Breastfeeding in the News: Feb. 13th – Feb. 19th, 2010

“Her biggest challenge was the mothers’ lack of knowledge – many pregnant and breastfeeding mothers just eat rice and do not make use of their resourceful yards where many nutritious plants grow.   “Sometimes, they just leave ripe papayas in the yard to rot on the trees and be eaten by birds or simply fall to the ground while their children do not consume any fruits,” she  (17-year-old Maria Bere) said.  “This is what I have been trying to change.”

In an unusual program sponsored by the Australian government, teenagers in Indonesia have been recruited as volunteers to assist local breastfeeding mothers.  Even though they are not yet parents themselves they regularly counsel new mothers on the benefits of both a healthy lifestyle, and the importance of feeding babies exclusively breast milk for the first six months.  18 year old Yohanes Bere is a motorcycle taxi driver who volunteers at a local health clinic where he weighs babies and toddlers while dispensing advice about breastfeeding.  His motivation?  To eliminate malnutrition in his village. “I want to see the babies and toddlers I serve one day grow up into healthy generation,” said Yohanes, who learned to do the job through teaching himself and training from health officials and a medical team.  …  “Now we no longer have malnourished babies or toddlers,” he said proudly.” 

Meanwhile here in the United States we can’t even get our high schools to talk to teenagers about the importance of breastfeeding, never mind recruit them to help new mothers.  Not too surprising really in a country whose Army deploys new mothers back into service (often thousands of miles away from their baby) just 4 months after birth.  It’s no matter that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for at least six months, the Army has their own rules.

Taking a quick look at what else is happening in other countries this week, we are reminded that the Cambodian government requires that every company employing over 100 women have a breastfeeding room on the premises.  The European Parliament is considering new legislation concerning maternity leave specifically because of the effect maternity leave has on breastfeeding.  In Cuba the breastfeeding rate is a low 26% but at least the Cuban article reporting on this had no qualms about including a close up photo of a breastfeeding baby latching on to its mother’s breast.  (Facebook would have deleted this pic quicker than you can say “milk please!”)  And in order to give mother a private retreat from the chaos in Haiti twelve “baby tents” have been set up around Port-Au-Prince providing mothers with a quiet place to breastfeed.     

Meanwhile there was a heartbreaking story from the northern regions of Canada.  Apparently mothers in northern Manitoba have to travel hundreds of miles just to deliver their babies.  They fly alone into Winnipeg shortly before their due date where they wait until their labor begins.  After the birth they climb aboard a bus and begin the eight hour journey home.  Imagine yourself trying to get breastfeeding off to a good start in those conditions.  A few years ago while visiting a Baby Friendly hospital in Norway I remember them telling me about women facing similar conditions.  Any woman from the northern regions of the country with a complicated pregnancy would be sent to a hospital in Oslo to deliver.  But rather than send her right home after the birth they would send her to what they called a “Mother & Baby” hotel.  In all respects it was a normal hotel, except that a nurse would check in with them once a day to check on them until they felt well enough to make the journey home.  I love the idea! Privacy, someone to change your sheets, plus room service and a nurse, I think all mothers could benefit from a little transitional time in a “Mother & Baby” hotel before going home.

The Gates Foundation is seeing some unexpected results from their experiment in providing “Essential New Born Care” training in rural third world areas (the training includes the importance of early breastfeeding).  While there was no change in the number of babies dying in the first week after birth, the number of stillborn births decreased dramatically.   Apparently babies who did not immediately breathe on their own and would have been considered dead before having received the training were now been revived.  The stillbirth rate dropped by an amazing 30%.   We’ll have to wait and see what the long term results of initiating early breastfeeding will be.

In medical news a baby in Brazil has contracted yellow fever vaccine virus after its mother was vaccinated.  This is the first report ever of something like this happening.  The antidepressant drug Paxil has been shown to potentially delay the onset of stage two lactogenesis (mature milk).   There is some good news however; a new study shows that premies who are fed at the breast on demand actually leave the hospital sooner than babies fed a schedule.

Don’t reach for that Kit Kat bar just yet.  Even though Nestle’s has given their Kit kat bar a new “fair trade” stamp of approval, Mike Brady of “Baby Milk Action” insists the candy should remain on our boycott list.   And speaking of marketing spins, Lansinoh has a new breast pump that it claims cuts the time spent pumping in half.  I just want to remind people that while I consider pumps and formula to be necessary in certain situations I find the way they market their products to be quite frightening.  Both formula and pump companies would have us believe that it would be unwise to have a baby without at least one of their products in your home, preferably before the baby even arrives.         

In the “this makes me mad” category this week is the article suggesting that the couple who are planning to sue the hospital who mistakenly gave the mother the wrong baby to breastfeed were included in a column called “Worst People in the World”.  And another article that like many started out informing the reader about the benefits of breastfeeding but then included this little tidbit; “It is highly necessary that you follow the advice and information provided by your pediatrician and that any changes in your diet is authorized by him, so as not to cause gastric disorders.”  Excuse me?  You need your pediatrician’s approval to change your own diet?? Did I read this correctly?  All too often I find articles like this, they start out on a positive note and then they say something that makes me cringe.

Okay, time for more good news.  A “Baby Friendly” hospital in Hawaii has been awarded some money as part of a wellness initiative.  Just another good reason to go “Baby Friendly” folks!  And in New Zealand a breastfeeding photo contest was held recently.   Again – Facebook management, please take note, not everyone thinks breastfeeding photos are obscene.

And finally last week we looked at the French attitudes towards breastfeeding, this week “Equality Begins in the Creche” sheds a little more insight into the reasons behind some of those attitudes.  For one thing, in an effort to boost the country’s fertility rates all French mothers are provided with affordable early childcare.  Apparently it is the desire of the French government to increase the native population while keeping women working outside the home.  So much for the idea that you can have it all, you just can’t have it all at the same time.  The French government believes women can. 

As always, I love hearing from you – so post a comment or drop me an email.   (And remember, the links to all articles are listed below.)

Kathy Abbott IBCLC
www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com

www.TheCuriousLactivist.Wordpress.com

On Facebook:” Breastfeeding in the News”            

Stillbirths Drop Dramatically After Newborn-Care Training in Developing Countries

The rate of stillbirths in rural areas of six developing countries fell more than 30 percent following a basic training program in newborn care for birth attendants, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The study tracked more than 120,000 births.

The study tested the efficacy of a three-day Essential Newborn Care training regimen that covers basic newborn care techniques, the importance of early breastfeeding, how to keep infants warm and dry, and signs of serious health problems.

“The study authors found that the overall rate of infant death during the first 7 days of life did not change among infants who had been administered the essential newborn care regimen. However, the rate of stillbirths dropped sharply — from 23 per 1,000 deliveries to 15.9 per 1,000. The researchers believe these improvements were seen in infants who had not drawn a breath on their own and would have been considered to have been born dead by birth attendants who had not received the early newborn care training.”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100217171919.htm

Lansinoh promotes new breastfeeding product with Principles

“The consumer press campaign is intended to appeal to busy mums on the go as the new product claims to express milk in half the time.”

http://www.thedrum.co.uk/news/2010/02/18/12821-lansinoh-promotes-new-breastfeeding-product-with-principles

Mum Wins Breastfeeding Photo Competition (New  Zealand)

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1002/S00282.htm

Teenagers lend a helping hand to fight malnutrition

“Yohanes Bere is an 18-year-old ojek motorcycle taxi driver. But he is often busy assisting mothers who took their babies and toddlers to an integrated health service post in Kekirence village in Belu regency, East Nusa Tenggara.

Without hesitation, he helps weigh the babies and toddlers, and provides breastfeeding mothers with knowledge about healthy lifestyles, including the importance of giving breast milk exclusively to newborn babies until they are at least six months old.”

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/02/19/teenagers-lend-a-helping-hand-fight-malnutrition.html

Breastfeeding Wars

“The thought of lifting my shirt in public was terrifying — especially after years of struggling with eating disorders. And yet I was being told that I should do it anywhere at anytime. (If not, I apparently wasn’t a “real” breastfeeder.)”

http://www.momlogic.com/2010/02/breastfeeding_in_public.php

Equality begins in the creche

The debate over motherhood is missing the point – British mums should be fighting for the French model of childcare

“For some decades now, the French government has pursued, with considerable success, a far-reaching policy aimed at boosting the nation’s fertility rate, and increasing the number of women in the workforce. It did this by ploughing millions into subsidised, readily available, and easily affordable childcare.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/feb/19/france-motherhood-childcare-equality 

’ Baby tents’ offer Haitian mothers a safe place to breastfeed

“PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 18 February 2010—Amidst the collapsed buildings and temporary camps of this battered city stand 12 special tents dedicated to providing mothers and their infant children a safe and calm place to breastfeed.”

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/haiti_52797.html

EPHA calls on the European Parliament to support breastfeeding in Maternity Leave Directive

A key piece of legislation, relating to maternity leave, has the potential to impact upoin levels of breastfeeding and therefore public health outcomes. EPHA sent a letter to the Members of the European Parliament Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, calling for measures to safeguard and encourage the uptake and continuation of breastfeeding for young infants.

The letter was sent in relation to the work currently being undertaken by the committee on the improvements to the safety and health at work of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding.

http://www.epha.org/a/3874

Govt. urged to increase maternity leave, Malaysia lagging in Asean

“He said in Cambodia, it was mandatory for companies with more than 100 women workers to provide breastfeeding rooms and childcare centres. Similar facilities were also provided for mothers in Indonesia.”

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/2/17/nation/20100217142047&sec=nation

Fed When Hungry, Premature Babies Go Home Sooner

““This review very clearly highlights the paucity of truly good feeding studies in which mothers and infants were allowed or encouraged to establish breastfeeding ‘rhythm’ early in life,” said Jay Gordon, M.D., attending pediatrician at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and associate clinical professor of pediatrics at UCLA Medical School.”

http://www.cfah.org/hbns/archives/getDocument.cfm?documentID=22228

Is Fair trade Chocolate Fair Enough?

“Mike Brady, Campaigns and Networking Coordinator at Baby Milk Action, has added Nestlé’s fairtrade Kit Kats to its list of boycotted products in an effort to promote change for people in developing countries. His organization believes that all Nestle’s products should be fair trade – not just chocolate.”

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/02/is-fair-trade-chocolate-fair-enough.php

Sunday’s worst people in the world

“It seems that at 4 a.m. on a January morning two years ago,  an Evanston Hospital employee woke up new mom Jennifer Spiegel to breastfeed her baby. Shortly thereafter, a nurse came into the room and explained there’d been a mistake, that wasn’t her baby.

And while no one was injured or sickened, the Chicago couple says the hospital should be held responsible for the mix-up. They are seeking at least $30,000 in damages

http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2010/02/sundays-worst-people-in-the-world.html

Benefits of Breastfeeding

“After six months, infants commonly begin to prefer more solid foods than breast milk. After one year, the baby will opt more for the same solid food. Remember that the digestion of your baby is in training so no need to hurry in switching to food. Not everyone has the same metabolism and in the case of babies this applies. It is highly necessary that you follow the advice and information provided by your pediatrician and that any changes in your diet is authorized by him, so as not to cause gastric disorders.”

http://www.ozcarguide.com/health/parenting-pregnancy/newborn-baby/677-benefits-of-breastfeeding

Harper lectures the G8, but what about northern Manitoba?

Most mothers-to-be must fly hundreds of miles into Winnipeg to deliver, leaving behind their husbands and kids for weeks on end. They stay in boarding homes waiting to go into labour, often with no immediate family by their side.

Getting home can mean an eight-hour bus ride with a newborn, making breastfeeding tricky and embarrassing

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/The-motherhood-issue-84268037.html

Breastfeeding Benefits Both Mothers and their Children  (Cuba)

“At present, scarcely 26% of women feed their babies exclusively with their milk during the first six months of their lives.”

http://www.cubaheadlines.com/2010/02/14/20144/breastfeeding_benefits_both_mothers_and_their_children.html

Breastfed baby picks up yellow fever virus

“A breastfed baby contracted the yellow fever vaccine virus in Brazil a week after its mother was immunised against the disease, report health officials today in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The case is the first of its kind to be confirmed anywhere in the world.”

http://www.eht-forum.org/news.html?fileId=news100212060907&from=home&id=0

Paxil May Cause Lactation Problems

A new study indicates that new mothers who take Paxil may experience problems lactating. The study, published in the February issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Paxil could cause a delay in the start of full milk secretion.

http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/13589/interview-paxil-side-effects-lawsuit.html

Hawai‘i awarded $912,713 as part of recovery act community prevention and wellness initiative

DOH was awarded $428,713 to apply sustainable policy and systems changes in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and tobacco. Funded projects include:

Baby Friendly Hawai‘i Project, DOH will work closely with the Breastfeeding Coalition of Hawai‘i to increase support for breastfeeding by changing policies in hospital maternity programs statewide, to increase the likelihood of sustained exclusive breastfeeding after birth, a protective factor from obesity and diabetes.

http://www.hawaii247.org/2010/02/12/hawai%E2%80%98i-awarded-912713-as-part-of-recovery-act-community-prevention-and-wellness-initiative/

How Well Does the Military Treat Single Mothers?

No Wonder the U.S. Is Known for Inadequate Maternity Leave, writes The American Prospect’s Gabriel Arana, when its own military ships women to war before they’re finished breastfeeding. The Army deploys women as little as four months after they give birth, Arana writes, which “isn’t enough of a grace period for deployments–many women are still breastfeeding then. Returning to work after four months might not seem so bad, but it’s a huge burden when work is thousands of miles away.”

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/opinions/view/opinion/How-Well-Does-the-Military-Treat-Single-Mothers-2519

2 Comments

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

Breastfeeding in the News: Feb. 5th – Feb. 12th, 2010

Boston may be famous for its technologically advanced hospitals, but little Concord, New Hampshire has Boston beat when it comes to offering all of their youngest patients the best possible nutritional start.   Donated breast milk can now be found in the freezers of Concord Hospital making it the first hospital in New England to offer banked human milk as part of their official standard of care.

As a general rule I tend to regret decisions made out of fear but it looks like it was last fall’s anxiety over the H1N1 virus combined with the CDC’s recommendation that all babies receive breast milk that pushed the hospital into opening an on-site repository that would be capable of storing screened breast milk procured from the recently opened “Mother’s Milk Bank of New England”.  Unlike most knee jerk decisions made out of fear this is one decision that should have long lasting positive consequences.

In celebrity news now that Michelle Obama is spearheading an anti-obesity campaign she is being pressured to speak out in favor of breastfeeding.  Reportedly the first lady breastfed both of her girls so many are wondering why she doesn’t speak more openly in favor of breastfeeding especially since there seems to be a fair bit of evidence connecting breastfeeding with lower obesity rates.  (A new study just came out linking the early introduction of solid with later weight gain.)

 In a refreshing change of pace, unlike most celebrities 36 year old mother of four, fashion runway model Heidi Klum isn’t bragging about her ability to lose weight through breastfeeding.   Instead she says it was a choice she made because it was best for her baby. Says Heidi,  “I never looked at breastfeeding in terms of, ‘This is something that helps me.’ Breastfeeding helps my child.” 

Football star Tom Brady’s wife/model Gisele, is also bucking the celebrity trend to put mamma first.  After having her baby at home in a water birth not only did she decide to breastfeed she has also put off hiring a nanny just yet.  Good for you Gisele – enjoy that baby!

Staying home and enjoying one’s baby may be easier for many Australians now that Premier Tony Abbott has surprisingly begun pushing for a national law providing 6 months of paid maternity leave.  Maybe the hope is that mothers will stay home and nurse their babies in private as there seems to be a raging debate going on in Australia at the moment about whether or not it is okay to breastfeed in the handicapped stall in the rest room. 

In France however author Elisabeth Badinter is on the attack against the country’s “green” politicians.  She says that they are pressuring mothers to breastfeed and (gasp!) use cloth diapers.  Badinter sees this as a return to conservative values that will undermine the gains made by the feminist movement.  The woman seems intent on taking the whole “cloth” vs “disposable” argument to a whole new level.

While the French debate breastfeeding implications for feminist the people at UNICEF can take pride in the fact that their efforts to promote breastfeeding worldwide have resulted in a remarkable decrease in the infant mortality rates of countries at war.  Most civilian war time casualties are the result of diseases springing from unsanitary conditions. “Children younger than 5 are twice as likely to die in war than adults…”  Breastfeeding plays a major role in protecting those who are most vulnerable.

Fiji has just introduced a law making it illegal for retailers to offer free give-aways that could undermine breastfeeding. And in Pakistan a country struggling with low breastfeeding rates (only 37% exclusively breastfeed compared with 76% in Sri Lanka) the government has declared they want to make breastfeeding the norm in their country. Meanwhile the Philippine government thanked UNICEF with an award for helping them to achieve more towards the promotion of breastfeeding in 6 months than they had been able to achieve on their own in 20 years.  Maybe we should invite UNICEF to help us here in the US.

A new study out claims women’s brains are no fuzzier during pregnancy and breastfeeding than they were before pregnancy, so we should just stop blaming our hormones for every time we lose our car keys.  ” Researcher Helen Christensen believed baby brain – also known as “placenta brain” and “milk brain” – was related to what women expected to happen to them in pregnancy and motherhood…”   But many mothers disagree; they claim that their ability to concentrate seriously deteriorates during these periods.

In social networking news the WIC (the US Women Infant & Children) program in Michigan has been the first to WIC office to join Facebook.  It will be interesting to see if this will make them more accessible to their target audience.  Speaking of WIC, my 13 year old daughter came rushing out of her bedroom the other night to let me know she had just heard a radio ad telling people that WIC offers help with nutrition and breastfeeding.  She shook her head in disbelief.  “Breastfeeding!?”  I mean really, how is WIC going to help with breastfeeding??”  Deciding she was missing a vital piece of information I asked her if she knew what WIC stood for.  “Yeah, of course I do.” She replied rolling her eyes at me.  “It stands for Wikipedia!  Now how is Wikipedia going to help a mother breastfeed??”  Hmmm, this might be something for the WIC folks to think about, I wonder how many others make the same assumption? 

And last but not least I’ve included a link to trailer for the new documentary by Thomas Balmes.  To be released in April “Babies” will follow a year in the life of four babies from four different parts of the world (the US, Japan, Africa, & Mongolia).  What better way to show that most of what we consider to be good parenting is dictated by our social geography and not our biology.  I can’t wait to see it!

Kathy Abbott, IBCLC

www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com

on Facebook: “Breastfeeding in the News”

www.TheCuriousLactivist.Wordpress.com  

County WIC first in state on Facebook

“Calhoun County’s Women, Infants and Children, a supplemental aid program for low-income families, reports it is the first in Michigan to use the online social networking tool Facebook.”

http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/article/20100204/NEWS01/302040008/County+WIC+first+in+state+on+Facebook

RP Awards Presidential Citation to UNICEF for Breastfeeding Advocacy

Thursday, 04 February 2010 17:34 MOMAR G. VISAYA | AJPress New York

“The President of the Philippines, through special envoy Dr. Elvira Henares-Esguerra, awarded last week the Presidential Order of the Golden Heart to UNICEFfor its work in supporting the country’s breastfeeding movement over the past decade.”

“”Together, we accomplished in six and a half months what the government could not accomplish in 20 years,” Dr. Henares-Esguerra said.”

“The partnership with the UNICEF through Dr. Alipui began in January 2005 when he referred to a statement of a presidential spokesman who cited that the sale of formula milk is surpassed only by the sale of cell phone services.”

http://www.asianjournal.com/dateline-philippines/headlines/4459-rp-awards-presidential-citation-to-unicef-for-breastfeeding-advocacy.html

Breastfeeding During War Helps Lower Infant Mortality

By Women’s eNews Contributors

The rise of breastfeeding in countries at war has contributed to a marked decline in infant mortality during armed conflict, a recent report says.

Children younger than 5 are twice as likely to die in war than adults, mostly from disease, the The Shrinking Costs of War indicates. The report, released mid-January by Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, also says infants up to 6 months old who are exclusively breastfed are seven times less likely to die from diarrhea and five times less likely from pneumonia than infants not breastfed.”

“Campaigns promoting breastfeeding by the World Health Organization, WHO, and the U.N. Children’s Fund, UNICEF, which work with governments in around 150 countries, have contributed to a stunning 60-year decline in war deaths worldwide. In 1950, the average conflict killed 33,000 people, while in 2007 fewer than 1,000 people died per war, the study says.”

http://www.womensradio.com/articles/Breastfeeding-During-War-Helps-Lower-Infant-Mortality/4423.html

Flying Salmon and the Myth of Baby Brain
SIMON WEBSTER

February 7, 2010

“Pregnant rats actually get better at performing spatial tasks compared to non-pregnant rats and they are also much better at managing their anxiety and their fear levels,” Professor Christensen said.

Asked to comment, a spokesrat for pregnant and breastfeeding rodents bared its teeth and looked cranky.”

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/flying-salmon-and-the-myth-of-baby-brain-20100206-njpv.html

Michelle Obama Urged to Speak Out for Breastfeeding

By Malena Amusa

WeNews correspondent

Monday, February 8, 2010

Michelle Obama breastfed both her daughters and advocates are hoping she will use the platform of her anti-obesity campaign to promote breastfeeding and share her own experiences.

“Obama declined to comment about the role of breastfeeding in her obesity fighting initiative, despite the potential link between breastfeeding and obesity reduction. However, the White House has announced Obama, along with members of the President’s cabinet, mayors and other leaders, will hold a press conference Tuesday to unveil details of her obesity initiative.”

http://www.womensenews.org/story/reproductive-health/100205/michelle-obama-urged-speak-out-breastfeeding

The Babies Are Coming!  (movie trailer)

A year in the life of 4 babies – from California, Mongolia, Japan, & Namibia

http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1810127231/trailer  

Infants take to donations like mother’s milk

By AMY AUGUSTINE

Concord Monitor

“A new Concord Hospital initiative is relying on donor breast milk to meet the nutritional needs of its youngest patients.

The hospital is the first in New England to offer human donor milk as a standard of care for babies whose mothers cannot produce milk themselves. The program, offered to patients free of charge, has been well-received since it launched in October, said Jan Greer-Carney, the hospital’s director of nutrition.”

“Concord Hospital officials had discussed the possibility of opening an on-site repository for several years, Greer-Carney said, but nothing solidified until fears over the H1N1 threat peaked last fall. Until then, the hospital had provided newborns with formula, but when the CDC advised it was preferable for infants to be fed with breast milk, it made the switch.”

http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/statenewengland/601705-227/infants-take-to-donations-like-mothers-milk.html

Tony Abbott proposes 6 Month’s Paid Parental Leave (Australia)

 Posted by Amber Robinson at 9:56 AM on February 10, 2010

“It seems that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has come around on the idea of paid parental leave.

Although he last year described the government’s 18-week  paid parental leave scheme as ”Mickey Mouse”, he has now come out with his own plan for six months paid leave.”

http://www.babble.com.au/2010/02/10/tony-abbott-proposes-six-months-paid-parental-leave/

Fiji bans milk giveaways to young mothers

“The Fijian government has passed a new law banning milk retailers from offering free giveaways that could discourage women from breastfeeding their babies.”

http://australianetworknews.com/stories/201002/2815844.htm?desktop

First Look: Gisele & Tom Brady’s Son!

February 9, 2010

”She returned to work just six weeks after giving birth — doing a photo shoot for the Brazilian brand Colcci.

“But little by little I recovered the form,” Gisele told Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo Veja about her post-baby body. “It helps that I have not gained much [weight], have had natural childbirth and [am] breastfeeding.”

http://www.starmagazine.com/benjamin_brady_first_photo/news/16502

Obesity Risks Reduced By Longer Breastfeeding?

Obesity risk in later life appears to be more slim when babies are fed solid food at a later age, according to one study.

“Researchers discovered that among the sample participants, body mass index was lower and healthier among the people who had been breastfed until they were at least four months old. The participants were all in their forties at the time of the study, and yet the researchers were able to determine that the odds of being overweight had been lessened 5 to 10 percent for each month they were not fed solid food.”

http://www.weightlosssurgerychannel.com/breaking-wls-news/obesity-risks-reduced-by-longer-breastfeeding.html/

Heidi Klum Is Breastfeeding for Baby, Not Body

“If you’re living your life, not sitting on the couch … a woman will go back to how she looked before she was pregnant.”

What’s more, the weight loss associated with breastfeeding is something else that Heidi feels people “blow out of proportion.” She adds,

“I never looked at breastfeeding in terms of, ‘This is something that helps me.’ Breastfeeding helps my child. The after effect: yes, you lose your weight in a normal manner.”

http://celebrity-babies.com/2010/02/10/heidi-klum-is-breastfeeding-for-baby-not-body/

Breastfeeding, child nutrition rules launched in Pakistan
Pakistan Times Federal Bureau

“ISLAMABAD: Minister for Health Makhdoom Shahab-u-din has said that the government was making arduous efforts to promote primary health care services in the country with special focus on women and children.

“…He said the ministry intends to address issues relating to mother and child health particularly low rate of exclusive breastfeeding by strengthening its existing health programmes. Launching of rules was a reaffirmation by the government for making breastfeeding a norm, to secure the life of the newborns and infants of the country, he said.”

http://www.pakistantimes.net/pt/detail.php?newsId=8499

Pakistan has lowest breastfeeding,

“Pakistan has the poorest exclusive breastfeeding rate of 37% in the region, as against 76% in Sri Lanka, 53% in Nepal, 46% in India, and 43% in Bangladesh. As if that was less of discomfiture, the country also has the highest bottle-feeding rate of 32% in the region.”

http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=223516

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1250089/Oh-baby-Im-broody–shame-wife-isnt.html

Breastfeeding in a Disabled Loo – Is it Ever OK?

  Posted by Amber Robinson at 1:30 PM on February 12, 2010

“There are two topics guaranteed to start flame wars on parenting boards. Circumcision and breastfeeding.

But combine breastfeeding with disability rights and you’ve got a 350-comment furious debate on your hands.”

“…In the end, the new mum apologised for her mistake and agreed to feed elsewhere from now on, although said she just couldn’t do it at a restaurant table.”

http://www.babble.com.au/2010/02/12/breastfeeding-in-a-disabled-loo-is-it-ever-ok/

French feminist challenges greens

A leading French feminist, Elisabeth Badinter, has accused green politicians of neglecting European women’s needs in a new book

“Attacking the green movement’s support for washable reusable nappies, she told French media the disposable nappy was an aspect of women’s liberation.

Women, she argued, were also being pressured into breastfeeding when for some the practice was hateful.

“We are not baboons, all doing the same thing,” she said.

Detecting a creeping return to conservative values, Mrs Badinter said a lot of European women were not prepared to accept this “regression”.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8510937.stm

1 Comment

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

DOES HAITI NEED OUR MILK?

Tell them not to send it,” was Eric Porterfield, a spokesman for the American Red Cross comment about the shipment of 500 ounces of donated breast milk which had just arrived in Haiti. “I’m 100 percent sure we didn’t ask for that.”  Lt. David Shark from the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance told the press that the idea of distributing human milk was an “unfeasible and unsafe intervention”. 

From Miami, to Ohio, to San Jose breastfeeding mothers across the United States had rallied to help infants in Haiti.  The cry for help went out on Tuesday and almost immediately 1,000 ounces of screened, donated breast milk was ready to ship out.  By Thursday 500 ounces had been packed in dry ice and had already arrived at their final destination, an American Naval ship off the coast of Haiti named the “USNS Comfort”.  The 2 day trip had included a commercial airline flight, transfer to a chartered plane, and finally a helicopter.  The milk remained frozen the entire time. 

According to one report as of Wednesday a few lactating mothers on the crew of the USNS Comfort had already begun donating their breast milk to the 120 babies in need aboard the ship. The 62nd patient to come on board late Monday was a baby boy born the day before the Jan. 12 earthquake. “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. Clearly the need was urgent, and was recognized by many on board.

The problem according to Lt. Shark was the “huge logical constraints”.  Specifically he pointed out that there was a “lack of cold chain supply, and no clear guidance on ethical issues, breast milk screening, and continuity of supply.”  Even Dr. Nune Mangasaryan senior advisor on infant nutrition for UNICEF agreed.  “At this point it’s not the recommended way of assisting Haiti. … the systems needed to transport [breast milk] and to deliver it in the country, are not ready at this point. You have to have quite a significant number of freezers, you have to have electricity, and you have to be able to transport it from one part of the country to another. [With the current level of devastation] at this point, donating breast milk isn’t preferable.”

But I have to wonder, if the same helicopter had arrived with a donation of human blood, would the response have been the same?  Blood donations also have to be screened, and protected by a “cold chain”.  Would lack of freezers, electricity, and transport issues been enough reason for them to turn away two coolers of donated blood? Of course not, there is no viable substitute for human blood.  But we live in a culture where infant formula is considered a “safe” alternative to breast milk.

How sad that even the good Dr. Mangasaryan from UNICEF considers infant formula preferable to donated milk. “ At this point what we recommend for them is ready-to-use infant formula, that’s already in a liquid form, meaning no risk of contamination by mixing powdered formula with water, for example. It’s already ready-to-use, and there are certain numbers already available in the country.”  It is safe, and it is already available.  Why use the real thing when we have a more convenient alternative?

But according to a joint statement issued by The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), International Lactation Consultant Association/United States Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA/USLCA), and La Leche League International (LLLI) “Formula feeding is extremely risky in emergency conditions and artificially fed infants are vulnerable to the biggest killers of children in emergencies: diarrhea and pneumonia.”  The statement went on to say that they “…strongly affirm the importance of breastfeeding in emergency situations, and call on relief workers and health care providers serving victims of disasters to protect, promote, and support mothers to breastfeed their babies. During an emergency, breastfeeding mothers provide their infants with safe food and water and disease protection that maximize their chances of survival.”

Right now of the 3 million victims in Haiti an estimated 52,000 are under 6 months of age.  And of the 37,000 estimated pregnant women in the country approximately 10,000 will give birth in the next month.  Meanwhile as we sit back debate the ethics and logistics of human milk donations two Styrofoam coolers of milk remain in the freezers of the US Comfort, bringing comfort to no one. 

Call for breast milk donations in Haiti goes bust

Intentions may be good, but supply isn’t safe or necessary, aid groups say

By JoNel Aleccia

Health writer

msnbc.com

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.

“Everybody is moved because Haiti is so devastated,” she said.

But it turns out that Ploude and a bevy of United States breast-feeding advocates may have unleashed a well-meaning but misguided flood of mothers’ milk to the earthquake-shattered nation, one that aid workers in Haiti say was not requested — and is not needed

“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.

Simply trying to fill a need
Pauline Sakamoto, executive director of HMBANA, said the group was simply trying to help fill a need, if not in Haiti, then elsewhere. Donated milk that doesn’t make it to Haitian babies will be diverted for use in the U.S. and Canada, she said.

“We don’t want to waste an ounce of milk. It’s very precious,” she said, adding.

The confusion started earlier this week when the milk bank group and several organizations — including heavy hitters like La Leche League International — urged nursing mothers to donate milk. While representatives for aid agencies such as the American Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders and World Vision said there never was a need for donated milk, some agencies said they heard from workers at orphanages in Haiti who indicated that babies were going hungry.

“This was very grass roots,” said Amanda Nickerson, executive director of the International Breast Milk Project.

That group arranged for donation and transport of 500 ounces of breast milk to the U.S. Navy ship Comfort, the hospital ship parked off the coast of Haiti. The ship is equipped with a neonatal intensive care unit and freezer space. That’s enough milk to feed a newborn for a couple of weeks.

Donated milk remains unused
But the staff on the U.S. Navy ship said they haven’t used the milk out of concerns raised by OFDA and other agencies. Mothers aboard the Comfort are urged to nurse their own babies and there’s infant formula available to children whose mothers cannot or will not breast-feed, said Lt. David Shark, a U.S. Navy spokesman.

But that hasn’t stopped the flood of would-be donations in the U.S. Fueled by posts on parenting blogs and e-mail chains, hundreds of women across America began calling local milk bank agencies to ask about donating milk to Haiti babies.

“It’s sort of taken on a life of its own,” said Dr. Joan Younger-Meek, chairwoman of the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee.

Now the challenge is to quell the response of well-meaning mothers while still retaining support and awareness for breast milk donations to feed premature babies in the U.S. or to help those whose mothers can’t nurse.

“Breast-feeding women want to do something to help these babies in Haiti,” Younger-Meek said. “But the relief workers don’t have the infrastructure to support that need right now.”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35134523/ns/health-kids_and_parenting/ 

Will donating breast milk help Haitian infants? (Time/blog) 

This week several organizations, including the International Breast Milk Project, issued a call for human milk donations for infants in Haiti, as the U.S. Navy ship Comfort is equipped with a neonatal intensive care unit that can transport the breast milk. Yet, while nursing mothers have heeded the call, and some 500 ounces of donated breast milk have already been sent to Haiti by joint efforts of the International Breast Milk Project and the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, a joint statement issued by the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Programme suggests that, at this point, the necessary infrastructure isn’t yet in place for those well-meaning donations to truly make a difference. To learn more about the best way to help babies struggling to survive in the wake of the Haiti disaster, TIME spoke with Dr. Nune Mangasaryan, senior adviser on infant nutrition for UNICEF.

“Human milk donations while safe when processed and pasteurized in a human milk bank also require fully functioning cold chains. Such conditions are not currently met in Haiti and human milk donations cannot be used at present.”

Dr. Mangasaryan: At this point it’s not the recommended way of assisting Haiti. The reason for saying this, is that the systems needed to transport [breast milk] and to deliver it in the country, are not ready at this point. You have to have quite a significant number of freezers, you have to have electricity, and you have to be able to transport it from one part of the country to another. [With the current level of devastation] at this point, donating breast milk isn’t preferable.

TIME: Could that policy change in the future?

Dr. Mangasaryan: This doesn’t mean that in general, donated breast milk isn’t good. In the future, maybe after a few months, we can think about whether the institutions, orphanages, etc, are ready to accept [breast milk donations], but at this point we are doubtful.

TIME: For orphans, or babies separated from their mothers, what is recommended, if not breast milk donations at this point?

Dr. Mangasaryan: At this point what we recommend for them is ready-to-use infant formula, that’s already in a liquid form, meaning no risk of contamination by mixing powdered formula with water, for example. It’s already ready-to-use, and there are certain numbers already available in the country.

TIME: The joint statement deters people from trying to send formula directly to Haiti. From the statement:

In accordance with internationally accepted guidelines, donations of infant formula, bottles and teats and other powdered or liquid milk and milk products should not be made. Experience with past emergencies has shown an excessive quantity of products, which are poorly targeted, endangering infants’ lives. Any procurement of breast milk substitutes should be based on careful needs assessment and in coordination with UNICEF.

What is the best way to contribute to the nutritional needs of children and nursing mothers in Haiti?

Dr. Mangasaryan: Try to provide financial funding and support to agencies that are working on the ground. We have at this point, not only UNICEF, but a nutrition cluster working in Haiti, proactively working on the ground to make sure that all of this support comes to mothers and babies. These agencies are skilled, they know the job, they know what to do. The best is just to help them.

TIME: How will we know when the infrastructure is in place and breast milk donations can get to the infants who need them?

Dr. Mangasaryan: I would just say that this matter has to be revisited sometime later on, and it definitely this has to come from Haiti, from the specialists on the ground. We really need to look at them and see what are the best methods at this point. I know that there are organizations that are trying to help with breast milk in Haiti, and there are mothers who are ready to donate. It’s all done out of goodwill, but we really have to take into consideration current conditions.

Read more: http://wellness.blogs.time.com/2010/01/28/will-donating-breast-milk-help-haitian-infants/#ixzz0e0vsNKkf

http://wellness.blogs.time.com/2010/01/28/will-donating-breast-milk-help-haitian-infants/

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35134523/ns/health-kids_and_parenting/

Thousands of Haiti babies ‘could die from milk donations’  (London Evening Standard)

Thousands of Haitian infants are at risk of illness and death because wellwishers are supplying the wrong food, world health chiefs warned today.

The main threat to infants aged up to six months is powdered baby milk mixed in unclean water, which can cause diarrhoea, dehydration and death.

Bottles and teats which cannot be sterilised are also a risk, and a shipment of frozen milk, which could have spread infection after thawing, had to be turned away.

The volume of potentially life-threatening items being sent into Haiti is so great aid workers were having to waste large amounts of time “preventing harm”.

In a joint statement today with the World Health Organisation and World Food Program, Unicef said it “strongly urges all involved in the emergency response to avoid unnecessary illness and death by promoting breastfeeding and by preventing uncontrolled distribution and use of substitute milk.”

When breastfeeding is not possible, it recommends only tinned substitutes which do not require mixing and can be consumed instantly. Risk of death is “particularly high” to children aged under six months, Unicef added.

Miaj Ververs, nutrition co-ordinator for the United Nations relief effort in Haiti, said inappropriate foods were also being given to older children. She added: “We end up trying to prevent harm rather than providing the emergency relief that we want to.”

Officials estimate that of the three million victims, up to 52,000 aged six months or under are potentially at risk of malnourishment.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23800003-thousands-of-haiti-infants-at-risk-of-death-from-milk-donations.do

Tiny Bottles of Relief Arrive for Haiti’s Newborns (AOL News)

Jan. 28) — For newborns struggling for life in the aftermath of Haiti’s earthquake, 140 tiny but powerful bottles of relief arrived Thursday afternoon – breast milk donated by American mothers.

The bottles were no bigger than travel toiletries – 3 ounces – but chock full of the nutrients and immunities so vital to babies. Especially babies suffering from injuries and illness or born prematurely in a disaster area.

When a U.S. Navy helicopter carrying the precious cargo touched down on the USNS Comfort hospital ship, which sits off the coast of the devastated country, it was the final leg of a complicated sprint.

Talia Frenkel, American Red Cross / AP

Red Cross volunteer Jean Zacharie delivers first aid to a 1-month-old baby whose mother was killed by the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
But after surviving a commercial plane flight, a charter ride, a helicopter trip and two days on dry ice, the milk ran headlong into red tape.

Navy spokesman Lt. David Shark, who is aboard the Comfort, said U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, which is part of USAID, complained about the idea of distributing donated breast milk and issued a statement calling it an “unfeasible and unsafe intervention.”

“We acknowledge the generosity of the donor of the breast milk but have concerns based on years of best practices. It is the humanitarian community’s position that supporting donations of donor breast milk is not recommended in emergencies for a number of reasons,” the OFDA statement said.

“These reasons include huge logistical constraints, lack of cold chain supply, and no clear guidance on ethical issues, breast milk screening, and continuity of supply,” it said.

But Shark said the milk may still be used. The important “cold chain” was preserved – meaning the milk stayed frozen during the trip. Doctors from the Comfort, which has more than 200 military medical personnel aboard, will make a presentation to the task force that oversees U.S. efforts in Haiti.

“There a very real possibility we will be using the product soon,” Shark said. Meanwhile, the milk sits in two Styrofoam coolers just inside a large freezer on the Comfort.

The effort to get that milk into the Comfort’s freezer began on Tuesday, as word went out to mothers’ groups around the country that the Haitian babies needed help. The nation’s 10 nonprofit milk banks – which usually get breast milk donations for medically fragile American infants whose mothers cannot provide it – were quickly flooded with hundreds of calls from mothers touched by the images of devastation in Haiti since the 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Jan. 12.

“It shows the best of the best the U.S. can muster,” said Pauline Sakamoto, head of The Human Milk Banking Association of North America, which provided the milk. “It’s just an outpouring of support.”

All those offers of donations will help any future shipments to Haiti if there are any and replenish the already low supplies in U.S. milk banks. The first shipment was culled from supplies on hand and handed off Tuesday morning to Quick International Courier, which donated its services to get the milk to Haiti and handled all the complications involved in keeping the milk frozen.

The frozen milk arrived in the wee hours of Thursday morning in Port-au-Prince and was picked up by a Navy helicopter. By Thursday afternoon the milk was aboard and ready for premature babies and other sick infants, some of them orphaned by the disaster.

Amanda Nickerson, head of the International Breast Milk Project, which led the effort, said 1,000 ounces were ready to ship. But the Comfort didn’t have enough freezer space. Her nonprofit had made a similar shipment to the Philippines last October after a typhoon and regularly sends milk to infants in South Africa, many of them orphaned by AIDS. She hopes to send more milk to Haiti.

Haiti has 37,000 pregnant women in its capital alone, and 10,000 of them are due in the next 30 days, according to Alina Labrada of CARE, a nonprofit that fights poverty and helps women and children around the world. Conditions there are still difficult, said Labrada, whose organization has 30 workers in the country. “The water is so dirty, the sanitation is such a problem, a lot of women don’t have enough to eat and drink themselves and aren’t going to make enough milk.”

Sakamoto said she hopes Americans also will donate to organizations that help Haitian mothers breast-feed amid the chaotic aftermath of the earthquake.

The dirty water in Haiti also means that formula can be dangerous for babies in displaced families who don’t have clean water to mix with it.

The International Lactation Consultant Association on Thursday warned people not to send formula to Haiti. After the Asian tsunamis, formula donations caused a tripling of diarrheal disease, according to the association.

U.S. milk banks regularly take donations from mothers after putting the donors through a screening test similar to what’s done for blood donations. The women also must take a blood test and get approval from their doctors. The milk comes from mothers who are pumping milk for their own children and end up with extra. The milk is pasteurized and frozen.

In 2008 – the most recent year for which figures are available – Sakamoto’s organization shipped 1.4 million ounces of milk out to neonatal intensive care units and other doctors to dispense.

Dane Nutty, outreach director of the Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank, said he hopes to find a way to help Haitian infants who aren’t on the Comfort. The logistics are daunting.

“If you have a country without power, how are you going to store the milk?” Nutty asked. “We are building up our supplies so that when we do work out the logistics on land, we will have a supply ready.”

Meanwhile, the new donors could help shore up supplies for U.S. babies.

“This is a phenomenal response,” Sakamoto said. “But there are kids in this country in the same situation that need this milk. They may not be in a major earthquake, but they can’t tolerate other food sources and they have high-risk medical [conditions].”

http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/tiny-bottles-of-breast-milk-arrive-for-haitis-newborns/19336660

 UPDATED STATEMENT: January 28, 2010

BREASTFEEDING IS THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE IN A DISASTER

The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), International Lactation Consultant Association/United States Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA/USLCA), and La Leche League International (LLLI) strongly affirm the importance of breastfeeding in emergency situations, and call on relief workers and health care providers serving victims of disasters to protect, promote, and support mothers to breastfeed their babies. During an emergency, breastfeeding mothers provide their infants with safe food and water and disease protection that maximize their chances of survival.

This week, the International Milk Bank Project and Quick International Courier coordinated a shipment of milk from the HMBANA member banks to supplement a mother’s own milk for the premature, medically fragile, and orphaned infants aboard the U.S. Navy ship Comfort stationed off the coast of Haiti. This milk will help this small group of infants. In this highly unusual circumstance the infrastructure associated with the Comfort’s resources allows U.S. sourced donor milk to help fragile Haitian babies.

Donor milk, however, is not a solution for the large number of infants and young children affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Members of the public who wish to promote the survival of mothers and babies in Haiti can donate money to the following organizations: UNICEF, Save the Children Alliance, World Vision, and Action Against Hunger. These organizations are using best practice to aid both breastfed and non-breastfed infants. Members of the public can be confident that donations to these organizations will support breastfeeding and help save the lives of babies.

Interventions to protect infants include supporting mothers to initiate and continue exclusive breastfeeding, relactation for mothers who have ceased breastfeeding, and finding wet nurses for motherless or separated babies. Every effort should be made to minimize the number of infants and young children who do not have access to breastfeeding. Artificially fed infants require intensive support from aid organizations including infant formula, clean water, soap, a stove, fuel, education, and medical support. This is not an easy endeavor. Formula feeding is extremely risky in emergency conditions and artificially fed infants are vulnerable to the biggest killers of children in emergencies: diarrhea and pneumonia.

As stated by UNICEF and WHO, no donations of infant formula or powdered milk should be sent to the Haiti emergency. Such donations are difficult to manage logistically, actively detract from the aid effort, and put infant’s lives at risk. Distribution of infant formula should only occur in a strictly controlled manner. Stress does not prevent women from making milk for their babies, and breastfeeding women should not be given any infant formula or powdered milk.

There are ongoing needs in the U.S. for human milk for premature and other extremely ill infants because of the protection it provides from diseases and infections. If a mother is unable to provide her own milk to her premature or sick infant, donor human milk is often requested from a human milk bank. American mothers can help their compatriots who find themselves in need of breast milk for their sick baby by donating to a milk bank that is a member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.

For more information about donating milk to a milk bank, contact HMBANA at http://www.hmbana.org. Additional information for relief workers and health care professionals can be provided from the United States Breastfeeding Committee at http://www.usbreastfeeding.org, ILCA/USLCA at http://www.ilca.org or http://www.uslca.org, or La Leche League International at http://www.llli.org. A list of regional milk banks is available on the HMBANA Web site at http://www.hmbana.org/index/locations.

Sincerely, Angela Smith, President

ILCA Board of Directors

http://www.ilca.org/files/in_the_news/press_room/Update_Haiti_press_release%20pdf.pdf 

Booster Shots

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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.

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

 

Infant Victims of Haiti’s Earthquake Need Breast Milk

January 28, 2010 |  6:55 am

OK, you’ve opened your hearts to the hundreds of thousands of bereft and destitute victims of the Haitian earthquake. Hopefully, you’ve opened your wallets and maybe even scoured your closets for things to send.

But — and here, I address myself to lactating moms — have you opened your shirt yet?

Several groups promoting breast milk and breastfeeding are putting out an “urgent call” for human milk donations, saying the infrastructure is “now in place” for aid groups to receive and distribute breast milk to premature and orphaned infants affected by the earthquake in Haiti.

In fact, human milk donations right now can only be delivered safely aboard the U.S. Navy ship Comfort, which has a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and is caring for some Haitian babies born prematurely. But Gina Ciagne, a certified lactation counselor* and director of breastfeeding and consumer relations at Lansinoh Labs, said it’s important for women willing to pump their milk for donation to identify themselves to the closest chapter of the Human Milk Banking Assn. of North America. They’ll need to get their blood tested and certify that they don’t take most medications or herbal supplements, don’t smoke or take illegal drugs, and are willing to donate at least 100 ounces of milk.

The Human Milk Banking Assn. of North America is one of the groups making the appeal for donations. Joining the group are: LaLeche League International, the U.S. and International Lactation Consultants Associations and the United States Breastfeeding Committee.

Milk donations must be processed and pasteurized in a human milk bank before shipping and then kept in a steady state of refrigeration until they reach recipients — a tall order in the ruined country, where electricity is virtually nonexistent and relief deliveries remain spotty in many places. Late last week, UNICEF put out a statement saying “conditions are not currently met in Haiti” for human milk donations.

At the same time, UNICEF underscored the importance of nourishing and protecting babies in disaster sitiations by encouraging the continuation — and resumption, where possible — of breastfeeding. The U.N. office called exclusive breastfeeding of babies under 6 months old “a lifeline” in this emergency situation, where water treatment infrastructure is damaged or nonexistent and communicable diseases are on the rise.

UNICEF also repeated “internationally accepted guidelines” that strongly discourage the donation of breast-milk substitutes such as infant formula or powdered milk or milk products. Because those may require the use of water that is not sufficiently clean and because milk replacements can prompt some traumatized nursing mothers to cease or reduce their breastfeeding, denying their babies some of breastmilk’s protective benefits.

That was a problem after the Asian tsunami of 2004. According to the Emergency Nutrition Network, some 72% of families with infants received donated baby formula. The result was a dramatic decline in breastfeeding and a tripling of diarrheal diseases among babies, the British group concluded. “People are really well-meaning, and it’s a very difficult concept for people to grasp,” said lactation consultant Gina Ciagne. “But breastfeeding is going to be so much better.”

— Melissa Healy

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2010/01/haitian-earthquake-victims-iso-mothers-milk.html

January 27, 2010, 8:00 pm

Sending Breast Milk to Haiti  (New York Times /blog)

By LISA BELKIN

What to do for Haiti? Many of us are sending money. And some of us are sending breast milk.

The International Breast Milk Project and the Human Milk Banking Association of North America are coordinating an effort to get donations of human breast milk packed in dry ice, onto airplanes, ships and helicopters, through bureaucratic red tape and into orphanages for infants who are premature, orphaned and ill.

These groups regularly send donor milk for use in hospitals in the United States and Canada, as well as to AIDS babies in Africa and during emergency situations like the one now in Port-au-Prince. To donate, mothers must undergo a medical screening, and in addition to being in good health, the H.M.B.A.N.A. Web site says, they must be nonsmokers and may not regularly consume any medication, including megavitamins. Around the time of donation, they may not drink alcohol nor take a specified list of “excluded medications.”

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/27/sending-breast-milk-to-haiti/

Breast Milk to Orphaned and Sick Babies in Haiti  (PR Newswire United Business Media)

Quick International Courier donates its services for fast delivery

NEW YORK, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, International Breast Milk Project (IBMP) and Quick International Courier delivered close to 500 ounces of donor breast milk for premature, sick and orphaned infants aboard the USNS Comfort’s Medical Treatment Center stationed outside Haiti.

The ship is equipped with a neonatal intensive care unit and medical staff to provide emergency care to the youngest victims of the earthquake. They are uniquely positioned to handle a donation of breast milk because they maintain cold chain requirements and ensure proper handling and security of the donation.

Emphasizing the importance of human milk, Jay N. Gordon, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the UCLA Medical School, said, “Nothing protects at-risk, premature or sick infants like mother’s milk does.  Breast milk’s natural antibodies prevent illnesses, treat illnesses and will save lives.”

The earthquake that devastated Haiti has left countless infants without their mothers and without breast milk. Amanda Nickerson, Executive Director, for International Breast Milk Project told MediaGlobal, “Unfortunately, without proper infrastructure in place, frozen donor milk is not going to be a viable option for so many infants in need, but we are happy to make a difference in the lives of the infants aboard the USNS Comfort.”

Quick International Courier, a global medical logistics specialist, donated their services to provide packaging, dry ice and the fastest and most secure cold chain transport services to Haiti.

“It is so rewarding to be able to help make a difference in the lives of orphaned and critically ill babies.  As a mother and a person concerned about the world and health, this project really speaks to my heart,” said Dominique Bischoff-Brown, COO of Quick International Courier.

This humanitarian project has been made possible with the active cooperation of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, who provided the donor milk, Toby and Maggie Moffett, of the Moffett Group in Washington, D.C., and the offices of Congressman Courtney, Congresswomen Betty McCollum, and Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro and the dedicated staff of the USNS Comfort.

IBMP is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding solutions to ensure that infants worldwide have access to donor milk when they need it. Since its inception, IBMP has provided over 65,000 bottles (262,682 ounces, 7,768 liters or 2,052 gallons) of donor breast milk to infants around the world.

For more information, please contact Amanda Nickerson, Executive Director. Cell: 786.837.3082. Email: amanda@breastmilkproject.org.

Visit www.breastmilkproject.org for additional details.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/international-breast-milk-project-delivers-donor-breast-milk-to-orphaned-and-sick-babies-in-haiti-82973372.html  

Ohio moms donate breast milk to Haiti babies

Haitian infants lack the breast milk. Mother’s Milk Bank of Ohio, which is located in Victorian Village in Columbus, donated about 500 ounces of breast milk in 140 bottles.

http://www.examiner.com/x-34433-Columbus-Headlines-Examiner~y2010m1d28-Ohio-moms-donate-breast-milk-to-Haiti-babies

San Jose Mother’s Milk Bank Helps Haiti

San Jose Mother’s Milk Bank is the only one of its kind in the Western U.S.  Now  the bank has sent about 500 ounces of donated breast milk to Haiti.   “Just this past week we got an emergency call from Navy pediatricians that they desperately need breast milk sent to Haiti,” Pauline Sakamoto said. 

The Milk Bank is also receiving about 100 calls a day from women who are offering to donate to help babies in Haiti. But those women must first be screened for certain diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C before they can be accepted as donor

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local-beat/San-Jose-Mothers-Milk-Bank-Helps-Babies-in-China-82848767.html

Miami Moms Donate Their Breast Milk to Haiti

Most babies aren’t up for sharing, but Miami moms think their infants will make an exception for this cause.

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local-beat/Breast-Milk-Donations-Needed-82839927.html

9 Comments

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

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Filed under breastfeeding, Breastfeeding in the News, lactivist

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

Hello All,                                                                

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kathy Abbott, IBCLC 

www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com

On Facebook: “Breastfeeding in the News” 

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

 

 

List mania is the besetting folly of our age.

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

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

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

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

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

Teaching Black Women To Embrace Breast-Feeding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coordinator promotes breast feeding

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

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

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

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

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

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

Samantha Harris On Managing Motherhood, Career

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

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

Vera Farmiga Says Family of Three Is ‘Inseparable’

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

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

Study Links Factors to Choice of Infant Sleep Position

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cut the crude commentary about breastfeeding moms

By Ruth Butler | The Grand Rapids Press

Seriously?

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

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

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

They are – insert giggle here – titillating.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seriously.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Someone Needs To Explain Babies To Kourtney! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breastfeeding Provision in Senate Bill Causes Controversy 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Infants without HIV suffer no growth check, despite maternal infection

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

A paradigm shift in newborn care
(The Philippine Star)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baby Dies Aboard United Airways Flight: A Response

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

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

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

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

Breastfeeding for 5 years?

Kourtney Kardashian plans to breastfeed for five years.

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

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

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

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

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

Ask Mr. Dad: The joys of sleep deprivation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Allergies Linked to Delaying Solid Foods.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other things moms worried about were:

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

 

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

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

(see link for full story)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shunning the Family Bed. Who Benefits Most?

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

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

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

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

‘We Go Into the Bush to Collect Herbs’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Look Into Facebook’s Judicial System

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teaching Black Women To Embrace Breast-Feeding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coordinator promotes breast feeding

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

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

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

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

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

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

Samantha Harris On Managing Motherhood, Career

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

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

Vera Farmiga Says Family of Three Is ‘Inseparable’

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

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

Study Links Factors to Choice of Infant Sleep Position

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Column: Cut the crude commentary about breast feeding moms

By Ruth Butler | The Grand Rapids Press

Seriously?

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

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

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

They are – insert giggle here – titillating.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seriously.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Someone Needs To Explain Babies To Kourtney!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breastfeeding Provision in Senate Bill Causes Controversy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Infants without HIV suffer no growth check, despite maternal infection

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

A paradigm shift in newborn care
(The Philippine Star)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baby Dies Aboard United Airways Flight: A Response

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

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

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

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

Breastfeeding for 5 years?

Kourtney Kardashian plans to breastfeed for five years.

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

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

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

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

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

Ask Mr. Dad: The joys of sleep deprivation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Allergies Linked To Delaying Solid Foods

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other things moms worried about were:

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

 

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

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

(see link for full story)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shunning the Family Bed. Who Benefits Most?

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

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

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

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

‘We Go Into the Bush to Collect Herbs’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Look Into Facebook’s Judicial System

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Breastfeeding in the News: Nov 21 – Dec 7, 2009

Hello All,

It was one of those terrifying moments that every mother dreads, a mother woke up to find her baby dead beside her.  Many mothers refuse to take their baby to bed out of fear this very scenario will happen to them.  But in this case the mother wasn’t safely in bed, she had fallen asleep on a plane high above the Atlantic Ocean with her breastfeeding baby in her lap.  The London papers were quick to make sure that everyone knew that this tragedy had befallen a breastfed baby as if such a calamity could never occur to a bottle fed child.  (“A BABY girl died when her mum fell asleep as she breast-fed on a jet.”)

But here in the US others were quick to point out that the issue was not breastfeeding, but the lack of a safe sleeping arrangement (“Breastfeeding Not to Blame, Experts Say”).   As Dr. Miriam Labbock pointed out in an interview with ABC “There has been so much media about the risks of co-sleeping…but no one is covering how to sleep safely when you are not in those situations,”   My worry now is that airlines will begin to frown on breastfeeding during flights for fear that both mother and baby will fall asleep and place themselves at risk.  I would hate to see one isolated incident create an unfortunate trend.

Breastfeeding also got a bad rap this week when a mother’s struggles with breastfeeding were linked to her bout of Postpartum Depression (“Trying to be supermum left me suicidal’ ).  “I felt such a failure,” she says. “All the other mums on the ward seemed to be doing OK – my baby was crying, but I couldn’t feed him. I was his mum, I was the one who was meant to be able to feed him, nurture him and I couldn’t.” Desperate to give him some breast milk, Clare agreed to be ‘milked’ – an electric pump was attached to her breasts to extract milk and encourage more to be produced. Even so, she only managed to produce the equivalent of two teaspoons. Not enough for a hungry one-day-old baby. Clare took that as another sure sign she was an all-round failure as a mother.”  The part that makes me angry about this story is the conclusion that two teaspoons of colostrum was not enough for a one day old baby.   No wonder so many mothers feel like failures!  The lack of basic breastfeeding knowledge is no doubt the reason behind so much self-doubt and feelings of imcompetence.

But maybe the reason for so much post-partum depression comes more from the lack of support women experience in the hospital.  In the UK a new study finds that 35% of mothers are left alone either during labor or shortly after birth.  The report states that the “shortage of midwives” is  “leading women to be sent home before they were ready and with no support to start breastfeeding  Happily another UK report finds that 88% of mothers who used a doula are still breastfeeding at 6 weeks, and 67% are still giving it a go at 6 months. 

But an Australian paper reports that “Nearly one in two mums reported they hated breastfeeding and said they found it tougher than the actual labour” and that “one in every three mothers go into hospital feeling normal but leave troubled and emotionally fraught” “You have to ask what is wrong when women are entering hospital normal, but walk out with emotional distress. (Great question!!) Our hospital system is so fragmented and it is not supporting mothers. It is focused on the birth.” Midwives there complain “the system is “fundamentally” failing women and blame short stays in hospital and little post-natal care for creating the culture of failure surrounding new mothers.”  But I’m not sure the answer should be a return to formula feeding as one midwife suggests.  “Hospitals have become so driven on breastfeeding, they are ignoring the needs of mothers who may not be able to cope,” she said. “Midwives should be discussing alternatives with mothers.”You used to be able to store a tin of formula under the (hospital) cupboard but not any more.  Sounds like there are a few midwives who could use a bit more support (not to mention knowledge) as well. 

Speaking of lack of knowledge in Liberia the myths surrounding breastfeeding are partly to blame for their low breastfeeding rate (only 35% of babies there are exclusively breastfed). One of those myths is the fear they must avoid sex because their partner’s semen will mix with breast milk and poison the baby. Instead of breastfeeding mothers will “feed their babies mainly rice and water.”  But the Liberians found their solution in red peppers.  By combining improved agricultural practices with messages on infant feeding the NGO group Caritas has found a way to get villagers to listen.  “Residents are now producing surplus aubergines and red hot peppers which they sell to nearby villages, giving them money to pay school fees, said Sharif. …“We don’t worry so much about [having sex while breastfeeding] now. We do it. Things are much better than they were.”

Meanwhile in Pakistan at a conference on “Islam and Child Rights” it was noted that “the West made tall claims about child rights but mothers in that part of the world had deprived their babies of breastfeeding.”  Hmm, maybe we should think twice before we pat ourselves on the back for being such wonderful champions of children.  But what can you do?  Mothers imitate other mothers.  It doesn’t matter what all the scientists in the world say, if most of the mothers in your town aren’t breastfeeding, chances are you won’t either.  Look at Alabama for example.  “The South is an area of the country where traditions are hard to break,” she said. “When you just look at the fact that more people are bottle feeding than breastfeeding it can be hard because you are in the minority.  ” I’ve known people from California or Oregon that have said they feel a little uncomfortable breastfeeding in the mall because they’re not in a culture where everybody is doing that,” she said.  In an effort to change that culture Alabama Medicaid will be offering financial incentives  “when medical record documentation shows that 25 percent of the total number of mothers who deliver in their respective districts are identified as breastfeeding mothers at the time of their follow-up checkups.”

And what are scientists saying this week by the way?  Well for starters the stem cells found in breast milk are getting more attention.  “Up to three different types of stem cells have been discovered in breast milk,” And there is speculation that their purpose is to help infants “fulfil their genetic destiny… with a mother’s mammary glands taking over from her placenta to guide infant development once her child is born.” According to researchers at Medela, “Breast milk is the only adult tissue where more than one type of stem cell has been discovered. Researchers have “isolated adult stem cells of epithelial (mammary) and immune origin, with “very preliminary evidence” that breast milk also contains stem cells that promotes the growth of muscle and bone tissue.”

Breastfeeding’s role in preventing metabolic syndrome (in mothers) is also being lauded. Metabolic syndrome which is “a cluster of risk factors such as high blood pressure and high triglycerides associated with obesity” and is often associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Pregnancy may have some adverse effects on some of these cardiovascular risk factors,” lead author Erica Gunderson says, “and lactation (breast-feeding) may offset some of these effects.”  Does mother nature plan ahead or what?  What pregnancy takes away, lactation gives back, how great is that!

Over in Ireland four dairy groups and four academic institutions have joined forces in order to “Mine Milk”.  By combining forces they feel they will be better able to exploit any health promoting ingredients found in cow’s milk.  Their hope is “the industrial partners will bring a commercial focus to that research. We will provide the market insights that will direct the research.”   And which markets are they targeting?   “Infant nutrition, metabolic syndrome and immunity are initial key areas of research which has two and five year goals.”   A little ironic don’t you think?  By replacing breastfeeding with infant formula they can petty much guarantee themselves a market in metabolic syndrome & immunity. (Breastfeeding boosts immunity and reduces metabolic syndrome.)

Meanwhile Parents in the UK are being told not to “rush to mush” and that they should delay offering solids until the middle of the first year.  But even this simple instruction is being met with resistance. “In a new campaign that risks “nanny state” accusations, ministers will also give new parents detailed suggestions on how long they should go on breastfeeding and what they should feed children to avoid them becoming fussy eaters in later life.”  Wow, talk about going on the defense.  You live in a “nanny state” if your government gives you guide lines for infant nutrition?

Good news about the new Health Care bill in Washington.  If it passes as currently written it will include wording making it necessary for any business with over 50 employees to provide “an unpaid “reasonable break time for nursing mothers” in the first year after giving birth. Women would be provided a private place, other than a bathroom, to use a breast pump.”  For comparison in the United Arab Emirates legislators are proposing doubling the time allowed to pump from one hour a day to two hours for 18 months following the birth.  And oh, yes they not only have paid maternity leave, they want to extend it from 45 days to 14 weeks.

And remember that Dad in Sweden who planned to hook himself up to a breast pump every three hours to see if he could make milk?  He’s back in the news again.  He never did make any milk (after a month of trying apparently all he got was sore nipples) but he did make it onto Trya Banks talk show.  While we’re on the subject of dads, another dad blogged about his uncomfortable experience waiting with his wife at a lactation clinic. Too bad he missed the advice from another paternal blogger who insists that the key to surviving such situations is to never look below the neck. 

But not all dads are clueless.  According to the author of “Pick your poison” (if you only have time to read one story make it this one) some dads worry that by surrendering to the demands of breastfeeding and childcare that their partners are losing their sense of self.  The author argues that by not returning to work (especially after the second child) mothers are not only giving up their family’s best chance for achieving financial security, mothers risk losing any chance of ever gaining any real independence.  As my friend Robin often says, “A man is not a plan.”  And she’s right, most mothers would be in real trouble if they were to lose their partner’s financial support. As for me when ever the argument between working outside the home and being a stay at home mom comes up my answer is always the same – let’s start with universal paid maternity leave please.

Recognizing that many babies were being lost during the first two days of life in the Philippines they began a movement to change birth practices (delaying the first bath for 6 hours, waiting until pulsation stops before cutting the cord, keeping the baby and mother skin to skin to encourage breastfeeding) is being met with resistance from certain ob’s and nurses.  “Many especially old, obstetrician-gynecologists have been uncooperative because it would mean more of their time in the delivery room. This is the same concern of nurses and midwives who want mothers and babies out of the delivery room as quickly as possible. The no-bathing rule, for example, will mean that the nurse will still have to go back to the mother after six or more hours to have the baby bathed.”

There’s more of course, from cosleeping with super model Heidi Klum, and getting the okay to breastfeed at government council meetings, to campaigns for milk banks and more news about breastfeeding and HIV, just scroll down and take a look.  But if I don’t post this now I’ll never get this done.

Thanks for reading, and as usual I love hearing from you.  But before I go I want to send a heartfelt message of sympathy to Janine & Meredith, daughters of Pat Gandt (La Leche League leader & IBCLC).  Your mother was so special to me.  I still remember her telling me, “Most doctors don’t know beans about breastfeeding!”  I’m so proud of both of you for continuing Pat’s work as La Leche League Leaders yourselves.  May the “spiral” never end!   

Kathy Abbott, IBCLC

www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com

On Facebook: “Breastfeeding in the News”

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

Ask Dr. H: Perils to women who don’t breastfeed

Question: I know that there are a number of health benefits to babies and mothers from breastfeeding. But are there any health problems that a mother might face because she did not or could not breastfeed?

Answer: There are actually a number of diseases linked to women who never breastfed: high blood pressure; diabetes; elevated cholesterol and triglycerides; heart disease; ovarian and breast cancers; and metabolic syndrome (a group of conditions that includes obesity, high triglycerides, low HDL “good” cholesterol and a pre-diabetic state of elevated fasting blood sugar).

The reasons for these associations are not clear, but explanations include: greater weight retained after pregnancy (breastfeeding helps with weight loss); absence of oxytocin (milk-stimulating) hormone production results in higher blood pressure and pulse rate; women who are not breastfeeding have higher cortisol hormone levels in response to stress, which can cause higher blood sugar, blood pressure and weight gain; women who do not breastfeed are more likely to be smokers; and women who are obese and/or diabetic have preexisting health problems and a more difficult time producing milk.

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/magazine/78665147.html

Government urged to double work breaks for breastfeeding mothers

ABU DHABI // Health experts are urging the Government to double the amount of time that working mothers are allowed to breastfeed their babies.

Expressing concern at the number of women who relied on formula milk, the experts also gave warning that it could expose babies to health risks.

The call for longer statutory breaks – from one hour per day to two for the first 18 months after giving birth – was among 12 recommendations submitted to the Government, as well as the other governments of the GCC, following a conference in Al Ain last month on breastfeeding. The document was submitted under the patronage of Sheikha Shamsa bint Suhail, wife of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, the President of the UAE.

The document recommends that women exclusively breastfeed their babies for six months and continue to use it as a complementary method for two years. It also calls for an extension of paid maternity leave, from 45 days to at least 14 weeks.

The document says makers of formula milk should stop making false claims in advertisements that enticed mothers and health professionals away from breast milk as the best and healthiest option. Health warnings should be placed on formula tins, it says.

http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091206/NATIONAL/712059851/1133/OPINION

Wake up and smell the biodynamic coffee

They call this place Terramater – “Earth Mother” – and the coffee bushes on Adeodato Menezes’s small farm seem imbued with that spirit. “It’s like a woman breastfeeding,” the 63-year-old says, bending down to caress the ripe Catuai cherries low down on the bush. “These are her new babies,” he adds, straightening up to touch the tightly furled leaves, green and tender, that will fruit the following year.

It’s not the kind of language I am used to on coffee farms

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/dec/06/biodynamic-coffee-in-brazil

Breast-feeding could protect moms’ health

Researchers reported that breast-feeding could offer mothers long-term protection against a condition which is related to diabetes and heart disease.

Scientists found that the duration of breast-feeding by women had a direct impact on lowering the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of risk factors such as high blood pressure and high triglycerides associated with obesity.

“Pregnancy may have some adverse effects on some of these cardiovascular risk factors,” lead author Erica Gunderson says, “and lactation (breast-feeding) may offset some of these effects.”

The findings of the study by Gunderson were based on 704 women in an ongoing, government-funded study of heart-disease risk factors. When the women began the study in 1985-1986 they were ages 18-30 and had never given birth and testing made it sure that they didn’t have metabolic syndrome.

All of them went ahead to deliver at least one child, and only 16% had more than two children. In women who did not have gestational diabetes breast-feeding cut the metabolic syndrome risk by 39%-59%.

Beast-feeding is related to quick loss of pregnancy weight but Gunderson says that breast-feeding might also minimize the accumulation of belly fat which is linked to type
2 diabetes risk.

http://topnews.us/content/28718-breast-feeding-could-protect-moms-health

MOMMY BLOG: A scary story about breastfeeding

You see a lot of disturbing stuff in the news, but this was one of the more terrifying stories I’ve seen lately.

A woman on a transatlantic flight reportedly fell asleep while breastfeeding her 4-week-old baby. When she awoke, her baby was unresponsive, apparently smothered to death.

This shocked me. I feel terrible for the mother, of course, but it also alarmed me because I’ve done the same thing so many times since our 8-month-old was born.

Mornings during the first few months of her life, my husband would often find Asha sound asleep across my lap and me snoozing with my breast still in her mouth, both of us passed out after a middle-of-the-night feeding.

I’m sure I’m not the only one, either. So how about you – does this story scare you as much as me? Leave a note in the comments section or send me a line at tonifitz@yahoo.com

http://www.cumberlink.com/articles/2009/12/04/blogs/because_i_said_so/doc4b192a4c5c8f6661639812.txt

Professional birthing partners ‘increasingly popular with new parents’

Results of a recent survey published in the MIDIRS Midwifery Digest revealed that almost half of doulas working in the UK last year were supporting first-time mums.

The findings also indicated that 88 per cent of women who had a postnatal doula were still breastfeeding at six weeks and 67 per cent at six months.

http://www.kiddicare.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/newsarticle0_100920_10751_-1_10001

Govt urged to protect child rights (Pakistan)

MANSEHRA: The speakers at a seminar Friday asked the government to strictly implement the laws for ending child rights violations in the country.

The demand was made at the programme arranged by Saibaan Development Organization and Child Rights Advocacy Network titled ‘Islam and child rights’.

The representatives of national and international NGOs largely attended the function.

They said the West made tall claims about child rights but mothers in that part of the world had deprived their babies of breastfeeding. But Islam ordered mothers to breastfeed babies up to certain time.

“If a mother breast-feeds her child, her health becomes safe and the new-born health is also ensured,” said one of the speakers.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=211698

Oprah changed TV — along with many lives

In the ensuing years, I timed my babies’ breastfeeding schedules around the show. Those babies, now 19, 17 and 15, have fond memories of coming home from school, fixing a bowl of cereal and doing homework, always with Oprah on in the kitchen.

http://www.detnews.com/article/20091204/OPINION03/912040303/1332/OPINION0317/Oprah-changed-TV—-along-with-many-lives

Breastfeeding shouldn’t be blamed for death of smothered baby on board United flight, experts say
The horrific story of a woman who reportedly smothered her infant when she fell asleep while nursing on a plane should not scare women away from feeding mother’s milk to their babies.

Several British newspapers reported that an Egyptian woman traveling from Washington to Kuwait to show off her 4-week-old daughter to relatives came awake screaming when she found her 4-week-old daughter dead. A doctor on board United Airlines flight 982 is said to have tried, and failed, to revive the child.

United Airlines refused to the confirm Nov. 24 incident to ABCNews.com. Still, the news agency addressed the question of whether breastfeeding is safe.

“This has nothing to do with breastfeeding,” Heather Kay, a lactation consultant in Princeton, N.J., told ABCNews.com. “If she had been holding the child and she fell asleep, she could have smothered it as well. [And] making it sound like [breastfeeding] is the reason the baby died is really uncomfortable.”

In other words, falling asleep with an infant in arms, not nursing, puts a baby at risk.

There have been other incidents of sleepsmothering, though it is rare. In 2006,  British mother Lisa Briggs said that she had accidentally smothered her baby after falling asleep while breastfeeding. It was the second child she had lost that way, she told the press.

But Dr. Ruth Lawrence, past president and founder of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, asserted to ABCNews.com that there must have other factors at play in the plane death because “under normal circumstances, babies do not get smothered [while breastfeeding].

“Breastfeeding doesn’t smother babies,” she told ABCNews.com. “I don’t know a mother who hasn’t fallen asleep while feeding her child, whether nursing or bottle-feeding.”

Co-sleeping with a baby is a practice many experts warn about.

“You can fall asleep in bed with a child after breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or just plain snuggling…[and] accidental smothering during co-bedding is a major concern of the American Academy of Pediatrics and other [organizations]nationally and internationally,”  Dr. Ronald Cohen, director of the Intermediate and Special Care Nurseries at Packard’s Children Hospital in Stanford, Calif., told ABCNews.com. “We advise against it strongly.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/health/2009/12/02/2009-12-02_breastfeeding_shouldnt_be_blamed_for_death_of_smothered_baby_on_board_united_fli.html#ixzz0Z19GS0yr

http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/health/2009/12/02/2009-12-02_breastfeeding_shouldnt_be_blamed_for_death_of_smothered_baby_on_board_united_fli.html

Wirral Milk Bank launches breastfeeding awareness campaign

WIRRAL Mothers Milk Bank has launched a breastfeeding awareness campaign by opening a drop-in advice shop in Birkenhead Town Centre. Situated in the Milton Pavement area of Grange Precint, the shop is being run by the Milk Bank in conjunction with Birkenhead Community midwives. Mums can call in at any time for advice and guidance from infant feeding specialists, Milk Bank staff, breastfeeding support workers, children’s centre staff and mental health midwives, domestic violence coordinators.  They will also be able to come along for antenatal and postnatal care, baby massage sessions and other information.

It is open from 10am to 3pm, five days a week from Tuesday to Saturday. To coincide with its opening, the Trust has launched a campaign titled ‘Real Mums, Real Midwives, Real Milk’ to raise awareness of the importance of giving babies the best start in life.

Jemma Jones, Birkenhead Community Midwives co-ordinator, hopes the shop will help to build on this campaign and provide mums with an easily accessible place where they can call in and gain advice from midwives.

She said: “Encouraging and giving mums the confidence to breastfeed their baby is so important.

“It is so natural and we want to provide a service that offers mums the help and support that they need.”

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/4773226.Wirral_Milk_Bank_launches_breastfeeding_awareness_campaign/

Breast Milk For Sale Concerns Local Health Officials

A trend toward nursing women selling their breastmilk has some health experts concerned.

In Ohio, nursing moms can bring their extra milk to a dropoff site at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for a special, volunteer donation program. The milk goes to sick babies around the nation and is not for sale. 

But many websites do offer to buy breast milk, for about $1.50 an ounce and then resell for twice that amount. The practice concerns local ;lactation consultants. “For one thing there’s no screening so we don’t know if indeed if what they’re selling is even milk, we don’t know if they’re on any medications or illegal drugs, we don’t know if it’s been pasteurized.”  The experts say you should avoid buying milk for your baby on the internet.

Moms who are interested in donating extra milk can call the Center for Breastfeeding Medicine at Children’s Hospital at 513-636-2326.

http://www.local12.com/news/local/story/Breast-Milk-For-Sale-Concerns-Local-Health/qeFUwKzsHEC0NW7CreLu4Q.cspx

Breastfeeding Not to Blame for Recent Infant Death, Urge Experts

Co-Sleeping — Not Breastfeeding — May Be At Fault, Experts Say

While this rare scenario, if true, could alarm many mothers, pediatric experts caution that breastfeeding is safe — and the episode should not discourage its practice.

“This has nothing to do with breastfeeding,” says Heather Kay, a lactation consultant in Princeton, N.J. She says it’s not the breastfeeding, but rather, the act of falling asleep while holding an infant that can lead to accendental death.

Breastfeeding Not to Blame, Experts Say

Though it is very rare, this would not be the first time that sleep-nursing has resulted in accidental death.

In 2006, British mother Lisa Briggs told the U.K. press that she accidentally smothered her child after falling asleep while nursing and said she had previously lost an infant under similar circumstances.

“Breastfeeding doesn’t smother babies,” says Dr. Ruth Lawrence, past president and founder of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. “I don’t know a mother who hasn’t fallen asleep while feeding her child, whether nursing or bottle-feeding,” Lawrence adds.

Instead, Lawrence feels there must have other extenuating circumstances responsible for the death because “under normal circumstances, babies do not get smothered [while breastfeeding].”

Lawrence suggests that in an attempt to cover themselves in public while nursing, mothers can accidentally cover the baby’s head and suffocate it.

But other experts feel that these accidents are simply a consequence of sharing sleeping space with your infant — an act known as co-sleeping or co-bedding. It is a practice many pediatric organizations advise against.

“The issue is not breastfeeding, it is co-bedding,” says Dr. Ronald Cohen, director of the Intermediate and Special Care Nurseries at Packard’s Children’s Hospital in Stanford, Calif.

“You can fall asleep in bed with a child after breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or just plain snuggling… [and] accidental smothering during co-bedding is a major concern of the American Academy of Pediatrics and other [organizations] nationally and internationally — we advise against it strongly,” he adds.

According to Lawrence, there are no guidelines on falling asleep while breastfeeding because it is such a common practice. But a quick survey of online early infancy discussion forums reveals that many mothers worry they may harm their infant when they accidentally fall asleep while nursing.

Part of the issue, says Dr. Miriam Labbock, director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, is that “we give only over-simplistic messages” about sleeping with your infant, advising against it altogether despite the fact that in some situations, such as onboard a flight, it can be unavoidable.

“There has been so much media about the risks of co-sleeping…but no one is covering how to sleep safely when you are not in those situations,” she says, “[so] moms have to make due when reality and personal decisions are in conflict with the single recommendation…and sometimes, the choices are not well informed.”

Breastfeeding May Not Be ‘Innocent Until Proven Guilty’

On the United Airlines case, unless autopsy reports can confirm the cause of death, Tuesday’s tragedy will be officially considered “unexplained” London police told the U.K. press.

“We don’t want to offer mothers disincentive to breastfeed or worries that are unusual [because of] this is one, unusual, tragic, case,” says Kay, because “overall the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any of the disadvantages.”

“It’s very distressing,” Lawrence adds, “because no matter what we say, this [incident] is going to discourage [some] women from breastfeeding.”

But given that the mother was breastfeeding at the time of death, experts still worry that this tragic, isolated incident will have the added tragedy of discouraging mothers from breastfeeding.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/WellnessNews/breastfeeding-blame-recent-infant-death-urge-experts/story?id=9220452

Bias Skews Obesity Findings, Says Head of UAB Nutrition and Obesity Research Center

A new study by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Public Health shows that obesity research may be misrepresented by scientists operating with particular biases on topics related to weight, nutrition and the food industry.

The researchers refer to “white-hat bias,” a tendency to distort information about products such as sugar-sweetened beverages or practices like breastfeeding, regardless of the facts, when the distortions are perceived to serve good ends. The name for the bias is a reference to do-good characters often portrayed in early Hollywood Westerns as cowboys who wore white hats

…The UAB researchers also found several examples in the breastfeeding studies in which the authors selectively included some data and discarded other research to support the theory that breastfeeding decreases the risk of obesity.

For both the beverage and breastfeeding research, the resulting data was more likely to be published when it showed statistically significant outcomes. Studies with outcomes that did not show sugar-sweetened drinks to be bad and breastfeeding to be good were less likely to be published. Notably, this bias appeared in studies not funded by industry, Allison says.

http://main.uab.edu/Sites/MediaRelations/articles/71416/

Target Calls Cops On Breastfeeding Shoppers

The AP says that police were called when Target employees tried to throw a couple out of the store because the woman was breastfeeding in the electronics aisle. The husband, a Detroit police officer, says they were told by the security guard that the act was “against the law.”  Obviously, as police officer, he knew that wasn’t true. The National Conference of State Legislatures says that Michigan is one of the 28 states that exempt breastfeeding from public indecency laws.

Target says they regret the incident, but, “This specific situation escalated to a point where we were concerned for the safety of our guests, so law enforcement was called. We regret the incident in our store and will continue to provide a shopping environment that respects the needs of all guests, including nursing mothers.”

The mom told the local Fox affiliate, “Forcing me out of the store. Two security guards, the manager or team leader, two officers, they just made a spectacle and a scene. I feel like I can’t go to that specific Target anymore.”

The manager of the store told Fox breastfeeding is “not discouraged” in her store. Hmm.

http://consumerist.com/2009/12/target-calls-cops-on-breastfeeding-shoppers.html

Swedish ‘milkman’ loses breastfeeding battle

Ragnar Bengtsson, 26, has failed in his high profile bid to pump forth milk from his breasts. But there is some consolation for the self-styled “Milkman”, who is winging his way to the United States this week for an appearance on The Tyra Banks Show.

Bengtsson’s milk race began with a bang in early September as he set about pumping his breasts on a three-hourly basis. The unorthodox sight of a young dad with a machine pressed to his nipples became part of daily life at Stockholm University, as the economics student endeavoured to do his bit for gender equality.  If men could breastfeed their babies, the argument went, then women could rejoin the workplace more quickly, safe in the knowledge that their newborns were receiving the proper nourishment from their proud dads.

But ultimately, the experiment failed, with Bengtsson unable to live up to the name of his blog: ‘The Milkman – One Drop at a Time’. On Tuesday at 9pm, he returns to the TV8 studio and the Aschberg show where it all began for a final look back at a trial considered intriguing and brave by some, but sickening and unnatural by many others. “We never expected the enormous reaction we got; a lot of people were almost blinded with disgust,” said Magnus Talib, a member of the Aschberg editorial team that has followed the day-to-day progress of the Milkman.

News of the would-be breastfeeding dad spread quickly, with media outlets from 40-50 countries taking up the tale. Having reported on the experiment right from the outset, The Local has received countless requests from foreign media for contact details for Bengtsson, most recently from The Tyra Banks Show. As always, the inquiry was passed on to the producers of Aschberg, who in turn informed Bengtsson that he would be flown to meet talk show hostess Tyra Banks later this week. “Ragnar just said, ‘oh cool’. Personally I would have crapped myself,” said Talib of the prospect of being flown to the United States to appear on one of the world’s most popular talk shows. Bengtsson, who was unavailable for comment on Tuesday, was reportedly also pleased to finally be able to put his pump back on the shelf.

“All he got was sore breasts,” said Talib.

http://www.thelocal.se/23592/20091201/

Trajedy as breastfeeding mother smothers baby after falling asleep on jet

A mother accidentally smothered her baby daughter to death on a flight after she fell asleep while breastfeeding. The four-week-old girl was travelling with her Egyptian mother from Washington DC to Kuwait when the tragedy occurred on November 24. Crew on the United Airlines jet were alerted by the 29-year-old mother’s screams. A doctor travelling on the plane tried unsuccessfully to revive the baby. The plane, which was over the Atlantic at 33,000ft, was diverted to London‘s Heathrow airport just before 10am, where police boarded.

The baby girl was rushed to Hillingdon Hospital, a spokesman told the Daily Mail. However she was pronounced dead on arrival at 10.35am. Three days later a post-mortem was performed on her at the Great Ormond St Hospital in London. Police are still awaiting the results of that. In the meantime, the spokesman said, the death is being treated as ‘unexplained’.No arrests have been made in the tragic incident. A police source told The Sun: ‘This appears to be a tragic accident. The girl comes from a loving family. ‘Her mum was going to Kuwait to show her to relatives.’   

A mother breastfeeds her baby (posed by model). Experts have countered against breastfeeding a baby in bed, where mothers can fall asleep – as the mother aboard the United flight did. It is not known if the woman was travelling with anyone other than her child.Officers from Scotland Yard‘s Child Abuse Investigation Team are now dealing with the incident.

The dos and don’ts of breastfeeding, according to the National Childbirth Trust:Do try to support his back, shoulders and neck. He should be able to tilt his head back easily. And he shouldn’t have to reach out to feed.

Do make sure your baby gets a big mouthful of breast from underneath the nipple.

Don’t worry if your baby pauses while breast feeding. This is normal.

Do change position slightly once your baby is attached if you are uncomfortable.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The National Breastfeeding Helpline is 0300 100 0212.

In 2004,  Briton Lisa Briggs smothered her baby as they slept less than three years after losing another child to a similar tragedy.  Miss Briggs, 23, fell asleep while feeding five-week-old Keitha and woke in the morning to find her lifeless by her side. Miss Briggs had lost her four-week-old daughter Cerese in identical circumstances.

However the Royal College of Midwives said in 2006 there are some benefits for breastfeeding mothers to share a bed with their babies, and a blanket message advising them not to do it could be counter-productive.  Melanie Every, a regional manager for the Royal College, said: ‘We know that there are many, many cultures and many, many women who will continue to share beds with their babies, even when they are advised not to do it.  ‘Now, knowing that, it’s important to give them advice on the safest possible way of doing it, rather than just saying don’t do it.’  Babies can die of suffocation when their airways are obstructed by lying against their mother – a phenomenon known as ‘overlying’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1232265/Breastfeeding-mum-smothers-baby-jet-falling-asleep.html#ixzz0Z0ydbfT7

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1232265/Breastfeeding-mum-smothers-baby-jet-falling-asleep.html

Fatherhood Gets Hip

On the long road of parenting commentary, where genial postwar humorists Erma Bombeck and Jean Kerr fall back like abandoned Essos while the flag-festooned rest stops of Parenthood and Baby Boom flap wildly in the distance, two vital topics have always predominated: How Not to Kill Baby and Things Baby Did That Are Funny. (Toddlerspeak: the lisp that launched a thousand Facebook updates.) But a generation of overachievers married to the mighty circuits of our information exchange have birthed a debate on child curation of stunning speed and scope, from teeth-gnashing over C-sections to a Craigslist black market in fresh-drawn baby milk.

The Mommy & Me Generation, who are lately asked to train their infants to themselves by sling and feed them only self-generated extrusions, can be forgiven if they occasionally treat breastfeeding as an act of religious solemnity. (One must find a way to cope with anything one is forced to do 37 times a day.) If the organic quality of what one uses to wipe a child’s ass and house its downy curve thereafter slides easily into a topic of substantive debate, so be it.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-12-01/fatherhood-gets-hip/?cid=hp:justposted1

Mom Smothers BabyBreastfeeding on a Jet

A BABY girl died when her mum fell asleep as she breast-fed on a jet.

The woman, 29, awoke after an hour to find the four-week-old had been smothered.

Cabin crew were alerted by the mum’s screams in business class, and the United Airlines jet – over the Atlantic at 33,000ft – was diverted to London’s Heathrow for an immediate landing.

A doctor on board the Washington DC to Kuwait flight tried in vain to resuscitate the girl.

Police boarded the jet on landing and Scotland Yard’s Child Abuse Investigation Team officers are investigating. The mum is Egyptian-born and her girl was American.

A police source said: “This appears to be a tragic accident. The girl comes from a loving family. Her mum was going to Kuwait to show her to relatives.”

Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2752647/Mum-smothers-baby-breastfeeding-on-jet.html#ixzz0Z0vzgSDL

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2752647/Mum-smothers-baby-breastfeeding-on-jet.html

HEIDI KLUM FINDING FOUR KIDS ‘TOUGH’

German supermodel Heidi Klum has found being a mother of four ”tough” since she gave birth to her new daughter Lou last month.

“At the moment Lou needs me enormously. Not only because of breastfeeding but also because she needs to be close to her mother. She will sleep now for a year with us in our bedroom – just as her siblings did. It’s easier at night if she is hungry.”

http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/story/heidi-klum-finding-four-kids-tough_1124082

Scientist Claim Victory for Mother’s Milk

Breastfeeding may be vital to a child’s development, claims a new study suggesting that it contains stem cells promoting the immune system and growth of both muscle and bone tissue. Take that, bottle-fed weaklings.

  • The claim comes from Dr Mark Cregan, medical director at Swiss healthcare company Medela, who admits that it’s based on “very preliminary evidence.” Not that that’s stopping him from saying that the discovery demonstrates that breast milk helps a newborn child “fulfil its genetic destiny”:

Breast milk is the only adult tissue where more than one type of stem cell has been discovered. That is very unique and implies a lot about the impressive bioactivity of breast milk and the consequential benefits to the breastfed infant… It’s quite possible that immune cells in breast milk can survive digestion and end up in the infant’s circulation. This has been shown to be occurring in animals, and so it would be unsurprising if this was also occurring in human infants.

If these benefits turn out to be true, then it might lead more mothers to breastfeed; according to the World Health Organization, only 3% of mothers worldwide exclusively breastfeed currently, leading to a generation who’ll sadly be too weak to fight off the Terminators they’ll have to deal with.

Stem cells could be the secret reason why breast is best

http://io9.com/5414452/

FACTBOX-WHO issues new recommendations for HIV patients

Here are the major recommendations by the United Nations agency which has 193 member states:

* Countries should phase out use of Stavudine, the most widespread antiretroviral, because it has “long-term, irreversible” side-effects including wasting and a nerve disorder.

U.S. drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY.N) Co and India’s Cipla (CIPL.BO) and Aurobindo Pharma (ARBN.BO) Ltd are among leading producers.

* Instead, countries should use two other antiretrovirals — Zidovudine (AZT) or Tenofovir (TDF) — which are less toxic and equally effective.

HIV patients, including pregnant women, should now start antiretrovirals earlier, when their CD4 count, a measure of immune system strength, falls to 350 cells/mm3, regardless of symptoms.

* WHO’s previous guidelines, issued in 2006, called for starting treatment when patients’ CD4 count falls to 200 cells/mm3 — when they typically show symptoms of HIV disease.

“The best time to start ART (antiretroviral therapy) is before patients become unwell or develop their first opportunistic infection,” the WHO said, referring to diseases such as tuberculosis which prey on weakened immune systems.

* To prevent mother-to-child transmission, HIV-positive pregnant women should start using the drugs from 14 weeks into pregnancy, rather than 28 weeks as previously recommended, and continue until the end of breastfeeding.

“For the first time, there is enough evidence for WHO to recommend antiretrovirals while breastfeeding,” it said.

* Breastfeeding should continue until the infant is a year old, providing both mother and child take the drugs. “This will reduce the risk of HIV transmission and improve the infant’s chance of survival.”

Without treatment, one third of the children living with HIV die before their first birthday and almost half by the second year, the Geneva-based agency said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSGEE5AS01T20091130

Simple steps to save Filipino newborns

We are seeing of late a push to save more of our babies that are being born. This is because experts see a risk that newborn mortality, which has been on the level at 17 deaths per 1,000 since 1998, may revert upwards and ultimately affect our Millennium Development Goals for 2015.

Studies have shown that newborns are at the highest risk during the first two days of their lives. In fact, country statistics say that 50 percent of newborns die during this critical time. This adds up to about 20,000 babies a year.

The sad fact is that the death of these newborns can easily be prevented, only if simple obstetric and pediatric procedures are followed. And this is what the Department of Health has recently been busy studying and preparing for.

At the Quirino Memorial Medical Center, which many of us still refer to as the Labor Hospital, a tight watch on birthing procedures is currently being observed. This is something that our health workers feel will drastically bring down newborn mortality figures.

Changing old habits

The newly introduced newborn protocols are surprisingly simple, easy steps that deal with essential interventions during the baby’s first hours of life. Many of these are simple changes in the current procedure, and only require undoing of what had been taught to our doctors, nurses and midwives in the past.

For example, it has always been the practice to bathe a newborn right after its umbilical cord is clamped and cut. Dr. Bella Vitangcol, who currently heads the program at Quirino, had specifically instructed her staff that no newborn be given a bath until after six or more hours.

They observed that newborns that are only rubbed dried, and then given to the mother to physically hold and hug, acquire greater immunity against hypothermia, which is a major reason for a number of infections.

When the newborn is also immediately delivered to the mother’s arms and maintained in skin-to-skin contact (no clothing barriers between mother and child) for a prolonged period, chances of longer and successful breastfeeding is achieved.

Skin-to-skin contact, especially if the baby has been given to the mother immediately after birth, has been known to trigger the crawling reflex where the newborn on its own seeks out the mother’s breasts to latch on and start to suckle and feed.

Breastmilk is best

It seems that babies that are immediately “separated” from their moms after birth (to accommodate such clinic or hospital procedures as bathing, weighing, footprinting, and others) lose the crawling reflex, and display a prolonged loss of interest to breastfeed.

The breastfeeding campaign continues to be a tough cookie where our government is concerned, not just because of the many advertisements in the past that glamorized bottle-feeding and formula use, but also because generations of mothers have lost the instinct to naturally nurture their newborns.

Breast milk, especially the first expression, is known to contain irreplaceable antigens that give babies immeasurable protection against many infections for life. Newborns that immediately breastfeed have likewise been observed to survive the first critical two days of life.

Mothers that start to breastfeed at the first hour of a child’s life usually also continue to breastfeed for at least the next two or more months, depending on the support condition that is going to be present when the baby is brought home.

Delayed cord clamping

Another procedure that is being introduced is the delay in clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord. The standard practice today is to immediately clamp and cut the cord, ostensibly to facilitate the flow of child delivery especially in hospitals with busy maternal wards.

By waiting one to three minutes, or until the pulsations of the cord stop, a newborn is spared of iron-deficiency anemia, a condition that has been determined to have the cause of many sickly conditions such as anemia in infants and young children.

All these simple procedures are in line with world health standards currently being espoused by the World Health Organization. The Department of Health has been involved with this initiative since last year, and is currently training its relevant hospital personnel all over the country in the new procedures.

Barriers to implementation

The biggest stumbling block to the adopting these simple, life-saving newborn care protocols is breaking age-old habits. Many, especially old, obstetrician-gynecologists have been uncooperative because it would mean more of their time in the delivery room.

This is the same concern of nurses and midwives who want mothers and babies out of the delivery room as quickly as possible. The no-bathing rule, for example, will mean that the nurse will still have to go back to the mother after six or more hours to have the baby bathed.

Lastly, formula feed companies will not want an early initiation to breastfeeding because this will mean totally writing off their multi-billion peso business in the country.

The campaign has a better chance of success if mothers are empowered to demand that they receive this essential newborn care package. Let’s hope that the health department will mount a nationwide information campaign after hospital personnel training is completed.

Otherwise, it will just become like the breastfeeding campaign – almost forgotten and neglected.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=527974&publicationSubCategoryId=66

Seven Things You Didn’t Know Were In The Senate Health Bill

Pay attention: The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” — better known as the Senate health care overhaul bill – is chock full of interesting but little publicized provisions affecting consumers. Sure, the bill is mainly a blueprint for overhauling the insurance system. But look closely and you’ll see a variety of items that would affect people from the cradle to old age – from breast pump use to retiree health benefits. It’s a congressional tradition, adding pet interests that otherwise might not pass to a big bill that at least will be put up for a vote.

Yes, there’s plenty of time to change the bill. But political analysts say a final overhaul bill would more likely look like this measure than the version already approved by the House because Senate Democrats barely could agree on sending it to the floor for debate. In short, there’s not much political room for major changes.

Here are some examples of what lies in this 2,074-page bill:

Nursing Mothers Get A Break

Employers would be required to provide an unpaid “reasonable break time for nursing mothers” in the first year after giving birth. Women would be provided a private place, other than a bathroom, to use a breast pump. The provision exempts companies with fewer than 50 workers if the requirement would impose “an undue hardship,” a determination left to the employer to make.

This provision was inserted by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., who in June introduced the Breastfeeding Promotion Act. Merkley is promoting breast feeding partly as a way to cut health costs. He cites studies showing breast-fed children have a lower rate of disease and illness in their lifetime. 

But employers see yet another expense. “Every additional mandated rule further burdens employers who are struggling to keep jobs afloat,” says Neil Trautwein, vice president of the National Retail Federation.

Twenty-four states already have protections for nursing mothers in the workplace, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2009/November/30/Senate-Health-Bill-Secrets.aspx

Report: Gaps in Alabama’s maternity services

In covering services for low-income pregnant women, Alabama stacks up well against other states on the variety of services it covers, but it doesn’t match the number of women many other states serve, according to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation

Alabama is one of only six states that provide pregnant women who earn up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level with everything from basic prenatal care services and delivery to medical and genetic testing. Other states provide coverage to women who earn up to 300 percent of the poverty level.

But Alabama doesn’t directly cover breastfeeding support services. Alabama is one of eight mostly Southern states that do not cover such items as education services, individual lactation consultations and equipment rental, according to the report.

Twenty-five of the states that responded to the survey cover breastfeeding education services, 15 states cover individual lactation consultation and 31 states cover equipment rental, such as breast pumps. But there is evidence that the low-income women in Alabama are getting access to those services by other means.

But getting mothers, particularly those who live in the South, to consider breastfeeding is a challenge.

“It’s definitely a rising trend, but Alabama has always been way down at the bottom when it comes to breastfeeding,” she said. “We’re in the last five — we’re number 46th or 47th.”

The only states that trail Alabama are Louisiana, Mississippi and Kentucky, Sealy said.

Louisiana and Mississippi are among the eight states that do not use Medicaid to cover breastfeeding support services, according to the report.

Sealy said she believes that one of the reasons that more Southern women do not breastfeed is cultural.

“The South is an area of the country where traditions are hard to break,” she said. “When you just look at the fact that more people are bottle feeding than breastfeeding it can be hard because you are in the minority.

“I’ve known people from California or Oregon that have said they feel a little uncomfortable breastfeeding in the mall because they’re not in a culture where everybody is doing that,” she said.

But that could be changing, and Alabama Medicaid could be helping to lead the charge for change among low-income mothers next year.

Rawls said starting next year Alabama Medicaid would offer a financial incentive to its maternity care primary contractors for promoting breastfeeding among the patients they serve.

“Medicaid maternity care primary contractors will be potentially eligible in 2010 for bonus payments when medical record documentation shows that 25 percent of the total number of mothers who deliver in their respective districts are identified as breastfeeding mothers at the time of their follow-up checkups,” Rawls said.

Sealy said all it really takes to get mothers interested in breastfeeding is a suggestion from someone they trust, such as their obstetrician.

“Simply having an (obstetrician) suggest to you that breastfeeding can be a good thing makes a difference,” she said.

http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20091129/NEWS02/911290319/Report-Gaps-in-Alabama-s-maternity-services

LIBERIA: Breaking breastfeeding myths

MONROVIA, 27 November 2009 (IRIN) – “My first kid died because I breastfed him after my husband had had an affair,” Tina Kollie, mother of a seven-month-old in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, told IRIN. She has not breastfed any children since. “[If I breastfeed], whenever my husband has an affair my child gets sick.”

Rebecca Carter in the Buzzi Quarter neighbourhood said she stopped breastfeeding after a few months because she could not have sexual intercourse while breastfeeding – the semen will mix with breast milk, she said, making it toxic for the child.

“I didn’t want my husband to go with other women so I could not breastfeed,” she told IRIN. “I had to be available for him.”

UNICEF estimates that just 35 percent of Liberian mothers practice exclusive breastfeeding; a survey by NGO Action contre la Faim (ACF) in Monrovia estimated 44 percent in 2008.

ACF staff regularly hear widespread beliefs about breastfeeding perils: It is dangerous to breastfeed while pregnant as it could weaken the unborn infant; women should not breastfeed if a previous child has died while breastfeeding; and breastfeeding over time is dangerous as breast milk can mix with blood.

Instead Kollie, Carter and dozens of other women IRIN spoke to, feed their babies mainly rice and water.

The World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend feeding newborns only breast milk for the first six months to reduce vulnerability life-threatening diseases or malnutrition. Aid agencies in Liberia are trying to re-frame breastfeeding and infant nutrition as a health issue.

“Working with communities on breastfeeding is a long, drawn-out job, because malnutrition is often not seen as a sickness, but is associated with witchcraft-like beliefs,” ACF Liberia head, Massimo Stella, told IRIN.

UNICEF nutrition specialist Kinday Samba agreed, saying aid agencies have to support the Health Ministry over the long term to bolster exclusive breastfeeding. “We won’t see huge changes immediately.”

Men, grandmothers key

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), ACF and others are encouraging women to exclusively breastfeed their babies up to at least six months.

Dispelling breastfeeding myths is not the key to changing women’s behavior, ACF’s Stella said; all staff can do is inform communities of the benefits of breastfeeding and trigger discussion, he said.

Women who have already changed their feeding practices can show that it is not dangerous, encouraging others to attempt change, ACF’s care practices manager, Audrey Gibeaux, told IRIN.

ACF must also target men and grandmothers in the discussion, she said.

“I always try to encourage men to come, as they have so much decision-making power in Liberian households…and grandmothers must be present as the knowledge they pass down is considered very valuable.”

Liberia has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in West Africa and grandmothers often care for babies.

All fronts

Breastfeeding messages must be spread through every channel to be effective, UNICEF’s Samba said, citing radio, posters, community groups and clinic visits as examples.

UNICEF is developing messages to be disseminated on all of these fronts, she said.   

Stella agreed: “We found the prevention activities are more effective if they take place simultaneously at country level, community level and school level.”

Monitoring the impact of these efforts is not easy, Stella said. “Immediate evidence of the links among increased knowledge, behavior change and improved health cannot all be measured in medical or statistical terms.”

A UNICEF-supported infant feeding practices survey is due out in late 2009, while ACF will carry out a study of its activities’ impact in February 2010.

More red peppers, more breastfeeding

One village where knowledge has translated to behavior change among some families is Gbarnga-ta, 15km outside of Gbarnga in Bong County, where according to NGO Caritas a third of under-five children are undernourished.

Caritas, supported by CRS, has been working with residents to improve agricultural productivity and infant feeding practices.

Before, women and men thought having sex while still breastfeeding was dangerous, resident Helena Sharif told IRIN.

It was partly the success of the agricultural activities that made villagers more receptive to the NGO’s breastfeeding messages, giving them traction, say villagers.

Residents are now producing surplus aubergines and red hot peppers which they sell to nearby villages, giving them money to pay school fees, said Sharif.

Helena’s husband Tony Sharif is relieved. “We don’t worry so much about [having sex while breastfeeding] now. We do it. Things are much better than they were,” he said, prompting laughter and nods from fellow villagers.

While intensive efforts may work, some aid experts are skeptical that behavior change can be effective on a mass scale.

“It’s very difficult to change people’s behavior,” said European Commission humanitarian aid department (ECHO) representative in Liberia Koen Henckaerts.

“I’m skeptical that you can [do so] in the short term or on a mass scale. It takes a long time, and it is related to wider, entrenched issues such as poverty.”

http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=87226

Breastmilk push is stressing mums

FIRST-TIME mothers feel they are leaving hospitals as failures because they are being pressured to breastfeed at all costs, with many saying breastfeeding was harder than giving birth.

In an exclusive The Daily Telegraph online survey, more than 500 new mothers shared their experiences and experts said the striking findings show how a fragmented and biased system is letting down NSW families.

One in two mums said they felt pressured to breastfeed, while 42 per cent said they were given no information about alternatives and 65 per cent of women said they were given contradictory advice by midwives.

Nearly one in two mums reported they hated breastfeeding and said they found it tougher than the actual labour, while a third of mothers surveyed said they moved to using formula after eight weeks.

The results came as no surprise to midwives and motherhood experts who say the system is “fundamentally” failing women and blame short stays in hospital and little post-natal care for creating the culture of failure surrounding new mothers.

University of Technology midwife lecturer Associate Professor Jennifer Fenwik said research showed one in every three mothers go into hospital feeling normal but leave troubled and emotionally fraught.

“Hospitals have become so driven on breastfeeding, they are ignoring the needs of mothers who may not be able to cope,” she said. “Midwives should be discussing alternatives with mothers.”You used to be able to store a tin of formula under the (hospital) cupboard but not any more. “You have to ask what is wrong when women are entering hospital normal, but walk out with emotional distress. Our hospital system is so fragmented and it is not supporting mothers. It is focused on the birth.”

One new mother responded to The Daily Telegraph survey saying she was not prepared for how arduous breastfeeding would be and called for better education for mums-to-be.”Breastfeeding is one of the most difficult experiences of my life, made more difficult by the fact that I was wildly ignorant as to how truly challenging it could be. “More women would stick it out through these challenges if they were made aware, prior to birth, just how hard it can be.”

What Women Want founder and mother-of-seven Justine Caines said the current model of care was not supportive of mothers. “The system is not about women but about clinicians and what they want,” she said. “If women feel like a failure, I don’t see that as a good sign. Our system is absolutely failing women.”

First-time mother Maria Younan, 27, struggled with breastfeeding and, after three days, told midwives that she wanted to stop. Her daughter Scarlett, now four months old, had to stay in the nursery while Maria struggled to feed her. “I didn’t have sufficient milk and my daughter was getting sick,” she said. “I was the one that had to initiate (bottle feeding). The nurses were great but they wanted me to keep trying with breastfeeding.”

http://www.news.com.au/national/breastmilk-push-is-stressing-mums/story-e6frfkvr-1225804798748

Pregnant Kelly Rutherford Still Breastfeeding Her 2-Year-Old Son

Will it soon be double duty time for Gossip Girl actress  Kelly Rutherford? We recently reported actress Kelly who is 40, and her entrepreneur husband, Daniel Giersch, are expecting their second child in June. Meanwhile it turns out Kelly is still doing breast feeding duty for her talking two-year-old son, Hermès.  She tells US Weekly, “”It’s an amazing bond with your child. Some cultures do it up to five years, normally. I thought, ‘Well, I’ll just do it as long as it feels right for my son.’”

Rutherford also attributes her slim figure to nursing: “I was thinner after my pregnancy than before, and I think a lot of it was the nursing. They say it helps your body get back to shape in a natural way.”

12/17/2008

http://www.celebritygossipshow.com/2008/12/17/pregnant-kelly-rutherford-still-breastfeeding-her-2-year-old-son/

Exclusive breastfeeding in Sri Lanka: problems of interpretation of reported rates

Accurate interpretation of reported breastfeeding rates is essential in understanding the true picture of a country’s breastfeeding status. In Sri Lanka, where the reported exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) rate among infants aged from 0 to 5months is 75%, accurate understanding of this rate is of the utmost importance.

The danger of misinterpreting the data and assuming that Sri Lanka has achieved a high EBF rate is that health workers begin to believe that no further effort should be made in this area. This is very dangerous as the potential to further improve rates of EBF will not be addressed.

We discuss the interpretation of survey data and various definitions used in the relevant literature. We strongly recommend that interpretation of EBF rates should be done only after careful evaluation of the definitions and survey methods used.

Author: Suneth AgampodiThilini AgampodiAvanthi de Silva
Credits/Source: International Breastfeeding Journal 2009, 4:14

http://7thspace.com/headlines/326895/exclusive_breastfeeding_in_sri_lanka_problems_of_interpretation_of_reported_rates.html

New parents will be told: keep breastfeeding, don’t ‘rush to mush’

Parents will be told not to “rush to mush” by switching their babies to solid food too early as part of a new Government drive to educate new mothers and fathers.

In a new campaign that risks “nanny state” accusations, ministers will also give new parents detailed suggestions on how long they should go on breastfeeding and what they should feed children to avoid them becoming fussy eaters in later life. Andy Burnham, the Health Secretary, will formally endorse the Start4Life campaign at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) annual conference in Manchester on Friday. The Start4life campaign tells parents when they should switch babies from milk to solid food, what they should and should not feed them, and when children should start trying to walk.

In particular, parents will be told not to “rush to mush” and give their youngsters solids too early. Generally, babies should be given milk for at least six months, the campaign suggests. Continuing to breastfeed can avoid stomach upsets while the baby’s digestive system is still developing and cut down on the risk of allergies, the campaign says. To help parents decide when it is appropriate for their child to move on to solids, the campaign suggests a “banana challenge” . “A good test is the banana challenge – if your baby is able to sit up and hold its head steady, reach out and grab half a peeled, ripe banana and eat some of it all by themselves, they are ready.”

The World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding babies for the first six months.  But according to the Department of Health, only 1 per cent of British mothers do so. Half give up and switch to solids after six weeks. Parents will also be told:

<> avoid adding salt to babies’ food.

<>introduce a variety of foods, textures and flavours early on, to avoid the child growing up to be a “fussy eater.”

<>when a child starts eating solids, offer “between-meal snacks” of rice cakes, vegetable sticks, breadsticks, fruit and white toast with cheese spread, avoiding sugary snacks.

As well as advice on diet, the campaign also presses parents to keep their baby active “Babies who are inactive for too often and too long do not have as much opportunity to develop as active babies,” said a campaign document. “Being active takes brain and muscle power so it plays an important role in your baby’s development. “Playing with your baby gives you a great chance to bond and, like adults, babies burn energy by moving around so (you never know) it might help them sleep too.”

Meanwhile, Andrew Lansley, the Conservative shadow health secretary, told the midwives’ conference that a Tory Government would bring about a “rebirth” of maternity care around families and communities. Mr Lansley promised above-inflation increases in spending on maternity services and said the Tories would give expectant parents more choice about care at birth. “We need to focus on making sure that mothers really understand what the options are and what choices are available to them,” he said.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/6663560/New-parents-will-be-told-keep-breastfeeding-dont-rush-to-mush.html

Risk of postnatal transmission can be reduced with HAART in HIV-positive mothers

Researchers conducting clinical trials in Rwanda have concluded that the risk of postnatal transmission is minimal in HIV-positive mothers undergoing highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) while breastfeeding. The results of the trials have been published in the current issue of AIDS, the leading journal in the field of HIV and AIDS research. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading provider of information and business intelligence for students, professionals, and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health, and pharmacy.

Although formula feeding has been the recommended strategy for preventing postnatal HIV transmission in developed countries for many years, researchers have recognized that this intervention is not feasible for many women in resource-limited settings. Despite this, there had until now been no single study conducted which formally compared maternal breastfeeding with HAART with formula feeding within the same cohort in resource-limited countries.

Dr. Cécile Alexandra Peltier, together with her colleagues, conducted their study with the aim of assessing the 9-month HIV-free survival of children with two strategies to prevent HIV mother-to-child transmission. Women participating in the cohort study could choose the mode of feeding for their infant: breastfeeding with maternal HAART for six months, or formula feeding. All received HAART from 28 weeks of gestation.

Of the 227 infants who were breastfed during the trial, only one became infected with HIV, corresponding to a 9-month cumulative risk of postnatal infection of 0.5% in the breastfeeding group. Moreover, the overall mortality rate of the infants involved in the study was significantly higher in the formula-fed group (5.6%) than in the breastfed group (3.3%).

The results of the study have lead researchers to conclude that maternal HAART while breastfeeding  could be a promising alternative strategy in resource-limited settings. A key implication of this study is that women can be offered a choice in infant-feeding options, both of which could be safe and effective, given regular postnatal follow-up and counseling.

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20091127/Risk-of-postnatal-transmission-can-be-reduced-with-HAART-in-HIV-positive-mothers.aspx

Breastfeeding clinic is eye-opening/eye-closing experience

It seems like there are 45,000,000 new moms at the breastfeeding clinic. The only male older than six months, I’m there to support my wife and her efforts to breastfeed our newborn son.Happy to do that, I am somewhat uncomfortable. I’m anxious a nursing mother will haul up her shirt, pull out a breast and start feeding.
I know, I know. That’s a vital part of their routine these days, and it’s something one would expect at this type of clinic. But where is the lone guy in the room supposed to look?

Sitting in a semi-circle alongside them, there are new mothers to my left and right, and in front of me.
Surrounded, I focus solely on my wife. But as we talk, I spot the other moms in the corners of my eye.
I’m going to see one feeding. It’s inevitable. Yikes! I’m mortified. I know I shouldn’t dread it, and I shouldn’t be blushing. Breastfeeding, after all, is one of the most healthy and wholesome things on Earth.
But I don’t think it’s something men know how to deal with when the nursing mom is a complete stranger.

At least I don’t, because I don’t want to invade anyone’s privacy or be pegged as a pervert. Before anyone feeds, the public health nurse calls our baby’s name and we leave the semi-circle — not that I’m disappointed about that. After the nurse weighs our son and offers some pointers, we’re done for the day. I hurry through the half-circle and exit without witnessing a single feeding. Afterwards, for being so uptight about something so natural, I feel like a real boob.

http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?sid=306404&sc=88

Link Between Breast Milk, Autism?

HOUSTON – It’s certainly a sensitive subject. Even the Neuroscientist, who questions the thought that breast milk could pass on harmful toxins to a baby, realizes it’s a tough subject to bring up. However, he’s trying to figure out if those harmful toxins could disturb brain development of an infant and lead to autism.

First of all, Dr. Michael Merzenich studied rats… not humans. What he found is a high rate of chemical poisons, like PCB’s and PCBE’s… in breast milk.

PCBE’s are a flame retardant found in many products from pj’s, computers, to cars and many plastics.

He says medical research shows chemicals like this can scramble a developing brain. American women are believed to have the highest rates of PCBE’s.

They collect in fatty tissues, like breast milk. He says these toxins easily transferred to breastfeeding rat pups, and he thinks the same would be true for human breast milk.

Even though Dr. Merzenich is studying this, he definitely supports the benefits of breastfeeding He says he does not want to disrupt a maternal bonding experience, but he’s highly alarmed about chemicals in our environment. He’s urging the government to study human breast milk.

…”I agree there is much more evidence to support the benefits of breastfeeding and not really the evidence that breastfeeding would be a cause of autism.”

http://www.myfoxhouston.com/dpp/health/091125-breast-milk-ausitm

Women left alone during labour due to shortage of midwives, poll finds

A third of women are left alone and worried during labour or shortly after giving birth, exposing the scale of staff shortages in the NHS, a poll has found.

A survey carried out on the Netmums.com site found women were highly critical of maternity services in England.

The findings released on the eve of the Royal College of Midwives annual conference showed that 35 per cent of women were left alone during labour or shortly after birth.

Half did not have access to a midwife after giving birth.

From next year the Government has pledged that all women will be offered a choice of where to give birth including at home but so far only half of women are reporting that they were offered a home birth.

Women were also critical of support for breastfeeding, even though encouraging natural feeding is a key part of the Government’s maternity strategy.

The poll comes after the Healthcare Commission said NHS maternity services in many parts of England were failing with a shortage of midwives leading women to be sent home before they were ready and with no support to start breastfeeding.

…”It shows that our members want, need and deserve one-to-one care from midwives but they are not getting this and are left alone and feeling abandoned during labour, and especially in the vital postnatal period.

“Some mums have told us that the lack of postnatal care has led them to suffer with postnatal depression, which can have dramatic impacts on the whole family.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6644774/Women-left-alone-during-labour-due-to-shortage-of-midwives-poll-finds.html

Irish dairy and academia unite over functional ingredients

Four major Irish dairy ingredient players and four academic institutions form the nexus of a new Irish initiative to develop functional food ingredients – Food for Health Ireland.

Shane Starling discusses the government-backed venture with Jens Bleiel, its chief executive officer; John Holland, operations director – ingredients at Carbery and Dr Paul Ross, the head of the Moorepark Food Research Centre.

“We have a group of scientists which range from food scientists and people in scale-up and then the processing side right through to microbiology and through clinical research,” Dr Ross said.

“Within the centre we have the capability to mine milk for health promoting ingredients right through to clinical trials, to scale-up, to GMP manufacturing.”

Strong track record

Holland said the four dairy groups would provide a commercial focus for the research. “Ireland over the years has had a very strong track record in dairy research – many of the institutions are world-renowned,” said Holland.

“So now we as the industrial partners will bring a commercial focus to that research. We will provide the market insights that will direct the research. We will sit through the research and make sure that it is continually on track and achieving its objectives.At the end we will provide the channel to commercialise the outputs.”

Milk mining

While the group has an initial brief to “mine milk” due to the dairy focus of founding members Carbery, Glanbia, Kerry and Dairygold – it may expand into other areas in the future, Bleiel said.

“In the future we will broaden it to international cooperation because we strongly believe that functional foods is a global business,” he said.

Infant nutrition, metabolic syndrome and immunity are initial key areas of research which has two and five year goals.

http://www.nutraingredients.com/Industry/Irish-dairy-and-academia-unite-over-functional-ingredients/?c=ei8s7T8XuY6ggiQZll48UA%3D%3D&utm_source=newsletter_weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2BWeekly

Women Still Have to Pick Their Poison (But Men Are Still Evolving)

For many women, going back to work a few months after having a baby is overwhelming and unmanageable. As strange as it may seem, things get even more difficult for a working mom after the second and third baby arrive. By that time, the romance of being a modern “superwoman” wears off and reality sets in.

Mom is exhausted. Dad isn’t getting a good night’s sleep. And older kids feel neglected. Dads who want to be equal partners too often fall short because there are certain things they simply cannot do for you — like breastfeeding, sleeping, or even taking a shower. The new mother starts to question herself and whether it is all worth it. And too often, the money just doesn’t add up.

Too often, childcare, taxes and commuting expenses often negate a large chunk of a young mom’s salary. At the end of each year, many stretched mommys will do what I did throughout my late 20s and ask why I worked so hard just for the glory of feeling guilty. Was the paltry profit of an entry level job drained by childcare expenses really worth missing out on so many cute moments?

And what is worth being so completely exhausted at the end of the week that you feel like you can’t give your all to your children, your husband and your boss? The weekends only add to a destructive mental spiral of “self-second-guessing,” trying to run after toddlers and please a husband who just needs a moment of quiet, but doesn’t feel like he can ask for it. Tension builds. You just can’t come up for air in a sea of worry and “to-do” lists that all revolve around fixing up a strained household in time to rush back to work on Monday morning.

It wasn’t supposed to feel like this? Was it? On so little sleep, the day-to-day race of trying to manage each hour and everyone’s needs robs you of your ability to visualize your long-term goals in life. You soon forget to ask what you want to do. You soon forget to ask who you want to be. You stop remembering all the effort your parents put into your childhood so you would grow up to realize your own great potential.

My best friend and I speak of this often. Over the past three decades, she and I have often been mistaken for sisters. We finish each other’s sentences, wear the same hairstyle and laugh at all the same stupid jokes. We look and sound alike. If I had a sister, it would be her. But we have made very different choices in our lives. She juggles a five year old and two stepchildren. She has an MBA from BU and worked for ten years at a Fortune 500 company, but quit at a time in her life when the balancing act was simply too much for her family. She could quit. His salary was sufficient. And juggling the logistics and cost of childcare just didn’t make sense. It seemed financially and logistically stupid to stay at work. And on paper, it was.

Five years later, she wishes she had pushed through. While she is blessed with an amazing husband and children and a beautiful home on the water, she feels unfulfilled and regrets that she did not stick with her career. It is a decision that impacts her relationships and her view of herself. She hates that she is completely dependent on her husband for everything. It is a concept that is not that attractive to him either. He also feels helpless that he cannot fill that void. While it was hard for them juggling the baby, the kids, and the jobs, maybe today would be better for her if she had stayed at work.

And here’s the key. She feels she was being told by society that women could have it all. She thought she could just “jump back in” later. That, like many women I know, has turned out to be completely unrealistic. More importantly, it is a bad strategic choice. We often talk about our very different paths because while she marvels at my ability to balance horrifically challenging job schedules, I marvel at her ability to remember my birthday and to write thank you notes.

After the second kid, it seems like a woman has to pick her poison. Suffer now, or take “a few years off” and pay later. Women need to know that “taking a few years off” can often lead to a permanent condition of dependence and loss of identity. I want to make a realistic, BS-free argument for suffering now and “pushing through.” There are women who have no choice but to keep on keeping on at work for financial reasons. There are also women who have the choice to “take a few years off” until the craziness dies down.

I am speaking to both of you.

For the record, I went back too early both times. The second time I paid a terrible price, a story I tell in my upcoming book, All Things at Once . I realize that of all people, I am no expert on parenting or marriage. My story can inspire just as many women to dial back for fear of making similar mistakes.  Still, I want to put it out there because the conversation for women with newborn babies and careers is for right now, not later.

I suffered from a mild case of postpartum depression after my second child and the physical challenge of maintaining an overnight shift at CBS, a marriage, and two in diapers made the symptoms worse and everyone in the house paid the price.  But I am still glad I did it.

Today, my girls are 11 and 13 and while the household is still chaotic, it is nothing compared to those years after giving birth. My body and mind were out of whack and recovering. The needs of babies and toddlers were constant and drained the life out my sense of self and my family’s relationship with each other. But it’s not forever.

Just as those adorable “mommy-moments” go away, so too does the over-exhaustion, the instinctive need to be in charge of your baby’s every move, and the guilt. What you are left with is you. And by the time they are in school and beyond, what are you? That question can damage your relationship with your life partner and your children just as much.

You also may need practical options as a family or on your own. If you are haunted by decisions made in the throws of breastfeeding, weight gain and night terrors, you may actually be left with a bigger challenge; how to jumpstart your sense of self.

I have friends who struggle with this question and because of that, also struggle to maintain their relationships. Yes, I am talking about being mentally and physically interesting to the one you love, your life partner.  This may sound harsh, but when you step out of the career track, those attributes get harder to maintain. It is a risk you take and it is worth talking about openly.

Don’t just assume that you will be the same cute, interesting girl who entered the work force and marriage ten years and three kids ago. That is the reality that many of my peers are coping with and it is not pretty. It is also impractical to assume that your husband will always take care of you. It is just as foolhardy to think he will find your total dependence on him to be an attractive characteristic.

But there is some good news to report as I open myself up to another round of beatings on Twitter. The attitudes of men seem to have really evolved on this issue. Over the past couple of years, four male friends and colleagues of mine have asked my advice regarding their wives and their apprehension toward returning to work in the months after the second or third child. Wondering how and why I did it. Looking for the right words to bring home. And they have all expressed something completely new and different about how they feel. Each of them wanted their wives to go back, worried about exactly what I have expressed in this blog. They also worried about finances because this economy poses risks that make them feel vulnerable. They need their wives to help secure the family’s future.

But they also felt a worry their partners would regret the choice personally. I know two of them were encouraging their spouses to stick it out for her sense of self, and ultimately for the sake of the relationship. These guys were not thinking of the short term. They’d rather NOT have someone there to make dinner and get the dry-cleaning and change diapers and to make their lives run smoothly. They’d rather have a partner, with her sense of self in tact in the long run. Wow.. refreshing!

But ultimately it is a woman’s dilemma. None of the options are easy. My contribution to the conversation is this. Strategically, women may want to “push through the pain.” Get the kids out of diapers and into school before pulling the trigger on any decision, IF they have the luxury of choice.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mika-brzezinski/work-and-babies-women-sti_b_367671.html

Dealing with the Other Woman 

How to handle your mother-in-law during the holidays

If she criticizes you, know that it is not real, and it is not you. It’s a problem SHE needs to work through, and there is nothing you can do to help her facilitate it except to continue to be your authentic self and vent to your girlfriends. Unless your mother-in-law is out to end your marriage, the person to confide in is not your husband. Doing so will make it seem as though you are the one who is on attack. To avoid this, try not to let things build up, and address any intentional unkind comments as they come. There is nothing wrong with saying, in the middle of dinner, “No, I’m not breastfeeding my baby to keep my husband from having a close relationship with his child” instead of holding your tongue, fighting back tears, and proceeding to feel uncomfortable every time you nurse your newborn around her for the next year. Deal with it the way you would handle your child screaming, “You’re so mean!” You would say, “I’m sorry to hear that. Now, let’s finish cleaning your room.”

Read more: http://www.momlogic.com/2009/11/dealing_with_the_other_woman.php#ixzz0YP4WSVKz 

http://www.momlogic.com/2009/11/dealing_with_the_other_woman.php 

MousePlanet Mailbag 

Jim P. writes: 

Personally I have no problems with moms breast feeding their children in public, it’s natural and a part of life, but I do believe there should be a level of decorum involved, especially within the park(s). I certainly feel it is ok to breast feed within general seating or dining areas, especially in a nice shady people-watching spot which are usually in populated areas and moms shouldn’t have to hide or be hidden from public view. I do appreciate when moms wear the appropriate clothing for such a “task”, let’s face it, it doesn’t always go as planned. 

That being said, I don’t agree with the practice of breast feeding whileon a ride. In open public areas where people are able to come and go as they please is one thing, but on a ride you’re pretty much stuck for that amount of time and anyone feeling uncomfortable has no choice but to endure it. I can understand people feeling strained in that situation, and if they waited their turn they should be afforded the same guarantee of comfort to enjoy the ride we all expect. No eating, drinking, smoking or flash photography is for the comfort of all guests while on a ride and should be the responsibility of us all, even the little guys. Thanks for the article, it was a thought provoking piece. 

Thanks for your comments. To clarify, when I’ve nursed on rides, the only people with me were members of my own party. For example, on Pirates of the Caribbean, you’re usually not seated in the same row with a group of strangers. On the Haunted Mansion, my family and friends would be the only other people in the doom buggy with me. Guests in other rows or vehicles would not be able to see or be exposed to the baby nursing 

http://www.mouseplanet.com/9063/MousePlanet_Mailbag 

Don’t be a boob: Breastfeeding etiquette for guys

Keep your eyes above the neck

Eye contact is your best bet. Don’t initiate a conversation with a stranger who’s breastfeeding and no matter what don’t let your eyes linger anywhere below her chin. This is not a time to comment on how cute her baby is!

Never comment on their size 

If you can master the “getting on with your business” act when there are boobs on display and the eye contact required to hold a conversation with a breastfeeding mom, offering to get her a drink can be immensely helpful. This does not mean you should fetch her a beer! 

http://www.greatdad.com/tertiary/274/4105/don-t-be-a-boob-breastfeeding-etiquette-for-guys.html 

Wollondilly Council allow breastfeeding at council meetings 

ONE small step for Wollondilly Council, one giant leap for local mums. 

That’s the consensus of the two female Wollondilly councillors on the council’s new breastfeeding policy.  Cr Judith Hannan used last Monday’s meeting to establish a rule that mums can breastfeed during council meetings if they wish.  Cr Hannan’s motion was for the benefit of Cr Cassandra Twarloh, who recently gave birth to her first baby. Cr Twarloh’s new daughter, Khaylan, was one month old on Thursday. 

Confusion over the council’s stance on breastfeeding mothers arose after Cr Twarloh was told she couldn’t bring her baby into the chamber because that rule applied in Federal Parliament.  Parliament rules prevent babies from being taken into the House of Representatives or the Senate when Parliament is sitting because only elected representatives are permitted on chamber floors. Cr Hannan said Cr Twarloh shouldn’t have been told she couldn’t bring Khaylan to meetings because councils and parliaments were worlds apart. 

“She was told you can’t bring babies into the council meetings because that’s what Federal Parliament is like,” she said. “We are nothing like Federal Parliament and it’s in the best interests of the baby and mum that they stay together during this crucial time of relationship development.” Cr Twarloh said she was thrilled about the new guidelines, which were adopted unanimously. 

“My personal thought is I wouldn’t want to breastfeed at the council meeting because it would either make some people uncomfortable or be a distraction,” she said. “Someone told me I couldn’t take Khaylan to council meetings and I just assumed you couldn’t because you can’t in parliament. “It’s just one of those things where there wasn’t a rule saying I can’t bring her to meetings but there wasn’t a rule saying I could,” she said. 

http://macarthur-chronicle-wollondilly.whereilive.com.au/news/story/wollondilly-council-allow-breastfeeding-at-council-meetings/ 

Justine Roberts: Mistress of the Mumsnet pack

Her website is home to a host of angry mothers who have savaged leaders Gordon Brown and David Cameron

In olden times, politicians used to stand on milk crates or kiss babies in their quest for the floating voter. Now, however, if they want Worcester woman to mark that box with an X they have to be far braver and venture onto the parenting website Mumsnet: the online equivalent of a gang of scary women waiting, talons bared, outside the school gate. 

David Cameron is the most recent political leader to undergo trial by Mumsnetters, the forthright users of the influential site. On Thursday he spent an hour fielding questions about the future of the BBC, the number of nappies that should be provided free to the parents of disabled children, breastfeeding, favourite biscuits and whether Jedward should win The X Factor. 

The reason the politicians are willing to put themselves in the Mumsnet stocks is that it now has 1m visitors each month who are 95% female, educated (70% have a degree or equivalent), wealthy (“if they don’t buy Boden, they buy Boden on sale”) and, crucially, don’t all know how they are going to vote — about 40% are uncommitted. 

I ask Roberts about the sheer rage that fills some of the forums. She takes a deep breath and says: “I know it feels like bullying, but actually it is just 300 people with the same opinion, who all happen to be in the same place.” 

She is adamant that Mumsnet does not have an ethos — “we support parents in all their choices” — but my experience is that to question the breastfeeding-ondemand orthodoxy is to unleash the Mumsnet dogs (or should that be bitches?) of war. 

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article6926734.ece 

Stem cells could be the secret reason why breast is best

Scientist says mother’s milk may play vital role in helping children ‘fulfil their genetic destiny’ 

Breast milk, long revered for the nutritional advantages it gives a newborn, could be just as vital in terms of infant development, a leading scientist will claim this week. Up to three different types of stem cells have been discovered in breast milk, according to revolutionary new research. 

Dr Mark Cregan, medical director at the Swiss healthcare and baby equipment company Medela, believes the existence of stem cells means breast milk could help a child “fulfil its genetic destiny”, with a mother’s mammary glands taking over from her placenta to guide infant development once her child is born. 

“Breast milk is the only adult tissue where more than one type of stem cell has been discovered. That is very unique and implies a lot about the impressive bioactivity of breast milk and the consequential benefits to the breastfed infant,” said Dr Cregan, who is speaking at Unicef’s Baby Friendly Initiative conference this week. His research has isolated adult stem cells of epithelial (mammary) and immune origin, with “very preliminary evidence” that breast milk also contains stem cells that promotes the growth of muscle and bone tissue. 

Scientists will use his discovery, made at the University of Western Australia, in Perth, Australia, to attempt to harvest stem cells from breast milk for research on a range of issues – from why some mothers struggle to produce milk to testing out new drugs that could aid milk production. “There is a plentiful resource of tissue-specific stem cells in breast milk, which are readily available and from a non-invasive and completely ethical source,” Dr Cregan said. 

Advocates hope the discovery will help to lift the UK’s breastfeeding rates: only one-third of babies are exclusively breastfed at one week, the number dropping to one-fifth at six weeks. At five months, only 3 per cent of mothers still exclusively nurse their babies – although the World Health Organisation recommends that babies should consume only breast milk until they are at least six months old. 

Rosie Dodd, campaigns director at the National Childbirth Trust, said: “This finding highlights the many factors that are in breast milk that we know so little about and that all have different advantages, such as helping a baby’s immune system to develop.” 

Dr Cregan said the discovery of immune stem cells was the “most exciting development”, adding, “It’s quite possible that immune cells in breast milk can survive digestion and end up in the infant’s circulation. This has been shown to be occurring in animals, and so it would be unsurprising if this was also occurring in human infants.” 

British scientists gave a cautious welcome to Dr Cregan’s discovery, warning that just because stem cells exist in breast milk did not mean that they could be used to develop a therapy – the ultimate goal of stem cell research. Chris Mason, professor of regenerative medicine at University College London, said: “It may give us some insight into specific breast diseases and is potentially valuable when it comes to drug discovery and drug development but it is fanciful to think it could provide routine therapies.” 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/stem-cells-could-be-the-secret-reason-why-breast-is-best-1825558.html 

The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee reminds employers of the significance and benefits of worksite lactation in a Nov. 16 press release. According to a CDC survey, 75 percent of new mothers initiate breastfeeding, but rates of exclusive breastfeeding at six months and continued breastfeeding at 12 months are far below national standards. Currently, only 24 of the 50 U.S. states have legislation providing worksite support for breastfeeding. 

http://www.womensenews.org/story/cheers-and-jeers/091120/semenya-retains-title-somali-stoned-death 

Trying to be supermum left me suicidal’  

Today, new mums are expected to have natural births, breastfeed without a hitch, and get back into their jeans within weeks. The pressure to be perfect has never been greater…  

And after failing to breastfeed and bond with her baby, Clare, 31, from Devon, felt so inadequate as a mother that she not only gave her son away, but also tried to kill herself. 

With post-natal depression affecting one in 10 mothers, research suggests that at least 50 new mums commit suicide every year, because they feel they can’t cope with their new babies. 

In July, Catherine Bailey, a lawyer and mum of three, drowned herself in the Thames. Her youngest daughter was just seven months old. Recording a verdict of suicide, coroner Alison Thompson said that Catherine “found it hard to meet the demands of motherhood and the high standard she’d set herself”. 

Two months earlier, an inquest ruled an open verdict on the death of mum Katy Isden, 30, who plunged 300ft to her death from a 20-floor building. She’d had post-natal depression and had struggled to breastfeed her son, Benjamin. 

And Hampshire mum of twins, Heather Finkill, 30, walked in front of a truck after struggling with her newborns. After her death it was revealed she was obsessed with getting things ‘right’ and felt her husband Ryan was coping better with them than she was. 

“I felt such a failure,” she says. “All the other mums on the ward seemed to be doing OK – my baby was crying, but I couldn’t feed him. I was his mum, I was the one who was meant to be able to feed him, nurture him and I couldn’t.” 

Desperate to give him some breast milk, Clare agreed to be ‘milked’ – an electric pump was attached to her breasts to extract milk and encourage more to be produced. Even so, she only managed to produce the equivalent of two teaspoons. Not enough for a hungry one-day-old baby. 

Clare took that as another sure sign she was an all-round failure as a mother. “I did ask for help, but felt I was wasting everyone’s time. After three days I asked for formula for him, but as I said the words, I felt all eyes turn on me. It seemed I was the only one on the ward who wasn’t breastfeeding,” she says. “That in itself made me feel like my son had the worst mum.” 

Nursing staff let Clare bottle-feed Rhys, but in her head the damage was already done. 

‘HUMILIATED BECAUSE I COULDN’T BREASTFEED’ 

Full-time mum Laura Buchanan, 26, lives in Stoke-on-Trent with her partner Mark, 32, son Benjamin, four, and daughter Jasmine, two. 

“Like many new mums, I had high expectations about motherhood.  Celebrities make it look so easy – back at work within days of giving birth. How hard could it be? When I was doing my birth plan, I was prepared by midwives for it to run smoothly. The reality was so different. 

When I gave birth to my son Benjamin, he got stuck. I suffered a third-degree tear and lost two pints of blood. It was a huge shock and I felt like such a failure.  I couldn’t breastfeed due to the blood loss and was devastated. Everyone says ‘breast is best’ and no one tells you that if it doesn’t happen, you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. Giving my son formula milk, I felt like I wasn’t a proper mum. 

I have a many friends who have babies in the past couple of years and I can literally see the pain of those who can’t breastfeed due to the babies not latching on properly in their faces when they talk about it. All this ‘breast is best’ is fine and good, but it’s hit such a point now where mums who have problem breast feeding are now feeling totally inadequate when it doesn’t happen. Yes, it’s preferable, but not, you aren’t a bad mum if it doesn’t happen. These need to be told this by healthcare professionals as they are feeling cupabilised and it’s not on. You can be a great mum even if breastfeeding doesn’t work for you. 

http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/fabulous/features/606407/Trying-to-be-supermum-left-me-suicidal-motherhood-suicide-new-mothers.html

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Breastfeeding in the News: Nov. 13 – 20th, 2009

Hello All,

Anthropologists can be so distracting.  Last week I had a chance to hear both Sarah Hrdy (author of “Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding”) and James McKenna (author of “Sleeping with Your Baby”).  So instead of searching out the latests news on breastfeeding I kept finding myself thinking about the biological and cultural evolution of mothers and babies.  For millions of years babies have slept with their mothers.  Even primates that allow others to care for their babies during the day sleep with their babies at night. (Coincidently both Hrdy & McKenna started their careers studying monkeys!)  It has only been in the last 200 years (just since the Industrial Revolution) that we have stopped sleeping with our babies.  Think how short a time that is!  There is no way that the physiology of infants could evolve fast enough to cope with such a significant change.  It would be like expecting polar bears to adapt to palm trees at the North Pole twenty years from now. 

Now consider that in just the past 100 years we have gone from breastfeeding our babies to feeding our infants cow’s milk from a bottle.  And yet in this short amount of time our culture has so totally embraced formula feeding that any movement back towards breastfeeding is met with stern resistance.  In Australia women are reacting extrememly to the announcement that the government wants to make breastfeeding the norm.   “Whatever happened to choice? asks one columnist who insists that “This goes to the very core of a mother’s rights.”   

 “My nipples were red raw from breastfeeding and blood was dripping on to the carpet. Tears were falling on top of the splatters.  A midwife entered the room. Her advice for me was to “grin and bear it”.  Stories like these are offered as proof that women are being pressured into breastfeeding at the expense of their own well being. For a more balanced look at the choice between breastfeeding and formula read “Does Healthcare have anything to do with Health?” by Dr. Kimerer La Mothe  (If you have time to read only one story today this is the one I recommend.)  She says “Health is not given to us, it is created by us, as we use the information at our disposal to discover and grow the seeds of what our own bodily selves know.”  Here is her take on breastfeeding:

You must like nursing, people say. Well, yes and no. It’s not really about liking it. It’s about making the movements that allow me to be the mother, dancer, and philosopher I am and want to be. It’s about making the movements that will enable me to keep working, keep sleeping, keep the child napping, stay sane. It’s about managing the flow of thoughts and feelings, laundry and lunching. It’s about convenience and challenge, pleasure and well-being, time saved and spent. It’s about investing in an immune system and trusting in touch. It’s about figuring out what works, and having the faith and fortitude to honor it. It’s about health.”

While the mommy warriors attack each other about which is better breastmilk or formula, the formula companies continue to make money.  Shares in Mead Johnson have risen 89% since their Initial Public stock offering (IPO) last February.  “Bristol-Myers Squibb Co is to sell its 83 per cent holding in pediatric nutrition company Mead Johnson”  which will allow the company to be even more independent.  Goody for them.  Meanwhile the UN reports that almost 200 million children under the age of five have experienced “stunted growth” due in part to not exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months.  “Stunting is associated with developmental problems and is often impossible to correct,” a UNICEF statement said. “A child who is stunted is likely to experience a lifetime of poor health and underachievement.”  Here in the US formula companies are also being accused of marketing heavily to blacks who now have the lowest breastfeeding initiation rates and the highest rates of food allergies.

But before you despair the news isn’t all bad.  Happily in the list: “A to Z of what’s right with America” breastfeeding can be found under B.  And in British Columbia a public health nurse has convinced her city council to place breastfeeding welcome here decals in all the municipal buildings.  This should make it easier for private businesses to follow suit.  I’ve also included a report from mothers who tried breastfeeding in Disneyland.  One mother tells how she nursed while on the Haunted Mansion ride “although that part of the ride as you head into the cemetery where you’re turned around and heading backward was a little tricky”.  Another mother reports that while nursing at the official Disney Baby Care Center she felt “secluded and lonely”.  But I think Disney did the right thing by calling their center a “baby care” room rather than a “breastfeeding room/lounge”.  In Australia apparently some bottle feeding mothers feel resentful of breastfeeding rooms because they feel excluded. 

 Asiana Airlines has launched their “Hapy MomServices”.  “ …the airline has been providing exclusive check-in counters for mothers at the airport, breastfeeding covers and baby slings free of charge for travelers with babies.” I’m not sure how I feel about the breastfeeding cover ups, but free slings!  That’s terrific. They have even raised the age limit from 24 months to 36 months and they’re in 10 international airports!  Meanwhile back here in the states Sesame Street has been lauded for continuing to show their old Buffy St. Marie tape of her breastfeeding (the article includes a link to the clip) but somehow the  another clip from the 1980’s that included a brief breastfeeding segment now shows a baby being bottle fed. 

Over in the UK the NHS are now handing out instructions to dads on how to be a good father.  “Midwives see lots of fathers, but because they don’t fit into an NHS role – they are not the patient – they don’t have anything to give them.”  Becoming a father for a first time is apparently good for men as it makes them more motivated to improve their health.  (McKenna talked about a study which reported that having a baby lowered fathers testerone levels – but only if they were married!) This same article encouraged dads to support their partner’s efforts to breastfeed.   Too bad the young man from Saipan who beat his wife as she was breastfeeding didn’t get the same encouragement. 

In science news Dr Susan Love’s efforts to recruit one million people in breast cancer studies has allowed at least one breastfeeding researcher to speed up her work.  “Kathleen Arcaro, an environmental toxicologist at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, wants to analyze genetic changes in the breast tissue cells present in the milk samples from 250 women. She needed women who were currently breastfeeding and who needed a breast biopsy for a suspicious lump.  If her team had sought women through the normal channels — such as doctor’s offices and breastfeeding support groups, the project would have been too costly. But she has now enrolled 144 women, 80% of whom came from the Army of Women. “In less than a year, we’ve processed [samples from] 93 women in a study that people said we wouldn’t be able to do,” she says.  A study in the International Breastfeeding Journal reports that variations in mother’s breasts (specifically nipples) can affect weight gain.  While a study on pacifiers done in Argentina “concluded that pacifier use does not alter the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding at 3 months of age among infants born at term who had successful breastfeeding established at 2 weeks of life.

There are a few more miscellaneous articles included below.  (Nicole Kidman inists she wouldn’t have gotten her last movie role if her breast were still at their pre-breastfeeding size.) In “Needling Worry: Why are we so crazy when it comes to vaccines?”  the author compares our growing concern about vaccines to our passionate defense of breastfeeding.  “I think the anxiety about vaccines and breastfeeding is about seeking a false sense of control,” said Kiki Schaffer, director of the Parenting & Family Center at the 14th Street Y in Manhattan. “You can’t be anxious about everything, because it’s too much, so you pick a few manageable things to get really, really upset about. A few years ago it was asbestos, then alar in apples. But picking one or two things feels safer than having anxiety about the whole world.” And I think part of making your choice about what to get worked up about involves slamming the choices of others. Because what if they’re right? What if you’re the one who’s screwed up when it comes to your kid? Nothing could be more horrible to contemplate”. 

 That is certainly food for thought.  Although for lactivists such as myself one could also argue that it is easier to effect real change if you narrow your focus.  Next week I will be speaking to a group of businesses in a teleconference hosted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  Hopefully my crazy belief that breastfeeding mothers should be supported in the workplace will not only be heard, but will be acted on as well.

 Have a good week everyone, and thanks to everyone who sent me birthday greetings on Facebook.  You really made my day! 

Kathy Abbott, IBCLC 

www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com

On Facebook: “Breastfeeding in the News” 

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

 Do Pacifiers Interfere With Breastfeeding Success? William T. Basco, Jr., MD

Study Summary

One of the World Health Organization’s recommended best practices for assuring successful breastfeeding is for nursing mothers to use no artificial nipples or pacifiers with newborn infants who are breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting to introduce pacifiers until infants are at least 1 month old. Data are mixed on whether pacifier use affects breastfeeding. Observational studies suggest that pacifier use has a negative effect on nursing success, but randomized trials in developed countries suggest either no effect of pacifiers on nursing success, or reduced nursing success only with very early pacifier introduction.

This study sought to evaluate the effect of pacifier use on breastfeeding success in infants up to 3 months of age — a longer period than has been assessed in previous studies. Participants were enrolled at 5 tertiary care centers in Argentina, which were a mixture of public and private institutions….

In 2005 and 2006, 1021 infants were enrolled (528 assigned to pacifier use group). The groups were virtually identical on pre-enrollment characteristics, including birth weight, rate of cesarean section, maternal age, previous breastfeeding by the mothers, maternal education and smoking status, and percentage with fathers in the home. Approximately 95% of the subjects in both groups completed the trial.

The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding at 3 months of age was 85.8% in the pacifier group and 86.2% in the no-pacifier group, for a risk difference of 0.4%, (95% confidence interval -4.7% to 4%) In both groups, > 75% of the mothers were exclusively breastfeeding their study infants at 4 months. The rates of “any breastfeeding” were also virtually identical and remained > 97% for both groups through the 3 and 4 month assessments. Of note, only 67% of the infants in the pacifier use group actually used a pacifier, but 40% of the infants in the no-pacifier group also used a pacifier. The investigators concluded that pacifier use does not alter the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding at 3 months of age among infants born at term who had successful breastfeeding established at 2 weeks of life.

Viewpoint

The study authors noted that because previous trials enrolled fewer participants or followed infants for shorter periods, this study adds a great deal to the literature around this question. Although the investigators caution that this was a highly selected population (motivated mothers and infants who had established successful early nursing), such women likely constitute large percentages of the population at many US maternity hospitals. These data strike me as highly useful and practical when offering advice to expecting or new mothers on “what to do about pacifiers?” Coupled with data on decreased risk for sudden infant death syndrome with pacifier use,[1] these new data should reassure both moms and pediatric providers that pacifier use is not harmful and may, in some scenarios, be beneficial.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/711283

Bossy breastfeeding mums pressure bottle feeders, real mums survey finds (Australia)

A VOCAL minority of breastfeeding mums look down on those who bottle feed.  

A http://www.realmums. com.au survey of 466 women found some mothers who bottle-feed were made to feel inadequate by the pressure.

But it found while almost half the breastfeeding mothers (43.5 per cent) felt uncomfortable feeding in public, 98 per cent of the comments made to them were positive.

Real Mums founder Amanda Cox was disappointed to discover that bottle-feeding mums often put themselves down “big time”.

One was even told she could not use the parents’ room as they were for “breastfeeding mums only” and several were verbally attacked in public. But Ms Cox said these bad experiences were in the minority. She said while breastfeeding was great, women should not be judged if they could not physically or mentally do it.

“A few bottle-feeders also felt awkward, ashamed or as though they were judged,” she said. “The sad thing was the way they spoke about themselves in relation to their inability to breast-feed.”

Health ministers last week agreed babies should be breast-fed for the first six months.

The Real Mums survey found more than nine in 10 mothers had breast-fed in public and more than one in three had bottle-fed in public. The biggest concern of breastfeeding mothers was a wriggly baby who pulled away.

“They did feel uncomfortable when first attempting breastfeeding in public, but once they got the hang of it, they were mostly OK,” the survey found.

Almost all negative comments in public were directed at bottle- feeding mothers.

A small percentage of breastfeeders referred to things such as the “poison” of formula and made disparaging remarks about bottle-feedsing even though they weren’t asked.

“While some breastfeeding mums were seriously sanctimonious, and some bottle-feeding mums were seriously self-denigrating, the number was few, which is nice,” Ms Cox said.

“And breastfeeding mums did appear to be just a wee bit – OK, a lot – paranoid when it came to feeding in public.

“Most (were) more worried about what people might be thinking, not what was actually happening.”

“The bit we liked most, however, was … that of those that did have someone comment, they were positive comments.”

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/lifestyle/health-science/bossy-breastfeeding-mums-pressure-bottle-feeders-real-mums-survey-finds/story-e6frfhjf-1225799955987

Breastfeeding with benefits

“I thankfully was told about the group from my doctor, because I had no idea what La Leche League was before then,” she said. “It’s important to have breast-feeding services in a community, and we get referrals of moms from Royal Victoria Hospital. But a lot of mom’s still don’t know anything about our groups.”

To help spread the word, the La Leche League Barrie groups are holding a breastfeeding benefits family fun fair and silent auction fundraiser on Saturday at Ferris Lane Community Church (49 Ferris Ln.) from 10 a. m. to 1 p. m. Admission at the door is $3 per person, or $10 per family.  The event offers something for every family, including a silent auction, activities for children and tasty treats to nibble on courtesy of The Italian Bakery in Barrie.

 

http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2184558

An idea that is Hazardous to Your Health

Does “healthcare” have anything to do with “health”?

Kimerer LaMothe, Ph.D.

At the end of last week an article on breastfeeding caught my eye. Apparently, some celebrities have recently boasted about breastfeeding’s bulge-burning benefits. The article offered a response, amassing anecdotes from Every Woman for and against, asking: Is it true?

On the one hand, as someone who might qualify for professional nurser status, I warmed to the article’s positive pose. Mother of five, I have nursed for a total of over ten years—a full quarter of my life—and haven’t stopped yet. It works for me, for my kids, for our family.

On the other hand, however, the article made me shudder, and not (just) because it appeared in a fashion segment focused on fat. Left intact and even reinforced by the discussion was the greatest obstacle there is to any women figuring out for herself what strategies for nurturing her child will work for her: the idea that her body is a thing. This idea is hazardous to our health.

While no one came out and said, my body is a thing, the discussion assumed that a maternal body is a material entity subject to rules that apply in most cases. Is breastfeeding-to-lose such a rule? Women interviewed in the article and those who responded to it lined up for and against the rule based on their experiences. Those for whom it was true expressed delight that their bodies worked as they should. Those for whom it wasn’t were resigned or resentful or rebellious, blaming their bodies, or citing variables that interfered with the rule’s effect (like metabolism, not enough sleep, or inadequate exercise). 

However, the point to take home is not the truism that every woman is unique. The unsung point concerns the nature of health itself. Health is whole. What is healthy for us is something we must work out for ourselves in the context of the relationships that sustain us. Health is not given to us, it is created by us, as we use the information at our disposal to discover and grow the seeds of what our own bodily selves know.

Health, in this sense, is both the ability to know what is good for us, and the willingness to align our thoughts and actions with that knowledge. To have it, we need to cultivate it in our sensory selves and for our sensory selves every day—even and especially when figuring out how best to nurture a child.
*
This “health” is absent from current “healthcare” debates as well. Health is not what we get when we secure cheap drugs, insurance policies, or the right diet and exercise plan.

Even so-called “preventative medicine” is not about health. It is about monitoring a few variables that scientists know how to measure, marking them as “indicators,” and then prescribing drugs or behavior modifications designed to keep our numbers within a specified range. It is about identifying and managing risks based on statistics gathered over other times, places, and persons. 

Little in our contemporary approach to healthcare is about helping us learn for ourselves how to discern for ourselves what is good for us. We are told what is good for us and advised to implement it, for our own good. The assumption is that we don’t know. 

Yet, the fact is that no stack of statistics can deliver the most important piece of information you need for your ongoing health: which dot on the curve is you? No one can tell you what you most need to know: what works to enhance your health?
*
Our bodies are not things. Our bodies are movement—movement that is constantly registering sensations of pain and pleasure designed to guide us in making choices that align with our best health. 

Yet this capacity for knowing what is best for us remains a mere potential unless we develop it. Specifically, we need to learn to welcome, work with, and refine our sensations of pain and pleasure, so that our sensory selves can become surer guides.

Support in doing this kind of work is what mothers—as well as those concerned with health—need.
*
You must like nursing, people say. Well, yes and no. It’s not really about liking it. It’s about making the movements that allow me to be the mother, dancer, and philosopher I am and want to be. It’s about making the movements that will enable me to keep working, keep sleeping, keep the child napping, stay sane. It’s about managing the flow of thoughts and feelings, laundry and lunching. It’s about convenience and challenge, pleasure and well-being, time saved and spent. It’s about investing in an immune system and trusting in touch. It’s about figuring out what works, and having the faith and fortitude to honor it. It’s about health.

There is no way to measure the complexity of variables that make breastfeeding right for me, and thus no way for me to assume its rightness for anyone else.

 

Our health is something we cultivate through practices of attention to our own bodily selves. But we cannot begin to do so until we stop looking outside of ourselves for the rule that applies to our bodies, and start welcoming whatever information and stories come to us, not as grounds for judging ourselves, but as vital resources for helping us explore the movements we can make towards our own health. It’s what our bodies know.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-body-knows/200911/idea-is-hazardous-your-health

Huge numbers of stunted children, says UN report

Almost 200 million children under the age of five in the developing world suffer from stunted growth, according to a new U.N. report. But surprisingly, in the Middle East, wealthier countries have more of a problem than some poorer nations.

The Occupied Palestinian Territories, for example, have a stunting prevalence of 10 percent — the lowest in the Middle East — according to the study from UNICEF, the New York-based United Nations Children’s Fund.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both much wealthier nations, had significantly higher rates of stunting prevalence — 20 and 17 percent respectively.

Yemen had the highest rate of stunting prevalence in the Middle East — a staggering 58 percent — meaning more than half of all Yemeni children under five were significantly short for their age.

“High income from oil doesn’t mean the general population is benefitting from it,” said Arnold Timmer, senior adviser on nutrition for UNICEF, when asked about the findings.

Economic development is generally good news for nutrition and for human development,” Timmer told CNN. “But what children and mothers eat is not driven by economic indicators, but also by diet preferences, what’s available and what’s culturally trendy.” Timmer said food choice is a particular problem in the Middle East. “Instead of exclusively breast milk, the children might be getting a porridge of milk and butter and sugar that doesn’t have any vitamins and minerals in it,” Timmer said, “or tea.”

Timmer said tea is not recommended for young children because it can inhibit the absorption of iron, causing anemia.

Stunting, or low height for age, is caused by undernutrition, the U.N. said. “Stunting is associated with developmental problems and is often impossible to correct,” a UNICEF statement said. “A child who is stunted is likely to experience a lifetime of poor health and underachievement.”

The report, entitled “Tracking Progress on Child and Maternal Behavior,” said the 1,000 days from conception until a child’s second birthday are the most critical for development.

Stunting is a greater problem than being underweight or wasting, the U.N. report said. Most countries have much higher stunting rates than underweight rates, it said. In some countries, like Afghanistan, Yemen, Guatemala and Ethiopia, more than half of all children under five years old are stunted.

The U.N. defines stunting as height for age minus two standard deviations from the median height for that age. Wasting is defined as weight for height minus two standard deviations from the median weight for height for that age.

The bulk of the world’s undernutrition problem is localized, with 24 countries accounting for more than 80 percent of the world’s stunting. More than 90 percent of the developing world’s stunted children live in Africa and Asia. Although India is the country with the highest number of stunted children, it does not have the highest prevalence of stunting, due to its large population. Afghanistan has the highest prevalence of stunting of any country, with a whopping 59 percent.

The report recommends that of all the proven interventions, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life — together with nutritionally adequate food from six months onwards — can significantly impact stunting.

Progress has been made in both Asia and Africa on stunting, the report said. In Asia, the prevalence of stunting dropped from about 44 percent in 1990 to 30 percent in 2008. In Africa, it fell from around 38 percent to an estimated 34 percent over the same period.

But the children’s agency warns much more needs to be done.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/11/19/stunting/

Breastfeeding at Disneyland

Many of us have taken our infants to Disney theme parks. This week we discuss babies at theme parks. All of our contributors this week had their experiences at Disneyland as present:

Mary writes:  That child nursed not only on the train around the park, but on Pirates of the Caribbean, “it’s a small world,” Storybook Land Canal Boats, Monorail, Jungle Cruise, Mark Twain, and, my favorite, the Haunted Mansion (although that part of the ride as you head into the cemetery where you’re turned around and heading backward was a little tricky).

For moms who feel that they need privacy, the Baby Care Center on Main Street at Disneyland offers a lovely quiet room with rockers, where moms and babies can go to enjoy a comfortable place away from onlookers. On a hot day, this place is a blessing.

Adrienne writes _ Many people know about the Baby Care Centers in the Parks. I nursed in a Baby Care Center once—and never again. I know that many women prefer a quiet, dark place to calm and feed their babies. In fact, I have often clarified that the feeding area in the Baby Care Center is available not just for breastfeeding but for bottle-feeding as well. The Baby Care Center feeding area can be a great resource for parents who want it.

That said, I felt secluded and lonely in the Baby Care Center. There are many “magical” aspects to breastfeeding, but not every feeding is a soft-lens angelic mother and child moment worthy of a poster in an OB/GYN’s office. I had plenty of quiet time at home with my baby. During our leisure time at Disneyland, I wanted to spend time with my family and friends—and I would like to think that they enjoyed their time with me as well! The magic in Disneyland and breastfeeding was that I could comfortably feed my son while I enjoyed time with my family and friends!

http://www.mouseplanet.com/9055/Breastfeeding_at_Disneyland

Breastfeeding decals planned  (Prince George, BC)

The city’s buildings could soon be sporting window decals that tells mothers they’re welcome to breastfeed in public places.
Pending approval from city council, the decals, which state that “healthy communities support breastfeeding anytime, anywhere,” will be placed in all civic facilities and city hall.
In September, Northern Health public health nurse Jessica Madrid encouraged city council to take the step, noting that about 80 per cent of mothers start off breastfeeding but the rate plummets following discharge from the hospital to 55 per cent after two months, 35 per cent after four months and 20 per cent after six months.
“We need a champion to help us promote breast feeding anytime, anywhere,” Madrid told council in a presentation. The window decals promote the “social marketing of breastfeeding as the cultural norm.
Cost of the decals, which staff said are easy to affix and remove, will be covered entirely by the Children First Initiative and the roll-out campaign will include additional information on how to support breastfeeding mothers and their children.
Madrid sees placing the decals in municipal buildings as a starting point from which she hopes to see them eventually show up on the windows and doors of city businesses

http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/20091116999915612/local/news/breastfeeding-decals-planned.html

Fatherhood: It’s Good for You

Most people wouldn’t see being a dad as a health issue, but apparently it is.

Upon becoming a father for the first time, many men discover a new meaning to life. Positive life changes usually follow, including quitting smoking and drinking, driving more carefully, eating better, getting more exercise and learning how to manage stress. Men who are actively involved in the lives of their children tend to be healthier, have more fulfilling marriages and careers and tend to live longer.

Support Breastfeeding. Ideally, your baby should have nothing but breast milk for the first six months. But nursing is sometimes hard for new moms. Make sure your partner gets plenty of fluids and rest, and encourage her every way you can.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/sns-health-fatherhood-good-for-you,0,1595194.story

Food Allergies on the Rise for US Children

The number of children with food allergies has increased 18% in the past ten years according to new research by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, those seeking treatment at hospitals and clinics for food allergy related symptoms have tripled since 1993.

Race seemed to be a factor, but not gender. Black children were about twice as likely as white children to have a peanut or milk allergy. Hispanic children have the lowest overall incidence of food allergies, but the greatest increase over the past 10 years. There were no significant differences in allergy rates between boys and girls.

 

Theories for the rise in allergic reactions to food range from “the hygiene hypothesis”, where over-sanitization of the environment has lead to immune system insufficiency in children. Another theory is the lower rate of breastfeeding in some demographic groups, which is thought to be protective against the development of food allergies.

http://www.emaxhealth.com/1506/50/34483/food-allergies-rise-us-children.html

Nicole Kidman says breastfeeding helped her get parts that called for curves.
Nicole Kidman isn’t coy about these baby bumps. The Oscar-winning actress better known for meaty roles than actual curves suddenly filled out after she began breastfeeding her baby daughter, Sunday Rose, last summer. “They’re not very big, my boobs, so they just became normal size. I loved it!” she titters in the December/January issue of Ladies’ Home Journal. “I felt very Woman. When you’ve had a slightly androgynous body your whole life, having breasts is a nice feeling.”

…her bigger bosom is what clinched her role as a sultry beauty in the upcoming musical “Nine” starring Daniel Day-Lewis. “[I had] big boobs because I was breast feeding – I was perfect for it,” she says. “I wouldn’t get cast now.”

“I was not looking to go back to work,” she admits. “I went back to work because this was . . . the perfect kind of scenario. Part of me was nervous about going back to work . . . but they said I could bring my baby to the set, and Rob didn’t seem to find a problem at all, so then I was like, ‘Uh, this is heaven.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/movies/2009/11/16/2009-11-16_nicole_kidman_says_breastfeeding_helped_her_get_parts_that_called_for_curves.html

Man allegedly beats up wife as she’s breastfeeding their baby (Saipan Tribune)

A 27-year-old man is facing charges in court after he allegedly beat up his common-law wife while she was breastfeeding their baby.

Once they got home at 3am, Ilo accused his wife of having an affair with a family member. Ilo then allegedly threw a can of beer, hitting the victim on the forehead. Later, as the victim was breastfeeding their baby, Ilo allegedly punched her several times, pushed her to the wall, pulled her hair, and threatened to kill her with a machete.

http://www.saipantribune.com/newsstory.aspx?newsID=95115&cat=1

Breastfeeding – The Feedgood factor

New mums and mums-to-be in Ayrshire and Arran can get the feedgood factor when they choose to breastfeed their babies.

http://www.cumnockchronicle.com/news/roundup/articles/2009/11/15/394086-breastfeeding-045-the-feedgood-factor/

Needling Worry

Why are we so crazy when it comes to vaccines?

CREDIT: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

I’ve been writing about parenting for eight years. And for eight years I’ve joked that if you want to make readers crazy, you only need two words: “vaccines” and “breastfeeding.”

Back in the day, of course, we just wanted our kids to survive childhood. I once wrote a piece for the Forward theorizing about why Judaism historically didn’t address stillbirth or miscarriage. Why weren’t babies who lived less than 30 days given funerals? Why weren’t they attended with the rituals associated with mourning? I’m guessing it’s because attitudes were different in a time when an infant’s death was a regular occurrence. It was better to move on, push past grief, plan for the next kid. Today we have the luxury of neurosis. We get to dwell. We have fewer kids, and we not only expect them to survive to adulthood, we expect them to go to Yale and become gastroenterologists and program our TiVos. We get worked up about vaccines and breastfeeding because we can.

Meanwhile, I wave around studies showing that once researchers correct for maternal age, income, smoking, intelligence, and education levels, the evidence is inconclusive about whether breastfeeding is better than bottle-feeding with modern formula—but lactivists continue to hurl insults at bottle-feeders and insist they’re harming their children and society. Why do we talk such different languages, at such cross-purposes?

So why the passion? I think it’s because we’re terrified of an unknowable future. Parenting is about making choices—how to feed a newborn, whether to work or stay home (if you’re an upper-middle class Jewess who is fortunate enough to have that choice), whether to vaccinate.

“I think the anxiety about vaccines and breastfeeding is about seeking a false sense of control,” said Kiki Schaffer, director of the Parenting & Family Center at the 14th Street Y in Manhattan. “You can’t be anxious about everything, because it’s too much, so you pick a few manageable things to get really, really upset about. A few years ago it was asbestos, then alar in apples. But picking one or two things feels safer than having anxiety about the whole world.” And I think part of making your choice about what to get worked up about involves slamming the choices of others. Because what if they’re right? What if you’re the one who’s screwed up when it comes to your kid? Nothing could be more horrible to contemplate. Better to close your eyes and go on the attack. At this point, the notion of kids dying of old-school diseases seems far more remote than the notion of your specific kid getting autism or an immune disorder. We don’t know any kids with rubella. We know lots of kids with autism.

 

All I know is that judgmental eye-rolling doesn’t help anyone. Not kids, and not parents.

http://www.tabletmag.com/life-and-religion/20492/needling-worry/

The effect of maternal breast variations on neonatal weight gain in the first seven days of life

Background

This study aims to examine whether specific maternal breast variations (such as flat nipple, inverted nipple, large breast or/and large nipple) are barriers for weight gain in breastfed infants during the first seven days of life.

Conclusion

Breast variation among first-time mothers acts as an important barrier to weight gain among breastfed neonates in the early days of life. Health professionals need skills in the management of breastfeeding among mothers with the specified breast variations, so that mothers are given appropriate advice on how to breastfeed and overcome these problems.

http://www.internationalbreastfeedingjournal.com/content/4/1/13

Infant formula maker spun off from parent company

Biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb Co is to sell its 83 per cent holding in pediatric nutrition company Mead Johnson which produces Enfamil infant formula.

Stephen Golsby, Mead Johnson’s chief executive officer said: “This transaction represents the important final step in our journey to be a fully independent public company. We believe the decision to split-off Mead Johnson reflects confidence in the success of our growth strategy and our strong financial performance since our IPO (initial public stock offering) in February, as well as BMS’ objective to focus on their core BioPharma business.”

Pediatric nutrition

Mead Johnson develops, manufactures, markets and distributes nutritional brands in 50 countries worldwide. The company claims its Enfa group of brands, including Enfamil(R) infant formula, is the world’s leading brand franchise in pediatric nutrition. In addition to baby formulas, including Enfamil that generated 61 per cent of the company’s revenue of $2.88bn last year, the company sells nutritional supplements for pregnant and nursing women, and people with metabolism problems.

James Cornelius, chairman and chief executive officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb, said: ““Now is the right time to move forward with a split-off, given the excellent performance of Mead Johnson since the IPO earlier this year and our confidence in the current and future performance of our biopharmaceuticals business.

Divestment strategy

By executing our healthcare divestment strategy, we have sharpened our BioPharma focus, improved the overall financial strength of the company and supported our ability to pursue strategic business development opportunities. All of these actions help us fulfill our mission to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines to help patients prevail over serious diseases,” said Cornelius.  Shareholders in his company will receive $1.11 of Mead Johnson stock for each $1.00 tendered in Bristol-Myers shares.

Mead Johnson shares have risen 89 per cent since the stock’s first public sale last February.

http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Industry/Infant-formula-maker-spun-off-from-parent-company/?c=ei8s7T8XuY7wpEkEwhQbwg%3D%3D&utm_source=newsletter_weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2BWeekly

Sesame Street turns 40: Segments promote breastfeeding over the years

Recently, Sesame Street expanded its focus on healthful living with exercise and good eating habits.  But in actuality, the program has been promoting healthy eating for babies since its inception, depicting breastfeeding and breastmilk as the normal, natural way to feed infants and drawing praise from members of the attachment parenting community for years.

One well-known clip from 1977 features a mother named Buffy and her infant son, Cody.  While she nurses her baby, Buffy explains to Big Bird why some mothers feed their babies at their breast.  “He likes it because it’s nice and warm and sweet and natural; it’s good for him.  And I get to hug him while I do it!” 

Some controversy exists over this next clip, which highlights video segments of parents and their babies set to the song “You’re My Baby” written and performed by Sesame Street‘s musical director, Joe Raposo.  The original clip (see below) was aired in the mid-1980s and briefly shows a mother breastfeeding her baby at approximately the 1:10 mark.  This segment was updated for the 21st century and, sadly, the breastfeeding clip was replaced with that of a baby being bottle-fed

If you would like to see Sesame Street advocate for breastfeeding in future episodes, contact the show’s production company, Sesame Workshop, via a short submission form located on their website.

http://www.examiner.com/x-29156-Minneapolis-Breastfeeding-Examiner~y2009m11d14-Sesame-Street-turns-40-Segments-promote-breastfeeding-over-the-years

NHS launches pocket ‘how to be a dad’ guide to fatherhood

Every new dad is to be handed a pocket guide offering advice on how to be a good parent.

The credit card-sized guide will provide tips on parenting and details on where to go for help.

It will be handed out to fathers attending the birth of their child and direct them to advice on subjects such as breastfeeding and paternity leave.

Duncan Fisher, of the card’s developers DadInfo, who will debate the role of fathers in childbirth at the Royal College of Midwives conference later this month, said: “Midwives see lots of fathers, but because they don’t fit into an NHS role – they are not the patient – they don’t have anything to give them.”

Among the tips given is the suggestion that the dad’s role at the birs to “help provide a loving and calm environment” and a warning that fathers can get depressed after the birth, “especially if your partner’s feeling low”.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2009/11/15/how-to-be-a-dad-card-115875-21822735/

A to Z of what’s right with America – the list.

A is for Alternative medicine – Although the Associated Press hasn’t figured it out yet, alternative medicine is cheaper, safer and more effective than pharmaceuticals and surgery.

B is for Breastfeeding – Because the best milk is mother’s milk.

C is for the Constitution – Without it, this website wouldn’t even exist and free speech would be stifled.

D is for Democracy – Despite all its shortcomings, Democracy is still the best form of government the world has come up with.

http://www.naturalnews.com/027492_America_A-to-Z.html

Give mums a break (Australia)

WOMEN do not need politicians telling them about the importance of breastfeeding. They do not need a bunch of bureaucrats demanding that they breastfeed their babies for six months.

What they could do with is a bit more access to services and support, not lectures that make them feel inadequate.  But as always, governments find it much easier to browbeat and pontificate than actually provide the ground-level assistance that taxpayers really need. Health ministers want a National Breastfeeding Strategy introduced next year to promote, protect, support and value breastfeeding so that it is viewed as the biological and social norm.

That might sound lovely, but what of the many mothers who find breastfeeding almost impossible for physical or economic reasons? Won’t such a campaign just make them feel so much worse? This goes to the very core of a mother’s rights.

Read in today’s Sunday Herald Sun our exclusive survey of new mothers and you will hear many felt “pressured” into breastfeeding even though they found it difficult. The mothers said they were given different advice by midwives, leaving them confused, distressed and frustrated. One was even told that giving formula to her newborn was like feeding it McDonald’s, another said that hospital staff treated her like a criminal for giving her baby a top-up formula feed.

Whatever happened to choice?

I support a woman’s right to choose and believe breast is best. However, we are overlooking the very simple fact that some women can’t or do not want to breastfeed. In an ideal world, where a mothers can choose and afford to stay at home and where breastfeeding comes easily, no doubt more would breastfeed. But new mothers are under enough pressure to cope. Give them a break.

This national strategy is not the way to encourage breastfeeding. It is putting a wedge between mothers who do and those who do not.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/give-mums-a-break/story-e6frfhqf-1225797718081

Breastfeeding just doesn’t work out for some mums  (Australia) 

There I was in a private room with no shirt on and no bra. I couldn’t. My nipples were red raw from breastfeeding and blood was dripping on to the carpet. Tears were falling on top of the splatters.  A midwife entered the room. Her advice for me was to “grin and bear it”. I was told to bite my lip for the first 10 seconds of every feed and the pain would gradually disappear.

As a first-time mum I was vulnerable and accepted her advice without question. After all, my comfort was secondary to giving my son the best start in life. My partner was a little less accepting. He asked the same midwife about introducing one bottle feed into the mix each day (one out of eight). She rolled her eyes and said: “A male would ask that question.”…

At their meeting in Adelaide on Friday, they signed off on a draft National Breastfeeding Strategy. The full five-year strategy will be finalised by the end of the year. Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon says it’s needed because not enough Australian women are breastfeeding. She cited an Australian study from 2004 that claimed 92 per cent of newborns were being breastfed. After one week that dropped to 80 per cent. With every month there was a steady decline. By three months, it was down to 56 per cent and by six months it was 14 per cent. Australian women should be doing better, Roxon says.

I for one am offended. The vast majority of women are already doing the best they can. Why doesn’t the Government just butt out? By all means give women the information they need, but let them make their own choices for their own children and don’t make them feel bad if they fall short of the mark.

http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21498,26349958-2761,00.html?from=public_rss

Mother banned from breastfeeding in pub

A mother has described how she was made to feel like a criminal after being ordered to stop breast-feeding in a pub.

Staff at the venue allegedly told Elizabeth Simpson, 28, to stop attending to her 10-week old daughter because customers were “eating their meals”.

“They said it was their policy not to have breastfeeding in the restaurant but there was no sign saying that.

“The fact that their main clientele seems to be young mothers shocked us even more,” she said. “It is absolutely ridiculous.

A Freemasons Arms spokesman said: “We’re disappointed to hear that one of our customers is unhappy with their recent visit.”

“We cater for lots of parents with young children and always aim to make their visit enjoyable as well as comfortable by providing baby changing facilities and high chairs.”

He added: “Breastfeeding in the pub is perfectly acceptable and our team is trained to offer support as and when requested.

“If this was not the case on this occasion then we sincerely apologise and hope the customer is willing to visit the pub again in the future.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/6561425/Mother-banned-from-breastfeeding-in-pub.html

Recruiting an Army of Women to fight breast cancer

Dr. Susan Love has a goal: Get 1 million people to enroll in breast cancer studies. She’s well on the way.

That’s why the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation created the Army of Women, an Internet-based campaign aimed at connecting volunteers with breast cancer researchers. Set up in partnership with the Avon Foundation for Women and scientists, the Love/Avon Army of Women takes all of those who sign up online: healthy women, women with a breast cancer diagnosis, women of all ages, shapes and colors, and even men with breast cancer. Its goal is to recruit one million volunteers.

Kathleen Arcaro, an environmental toxicologist at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, wants to analyze genetic changes in the breast tissue cells present in the milk samples from 250 women. She needed women who were currently breastfeeding and who needed a breast biopsy for a suspicious lump.

If her team had sought women through the normal channels — such as doctor’s offices and breastfeeding support groups, the project would have been too costly. But she has now enrolled 144 women, 80% of whom came from the Army of Women. “In less than a year, we’ve processed [samples from] 93 women in a study that people said we wouldn’t be able to do,” she says.

http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-army-of-women16-2009nov16,0,6031715.story

Packaging for pistol sight among items found in Fort Hood shooter’s apartment 

KILLEEN, Texas – Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s dingy apartment holds the odd remnants of a solitary military life, with hints of secrets and suggestions of terrible plans.

A folding card table near the kitchen was covered in white plastic and a random scattering of belongings. Some hinted of Hasan’s Arab roots and Islamic faith: a pile of Jordanian and Israeli coins, an Al Fajr-brand alarm clock and a white knit skull cap. Beside those items was a thin paperback book published in India in 1993, Dreams and Interpretations , by Allamah Muhammed Bin Sireen.

The book’s back cover declares it “a must in every Muslim home.” Its table of contents promises explanations for 900 dreams – everything from birth to breastfeeding, from seeing Allah to recognizing his messengers.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/texassouthwest/stories/DN-apartment_12ent.ART.State.Edition1.983b6c.html

More black women are breastfeeding, but less than other moms

A National Health and Nutrition Examination survey shows that breast-feeding rates increased significantly among black women from 36 percent in 1993-1994 to 65 percent in 2005-2006. However, the findings, released last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also show that 80 percent of Mexican American and 79 percent of white infants were breast-fed during the same period.

And, despite an increase in lactation programs and consultants in hospitals, many health care professionals do not encourage black women to breast-feed. Barber also notes that heavy marketing by makers of infant formula also impacts some women’s decisions to breast-feed. However, black women who are educated, as well as those who have a supportive partner tend to breast-feed more, Barber says.

http://www.thegrio.com/2009/11/kathi-barber-recalls-watching-her.php

Asiana Airlines to Reinforce Mother-Friendly Services

Asiana’s mother-friendly services have been gaining enthusiastic reviews from those who have been through the ordeals of travelling with infants.

Through the recent launch of “Happy Mom Services,” the airline has been providing exclusive check-in counters for mothers at the airport, breastfeeding covers and baby slings free of charge for travelers with babies.

The service was initiated on Oct. 1 at 10 International airports (Incheon, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, London, Frankfurt, Paris and Sydney) to which Asiana flies. Out of 2,277 passengers traveling with infants, 1,043 passengers used the exclusive counters and 167 passengers were provided with breastfeeding covers, an Asiana spokesperson said.

In response to the enthusiastic reception, Asiana will extend the “Happy Mom Services” to 66 airports internationally. Also, they will lengthen the age limit from 24 months to 36 months old.

“I was worried about breastfeeding on board. But when arriving at JFK International Airport, I found that there was an exclusive counter for mothers run by Asiana and received a breastfeeding cover as well. During my 14-hour flight to Incheon, it was very pleasant for me to travel to Korea,” Choi Eun-sun, a passenger on the Nov. 13 Incheon OZ221 from New York to Incheon, said.

“No other airline has provided such services. This is really great for moms,” Agreda Sison Leizl, a passenger on the airline’s Oct. 29 flight from Chicago to Incheon, said.

Netizens have also shown their interest in the new services and currently 21 blogs and 10 internet cafes are talking about the “Happy Mom Services.”

The exclusive check-in counters for those with infants provide the 3E services ― Express Check In, Express Boarding and Express Baggage. It allows passengers with infants to shorten the waiting period at airports.

Passengers with infants will also receive a “Priority Tag” on their checked baggage. Arriving passengers with infants will now be able to quickly retrieve their baggage without the hassle of caring for their infant while waiting at baggage claim.

During long-haul flights, mothers have faced difficulties in feeding their infants. Usually, feeding takes place in the toilets or the galleries of aircraft. In order to resolve these difficulties, Asiana will provide breastfeeding covers for passengers when asked by request at the departure point.

For larger infants travelling on children tickets, Asiana is providing free installation of baby safety seats upon reservation. Asiana hopes the service will negate the need for passengers to bring along their own baby seats.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2009/11/119_55403.html

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

Breastfeeding in the News: Oct. 21th – Nov. 1st, 2009

Hello All,

While here we debate the pros and cons of the H1N1 vaccine in Nigeria they are debating the pros and cons of a different vaccine – the rotavirus vaccine.  Recognizing that exclusive breastfeeding can prevent rotavirus the Nigerians are debating whether or not it would be best to spend their money on the rotavirus vaccine or other childhood killers such as malaria & AIDS.

In other international news in Burkino Faso excusive breastfeeding is frowned upon and is considered a luxury for the rich.  In England a mother has lodged a complaint saying that because her hospital refused to clip her baby’s tongue tie she is now unable to breastfeed.  The city of Toronto, Canada with the help of the local public health department and the Chinese/Vietnamese Breastfeeding Network set a new record when they got 373 babies to breastfeed at the same time!  And South Africa’s Mining Weekly reports that their unions have just negotiated a four month maternity leave with an extra three months for breastfeeding!!  Do you hear what I’m saying?  The miners in South Africa have better a maternity/breastfeeding leave than we do here in the US!  Tell that to your Senator.

Lansinoh just celebrated their 25th anniversary.  Did you know that Lansinoh was created in a mother’s kitchen?  A Boston Globe columnist insisted that because her baby weaned early it surely ok if the reader’s 7 month old weans as well. (Don’t you hate it when professional give advice based on their own personal experience.)  And a male blogger wants to know “how does a man tell his wife about how over-exposure of her breasts in public affects the way he perceives them as objects of desire?”     

In science news pacifiers have been linked to speech problems but breastfeeding appears to have no detrimental effects on speech.  Lactoferrin a component of breast milk has been found to prevent late on-set sepsis in very low birth weight infants, however the authors insist that bovine lactoferrin is more protective than the human kind, which of course makes me wonder who funded this study.

My favorite story of the week is about a Portland mother who received an award for her decade of breastfeeding activist work.  “Anybody who’s done any serious volunteer work knows that this is how it starts. You start giving a few hours a week from home. Then you make a suggestion about how to phrase a grant proposal. Then you’re drafted to actually write the thing. Then you’re meeting with senators and governors, and changing the national culture. I love the part when her 10 & 13 year old sons watch her get her award at a breakfast meeting and go off to school still proudly wearing their name tags complete with a bold breastfeeding logo.  Now that’s how you change society!

For any of you who are in New Hampshire this weekend I will be speaking at the ME/NH La Leche League conference.  In addition to “Breastfeeding in the News: The Media vs The Science” I will be doing a session on “Case Studies”.  This will be my first time doing a case study session so wish me luck, and as usual I love hearing from you!

Kathy Abbott, IBCLC

www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com

On Facebook: “Breastfeeding in the News”

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

Diarrhoea no longer a major killer in Nigeria

According to a new report released by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, diarrhoea is the second leading killer of children, killing an estimated 1.5 million each year. Diarrhoea is the condition of having frequent loose or liquid bowel movements and can be caused by bacterial infections, parasites and viral infections like rotavirus. Researchers in Nigeria, however, say that diarrhoea is not the second, but the fourth killer of children after malaria, respiratory infections and HIV/AIDS. Nevertheless, they admit that diarrhoea remains a problem for children due to non-exclusive breastfeeding as was the case with little Opeyemi — poor hygiene and lack of clean water. Former minister of health and paediatrician, Adenike Grange said: “Hardly will you get a baby exclusively breastfed come down with diarrhoea; even after this period, when he/she is introduced to other foods, the immunity acquired will help. World over, paediatricians have found that exclusive breastfeeding in the first six to eight months of life will give a child antibodies that are resistant to rotavirus.”

According to her, diarrhoea is not the second highest killer of children in Nigeria, but respiratory diseases.

“I would rather the country spends money on pneumococcal vaccines, haemophila influenza, than on diarrhoea because diarrhoea is not the second killer of children. There may be a high incidence, but those children don’t die anymore. Let us conserve our funds to deal with cases that don’t have alternatives; diarrhoea has alternatives.”

Need for a vaccine?

A consultant paediatrician at Massey Street Children’s Hospital, Abieyuwa Emopkae, agreed with Dr. Grange, but advocated for the rotavirus vaccine.

“Yes, breastfeeding is effective, but you find that once a child starts crawling, he picks things from the ground and puts them into his mouth. Even in areas where you have clean water, you still get rotavirus because you can pick it up from touch,” he said. “Most children come in contact with [rotavirus] in the first year. You find out that even in developed countries where they have clean water, rotavirus is still the commonest form of infection. The vaccine is important.”

Dr. Emopkae also said that diarrhoea is not the second highest killer of children.

“In our hospital, malaria is the first killer, follow by respiratory infection, then HIV/AIDS and maybe diarrhoea follows. This is because we have, over the years, mastered how to manage diarrhoea using oral dehydration therapy and zinc.”

The UNICEF-WHO report recommends the rotavirus vaccine because it has the potential to reduce up to 40 percent of the hospital admissions that currently result from diarrhoea. But while it is affordable by the standards of developed nations, who bears the cost of supplying it to the millions of children at risk in the developing world. Dr. Grange, however, believes that Nigeria need not spend so much money on vaccines as there are other cost-effective ways of dealing with it.

“Although the vaccine will be good if we get it, but that is spending a lot of money,” she said. “I believe that there are other cost-effective and sustainable ways of dealing with it. For example, keeping the environment clean, getting clean water and using oral dehydration therapy.”

 

http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/News/Metro/Health/5475105-147/Diarrhoea_no_longer_a_major_killer.csp

Is 7-month old ready to wean? (Boston.com Moms/ Boston Globe)

That said, having nursed for more than six months, you have already given your son a gift of immunity along with lots of other good things. So, yes, I do understand the guilt, and nursing longer might be nice, but it isn’t always possible. Some babies (mine included), are done sooner than others, and so are some moms.

http://www.boston.com/community/moms/blogs/child_caring/2009/10/is_7month_old_r.html

 

Jerry Brown’s camp responds to “short-shrifting” claim

We told you yesterday about Mayor Gavin Newsom taking multiple digs at Attorney General Jerry Brown, his expected challenger for the Democratic nomination for governor, at his San Rafael town hall meeting earlier this week.

From our point of view, both men can give a little too much information. Remember, Brown recently told a roomful of San Franciscans where he was conceived, and Newsom can’t stop talking about his wife’s breastfeeding abilities. Like we said, TMI.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/cityinsider/detail?&entry_id=50498

FACTBOX-World’s leading global health risks

A total of 10.4 million children died in 2004, mostly in low to middle-income countries. An estimated 39 percent of these deaths (4.1 million) were caused by poor nutrition, a lack of breast-feeding and preventable environmental risks.

http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLR3460

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breast mil contains antibodies that help protect infants from common illnesses.

(see link for great photos!)

http://abcnews.go.com/WN/slideshow?id=8906837

Lansinoh Laboratories Celebrates 25 Years of Supporting Breastfeeding Moms

Lansinoh Marks Its Anniversary by Giving Away 25 Gift Baskets Filled with All

the Lansinoh Products That Breastfeeding Moms Have Depended on for a Quarter

Century

Lansinoh is best known for its Lanolin nipple ointment, the company`s first
product, and still today the No. 1 product in its category for soothing,
healing, and protecting sore, cracked nipples. Rasheda Hagen, a breastfeeding
mother of two daughters, packaged ultra-pure, medical grade Lansinoh Lanolin in the kitchen of her home in 1984, when no other pure nipple ointment could be found. It is the only topical nipple ointment endorsed in the U.S. by La Leche League International. It was this Lanolin that provided the inspiration for the company`s name. Lansinoh means: Lan (lanolin) sin ("without" in Latin) oh (chemical symbol for alcohol). 

All Lansinoh products have followed in the tradition started by Hagen-made by
moms, for moms. The company`s products are created in effort to address the
growing market for breastfeeding supplies and accessories. In the U.S., this
market has grown 40 percent since 2005, according to IRI. The birth rate in the U.S. has increased to 4.3 million in 2007, up 4 percent since 2003, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Fully 77 percent of mothers now initiate breastfeeding, according to the CDC, the highest initiation rate the U.S. has achieved to date.

 

To enter Lansinoh`s gift basket giveaway, moms must write about their most

rewarding breastfeeding experience in a comment on ByMomsForMoms.net.

Twenty-five winners will be randomly selected from the pool of applicants.

Deadline for submission is Nov. 21 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Winners will be announced

on ByMomsForMoms.net.

http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS234242+27-Oct-2009+BW20091027

Portland mom becomes advocate for breast-feeding

Any fears Amelia Psmythe harbored about the impact her decade of volunteer work had on her two sons disappeared last month.

On Sept. 18, Ailim and River – they’re 10 and 13, prime squirm-with-discomfort ages — accompanied Psmythe to the Nursing Mothers Counsel of Oregon’s annual awards breakfast. They managed not to blush during testimonials about the importance of breast-feeding and a Facebook-unfriendly slide show of suckling babes. They beamed as the group’s annual leadership award was renamed for their mother.

Then Psmythe drove them to school. The boys kissed her goodbye, ran into class and pointedly did not remove their name tags, the ones with the unmistakable image of a mom feeding her newborn.

If Psmythe can convince her sons breast-feeding is reasonably cool – or at least not completely embarrassing – why shouldn’t she be able to win over the rest of us?

If you’ve had a baby in the past decade, or if you’ve merely smiled at one, this 38-year-old Southwest Portland mom has made your life better. As a volunteer and now leader of the Breastfeeding Coalition of Oregon, she’s pushed hospitals, lawmakers and businesses to make nursing easier and to raise awareness about the fact that mother’s milk is the best thing for babies.

Psmythe has an activist streak dating back to women’s studies classes at Earlham College, the Quaker school in Indiana where she learned that, “the personal is political.”

Nursing her first son was easy. But when her second came along, she had questions and called the Nursing Mothers Counsel’s help line for new moms. After a volunteer helped Psmythe solve her own problem, she decided to join up. Answering calls was something she could do as a stay-at-home mom.

Anybody who’s done any serious volunteer work knows that this is how it starts. You start giving a few hours a week from home. Then you make a suggestion about how to phrase a grant proposal. Then you’re drafted to actually write the thing. Then you’re meeting with senators and governors, and changing the national culture.

In Psmythe’s case, the grant proposal was a request for $7,000 to the Multnomah County branch of Women, Infants and Children, a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that helps poor women and their children. Psmythe suggested the Nursing Mothers Counsel mount an effort to educate expectant mothers about the benefits of breast-feeding, rather than waiting until after the baby is born – and mom is both exhausted and emotionally spent.

WIC said no. But more than a year later, another federal agency called. The Office of Women’s Health was starting a national breast-feeding awareness program and looking for local programs to support. Somehow, they’d received Psmythe’s rejected grant application. They gave the Nursing Mothers Counsel $25,000.

Psmythe popped in a video for the kids and went to work. She hasn’t stopped since.

“I guess it’s like most things, you learn as you go,” she said. “I went from a trembling voice to very confident to … well, it might be fair to say we’re making a difference.”

Quite a difference. By 2007, every hospital in Portland had agreed to stop sending new moms home with bags of formula, a big step on the road toward making breast-feeding the norm rather than merely an option. In 2008, the Oregon Legislature required businesses to give mothers time to nurse or pump at work. This summer, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley introduced a similar national bill.

There is still plenty to do. The formula companies spend millions upon millions each year to make their product seem as natural as mother’s milk. Each day, thousands of new parents give up nursing because they’re tired and frustrated.

But Psmythe and a growing army of moms are changing the law and, more importantly, societal attitudes. Just look at her boys, and those name tags they didn’t take off.

Anna Griffin

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/anna_griffin/index.ssf/2009/10/portland_mom_becomes_advocate.html

Kate Gosselin Answers Questions in New Special Tonight

She’ll also talk about breastfeeding, which she managed to do for the sextuplets the entire time they were in the NICU. “You could have called me the local Dairy Queen,” she said. “It gave me great pride to give them liquid gold, and I firmly believe in it.”

http://www.twirlit.com/2009/10/26/kate-gosselin-answers-questions-in-new-special-tonight/

Sex Talk: To Remain Objects of desire, breasts need some privacy

One doctor whose wife has breast cancer said during an online interview that with the news about the disease come great anxieties about what could happen to the sex. But no man dares discuss that with a wife facing a mastectomy. He wouldn’t want to be labelled too sex-minded.

Similarly, how does a man tell his wife about how over-exposure of her breasts in public affects the way he perceives them as objects of desire?
The more a woman covers up and retains a degree of mystery about herself, the more sexually challenging she is – or so the men say.

Motherhood requires cleanliness, lest it turns you into an undesirable, pretty, dirty woman always smelling of breast milk. In fact, my mother always jokes that you can only certify a neat woman after she has had a child or two.

Do you know the smell of breast milk on fabric? Fish mixed with boiled eggs smell better!

Keep your hubby interested; look after those breasts.

Some feminist must be arguing now: “Shya! That is turning women into sex objects!”
Yeah right. If you are in a marriage, then accept the fact that you are very much an object of sexual desire too!  

http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5625:-sextalk-to-remain-objects-of-desire-breasts-need-some-privacy&catid=69:sex-talk&Itemid=104

Toronto wins world record for breastfeeding

On Oct. 3, mothers and babies at hundreds of sites across Canada and around the world competed to set a record for the most babies breastfeeding at one time.

In Toronto, 190 mothers and 191 hungry infants and toddlers gathered at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts to participate in this year’s challenge.

Another 182 mothers and babies in the city participated online for a total of 372 mothers and 373 babies breastfeeding at the same time.

This was all part of World Breastfeeding Week in Canada.

Toronto’s participation was organized by Toronto Public Health and the Chinese/Vietnamese Breastfeeding Network.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2009/10/22/breast-feeding.html

Sutton mum cannot breast feed her baby after hospital delay

Millie Hammond, who is now three weeks old, from Carshalton, has a condition called tongue-tie, which means her tongue is held down by a membrane, making it impossible for her to be breastfed.

The midwife at St Helier Hospital, where Millie’s mother Nicola Russell, 33, gave birth, spotted the condition on the same day she was born, but Miss Russell was told the procedure to cure Millie could not be performed at the hospital for several weeks.

Miss Russell said: “I was desperate to breastfeed my little girl, but I couldn’t and now I really can’t because I don’t have any more milk. “I’m really angry and disappointed. “I was given a leaflet with other centres to go to, Bourne Hall and Dorking Medical Centre, but they all turned me down.

“They said they didn’t receive funding from Sutton so I could not have it done there. We were told to go private, but we couldn’t afford it. It would cost £100.

http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/sutton/4693604.Mum_cannot_breast_feed_her_baby_after_hospital_delay/

 

Breastfeeding Challenge

Among the participating communities was Taloyoak, where roughly 14 mothers took part, according to community health worker Annie Buchan. The event consisted of eating healthy snacks and watching presentations about the benefits of breastfeeding, including a history of breastfeeding in Inuit culture.

“It’s a traditional way for Inuit for thousands of years,” Buchan said. “If we didn’t have breastfeeding, we wouldn’t be here.”

http://nnsl.com/northern-news-services/stories/papers/oct19_09br.html

Burkina Faso – exclusive breastfeeding comes up against the obstacle of tradition

Interviews conducted with 1,000 women, fathers and childbirth professionals have shown that exclusive breastfeeding is a practice frowned upon, indeed unthinkable and considered to be alien to Burkina Faso. It’s as simple as that!

Researchers were indeed surprised to discover that some mothers went so as far as to give their infants water mixed with ashes, plants or sugar in the belief that these concoctions would help cure, purify and avert death …

Marcel Bengaly, the biochemist and nutritionist who coordinated the study, believes that breastfeeding is perceived as a luxury reserved for the rich. In fact, the main obstacle to changing breastfeeding practices appears to be a reluctance to abandon tradition. Women recognise the value of their breast milk, but for them the leap from this to breastfeeding only is a step too far.

http://www.destinationsante.com/Burkina-Faso-exclusive-breastfeeding-comes-up-against-the-obstacle-of.html

Lengthy Pacifier Use can lead to Speech Problems

Delaying bottle use until at least 9 months old reduced the risk of developing a speech disorder, researchers found. But children who sucked their thumb, fingers or used a pacifier for more than three years were three times as likely to develop speech impediments. Breastfeeding did not have a detrimental effect on speech development.

“The development of coordinated breathing, chewing, swallowing and speech articulation has been shown to be associated with breastfeeding. It is believed that breastfeeding promotes mobility, strength and posture of the speech organs,” the authors wrote.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2009/10/pacifiers-speech-breastfeeding.html

 

NUM demands 20% wage increase, rejects Lonmin’s 6,5% offer

Mining Weekly / Johannesburg, South Africa

Although a wage agreement has not yet been reached, the parties have agreed on providing employees two days study leave as well as seven months paid maternity leave, which comprises of four months paid leave plus an additional three months paid leave for breastfeeding, the NUM said.

http://www.miningweekly.com/article/num-rejects-lonmins-65-wage-increase-lowers-demands-to-20-2009-10-21

Milk protein may protect premature babies from infection

Supplements of the milk protein lactoferrin alone or in combination with a probiotic the reduced incidence of infection in pre-term babies, says a new study.

Very low birth-weight infants assigned to receive lactoferrin supplements, alone or with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), could reduce the incidence of late-onset sepsis by over 12 per cent, according to results of a randomised trial from Italy.

“Infections are the most common cause of death in premature infants and a major threat for poor outcomes,” wrote the authors in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Late-onset sepsis, or infections that arise around the time of the birth, mainly occur in the hospital and are said to affect about 20 per cent of very low birth-weight babies, said the authors.

The study found that the incidence of late-onset sepsis in the infants supplemented with lactoferrin from cow’s milk was 5.9 per cent, while the incidence in infants receiving lactoferrin plus LGG was 4.6 per cent. On the other hand, 17.3 per cent of the infants in the placebo group developed an infection, said the researchers, led by Paolo Manzoni of S. Anna Hospital in Torino.

“Prevention of neonatal sepsis relies on hygiene measures, cautious use of invasive procedures, medication stewardship, administration of fresh maternal milk, and early diagnosis,” wrote Manzoni and his co-workers.

“Nevertheless, none of these interventions is fully effective in decreasing the burden of the disease and overall have not been subjected to randomized controlled trials.

“This study has demonstrated that supplemental bovine lactoferrin, either alone or in combination with LGG, reduces first episodes of late-onset sepsis in very-low birth weight infants,” they added.

Ingredient info

Lactoferrin that is an important component of human breast milk has struggled to communicate its immune system-boosting health benefits to the public and compete against other commodity protein fractions such as whey which sell at a fraction of the price of lactoferrin.

Estimates put the global market for the ingredient that counts Japan and South Korea among its biggest markets at little more than €20m.

In those markets it is popular in milk drinks and food supplements but health claims are rarely made – products simply flag the presence of lactoferrin.

Study details

The researchers included 472 very low birth weight infants, meaning a birth weight less than 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs). The infants were randomly assigned to one of three groups, one received the lactoferrin (100 mg/d, LF100 by Dicofarm SpA), one received lactoferrin (100 mg/d) plus LGG (6 billion cfu/d, Dicofarm SpA), and the third received a placebo for the first 30 days of their lives.

The decrease in the incidence of late-onset sepsis was observed for both bacterial and fungal sepsis, said the researchers. Furthermore, the risk of death attributable to sepsis was significantly lower in the two groups, added the researchers. Importantly, no adverse effects were recorded.

“Given the high homology between human lactoferrin and bovine lactoferrin, it might be argued that supplemented bovine lactoferrin overlaps with maternal milk in protecting against sepsis,” said the researchers.

“However, in untreated infants the incidence rates of late-onset sepsis were similar in those fed exclusively maternal milk versus exclusively formula; furthermore, the decrease in late-onset sepsis episodes in treated infants was comparable regardless of the type of milk feeding.

“Thus, maternal milk alone does not confer the benefits of bovine lactoferrin supplementation. This implies the need for additional lactoferrin, specifically to prevent late-onset sepsis,” they added.

Source: Journal of the American Medical Association
Volume 302, Issue 13, Pages 1421-1428
“Association for Research in Otolaryngology’s annual conference in BaltimoreBovine Lactoferrin Supplementation for Prevention of Late-Onset Sepsis in Very Low-Birth-Weight Neonates: A Randomized Trial”
Authors: P. Manzoni, M. Rinaldi, S. Cattani, L. Pugni, M.G. Romeo, et al.

http://www.nutraingredients.com/Health-condition-categories/Maternal-infant-health/Milk-protein-may-protect-premature-babies-from-infection/?utm_source=Newsletter_Product&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2BProduct

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Breastfeeding in the News: Oct. 12th – Oct. 20th, 2009

Hello All,

Nestles is in the news again.  They’ve just released the results of their latest “FITS” study (Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study). The good news is that babies are breastfeeding longer “In 2008, 33 percent of nine-to-11 month olds are still receiving breast milk compared to just 21 percent in 2002.” The bad news is French fries are still the number one vegetables given to toddlers.  Nestles says their study proves that while “caregivers are feeding infants better diets” they may need “more guidance to improve the diets of toddlers and preschoolers.” Having babies breastfeed longer will of course mean less formula sales for Nestles, but not to worry, having seen the handwriting on the wall Nestles has already bought out Gerber so they are perfectly positioned to offer parents of toddlers that much needed “guidance”.   (Nestles also made the news this week in California where a grass roots organization is trying to shut down their efforts to create a water bottling plant.  Their argument? “Do we want a criminal corporation responsible for the deaths of millions of infants come to Sacramento to make immense profits off our water supply?”) 

In other business news Chrysler is being lauded for accommodating mothers with flexible schedules and even a lactation room (at corporate headquarters of course – no word on what accommodations are made for factory workers).  With so many layoffs they have learned a lesson that I hope other companies will take to heart. Even if you can’t give raises you can reward women with flex time (which is free) and lactation support.  Towards that end three companies in California were commended for “going above and beyond California’s basic legal requirements” in offering lactation support.  “Above and beyond” I like that.  It makes them sound like super heroes! 

Of course all is not well every where in the business world.  In Oklahoma where the law merely “encourages” businesses to accommodate breastfeeding mothers in the work place a mother whose job includes 9 hour shifts with no scheduled breaks laments “I’m supposed to choose my job over feeding my child? I don’t think so,” Powell said. “I don’t think they should ask a mother to do that.” As so often happens, as soon as the press got wind of the story her boss promised to accommodate her.  I’ve included two other stories about combining work and breastfeeding (one mom describes pumping during board meetings!), the other applauds our own Melissa Bartick (head of the MA Breastfeeding Coalition) for daring to mention “the elephant in the room” maternity leave.  Yay Melissa!

I imagine you’ve all heard about the “obese” baby by now, a totally breastfed baby who because he was in the 99th percentile on the weight charts was denied insurance coverage because of his “pre-existing” condition.  The parents were outraged but luckily once again the media came to their rescue.  As soon as the media coverage began the offending company changed their tune.  Sometimes however parental outrage can go a little too far especially if they take matters into their own hands. In India a distraught family went on a rampage in the hospital after being told that the baby had come to visit had died because of suffocation during breastfeeding.  Apparently they didn’t buy this theory.

WIC is experimenting with placing their offices in malls which is now affordable to them since so many stores have closed.  Speaking of WIC, Hygeia (in what is obviously a marketing ploy) recently pointed out that it is WIC policy to put out bids for breast pumps that need only accommodate 90% of  mothers.  But they make an interesting point.  Not all pumps fit every woman.  Hygeia says, “Imagine if 10% of the blood glucose meters were defective and consumers couldn’t return them. Or that 10% of the blood pressure readers didn’t work and the manufacturer said it’s the consumer’s fault for buying the wrong unit at the drug store.”

Checking in with the younger generation while it is disheartening to learn that over 23% of teens think that breast cancer is caused by tanning, only 7% think it can be caused by breastfeeding.  An interesting study of UK moms aged 18 to 24 revealed that only 25% trust the advice given by their midwife, GP, or government paid health visitor, preferring instead to get their information from on line chat rooms and family.

No one likes the idea of children starving and to that end a new bill now pending in the Senate from the agricultural appropriations committee of all places would provide over $150 million towards childhood nutrition programs including “$5 million in performance bonuses to state WIC agencies that increase rates of breastfeeding.”   If only Latin America had such resources. Over 9 million children face chronic malnutrition and in some spots such as the Dominican Republic the breastfeeding rate is as low as 4%.  We can blame the formula companies’ heavy handed marketing strategies for some of those numbers.

Of course there are other reasons to breastfeed besides basic nutrition.  A new Australian study links breastfeeding to a decreased risk of asthma.  And while we are talking about new studies there is a new one out that reports that about 680 children are admitted to hospitals each year because of injuries from the inappropriate use of car seats.  Please remind parents that car seats are for cars, babies however are meant to be carried in arms (not buckets).

Co-sleeping studies in the Journal of Pediatrics and another by the University of Warwick have generated attention.  The bottom line remains the same, unsafe co-sleeping habits (being under the influence of drugs/alcohol, sleeping with a baby on a couch, etc.) are in fact dangerous and safe co-sleeping arrangements should be encouraged, but how to get this message across to the public?   The Warwick study found that 54% of cot deaths occurred while a baby was co-sleeping with an adult.  You can say that half the deaths occurred while babies slept with their parents, as one of the authors of the study points out but “You could also say that half the deaths occurred while babies were alone in their cots, he says, but: “I don’t see anybody saying, ‘Don’t put your baby in a cot.’” However the FSID (The Foundation for the Study of Infant Death) feels that teaching parents about the specifics of safe bed sharing is just too time consuming.  According to Joyce Epstein, director of FSID, “this is too complicated.  “If you can get people’s attention for more than three seconds you would like to give the whole story every time, but at what point do you lose everybody?” she says. From their perspective, the simple direct message – put your baby to sleep in a cot near the bed, not in the bed, is the key.” But dumbing down the message carries its own risks.  Parents who have been warned against the dangers of taking their baby to bed are more likely to fall asleep on the couch with their babies, a practice that carries a great deal more risk than bed sharing.

Last but not least is my favorite story of the week – a funny (though not always flattering) look at the inherent problems of Jewish guilt and the ability to breastfeed.  Although breastfeeding advocates are not portrayed in the best regard in this story (it is amazing what you can swallow when it is doused with humor!) her point that it is our culture that should feel guilty, and not individual women, is well taken.

Once again I feel like I am falling way behind in keeping up with my weekly updates.  This week’s excuse?  My daughter has been home with the flu all week.  Not only did I have to tend to her physical needs I had to reassure her almost hourly that no she would not die of Swine flu or H1N1 – (at least not on my watch!).

I hope you all are well, and as always I would love to hear from you. 

Kathy Abbott, IBCLC

www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com

On Facebook: “Breastfeeding in the News” 

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

Bottled Guilt

How the debate over breastfeeding is driving us crazy

We are Jewish women. We are high achievers. Many things have come easily to us. We can bring home the Faken; fry it up in a pan. Which means that when we fail at something supposedly so easy any mammal can do it, we feel horrible.  Breastfeeding is supposed to be a cinch. We educated ladies of Hebraitude know it’s expected of us. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months. Research indicates that breastfed babies have less diarrhea and fewer colds and ear infections than formula-fed babies. They’re less likely to die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, less likely to have lymphoma. And of course we want our children to grow up strong and healthy enough to withstand our powerful Jewish Mother Guilt Rays.

To a great extent, we’ve gotten comfortable with our ability to tame our Jewish bodies. We can straighten our curly hair; diet or exercise or Spanx our butts into submission; depilate or wax or laser our swarthy body hair into oblivion. So when our bodies betray us, it’s a shock.

My sister-in-law, struggling to nurse twins, called the La Leche League, an international breastfeeding support group, for help. The woman on the phone told her, “Breast milk is like a blood transfusion for a baby. Formula is like a hot dog and fries.” A good friend of mine was told in disbelief by another mom, “Your kids seem healthy and smart, and they weren’t breastfed!” (My friend pointed out that actually, two of her four children had nursed a bit. The woman smiled and said, “Oh, but you cheated with formula, right?”) Another friend called a lactation consultant, sobbing, worried that her newborn daughter (who was born with a pinched nerve in her neck, leaving her unable to nurse) was starving on the meager amounts of breast milk she was able to pump and feed through a tube. The lactation consultant urged my friend not to give her hungry baby formula. “It’s like feeding her poison,” the consultant said in a hushed voice. “It will damage her kidneys and take three months to get out of her system.” My friend worked herself into a frenzy, pumping every two hours, waking the baby constantly to get her to eat, crying regularly.

Jewish mothers, according to our ancient cultural portrayal, are mega-nurturers, urging our babies to eat, eat, eat. If our 90-year-old Biblical matriarch could nurse a child, what the hell is wrong with us? A midrash from the Babylonian Talmud says that Sarah was so womanly, her breasts were two fountains that flowed with enough milk to feed all comers. When this old lady miraculously produced a baby, the story goes, people muttered that Isaac was actually adopted. (Need I add that this tale may resonate painfully with Jewish women who delayed childrearing for work or education, or who may have trouble conceiving and feel berated by the commandment to be fruitful and multiply?) To prove that Isaac was hers, Sarah breastfed all the children in the neighborhood. What kind of loser modern Jewess can’t make enough milk for even one measly baby? And hey, don’t think adoptive moms are exempt; you ladies could damn well nurse if you tried hard enough. That is, if you really cared about your babies and weren’t such selfish bitches. (Memo to the slow: save your email. We call this sarcasm.)

And then there is the One True Breast. One of the many names for God, Shaddai, may be a reference to breastfeeding. (The Hebrew word for breasts is shaddaim.) No one knows the origin of this divine name, but it may well be a reference to an earlier fertility goddess. Part of godliness is nurturing a people from your own body and soul—it’s the mother-child dyad writ large.

Despite some lactivists’ insistence to the contrary, there are women who simply can’t breastfeed, such as those taking certain medications or who’ve had breast surgery. And though making too little milk is generally called “mismanagement” (hey, no judgment there!) it’s a reality. According to Lisa Marasco, an expert on insufficient milk supply and a professional liaison for La Leche League of Southern California/Nevada, reasons for low milk supply can include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hypothyroidism and severe postpartum bleeding. Interestingly, Marasco points out that fertility treatments may also play a role. “In the past, some women might not have been able to get pregnant or give birth,” she writes. “[I]t may be that just because science can get you pregnant, it can’t make you able to nurse a child.” Postpartum depression or stress can certainly be factors too, and nagging doesn’t help. We’ve all had friends who tried to nurse exclusively, but wound up in a sobbing heap on the bedroom floor at 5 a.m., sending their partners out for formula. Finally, if a baby latches improperly, over the long term he or she may not get enough milk and nursing will hurt the mother like a mofo. Lactation consultants may be able to help. Or not.

In any case, it’s unfortunate that women are guilted for not nursing when a big chunk of blame should fall on our culture. Family-leave policies in the U.S. lag far behind the rest of the industrialized world. A survey of 16 European countries and Canada found that these countries provide an average of 68 weeks of maternity leave, with 33 of those weeks paid. Jewish women, like all women, may well have to return to the workforce sooner than we’d like. That’s particularly true in this economy. And then there’s the fact that not every workplace or life is conducive to pumping.  The upshot: don’t judge a woman until you’ve walked a mile in her post-partum granny panties.

We Jews are, I think, particularly susceptible to judgment and guilt. We are a competitive lot. Just as we pore over the work of Dr. Sears and Dr. Weissbluth as if it was the Talmud, act as if sleep training and toileting are matters of life and death, obsess about whether our little angel is hitting his developmental milestones faster than the nearest similarly-aged baby at Tot Shabbat, drey about getting our kid into the “right” school, we want to excel at nursing. Recent research showing that formula isn’t poison doesn’t really have an impact on maternal emotions this profound. And we turn our anxieties outward, guilt-tripping other women, because of our own insecurity. The breastfeeder rolling her eyes at the baby with a bottle or pacifier may have her own mishegas. Maybe it’s about feeling invisible, about not having a career, about not feeling able to voice her resentment over feeling distant from her husband because of the intensity of her intimacy with her child. Who knows? I do know that we channel our own ambivalence outward; we turn parenting into a vicious contest. As one doctor I interviewed laughed, “Guilt begins at conception!” We’re all looking for the magic bullet, the amulet, the hamsa, the mezuzah, the one thing we can do to insure safety in an unsafe world. And some of us fixate on nursing as that one thing.

http://www.tabletmag.com/life-and-religion/18579/bottled-guilt/

Health Clinic Could Open At Mall

Metro Health Dept. Wants WIC Clinic At Hickory Hollow

ANTIOCH, Tenn. — It’s a trend that’s slowly happening across the country: More and more health clinics are opening up shop in, of all places, aging malls that have few stores.

Now the Metro Health Department is hoping to open a new women, infants and children — or WIC — clinic at Hickory Hollow Mall. Metro Council still has to approve the plans.

Supporters said the mall is a perfect spot since about 14,000 people in Antioch rely on the program. The program provides nutrition education, breastfeeding support and healthy food vouchers for needy women and children.

If approved, this would be the fourth WIC clinic in Nashville

http://www.wsmv.com/health/21342061/detail.html

Group Urges City Council to Stop Nestlé Raid on Sacramento Water

Save Our Water, the coalition of grassroots community activists mobilizing against the Nestlé Corporation’s plan to build a new bottling plant in south Sacramento, is asking the Sacramento City Council to quickly adopt an urgency ordinance requiring a special permit for water bottling facilities in the city in order to stop the internationally boycotted corporate giant from coming to the Capital City.

We don’t need a huge corporation such as Nestlé making immense profits off a public trust resource, Sacramento’s water supply, especially at a time when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senator Dianne Feinstein and California Legislators are campaigning for a peripheral canal to steal more water from the Sacramento River to supply unsustainable corporate agribusiness on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and unsustainable development in southern California.

Human rights activists and breast feeding advocates from throughout the world have boycotted the Swiss-based Nestlé Corporation since 1977 because of the millions of deaths of infants it has caused over the decades. The boycott, coordinated by groups including Baby Milk Action, International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) , Infant Feeding Action Coalition (INFACT) and Save the Children, was prompted by concern about the company’s marketing of breast milk substitutes (infant formula), particularly in less economically developed countries, which campaigners claim contributes to the unnecessary death and suffering of babies, largely among the poor.

Do we want a criminal corporation responsible for the deaths of millions of infants come to Sacramento to make immense profits off our water supply?

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/10/19/18626064.php

Chrysler gets nod from mothers mag

In a year bloodied by drastic workplace cutbacks in jobs, salaries and benefits, Working Mother magazine determined its annual 100 Best Companies list by putting great weight on employers who were flexible.

Flexibility is a cheap and powerful policy that you can give people,” said Jennifer Owens, the magazine’s special projects director. An employer “can’t give you a raise, but can give you some flexibility, and that’s free.”

To Michelle Thomas, an employee at Chrysler Group LLC, that flexibility is priceless. She’s worked at Chrysler for nine years, most recently in a job-sharing arrangement. She and another employee share a human resources position that allows her to work part-time, so she can better care for a 3-year-old son and an 8-month-old daughter.

The Auburn Hills automaker was one of three Michigan companies, including Battle Creek cereal maker Kellogg Co. and Midland’s Dow-Corning, that made the Working Mother 2009 list (www.workingmother.com).

“I had worked full-time for a few months when my first son was born. It was overwhelming. I didn’t have quality time. I was running my errands on weekends,” said Thomas. “This arrangement has been helpful to me to balance my work and my life.”

The magazine’s commentary noted that Chrysler “during a year of challenge and change … managed to beef up its work/life offerings to ensure that employees who needed help could still get it, despite being forced to reduce the size of its workforce in the wake of bankruptcy filings.”

Some of Chrysler’s female-friendly attractions: Chrysler opened a Henry Ford Medical Center clinic and pharmacy at headquarters. Its employee assistance program has grown to offer confidential counseling on emotional, financial and parenting challenges.

Chrysler headquarters offers a lactation room for women who are breastfeeding. Over the summer, Chrysler arranged with the Rochester YMCA to pick up children of employees at headquarters for transport to a daily summer camp.

Those perks are timesavers and anxiety-relievers, and benefit the employer also, since an employee can focus on the job instead of child care.

Studies have shown downsizing takes a toll on employee morale and productivity. In tough economic times, retaining programs such as flexible scheduling, telecommuting and job-sharing help keep employees motivated and build loyalty.

It’s the 12th time Chrysler has made the list, says Lisa Wicker, Chrysler’s director of global diversity, and represents “a message in and of itself that working mothers are important.”

http://www.freep.com/article/20091020/COL35/910200340/1007/news05/Chrysler-gets-nod-from-mothers-mag

Three firms honored for helping new S.J. mothers

Three employers who have provided support for their breast-feeding employees by going above and beyond California’s basic legal requirements will be honored Friday at the 2009 Mother-Baby Friendly Workplace Awards Luncheon sponsored by the Breastfeeding Coalition of San Joaquin County.

This year’s recipients, each nominated by an employee, are: In Harmony Music Therapy Services; the Law Office of Michael D. Small; and United Cerebral Palsy.

http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091020/A_BIZ/910200307/-1/A_NEWS05#STS=g1ax5rc2.1lmf

Study Shows That Diets of Infants are Improving; Concerns Remain for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Study Shows That Diets of Infants are Improving; Concerns Remain for Toddlers
and Preschoolers
Nestle releases data showing that caregivers are feeding infants better diets,
but may need more guidance to improve the diets of toddlers and preschoolers

Parents and caregivers are hearing and
following the feeding guidance for infants, yet continued work needs to be
done to help them also build good eating habits for their growing children,
suggests data from the Nestle Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS)
released today at a symposium at the American Dietetic Association's Food &
Nutrition Conference & Expo.
The study reveals both progress and areas of concern in the diets of young
children in the United States. The data show some positive trends versus 2002
when Gerber Products Company, now part of the Nestle family, first
commissioned the FITS study.  Infants are being breastfed longer; and fewer
infants and toddlers are consuming sweets and sweetened beverages on a given
day. However, other findings are less positive -- on a given day, many
toddlers and preschoolers aren't eating a single serving of vegetables or
fruit; and many toddlers and preschoolers are consuming diets with less than
the recommended 30-to-40 percent of calories from fat.  Most preschoolers are
eating too much saturated fat and sodium.

The FITS findings suggest that more guidance and support is needed to help
caregivers better transition from feeding their babies to meeting the unique
nutrition and feeding needs of a toddler or preschooler. As a result, too many
young children are mirroring the often unhealthy eating patterns of American
adults.
Mothers are breastfeeding their children longer. In 2008, 33 percent
Of nine-to-11 month olds are still receiving breast milk compared to just 21 percent in 2002.

Other survey findings

French fries are still the most popular vegetable among toddlers and preschoolers. However, among older babies there were improvements, and French fries are no longer ranked in the top five vegetables among infants age nine-to-11 months, compared to FITS 2002, when French fries ranked among the top vegetables in the diets of older infants on a given day.

http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS66241+18-Oct-2009+PRN20091018

Do Women Have a Right to a Breastpump That Works? Asks Hygeia

In the USA, each state is responsible for its Women Infant Children program and encourages breastfeeding through lactation counseling and the purchase of supplies. A state bid notification for breastpumps and supplies was recently issued. “This bid had such an unusual feature that needs further attention. The bid’s breastpump requirement was that the pumps only had to work for 90% of the women. The state felt that it was acceptable for the pumps to fail for 10% of the women,” stated John Estill, CEO of breastpump manufacturer Hygeia.

"Imagine if 10% of the blood glucose meters were defective and consumers
couldn't return them. Or that 10% of the blood pressure readers didn't work
and the manufacturer said it's the consumer's fault for buying the wrong unit
at the drug store. These situations are really unimaginable. Why then, are
breastpumps, which are solely designed for women, subject to the reverse -
that it's their 'fault' mothers picked the wrong pump and tough luck for them?

http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS132567+16-Oct-2009+PRN20091016

The sleep tight fight

A new infant mortality study has again raised concerns about co-sleeping

The pervasiveness of the debate over whether parents should sleep with their baby is evident in the intensity and the immediacy of the response to a new study in a well-respected medical journal that looks at infant mortality trends.

The study notes a rise in incidences of suffocation and strangulation in bed as part of a wide-ranging examination of all causes of infant death, but the only mention of cosleeping or bed sharing is in a chart on the second-last page of the report, and the report’s lead author has been at pains to distance the findings from the ongoing debate that pegs proponents against those who claim the practice is dangerous for children and hinders social development.

Despite that abundance of caution in the study, online communities are abuzz with a slew of blog posts, discussion board conversations and articles scrambling to capitalize or debunk the report’s findings.

One post to a Mothering Magazine discussion board called on the magazine to “come out with some sort of statement against this ridiculous assessment.”

Riled-up mothers and physicians have been weighing in on both sides at blogs like MamaSaga, NewsMomsNeed, Motherwear’s Breastfeeding, Families.com, and The New York Times’ Motherlode.

At parentdish.com, one commenter said this about bed sharing: “Why would you take the chance? Just seems irresponsible to me. I know there are those that are adamant that is best for baby, but it just doesn’t jive with the safety risk as far as I’m concerned.”

Experts who advocate cosleeping say they are surprised by the amount of attention garnered by the study, which was published in the latest issue of the journal Pediatrics.

“This whole discussion is an almost immoral condemnation of bed sharing, and I’m baffled because there’s no causal relationship explained in this paper,” said Dr. Jim McKenna, chairman in Anthropology and director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Lab at the University of Notre Dame.

The most contentious aspect of the report is its conclusion, which says that infant mortality rates attributable to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed have quadrupled since 1984, but goes on to say that the reason for this is unknown. It tracks the decline in cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and an increase in accidental suffocation deaths and those from unknown causes.

Even Dr. Carrie Shapiro-Mendoza, lead author of the study, said it is impossible to know whether deaths caused by accidental suffocation and strangulation have actually quadrupled or whether it reflects a change in categorization. “I wanted to explore whether there was an actual increase in deaths or something else going on. What I think is there’s been a change in how medical examiners and coroners are classifying deaths on death certificates,” she added.

Opponents of bed sharing have been on the offensive since the publication of the report, touting it as clear evidence of the dangers of a practice which is generally agreed to be on the rise both in Canada and the U.S. and which is largely embraced outside the Western world in countries like Japan and India.

“The study supports my biggest concern with bed sharing, which is safety,” said Cheryl Stiles, 29, a Nova Scotia mother whose three-month-old boy has slept in a crib in a separate room since his first night out of the hospital. “I’m a heavy sleeper and I would be so worried about smothering him.”

But Dr. McKenna said it’s important to note that there is a difference between safe cosleeping and unsafe co-sleeping, pointing to precautions such as avoiding soft bedding, ensuring there is no space between the mattress and the headboard, and avoiding couches and waterbeds altogether. Smoking and substance abuse also contribute to an unsafe environment, he said.

Proponents believe the practice is integral for mother-child bonding and infant brain development, arguing that babies who share a bed with their mother develop healthy breathing patterns, are less at risk of stress disorders and enjoy a more speedy maturation of the nervous system.

“The human infant is the most sensitive primate to the mother’s presence and is born the least mature of all mammals,” said Dr. McKenna. “They rely on the mother to take on a big role in their continuing gestation, to regulate the baby as she did while he was in the womb.”

Edita Orr, 34, a mother of a seven-week-old boy who has experimented with both bed-sharing and the use of a bed-side bassinet, said she was acutely more in tune with her baby while bed-sharing than while her son slept in the cradle. “It was lovely sharing a bed with him. I could tell he felt safe, it reminded him of being in the womb — the touch, the smell, my breath.”

Her son Riley spent the first three weeks sleeping between his mother and father in their king-sized bed, but after many sleepless nights and fears of smothering him, the baby was moved to a bed-side bassinet. “I found he cried more when he moved to the cradle and didn’t fall asleep nearly as quickly,” Mrs. Orr said.

Independent crib sleeping is a largely Western practice, one that some say stems back to the Industrial Revolution when physicians wrongly believed a high infant death rate was due to bed sharing. Modern research has largely disproved this theory and shows that infanticide, and not bed sharing, was responsible for many infant deaths during those years.

Much to the aggravation of bed-sharing proponents, some medical bodies have in recent years urged parents away from sharing a surface with their baby, including the U. S. Center for Disease Control, the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Ontario’s own former deputy chief coroner James Cairns.

Although the official position of the Canadian Paediatric Society is that the safest sleeping environment for a baby is in a government-approved crib, spokesman Dr. Denis Leduc was quick to add that a separate sleeping situation should not interfere with breastfeeding. Pro-breastfeeding Web sites are quick to point out that frequent feeding is believed to decrease the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome as well as assist in the physical and psychological development of the baby.

“We definitely support cosleeping and bed sharing, especially as a way to encourage frequent breastfeeding,” said Rebekah Smith, program coordinator of INFACT Canada, a breastfeeding advocacy group. “The bottom line is that we want people to have the information they need to make their own decisions and to not feel stigmatized for whatever they choose.”

http://www.vancouversun.com/life/sleep+tight+fight/1281787/story.html

The truth about sleeping with baby

Time and time again, mothers are warned of the dangers of sleeping with their infants. But has the science been badly misinterpreted? Sarah Boseley reports

The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) and the department say categorically that the safest place for a baby is in a cot in the parents’ bedroom. Babies must sleep alone. Breastfeeding mothers should wake up, get up in the cold grey dawn, pick them up, settle in a comfortable armchair, feed them and then put them back in the cot and hope they won’t wail piteously for long.

This message was strongly repeated by the foundation on the publication of a study this week by the British Medical Journal which FSID itself funded. “Latest findings by researchers from Bristol University . . . confirm that ‘the safest place for a baby to sleep is in its own cot’. This four-year study . . . found that in half of all unexpected deaths of children in the south-west of England, babies had died sleeping with a parent or carer,” said FSID’s press release.

What is worrying, the release went on, is that 25% of mothers in a survey “were not persuaded that bedsharing can increase the risk of cot death”.

But anyone who read the full paper, by a very experienced and well-respected team from Bristol and Warwick Universities, would be hard pushed to believe it either.

Yes – the study found that 54% of cot deaths occurred while the baby was co-sleeping with a parent. But although the risk was strong if they had crashed out on the sofa, it was only significant among those in a bed if the parent had drunk more than two units of alcohol or had been taking drugs.

Peter Fleming, professor of infant health and developmental physiology in Bristol, one of the study authors, was appalled by the misinterpretation, as he sees it, of the paper in the media this week. “I really felt quite uncomfortable about it,” he told the Guardian yesterday.

“My view is that the positive message of this study is that it says don’t drink or take drugs and don’t smoke, particularly for breastfeeding mothers. We did not find any increased risk from bedsharing. It is a very different message from the one the media picked up.”

You can say that half the deaths occurred while babies slept with their parents. You could also say that half the deaths occurred while babies were alone in their cots, he says, but: “I don’t see anybody saying, ‘Don’t put your baby in a cot.'”

Fleming has a particular reason for worry. The study showed that sleeping with the baby on a sofa really is a risk. Yet seven of the parents whose baby died say they had gone to the sofa to feed, aware that bedsharing is said to be dangerous, and had fallen asleep.

“Any advice to discourage bedsharing may carry with it the danger of tired parents feeding their baby on a sofa, which carries a much greater risk than co-sleeping in the parents’ bed,” says the paper. “Anecdotally, two of the families of Sids infants who had co-slept on a sofa informed us that they had been advised against bringing the baby into bed but had not realised the risks from falling asleep on the sofa.”

But despite Fleming’s concern, the FSID was sticking to the line agreed with the Department of Health yesterday: “The safest place for an infant to sleep is in a cot beside the parents’ bed.” It pointed out that the same sentence appears in Fleming’s paper, but did not mention what follows next: “Based on evidence from research into Sids it is questionable whether advice to avoid bedsharing is generalisable and whether such a simplistic approach would do no harm. Parents of young infants need to feed them during the night, sometimes several times, and if we demonise the parents’ bed we may be in danger of the sofa being chosen. A better approach may be to warn parents of the specific circumstances that put infants at risk.”

Joyce Epstein, director of FSID, says this is too complicated. “If you can get people’s attention for more than three seconds you would like to give the whole story every time, but at what point do you lose everybody?” she says. From their perspective, the simple direct message – put your baby to sleep in a cot near the bed, not in the bed, is the key.

The new study, she says, is just one study (although in a Lancet 2006 paper the Bristol team also found a link to drink and drugs). George Haycock, professor emeritus of paediatrics at St George’s hospital in London, who is FSID’s scientific advisor, points to nine previous studies that have looked at co-sleeping and cot death and concluded that sharing a bed is risky.

“You can’t say there is no risk,” says Haycock, even if it is small for non-smokers. And he is tacitly critical of the “breastfeeding lobby” for defending bedsharing, when there is no concrete proof that it increases the numbers of women who breastfeed.

But Fleming says this study breaks new ground. Nobody in the past has gathered reliable information about drug-taking. “The advantage of this study is that because we did a death-scene evaluation, three to four hours after the baby died, we were able to look at all sorts of factors which in the past we couldn’t look at.” When the researchers talked to the parents, offering sympathy without blame and the possibility of explanations for their tragic loss, the parents told them everything, including what they had drunk and what drugs they took the night before. “People are very willing to share that information with you at that time,” he says. “You get the real picture.”

The paper adds that the findings may explain some of the quirky cultural associations between co-sleeping and Sids. Among black African populations in the United States and Maori and Aboriginal people, where babies commonly sleep with their parents, cot deaths are high, yet in other bedsharing communities, such as Japan, Hong Kong and among the Bangladeshi and other Asian peoples of the UK, deaths are low. The difference is in their smoking, drinking and drug habits.

FSID’s raison d’etre is to eliminate sudden unexpected infant deaths and that is what they believe their advice on putting babies in cots, on their backs, “feet to foot”, on a firm mattress with no pillow, will help do. But other organisations think there may be real benefits to taking your baby into your bed. The National Childbirth Trust (NCT), the country’s leading parenting organisation (and champions of breastfeeding), openly defends bedsharing.

“The study shows that risks for babies whose parents did not smoke or consume alcohol or drugs but who did share their bed with their baby were not different from that for babies in a separate cot,” says its head of research Mary Newburn in a statement responding to the BMJ publication.

The NCT’s position is a response to the real world of its members. “Many parents share their bed with their baby when they are young and this can be done safely,” says Newburn. “It is clear from surveys that around half of parents sleep with their babies at some point in the first six months, and around a quarter do so routinely, so we need to help them to do this in the safest way possible.”

Rosie Dodds, NCT senior public policy officer, says they understand FSID’s position. “They are really worried about the number of babies dying and want everybody to be as safe as possible,” she says. “But there are likely to be advantages to babies sharing a bed with parents.” Although she acknowledges that there is no scientific evidence establishing that bedsharing increases breastfeeding, there is an association, and breastfeeding on its own has been shown to lower the risk of cot death.

Deborah Jackson, author of Three In A Bed, says she thinks we are, in the UK, “fixated on the bad aspects of sharing a bed with the baby”, which is strange because “the history of bedsharing or shared sleeping places with the baby is as old as humanity itself”.

Her research, together with her own experiences of bedsharing with her three children, have persuaded her it is profoundly beneficial for both mother and child. The mother is aware of her baby as she is sleeping and reacts to her. “[Once] I was asleep,” says Jackson. “[One of my children] was sleeping next to me. I suddenly sat up in the night and held her over the bed and she was sick,” she says. Somehow she had known the baby was about to be unwell.

But there are clear dangers if the mother has been drinking or taking drugs. “All the things that make it good can make it really dangerous if you are not incredibly sensible. That’s true of everything in parenting,” she says.

Cot death is devastating and everybody is on the same side – they want to see fewer tragic families who have lost their babies. But there is clearly not one single road that everybody can march down together. In the end, a single prohibitive message for parents may even be counter-productive. This may be one of those cases where the public should be given credit for their intelligence and allowed to make up their minds on the basis of rather fuller information.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/oct/16/sudden-infant-death-syndrome-children

Peaceful revolution:  Why support for breastfeeding matters more than ever.

my boss thought it was the height of humor to serenade me with mooing sounds as I emerged from his office (the only room with a door in our open studio) holding my precious stash, headed for the refrigerator. So much for commanding respect as a professional.

At least I had access to a private office. My sister, who works in retail, gave up after 5 months of pumping in a dirty public bathroom. Another friend is a traveling sales representative and had to pump in her car.

Women are being forced by attitudes and circumstance to choose between feeding their children what Nature intended and some powder in a can whose safety we pray we can depend upon.

The State of California, that perennial hotbed of radical ideas that eventually become mainstream (organic food, hybrid cars, anyone?), has instituted worksite protection legislation for working/nursing mothers, that among other things, requires that employers provide “lactation accommodation,” i.e., they need to provide mothers with a reasonable amount of time to express milk and provide a convenient, private location other than a bathroom to do so. We could also add a similar requirement for public “mother’s rooms” to building and zoning codes, providing accessible and clean, safe places to nurse or pump in places like shopping malls and airports. Melissa Bartick MD in these pages has documented the success of this legislation and suggests that the same be included as part of national health care policy reform, along with the elephant in the room, paid maternity leave.

Demanding these changes may be the most difficult thing we face. After fighting so many years for equal opportunities at work, we now find ourselves asking for special treatment as women, something we fear will undermine years of struggle. The argument for staying at home versus working is pointlessly destructive. We’ve been brainwashed into thinking we need to do it all, balance it all, without complaint. Business guru Jack Welch depressingly insists there is no work/family balance. He’s only showing what a dinosaur he truly is. Complain and demand we must. Breastfeeding is the first step on the road back to healthy eating. Babies, it’s time for a change.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-malmon/ipeaceful-revolutioni-why_b_322523.html

Breast feeding key to reducing malnutrition in Latin America

“In times of crises, we call the three ‘F’s, – the fuel, food and financial crisis – governments should be encouraging mothers to breastfeed, ” said Enrique Paz, UNICEF’s health and nutrition advisor for Latin America.

Over nine million children under five in Latin America suffer from chronic malnutrition

The problem is particularly prevalent in Central American countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, where malnutrition is a leading public health concern and is as widespread as it is in Africa or South Asia.  “Sixty per cent of mums in Latin America are not breastfeeding their babies.”

Across Latin America, there are vast disparities in breastfeeding rates. In the Dominican Republic, only four per cent of babies are fed exclusively with breast milk, compared to Peru where the figure rises to 63 per cent.

MILK FORMULA POPULAR

There are cultural barriers to overcome too in persuading mothers to choose breastfeeding over milk formula.

In some Latin America countries, like Colombia, feeding babies with milk formula brings social status and is seen as a sign of being rich.

“We’re losing ground,” he added, referring to aggressive marketing campaigns carried out by milk formula manufacturers.

“Recently we’ve seen pockets of acute malnutrition in rural areas in Guatemala, where astonishingly some kids don’t have anything to eat, and in excluded populations in urban areas in Buenos Aires and Brasilia,” said UNICEF’s Paz.

Providing pregnant and breastfeeding women and infants with potentially live saving minerals and vitamins in tiny amounts, also known as micronutrients, is seen as a cheap and effective way to combat malnutrition.

Vitamin A tablets, costing just two cents each, and other food supplements such as iodine, sugar, folic acid, zinc and iron, are becoming increasingly available in rural health clinics in countries like Peru and Bolivia.

In the city streets of Bolivia and Argentina, apple sellers also stock micronutrients, while in Chile fortified flour has helped to significantly reduce malnutrition rates.

http://www.alertnet.org/db/an_art/59877/2009/09/15-141034-1.htm  

‘Obese’ Baby Denied Health Insurance

When four-month-old Alex Lange was born, he was a normal 8 1/4 pounds. He’s been on a strictly breast milk diet since birth and is now in the 99th percentile for height and weight of babies his age. Yet Alex hasn’t been able to get medical insurance because companies say he has a pre-existing condition — obesity.

 Understandably the Langes were upset. “I could understand if we could control what he’s eating. But he’s 4 months old. He’s breast-feeding. We can’t put him on the Atkins diet or on a treadmill,” Alex’s father, Bernie Lange, told the Post. “There is just something absurd about denying an infant.”

Rocky Mountain Health Plans medical director Dr. Doug Speedie explained that their decision was based on current industry standards. ” If health care reform occurs, underwriting will go away,” he said, referring to the process that insurers go through when they decide whether to accept or deny someone for coverage. “We do it because everybody else in the industry does it.”

But after the story broke, Rocky Mountain announced on Monday that they “will now provide health plan coverage for healthy infants, regardless of their weight.”

http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/news/dpgo_obese_baby_denied_health_insurance_lwf_20091012_4007287

New study shows lower asthma rates in infants related to breastfeeding

Source: Government of Australia

Findings from a two-year study on asthma and wheezing illness in one year olds and kindergarten children, released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, show that within the first three years of life, almost 17% of Australian infants experienced asthma or wheezing illness. 

However breastfeeding within the first 12 months of life may offer a protective effect against asthma or wheezing in infancy, which increases with increasing breastfeeding duration. 

http://thegovmonitor.com/health/new-study-shows-lower-asthma-rates-in-infants-related-to-breastfeeding-10007.html

Breastfeeding ban

WELLSTON, OK — An Oklahoma mother claims her employer is trying to keep her from breastfeeding her twelve-week-old baby. Oklahoma has two state laws that are supposed to protect breastfeeding women, but neither states anything about feeding during working hours. It’s something state agencies hope to change.

“At first when I came back it wasn’t an issue, because I was going to the bathroom, but it was really cold, and I’m sorry, the bathroom’s nasty,” she said. “So, I started breastfeeding her in the back, and someone complained.”

Her bosses told her she wasn’t allowed to breastfeed at work anymore.

Feeding during breaks isn’t an option either because Powell says she has no scheduled breaks.

She says her daughter refuses a bottle and will go an entire nine hour shift without eating; a painful amount of time not only for baby, but mothers as well.

There are laws on the books in our state, but they don’t require employers to allow breastfeeding; it only encourages them to do so.

“Am I supposed to choose my job over feeding my child? I don’t think so,” Powell said. “I don’t think they should ask a mother to do that.”

News Channel Four did hear from the owner of the convenience store.

He said the company wants to do the right thing and will do whatever needs to be done to accommodate Powell.

http://www.kfor.com/news/local/kfor-news-breastfeeding-ban-story,0,1692956.story

Lincoln pushes for nutrition program extension

The agricultural appropriations bill now pending in the Senate would provide nearly $150 million in child nutrition initiatives aimed at fighting hunger and promoting health among children in Arkansas and around the country, Sen. Blanche Lincoln said.

I am proud my first legislative effort as chairman of the Agriculture Committee would help to improve the health of our children and prevent needy children from going hungry. The Committee will work with USDA and the administration on a reauthorization that improves access to healthy meals, reduces hunger, and improves school meals and the health of infants, school children, and pregnant and nursing mothers.”

$5 million in performance bonuses to state WIC agencies that increase rates of breastfeeding.

http://southeastfarmpress.com/news/child-nutrition-1012/

ASCO Breast: Even ‘Tweens Fear Breast Cancer

Among the girls ages 8 to 18 surveyed before an assembly at 13 schools in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles, more than 23% believed that infection, drug use, stress, and tanning cause breast cancer.

From 10% to 20% said they thought caffeine, antiperspirants, or getting bumped or bruised in the breast were causes. According to 7%, breastfeeding increased the risk of breast cancer.

http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/ASCOBreast/16383#

New mothers shun the NHS and log on to swap baby tips

Few new mothers trust official advice on childrearing, and they’re turning to chatrooms and family for help

With so much conflicting guidance, new mothers are shunning official medical advice

, only 3 per cent putting their faith in anything the Government or the Department of Health has to tell them. Only one in four says she trusts the information provided by her health visitor, midwife or GP, leaving family members, friends or chatroom contacts to pick up the slack

When it comes to coping with sleepless nights, problems with breastfeeding, or getting their baby into a routine, nearly three-quarters of mums aged 18 to 24 said they had found solace online. Josie George, mum to 15-month-old Kai, said she found her various health visitors’ opinions “well-meaning but useless”, and that the conflicting advice they had offered about her son’s sleeping problems had been “overwhelming and very confusing”.

She added: “The only place I’ve ever found any help is online, from people who have been through the same situation. [Online] you have the ability to connect with people who aren’t just giving you their opinion but are sharing their experience.”

The survey of 1,150 mums, by the baby product manufacturer Philips Avent, singled out lack of sleep as by far the biggest concern in early parenthood, followed by breastfeeding. More than one-third said confusing advice, particularly about feeding and sleeping routines, had marred their experience of becoming a parent.

Vicki Scott, a midwife who counsels Philips Avent, said the quality of advice provided by health professionals had deteriorated. “Midwives don’t have time to understand problems before dispensing advice,” she said.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/new-mothers-shun-the-nhs-and-log-on-to-swap-baby-tips-1801015.html

LIZ RYAN: Breastfeeding in the boardroom

“Do you remember that meeting in Salt Lake,” asked Steve, “when you brought the baby?”

Of course I did. How could I forget? Our company was in the midst of a tumultuous strategy-setting exercise, and I was out on maternity leave — as much leave as I could wangle, given the pace of the job. Those weeks of maternity-leave-on-paper-only mostly consisted of me dashing to work with the baby mid-morning, promising myself I’d stay half an hour, tops, and leaving five hours later.

That baby spent so much time in the office that they made him an employee badge with his little photo on it.

Little Eamonn was only 6 weeks old — he had to nurse every couple of hours. I didn’t want to leave the meeting to nurse.

When the conference began, I would push my roller-chair all the way into the corner, cover up with a huge flannel blanket and nurse as inconspicuously as I could. As the talks wore on, I got bolder. By the third day, I was nursing him right at the conference table, whether the person who was holding forth on strategic options was one of our division presidents, or me.

I got pretty good at a three-step maneuver prompted by baby Eamonn’s hungry whimpers.

Step one: Grab the baby.

Step two: Toss the blanket over a shoulder, simultaneously yanking the sweater up to access the milk supply.

Step three: Baby on the tap, blanket down! The whole routine took three seconds.

Thirteen years later, I’m not sure that breastfeeding in the boardroom has gained much ground in corporate America, if any.

But I remember how good and how reasonable it felt to do two important things — one left-brain and one, well, right-breast, perhaps — at the same time. I remember feeling that as much as we try to convince ourselves that there are two realms — the sterile spreadsheet-y analyze-and-conquer realm of business and the milky, fleshy, natural world of babies and real life — the demarcation is fictional.

The divide we have talked ourselves into is entirely imaginary. Professionalism is an attitude, and a nursing executive mom is exactly as professional as a laser-pointing CFO. They may even be the same person.

http://www.dailycamera.com/business-columnists/ci_13516909#

Newborn’s death triggers hospital ruckus

Doctors said the infant, born on Friday to a woman called Mehroonisa, died due to suffocation during breastfeeding. However, the family staying on Entally Convent Road refused to buy this theory.

On Sunday afternoon, the boy’s relatives went on the rampage at the female ward and broke window panes and furniture. Unable to handle the rampaging mob, the hospital authorities called up the police, who rushed to the spot immediately. Seeing them, the mob relented. No arrests have been made

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata-/Newborns-death-triggers-hospital-ruckus/articleshow/5113750.cms

Car seats can be dangerous outside the car

More than 8,700 infants end up in the emergency room each year because their car seats are used improperly outside the car, according to study presented Monday at the American Academy of Pediatrics’ annual meeting in Washington.

Most of the injuries in Parikh’s study occurred when car seats fell off tables, countertops or other high surfaces. In some cases, babies who weren’t securely buckled fell out of the seats. Babies also were injured when car seats flipped over on soft surfaces, such as beds and couches, where infants can suffocate, he says.

Most injuries were to the head, although babies also suffered fractured arms and legs. About half the injuries occurred at home. About 8% of the babies, or about 680 a year, needed to be admitted to the hospital, the study says. Three died during the study period of 2003 to 2007, Parikh says.

Parikh says hospitals, medical societies and manufacturers should warn parents about the dangers of misusing car seats. If parents need to use the seats outside the car, he says, the seats should always be placed on a hard, flat floor, where there is no danger they will topple over.

Spending too much time in car seats can cause other problems.

Physical therapists are seeing more babies with “container syndrome,” or weak muscles and flat heads caused by too much time spent lying on their backs, says Colleen Coulter-O’Berry of the American Physical Therapy Association.

And a study in Pediatrics in August found that car seats can make it difficult for babies to get enough oxygen, which led the authors to suggest that the seats be used only while infants are in cars.

Car seats reduce the odds of a baby dying in a crash by 75%, according to a February study in the American Journal of Public Health. Car accidents are the leading cause of accidental death in children over age 1, according to the pediatrics academy.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-10-19-car-seats_N.htm

Kathy Abbott, IBCLC

www.BusyMomsBreastfeed.com

On Facebook: “Breastfeeding in the News” 

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

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