Tag Archives: infant formula

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kathy Abbott IBCLC


On Facebook:” Breastfeeding in the News”    

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

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

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


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

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

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


This film is rated B – for babies

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


Do placenta pills beat back the baby blues?

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

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


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

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


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

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


Haiti Faux Pas

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

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

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


MP Tom denies Nestle job claim

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Mommy Make Over for the Military Mom

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


China’s Beingmate Violates Dairy Product Sale Rules

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


‘Humiliated’ mother forced off bus for breastfeeding

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


‘Enjoy the baby, feed the baby’

Posted by tmatt

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


Feeding mothers want more home visits (Irish Times)

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

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



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

The bill passed 29-15


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

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


Liquid Trust – Does It Really Work?

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


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


Born behind bars

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

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


Brain power linked to mother’s milk?

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

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

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

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

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


Would you breastfeed someone else’s baby?

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


Breast feeding for over six months could aid mental health

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Hello All,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kathy Abbott, IBCLC


On Facebook: “Breastfeeding in the News”

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

Nestle to train doctors about tube-feeding nutrition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Women warned about morning sickness remedy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


An Imperfect Stride Towards Justice – Sen. Jeff Merkley

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

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

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


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

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


Council says no to WIC clinic in Metro Nashville

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

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

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


Milk of Woes for New Mother

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


People in the News 

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

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

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


Government Urged to Assist Breastfeeding Mothers  (Jakarta Indonesia)

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

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


The ten most read stories of 2009

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


The Links Between Sugar and Mental Health

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

The researchers’ stated:

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

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

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

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

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


 Hospitals change policy on maternity visiting hours. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Breastfeeding in Public? 

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

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

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


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

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

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

Posted by Electra December 18, 09 10:15 PM

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

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

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

Posted by anna74 December 19, 09 02:03 PM

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


Malaysian women lawmakers get enclosure to nurse babies

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

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


What do Pokwang and Cory Aquino have in common?

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

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

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

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

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

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


KENYA: The role of culture in child nutrition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The wrong kind of food

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Medela Announces Virtual Human Milk Collection Campaign

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Unicef Ready To Support Flood-Affected Fijians

Friday, 18 December, 2009 – 16:48

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

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

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


Monterey County eyes breastfeeding policy for workers

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

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


Parenting Perspective: Figuring out how to feed your baby!

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

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

Not so fast.

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

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

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

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


Pregnant and breastfeeding women exposed to workplace hazards  (Spain)

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

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

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

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

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


What to Give to the Person Who Has Everything

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

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


Push for exclusive breastfeeding

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

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

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

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

Popular myths surrounding breastfeeding

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

• Babies need water to quench their thirst.

• Expressed milk is not good for the baby.

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

• Feeding young babies tomato leaves will help with gripe.

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

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

• A mother should not breastfeed if she has cold.


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Filed under breastfeeding, Breastfeeding in the News, lactivist

Breastfeeding in the News: Nov. 13 – 20th, 2009

Hello All,

Anthropologists can be so distracting.  Last week I had a chance to hear both Sarah Hrdy (author of “Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding”) and James McKenna (author of “Sleeping with Your Baby”).  So instead of searching out the latests news on breastfeeding I kept finding myself thinking about the biological and cultural evolution of mothers and babies.  For millions of years babies have slept with their mothers.  Even primates that allow others to care for their babies during the day sleep with their babies at night. (Coincidently both Hrdy & McKenna started their careers studying monkeys!)  It has only been in the last 200 years (just since the Industrial Revolution) that we have stopped sleeping with our babies.  Think how short a time that is!  There is no way that the physiology of infants could evolve fast enough to cope with such a significant change.  It would be like expecting polar bears to adapt to palm trees at the North Pole twenty years from now. 

Now consider that in just the past 100 years we have gone from breastfeeding our babies to feeding our infants cow’s milk from a bottle.  And yet in this short amount of time our culture has so totally embraced formula feeding that any movement back towards breastfeeding is met with stern resistance.  In Australia women are reacting extrememly to the announcement that the government wants to make breastfeeding the norm.   “Whatever happened to choice? asks one columnist who insists that “This goes to the very core of a mother’s rights.”   

 “My nipples were red raw from breastfeeding and blood was dripping on to the carpet. Tears were falling on top of the splatters.  A midwife entered the room. Her advice for me was to “grin and bear it”.  Stories like these are offered as proof that women are being pressured into breastfeeding at the expense of their own well being. For a more balanced look at the choice between breastfeeding and formula read “Does Healthcare have anything to do with Health?” by Dr. Kimerer La Mothe  (If you have time to read only one story today this is the one I recommend.)  She says “Health is not given to us, it is created by us, as we use the information at our disposal to discover and grow the seeds of what our own bodily selves know.”  Here is her take on breastfeeding:

You must like nursing, people say. Well, yes and no. It’s not really about liking it. It’s about making the movements that allow me to be the mother, dancer, and philosopher I am and want to be. It’s about making the movements that will enable me to keep working, keep sleeping, keep the child napping, stay sane. It’s about managing the flow of thoughts and feelings, laundry and lunching. It’s about convenience and challenge, pleasure and well-being, time saved and spent. It’s about investing in an immune system and trusting in touch. It’s about figuring out what works, and having the faith and fortitude to honor it. It’s about health.”

While the mommy warriors attack each other about which is better breastmilk or formula, the formula companies continue to make money.  Shares in Mead Johnson have risen 89% since their Initial Public stock offering (IPO) last February.  “Bristol-Myers Squibb Co is to sell its 83 per cent holding in pediatric nutrition company Mead Johnson”  which will allow the company to be even more independent.  Goody for them.  Meanwhile the UN reports that almost 200 million children under the age of five have experienced “stunted growth” due in part to not exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months.  “Stunting is associated with developmental problems and is often impossible to correct,” a UNICEF statement said. “A child who is stunted is likely to experience a lifetime of poor health and underachievement.”  Here in the US formula companies are also being accused of marketing heavily to blacks who now have the lowest breastfeeding initiation rates and the highest rates of food allergies.

But before you despair the news isn’t all bad.  Happily in the list: “A to Z of what’s right with America” breastfeeding can be found under B.  And in British Columbia a public health nurse has convinced her city council to place breastfeeding welcome here decals in all the municipal buildings.  This should make it easier for private businesses to follow suit.  I’ve also included a report from mothers who tried breastfeeding in Disneyland.  One mother tells how she nursed while on the Haunted Mansion ride “although that part of the ride as you head into the cemetery where you’re turned around and heading backward was a little tricky”.  Another mother reports that while nursing at the official Disney Baby Care Center she felt “secluded and lonely”.  But I think Disney did the right thing by calling their center a “baby care” room rather than a “breastfeeding room/lounge”.  In Australia apparently some bottle feeding mothers feel resentful of breastfeeding rooms because they feel excluded. 

 Asiana Airlines has launched their “Hapy MomServices”.  “ …the airline has been providing exclusive check-in counters for mothers at the airport, breastfeeding covers and baby slings free of charge for travelers with babies.” I’m not sure how I feel about the breastfeeding cover ups, but free slings!  That’s terrific. They have even raised the age limit from 24 months to 36 months and they’re in 10 international airports!  Meanwhile back here in the states Sesame Street has been lauded for continuing to show their old Buffy St. Marie tape of her breastfeeding (the article includes a link to the clip) but somehow the  another clip from the 1980’s that included a brief breastfeeding segment now shows a baby being bottle fed. 

Over in the UK the NHS are now handing out instructions to dads on how to be a good father.  “Midwives see lots of fathers, but because they don’t fit into an NHS role – they are not the patient – they don’t have anything to give them.”  Becoming a father for a first time is apparently good for men as it makes them more motivated to improve their health.  (McKenna talked about a study which reported that having a baby lowered fathers testerone levels – but only if they were married!) This same article encouraged dads to support their partner’s efforts to breastfeed.   Too bad the young man from Saipan who beat his wife as she was breastfeeding didn’t get the same encouragement. 

In science news Dr Susan Love’s efforts to recruit one million people in breast cancer studies has allowed at least one breastfeeding researcher to speed up her work.  “Kathleen Arcaro, an environmental toxicologist at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, wants to analyze genetic changes in the breast tissue cells present in the milk samples from 250 women. She needed women who were currently breastfeeding and who needed a breast biopsy for a suspicious lump.  If her team had sought women through the normal channels — such as doctor’s offices and breastfeeding support groups, the project would have been too costly. But she has now enrolled 144 women, 80% of whom came from the Army of Women. “In less than a year, we’ve processed [samples from] 93 women in a study that people said we wouldn’t be able to do,” she says.  A study in the International Breastfeeding Journal reports that variations in mother’s breasts (specifically nipples) can affect weight gain.  While a study on pacifiers done in Argentina “concluded that pacifier use does not alter the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding at 3 months of age among infants born at term who had successful breastfeeding established at 2 weeks of life.

There are a few more miscellaneous articles included below.  (Nicole Kidman inists she wouldn’t have gotten her last movie role if her breast were still at their pre-breastfeeding size.) In “Needling Worry: Why are we so crazy when it comes to vaccines?”  the author compares our growing concern about vaccines to our passionate defense of breastfeeding.  “I think the anxiety about vaccines and breastfeeding is about seeking a false sense of control,” said Kiki Schaffer, director of the Parenting & Family Center at the 14th Street Y in Manhattan. “You can’t be anxious about everything, because it’s too much, so you pick a few manageable things to get really, really upset about. A few years ago it was asbestos, then alar in apples. But picking one or two things feels safer than having anxiety about the whole world.” And I think part of making your choice about what to get worked up about involves slamming the choices of others. Because what if they’re right? What if you’re the one who’s screwed up when it comes to your kid? Nothing could be more horrible to contemplate”. 

 That is certainly food for thought.  Although for lactivists such as myself one could also argue that it is easier to effect real change if you narrow your focus.  Next week I will be speaking to a group of businesses in a teleconference hosted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  Hopefully my crazy belief that breastfeeding mothers should be supported in the workplace will not only be heard, but will be acted on as well.

 Have a good week everyone, and thanks to everyone who sent me birthday greetings on Facebook.  You really made my day! 

Kathy Abbott, IBCLC 


On Facebook: “Breastfeeding in the News” 

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

 Do Pacifiers Interfere With Breastfeeding Success? William T. Basco, Jr., MD

Study Summary

One of the World Health Organization’s recommended best practices for assuring successful breastfeeding is for nursing mothers to use no artificial nipples or pacifiers with newborn infants who are breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting to introduce pacifiers until infants are at least 1 month old. Data are mixed on whether pacifier use affects breastfeeding. Observational studies suggest that pacifier use has a negative effect on nursing success, but randomized trials in developed countries suggest either no effect of pacifiers on nursing success, or reduced nursing success only with very early pacifier introduction.

This study sought to evaluate the effect of pacifier use on breastfeeding success in infants up to 3 months of age — a longer period than has been assessed in previous studies. Participants were enrolled at 5 tertiary care centers in Argentina, which were a mixture of public and private institutions….

In 2005 and 2006, 1021 infants were enrolled (528 assigned to pacifier use group). The groups were virtually identical on pre-enrollment characteristics, including birth weight, rate of cesarean section, maternal age, previous breastfeeding by the mothers, maternal education and smoking status, and percentage with fathers in the home. Approximately 95% of the subjects in both groups completed the trial.

The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding at 3 months of age was 85.8% in the pacifier group and 86.2% in the no-pacifier group, for a risk difference of 0.4%, (95% confidence interval -4.7% to 4%) In both groups, > 75% of the mothers were exclusively breastfeeding their study infants at 4 months. The rates of “any breastfeeding” were also virtually identical and remained > 97% for both groups through the 3 and 4 month assessments. Of note, only 67% of the infants in the pacifier use group actually used a pacifier, but 40% of the infants in the no-pacifier group also used a pacifier. The investigators concluded that pacifier use does not alter the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding at 3 months of age among infants born at term who had successful breastfeeding established at 2 weeks of life.


The study authors noted that because previous trials enrolled fewer participants or followed infants for shorter periods, this study adds a great deal to the literature around this question. Although the investigators caution that this was a highly selected population (motivated mothers and infants who had established successful early nursing), such women likely constitute large percentages of the population at many US maternity hospitals. These data strike me as highly useful and practical when offering advice to expecting or new mothers on “what to do about pacifiers?” Coupled with data on decreased risk for sudden infant death syndrome with pacifier use,[1] these new data should reassure both moms and pediatric providers that pacifier use is not harmful and may, in some scenarios, be beneficial.


Bossy breastfeeding mums pressure bottle feeders, real mums survey finds (Australia)

A VOCAL minority of breastfeeding mums look down on those who bottle feed.  

A http://www.realmums. com.au survey of 466 women found some mothers who bottle-feed were made to feel inadequate by the pressure.

But it found while almost half the breastfeeding mothers (43.5 per cent) felt uncomfortable feeding in public, 98 per cent of the comments made to them were positive.

Real Mums founder Amanda Cox was disappointed to discover that bottle-feeding mums often put themselves down “big time”.

One was even told she could not use the parents’ room as they were for “breastfeeding mums only” and several were verbally attacked in public. But Ms Cox said these bad experiences were in the minority. She said while breastfeeding was great, women should not be judged if they could not physically or mentally do it.

“A few bottle-feeders also felt awkward, ashamed or as though they were judged,” she said. “The sad thing was the way they spoke about themselves in relation to their inability to breast-feed.”

Health ministers last week agreed babies should be breast-fed for the first six months.

The Real Mums survey found more than nine in 10 mothers had breast-fed in public and more than one in three had bottle-fed in public. The biggest concern of breastfeeding mothers was a wriggly baby who pulled away.

“They did feel uncomfortable when first attempting breastfeeding in public, but once they got the hang of it, they were mostly OK,” the survey found.

Almost all negative comments in public were directed at bottle- feeding mothers.

A small percentage of breastfeeders referred to things such as the “poison” of formula and made disparaging remarks about bottle-feedsing even though they weren’t asked.

“While some breastfeeding mums were seriously sanctimonious, and some bottle-feeding mums were seriously self-denigrating, the number was few, which is nice,” Ms Cox said.

“And breastfeeding mums did appear to be just a wee bit – OK, a lot – paranoid when it came to feeding in public.

“Most (were) more worried about what people might be thinking, not what was actually happening.”

“The bit we liked most, however, was … that of those that did have someone comment, they were positive comments.”


Breastfeeding with benefits

“I thankfully was told about the group from my doctor, because I had no idea what La Leche League was before then,” she said. “It’s important to have breast-feeding services in a community, and we get referrals of moms from Royal Victoria Hospital. But a lot of mom’s still don’t know anything about our groups.”

To help spread the word, the La Leche League Barrie groups are holding a breastfeeding benefits family fun fair and silent auction fundraiser on Saturday at Ferris Lane Community Church (49 Ferris Ln.) from 10 a. m. to 1 p. m. Admission at the door is $3 per person, or $10 per family.  The event offers something for every family, including a silent auction, activities for children and tasty treats to nibble on courtesy of The Italian Bakery in Barrie.



An idea that is Hazardous to Your Health

Does “healthcare” have anything to do with “health”?

Kimerer LaMothe, Ph.D.

At the end of last week an article on breastfeeding caught my eye. Apparently, some celebrities have recently boasted about breastfeeding’s bulge-burning benefits. The article offered a response, amassing anecdotes from Every Woman for and against, asking: Is it true?

On the one hand, as someone who might qualify for professional nurser status, I warmed to the article’s positive pose. Mother of five, I have nursed for a total of over ten years—a full quarter of my life—and haven’t stopped yet. It works for me, for my kids, for our family.

On the other hand, however, the article made me shudder, and not (just) because it appeared in a fashion segment focused on fat. Left intact and even reinforced by the discussion was the greatest obstacle there is to any women figuring out for herself what strategies for nurturing her child will work for her: the idea that her body is a thing. This idea is hazardous to our health.

While no one came out and said, my body is a thing, the discussion assumed that a maternal body is a material entity subject to rules that apply in most cases. Is breastfeeding-to-lose such a rule? Women interviewed in the article and those who responded to it lined up for and against the rule based on their experiences. Those for whom it was true expressed delight that their bodies worked as they should. Those for whom it wasn’t were resigned or resentful or rebellious, blaming their bodies, or citing variables that interfered with the rule’s effect (like metabolism, not enough sleep, or inadequate exercise). 

However, the point to take home is not the truism that every woman is unique. The unsung point concerns the nature of health itself. Health is whole. What is healthy for us is something we must work out for ourselves in the context of the relationships that sustain us. Health is not given to us, it is created by us, as we use the information at our disposal to discover and grow the seeds of what our own bodily selves know.

Health, in this sense, is both the ability to know what is good for us, and the willingness to align our thoughts and actions with that knowledge. To have it, we need to cultivate it in our sensory selves and for our sensory selves every day—even and especially when figuring out how best to nurture a child.
This “health” is absent from current “healthcare” debates as well. Health is not what we get when we secure cheap drugs, insurance policies, or the right diet and exercise plan.

Even so-called “preventative medicine” is not about health. It is about monitoring a few variables that scientists know how to measure, marking them as “indicators,” and then prescribing drugs or behavior modifications designed to keep our numbers within a specified range. It is about identifying and managing risks based on statistics gathered over other times, places, and persons. 

Little in our contemporary approach to healthcare is about helping us learn for ourselves how to discern for ourselves what is good for us. We are told what is good for us and advised to implement it, for our own good. The assumption is that we don’t know. 

Yet, the fact is that no stack of statistics can deliver the most important piece of information you need for your ongoing health: which dot on the curve is you? No one can tell you what you most need to know: what works to enhance your health?
Our bodies are not things. Our bodies are movement—movement that is constantly registering sensations of pain and pleasure designed to guide us in making choices that align with our best health. 

Yet this capacity for knowing what is best for us remains a mere potential unless we develop it. Specifically, we need to learn to welcome, work with, and refine our sensations of pain and pleasure, so that our sensory selves can become surer guides.

Support in doing this kind of work is what mothers—as well as those concerned with health—need.
You must like nursing, people say. Well, yes and no. It’s not really about liking it. It’s about making the movements that allow me to be the mother, dancer, and philosopher I am and want to be. It’s about making the movements that will enable me to keep working, keep sleeping, keep the child napping, stay sane. It’s about managing the flow of thoughts and feelings, laundry and lunching. It’s about convenience and challenge, pleasure and well-being, time saved and spent. It’s about investing in an immune system and trusting in touch. It’s about figuring out what works, and having the faith and fortitude to honor it. It’s about health.

There is no way to measure the complexity of variables that make breastfeeding right for me, and thus no way for me to assume its rightness for anyone else.


Our health is something we cultivate through practices of attention to our own bodily selves. But we cannot begin to do so until we stop looking outside of ourselves for the rule that applies to our bodies, and start welcoming whatever information and stories come to us, not as grounds for judging ourselves, but as vital resources for helping us explore the movements we can make towards our own health. It’s what our bodies know.


Huge numbers of stunted children, says UN report

Almost 200 million children under the age of five in the developing world suffer from stunted growth, according to a new U.N. report. But surprisingly, in the Middle East, wealthier countries have more of a problem than some poorer nations.

The Occupied Palestinian Territories, for example, have a stunting prevalence of 10 percent — the lowest in the Middle East — according to the study from UNICEF, the New York-based United Nations Children’s Fund.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both much wealthier nations, had significantly higher rates of stunting prevalence — 20 and 17 percent respectively.

Yemen had the highest rate of stunting prevalence in the Middle East — a staggering 58 percent — meaning more than half of all Yemeni children under five were significantly short for their age.

“High income from oil doesn’t mean the general population is benefitting from it,” said Arnold Timmer, senior adviser on nutrition for UNICEF, when asked about the findings.

Economic development is generally good news for nutrition and for human development,” Timmer told CNN. “But what children and mothers eat is not driven by economic indicators, but also by diet preferences, what’s available and what’s culturally trendy.” Timmer said food choice is a particular problem in the Middle East. “Instead of exclusively breast milk, the children might be getting a porridge of milk and butter and sugar that doesn’t have any vitamins and minerals in it,” Timmer said, “or tea.”

Timmer said tea is not recommended for young children because it can inhibit the absorption of iron, causing anemia.

Stunting, or low height for age, is caused by undernutrition, the U.N. said. “Stunting is associated with developmental problems and is often impossible to correct,” a UNICEF statement said. “A child who is stunted is likely to experience a lifetime of poor health and underachievement.”

The report, entitled “Tracking Progress on Child and Maternal Behavior,” said the 1,000 days from conception until a child’s second birthday are the most critical for development.

Stunting is a greater problem than being underweight or wasting, the U.N. report said. Most countries have much higher stunting rates than underweight rates, it said. In some countries, like Afghanistan, Yemen, Guatemala and Ethiopia, more than half of all children under five years old are stunted.

The U.N. defines stunting as height for age minus two standard deviations from the median height for that age. Wasting is defined as weight for height minus two standard deviations from the median weight for height for that age.

The bulk of the world’s undernutrition problem is localized, with 24 countries accounting for more than 80 percent of the world’s stunting. More than 90 percent of the developing world’s stunted children live in Africa and Asia. Although India is the country with the highest number of stunted children, it does not have the highest prevalence of stunting, due to its large population. Afghanistan has the highest prevalence of stunting of any country, with a whopping 59 percent.

The report recommends that of all the proven interventions, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life — together with nutritionally adequate food from six months onwards — can significantly impact stunting.

Progress has been made in both Asia and Africa on stunting, the report said. In Asia, the prevalence of stunting dropped from about 44 percent in 1990 to 30 percent in 2008. In Africa, it fell from around 38 percent to an estimated 34 percent over the same period.

But the children’s agency warns much more needs to be done.


Breastfeeding at Disneyland

Many of us have taken our infants to Disney theme parks. This week we discuss babies at theme parks. All of our contributors this week had their experiences at Disneyland as present:

Mary writes:  That child nursed not only on the train around the park, but on Pirates of the Caribbean, “it’s a small world,” Storybook Land Canal Boats, Monorail, Jungle Cruise, Mark Twain, and, my favorite, the Haunted Mansion (although that part of the ride as you head into the cemetery where you’re turned around and heading backward was a little tricky).

For moms who feel that they need privacy, the Baby Care Center on Main Street at Disneyland offers a lovely quiet room with rockers, where moms and babies can go to enjoy a comfortable place away from onlookers. On a hot day, this place is a blessing.

Adrienne writes _ Many people know about the Baby Care Centers in the Parks. I nursed in a Baby Care Center once—and never again. I know that many women prefer a quiet, dark place to calm and feed their babies. In fact, I have often clarified that the feeding area in the Baby Care Center is available not just for breastfeeding but for bottle-feeding as well. The Baby Care Center feeding area can be a great resource for parents who want it.

That said, I felt secluded and lonely in the Baby Care Center. There are many “magical” aspects to breastfeeding, but not every feeding is a soft-lens angelic mother and child moment worthy of a poster in an OB/GYN’s office. I had plenty of quiet time at home with my baby. During our leisure time at Disneyland, I wanted to spend time with my family and friends—and I would like to think that they enjoyed their time with me as well! The magic in Disneyland and breastfeeding was that I could comfortably feed my son while I enjoyed time with my family and friends!


Breastfeeding decals planned  (Prince George, BC)

The city’s buildings could soon be sporting window decals that tells mothers they’re welcome to breastfeed in public places.
Pending approval from city council, the decals, which state that “healthy communities support breastfeeding anytime, anywhere,” will be placed in all civic facilities and city hall.
In September, Northern Health public health nurse Jessica Madrid encouraged city council to take the step, noting that about 80 per cent of mothers start off breastfeeding but the rate plummets following discharge from the hospital to 55 per cent after two months, 35 per cent after four months and 20 per cent after six months.
“We need a champion to help us promote breast feeding anytime, anywhere,” Madrid told council in a presentation. The window decals promote the “social marketing of breastfeeding as the cultural norm.
Cost of the decals, which staff said are easy to affix and remove, will be covered entirely by the Children First Initiative and the roll-out campaign will include additional information on how to support breastfeeding mothers and their children.
Madrid sees placing the decals in municipal buildings as a starting point from which she hopes to see them eventually show up on the windows and doors of city businesses


Fatherhood: It’s Good for You

Most people wouldn’t see being a dad as a health issue, but apparently it is.

Upon becoming a father for the first time, many men discover a new meaning to life. Positive life changes usually follow, including quitting smoking and drinking, driving more carefully, eating better, getting more exercise and learning how to manage stress. Men who are actively involved in the lives of their children tend to be healthier, have more fulfilling marriages and careers and tend to live longer.

Support Breastfeeding. Ideally, your baby should have nothing but breast milk for the first six months. But nursing is sometimes hard for new moms. Make sure your partner gets plenty of fluids and rest, and encourage her every way you can.


Food Allergies on the Rise for US Children

The number of children with food allergies has increased 18% in the past ten years according to new research by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, those seeking treatment at hospitals and clinics for food allergy related symptoms have tripled since 1993.

Race seemed to be a factor, but not gender. Black children were about twice as likely as white children to have a peanut or milk allergy. Hispanic children have the lowest overall incidence of food allergies, but the greatest increase over the past 10 years. There were no significant differences in allergy rates between boys and girls.


Theories for the rise in allergic reactions to food range from “the hygiene hypothesis”, where over-sanitization of the environment has lead to immune system insufficiency in children. Another theory is the lower rate of breastfeeding in some demographic groups, which is thought to be protective against the development of food allergies.


Nicole Kidman says breastfeeding helped her get parts that called for curves.
Nicole Kidman isn’t coy about these baby bumps. The Oscar-winning actress better known for meaty roles than actual curves suddenly filled out after she began breastfeeding her baby daughter, Sunday Rose, last summer. “They’re not very big, my boobs, so they just became normal size. I loved it!” she titters in the December/January issue of Ladies’ Home Journal. “I felt very Woman. When you’ve had a slightly androgynous body your whole life, having breasts is a nice feeling.”

…her bigger bosom is what clinched her role as a sultry beauty in the upcoming musical “Nine” starring Daniel Day-Lewis. “[I had] big boobs because I was breast feeding – I was perfect for it,” she says. “I wouldn’t get cast now.”

“I was not looking to go back to work,” she admits. “I went back to work because this was . . . the perfect kind of scenario. Part of me was nervous about going back to work . . . but they said I could bring my baby to the set, and Rob didn’t seem to find a problem at all, so then I was like, ‘Uh, this is heaven.”


Man allegedly beats up wife as she’s breastfeeding their baby (Saipan Tribune)

A 27-year-old man is facing charges in court after he allegedly beat up his common-law wife while she was breastfeeding their baby.

Once they got home at 3am, Ilo accused his wife of having an affair with a family member. Ilo then allegedly threw a can of beer, hitting the victim on the forehead. Later, as the victim was breastfeeding their baby, Ilo allegedly punched her several times, pushed her to the wall, pulled her hair, and threatened to kill her with a machete.


Breastfeeding – The Feedgood factor

New mums and mums-to-be in Ayrshire and Arran can get the feedgood factor when they choose to breastfeed their babies.


Needling Worry

Why are we so crazy when it comes to vaccines?

CREDIT: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

I’ve been writing about parenting for eight years. And for eight years I’ve joked that if you want to make readers crazy, you only need two words: “vaccines” and “breastfeeding.”

Back in the day, of course, we just wanted our kids to survive childhood. I once wrote a piece for the Forward theorizing about why Judaism historically didn’t address stillbirth or miscarriage. Why weren’t babies who lived less than 30 days given funerals? Why weren’t they attended with the rituals associated with mourning? I’m guessing it’s because attitudes were different in a time when an infant’s death was a regular occurrence. It was better to move on, push past grief, plan for the next kid. Today we have the luxury of neurosis. We get to dwell. We have fewer kids, and we not only expect them to survive to adulthood, we expect them to go to Yale and become gastroenterologists and program our TiVos. We get worked up about vaccines and breastfeeding because we can.

Meanwhile, I wave around studies showing that once researchers correct for maternal age, income, smoking, intelligence, and education levels, the evidence is inconclusive about whether breastfeeding is better than bottle-feeding with modern formula—but lactivists continue to hurl insults at bottle-feeders and insist they’re harming their children and society. Why do we talk such different languages, at such cross-purposes?

So why the passion? I think it’s because we’re terrified of an unknowable future. Parenting is about making choices—how to feed a newborn, whether to work or stay home (if you’re an upper-middle class Jewess who is fortunate enough to have that choice), whether to vaccinate.

“I think the anxiety about vaccines and breastfeeding is about seeking a false sense of control,” said Kiki Schaffer, director of the Parenting & Family Center at the 14th Street Y in Manhattan. “You can’t be anxious about everything, because it’s too much, so you pick a few manageable things to get really, really upset about. A few years ago it was asbestos, then alar in apples. But picking one or two things feels safer than having anxiety about the whole world.” And I think part of making your choice about what to get worked up about involves slamming the choices of others. Because what if they’re right? What if you’re the one who’s screwed up when it comes to your kid? Nothing could be more horrible to contemplate. Better to close your eyes and go on the attack. At this point, the notion of kids dying of old-school diseases seems far more remote than the notion of your specific kid getting autism or an immune disorder. We don’t know any kids with rubella. We know lots of kids with autism.


All I know is that judgmental eye-rolling doesn’t help anyone. Not kids, and not parents.


The effect of maternal breast variations on neonatal weight gain in the first seven days of life


This study aims to examine whether specific maternal breast variations (such as flat nipple, inverted nipple, large breast or/and large nipple) are barriers for weight gain in breastfed infants during the first seven days of life.


Breast variation among first-time mothers acts as an important barrier to weight gain among breastfed neonates in the early days of life. Health professionals need skills in the management of breastfeeding among mothers with the specified breast variations, so that mothers are given appropriate advice on how to breastfeed and overcome these problems.


Infant formula maker spun off from parent company

Biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb Co is to sell its 83 per cent holding in pediatric nutrition company Mead Johnson which produces Enfamil infant formula.

Stephen Golsby, Mead Johnson’s chief executive officer said: “This transaction represents the important final step in our journey to be a fully independent public company. We believe the decision to split-off Mead Johnson reflects confidence in the success of our growth strategy and our strong financial performance since our IPO (initial public stock offering) in February, as well as BMS’ objective to focus on their core BioPharma business.”

Pediatric nutrition

Mead Johnson develops, manufactures, markets and distributes nutritional brands in 50 countries worldwide. The company claims its Enfa group of brands, including Enfamil(R) infant formula, is the world’s leading brand franchise in pediatric nutrition. In addition to baby formulas, including Enfamil that generated 61 per cent of the company’s revenue of $2.88bn last year, the company sells nutritional supplements for pregnant and nursing women, and people with metabolism problems.

James Cornelius, chairman and chief executive officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb, said: ““Now is the right time to move forward with a split-off, given the excellent performance of Mead Johnson since the IPO earlier this year and our confidence in the current and future performance of our biopharmaceuticals business.

Divestment strategy

By executing our healthcare divestment strategy, we have sharpened our BioPharma focus, improved the overall financial strength of the company and supported our ability to pursue strategic business development opportunities. All of these actions help us fulfill our mission to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines to help patients prevail over serious diseases,” said Cornelius.  Shareholders in his company will receive $1.11 of Mead Johnson stock for each $1.00 tendered in Bristol-Myers shares.

Mead Johnson shares have risen 89 per cent since the stock’s first public sale last February.


Sesame Street turns 40: Segments promote breastfeeding over the years

Recently, Sesame Street expanded its focus on healthful living with exercise and good eating habits.  But in actuality, the program has been promoting healthy eating for babies since its inception, depicting breastfeeding and breastmilk as the normal, natural way to feed infants and drawing praise from members of the attachment parenting community for years.

One well-known clip from 1977 features a mother named Buffy and her infant son, Cody.  While she nurses her baby, Buffy explains to Big Bird why some mothers feed their babies at their breast.  “He likes it because it’s nice and warm and sweet and natural; it’s good for him.  And I get to hug him while I do it!” 

Some controversy exists over this next clip, which highlights video segments of parents and their babies set to the song “You’re My Baby” written and performed by Sesame Street‘s musical director, Joe Raposo.  The original clip (see below) was aired in the mid-1980s and briefly shows a mother breastfeeding her baby at approximately the 1:10 mark.  This segment was updated for the 21st century and, sadly, the breastfeeding clip was replaced with that of a baby being bottle-fed

If you would like to see Sesame Street advocate for breastfeeding in future episodes, contact the show’s production company, Sesame Workshop, via a short submission form located on their website.


NHS launches pocket ‘how to be a dad’ guide to fatherhood

Every new dad is to be handed a pocket guide offering advice on how to be a good parent.

The credit card-sized guide will provide tips on parenting and details on where to go for help.

It will be handed out to fathers attending the birth of their child and direct them to advice on subjects such as breastfeeding and paternity leave.

Duncan Fisher, of the card’s developers DadInfo, who will debate the role of fathers in childbirth at the Royal College of Midwives conference later this month, said: “Midwives see lots of fathers, but because they don’t fit into an NHS role – they are not the patient – they don’t have anything to give them.”

Among the tips given is the suggestion that the dad’s role at the birs to “help provide a loving and calm environment” and a warning that fathers can get depressed after the birth, “especially if your partner’s feeling low”.


A to Z of what’s right with America – the list.

A is for Alternative medicine – Although the Associated Press hasn’t figured it out yet, alternative medicine is cheaper, safer and more effective than pharmaceuticals and surgery.

B is for Breastfeeding – Because the best milk is mother’s milk.

C is for the Constitution – Without it, this website wouldn’t even exist and free speech would be stifled.

D is for Democracy – Despite all its shortcomings, Democracy is still the best form of government the world has come up with.


Give mums a break (Australia)

WOMEN do not need politicians telling them about the importance of breastfeeding. They do not need a bunch of bureaucrats demanding that they breastfeed their babies for six months.

What they could do with is a bit more access to services and support, not lectures that make them feel inadequate.  But as always, governments find it much easier to browbeat and pontificate than actually provide the ground-level assistance that taxpayers really need. Health ministers want a National Breastfeeding Strategy introduced next year to promote, protect, support and value breastfeeding so that it is viewed as the biological and social norm.

That might sound lovely, but what of the many mothers who find breastfeeding almost impossible for physical or economic reasons? Won’t such a campaign just make them feel so much worse? This goes to the very core of a mother’s rights.

Read in today’s Sunday Herald Sun our exclusive survey of new mothers and you will hear many felt “pressured” into breastfeeding even though they found it difficult. The mothers said they were given different advice by midwives, leaving them confused, distressed and frustrated. One was even told that giving formula to her newborn was like feeding it McDonald’s, another said that hospital staff treated her like a criminal for giving her baby a top-up formula feed.

Whatever happened to choice?

I support a woman’s right to choose and believe breast is best. However, we are overlooking the very simple fact that some women can’t or do not want to breastfeed. In an ideal world, where a mothers can choose and afford to stay at home and where breastfeeding comes easily, no doubt more would breastfeed. But new mothers are under enough pressure to cope. Give them a break.

This national strategy is not the way to encourage breastfeeding. It is putting a wedge between mothers who do and those who do not.


Breastfeeding just doesn’t work out for some mums  (Australia) 

There I was in a private room with no shirt on and no bra. I couldn’t. My nipples were red raw from breastfeeding and blood was dripping on to the carpet. Tears were falling on top of the splatters.  A midwife entered the room. Her advice for me was to “grin and bear it”. I was told to bite my lip for the first 10 seconds of every feed and the pain would gradually disappear.

As a first-time mum I was vulnerable and accepted her advice without question. After all, my comfort was secondary to giving my son the best start in life. My partner was a little less accepting. He asked the same midwife about introducing one bottle feed into the mix each day (one out of eight). She rolled her eyes and said: “A male would ask that question.”…

At their meeting in Adelaide on Friday, they signed off on a draft National Breastfeeding Strategy. The full five-year strategy will be finalised by the end of the year. Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon says it’s needed because not enough Australian women are breastfeeding. She cited an Australian study from 2004 that claimed 92 per cent of newborns were being breastfed. After one week that dropped to 80 per cent. With every month there was a steady decline. By three months, it was down to 56 per cent and by six months it was 14 per cent. Australian women should be doing better, Roxon says.

I for one am offended. The vast majority of women are already doing the best they can. Why doesn’t the Government just butt out? By all means give women the information they need, but let them make their own choices for their own children and don’t make them feel bad if they fall short of the mark.


Mother banned from breastfeeding in pub

A mother has described how she was made to feel like a criminal after being ordered to stop breast-feeding in a pub.

Staff at the venue allegedly told Elizabeth Simpson, 28, to stop attending to her 10-week old daughter because customers were “eating their meals”.

“They said it was their policy not to have breastfeeding in the restaurant but there was no sign saying that.

“The fact that their main clientele seems to be young mothers shocked us even more,” she said. “It is absolutely ridiculous.

A Freemasons Arms spokesman said: “We’re disappointed to hear that one of our customers is unhappy with their recent visit.”

“We cater for lots of parents with young children and always aim to make their visit enjoyable as well as comfortable by providing baby changing facilities and high chairs.”

He added: “Breastfeeding in the pub is perfectly acceptable and our team is trained to offer support as and when requested.

“If this was not the case on this occasion then we sincerely apologise and hope the customer is willing to visit the pub again in the future.”


Recruiting an Army of Women to fight breast cancer

Dr. Susan Love has a goal: Get 1 million people to enroll in breast cancer studies. She’s well on the way.

That’s why the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation created the Army of Women, an Internet-based campaign aimed at connecting volunteers with breast cancer researchers. Set up in partnership with the Avon Foundation for Women and scientists, the Love/Avon Army of Women takes all of those who sign up online: healthy women, women with a breast cancer diagnosis, women of all ages, shapes and colors, and even men with breast cancer. Its goal is to recruit one million volunteers.

Kathleen Arcaro, an environmental toxicologist at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, wants to analyze genetic changes in the breast tissue cells present in the milk samples from 250 women. She needed women who were currently breastfeeding and who needed a breast biopsy for a suspicious lump.

If her team had sought women through the normal channels — such as doctor’s offices and breastfeeding support groups, the project would have been too costly. But she has now enrolled 144 women, 80% of whom came from the Army of Women. “In less than a year, we’ve processed [samples from] 93 women in a study that people said we wouldn’t be able to do,” she says.


Packaging for pistol sight among items found in Fort Hood shooter’s apartment 

KILLEEN, Texas – Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s dingy apartment holds the odd remnants of a solitary military life, with hints of secrets and suggestions of terrible plans.

A folding card table near the kitchen was covered in white plastic and a random scattering of belongings. Some hinted of Hasan’s Arab roots and Islamic faith: a pile of Jordanian and Israeli coins, an Al Fajr-brand alarm clock and a white knit skull cap. Beside those items was a thin paperback book published in India in 1993, Dreams and Interpretations , by Allamah Muhammed Bin Sireen.

The book’s back cover declares it “a must in every Muslim home.” Its table of contents promises explanations for 900 dreams – everything from birth to breastfeeding, from seeing Allah to recognizing his messengers.


More black women are breastfeeding, but less than other moms

A National Health and Nutrition Examination survey shows that breast-feeding rates increased significantly among black women from 36 percent in 1993-1994 to 65 percent in 2005-2006. However, the findings, released last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also show that 80 percent of Mexican American and 79 percent of white infants were breast-fed during the same period.

And, despite an increase in lactation programs and consultants in hospitals, many health care professionals do not encourage black women to breast-feed. Barber also notes that heavy marketing by makers of infant formula also impacts some women’s decisions to breast-feed. However, black women who are educated, as well as those who have a supportive partner tend to breast-feed more, Barber says.


Asiana Airlines to Reinforce Mother-Friendly Services

Asiana’s mother-friendly services have been gaining enthusiastic reviews from those who have been through the ordeals of travelling with infants.

Through the recent launch of “Happy Mom Services,” the airline has been providing exclusive check-in counters for mothers at the airport, breastfeeding covers and baby slings free of charge for travelers with babies.

The service was initiated on Oct. 1 at 10 International airports (Incheon, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, London, Frankfurt, Paris and Sydney) to which Asiana flies. Out of 2,277 passengers traveling with infants, 1,043 passengers used the exclusive counters and 167 passengers were provided with breastfeeding covers, an Asiana spokesperson said.

In response to the enthusiastic reception, Asiana will extend the “Happy Mom Services” to 66 airports internationally. Also, they will lengthen the age limit from 24 months to 36 months old.

“I was worried about breastfeeding on board. But when arriving at JFK International Airport, I found that there was an exclusive counter for mothers run by Asiana and received a breastfeeding cover as well. During my 14-hour flight to Incheon, it was very pleasant for me to travel to Korea,” Choi Eun-sun, a passenger on the Nov. 13 Incheon OZ221 from New York to Incheon, said.

“No other airline has provided such services. This is really great for moms,” Agreda Sison Leizl, a passenger on the airline’s Oct. 29 flight from Chicago to Incheon, said.

Netizens have also shown their interest in the new services and currently 21 blogs and 10 internet cafes are talking about the “Happy Mom Services.”

The exclusive check-in counters for those with infants provide the 3E services ― Express Check In, Express Boarding and Express Baggage. It allows passengers with infants to shorten the waiting period at airports.

Passengers with infants will also receive a “Priority Tag” on their checked baggage. Arriving passengers with infants will now be able to quickly retrieve their baggage without the hassle of caring for their infant while waiting at baggage claim.

During long-haul flights, mothers have faced difficulties in feeding their infants. Usually, feeding takes place in the toilets or the galleries of aircraft. In order to resolve these difficulties, Asiana will provide breastfeeding covers for passengers when asked by request at the departure point.

For larger infants travelling on children tickets, Asiana is providing free installation of baby safety seats upon reservation. Asiana hopes the service will negate the need for passengers to bring along their own baby seats.


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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: Sept. 25th – Oct. 4th, 2009

Hello All,
Looks like I’ve fallen behind again, but I have to say I had a great time at the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition conference this week! It was great to see everyone again, especially those of you who made the trek from beyond Worcester.
There’s been a lot of encouraging news lately! McGill University Health Center in Montreal just received $350,000 to support their breastfeeding programs. The US Air Force now gives women a 6 month assignment deferment after giving birth to allow more time for breastfeeding (they used to allow only 4 months, the Navy however gives 12 months). And in Brunei breastfeeding education has been incorporated into their premarital courses so that both prospective parents will be better prepared before they even conceive!
Major flooding in the Phillipines is being met with donations of breast milk so that stressed out refugee mothers struggling to keep up their milk supplies won’t have to rely on formula. And get this – they have even sent in wet nurses!
In Jamaica they are now turning their attention to educating men. “Some men mistakenly believe that breastfeeding is strictly confined to women and babies. They see their role as that of a passive or neutral observer who has little influence on the process, but fathers actually have tremendous potential to either facilitate or undermine the success of breastfeeding,” says Mr. Scott of the Jamaican Health Services. “A father’s support is critical to a successful breastfeeding, simply by listening to the mothers. It requires that you actively play a role in your partner’s life without being invasive.” Well said Mr. Scott, well said! Mr. Scott even added, “that if fathers spend the first weeks after a child’s birth doing some of the household chores and involving themselves in the health and well being of the child, the issue of exclusive breastfeeding will become a norm for mothers.”
Meanwhile in Australia it seems that it is not the men who need educating but the women. When a mother was asked to hide the fact that she was breastfeeding while nursing her 3 month old on a plane this exchange occurred: Mrs Ward said “she told the attendant that she had a right to breastfeed, but was asked again to cover her baby because a man seated near her ”might not like to see it”. ”I said to [the man], ‘Does this offend you?’ and he said, ‘No, not at all.’ [The flight attendant] said, ‘Well, people walking down the aisle might not like it”’
Two new scientific studies have been reported and the way they have been interpreted might interest you. The first showed that due to calcium loss during lactation mothers should be doing more weight bearing exercises (“Breastfeeding moms need more aerobic exercise”). But before we start sending mothers off to the gym don’t you think we should remind them that carrying your baby (i.e. baby wearing) is also a weight bearing exercise?
And in a new study from Spain came the news confirming what we already knew – that breast milk can make a baby sleepy! By anaylizing the types of nucleotides produced over the course of 24 hours, they have found that the milk produced during the night time hours is designed to help a baby sleep, while the milk produced during the day is designed to help keep a baby alert! This is pretty cool! We’ve always said that a mother’s milk continually changes to meet her baby’s needs and this is further proof of that. But again what worries me is the way this has been interpreted. “Breast milk should be drunk at the same time of day that it is expressed.”
After reading this headline I was complaining to my 12 year old daughter that this was just going to make it harder for working moms. Not only do they have to pump, now they will be expected to keep track of when they pumped each ounce and care takers will be scolding them for bringing them “sleepy time” milk when they need the “cappuccino” version, to which my daughter replied “It’s called being organized Mom!” ( I should point out that the “organization gene” is something she gets from her father not me.) My daughter’s opinion not withstanding, I fear that for mothers who already rely too heavily on charts and clocks, this little study will totally push them over the edge. Can I say it again? The real answer is keeping mothers and babies together – we need more maternity leave!
In other news the Canadians were having great success organizing a competition to break the record for most number of babies being breastfed at the same time (I love how they even got the mayor of one city to participate!), but in Montreal the event was called off because of concerns about Swine Flu. In celebrity news, “Gossip Girl” actress Kelly Rutherford has requested a restraining order on her ex-husband because she claims that his actions have caused her so much stress it has affected her milk supply.
And lastly is a very interesting (dry, but fascinating) article outlining the problems surrounding the need to make nutrition in early life a global priority. This report makes the case that not only does early nutrition have lasting effects over the course of a child’s lifetime (“To further complicate the issue, studies from high-income11 and from low-income and middle-income countries6 strongly suggest that the worst-case scenario for several chronic diseases is the combination of undernutrition in early life and rapid weight gain during late childhood and adolescence”), the window of opportunity for intervention is indeed short, that what happens before a child reaches the age of 3 is more important than what happens afterwards.
If I am reading this right they are suggesting that less attention should be placed on school lunches (“The assumptions behind school feeding programmes and growth monitoring for all children younger than 5 years, for example, should be re-examined.”) and international food aid, and instead there should be more emphasis on breastfeeding and complimentary foods. The real problem for policy makers seems to be “how to promote rapid weight gain in the first 2—3 years of life, but not thereafter.” My thanks to Arun Grupta for sharing this article with everyone.
Hope you are all well, and again I love hearing your comments!
Kathy Abbott, IBCLC
On Facebook: “Breastfeeding in the News”
My Blog: http://TheCuriousLactivist.wordpress.com/

Ministry Proposes Breastfeeding Course (Brunei)
Bandar Seri Begawan – The Ministry of Health (MoH) has proposed exclusive breastfeeding as one of the topics to be covered in premarital courses in order to provide early knowledge to soon-to-be mothers on the importance of the practice, said acting principal nursing officer Hjh Meriah Pengarah Hj Buntar yesterday.
‘All this time, topics covered by the religious ministry during the courses conducted were more focused on marriage in Islam, but now with the addition of topics under the health aspects, soon-to-be-mothers will have a better knowledge on the benefits of the practice before they conceive,” she explained, adding that the soon-to-be-mothers will at least be well prepared before starting a family.
Their spouses will also then understand the importance of breastfeeding and be supportive, she added.
PGH to embark on breastfeeding mission in ‘Ondoy’ evacuation centers
Instead of canned goods and used clothes, a team of doctors from the University of the Philippines–Philippine General Hospital is bringing a unique donation when they embark on a relief mission to “Ondoy” evacuation centers: breast milk for babies.

Dra. Maria Asuncion Silvestre, head of the PGH Lactation Unit and Milk Bank, said the medical mission aims to help breastfeeding mothers cope with the stress from the massive floods that ravaged their houses and, more importantly, to prevent the spread of diseases among infants.

Silvestre likens breast milk to a “vaccine” that can protect infants from sickness especially in disaster and emergency situations.
Silvestre said the news of infants catching diarrhea and pneumonia in evacuation centers prompted the PGH Newborn Medicine department and some of its partner organizations to educate mothers on how to breastfeed properly during times of crisis.

She discouraged donors from giving infant formula to the evacuees, saying this may bring more harm than good. Even raw breast milk that has not been pasteurized is safer than formula milk, the doctor said.

“In disaster areas, it’s very restricted. The centers can be unsanitary, they have no clean water. They have no way to boil (sterilize) the milk bottles. Formula milk can be contaminated because there are many sources for contamination,” Silvestre explained.

More than half a million people have sought refuge in 726 evacuation centers, where disease and crowded conditions are major concerns.
As of Thursday noon, the relief mission had collected more than 100 liters of breast milk.

For the breastfeeding mission in Cainta, infants up to six months old will be cup-fed by volunteers from the medical school.

“The breastfeeding moms will proceed to our designated area where they will be given some refreshments and Vitamin A. Some of them will be given breastfeeding t-shirts and they will be educated on how to sustain their breastfeeding, even though they are stressed and tired,” Silvestre said.

The t-shirts, drinking water, and a cargo of pasteurized breast milk will be provided by mother-support groups like Mommy Matters and Latch.

Five wet nurses, or mothers who breastfeed children that are not their own, from the support group Arugaan are also joining the mission.

Through the endeavor, Silvestre hopes to provide mothers with the necessary knowledge in caring for infants in disaster situations.

“If the (breast milk) supply for that evacuation center is gone, at least moms can continue breastfeeding their babies. The mission is not meant to be a dole-out; it’s meant to have a multiplier effect,” she said. – GMANews.TV
Breast milk should be drunk at the same time of day that it is expressed
The levels of the components in breast milk change every 24 hours in response to the needs of the baby. A new study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience shows, for example, how this milk could help newborn babies to sleep.
Breast milk contains various ingredients, such as nucleotides, which perform a very important role in regulating babies’ sleep. The new study, published recently in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience, confirms that the composition of breast milk changes quite markedly throughout the day.
The scientists looked for three nucleotides in breast milk (adenosine, guanosine and uridine), which excite or relax the central nervous system, promoting restfulness and sleep, and observed how these varied throughout a 24-hour period.
The milk, collected from 30 women living in Extremadura, was expressed over a 24-hour period, with six to eight daily samples. The highest nucleotide concentrations were found in the night-time samples (8pm to 8am).
“This made us realise that milk induces sleep in babies”, Cristina L. Sánchez, lead author of the article and a researcher at the Chrononutrition Laboratory at the University of Extremadura, tells SINC.
“You wouldn’t give anyone a coffee at night, and the same is true of milk – it has day-specific ingredients that stimulate activity in the infant, and other night-time components that help the baby to rest”, explains Sánchez.
In order to ensure correct nutrition, the baby should be given milk at the same time of day that it was expressed from the mother’s breast. “It is a mistake for the mother to express the milk at a certain time and then store it and feed it to the baby at a different time”, points out the researcher. .
Sánchez, Cristina L.; Cubero, Javier; Sánchez, Javier; Chanclón, Belén; Rivero, Montserrat; Rodríguez, Ana B.; Barriga, Carmen. “The possible role of human milk nucleotides as sleep inducers”. Nutritional Neuroscience Vol. 12(1):2-8. 2009.
For Baby, A breast milk cappuccino
Breastfeeding moms need more aerobic exercise
Cheryl Lovelady and her team from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) measured bone mineral density in 20 women four to 20 weeks post pregnancy.

They found that those who didn’t exercise lost around seven percent of their lower-spine bone density in that period.

“During lactation, women transfer around 200 milligrams of calcium per day from their own stores to their breast milk,” Lovelady said.

“Calcium is critically linked to bone density and health, and this depletion can result in loss of bone mineral density. When mothers wean their infants, bone mineral density usually returns to normal levels,” she added.
“We proposed that weight-bearing exercise would minimise bone losses during lactation and decrease the risk of osteoporosis later in life,” Lovelady said.

Exercise – especially strength training – can slow bone loss during lactation, the study found.

Besides, regular weight-bearing exercise has an added benefit for moms trying to shed post-pregnancy weight: It significantly improved their body composition compared to the non-exercisers, lowering their body fat percentage and increasing lean mass, even without dietary intervention.

The findings were published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise .
Effect of Exercise Training on Loss of Bone Mineral Density during Lactation
Airline’s breastfeeding bungle
A MELBOURNE mother says she was left in tears after a Tiger Airways flight attendant repeatedly asked her to hide her breastfeeding baby from other passengers on a flight earlier this month.
Kathryn Ward said she was feeding her three-month-old son, James, on a flight between the Gold Coast and Melbourne when a crew member asked her if she had a blanket to cover him.
Mrs Ward said she told the attendant that she had a right to breastfeed, but was asked again to cover her baby because a man seated near her ”might not like to see it”.
”I said to [the man], ‘Does this offend you?’ and he said, ‘No, not at all.’ [The flight attendant] said, ‘Well, people walking down the aisle might not like it.’ ”
MUHC breastfeeding resources get pumped up
Sep. 29, 2009
The Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation donates $350,000 to support breastfeeding programs at the MUHC
As the birth rate in Quebec continues to rise steadily for the sixth year in a row, Mr. Claude Chagnon has some good news for Montrealers and it could not have come at a better time. As President and Chief Operating Officer of the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation, Mr. Claude Chagnon announces a $350,000 donation to support breastfeeding at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).

Already on the path to becoming a designated World Health Organization (WHO) Baby-friendly hospital, this donation will allow the MUHC’s Women’s Health Mission to further support all breastfeeding mothers under their care. “Thanks to this financial support, we have been able to upgrade our technology and purchase state-of-the-art breast pumps to serve our most vulnerable patient populations,” explains Luisa Ciofani, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Obstetrics and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. “We have also been able to increase the number of lactation consultants working with our new mothers.”

At the MUHC, 87% of new mothers try breastfeeding. Among them, 50% continue to breastfeed exclusively. As a result of the donation, the MUHC will be able to make a greater investment in training personnel in the hopes of further increasing rates of exclusivity.
As a Centre of Excellence for breastfeeding, the MUHC acknowledges the importance of continued research in the field. Sonia Semenic, Nurse Scientist for the MUHC’s Women’s Health Mission, has received a grant from the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC) to study the implementation of Quebec’s policies to protect, support and promote breastfeeding, As part of this study, the MUHC’s Royal Victoria Hospital will participate in an evaluation of barriers and facilitators to the implementation of the World Health Organization’s Baby-Friendly Initiative.
Breastfeeding challenge hits Chilliwack
Each pre-registered mother and baby will receive a goody bag and commemorative certificates that makes a great keepsake for the baby book. This year participants will enjoy addresses from both Mayor Sharon Gaetz and naturopathic doctor Joanne Menard
At 11 a.m. on Saturday, mothers and children at sites across Canada, the United States and other countries will compete to set the record for the most children breastfeeding at one time. The winners of the competition will be the cities or regions with the most children participating as a percentage of the birth rate.
To level the playing field between large and small, each site will be entered into groups determined by birth rate. Last year B.C won first place in it’s birth-rate category.
Two of the biggest hurdles for mothers continue to be lack of support and marginalization by the community. In North America this lack of support is demonstrated as many women find breastfeeding in public a major barrier.
The Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge began in 2001 in British Columbia Canada with 856 children at 26 sites. By 2008, there were 7,632 children in nineteen countries at over 300 sites with a total of over 20,000 supporters.
Men Urged to Help in the Promotion of Breastfeeding (Jamaica)
Parish Manager for the Manchester Health Services, Stanhope Scott, wants men to help promote breastfeeding for infants.
“A father’s support is critical to a successful breastfeeding, simply by listening to the mothers. It requires that you actively play a role in your partner’s life without being invasive,” he told a breastfeeding forum organised by the Manchester Health Department, on Thursday (September 24) at the Mandeville Park.
Mr. Scott added that if fathers spend the first weeks after a child’s birth doing some of the household chores and involving themselves in the health and well being of the child, the issue of exclusive breastfeeding will become a norm for mothers.
“Some men mistakenly believe that breastfeeding is strictly confined to women and babies. They see their role as that of a passive or neutral observer who has little influence on the process, but fathers actually have tremendous potential to either facilitate or undermine the success of breastfeeding,” he stated.
He told the audience, consisting mainly of personnel from the Health Department and young mothers, that fathers must equip themselves to actively support mothers in the breastfeeding drive, for healthier children.
The Ministry of Health, with support from the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), is on a drive to increase the number of mothers that are exclusively breastfeeding
Healthy skepticism
Is there a conspiracy out there to make parents feel guilty? Don’t answer that. Just consider a recent item on UrbanBaby.com, the website that fancies itself a guide for parents in the know. “If you went to college,’’ it read, “will your daughter develop an eating disorder?’’
Seriously? Seriously. The post summarized a Swedish study of 13,000 women born between 1952 and 1989, and offered these useful facts: Girls were twice as likely to develop eating disorders if their mothers went to college, and six times more likely if their maternal grandmothers went to college. Girls who had high grades were at especially high risk. The researchers figured that girls were reacting to pressure to achieve. And the subtext was clear: Sorry, smart ladies, you messed up again!
This is, mind you, the same UrbanBaby that issued an apology in June for a post titled “Does Breastfeeding Cause Autism?’’ It was about another study, by a California neuroscientist, that examined toxins in the breastmilk of rats. The study contained a host of caveats (such as: People are different from rats). The brief UrbanBaby post did not, raising the ire of breastfeeding and autism-awareness activists – two groups that one should think twice before crossing.
Assignment deferment extended for births, adoptions
Air Force officials here announced recent modifications to the post-birth and post-adoption assignment deferment policy will increase the time a parent can delay reporting to certain assignments, re-emphasizing the Air Force’s commitment of taking care of its people.

Birth mothers and adoptive families now have a six-month-deferment period instead of four months before reporting to an assignment, including family-member restricted overseas tours, accompanied overseas tours when concurrent travel was denied, and temporary duty assignments or deployments.

This policy change brings the Air Force in line with its sister services. Only the Navy allows more deferment time, up to 12 months.

The extra two months enables behaviors that can positively impact the family later, said Lt. Col. Leslie Wilson, the chief consultant for maternal-child medicine and pediatrics at the Air Force Medical Operations Agency at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

“From a medical perspective, this will give the mother and infant a substantial benefit because it allows for eight additional weeks of breastfeeding, which not only helps build the baby’s immunity system, but it helps the mother return to her pre-pregnancy weight faster, reduces her risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and improves family bonding,” Colonel Wilson said.
Breastfeeding activities cancelled in Quebec over H1N1 worries
Quebec Health authorities have cancelled a series of breastfeeding gatherings across the province fearing the H1N1 virus could pose too much of a health risk to mothers and babies.
The Breastfeeding Challenge is held each year in October in some 20 cities across the province with the goal of having the greatest number of babies breastfeed at the same time around the world.
The activity attracts some 2,500 women and their babies in Montreal and 500 in Quebec City.
Authorities said they don’t know how the pandemic will evolve and would rather err on the side of caution.
“Statistics gathered during the first pandemic wave show pregnant women, women who just gave birth, newborns and young children are more vulnerable to the virus and risk developing major complications,” the health agency said in a press release.
Moreover, the agency said babies and toddlers can’t follow the basic hygiene guidelines such as washing hands regularly
Nutrition in early life: a global priority
On Oct 14—18, Berlin will host the first World Health Summit. The prevention of adult chronic diseases through interventions in young children is one of the summit’s key topics. Promotion of good nutrition in early life is essential for health later in life because either undernutrition or overnutrition can cause lifelong, irreversible damage. This matter is especially relevant at a time when the global food and financial crises are disproportionately affecting nutrition of the poorest families in low-income and middle-income countries.
Why is nutrition in early life so important? Since the Barker hypothesis in the 1980s,1 cohort studies from high-income countries showed that fetal growth restriction is associated with adult diseases, especially cardiovascular and metabolic conditions. Over time, emphasis has shifted from low birthweight to growth during the first 2 years of life,2 and from the harmful effects of undernutrition to the dangers of rapid weight gain and of child obesity.3
Nine out of ten children, however, are born in low-income and middle-income countries where undernutrition is common. Published reports from these countries have long emphasised that maternal, fetal, and child undernutrition increase short-term morbidity and mortality in young children.4, 5 Recent long-term follow-up studies—including birth cohorts6 and intervention trials7—give convincing evidence that early undernutrition also affects adult human capital. Good nutrition in early life helps adults to become taller, stronger, and more intelligent, thus improving school achievement, economic productivity, and earnings.
If early nutrition is so important, when should one intervene? The window of opportunity is short. National surveys show that growth faltering occurs from conception to about 2 years of age. Thereafter, the average growth of children from low-income and middle-income countries is similar to that of children from high-income populations.8 Interventions to reduce undernutrition have positive effects on human capital if targeted to children aged 3 years or younger, but, except in the few countries where wasting is frequent, interventions after this age do not seem to confer benefit.7 Longitudinal body-composition studies from low-income and middle-income countries also show that growth in utero and in the first 2 years of life is essential for building lean mass, but later rapid weight gain mainly results in fat-mass deposition. Therefore the net balance between positive and negative consequences of rapid weight gain depends on when it occurs,6 and thus the concept of a window of opportunity is essential for designing intervention strategies.9 However, how to promote rapid weight gain in the first 2—3 years of life, but not thereafter, is a major challenge to policy makers.
Another major challenge is to understand the long-term consequences of nutrition in early life in populations undergoing rapid change.
Our population-based studies in Pelotas, Brazil,10 describe time trends in weight for age in 4-year-old children in the top and bottom quintiles of family income (figure) in the 1982 and the 2004 birth cohorts. Over time, both poor and rich children became fatter, especially the former. The large number of poor children in the 2004 cohort who were above 2 Z scores shows how overweight has become more common among these children, in whom undernutrition was prevalent in 1982. Within-country inequalities in nutritional status might therefore need different approaches for specific population subgroups, which is an additional challenge for policy makers.

Figure Full-size image (51K)
Changes in weight-for-age in children aged 4 years in the bottom and top quintiles of family income in Pelotas, Brazil, in 1982 and 200410
To further complicate the issue, studies from high-income11 and from low-income and middle-income countries6 strongly suggest that the worst-case scenario for several chronic diseases is the combination of undernutrition in early life and rapid weight gain during late childhood and adolescence. This situation is increasingly common in countries undergoing the nutrition transition,6, 12 in which promotion of rapid weight gain, irrespective of the child’s age, might do more harm than good. The assumptions behind school feeding programmes and growth monitoring for all children younger than 5 years, for example, should be re-examined.
Despite the importance of nutrition in early life for adult health and human capital, this topic has received little international funding, especially when compared with large investments for the control of other diseases.13, 14 Furthermore, the limited funding for combating undernutrition is dominated by programmes for food aid and micronutrient supplementation.13 Although such programmes have a definite role in some circumstances, one would also like to see strong investments in community-based approaches—eg, the promotion of breastfeeding and appropriate complementary foods—which have well-established effects on child survival and nutritional status.15
The Berlin summit will allow discussion of policy implications of these findings and of remaining research gaps. For example, how can we reconcile findings from high-income countries on the potential dangers of rapid weight gain in early life as a risk factor for chronic diseases with those of low-income and middle-income countries, which show that undernutrition not only increases short-term morbidity and mortality, but also irreversibly affects human capital?
There is still much to be learned about specific aspects of the associations between early nutrition, adult health, and human capital. Nevertheless, the importance of preventing undernutrition in utero and in children during the first 2 years of life is gaining increasing importance in light of new findings on long-term effects. The main challenge now is how to incorporate these findings into health policies, and especially how to convince governments that early nutrition programmes are long-term investments in human and social development.

Gossip’ Mom Rutherford Gets Restraining Order Over ‘Threatening’ Ex
‘Gossip Girl’ actress Kelly Rutherford has been granted a temporary restraining order against her estranged husband, claiming that his presence has been threatening to both Rutherford and her nanny. In the legal filing, Rutherford claims that Daniel Giersch “has begun to follow me, my mother and my nanny and he shows up unexpectedly to threaten and scare us.” TMZ reports. Rutherford also claims that Giersch’s behavior and the stress that has been caused by it has affected her breast milk production.

“From time to time I have some extra milk, but I never know when…I believe that the stress Daniel has created for me is also negatively impacting my ability to produce milk,” the documents say


Filed under breastfeeding, Breastfeeding in the News, Uncategorized

Breastfeeding in the News: September 16th – Sept. 24th, 2009

Hello All,
For those of you who are unhappy with the way infant formula companies conduct their business in your neighborhood wait till you hear what they are doing in Vietnam. Even though it’s against the law to advertise formula in Vietnam the big formula companies spend $10 million dollars a year doing just that (making them the 5th largest advertising market in the country.) Doctors are paid a commission on each can of formula they sell, mothers are invited to ‘nutritional seminars’ at five start hotels to watch a video of a girl who could talk at 6 months, and formula companies claim outrageous benefits for their products (“make your baby taller!”). Exclusive breastfeeding rates at six months have dropped to 17%, half of what they were a decade ago, while in 2008 alone formula sales rose 39%.

Here at home formula companies are pushing additives like DHA. (DHA derived from fish oil by the way, contains EPA which can be absorbed by adults but not by infants. In breast milk “the amount of DHA is four times higher than the amount of EPA – Mother Nature knows best!”) But one blogger asks an interesting question, shouldn’t we be in favor of these companies making their products healthier and safer? He uses the analogy of motorcycles which we know to be riskier than cars, don’t we pass helmet laws to try and make them safer to use? My answer to that is yes, improving formula is a wonderful thing, but marketing it as good as or better than breast milk is false advertising. And not informing people of the known risks is unconscionable. Wouldn’t it be great if every magazine ad for formula had to list all the possible risks just like all the pharmaceuticals do?

In China breastfeeding rates have fallen from 76% to 64% in 2002. But after last year’s formula scare more mothers want to breastfeed but like working mother’s every where they face obstacles when they get back to work. Even though a national law exist giving two 30 minute feeding breaks a day, hardly anyone seems to know about it. But here’s an interesting twist, in Shanghai there is a delivery service that will pick up and drop off a mother’s freshly pumped milk. Imagine that, a milk man who delivers human milk!

Here in America if Starbucks is any example, the biggest factor in reaching the 6 month exclusive breastfeeding goal seems to be whether or not you work behind the counter or in the corporate office. While Starbucks headquarters may boast of a lactation room, their chain store employees are still pumping in the bathroom. The CDC says that while 53% of college grads are still breastfeeding at 6 months (I’m assuming this is not exclusive breastfeeding – can anyone tell me for sure?) only 29% of mothers with just a high school education make it that far. Like me I’m sure this isn’t news to most of you. I still remember the mother I once met who worked as a paralegal in a lawyer’s office. While the female lawyer’s received 6 months maternity leave, paralegals were only given 6 weeks. This is crazy! It’s like saying an executive recovering from a heart attack automatically deserves 6 months to recover, while a janitor with the same health condition only needs 6 weeks.

In TV this week the HBO series “Mad Men” featured a birth typical of the 1960’s complete with twilight sleep and hallucinations. True to form when the mother was asked if she wants to breastfeed the answer was a defiant “no”, only people who can’t afford formula do that! Meanwhile in England the Royal College of Midwives complained when a soap opera star quickly turned to formula. For those of you who think letter writing is a waste of time take heart, as a result of their complaint the producers are considering making breastfeeding “the nub of a story on some future occasion.”

Meanwhile in Jamaica breastfeeding activists hosted a game show challenging health workers from different regions on their knowledge of breastfeeding. Reading the scores it sounds like people really got into it! If you want to host your own breastfeeding quiz show you might consider using the questions in the AAP’s new “Breastfeeding Residency Curriculum.” Better yet take their quiz yourself and tell me what you think. Would you teach it any differently?
In odds and ends a new use has been found for Fenugreek, seems adults can use it for weight management! (Like formula it slows the rate of gastric emptying.) Here’s an interesting statistic – apparently the air in a typical American home contains 135 more toxins than those found in breast milk. And just a reminder – the H1N1 vaccine can’t be given to infants less than 6 months old, which is just one more reason to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months.

Meanwhile Ghana is proud to have one of the best rates for exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months in Africa, but apparently after that mothers are feeding their babies substandard food so childhood malnutrition is still a problem. What’s interesting is that the problem is not linked to poverty – it seems that children in rural poverty stricken areas are doing better than others, mainly because of their access to traditional local foods.

Come January 1st, 2011, New York residents can expect to chose a hospital based on a new “Maternity Information Leaflet (MIL) that hospitals will provide to all new mothers. New required information includes the percent of infants breastfed at the hospital, the percent of infants exclusively breastfed, and the number of instances in which breast milk is supplemented with formula.” This is a direct result of new changes in the CDC’s mPINC survey. (I’m honestly not sure if every hospital in the US will have to distribute a similar leaflet – does anyone know for sure?)

Last week there was an interesting split on the question of whether or not we should stop talking about the benefits of breast milk and talk more about bonding instead. 32% said we still have to convince the medical community while another 32% said we should cautiously start talking more about bonding. (See https://thecuriouslactivist.wordpress.com/todays-poll/ for the results.) While you’re there answer this week’s question “Should corporations like Starbucks be required by the law to offer the same lactation benefits to all their employees?” The crux of this question is whether or not law makers should take a stand on the issue. Personally, after my experience testifying at the State House I get nervous when lawyers get involved, but I would like to hear what you think.

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

Using Organic Breast Milk
What are the pros and cons of feeding babies formula versus breast milk? And if I purchase formula, should I spend the extra money on the organic variety?
One concern with breast feeding is that toxins present in mom’s bloodstream can make their way into baby. But a 2007 study by Ohio State and Johns Hopkins University researchers found that levels of chemicals in breast milk were far below U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maximum acceptable levels for even drinking water, and that indoor air in typical American homes contains as much as 135 times as many contaminants as mother’s milk. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control maintains that the benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh any chemical exposure risks. “To date, effects on the nursing infant have been seen only where the mother herself was clinically ill from a toxic exposure,” reports the agency.

Health authorities’ quiz highlights Breastfeeding Week (Jamacia)
IN TRUE Schools’ Challenge Quiz style, health workers faced each other in the National Breastfeeding Competition, which marked the peak of National Breastfeeding Week activities.
The competition this year featured health workers from across the island, who answered questions concerning breastfeeding. In one semi-final match, the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) squared off against the Western Regional Health Authority in a tightly contested competition. SRHA ended close 36-35 victors. In the other semi-final, the North East Regional Health Authority lost 32-34 to the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA).
Ding-dong battle
In a dazzling final match, which showcased the speed and awareness of the participants about the various health issues surrounding breastfeeding, a fierce battle took place between the SERHA and the SRHA . The final was played at the Ministry of Health. The first segment of the competition, ended 10-10. However, the SERHA squeezed by its opponents, earning a two-point lead by the end of the second segment. In the third and final segment, the SRHA extended its lead, ending 34-28 winners. Though the competition proved exciting, it was about much more than scoring points, as the Ministry of Health has plans to take the message of ‘breast is best’ throughout the island.

Welcome to the Breastfeeding Residency Curriculum
The American Academy of Pediatrics developed this Breastfeeding Residency Curriculum to help residents develop confidence and skills in breastfeeding care.
Time to Complete the Curriculum
The curriculum is flexible. It can be implemented over 1 rotation, 1 year, or during the entire length of residency. Go to the Implementation Strategies page for examples of how some residency programs have implemented the curriculum.
Activities and Evaluation
The curriculum allows you to make choices. Whether you implement 1 activity or 20, you are helping residents to develop confidence and skills to help breastfeeding infants and mothers. The Essential Activities are the activities that you should strive to complete with every resident. The Additional Activities are provided to give more options if time allows. It is strongly urged that you evaluate residents on these activities. Evaluation will help the residents know how they are doing and will help you keep track of their progress. The evaluation tools are effective in evaluating the residents as well as the breastfeeding residency curriculum as a whole. Here are some examples of the tools included.

Corrie’s Maria sparks breastfeeding row
Coronation Street producers have been criticised by the Royal College of Midwives over scenes involving the soap’s new mum Maria Connor.
Macdonald also slammed the ITV1 drama’s portrayal of breastfeeding. Earlier this year, viewers saw Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls) advising Maria to start using bottles after she experienced problems with feeding her child naturally
The RCM manager commented: “The representation of bottle-feeding as the way to feed an infant in a family programme such as Coronation Street contributes to normalising bottle-feeding in our society.”
A producer for the programme responded to the concerns by claiming that Coronation Street cannot always match the requirements of “accuracy and interested bodies”.
The representative added: “We do not want Coronation Street, which is a character-led drama serial, falling into the genre of drama-documentary. Notwithstanding, we have of course taken your comments on board over the issue of breastfeeding and it may well become the nub of a story on some future occasion.”

Labor and Delivery, Starring Betty Draper
The Emmy-winning AMC hit “Mad Men” (featured today on “Oprah”) is well regarded for its story lines that remain loyal and true to the clothing, trends, current events, and social attitudes of the early 1960s. It’s the scenes displaying primordial parenting skills that cause many viewers to wince: Kids without seatbelts climbing in the front seat, playing with dry cleaner bags, little Sally sneaking sips of Daddy’s martini, and all that second-hand smoke.
A recent episode centered around the birth of Betty and Don Draper’s third child, which was a painful reminder of the birthing process (and lack of comfort) during that time. When Betty was wheeled into the labor room, a burly nurse abruptly stops Daddy Don and sternly tells him “Your job is done” (as if it ended at conception) and banished him to the “father’s lounge,” where he meets another dad-to-be with whom he shares a bottle of scotch whiskey. The first-time dad is kept in the dark about his wife’s progress until a graduate from the Ratchet School of Nursing nonchalantly informs him that he has a son, he was breech, and his wife, who had a transfusion, “is recovering, as she lost a lot of blood.”
In the next scene, Betty is informed that her regular doctor is unavailable, and to deal with her delivery. When asked if she’ll be “giving the baby the breast,” she quickly snaps “NO!” as if it was beneath her. Mind you, at this time in our past, many believed that breastfeeding was for the lower-income families that couldn’t afford formula.
Betty is eventually knocked out in a Demerol-induced “twilight sleep,” hallucinates, and wakes up with a baby in her arms.
Do you think husbands should return to the waiting room? Do they have a place in the labor room? Have we lost intimacy by revealing, uh, a little too much?

Read more: http://www.momlogic.com/2009/09/labor_and_delivery_starring_be.php#ixzz0S2q20QJ4

Being a Breastfeeding Dad
Author’s note: This piece of humorous truth was written in response to a disturbing statistic: The number-one factor in a woman’s decision to nurse her child is her partner’s attitude.
Now, we all understand the primary job of your babaloos, I mean, that is, your wife’s babaloos. Yes, God put those fabulous twins on earth entirely for your pleasure. Period. But God also gave them a stint of hard labor as punishment for all the naughtiness they have performed. It’s called breastfeeding. And during this time of hard labor, you will be the holder of the keys — the jail guard, if you will. You are about to oversee the work camp of a breastfeeding mother. And, lemme tell ya guys, this gig is not for the faint of heart.
Have you ever sat in a pediatrician’s office, dude? I mean really sat in that petri dish of a waiting room, where snot reigns supreme and the Muzak is obliterated by the screams of infected infants? Eye infections. Allergies. Green vomit. It’s all there, man. Well, you won’t be there much. Your kid will have the immune-boosting benefit of white blood cells that get manufactured on demand, on site, at the first sign of your baby’s sniffle. The technology is right there in your girl’s cantaloupes. For real. Who knew?
Breastfeeding boot camp often — though not always — lowers estrogen levels enough to impact a woman’s sex drive. Oh, and there’s one other problem. That dudette is so damn drained that when you get home from work, she’ll most likely want to hand you a stinky bundle and take a long nap. It’s all part of the game. You’re on the team and she’s just handed you the ball. Run with it. And pray she stocked the freezer with plenty of pumped supplies. How long will she behave like a sexual anorexic? Well, as long as it takes. And if the going gets really rough, buy her a steak, some new shoes, and remind her about the corkscrew motion.
Remind her politely. Because breastfeeding mamas may have the cha-chas of La Madonna, but they also have the heart of a mother bear. Tread carefully, brother. This is a woman wired to protect her little miracle above all. This is not the time to argue over the bills, the laundry, or the room service. She’s focused on winning the game. She needs a trainer, a coach, a team physical therapist, and a paycheck.
Breast-feeding a burden for Shanghai working moms

Qian, 31, is one of a growing number of mothers in China who have thrown out their supermarket baby formula, and rely on breast milk to keep their baby healthy.
The number of women who do this has grown especially after last year’s tainted milk scandal that sickened 300,000 infants
Despite the positive benefits of breast-feeding, the number of mothers who breast-feed in China fell from 76 percent in 1998 to 64 percent in 2002, according the United Nations Children’s Fund
Some mothers in Hangzhou, Zhengjiang Province, are using a delivery service that promises to collect and drop off milk within two hours, according to a report by China News Service.
While it is common for Chinese people to stress the family bond, the public shows little sympathy for breast-feeding mothers.
Only a few companies reportedly provide mothers a room they can use discreetly to pump milk ,so many end up doing the task in public
According to Regulations Concerning the Labor Protection of Female Staff and Workers issued by the State Council, working mothers with babies under 1 year, are entitled to two feeding breaks daily, each one lasting 30 minutes.
But most mothers are unaware of this policy. However, those who know their rights are reluctant to demand time off to pump milk.
Ge Yingmin, director of women’s rights department of Women’s Association of Shanghai, told the Shanghai Morning Post that if a mother has difficulties arranging nursing she could apply for feeding holiday.
“But if the mother and baby are both healthy, it’s OK for the company to turn down the application,”she said.

Multinationals break Vietnam law in formula sales
The number of Vietnamese mothers who exclusively breast-feed in the first six months — the most crucial period — stands at just 17 percent, less than half what it was a decade ago, according to UNICEF. Meanwhile, formula sales in Vietnam jumped 39 percent in 2008, according to a study by Nielsen, a market research firm. Another survey found that the industry spent more than $10 million on advertising last year, placing it among Vietnam’s top five advertisers.
Multinational companies in Vietnam sell baby formula so aggressively that they routinely stretch and sometimes break laws designed to promote breastfeeding
the Vietnamese government adopted an ambitious target: a 50 percent exclusive breast-feeding rate by 2015. Health Ministry officials also announced they had uncovered dozens of violations of formula labeling rules.
But only one fine was levied — for less than $200.
Among the most serious violations that sources described separately to the AP were commissions paid to doctors to sell formula.
“We got a small commission for each can,” she said
Vietnam’s law prohibits advertising formula products for children under age one — a weakened version of an earlier law that set the age limit at 2.
But Nguyen Thi Minh, 29, a Hanoi paralegal, said she was approached by a Mead Johnson salesman at a Hanoi maternity clinic shortly before giving birth.
“I chose Mead Johnson’s EnfaGrow because the advertisements said it boosts your child’s IQ and makes them taller,” Minh said.
Nursery schools across Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are adorned with the logos of Mead Johnson and U.S.-based Abbott, which have provided benches, playground equipment and other gifts. Companies routinely suggest that children will be smarter and stronger if they drink formula, claims widely rejected by independent health professionals.
Salesmen also often invite women to “child nutrition seminars” at 5-star hotels. About 600 mothers packed a recent Abbott seminar co-sponsored by the Vietnam Nutrition Association, which receives heavy funding from formula companies. They listened to a talk called “Awakening Your Child’s Intelligence Potential” and watched a video of a girl learning to talk at 6 months and read at 14 months.
Doctors often appear at these seminars. The ties between the companies and the medical community are very close, said Olive, the WHO representative. Shortly after he arrived in Vietnam, Olive was invited to speak at a pediatrics association meeting and found a formula logo hanging behind the podium.
“I turned it around before speaking,” he said

Nothing fishy about this
Developing infants cannot efficiently produce their own DHA and must obtain this vital nutrient through the placenta during pregnancy and from breast milk after birth.
Breast milk DHA versus fish oil DHA
Fish oil is derived from the tissues of oily fish and it contains both DHA and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). However, ordinary fish oil supplements contain fairly large amounts of EPA and moderate amounts of DHA. In adults, both are digested and absorbed. However, in infants and foetuses, EPA might compete with DHA for a place in the nerve cell membranes and this may be detrimental to the developing brain, eye, and nervous system. In human breast milk, the amount of DHA is four times higher than the amount of EPA – Mother Nature knows best!

Ghana makes giant strides in promoting exclusive breastfeeding
Ghana is rated among the best breastfeeding countries in sub-Saharan Africa but expressed worry that the feat was being marred by high rates of malnutrition among children under five years due to improper feeding
Mrs Agyapong noted that after six months of exclusively breastfeeding some mothers failed to give nutritional foods to their children and stressed that the local dishes had all the rich sources of nutrients that would facilitate the healthy growth of children.
She said the problem of malnutrition could not be attributed to poverty because some mothers from very poor communities had well nourished children and they revealed that they gave them local foods such as nuts, green leaves, fruits and fish during their weaning from exclusive breastfeeding.

Fenugreek extract may boost satiety, aid weight management
“animal studies have suggested a slowing in the rate of gastric emptying, meaning the stomach stays fuller for longer.”

Is formula with DHA and ARA better than breastmilk?
A new study this week concluded that formula fortified with fatty acids DHA and ARA (also known as Omega 3s and 6s) is better for babies’ brain development than unfortified formula.
The study looked at how 202 nine-month-olds dealt with a cognitive test involving a rattle and found that babies that had been given formula fortified with DHA and ARA did better on the tests than those given regular formula. According to this LA Times blog post on the subject:
Among babies who drank formula from Day One, the proportion that successfully completed all three tests was 51% in the DHA/ARA group and 29% in the control group. Among babies who were weaned at six weeks, the results were 46% for the DHA/ARA group and 13% for controls.
The study did not compare breastmilk to to the fortified formula. And most experts I’ve seen quoted still agree that breastmilk is still the healthiest option for babies overall. But that hasn’t stopped some breastfeeding advocates from complaining that this latest study is just another marketing ploy by formula makers to get mothers to give up breastfeeding…
But as long as some women feed their babies formula — whether by choice or because they can’t breastfeed — shouldn’t we applaud any effort that makes formula safer and healthier (ie. more like breastmilk)?
Surely we shouldn’t prevent advances in formula simply to encourage breastfeeding. After all, if our main goal is encouraging breastfeeding at any cost, maybe we should go beyond banning supplements and instead force formula makers to put added toxins and carcinogens in their product to make it even less appealing.
Think about it: In what other context would we be against making an inferior product more healthy and more safe? Take motorcycles, for example. It’s well-documented that motorcycles are far more dangerous to drive than cars (28 times more deadly to be precise). But we still try to design safer helmets and pass helmet laws to make the practice as safe as we can.
No doubt there is a line somewhere — something that is so clearly harmful that we, as a society, would decide reducing its harms would just encourage too many people to do it.
But I’d argue that line is way, way, way past mothers giving their baby infant formula. Heck, here in Vancouver we’ve even been experimenting with giving people free heroin.
Indeed, I think the most shocking story to come out this week about DHA and infant formula is not this latest study, but a story by Canwest’s excellent consumer reporter Sarah Schmidt that Health Canada allows formula makers to make claims about the benefits of DHA on their label even if they have only trace amounts of it in their product.
According to Schmidt’s story, even though most studies have found you need to have at least 0.3% DHA in your product to make a difference, some formula makers make claims about being “DHA fortified” with less than 0.1% DHA content!

Maternity Leaflet Must Include Additional Reporting Next Year
The Department of Health (DOH), beginning in 2010, will require maternity hospitals to include new information in the Maternity Information Leaflet (MIL) that hospitals provide to all new mothers. New required information includes the percent of infants breastfed at the hospital, the percent of infants exclusively breastfed, and the number of instances in which breast milk is supplemented with formula. The new reporting measures are part of a broader initiative launched recently by DOH to promote and to highlight the importance of breastfeeding among new and expectant mothers.
Hospital administrators received a letter in late August indicating that DOH would begin sharing with each hospital its most recent available data on hospital-specific breastfeeding practices. The data are collected in the DOH birth certificate supplement and the New York City birth certificate medical report. Hospitals will have an opportunity to review and evaluate the data before they are added to the MIL.
Information on infants cared for in a neonatal intensive care unit will not be included in the data.
Hospitals outside of New York City will be required to include their performance on these measures in the MIL beginning May 1, 2010; New York City hospitals will be expected to begin reporting on their performance on January 1, 2011.
DOH will also review maternity hospital policies and practices related to promoting and supporting breastfeeding. DOH plans to use that information to develop training and technical assistance for providers to further encourage and support breastfeeding-friendly policies.
Commissioner of Health Richard

Q Doc, my wife has just given birth and we have a fine son. A female relative has told her we need not use any birth control for the next year because she is breastfeeding, which gives her special protection against pregnancy.
I am not so sure. Is this safe?
A This way of preventing unwanted pregnancy is called ‘the lactational method’, or the ‘lactational amenorrhoea method’. The word ‘amenorrhoea’ means ‘absence of menses’.
The method is based on a discovery in Africa years ago, when it was found that women who breastfed intensively were unlikely to conceive.
Does it work? Well, earlier this month a very good research paper on contraception was published. It originated from the University of the West Indies’ St Augustine campus in Trinidad and from a university in Belgium.
The conclusion of the authors was that the lactational method generally works, because suckling (feeding) a baby suppresses egg release and also prevents the periods from returning for a while. However, the researchers say that for the method to work three conditions must be fulfilled:
The baby must be nearly exclusively breastfed (i.e., no bottles) on demand, day and night.
The mother must have had no periods since the delivery.
The method must not be used for longer than six months.
If your wife thinks she really can breastfeed as intensely as that, the method will probably work.
Please bear in mind there are alternatives. For instance, your wife could simply go on the mini-Pill (progestogen-only Pill) while she is breastfeeding.

Surviving H1N1 — with baby in belly
Is it safe to get vaccinated while breastfeeding? Should my newborn also be vaccinated?
According to the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices, the H1N1 vaccine will be recommended for children ages six months and older. Newborns and infants younger than 6 months cannot receive the vaccine.
Health officials say breastfeeding is one way a mother might be able to help protect her baby. “The vaccine is safe if she breastfeeds, and she may even pass along some immunity to her infant,” says Tepper of the CDC. “It will also reduce the chance that [the mom] will get the flu and pass it to her infant.”

Low breast feeding numbers “pathetic,” say doctors
In a meeting last month at the Centers for Disease Control
, officials said they plan to issue a “Call to Action” to address the surprisingly low numbers of women who breast feed, calling it “an urgent public health priority.”

According to CDC statistics, almost 74 percent of women in 2005 breast-fed in the days right after birth. But just 12.3 percent of those women exclusively breast fed for the first six months of life.

“We have come a long way in helping moms start, but those are still pathetic numbers,” said Dr. Sheela Geraghty, of the Center for Breastfeeding Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

On the Job, Nursing Mothers Find a 2-Class System
When a new mother returns to Starbucks’ corporate headquarters in Seattle after maternity leave, she learns what is behind the doors mysteriously marked “Lactation Room.”
Whenever she likes, she can slip away from her desk and behind those doors, sit in a plush recliner and behind curtains, and leaf through InStyle magazine as she holds a company-supplied pump to her chest, depositing her breast milk in bottles to be toted home later.
But if the mothers who staff the chain’s counters want to do the same, they must barricade themselves in small restrooms intended for customers, counting the minutes left in their breaks.
But as pressure to breast-feed increases, a two-class system is emerging for working mothers. For those with autonomy in their jobs — generally, well-paid professionals — breast-feeding, and the pumping it requires, is a matter of choice. It is usually an inconvenience, and it may be an embarrassing comedy of manners, involving leaky bottles tucked into briefcases and brown paper bags in the office refrigerator. But for lower-income mothers — including many who work in restaurants, factories, call centers and the military — pumping at work is close to impossible, causing many women to decline to breast-feed at all, and others to quit after a short time.
Twelve states have passed laws protecting pumping mothers — Oklahoma’s law, the newest, will take effect in November. But like Oklahoma’s, which merely states that an employer “may provide reasonable break time” and “may make a reasonable effort” to provide privacy, most are merely symbolic.
According to the nonprofit Families and Work Institute, a third of large corporations have lactation rooms.
Even without these perks, professional women can usually afford a few months of maternity leave during which to breast-feed. When they return, they can generally find an office for the two or three 20-minute sessions per workday typically necessary. Even bathrooms — the pumping spots of last resort — are more inviting at an accounting firm than in a fast-food restaurant.
Because of this and similar efforts, 73 percent of mothers now breast-feed their newborns, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But after six months, the number falls to 53 percent of college graduates, and 29 percent of mothers whose formal education ended with high school. In a study of Oklahoma mothers who declined to breast-feed, nearly a third named work as the primary reason. Others, like Ms. Moore of Starbucks, find the early days of breast-feeding frustrating, and their impending return to work means they have little incentive to continue.
“Sometimes my co-workers will sneak in two or three smoking breaks” before she can steal away to pump, said Laura Kruger Rowe, who works at a Starbucks in Rochester.
As at Starbucks, the gap between working mothers can play out within a single organization. At many law firms, lawyers can pump in their offices, while secretaries use bathroom stalls; in the Army, which also has no policy on the matter, officers are less likely to encounter problems than enlisted soldiers, who have less autonomy and a more complex chain of command.
Shortly after Marlene Warfield, a dental hygienist in Tacoma, Wash., began pumping on the job, she said her boss wore a Halloween costume consisting of a large silver box — his interpretation of a pump, perhaps — with a cutout labeled “insert breast here.” When he instructed Ms. Warfield to leave her pump at home, she said, she quit her job— and consulted the local human rights commission, which found nothing illegal about the dentist’s actions.
Dr. Philipp recalled a small furor about whether Jane Swift, the former governor of Massachusetts who gave birth to twins, would breast-feed after returning to work.
“That’s a great thing to do, but she had her own office and could set her own schedule,” Dr. Philipp said. “The one I want to know about is the lady cleaning her office.”

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Breastfeeding in the News

September 10th – September 15th, 2009
Hello All,
My goodness, I came across some interesting stories this week. For the first time a woman pumped her breasts on live TV (and she was a doctor!). And while we are on the subject of pumps Hygeia has a new pump that lets mothers record their baby’s cry to make it easier for them to let down when pumping. So this is where technology has led us, not only are mothers expected to separate from their babies, they will actually be expected to listen to their baby cry while they sit at their desk. How cruel is that? Can we talk again about the need for a long term maternity leave?

A woman on the police force in Australia “was forced to work overtime for every minute she spent expressing breast milk for her child.” What kind of horrible boss would make a mother do such a thing? A female boss of course, one who was herself “the victim of a male-dominated culture” and was “over compensating to fit into a blokey culture”. (But there is some good news from Australia. The Liberal Party is now supporting legislation protecting breastfeeding mothers.) Meanwhile a college student here in the US who was asked to do her pumping in a men’s room wonders why “the school can accommodate someone with learning disabilities but can’t accommodate me for 15 minutes.”

I also came across some interesting numbers this week. Apparently more people are interested in the issue of breastfeeding in public than in Obama’s effort to secure national healthcare. In NewHampshire the story of a woman who was asked to cover up while nursing in an ice cream store received 290 comments, while a story on Obama’s health care plan only drew a measly 114 comments. In Canada a new study revealed that “among the top concerns for expectant moms, feeding the baby ranked at 20 per cent; labour and delivery at 80 per cent; life after the baby at 77 per cent, and sleepless nights at 56 per cent.” Even more disturbing, ”only 24 per cent of moms are concerned about how they will feed the new baby”. And despite all the marketing by the big formula companies “38 per cent of moms thought all formulas were basically the same.” And here we thought that those mighty marketing experts in the formula companies really knew what they were doing. If 62% of mothers can’t distinguish one formula brand from another than it’s no wonder they prefer to compare themselves to breast milk.

Speaking of formula, ABC reported that because of a new study showing that the adding DHA to formula makes babies smarter experts fear “that the study may be the first test toward marketing a replacement for breast milk.” Okay, okay, after you finish groaning let me point out that even though we’ve all been warning people about formula marketing practices for years, this is the first article from a big time news source that I’ve seen which has pointed the finger of truth at formula advertisers. The story even includes a comment from Hannah Rosen (well known for her Atlantic article questioning the pro-breastfeeding evidence) who says “advocates would need to emphasize other parts of breast-feeding, such as spending time and cuddling with the infant, if they want to discourage choosing formula over breast milk”. “The formula companies can never say it’s just like breast-feeding,”

In other news WIC is no longer giving out “just in case” samples of formula to exclusively breastfeeding moms. And making a come back in tennis 26 year old Kim Clijsters just scored a grand slam after stopping her career to start a family. She was still breastfeeding when she was invited back to Wimbledon.

As interesting as all these stories are, my favorite part of doing this is stumbling across the occasional beautiful piece, the story worth reading because it is so incredibly well written. This week there were two stories that I recommend reading in their entirety (just click on the links for the full story). I simply loved this line from “Still Got Milk?” as she described her experience with post partum depression, “Her strong suck seemed to pull the sadness out of my veins.” What a memorable image! The other story I loved was sent to me by a reader. “Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Kahn” is an amazing reminder of how much our attitudes are shaped by our particular culture. Imagine a world where mothers breastfeeding in public get a constant thumbs up, wrestlers boast that their strength comes from years of breastfeeding, and adults drink breast milk not just because it has medicinal properties but merely because it tastes so sweet!

I want to especially thank of all you who went to my blog and took my poll (I especially liked Nancy Terres insightful comments. Thank you, Nancy!). In answer to the question “Do you think that men are more supportive of breastfeeding than women?” 87% of those who answered said “Some men are supportive, others are just clueless.” 13% said “Absolutely! We women are our own worst enemies.” No one said, “Men just don’t get it the way women do.”Do you think that more men are supportive of breastfeeding than women?”

This week’s poll question is “Is it time to stop talking about the superiority of breast milk? Breastfeeding is supposed to be about a mother and child being together.” To place your vote visit: https://thecuriouslactivist.wordpress.com/todays-poll/
Kathy Abbott, IBCLC
On Facebook: “Breastfeeding in the News”
My Blog: http://TheCuriousLactivist.wordpress.com/

The Liberal Party has bowed to pressure and will support a bill aimed at protecting breastfeeding mothers from discrimination.
The Attorney-General last week told Parliament the government would not support the Opposition’s private members bill because the protection for women was already enshrined in law.
However, after an emotional debate the government backed down and adjourned the matter so it could be discussed in the Liberal Party room today.
The Minister for Womens Interests Robyn McSweeney has told a rally of about 40 breastfeeding mothers outside State Parliament that the bill now has the government’s support.
“What we will also do is work with the hospitality industry to make them aware, to raise awareness amongst staff,” she said.

WIC gets healthy, finally
After 30 years of serving the usual fare, WIC food packages are finally getting their own version of health care reform. Starting October 1, the new menu for the USDA’s Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program will introduce whole grains, low-fat dairy, infant foods, and finally, fruits and vegetables
While WIC has always been a major promoter of breastfeeding, the new food packages will make it tough to say no. To help establish her milk supply, WIC will no longer provide mom with “just in case” cans of formula during Month One; she must choose either exclusively breastfeeding or formula feeding. The mom who chooses to exclusively breastfeed will then receive the most food dollars — $62 a month for herself for a full year, and $38 a month for her infant. Starting in Month Two, moms who choose “mostly breastfeeding ” will receive $49 a month, her infant will get $21 a month. Those who choose the formula package will get $38 a month for mom (but for only 6 months), and $21 for infants. The choice seems obvious — especially when WIC throws in free breast pumps, education classes, and peer counselors.
The WIC changes have the potential to make huge health strides, but moms will have to take advantage of the opportunity.
According to the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, only a paltry 297 moms were classified as “exclusive breastfeeders” last month. It’s about time for change.


Still got milk?

There were certain things I thought I’d never do when I became a mother. I wouldn’t yell at my children, share my marital bed or nurse through toddler-hood. As my husband said with authority when we first discussed breastfeeding: “If you can ask for it, then you’re too old for it.”
Never say never when it comes to parenting. Fast-forward four years, and I’m still nursing my 2-year-old. She’s evolved out of her sweet baby-word for milk (“Nigh-nigh?”) into a precise verbal demand: “Me want some bubbies, Mommy. Right now.” Even in liberal Vermont, where lactation activism is a thriving movement, I worry what others will think.
For me, nursing made every challenge worthwhile. It was also the only thing in the continuum of pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum that had come easily. While pregnant, I struggled with depression and succumbed to its downward pull during the third trimester. Both my labors had been long and excruciating, complicated by mechanical difficulties that resulted in two emergency Cesareans.
Recovering in bed with a painful, puffy abdominal incision, I grieved my lost dream of natural childbirth. I imagined that other women were fulfilled and empowered by their birthing experiences. I’d envisioned a candlelit home water-birth, a fantasy derived from Ina May Gaskin’s orgasmic stories in “Spiritual Midwifery,” as well as my own sister’s birth in a wilderness cabin, by candlelight during a thunderstorm when I was 10. Weepy with postpartum hormones and exhaustion, I felt I had failed some female rite of passage.
But I cradled my baby and fed her, and she grew plump from my milk. Her strong suck seemed to pull the sadness out of my veins.

ER Doctor Demonstrates Breast Pump on Live TV with Patented New Freemie Hands-Free System
A physician inventor shows a morning television audience how they can use an electric breast pump in public with her new patented device that allows a woman to collect milk with her clothes on. The device promises to be a game changer for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace, as anchorwoman attests, “It works!”
Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) September 15, 2009 — In what may be a first, an ER Doctor demonstrated a breast pump – on herself – on live television in full view of the camera during a morning interview. And no, it wasn’t cable.
The Freemie devices connect to an electric breast pump and are held in place by a woman’s regular bra under her clothing while she collects milk
The interview with Dr. Stella Dao by local CBS morning anchor Lisa Gonzales took place on affiliated station CW31’s Good Day Sacramento, the largest morning show in central California. But the interview is unlikely to generate any complaints to the station, since Dr. Dao, the inventor of a patented new system called the Freemie, was fully clothed during the entire interview. (Watch the interview with Dr. Dao on the show’s Momtrepreneur$ feature page.) The patented features of the Freemie system make it possible for a woman to comfortably pump hands-free, with her clothes on, at her desk or workstation or some other non-private setting, if she prefers or must.
During the live television interview, Dr. Dao was giving an overview of how the system works. When she connected to the pump’s tubing, Gonzales asked, “Should I turn it on?” Dr. Dao replied, “You could!” So she did – possibly making history for both of them. The Freemie was just unveiled late this summer but has already been described as “brilliant” by medical professionals.
In preparation for the live interview, Gonzales, who has a baby at home, pumped with the Freemie system and collected milk on camera while reviewing it for the TV show’s internet audience. She enthusiastically concluded, “It works!”

Video of woman pumping on live tv

Baby Formula Study a Marketing Cover, Researchers Say
Doctors Say Breast Milk Still Tops, Despite Study Finding a Formula Raises IQ
ABC News Medical Unit
Sept. 15, 2009

A new study shows benefits in adding the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA to infant formula, but breast-feeding experts say they will still advocate a more natural source of DHA: breast milk.

A woman is shown breast-feeding her child, left, and another giving her baby a bottle with formula, in these file photos.
(Getty Images)
The study, appearing in the journal Child Development, indicates that infants receiving formula supplemented with DHA performed better on a cognitive test than infants who were given formula without it. DHA occurs naturally in breast milk.
But while doctors say the evidence may support formula containing a DHA supplement over formula without one, they are concerned that the study may be the first test toward marketing a replacement for breast milk. The formula used in the study was provided to the researchers by a manufacturing company for free.
One pediatrician notes that in her own practice, some mothers are convinced that formula with DHA can be superior to breast milk.
“The marketing has actually dissuaded mothers from choosing exclusive breast-feeding, which is preferred from all the outcomes that we understand,” said Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter, a pediatrician with Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J.
She noted that simply adding DHA — while it may top other infant formula — would not make it superior to breast milk.
“There are many other factors in human milk that also support neurocognitive development and visual acuity,” said Feldman-Winter.
And she was not alone in her skepticism for the apparent reasons behind the study.
“It is clear that the food industry fascination with nutraceuticals (strategically fortified food products) is now spreading into infant formula,” said Barbara Moore, president and CEO of Shape Up America!, in an e-mail to ABCNews.com. “This is a disturbing new development. We have parents thinking that sticking their tiny infants in front of a Baby Einstein video will improve their child’s mental development when the data suggest that parent-child interactions (and plenty of them) are the most critical factor for such development. Moore said in the e-mail. “Now parents will be encouraged to forego breast-feeding — which is optimal for both mothers and babies — in favor of a hyped up infant formula.”
Breast milk has other benefits not related to mental development, Moore said. “Breast-feeding confers protection against infection, including viral infections, and the CDC promotes breast-feeding to confer maximal protection against swine flu and other infections.”
Rosin said that after having her third child, she looked at evidence for breast-feeding and did not find it to be as strong as she would have believed. Despite the fact that she herself continues to breast-feed her third child — “I actually don’t hate it,” she told ABCNews.com, countering assumptions many reading her article had made — she has received a backlash of comments criticizing her, including some from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Action Over Substance
Rosin said the mistake breast-feeding proponents made was focusing on the substance, rather than the act.
“The formula companies tend to advertise their formulas by saying as close to breast milk as possible,” she said. “Everyone accepts that breast milk is the standard.”
Adding DHA would just be the latest attempt to supplement formula by adding a substance from breast milk.

“By turning breast milk into a magic vaccine, the breast milk people made themselves vulnerable to that,” said Rosin.
Instead, Rosin said advocates would need to emphasize other parts of breast-feeding, such as spending time and cuddling with the infant, if they want to discourage choosing formula over breast milk.
“The formula companies can never say it’s just like breast-feeding,” she said.
Formulaic Infant Food
Dr. Miriam Labbok, a professor of public health at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, expressed some skepticism with the findings.
“It might be reasonable from these industry-funded studies to consider that this would be a good additive to formula if you are forced to stop breast-feeding,” she said in an e-mail. “However, 1) none of these studies compare to continued breast-feeding, 2) you could also get these [nutrients] from other sources if you stop breast-feeding, and 3) there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other components in human milk that cannot be replaced.”
Dr. Ruth Lawrence, a neonatologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center and the American Academy of Pediatrics pokeswoman on breast-feeding, said that DHA may contribute to better formula, but that won’t replace breast milk.
“The important point is not let mothers think it’s as good as their milk,” she said
James Drover, the study’s lead author, did not respond to a request from ABC News for comment.

Clijsters rewrites grand plan by winning U.S. Open
It was not part of Kim Clijsters’s grand plan, and that made her U.S. Open victory feel surreal to the Belgian.
“I can’t believe this happened,” the 26-year-old Clijsters told reporters following her grand slam triumph Sunday after taking more than two years off to start a family.
“It still seems so surreal that in my third tournament back I won my second grand slam.
“As a woman, I came to a stage in my life, too, where I wanted to get married. We wanted to start a family, and I was glad. I feel very lucky that I got this chance to be back here now and that I made that decision, because it’s obviously been a good choice.
“Being a mother is obviously my first priority and being a wife … I’m just very lucky that I’m able to combine both and that my family supports me in doing this.”
Clijsters said tennis was the furthest thing from her mind until she got an invitation to help unveil the new retractable roof over Center Court at Wimbledon.
“There were so many things going on with the wedding, and I was pregnant, and I was breastfeeding and everything. (I) didn’t get into the whole training routine until at the start of this year when I got the invitation to Wimbledon again.”


Breast-feeding mom, Obama speech top list
EDITOR’S NOTE: A story about a mother nursing her baby inside a local ice cream shop and another based on watching President Barack Obama deliver his nationally televised back-to-school address at Nashua High School South were popular this week among our online contributors.

HEADLINE: Breast-feeding mom asked to cover up gets much support

SUMMARY: Breast-feeding advocates are rallying behind an area woman who says she was asked to cover up or leave after she began nursing her infant daughter inside a local ice cream shop. The woman contacted the La Leche League and the Hillsborough County Holistic Moms group, complaining that while she and her family were sitting at a table inside Jake’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream, a manager harassed her for breast-feeding her 2-week-old baby.

HEADLINE: Obama speech yields reflection, few complaints

Factors to consider when you can’t breastfeed
Most expectant mothers assume they will breastfeed their babies, which may explain a recent Leger poll that revealed only 24 per cent of moms are concerned about how they will feed the new baby. In fact, among the top concerns for expectant moms, feeding the baby ranked at 20 per cent; labour and delivery at 80 per cent; life after the baby at 77 per cent, and sleepless nights at 56 per cent. The national survey showed that, in Alberta, moms were more concerned about which clothes to buy for their new baby than what to feed the infant.
The Leger poll also showed 38 per cent of moms thought all formulas were basically the same –a startling discovery for many clinicians, considering all the competition and marketing methods employed by various makers of baby formulas in an era known as the information age

Research Confirms Baby’s Cries Trigger Breastmilk Letdown

Hygeia II Medical Group has found new research showing what many breastfeeding moms already know: the sound of their crying baby can trigger milk letdown. Hygeia breastpumps feature a unique “cry button” which allows the mother to record her own baby crying, and then play back the sound before pumping so she can trigger the letdown.
Mothers tell us that the pump’s ability to ‘cry’ or play back other sounds is helpful for milk letdown and efficient breastpumping.

Carlsbad, California USA (PRWEB) September 11, 2009 — Hygeia II Medical Group has found new research showing what many breastfeeding moms already know: the sound of their crying baby can trigger milk letdown. Letdown or “milk ejection reflex” is critical for transfer of the breastmilk from the breastfeeding mother to baby. Conventional thinking has postulated that the baby’s suckling leads to the letdown, but this newly discovered study shows that the crying of the baby triggers a letdown in most mothers BEFORE suckling begins.

This paper was published by McNeilly, et. al. in the British Medical Journal. It demonstrates that the initial rise in maternal oxytocin, the hormone associated with birth and breastfeeding, is caused by cues from the baby such as crying, as opposed to actual suckling. This implies that baby’s cues are critical to milk letdown, and that the use of a crying stimulus may enhance breast pumping.
Hygeia breastpumps feature a “cry button” which allows the mother to record her own baby crying, and then play back the sound before pumping so she can trigger the letdown. This pump feature is called “C.A.R.E”., an acronym for Customized Audio Recording Experience.
Other pump companies have attempted to elicit milk letdown after pumping begins. Only Hygeia offers mothers a way to stimulate the milk letdown with auditory cues like crying before pumping begins. Hygeia CEO, John Estill says, “Mothers tell us that the pump’s ability to ‘cry’ or play back other sounds is helpful for milk letdown and efficient breastpumping.”
The study by McNeilly, along with other supporting documents, is available as free downloads on the website. http://www.hygeiababy.com/support.php

Healthy living and breastfeeding reduce cancer risk
Scientists have found eating healthily, drinking less alcohol, being active and breastfeeding their children reduces the risk of breast cancer for women.

Working mother’s breastfeeding ordeal
A WOMAN employed by the New South Wales Police Force was forced to work overtime for every minute she spent expressing breastmilk for her child.

The police intelligence analyst, who can only be identified as Sarah for security reasons, was also banned from using morning and afternoon tea breaks because they were “discretionary” and she was denied the use of accumulated leave.

Complaint documents obtained by The Daily Telegraph claim Sarah’s repeated requests for hours that suited her childcare needs were rejected and she had to record the time spent expressing milk at work on her timesheet.

NSW Police Boss Involved in Breastfeeding Ban is a Woman
The New South Wales Police boss, who forced a breastfeeding
mum to work overtime for every minute she spent expressing milk, has been reported to be a woman.

The revelation came as Women’s Minister Verity Firth told all public service agencies to review practices to ensure they were providing support to breastfeeding mums.

The female sergeant told her civilian employee that she was not entitled to paid breaks, and denied her access to a private room, all in violation of an official State Government policy that is ignored throughout almost all of the public service.

However, it is suspected that the woman officer may have been overcompensating to fit into a blokey culture, with experts likening aggressive women in uniform to “religious converts”.

Feminist Eva Cox said the sergeant herself was probably the victim of a male-dominated culture, suggesting that she was trying so hard to fit in that she was tougher on women than her male colleagues.

“The women who get up through the system are the women who are really supportive of the system – they’re like religious converts,” the Daily Telegraph quoted Cox as saying.
“They’re scared to behave in any way soft or feminine and it makes them harder on other women than blokes,” she stated.

However, NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Jenkins said that both genders were always treated equally in the Force.

“Police who rise up through the ranks of the NSW Police Force do so because they are the best people for the job. Gender is irrelevant,” he said.

NSW Police is now developing a new breastfeeding policy, and is taking steps to address the employee’s complaints – including a request that all the overtime she worked be reinstated.

The Public Service
Association has lodged an action in the IRC seeking to enforce the Government’s
12-year-old policy supporting new mums


Breastfeeding proves difficult for CSUF mothers
The first day of school for Sirena Ramirez proved to be filled with long hours and pain as she struggled to find a designated area at Cal State Fullerton to utilize her breast pump.
Ramirez, 28, a senior at CSUF and a public administration major, is the mother of an eight-month-old son, and she spends eight hours a day on campus. She was quick to find out that pumping her breast milk while on campus would be a more difficult task than she had anticipated. Ramirez called the Disabled Student’s Center and the Health Center inquiring if there were any facilities on campus that they knew of where she could use her pump. With no luck, she was directed to the Children’s Center.
Although the Children’s Center accommodates breast-feeding mothers with a room with rocking chairs, there are no proper outlets available for the breast pump. However, Ramirez was offered to use the men’s restroom inside the center where there is no proper place for her to sit, and where there may or may not have been a proper lock for privacy.
“What was I supposed to do,” said Ramirez, “Sit in the stall and pump the milk?”
She was also offered a source of ‘privacy’ by putting a chair in front of the restroom door.
“It was a little bit discouraging,” said Ramirez, “I was kind of upset because the school can accommodate someone with learning disabilities but can’t accommodate me for 15 minutes.”
After being given the run-around on the telephone, Ramirez reached out to her former professor, Pamela Fiber-Ostrow, who is the assistant professor for political science, for help. Fiber-Ostrow, who has a 17-month-old son herself, understood the physical pain Ramirez was experiencing, so she took sympathy on the student’s situation.
“I just want to be able to go and ask a question and be sent to the right place,” said Ramirez.
Fiber-Ostrow offered Ramirez her office as a private and safe space, but with conflicting schedules, she instead looked into the Women’s Center on campus. When that didn’t work, Fiber-Ostrow reached out to other faculty mothers who lent leads on other avenues of help for Ramirez.
“I think … as new moms who breastfed, we have a better understanding of the physical pain of not being able to express milk and needing to pump,” said Fiber-Ostrow.
The problem was addressed within 24 hours once Ramirez got in contact with the Dean of Students, Kandy Mink Salas, Fiber-Ostrow said.
“I think there needs to be a more permanent and generally available option for students,” Fiber-Ostrow said.
A more general and permanent option would be helpful since Ramirez hasn’t been the only student-mother on campus that inquired about this matter. Fiber-Ostrow isn’t the only faculty member that believes there should be a solution in this matter for the students either.
Betsy Gibbs, the director of the Children’s Center, said, “I really see this as something the students, faculty and staff should work on to find a solution.”
Gibbs added that she believes that faculty members should lobby for the notion as well since the matter affects them just as much, if not more, than students.
In regards to the importance of benefiting the students of CSUF, Salas was able to step in and quickly find a private office on campus for Ramirez.
“(If there is) any student that needs help and wants to facilitate their education, we will find a place to accommodate them,” said Salas.
As far as some of the established resources CSUF has, Salas and other faculty members don’t see the Health Center, in particular, as an ideal place. The brand new mothers that are breast-feeding or using the breast pump need to be exercising these processes in a more sanitary environment, and with ill students in and out of the Health Center, that could pose possible infection.
However, Salas encourages students with similar issues as Ramirez, or other unresolved complications, to reach out to her for help.

Mongolia : Breastfeeding in the land of Genghis Kahn
In Mongolia, there’s an oft-quoted saying that the best wrestlers are breastfed for at least six years – a serious endorsement in a country where wrestling is the national sport. I moved to Mongolia when my first child was four months old, and lived there until he was three.

Raising my son during those early years in a place where attitudes to breastfeeding are so dramatically different from prevailing norms in North America opened my eyes to an entirely different vision of how it all could be. Not only do Mongolians breast feed for a long time, they do so with more enthusiasm and less inhibition than nearly anyone else I’ve met. In Mongolia, breastmilk is not just for babies, it’s not only about nutrition, and it’s definitely not something you need to be discreet about. It’s the stuff Genghis Khan was made of.
When I walked through the market cradling my feeding son in my arms, vendors would make a space for me at their stalls and tell him to drink up. Instead of looking away, people would lean right in and kiss Calum on the cheek. If he popped off in response to the attention and left my streaming breast completely exposed, not a beat was missed. No one stared, no one looked away – they just laughed and wiped the milk off their noses.
But if weaning means never drinking breastmilk again, then Mongolians are never truly weaned – and here’s what surprised me most about breastfeeding in Mongolia. If a woman’s breasts are engorged and her baby is not at hand, she will simply go around and ask a family member, of any age or sex, if they’d like a drink. Often a woman will express a bowlful for her husband as a treat, or leave some in the fridge for anyone to help themselves.
While we’ve all tasted our own breastmilk, given some to our partners to try, maybe used a bit in the coffee in an emergency – haven’t we? – I don’t think many of us have actually drunk it very often. But every Mongolian I ever asked told me that he or she liked breastmilk. The value of breastmilk is so celebrated, so firmly entrenched in their culture, that it’s not considered something that’s only for babies. Breastmilk is commonly used medicinally, given to the elderly as a cure-all, and used to treat eye infections, as well as to (reportedly) make the white of the eye whiter and deepen the brown of the iris.

But mostly, I think, Mongolians drink breastmilk because they like the taste. A western friend of mine who pumped breastmilk while at work and left the bottle in the company fridge one day found it half empty. She laughed. “Only in Mongolia would I suspect my colleagues of drinking my breastmilk!”


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