Tag Archives: Baby Friendly Hospitals

Breastfeeding in the News: April 13th – 20th, 2010

Breastfeeding could save the US $13 billion dollars, US employers must now provide women with time and space to express their milk, even the new Adam Sandler flick features a four 48 month old child breastfeeding; it all sounds good, and then we find out that Enfamil now has a new flavored formula – chocolate, created especially for toddlers, and suddenly I want to crawl back into bed again. 

Melissa Bartick (chair of the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition) had an impressive study published in Pediatrics recently.  Her figures show that in addition to saving the US $13 billion dollars in health care costs over 900 lives could be saved as well if breastfeeding rates were to meet US recommendations.  Her follow up article (“Peaceful Revolution”) calls for women to feel anger (rather than guilt) for the lack of support they receive.  Amie Newman however believes that it will take more than public policy and knowing about health care cost to get women on board.  Using herself as an example, she nursed her first child for a few days and her second for three years.  The only thing that had changed was her frame of mind.  While visiting Vermont’s only “Baby Friendly” hospital recently I had a conversation with their Lactation Consultant Terry Donofrio voiced similar concerns.  “It used to be that women chose breastfeeding as a lifestyle.  Today they choose it for health reasons but they don’t have the lifestyle to accommodate it,” says Terry.  I have to agree.   Having to go back to work before your baby has even started solids is not conducive to breastfeeding.  Nor is the new IPhone app that lets you keep track of every feed, and don’t even get me started on the number of mothers who are scared silly at the thought of taking their baby to bed with them.  We need a cultural change as well.

Thanks to Obama’s new health care package (“Thank you, page 1239!”) we now have a law guaranteeing mothers who work in a company with over 50 employees time and space to express their milk.  (Notice I didn’t say pump?  I’ve met mothers who work full time and hand express.  They were able to meet their baby’s need without any help from Medela, thank you very much!)  What we don’t know yet is how the law will be enforced, what a “reasonable” amount of space looks like, and whether or not women will get paid for their “lactation time”.  It’s a step in the right direction if the direction we want to go in is separating moms and babies.  I would have preferred a six month paid maternity leave, but beggars can’t be choosers.

In the medical news, there was an interesting Canadian study that showed that the negative effects of giving your children fast food can erase some of the positive benefits of breastfeeding (Higher asthma rates linked to fast food.)  The rise of celiac disease in Sweden in the 1980’s has been tied to the recommendation at the time to wait before weaning to introduce gluten.  Weaning was early in those days and the amounts of gluten recommended were high.  And how it was wonderful to see an article about reducing pain during vaccinations recommending that the baby breastfeed during the inoculation!  I will always remember the story Diane Bagley once told me about her daughter Leah.  Leah was a still a young nursing toddler when she fell and cut her finger.  After no one could her to hold her hand still at the ER Diane insisted that they let her nurse her while they stitched her up.  The staff watched in amazement as Leah held out her tiny hand and nursed until the stitches were complete. (Diane by the way is the graphic designer for the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition – she did the wonderful “For All Walks of Life” campaign!)   

While we’re talking about medical advice, a study about advice given over the internet used breastfeeding as one of their topics found that only 200 out of 500 studied sites gave advice that was reliable  But as Alicia Huntley one of my Facebook friends pointed out  “ah, but what it the ‘right’ answer? Particularly on areas of controversy such as vaccination, or HIV and breastfeeding?”  That’s something to think about, but on the other hand just this week Parenting.com in an article about how to save money pointed out that breastfeeding is never really free and then encouraged mothers to ask their pediatrician for some of that free formula they always seem to have on hand.  Great….Another article wonders why there is so much cat fighting over parenting issues and breastfeeding in particular.  She wonders if parenting bloggers are really more polarized than political shock jocks or even sports commentators?

Last but not least will someone please explain to me what the big fuss is in Ohio?  A breastfeeding campaign that includes a billboard of a black baby with breast milk dribbling down his chin has upset quite a few folks.  Apparently it’s not the slogan (“Breast Milk Satisfies”) that has people upset.  It’s the idea of human milk on a baby’s chin that bothers them. “ Never mind how cute or attractive people find the “Got Milk” campaigns and the trademark milk mustaches. A baby with breast milk on its chin is disgusting, you know, because it came from a woman and not a cow. “  Like I said I just don’t get it.

And for those of you who have been wondering where I’ve been lately; two funerals, a speaking engagement (my talk “Going Baby Friendly in New England” went well thanks!), and a new dog have kept me busy.  The dog is a year old, she wasn’t house broken, and couldn’t do stairs.  She is a shelter dog with “issues”.  So far she has chewed through two leashes, the power cord to my lap top (twice), and her dog bed.  She has peed on the couch three times.  This is my first dog ever and I feel like a new mother who doesn’t know how to do anything right.  I’m sure the whole experience is going to make me a better lactation consultant – if I can only live through it!  (Did I mention we have five cats?)

As always I love to hear from you.

Kathy Abbott IBCLC


On Facebook:” Breastfeeding in the News”            

NEW Enfagrow™ PREMIUM™ Chocolate

A delicious new flavor for toddlers 12 months and older – with prebiotics for digestive health!

As your child grows from an infant to a toddler, he’s probably becoming pickier about what he eats. Now more than ever, ensuring that he gets complete nutrition can be a challenge


The Burden of Suboptimal Breastfeeding in the United States: A Pediatric Cost Analysis

Framed another

way, the United States incurs $13 billion

in excess costs annually and suffers 911

preventable deaths per year because

our breastfeeding rates fall far below

medical recommendations. Substantial

gains could be made with exclusive

breastfeeding for 4 months and any

breastfeeding at 6 months.      


Got Breast Milk? First We Need Equity (Aime Newman)

Turns out, breastfeeding a baby is not some secret society to which only some women hold the password. I breastfed my daughter for three years, enjoying (almost) every moment of it in a way I have never and certainly will never experience again. It had as much to do with my frame of mind as anything else.

Which is why solely focusing on public policy or solely focusing on the health benefits of breastfeeding or solely focusing on just trying to convince moms of how wonderful breastfeeding can be are not panaceas.

A study that finds that breastfeeding saves money and lives is not earth-shattering. But what we do with this information has the potential to be. From public spaces to workplaces, hospital rooms to women’s living rooms, society must expand its notion of what women need to feed their babies from birth and beyond.


Cat fight on the mom blog: Are we meaner than the sports blogs?

In a groundbreaking segment, the Today show figured out that Moms are mean to each other on parenting blogs. Shocking I know!! (They also pieced together like Sherlock Holmes that people trying to egg on others are called “trolls.”)

I also try to avoid breastfeeding/formula feeding whenever possible. You may not have noticed but I was a day late on that breastfeeding story last week because I just didn’t want to get into. I only used the story when I had the angle of how can we facilitate 90 percent breastfeeding instead of should 90 percent breastfeed. The facilitating discussion went really well. The other discussion would have gotten ugly!


Internet advice may not be reliable for your kid’s health—study

Details of the study
For the study, the researchers used Google to seek facts about five conditions–HIV breastfeeding, mastitis breastfeeding (breastfeeding while the breast tissue is inflamed), baby sleeping

position along with green vomit and MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and autism.

On observing the sites for child healthcare information, the researchers found that the type of guidance offered differed notably.

They also found that half of the search results were unable to answer the question typed.

The study also revealed that mere 200 out of 500 studied sites were able to offer accurate information and also that government-run websites were the only absolutely dependable source.

In other words, 39 percent of the 500 results gave accurate information while 11 percent gave the wrong answer; the most incorrect replies being given to search results regarding MMR and autism along with HIV and breastfeeding.



A nifty provision in the healthcare bill is a boon to working moms

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Thank you, page 1239! Deep within the new health care bill, right before the part where the Rostovs flee Moscow, there’s a neat provision that will thrill working mothers. CNN notes this week that companies with 50 or more employees are now required to provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.” 


Peaceful Revolution: Motherhood & the $13 Billion Dollar Guilt

Do you feel guilty for not breastfeeding? Or do you feel angry because it didn’t have to be this way?


Higher asthma rates linked to fast food

The Canadians were puzzled: Could fast food override some of the benefits of breastfeeding?

Their study involved children born in Manitoba in 1995. The team looked at 246 children, aged eight to 10, diagnosed with asthma, and 477 children without asthma. Parents filled out questionnaires that asked, among other things, “how often has your child eaten burgers or fast food in the last week” and “when did your child first have any formula/cow’s milk?”

Children who ate fast foods more than once or twice a week — more than half the children studied — were almost twice as likely to have asthma.

Children who were breastfed exclusively for more than three months had a lower risk of asthma. But the association disappeared in kids who ate fast food frequently, compared to those who occasionally or rarely consumed fast food.


Save on the Top 3 New-Baby Expenses (parenting.com)


By Rachel Grumman, Babytalk

Eating Up the Budget

 Formula costs a minimum of $1,500 the first year, according to Bradford — more if you use one that’s gluten-free or contains prebiotics. Although breastfeeding is less expensive, “there’s a fallacy that breastfeeding is free,” says Bradford. A breast pump can run $250 to $300, then there’s nursing bras, pads, and breast milk freezer bags. How to save: Pediatricians often have free formula samples, notes Sandberg. Also, sign up for coupons at the formula company’s website. If you’re breastfeeding, “buy breast pads and freezer bags month-to-month and finish them before buying another,” says Bradford. “Women often don’t know how long they’ll breastfeed and supplies are expensive.” Also, rather than buying the 2- to 4-ounce baby bottles that you’ll only use for a few months, buy the 8-ounce bottles, which have greater longevity.


Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups”

Breastfeeding a four year old. Ick! Ptoeey! Gross! Yup, this film is going to make money.”


Quick steps to lessen pain to your baby

  1. Let the medical assistant offer the injection at this point while you are breastfeeding.  You can also switch the baby to a pacifier.
  2.  No talking throughout or after the injection until the baby stops crying.  Whether or not there is crying do the next step.
  1. Offer the baby breast milk.  Remember the endorphins effect.  Or if you don’t breastfeed, offer the baby the pacifier.  Continue not talking.  Begin doing the next step.



Companies must soon provide private space for mothers to pump breast milk: Health Care Fact Check

Lactation-room requirements will take effect as soon as the Labor Department lays out some basic rules in the coming months. Until then, there are several uncertainties about the law, according to law firms, trade associations and advocates of breastfeeding.

For one, the provision says mothers must be given a “reasonable” amount of time to lactate, without defining what is reasonable.

The law also says employees do not have to be paid for work during their lactation time. That could cause confusion, because it is contrary to the existing Fair Labor Standards Act mandate “that employers pay employees for breaks of less than 20 minutes,” according to a primer on the new law by Jackson Lewis.

It’s also unclear how the law will be enforced, although the Labor Department should provide guidance on that, says Gina Ciagne, director of breastfeeding and consumer relations at Lansinoh Laboratories, a manufacturer of lactation supplies.

For employers, the law could raise other practical concerns. Retailers with small stores might have to give up sales space for lactation rooms. The law does not specify the size but says the place may not be a bathroom and must be private, shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public.

Asked if employers are scratching their heads over all this, DeFilippis said it’s too soon because “I think that most employers probably aren’t aware of it.”


Celiac Disease and Breastfeeding – The Missing Link

Celiac disease became a rising epidemic in Sweden in the mid 1980’s. The influx of celiac patients under 2 years old was cause for concern, considering neighboring countries were seeing a decline in celiac patients during that same time period. The Swedish celiac epidemic pattern was eventually correlated to the new dietary guidelines, which as a result of the study, were later changed. The initial dietary guidelines mandated that infants were to be introduced to gluten only after they were weaned from breastfeeding, and larger amounts of gluten were given to the infants during this time.

The recommended age is older than 4 months of age, but younger than 7 months.  It is also recommended to introduce gluten gradually, in small amounts and while your child is still nursing.


Ohio Billboard Promotes Breastfeeding, Offends Some

The billboard in question features a young child with a little bit of milk dripping out of its mouth and the slogan “Breast milk satisfies.” The kid looks pretty satisifed so far as one can tell from a staged photo. There are no bare breasts in sight, so what’s everyone finding so offensive about this ad? Apparently, it’s the fact that the milk coming out of the baby’s mouth is breast milk.

Never mind how cute or attractive people find the “Got Milk” campaigns and the trademark milk mustaches. A baby with breast milk on its chin is disgusting, you know, because it came from a woman and not a cow.


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

Breastfeeding in the News March 9th – March 18th, 2010

When the government in Taipei enacted a law mandating breastfeeding rooms in public buildings it was hailed as a symbol for “the enhancement of women’s rights”.  Compare that to here in the US where acceptance of breastfeeding varies widely from state to state.  In New Jersey a council woman was photographed arguing her point as she stood and nursed her attached baby.  Said one politician, “If that’s her forte, God bless her.” Meanwhile in North Carolina a woman who couldn’t afford child care began nursing her baby in an unemployment office.  Despite the fact that North Carolina has a law protecting the rights of mother’s breastfeeding in public she was asked to leave.   According to the NC Employment Security Commission they “do not prohibit a mother from breastfeeding, but do have a breastfeeding policy.” The policy states they will offer private rooms, if available, for the mother. If not, they ask the mothers wanting to breastfeed to cover-up or step outside.”   Never mind the issue of state law versus private policy; this is an employment office we are talking about!  Where is the enhancement of “women’s rights” in this case?

In other world news mothers in Kenya are protesting the withdrawal of free formula, a policy that was instituted when it was learned that the survival rate of babies born with HIV was higher than those who are formula fed.  One mother spoke against the policy “because I cannot generate enough breast milk, I wean my babies at two months. Six months is unworkable.”   Meanwhile in Cuba 98% of babies leave the hospital exclusively breastfeeding!  Down under the Australian Premier has decided that whenever Labor MP Rite Saffioti wants to leave the chamber to nurse her baby a Liberal will be asked to leave as well.  I wonder how the Liberals feel about this.  (Only a politician would come up with such a solution.)

 In the UK a committee is investigating the increasingly blurred line between the marketing of infant formula and so called “follow up” formula.  In Scotland policy makers are taking their cues from the Harlem, New York by adopting a program created there that includes home visits during pregnancy and for the first two years.  I love it when the vision of innovative locals gets the notice it deserves! In France however the land where the “crèche” (daycare) was invented, the concept of the “good mother” does not even exist, and according to one author that is a good thing.  In France it’s wife first, worker second, and mother last.  See what century’s of wet nursing can do to a country. 

In what’s now being called the “Air Freshener” incident a mother in Britain was told she couldn’t nurse in the dressing room of a charity run clothing store because she was told “your breast milk stinks”.  So much for the ‘oxytocin factor’ bringing out the best in people.  Breastfeeding issues made two advice columns this week, the first was a question I certainly had never considered before.  In Backpacker.com a hiker wanted to know if the smell of his wife’s pumped milk would attract bears.  I wanted to know why the baby wasn’t with her, but according to my Facebook friends there are mothers who leave their baby at home and climb a mountain carrying a breast pump instead.  In a UK column advice giver “Claire” bravely takes on the thorny question of breastfeeding a toddler in public. Her answer was a gem, “It pains me to have to break it to you but I’m not, in fact, a world authority on breastfeeding. I’ve never done it and to be honest I find the whole concept quite baffling. I’m not sure why you have written to me or indeed anyone as it is quite clear that no one could convince you that breastfeeding a toddler is a good idea. The puzzle is why it bothers you so much. If your friend ends up standing in the school canteen offering her breasts up as an alternative to mini pizzas then so be it.”

A new issue of La Leche League’s most famous book “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” is scheduled to arrive in July!  This will be the first updated edition in six years and from what I hear it will include some major revisions.  There is also a new book out from a different publisher about breastfeeding older children, and by older I mean the 6 years old not the 6 months.  Medela has a new link on their website for those looking for advice on how to get lactation coverage from their insurance companies.    

  In consumer news slings took a hit when the US  Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that in the last 20 years 14 infant deaths had been associated with slings.  According to the report “many of the babies whose deaths they are investigating were either born prematurely, had breathing difficulties (eg because they had a cold) or they were a low birthweight twin.”  A follow up article by the New York Times notes that the number of slings available has exploded in recent years.  We all remember how Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (which includes crib makers) came out with all those studies against co-sleeping, considering how many slings are made by smaller women owned businesses I would hate to see this organization take on slings as well (especially since only one sling manufacturer was implicated).  One way to avoid this is for sling makers to police themselves.  It would not be a bad idea for certain standards to be created and in my humble opinion the best way to do that is to join the American Society for Testing and Materials (http://www.astm.org/ ).  The ASTM is a highly respected voluntary organization that is a well known leader in creating standards around the globe.  Check it out ladies; don’t let the Goliath’s of the world get their way!

In science news  ‘pregnancy brain’ has been associated with a lack of fatty acids (which presumably have been suctioned off by the fetus) and does not return to normal until the baby reaches 6 months.  Whether or not lower levels of fatty acids is a true deficit to a woman’s ability to think I’m not sure.  What I am sure of is that this will be used a new marketing tool for yet another perinatal product shortly.

I have to thank you all for patience in waiting for this latest edition of “Breastfeeding in the News”.  In the past two weeks I have visited five Baby Friendly hospitals in New England for a fascinating look at the process of going Baby Friendly.  When I was done with that I finally caved in to my daughter’s constant request for a dog. (For three years she has added the word “puppy” to every shopping list I have ever written.)  Never mind that we have five cats, never mind that I have never owned a dog before, I caved in and now we have a gentle, one year old, thirty pound, West Virginian, shelter dog who was not house broken and apparently had never seen stairs before.   On the second day we had her she busted out of her crate and chewed the power cord to my laptop clean in half.  And just now while I was writing this she stole and opened up a container of cat food!  If anyone needs a reminder of what motherhood is like in the early days just get yourself a puppy.  I’m exhausted already.

As always I welcome your comments, and if you haven’t had a chance to read my last essay “Wetness is Opportunity” please take a look at it.  I want to send a special shout out to my Facebook friend Effath Yasmin from India for the kind words she sent me about the essay, so nice to hear from you Effath!

 Kathy Abbott IBCLC


On Facebook:” Breastfeeding in the News”             


Thursday, March 18, 2010 by: Sherry Rothwell, citizen journalist
…”If not attended to, EFA (essential fatty acids) status in the mother will continue to decline throughout the breastfeeding period, with repercussions to both her breastfeeding baby and subsequent children. Essential fatty acid deficiency has been shown to play a key role in many growth and developmental difficulties such as: learning, behavioral, nervous and immune related disorders.”

…”While “pregnancy brain” is also associated with the “amnesia” effects of the hormone oxytocin and other nutritional deficiencies, science has now shown that a pregnant woman`s brain actually shrinks in size during pregnancy, and then increases again at six months postpartum. It is likely no coincidence that this occurrence co-relates with the time when many women stop or decrease breastfeeding, thus eliminating or reducing the strain on the mother`s EFA stores. Since we know that 60% of the human brain is composed of fat and that a woman’s reserves are most strained during the childbearing years, we have to at least consider essential fats as a significant contributing piece of the “pregnancy brain” puzzle.”


Deficiency of essential fatty acids and membrane fluidity during pregnancy and lactation

Lactating mothers showed less recovery from the deficiencies than did the nonlactating mothers, but neither approached normal at 6 wk. The changes seen in phospholipid profiles suggest a significant transfer of omega 3 and omega 6 polyunsaturated FA from the mother to the fetus. These FA are essential for normal fetal growth and development; their relative deficiency in maternal circulation suggests that dietary supplementation may be indicated.


Hospitals friendly to newborns and their mothers are widely realized in Cuba

By David Koch

SANCTI SPÍRITUS, Cuba, 17 March 2010 – With a history of poverty and political strife, Cubans have experienced much deprivation over the years. But access to basic services, such as healthcare, is available to all – especially children – whose first right is to the best start in life.

   VIDEO: Watch now

In 1991, Cuba ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which states that nations “shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.” And the country vigorously defends a children’s right to health, and hospitals friendly to newborns and their mothers cover the island.

 “Undoubtedly, the reach and quality of child- and mother-friendly hospitals in Cuba sets one of the highest standards in the world.”

Breastfeeding to the fore

Post-delivery care is one of the hallmarks of child- and mother-friendly hospitals like the General Camilo Cienfuegos Provincial Hospital in Sancti Spíritus, the capital of the province of the same name.

“During the first 48 hours, we ensure that the mother is always by the child’s side, that she breastfeeds him or her on demand over the first 15 minutes of the child’s life,” explained Dr. Gladys Figueredo Echagüe, Deputy Director of the hospital’s maternity ward. “We ensure that the families participate in this process, and ensure that 98 per cent of our newborns are sent home breastfeeding exclusively.”

Despite such practices, some experts believe that breastfeeding among Cuban mothers is declining slightly due to an increased reliance on powdered formula.

“I believe that Cuba is an excellent model regarding the protection and best interests of the child,” he said.


Taipei protects right to breastfeed

Government offices, public venues and most shopping malls must also set up nursing rooms.

Anyone who does not comply with the law will be subject to a fine of NT$5,000-$30,000 (US$157-943).

Catholic hospitals have long promoted breastfeeding and have welcomed the measures.

The law, proposed in 2005, will finally come into force in Taipei on April 1, said Yu Li-hui, head of the health promotion division of Taipei city council.

“This is the first law of its kind in Taiwan. It not only follows the world trend but also symbolizes the enhancement of women’s rights,” Yu told UCA News.

The rate of breastfeeding has dropped since the 1970s when TV commercials created a misconception of healthier babies with formula milk. Breastfeeding draws strange stares from passersby, making it seem that this is not a norm in Chinese society, said Yu.

But Chinese mothers have breastfed their babies publicly in the 1960s when breastfeeding was common.

“The practice has been encouraged since 1980s and now more than 90 percent of mothers breastfeed their newborns in hospitals…”



Q: My wife has been breastfeeding our 3-month-old daughter, and she’d like to get out for her first post-pregnancy backpacking trip this summer. While we cannot take the little one along with us yet, we had planned to take a breastpump and dispose of the pumped milk.

We can’t seem to find any information about whether it is safe to camp in bear country while…uh…lactating. So, how about it? Is it safe to camp in bear country when you are a breastfeeding mom? Thanks! —Mike from Virginia, via email

A: Hey Mike. First of all, congratulations on the new cub—here’s hoping she has two eyes, ten claws, and a shiny fur coat.

Secondly, as long as you dispose of the milk properly, your wife should be good to go on that backpacking trip. There’s no evidence to suggest that lactating females would attract bears any more than those who aren’t. If it’s inside your body, a bear probably can’t smell it; any food or external odors left on your skin or clothes are more likely to attract bears.

As for disposal: You can treat it much the way you would treat dishwater. Scatter it broadly at least 200 feet away from water sources, and well away from your camp (strain it, if need be). This way, impact should be minimal. If you want to truly reduce your impact to zero, however, you should probably wait to go backpacking until your wife stops lactating. It’ll certainly cut down on her discomfort.


Breastfeeding a risk in bear country?

“ Large food caches, quantities of cooked food, and left-overs are what you worry about, as far as I’ve learned. The bears know where the most food is. If a bear smelled food stains on a person, or smelled the very strong odors of a food cache or a pile of scraps, which way do you think that animal will turn? Bears, black and grizzly, are extremely smart omnivores and scavengers, and they’re inclined to expend the least energy for the biggest payoff. So, attack a human who smells like her own milk (and risk human counter-attack), or sneak in at night, rip open a cooler, and grab and go?”



WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) – A woman said she was asked to stop breastfeeding her child while at the Winston-Salem Employment Security Commission Office last Tuesday.

Elizabeth Abbott, a mother of four, said she went to the employment office to search for a job. “I don’t have a job, which means I can’t afford $200 a week in daycare. Which means, when I go look for a job, my child goes with me,” said Abbott. While waiting at the office, she started breastfeeding her infant son when a female receptionist asked her to to stop, stating it was a distraction.

“She came over and said for the comfort of the men in the office, I need to leave and nurse him elsewhere. I told her I wasn’t going anywhere, and she continued to tell me that the comfort of the men was going to be an issue. I said I really don’t care. My baby is hungry, I’m here to find a job and my baby wants to eat,” said Abbott.

North Carolina law protects mothers and gives them the right to breastfeed their child anytime, anywhere.

“There were other people that heard her comment and actually were upset about the comment she made to me,” said Abbott. “If a man can sit there and feed his child at the ESC with a bottle, then a women should be able to nurse their child the same way.”

A spokesman for the NC Employment Security Commission said: “They do not prohibit a mother from breastfeeding, but do have a breastfeeding policy.” The policy states they will offer private rooms, if available, for the mother. If not, they ask the mothers wanting to breastfeed to cover-up or step outside.

Abbott said she believes no policy should trump state law. “There shouldn’t be a policy. I don’t care what their policy is,” said Abbott.

North Carolina is one of 44 states that have laws protecting mothers wanting to breastfeed in public.


Suffocation Danger To Young Babies In Sling Carriers: US Consumers Warned (Medical News Today)    

“The commission said many of the babies whose deaths they are investigating were either born prematurely, had breathing difficulties (eg because they had a cold) or they were a low birthweight twin.”




But perhaps the biggest postpregnancy book of the season is Ballantine’s newly revised and updated edition of the classic The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by the La Leche League. Since the last update to the title six years ago, major changes have created more questions for breastfeeding moms, says Marnie Cochran, executive editor at Ballantine, even as the science has solidified its importance. She cites increases in C-sections and multiple births, improved pump technology that can be overwhelming for new mothers to choose from, and women juggling the return to the workplace and nursing.

“Much like a La Leche League meeting itself, the new book will now meet the urgent needs of women of all ages who choose to breastfeed, and for however long they choose to try to keep doing it,” says Cochran.


Family says accused mother is mentally ill

SARASOTA – Brittany Livingston tried to get help for mental health problems including postpartum depression, but she would not take the prescription medicine while breastfeeding her youngest daughter, worried that it might hurt the child.

On Feb. 26, she showed up at her mother’s Sarasota house in crisis, asking for help and saying she needed to go somewhere for psychiatric treatment, as she had done several times before. But she took off before anyone could help her, family members say.

“She was begging, pleading,” said a family member, who would not give her name. “But that other part of her would not let her sit still.”

That night, deputies say, she tried to drown her two daughters — a 2-year-old and a 9-month-old — in a retention pond in Charlotte County.

On Friday, they charged her with two counts of attempted murder and moved her to the jail.

Her bail has been set at $300,000

Family members say Livingston, an honors student at Riverview who enrolled in State College of Florida and wanted to be a teacher, should be getting psychiatric help, not jail time.


Roselle Park councilwoman nurses baby at meetings so other mothers can too (New Jersey)

ROSELLE PARK — The strongest public statement at this month’s Roselle Park council meeting was never entered into the minutes.

Near the end of the meeting, 3rd Ward Councilwoman Larissa Chen-Hoerning brought her 6-week-old son, Enzo, onto the dais with her and began to breastfeed him while the council debated an ordinance regulating overnight truck parking on borough streets.

Chen-Hoerning said that she doesn’t think the act of nursing her baby, discreetly shielded from view by the desk in front of her, should be stigmatized as dirty or shameful.

“I want to help women say ‘Someone else is out there breastfeeding, and maybe it’s OK to do,’” Chen-Hoerning said last week.

Mothers in the United States often face complaints when they nurse in public places like restaurants or stores, according to La Leche League International spokeswoman Loretta

On several occasions since his birth in January, Enzo has dropped into Roselle Park council meetings for a snack. No one on either side of the dais has batted an eye.

“I was telling someone about it the other day, and they said, ‘Do you nurse on camera?’ and I was like, ‘Well, yeah,’” Chen-Hoerning said.

After the meeting, resident Eugene Meola said the baby was so quiet he hadn’t even noticed him during the meeting. Other residents, Chen-Hoerning said, have expressed their support for her. Former councilman Jacob Magiera, who attends many borough meetings, said last week the councilwoman is modest and perfectly within her rights.

“If other council members don’t object to it, she’s entitled to do what she wants to do,” said Magiera. “If that’s her forte, God bless her.”


Mo’Nique Portrays a Mother from Hell in Precious

“This neglect begins in infancy,” Dr. Fine warns. “What’s the message mothers give their kids while plopping pacifiers in their mouths? I don’t have time to nurse you. Your needs are not important.”


Are French mothers right to put marriage before motherhood? 

It stems from the 18th century, according to Badinter, when French women would give their newborn babies to wet-nurses to save themselves from sagging bosoms. The French maman has long been party to a “woman before mother” policy, she says; it was the French who invented le crèche for children aged two and three.

These days bottle feeding enables French women to perform three roles: wife, professional and mother. More than half of French women choose not to breastfeed; the number of non-breastfeeders rose from 45.6 per cent in 1995 to 56 per cent in 2002. The concept of “good mother” does not exist in France, Badinter says.

But this is not necessarily a bad thing, according to her book Le Conflit, la femme et la mère


Barrett Fund Awards $77K in Adams, Cheshire, Savoy

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The William J. and Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire and Savoy, a fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, recently awarded grants totaling $77,000 to 12 nonprofit organizations in the three towns.

Berkshire Nursing Families: $10,000 for Breastfeeding Support Services, a program that provides comprehensive breastfeeding support services for families in Adams, Cheshire and Savoy.


Dear Claire

It pains me to have to break it to you but I’m not, in fact, a world authority on breastfeeding. I’ve never done it and to be honest I find the whole concept quite baffling.

I’m not sure why you have written to me or indeed anyone as it is quite clear that no one could convince you that breastfeeding a toddler is a good idea. The puzzle is why it bothers you so much. If your friend ends up standing in the school canteen offering her breasts up as an alternative to mini pizzas then so be it.


Mothers’ protest at withdrawal of free formula milk (Kenya)

Provision of free formula milk in public health centres for HIV positive mothers has been halted drawing protests from the women.

The government says the move is aimed at promoting exclusive use of breast milk for the first six months. However, the mothers say the directive is impractical because they cannot afford enough food for themselves to generate milk.

The government says it took the decision after studies showed that survival rates of breast-fed babies born of HIV positive mothers is higher than those on formula milk.

“Because I cannot generate enough breast milk, I wean my babies at two months. Six months is unworkable,” said Ms Everlyne Atieno from Mathare North.”





MCHENRY, Ill., March 11 /PRNewswire/ — Medela today announced the launch of an important new resource – www.breastfeedinginsurance.com – where new and expectant mothers can access comprehensive information and tools to help them discover if their breastfeeding related expenses, such as breastpump rental/purchase or lactation consultants, are covered by insurance.


Sibling jealousy (‘Nagje-jelling si Big Sister!)
PARENTIN TALK By Tintin Bersola-Babao (The Philippine Star)

“Whenever she’d see me breastfeeding her baby brother, she’d get jealous. So she’d also insist on being fed. And I allow her to experience it all over again. Funny what she said one time, “Mommy, I don’t like the taste!” Ha, ha, ha. What’s important is that I did not deprive her of the renewed breastfeeding experience. I believe this made her feel that she now has a shared experience with her baby brother but she holds the badge of honor of being the one I breastfed first.”


Doyle signs measures on breastfeeding, carbon monoxide detectors  (Wisconsin)


“Why do we need breastfeeding detectors?”

“Breasts, if not properly ventilated, give off large amounts of carbon monoxide. This should save hundreds of lives annually.”


Teen pregnancy initiative unveiled in Edinburgh

The £1.6 million scheme to help first time parents has been based on a successful community nursing drive in Harlem, New York.

“The test project, based on a parental support scheme running in Harlem, New York, will provide home visits from nurses to young mothers-to-be throughout their pregnancy and during the first two years of their baby’s life.”

“Lesley Backhouse, chair of the UK-wide Breastfeeding Network, commented: “We know from a similar scheme’s success in New York that a close relationship between a nurse and mother develops ongoing support in best practice for parenting skills – including increased breastfeeding.”


Fiona McCade: Please, let’s not create a breastfeeding frenzy

FUTURE generations will probably call it The Air-Freshener Incident. The unfortunate event happened in Dulwich, south-east London, when a woman taking refuge in a charity shop changing room to feed her baby was sprayed with the aforementioned by the manager, because “your breast milk stinks”.


Mind writes policy on breastfeeding after shopper told her ‘breast milk stinks’

Mental health charity Mind has been forced to devise a breastfeeding policy in its stores after a mother was told her “breast milk stinks” by the manager of its East Dulwich store.

Mrs Baker has subsequently called on the charity to create “a clear policy allowing breast-feeding in changing rooms, and guaranteeing privacy behind curtains” and said she was left feeling “shocked and indignant” by the events.


Premier offers breast feeding solution (Australia)

Premier Colin Barnett has moved to head off controversy over breastfeeding in Parliament by guaranteeing new mum and Labor MP Rita Saffioti will be automatically “paired” with a Liberal if she has to leave the chamber to feed her baby. …


UK investigates baby milk marketing enforcement

By Shane Starling, 16-Mar-2010

Related topics: Omega-3, Regulation, Dairy-based ingredients, Nutritional lipids and oils, Probiotics and prebiotics, Maternal & infant health

A UK government committee looking into European Union baby milk marketing laws has raised issues with local enforcement procedures which it says need to be addressed.

The Independent Review Panel (IRP) voices concerns held by LACORS – the UK local trading standards enforcement agency – that classification of baby milk that often include omega-3s and prebiotics is not clear enough.

“One of the major problems for enforcement officers is the use of advertising and promotional material which blurs the distinction between follow-on formula and infant formula,” the IRP concluded.

BMA criticised the IRP for focusing on potential baby milk-infant formula confusion that may exist among caregivers rather than internet, point-of-sale promotion, baby clubs, care lines, labels and health claims that continue to promote follow-on formula.


Baby’s snuggled in a sling, but safe?  NY Times.

“At first it was like, ‘Am I trying to be an indigenous tribal woman?’ ” Ms. Ossinova said, noting that she had four other carriers at home. “But I got over that hump, and I’m quite passionate about it now.”

In recent years, the number of carriers has expanded from a handful of styles to scores. “In 2004, there were barely any carriers,” said Bianca Fehn, an owner of Metro Minis. “You had to find these work-at-home moms who made them and go on a waiting list for weeks or even months to get a carrier.” Before opening the store, she started an Internet community called Slings in the City that held regular baby carrier demonstrations around town. The demonstrations are now offered at Metro Minis four times a month, and are usually crowded.

But as carriers have grown more popular, their safety has been questioned, with particular alarm about bag-style slings, which have contributed to the suffocation deaths of several infants. On Tuesday, Inez M. Tenenbaum, the head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, announced a forthcoming warning about slings, saying that “we know now the hazard scenarios for very small babies” carried in them. Many specialty stores, like Metro Minis, do not sell bag-style slings whose safety has been challenged, and instructs buyers to position babies in any sling upright and tight against the caregiver.

While most people using baby carriers extol the convenience of having their hands free to steer a toddler, dial a cellphone or maneuver through a grocery store, some see it as an integral part of their parenting philosophy, which holds that babies should be worn on the body to foster a strong attachment to their parents.

Other experts dismiss any suggestion that strollers may be psychologically detrimental.

Claire Moore, 33, nuzzled her 7-week-old daughter, Zoë, while explaining that her carrier had been picked by her husband, Adrian. Walking their dog most mornings in nearby Prospect Park, he had spent months during her pregnancy trying to figure out the most practical, comfortable carrier for them both by surveying the park’s many fathers with babies tethered to their chests. Eventually, Ms. Moore said, he settled on the ERGObaby; they bought one in cranberry.

“He’d been keeping an eye out and knew that was the one,” she said. “All the dads are wearing it.”


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

Breastfeeding in the News Oct 5th – Oct. 11th, 2009

Hello All,

What on earth is going on in Canada?? Last week they wouldn’t let breastfeeding mothers get together for a breastfeeding challenge in Montreal because of concerns about H1N1 but the Calgary challenge went off without a hitch. But get this, due to fear of an H1N1 pandemic in Saskatoon the Canadians have cut back on other services, specifically “breastfeeding support services have been consolidated from two locations to one, and prenatal classes have been temporarily shelved”. No prenatal classes?! Not to mention regular seasonal flu shots have been cancelled. By the way “The CDC says that infants who are not breastfeeding are more vulnerable to infection and hospitalization for severe respiratory illness then infants who are breastfeeding.” Reducing breastfeeding support might be a little counter productive don’t you think?

While we’re talking about the Canadians I found two articles this week that were straight out of the formula company handbook. In “Have a baby feeding backup plan” pediatrician Dr Susan Russell who is expecting her first child advises parents to make sure to have some formula in the house when they bring the baby home because “Otherwise, you could find yourself running to the grocery store in a panic the second night you’re home with a new baby who’s starving and screaming — which is not the best case scenario for choosing a formula.” To make sure that doesn’t happen to her she has decided to stock her cupboards with formula, and not just any formula. “And so, I’m going to, if I need to, definitely start with the (Nestle) Good Start (formula) and see what happens.” Finally I get it! This is why it is so vital to the formula companies that moms leave the hospital with samples of their formula; they don’t want them choosing a competitor’s brand at 2 am.

In “Breast vs. bottle” the formula companies whine that they are “tired of accusatory fingers being pointed at them. They say they actually support breastfeeding and don’t want to compete with mother’s milk. … when breastfeeding advocates talk about the “risks” of formula feeding, it’s not only unfair but does a disservice to women.” And “If women have trouble breastfeeding at home, they might use the sample. “But it doesn’t mean … that you’re going to completely abandon breastfeeding,” she says. “I don’t think a can of formula will completely derail their nursing. “It’s easy to blame us and point the finger.”

There is also worry that mothers are not getting enough prenatal education on how to prepare formula. “She worries that in the push for breastfeeding, educating women who choose formula on how to safely prepare it has been neglected. “That puts a child at risk,” she says.” Hmm, this is the same argument we heard at the Massachusetts State House two weeks ago where they were considering a bill making it a law for hospitals to offer education on preparing formula. The bill also stated that formula samples should be given out (but not to breastfeeding moms of course). Thankfully when I brought this to the attention of my state Rep. Mary Grant she said “But aren’t the instructions right on the can??” Good point Mary, and let’s not forget, unlike formula breastfeeding does not come with instruction. On the other hand an infant feeding course that included the risks of formula might be just the ticket.

This article also specifically mentions Nestle’s Good Start formula pointing out that it is the only formula with probiotics. (For those of you who heard my talk on “Breast Milk: The Original Probiotic” last spring you will remember that I warned you we would be hearing a lot more about pre & probitiocs in formula!) This is all about marketing people. They also make a big deal about the fact that their formula contains whey protein because it is smaller than casein protein. “The smaller the protein, the easier it is to digest. And the smaller a foreign protein you put in your body, the less likely your body is to develop an allergy to it.” How’s that for marketing – you are less likely to develop an allergy from our formula than from our competitors, well isn’t that lovely.

Happily a different Canadian article states that most mothers don’t need to be convinced to breastfeed any more. I particularly liked the quote from a La Leche League Leader who said she “doesn’t offer is any hard, fast rules for breastfeeding. Every mom and baby are unique and every mother is the expert of her own situation.” Well said.

Enough about Canada, let’s check out what’s happening here in the US. The CDC has posted the results of a new study about what influences a woman to breastfeed here in the US. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again “Baby Friendly” hospitals and realistic maternity leave should be at the top of our list! Check out these numbers:
• 4 out of 5 mothers want to breastfeed
• Mothers are 8 times more likely to quit if their hospital uses unsupportive practices
• 83% went home with formula/coupons in their “gift” bag
• 57% received free formula samples at home
• only1/3 of mothers were eligible for fully paid maternity leave
• only 1/5 of mothers were eligible for partially paid maternity leave
• on average fully paid maternity leave only lasted 2.2 weeks
• on average partially paid maternity leave only lasted 1.5 weeks

In legal news the mother who was kicked off the Delta flight in Vermont is now suing Delta. Florida is considering a bill to excuse women breastfeeding a child up the age of two from jury duty. And Gov Schwarzenegger in California must decide whether or not to sign a bill requiring state agencies to inform their employees about the rights of breastfeeding mothers. And while we are talking about breastfeeding mothers in the workplace Starbucks the same company that only makes accommodations for mothers who happen to work at their corporate headquarters apologized to a breastfeeding mother in England for asking her to leave by saying, “At Starbucks, not only are we welcoming of all customers in our stores but we’re also committed to making a positive impact on the community beyond our stores.” Are they sure about that?

In other news the comparisons of breast milk to caffeine continue. This week breast milk is described as the “natural equivalent of Latte in the morning and de-caff tea at night.” In Belfast the movement to release moms from the hospital a mere 6 to 12 hours after birth has been decried by a pediatrician insisting it will interfere with breastfeeding. Another story I posted touches on breastfeeding after breast cancer. And last but not least, my favorite story of the week is about Julie Bowen the actress in that new TV show “The Modern Family” (I love this show!) who says that she manages to keep up with the needs of her breast feeding twins by pumping while driving. In fact she does it so routinely that she forgot she was pumping on the day that she stopped and asked a police officer for information. Talk about multitasking! Go to https://thecuriouslactivist.wordpress.com/todays-poll/ to answer his week’s poll question: Multitasking is great, but is pumping while driving a “do” or a “don’t”?

That’s it for this week. But before I forget I also want to congratulate Robin Snyder-Drummond for passing the IBCLC exam. Good going Robin! And thanks to Angelique & Nancy for sending me some articles – I hope to post them next week.

Once again I always look forward to hearing from you (especially the Canadians!)
Kathy Abbott, IBCLC
On Facebook: “Breastfeeding in the News”
My Blog: http://TheCuriousLactivist.wordpress.com/

Rachael Price told to stop breastfeeding her four-week-old baby by staff at Starbucks in Coney Street, York (England)
STARBUCKS bosses have apologised to a young mum who says she was asked to stop breastfeeding her four-week-old baby in one of the chain’s York cafés.
Rachael Price, who lives in The Groves, York, said the incident at Starbucks in Coney Street reduced her to tears.
She said a member of staff approached her at the table she was sitting at with a friend and asked her to stop breastfeeding her daughter, Grace, because it would upset other customers.
Rachael, 21, said: “I was told that if I wanted to carry on I would have to leave. I couldn’t believe it.
“It was the first time I had breastfed Grace in public and I was being pretty discreet about it because I was quite self-conscious myself.
“I definitely wasn’t sitting there with anything on show and the lady even had to ask me if I was feeding Grace, because she couldn’t actually tell.”
Rachael, who works as a customer service representative for Aviva, added: “I don’t think there is anything wrong with breastfeeding in public. It’s one of the most natural things in the world.”
A spokeswoman for Starbucks said the company had no issue with women breastfeeding their babies in their coffee shops.
She said: “We’re terribly disappointed that this customer has had this experience in our store, which we believe is an isolated occurrence. “Our partners in our Coney Street coffeehouse, many of whom are working mums themselves, would be grateful for the opportunity to welcome this customer back to their store so that her concerns can be addressed.
“At Starbucks, not only are we welcoming of all customers in our stores but we’re also committed to making a positive impact on the community beyond our stores.”
She said staff in the Coney Street coffee house had recently supported the city’s Just Women Conference and would also be taking part in Breast Cancer Campaign’s Wear It Pink Day on October 30.

Have a baby feeding backup plan
Be prepared! Moms and pediatricians agree: Don’t wait until your baby is born to educate yourself about breastfeeding and formula feeding. New parents should do themselves — and their baby — a favour and have a plan before the baby is born.
“So it’s not your second night home from the hospital, and it’s 3 o’clock in the morning, and the baby is screaming, and you can’t get him to latch on. And now what do you do?” cautions Ottawa-based pediatrician Dr. Susan Russell, who is expecting her first child this month. “It’s good to be prepared before you run into that.” Prior to birth, feeding a baby is something soon-to be parents rarely think about, Russell says. But after birth, it’s their biggest concern.
“I see babies their first visit after being discharged from the hospital.
I’ll see them their first week of life. And it’s the No. 1 concern that parents have then,” she points out, adding that feeding challenges often leave new moms in tears.
Melissa Parsons can relate. Before the Calgary mom gave birth to her daughter Maiya three months ago, she took prenatal classes.
But the focus was on labour and delivery issues, not lactation.
“We never really discussed the feeding. It never really crossed my mind,” she admits.
Parsons tried to breastfeed Maiya. But there were problems.
“It was really challenging, really stressful for me — just because it wasn’t working,” she recalls.
When Maiya was about a month old, Parsons was still having problems breastfeeding her.
So she decided to formula feed her instead.
At first, she felt guilty about it, Parsons says.
But not anymore.
“You have to get past that. You have to do the best you can with what you have,” she explains. “And make sure the baby’s happy.
And really, she is happy now, and she’s growing.” “As a pediatrician, I would 100-per-cent promote exclusive breastfeeding,” Russell says.
But that’s not always possible, she’s quick to add. “A lot of moms run into problems.
“Although we think that breastfeeding is natural, it’s not always easy,” she points out.
There are no guarantees that breastfeeding will work for a new mom and baby — even if the new mom happens to be an educated pediatrician, Russell admits.
“In my case, neither I nor my baby has ever breastfed before. We’re both on a steep learning curve,” she explains.
Moms can run into problems. Sometimes their milk doesn’t come in, or they don’t get a large amount. Sometimes they get sore or cracked nipples.
Babies can run into breastfeeding problems, too. Sometimes the baby doesn’t have a good latch.
“So there are lots of things that can come up,” Russell points out.
And if those issues arise, then it’s time to supplement with formula.
Formula also provides a convenient backup, as Shannon Fitzpatrick of Newmarket, Ont. has learned. Fitzpatrick admits she was surprised to discover how time-consuming breastfeeding is. So, about five times a month, she supplements breastfeeding with formula for her 51/2-monthold son Keaton. It allows Fitzpatrick and her husband to go out for an evening, for example, while Grandma cares for Keaton.
Before Keaton was born, Fitzpatrick says she was hoping to breastfeed him exclusively.
“I didn’t really have a backup plan in place,” she says, admitting it’s a decision she regrets.
Fitzpatrick’s breast milk took 51/2 days to come in — during which both mother and baby were extremely upset.
“Those five days were just kind of crazy.
And there was some crying because I didn’t really have a backup plan,” she recalls.
She warns other new parents not to make the same mistake. “Have a backup plan!” she insists.
Have some ready-to-go formula in your cupboard that you can grab quickly if need be, she recommends.
If she had done that, “it would have eased a lot of the stress in the first couple of days,” Fitzpatrick says.
Russell stresses that new moms shouldn’t feel guilty if they can’t breastfeed.
“I think it’s important for people to recognize that formula is a healthy and a really nutritious alternative to breast milk,” Russell emphasizes. “We would always say breast milk is best, but the formulas we have today on the market really are as close to breast milk as you can possibly get. So I have no problem with supplementing with formula if need be.” Make sure you have formula in your house before you come home from the hospital with your new baby, Russell recommends.
Otherwise, you could find yourself running to the grocery store in a panic the second night you’re home with a new baby who’s starving and screaming — which is not the best case scenario for choosing a formula.
“In Canada we’re lucky, because all formulas are regulated by the federal government and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency,” Russell points out.
“We know that the formulas that are out there on the shelf are safe. But they do vary somewhat in their components,” she adds.
All formulas sold in Canada are iron fortified unless otherwise noted. (Low iron formulas should only be used for babies with specific health concerns.) The other things to look for in formulas, Russell recommends, are Omega 3 and Omega 6.
“Those are just fancy names for fat,” she explains. “Basically, they’re fatty acids. And those specific forms of fat we know promote brain and eye and neurological health. So the children that have formula or breast milk that has extra Omega 3 and 6 have improved brain development and neurological development.” The other thing to look for is the type of cow milk protein that’s in the formula. There are two common types: casein and whey.
“What you want to look for is a formula that has a large percentage of whey protein as opposed to the casein, because the whey protein is smaller. The smaller the protein, the easier it is to digest. And the smaller a foreign protein you put in your body, the less likely your body is to develop an allergy to it.
So that’s why we like the whey protein,” Russell explains.
“We do find babies who are fed formula high in whey protein tend to be less fussy and less gassy because it’s just easier to digest,” she says.
The latest development in baby formula is the addition of probiotics, used to improve the immune systems of babies. Nestle Good Start Natural Cultures, for example, is enhanced with a probiotic.
“It’s certainly a good idea to feed your baby a probiotic,” recommends Russell, who did research on probiotics during a fellowship in neonatal intensive care.
“There certainly is some really good scientific evidence out there — some really good medical literature — that does show and does prove the importance of probiotics and how beneficial they can be,” she says.
“And so, I’m going to, if I need to, definitely start with the (Nestle) Good Start (formula) and see what happens.” Irene Seiberling blogs about Anything & Everything on leaderpost.com. BLOG MORE AT LEADERPOST.COM
© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post


Mom sues Delta Airlines over breastfeeding
A New Mexico woman has sued Delta Airlines over being thrown off a flight in Burlington, Vt., for refusing to cover herself while breastfeeding her baby.
Delta and Freedom Airlines Inc., which operated the Delta Connections commuter flight, are both named as defendants, The Burlington Free Press reported Thursday. Emily Gillette’s lawyer filed the suit this week in U.S. District Court in Burlington.
In court papers, Gillette said flight attendants ordered her off the plane when she refused to cover herself with a blanket while nursing her 22-month-old daughter. She said her breast could not be seen and she did not behave belligerently.
Gillette said the incident, three years ago, made her feel “shamed and humiliated” and she continues to suffer anxiety about breastfeeding her second daughter in public places.
Elizabeth Boepple of Portland, Maine, Gillette’s lawyer, said Vermont law on nursing in public is the strongest in the country.

PAINT THE TOWN PINK: Breast cancer an equal opportunity disease
Six years ago, she noticed a dog scratch on her right breast had refused to heal. She was raising three small children at the time, including a baby.
Her doctor said there was only a 1 percent chance of a malignancy but did a biopsy “because of Helena,” Costa said.
She was told she had Paget’s disease of the nipple – a rare cancer that accounts for less than 5 percent of all breast cancers.
Most patients are over 50.
Ana was 37.
“They told me by the time I found a lump, I would have had six months to live,” Costa said.
The odds are slim – only one in 11,000 – for any woman under 40 to develop breast cancer.

There’s not a lot of data on breastfeeding after cancer but an infant can’t “catch” cancer from breastfeeding, Duggan said.
Many women choose to feed from only the healthy breast. For some women, it just doesn’t feel right.

Questions & Answers: 2009 H1N1 Nasal Spray Vaccine

From the Centers for Disease Control
Are there any contraindications to giving breastfeeding mothers the 2009 H1N1 vaccine?
Breastfeeding is not a contraindication for the nasal spray flu vaccine. Women who are breastfeeding can get the nasal spray vaccine, including 2009 H1N1 vaccine.

Breastfeeding? Milk It For All It’s Worth
Wednesday, October 07, 2009 6:16:11 PM
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TALAHASSEE — Two Florida lawmakers want to let mothers use breastfeeding as an excuse to skip jury duty.
Legislation introduced in the state House and Senate would exempt women from jury duty if they’re breastfeeding a child up to the age of 2.
One of the two lawmakers says he thought of the idea when a woman e-mailed him to say she was berated at court for bringing her child with her.

If approved, Florida would join 12 other states that allow breastfeeding mothers to be exempt from jury duty.

What do you think? Should breastfeeding mothers be exempt from jury duty?
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Health region cuts services to battle flu
The Saskatoon Health Region confirmed Tuesday it will scale back public health services in order to do mass immunizations for the H1N1 influenza.
Deputy medical health officer Dr. Ross Findlater said details are still being finalized but the services affected will be similar to those announced Tuesday by the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region — child health clinics, prenatal classes, breastfeeding support and immunizations for children.
In Regina, children due for the regular two-, four-, six- and 12-month immunizations will still receive them on schedule, but the 18-month and four-year booster immunizations will happen at a later date. As well, breastfeeding support services have been consolidated from two locations to one, prenatal classes have been temporarily shelved and a travel health clinic will offer reduced services after Oct. 26
Judy Junor, the Opposition NDP’s health critic, said this week she’s concerned the provincial government isn’t doing enough to provide assistance to the health regions around mass vaccinations.
“It’s all going to be done by public health, which is woefully understaffed. And they’re going to deal with potentially a million immunizations? And now I’m seeing that public health is getting direction they’re to cancel a lot of their programs, programs that deal with pregnant women. Well, that’s one of the demographics that are going to be hit. So you should be reaching out to them. You shouldn’t be cancelling your ordinary programs,” she said.
“I think the biggest problem for health regions is we just don’t know, they don’t know, what the uptake of the H1N1 vaccine will be because there’s certainly lots of numbers thrown out there. We’re ready for 75 per cent of the population but there are some numbers saying it may only be 40 per cent, so the (human resources) requirement is a tough one to hit,” he said Tuesday, adding the province is prepared if and when an influenza pandemic hits.
Findlater said recruiting for an unspecified number of temporary public health nurses has taken place in Saskatoon but there aren’t sufficient numbers of retired nurses “to be a big part of any solution here.”
Doctors’ offices, which normally give seasonal flu vaccinations, will also be given the H1N1 vaccine, he said.
The province announced last month that regular seasonal flu vaccinations will not take place, except for people aged 65 and older and those living in long-term care homes, because of the greater threat of H1N1.


Veto pique
Mindless veto threats do not constitute leadership. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s frustration with legislators’ intransigence is understandable. But he should act on pending bills based on their merits, not out of pique.
Schwarzenegger has until the weekend to sign or veto more than 700 pieces of legislation now on his desk. He is threatening a mass veto of those bills if the Legislature does not strike a deal to make improvements in the state’s water system.
Granted, California would hardly collapse into disorder if the governor vetoed such bills as AB 37, which would grant an honorary degree to Japanese Americans interned during World War II. Or SB 257, which would require state agencies to notify their employees about the rights of breastfeeding mothers. Or SB 169, which would authorize police agencies to issue honorary badges to retired peace officers.

Discharging mums hours after birth is dangerous, says GP

Plans to discharge new mothers from a Belfast hospital hours after they give birth will put women and babies at risk, a leading GP has warned.
As part of a swathe of cost-cutting measures currently under consideration by the Belfast Health Trust, women would be sent home from the Royal Victoria Jubilee Maternity Hospital between six and 12 hours after labour.
“Under these plans they would be transferred to general practice which raises workload issues as well. Don’t forget, we are discharging two people, the woman and her baby,” Dr Dunn said.
Nowadays, breastfeeding is recommended as the healthiest option but some women experience difficulties trying to feed their babies in this way.
Dr Dunn said allowing women time in hospital where they can receive help and advice on how to bond with and breastfeed their baby is vital.
“It can be very distressing for mums if they have problems breastfeeding and I think the plans will mean that post natal depression is more likely,” he said.

Breastfeeding stigma breaking down slowly
It brought unnecessary humiliation to a new mother recently at a popular Vancouver attraction, and other moms are constantly embarrassed and discriminated against for doing in public what nature intended.
Breastfeeding is creating a buzz.
Although health professionals recommend it and the number of advocacy groups supporting breastfeeding are thicker than hair on a newborn’s head, there is still a stigma attached to nursing a baby in public.
Health Canada recommends breastfeeding continue for two years and beyond.”
Savjord says that interestingly enough, they don’t often have to convince moms to breastfeed.
“Most moms want to do it, but that wasn’t the case several years ago. Now, people have heard enough that breastfeeding is the best and there’s no comparison. In my mind, it’s a human right to breastfeed anytime, anywhere. It’s a human right to eat and that’s how babies are fed,” she adds.
For Kelly Rutledge, breastfeeding her first-born, Maddy, 12 years ago was painful to the point of tears.
“It’s not as easy as it looks. The advice I’d give to a new mom is take all the help and advice as you can get.”
Kjersten Dunk, the 100 Mile House La Leche League leader, agrees. She has passionately held that position for 13 years after moving to 100 Mile to find there was no local organization.
Dunk travelled back and forth to Williams Lake to attend La Leche League meetings for some time before taking leader’s training and starting the local chapter.
What she offers the two dozen moms she sees each year is a chance to discuss issues common to breastfeeding families, along with a combination of wisdom and experience.
What she doesn’t offer is any hard, fast rules for breastfeeding.
“Every mom and baby are unique and every mother is the expert of her own situation.”

Another reason for pregnant women to get H1N1 vaccine
It turns out children born to women exposed to the 1918 Spanish Flu were at high risk for health issues, later in life.
The Spanish Flu of 1918 killed more than 50 million people worldwide.
“It was a horrible flu, and even the people who survived were incredibly ill,” said Dr. Richard Wallace who is board certified in infectious disease.
But, he says that just because new research finds that unborn fetuses exposed to the Spanish Flu were more likely to develop heart disease, the same is not true for H1N1.
“At the time, we didn’t know what a virus was,” said Wallace. “There were no vaccines.”
Dr. Wallace says it’s important that pregnant women get the shot, especially those in early pregnancy.
“You can have very serious malformation defects, abnormalities, such as seen with congenital rubella,” said Wallace. “So, it is a significant concern, the more developed the fetus, the more protected it is against getting some sort of illness.”
The CDC says pregnant women shouldn’t get the flu-mist because it’s a live-virus. But, outside of an allergic reaction, if you’re with child, get the shot.
The CDC says that infants who are not breastfeeding are more vulnerable to infection and hospitalization for severe respiratory illness then infants who are breastfeeding.

Julie Bowen Confesses to a Breastfeeding Blunder
After expanding her family with husband Scott Phillips by three — sons Oliver McLanahan, 2 ½, and twins John and Gus, 5 months — in a matter of two years, Julie Bowen told the ladies of The View that she’s skilled when it comes to baby business.
“I’m good at making babies.”
While her many talents extend to filming her new series Modern Family while 8 ½ months pregnant with twins — “I’m behind everything, I’m behind people, cakes,” she explains – one of Julie’s greatest feats since welcoming her sons may be her dedication to breastfeeding the boys. “It is tricky,” the actress admits of juggling her working schedule with that of nursing.
Fortunately, Julie seems to have found the answer when it comes to managing her time wisely: she pumps milk while she drives! “You slap it on, turn on the machine and you drive along. I’m so used to doing it that I don’t even think about it anymore,” she laughs.
Case in point? Stopped and forced to make a road detour, Julie — simply wanting to get home to her family — rolled down the window and asked a nearby police officer for help, oblivious to the fact that she was still connected to her pump.
“I said, ‘Officer, what’s going on?’ and he starts walking over to the car. I realize I’ve got an air horn attached to my boob and all of a sudden [I said], ‘Oh, no! No, no, no, stay away, I’m fine, really, please don’t come over to the car,’ because I didn’t want him to think I was drunk or something!”
The act of breastfeeding twins takes time — and patience! — notes Julie, 39, who profusely thanked her baby nurse Sharon for teaching her the ropes of the double football hold. And while many may marvel at a mother’s ability to simultaneously feed two babies, Oliver is far less impressed. “[He] comes up and he gets mad [and says], ‘Mommy, mommy, mommy,’” she shares.
“He just stands there and throws things…looks at me defiantly.”
Modern Family airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

Breast vs. bottle
In Canada, 75 per cent of women initiate breastfeeding in hospital. But by six months, just 11 per cent are exclusively breastfeeding.
Why? The reasons are complicated and often depend on whom you ask.
Breastfeeding advocates blame formula companies with big marketing budgets for luring women away from breastfeeding. Others suggest breastfeeding women need better support to get through the first couple of weeks after the baby’s birth — an emotional time when new moms often encounter breastfeeding challenges and formula seems like an easy solution. They also believe society needs to better accept women nursing older babies.
Meanwhile, the formula industry is tired of accusatory fingers being pointed at them. They say they actually support breastfeeding and don’t want to compete with mother’s milk. Formula, they say, is the only safe alternative for non-nursing women. And when breastfeeding advocates talk about the “risks” of formula feeding, it’s not only unfair but does a disservice to women.
By the 1950s and ’60s, formula was the flavour of the day.
Initiation rates for breastfeeding were as low as 20 per cent in some parts of Canada, she says.
In Niagara, Brock University and the Niagara Region public health department teamed up to study breastfeeding. They wanted to understand a woman’s breastfeeding experiences, duration and intentions, says Lynn Rempel, chair of the nursing department at Brock and the study’s lead investigator.
The study recruited 90 breastfeeding moms in 2007 and 140 in 2008. The moms were surveyed at 48 hours, two weeks, two months and six months.
At 48 hours after being discharged from the hospital, 70 per cent of breastfed babies had received some formula
In Niagara, hospitals do many things to encourage breastfeeding right from the moment of birth, says Heather Gallagher, clinical manager of maternal, child and pediatrics at St. Catharines General Hospital.
The first is skin-to-skin contact, as soon as possible after the birth. Once the umbilical cord is cut and clamped, and mom and infant are stable, the baby is placed on the mother’s chest and covered with a blanket. They remain together for about an hour, she says.
When baby shows signs of hunger, nurses can help mom get baby latched on.
If a woman has a C-section, all this happens as soon as possible in the recovery room, she says. And if mom chooses to formula feed, they, too, experience the skin-to-skin contact.
Breast or bottle, all mothers are supported in their choices, says Gallagher.
“We respect their wishes,” she says.
In St. Catharines, a lactation consultant is at the hospital five days a week. At the Welland hospital and at Greater Niagara General Hospital in Niagara Falls, they’re available part time. All nurses are trained to help breastfeeding moms, she says.
If a mom wants to breastfeed, baby is never given formula unless a doctor says it’s necessary, says Gallagher.
That usually happens if baby’s blood sugar is low, or if he or she has lost too much weight, she says. It’s usually a small amount of formula, given only after the mother has already breastfed.
Free formula samples are never sent home with any breastfeeding mom, unless under doctor’s orders, says Gallagher. Mothers who are bottle-feeding are usually given a bottle or two of formula, already mixed.
Do free samples undermine a woman’s desire to breastfeed? No, says Marisa Salcines, manager of communications with the International Formula Council, an association that represents infant formula companies.
Research shows that moms have already decided how they will feed their baby before they get to the hospital, she says.
Yes, formula companies do put together “discharge gift bags.” Typically, they’re filled with items including information on breastfeeding, coupons for diapers and information on how to prepare formula. A small sample of formula is included, usually enough for about two days, Salcines says.
If women have trouble breastfeeding at home, they might use the sample.
“But it doesn’t mean … that you’re going to completely abandon breastfeeding,” she says.
“I don’t think a can of formula will completely derail their nursing.
“It’s easy to blame us and point the finger.”
In fact, there’s too much finger-pointing going on and moms are caught in the middle, Salcines says.
When breastfeeding advocates talk about the “risks” of formula feeding, it’s like telling women who use formula that they’re “bad moms,” she says.
“It’s terrible there are moms who feel guilty” for using formula, she says.
“It’s not something that’s going to poison your child.”
Many times, women choose to do both. She worries that in the push for breastfeeding, educating women who choose formula on how to safely prepare it has been neglected. “That puts a child at risk,” she says.
Formula is used for many reasons, Salcines says. Some women simply choose formula instead of breast milk. Others can’t breastfeed. Even more choose to breastfeed and supplement with formula, or introduce formula if they stop nursing before the baby’s first birthday.
There’s no arguing that breast milk is best. “Infant formula is not in competition with breast milk,” she says.
“Breast milk is the gold standard.”
The formula industry actually supports breastfeeding, Salcines says. One company even has an instructional how-to-breastfeed video on its website.
In fact, breast milk is the model companies use when they’re developing a formula. The idea is to make it “as close as possible to human milk,” she says.
Infant formula keeps up with advancements in the science of infant growth and development, she says. One of the more recent improvements is the addition of DHA and ARA, otherwise known as Omega 3 and 6.
“We use the science of breastfeeding to come up with the next best alternative to breast milk,” says Andrea Papamandjaris, the head of the medical and scientific unit at Nestle Nutrition Canada, based in North York.
She cites its newest formula, Good Start Natural Cultures, as an example. It includes probiotic B. lactis, part of a group called bifidobacteria. It’s the most prevalent culture found in the gut of healthy breastfed babies and contributes to good digestive tract flora, she says.
It’s also made with 100 per cent whey protein, broken down. It’s easier to digest than formulas with whole cow’s milk protein, and babies have stools similar to the soft and watery consistency of breastfed babies, she says.
Bhetasi, the Welland pediatrician, gives this advice to women who choose to formula feed. Make sure it’s iron fortified — all the other innovative claims of new ingredients simply don’t have the backing of independent, scientific research, she says.
And choose a brand name. Others might not have enough iron, she says.
And remember that while breast milk has less iron than formula, it’s more easily absorbed, so you don’t need as much, she says.
Moms gather to promote breastfeeding
Public health officials cancelled a breastfeeding challenge in Montreal over H1N1 flu concerns, but a possible pandemic couldn’t keep Calgary moms from gathering downtown to promote breastfeeding this weekend.
Calgary’s official participant count was 72 mothers breastfeeding 78 babies.
Due to flu concerns, the Quintessence Foundation, which sponsors the event, allowed for concerned mothers to breastfeed at home, said White.
“We have not heard anything from anyone in Calgary who was concerned at all. For me, it was never really an issue. It crossed my mind only when I learned Montreal had cancelled,” White said.


Breastfeeding varies between Latte and tea for babies
Babies who are breast-fed receive a different milk throughout the day. Scientists say it’s the natural equivalent of Latte in the morning and de-caff tea at night.
Mothers who express milk for feeding from a bottle should make sure it is given to baby at the same time it came from the breast or potentially disrupt sleeping patterns.
CDC Features

New Data Reveal Insight into Moms’ Complex Infant Feeding Decisions
CDC’s data from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II illustrate several factors that influence pregnant women and new moms when they make decisions about feeding their babies. These factors, such as policies and environments within hospitals, businesses, and communities can all support—or limit—mothers’ choices.
More than 4 out of 5 pregnant women wanted to breastfeed. However, obstacles (i.e., hospital maternity care practices and limitations on maternity leave) made it much harder for them to start and maintain breastfeeding long enough to provide the health protection and benefits babies derive from breastfeeding.
• Moms who gave birth in hospitals whose policies and environment were unsupportive of breastfeeding were 8 times more likely to stop breastfeeding early compared to moms who gave birth in hospitals whose policies and environment do support breastfeeding.
83% of new mothers received infant formula or coupons for infant formula in a gift or diaper bag from the maternity hospital or birth center, and 57% of new mothers received free samples of infant formula sent by mail directly to their home
• Only about one-third of women were eligible for fully paid maternity leave.
• Partially paid leave was an option for only about 1 of 5 women.
• On average, fully paid leave was only 2.2 weeks long, and partially paid was only 1.5 weeks
As moms became more experienced with breastfeeding, they grew more comfortable doing so around other people. By the time their baby was 7 months old almost all (80%) of breastfeeding moms felt comfortable breastfeeding among close women friends, more than half (56%) felt this way among friends that are men and women, and more than one-third (34%) felt comfortable breastfeeding among men and women who were not close friends.

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Breastfeeding in the News: July 18 – July 24th, 2009

Hello All,

Sorry for the delay this week.  I just got back from Rhode Island where I made a tour of their three Baby Friendly Hospitals (I’m preparing to do a lecture on Baby Friendly Hospitals in New England).  It was amazing to see how the perseverance of just a handful of women made such a lasting impact not only in their own hospitals but in the state.  Rhode Island now hopes to be the first state in the country to be completely Baby Friendly!

Speaking of Baby Friendly the New York State Senate just passed a “Breastfeeding Mother’s Rights Bill along those same lines.  Washington State just beefed up their breastfeeding in public laws and are now passing out wallet sized cards telling mothers of their rights in order to diffuse any conflict between mothers and businesses.  (The Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition also has “License to Breastfeed” cards.) Too bad the mother in the New York IKEA store didn’t have a card like that.  Not only was she told to feed her baby in the bathroom, when she left the store the security guards insisted on checking her receipts to make sure she hadn’t stolen anything (talk about adding insult to injury).

On a happier note, Consumer Reports has just endorsed breastfeeding as a way to save $2,000 a year.  They also ripped the formula companies for charging higher prices as compared with the discount brands found at bargain outlets.  By the way, one of the Baby Friendly hospitals I visited reported that said that even though the doctors there had protested the idea of buying their own formula, because their breastfeeding rates are so high now they only spend $ 500 a year on formula (that’s $ 3 dollars a case – wholesale). 

There were a few anecdotal reports: a mother was diagnosed with Reynaud’s via photo’s she sent to her doc from her phone’s camera (why he couldn’t figure it out from her list of symptoms I’m not sure), another mother says her two year old was spared the swine flu because of the immunities in her breast milk, and a shy male came to defense of breastfeeding in public in Canada with a unique solution – temporary booths like the kind they set up during tax season.  Bravo to him for this thoughtful idea.  Isn’t this one of our main goals – to get the disinterested single male to care about this issue?  Also in England the demise of newspapers is reportedly being held at bay by (among other things) photos of babies breastfeeding on the front page!

The debate over whether or not the attention to breastfeeding is causing a lack of support for bottle feeding mothers continues to rage in England and is spilling over here (see the NY Times article).  In England breastfeeding activists are getting hit from all sides.  “Dr Michele Crossley, a psychologist at the University of Manchester, has just published a paper entitled Breastfeeding As a Moral Imperative, which concludes that “far from being an ’empowering’ act, breastfeeding may have become more of a ‘normalised’ moral imperative that many women experience as anything but liberational“.” Even worst than the barbs from psychologists is the attack from the English midwives, Sue Battersby, a researcher and lecturer in midwifery, will argue that we need to start supporting women who use formula. “Mothers who formula-feed are treated like second-class citizens,” she says.  Rather than trying to decide who needs more support bottle or breastfeeding mothers, wouldn’t it be better to acknowledge that all mothers need a hell of a lot more support than they are getting?

But don’t depair, I have saved the best news for last.  Here in the U.S. the Joint Commission has just ruled that it will now “requires hospitals to report the rate of exclusive breastfeeding among mothers who intend to breastfeed. The measure does not affect women who do not plan to breastfeed.”  Hospitals will now have to start documenting all supplementation of breastfed babies, which means they actually have to start paying attention to the issue!  Three cheers for the Joint Commission!!!

And one last matter – I just want to point out that the excerpts below are just that – excerpts – to read the full article click  (or paste) the link. 

Kathy Abbott, IBCLC


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

on Facebook: Breastfeeding in the News 


The new law, which takes effect S

Breast-feeding a civil right under new Wash. law

unday, builds on a 2001 law that exempted breast-feeding from public indecency laws. But until now, nothing prevented businesses from asking women to leave or to cover up while breast-feeding

Rep. Tami Green, the Tacoma Democrat who sponsored the bill, said the new law will help “jump start the culture of change.”

“Women should feel as comfortable to sit down and breast-feed their child as they would be pulling a bottle out of the diaper bag,” she said.

Laura Lindstrand, a civil rights specialist with the state’s Human Rights Commission, said the agency plans to make wallet cards with information on the new law that women can carry with them.

If a woman is asked to leave or cover up because she’s breast-feeding, Lindstrand said the expectation is that once a woman shows the card, “we’re hoping that will diffuse the situation at that point.”


IKEA Sends Mother and Infant to Bathroom to Breastfeed

The IKEA in Red Hook, Brooklyn is the latest retail establishment that needs reminding: Yes, women have the right to breastfeed their infants in public. No, you cannot banish them to the restroom. Yes, people will get angry when word gets out.

On Wednesday I was in IKEA Red Hook in the middle of breastfeeding, fully covered, when I was told I had to stop doing “that” and go to the nearby family bathroom. The IKEA employee and security guards were extremely rude to us. I was hustled off to the bathroom and then had to wait because someone else was using it. I was humiliated, my daughter was upset from being interrupted in the middle of her feed. When eventually I gave up and headed for the car to finish feeding, the security guards who had seen the entire event insisted on checking my receipts. I’m putting together a formal complaint to IKEA. I was wondering if this has happened to anyone else?



Doctors Diagnose Nipple Pain with Camera Phone

Taking photographs or video of unusual symptoms on an ordinary camera phone can help doctors diagnose uncommon problems, say researchers in an article published on bmj.com today. For example, doctors in Norway describe the case of a 25 year old pregnant woman who reported frequent episodes of severe nipple pain.

The pain came whenever her fingers, toes or nipples got cold, such as when walking barefoot on a cold floor or taking a shower, and typically lasted between five and 15 minutes and was so painful as to bring her to tears.

She presented three photographs from her camera phone showing the colour changes of a typical episode.

With the help of these photographs, doctors diagnosed Raynaud’s phenomenon of the nipple. The patient was given treatment, her symptoms completely resolved within one week, and she was able to continue breastfeeding with no side effects.


In Support of Bottle Feeding :  New York Times

A review of breastfeeding data by researchers at the University of Cambridge concludes that the increased attention to Breastfeeding Moms – more support and time from midwives and pediatricians, more web advice – means a corresponding lack of information and support for Bottle Feeding Moms. And since the majority of infants (even those who are primarily breastfed) will receive some formula during their first year, it makes medical sense to pay some attention — with information on how often and how much to bottle feed, how to sanitize bottles and prepare formula — to the mechanics of bottle feeding.


Breastfeeding moms need quiet space to do their job

As I am a shy guy, if the mom sees I had an unintentional “peek,”it makes me feel rather low! Usually, this is the point of no return and I sit at the very edge of the opposite side of the bench and look the other way. If I turn and leave, I feel rude. If I stay, I want to make certain that mom will feel secure that I don’t mean to intrude or invade her personal space. My only issue I have is the feeling of extreme embarrassment. I don’t know why. Invasion of her privacy? There have been a few times I would apologize to the mother, and begin to move away, but would feel slightly better after receiving a positive reply.

How difficult would it be to have some office dividers and some comfortable chairs in a few locations throughout the public area?

This would be similar to tax season where you see the temporary offices setup for filing your taxes, but much smaller and containing a minimum of two chairs. This would be very easy to implement, and give a clean and private place to feed. Place a “breastfeeding friendly” sign with a picture of a breastfeeding mom and child with a green circle around it. Just another thing for people to complain about.

Andrew Caras


HIV Drugs Provide Breast-Fed Babies With Some Protection

Treating infected mothers, giving meds to infant both beneficial in African study

The researchers found that giving daily antiretroviral syrup to breast-feeding infants or putting their HIV-infected mothers on highly active antiretroviral drugs significantly lowered the child’s chances of contracting the virus that causes AIDS. The chance of a mother with HIV transmitting the virus through breast-feeding is about one in five.


The breastfeeding debate is not a war between women

Hyping up a “war” between women doesn’t help. The real “enemies” here are not other women (whether midwives, or mothers who do breastfeed), but a society which fails to value and support this skill and the commercial manufacturers of formula who aggressively market a product which even they admit is inferior to the real thing.


A British Lesson for American Media: Just Say No to Boring

Indeed, yesterday’s Times of London free-standing features section (Times2) grabbed me by the nipples with a full-page close-up shot of a baby breastfeeding (one can envision dyspeptic U.S. editors holding multiple meetings just on the image), then made a strong case (not entirely new) that women worldwide are conned by the purported benefits of breastfeeding. The supposed ills of formula-feeding (fatter, dumber, more diabetic kids, etc.) is folderol, this argued, with some very solid questions raised about the premises of many breastfeeding studies.


“The problem with the studies is that it is very hard to separate the benefits of the mother’s milk from the benefits of the kind of mother who chooses to breastfeed. In the U K, for example, the highest class of women is 60 percent more likely to breastfeed than the lowest, so it is not surprising that research shows that breastfed infants display all the health and educational benefits they were born into.


“In other words, breastfeeding studies could simply be showing what it’s like to grow up in a family that makes an effort to be healthy and responsible, as opposed to anything positive in breast milk.”


Consumer Reports Best Baby Products Book Recommends Parents Breastfeed and Buy Store-Brand Baby Formula

For more than a year now, Consumer Reports has been urging parents to save money on baby formula by purchasing store brands at retailers such as Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target, Kroger, CVS, Babies R’ Us, and Walgreens. In a recent blog posting, the publisher announced the availability of the new 10th edition Consumer Reports Best Baby Products, available in its online bookstore* and in bookstores nationwide. The guide offers a number of ways to “save money on baby stuff,” including recommendations to breastfeed and buy store-brand formula:

“Breast-feed if you can. It’ll save you $2,000 a year, the money you’d spend on infant formula.”

Consumer Reports recommends** buying store-brand formulas because they are nutritionally comparable to Enfamil(R) LIPIL(R) and other name-brand formulas:

“We found that the store brand of formula at a local Wal-Mart (Parent’s Choice) cost 50 percent less per ounce than a leading national brand (Enfamil). According to the FDA, all formula marketed in the United States must meet the same nutrient specifications, which are set at levels to fulfill the needs of infants.”


Exposing the myths of breastfeeding

Mothers are constantly urged to breastfeed yet there is little evidence to suggest that it is better than formula milk

Formula-fed babies are fatter, more stupid, more diabetic, they have more asthma, eczema, and chest and ear infections, to name but a few of their misfortunes listed in the NHS leaflets I was given repeatedly when pregnant last year.

Confused, I decided I needed to talk to the person acknowledged as one of the world’s most authoritative sources of breastfeeding research: Michael Kramer, professor of paediatrics at McGill University, Montreal.

So, with my NHS leaflet in hand, I put its list of health benefits to Kramer. Does breastfeeding reduce a child’s risk of obesity? “The evidence is weak”, he says. Allergies? “Weak.” Asthma? “Weak.”

“There is very little evidence that it reduces the risk of leukaemia, lymphoma, bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure . . .”

That was nearly everything crossed off. What about maternal benefits? The NHS told me that it would protect me against breast and ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis. “The breast cancer data is pretty solid, but on ovarian cancer and osteoporosis it is far iffier.”

The WHO pointed me to a review of the research it conducted in 2007. When I looked at this, it concluded that the long-term gains of breastfeeding were mostly “relatively modest”, and also warned that because none of the studies it looked at dealt with the problem of confounding, the results could be explained by the “self-selection of breastfeeding mothers”.

What does it really matter, though, if “breast is best” is a catchier slogan than “breast is probably only a bit better”? If claims are exaggerated, if women aren’t trusted with the truth, what’s the harm? I put this to Wolf.

“People never say ‘don’t take your baby on a car journey’, even though the risk of a car accident is far greater than not breastfeeding. But when it comes to a mother’s time, nothing we can ask is too much.

“Let’s think about what would happen if we asked fathers to do this, if there were somehow evidence that babies who are looked after by their fathers at home for six months do better. We would see a lot more critiquing of the science, a lot more people saying the benefit is marginal, a greater reluctance to offer the advice.”


Swine Flu

Breastfeeding ‘saved my daughter’

A breastfeeding mother who contracted swine flu, together with her husband and their eldest daughter, believes her youngest child was spared the virus because she was breast fed.

Rosemarie Azzopardi said that when she got sick and took antiviral drugs she decided to keep breastfeeding her two-and-a-half year old daughter and, that way, transmitted her immunity to the child.

“People sometimes pass comments because I still breastfeed but, this way, I helped my daughter who falls within the vulnerable group of potential swine flu victims,” she said, taking the opportunity to advocate the importance of breastfeeding.

She was diagnosed on July 5 after catching the flu from her husband who had just returned from Spain with his friends. When she realised her husband had it she was particularly worried about her two young daughters. And when the health authorities confirmed she too had caught it, she locked herself in a room for fear of transmitting the virus to the children.

Her health improved within three days of being administered antivirals. Her eight-year-old also got the flu and is fine today while her youngest was spared thanks to her breast milk, she believes.


Let the breastfeeding rebellion begin

Now academics both here and in the US are starting to ask whether the pressure on women to breastfeed is becoming counterproductive. At a seminar at Aston University later this year, Sue Battersby, a researcher and lecturer in midwifery, will argue that we need to start supporting women who use formula. “Mothers who formula-feed are treated like second-class citizens,” she says

Dr Michele Crossley, a psychologist at the University of Manchester, has just published a paper entitled Breastfeeding As a Moral Imperative, which concludes that “far from being an ’empowering’ act, breastfeeding may have become more of a ‘normalised’ moral imperative that many women experience as anything but liberational”.

Even breastfeeding promoters are concerned. Pam Lacey, chair of the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers, says: “We have women phoning up all the time saying, ‘I can’t do this. I’m a terrible mother.’ We don’t want mothers to feel guilty if they don’t do it. It’s the system that has failed them by failing to support them.”

A British academic who is currently researching breastfeeding and maternal identity says: “It has become a war. ‘Did you breastfeed? What kind of person are you?’ It has become an index of your capacity as a mother.” She would only speak anonymously because she is concerned about attacks from the pro-breastfeeding lobby. “Breastfeeding has become so strongly tied to what it means to be a good mother. There is no space to say, ‘It didn’t work for me’.”

Both here and in the US very few mothers are entirely comfortable about their breastfeeding decisions and many admit they wish they didn’t have to do it. Some see the promotion of breastfeeding as part of the problem.


New York Senate passes bills to expand health care, new moms’ rights

Provide women with more information and education about the health benefits of breastfeeding. The Breastfeeding Mothers’ Bill of Rights would require that new mothers be informed of breastfeeding options before they deliver, during their hospital stay and after they go home. While in the hospital, they would have 24-access to their baby to breastfeed, and the infant could not be given a bottle without the mother’s consent. The bill would ban companies that make and sell formula from pressuring new mothers in hospitals. 


National Hospital Inpatient Quality Measures- Perinatal Care Core Measure Set

UPDATE JULY 2009: In late 2007, The Joint Commission’s Board of Commissioners recommended retiring and replacing the Pregnancy and Related Conditions (PR) measure set with an expanded set of evidenced-based measures. A technical advisory panel (TAP) comprising experts in the perinatal care field was convened in February 2009 to select the replacement set of measures from among those endorsed for national use by the National Quality Forum.  This expanded measure set, now referred to as Perinatal Care (PC) comprises the following measures.

This expanded measure set, now referred to as Perinatal Care (PC) comprises the following measures.

  • Elective deliveries
  • Cesarean sections
  • Antenatal steroids
  • Health care–associated bloodstream infections in newborns
  • Exclusive breast milk feeding

Refinement of measure specifications has begun and will continue through most of 2009.  It is anticipated the PC measure set will be available for implementation by Joint Commission listed vendors by October 1, 2009 to support hospitals’ data collection beginning with April 1, 2010 discharges.  If you have any questions about this measure set, please submit your question online.


Joint Commission approves breastfeeding measure

The new measure, which is part of the Joint Commission’s new Perinatal Care measure set, requires hospitals to report the rate of exclusive breastfeeding among mothers who intend to breastfeed. The measure does not affect women who do not plan to breastfeed.

The exclusive breastfeeding measure was pioneered as part of a quality improvement effort in California, where public health officials found huge differences in exclusive breastfeeding rates from hospital to hospital. In some cases, nearly all breastfed infants were being supplemented with formula. In the top ranked hospitals, including San Francisco General Hospital, fewer than 10% of breastfed infants received supplements. Public reporting of differences in formula use has led hospitals to review their routines and improve quality of care.



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