Sunday, July 26, 2009

Some Breastfeeding Cartoons

Aussie Teens Need Permission Slip to Watch Breastfeeding

Kids in an Australian high school were all set to watch a breastfeeding demonstration . . . until their teachers pulled the plug. It turns out the kids were supposed to get permission slips to see a woman’s boob.

Did anyone check to see if the baby had permission?

The demonstration at a Melbourne high school was apparently part of a class on the life cycle, and that included feeding of a baby. A mom from the Australian Breastfeeding Association was all ready to come into the school with her four-month-old and subject herself to what I imagine would be giggling and silly questions from a bunch of teenagers (because what else would you expect from kids’ whose parents need to sign permission slips for them to see a baby have breakfast?).

But the principal said the school wanted to be “sensitive” to the various nationalities of the students.

Except Australian laws dictate moms have a right to breastfeed. And if the kids are in Australia, attending Australian school, shouldn’t they be “doing as the Australians do?”

The sudden change smacks of sexualizing a non-sexual act, and it’s a dangerous time to do it. High school kids are at an age when they’re still developing as sexual beings. Breasts, particularly, are a big focus for both boys and girls. It never hurts to remind them that they have a function . . . and get them prepared for one day when that function will be good for their kids.

I’ve noticed fewer teen mothers seem to breastfeed than older moms, and although I can recognize how hard it is (and was for me), I’d be curious to see how different the reasons teens have for opting out might be from older moms. Might it be because they still find breasts as sexual instead of functional? Anecdotally, I’ve watched each episode of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant, and just one mom - who I interviewed for Babble a few weeks ago - breastfed on camera during any of the episodes. She was also the only teen mom to use bottles which contained a liner commonly used by breastmilk pumping mothers.

Do you think the school should have to get parental permission for teens to see something they could see on any beach, park bench or restaurant?

Image: EcoStreet

Saturday, July 25, 2009

IKEA Sends Mother and Infant to bathroom to Breastfeed

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

She posted to a local listserv:

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

Breastfeeding Mothers Pose for Provocative Calendar

The women struck a variety of provocative poses to prove that new mothers could still be "young, trendy and sexy" and that breast feeding was healthy and nothing to be ashamed of.

One photograph shows a half-naked couple embracing with their newborn baby at the breast.

Another features a pregnant woman breastfeeding her four-year-old daughter after a bath.

And one shows a pretty brunette in a revealing bra putting on make-up while breastfeeding her son.

Rosie Evans, 28, organised the calendar in aid of the Warwickshire-based support group Rugby Breastfeeding Cafe, which offers advice and support for new mothers.

The social worker and counsellor said she wanted to break the taboo surrounding breastfeeding, and show new mums that they could still feel attractive.

She said: "We wanted to challenge views people might have about breastfeeding.

"It can get a very bad press and some women feel like they shouldn't breastfeed in public.

"But breast milk is liquid gold and there is nothing wrong with doing so. I hope this calendar shows how empowering it can be and tell people about it.

"It shows that you can be young, trendy and sexy and still be a breastfeeding mum.

"It also shows that mums can enjoy breastfeeding, that mums can breastfeed for as long as they and their children like.

"That's why the women in some of the pictures feel sexy about it."

Rosie – Miss August in the calendar – is pictured breastfeeding her two-year-old daughter Amelie while sitting at her kitchen table with husband Richard, 35.

Another black-and-white shot shows mum-of-three Emma Neat, 29, breastfeeding her 15-month-old son Josiah as she applies make-up before a night out.

Rosie said: "Emma opted for a more glam picture which depicts her getting ready for an evening out, whilst breastfeeding Josiah.

"She chose to look more sexy if you like and that was up to her. Breastfeeding is a sensual experience and this comes out in the pictures."

One of the more controversial pictures shows mother-of-three Leanne Thandy, 38, breastfeeding her four-year-old daughter Grace while she is pregnant with her fourth child.

But Leanne, from Coventry, West Mids., said: "I wanted to show how Grace and I enjoy our after the bath breastfeed.

"Each day, this is our special quiet time together."

Another shot shows mum-of-one Sally Holden, 35, breastfeeding her three-year-old daughter Hettie in a posh café in Rugby, Warks.

She said: "I felt I wanted to be pictured in public feeding Hettie, because this is something which is a regular and normal part of my day."

Another shows Tracy, 32, and Shaun, 34, cuddling each other while one-year-old daughter Teylar breastfeeds.

Tracy, from Coventry, West Mids., said: "The calendar is a great idea to advertise breastfeeding.

"I wanted my picture to be very natural and show how the presence of my partner can enhance and support the breastfeeding relationship."

The Rugby Breastfeeding Cafe – who promotes breastmilk smoothies on their website – hope the calendar will be displayed in GPs surgeries, shops, restaurants and schools.

Rosie said: "The more normalised breastfeeding becomes the better it will be for mothers.

"It is a perfectly natural and beautiful part of motherhood and should be celebrated."

The calendar goes on sale in September and will cost between £8 and £10

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Breastfeeding Saved My Daughter!"

Breastfeeding 'saved my daughter'
Claudia Calleja

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

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

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

Ray Busuttil, the director general for health, said breastfeeding should not stop if a mother contracted swine flu. Although the child was still at risk, just like anyone else, the breast milk gave the baby stronger immunity to the H1N1 virus.

To date, 92 people have been diagnosed with swine flu in Malta and Ms Azzopardi is one of the 73 of who have already recovered.

Speaking during a press conference on swine flu yesterday, she said being diagnosed with the flu had initially worried her because public misconceptions made it out to be much worse than it actually was.

"It's really just a flu. I've been much worse in the past when I suffered from the normal influenza," she said.

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

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

Nigel Lightfoot, chief adviser to the head of the UK's influenza programme, praised the health care system in Malta, calling on people to stay at home if they had flu-like symptoms and to seek medical advice.

Prof. Lightfoot, who is married to a Maltese and is in Malta on holiday, interrupted his break to meet local experts and share his experience.

He said assumption-based predictions indicated that about 16 per cent of the UK population would have contracted swine flu within the next few months and 30 per cent would catch it in winter. Such figures could also apply to Malta, he added.

The number of swine flu cases in the UK hit 55,000 last week and 29 people have died so far, the vast majority having been suffering from underlying medical conditions. As was done in many EU countries, the Maltese government has moved from containment stage to mitigation, focusing on reducing the impact of the illness on patients instead of trying to contain its spread.

Since then, only vulnerable people - children under five, pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses such as heart, respiratory and kidney problems - have been tested.

Healthy adults would be able to fight the virus without the need of intervention in the form of the antiviral Tamiflu.

Dr Busuttil said there was no link between mortality and intervention because the mortality rate, which ranged between 0.1 and 0.3 per cent in the UK and US respectively, was related to the severity of the virus.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

How far is too far?

Check out this amazing blog!!!

Although formula companies have always used aggressive marketing tactics to sell their products to as many people as possible, it seems lately they've upped the ante. Tanya at Motherwear recently blogged about Enfamil's latest deceptive marketing tactic: calling one of their formulas "The Breast Milk Formula" and having that as the title of their web page. At the time Tanya called this the most blatant form of unethical marketing she'd ever seen. Perhaps she spoke too soon.

It seems now Abbott Pharmaceuticals, makers of Similac, are trying to one-up Enfamil. Their latest tactics? The celebrity endorsement (ads featuring Extreme Home Makeover's Ty Pennington) and now, placing ads for formula in magazines not directly aimed at parents. Of course you expect to see tons of formula ads in magazines like Parenting, Parents, American Baby, etc. The entire magazines seem to be one giant advertisement for formula and although I don't think it's right (and it's a violation of the WHO Code), it makes sense to use your dollars wisely and aim for your target audience: people who have kids.

This week Similac has a 4-page spread in People magazine for its new "Early Shield" formula, which supposedly offers immune system health through a combination of "prebiotics, nucleotides and antioxidants." The ad was on thick, glossy paper and had to cost Similac a pretty penny. If you haven't seen the ad, check out the scans below.

Again, this ad appeared in People, a celebrity weekly. People, that has nothing to do with parenting, kids or babies, but does have a large female readership of childbearing age. It's depressing to think that before women are even thinking of having kids, they are now going to be bombarded with messages from the formula companies. Formula companies have the big bucks to spend on gorgeous images like the ones above of adorable, serene babies who are dependent on Similac to provide them with their immune system health. The science is bogus but the Lactivist community just can't counter offer a positive breastfeeding message because we don't have the dollars to create similar ads. Best for Babes' campaign is a good start, but how can you compete with giant pharma companies?

We do still have the power to effect change. After complaints to the Federal Trade Commission, Enfamil changed its website from "the breast formula" to "Enfamil Lipil." Let's inundate the FTC with complaints about these types of ads as well. You should also write or tweet People magazine and let them know how you feel about these types of ads. I am posting below a letter that Marsha Walker, IBCLC and Executive Director of the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy, sent to People. Marsha has given permission for anyone to use all or part of her letter as well.

I was quite dismayed to see advertising for infant formula in your
magazine and on your Celebrity Baby Blog website. As you know, this is
a product that competes unfairly with breastfeeding, something which
many of your profiled celebrities practice. The appearance of infant
formula advertising next to photos of celebrities and their babies
implies that famous people use the product and so should readers of
your magazine and website. The use of infant formula increases the risk
of unhealthy outcomes for infants and mothers, something you would not
wish to promote. The Federal Government and all major health agencies
and organizations recommend breastfeeding as the preferred method of
feeding babies. The Healthy People 2010 health goals for the nation
from the Department of Health and Human Services specifically targets
the increase of breastfeeding as a public health intervention to reduce
acute and chronic diseases and conditions and as a method of lowering
the expenditure of scarce health care dollars.

As a way to improve the health of your readership and their children,
please consider running pro bono ads for breastfeeding in fairness to a
public health behavior that does not have large amounts of corporate
promotion dollars. Your magazine and website reach millions of women in
their childbearing years who would benefit greatly from your support of

Should you wish more information or copies of breastfeeding ads to be
placed in your magazine and on your website, please do not hesitate to
contact me.

Thank you for your time.

Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC
Executive Director
National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy

Marsha also discussed this new trend some more with me. This is what she had to say:

Formula ads in mainstream magazines and websites is the latest tactic in formula marketing strategy. Banner ads for formula have been saturating the internet at sites than women frequent having nothing to do with children or parenting. Not only is formula marketing permeating new sites but the aggressiveness of the language used in the ads have reached new lows. Spurious claims on company websites declare that their products contain the same ingredients as breast milk, that these manufactured ingredients perform the same way that breast milk does, and that infants fed these products will enjoy the same health and cognitive outcomes as breastfed infants. Obviously, many people think the two are the same thing, especially when the terms “infant formula” and “breast milk” appear next to each other in the same sentence as equivalent nutritional sources. This was seen in a study using a Health Styles Questionnaire. In 1999, 2636 people were sampled and asked if they agreed or disagreed with a number of health statements including “Infant formula is as good as breast milk.” In 1999, 14.3% agreed with that statement. When the study was repeated in 2003, 25% of the sample agreed with the statement. Mothers have made the following statements:
• “I want the breastmilk formula”
• “I want the formula with breastmilk in it”
• “Whose breastmilk is in the formula?”

False and misleading advertising seems to work. It's time that the FTC take action against those companies that continuously misrepresent their products. The FTC needs to receive hundreds of complaints from consumers asking that this be investigated and action taken to curb this flood of deceit. Please take the time to register your complaint with the FTC today.

Mothers Pull Plug on Breastfeeding at 6 Months

Only 14 per cent of Canadian women were feeding their newborns only breast milk six months after birth, despite recommendations from the Canadian Paediatric Society, suggest the results of a survey released this week.

The Maternity Experiences Study Group, along with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada, surveyed more than 6,000 women aged 15 years and older to gauge their opinions on how they experience pregnancy, labour and birth, as well as the early months of motherhood.

Dr. Beverley Chalmers, co-chair of the maternity group, called it a "recipe for disaster" if mothers aren't exclusively breastfeeding their children -- meaning not supplementing feeding with other liquids and foods -- for six months. Babies who are breastfed for six months will have fewer illnesses than those who are given other foods or fluids, she said.

"Breastfeeding decreases the chances of your baby developing symptoms of diarrhea, as well as allergies and asthma, by 45 per cent," Chalmers said.

Results of the survey suggest 90 per cent of women planned to breastfeed their children. But three months later, only 52 per cent of them were still breastfeeding exclusively. By the six-month mark, only 14 per cent were doing so.

Hospital officials need to closely monitor how well women understand the importance of breastfeeding, according to Chalmers.

While some Canadian hospitals are recognized as "baby-friendly" and use the 10-step process to successful breastfeeding, developed by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, others are not giving new mothers appropriate advice, said Chalmers.

The Maternity Experiences Survey was the first national survey devoted to the topic in Canada. It included mothers who had given birth five to 14 months before they were interviewed.

What's the Difference Between Breastmilk and Cow's Milk?

What’s the difference between
breast milk and cow’s milk?

There are many differences between breast milk and cow’s milk / formula. Cow’s milk is not recommended for babies until they are at least 10 to 12 months of age or older (ask your doctor). Cow’s milk is much more difficult for an infants digestive system to break down and is not nutritionally equal to breast milk. This goes for all types of cow’s milk, regardless of whether it’s whole, low fat, skim, powdered or any other form. The differences between breast milk and cows milk are explained below.

Breast Milk
Antibodies – Helps your baby’s immune system gain strength, fighting off bacteria and viruses. When you or your baby is exposed to a virus or bacteria, your breast milk "fights back" by producing antibodies specific to that virus or bacteria. Formula is exactly the same, time after time, regardless of what your baby is exposed to.

Water – Your breast milk contains the perfect amount of water to satisfy your baby’s thirst and adjusts to your baby’s needs.

Fat – Breast milk contains more fat than cow’s milk and is more easily absorbed by your baby. This is one of the reasons that breast fed babies have different stools than bottle (formula) fed babies. Since the baby is not excreting any wasted fats the stool will be a yellow mustard color with a mildly sweet smell.

Protein – Protein that is used to help your baby’s body grow and develop is in just the right amount and in a form most readily absorbed.

Carbohydrates – Breast milk contains more carbohydrates than cow’s milk. These carbohydrates provide a very important source of energy.

Vitamins and minerals – As long as you, the mother, eat a reasonably well balanced diet, your breast milk will contain all of your baby’s vitamin and mineral requirements, until about age 6 months.

Taste - Breast milk changes in taste, depending on the different foods the mother eats. Breastfed babies are more likely to accept new and different foods once they start on solids (not recommended until age 6 months) than their formula-fed peers, because formula tastes the same every single time, while breastmilk takes on a taste similar to the different foods a mother eats.

Cow's Milk
No antibodies – Antibodies that are in breast milk are not in cow’s milk / formula and cannot be artificially produced.

Water – The amount of water in cow’s milk / formula can’t change to suit your baby’s need the way breast milk can.

Fat – The fat in cow’s milk / formula is very different than the fat in breast milk and your baby can’t absorb it as easily.

Protein – The amount of protein in cow’s milk / formula is at least double the amount in breast milk and is also a different and less digestible type.

Carbohydrates – Cow’s milk / formula has smaller amounts of carbohydrates than breast milk.

Vitamins and minerals – Cow’s milk / formula has more of some vitamins and minerals and less of others than breast milk; it’s not the right amount for your baby.

There are over 100 ingredients in breast milk which ARE NOT in formula, even the new "DHA added" formulas. Formula is intended as a replacement for breastmilk when breastmilk is not available, but sadly, it does not even come close to it!

Nursing Mother Told "You can't be here" in Wal Mart

When Tanya Constable's 11-month-old daughter, Myra, started to cry yesterday morning while she was shopping, Constable did what any mother would do: she fed her.

The only problem? She was in a Langford Wal-Mart store, where her breastfeeding raised the ire of at least one employee.

"You can't be here," Constable, 27, says a female employee told her, suggesting she breastfeed in the washroom instead.

Constable, a child-care worker on maternity leave, asked to speak with a manager. "The manager said that if someone complains, the store's policy is to ask them to move," she said. According to Constable, there were no other customers in the baby section where she was nursing who could have complained.

So she decided to leave the store.

Kevin Groh, director of corporate affairs for Wal-Mart Canada, apologized on behalf of the store, saying that for the employee to suggest that Constable move to a washroom or changeroom was "wrong."

In fact, Groh said, Wal-Mart's policy for years has been "absolutely black and white." "Customers can breastfeed in whatever manner they see fit anywhere in the store."

Groh said yesterday's incident was a result of miscommunication. The employee who initially approached Constable did so not because she was breastfeeding, but because she was doing it on a rocking chair meant for display purposes only, he said.

Still, Groh admitted, Constable shouldn't have been asked to move to a washroom or changeroom. Groh said he's arranging for stores across Canada to remind their staff of the company's policy.

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal does not have a policy regarding breastfeeding, although it does state that no person should be denied services based on their sex.

Last year, a Vancouver woman launched a complaint with the tribunal against H&M clothing store for asking her not to breastfeed. The complaint was later dismissed after the store apologized for the gaffe.

Rebekah Smith, a program coordinator for the Toronto-based Infant Feeding Action Coalition, says the group receives several calls a month from women across Canada who've been asked to relocate or be "discreet" about breastfeeding.

"Breastfeeding in public is not a crime," Smith said. "People need to start realizing that mothers have a legal right to nurse."

As for Constable, she said she was happy with the apology, but disappointed the incident had to happen in the first place.

"My baby has a right to eat," she said, adding Myra needs constant feeding because of a bladder infection that results in frequent urination.

"If people can walk by eating cheeseburgers from McDonald's in the store, then my baby can nurse," she said.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Why is Breastfeeding STILL such a Taboo?

Why is breastfeeding STILL such a taboo?
By Miranda Levy
Last updated at 12:44 PM on 09th July 2009

The letters arrived in their hundreds. 'I was breastfeeding my daughter on the bus - she was covered in a blanket,' wrote Hayley Johnson from Luton.
'The conductor got on and told me I'd either have to stop, get off the bus, or move to the back.'

Helen Orr, of Northern Ireland, told me: 'I've sat on toilet seats in cubicles and taken 20 items of clothing to "try on" into changing rooms, just so I can feed, because there's nowhere else.'

Natural bond: Two thirds of mothers maintain that feeding their baby in public had been a stressful experience
Then there was Elle Hanson, recalling the time she discreetly tried to feed her son in a 'family-friendly' pub until 'a woman told me I shouldn't do that in front of other people's husbands because it's obscene'.

Anyone who thought breastfeeding in public is no longer a contentious and provocative issue should think again.
Those are just some of the personal experiences that poured into me at Mother & Baby magazine when we lauched a nationwide breastfeeding survey.
We were seeking an answer to the question: Is Britain breastfeeding friendly? And the answer was a resounding, regretful 'no'.
Of the 1,200 women who took part in our online poll, 60 per cent felt that the UK frowned on breastfeeding mothers. Two thirds maintained that feeding their baby in public had been a stressful experience, and more than half of these had been asked to move out of a restaurant, cafe or coffee shop when they were feeding.
These figures might go a long way to explain the official statistics on how many women actually breastfeed in Britain.

According to the 2005 UK Infant Feeding Survey, just 78 per cent of new mothers ever attempt breastfeeding, compared with 99 per cent in Norway, 91 per cent in Italy and 84 per cent in Spain.

'A staggering 65per cent said they simply 'felt too self-conscious about people staring'
By six months, only 22 per cent of UK mothers are still doing it. Of course for some people, a woman with a newborn at her breast is seen as the quintessential image of new motherhood, the natural way to bond.
Moreover, thanks to high-profile government campaigns, we are more aware than ever of the health benefits for both baby and mother. These include protection against childhood infections, obesity and allergies, as well as lowering the risk of cancer and diabetes for the baby. And for the mother, there is protection against breast and ovarian cancers, osteoporosis, heart disease and stroke. And yet for many other people, it remains something that is unpleasant or even physically repugnant that should be hidden away.

The feeling from our survey is that most women actually want to breastfeed. Everyone we asked (whether breast or bottle feeding) said they understood the health benefits. But the saddest thing was the reason so many women said they didn't even intend to try. A staggering 65per cent said they simply 'felt too self-conscious about people staring'.

So why is Britain still stuck in the dark ages in our attitudes to this basic part of motherhood? Rosie Dodds, senior public policy officer of the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), who supported our research, says: 'The results of this survey are unsurprising. There are many reasons why we're lagging behind much of Europe.
'First, the Mediterranean countries and Scandinavia have much more of a family culture. Parents and children are seen out together far more at restaurants in the evening; in the UK, there's still a residual "children should be seen and not heard" approach.

'Then there's the prudish British attitude that breasts are for sex, not for babies, coupled with the fact that many women just aren't as confident in their bodies as women are in other areas of Europe.
'And finally, breastfeeding is a generational thing - if you've never seen your mum, parents or aunts breastfeed, it's hard to start doing so yourself. Many young women have never seen another woman breastfeed.'

Many women are still finding themselves on the wrong end of hostility if they breastfeed in public
A generational thing, perhaps, but it's also a class thing. According to a 2004 study by University College, London, women in routine jobs are four times less likely to breastfeed than universityeducated women - those with professional jobs and those aged over 30 when they gave birth.

This new survey also revealed a regional split. Breastfeeding mothers in London found themselves less likely to be challenged by other people in the same restaurant, for example, whereas the North-West (65 per cent) and West Midlands (63 per cent) were considered the most stressful areas to be a breastfeeding mother in terms of being abused or made to feel unwelcome.

Wherever they live, and whatever their chosen careers, many women are still finding themselves on the wrong end of hostility if they breastfeed in public.

Annabelle Turner, 31, is a sales manager for a national catering chain and mother to Jemima, who's ten months. 'It was always my intention to breastfeed,' she says.
'My mum breastfed me, and my NHS antenatal class convinced me of the overwhelming health benefits. Luckily, my daughter took to breastfeeding straight away.

'Until the British public decides to embrace breastfeeding, it's down to mothers to stand our ground'
'When she was a month old, my husband and I decided to take Jemima out for lunch for the first time, to a local pizza restaurant in South London.

'I started to feed her, very discreetly. Suddenly, I got the feeling everyone was staring at me, as if I were doing something inappropriate. One couple were even whispering behind their hands.
'I started to feel incredibly stressed, and Jemima could sense my tension and slowed down her feed. My husband encouraged me to continue, but I felt like bursting into tears.'

And in the end, Annabelle and her husband gobbled up what was left of their meal and went home.

'Since then, I've changed the way I organise my day,' she says. 'I avoid going out a feeding times, and only go to specific "baby friendly" cafes.

'The public's attitude has affected my friends, too - several of them now feed their baby with formula milk during the day, and only breastfeed at home at night, precisely because they hate that kind of reaction.' Many groups - including the NCT - are working hard to make public breastfeeding more acceptable.

'We know most mums start out breastfeeding their babies, but one of the reasons they stop is that they feel uncomfortable doing it when they are in public,' says Anne Fox, head of campaigns at the NCT.

'I agree that the biggest change in attitude has to come from the public. In our survey, two-thirds of our readers wanted 'more positive images of breastfeeding women'.
For this reason, for the August issue of Mother & Baby, we've taken the groundbreaking step of putting an image of a breastfeeding model and baby on the cover - the first time a UK magazine has used such an image.
Until the British public decides to embrace breastfeeding, it's down to mothers to stand our ground.

Mothers such as Tamsin Hazelwood, who contacted us this week to share her memories of breastfeeding her firstborn in a pub toilet cubicle.

'Outside, women were swearing and laughing, and there I was, baby in my arms, crying because I was alone and feeling stupid that I was in a loo trying to feed my child,' she wrote.

'My fiancé and I are planning for another baby in a few months and I've promised myself I will breastfeed wherever I want to. I'm just going to get on with it, and simply smile back at anyone who stares until they stop looking at me.

Breastfeeding Moms lose Support Program

Meadowvale mother Catherine Coghlan with her eight-month-old son, Milo Clarke, were part of a breastfeeding support group that was discontinued by the Region of Peel.

A decision by Peel Health to cancel a breastfeeding support program has left some first-time mothers wondering where they'll now go for help.
Dr. David Mowat, Peel's medical officer of health, told yesterday's meeting of Regional Council that there isn't enough money or resources available to run the program, so it was cancelled last week.
Mowat added that only some 150 women participated each year in the initiative, which invited mothers to meet weekly at three locations in Mississauga and Brampton to ask questions of one another and share their concerns related to breastfeeding. A registered nurse was also in attendance.
When Meadowvale mother Catherine Coghlan had trouble breastfeeding her son, she visited the support group.
“Breastfeeding was my biggest problem and I needed to go to a place where I could ask questions,” Coghlan said. “At these sessions, there was a focus on breastfeeding that was important to me. But they (Region) cancelled it. I think of all the mothers who are going to be in the position I was in, and wonder what they'll do.”
Mowat told councillors that, with so few women participating in the program, Peel Health has instead decided to direct resources into programs that promote breastfeeding. He said research shows not many mothers opt to breastfeed to begin with.
“Breastfeeding has a lot of challenges,” Mowat said. “We have about 16,500 new babies being born each year in Peel. We've had some challenges in consistently staffing these support groups. So we decided to divert our resources to areas where we have some concerns.”
Mississauga Ward 9 councillor Pat Saito told Mowat she has received e-mails and calls from young mothers concerned that they've been left without support.
She said she was disappointed to hear the program was cancelled without anything to replace it.
“We've always put a priority on the breastfeeding support in Peel for mothers,” Saito said. “I know this program has been an important part of their lives, especially in the first year. Going back to my own life as a mother, I know how great it would have been to have a support like this — not a phone number to call, but have the support of other mothers who are in the same situation in child-raising.”
Brampton wards 1 and 5 councillor Elaine Moore agreed.
“If I look at the demographics of the community where the support group in Brampton was offered, I can see there would potentially be a large number of mothers that would benefit from that kind of support,” she said.
Mowat acknowledged that the Region, in its haste to end the support group, didn't offer alternatives. He promised to review the decision to axe the program or offer some kind of continuity to mothers who want such support.


An oldie but a goodie....

Buffy nurses Cody on Sesame Street

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Choices and Guilt and Jr High School Bully Tactics

Written by Dani Arnold-McKenny
Reprinted with permission

Why is it that people feel the need to resort to insults and swearing? I realize that parenting involves a huge amount of decisions and most parents base their choices on their own past and the influences of their family and friends. AND that nothing cause more debate than the choices in parenting that each mother and father has to make. Where there is discussion, there is debate. where there is debate, there is arguments..... FINE! I get it.

But why do people who have made their decisions feel the need to scream and throw tantrums and play junior highschool school yard games?!?

OK i'm going to be blunt and just come out and say this:

Why is it that people who make choices that are NOT based on facts and research, are the worst offenders when it comes to mud slinging?! Be it Breastfeeding and formula feeding, circumcision debates, natural birthing vs interventions and elective C/Sections, CIO or AP parenting....... I'm sorry but the facts are the facts. If you don't want to know the facts, or are happy in the decisions you've made Regardless of the facts, then fine- it's your decision to make. But don't come screaming after me calling names and swearing and making horrifying allegations just because I am stating the facts!!!! If you're satisfied with your decisions then be satisfied that youre doing what you want to do. But don't call me a breast nazi, because I'm posting information about breastfeeding that is based on solid facts that are accepted world wide by every single major health organization!!

.....If you're feeling guilty because you KNOW that you didn't make the right decision, then don't yell at me. Own up to it and accept it. and make changes that will ease your guilt. Deal with it. Dont' sling mud at others just because you can't face up to your own mistakes or poor decisions.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A midwife feeds a baby with a mother's milk pumped from nursing mothers inside the Fabella Maternity Hospital, said to be the largest "baby friendly" hospital in Asia, on Wednesday June 20, 2007 in Manila, Philippines. This government hospital never allows infant formula milk to be introduced to feeding mothers and encourages them to breastfeed instead. The Philippine government has ordered the recall of millions of cans of infant formula made by U.S.-based company Wyeth because they may have been contaminated at a Philippine warehouse during a storm last year, officials said Wednesday.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Princess and the Chick Pea (and the grape and the walnut)

The following story is fictional. Should you see yourself in the Queen then kudos to you!)

Once upon a time (as recent as a moment ago), there was a Queen who gave birth to a Princess. What made her a Queen was that her partner called her one, and what made their daughter a Princess was because they thought her so. Aside from the nicknames, the Queen and the Princess were not unlike any other woman or baby girl.

Shortly after the Princess was born the Queen tried to breastfeed her but the Princess wouldn’t latch. The Queen was disappointed but knew she would try again later. The baby slept for a couple hours and then she tried to nurse her again. Again the Princess wouldn’t latch.

“Isn’t she nursing yet?” inquired a nurse coming into the room. “She looks hungry. I can get her a bottle of formula.”

“Oh, no!” replied the Queen. “She’s fine.”

The nurse looked at the Queen with concern. I’m going to come back in one hour and if that baby hasn’t nursed she’s getting a bottle. You don’t want her to starve do you?” And with that the nurse left.

Rattled, but not to be disuaded the Queen tried to nurse the Princess again. Still no luck. Now the Princess was screaming and all the rocking and cuddling and shushing didn’t work. The Queen asked her partner to take the baby for a short walk so she could collect her thoughts and figure out what to do. The Queen had had two other children. All of them had been breastfed. The Queen had attended numerous La Leche League meetings and was passionate about breastfeeding. She knew there must be a way to nourish her daughter without resorting to formula. Then she remembered. She decided to hand express some colostrum into a spoon. Satisfied with the teaspoon she made, she fed it to the Princess when she returned. The Princess took the spoon, swallowed the colostrum and went back to sleep.

A new mom in the bed over, who hadn’t seen what had happened but who had overheard the commotion with the nurse and crying baby, leaned over and whispered to the Queen, “My baby didn’t latch either so I let the nurses give him some formula. One bottle can’t hurt, is my opinion. Then the baby sleeps and you get some well deserved rest too.”

The woman next to her piped in “My baby latched but my milk hasn’t come in yet. I told the nurses I was concerned by how much he sleeps so they recommended I give him a bottle too. Aren’t you worried your baby might be getting hungry?” The two women looked at each other with a kind of solidarity sympathy.

Ah, the comraderie in ignorance, thought the Queen, who had been hoping to avoid this kind of confrontation. She took a deep breath and said to the first woman, “My baby is only a few hours old. Her stomach is the size of a chick pea. How did your son fare when you gave him the bottle?”

The woman looked confused by this reply. “Uh,” she stammered. “He threw most of it up, but he did get a little down. Why?”

“He threw it up because a day old baby can’t fit that amount of formula in his stomach,” said the Queen pointing to the empty bottle on the side table. “and tomorrow, she continued, his stomach will only gave grown to the size of a grape. So that’s how much milk he will need tomorrow. There’s the perfect amount of colostrum in your breasts to satisfy his hunger.” She smiled weakly at the woman. “I didn’t mean to put you off. I just hate how uninformed so many maternity nurses are. And I’m sorry to tell you this but one bottle of formula does make a difference. It introduces a strain of bacteria to his intestines that would otherwise not be there and it can affect his immune system.”

The woman looked horrified. “What should I do?” she asked.

“Tell them to help you with your latch,” offered the Queen, “or ask to speak to the hospital’s lactation consultant. Or just relax and let the baby latch when he’s ready. That’s what I’m trying to do. This one is my third. They do catch on eventually. They have to eat right? And before formula came along babies breastfed. I can’t imagine many babies died from from failure to latch correctly in the first few days.” She turned to the second woman. “How old is your son?” she inquired.

“He’s just over three days old.”

“You don’t need to be worried that your milk hasn’t come in yet. It will. It always does. Some women’s milk just takes a little longer to come in than others, but it’s still normal to wait up to five days. And he’s getting all he needs from your colostrum too. His tummy is only the size of a walnut so he still doesn’t need too much. I guarantee it! Oh look, here comes my little Princess!”

The Princess was awake and peaceful now. The Queen had disapated most of her stress from the earlier incident with the nurse by talking with her neighbours and felt quite relaxed. “Put her on my belly,” she instructed her partner.

The baby lay on her chest with her little head turned to one side. Her lips turned into a little birdie beak and she began to root. Back and forth her head turned searching for food until at last she sensed what she wanted. She moved towards it her mouth open wide, and finally, with a smack of her lips she latched and began to suck. Her partner looked down on the Queen and the Princess with amazement and joy. A nurse who had been watching quietly from behind the curtain sucked in her breath. “Well, I never!” she stated. They all watched in wonder as the Princess nursed for a few minutes on each side and then fell asleep in milked-out bliss.

“Well, I guess I can cancel the formula,” said the nurse, turning to go. “For now.”

“My Princess won’t be needing any formula,” said the Queen. “This baby was born healthy, with a healthy weight to a healthy mom. She is breastfeeding now and I will continue to do so. She doesn’t need formula to fill her up because her stomach is the size of a chick pea. Tomorrow it will be the size of a grape and the next day the size of a walnut!” She took a breath and went on.”Furthermore, although I do hope you already know this, my breasts make colostrum to provide antibodies to my baby, not to serve the nutritive equivalent of a five course meal! My baby needs to sleep and adjust to the world, she does not need to be force fed formula. By giving these babies formula you’re interfering in their breastfeeding relationships with their mothers. You’re “f-ing” with these mom’s perfectly fine milk supply levels and setting them up to fail. As well you’re taking away from these precious babies their chance to receive nature’s finest immunity building substance known to people-kind! Tell me you already know all this and you’re just being forced by your manager or formula companies to give these babies bottles and I’ll stop yelling at you and go yell at someone else instead!”

The nurse was pale. “Uh,” she stammered. “Uhhhh…” and then without another word she turned and flew out of the room.

“Okay, settle down sweetie,” whispered the partner, “You’re going to wake the baby.”

There was clapping from behind the curtain. The Queen started to cry.

“What’s wrong?” asked her partner in alarm. “Are you okay?”

“I’m just so glad she latched,” said the Queen, as her shoulders heaved and she wiped away her tears.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Working Moms Find Freedom to Use Breast Pumps Where They Want, When They Want

Working Moms Find Freedom to Use Breast Pumps Where They Want, When They Want

Working and breastfeeding presents many challenges for today's modern woman. Having the right type of support, knowledge, and tools are critical to meeting breastfeeding goals. A new tool represents the biggest functional advancement in breast pump technology for working women in decades. The Freemie system is a hands-free and concealable breast milk collection system that aims to change how busy moms pump.

Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) July 2, 2009 -- A revolutionary new patented and patents pending breast milk collection system called Freemie™ lets lactating moms discreetly pump hands-free underneath their clothing. The device is made by Dao Health, a Sacramento-based company founded July 4, 2006. The Freemie system was invented by Emergency Physician Stella Dao after the birth of her preemie twins. Dr. Dao created the Freemie™ system to help working moms extend breastfeeding. After learning firsthand how difficult it is to keep breastfeeding while working outside the home, Dr. Dao was determined to give working moms a realistic pumping solution that could help them reach their breastfeeding goals.

Freemie Breast Milk Collection System
My husband and I founded Dao Health on the belief that practical and productive technologies have the ability to benefit both employees and employers, and improve the health and welfare of families. It is our mission to bring positive change to the workplace, and make it easier for society to support breastfeeding mothers
Unfortunately, many moms who return to work fall short of their breastfeeding goals. The challenge for these moms is finding the time and place to pump. According to Dr. Dao, "Research has clearly established that returning to work is strongly associated with the end of breastfeeding for too many women. Public policy and employers are making significant investments and efforts to facilitate lactation in the workplace, but the increase in breastfeeding rates seems to have stalled, in spite of the fact that the overwhelming majority of new mothers have gotten the message, and want to breastfeed for the health of their infants."

Moms using the Freemie™ system will now have the choice to pump right out in the open because the milk collection devices are worn in a woman's bra, and can be put in place and used without having to undress. Being able to pump hands-free and concealed gives lactating moms more opportunities to pump when and where they want. Dao Health hopes that moms pumping in bathroom stalls to express milk for their infants will become a thing of the past. Instead, a mom could choose to pump while working in a wide variety of environments, or relax and read a book, or even interact with others face to face.

"My husband and I founded Dao Health on the belief that practical and productive technologies have the ability to benefit both employees and employers, and improve the health and welfare of families. It is our mission to bring positive change to the workplace, and make it easier for society to support breastfeeding mothers," said Dr. Dao.

The Freemie breast milk collection system is free of BPA, DEHP, and latex, and is entirely made in the USA. The Freemie™ system is compatible with popular electric pumps and can be placed in a regular bra. Moms can get information online at to learn which quality pumps are compatible, and help to assess if the Freemie™ system is right for their situation. Dao Health believes that the system is not appropriate for every pumping mother, but believes that many busy moms will find it useful in more diverse situations

Salma Hayek 'still' breastfeeding - world can't decide whether to jerk off or prosecute

This is a montage of images from hyperventilating stories about Salma Hayek “Still”! Breastfeeding! At! 13! Months!

The world has burst into a babblefest of gossip about how bizarre this is. There has been an outpouring of shock and disdain, complete with accusations of perversity and child sexual abuse. Here’s a sampling of the buzz. reports:

Salma Hayek is still breastfeeding her 13 month old daughter Valentina-Paloma, for three reasons:

first because it’s good for her baby’s health, second because she feels she shares a special bond with her daughter, and third because she loves how big her milkers got, trying to pass it off as being addicted to breastfeeding:

“I’m like an alcoholic. It is like, I don’t care if I cry, I don’t care if I am fat, I am just going to do it for one more week, one more month, and then when I see how much good it is doing her and I can’t stop.”

Where does it say there that she feeds for the breast enlargement? She enjoys breastfeeding, and she believes it is good for her daughter. OMG! A woman is happily mothering! Stop the presses!

…Why are the presses stopped? Because Salma Hayek’s breasts are public property, that’s why.

Celeb Amour reports:

Salma Hayek is still breast-feeding her daughter, Valentina, whom she had with French businessman François-Henri Pinault in September 2007. Breast-feeding for an entire year. I have to wonder if that’s not one of the reasons the wedding was called off? Maybe ex-squeeze wanted a little more action than what the kiddo was getting.

Views From A Broad:


From the comments:

As A Licensed Psychiatrist I agree that children should be weaned at about a year old. Beyond that breastfeeding is not necessary and is likely to be some form of child sexual abuse. Clearly once a child is able to eat solids and drink from a cup breastfeeding is not needed. I think some women use it as an excuse in order to fullfill some emotional void in their life or sexual void. Its a lack of maturity on the womans part. It tends to create emotionally damaged children. This children are clearly overly dependent on their mother. They have a lot of issues throughout their lives and require counseling and other things to try to get some normalacy back.

In Other Words–That is Just Plain Fucked UP!!!


What Thom said…after a year, she is definitely doing her daughter a disservice unnecessarily creating potential serious dependency and abandonment issues that could last a lifetime…also I detect a certain sexual, exhibitionist element accompanying the statement that she’s “addicted” to having a 1 year old person suck on her breasts…it’s not like the kid is going to starve without it…Wow Selma, I didn’t realize it was all about YOU and not the kid, ya annoying, attention mongering, self serving bitch…the woman has “issues” and needs to have her head examined.

The Huffington Post comments are a mix of breastfeeding support, colossal ignorance, leering over Hayek’s breasts, and accusations of creepiness and obscenity. A sampling of the negative comments:

If this keeps up, that kid will have to go to a college within 5 miles of home.

Honestly…What kid could give those up?

sooo hot

and people fight to ban breastfeeding in public…

Suddenly , I’m in the mood for chocolate-chip cookies…

It’s obscene! once a kid has TEETH, the breastfeeding can stop! THey can eat mushy food now!

ew. I know new moms who think breastfeeding after 6 months is indecent.

OK guys. Line forms behind me!

I am soooo jealous of that baby!

When a kid can walk over, lift up the mom’s shirt on his own, and say that he wants some…. well that is just plain CREEPY. Breastfeeding should stop at around a year old.

Yeah, TMI but more power to her. I breastfed my oldest son for 15 months. But when they start asking for it, it’s time to stop!

I love you, Salma, but TMI, girl, TMI

When they are old enough to ask, maybe it’s time to wean. That being said, Selma looks wonderful, and I think it is fine that she is breast feeding her 14-month-old.

for the first time in my adult male life I suddenly wish to be a little mexican girl… ; )

I wanna be adopted by her.

Breast Milk is nasty.


Salma, please breastfeed me…

That photo has my mouth watering, and I’m in my thirties.

Here, here… Let’s belly up to the breast, er, bar boys!

She’s is an excellent actress in my opinion, but the boob show is bad. She has milk-swollen breasts being pushed up and really, it’s gross. What is this obsession with women, particularly actresses, having their boobs bulging out like cows?

Man, what can I say? Can I have a snack?

Celebrity Baby Blog to the rescue! Leaving out the weight-loss talk:

Good for her.

It’s wonderful to hear a celeb talking about extended nursing. My son is 16 months and we’re still nursing.

yea for salma! i found that breastfeeding was very hard at first, but i kept at it and am so glad i did. it was effortless after awhile.

I thrill to hear celebrity mothers speak out about extended nursing - it warms my heart.

I think it’s fantastic that she said she would continue nursing no matter what, even if she was fat. That’s HUGE in Hollywood! Kudos to Salma!

I think it is great that Salma is doing what is best for her and her baby. She looks fabulous and her baby is one lucky baby!

So what’s going on here?

It’s not as simple as “The Patriarchy wants women to not breastfeed” or “The Patriarchy wants women to breastfeed”. What The Patriarchy “wants” (if you’ll bear with me on this somewhat teleological train of thought) is to have control over breastfeeding. Sometimes that might involve coercion to breastfeed (while withholding full support), sometimes coercion to not breastfeed, sometimes breastfeeding is a tool to confine women to the domestic environment, sometimes guilt over not breastfeeding is cultivated to sell women more products. Above all, breastfeeding women are reminded day after day after day that their bodies are public property, that breastfeeding isn’t a free pass out of the sex class, and that whatever they do, there will be no shortage of people telling them that they’re doing it wrong.

Australian and USAn societies are down there with the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. We have developed a peculiarly pernicious mix of:

* half-secularised Puritanism;

* half-baked woman-hating Freudianism;

* toxic capitalism;

* mother-hostile workplace practices;

* social isolation of new mothers;

* a deep-seated fear and suspicion of any bodily intimacy that isn’t sexual;

* and an overwhelming sense of proprietorship of breasts by heterosexual men.

The jealousy thread is the one that’s standing out to me today. (Other days, it’s other things.) CelebAmour brought this home when they blamed Hayek’s relationship breakup on breastfeeding - a common allegation levelled at new mothers. When women use their breasts in ways that don’t centre around men’s desires, women are demonised. And what better way to demonise people than to denounce them for our most despised crime, child sexual abuse?

Physical closeness with a baby can be pleasurable, sensual; and our society is flummoxed by that. We confuse all sensuality and physical pleasure with sexuality. Breasts are seen as a symbol of women’s sexual availability, from Page Three Girls to pornstars to politicians’ cleavage. Combine physical intimacy with the fact that breasts are involved and men are being ignored, and misogynists come out of the woodwork, finger-pointing and gibbering.

Then there’s the biological ignorance. The arguments about teeth, based in biological and evolutionary nonsense, fall at the slightest examination. “Teeth are for food!”, people argue, claiming that once babies grow their first incisors, they are obviously biologically ready for weaning. In fact, we are the only primate to wean that early - others wean around the time that the first permanent molars appear.

Arguments based in linguistic development make even less sense, if that’s possible. “If a baby can ask for it, it’s time to stop!” ignores that fact that babies ask to be fed from birth - many can even latch themselves on with no assistance. Linguistic development varies dramatically between babies, with some developing words as early as six months, and some as late as two years or beyond (or never, of course, for some). Why the timing of the first word should coincide with forced weaning is beyond me.

People parrot stuff from the world around them. My generation is repeating received wisdom from the doctors of our mothers and aunts, at a time when breastfeeding was at its lowest ebb. NASA was putting men on the moon, science was king, and women were told that super-technological “clean”, “healthy”, “modern” formula was the best possible thing for their babies and for them. They were told that if their newborn wanted to feed more than once every three hours, their milk “wasn’t rich enough”. They were told that babies should sleep through the night. They were told that holding babies spoiled them. They were told, with wrinkled nose, that breastfeeding was just for “primitive” people.

There’s a huge privilege issue in here as well. The only reason some industrialised societies have had the opportunity to develop this overweening “breasts are just for sex!” attitude is because we have the privilege to feed babies modified cows’ milk from a bottle without a huge proportion of them dying. While artificial feeding does carry significant risks even in the best circumstances, artificial feeding causes one and a half million deaths worldwide every year. However, the World Health Organisation’s recommendation that breastfeeding continue to two years and beyond is not limited to countries with unsafe water supplies; it applies wordwide. (More at the ABA and kellymom.)

And, because any post in support of breastfeeding is bound to bring the “You’re just being a big ol’ meanyhead to formula-feeding mums!” comments out, here’s my general approach, as outlined here before:

* Can’t breastfeed? My sympathy if you’re grieving, and the best support, assistance, substitutes (ideally donor human milk) and assistive devices should be available.

* Won’t breastfeed? This is none of my business, on an individual level. It’s your body. My only interest is on a collective level, insofar as patriarchal society is coercing women’s choices, via socialisation, marketing, abuse, social isolation, religious oppression, medical misinformation, workplace practices, and so on.

* When people start leering, demonising, accusing, and excluding women for mothering? I. see. red.

You CAN Breastfeed a Preemie!!!

Baby 'R', who was born at 36 weeks, weighing 5 pounds, 5 ounces

Breastfeeding Protects Babies From Stomach Damage

Breast feeding protects babies from stomach damage, study finds
Newborn babies which are breast fed are better protected against damage to their stomachs than those given formula milk, new research suggests.

By Murray Wardrop
Published: 7:00AM BST 30 Jun 2009

The lining of a newborn baby's gut is particularly vulnerable to damage as it has never been exposed to food or drink. Photo: GETTY
Scientists discovered that human breast milk contains and ingredient which protects and repairs the delicate intestines of newborn infants.

The ingredient called pancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor (PSTI), is found at its highest levels in colostrum – the milk produced in the first few days after birth.

Researchers found that PSTI stimulated cells to form a natural protective 'plaster' over damaged intestinal cells.

The molecule also helps prevent further damage by stopping cells in the intestine from self-destructing.

Experts at Queen Mary, University of London, found that PSTI could reduce damage by 75 per cent.

Professor Ray Playford, who led the study, said: "This study is important because it shows that a component of breast milk protects and repairs the babies delicate intestines in readiness for the onslaught of all the food and drink that are to come."

Prof Playford, of Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, part of Queen Mary, added: "It reinforces the benefits of breast feeding, especially in the first few days after birth."

The lining of a newborn baby's gut is particularly vulnerable to damage as it has never been exposed to food or drink.

Researchers found small amounts of PSTI in all the samples of breast milk they tested but it was seven times more concentrated in colostrum samples. The ingredient was not found in formula milk.

PSTI is a molecule which is normally found in the pancreas where it protects the organ from being damaged by the digestive enzymes it produces.