Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Janurary, 2007

It's the end of January and I haven't heard back from any of the four daycares I sent letters to. Due to the fact that I have a tonne of work to do next month for the upcoming Mom, Pop and Tot Fair, this project will have to go on the backburner for now.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Early January, 2007

One of the wonderful breastfeeding moms on was planning a part-time return to work, and needed part-time care for her daughter. There are very few quality daycare centres in our city, and even fewer that accept infants. After calling the daycares to enquire about care, she was told each time that they would not accept her breastfed baby daughter. If the baby is not on formula, she will not be welcome at the daycare. The daycares' reasoning? A breastfed baby needs to be fed more often than formula fed, and the breastmilk is apparantly harder to deal with than formula. They also seemed quite concerned about the possible touching of bodily fluids.

What the hell? A daycare doesn't want to deal with bodily fluids? I would think that breast milk would be preferable to poop, pee, puke and snot, and the plethora of other liquids that child care workers have to deal with. Sorry, I don't buy it. And a breastfed baby needs to be fed more often? And it's harder to deal with than formula? For pete's sake, you are working with a child care staff, that is your JOB. Dealing with babies with allergies, constipation, reflux, colic, asthma, excema, stomach troubles, lactose intolerance, formula intolerance, colds and flus (all at higher risk from NOT breastfeeding) would be harder to deal with, in my opinion. Plus, breastmilk smells a lot nicer than formula. (Admit it, have you ever tasted formula? Yuck! Case in point: when airlines were banning all liquids, and requesting mothers to taste the formula they were bringing on the airplane for their babies, and the mothers refused? Yep. But I digress.)

Well, I'm not going to go on any longer about how I feel on this issue. Below you can read a copy of the letter I sent to all 4 daycares involved.

Here is a link to a similar issue that made headlines recently:

The Daycare Letter (January 2007)

A copy of the letter I sent to the 4 daycare centres on the south side of Edmonton who have a policy not to accept breastfed babies. (Written with help from some MBC lactivists)

To Whom it May Concern:I am writing regarding your policy to not accept breastfed babies into your daycare facility. It has been brought to my attention that children are being turned down for care because their mothers would be sending expressed milk for them to drink, as opposed to formula (artificial baby milk).I cannot think of one good reason for this policy to exist. You may have the right to discriminate against these families (I am confident that in many cities, you'd have numerous lawyers breathing down your neck), but there is simply no need for it. Expressed milk is no more difficult to handle than ready-to-feed formula, and is in fact easier to handle than powdered milk, as there is no mixing and measuring involved. I'm sure that your facility has refrigerators on site, but even if that is "too inconvenient", milk can be kept in a small cooler provided by the family, or even at room temperature for up to eight hours if it has been freshly pumped by the child's mother.Human milk is often stored in plastic bags. After time, the fats rise to the top of the bag, separating from the "skim" milk. All that needs to be done to remedy this is for the care-giver to gently swirl (not shake) the milk to redistribute the fats. Milk can be heated by running under warm water (not in a microwave, but of course, you know to never microwave formula either). Milk can then be poured into a bottle, and fed to baby, or if using a Playtex Nurser type bottle, the bag can be slipped into the holder and nipple attached. Quite easy, and takes less time than measuring the correct amount of powdered formula and shaking with warm, sterilized water.We all know that breastfed babies are exponentially more healthy than their formula-fed counterparts. In a daycare setting, healthy babies are a rare commodity indeed. One would think that your facility would be encouraging all working moms to continue to breastfeed, as it would keep the illness down in your nurseries. You are hopefully aware that the Canadian Pediatric Association recommends exclusive breastfeeding (meaning no formula supplementation or complimentary foods) for the first six months of life, and continued breastfeeding for at least a year. Additionally the American Academy of Family Practitioners and the World Heath Organization recommend at least two years of breastfeeding. Shame on you for pressuring parents into ignoring these recommendations so their child can be cared for when they return to work. I do hope that you will reconsider your stance on caring for breastfed babies: babies who are being fed the food that nature intended.

Please contact me in regards to this matter.