to my laptop clean in half.  And just now while I was writing this she stole and opened up a container of cat food!  If anyone needs a reminder of what motherhood is like in the early days just get yourself a puppy.  I’m exhausted already.

As always I welcome your comments, and if you haven’t had a chance to read my last essay “Wetness is Opportunity” please take a look at it.  I want to send a special shout out to my Facebook friend Effath Yasmin from India for the kind words she sent me about the essay, so nice to hear from you Effath!

 Kathy Abbott IBCLC
www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com

www.TheCuriousLactivist.Wordpress.com

On Facebook:” Breastfeeding in the News”             

PREGNANCY BRAIN MAY BE FIRST SIGN OF EFA DEFICIENCY DURING CHILDBEARING YEARS

Thursday, March 18, 2010 by: Sherry Rothwell, citizen journalist
…”If not attended to, EFA (essential fatty acids) status in the mother will continue to decline throughout the breastfeeding period, with repercussions to both her breastfeeding baby and subsequent children. Essential fatty acid deficiency has been shown to play a key role in many growth and developmental difficulties such as: learning, behavioral, nervous and immune related disorders.”

…”While “pregnancy brain” is also associated with the “amnesia” effects of the hormone oxytocin and other nutritional deficiencies, science has now shown that a pregnant woman`s brain actually shrinks in size during pregnancy, and then increases again at six months postpartum. It is likely no coincidence that this occurrence co-relates with the time when many women stop or decrease breastfeeding, thus eliminating or reducing the strain on the mother`s EFA stores. Since we know that 60% of the human brain is composed of fat and that a woman’s reserves are most strained during the childbearing years, we have to at least consider essential fats as a significant contributing piece of the “pregnancy brain” puzzle.”

http://www.naturalnews.com/028391_pregnancy_nutrition.html

Deficiency of essential fatty acids and membrane fluidity during pregnancy and lactation

Lactating mothers showed less recovery from the deficiencies than did the nonlactating mothers, but neither approached normal at 6 wk. The changes seen in phospholipid profiles suggest a significant transfer of omega 3 and omega 6 polyunsaturated FA from the mother to the fetus. These FA are essential for normal fetal growth and development; their relative deficiency in maternal circulation suggests that dietary supplementation may be indicated.

http://www.pnas.org/content/88/11/4835.abstract

Hospitals friendly to newborns and their mothers are widely realized in Cuba

By David Koch

SANCTI SPÍRITUS, Cuba, 17 March 2010 – With a history of poverty and political strife, Cubans have experienced much deprivation over the years. But access to basic services, such as healthcare, is available to all – especially children – whose first right is to the best start in life.

   VIDEO: Watch now

In 1991, Cuba ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which states that nations “shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.” And the country vigorously defends a children’s right to health, and hospitals friendly to newborns and their mothers cover the island.

 “Undoubtedly, the reach and quality of child- and mother-friendly hospitals in Cuba sets one of the highest standards in the world.”

Breastfeeding to the fore

Post-delivery care is one of the hallmarks of child- and mother-friendly hospitals like the General Camilo Cienfuegos Provincial Hospital in Sancti Spíritus, the capital of the province of the same name.

“During the first 48 hours, we ensure that the mother is always by the child’s side, that she breastfeeds him or her on demand over the first 15 minutes of the child’s life,” explained Dr. Gladys Figueredo Echagüe, Deputy Director of the hospital’s maternity ward. “We ensure that the families participate in this process, and ensure that 98 per cent of our newborns are sent home breastfeeding exclusively.”

Despite such practices, some experts believe that breastfeeding among Cuban mothers is declining slightly due to an increased reliance on powdered formula.

“I believe that Cuba is an excellent model regarding the protection and best interests of the child,” he said.

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/cuba_53057.html  

Taipei protects right to breastfeed

Government offices, public venues and most shopping malls must also set up nursing rooms.

Anyone who does not comply with the law will be subject to a fine of NT$5,000-$30,000 (US$157-943).

Catholic hospitals have long promoted breastfeeding and have welcomed the measures.

The law, proposed in 2005, will finally come into force in Taipei on April 1, said Yu Li-hui, head of the health promotion division of Taipei city council.

“This is the first law of its kind in Taiwan. It not only follows the world trend but also symbolizes the enhancement of women’s rights,” Yu told UCA News.

The rate of breastfeeding has dropped since the 1970s when TV commercials created a misconception of healthier babies with formula milk. Breastfeeding draws strange stares from passersby, making it seem that this is not a norm in Chinese society, said Yu.

But Chinese mothers have breastfed their babies publicly in the 1960s when breastfeeding was common.

“The practice has been encouraged since 1980s and now more than 90 percent of mothers breastfeed their newborns in hospitals…”

http://www.cathnewsindia.com/2010/03/18/taipei-protects-right-to-breastfeed/

ASK A BEAR: BREASTFEEDING AROUND BEARS

Q: My wife has been breastfeeding our 3-month-old daughter, and she’d like to get out for her first post-pregnancy backpacking trip this summer. While we cannot take the little one along with us yet, we had planned to take a breastpump and dispose of the pumped milk.

We can’t seem to find any information about whether it is safe to camp in bear country while…uh…lactating. So, how about it? Is it safe to camp in bear country when you are a breastfeeding mom? Thanks! —Mike from Virginia, via email

A: Hey Mike. First of all, congratulations on the new cub—here’s hoping she has two eyes, ten claws, and a shiny fur coat.

Secondly, as long as you dispose of the milk properly, your wife should be good to go on that backpacking trip. There’s no evidence to suggest that lactating females would attract bears any more than those who aren’t. If it’s inside your body, a bear probably can’t smell it; any food or external odors left on your skin or clothes are more likely to attract bears.

As for disposal: You can treat it much the way you would treat dishwater. Scatter it broadly at least 200 feet away from water sources, and well away from your camp (strain it, if need be). This way, impact should be minimal. If you want to truly reduce your impact to zero, however, you should probably wait to go backpacking until your wife stops lactating. It’ll certainly cut down on her discomfort.

http://www.backpacker.com/ask_a_bear_breastfeeding/blogs/daily_dirt/1715

Breastfeeding a risk in bear country?

“ Large food caches, quantities of cooked food, and left-overs are what you worry about, as far as I’ve learned. The bears know where the most food is. If a bear smelled food stains on a person, or smelled the very strong odors of a food cache or a pile of scraps, which way do you think that animal will turn? Bears, black and grizzly, are extremely smart omnivores and scavengers, and they’re inclined to expend the least energy for the biggest payoff. So, attack a human who smells like her own milk (and risk human counter-attack), or sneak in at night, rip open a cooler, and grab and go?”

http://trueslant.com/scottbowen/2010/03/17/breastfeeding-a-risk-in-bear-country/

RIGHT TO BREASTFEED QUESTIONED

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) – A woman said she was asked to stop breastfeeding her child while at the Winston-Salem Employment Security Commission Office last Tuesday.

Elizabeth Abbott, a mother of four, said she went to the employment office to search for a job. “I don’t have a job, which means I can’t afford $200 a week in daycare. Which means, when I go look for a job, my child goes with me,” said Abbott. While waiting at the office, she started breastfeeding her infant son when a female receptionist asked her to to stop, stating it was a distraction.

“She came over and said for the comfort of the men in the office, I need to leave and nurse him elsewhere. I told her I wasn’t going anywhere, and she continued to tell me that the comfort of the men was going to be an issue. I said I really don’t care. My baby is hungry, I’m here to find a job and my baby wants to eat,” said Abbott.

North Carolina law protects mothers and gives them the right to breastfeed their child anytime, anywhere.

“There were other people that heard her comment and actually were upset about the comment she made to me,” said Abbott. “If a man can sit there and feed his child at the ESC with a bottle, then a women should be able to nurse their child the same way.”

A spokesman for the NC Employment Security Commission said: “They do not prohibit a mother from breastfeeding, but do have a breastfeeding policy.” The policy states they will offer private rooms, if available, for the mother. If not, they ask the mothers wanting to breastfeed to cover-up or step outside.

Abbott said she believes no policy should trump state law. “There shouldn’t be a policy. I don’t care what their policy is,” said Abbott.

North Carolina is one of 44 states that have laws protecting mothers wanting to breastfeed in public.

http://www.myfox8.com/wghp-story-breastfeed-policy-100316,0,6082191.story

Suffocation Danger To Young Babies In Sling Carriers: US Consumers Warned (Medical News Today)    

“The commission said many of the babies whose deaths they are investigating were either born prematurely, had breathing difficulties (eg because they had a cold) or they were a low birthweight twin.”

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/182256.php

PARENTING GROWS UP – PUBLISHERS ANSWER MOMS’ AND DADS’ CALL FOR AN INCREASING VARIETY OF CHILD-REARING TITLES

BY GWENDA BOND — PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY

But perhaps the biggest postpregnancy book of the season is Ballantine’s newly revised and updated edition of the classic The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by the La Leche League. Since the last update to the title six years ago, major changes have created more questions for breastfeeding moms, says Marnie Cochran, executive editor at Ballantine, even as the science has solidified its importance. She cites increases in C-sections and multiple births, improved pump technology that can be overwhelming for new mothers to choose from, and women juggling the return to the workplace and nursing.

“Much like a La Leche League meeting itself, the new book will now meet the urgent needs of women of all ages who choose to breastfeed, and for however long they choose to try to keep doing it,” says Cochran.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/452900-Parenting_Grows_Up.php  

Family says accused mother is mentally ill

SARASOTA – Brittany Livingston tried to get help for mental health problems including postpartum depression, but she would not take the prescription medicine while breastfeeding her youngest daughter, worried that it might hurt the child.

On Feb. 26, she showed up at her mother’s Sarasota house in crisis, asking for help and saying she needed to go somewhere for psychiatric treatment, as she had done several times before. But she took off before anyone could help her, family members say.

“She was begging, pleading,” said a family member, who would not give her name. “But that other part of her would not let her sit still.”

That night, deputies say, she tried to drown her two daughters — a 2-year-old and a 9-month-old — in a retention pond in Charlotte County.

On Friday, they charged her with two counts of attempted murder and moved her to the jail.

Her bail has been set at $300,000

Family members say Livingston, an honors student at Riverview who enrolled in State College of Florida and wanted to be a teacher, should be getting psychiatric help, not jail time.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20100314/ARTICLE/3141038/-1/NEWSSITEMAP?p=1&tc=pg

Roselle Park councilwoman nurses baby at meetings so other mothers can too (New Jersey)

ROSELLE PARK — The strongest public statement at this month’s Roselle Park council meeting was never entered into the minutes.

Near the end of the meeting, 3rd Ward Councilwoman Larissa Chen-Hoerning brought her 6-week-old son, Enzo, onto the dais with her and began to breastfeed him while the council debated an ordinance regulating overnight truck parking on borough streets.

Chen-Hoerning said that she doesn’t think the act of nursing her baby, discreetly shielded from view by the desk in front of her, should be stigmatized as dirty or shameful.

“I want to help women say ‘Someone else is out there breastfeeding, and maybe it’s OK to do,’” Chen-Hoerning said last week.

Mothers in the United States often face complaints when they nurse in public places like restaurants or stores, according to La Leche League International spokeswoman Loretta

On several occasions since his birth in January, Enzo has dropped into Roselle Park council meetings for a snack. No one on either side of the dais has batted an eye.

“I was telling someone about it the other day, and they said, ‘Do you nurse on camera?’ and I was like, ‘Well, yeah,’” Chen-Hoerning said.

After the meeting, resident Eugene Meola said the baby was so quiet he hadn’t even noticed him during the meeting. Other residents, Chen-Hoerning said, have expressed their support for her. Former councilman Jacob Magiera, who attends many borough meetings, said last week the councilwoman is modest and perfectly within her rights.

“If other council members don’t object to it, she’s entitled to do what she wants to do,” said Magiera. “If that’s her forte, God bless her.”

http://www.nj.com/news/local/index.ssf/2010/03/councilwoman_nurses_baby_at_ro.html

Mo’Nique Portrays a Mother from Hell in Precious

“This neglect begins in infancy,” Dr. Fine warns. “What’s the message mothers give their kids while plopping pacifiers in their mouths? I don’t have time to nurse you. Your needs are not important.”

http://pr-usa.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=350159&Itemid=95

Are French mothers right to put marriage before motherhood? 

It stems from the 18th century, according to Badinter, when French women would give their newborn babies to wet-nurses to save themselves from sagging bosoms. The French maman has long been party to a “woman before mother” policy, she says; it was the French who invented le crèche for children aged two and three.

These days bottle feeding enables French women to perform three roles: wife, professional and mother. More than half of French women choose not to breastfeed; the number of non-breastfeeders rose from 45.6 per cent in 1995 to 56 per cent in 2002. The concept of “good mother” does not exist in France, Badinter says.

But this is not necessarily a bad thing, according to her book Le Conflit, la femme et la mère

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/family/7421368/French-mothers-Maman-knows-best.html   

Barrett Fund Awards $77K in Adams, Cheshire, Savoy

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The William J. and Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire and Savoy, a fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, recently awarded grants totaling $77,000 to 12 nonprofit organizations in the three towns.

Berkshire Nursing Families: $10,000 for Breastfeeding Support Services, a program that provides comprehensive breastfeeding support services for families in Adams, Cheshire and Savoy.

http://www.iberkshires.com/story/34263/Barrett-Fund-Awards-77-000-in-Adams-Cheshire-Savoy.html

Dear Claire

It pains me to have to break it to you but I’m not, in fact, a world authority on breastfeeding. I’ve never done it and to be honest I find the whole concept quite baffling.

I’m not sure why you have written to me or indeed anyone as it is quite clear that no one could convince you that breastfeeding a toddler is a good idea. The puzzle is why it bothers you so much. If your friend ends up standing in the school canteen offering her breasts up as an alternative to mini pizzas then so be it.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthadvice/pillowtalk/7428576/Graham-Nortons-problem-page.html

Mothers’ protest at withdrawal of free formula milk (Kenya)

Provision of free formula milk in public health centres for HIV positive mothers has been halted drawing protests from the women.

The government says the move is aimed at promoting exclusive use of breast milk for the first six months. However, the mothers say the directive is impractical because they cannot afford enough food for themselves to generate milk.

The government says it took the decision after studies showed that survival rates of breast-fed babies born of HIV positive mothers is higher than those on formula milk.

“Because I cannot generate enough breast milk, I wean my babies at two months. Six months is unworkable,” said Ms Everlyne Atieno from Mathare North.”

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Mothers%20protest%20at%20withdrawal%20of%20free%20formula%20milk/-/1056/877918/-/ff2wlb/-/

SHOULD  A MOTHER BREASTFEED A CHILD OF SIX? A NEW BOOK TELLS THE STORIES OF WOMEN WHO DID JUST THAT.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1257327/Should-mother-breastfeed-child-A-new-book-tells-stories-women-did-just-that.html

MEDELA ANNOUNCES NEW WEB LINK

MCHENRY, Ill., March 11 /PRNewswire/ — Medela today announced the launch of an important new resource – www.breastfeedinginsurance.com – where new and expectant mothers can access comprehensive information and tools to help them discover if their breastfeeding related expenses, such as breastpump rental/purchase or lactation consultants, are covered by insurance.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/medela-announces-launch-of-new-insurance-reimbursement-resource-for-new-and-expectant-mothers-87323922.html

Sibling jealousy (‘Nagje-jelling si Big Sister!)
PARENTIN TALK By Tintin Bersola-Babao (The Philippine Star)

“Whenever she’d see me breastfeeding her baby brother, she’d get jealous. So she’d also insist on being fed. And I allow her to experience it all over again. Funny what she said one time, “Mommy, I don’t like the taste!” Ha, ha, ha. What’s important is that I did not deprive her of the renewed breastfeeding experience. I believe this made her feel that she now has a shared experience with her baby brother but she holds the badge of honor of being the one I breastfed first.”

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=556895&publicationSubCategoryId=70

Doyle signs measures on breastfeeding, carbon monoxide detectors  (Wisconsin)

12 Comments

“Why do we need breastfeeding detectors?”

“Breasts, if not properly ventilated, give off large amounts of carbon monoxide. This should save hundreds of lives annually.”

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/87282252.html

Teen pregnancy initiative unveiled in Edinburgh

The £1.6 million scheme to help first time parents has been based on a successful community nursing drive in Harlem, New York.

“The test project, based on a parental support scheme running in Harlem, New York, will provide home visits from nurses to young mothers-to-be throughout their pregnancy and during the first two years of their baby’s life.”

“Lesley Backhouse, chair of the UK-wide Breastfeeding Network, commented: “We know from a similar scheme’s success in New York that a close relationship between a nurse and mother develops ongoing support in best practice for parenting skills – including increased breastfeeding.”

http://news.stv.tv/scotland/east-central/162371-teen-pregnancy-initiative-unveiled-in-edinburgh/

Fiona McCade: Please, let’s not create a breastfeeding frenzy

FUTURE generations will probably call it The Air-Freshener Incident. The unfortunate event happened in Dulwich, south-east London, when a woman taking refuge in a charity shop changing room to feed her baby was sprayed with the aforementioned by the manager, because “your breast milk stinks”.

http://news.scotsman.com/opinion/Fiona-McCade-Please-lets-not.6133609.jp

Mind writes policy on breastfeeding after shopper told her ‘breast milk stinks’

Mental health charity Mind has been forced to devise a breastfeeding policy in its stores after a mother was told her “breast milk stinks” by the manager of its East Dulwich store.

Mrs Baker has subsequently called on the charity to create “a clear policy allowing breast-feeding in changing rooms, and guaranteeing privacy behind curtains” and said she was left feeling “shocked and indignant” by the events.

http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/6267/mind_write_policy_on_breastfeeding_after_mother_left_shocked_and_indignant

Premier offers breast feeding solution (Australia)

Premier Colin Barnett has moved to head off controversy over breastfeeding in Parliament by guaranteeing new mum and Labor MP Rita Saffioti will be automatically “paired” with a Liberal if she has to leave the chamber to feed her baby. …

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/6907561/premier-offers-breast-feeding-solution/

UK investigates baby milk marketing enforcement

By Shane Starling, 16-Mar-2010

Related topics: Omega-3, Regulation, Dairy-based ingredients, Nutritional lipids and oils, Probiotics and prebiotics, Maternal & infant health

A UK government committee looking into European Union baby milk marketing laws has raised issues with local enforcement procedures which it says need to be addressed.

The Independent Review Panel (IRP) voices concerns held by LACORS – the UK local trading standards enforcement agency – that classification of baby milk that often include omega-3s and prebiotics is not clear enough.

“One of the major problems for enforcement officers is the use of advertising and promotional material which blurs the distinction between follow-on formula and infant formula,” the IRP concluded.

BMA criticised the IRP for focusing on potential baby milk-infant formula confusion that may exist among caregivers rather than internet, point-of-sale promotion, baby clubs, care lines, labels and health claims that continue to promote follow-on formula.

http://www.nutraingredients.com/Health-condition-categories/Maternal-infant-health/UK-investigates-baby-milk-marketing-enforcement/?utm_source=Newsletter_Product&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2BProduct

Baby’s snuggled in a sling, but safe?  NY Times.

“At first it was like, ‘Am I trying to be an indigenous tribal woman?’ ” Ms. Ossinova said, noting that she had four other carriers at home. “But I got over that hump, and I’m quite passionate about it now.”

In recent years, the number of carriers has expanded from a handful of styles to scores. “In 2004, there were barely any carriers,” said Bianca Fehn, an owner of Metro Minis. “You had to find these work-at-home moms who made them and go on a waiting list for weeks or even months to get a carrier.” Before opening the store, she started an Internet community called Slings in the City that held regular baby carrier demonstrations around town. The demonstrations are now offered at Metro Minis four times a month, and are usually crowded.

But as carriers have grown more popular, their safety has been questioned, with particular alarm about bag-style slings, which have contributed to the suffocation deaths of several infants. On Tuesday, Inez M. Tenenbaum, the head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, announced a forthcoming warning about slings, saying that “we know now the hazard scenarios for very small babies” carried in them. Many specialty stores, like Metro Minis, do not sell bag-style slings whose safety has been challenged, and instructs buyers to position babies in any sling upright and tight against the caregiver.

While most people using baby carriers extol the convenience of having their hands free to steer a toddler, dial a cellphone or maneuver through a grocery store, some see it as an integral part of their parenting philosophy, which holds that babies should be worn on the body to foster a strong attachment to their parents.

Other experts dismiss any suggestion that strollers may be psychologically detrimental.

Claire Moore, 33, nuzzled her 7-week-old daughter, Zoë, while explaining that her carrier had been picked by her husband, Adrian. Walking their dog most mornings in nearby Prospect Park, he had spent months during her pregnancy trying to figure out the most practical, comfortable carrier for them both by surveying the park’s many fathers with babies tethered to their chests. Eventually, Ms. Moore said, he settled on the ERGObaby; they bought one in cranberry.

“He’d been keeping an eye out and knew that was the one,” she said. “All the dads are wearing it.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/11/fashion/11BABY.html?emc=eta1

Leave a comment

Filed under breastfeeding, Breastfeeding in the News, the curious lactivist

“Wetness is Opportunity”

“Wetness is opportunity.  It represents the openness of nature to what falls from heaven.”

 (From the book “Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth” by William Bryant Logan)

The wetness of a kiss brings two people closer.  The vagina moistens and lets in the penis to accept the heavy wet sperm.  The sperm enters her waiting egg which is then enveloped by a warm watery sac.   A laboring woman’s bag of waters breaks open moistening her birth canal.  Even the wetness of her blood helps her baby to slip outside of her.  Her wet baby lies on her chest and slides over towards her nipple.  The mere smell and touch of his mother excites the babe and soon he drools his wet saliva onto her skin.  He licks his lips in anticipation of what he does not know – something is coming, something wet and good that will make the move from his pickled womb to this dry, arid world easier to swallow.  The first yellowy drop of colostrum appears enticing the baby to come closer.  Come closer.  “Wetness is opportunity.”  Wetness is the beginning of life. 

We tell mothers that her breast milk is important.  It contains calories and vitamins, fats and protein.  It has antibodies and immune factors; it has “pre” and “pro” biotics.  Scientists have spent millions of dollars analyzing tiny drops of milk constantly updating the ever growing list of important things they have found within.  We have come to attach a certain scientific aloofness to the value of human milk.  It can be measured and scrutinized, it can be bottled and contained, it can be put on a shelf and held till needed.  It can be produced at will.  But we forget that inherent in its wetness is opportunity, the chance to connect mother and baby together again. Like the wet kiss that spurred the conception of this little one’s life, the moment a baby suckles on its mother’s breast the two are reminded that for this moment ’you are mine and I am yours, yours alone.’

Wetness is opportunity.  It provides the chance to grow.  The mother holds her baby close and lets him suckle at will.  Immediately her other breast begins to let down and her milk leaks out attracting the baby to that breast as well.  “Come here.  It is wet here. Can you smell it? You see? There is more to come.”  And because of her wetness the mother is prompted to offer the baby more and the baby is happy to accommodate her.  Her wetness encourages him to eat, and yet without her help he knows when he has had enough.  And in this way the two begin a rhythm. They begin to get in sync.

Wetness is an opportunity to be assured that all is well.  The baby’s tiny belly fills and releases, fills and releases, again and again.  The wetness of his diaper tells his mother that everything is okay.  Her milk has reached his belly.  He has taken what he needs from it and has let go of what was left.  The pee is not too yellow; the wet poops are no longer green or black.  And with each wet diaper that she changes she is reassured.  “He is getting enough.  We’re doing okay my baby and I, we’re going to be just fine.”   

Each drop of wetness is an opportunity.  The life source that surrounds us moves from drop towards precious drop. We are all connected by the wetness within.  Our blood, our saliva, and the rest of our body’s many fluids, these are the things that make us alive, that make us human.  It is our wetness, our milk, which we pass on to our babies to keep them alive as well.  Each drop of wetness is an opportunity; an opportunity for connection, an opportunity for growth, an opportunity for reassurance.  Each drop of wetness is an opportunity for life to be sustained.   

Kathy Abbott, IBCLC

www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com

www.TheCuriousLactivist.Wordpress.com

On Facebook: :Breastfeeding in the News”

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Breastfeeding in the News March 1st – 8th, 2010

This week’s news certainly had its share of titillation.  From a chef who serves his patrons a cheese made from his wife’s breast milk, the woman in jail who was charged with assault for squirting her milk at a guard, to the mother who admits to breastfeeding her 14 year old.  And let’s not forget that fashion show that Bravado (makers of nursing bras) held in Las Vegas where the pregnant models were banned from walking the runway.

Mixed in with the odd ball articles two very sad stories also caught my eye.  In the Philippines a 31 year old woman was shot dead while breastfeeding her one year old.  The baby was still suckling her breast when they found her.  And in Uganda authorities say they have no proof that a mother who says her husband forced her to breastfeed puppies is telling the truth.  Apparently the scars on her breast were believed to be the result of her epilepsy, and the testimony from her children (ages 5 & 2) was not to be taken seriously because they after all merely children. 

 There were several stories about breastfeeding and the workplace this week and none of it was very encouraging I’m afraid.  Although donating a handmade quilt to a local health department breastfeeding room was a nice gesture of support it appears that combining breastfeeding and work remains a struggle in many places.  Utah failed to pass a bill requiring workplaces to set aside space for breastfeeding.  In Oklahoma where they have a law allowing mothers to express milk at work (during unpaid time) there was no mandate to set aside space to do so.  Officially encouraging businesses to set aside space hasn’t worked either as only 26 offices now have a designated pumping space.  (I find it ironic that the title of this article was “Workplaces Nurture Nursing Moms”.) 

In “To Pump or Not to Pump?” a mother whose office had a designated pumping room explains the dilemma she found herself in when she found it difficult to accept a travel assignment that would have made it difficult to pump.   In Taipei a survey found that less than 4% of businesses had a breastfeeding room and that lack of space was one of the main reasons cited for not doing so.  They too are considering a bill requiring public offices to create such a space which, unlike Oklahoma the bill, includes a provision to fine those who don’t comply.

Meanwhile according to the Wall Street Journal breastfeeding for six months or longer leads to an overall decrease in a woman’s income because they either work fewer hours or they quit.  “We can’t just look at health outcomes. We must look at economic outcomes as well,” says Mary Noonan, an associate professor at University of Iowa’s sociology department and co-author of the paper. “Money also matters for a child’s health.”  I think she has a valid point.  Why should a mother have to decide between her financial security and her child’s health?  Likewise why should business owners have to redesign their workspaces to accommodate the pumping mother? 

To me the answer is obvious.  Women need a nationally guaranteed long term (I’m thinking one year here!) paid maternity leave.  I’m tired of legislators trying to grapple with this problem from state to state with their pathetic attempts to combine breastfeeding in the workplace.  It also annoys me that these laws are promoted as laws to encourage breastfeeding when in reality they are promoting pumping not breastfeeding.  Did you know that Medela’s sales of the “Pump N Style” have quadrupled in the last five years?  Is it any wonder that we now have mothers who plan to “EP” (exclusively pump)?  To really support breastfeeding we need three things; intensive prenatal breastfeeding education, “Baby Friendly” hospitals, and a national one year paid maternity leave.  Work place legislations are a mere band-aid.  And for those of you who feel that I am ignoring the rights of mothers who want to go back to work, yes there should be legislation to accommodate them in the workplace, but I really feel we should be pushing for maternity leave first.  At the very least we should be making a lot more noise about the issue.

And yes I’m totally in favor of legislation to accommodate breastfeeding in public both as way to bring the issue to the foreground and to ensure that no mother ever feels stuck at home because of her decision to breastfeed.  In the Philippines at Manila’s International airport they recently opened a free mother’s breastfeeding room.  I’m so glad it’s free.  They weren’t really thinking of charging mothers for this were they?  Although depending on the price it might be worth it.  The room includes four cubicles each with a bed, a swivel chair, a window, a drawer and a door that locks!  This is the first breastfeeding room that I’ve heard of that offered a bed!  How cool is that?  (Of course the Philippines also have a law preventing companies from promoting formula.  It’s about the culture people!)

OK, let me get off that soap box for a minute.  In other news we can congratulate actress Angela Kinsey for explaining to the female writers of “The Office” the realities of breastfeeding.  And it is interesting to note that one writer found it to be impossible to believe that there could be male lactation consultants or for that matter baby mix ups in the hospital.  While we’re on the subject I want to give a shout out Tom Johnston who is stationed with the army in New York.   Tom is both a Lactation Consultant and a certified midwife.  Tom’s Facebook profile exclaims “I catch babies for the Army!”  

Speaking of midwives a midwife in the UK has been nominated for a national award for her efforts to help a mother breastfeed following a c-section.  In other news a daycare provider resigned after someone gave a baby in her charge the wrong mother’s breast milk.  In Nigeria due to the fall in breastfeeding rates the government has decided to reach out to religious groups (both Muslim and Christian) in an effort to educate parents.  In health news Breastfeeding has been associated with a lower risk of peptic ulcers (caused by H.Pylori).  And in environmental news it has been suggested that the contamination of breast milk with toxins should be considered a “child’s health issue” rather than a “woman’s issue”.

“Dear Prudence” got an interesting letter from a dad who wasn’t sure what to do about his wife.  It seems that because he was a stay at home dad he was better at noticing their baby’s feeding cues than his wife who was primarily pumping.  Apparently she resented him for it.  “Recently my wife blew up at me and said that her breasts are her body and no other person can tell her what to do with her body. From now on I am not allowed to tell her when I see signs that our daughter is hungry because it then would be controlling my wife’s body.”  “Dear Prudence” replied   “Your wife is in the difficult situation of trying to provide nutrition for your daughter while being at work all day. It doesn’t help that when she’s home you indicate you are more in tune with your baby’s needs than she is.”   And she went on to say; “…It will not harm your daughter to let a few lusty cries for milk, instead of having Dad anticipate her hunger. Just relax and let your wife handle it.”

Do you see now what I mean by pumping taking us down the wrong road?  Do we really want women to be mad at their husbands because their hubbies are more in tune with their babies than they are?  I’m going to say it again people – women need long term, paid maternity leave!

As always I love hearing from you & the links to all the article are below.

Kathy Abbott IBCLC
www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com 

www.TheCuriousLactivist.Wordpress.com 

On Facebook:” Breastfeeding in the News”           

Mothers Who Opt for Breast Milk, Not Breast-feeding (Catherine Sharick – Time Magazine)

Technology has helped fuel the trend. Medela, the Swiss breast-pump maker and industry leader, introduced its first electric-powered, vacuum-operated at-home breast pump in the U.S. in 1991. Five years later, the company launched the Pump in Style, a portable breast pump that comes in a fashionable bag that looks like a purse. Since then, Medela’s sales of the item — not cheap at around $279 — have quadrupled.

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1971243-1,00.html

 Woman Charged in Breast Milk Assault on Jailer  

The Associated Presstool name

close

tool goes here

OWENSBORO, Ky. — A woman in jail for public intoxication was accused of assaulting a jailer by squirting breast milk at her. WYMT-TV reported that a 31-year-old woman was arrested Thursday on a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication. But as she was changing into an inmate uniform, she squirted breast milk into the face of a female deputy who was with her. …The woman now faces a felony charge of third degree assault on a police officer. Her bond was set at $10,000.

http://www.bnd.com/2010/03/07/1163728/woman-charged-in-breast-milk-assault.html

Nursing my infant child was a gift — to me

Perhaps the favorite piece of advice from grandmothers and random women on the street is that nursing should come naturally. Just let your baby and your body do what they were made to do, they’ll say.

Well, here’s my advice: Look straight in that woman’s face and say, “Nice try, lady. Nice try.”

The truth is — at least for me and every other mother I know — nursing does not come naturally, and you will spend the first month of your child’s life struggling to figure it out.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700014726/Nursing-my-infant-child-was-a-gift-2-to-me.html

To pump or not to pump?

I was lucky to work for a company that had a designated room for breastfeeding moms, but I couldn’ stick to my routine during my business trip. The courthouse where I was supposed to be covering a story didn’t have a similar room for breastfeeding moms.

I was torn. On one hand, I wanted to tell my boss that I couldn’t go on the trip and that she needed to find someone else. At the same time, I didn’t want to seem incapacitated and incapable of doing my job.

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/parents/2010/mar/07/pump-or-not-pump/  

Cheers and Jeers: March 8, 2010

CHEERS to the Ladies of the Lake Quilting Club for donating a quilted wall hanging for the Clinton County Health Department employee breastfeeding room. The gift betokens a genuine empathy for motherhood and breastfeeding, certainly both compatible with Health Department goals. Clinton County has taken steps to comply with state legislation to create a space for mothers who are nursing their babies, and the quilt will certainly encourage that activity. For the gesture, the Health Department has presented the club a Community Partnership Award. Through the years, many women and babies will have their experience enhanced by this thoughtful donation.

  http://www.pressrepublican.com/0202_cheers_and_jeers/local_story_066223108.html

Natural Cooking with Human Breast milk Going Too Far

An eco-conscious chef has taken advantage of his wife’s breast, but not in the way my first few words lead you to believe. Instead he is using milk she extracted from her breastfeeding breast and making it into cheese he serves at his restaurant. Shocking? Disgusting? Bizarre? You be the judge.

What if Chef Angerer did not serve human cheese at his restaurant

and instead only served it to his baby? Would that make a difference? Is it less disgusting?

http://inventorspot.com/articles/natural_cooking_human_breast_milk_going_too_far_38543  

WORK PLACES NURTURE NURSING MOMS

BY Paula Burkes – OKLAHOMAN

A 2006 Oklahoma law requires employers to allow nursing mothers the ability to express milk during lunches, breaks and other unpaid times. But there’s no mandate that employers provide breaks or a private room.

In 2008, the state Health Department launched its Breastfeeding Works! initiative to encourage businesses to establish private lactation rooms and policies acknowledging the importance of breastfeeding. But only 26 workplaces, mostly health-care related, have been recognized as breastfeeding-friendly and working moms continue to face difficulties.

http://www.newsok.com/workplaces-nurture-nursing-moms/article/3444530?custom_click=lead_story_title

Nursing: No Free Lunch

“In terms of long-term earnings, women who breastfeed less than six months have similar income trajectories to those who never breastfeed, but those who breastfeed for six months or longer have far steeper declines in income,” mainly due to reduced work hours or quitting, Ms. Rippeyoung says.

Some mothers endure real economic hardship if they miss work hours to pump or breastfeed. “We can’t just look at health outcomes. We must look at economic outcomes as well,” says Mary Noonan, an associate professor at University of Iowa’s sociology department and co-author of the paper. “Money also matters for a child’s health.”

— Ruth Mantell, The Juggle, WSJ.com

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126791010300157469.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Bosses in Taipei not keen on setting up breastfeeding rooms: poll

Only 3.9 percent of the companies in Taipei City installed breastfeeding rooms on their premises in 2009, according to the Taipei city Department of Labor.

…According to the draft bill, government agencies and business premises with floor space of more than 500 square meters, as well as public service facilities with over 1,000 square meters of floor space, must be equipped with clearly marked breastfeeding rooms.

Breastfeeding rooms must be established on the premises of such facilities, which include railway and metro stations and airport terminals, within one year of the promulgation of the regulations, the draft bill states

http://focustaiwan.tw/ShowNews/WebNews_Detail.aspx?Type=aSOC&ID=201003070003

New Life for Mother who was Forced to Breastfeed Puppies

… “He added that a test was carried out in Mbale Hospital but it also found no evidence of breastfeeding puppies. “The hospital results only indicated that Ms Alupo suffers from epilepsy illness,” Mr Madiri said

 

…In a separate interview with Mr Awoloyi, he said that his wife Alupo suffered a brain disorder caused by her epileptic condition which could explain the earlier injuries she had suffered on her body and her breasts.

http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/Insight/-/688338/874504/-/7f7ji2/-/

Top Moments: The Office Baby Blues, The Bachelor’s First Dance, and a Monster’s Balls

1. Best Lactation Joke: In the special one-hour Office baby episode, a tender moment in which Pam finally gets the baby to “latch” for breastfeeding is turned on its ear when she realizes that she’s accidentally picked up her hospital neighbor’s newborn. “Wrong baby, wrong baby,” she repeats to panicky dad Jim, who quickly replaces the sated infant in its bassinet before its mother wakes up.

http://www.seattlepi.com/tvguide/416254_tvgif5.html

‘The Office’ Baby — Jim & Pam Welcome Cecilia Marie!

The episode did raise four burning questions, though:

1.) Do hospitals really employ male lactation consultants? Young, handsome ones who offer hands-on breastfeeding counsel to new moms? While new dads watch? Pam accepted the nature of the clinical situation, totally indifferent to anything but the task at hand (getting Cecilia fed) — but we’re with Jim. That’s just not right.

2.) Mistakenly breastfeeding someone else’s newborn doesn’t happen — does it? It seemed beyond credible that Pam would sleepily bring another mom’s baby to her breast, but when you factor in the mind-numbing exhaustion of birthing a child in the first place, it actually makes you wonder how it doesn’t happen more often!

http://www.ivillage.com/office-baby-jim-pam-0/1-a-121935

Angela Kinsey Pitches Nursing Humor to Office Writers

“I … tried to pitch them some breastfeeding jokes,” she revealed to the Toronto Sun, noting that she returned to the set when her own daughter Isabel Ruby, now 22 months, was just eight weeks old.

“Not to over-share, but I had to pump,” she explains. “That’s a working mom’s life if you want to breastfeed.”

“We had to take pump breaks all day. Our female writers on the show don’t have children, so I pulled them aside. I don’t know what they used or didn’t use, but it’s a fun episode.”

http://celebrity-babies.com/2010/03/02/angela-kinsey-pitches-nursing-humor-to-office-writers/

Bridgwater midwife shortlisted for national award  (UK)

Monique Korrs was nominated for The Infacol Baby Bonding Award by Esther Loh, who felt inadequate as a mother after an emergency caesarean last September

More than 150 health professionals across the country were nominated for the award and Monique is down to the last ten.

http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/news/5045178.Bridgwater_midwife_shortlisted_for_national_award/

Breastfeeding teen

A US woman still breastfeeds her 14-year-old son to “comfort” him.

Jocelyn Cooper, 36, allows her teenage son Billy to suckle on her breasts for 10-15 minutes each day – because it keeps them close.

http://entertainment.stv.tv/showbiz/161459-breastfeeding-teen/  

Daycare director resigns after breast milk mistake

BREMERTON, Wash. – A Bremerton daycare director has resigned after she allegedly gave a baby the wrong breast milk, then tried to hide the mistake.

http://www.king5.com/home/Daycare-director-covered-up-breastmilk-mistake-86111702.html

Pregnant ladies banned for their own Good

Bravado is a company that sells breastfeeding bras for ladies with breasts that are used for breastfeeding babies. But when Bravado goes out to fashion trade shows to have their pregnant lady models model the breastfeeding bras in their pregnant way, can you guess what happens? Yes, they are banned, for their own pregnant good. From a runway show! In a nightclub! At the Wynn Casino, in Las Vegas, the City of Sin!

http://gawker.com/5484608/pregnant-ladies-banned-for-their-own-good  

Breastfeeding facility set up at airport

Manila: Manila’s international airport in Pasay City has opened a private area for breastfeeding mothers, a senior official said, adding it is part of the government’s effort to promote breastfeeding in the Philippines.

“This facility was set up to give mothers a relaxed and secure area where they can nurse their babies free of charge,” said airport general manager Alfonso Cusi.

The 32-square-metre breastfeeding station is located after the immigration area for departing passengers. It has four cubicles, each with a bed, swivel chair, drawer, a window and a lockable door, said Cusi, adding the facility was opened in time for the celebration of International Women’s Month.

The Philippine Congress recently passed a bill that prevents companies from promoting infant formula.

http://gulfnews.com/news/world/philippines/breastfeeding-facility-set-up-at-airport-1.591070

Moms, babies deserved better from legislators

UNEDITED) Sadly, Utah legislators missed an easy opportunity to make life easier for working families last Friday when they defeated House Bill 252, Workplace Accomodation of Breastfeeding.

This bill would have required employers with more than 15 employees to provide unpaid break time and a private location — other than a toilet stall — where a working mother could express her milk for her baby. This is a simple request and would not be a strain for most employers, if they understood the value of providing this accommodation

http://www.standard.net/topics/opinion/2010/03/01/moms-babies-deserved-better-legislators

Slate’s ‘Dear Prudence’: My European coworkers are calling me a cow, my wife is preparing for the apocalypse, my husband has bad teeth, dad’s breastfeeding dilemmas

Stay at home Dad land: I have a question that I do not think a stay at home mom has faced before. My wife works and is also very intent upon breastfeeding our daughter until she is 1 year old. So she pumps for when she is gone and breastfeeds when she is home. The problem has arisen because I tend to see the signs that my daughter is hungry before she starts to cry. I will then suggest to my wife that she feed our daughter. Recently my wife blew up at me and said that her breasts are her body and no other person can tell her what to do with her body. From now on I am not allowed to tell her when I see signs that our daughter is hungry because it then would be controlling my wife’s body. Feeding a bottle at those times is out because my wife does not want to confuse our daughter by feeding her a bottle while she is present.

How do I be a good stay at home dad without suggesting that my wife use her body to feed our daughter?

Emily Yoffe: Have used a breast pump myself, I do not understand why cows seem so contented, because breastpumping is one of the more unpleasant aspects of modern motherhood. Your wife is in the difficult situation of trying to provide nutrition for your daughter while being at work all day. It doesn’t help that when she’s home you indicate you are more in tune with your baby’s needs than she is. Men constantly complain that women want them to do more of the childcare, then micromanage their every action. That’s what you’re doing with your wife. It will not harm your daughter to let a few lusty cries for milk, instead of having Dad anticipate her hunger. Just relax and let your wife handle it

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2010/02/23/DI2010022303485.html

Mom shot dead while breastfeeding baby

MANILA, Philippines—A 31-year-old mother was shot and killed Tuesday morning while she was breastfeeding her one-year-old child inside her home in Manila.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/metro/view/20100302-256267/Mom-shot-dead-while-breastfeeding-baby

Breastfeeding and better hygiene may protect against peptic ulcer bacterium infection.

Young children in developing countries are infected at an early age with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which can cause peptic ulcers and stomach cancer. New findings show that childrens´ immune responses help in fighting the bacteria. In addition, breastfeeding and better hygiene appear to protect against infection. The results provide hope for a vaccine, according to research from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20100301/Breastfeeding-and-better-hygiene-may-protect-against-peptic-ulcer-bacterium-infection.aspx

Breastfeeding rates drop in Nigeria

The Federal Ministry of Health plans to engage the participation of religious mothers to stress the importance of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life, so as to reduce the current high rate of child mortalityn

The method, which is to begin this year, is following Nigeria’s poor assessment in the most recent National Demographic Health Survey where the rate of exclusive breastfeeding dropped from 17 percent in 2003 to 13 per cent in 2008.

“We are taking the campaign to them through this channel because we believe that by the time Muslim mothers, and Christian mothers talk to their various women groups, they will listen to them and thus more women will comply.”

http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/News/5533490-147/breastfeeding_rates_drop_in_nigeria_.csp

Professors spar about potential risks of breastfeeding

“After her presentation, McKenzie said society is hesitant to address the issue of contaminated breast milk related to environmental pollutants “because it’s still seen as a women’s issue. Maybe we should be reframing it as a child health issue rather than a women’s issue.”

http://news.guelphmercury.com/News/article/603719

2 Comments

Filed under breast milk, breastfeeding, Breastfeeding in the News, lactivist, the curious lactivist