Category Archives: lactivist

Off to San Diego!

Hello All,

This Friday I’m off to California where my daughter & I will be doing a little mother daughter road trip (give me strength – she’s 14, what on earth was I thinking??). We’ll start in Santa Barbara (the same day as Prince William & Princess Kate my daughter informs me!) drive down to Los Angeles, and end in San Diego where I’ll be attending the International Consultant’s Association’s  Annual Conference.  This will be my first time attending the ILCA conference and I’m proud to say I’ll be attending as a speaker!

The idea for my talk, “From Johnny Appleseed to Woodstock: Going Baby Friendly In New England” originated from a series of road trips I made two years ago.  At the time 100% of the hospitals in Sweden were “Baby Friendly” (i.e. breastfeeding friendly) while in the US it was less than 3%. That bothered me, but what bothered me even more was the knowledge that here in Massachusetts we had only one certified “Baby Friendly” hospital while rural Maine already had five, and even tiny Rhode Island had three! Being curious (I am after all the Curious Lactivist!) I wanted to know why Massachusetts was so far behind, so in 2009 I got in my car and drove to ten “Baby Friendly” hospitals in five different states where I asked two questions; “How did you become “Baby Friendly”? & “What are the challenges you face in remaining “Baby Friendly” today?

The answers were fascinating! Their stories ranged from the small hospital in Maine where the nurses simply said to each other, “You know those things that we didn’t like about our own birth experiences; let’s just not do that here.”, to the lactation consultant in Rhode Island who inspired an enthusiastic group of young nurses to follow in her footsteps, to the hospital in New Hampshire where one key person had so completely blocked efforts to become “Baby Friendly” the hospital had to withdraw from the certification process entirely, and yet today not only are they certified, they even keep a supply of donor milk on hand for any baby who needs to be supplemented for medical reasons!

In addition to speaking at the conference I’ll also be in the exhibit hall helping out Ron Daley the owner of “Supple Cups” at his booth.  Ron and I live in the same town and when I found out he wouldn’t be able to attend I offered to help him out.  If you haven’t heard of them “Supple Cups” came out about three years ago as a tool for aiding women with inverted or flat nipples.  Unlike nipple shields that are used during feeding, “Supple Cups” are a small silicone cup (about the size of a thimble) that gently draws the nipple out.  By wearing them before or during pregnancy they can aid in elongating the truly inverted (i.e. tethered) nipple.  In the postnatal period “Supple Cups” can also be used to help draw out the nipple that has disappeared due to engorgement (especially during the colostrum period for engorgement caused by IV fluids!), in many cases making them a great alternative to the dreaded nipple shield.  (Look for Julie Bouchet-Horowitz’s soon to be published study on “Supple Cups” in the journal “Clinical Lactation”.)

So if I can survive the road trip with my 14 year old it promises to be an exciting conference.  I’m hoping to connect with as many familiar faces as possible, so if you’ll be at the conference please look for me in the exhibit hall (I’ll be in Booth 95, next to the folks at Mother Art), or come hear me speak on Sunday morning (and no I won’t be mad if you’ve already signed up to hear Miriam Labbok or Karen Gromada, who can blame you?).  I’m looking forward to saying hi to folks and if you have any stories about either “Baby Friendly” or “Supple Cups” I would love to hear them!

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Filed under breastfeeding, inverted nipples, lactivist, supple cups, the curious lactivist, Uncategorized

Breastfeeding in the News March 1st – 8th, 2010

This week’s news certainly had its share of titillation.  From a chef who serves his patrons a cheese made from his wife’s breast milk, the woman in jail who was charged with assault for squirting her milk at a guard, to the mother who admits to breastfeeding her 14 year old.  And let’s not forget that fashion show that Bravado (makers of nursing bras) held in Las Vegas where the pregnant models were banned from walking the runway.

Mixed in with the odd ball articles two very sad stories also caught my eye.  In the Philippines a 31 year old woman was shot dead while breastfeeding her one year old.  The baby was still suckling her breast when they found her.  And in Uganda authorities say they have no proof that a mother who says her husband forced her to breastfeed puppies is telling the truth.  Apparently the scars on her breast were believed to be the result of her epilepsy, and the testimony from her children (ages 5 & 2) was not to be taken seriously because they after all merely children. 

 There were several stories about breastfeeding and the workplace this week and none of it was very encouraging I’m afraid.  Although donating a handmade quilt to a local health department breastfeeding room was a nice gesture of support it appears that combining breastfeeding and work remains a struggle in many places.  Utah failed to pass a bill requiring workplaces to set aside space for breastfeeding.  In Oklahoma where they have a law allowing mothers to express milk at work (during unpaid time) there was no mandate to set aside space to do so.  Officially encouraging businesses to set aside space hasn’t worked either as only 26 offices now have a designated pumping space.  (I find it ironic that the title of this article was “Workplaces Nurture Nursing Moms”.) 

In “To Pump or Not to Pump?” a mother whose office had a designated pumping room explains the dilemma she found herself in when she found it difficult to accept a travel assignment that would have made it difficult to pump.   In Taipei a survey found that less than 4% of businesses had a breastfeeding room and that lack of space was one of the main reasons cited for not doing so.  They too are considering a bill requiring public offices to create such a space which, unlike Oklahoma the bill, includes a provision to fine those who don’t comply.

Meanwhile according to the Wall Street Journal breastfeeding for six months or longer leads to an overall decrease in a woman’s income because they either work fewer hours or they quit.  “We can’t just look at health outcomes. We must look at economic outcomes as well,” says Mary Noonan, an associate professor at University of Iowa’s sociology department and co-author of the paper. “Money also matters for a child’s health.”  I think she has a valid point.  Why should a mother have to decide between her financial security and her child’s health?  Likewise why should business owners have to redesign their workspaces to accommodate the pumping mother? 

To me the answer is obvious.  Women need a nationally guaranteed long term (I’m thinking one year here!) paid maternity leave.  I’m tired of legislators trying to grapple with this problem from state to state with their pathetic attempts to combine breastfeeding in the workplace.  It also annoys me that these laws are promoted as laws to encourage breastfeeding when in reality they are promoting pumping not breastfeeding.  Did you know that Medela’s sales of the “Pump N Style” have quadrupled in the last five years?  Is it any wonder that we now have mothers who plan to “EP” (exclusively pump)?  To really support breastfeeding we need three things; intensive prenatal breastfeeding education, “Baby Friendly” hospitals, and a national one year paid maternity leave.  Work place legislations are a mere band-aid.  And for those of you who feel that I am ignoring the rights of mothers who want to go back to work, yes there should be legislation to accommodate them in the workplace, but I really feel we should be pushing for maternity leave first.  At the very least we should be making a lot more noise about the issue.

And yes I’m totally in favor of legislation to accommodate breastfeeding in public both as way to bring the issue to the foreground and to ensure that no mother ever feels stuck at home because of her decision to breastfeed.  In the Philippines at Manila’s International airport they recently opened a free mother’s breastfeeding room.  I’m so glad it’s free.  They weren’t really thinking of charging mothers for this were they?  Although depending on the price it might be worth it.  The room includes four cubicles each with a bed, a swivel chair, a window, a drawer and a door that locks!  This is the first breastfeeding room that I’ve heard of that offered a bed!  How cool is that?  (Of course the Philippines also have a law preventing companies from promoting formula.  It’s about the culture people!)

OK, let me get off that soap box for a minute.  In other news we can congratulate actress Angela Kinsey for explaining to the female writers of “The Office” the realities of breastfeeding.  And it is interesting to note that one writer found it to be impossible to believe that there could be male lactation consultants or for that matter baby mix ups in the hospital.  While we’re on the subject I want to give a shout out Tom Johnston who is stationed with the army in New York.   Tom is both a Lactation Consultant and a certified midwife.  Tom’s Facebook profile exclaims “I catch babies for the Army!”  

Speaking of midwives a midwife in the UK has been nominated for a national award for her efforts to help a mother breastfeed following a c-section.  In other news a daycare provider resigned after someone gave a baby in her charge the wrong mother’s breast milk.  In Nigeria due to the fall in breastfeeding rates the government has decided to reach out to religious groups (both Muslim and Christian) in an effort to educate parents.  In health news Breastfeeding has been associated with a lower risk of peptic ulcers (caused by H.Pylori).  And in environmental news it has been suggested that the contamination of breast milk with toxins should be considered a “child’s health issue” rather than a “woman’s issue”.

“Dear Prudence” got an interesting letter from a dad who wasn’t sure what to do about his wife.  It seems that because he was a stay at home dad he was better at noticing their baby’s feeding cues than his wife who was primarily pumping.  Apparently she resented him for it.  “Recently my wife blew up at me and said that her breasts are her body and no other person can tell her what to do with her body. From now on I am not allowed to tell her when I see signs that our daughter is hungry because it then would be controlling my wife’s body.”  “Dear Prudence” replied   “Your wife is in the difficult situation of trying to provide nutrition for your daughter while being at work all day. It doesn’t help that when she’s home you indicate you are more in tune with your baby’s needs than she is.”   And she went on to say; “…It will not harm your daughter to let a few lusty cries for milk, instead of having Dad anticipate her hunger. Just relax and let your wife handle it.”

Do you see now what I mean by pumping taking us down the wrong road?  Do we really want women to be mad at their husbands because their hubbies are more in tune with their babies than they are?  I’m going to say it again people – women need long term, paid maternity leave!

As always I love hearing from you & the links to all the article are below.

Kathy Abbott IBCLC
www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com 

www.TheCuriousLactivist.Wordpress.com 

On Facebook:” Breastfeeding in the News”           

Mothers Who Opt for Breast Milk, Not Breast-feeding (Catherine Sharick – Time Magazine)

Technology has helped fuel the trend. Medela, the Swiss breast-pump maker and industry leader, introduced its first electric-powered, vacuum-operated at-home breast pump in the U.S. in 1991. Five years later, the company launched the Pump in Style, a portable breast pump that comes in a fashionable bag that looks like a purse. Since then, Medela’s sales of the item — not cheap at around $279 — have quadrupled.

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1971243-1,00.html

 Woman Charged in Breast Milk Assault on Jailer  

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OWENSBORO, Ky. — A woman in jail for public intoxication was accused of assaulting a jailer by squirting breast milk at her. WYMT-TV reported that a 31-year-old woman was arrested Thursday on a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication. But as she was changing into an inmate uniform, she squirted breast milk into the face of a female deputy who was with her. …The woman now faces a felony charge of third degree assault on a police officer. Her bond was set at $10,000.

http://www.bnd.com/2010/03/07/1163728/woman-charged-in-breast-milk-assault.html

Nursing my infant child was a gift — to me

Perhaps the favorite piece of advice from grandmothers and random women on the street is that nursing should come naturally. Just let your baby and your body do what they were made to do, they’ll say.

Well, here’s my advice: Look straight in that woman’s face and say, “Nice try, lady. Nice try.”

The truth is — at least for me and every other mother I know — nursing does not come naturally, and you will spend the first month of your child’s life struggling to figure it out.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700014726/Nursing-my-infant-child-was-a-gift-2-to-me.html

To pump or not to pump?

I was lucky to work for a company that had a designated room for breastfeeding moms, but I couldn’ stick to my routine during my business trip. The courthouse where I was supposed to be covering a story didn’t have a similar room for breastfeeding moms.

I was torn. On one hand, I wanted to tell my boss that I couldn’t go on the trip and that she needed to find someone else. At the same time, I didn’t want to seem incapacitated and incapable of doing my job.

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/parents/2010/mar/07/pump-or-not-pump/  

Cheers and Jeers: March 8, 2010

CHEERS to the Ladies of the Lake Quilting Club for donating a quilted wall hanging for the Clinton County Health Department employee breastfeeding room. The gift betokens a genuine empathy for motherhood and breastfeeding, certainly both compatible with Health Department goals. Clinton County has taken steps to comply with state legislation to create a space for mothers who are nursing their babies, and the quilt will certainly encourage that activity. For the gesture, the Health Department has presented the club a Community Partnership Award. Through the years, many women and babies will have their experience enhanced by this thoughtful donation.

  http://www.pressrepublican.com/0202_cheers_and_jeers/local_story_066223108.html

Natural Cooking with Human Breast milk Going Too Far

An eco-conscious chef has taken advantage of his wife’s breast, but not in the way my first few words lead you to believe. Instead he is using milk she extracted from her breastfeeding breast and making it into cheese he serves at his restaurant. Shocking? Disgusting? Bizarre? You be the judge.

What if Chef Angerer did not serve human cheese at his restaurant

and instead only served it to his baby? Would that make a difference? Is it less disgusting?

http://inventorspot.com/articles/natural_cooking_human_breast_milk_going_too_far_38543  

WORK PLACES NURTURE NURSING MOMS

BY Paula Burkes – OKLAHOMAN

A 2006 Oklahoma law requires employers to allow nursing mothers the ability to express milk during lunches, breaks and other unpaid times. But there’s no mandate that employers provide breaks or a private room.

In 2008, the state Health Department launched its Breastfeeding Works! initiative to encourage businesses to establish private lactation rooms and policies acknowledging the importance of breastfeeding. But only 26 workplaces, mostly health-care related, have been recognized as breastfeeding-friendly and working moms continue to face difficulties.

http://www.newsok.com/workplaces-nurture-nursing-moms/article/3444530?custom_click=lead_story_title

Nursing: No Free Lunch

“In terms of long-term earnings, women who breastfeed less than six months have similar income trajectories to those who never breastfeed, but those who breastfeed for six months or longer have far steeper declines in income,” mainly due to reduced work hours or quitting, Ms. Rippeyoung says.

Some mothers endure real economic hardship if they miss work hours to pump or breastfeed. “We can’t just look at health outcomes. We must look at economic outcomes as well,” says Mary Noonan, an associate professor at University of Iowa’s sociology department and co-author of the paper. “Money also matters for a child’s health.”

— Ruth Mantell, The Juggle, WSJ.com

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126791010300157469.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Bosses in Taipei not keen on setting up breastfeeding rooms: poll

Only 3.9 percent of the companies in Taipei City installed breastfeeding rooms on their premises in 2009, according to the Taipei city Department of Labor.

…According to the draft bill, government agencies and business premises with floor space of more than 500 square meters, as well as public service facilities with over 1,000 square meters of floor space, must be equipped with clearly marked breastfeeding rooms.

Breastfeeding rooms must be established on the premises of such facilities, which include railway and metro stations and airport terminals, within one year of the promulgation of the regulations, the draft bill states

http://focustaiwan.tw/ShowNews/WebNews_Detail.aspx?Type=aSOC&ID=201003070003

New Life for Mother who was Forced to Breastfeed Puppies

… “He added that a test was carried out in Mbale Hospital but it also found no evidence of breastfeeding puppies. “The hospital results only indicated that Ms Alupo suffers from epilepsy illness,” Mr Madiri said

 

…In a separate interview with Mr Awoloyi, he said that his wife Alupo suffered a brain disorder caused by her epileptic condition which could explain the earlier injuries she had suffered on her body and her breasts.

http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/Insight/-/688338/874504/-/7f7ji2/-/

Top Moments: The Office Baby Blues, The Bachelor’s First Dance, and a Monster’s Balls

1. Best Lactation Joke: In the special one-hour Office baby episode, a tender moment in which Pam finally gets the baby to “latch” for breastfeeding is turned on its ear when she realizes that she’s accidentally picked up her hospital neighbor’s newborn. “Wrong baby, wrong baby,” she repeats to panicky dad Jim, who quickly replaces the sated infant in its bassinet before its mother wakes up.

http://www.seattlepi.com/tvguide/416254_tvgif5.html

‘The Office’ Baby — Jim & Pam Welcome Cecilia Marie!

The episode did raise four burning questions, though:

1.) Do hospitals really employ male lactation consultants? Young, handsome ones who offer hands-on breastfeeding counsel to new moms? While new dads watch? Pam accepted the nature of the clinical situation, totally indifferent to anything but the task at hand (getting Cecilia fed) — but we’re with Jim. That’s just not right.

2.) Mistakenly breastfeeding someone else’s newborn doesn’t happen — does it? It seemed beyond credible that Pam would sleepily bring another mom’s baby to her breast, but when you factor in the mind-numbing exhaustion of birthing a child in the first place, it actually makes you wonder how it doesn’t happen more often!

http://www.ivillage.com/office-baby-jim-pam-0/1-a-121935

Angela Kinsey Pitches Nursing Humor to Office Writers

“I … tried to pitch them some breastfeeding jokes,” she revealed to the Toronto Sun, noting that she returned to the set when her own daughter Isabel Ruby, now 22 months, was just eight weeks old.

“Not to over-share, but I had to pump,” she explains. “That’s a working mom’s life if you want to breastfeed.”

“We had to take pump breaks all day. Our female writers on the show don’t have children, so I pulled them aside. I don’t know what they used or didn’t use, but it’s a fun episode.”

http://celebrity-babies.com/2010/03/02/angela-kinsey-pitches-nursing-humor-to-office-writers/

Bridgwater midwife shortlisted for national award  (UK)

Monique Korrs was nominated for The Infacol Baby Bonding Award by Esther Loh, who felt inadequate as a mother after an emergency caesarean last September

More than 150 health professionals across the country were nominated for the award and Monique is down to the last ten.

http://www.thisisthewestcountry.co.uk/news/5045178.Bridgwater_midwife_shortlisted_for_national_award/

Breastfeeding teen

A US woman still breastfeeds her 14-year-old son to “comfort” him.

Jocelyn Cooper, 36, allows her teenage son Billy to suckle on her breasts for 10-15 minutes each day – because it keeps them close.

http://entertainment.stv.tv/showbiz/161459-breastfeeding-teen/  

Daycare director resigns after breast milk mistake

BREMERTON, Wash. – A Bremerton daycare director has resigned after she allegedly gave a baby the wrong breast milk, then tried to hide the mistake.

http://www.king5.com/home/Daycare-director-covered-up-breastmilk-mistake-86111702.html

Pregnant ladies banned for their own Good

Bravado is a company that sells breastfeeding bras for ladies with breasts that are used for breastfeeding babies. But when Bravado goes out to fashion trade shows to have their pregnant lady models model the breastfeeding bras in their pregnant way, can you guess what happens? Yes, they are banned, for their own pregnant good. From a runway show! In a nightclub! At the Wynn Casino, in Las Vegas, the City of Sin!

http://gawker.com/5484608/pregnant-ladies-banned-for-their-own-good  

Breastfeeding facility set up at airport

Manila: Manila’s international airport in Pasay City has opened a private area for breastfeeding mothers, a senior official said, adding it is part of the government’s effort to promote breastfeeding in the Philippines.

“This facility was set up to give mothers a relaxed and secure area where they can nurse their babies free of charge,” said airport general manager Alfonso Cusi.

The 32-square-metre breastfeeding station is located after the immigration area for departing passengers. It has four cubicles, each with a bed, swivel chair, drawer, a window and a lockable door, said Cusi, adding the facility was opened in time for the celebration of International Women’s Month.

The Philippine Congress recently passed a bill that prevents companies from promoting infant formula.

http://gulfnews.com/news/world/philippines/breastfeeding-facility-set-up-at-airport-1.591070

Moms, babies deserved better from legislators

UNEDITED) Sadly, Utah legislators missed an easy opportunity to make life easier for working families last Friday when they defeated House Bill 252, Workplace Accomodation of Breastfeeding.

This bill would have required employers with more than 15 employees to provide unpaid break time and a private location — other than a toilet stall — where a working mother could express her milk for her baby. This is a simple request and would not be a strain for most employers, if they understood the value of providing this accommodation

http://www.standard.net/topics/opinion/2010/03/01/moms-babies-deserved-better-legislators

Slate’s ‘Dear Prudence’: My European coworkers are calling me a cow, my wife is preparing for the apocalypse, my husband has bad teeth, dad’s breastfeeding dilemmas

Stay at home Dad land: I have a question that I do not think a stay at home mom has faced before. My wife works and is also very intent upon breastfeeding our daughter until she is 1 year old. So she pumps for when she is gone and breastfeeds when she is home. The problem has arisen because I tend to see the signs that my daughter is hungry before she starts to cry. I will then suggest to my wife that she feed our daughter. Recently my wife blew up at me and said that her breasts are her body and no other person can tell her what to do with her body. From now on I am not allowed to tell her when I see signs that our daughter is hungry because it then would be controlling my wife’s body. Feeding a bottle at those times is out because my wife does not want to confuse our daughter by feeding her a bottle while she is present.

How do I be a good stay at home dad without suggesting that my wife use her body to feed our daughter?

Emily Yoffe: Have used a breast pump myself, I do not understand why cows seem so contented, because breastpumping is one of the more unpleasant aspects of modern motherhood. Your wife is in the difficult situation of trying to provide nutrition for your daughter while being at work all day. It doesn’t help that when she’s home you indicate you are more in tune with your baby’s needs than she is. Men constantly complain that women want them to do more of the childcare, then micromanage their every action. That’s what you’re doing with your wife. It will not harm your daughter to let a few lusty cries for milk, instead of having Dad anticipate her hunger. Just relax and let your wife handle it

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2010/02/23/DI2010022303485.html

Mom shot dead while breastfeeding baby

MANILA, Philippines—A 31-year-old mother was shot and killed Tuesday morning while she was breastfeeding her one-year-old child inside her home in Manila.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/metro/view/20100302-256267/Mom-shot-dead-while-breastfeeding-baby

Breastfeeding and better hygiene may protect against peptic ulcer bacterium infection.

Young children in developing countries are infected at an early age with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which can cause peptic ulcers and stomach cancer. New findings show that childrens´ immune responses help in fighting the bacteria. In addition, breastfeeding and better hygiene appear to protect against infection. The results provide hope for a vaccine, according to research from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20100301/Breastfeeding-and-better-hygiene-may-protect-against-peptic-ulcer-bacterium-infection.aspx

Breastfeeding rates drop in Nigeria

The Federal Ministry of Health plans to engage the participation of religious mothers to stress the importance of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life, so as to reduce the current high rate of child mortalityn

The method, which is to begin this year, is following Nigeria’s poor assessment in the most recent National Demographic Health Survey where the rate of exclusive breastfeeding dropped from 17 percent in 2003 to 13 per cent in 2008.

“We are taking the campaign to them through this channel because we believe that by the time Muslim mothers, and Christian mothers talk to their various women groups, they will listen to them and thus more women will comply.”

http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/News/5533490-147/breastfeeding_rates_drop_in_nigeria_.csp

Professors spar about potential risks of breastfeeding

“After her presentation, McKenzie said society is hesitant to address the issue of contaminated breast milk related to environmental pollutants “because it’s still seen as a women’s issue. Maybe we should be reframing it as a child health issue rather than a women’s issue.”

http://news.guelphmercury.com/News/article/603719

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

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

1 Comment

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

The Lactivists vs. The Babies of Haiti

“…the lactivists were never thinking about what the infants of Haiti actually needed; they were thinking of themselves and their personal obsession with breastfeeding.” Dr Amy Tuteur. 

A few days ago  I wrote about the donations of American breast milk that were left sitting unused inside the freezer of the USNS Comfort and I wondered had those two Styrofoam coolers  been filled with donated blood would they have been treated so cavalierly.  Now it appears that the very existence of those two coolers is to be considered proof positive that all lactivists are indeed self absorbed “nipple Nazis”.   

 As they say “no good deed goes unpunished.”

Let’s get a few things straight: first of all, there was already a staff member on board the ship who was donating her own pumped milk.  Coast Guard Lt. Teresa Wolf, a physician assistant who was pumping milk for her ten week old baby back in North Carolina when she started donating her extra milk. Secondly yes, the there was an actual request for more donated milk. (This was not the crazy idea of some pump crazed mother a thousand miles away!)  The USNS Comfort placed a small request for 500 ounces of milk which was delivered (still frozen) two days later.  And thirdly, yes once word got out a grass roots cry for more milk spread quickly across the country.   Offers to donate milk came from every corner of the land.

So how did all these good intentioned lactivists end up becoming such villains?  As any good lactation consultant will tell you, the number one rule of thumb is “feed the baby.”  At no point should a baby be put at physical risk just because of our “personal obsession with breastfeeding”.  Donated milk may help a few lucky infants in Haiti, but it is not a panacea for a crisis this large.

Unfortunately there is no one size fits all solution for every baby in Haiti.  For some the answer will be to help the mother continue to breastfeed, or even to relactate.  This means counteracting local myths that “stress or lack of proper food will cause a mother to produce bad milk or no milk.”  Which is exactly what the Save the Children folks are doing with through their radio broadcasts.  For others the solution may be to find local women who are willing to wet nurse, but in a country with high rates of HIV this too can be risky.

The risk of using unsterilized bottles will be the same for those using donated breast milk as it will be for those using a can of liquid formula, but with donated milk the immune system will be given a substantial boost. However the risk of infection and diarrhea from powdered formula mixed with unclean water is far, far graver. 

We know all this. We know there is no easy answer. We know that there is not enough electricity to run the refrigerators needed to feed all of Haiti’s babies donated milk.  And unfortunately some babies will have to get formula, even if it is powdered.  Again, the number one rule is “feed the baby”.  But does this mean that it was wrong to send two coolers of breast milk to the USNS Comfort?  Or was the real fault in not using those few ounces of milk once they got there?  Is it wrong to even talk about providing donated milk as a way of helping some infants?  Or should we just close the door on that discussion?  Is it wrong to warn mothers who are still lactating that weaning from breast milk to formula can place their babies at risk? 

So here’s what I think really happened. When Lt. Wolf offered her extra breast milk to feed the newborn on the Comfort someone got the bright idea that a ship board milk bank might be useful and a call went out to states for safely screened banked human milk.  Arrangements were made and milk was immediately sent to the Comfort where the staff was happy to receive it. But as soon as those two coolers arrived the big brass found out and immediately went ballistic about all this icky womanly fluid in their freezer and decided to put a stop to it. After all there was no protocol for this sort of thing; the red tape would be endless.  Excuses were found – not enough electricity on shore, preserving the cold chain, screening, etc. and then to the embarrassment of all those well meaning breastfeeding groups back at home the whole idea was called off.  No more donations would be required thank you very much!

I keep wondering what my dad would have thought about all this.  He worked as a refrigeration mechanic on a hospital ship during World War Two. Everybody on board loved him.  Why? Because he had the keys to the ice cream! Now if a hospital ship in World War Two had room for ice cream then I think that the USNS Comfort definitely had room for two Styrofoam coolers full of breast milk. I really think they just didn’t want to be bothered with the procedural aspects of handling the situation.

Although I can appreciate the confusion and enormity of the chaos in Haiti at the moment, I still believe this was a knee jerk reaction. They had their hands full to be sure, better to stick with what you know (formula) than try to learn the protocols involved with human breast milk. But as I said before if breast milk was held in as high esteem as blood, then chances are those protocols would have already been in place.

By shining a spot light on this situation now I hope that next time disaster strikes instead of being shunned donations of breast milk will be welcomed.   That lactivists will not be considered evil for merely suggesting that human milk may indeed save lives.  And that breastfeeding mothers everywhere will proudly be able to answer the call to give comfort to babies when ever it is needed.

Kathy Abbott, IBCLC

www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com

www.TheCuriousLactivst.Wordpress.com

On Facebook: “Breastfeeding in the News”

 

Lactivists solve every problem by throwing breast milk at it.

Amy Tuteur MD

 Evidently for lactivists there is no problem so great that it can’t be solved by throwing breast milk at it. Looking at the horrific recent earthquake in Haiti you and I might see death, injury, homelessness and the threat of disease. Lactivists saw a breastfeeding problem. They embarked on not one, but two separate  inane campaigns to promote their favorite cause instead of focusing on the real needs of children in Haiti. It is difficult to imagine how people can be so self absorbed.

Haiti is in desperate need of baby formula, but the lactivists actually mounted a campaign to stop shipment of formula to Haiti. Salon’s Broadsheet ran a piece entitled Formula for disaster; do donations of artificial milk help or hurt Haiti’s babies? As the piece reported “RadicalLactivist” Cassaundra Blyth embarked on a Twitter based campaign:

PLEASE! don’t send formula to Haiti! The women & children shouldn’t be victimised twice! Breastfeeding during emergencies is VITAL to health.

That’s right folks; in the midst of the greatest natural disaster in decades, lactivists are concerned that aid workers will use their precious time and even more precious formula to convince breastfeeding mothers to switch to formula. Are these people insane? Haven’t they heard that 150,000 died and hundreds of thousands more are injured. Hasn’t it occurred to them that among the dead and severely injured there are likely to be thousands if not tens of thousands of breastfeeding mothers? How are those infants to be fed?

Breastfeeding is no longer an option for these babies. The ONLY option is formula feeding. Yes, powdered formula can cause harm if mixed with contaminated water. Yes, it would be safer to give those babies pre-mixed formula. But at the moment babies are starving for lack of milk of any kind. Far more babies can be fed with shipments of powdered formula than with pre-mixed formula. Time is of the essence if starvation is to be avoided, and a group of grown women is trying to stand in the way of feeding these babies.

But the inanity does not end there. Lactivists began calling for donations of breast milk:

When lactation consultant Faith Ploude heard that babies in Haiti might need donated breast milk, she made sure to get the word out to her classes at Mercy Hospital in Miami — and her database of more than 1,000 nursing moms.

The La Leche League and the Human Milk Banking Association of North America made similar pleas.

Let’s leave aside the issue that breast milk donations would be pathetically inadequate; one thousand donations of breast milk would feed one thousand infants only once. Consider that buildings from the meanest shack to the Presidential Palace have crumbled and are uninhabitable. People are living in tents if they are lucky or in the open air if they are not. Where are the refrigerators to store the milk? Obviously there are none, and breast milk will spoil immediately if it is not refrigerated, becoming undrinkable and potential dangerous in a matter of hours.

And how is the breast milk to get to Haiti? It has been a nightmare shipping in even the most basic supplies. Breast milk that must be frozen if it is to survive until it reaches the babies.

Red Cross workers are appalled:

“Tell them not to send it,” said Eric Porterfield, a spokesman for the American Red Cross, “I’m 100 percent sure we didn’t ask for that.”

The international Emergency Nutrition Network has asked one group, the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, to retract a press release this week that issued an “urgent call” for breast milk for orphaned and premature infants in Haiti, saying the donations contradict best practices for babies in emergencies.

Such donations pose problems of transportation, screening, supply and storage and create an “unfeasible and unsafe intervention,” according to a statement from the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, or OFDA.

Lactivists embarked on a campaign to interfere with delivery of formula to Haiti and to send breast milk to people who couldn’t possibly use it. Was this well meaning naivite? That certainly played a role, but the lactivists were never thinking about what the infants of Haiti actually needed; they were thinking of themselves and their personal obsession with breastfeeding. They viewed this as another opportunity to self actualize by promoting their pet cause. The human tragedy of the devastation in Haiti was just another venue to showcase their belief that every child must be breastfed. The actual needs of Haitian babies were never considered.

Lactivists need to get a grip. A horrific natural disaster is not an opportunity to highlight the benefits of breastfeeding. It is a tragedy that obligates us to send the people of Haiti what they need, not simply what we’d like to give.

Comments:

“Why would anyone think it’s a good idea to send perishable, unscreened bodily fluids into a disaster zone?”

I suspect that they didn’t do much thinking about what the Haitians needed, how it would get there and how it would be stored. They were thinking about themselves and how they might self actualize by promoting their personal obsession.

AmyTuteurMD

I agree that the lactivists were using their hearts, not their heads, when they decided how to contribute to the relief effort. Expecting anything perishable to survive on that island is silly. But people think about themselves when being charitable all the time, probably without even knowing it.

Ali512

 

“Why are they so threatened by formula?”

I’m not sure if they find formula threatening. They do find that breast feeding enhances their own self esteem and they want you to know how important it is so you will think they are superior (or at least they will think they are superior). I don’t think they gave any consideration to what Haitian infants actually might need.

AmyTuteurMD

http://www.open.salon.com/blog/amytuteurmd/2010/01/31/lactivists_solve_every_problem_by_throwing_breast_milk_at_it

Local Broadcasts in Creole Urge New Mothers to Nourish Infants Through Breast Milk; Cautions Against Baby Formula Made with Dirty Water

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The global humanitarian organization Save the Children is supporting efforts to promote breastfeeding among new mothers in Haiti to ensure the protection of the youngest and most vulnerable survivors of the devastating January 12 earthquake.

The agency has translated internationally recognized public health messages into Creole, which are currently being broadcast on local radio stations.

Critical Awareness Campaign Available to Health-focused Groups in Haiti

Save the Children is making these critical communications available to other health-focused groups that are also working with local communities affected by the disaster. Its health staff in Haiti will translate other public health messages over the coming days and coordinate with partners and communities to spread the word about keeping children healthy in the wake of the quake.

Save the Children also is training midwives, health workers and nutritional educators to reach out to pregnant and new mothers at makeshift camps in Port-au-Prince, Leogane and Jacmel. 

“Newborns and infants are very vulnerable during emergencies, especially from diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition. But mothers can take simple steps to protect their baby’s health through exclusive and proper breastfeeding,” said Kathryn Bolles, Save the Children’s emergency health and nutrition director. “Breast milk provides essential nutrients and strengthens a baby’s immunity, protecting the baby from other illnesses.”

Health Risks from Infant Formulas and Other Supplements 

The health messages encourage mothers to exclusively breastfeed babies under 6 months of age, and to continue to breastfeed children until age 2.

Mothers are cautioned against giving babies under 6 months of age anything but breast milk — including water, infant formula, powdered milk or solid food — because of the risks from diarrhea, one of the leading killers of children globally, and because of the risk of becoming malnourished, which leaves babies more susceptible to other illnesses. 

“Mothers may not be aware of the threats that infant formula and other supplements pose to their babies. Tainted water used to mix the formula and unsanitary bottles or cups can cause a baby to get sick with diarrhea, which can kill,” said Bolles. “We hope more Haitian mothers will hear our health messages and be encouraged to breastfeed their babies.  We also are suggesting mothers seek out support and counseling from organizations like Save the Children if they are having difficulty breastfeeding their baby.”

The awareness campaign also seeks to dispel the myths that may discourage mothers from breastfeeding, among them stress or lack of proper food will cause a mother to produce bad milk or no milk. Instead, mothers are encouraged to breastfeed more often, which will allow them to produce more milk for their baby. 

Extremely Poor Survival rates for Haitian Children Prior to Earthquake

Even before the earthquake, survival rates for young Haitian children were the worst in the Western Hemisphere, with nearly 1 in 10 children dying before the age of 5 from preventable and treatable causes like diarrhea and pneumonia.  

Save the Children supports the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations that children should be breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life to ensure their most favorable growth and health. WHO, UNAIDS and UNICEF guidelines only recommend “replacement feeding” (breastmilk substitute) when it is “acceptable, feasible, affordable, sustainable, and safe.” 

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/save-the-children-launches-radio-outreach-program-in-haiti-to-promote-newborn-infant-health-82623797.html

WHO Calls Breastfeeding Best Answer for Newborns in Haiti

Tim King Salem-News.com

Risks of miscarriages and other complications are serious.

 Photo/Video courtesy: UN/MINUSTAH

(PORT-AU-PRINCE/SALEM) – The United Nations reports that about 7,000 women are due to give birth this month in Haiti, as medical teams continue to work around the clock in birthing tents to deliver newborns.

According to UNICEF, there are currently 120,000 pregnant women in Haiti, more than half are in earthquake-affected areas. It is estimated that 15 percent of the 63,000 pregnant women in affected areas are likely to have potentially life-threatening complications.

Post natal-care is also proving to be a challenge in a country where the medical infrastructure has been destroyed leaving only a few hospitals functional and many medical personnel themselves dead or injured.

The World Health Organization’s doctors like Dr. Evelyine Ancion Degraff, say that only breastfeeding can boost the baby’s immune system and improve its chances of survival in situations like Haiti.

“Breastfeeding is the most important thing for the newborn in this situation. Newborns have very weak immune systems. It hasn’t yet developed. So newborns have a difficult time defending themselves against pathogens. But breast-milk can provide all the antibodies the baby needs to protect itself from disease.”

But UNICEF has said that some new Haitian mothers who have not felt good both physically and mentally are concerned about breastfeeding their newborns out of fear of passing on their “bad health.”

WHO is also working to vaccinate mothers and newborns against prevalent diseases such as neonatal tetanus. For the 7,000 Haitian women who will give birth in the next month, the risks of miscarriages and other complications appear great. The UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) predicts there will be at least 1,000 miscarriages this month.

The agency started distributing emergency reproductive health kits to pregnant women which contain plastic sheets, sterile blades to cut the umbilical cord and blankets for the newborn.

More advanced kits containing emergency Caesarean section equipment were distributed to birthing tents at field hospitals. Local dads like Sejouste Walkin, say it makes a big difference, at least for now. “Thank god we have this international aid to help us with this birth. For the moment at least, we are still alive, but who knows about tomorrow.”

Unsanitary conditions in these make-shift “tent cities” where the majority of displaced Haitians now live only make the situation worse, says local mom Christianne Raphael.

“It is really starting to stink around here, there are many flies and we get sick. People are going to the bathroom right on the ground. So it is hard for us to even breathe.”

Haitian women were also given “dignity kits” containing sanitary towels, hygiene materials and underwear.

According to UNICEF, Haiti had the highest rates of infant (under 5 years) and maternal mortality rate in the western hemisphere even before the earthquake. The maternal mortality rate stood at 670 deaths every 100,000 pregnant women.

http://www.salem-news.com/articles/february022010/haiti_babiestk.php

You Tube : Haiti Maternity Pkg.

A video of the report above can be seen on this You Tube link.  It includes a first hand look at birthing tents, tent cities, and victims. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTNsjueWOWQ

‘Boro natives’ nonprofit aids Haiti

Medical teams in rural area to help quake recovery

About a week after a major earthquake hit Haiti, a group of medical professionals decided not to focus on the big cities affected by the 7.0-magnitude quake but a rural town south of Port-au-Prince

A team from Aid for Haiti has spent the past week providing medical care to the residents of Petit Goave.

Founded by two Murfreesboro natives, the medical ministry has seen about 300 patients a day, according to Elliott Tenpenny, a physician who helped start the organization.

“There are cities along the southern peninsula of Haiti that are pretty much inaccessible to the larger relief efforts,” he said.

Aid for Haiti’s initial team included two doctors and four others including a nurse and a paramedic. Tenpenny said that team will be returning this weekend, and another team is headed to Petit Goave Thursday.

“There (are) some very dedicated Haitian nurses that lost everything in the quake that are staying there and helping night and day,” Tenpenny said.

Aid for Haiti was started in 2008 by Tenpenny and Caleb Trent, who is also from Murfreesboro. They traveled to Haiti several times helping treat patients with severe iodine deficiency in remote areas.

A team from the nonprofit arrived in Haiti a week after the earthquake struck.

The massive quake shook Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas Jan. 12, killing an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 people. The aftershocks that followed contributed to thousands of injuries.

Tenpenny, who is an emergency medicine physician at the Mayo Clinic, said initial injuries of victims included broken bones, head injuries and skin abrasions. Now, the team is seeing conditions like gangrene, which is a decay of body tissue.

“They have delivered quite a few kids,” he said about the team’s work.

He said many babies “have been born in terrible conditions” and umbilical cords have been cut with unclean objects causing infections. Some mothers’ breast milk has dried up.

“The babies could be newborns and have not had anything to eat for 10 days,” Tenpenny said, thus making it hard for their young immune systems to fight diseases.

He said a Haitian government official told them they were the only medical team in Petit Goave. Operating out of an old abandoned hospital, about 300 to 400 people wait to receive assistance every day starting as early as 6 a.m.

Tenpenny said, “the biggest need is donation of supplies and cash.”

He said the group plans to continue to send mission teams through April.

http://www.tennessean.com/article/D4/20100203/NEWS01/2030332/+Boro+natives++nonprofit+aids+Haiti

COAST GUARD PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT DONATES BREAST MILK TO HELP HAITIAN NEWBORNS

Jan 31st, 2010
by cgnews.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Coast Guard Lt. Teresa Wolf, a physician assistant, is deployed with Port Security Unit 307 in support of relief operations in Haiti. One of the loved ones she left behind was her 10-week old girl Chloe Daniel.

After learning of the severe needs of the hospital ship USNS Comfort, the Goldsborough, NC mother began donating breast milk to the ships Pediatric Ward aboard the USNS Comfort.

“It’s the right thing to do,” said Wolf. “Babies get so much more nutrients from breast milk. It’s good for the eyes, brain … everything.”

http://coastguardnews.com/coast-guard-physician-assistant-donates-breast-milk-to-help-haitian-newborns/2010/01/31/

A week into mission, crew of Comfort sees rare cases

About 120 children are on board Navy ship

ABOARD THE USNS COMFORT — When he wants to take a break, Chief Petty Officer Mike Davenport picks up a stethoscope.

The 37-year-old respiratory therapist from Frederick, in charge of about 90 medical personnel on the USNS Comfort hospital ship off Port-au-Prince, has been on board for a week, trying to keep his staff together and make them work effectively as a team. He regularly works 14- and 16-hour days, and for down time, he still wants to help.

“I take advantage of the opportunity to practice respiratory therapy whenever I can,” said Davenport, a father of four children and the husband of another respiratory therapist at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.

Davenport, who is assigned to the Comfort but also works at Frederick Memorial Hospital, compared the first week of the Comfort’s medical mission to “putting a puzzle together.”

On Tuesday afternoon, that puzzle included just over 360 patients on board, down from 375 on Sunday. On Monday, the Comfort took on 62 patients and discharged about 40. Some burn victims were being evacuated to the University of Miami Hospital.

The 62nd patient to come on board late Monday was a baby boy born the day before the Jan. 12 earthquake.

A cluster of doctors bunched around the boy’s bed in the casualty receiving area, while his 22-year-old mother looked on. The baby’s yelps of pain punctuated the somber atmosphere of the pediatrics bay.

The boy’s father died in the earthquake. The baby stayed with his mother in the street. The woman could produce very little milk and her baby was severely dehydrated by the time he was aboard the Comfort.

“I would say within about a day or so, he would have died,” said Kensington’s Capt. Daniel Shmorhun, one of the doctors attending the child.

To help solve the problem, Shmorhun said, lactating members of Comfort’s crew are pumping breast milk that will be stored for the babies on board to drink. A supply of breast milk from the U.S. is also supposed to be brought in soon. “We’re creating a breast milk bank,” Shmorhun said.

About 120 children are on board the ship as of Tuesday morning, according to Shmorhun, roughly a third of the patients on board.

Some of the cases are things medical personnel rarely or never encounter. One small boy suffered a leakage of cerebrospinal fluid out of one ear during the earthquake, and through a combination of heat, time and humidity, fungus crept up to the source of the fluid before he was rescued. The child had mold in his brain.

The medication the doctors would prefer to try to help with his condition was in the United States, said Alayna Schwartz, a perioperative nurse from Germantown. The child also ripped out IV needles.

“I don’t know if we can fix this kid. We can’t fix this kid,” Schwartz said, taking a break to eat a hamburger Monday afternoon.

Medical supplies sometimes ran low to the point where sometimes the staff was “hoarding” them, she said. Supplies come in daily.

One patient was initially going into the OR for an amputation just above his left ankle. Doctors discovered that there was dead tissue and gangrene up to mid-thigh.

“That’s where the maggots come in,” Schwartz said, explaining that larvae had been found in the leg.

Most of the leg was removed.

Schwartz worked the 6:30 p.m. to midnight shift Sunday. She said she was determined not to break down.

It isn’t just patient care that increases stress for medical personnel on the Comfort. Davenport missed his youngest son Jaiden’s third birthday on Thursday. When he talked to Jaiden on the phone, his son asked him: “Daddy, are you fixing boo-boos?”

Since he can’t be at home with his wife and children, the stethoscope and his patients are his “release,” as the hospital continues to settle into its role in helping a shattered nation.

“The flow seems to be smoothing out a little bit,” Davenport said. “I think it’s getting a lot better.”

http://www.gazette.net/stories/01272010/damanew224820_32548.php

4 Comments

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

Breastfeeding in the News Dec. 15th – 25th, 2009

Hello All,

The good people of Nashville Tenn. have decided against putting a new WIC (Women, Infants & Children) office in a downtown mall for fear that it would affect “the safety of those who work and shop in the Antioch area”, that, and they were worried it would undermine property values.  Right, I guess having all those breastfeeding peer counselors running around would be scary; after all they might throw someone up against a wall and threaten to attach them to a breast pump and turn the suction up really high.  Yes, I’m sure that’s what they were worried about, because they couldn’t possibly be worried about the impact of mothers in need getting help for their babies.

If that isn’t enough to get your blood boiling listen to what the food giant Nestle is up to these days.  Having decided that they are the best nutrition experts around, Nestle has taken it upon themselves to start educating doctors on the needs of people requiring enteral nutrition therapy (think premmies & coma patients).  No doubt their year long clinical program will focus primarily on their own products (I can’t imagine them putting in too many plugs for breast milk).   But as we can see from the author of “Parenting Perspective: Figuring out how to feed your baby!” formula is not always the easy answer that everyone thinks it is.  Individual babies react differently to each brand (her baby had constipation with one brand and diarrhea with the next). 

While here in America mothers worry about the consequences of switching brands of formula in some parts of the world, a bigger fear is switching mother’s milk.  In Dubai recently a mother was horrified to find a nurse feeding her pumped milk to someone else’s baby.  “In Quran and Hadith a child who has nursed from a woman becomes not only a blood relation to the nursing woman, but also a milk sibling to others who shared her breast, a relationship that prevents future marriage to a complicated array of “relatives”.”  Such an act is simply “unacceptable” in a Muslim country.  Muslim or not, I think such a major screw up should be unacceptable in any country.

Cultural beliefs play a big part in whether or not a society supports breastfeeding.  The myths covered in this week’s news ranges from gender specific “boys may be introduced to camel milk early as a rite of initiation so they will like the animals they will herd in future,” he said. “The belief is that if the male child is first introduced to his mother’s milk, he will become a useless boy.” (Kenya) to the more common “A mother should not breastfeed if she has cold.” to more localized beliefs, “Squeezing breastmilk in ant’s nest or fire will dry out the mother’s milk.”  to this colloquial gem “Extensive breastfeeding will give the mothers ‘slipper titties’” (Jamaica). 

But let’s keep in mind that some countries that we tend to think of as being less developed are actually far ahead of us.  In the Malaysian Parliament building there is now a room for nursing mothers and more importantly there are at least two legislators who will be using it, while in Indonesia students hit the streets for a peace rally on Mother’s Day (which is in December for them) distributing flowers to every mother and demanding that the government give more support to mothers and babies.   They also “called on the government to set up a space for breastfeeding mothers and a crèche for working mothers.”  How’s that for a mother’s day present?  Young people who care enough to demand more rights for mothers!

Here at home, another California county is attempting to support breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.  It’s good to see local governments taking the lead on this.  Meanwhile Sen. Merkley  

Is taking credit for the addition of an amendment covering lactation support in the workplace (“I led the fight”) but not everyone is happy with the good senator.  “sorry,” comments one blogger, “ the fact that male Senators are supporting the right of women to breastfeed their infants (which is already legal in Oregon) does not make up for government intrusion on women’s right to choose. In fact, that male Senators selectively support women’s rights that benefit their infants more than their rights to control their own bodies is frightening, not reassuring.”

While we are on the subject of “comments” check out some of the reaction to an article (“Breastfeeding in Public?”)about the mother who was caught breastfeeding in the electronics aisle at Target and given a police escort out of the building.  Here’s just one example:  “Couldn’t she go out in the car to do it? This is so Third World.”  Right, didn’t that mother know that real Americans breastfeed in their cars!  And while I’ve got you all riled up you may be interested to learn that one newspaper listed an article about breastfeeding as being one of the top ten articles of the year.  The article?  It was about a poster put up in doctor’s office of a toddler breastfeeding a doll, apparently the story “provoked a passionate debate among readers.”

There was some good news.  Medela gave out some cash awards to five US hospitals, and Julie Wood (one of our Facebook “Breastfeeding in the News” members) was elected to the board of directors to the US Breastfeeding Committee (congratulations Julie!).  Also one of our local Boston area hospital has initiated a return to sanity by introducing a “no visitor” period from 2 -4pm.  The folks at Newton-Wellsley hospital did their homework and when they discovered that “staff and visitors interrupt new moms more than 50 times on average in a 12-hour period.” They decided that enough was enough.  Kudos to the Lactation Consultants at Newton-Wellsley for leading the charge on this fight!

Thanks to an article by our own Kathy Kendall-Tacket in the International Journal of Breastfeeding, inflammation is now being recognized as a significant cause of depression.   And according to foodconsumer.org:  “In the case of post partum depression, breastfeeding is the most obvious remedy of choice as it naturally eases stress and modulates the inflammatory response. While we’re on the subject of PPD, a new study about the effects of Hurricane Katrina revealed that although the trauma had a negative effect on breastfeeding over all most mothers came through just fine.  In fact, “many women are capable of surviving and thriving in post disaster environments”.

I hope some one tells that to the women in Figi.  After Cyclone Mick left them with no clean water for at least three days Unicef was ready to step in to distribute “Emergency Hands” – communication materials promoting key sanitation and hygiene behaviours, posters promoting hand washing and breastfeeding, collapsible water containers and water purification tablets”.   With that in mind, even though the holidays are officialy over you might want to look into buying someone a “Mercy” breastfeeding kit ($75) the gift that “can make a difference in the lives of others in need around the world.” The money goes towards training a breastfeeding counselor in another country.

That’s it for now.  Next week I’m off to Florida where I’ll be giving a talk at the Healthy Children conference in Orlando (wish me luck!).  Hopefully I’ll be able to find a little down time while I’m there so that I can be a little more up to date with the news.  As always I love to hear from you.  If you want to leave a comment just scroll way down to the very end & you’ll find the comment box. 

Kathy Abbott, IBCLC

www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com

On Facebook: “Breastfeeding in the News”

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

Nestle to train doctors about tube-feeding nutrition

For some hospital patients, the nutrients delivered to the body through a tube feeder can make the difference of a speedy recovery.  That is why Nestle Nutrition, part of Nestle U.S.A., which manufactures products ranging from baby formula to chocolate and is considered to be the world’s largest food company, is working to ensure doctors nationwide better understand how to prescribe the right mix of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and other essential nutrients for patients requiring extra help eating, said Sally Steele of Nestle HealthCare Nutrition. “The right food can positively influence a patient’s outcome, heal wounds, nurse a premature baby to health,” Steele said.

Nestle Nutrition, based in Florham Park, is launching an Enteral Nutrition Fellowship Program this year that will offer physicians and surgeons hands-on experience and information about enteral nutrition therapy.

Enteral nutrition is a milkshake-like mixture of necessary nutrients given through a tube in the stomach or small intestine. It differs from parenteral nutrition, another type of nutrition therapy, which is delivered to patients’ bloodstream using a needle.

People requiring enteral nutrition therapy range from premature infants to someone in a coma or those diagnosed with a chronic illness such as advanced dementia.

Research has indicated that the addition of certain nutrients and amino acids to formulas are associated with the reduced risk of infection in surgical patients and those who are immune-system compromised. These nutrients can help decrease antibiotic use, reduce ventilator use and the incidence of pneumonia, and reduce surgical complications.

Nestle’s yearlong program will offer offers fellows the chance to work one-on-one with a mentor and a month in a clinical rotation to learn tube-feeding-related procedures, shining a light on a component of patient recovery typically left for specialized dieticians or certified nutrition support clinicians.

The aim, Steele said, is to create a network of nutrition physician leaders that will return to their hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities to spread the word. Some will go on to further research the benefits and effects of nutrition therapy, thus helping to save more lives, she said.

http://www.dailyrecord.com/article/20100103/BUSINESS/91231017/1003/Nestle-to-train-doctors-about-tube-feeding-nutrition

Women warned about morning sickness remedy

Women who are in the throes of morning sickness are often willing to try almost anything to ease the queasiness and vomiting that accompanies those first months of pregnancy.

Some herbal or traditional remedies work like a charm and are innocuous, but pregnant women in particular need to be sure of what they are ingesting.

The Texas Department of State Health Services issued a warning this week that pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using of a product called “Nzu,” also known as Calabash chalk. The product is a traditional remedy for morning sickness used largely by Nigerian and West African women. It can also be used as a cosmetic.

Laboratory analysis in Texas, mirroring earlier findings in the UK and Canada, show the products contain high levels of lead and arsenic. According to the state’s press release, the product was found by food inspectors at two African specialty stores — one in the Dallas area and one in Houston.

The product generally resembles balls of clay or mud and is also called Calabar stone, Mabele, Argile and La Craie.

The Nzu may be covered in a brown or white dust and is usually sold in small plastic bags with a handwritten label identifying it as “Nzu” or “salted Nzu.”

Anyone who has been ingesting the product should contact their health care provider. The source of the product in Texas is not yet known, but inspectors are continuing to investigate.

http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/mamadrama/entries/2009/12/24/women_warned_about_morning_sic.html?cxntfid=blogs_mama_drama

An Imperfect Stride Towards Justice – Sen. Jeff Merkley

At 7 am this morning, a short time ago, I voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It passed.

If you are like me, it is hard to respond with uninhibited celebration. It is hard to celebrate when you are mourning. I am mourning the loss of the national public option. I am mourning the infringement on women’s constitutional right to choose.

…One of my favorites–in part, I confess, because I led the fight for it–is the amendment that guarantees every mother returning to work the privacy and flexibility in break time needed to nurse her child or pump breast milk. Breastfeeding is great for the baby’s and the mother’s health, and is a big factor in emotional bonding as well.

Comments:

“Senatpr Merkley, Your “mourning” the restrictions on women’s choice does not make up for the fact that you nevertheless voted for them…..

And sorry, the fact that male Senators are supporting the right of women to breastfeed their infants (which is already legal in Oregon) does not make up for government intrusion on women’s right to choose. In fact, that male Senators selectively support women’s rights that benefit their infants more than their rights to control their own bodies is frightening, not reassuring.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-merkley/an-imperfect-stride-towar_b_402959.html

Council says no to WIC clinic in Metro Nashville

While some say opening a WIC clinic at the Hickory Hollow Mall in Metro Nashville would have meant a boost in sales for local business owners, council members voted “no” to the plan during Tuesday night’s Metro Council meeting. The plan in consideration targeted residents specifically in southeast Nashville (Antioch) to receive the assistance WIC provides. According to the official WIC website, “WIC provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.” Although 43 percent of Davidson County’s WIC participants reside in Antioch justifying the location for the program, other factors swayed the vote.

Protesters concerned about the WIC clinic opening in the Hickory Hollow Mall were relieved with the council’s decision. Property values in the already unstable market remain unaffected as a result of the vote. Patrons and employees directly affected by the decision were pleased when they heard the official ruling that businesses would not be driven out of the mall, and the safety of those who work and shop in the Antioch area continues to be a top priority.

Those in the community targeted councilman, Sam Coleman, for not communicating the plan to open a WIC clinic in the Hickory Hollow Mall to the public. Officials from the health department and Coleman’s supporters insist that bill readings about the plan were advertised appropriately. Coleman stated, “I apologize, but sometimes these federal grants, they come at such a pace and then you have to act upon them. That’s what happened here.”

http://www.examiner.com/x-33945-Nashville-Headlines-Examiner~y2009m12d24-Council-says-no-to-WIC-clinic-in-Metro-Nashville

Milk of Woes for New Mother

DUBAI – A UAE national woman who gave birth to a boy in a Dubai hospital said a nurse fed her milk to another baby and another woman’s milk to her son, adding it is against Islamic beliefs.

The mother, who asked not to be named, said she had been ill after delivery and was not breast feeding. “The nurse pumped the milk from my breast to feed my baby,” she said.

“All of sudden I saw her holding a bottle with my name and the name of my baby written, and feeding another baby.” The mother said she shouted at the nurse and called the doctor, claiming the nurse had not been paying attention to her work.

“The nurse was not aware such a thing is against our religion,” she said. “It was shock for me and I couldn’t do any thing after my baby had someone else’s milk.”

… Al Marzouqi said it was believed that breastfeeding established a biological link that would not have been present otherwise.

“In Quran and Hadith a child who has nursed from a woman becomes not only a blood relation to the nursing woman, but also a milk sibling to others who shared her breast, a relationship that prevents future marriage to a complicated array of “relatives”,” Al Marzouqi said.

“There is some indication in early medical thought that a woman’s milk is a product of her blood, and so by ingesting it, a blood relationship is created.”

Al Marzouqi said the alleged act by the nurse was unacceptable in a Muslim country adding that training and religious programmes should be provided for non-Muslims who work in the health care establishments.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2009/December/theuae_December674.xml&section=theuae&col=

People in the News 

AAFP member Julie Wood, M.D., of Lee’s Summit, Mo., has been elected to the board of directors of the United States Breastfeeding Committee and began serving a two-year term in August. She also serves as the nonprofit organization’s membership committee chair.

The United States Breastfeeding Committee is a coalition of more than 40 organizations — including the AAFP — working to improve the nation’s health by protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding.

Wood recently completed her term as chair of the AAFP Commission on Health of the Public and Science. She is a board member of the Missouri AFP.

http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/publications/news/news-now/inside-aafp/20091222pplinnews.html

Government Urged to Assist Breastfeeding Mothers  (Jakarta Indonesia)

Mother’s Day in Makassar yesterday was commemorated by students and mothers from various organizations with a peace rally in front of the Mandala Monument
Scores of female students from the South Sulawesi and West Sulawesi Coordination Agency of the Muslim Students Association (Kohati) demonstrated by distributing flowers to mothers on the street.

 
The students, mostly wearing kebaya and South Sulawesi’s traditional bodo dress, called on the government to set up a space for breastfeeding mothers and a crèche for working mothers. There are only two rooms reserved for breastfeeding mothers in Makassar, at the Global Trade Center Mall and the Panakkukang Mall.
They also called on the government to encourage policies that support mother and child’s interest as well as to pay more attention to Mother’s Reproduction Health Program. “Mother and child mortality rates continue to rise,” said Arlina, rally coordinator.
At the same location, youths and mothers from the Indonesian Poor People Union and the National Student League for Democracy also demonstrated to demand that mothers be given bigger roles.

http://www.tempointeractive.com/hg/nasional/2009/12/23/brk,20091223-215353,uk.html

The ten most read stories of 2009

8. ‘Breastfeeding’ tot storm A story on May 20 told how a poster had been put up in Rochdale Infirmary showing a toddler breastfeeding a doll. The article provoked a passionate debate among readers.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1186981_the_ten_most_read_stories_of_2009

The Links Between Sugar and Mental Health

Published in the International Breastfeeding Journal, the study entitled “A new paradigm for depression in new mothers: the central role of inflammation and how breastfeeding and anti-inflammatory treatments protect maternal mental health” discovered that inflammation may be more than just another risk factor. It may in fact be THE risk factor that underlies all others.

The researchers’ stated:

“The old paradigm described inflammation as simply one of many risk factors for depression. The new paradigm is based on more recent research that has indicated that physical and psychological stressors increase inflammation. These recent studies constitute an important shift in the depression paradigm: inflammation is not simply a risk factor; it is the risk factor that underlies all the others.

Moreover, inflammation explains why psychosocial, behavioral and physical risk factors increase the risk of depression. This is true for depression in general and for postpartum depression in particular.

Puerperal women are especially vulnerable to these effects because their levels of proinflammatory cytokines significantly increase during the last trimester of pregnancy–a time when they are also at high risk for depression. 

Moreover, common experiences of new motherhood, such as sleep disturbance, postpartum pain, and past or current psychological trauma, act as stressors that cause proinflammatory cytokine levels to rise. “

In the case of post partum depression, breastfeeding is the most obvious remedy of choice as it naturally eases stress and modulates the inflammatory response.

http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Non-food/Miscellaneous/sugar_and_mental_health_2212090659.html

 Hospitals change policy on maternity visiting hours. 


After customer satisfaction concerns led them to transition from specific visitation periods to open-door policies more than a decade ago, some hospitals are now drifting partway back, finding new families have become too busy to rest, bond with their babies and take in lessons on providing care.

“It’s an overwhelming experience in a very positive way,” said Virginia Prout, director of maternal and child health at Newton-Wellesley. “I think families need time to process what has just happened to them.”

Prompted by comment cards from patients and concern from hospital lactation consultants rest periods boost milk production a team of Newton-Wellesley nurses studied the issue, finding national data that staff and visitors interrupt new moms more than 50 times on average in a 12-hour period.

While noise and action on their unit hadn’t hit circus-like proportions, nurses realized there was room for improvement. Patients were seeing a constant flow of birth-certificate preparers, hearing testers, photographers-for-hire, housekeepers, dietitians and other staff, as well as a parade of well-meaning family and friends.

On top of that, hospital maternity stays have been shortened in recent years to two days for vaginal births and four for C-sections.

“That doesn’t really give new families a lot of time to absorb what we want to teach them,” Prout said, with sessions devoted to bathing, breastfeeding, holding and bonding.

So last month, Prout’s unit introduced a new daily “quiet time” from 2 to 4 p.m. While essential medical care is still provided new moms, especially those coming off C-sections, require a lot of monitoring other staff are asked to make way for family rest or lessons from nurses.

http://www.dailynewstribune.com/homepage/x1599182795/Hospitals-change-policy-on-maternity-visiting-hours

Breastfeeding in Public? 

Mother of three Mary Martinez was ousted from a Target store in Michigan earlier this month, after she began breastfeeding her hungry 4-week –old daughter in the electronics section.

Though there were few other shoppers in the area, Target security approached Martinez and her husband, Jose, and told them to leave.  “He said, ‘It’s against the law.  Tou have to go,’” Josr Martinez told Fox News.

The police were called, and even after an officer admitted that breastfeeding in public was not, in fact, against the law, the family was escorted out of the store.

Comments:

  1. 8.     I fully support the rights of nursing mothers to feed their babies in public. But this situation creates a scene in my mind of a mother walking around shopping and nursing the baby at the same time.

Even though I nursed both of my babies, and on occasion in public places when necessary, I can see myself (and DEFINITELY my husband) doing a double take at someone breastfeeding alongside me as I browse the Wii games through the glass case in the electronics section at Target. It’s unlikely that either of us would complain about it to store management or security, but we’d definitely shake our heads and laugh over dinner later at how some people just have no sense.

  1. 5.      If the bfeeding is so discreet that I don’t know about it–then I personally don’t care — feed away!
    However, there are bfeeding women who are essentially exhibitionists and they rightfully should be shown the door. I once saw a young woman walking the aisles of a supermarket with a baby attached to her completely exposed breast. Another time a mother was sitting in a waiting room of a post-secondary school with her baby attached about a foot and a half away–her breasts were that enormous– and the one in use was completely exposed. She made a roomful of people very uncomfortable. Oh I know, they were all in the wrong while she alone was in the right.
  2. 6.      Why cause drama? I used to pump, put the goods in a baby’s bottle, and pack the bottle with the rest of baby stuff.
    Fed baby where-ever and when-ever. So simple. sheesh!

Posted by Electra December 18, 09 10:15 PM

  1. 34.   Couldn’t she go out in the car to do it? This is so Third World.
  2. 35.   Could racism also be a factor here?

Posted by Liz Pakula December 19, 09 10:07 PM

  1. 21.   I breastfed my daughter but I think it’s odd to do it in the middle of the electronics aisle. Find a chair someplace! I think some mothers get righteous on this topic–sure, it’s your ‘right’ but be discreet about it.

Posted by anna74 December 19, 09 02:03 PM

30.  I breast fed in public with both of my kids. People should focus on the “feed” but not the “breast” part of breast feeding. Maybe we should call it biological feeding or natural feeding so that people won’t be get nervous with the “breast” part.

http://www.boston.com/community/moms/blogs/child_caring/2009/12/breastfeeding_in_public.html

Malaysian women lawmakers get enclosure to nurse babies

Malaysian women parliamentarians now have a special area in the VIP restroom at the Parliament building to nurse their infants. The move comes as breastfeeding by women lawmakers, and by women at workplaces in general, are issues being debated in many countries. In some places, women have been banned from nursing their infants. In 2003, the Victorian state parliament in Australia ejected a new mother, Kirstie Marshall for breastfeeding her baby in the chamber, according to The Age newspaper. The first Malaysian lawmaker to benefit from this enclosure divided by a curtain is Nurul Izzah Anwar, an opposition lawmaker who uses it to feed her five-month-old baby, The Star newspaper said Saturday.

Deputy Health Minister Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin, who is seven-and-a-half-months pregnant, said she plans to use the facility after her baby is born.  The facility was made available since the opening of the current Parliament session in October. Nurul Izzah, 29, requested for a nursing room when she gave birth to her second child five months ago. Her child was only a few months old when Nurul Izzah won the Lembah Pantai parliamentary seat in the March 8 general election last year.

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/health/malaysian-women-lawmakers-get-enclosure-to-nurse-babies_100291713.html

What do Pokwang and Cory Aquino have in common?

MANILA, Philippines – Former president Corazon “Cory” Aquino was recently feted a posthumous Lifetime Achievement award by Lifestyle magazine “Working Mom.”

According to a press statement by the magazine, Aquino was awarded at the 2009 Working Mom Balance Awards as “one of the greatest working moms the country has ever known.”

The annual awards event, which started in 2003, recognize women who excelled in their respective careers but still “maintain a healthy balance in facing the demands in their personal lives.”

This is the first time that Working Mom gave a posthumous award.

The magazine also honored 5 women who each won a “Balance Award” for 5 categories: Educator, Entrepreneur, Health and Well-being, Public Service and Corporate

Public Service awardee Anna Lisa Dee, meanwhile, was honored for her breastfeeding advocacy as co-founder of the non profit group Lactation Attachment Training Counseling and Help (L.A.T.C.H.).She works as a breastfeeding counselor, resource speaker and contributing writer to various “mom and baby” publications and web sites. Dee is also a loving wife to her high school sweetheart Dudu and a doting mother to her children.

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/lifestyle/12/17/09/pokwang-cory-aquino-cited-working-mom-awards

KENYA: The role of culture in child nutrition

MOYALE, 18 December 2009 (IRIN) – Two-year-old Safia Emoi is weak, thin and listless. She has just arrived at the Heillu Health centre with her mother Amima Mohammed, who set off early to make the 4km trek to the clinic in the outskirts of the upper Eastern Province town of Moyale. Safia is enrolled in a programme for severely malnourished children.

“Up until recently, things were a bit better for me and my family,” Amima Mohammed, 35, said. However, a prolonged drought has killed livestock, in turn affecting children’s nutrition and milk consumption.

“We are hungry most of the time. I make some strong tea in the morning and then we have one meal of maize during the day,” said the mother of six.  
 
There are dozens of children enrolled in a supplementary feeding programme run by Concern Worldwide in Moyale; in the past three months, the NGO recorded an average of 70 to 80 admissions per month. “I have seen other children getting better when given ready-to-eat therapeutic food, so I know Safia will too,” said her mother.

According to the Arid Lands Resource Management Project (ALRMP), agro-pastoral and pastoral communities are among the worst affected by food insecurity after four consecutive rainy seasons failed.

Despite ongoing mid-October to December short rains, drought-related stress, such as inadequate food and pasture, remains high in Moyale and other Eastern Province Districts such as Isiolo, Garbatulla, and Marsabit.

The proportion of children classified as “at risk” of malnutrition (mid-upper-arm circumference, MUAC, less than 135mm, in ages 6-59 months) in October remained higher than respective five-year averages in the districts, according to ALRMP surveillance data, stated a Kenya Food Security Update for November.

An MUAC of less than 110mm indicates severe acute malnutrition; between 110mm and 125mm moderate acute malnutrition, while one between 125 and 135mm shows that the child is at risk of acute malnutrition and should be followed up for growth monitoring.

The wrong kind of food

Another nutritional problem in this region is a widespread tendency not to breastfeed babies during their first six months. According to the UN Children’s Fund, exclusive breastfeeding is the perfect way to provide the best food for a baby’s first six months as breastfed infants are much less likely to die from diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections and other diseases.

But Humphrey Mosomi, a nutritionist with World Vision Kenya in Marsabit district, said some 60 percent of mothers gave their babies additional food as well as water within two weeks of birth.

Improving pastoral community awareness of better child-feeding practices was vital, Mosomi told IRIN.  

“For example, boys may be introduced to camel milk early as a rite of initiation so they will like the animals they will herd in future,” he said. “The belief is that if the male child is first introduced to his mother’s milk, he will become a useless boy.

“There is also influence from grandmothers. They say the children are dying of thirst and that they must be given water,” he said. In an effort to improve the situation, traditional birth attendants, who, as older women, enjoy respect in the community, are being educated about the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.

Challenges

Cultural beliefs also fuel poor child health, noted Mosomi. “It takes a long time to convince someone to sell a cow or a goat to buy food. [People refuse] to sell so as not to be viewed as poor or to look cowardly. If, as a leader, you sold off your cows during the drought, people may refuse to vote for you.

“Sometimes, the cows are there, the milk is there, but it is not available to the children. The herders are ‘favoured’ and allocated the bigger share of milk, for instance,” he noted, adding that there was a need for advocacy.

http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=87454 

Medela Announces Virtual Human Milk Collection Campaign

MCHENRY, Ill., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ — Medela announced today the award recipients from its November Virtual Human Milk (breastmilk) Collection Campaign in honor of the March of Dimes’ National Prematurity Awareness Month. More than 4,100 participated in the campaign, voting for their preferred Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Each of the following hospitals will receive $5,000 in neonatal human milk support products from Medela:

* Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, Gulfport, MS. * St. John Medical Center, Tulsa, OK. * The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.* University of New Mexico Hospital, Albuquerque, NM.

“We are very pleased with the participation in our Virtual Human Milk Collection Campaign. The intent was to help raise awareness of the importance of human milk which works like a medicine to help protect premature babies from many serious complications during and after their hospital stay,” says Carolin Archibald, vice president, professional business at Medela Inc. “We’re thrilled to be able to donate products to our award recipients that will support feeding more human milk and improving outcomes for their vulnerable patients.”

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/medela-announces-virtual-human-milk-collection-campaign-award-recipients-in-honor-of-2009-prematurity-awareness-month-79531102.html

Study data from E.W. Harville and colleagues update understanding of depression

“We reviewed the literature on the effects of Hurricane Katrina on perinatal health, and providing data from our own research on pregnant and postpartum women. After Katrina, obstetric, prenatal, and neonatal care was compromised in the short term, but increases in adverse birth outcomes such as preterm birth, low birthweight, and maternal complications were mostly limited to highly exposed women,” investigators in the United States report (see also Depression).

“Both pregnant and postpartum women had rates of post-traumatic stress disorder similar to, or lower than, others exposed  to Katrina, and rates of depression similar to other pregnant and postpartum populations. Health behaviors, such as smoking and breastfeeding, may have been somewhat negatively affected by the disaster, whereas effects on nutrition were likely associated with limited time, money, and food choices, and indicated by both weight gain and loss,” wrote E.W. Harville and colleagues.

The researchers concluded: “With a few specific exceptions, postdisaster concerns and health outcomes for pregnant and postpartum women were similar to those of other people exposed to Hurricane Katrina. In such situations, disaster planners and researchers should focus on providing care and support for the normal concerns of the peripartum period, such as breastfeeding, depression, and smoking cessation. Contraception needs to be available for those who do not want to become pregnant. Although additional physical and mental health care needs to be provided for the most severely exposed women and their babies, many women are capable of surviving and thriving in postdisaster environments.”

Harville and colleagues published their study in Birth – Issues in Perinatal Care (Hurricane Katrina and Perinatal Health. Birth – Issues in Perinatal Care, 2009;36(4):325-331).

http://behavioralhealthcentral.com/index.php/20091216156741/Clinical-News/study-data-from-ew-harville-and-colleagues-update-understanding-of-depression.html

Unicef Ready To Support Flood-Affected Fijians

Friday, 18 December, 2009 – 16:48

UNICEF estimates that at least 17,500 people in the area were affected by severe flooding causing extensive damage in housing areas and to water mains and supplies.

Three days after category 2 Cyclone Mick hit major islands of the Fiji Islands group, the affected population still does not have access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation.

UNICEF stands ready to distribute “Emergency Hands” – communication materials promoting key sanitation and hygiene behaviours, posters promoting hand washing and breastfeeding, collapsible water containers and water purification tablets at the request of the Government.

http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/unicef-ready-support-flood-affected-fijians/5/33810

Monterey County eyes breastfeeding policy for workers

Monterey County is working toward becoming just the third county in the state to have a breastfeeding policy for employees. The policy is currently being test-driven in the county’s Health Department.  “I anticipate that this policy will benefit both the Health Department and the community,” said Dr. Lisa Hernandez, the county’s deputy health officer.

The plan sets aside space other than a restroom for breastfeeding mothers to pump breast milk. It also allows for flexible schedules so women can continue both work and feeding. If it moves forward, Health Department officials will work with leaders in each county department to find appropriate spaces to designate for nursing moms.

http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/20091216/NEWS01/91216024/1002/Monterey+County+eyes+breastfeeding+policy+for+workers

Parenting Perspective: Figuring out how to feed your baby!

December 16, 2009 (WPVI) — One of the surprises for many new mothers is how hard breastfeeding can be. Something that seems so natural often comes with a lot of frustration, anxiety and concern. But if you find yourself struggling with it, there are books, videos and support groups, not to mention a cadre of other women who have negotiated the difficult moments of “latching” and “supplementing.”

So, I thought I’d have it a little easier since our son is bottle fed. I have rheumatoid arthritis, and the drugs I take to combat are toxic and make it impossible for me to breastfeed. (I stopped the drugs while pregnant and resumed them about a month after delivery). Bottles also would mean that I could share feedings with my husband and not have to contemplate cover-ups whenever we wanted to take the baby out for a while.

Not so fast.

For the past three months, we have been taxed trying to find the right formula. The first one made him constipated. The second one gave him explosive gas and diarrhea, even as he spit up ounces. A third mix led to thick chunks on his bib. Another variant turned him off, pushing away from his bottle. Our solution this week is to mix two different brands together. He seems to keep them down without much wear on his system.

There are some other things I’ve been taught to do to try to keep his formula in his system, not spit up on my shoulder: I hold him at a 45-degree angled as he feeds, rather than letting him lay back. He doesn’t always burp, even though I try, but I make sure he at least sits upright for 30 minutes, which half the time means an upright snooze on my shoulder. Another thing you can try: burp after half or even thirds of the bottle.

We’re not sure whether our current solution will be the final call. We ruefully look at the barely used cans of formula – they are not cheap – sitting around our kitchen. But then we try to keep it all in perspective: Before we know it, our little guy will be on to cereal and solids.

Here’s to Mother Nature and hopes our little guy fares better with strained sweet potatoes, peas and pears!

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/parenting&id=7174378

Pregnant and breastfeeding women exposed to workplace hazards  (Spain)

A new study shows the employment and sociodemographic characteristics involved in the exposure of pregnant women to workplace hazards. Of these, 56% say they often work standing up or have to lift heavy objects, 63% are exposed to workplace stress and 62% say they are frequently exposed to some physical risk in their place of work.

“Pregnant and breastfeeding women are especially sensitive to exposure to workplace hazards”, Mª Carmen González, lead author of the study and a researcher at the Higher Centre for Public Health Research in Valencia, tells SINC. “Certain workplace pollutants and working conditions can have negative impacts on pregnancy and the development of the foetus”, she says.

… Almost one-quarter of the women (22%) said they were exposed to some chemical agent, particularly cleaning products, and 6% to biological risk factors, such as in jobs involving the care of others.

The conclusions show that it is the youngest, least-educated and non-Spanish women, who are self-employed or working on temporary contracts, who are most likely to report being frequently exposed to workplace risks.


“Although Spanish legislation regulates the protection of pregnant or breastfeeding women in their places of work (Law 31/1995 and Organic Law 3/2007), the conclusions of this study indicate that this legislation is insufficiently implemented in Spain”, concludes the Valencian researcher.

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20091217/Pregnant-and-breastfeeding-women-exposed-to-workplace-hazards.aspx

What to Give to the Person Who Has Everything

When confronted by malls full of frantic holiday shoppers and barraged with advertisements promising the perfect gifts, we’re sometimes overwhelmed. We realize we’re very fortunate to be living somewhere that has so much available, while many others have very little. That’s why Mercy Kits — symbolic humanitarian gifts that support the health and education programs of Mercy Corps — are perfect for the person who has everything.

Since 1979, Mercy Corps has been helping individuals, families and communities hurt by economic crisis, armed conflict and natural disasters around the globe, from the United States to Kyrgyzstan. The organization, based in Portland, OR, started offering the tax-deductible Mercy Kits in 2003. “With Mercy Kits, gift-givers can make a difference in the lives of others in need around the world,” says spokeswoman Joy Portella. Proceeds from most of the kits go to where Mercy Corps determines it is most needed, though the following support specific projects: Breastfeeding Kit ($75), Climate Change Kit ($150), Fuel-Efficient Stove Kit ($45), Send an Orphan to School Kit ($100), Plant a Tree Kit ($55) and Play to Heal Kit ($75).

http://mercycorps.org/inthenews/17036

Push for exclusive breastfeeding

MOST Jamaican mothers are not practising exclusive breastfeeding as it goes against their belief that babies require water or tea. So says Dr Pauline Samuda, a nutritionist, who is calling for greater education on exclusive breastfeeding and its benefits.

“[But] it’s very difficult in a hot country, when a mother is hot to tell her that her baby is not hot, although you’re trying to say to them, ‘look at what you have eaten versus what the baby has eaten, you have eaten pure solids while the baby has had only liquid, so you’re thirsty, the baby is not’,” Dr Samuda said. “It’s very difficult but it is something we have to work on.”

In addition to the mother’s misperception of what the child requires during his or her first six months, Dr Samuda said that a large number of public health care workers were also making the task difficult as they themselves were not aware of the correct definition of the term ‘exclusive breastfeeding’ and at times misinform the mothers about the baby’s diet and the appropriate time to introduce additional food.

Dr Samuda was speaking against the background of a recent study she conducted in St Catherine and Clarendon, where she found that over 90 per cent of the mothers in the survey had never heard the term ‘exclusive breastfeeding’, while 80 per cent were introducing supplemental food such as tea, formula, porridge and irish potato between one to three months after the baby’s birth.

Popular myths surrounding breastfeeding

• Infants needs bush tea to clear their stomach in the mornings.

• Babies need water to quench their thirst.

• Expressed milk is not good for the baby.

• Squeezing breastmilk in ant’s nest or fire will dry out the mother’s milk.

• Feeding young babies tomato leaves will help with gripe.

• Mothers do not produce enough milk, hence the reason for additional food.

• Extensive breastfeeding will give the mothers ‘slipper titties’.

• A mother should not breastfeed if she has cold.

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/magazines/allwoman/push-for-exclusive-breastfeeding

1 Comment

Filed under breastfeeding, Breastfeeding in the News, lactivist

August 26th – September 1st, 2009

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

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

Drugs given during labour linked to breastfeeding problems
Analysis of the records of more than 48,000 women who gave birth in South Wales found that use of the clotting agents oxytocin or ergometrine was associated with a 7 per cent decline in the proportion who started breastfeeding within 48 hours of giving birth.
It is thought that the drugs may impede a woman’s ability to produce milk, suggesting that mothers who have them may need greater time or support from midwives if they wish to breastfeed their baby.
The study, by researchers at Swansea University, also confirmed the link between high doses of injected pain relief and lower rates of breastfeeding, an association that has recently prompted revised guidelines for the NHS on the use of epidurals in labour.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/child_health/article6816361.ece
Top 8 Celebrity Breastfeeding Stories
TV Guide put together their top 8 favorite breastfeeding stories from the stars. The famous moms include Kendra Wilkinson, Angelina Jolie, Naomi Watts, Gwen Stefani, Mary-Louise Parker, Kate Beckinsale, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Salma Hayek. Check out why these celebs deserve a spot in the top eight.
http://celebritybabyscoop.com/2009/08/30/top-8-celebrity-breastfeeding-stories
Children ‘should sleep with parents until they’re five’
Margot Sunderland, director of education at the Centre for Child Mental Health in London, says the practice, known as “co-sleeping”, makes children more likely to grow up as calm, healthy adults.
Sunderland, author of 20 books, outlines her advice in The Science of Parenting, to be published later this month.
“What I have done in this book is present the science. Studies from around the world show that co-sleeping until the age of five is an investment for the child. They can have separation anxiety up to the age of five and beyond, which can affect them in later life. This is calmed by co-sleeping.”
Symptoms can also be physical. Sunderland quotes one study that found some 70% of women who had not been comforted when they cried as children developed digestive difficulties as adults.
“In the UK, 500 children a year die of Sids,” Sunderland writes. “In China, where it [co-sleeping] is taken for granted, Sids is so rare it does not have a name.”
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1083020.ece
Mom’s Sleep Beliefs Affect Baby’s Nights
While a mother is still pregnant, researchers can size up the likelihood that her infant will be a good sleeper by assessing the mother’s beliefs about infant sleep, says a study in the latest issue of Child Development. If an expectant mom thinks babies who cry at night are suffering distress and need to be soothed and comforted, her baby is likely to have more wakeful, weepy nights later, after controlling for other factors. On the other hand, if an expectant mother believes parents must draw boundaries against getting involved with a baby at bedtime, her infant will probably sleep better, assuming other factors are equal.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204731804574384902250994992.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
Car Seats are for Cars: Leaving Baby in Carseat Lowers Oxygen, Increases SIDS
By Catherine McKenzie
Published in Mothering Issue 136
One of the main reasons that parents buy portable car seats is so they can remove a sleeping infant from the car without waking him or her. There are certainly times when this is handy, but the strategy can easily backfire. I remember several shopping trips that began with my daughter asleep in her car seat, but only ten minutes later she was awake and screaming to be held. I would end up carrying her and the car seat—separately—for the rest of our trip. I discovered that it was often simpler to wake her and put her into the sling, where she would frequently fall back to sleep again anyway.

http://drmomma.blogspot.com/2009/08/car-seats-are-for-cars-leaving-baby-in.html?spref=fb
Babies weaned early due to breastfeeding stigma
ONE in four Australians think breastfeeding in public is unacceptable, with young people aged 18 to 24 the least approving, a Newspoll survey has found.
And people think the most unwelcome place to breastfeed is in a church, followed by work, then cafes or restaurants and, lastly, a shopping centre.
http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,25998565-23272,00.html
West Chester breastfeeding case has divided Ohio Supreme Court
COLUMBUS — A West Chester Twp. company did not discriminate against a woman when it fired her for using a breast pump too often on company time, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled today, Thursday, Aug. 27.
Five of the seven justices found that LaNisa Allen of Colerain failed to prove Totes/Isotoner Corp. violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and that Allen “was simply and plainly terminated as an employee at will for taking an unauthorized, extra break” and failing to “follow directions.”
Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton said in court records that Allen admittedly took unauthorized breaks to pump her breast milk and failed to present a case that would allow justices to rule in her favor.
Justice Maureen O’Connor agreed in part. She went further in her statement, adding that lactating women are protected under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
“I would hold that lactation falls within the scope of (the Pregnancy Discrimination Act) that the statute prohibits employment discrimination against lactating women,” O’Connor wrote.
O’Connor also said she was disappointed that Stratton, the lead opinion on the case, failed to address the issue.
“The question of whether Ohio law recognizes discrimination claims based on lactation is one of great general interest. Allen and Isotoner, as well as all Ohio’s employees and employers, are entitled to the answer and to guidance on the contours of Ohio’s employment laws,” O’Connor wrote.
O’Connor continued: “It is our duty to provide that guidance and to answer the questions posed in this controversy.”
Justice Paul E. Pfeifer dissented, saying discrimination against lactating women is unlawful and that Allen deserves the opportunity to prove her claim before a jury.
Pfeifer also expressed disappointment that the lead opinion on the case failed to answer whether Ohio law protects breastfeeding mothers.
Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger dismissed Allen’s appeal, saying the Supreme Court should have denied hearing Allen’s case.
Contact this reporter at (513) 820-2180 or tlatta@coxohio.com.
http://www.middletownjournal.com/news/middletown-news/west-chester-breastfeeding-case-has-divided-ohio-supreme-court-269293.html
Stop Telling Me to Breastfeed!
The fact of the matter is, it’s a woman’s choice. It is not my mother’s choice, it’s not the pediatrician’s choice, and it isn’t your choice. It is MY choice. So leave the breastfeeding decision up to me, OK?

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

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

Read more: http://www.momlogic.com/2009/08/stop_telling_me_to_breastfeed.php#ixzz0Ph347aKS
http://www.momlogic.com/2009/08/stop_telling_me_to_breastfeed.php
The Business Of Breastfeeding
Meghan Casserly, 08.27.09, 08:30 PM EDT FORBES
Companies are offering lactation policies, but often fall short on the carry-through. Women are at the forefront of reform, from the corporate closet to the Congress floor.
Upon returning to work after having her first child, Gina Ciagne, a public relations specialist, was told by her supervisors that she should feel free to pump on company time. To which she responded: “Great–now where do I go?”
With no directives from her supervisor, Ciagne made numerous phone calls to human resources and others, but to no avail. The only solution seemed to be cleaning out a hardly used book closet and installing a mini-fridge (on her own time and dime). As it turns out, she didn’t have to. “I didn’t call the one person who knew about it,” she says. After four months of pumping breast milk in a closet, Ciagne was flabbergasted to learn that there were actual lactation rooms on the corporate campus.
Crosley-Corcoran became increasingly aware that there was a major communication block between returning mothers and the corporate powers-that-be. “I saw more and more mothers coming back to work and hauling their own breast pumps back and forth every day. No one had told them that the pump in the room was provided for them by the company–I guess they thought it was mine.”
“We were having extremely high turnover rates,” she says. And so Matzigkeit and her team launched Great Expectations, a strategic initiative to educate new mothers in 2004. But more so, she adds, “To show them that we care. We are always sure to say, ‘We want you back,’ and a lactation program was a huge component of it.”
Since the launch of Great Expectations, Matzigkeit has seen the retention rate jump from 64% to 95%. As a champion of working mothers, she is more than pleased with its success: “62% of my employees are working mothers. It’s a big population here.”
“I don’t think that employers are hostile,” Lansinoh’s Ciagne says. “But when they think of an employee coming back, the top question in mind is never, ‘So where will they breastfeed?’ It’s just not occurring to them. But once you do talk to them [the employers], they definitely become more amenable.”

http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/27/breastfeed-work-mother-forbes-woman-leadership-lactation.html
Kourtney Kardashian, Kendra Want to Breastfeed Despite Implants
Kourtney Kardashian and Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett are both pregnant, and both excited about breastfeeding. Will their implants impede this dream? Docs say, maybe not!
Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett and Kourtney Kardashian are two of the hottest reality starlets on cable television. Now that they have conquered E!, they are ready to conquer motherhood.
Wilkinson, star of Kendra and The Girls Next Door, has a Christmas due date, while Kourt, who stars in Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami, is also due in December.
The real juice about these cable queens is the issue of breast feeding. Both bun-in-the-oven babes have previously undergone breast augmentation surgery. When asked if they are planning to breast feed their children, both have answered yes. Hugh Hefner’s ex, Kendra, told US Weekly that her doctor informed her it was safe to breastfeed her baby even with her silicone implants. Kardashian also spoke with the gossip mag, noting, “They say usually you can [breast-feed with implants]. I want to.”
A 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) study found that any kind of breast surgery, including breast implant surgery, makes it at least three times more likely that a woman trying to breastfeed will have an inadequate milk supply. An earlier study led by Dr. Marianne Neifert, likewise indicated that “women who had breast surgery were three times more likely to have lactation insufficiency than those that did not have breast surgery.”
Researchers have noted that, based on these findings, although the implants themselves may not keep a new mom from lactating, undergoing breast augmentation surgery may make it more difficult for women to breastfeed successfully.
http://www.theplasticsurgerychannel.com/celebrity-plastic-surgery/kourtney-kardashian-kendra-want-to-breastfeed-despite-implants.html
GMA pays tribute to Sen. Kennedy
MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) — President Arroyo on Thursday paid tribute to the late US Senator Edward Kennedy for his pivotal role in the global breastfeeding movement.
The president announced that she would be presenting to Kennedy’s family the highest presidential award for his contributions to human rights and public health promotion.
“For his singular role in promoting human rights and public health, including the passage of that international milk code, we honor the late Senator Edward Kennedy,” Arroyo said at the celebration of the World Breast Feeding Awareness Month in Malacañang.
Kennedy, a long-time US advocate of health reform, died on August 25 after battling brain cancer for more than a year.
She said that, Kennedy, as chair of the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in 1979, heard the testimony of Filipino doctor Dr. Natividad Clavano, about a study that showed a 95 percent decrease in infant mortality in Baguio City as a result of exclusive breastfeeding.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=499951&publicationSubCategoryId=200
Lactation Consultant Hall of Excellence,
Carole Peterson of Fort Wayne has been selected as one of three inductees to the 2008-2009 Lactation Consultant Hall of Excellence. The program, now in its third year, recognizes U.S.-based lactation consultants who exemplify best practices, hard work and outstanding dedication to their profession. She was one of three inductees nationwide.
“I hope this recognition will bring more awareness to the field of lactation consulting,” said Peterson. “I have witnessed how our system abandons mothers once they leave the hospital after birth. Specifically, I hope I can bring more attention to the fact that our mothers need more support when returning home. I hope to focus my energies to promote more support to increase breastfeeding duration and assist mothers to achieve their breastfeeding goals.”
http://www.fwdailynews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4663:Local-healthcare-professional-honored&catid=61:times-online2&Itemid=6

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Nipple Shields: A Quick Fix?

It’s day two in the hospital, your breasts are ready to burst.  They feel filled to the brim, but you are still making colostrum.  Your nurse is trying to help you get your baby to latch on but your breasts are so full your nipples have almost disappeared.  The nurse tells you that you have flat nipples and she runs and gets a nipple shield.  The shield works great, now that the baby has something to latch on to, the crying has stopped, and the baby is able to eat.  Finally you can breathe a sigh of relief. You are now a breastfeeding momma, and best of all you can go home knowing that your baby won’t starve.

The day after you get home your milk comes in.  Your milk is flowing fast and furious; you can see it filling up the little plastic shield every time your baby pauses.  Your breasts are beginning to get smaller.  Your nipples emerge from the edema and can finally be seen again.  They don’t look flat to you, but what do you know.  You have already accepted the news that your nipples are flat, so in comparison to other mother’s nipples they must be very flat or else the nurse wouldn’t have said anything. 

A week goes by, your beautiful baby is eating so well, but this nipple shield is getting to be a bit of a pain.  You have to keep it nearby; it has to be washed constantly.  You remember thinking that one of the great things about breastfeeding is that you don’t have to wash bottles all the time.  Now you are constantly cleaning this silly nipple shield.  Bravely you decide to try and nurse your baby without the shield.  But your poor little angel looks confused.  Your soft nipple just doesn’t feel right to him.  Where is that hard feeling that he has come to associate with your milk?  Frustrated he pulls away.  You pull him closer but he won’t have anything to do with it.  Then the crying begins and you feel like you are right back where you started from. 

Unhappily you resign yourself to having to use the shield, but it is so annoying.  Going out in public is the worst.  Not only do you have to get it out, and put it on (which takes two hands), whenever the baby finishes eating there is always a little milk left in the shield and try as you might it drips all over you as you remove the shield from your nipple.  So much for being able to discreetly breastfeed at the mall!  In fact using the nipple shield makes you feel so exposed and vulnerable that you decide you will only feed your baby bottles of pumped milk when you go out.  Of course this means you can’t go out for very long before you start to feel full and need to either pump or go home and feed the baby.  Other mothers have it so easy.  You don’t want to complain, but you wish had been blessed with normal sized nipples.  Life would be so much easier.   

This is an unfortunate scenario, but it happens a lot more often than you might think.  Mothers are often told they have flat nipples when in reality their breasts have become so swollen that their poor little nipples have almost disappeared.  Breasts swell up for two reasons.  Naturally they get swollen because of all the milk they are now making, but also they swell up because of all the excess fluid in a mother’s body.  Ankles get swollen, wrists get swollen, the face gets swollen, etc and so do the breasts.  All that fluid from the IV in your arm has to go some where!  A sunken nipple can usually be drawn out with a little teasing.  Luckily, happy babies (as opposed to babies who aren’t offered the breast until they are screaming with hunger) are even better experts at getting a nipple to emerge than their mothers are!   

Nipple shields are also used when a mother is experiencing pain in her nipples.  Nipple pain happens when a baby doesn’t latch on deeply enough.  Mothers are always amazed at how much less pain they feel when a baby is latching correctly.  It’s like the difference between getting your thumbnail caught in a door and sucking peacefully on your thumb. One makes you cry out and the other relaxes you.  And think about it, after you pinched your thumb in a door what do you do?  You put it in your mouth and suck on it!  Mothers fear that having their baby suck on a damaged nipple will hurt (which it will if the baby isn’t latching on correctly).  But a nipple shield will not change the way a baby latches on.  Only time spent improving the latch will do that.  

Nipple shields are often used with sleepy babies as well.  Sometimes a newborn is very sleepy and it is hard to get him interested in the breast.  He could be sleepy because of a very long labor (long labors are tiring for babies too!), or because some of the drugs he was exposed to during labor are still in his system, or maybe it was because he was born a little bit early and he just doesn’t have very much stamina yet.  The hardness of the shield and fact that it can hold a few drops of milk often gets the baby interested in the process of feeding.  But as we saw above, it doesn’t get the baby interested in the mother’s breast.  And once the baby has safely passed the sleepy phase the same problem remains. His brain has already become hard wired to connect the shield with a full belly.  A naked nipple just confuses him.

Worst of all, the mother using a nipple shield often thinks the problem lies with her.  She thinks her body is defective.  Women already have enough body issues to deal with, we already worry about the size of our thighs, our butts and our bellies; do we really need to make women feel insecure about the size of their nipples as well?  So now we have a mother who feels her body is inadequate, and who feels that she can never be a normal mother.  Does she feel empowered by breastfeeding?  I don’t think so.

Does this mean we should never use nipple shields?  No, although I would spend a lot more time trying old fashioned skin to skin time before I would reach for a shield.  My biggest issue with nipple shields is the lack of follow up.  Sending a mother home from the hospital with a nipple shield and no follow up is just wrong, especially if a shield is being used to correct a temporary situation like engorgement, sore nipples, or a sleepy newborn.  Unless someone is willing to track her progress in weaning from the shield it really shouldn’t be used. 

In my opinion the process of how to wean from a nipple shield should be started the very first time it is introduced.  The original goal to breastfeed as opposed to feeding through an artificial nipple should not be forgotten.  Mothers should be told to think of the shield as a tool to get them to the next level.  It can take a lot of work to reach that goal, and that is where we let mothers down.  We get so caught up in the more immediate goal (feed the baby) that we forget the long term goal (to breastfeed the baby).  If the goal is to merely feed the newborn the mother can express her milk and give it to her baby with a dropper, spoon, or cup.  If the goal is to breastfeed then the baby needs to spend more time at the mother’s breast.   Mothers should be encouraged to get their babies used to the breast without the shield from the very beginning.  Learning to enjoy holding her baby skin to skin upon her breast without the pressure of having to feed is the first step towards weaning from a shield.   But it takes time.

Time however is a luxury you don’t find in most hospitals.  There isn’t enough time to try “skin to skin” (and just so you know a mere half hour isn’t nearly long enough), there isn’t enough time to teach hand expression, there isn’t enough time to cup feed a baby, and there certainly isn’t enough time to call a mother at home and see if she is making any progress weaning from a shield.  What we are really saying is that there isn’t enough time to give mothers the support they need to learn to breastfeed (as opposed to feeding through a plastic shield).  Instead we only take them part of the way there and then leave them dangling on their own, feeling like either they or their baby is defective.  We don’t give mothers the time they need in the very beginning to get off to a good start.  Is it any wonder that three or even five months later the mother with perfectly normal nipples is thinking about weaning to formula just so she can go to the mall?

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