Breastfeeding in the News: Feb. 20 – Feb. 28, 2010

Trust, the cornerstone of the mother and baby relationship is now on sale in liquid form.  Just spray on a little perfume laden with oxytocin, and voila, instant trust!   Liquid Trust is the first atmosphere enhancement spray to contain Oxytocin, a human hormone that increases trust between people. According to the company, the user just applies the product in the morning no different than he/she would apply cologne or purfume. Then throughout the day everyone they come in contact with will detect the ingredient Oxytocin in the Liquid Trust causing people around them to have a strong feeling of trust.”  I have to wonder who will be buying more of this –teenage boys trying to get their parents to give them the keys to car or stock brokers trying to lure people back to the stock market?

I’m always fascinated by the way marketers put a spin on their advertising which is why this week I’ve included a press release from a plastic surgeon offering “mommy makeovers” for “military moms” who according to the release might be worried about having lost their “perkiness” after breastfeeding.   But the award for best spin of the week would have to go to Mr. Levitt the MP in England who after it was revealed that he had accepted tickets to Wimbledon and airfare to South Africa for a fact finding mission from infant formula maker Nestles stated: “It is right to have close relations with important local companies.” and “Nestle is amongst the most ethical of traders in this field.”  

While we’re talking about England I found a story about young mothers in prison that is positively medieval. Mothers in chains while receiving ob care?  What century is this?  But I’m not sure what to make of the story about a woman who claims she was thrown off a bus for breastfeeding.  The bus company says it never happened while she stands by her story.  Also from the UK a new study reports that only 44% of mothers think “breast is best” while 19% think the needs of the mother should come first and 16% think it’s the baby’s needs that should be given first priority.  I think the way the issue has been framed “baby’s needs vs. mother’s needs” speaks volumes about why so few mothers breastfeed.  Too many people think of breastfeeding as an all or nothing scenario, while far too few see the possibilities for compromise that make up a mother’s day to day life.

In Ireland a new study found that mothers would like post partum home visits 7 days a week, not just 5.  While many of you may be jealous that they are getting any home visits at all, I think this points to a larger issue that really needs to be addressed.  Babies do not take weekends off!  You can find the same problem here in the United States.  In most hospitals there are very few Lactation Consultants (often none) working during the weekends, especially Sundays.  I’ve had many clients who gave birth late in the week report that there was no LC available to see them before they went home.

In political news the Iowa Senate passed a bill supporting reasonable accommodations in the workplace for breastfeeding mothers, but not without a fight.  Apparently all the republican senators unanimous voted against it.  Talk about your knee jerk reactions, they had absolutely no data to support their argument that the measure would be too costly for businesses and they still voted against it.  Meanwhile on the other side of the world in China the BMAIC (“Bejing Municipal Administration for Industry and Commerce”) have been pointing fingers at companies violating the WHO Code.  Can you imagine if our department of Commerce ever did that here?  What would those republicans in Iowa do then?

While we’re talking about WHO Code violators, in Sri Lanka formula companies are being accused of throwing lavish parties in five star hotels as part of their aggressive marketing of ‘growing up milk powder’ otherwise known as “GUMP”.  I must confess I love the acronym, it makes it sound like a horribly nasty tasting lumpy oatmeal!  Speaking of nasty tasting there is a report from Haiti of starving older children so hungry that they must resort to drinking infant formula.  Says physician Doc Gurley “…any toddler (or older child) who is so desperate for food that they’ll drink a pre-packed bottle of infant formula can have it on the spot (those things taste so gross it’s unbelievable),…”.  For more insight into what is happening in Haiti at the moment read her blog post.  It’s long but rich in detail and incredibly moving! (I hope she writes a book about her experience some day.)

In unhappy news lactivists lost an ally at the UN this week with the passing of Ihsan Dogramaci a man who was a firm supporter of breastfeeding and the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.  Even worse in Mexico pesticides spraying has been reported to have caused an interruption in the breast development of adolescent girls leaving them unable to breastfeed later in life.  And in a different story one blogger questions the existence of atheists and agnostics in La Leche League, saying she has never found any in the organization.  (You might think about sending your comments to her directly on this one.)

I found two stories to be filled under “can we look at this a different way?”  The first is a glowing article about a study trying to find the connection between breast milk and the body’s ability to change the fatty acids found in flax seed to the more complex acids found in fish oil.  The study’s participants are reported to be extremely happy to be part of study showing yet another advantage of human milk, but I fear they are being duped.  It seems the real purpose of the study is promote the use of flax seed oil not breast milk.  The second article is about the anecdotal reports that women ingesting encapsulated placentas have lower incidents of postpartum depression.  Whether or not there is any truth to this I don’t know.  What bothered me was that this was presented not just as an alternative to taking antidepressant during breastfeeding but that breastfeeding while on antidepressant was not feasible.  “…do you go on medications to deal with your depression? Or do you continue to breastfeed your baby?”   Most antidepressants are safe for breastfeeding mothers, please don’t let this myth continue.

In the “Odds and Ends” department the new documentary about babies coming out in April has been given a PG rating instead of a G because of the breastfeeding scenes (we can’t let our little one see that can we).  An article about the quality of news on the internet posed this question, “Is an expert essay on breastfeeding on iVillage more valuable to someone seeking out that information than a mom of three writing from Des Moines?” And from a blog in the Boston Globe there was another story questioning the need for a mother who was given the wrong baby to breastfeed to sue her hospital.  This no harm done attitude really irks me.  How else do we get hospitals to understand that this kind of mix up is totally irresponsible?  If they had operated on the wrong leg wouldn’t you sue?

This has been a long post so I want to end on a happy note. Dr. Jack Newman wanted to let everyone know about a long term study out of Australia which has found that babies breastfed over six months had lasting benefits to their mental and emotional life that could still be measured at ages 2, 5, 8, 10 & 14 years of age!  Even better, for every month that breastfeeding continued their behavior improved.  Look for more about this story in my column in La Leche League International’s new free online journal “Breastfeeding Today” which will be making its grand debut later this month. 

As always I love to hear from you, and thanks so much for reading my work. (And remember the links to all the stories are below.)

Kathy Abbott IBCLC
www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com

www.TheCuriousLactivist.Wordpress.com

On Facebook:” Breastfeeding in the News”    

Pesticide exposure deprives Yaqui girls of breastfeeding – ever  (Sonora Valley Mexico)

Guillette’s latest research finds that some pre-adolescent daughters of mothers exposed to pesticide spraying will never be able to breast-feed their babies. With others there is uncertainty. Although there is breast growth, some daughters lacked development of the mammary tissue needed to produce milk, or developed a minimal amount.

As the girls in the exposed group matured, their breast size became much larger than normal, yet they had less mammary tissue and often none at all, while the unexposed girls were normal.

http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/global/latin/85049497.html

Powdered milk giants batter the breast and break guidelines with five-star parties  (Sri Lanka)

The breast vs bottle battle for the “young child” has taken a new turn, with milk giants resorting to various insidious and unethical methods to promote their products, sending shockwaves in health circles.
Such modus operandi by the milk giants in their race to catch the “young child”, especially those who have celebrated their first birthday, includes tamashas at five-star hotels with product launches (euphemistically called introductions) thrown in for eminent gatherings of medical personnel including policy-makers, all expenses paid junkets to foreign destinations to attend medical meetings and misleading advertisements in the media to tempt mothers, the Sunday Times understands.

Even though knowing well that the policy and recommendations of the government are to promote exclusive breastfeeding within the first six months after birth, then begin complementary feeding with such foods as a home-made multi-mix along with breastfeeding and gradually increase the solid food intake of the young child while breastfeeding up to two years, the milk companies are in a race to promote “growing up milk powder” (GUMP) among one-year-olds although there is inadequate scientific evidence of their usefulness, lamented a respected paediatrician.

http://www.sundaytimes.lk/100228/News/nws_22.html

This film is rated B – for babies

The 80-minute documentary is almost entirely without dialogue, meaning that babies themselves might even like it. The film is rated PG, mainly for nudity related to breastfeeding (Whether a breast-at-work merits a PG is quite another story).

http://www.app.com/article/20100228/ENT01/100227020/This-film-is-rated-B—for-babies

Do placenta pills beat back the baby blues?

Wendy Gordon told KATU News that “there’s a decision that has to come up often; that do you go on medications to deal with your depression? Or do you continue to breastfeed your baby?”

Many women who go on medication for depression stop breastfeeding in order to not pass the medication onto their child through breast milk. But with placenta pills, there’s no risk to the baby

http://www.katu.com/news/problemsolver/85558897.html

Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman on the death of Professor Ihsan Dogramaci

A paediatrician by profession, Professor Dogramaci was both a man of science and of deep humanity. For the past half century, he has played a key role in global efforts to improve child survival, in particular as a staunch and vocal advocate of immunization, breastfeeding and baby- friendly hospitals.

http://www.webnewswire.com/node/509820

Breastfeeding Bristol mother ‘made up story she was thrown off bus’

When the Post visited Miss Wootten, 25, yesterday to ask her to explain the CCTV footage from the bus she was adamant that the incident had happened the way she had originally recounted it.

http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/homepage/Breastfeeding-Bristol-mother-story-thrown-bus/article-1871417-detail/article.html

Haiti Faux Pas

“…any toddler (or older child) who is so desperate for food that they’ll drink a pre-packed bottle of infant formula can have it on the spot (those things taste so gross it’s unbelievable),

Translation, especially in medical settings, is a tricky business. You, the doctor, depend completely on that person’s ability to not filter at all what you say, but to also re-phrase it in a way the person can understand without losing any of the meaning or nuance. Classically, when it doesn’t go well, medical translation can be almost a joke – like when a provider gives a full, detailed explanation of the intricacies of breastfeeding, then pauses to wait for the translation, and hears the translator convert that five-minute-long, medical short-story full of caveats, warnings and physiology into one brutally blurted phrase (presumably “feed it. lots.”).

She leaned forward to say, again in English, “diarrhea is not something anyone wants to admit they have. Perhaps you could ask another way?” Diarrhea, like not speaking French, was apparently another sign of poverty, of lack of class, of lack of education.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/gurley/detail?&entry_id=57949

MP Tom denies Nestle job claim

Since 2005, Mr Levitt has received three donations from Nestle – all properly recorded in the Register Of Members’ Financial Interests.

He accepted hospitality and tickets for the Ashes Test Match in July 2009 and the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in June 2005.

He also went on a fact-finding mission looking at corporate social responsibility in South Africa in February 2008. Nestle funded flights, accommodation and other costs during the seven day trip.

Mr Levitt said: “It is right to have close relations with important local companies.”

But Mr Levitt said: “Nestle is amongst the most ethical of traders in this field.

http://www.buxtonadvertiser.co.uk/news/MP-Tom-denies-Nestle-job.6108297.jp

Just 44% of UK moms believe that breastfeeding is always best.

Over 1000 mums took part in the survey, which revealed that less than half of UK mums believe that breast is best and that 19% of UK mums feel its important to put their own wellbeing first, 16% believe mums should always put their babys needs first, while 13% feel its important to research all the arguments in favour of breastfeeding and bottle feeding before making a decision.

A further 8% argued that no one had the right to tell them how to feed their babies.

http://www.prfire.co.uk/press-release/just-44%20percent%20-of-uk-mums-believe-that-breastfeeding-is-always-best-7800.html

Mommy Make Over for the Military Mom

Mommy Makeover surgery helps the Military Mom regain her confidence after having children and breast feeding. Mommy makeover can include breast surgery and body contouring surgery. Usually the abdominal muscles are separated after pregnancy and the breasts sometimes lose the fullness and perkiness they once had. Dr. Pousti can help moms get their pre-baby bodies back.

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/mommy-make-over-for-the-military-mom,1179087.shtml

China’s Beingmate Violates Dairy Product Sale Rules

According to BMAIC (Bejing Municipal Administration for Industry and Commerce), investigations by the Consumers’ Association have shown that Beingmate has seriously broken “The International Code for Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes: and China’s rules on the sale of breastmilk substitutes. In addition there are problems with the promotional information on the company’s packaging.

http://www.chinacsr.com/en/2010/02/25/7196-chinas-beingmate-violates-dairy-product-sale-rules/

‘Humiliated’ mother forced off bus for breastfeeding

Amy Wootten, 25, was travelling home from Bristol city centre on the busy bus when her six-week-old daughter Emily needed a feed.  The driver pulled up the number 54 First Bristol bus and asked her to stop, saying that a passenger had complained.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/humiliated-mother-forced-off-bus-for-breastfeeding-1910528.html

‘Enjoy the baby, feed the baby’

Posted by tmatt

Surely, somewhere in America or the world at large there are a few atheist or agnostic women who are active in the La Leche League network that encourages modern women to breastfeed their babies. There must be a few.

http://www.getreligion.org/?p=27181

Feeding mothers want more home visits (Irish Times)

PUBLIC HEALTH nurses (PHNs) should provide early and more regular home visits to support breastfeeding mothers and the PHN service should be extended from five to seven days a week, according to a new study.

Ms Mulcahy said the authors of the study had made 19 recommendations, almost all of which could be addressed with the implementation of an initiative based on the WHO/Unicef Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/health/2010/0223/1224265028287.html

GOP  LAWMAKERS VOTE UNAMIOUSLY AGAINST BREASTFEEDING BILL

Liberal blog Bleeding Heartland took exception to unanimous Republican opposition last week to a bill in the Iowa Senate promoting workplace accommodations for employees who express breast milk.

The bill passed 29-15

http://iowaindependent.com/28420/gop-lawmakers-vote-unanimously-against-breastfeeding-bill

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Did the internet kill quality? Or just redefine it?

Old media faces some confusing competition in this new world. Is an expert essay on breastfeeding on iVillage more valuable to someone seeking out that information than a mom of three writing from Des Moines?

http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=142235

Liquid Trust – Does It Really Work?

Vero Labs dedicates themselves in researching and developing innovative products that help enhance human relationships. Their flagship product, Liquid Trust seems to be a very hot item…does it work?

 

Liquid Trust is the first atmosphere enhancement spray to contain Oxytocin, a human hormone that increases trust between people. According to the company, the user just applies the product in the morning no different than he/she would apply cologne or purfume. Then throughout the day everyone they come in contact with will detect the ingredient Oxytocin in the Liquid Trust causing people around them to have a strong feeling of trust.

http://www.officialwire.com/main.php?action=posted_news&rid=100517

Born behind bars

Being pregnant and in prison forces a woman to prepare for the worst. Will she receive the treatment she needs? Will she be able to get out of her cell if labour starts? And, most poignantly, will she be able to keep her baby? Four new mothers tell their inside stories

“I didn’t want her to go into care. Besides, I wanted her with me. I was still breastfeeding. It was the waiting that was horrible. I was separated from her for three weeks while the prison decided whether I could keep her.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/feb/21/pregnant-women-in-prison

Brain power linked to mother’s milk?

Researchers had collected breastmilk from Perkins and saliva from Lincoln three months earlier….

Cheatham and others scientists in Kannapolis want to understand the human body’s apparent ability to change the essential fatty acid found in flaxseed oil — alpha-linolenic acid or ALA — into the superior fatty acid found in fish oil — docosahexaenoic acid or DHA.

“This is important because flax is a plant which we can grow,” Cheatham said. “It is cheaper, safer and more readily available than fish.”  It’s also easier to get children to eat flaxseed, which has a nutty flavor, than salmon and sardines.

“This could affect the standard of care, what doctors recommend to their patients,” she said. “We have the ultimate goal of giving every baby a fighting chance for success.”

But the only benefit they’ve been able to prove is DHA’s ability to support brain development in premature infants. It also helps treat heart disease.

http://www.salisburypost.com/NCRC/022110-Brain-net-NCRC-Study-needs-babies-to-determine-benefits-of-fatty-acids

Would you breastfeed someone else’s baby?

“A Chicago couple is suing a hospital for negligence after the new mom was handed the wrong newborn to nurse. …Awkward? Sure. Awful? Possibly. But worth suing over? I don’t think so.”

http://www.boston.com/community/moms/blogs/child_caring/2010/02/would_you_breastfeed_someone_elses_baby.html

Breast feeding for over six months could aid mental health

A study by the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth looked at 2,366 children born to women enrolled in a pregnancy study in the state of Western Australia.

Each of the children underwent a mental health assessment when they were aged two, five, eight, 10, and 14.

The researchers found that breastfeeding could help babies cope better with stress and may signal a stronger mother-child attachment which could provide lasting benefits.

“Breastfeeding for a longer duration appears to have significant benefits for the onward mental health of the child into adolescence,” researcher Dr. Wendy Oddy, who led the study, wrote in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Of the children in the study, 11 percent were never breastfed, 38 percent were breastfed for less than six months, and just over half were breastfed for six months or longer.

The mothers who breastfed for less than six months were younger, less educated, poorer, and more stressed, and were also more likely to be smokers than the mothers who breastfed longer.

They were also more likely to suffer from postpartum depression and their babies more likely to have growth problems.

At each of the assessments, the researchers found children who were breastfed for shorter periods of time had worse behavior which could translate into aggression or depression.

But for each additional month a child was breastfed, behavior improved.

The researchers said breastfeeding for six months or longer remained positively associated with the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents even after adjustments for social, economic and psychological factors as well as early life events.

“Interventions aimed at increasing breastfeeding duration could be of long-term benefit for child and adolescent mental health,” the researchers concluded.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60B63220100112

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1 Comment

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

One response to “Breastfeeding in the News: Feb. 20 – Feb. 28, 2010

  1. Good article and thanks for your information.
    Thanks

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