August 26th – September 1st, 2009

Hello All,
Here in Massachusetts the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy meant the end of an era. It was Ted Kennedy by the way who led the charge against Nestle back in the late seventies (check out the video of him grilling a Nestle’s executive) which for me personally was my first introduction to the politics of breastfeeding. Let’s hope the torch passes on to someone just as tenacious as Ted.
Last week we were celebrating the $46,000 award given to an LA mom who was fired for pumping on the work breaks. This week a mom working for “Totes” in Ohio lost her suit for pumping too often on company time. It should be noted however “that the lead opinion on the case failed to answer whether Ohio law protects breastfeeding mothers.” Elsewhere in the business world Forbes reported that while some companies are promoting lactation support programs they aren’t doing a very good job letting their employees know about it, for example in one company no one in HR even knew that they had a lactation room!
A new poll shows that one out of four Australians feels that breastfeeding in public is unacceptable with the most offensive places being church, work, a restaurant, and the mall in that order. Here in the US, one woman equates the pro-breastfeeding material in her OB/GYN’s office to be as offense as pro-life material would be (“Stop telling me to breastfeed”).
TV Guide published a list of their 8 top celebrity breastfeeding stories which includes everything from Naomi Watts new term for that sleep deprived fog most breastfeeding mothers experience (“lactose lobotomy”) to Kate Beckinsale’s ability to shoot her breast milk across the room. The list of course included Kendra Wilkinson’s news that her augmented breasts were leaking colostrum.
A report from England linking the clotting agents given after birth to reduced breastfeeding rates also links epidurals to lower breastfeeding rates as well. Also from England comes the news that according to Margot Sunderland the author of “The Science of Parenting” that children should sleep with their parents until the age of five (that’s years, not months!). I have to confess that I’ve included a couple of articles that do not mention breastfeeding this week. There is the study about infant sleep which reports that whether or not a baby will sleep soundly at night can be predicted by the mother’s expectations during pregnancy. “If an expectant mom thinks babies who cry at night are suffering distress and need to be soothed and comforted, her baby is likely to have more wakeful, weepy nights later.” Hmm… I wonder who paid for this study? Wasn’t it just last week that an African story listed the fact that a breastfed baby could be easily aroused as one of the benefits of breastfeeding because it reduced chances of sleep? According to Sunderland, “In the UK, 500 children a year die of Sids,” Sunderland writes. “In China, where it [co-sleeping] is taken for granted, Sids is so rare it does not have a name.” And speaking of SIDs I’ve also included a story about the over use of car seats (or as I call it “baby in a bucket”) as yet another link to SIDs.
I also wanted to let you know that the “The Curious Lactivist” now features a weekly poll! This week’s question is: In Your Opinion: Do you think the general media portrays breastfeeding fairly? To place your vote or see the results go to:
(Remember to scroll down past my signature to see the headlines & click on the links if you want to read the full story.)
Kathy Abbott, IBCLC
On Facebook: “Breastfeeding in the News”
My Blog:

Edward Kennedy and Nestlé 1978 Senate Hearing
(You Tube video)
Clip of Senator Edward Kennedy cross questioning Nestlé about its marketing of breastmilk substitutes in the developing world. 1978 US Senate Hearing on the marketing of formula in developing countries. …

Drugs given during labour linked to breastfeeding problems
Analysis of the records of more than 48,000 women who gave birth in South Wales found that use of the clotting agents oxytocin or ergometrine was associated with a 7 per cent decline in the proportion who started breastfeeding within 48 hours of giving birth.
It is thought that the drugs may impede a woman’s ability to produce milk, suggesting that mothers who have them may need greater time or support from midwives if they wish to breastfeed their baby.
The study, by researchers at Swansea University, also confirmed the link between high doses of injected pain relief and lower rates of breastfeeding, an association that has recently prompted revised guidelines for the NHS on the use of epidurals in labour.
Top 8 Celebrity Breastfeeding Stories
TV Guide put together their top 8 favorite breastfeeding stories from the stars. The famous moms include Kendra Wilkinson, Angelina Jolie, Naomi Watts, Gwen Stefani, Mary-Louise Parker, Kate Beckinsale, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Salma Hayek. Check out why these celebs deserve a spot in the top eight.
Children ‘should sleep with parents until they’re five’
Margot Sunderland, director of education at the Centre for Child Mental Health in London, says the practice, known as “co-sleeping”, makes children more likely to grow up as calm, healthy adults.
Sunderland, author of 20 books, outlines her advice in The Science of Parenting, to be published later this month.
“What I have done in this book is present the science. Studies from around the world show that co-sleeping until the age of five is an investment for the child. They can have separation anxiety up to the age of five and beyond, which can affect them in later life. This is calmed by co-sleeping.”
Symptoms can also be physical. Sunderland quotes one study that found some 70% of women who had not been comforted when they cried as children developed digestive difficulties as adults.
“In the UK, 500 children a year die of Sids,” Sunderland writes. “In China, where it [co-sleeping] is taken for granted, Sids is so rare it does not have a name.”
Mom’s Sleep Beliefs Affect Baby’s Nights
While a mother is still pregnant, researchers can size up the likelihood that her infant will be a good sleeper by assessing the mother’s beliefs about infant sleep, says a study in the latest issue of Child Development. If an expectant mom thinks babies who cry at night are suffering distress and need to be soothed and comforted, her baby is likely to have more wakeful, weepy nights later, after controlling for other factors. On the other hand, if an expectant mother believes parents must draw boundaries against getting involved with a baby at bedtime, her infant will probably sleep better, assuming other factors are equal.
Car Seats are for Cars: Leaving Baby in Carseat Lowers Oxygen, Increases SIDS
By Catherine McKenzie
Published in Mothering Issue 136
One of the main reasons that parents buy portable car seats is so they can remove a sleeping infant from the car without waking him or her. There are certainly times when this is handy, but the strategy can easily backfire. I remember several shopping trips that began with my daughter asleep in her car seat, but only ten minutes later she was awake and screaming to be held. I would end up carrying her and the car seat—separately—for the rest of our trip. I discovered that it was often simpler to wake her and put her into the sling, where she would frequently fall back to sleep again anyway.
Babies weaned early due to breastfeeding stigma
ONE in four Australians think breastfeeding in public is unacceptable, with young people aged 18 to 24 the least approving, a Newspoll survey has found.
And people think the most unwelcome place to breastfeed is in a church, followed by work, then cafes or restaurants and, lastly, a shopping centre.,23739,25998565-23272,00.html
West Chester breastfeeding case has divided Ohio Supreme Court
COLUMBUS — A West Chester Twp. company did not discriminate against a woman when it fired her for using a breast pump too often on company time, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled today, Thursday, Aug. 27.
Five of the seven justices found that LaNisa Allen of Colerain failed to prove Totes/Isotoner Corp. violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and that Allen “was simply and plainly terminated as an employee at will for taking an unauthorized, extra break” and failing to “follow directions.”
Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton said in court records that Allen admittedly took unauthorized breaks to pump her breast milk and failed to present a case that would allow justices to rule in her favor.
Justice Maureen O’Connor agreed in part. She went further in her statement, adding that lactating women are protected under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
“I would hold that lactation falls within the scope of (the Pregnancy Discrimination Act) that the statute prohibits employment discrimination against lactating women,” O’Connor wrote.
O’Connor also said she was disappointed that Stratton, the lead opinion on the case, failed to address the issue.
“The question of whether Ohio law recognizes discrimination claims based on lactation is one of great general interest. Allen and Isotoner, as well as all Ohio’s employees and employers, are entitled to the answer and to guidance on the contours of Ohio’s employment laws,” O’Connor wrote.
O’Connor continued: “It is our duty to provide that guidance and to answer the questions posed in this controversy.”
Justice Paul E. Pfeifer dissented, saying discrimination against lactating women is unlawful and that Allen deserves the opportunity to prove her claim before a jury.
Pfeifer also expressed disappointment that the lead opinion on the case failed to answer whether Ohio law protects breastfeeding mothers.
Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger dismissed Allen’s appeal, saying the Supreme Court should have denied hearing Allen’s case.
Contact this reporter at (513) 820-2180 or
Stop Telling Me to Breastfeed!
The fact of the matter is, it’s a woman’s choice. It is not my mother’s choice, it’s not the pediatrician’s choice, and it isn’t your choice. It is MY choice. So leave the breastfeeding decision up to me, OK?

Getty Images
Momlogic’s Talitha: It’s incredible to me that such a personal topic — like breastfeeding — can have such a public outpouring. Frankly, I am beyond over it. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to explain my uncertainty about breastfeeding — especially to doctors: “Can I ask WHY?” they ask me. I always feel like my answer isn’t good enough for them, as they then follow up with: “Well, it’s definitely best for the baby, that’s for sure, so even if you can just do it for X amount of time, that would be great. Even if you could just do it for six months, or three months!” Wait, did you not hear what I just said?
The other day, as my husband and I were meeting our baby’s potential pediatrician, he stuffed a bunch of leaflets in my hands. On the cover: “Our office is pro-breastfeeding!” Immediately, I had a judgment against the office. It’s like going to an OB/GYN appointment and finding, displayed on their door, “We are Pro-Life!” This is the patient’s business, not the doctor’s.

By the way, I am not an uneducated mom, OK? I know the benefits of breastfeeding. But how do you know that I haven’t tried before and it didn’t work for me? How do you know what my family’s financial situation is and who will remain at home with our newborn?! How do you know I am even capable of breastfeeding? How dare you assume!
No matter what I decide to do (and in case you’re wondering, I really don’t even know yet), I am going to play it by ear, see how things go. But no matter what, I’ll try to be the best mom I can be. And isn’t that the most important thing?!

Read more:
The Business Of Breastfeeding
Meghan Casserly, 08.27.09, 08:30 PM EDT FORBES
Companies are offering lactation policies, but often fall short on the carry-through. Women are at the forefront of reform, from the corporate closet to the Congress floor.
Upon returning to work after having her first child, Gina Ciagne, a public relations specialist, was told by her supervisors that she should feel free to pump on company time. To which she responded: “Great–now where do I go?”
With no directives from her supervisor, Ciagne made numerous phone calls to human resources and others, but to no avail. The only solution seemed to be cleaning out a hardly used book closet and installing a mini-fridge (on her own time and dime). As it turns out, she didn’t have to. “I didn’t call the one person who knew about it,” she says. After four months of pumping breast milk in a closet, Ciagne was flabbergasted to learn that there were actual lactation rooms on the corporate campus.
Crosley-Corcoran became increasingly aware that there was a major communication block between returning mothers and the corporate powers-that-be. “I saw more and more mothers coming back to work and hauling their own breast pumps back and forth every day. No one had told them that the pump in the room was provided for them by the company–I guess they thought it was mine.”
“We were having extremely high turnover rates,” she says. And so Matzigkeit and her team launched Great Expectations, a strategic initiative to educate new mothers in 2004. But more so, she adds, “To show them that we care. We are always sure to say, ‘We want you back,’ and a lactation program was a huge component of it.”
Since the launch of Great Expectations, Matzigkeit has seen the retention rate jump from 64% to 95%. As a champion of working mothers, she is more than pleased with its success: “62% of my employees are working mothers. It’s a big population here.”
“I don’t think that employers are hostile,” Lansinoh’s Ciagne says. “But when they think of an employee coming back, the top question in mind is never, ‘So where will they breastfeed?’ It’s just not occurring to them. But once you do talk to them [the employers], they definitely become more amenable.”
Kourtney Kardashian, Kendra Want to Breastfeed Despite Implants
Kourtney Kardashian and Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett are both pregnant, and both excited about breastfeeding. Will their implants impede this dream? Docs say, maybe not!
Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett and Kourtney Kardashian are two of the hottest reality starlets on cable television. Now that they have conquered E!, they are ready to conquer motherhood.
Wilkinson, star of Kendra and The Girls Next Door, has a Christmas due date, while Kourt, who stars in Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami, is also due in December.
The real juice about these cable queens is the issue of breast feeding. Both bun-in-the-oven babes have previously undergone breast augmentation surgery. When asked if they are planning to breast feed their children, both have answered yes. Hugh Hefner’s ex, Kendra, told US Weekly that her doctor informed her it was safe to breastfeed her baby even with her silicone implants. Kardashian also spoke with the gossip mag, noting, “They say usually you can [breast-feed with implants]. I want to.”
A 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) study found that any kind of breast surgery, including breast implant surgery, makes it at least three times more likely that a woman trying to breastfeed will have an inadequate milk supply. An earlier study led by Dr. Marianne Neifert, likewise indicated that “women who had breast surgery were three times more likely to have lactation insufficiency than those that did not have breast surgery.”
Researchers have noted that, based on these findings, although the implants themselves may not keep a new mom from lactating, undergoing breast augmentation surgery may make it more difficult for women to breastfeed successfully.
GMA pays tribute to Sen. Kennedy
MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) — President Arroyo on Thursday paid tribute to the late US Senator Edward Kennedy for his pivotal role in the global breastfeeding movement.
The president announced that she would be presenting to Kennedy’s family the highest presidential award for his contributions to human rights and public health promotion.
“For his singular role in promoting human rights and public health, including the passage of that international milk code, we honor the late Senator Edward Kennedy,” Arroyo said at the celebration of the World Breast Feeding Awareness Month in Malacañang.
Kennedy, a long-time US advocate of health reform, died on August 25 after battling brain cancer for more than a year.
She said that, Kennedy, as chair of the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in 1979, heard the testimony of Filipino doctor Dr. Natividad Clavano, about a study that showed a 95 percent decrease in infant mortality in Baguio City as a result of exclusive breastfeeding.
Lactation Consultant Hall of Excellence,
Carole Peterson of Fort Wayne has been selected as one of three inductees to the 2008-2009 Lactation Consultant Hall of Excellence. The program, now in its third year, recognizes U.S.-based lactation consultants who exemplify best practices, hard work and outstanding dedication to their profession. She was one of three inductees nationwide.
“I hope this recognition will bring more awareness to the field of lactation consulting,” said Peterson. “I have witnessed how our system abandons mothers once they leave the hospital after birth. Specifically, I hope I can bring more attention to the fact that our mothers need more support when returning home. I hope to focus my energies to promote more support to increase breastfeeding duration and assist mothers to achieve their breastfeeding goals.”


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

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