Breastfeeding in the News: Dec. 8th – Dec. 14, 2009

Hello All,                                                                

Good news! Reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian plans to breastfeed for five years! Well it sounds great until she explains why.  “I’m so excited,” said Kourtney to her sister, “I won’t have to cook for five years!” Sorry Kourtney, I hate to be the one to break this to you but if extended breastfeeding meant no cooking every mother in the country would still be suckling her teenagers!  In other celebrity news actress Vera Farmiga tells us what it was like to be breastfeeding while filming “Up in the Air” with George Clooney.   “She had to take nursing breaks while filming — especially during love scenes!…“I’ll tell you what it was like when we locked lips,” Vera reveals. “We’d do it and then I’d say, ‘OK, George, now I’ve got to go breastfeed.’ Then I’d come back and be trying to find sort of clever positions to hide the wet spots on my silk blouse.”  People are also asking if former Playboy model Kendra Wilkinson breasts implants will prevent her from breastfeeding.  As gossipy as it may sound, the article includes a good overview on how implants can affect the female anatomy.

 In New York the Rochester Business Alliance has expressed dismay that the new Health Care bill in Washington includes provisions to support the needs of lactating mothers in the workplace. In their esteemed opinion such an act “has nothing to do with reforming health care”.  According to an Alliance spokesperson, “What they’re doing now is just shifting costs. They’re doing nothing to change the delivery of health care… They’re doing nothing to address why health care costs are escalating.”

A “Paradigm shift”.  That’s what they are calling the latest approach to newborn care in the Philippines.  Not only will breastfeeding be initiated in the first hour, skin to skin contact will begin before the umbilical cord is cut, and the first bath will be delayed 8 hours.  Following the ENC (essential newborn care) guidelines put forth by the World Health Organization hospital staff are beginning to embrace these simple life saving measures.  Sometimes I think we here in the US would rather pay more for expensive medical treatment that makes us look “advanced” than to admit that “simplicity” saves lives.  A study in Nigeria provides another example where “simplicity” triumphs over technology.  Women who were allowed to bring a companion of their choice into the labor room were found to initiate breastfeeding sooner than those who were alone.  All the high tech resources in the world can’t compete with the loving touch of a caring companion.

‘We Go Into the Bush to Collect Herbs’  (my favorite story of the week) takes a look at pro & cons of moving birth away from the village and into the hospital.  The woman being interviewed tells how during her first three births she was surrounded by experienced women and that she never “experienced any difficulty or complication during or after labour.”  On the other hand it was her belief that “it was an abomination to give a baby the poisonous milk that comes immediately after delivery” and “in keeping with her tradition, the first thing to be given to the new born baby should be water and nothing else.”  While I applaud her government’s effort to debunk the myths surrounding colostrum (By the way, can anyone shed any light on why so many cultures shun colostrum?  To me it seems so counter intuitive to human survival.), the breastfeeding instructions that she is given in the hospital really worry me.  “…the breastfeeding mother needs to sit in an upright position while placing her child on a breast, which is expected to last for about 15 to 20 minutes, before the child could be transferred to the other breast. By so doing the child would have sufficient time to suckle the necessary ingredients contained in the breast milk. This is contrary to the traditional practice that was characterized by indiscriminate placement and transfer of a child from one breast to another, by the nursing mothers.”  Teaching her to watch the clock instead of the baby is not only counter intuitive it is also impractical in any rural village.  And why does she have to be upright?! 

 While we’re talking about Africa, there is a new HIV study that looks at HIV-exposed but uninfected children (which is about 40% of the babies born to HIV-infected mothers in Southern Africa) and concludes that exclusive breastfeeding significantly improved their long-term health.  “Being undernourished is predictive of death. Infant feeding patterns affect growth; the mean weight of children who are breastfed is greater than most children who are formula-fed during the first half of infancy. Breastfed HIV-infected infants had higher scores for weight for age than those who were not, in particular during the first six weeks of life—a difference of 130 grammes for male children and 110 grammes for female children.” It is heartening to know that not all babies born to HIV-infected mothers will be infected, and that just like normal babies, they too will benefit from exclusive breastfeeding. 

An interesting study done in Boston looked at the affect of religion on breastfeeding. Christians, Sikhs, and Muslims are more likely to stop breastfeeding before 24 months than Hindu mothers.  Researchers made a note that there is nothing in these religions that will explain early termination of breastfeeding therefore it has to be cultural factors and norms.” 

I’m not sure what to make of the new study from Finland claiming that waiting until 6 months to introduce foods actually increases the risk of food allergies.  According to these researchers “Late introduction of potatoes, rye, meat, and fish was significantly associated with sensitization to any inhaled allergen. Egg allergy was associated with late introduction of potatoes, carrots, cabbages, oats, wheat, rye, meat, fish, and eggs, while wheat allergy was related to late introduction of potatoes, wheat, rye, fish, and eggs.” 

But I think it’s important to note that “In the study, mothers breastfed for a median of 1.8 months, and the median age at the introduction of the first solid food was 3.5 months”.  I’m not the only one who has doubts, according to Dr. Zuo in Cincinnati the study was also” limited by using food sensitivity but not food allergy as an outcome for the study.”I am not supporting the conclusion of this article,” Zuo said in an e-mail. “But I support the concept that late introduction of solid foods may not protect children from allergic diseases and I also support early solid food introduction for many children not at high risk for allergic reaction.” Zuo added that the topic is hotly debated by allergists, and believes the “answer to increased allergic diseases is not [based] on the timing of solid food introduction, but something that happens earlier.”

According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) the introduction of processed cereal based foods between 4 and 6 months does not impose a health risk.  This of course conflicts with the World Health Organization’s recommendations of delaying food for six months and opens the gates for formula companies marketing their infant cereals, which right now is a booming market place. 

A recent March of Dimes poll found that more moms worry that the stress they are under will affect their baby’s health than worried about the actual pain of childbirth. Only 60 percent worried that they wouldn’t be able to breastfeed successfully. 71% worried that their baby would be born prematurely.

According to Kathi Barber founder of the African-American Breastfeeding Alliance the disparity in breastfeeding rates for African-Americans “is so great it transcends socio-economics”  And in fact it can be traced back to the days of slavery when wet nursing for whites was part of the enforced social contract between slave and master.  (Thanks to Lisa Purro for sending me this article!)

A new study found that the number of babies being put to bed on their backs seemed has leveled off since 2001.  A doctor’s recommendation, fear that the baby might choke, and concern for the baby’s comfort were the top three deciding factors.  But “…between 2003-2007, only 53.6 percent reported that their doctors had advised them to put their babies on their backs only.” They also point out that “ A greater proportion of African-American infants than white or Hispanic infants die from SIDS each year”  The article went to recommend that one should “Think about using a clean, dry pacifier when placing your infant down to sleep, but don’t force the baby to take it. (If you’re breastfeeding, wait until your child is 1 month old, or is used to breastfeeding before using a pacifier.”) 

While we’re on the subject of sleep in Shunning the Family Bed. Who Benefits Most?” Dr. Jay Gordan says “The medical profession, as it often does, is approaching the entire idea of the family bed backward. A baby in the same bed with his or her parents is surrounded by the best possible surveillance and safety system. It must be the responsibility of the manufacturers and proponents of cribs and separated sleep to prove that such disruption is safe, not the other way around.”   

In Ask Mr. Dad: The joys of sleep deprivation” the author warns I’m sure you tried to prepare yourself for all the changes. But there’s a difference between watching a tornado on TV and having one blow the roof off your house. Now that your baby is actually here, it’s pretty obvious that nothing could have fully prepped you for the daily (and nightly) challenges of living with a newborn.”  He goes on to add that the man’s wife might be experiencing a case of “baby blues” “And the fact that she’s breastfeeding on demand – and is experiencing the exhaustion that goes along with it – just makes things worse.” 

Also the UK mania for lists has been noted for its downside. In addition to “hospitals good at caring for the dying get marked down because people die there,…a small maternity hospital is closed because the acute hospital is more “productive”, but ask the actual mothers cared for at the little hospital, and you find that their rates of breastfeeding and health are higher, of depression lower.

Remember when everyone was up in arms because Facebook was removing photos of breastfeeding mothers?  According to  Barry Schnitt (FB’s director of policy communications) ‘The majority of the photos removed were of completely nude women (posing in mirrors or bathtubs) who happened to involve a baby eating lunch.  Another misnomer is that the company was employing people to blindly click through pictures in search of breasts to flag for removal. “We only act on things that are reported to us,” Schnitt said “So, if your au naturel pose gets zapped, blame a friend.” 

That’s it for now. I hope your holiday was as good as mine! It was just a year ago today that I first joined Facebook.  To my great surprise I now have over 650 friends!  Thank you all for keeping me connected to the world of women, birth, and babies.  As always I love hearing from you.

Kathy Abbott, IBCLC 

www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com

On Facebook: “Breastfeeding in the News” 

My Blog:  http://TheCuriousLactivist.wordpress.com/

 

 

List mania is the besetting folly of our age.

Oh dear. A golden rule for life is that that there are some things you don’t put down on paper. Ever. The nation’s weary couch-potatoes woke yesterday to a gust of shocked hilarity, as somebody leaked a BBC document fussily labelled “Knowledge Commissioning Graded Talent List”. It puts TV presenters under “Top Tier Highly Valued”, “Mid-range average appeal”, “On the way up” and — at this point the reader falls off the chair, helpless with glee — “Occasional sparkle but limited appeal”.

The mad list is interesting, though, as a symptom of a wider phenomenon: list-mania and tabulation fever has been the besetting folly of the Noughties. Government adores its faulty league tables of schools, universities, hospitals and local authority services. Instead of intelligent inspection and help, billions of pounds and years of effort are poured into lists and tables that serve little purpose. They demoralise some, make others smug, and condition thousands of managers to work to targets that skew and corrupt their core mission. Gradual growth, local adaptation and interesting initiatives are stifled: hospitals good at caring for the dying get marked down because people die there, schools that deal valiantly with problem estates get slammed as “failing”.

Meanwhile subtler indicators are ignored. A small maternity hospital is closed because the acute hospital is more “productive”, but ask the actual mothers cared for at the little hospital, and you find that their rates of breastfeeding and health are higher, of depression lower. The same principle applies to the elderly who lose rural cottage hospitals and become more, not less, dependent. In every area, formulaic paperwork outranks sense.

You can see why. Lists and tables make managers feel safe, as if life and a happy society were a science, not an art. Given enough lists, they hope for a formula. But in reality, league tables mainly appeal to a judgmental, talent-show mentality. They work fine in sport — a goal is a goal — and book sales or cinema tickets are countable. In subtler fields of effort they are often worse than worthless.  At least daffy media lists have no power (with luck, neither does the BBC bêtise). But they should be mocked, because they only encourage government itself in its damaging love of fruitless, phantom tidiness in an imaginary paper world.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/article6955233.ece

Teaching Black Women To Embrace Breast-Feeding

African-American moms have the lowest rates of all — by some measures, they are half as likely to nurse as whites and Hispanics

When Kathi Barber gave birth a decade ago, she was the first in her family in generations to nurse, and was dumbfounded to realize she had no role models. Barber became obsessed with encouraging nursing among black moms, as numerous studies show that exclusive breast-feeding can reduce a baby’s chances of developing diabetes, obesity, ear infections and respiratory illness. Yet Barber was frustrated that for many new mothers, their only image of this age-old act may come from a museum or a National Geographic documentary. “Tribal women, with elongated breasts, earrings and tribal jewelry. And let’s say we’re trying to promote that to a 25-year-old, mmm …” she laughs. “I don’t think that’s going to do the trick.”

So Barber founded the African-American Breastfeeding Alliance and wrote The Black Woman’s Guide to Breastfeeding. As a lactation consultant, she travels the country putting on workshops and training sessions, and encouraging hospitals and family clinics to reach out to this community.

In fact, the older, more educated and higher-income a mother is, the more likely she is to breast-feed. But experts say the disparity for African-Americans is so great it transcends socio-economics.

Barber says work is clearly a huge barrier, and black moms may be more likely to hold lower-wage jobs with no breaks allowed for nursing. African-Americans have also had to earn money since long before the women’s liberation movement.

In fact, Barber thinks you can trace part of the problem all the way back to the breakup of families under slavery, and the enduring, negative image of so-called mammies — slaves made to serve as wet nurses for their master’s white children.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121755349

Coordinator promotes breast feeding

Kelly Sibley is in charge of promoting one of the best ways to keep newborn babies healthy, a practice in which Oregon leads the nation Sibley, 52, is the breast feeding program coordinator for Oregon Division of Public Health. She lives in Portland.

Q: Has Oregon implemented any public policies that have helped successfully promote breast feeding?

A: We have a law that protects a mother’s right to breast feed in public. We also have a law to protect breast feeding in the workplace, so mom who are returning to work are provided a clean and private place to express her milk.

Q: Is there anything else that has helped make Oregon get so far ahead of the curve when it comes to breast feeding?

A: I don’t think we’re totally clear about why we are so far ahead. I think for Oregon, breast feeding is seen as normal, more normal than it’s seen in other places. You are walking in a park and you look over and you see a mom on a bench and she’s breast feeding, it’s more likely to be accepted as normal here. She’s more likely to get a smile or just be left alone. In other places, she might be asked to leave or asked to go into the bathroom. I say, how would you feel if someone asked you to eat your lunch in the bathroom?

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20091214/NEWS/912140315/1001/news

Samantha Harris On Managing Motherhood, Career

After welcoming her daughter in 2007, Samantha Harris learned all too quickly that it often takes a village to raise a child….The juggling of her career — including her cohosting responsibilities on Dancing With the Stars, a correspondent for The Insider, and cohosting Entertainment Tonight Weekend — began only three weeks after delivering her daughter Josselyn Sydney when Samantha returned to the DWtS set….With baby girl at home with the nanny, the new mama arrived to work with her pump in hand!..“I was breastfeeding so I was pumping again and again throughout the production day and right before I went on stage because we didn’t want to have any mishaps in a gown — on live television!” she tells Working Mother.

http://celebrity-babies.com/2009/12/12/samantha-harris-on-managing-motherhood-career/

Vera Farmiga Says Family of Three Is ‘Inseparable’

In her new film Up in the Air, Vera Farmiga portrays corporate executive and frequent-flyer obsessed Alex, a love interest for George Clooney. Although in real life she’s married to musician Renn Hawkey of Deadsy and mom to 11-month-old Fynn,…With Vera’s busy career, Renn and Fynn are often along for the ride as she films on location. “My husband and I have made a pact,” she explains. “We are inseparable. He and my son just come along. I can’t handle it alone. I don’t like it when they’re not with me. I need them.”…Calling childbirth “just an incredible gift,” Vera, 36, says that motherhood both helped and hindered her approach to the role. “I never felt so empowered, so powerful, so womanly as I did after I gave birth,” she shares. “I felt more feminine than I ever had in my life. So I just rode that wave.”…At the same time — as a breastfeeding mom — Vera says that she had to take nursing breaks while filming — especially during love scenes!…“I’ll tell you what it was like when we locked lips,” Vera reveals. “We’d do it and then I’d say, ‘OK, George, now I’ve got to go breastfeed.’ Then I’d come back and be trying to find sort of clever positions to hide the wet spots on my silk blouse.”…There were also hormones to contend with, and Vera admits “I got very tired at times and, God knows, there were a lot of tears.”…Regardless, she says she had no reservations about accepting the role — or stepping into motherhood….“The birth was going to be close to the start of filming and it was my first child–but, I come from a family of seven children. I was always very comfortable changing diapers. I felt confident that I’d be fine as a first time mother. I said to [director] Jason [Reitman], ‘This is a great creative opportunity and I could use a paycheck.’”

http://celebrity-babies.com/2009/12/11/vera-farmiga-says-family-of-three-is-inseparable/

Study Links Factors to Choice of Infant Sleep Position

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have identified three principal factors linked to whether caregivers place infants to sleep on their backs. Those three factors are: whether they received a physician’s recommendation to place infants only on their backs for sleep, fear that the infant might choke while sleeping on the back, and concerns for an infant’s comfort while sleeping on the back.

The survey also found that after increasing steadily, the proportion of infants placed to sleep on their backs leveled off in the years since 2001.

A greater proportion of African-American infants than white or Hispanic infants die from SIDS each year

In the study, the researchers reported that between 2003-2007, only 53.6 percent reported that their doctors had advised them to put their babies on their backs only.

Always place babies on their backs to sleep — Infants who sleep on their backs are less likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on their stomachs or sides. Placing your baby on his or her back to sleep is the number one way to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Use the back sleep position every time — Infants who usually sleep on their backs but who are then placed on their stomachs, like for a nap, are at very high risk for SIDS. So it is important for babies to sleep on their backs every time, for naps and at night.
Place your baby on a firm sleep surface, such as a safety-approved crib mattress covered with a fitted sheet — Never place an infant to sleep on a pillow, quilt, sheepskin, or other soft surface. Information on crib safety and regulatory requirements for infant cribs is available from the Consumer Product Safety Commission at http://www.cpsc.gov/info/cribs/index.html.
Keep soft objects, toys, and loose bedding out of an infant’s sleep area – Don’t use pillows, blankets, quilts, sheepskins, or pillow-like bumpers in your baby’s sleep area. Keep all items away from the infant’s face.
Avoid letting your baby overheat during sleep – Dress your infant in light sleep clothing and keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult.

Think about using a clean, dry pacifier when placing your infant down to sleep, but don’t force the baby to take it. ( If you’re breastfeeding, wait until your child is 1 month old, or is used to breastfeeding before using a pacifier. )
In addition to Dr. Colson, other authors of the study were Denis Rybin, Theodore Colton and Michael J. Corwin of Boston University; Lauren Smith, of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health; and George Lister, of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

http://media-newswire.com/release_1107902.html

Cut the crude commentary about breastfeeding moms

By Ruth Butler | The Grand Rapids Press

Seriously?

A proposed bill to help mothers feed their babies is giving people fits? I guess folks would prefer mothers with babies stay home – drapes closed, if possible – until the child is old enough to scarf burgers at Mickey Ds the way God intended. Isn’t that, after all, why he created formula via his humble servant Justus von Liebig in 1867? (Thanks, Wiki.)

Whether the bill protecting a mother’s right to breastfeed in public passes through the state House has become secondary. What’s appalling is the reaction of those who are a) offended and/or b) driven to crude commentaries at the prospect of moms offering nutrition to children – the ones who are America’s future and the crux of every really important protest. Cue the “What About the Children?” chorus.

Everyone needs to calm down and accept breasts make people crazy. They are sexual, they are signs of womanhood (ask any 12-year-old girl – or boy.)

They are – insert giggle here – titillating.

Yet, I’ve never met a nursing mother who viewed feeding time with her child as an equivalent to foreplay or exhibitionism.

Sure, those who think mothers caught with a hungry child in public should do it in private – ever eaten your lunch in a bathroom stall? – also claim to have seen examples of flashing during the meal. But having been one, and seen many more nursing mothers, I testify most women are discreet. They cover themselves and focus on the wonderful task at hand, rather than take feeding time as a chance to put it out there for evaluation.

Where are the howls of protest for women who do just that? Why do you think they call it Hooters? Because only wise old owls eat there? Isn’t more being offered than what’s on the menu, in a look-don’t-touch sort of way?

Seriously. Strut your stuff at the beach, on the dance floor, in situations where cleavage is expected. But feeding time? It’s among the least sexual moments of a human’s life.

The only sexual thing going on at nursing time is in the minds of others. Making it their, not the mother’s, problem. Unless, of course, she’s kicked out of a building or the police are called (Google Target, breastfeeding.)

Of course, we could follow the example of other countries that see this and other ways women weave their seductive webs as way too provocative.

Burkas all around! Cover the hair, the lips, the body. Save the weak from themselves.

Seriously.

http://www.mlive.com/living/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2009/12/column_cut_the_crude_commentar.html

Recently, police were called on a complaint about a breastfeeding mother in a Harper Woods store. Here’s what local moms had to say.

“The people at Target were being stupid and by calling the police they made this into a bigger issue than it needed to be. I feel bad for the woman and her husband at being called out and embarassed for doing something completely normal! It was uncalled for and ridiculous!”— CinderMomma

“There is always more to the story I think but unlike the last incident which took place in a restaurant (a completely different scenario) I can’t imagine what the issue would be. I have seen women breastfeeding in the mall (at least I assume they were since they were discreet) and really who would care? Unless…..things got loud?”— Coco958

“If you are breast feeding a four week old infant in an aisle at Target you are a poor parent…period.”— paf

“if you’re bf’ing IN THE AISLE, (a) you’re probably blocking aisle traffic, (b) it ain’t the best positioning for the kid, (c) it ain’t the safest way to assure yourself and those around you that your boob won’t accidentally “unfurl” so to speak. Not saying kids shouldn’t be fed, but it ain’t all about you and your boob and your baby. There ARE other people who are actually shopping too ya know.”— shaari

http://www.freep.com/article/20091213/FEATURES01/912130336/1026/Features01/Recently-police-were-called-on-a-complaint-about-a-breastfeeding-mother-in-a-Harper-Woods-store.-Heres-what-local-moms-had-to-say.-Todays-topic

Someone Needs To Explain Babies To Kourtney! 

Before one crawls out of her vagina and is thrusted into a world where his mother thinks she should be breastfeeding until the kid is five.  FIVE?! Gross!

http://perezhilton.com/2009-12-11-someone-needs-to-explain-babies-to-kourtney

Can Kendra Wilkinson breast-feed her baby even though she has implants?

Former Playboy model and reality TV star Kendra Wilkinson, wife of Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Hank Baskett, gave birth to a boy Friday morning. During her pregnancy, Wilkinson announced her intention to nurse her child despite having breast implants. Do implants affect a mother’s ability to breast-feed?

Generally, no. Most women who get breast implants, whether made of saline or silicone, can go on to breast-feed. But some types of breast augmentation surgery are more likely than others to result in complications when it comes to nursing. The two most common methods of implantation are peri-areolar incision (slicing just below the nipple) and inframammary incision (slicing along the crease below the breast). Cutting around the areola, the dark circle of skin surrounding the nipple, is much more likely to interfere with the network of nerves, glands, and milk ducts located toward the front of the breast that produce and carry milk to the nipple. Cutting underneath the breast allows the surgeon to circumvent that whole system rather than going straight through it. If a woman wants to breastfeed after getting implants, doctors usually recommend inframammary procedure, or an alternative route of insertion like the underarm or the belly button. Some doctors, however, still favor the peri-areolar technique because it allows for more precision when placing the implant and can produce less noticeable scarring. (Other considerations for which procedure to get include breast size, pain, and risk of the implants hardening.)

… The likelihood of nursing problems also depends on where, exactly, the surgeon places the implant. Subglandular placement—behind the mammary glands but in front of the chest muscles—has a higher risk of breastfeeding complications. That’s because the tissue surrounding the implant is more likely to harden when it’s in that position, which can make nursing difficult or painful. (The advantage is that the operation itself is quick and relatively painless.) The alternative is to slip the implant behind the chest muscle, separating the balloon from the lactation system entirely. This procedure is more common and generally better for breastfeeding. The downside of submuscular placement is that it’s more painful—the doctor has to fidget with the muscle itself—and it takes longer after surgery for the implant to “drop” into a more natural-looking position.

Implants could also interfere with nursing if they’re too big compared with the amount of skin and tissue surrounding them. Lactation proceeds most smoothly when the mother’s milk-producing lobes—arranged around the center of the breast—have room to expand and contract. If an implant puts too much pressure on the lobes, that can reduce the amount of milk generated

http://www.slate.com/id/2238096/

Social support during childbirth as a catalyst for early breastfeeding initiation for first-time Nigerian Mothers

Initiation of breastfeeding can be difficult in a busy maternity centre with inadequate manpower and social support. This study aims to explore the role of psychosocial support offered by companions on breastfeeding initiation among first-time mothers.  Methods: This is a secondary data analysis of a randomised controlled trial conducted among women attending the antenatal clinic of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria in 2007.  Those in the experimental group were asked to bring someone of their choice to the labour room to act as a companion; the comparison group received standard care. The results of 209 HIV negative women who had vaginal births were analysed.

The main outcome measure was time to initiation of breastfeeding after childbirth.

Results: Of the total, 94 had companions during labour while 115 did not have a companion. The median time to breastfeeding initiation was significantly shorter in those with companions compared to controls (16 vs.54 minutes; p <0.01). The cumulative survival analysis indicated that all in the treatmentgroup had initiated breastfeeding by 26 minutes, while among the control group none had commenced at 30 minutes post-delivery with some as late as 12 hours.

Conclusion: Use of companions during labour is associated with earlier time to breastfeeding initiation among first-time mothers in Nigeria

http://7thspace.com/headlines/328403/social_support_during_childbirth_as_a_catalyst_for_early_breastfeeding_initiation_for_first_time_nigerian_mothers.html

Breastfeeding Provision in Senate Bill Causes Controversy 

The Senate health care reform bill is more than 2,000 pages long. One of the provisions, a provision on page 1,239, is being applauded by new mothers. But business owners are asking what it has to do with any real reform.

The Rochester Business Alliance says its members are not against providing this kind of benefit to new mothers, but they say adding it to the Senate bill is wrong because it has nothing to do reforming health care.  MY fear is that throwing in things is just going to add costs,” says Sandy Parker of the Rochester Business Alliance. “What they’re doing now is just shifting costs. They’re doing nothing to change the delivery of health care… They’re doing nothing to address why health care costs are escalating.”

Those who support this bill say employers do benefit. Mothers with healthy infants take less time off of work and have less stress. The cost of these rooms is paid for in the first year alone.

In a survey, Rochester business owners say the want to continue to provide insurance benefits but only if they can get relief from escalating premiums.

The bottom line is that the bill keeps adding requirements for employers without  providing that relief.

http://www.13wham.com/news/local/story/Breastfeeding-Provision-in-Senate-Bill-Causes/lqyWY3b7MUintrfUeNQyUw.cspx

Infants without HIV suffer no growth check, despite maternal infection

Exclusive breastfeeding, however, significantly improved the long-term health of children born to HIV-infected mothers, lending further support to the recently revised World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on infant feeding.

Being undernourished is predictive of death as well as poor early development in low- and middle- income countries where HIV is prevalent.

Infant feeding patterns affect growth; the mean weight of children who are breastfed is greater than most children who are formula-fed during the first half of infancy.

Of importance in these findings is the fact that HIV-exposed but uninfected children had a growth rate as good as that of the reference group. The authors note this is significant for two reasons:

  • Of the approximately 40% of infants born to HIV-infected mothers in Southern Africa most will be exposed but uninfected. While important, the growth and development of these children is often ignored.

 

Breastfed HIV-infected infants had higher scores for weight for age than those who were not, in particular during the first six weeks of life—a difference of 130 grammes for male children and 110 grammes for female children.

And, in line with recent WHO recommendations, they conclude: “These finding strengthen the recommendations of exclusive breastfeeding for HIV-infected women in resource-poor settings, for long-term child health.”

http://www.aidsmap.com/en/news/85CD7329-BD69-49E6-BEEE-9BA792BA6BBF.asp

A paradigm shift in newborn care
(The Philippine Star)

We’ve seen it portrayed in movies. A baby is delivered. It is held upside down and spanked. The umbilical cord is clamped and cut, and the baby is whisked away to be washed and cleaned immediately. Wrong!

Washing should be postponed until eight hours after birth,” said Dr. Aleli Sudiacal of the Department of Health (DOH) at a forum held recently at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

Aware of the need to raise the quality of post-natal care in health facilities, the World Health Organization (WHO), in partnership with the DOH, is promoting a new approach where evidence-based components are integrated in post-natal care. Called the Essential Newborn Care (ENC), this simple set of proven intervention can save the lives of newborns.

The new protocol is to postpone washing and instead, dry the baby immediately, within the first 30 seconds, and initiate skin-to-skin contact with the mother before clamping the umbilical cord. Breastfeeding should also be initiated within the first hour of birth.

“It’s a major paradigm shift,” said Dr. Honorata Catibog, head of the DOH Task Force on the Rapid Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality.

“Studies showed delayed breastfeeding by one day increases by 2.6-fold the risk of death due to infection,” said Dr. Asuncion Silvestre, head of the PGH Lactation Unit and Milk Bank. 

“Before, the focus was on pre-natal care, with the practice of at least four pre-natal visits. But essential newborn care actually starts even before the mother gets pregnant

. It starts with the status of the health of the woman,” Silvestre said. “All pregnancies are considered at high risk. We advocate facility-based delivery attended by skilled health professionals.”

“We practice the team approach involving doctor, nurse, and midwife,” said Dr. Bella Vitangcol who led the familiarization tour of the essential newborn care facilities at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center, a pioneer in newborn care

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=530921&publicationSubCategoryId=75

Baby Dies Aboard United Airways Flight: A Response

Pardon me for quarreling with the experts, but this mother is being blamed for falling asleep? On a transatlantic flight? With a 4-week-old?

What nursing mother hasn’t fallen asleep while nursing her child? Back before the days of studies and guidelines and research and panels, back when the experts were primarily mothers, most women probably fell asleep every night while nursing their children. Many still do. But we’re not supposed to, because sleeping while holding a baby is taboo right now, along with letting babies sleep on their stomachs, or using forward-facing car seats, or feeding babies honey before age one.

We have expert-approved guidelines for every possible aspect of child-rearing, and I appreciate the insight afforded by such guidelines. But I wonder if they make it easier to blame parents when the unthinkable happens. The recommendations are ever-increasing and ever-changing, and that’s not even getting into the fact that on most issues, experts disagree. Parents are stumbling under the weight of all these “shoulds,” and when tragedy strikes, these recommendations morph into pointing fingers of accusation.

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/women/2009/12/baby_dies_aboard_united_airway.html

Breastfeeding for 5 years?

Kourtney Kardashian plans to breastfeed for five years.

The US reality star is expecting her first child, a boy, with partner Scott Disick later this month. Her sister Khloe has revealed Kourtney was initially clueless about what motherhood would entail, and expected to have to breastfeed until her son started school.

“Kourtney was like ‘I’m so excited, I don’t have to cook for five years,’ ” Khloe said. “And I go, ‘What do you mean?’ She’s like, ‘I’m gonna breastfeed.’ I go, ‘For five years?’ She has, like, no idea!”

Kourtney’s other sister Kim added she never thought of her 30-year-old sibling as maternal. She claims Kourtney has always been afraid of children, and done everything in her power to steer clear of them.

Kim said on The Rachel Ray Show: “Kourtney was never ever the type that I ever would think would ever want to have kids. She owns a kid’s clothing store, and if a kid would come in she would be like, ‘Where’s your mom? You need to go find your mom and come in with her.’ She didn’t understand it and she wasn’t that nurturing.”

http://entertainment.iafrica.com/news/2104660.htm

Ask Mr. Dad: The joys of sleep deprivation

Dear Mr. Dad: Our son is 3 weeks old and my wife is exhausted from breastfeeding. I have to be out of the house early in the morning to make it to work, but I do help her out between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. But when I try to get a little sleep before or after those hours, or if I’m too slow to wake up, she’ll say to our son things like “Daddy doesn’t care.” This hurts my feelings because I’m doing as much as I can, and I do have to put in an eight-hour day in the office. How do I handle this situation?

I’m sure that everyone you knew tried to warn you that becoming a dad would turn your life upside down, right? And I’m sure you tried to prepare yourself for all the changes. But there’s a difference between watching a tornado on TV and having one blow the roof off your house. Now that your baby is actually here, it’s pretty obvious that nothing could have fully prepped you for the daily (and nightly) challenges of living with a newborn.

While trying to take care of your son around the clock and dealing with all the adjustments of being a new mom, there’s a good chance that she’s experiencing symptoms of what’s generally called “baby blues,” feelings of sadness, loneliness, vulnerability, and questioning her ability to be a good mom. And the fact that she’s breastfeeding on demand – and is experiencing the exhaustion that goes along with it – just makes things worse.

Your wife probably doesn’t mean to snap at you. In some irrational way, she may actually believe that you aren’t pulling your weight. After all, you spend most of your day in the company of adults, while she is housebound with a baby.

Ask yourself this: Are you really doing as much as you reasonably can to help your wife through this difficult time, or could you do more? Obviously, since you have a full-time job, she can’t expect you to stay up at night taking care of the baby – someone has to put food on the table. On the other hand, maybe you can take over from your wife as soon as you come home, giving her some much-needed “me” time, and you a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your baby.

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/living/family_relationships/story/948784.html 

Allergies Linked to Delaying Solid Foods.

Delaying solid foods when children are babies may be tied to food allergies later on, Finnish researchers say.

Introducing eggs, oats, and wheat into an infant’s diet late in the game — around age 6 months — was associated with food allergies by age 5, Bright I. Nwaru, MPhil, MSc, of the University of Tampere, and colleagues reported online in Pediatrics.

In a related finding, late introduction of potatoes and fish was tied to sensitivity to inhaled allergens, such as pollen, animal dander, and dust mites.

“Introducing solid foods late to the child may increase the risk of being sensitized to these allergens,” Nwaru wrote in an e-mail.

Current pediatric recommendations suggest exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months to prevent allergic diseases. These recommendations have been based mainly on the assumption that an infant’s gut mucosal barrier is immature, and that introducing solid foods early may instigate sensitization to foods and inhaled allergens.

But emerging evidence shows these recommendations lack a strong scientific basis, Nwaru wrote.

“The implication of our study on breastfeeding and introduction of solid foods — like other recent studies have shown — is that prolonging exclusive breastfeeding, thereby introducing solid foods late, may not prevent allergic diseases in the child,” he added.

But he emphasized that the finding does not diminish the benefits of breastfeeding for six months among the general population — merely that exclusive breastfeeding doesn’t have a role in allergy prevention.

The researchers looked at data on 994 children from the Finnish Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention nutrition study. This was a prospective birth cohort study, so that information was available on breastfeeding, age at introduction of solid foods, and allergen-specific immunoglobulin E levels at age 5.

Every child had HLA-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes.

In the study, mothers breastfed for a median of 1.8 months, and the median age at the introduction of the first solid food was 3.5 months.

Potatoes were the earliest food introduced to the children, followed by fruits and berries, carrots, cabbages, cereals, meat, fish, and eggs.

The researchers found that late introduction of potatoes, oats, rye, wheat, meat, fish, and eggs was significantly associated with a sensitization for food allergy, albeit after different time periods: 4 months for potatoes, 5 months for oats, 7 months for rye, 6 months for wheat, 5.5 months for meat, 8.2 months for fish, and 10.5 months for eggs.

Late introduction of potatoes, rye, meat, and fish was significantly associated with sensitization to any inhaled allergen.

Egg allergy was associated with late introduction of potatoes, carrots, cabbages, oats, wheat, rye, meat, fish, and eggs, while wheat allergy was related to late introduction of potatoes, wheat, rye, fish, and eggs.

In adjusted analyses, eggs, oats, and wheat were the most important foods related to sensitization to food allergens (P=0.007, P=0.004, and P=0.002, respectively). Potatoes and fish were the most important foods associated with inhalant allergic sensitization (P=0.043, P=0.028, respectively).

There was no evidence of reverse causality, when parental allergic rhinitis and asthma were taken into account.

The study was limited because children were selected on the basis of HLA-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes, which may limit its generalizability to the general population.

Li Zuo, MD, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, said the study was also limited by using food sensitivity but not food allergy as an outcome for the study.

“I am not supporting the conclusion of this article,” Zuo said in an e-mail. “But I support the concept that late introduction of solid foods may not protect children from allergic diseases and I also support early solid food introduction for many children not at high risk for allergic reaction.”

Zuo added that the topic is hotly debated by allergists, and believes the “answer to increased allergic diseases is not [based] on the timing of solid food introduction, but something that happens earlier.

http://www.medpagetoday.com/AllergyImmunology/Allergy/17382

Sushi & Breastfeeding Join Birth Defects & Preterm Birth as Leading Concerns of Moms

Moms worry. Even before they become moms. From the minute they start thinking about whether they want to have a baby until long past the birth, moms worry.

Will my baby be healthy? Will I be a good mom? Can I dye my hair while pregnant? What can I eat?

The March of Dimes poll found that the number one thing moms worried about was birth defects – 78 percent said they were worried their child would be born less than perfect. Stress was moms’ second fear, with 74 percent answering that they were concerned if stress in their life would harm their baby’s health. Preterm birth was a close third with 71 percent saying they were worried their baby would be born too soon.

Surprisingly, only 70 percent thought about the fear of pain of childbirth and 55 percent were worried that they wouldn’t get to the hospital on time!

Other things moms worried about were:

  • 60 percent worried they wouldn’t be able to breastfeed successfully.
  • 59 percent worried about losing weight after pregnancy.
  • And, 59 percent worried about getting pregnant in the first place.
  • Sushi and fish was the number one food concern, with 61 percent concerned

 

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sushi–breastfeeding-join-birth-defects–preterm-birth-as-leading-concerns-of-moms-78840487.html

No risk to 4 month old babies eating cereal-based foods, says EFSA

(see link for full story)

http://www.nutraingredients.com/Health-condition-categories/Maternal-infant-health/No-risk-to-4-month-old-babies-eating-cereal-based-foods-says-EFSA/?utm_source=Newsletter_Product&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2BProduct

More Muslim, Christian, and Sikh mothers stop breastfeeding early: study

Mothers may breastfeed their children two complete years for whoever wishes to complete the nursing [period]. Surah Al-Baqarah : 233

The Holy Quran is clear that the duration of breastfeeding of infants are for a period of two years. World Health Organization (WHO) and Government of India’s guidelines also suggest breastfeeding for a period of two years. Breast milk is an excellent source of nutrition and essential for the healthy growth of the child.

A latest study finds that a greater share of Muslim, Christian, and Sikh women breastfeed their young ones for less than two years. The study is done by Harvard School of Public Health of Boston, Massachusetts, USA and published in July 2008 issue of peer-reviewed journal Maternal & Child Nutrition.

Data analysis revealed that religion was an important factor in the likelihood of stopping breastfeeding. This likelihood was significantly higher for Muslims, Sikhs and Christian. In terms of adjusted ratio Muslim mothers are 10% more than Hindu mothers in stopping breastfeeding before their children have reached the age of 24 months, while this ratio is much higher for Christians (34%) and Sikhs (33%). Researchers made a note that there is nothing in these religion that will explain early termination of breastfeeding therefore it has to be cultural factors and norms.

http://twocircles.net/2009dec08/more_muslim_christian_and_sikh_mothers_stop_breastfeeding_early_study.html

Shunning the Family Bed. Who Benefits Most?

According to Dr. Jay Gordon, babies sleeping on a safe surface with sober, nonsmoking parents respond to their parents, and the parents respond to them. The chance of SIDS occurring in this situation are close to zero. Babies in a crib or in a room away from their parents, on the other hand, will breastfeed less and are at greater risk of infections, including life-threatening ones.

The medical profession, as it often does, is approaching the entire idea of the family bed backward. A baby in the same bed with his or her parents is surrounded by the best possible surveillance and safety system. It must be the responsibility of the manufacturers and proponents of cribs and separated sleep to prove that such disruption is safe, not the other way around.

Newborn babies breathe in irregular rhythms and even stop breathing for a few seconds at a time. To put it simply, they are not designed to sleep alone.

http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Non-food/Lifestyle/shunning_the_family_bed_081220090712.html

‘We Go Into the Bush to Collect Herbs’

Tumba, the mother of three, could not explain what exclusive breast feeding is all about, neither has she seen reason for imbibing the practice, despite being told of its significance.

According to her, she was in the hospital for the first time after giving birth thrice, explaining that whenever she was pregnant, there were some elderly women around her that nursed her throughout the period of her pregnancy to delivery. For the three occasions she was in labour, there was never a time when she had experienced any difficulty or complication during or after labour.

Tumba added that she was only in the hospital for the antenatal care, after she was forced to visit the hospital by her relations whom she had just visited in Nafada town. She added that as soon as her husband comes down to fetch her, that would be the end of her visitation to the hospital.

“Going to health facilities for antenatal and medical treatment is only for the elite that live in the cities. In my case we only go into bush to collect herbs for our medication ,and that of our children”, Tumba stated.

When asked whether she has any knowledge about Exclusive Breastfeeding (EBF), Tumba said it was an abomination to give a baby the poisonous milk that comes immediately after delivery. To her, the first milk must be poured away before the newly born baby would be initiated to the mother’s breast, saying in keeping with her tradition, the first thing to be given to the new born baby should be water and nothing else.

Her words ” The first thing to be administered to a newly born child is feeding him with water. That is what I did to all my children and you can see them, they are still hale and hearty. So I don’t believe in giving breast milk as the first food after birth”.

To her, breastfeeding was placing the child on his mother’s breast to suck for a while, particularly, when the child indicated a sign of being hungry by persistently crying. He/she would be introduced to the breast and after the child stopped crying ,it indicated that the baby was satisfied. The child is put on breast milk only if he/she cries again.

She further argued that after three months of mixed breastfeeding with water, the child would be introduced to food, preparatory to the introduction of weaning (uprooting from breast milk) of the child. At six months the child would be fully introduced to food which called for his/her instant removal from the mother’s breast.

The chief Nursing officer cautioned nursing mothers against failure to introduce a newly born baby to the breast, debunking the notion that the first milk of the nursing mother was contaminated, and for that reason it should be poured away. Hajia Aisha argued that the first available milk after delivery contains colostrums, which is full of water and high concentration of nutrients that could not be obtained in any infant formula food. Therefore, this indicated the necessity of introducing the newly born baby to skin to skin breastfeeding, immediately after birth.

he added that the breastfeeding mother needs to sit in an upright position while placing her child on a breast, which is expected to last for about 15 to 20 minutes, before the child could be transferred to the other breast. By so doing the child would have sufficient time to suckle the necessary ingredients contained in the breast milk.This is contrary to the traditional practice that was characterized by indiscriminate placement and transfer of a child from one breast to another ,by the nursing mothers.

The nursing mothers will be taught how to prepare a pap full of protein, by fortifying the pap with Soya beans and groundnut formula, for the growth and development of the child.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200912070653.html

A Look Into Facebook’s Judicial System

What’s nudity? The policy enforcers at Facebook, a team of more than 100 spread out in offices around the world, including Northern California, London and Dublin, struggled with that question earlier this year. A legion of angry mothers revolted in response to the company removing photos of women breastfeeding.

The nudity policy, although not explicitly outlined, is pretty simple: no exposed nipples or nether regions. In a few cases, snap judgment during the so-called breastfeeding purge caused some fairly innocent pictures to get zapped.

But Barry Schnitt, Facebook’s director of policy communications, asserts that the company’s breastfeeding policy was largely misunderstood. The majority of the photos removed were of completely nude women (posing in mirrors or bathtubs) who happened to involve a baby eating lunch, Schnitt said.

Another misnomer is that the company was employing people to blindly click through pictures in search of breasts to flag for removal. “We only act on things that are reported to us,” Schnitt said during an interview at Facebook’s campus in Palo Alto. The vast majority of those reports come in the form of buttons throughout the site that users can click to highlight offensive content. So, if your au naturel pose gets zapped, blame a friend.

Facebook actually takes action on less than half of all reports.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/12/facebook-ban.html

Oh dear. A golden rule for life is that that there are some things you don’t put down on paper. Ever. The nation’s weary couch-potatoes woke yesterday to a gust of shocked hilarity, as somebody leaked a BBC document fussily labelled “Knowledge Commissioning Graded Talent List”. It puts TV presenters under “Top Tier Highly Valued”, “Mid-range average appeal”, “On the way up” and — at this point the reader falls off the chair, helpless with glee — “Occasional sparkle but limited appeal”.

The mad list is interesting, though, as a symptom of a wider phenomenon: list-mania and tabulation fever has been the besetting folly of the Noughties. Government adores its faulty league tables of schools, universities, hospitals and local authority services. Instead of intelligent inspection and help, billions of pounds and years of effort are poured into lists and tables that serve little purpose. They demoralise some, make others smug, and condition thousands of managers to work to targets that skew and corrupt their core mission. Gradual growth, local adaptation and interesting initiatives are stifled: hospitals good at caring for the dying get marked down because people die there, schools that deal valiantly with problem estates get slammed as “failing”.

Meanwhile subtler indicators are ignored. A small maternity hospital is closed because the acute hospital is more “productive”, but ask the actual mothers cared for at the little hospital, and you find that their rates of breastfeeding and health are higher, of depression lower. The same principle applies to the elderly who lose rural cottage hospitals and become more, not less, dependent. In every area, formulaic paperwork outranks sense.

You can see why. Lists and tables make managers feel safe, as if life and a happy society were a science, not an art. Given enough lists, they hope for a formula. But in reality, league tables mainly appeal to a judgmental, talent-show mentality. They work fine in sport — a goal is a goal — and book sales or cinema tickets are countable. In subtler fields of effort they are often worse than worthless.  At least daffy media lists have no power (with luck, neither does the BBC bêtise). But they should be mocked, because they only encourage government itself in its damaging love of fruitless, phantom tidiness in an imaginary paper world.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/article6955233.ece

Teaching Black Women To Embrace Breast-Feeding

African-American moms have the lowest rates of all — by some measures, they are half as likely to nurse as whites and Hispanics

When Kathi Barber gave birth a decade ago, she was the first in her family in generations to nurse, and was dumbfounded to realize she had no role models. Barber became obsessed with encouraging nursing among black moms, as numerous studies show that exclusive breast-feeding can reduce a baby’s chances of developing diabetes, obesity, ear infections and respiratory illness. Yet Barber was frustrated that for many new mothers, their only image of this age-old act may come from a museum or a National Geographic documentary. “Tribal women, with elongated breasts, earrings and tribal jewelry. And let’s say we’re trying to promote that to a 25-year-old, mmm …” she laughs. “I don’t think that’s going to do the trick.”

So Barber founded the African-American Breastfeeding Alliance and wrote The Black Woman’s Guide to Breastfeeding. As a lactation consultant, she travels the country putting on workshops and training sessions, and encouraging hospitals and family clinics to reach out to this community.

In fact, the older, more educated and higher-income a mother is, the more likely she is to breast-feed. But experts say the disparity for African-Americans is so great it transcends socio-economics.

Barber says work is clearly a huge barrier, and black moms may be more likely to hold lower-wage jobs with no breaks allowed for nursing. African-Americans have also had to earn money since long before the women’s liberation movement.

In fact, Barber thinks you can trace part of the problem all the way back to the breakup of families under slavery, and the enduring, negative image of so-called mammies — slaves made to serve as wet nurses for their master’s white children.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121755349

Coordinator promotes breast feeding

Kelly Sibley is in charge of promoting one of the best ways to keep newborn babies healthy, a practice in which Oregon leads the nation Sibley, 52, is the breast feeding program coordinator for Oregon Division of Public Health. She lives in Portland.

Q: Has Oregon implemented any public policies that have helped successfully promote breast feeding?

A: We have a law that protects a mother’s right to breast feed in public. We also have a law to protect breast feeding in the workplace, so mom who are returning to work are provided a clean and private place to express her milk.

Q: Is there anything else that has helped make Oregon get so far ahead of the curve when it comes to breast feeding?

A: I don’t think we’re totally clear about why we are so far ahead. I think for Oregon, breast feeding is seen as normal, more normal than it’s seen in other places. You are walking in a park and you look over and you see a mom on a bench and she’s breast feeding, it’s more likely to be accepted as normal here. She’s more likely to get a smile or just be left alone. In other places, she might be asked to leave or asked to go into the bathroom. I say, how would you feel if someone asked you to eat your lunch in the bathroom?

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20091214/NEWS/912140315/1001/news

Samantha Harris On Managing Motherhood, Career

After welcoming her daughter in 2007, Samantha Harris learned all too quickly that it often takes a village to raise a child….The juggling of her career — including her cohosting responsibilities on Dancing With the Stars, a correspondent for The Insider, and cohosting Entertainment Tonight Weekend — began only three weeks after delivering her daughter Josselyn Sydney when Samantha returned to the DWtS set….With baby girl at home with the nanny, the new mama arrived to work with her pump in hand!..“I was breastfeeding so I was pumping again and again throughout the production day and right before I went on stage because we didn’t want to have any mishaps in a gown — on live television!” she tells Working Mother.

http://celebrity-babies.com/2009/12/12/samantha-harris-on-managing-motherhood-career/

Vera Farmiga Says Family of Three Is ‘Inseparable’

In her new film Up in the Air, Vera Farmiga portrays corporate executive and frequent-flyer obsessed Alex, a love interest for George Clooney. Although in real life she’s married to musician Renn Hawkey of Deadsy and mom to 11-month-old Fynn,…With Vera’s busy career, Renn and Fynn are often along for the ride as she films on location. “My husband and I have made a pact,” she explains. “We are inseparable. He and my son just come along. I can’t handle it alone. I don’t like it when they’re not with me. I need them.”…Calling childbirth “just an incredible gift,” Vera, 36, says that motherhood both helped and hindered her approach to the role. “I never felt so empowered, so powerful, so womanly as I did after I gave birth,” she shares. “I felt more feminine than I ever had in my life. So I just rode that wave.”…At the same time — as a breastfeeding mom — Vera says that she had to take nursing breaks while filming — especially during love scenes!…“I’ll tell you what it was like when we locked lips,” Vera reveals. “We’d do it and then I’d say, ‘OK, George, now I’ve got to go breastfeed.’ Then I’d come back and be trying to find sort of clever positions to hide the wet spots on my silk blouse.”…There were also hormones to contend with, and Vera admits “I got very tired at times and, God knows, there were a lot of tears.”…Regardless, she says she had no reservations about accepting the role — or stepping into motherhood….“The birth was going to be close to the start of filming and it was my first child–but, I come from a family of seven children. I was always very comfortable changing diapers. I felt confident that I’d be fine as a first time mother. I said to [director] Jason [Reitman], ‘This is a great creative opportunity and I could use a paycheck.’”

http://celebrity-babies.com/2009/12/11/vera-farmiga-says-family-of-three-is-inseparable/

Study Links Factors to Choice of Infant Sleep Position

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have identified three principal factors linked to whether caregivers place infants to sleep on their backs. Those three factors are: whether they received a physician’s recommendation to place infants only on their backs for sleep, fear that the infant might choke while sleeping on the back, and concerns for an infant’s comfort while sleeping on the back.

The survey also found that after increasing steadily, the proportion of infants placed to sleep on their backs leveled off in the years since 2001.

A greater proportion of African-American infants than white or Hispanic infants die from SIDS each year

In the study, the researchers reported that between 2003-2007, only 53.6 percent reported that their doctors had advised them to put their babies on their backs only.

Always place babies on their backs to sleep — Infants who sleep on their backs are less likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on their stomachs or sides. Placing your baby on his or her back to sleep is the number one way to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Use the back sleep position every time — Infants who usually sleep on their backs but who are then placed on their stomachs, like for a nap, are at very high risk for SIDS. So it is important for babies to sleep on their backs every time, for naps and at night.
Place your baby on a firm sleep surface, such as a safety-approved crib mattress covered with a fitted sheet — Never place an infant to sleep on a pillow, quilt, sheepskin, or other soft surface. Information on crib safety and regulatory requirements for infant cribs is available from the Consumer Product Safety Commission at http://www.cpsc.gov/info/cribs/index.html.
Keep soft objects, toys, and loose bedding out of an infant’s sleep area – Don’t use pillows, blankets, quilts, sheepskins, or pillow-like bumpers in your baby’s sleep area. Keep all items away from the infant’s face.
Avoid letting your baby overheat during sleep – Dress your infant in light sleep clothing and keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult.

Think about using a clean, dry pacifier when placing your infant down to sleep, but don’t force the baby to take it. ( If you’re breastfeeding, wait until your child is 1 month old, or is used to breastfeeding before using a pacifier. )
In addition to Dr. Colson, other authors of the study were Denis Rybin, Theodore Colton and Michael J. Corwin of Boston University; Lauren Smith, of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health; and George Lister, of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

http://media-newswire.com/release_1107902.html

Column: Cut the crude commentary about breast feeding moms

By Ruth Butler | The Grand Rapids Press

Seriously?

A proposed bill to help mothers feed their babies is giving people fits? I guess folks would prefer mothers with babies stay home – drapes closed, if possible – until the child is old enough to scarf burgers at Mickey Ds the way God intended. Isn’t that, after all, why he created formula via his humble servant Justus von Liebig in 1867? (Thanks, Wiki.)

Whether the bill protecting a mother’s right to breastfeed in public passes through the state House has become secondary. What’s appalling is the reaction of those who are a) offended and/or b) driven to crude commentaries at the prospect of moms offering nutrition to children – the ones who are America’s future and the crux of every really important protest. Cue the “What About the Children?” chorus.

Everyone needs to calm down and accept breasts make people crazy. They are sexual, they are signs of womanhood (ask any 12-year-old girl – or boy.)

They are – insert giggle here – titillating.

Yet, I’ve never met a nursing mother who viewed feeding time with her child as an equivalent to foreplay or exhibitionism.

Sure, those who think mothers caught with a hungry child in public should do it in private – ever eaten your lunch in a bathroom stall? – also claim to have seen examples of flashing during the meal. But having been one, and seen many more nursing mothers, I testify most women are discreet. They cover themselves and focus on the wonderful task at hand, rather than take feeding time as a chance to put it out there for evaluation.

Where are the howls of protest for women who do just that? Why do you think they call it Hooters? Because only wise old owls eat there? Isn’t more being offered than what’s on the menu, in a look-don’t-touch sort of way?

Seriously. Strut your stuff at the beach, on the dance floor, in situations where cleavage is expected. But feeding time? It’s among the least sexual moments of a human’s life.

The only sexual thing going on at nursing time is in the minds of others. Making it their, not the mother’s, problem. Unless, of course, she’s kicked out of a building or the police are called (Google Target, breastfeeding.)

Of course, we could follow the example of other countries that see this and other ways women weave their seductive webs as way too provocative.

Burkas all around! Cover the hair, the lips, the body. Save the weak from themselves.

Seriously.

http://www.mlive.com/living/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2009/12/column_cut_the_crude_commentar.html

Recently, police were called on a complaint about a breastfeeding mother in a Harper Woods store. Here’s what local moms had to say.

“The people at Target were being stupid and by calling the police they made this into a bigger issue than it needed to be. I feel bad for the woman and her husband at being called out and embarassed for doing something completely normal! It was uncalled for and ridiculous!”— CinderMomma

“There is always more to the story I think but unlike the last incident which took place in a restaurant (a completely different scenario) I can’t imagine what the issue would be. I have seen women breastfeeding in the mall (at least I assume they were since they were discreet) and really who would care? Unless…..things got loud?”— Coco958

“If you are breast feeding a four week old infant in an aisle at Target you are a poor parent…period.”— paf

“if you’re bf’ing IN THE AISLE, (a) you’re probably blocking aisle traffic, (b) it ain’t the best positioning for the kid, (c) it ain’t the safest way to assure yourself and those around you that your boob won’t accidentally “unfurl” so to speak. Not saying kids shouldn’t be fed, but it ain’t all about you and your boob and your baby. There ARE other people who are actually shopping too ya know.”— shaari

http://www.freep.com/article/20091213/FEATURES01/912130336/1026/Features01/Recently-police-were-called-on-a-complaint-about-a-breastfeeding-mother-in-a-Harper-Woods-store.-Heres-what-local-moms-had-to-say.-Todays-topic

Someone Needs To Explain Babies To Kourtney!

Before one crawls out of her vagina and is thrusted into a world where his mother thinks she should be breastfeeding until the kid is five.  FIVE?! Gross!

http://perezhilton.com/2009-12-11-someone-needs-to-explain-babies-to-kourtney

Can Kendra Wilkinson breast-feed her baby even though she has implants?

Former Playboy model and reality TV star Kendra Wilkinson, wife of Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Hank Baskett, gave birth to a boy Friday morning. During her pregnancy, Wilkinson announced her intention to nurse her child despite having breast implants. Do implants affect a mother’s ability to breast-feed?

Generally, no. Most women who get breast implants, whether made of saline or silicone, can go on to breast-feed. But some types of breast augmentation surgery are more likely than others to result in complications when it comes to nursing. The two most common methods of implantation are peri-areolar incision (slicing just below the nipple) and inframammary incision (slicing along the crease below the breast). Cutting around the areola, the dark circle of skin surrounding the nipple, is much more likely to interfere with the network of nerves, glands, and milk ducts located toward the front of the breast that produce and carry milk to the nipple. Cutting underneath the breast allows the surgeon to circumvent that whole system rather than going straight through it. If a woman wants to breastfeed after getting implants, doctors usually recommend inframammary procedure, or an alternative route of insertion like the underarm or the belly button. Some doctors, however, still favor the peri-areolar technique because it allows for more precision when placing the implant and can produce less noticeable scarring. (Other considerations for which procedure to get include breast size, pain, and risk of the implants hardening.)

… The likelihood of nursing problems also depends on where, exactly, the surgeon places the implant. Subglandular placement—behind the mammary glands but in front of the chest muscles—has a higher risk of breastfeeding complications. That’s because the tissue surrounding the implant is more likely to harden when it’s in that position, which can make nursing difficult or painful. (The advantage is that the operation itself is quick and relatively painless.) The alternative is to slip the implant behind the chest muscle, separating the balloon from the lactation system entirely. This procedure is more common and generally better for breastfeeding. The downside of submuscular placement is that it’s more painful—the doctor has to fidget with the muscle itself—and it takes longer after surgery for the implant to “drop” into a more natural-looking position.

Implants could also interfere with nursing if they’re too big compared with the amount of skin and tissue surrounding them. Lactation proceeds most smoothly when the mother’s milk-producing lobes—arranged around the center of the breast—have room to expand and contract. If an implant puts too much pressure on the lobes, that can reduce the amount of milk generated

http://www.slate.com/id/2238096/

Social support during childbirth as a catalyst for early breastfeeding initiation for first-time Nigerian Mothers

Initiation of breastfeeding can be difficult in a busy maternity centre with inadequate manpower and social support. This study aims to explore the role of psychosocial support offered by companions on breastfeeding initiation among first-time mothers.  Methods: This is a secondary data analysis of a randomised controlled trial conducted among women attending the antenatal clinic of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria in 2007.  Those in the experimental group were asked to bring someone of their choice to the labour room to act as a companion; the comparison group received standard care. The results of 209 HIV negative women who had vaginal births were analysed.

The main outcome measure was time to initiation of breastfeeding after childbirth.

Results: Of the total, 94 had companions during labour while 115 did not have a companion. The median time to breastfeeding initiation was significantly shorter in those with companions compared to controls (16 vs.54 minutes; p <0.01). The cumulative survival analysis indicated that all in the treatmentgroup had initiated breastfeeding by 26 minutes, while among the control group none had commenced at 30 minutes post-delivery with some as late as 12 hours.

Conclusion: Use of companions during labour is associated with earlier time to breastfeeding initiation among first-time mothers in Nigeria

http://7thspace.com/headlines/328403/social_support_during_childbirth_as_a_catalyst_for_early_breastfeeding_initiation_for_first_time_nigerian_mothers.html

Breastfeeding Provision in Senate Bill Causes Controversy

The Senate health care reform bill is more than 2,000 pages long. One of the provisions, a provision on page 1,239, is being applauded by new mothers. But business owners are asking what it has to do with any real reform.

The Rochester Business Alliance says its members are not against providing this kind of benefit to new mothers, but they say adding it to the Senate bill is wrong because it has nothing to do reforming health care.  MY fear is that throwing in things is just going to add costs,” says Sandy Parker of the Rochester Business Alliance. “What they’re doing now is just shifting costs. They’re doing nothing to change the delivery of health care… They’re doing nothing to address why health care costs are escalating.”

Those who support this bill say employers do benefit. Mothers with healthy infants take less time off of work and have less stress. The cost of these rooms is paid for in the first year alone.

In a survey, Rochester business owners say the want to continue to provide insurance benefits but only if they can get relief from escalating premiums.

The bottom line is that the bill keeps adding requirements for employers without  providing that relief.

http://www.13wham.com/news/local/story/Breastfeeding-Provision-in-Senate-Bill-Causes/lqyWY3b7MUintrfUeNQyUw.cspx

Infants without HIV suffer no growth check, despite maternal infection

Exclusive breastfeeding, however, significantly improved the long-term health of children born to HIV-infected mothers, lending further support to the recently revised World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on infant feeding.

Being undernourished is predictive of death as well as poor early development in low- and middle- income countries where HIV is prevalent.

Infant feeding patterns affect growth; the mean weight of children who are breastfed is greater than most children who are formula-fed during the first half of infancy.

Of importance in these findings is the fact that HIV-exposed but uninfected children had a growth rate as good as that of the reference group. The authors note this is significant for two reasons:

  • Of the approximately 40% of infants born to HIV-infected mothers in Southern Africa most will be exposed but uninfected. While important, the growth and development of these children is often ignored.

 

Breastfed HIV-infected infants had higher scores for weight for age than those who were not, in particular during the first six weeks of life—a difference of 130 grammes for male children and 110 grammes for female children.

And, in line with recent WHO recommendations, they conclude: “These finding strengthen the recommendations of exclusive breastfeeding for HIV-infected women in resource-poor settings, for long-term child health.”

http://www.aidsmap.com/en/news/85CD7329-BD69-49E6-BEEE-9BA792BA6BBF.asp

A paradigm shift in newborn care
(The Philippine Star)

We’ve seen it portrayed in movies. A baby is delivered. It is held upside down and spanked. The umbilical cord is clamped and cut, and the baby is whisked away to be washed and cleaned immediately. Wrong!

Washing should be postponed until eight hours after birth,” said Dr. Aleli Sudiacal of the Department of Health (DOH) at a forum held recently at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.

Aware of the need to raise the quality of post-natal care in health facilities, the World Health Organization (WHO), in partnership with the DOH, is promoting a new approach where evidence-based components are integrated in post-natal care. Called the Essential Newborn Care (ENC), this simple set of proven intervention can save the lives of newborns.

The new protocol is to postpone washing and instead, dry the baby immediately, within the first 30 seconds, and initiate skin-to-skin contact with the mother before clamping the umbilical cord. Breastfeeding should also be initiated within the first hour of birth.

“It’s a major paradigm shift,” said Dr. Honorata Catibog, head of the DOH Task Force on the Rapid Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality.

“Studies showed delayed breastfeeding by one day increases by 2.6-fold the risk of death due to infection,” said Dr. Asuncion Silvestre, head of the PGH Lactation Unit and Milk Bank. 

“Before, the focus was on pre-natal care, with the practice of at least four pre-natal visits. But essential newborn care actually starts even before the mother gets pregnant

. It starts with the status of the health of the woman,” Silvestre said. “All pregnancies are considered at high risk. We advocate facility-based delivery attended by skilled health professionals.”

“We practice the team approach involving doctor, nurse, and midwife,” said Dr. Bella Vitangcol who led the familiarization tour of the essential newborn care facilities at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center, a pioneer in newborn care

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=530921&publicationSubCategoryId=75

Baby Dies Aboard United Airways Flight: A Response

Pardon me for quarreling with the experts, but this mother is being blamed for falling asleep? On a transatlantic flight? With a 4-week-old?

What nursing mother hasn’t fallen asleep while nursing her child? Back before the days of studies and guidelines and research and panels, back when the experts were primarily mothers, most women probably fell asleep every night while nursing their children. Many still do. But we’re not supposed to, because sleeping while holding a baby is taboo right now, along with letting babies sleep on their stomachs, or using forward-facing car seats, or feeding babies honey before age one.

We have expert-approved guidelines for every possible aspect of child-rearing, and I appreciate the insight afforded by such guidelines. But I wonder if they make it easier to blame parents when the unthinkable happens. The recommendations are ever-increasing and ever-changing, and that’s not even getting into the fact that on most issues, experts disagree. Parents are stumbling under the weight of all these “shoulds,” and when tragedy strikes, these recommendations morph into pointing fingers of accusation.

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/women/2009/12/baby_dies_aboard_united_airway.html

Breastfeeding for 5 years?

Kourtney Kardashian plans to breastfeed for five years.

The US reality star is expecting her first child, a boy, with partner Scott Disick later this month. Her sister Khloe has revealed Kourtney was initially clueless about what motherhood would entail, and expected to have to breastfeed until her son started school.

“Kourtney was like ‘I’m so excited, I don’t have to cook for five years,’ ” Khloe said. “And I go, ‘What do you mean?’ She’s like, ‘I’m gonna breastfeed.’ I go, ‘For five years?’ She has, like, no idea!”

Kourtney’s other sister Kim added she never thought of her 30-year-old sibling as maternal. She claims Kourtney has always been afraid of children, and done everything in her power to steer clear of them.

Kim said on The Rachel Ray Show: “Kourtney was never ever the type that I ever would think would ever want to have kids. She owns a kid’s clothing store, and if a kid would come in she would be like, ‘Where’s your mom? You need to go find your mom and come in with her.’ She didn’t understand it and she wasn’t that nurturing.”

http://entertainment.iafrica.com/news/2104660.htm

Ask Mr. Dad: The joys of sleep deprivation

Dear Mr. Dad: Our son is 3 weeks old and my wife is exhausted from breastfeeding. I have to be out of the house early in the morning to make it to work, but I do help her out between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. But when I try to get a little sleep before or after those hours, or if I’m too slow to wake up, she’ll say to our son things like “Daddy doesn’t care.” This hurts my feelings because I’m doing as much as I can, and I do have to put in an eight-hour day in the office. How do I handle this situation?

I’m sure that everyone you knew tried to warn you that becoming a dad would turn your life upside down, right? And I’m sure you tried to prepare yourself for all the changes. But there’s a difference between watching a tornado on TV and having one blow the roof off your house. Now that your baby is actually here, it’s pretty obvious that nothing could have fully prepped you for the daily (and nightly) challenges of living with a newborn.

While trying to take care of your son around the clock and dealing with all the adjustments of being a new mom, there’s a good chance that she’s experiencing symptoms of what’s generally called “baby blues,” feelings of sadness, loneliness, vulnerability, and questioning her ability to be a good mom. And the fact that she’s breastfeeding on demand – and is experiencing the exhaustion that goes along with it – just makes things worse.

Your wife probably doesn’t mean to snap at you. In some irrational way, she may actually believe that you aren’t pulling your weight. After all, you spend most of your day in the company of adults, while she is housebound with a baby.

Ask yourself this: Are you really doing as much as you reasonably can to help your wife through this difficult time, or could you do more? Obviously, since you have a full-time job, she can’t expect you to stay up at night taking care of the baby – someone has to put food on the table. On the other hand, maybe you can take over from your wife as soon as you come home, giving her some much-needed “me” time, and you a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your baby.

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/living/family_relationships/story/948784.html

Allergies Linked To Delaying Solid Foods

 

Delaying solid foods when children are babies may be tied to food allergies later on, Finnish researchers say.

Introducing eggs, oats, and wheat into an infant’s diet late in the game — around age 6 months — was associated with food allergies by age 5, Bright I. Nwaru, MPhil, MSc, of the University of Tampere, and colleagues reported online in Pediatrics.

In a related finding, late introduction of potatoes and fish was tied to sensitivity to inhaled allergens, such as pollen, animal dander, and dust mites.

“Introducing solid foods late to the child may increase the risk of being sensitized to these allergens,” Nwaru wrote in an e-mail.

Current pediatric recommendations suggest exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months to prevent allergic diseases. These recommendations have been based mainly on the assumption that an infant’s gut mucosal barrier is immature, and that introducing solid foods early may instigate sensitization to foods and inhaled allergens.

But emerging evidence shows these recommendations lack a strong scientific basis, Nwaru wrote.

“The implication of our study on breastfeeding and introduction of solid foods — like other recent studies have shown — is that prolonging exclusive breastfeeding, thereby introducing solid foods late, may not prevent allergic diseases in the child,” he added.

But he emphasized that the finding does not diminish the benefits of breastfeeding for six months among the general population — merely that exclusive breastfeeding doesn’t have a role in allergy prevention.

The researchers looked at data on 994 children from the Finnish Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention nutrition study. This was a prospective birth cohort study, so that information was available on breastfeeding, age at introduction of solid foods, and allergen-specific immunoglobulin E levels at age 5.

Every child had HLA-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes.

In the study, mothers breastfed for a median of 1.8 months, and the median age at the introduction of the first solid food was 3.5 months.

Potatoes were the earliest food introduced to the children, followed by fruits and berries, carrots, cabbages, cereals, meat, fish, and eggs.

The researchers found that late introduction of potatoes, oats, rye, wheat, meat, fish, and eggs was significantly associated with a sensitization for food allergy, albeit after different time periods: 4 months for potatoes, 5 months for oats, 7 months for rye, 6 months for wheat, 5.5 months for meat, 8.2 months for fish, and 10.5 months for eggs.

Late introduction of potatoes, rye, meat, and fish was significantly associated with sensitization to any inhaled allergen.

Egg allergy was associated with late introduction of potatoes, carrots, cabbages, oats, wheat, rye, meat, fish, and eggs, while wheat allergy was related to late introduction of potatoes, wheat, rye, fish, and eggs.

In adjusted analyses, eggs, oats, and wheat were the most important foods related to sensitization to food allergens (P=0.007, P=0.004, and P=0.002, respectively). Potatoes and fish were the most important foods associated with inhalant allergic sensitization (P=0.043, P=0.028, respectively).

There was no evidence of reverse causality, when parental allergic rhinitis and asthma were taken into account.

The study was limited because children were selected on the basis of HLA-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes, which may limit its generalizability to the general population.

Li Zuo, MD, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, said the study was also limited by using food sensitivity but not food allergy as an outcome for the study.

“I am not supporting the conclusion of this article,” Zuo said in an e-mail. “But I support the concept that late introduction of solid foods may not protect children from allergic diseases and I also support early solid food introduction for many children not at high risk for allergic reaction.”

Zuo added that the topic is hotly debated by allergists, and believes the “answer to increased allergic diseases is not [based] on the timing of solid food introduction, but something that happens earlier.

http://www.medpagetoday.com/AllergyImmunology/Allergy/17382

Sushi & Breastfeeding Join Birth Defects & Preterm Birth as Leading Concerns of Moms

Moms worry. Even before they become moms. From the minute they start thinking about whether they want to have a baby until long past the birth, moms worry.

Will my baby be healthy? Will I be a good mom? Can I dye my hair while pregnant? What can I eat?

The March of Dimes poll found that the number one thing moms worried about was birth defects – 78 percent said they were worried their child would be born less than perfect. Stress was moms’ second fear, with 74 percent answering that they were concerned if stress in their life would harm their baby’s health. Preterm birth was a close third with 71 percent saying they were worried their baby would be born too soon.

Surprisingly, only 70 percent thought about the fear of pain of childbirth and 55 percent were worried that they wouldn’t get to the hospital on time!

Other things moms worried about were:

  • 60 percent worried they wouldn’t be able to breastfeed successfully.
  • 59 percent worried about losing weight after pregnancy.
  • And, 59 percent worried about getting pregnant in the first place.
  • Sushi and fish was the number one food concern, with 61 percent concerned

 

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sushi–breastfeeding-join-birth-defects–preterm-birth-as-leading-concerns-of-moms-78840487.html

No risk to 4 month old babies eating cereal-based foods, says EFSA

(see link for full story)

http://www.nutraingredients.com/Health-condition-categories/Maternal-infant-health/No-risk-to-4-month-old-babies-eating-cereal-based-foods-says-EFSA/?utm_source=Newsletter_Product&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2BProduct

More Muslim, Christian, and Sikh mothers stop breastfeeding early: study

Mothers may breastfeed their children two complete years for whoever wishes to complete the nursing [period]. Surah Al-Baqarah : 233

The Holy Quran is clear that the duration of breastfeeding of infants are for a period of two years. World Health Organization (WHO) and Government of India’s guidelines also suggest breastfeeding for a period of two years. Breast milk is an excellent source of nutrition and essential for the healthy growth of the child.

A latest study finds that a greater share of Muslim, Christian, and Sikh women breastfeed their young ones for less than two years. The study is done by Harvard School of Public Health of Boston, Massachusetts, USA and published in July 2008 issue of peer-reviewed journal Maternal & Child Nutrition.

Data analysis revealed that religion was an important factor in the likelihood of stopping breastfeeding. This likelihood was significantly higher for Muslims, Sikhs and Christian. In terms of adjusted ratio Muslim mothers are 10% more than Hindu mothers in stopping breastfeeding before their children have reached the age of 24 months, while this ratio is much higher for Christians (34%) and Sikhs (33%). Researchers made a note that there is nothing in these religion that will explain early termination of breastfeeding therefore it has to be cultural factors and norms.

http://twocircles.net/2009dec08/more_muslim_christian_and_sikh_mothers_stop_breastfeeding_early_study.html

Shunning the Family Bed. Who Benefits Most?

According to Dr. Jay Gordon, babies sleeping on a safe surface with sober, nonsmoking parents respond to their parents, and the parents respond to them. The chance of SIDS occurring in this situation are close to zero. Babies in a crib or in a room away from their parents, on the other hand, will breastfeed less and are at greater risk of infections, including life-threatening ones.

The medical profession, as it often does, is approaching the entire idea of the family bed backward. A baby in the same bed with his or her parents is surrounded by the best possible surveillance and safety system. It must be the responsibility of the manufacturers and proponents of cribs and separated sleep to prove that such disruption is safe, not the other way around.

Newborn babies breathe in irregular rhythms and even stop breathing for a few seconds at a time. To put it simply, they are not designed to sleep alone.

http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Non-food/Lifestyle/shunning_the_family_bed_081220090712.html

‘We Go Into the Bush to Collect Herbs’

Tumba, the mother of three, could not explain what exclusive breast feeding is all about, neither has she seen reason for imbibing the practice, despite being told of its significance.

According to her, she was in the hospital for the first time after giving birth thrice, explaining that whenever she was pregnant, there were some elderly women around her that nursed her throughout the period of her pregnancy to delivery. For the three occasions she was in labour, there was never a time when she had experienced any difficulty or complication during or after labour.

Tumba added that she was only in the hospital for the antenatal care, after she was forced to visit the hospital by her relations whom she had just visited in Nafada town. She added that as soon as her husband comes down to fetch her, that would be the end of her visitation to the hospital.

“Going to health facilities for antenatal and medical treatment is only for the elite that live in the cities. In my case we only go into bush to collect herbs for our medication ,and that of our children”, Tumba stated.

When asked whether she has any knowledge about Exclusive Breastfeeding (EBF), Tumba said it was an abomination to give a baby the poisonous milk that comes immediately after delivery. To her, the first milk must be poured away before the newly born baby would be initiated to the mother’s breast, saying in keeping with her tradition, the first thing to be given to the new born baby should be water and nothing else.

Her words ” The first thing to be administered to a newly born child is feeding him with water. That is what I did to all my children and you can see them, they are still hale and hearty. So I don’t believe in giving breast milk as the first food after birth”.

To her, breastfeeding was placing the child on his mother’s breast to suck for a while, particularly, when the child indicated a sign of being hungry by persistently crying. He/she would be introduced to the breast and after the child stopped crying ,it indicated that the baby was satisfied. The child is put on breast milk only if he/she cries again.

She further argued that after three months of mixed breastfeeding with water, the child would be introduced to food, preparatory to the introduction of weaning (uprooting from breast milk) of the child. At six months the child would be fully introduced to food which called for his/her instant removal from the mother’s breast.

The chief Nursing officer cautioned nursing mothers against failure to introduce a newly born baby to the breast, debunking the notion that the first milk of the nursing mother was contaminated, and for that reason it should be poured away. Hajia Aisha argued that the first available milk after delivery contains colostrums, which is full of water and high concentration of nutrients that could not be obtained in any infant formula food. Therefore, this indicated the necessity of introducing the newly born baby to skin to skin breastfeeding, immediately after birth.

he added that the breastfeeding mother needs to sit in an upright position while placing her child on a breast, which is expected to last for about 15 to 20 minutes, before the child could be transferred to the other breast. By so doing the child would have sufficient time to suckle the necessary ingredients contained in the breast milk.This is contrary to the traditional practice that was characterized by indiscriminate placement and transfer of a child from one breast to another ,by the nursing mothers.

The nursing mothers will be taught how to prepare a pap full of protein, by fortifying the pap with Soya beans and groundnut formula, for the growth and development of the child.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200912070653.html

A Look Into Facebook’s Judicial System

What’s nudity? The policy enforcers at Facebook, a team of more than 100 spread out in offices around the world, including Northern California, London and Dublin, struggled with that question earlier this year. A legion of angry mothers revolted in response to the company removing photos of women breastfeeding.

The nudity policy, although not explicitly outlined, is pretty simple: no exposed nipples or nether regions. In a few cases, snap judgment during the so-called breastfeeding purge caused some fairly innocent pictures to get zapped.

But Barry Schnitt, Facebook’s director of policy communications, asserts that the company’s breastfeeding policy was largely misunderstood. The majority of the photos removed were of completely nude women (posing in mirrors or bathtubs) who happened to involve a baby eating lunch, Schnitt said.

Another misnomer is that the company was employing people to blindly click through pictures in search of breasts to flag for removal. “We only act on things that are reported to us,” Schnitt said during an interview at Facebook’s campus in Palo Alto. The vast majority of those reports come in the form of buttons throughout the site that users can click to highlight offensive content. So, if your au naturel pose gets zapped, blame a friend.

Facebook actually takes action on less than half of all reports.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/12/facebook-ban.html

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1 Comment

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One response to “Breastfeeding in the News: Dec. 8th – Dec. 14, 2009

  1. A little bit long, but great !
    Thanks

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