Breastfeeding in the News: July 4 – July 10th, 2009

July 4th – July 10th, 2009

Hello All,

We have a mish mash of stories this week.  There’s the odd (placenta sandwiches & a grandma giving “titty”), the sad (2 in 3 moms fear stares when breastfeeding in public in the UK, a weaning leads to depression – we heard from this same mom last week by the way), the interesting (fish oil taken while pregnant & breastfeeding reduces food allergies & excema), the say again?? (breastfeeding moms at pool must stand behind the line), and the slightly outrageous (bottle feeding is easier for working moms).

But I’m giving two awards for the most outrageous, dunderheaded stories this week.  The first is to the ABC reporter who led a story by saying “A two minute procedure may take the agony out of breastfeeding for a lot of moms.” Turns out she is talking about a frenotomy which is a rare procedure that is used only on tongue tied babies.  The second award goes to the report from Minneapolis stating that the clinical term for accidental smothering of infants is, wait for it… “co-sleeping.”  Both cases mentioned in the story involved either alcohol or drugs, and as the story says charges are seldom made so statistics on the real reason for these tragedies (impaired care takers) is often obscured.  Instead “co-sleeping” has become a catch all for cause of death, but to call it a clinical definition for accidental smothering??  Don’t you think that’s going too far?

Until next week. 

Kathy Abbott, IBCLC

The Curious Lactivist

on Facebook: Breastfeeding in the News



David Sedaris takes over Barnes Noble in Winston

He enjoys hearing stories about breast feeding and, with his encouragement, several people share personal experiences they have their books signed. He jots some of them down in a miniature green notebook he keeps in his shirt pocket, his favorite being a story about a woman whose nipple fell off from an infection she contracted from breast-feeding.

“This is the most I have taken out my notebook throughout this whole book tour,” Sedaris says as he jots. Once the clock hits midnight the conversations become a bit more racy. Sedaris tells a story about a mother and daughter who end up pregnant at the same time and once the daughter’s son hits two years old she refuses to breast feed him anymore, so he goes to his grandmother.

“The kid told his mom, ‘My grandma gives me titty,’ and you can’t get much more white trash than that,” Sedaris said. He tells one tattooed lady a story about another woman he met on tour whose grandmother had a tattoo of a mouse tail coming out of her pubic hair and would show it to people and say “I have a mouse down here…oops! My pussy ate it.” By 3 a.m. the crowd dwindles down to the last 50 people who have endured the wait. Sedaris keeps his good humor and enthusiasm up until the very last person and hundreds of satisfied fans go home happy.

Accidental smothering of infants rarely results in charges

A Lakeville baby’s death puts new focus on rarity of criminal charges in accidental smothering of infants

The issue was raised afresh in May when, police say, a Lakeville grandmother mixed alcohol and pills, then accidentally slept on her 6-week-old grandson and killed him.

Several county attorneys said it is difficult to prove that a person intended to hurt a baby or acted recklessly. Medical examiners almost always rule such deaths accidental or undetermined. And the caretaker’s grief is sometimes considered punishment enough.


On average, about 20 infants die each year in Minnesota from suffocation when sleeping with their caretakers, yet such cases are rarely presented to prosecutors to review for child neglect or manslaughter charges.

Whether the Lakeville case prompts charges, nearly every such infant death — the clinical term is “co-sleeping” — could have been prevented, said Linda Thompson, a pediatrician at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Statewide, it’s the third most common cause of death in babies less than a year old, behind premature births and birth defects.

Glamourmom(R) Donates 200 Nursing Tops to NYC Non-Profit Baby Buggy in Celebration of Breastfeeding Awareness Month

During Breastfeeding Awareness Month, Line Rothman will donate 200 Glamourmom(R) Nursing Tanks to the Baby Buggy organization. Baby Buggy, a non-profit organization founded in 2001 by Jessica Seinfeld, is dedicated to providing New York City’s families in need. Baby Buggy will distribute the Glamourmom Nursing Tanks through their collaboration with Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) as well as other NYC-based agencies helping families in need.

Health and medical news from

 (07/09/09)– A two minute procedure may take the agony out of breastfeeding for a lot of moms.

HealthFirst reporter Leslie Toldo explains that doctors can stop the pain and bruising that keeps many women from breast feeing their children.

It’s a procedure that takes a few minutes, but it will save mom Shani Haden from months of pain.  “I would’ve thought it was normal. I would’ve thought that breastfeeding is supposed to be painful, but it’s not.”

Dr. Earl Harley puts a little topical anesthetic in Devin’s mouth and then snips the membrane under the tongue called the frenulum.  It loosens and lengthens the tongue, so he can latch on without hurting mom.

Just a couple snips, and it releases the tongue. It’s very simple, takes a matter of a minute, two minutes at the most,” Harley explained.

The goal is to prevent more moms from giving up on breastfeeding. A recent survey shows breastfeeding in the U.S. is at an all-time high. Seventy-seven percent of new moms are doing it compared to 60 percent 15 years ago.

Dr. Harley says he sees one to three babies a week for breast-feeding problems related to “tongue tie.”

Drinking and breastfeeding

Either the alcohol is or isn’t passed on to the baby while breastfeeding. If there’s no science on this, the woman has been convicted based on speculation, fueled by antipathy to drinking and being drunk. I’m not a fan of drunks but whether drunk mothers endanger their babies certainly wasn’t laid out in that article.

The End of Breastfeeding: Depression After Weaning

It was easier to stop breastfeeding my son than I thought it would be. I wasn’t expecting that it would be worse for me than him.

It was sometime around when I started dropping feedings that I felt different. I was sad and I didn’t know why. I was irritable and seemed to have less patience than usual.

It feels like the worst PMS that I have ever experienced. Emotionally, I feel like I did right around the time when I became pregnant. As I researched this topic, I found that it was more common than I knew.

Why Bottle-Feeding is Easier for Working Moms

The constant pumping is more of a chore than a benefit to the baby or life in general to many women. If a busy mom does wish to breastfeed, and she still requires assistance from daddy every now and again, she must pump. Even breast milk only keeps in the refrigerator for so long, so pumping often is necessary, particularly in the beginning stages of newborn development.

New Momma eats afterbirth, to new Daddy’s dismay

Time magazine columnist Joel Stein, a new dad, wrote about how his pregnant wife wanted to save their baby’s placenta so that she could eat it.

Eating the placenta is supposed to have many benefits, including bringing your milk in for breastfeeding and preventing postpartum depression. It’s also a practice that tends to gross out new fathers.

The woman who prepared the placenta told Stein she has already cooked up about two dozen this year and that her business is picking up. Recently, some other new Mommas bragged about serving up their babies’ placenta on pasta and even on a sandwich!

Ore. moms protest pool breast-feeding restriction

A group of mothers has staged a “nurse-in” at a public pool in Eastern Oregon.

At issue was whether the state’s law favoring breast-feeding conflicts with the state’s law requiring food and drink at public pools to remain four feet from the pool’s edge.

The mothers who nursed in protest Friday kept behind the blue line.

Two mothers in three ‘fear stares if they breastfeed’

Nearly two in three mothers believe the UK is “not breastfeeding-friendly”, prompting concerns from nursing mums that they would struggle to breastfeed while out and about. Miranda Levy, Mother & Baby’s editor, said: “Every mum we questioned understood the health benefits of breastfeeding, but a huge percentage were put off even trying because of the fear of people staring.”

Fish oil during pregnancy may slash infant allergy

Supplements of omega-3-rich fish oils during pregnancy may reduce the risk of food allergy and eczema in children, according to a new study from Sweden.

The occurrence of eczema and food allergies was 16 and 13 per cent lower, respectively, in infants of mothers receiving the fish oil supplements during pregnancy and the early months of breast-feeding, compared to placebo, according to findings published in the journal Acta Paediatrica.

“This randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study shows that omega-3 supplementation during pregnancy and lactation may reduce the risk of developing allergic sensitization to egg, IgE-associated eczema and food allergy during the first year of life,” wrote the authors, led by Catrin Furuhjelm from Linkoping University.


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