August 18th – August 25th, 2009

Hello all,

The big news this week is the story about a Los Angeles mother who was awarded $46,000 for being fired because she was breastfeeding out in her car during her work breaks at a local taco restaurant.  “The Department of Fair Employment and Housing says Jesus Acosta, owner of Acosta Tacos, was ordered to pay Marina Chavez lost wages, compensation for emotional suffering and an administrative fine.”  Mean while a police officer in Oregon felt compelled to quit her job because the department could not accommodate her breastfeeding needs.  The issue revolved around the department’s need for her to show proficiency at the firing range which conflicted with her desire to keep her milk lead free.  The case involved a tangle of city, state and federal regulations which “In the HR world, we call (this) the Bermuda Triangle.” Meanwhile the state of Vermont is bending over backwards with offers of free assistance to help breastfeeding moms stay in the work place. 

There were quit a few interesting tidbits out of Southeast Asia this week.  Like Obama the politicians in Jakarta have their hands full with a new health care bill.  Breastfeeding advocates are protesting the inclusion of formula in the new bill. It would seem the formula companies are heavily entrenched in Indonesia.  If you click on the link you will see that the bottom of the story is partially obscured by an ad for free formula samples!  Luckily the lacivists in Indoneasia have male actor Ferry Salim on their side.  He uses his fame to get both women and their male partners to attend advocacy events.  Meanwhile over in Manilla breastfeeding advocates have begun the second year of their television campaign.  This year the theme is breastfeeding mothers as super heros!  And in Singapore Temasek Ho (business woman/ wife of the prime minister) recounted the story of how her doctor once advised her to stop breastfeeding when she came down with the chicken pox.  But when her baby got the pox as well he urged her to start again.  (It was too late, but she did spend a lot of time skin to skin comforting her baby as best she could.)

Which brings me to my next story, Dr. Wendy Walsh gives tips on how to bond with a formula fed baby.  Although I’m not too pleased with her some of her descriptions of breastfeeding mothers  “nursing mothers have no shame”, her tips which include all the same attachment parenting advice we give breastfeeding mothers (skin to skin, co-sleeping, etc.) are a welcome relief in the so called “mommy wars”.  Normalizing “attachment parenting” as something that all mothers should do, would be a win/win for everybody.  On the other hand Dr. Neifert, pediatrician and author of “Great Expectations: The Essential Guide to Breastfeeding” has me a little worried.  She says that “ … if the breastfeeding isn’t going well, and then you’re thinking somehow you should have known, your body should have worked better. Breastfeeding is an area where putting forth three times more effort doesn’t necessarily get three times the outcome.”  Hmm…thanks for the support doc.

Down in Texas they have developed their own 10 step hospital program called the “Texas Ten Step”.  Apparently the UN Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative wasn’t a good enough for them.  And speaking of Top Ten’s a story out of Liberia listing the top ten benefits of breastfeeding included a breastfed baby’s ability to be easily aroused from sleep on their list, calling it a protection against SIDs. Getting babies to sleep longer has been the goal of our society for so long that it’s refreshing to hear people talking about the advantages of having a baby wake easily!  And as long as we are making lists I’ve included a story listing five steps for helping breastfeeding teens.

And if you haven’t heard it before someone blogged about the old stories of a tribe in Africa where the men let babies suck on their nipples as a matter of course and a Sri Lankan widower who started producing milk for his newborn.  For the kids there is a new children’s book teaching older siblings how to welcome the breastfeeding new born to the family.  And my daughter and I just went to see the animated Japanese movie “Ponyo” directed by Hayao Miyazaki (we love all his films). The movie is distributed by Disney, and not only is there a strong mother figure (this is my biggest beef with Disney – the mother is always dead!) there is a lovely sequence where Ponyo (a five year old girl who used to be a fish) learns about breast milk!  Seeing Ponyo’s disappointment when she turns down Ponyo’s offer of food for her baby, the infant’s mother explains that she makes the milk for her baby.  Ponyo then immediately offers the mother her sandwich and excitedly calls it “Milk!”  Leave it to the Japanese to normalize breastfeeding for children.  We could learn a lot from them.

A few people responded to my comments about nipple shields last week.  I’ve posted more of my thoughts about nipple shields on my blog (, feel free to leave a response.

Kathy Abbott, IBCLC

On Facebook: “Breastfeeding in the News” 

My Blog:


Ho Ching Shares Her Breastfeeding Story

Temasek Holdings chief executive Ho Ching was once advised by her doctor to stop breastfeeding a week after childbirth.

She had contracted chicken pox. Despite the preventive measure, her baby got the virus too. The doctor then suggested she restart breastfeeding to pass on the antibodies to the baby through the milk.

‘By then, it was a bit late. I couldn’t restart breastfeeding no matter how hard I tried.’

In hindsight, Ms Ho, 56, said she should have continued breastfeeding as she would have passed the virus to the baby by the time she saw the doctor for chicken pox.

She was relating her experience yesterday at an event to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week.

Ferry gets passionate over breast-feeding campaign

Mon, 08/24/2009 11:16 AM  |  People


JAKARTA: Ask actor Ferry Salim what’s the most interesting campaign he has been part of in the past five years, and he will answer “Campaigning for breast-feeding”.

For the 42-year-old, campaigning for breast-feeding is nothing tricky even though he is a man.

“I don’t find it difficult at all,” says Ferry, the Indonesian ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). “Rather, I think, it’s more interesting for such a campaign to be carried out by men.”

Ferry based his statement on his own experiences of taking part in breast-feeding campaign events across the archipelago.

“From my experience, I have managed to attract not only mothers, but also their husbands to come to the advocacy events,” Ferry says during a telephone interview from Atambua in East Nusa Tenggara, where he is campaigning.

“As a man, it’s also easier for me to encourage the husbands to support their wives in breast-feeding,” he adds.

State Initiative Helps Workplaces Accommodate Breastfeeding Moms


Montpelier, Vermont

Vermont is about to launch a state-wide initiative to make sure breastfeeding mothers have space in the workplace.

Last year lawmakers passed a measure encouraging businesses to accommodate breastfeeding mothers. Now the Vermont Commission on Women and the Department of Health will offer free assistance to Vermont firms while they work to comply with the new law.

Statistics show women with children under 3-years-old make up the fastest-growing sector of the state’s labor force. And since about 85 percent of Vermont moms breast feed their newborns, providing space to breast feed is now a top priority for businesses.

Pro-breastfeeding group against health bill

The Jakarta Post

The bill on health now being debated at the House of Representatives is facing an uphill battle with a pro-breastfeeding group for condoning formula milk for newly born babies.
Article 88 and 89 of the bill stipulate that medical workers can provide formula milk to meet babies’ nutrition needs, which the group says will mislead the public and discourage the national campaign for exclusive breast feeding.

Formula milk is not the answer to malnutrition among babies. Their mother’s donation is far better than formula milk,” she was quoted by

Pediatrician Utami Rusli said formula milk was proved to be a cause of malnutrition among children instead.

Five ways to support a breastfeeding teen mother

A teen mother may be very interested in doing what is optimal for her newborn, but the details and realities of breastfeeding might be a little overwhelming for her to tackle alone. This is largely why the vast majority of teen moms choose the bottle over the breast. New motherhood is challenging for everyone! But with some support, information and encouragement, the new teen mother may find the breastfeeding option to be easier and more fulfilling than she ever imagined.

Q 11 supports LATCH in breastfeeding campaign  (Manilla)

“Full of love,” “Improves bonding,” and “Open 24/7” – who would think that these actually refer to breastfeeding? These are just some of the messages seen on Q Channel 11’s television campaign which runs this month.

Partnering with the women-oriented channel is the non-profit organization LATCH (Lactation Attachment Training, Counseling, and Help). “Our thrust is in lactation education,” explains Budding Aquino-Dee, president and co-founder of LATCH Inc

Aquino-Dee adds, “This is our second year with Q. Last year we had a campaign called Breastfeeding is Beautiful. The look, feel, and message of that were more of aspirational.

We wanted to plant that seed to the viewers that breastfeeding is something beautiful.”

This year, Q Channel 11 and LATCH take the campaign to the next level. Tagged Superheroes, because according to Aquino-Dee “that’s really what breastfeeding mothers are,” this campaign is more comprehensive. It covers three major issues surrounding breastfeeding which are actually the focus of three different TV plugs – the benefits of breastfeeding, the positive attitude that goes around it, and the need of breastfeeding mothers for support.

“So, compared to last year which was like aspirational, this year we want to solidify that aspiration of theirs.

Taqueria fined $46K for firing mom who breastfed


A Los Angeles taqueria owner has been ordered to pay more than $46,000 for firing a worker because she used her break time to breastfeed her baby.

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing says Jesus Acosta, owner of Acosta Tacos, was ordered to pay Marina Chavez lost wages, compensation for emotional suffering and an administrative fine.

The DFEH prosecuted the case before the Fair Employment and Housing Commission, which found Acosta liable for sex discrimination, retaliation and failure to prevent discrimination.

The agency says Acosta fired Chavez after he learned that she had breastfed her baby in her car during a work break.

The commission also ordered Acosta to develop a written policy prohibiting sex and pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.

Ponyo – The Cliff by the Sea  (movie)

Breastfeeding Could Save 1.3 Million Lives

Breastfeeding: Best Formula for Feeding Infants

More Easily Aroused from Sleep

Breastfed babies have better arousal from sleep at two to three months old. This coincides with the peak incidence of sudden infant death syndrome.

Children’s Book Teaches Sibling about Breastfeeding

“Mommy Breastfeeds My Baby Brother” is a charming, thoughtful portrayal of how a family adjusts to life with an “ever-hungry” infant and an inquisitive two-year-old sibling. Based on personal experiences of author Mark Repkin and his wife Stacy, the sweetly illustrated children’s book relates the perplexing, often amusing, situations that arise when Mommy is feeding baby. Pro-breastfeeding families will appreciate the creative ways used to resolve the discord.

Breastfeeding under fire?

Officer felt she had to choose between her child’s health and her career

While many moms use their breaks to pump and store breast milk, a police officer must work this in while patrolling the street. They also face another problem.

Every six months, Gresham police officers must show proficiency at the firing range. So Wray’s marksmanship had to be tested before she could return to work.

But testing disperses lead from the weapon’s brass casings into the air. That lead would then be passed onto her baby through Wray’s breastmilk.

Wray filed a complaint with OSHA and the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), but the latter would only act if she were “damaged.” That would have required Wray to be exposed to lead at the firing range, which she was not willing to do. So BOLI denied the complaint.

The complaint also alleged discrimination, which the bureau rejected on the grounds that breastfeeding mothers are not a protected class.

Chief Craig Junginger, who replaced Piluso in December, said the issue is a new one for him.

“We never had this issue in Huntington Beach,” he said, referring to the California town where he worked before becoming Gresham’s new chief.

Carol Murray, Gresham’s human resources director, said the city is in compliance with federal and state leave laws, as well as the city’s light-duty policy, OSHA and BOLI requirements.

Considering that Wray’s case involved all three leave issues, “it’s a little complex,” Murray said. “In the HR world, we call it the Bermuda Triangle. … You want to be careful you don’t create a special job or accommodations for one group of employees that you wouldn’t create for another group of employees. … A lot of it is personal choice and decisions that need to be made.”

Bond With Your Baby Without Breastfeeding

Breast milk is not a magic potion that creates a secure bond. Formula Moms can behave the same way as breastfeeding mothers.

Dr. Wendy Walsh: It’s not new news that a healthy attachment between a parent and child has a strong relationship to mental health. A host of personality disorders, including an inability to tolerate intimacy and some sexual disorders, can be linked to early life attachment injuries. Parenting books love to promote breastfeeding as a powerful tool in producing a healthy attachment. But human breast milk is not a magic potion that creates a secure bond. While nursing mothers do undergo hormonal changes that increase their attachment behaviors, with a little creativity, formula Moms can behave the same way too. It is the nurturing behaviors that go along with breastfeeding that contribute to a healthy attachment. So, how do you preserve those breastfeeding attachment behaviors without breastfeeding? Well, it takes some life adjustments.

So what are the mysterious actions that breastfeeding mothers seem to do more naturally? And how can a mother who feeds formula copy them? The biggest part is the time commitment. No one knows what the perfect mathematical ratio between holding a baby and laying them down, but it is known that breastfeeding takes plenty of time with an infant in arms. The average feeding takes 20 minutes on each breast, and eight to ten feedings in a 24-hour period. Do the math ladies. Breastfeeding mothers hold their babies for a MINIMUM of six to seven hours a day.

Nursing mothers have no shame. From a practical standpoint, there is plenty of nudity going on at feedings and experts in attachment also believe that skin-to-skin contact is an important part of our development as we learn to trust intimacy.

Doctor advocates for breastfeeding full disclosure

I think we don’t tell mothers to budget money for working through your breastfeeding. We tell mothers you’re going to make money breastfeeding. But it costs money to feed a baby; how do you want to spend that, on the best nutrition or the second-best nutrition? So budget money in case you need to pay for a breastfeeding consultation or in case you need to rent a pump, and unfortunately, we don’t get the good medical coverage for these things women deserve. That’s a whole other issue.

You’ve really hit on something there because women have no idea: their own hormonal changes or the baby blues, or the 10 or 15 percent that go on to get full-blown postpartum depression. The sleep deprivation, the nighttime feedings; you can’t delegate to somebody in the beginning, and so you’re tired.

And then the pressure if the breastfeeding isn’t going well, and then you’re thinking somehow you should have known, your body should have worked better. Breastfeeding is an area where putting forth three times more effort doesn’t necessarily get three times the outcome.

Hear more from Dr. Marianne Neifert, pediatrician and author of “Great Expectations: The Essential Guide to Breastfeeding” at

Men Can Breastfeed—Seriously!

In one African tribe, the Akas, men breastfeeding is commonplace, although no milk is produced. In this hunter-gatherer society, men play an equal role in caregiving as the women. So when a baby is in search of breast milk, although the Aka men can’t actually supply milk, males will still allow the children to suck on their nipples to fulfill the oral urge.

In another case, one Sri Lankan man whose wife had passed away offered his newborn daughter his nipple because she refused a bottle. To his surprise, he learned that he was lactating and could actually feed her. His unique ability was due to having a hyperactive prolactine hormone, which is the hormone for producing milk.

The Texas Ten Step program was designed to encourage breastfeeding among new mothers, with a goal of 75 percent of mothers breastfeeding when they go home from the hospital with their newborn.

In order to become designated a Texas Ten Step facility, a hospital must obtain 85 percent compliance with the ten steps. “Seton’s medical staff has worked very hard to earn the Texas Ten Step designation,” said Susan Crane, vice president of Neonatal Services for the Seton Family of Hospitals.

The Texas Ten Steps

  • Make breastfeeding the preferred method of infant feeding.
  • Employees who care for mothers and infants should receive breastfeeding training within six months of employment, with updates provided on a regular basis.
  • Breastfeeding is presented as the feeding choice for all mothers, including those that must be separated from their infant.
  • Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their newborn within one hour of birth, within 30 minutes is ideal.
  • Breastfeeding should be assessed within six hours after birth and at least once per shift.
  • Newborns should be given artificial human milk only if it is medically indicated and ordered by the physician or requested by the parent.
  • Mothers and newborns should be encouraged to room-in unless separation is medically indicated.
  • Mothers should be encouraged to breastfeed their newborns without restriction and breastfeeding should take priority over non-emergent events.
  • Artificial nipples should be discouraged for the healthy newborn.
  • Breastfeeding mothers should receive support following discharge


1 Comment

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

One response to “August 18th – August 25th, 2009

  1. Pingback: - Starting to Breast feed

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