Monday, October 18, 2010

Dr. Mercola Angers Fans by Promoting Infant Formula

By Lisa Russell
Published Oct 18, 2010
0diggsdigg Share Article Print Article Dr Mercola's natural-minded fan base is angry about his decision to market an artificial breastmilk product. His ethics are called into question.

Dr Joseph Mercola's Facebook Fan Page was buzzing with activity early on the morning of Monday, October 18, 2010. Some of his "fans," which (at 8am PST) number over 128,000, are angry with his decision to market a breastmilk substitute for infants.

The controversy has inspired women to speak out against his lack-of-a-position regarding male genital mutilation (routine infant circumcision) as well.

One former Mercola fan sums up the consensus of the objectors:

I have been a very vocal supporter of yours for YEARS. However, as a prominent lactivist & child health advocate with a large network here on Facebook, and having read this morning about your upcoming powdered infant formula to hit the market in a year's time, you should know that I will now be pulling my support for you entirely. That, coupled with your wishy-washy stance on infant genital cutting, makes it clear to all (or it should), that infant health is clearly NOT your concern; getting the lion's share of the formula market, however, is. If you truly cared about infant health, you'd inject some of your burgeoning fortune into *breastfeeding support* in your country, instead of adding to the detriment that ALL breastmilk substitutes have on infants who consume them. Disappointed beyond words in Montréal, -Emma KwasnicaDr Mercola's site has been publishing articles to educate his readers about the dangerous levels of Manganese in soy-based infant formula. In his article "Warning: Please Avoid Feeding This To Your Child" (10-18-10) he states that

children exposed to high concentrations of manganese in drinking water performed worse on tests of intellectual functioning than children with lower exposures.

and later, that:Studies on miners and steelworkers, for example, have shown that excessive exposure to manganese can cause manganese poisoning, Parkinson's disease, and Wilson's diseaseMercola points out that manganese exists in groundwater, and points out that some areas are now filtering manganese out of their water.

In third world countries, and areas where water contamination is likely, powdered infant formula can be deadly for babies. Polluted water, fed to infants, often results in deadly infections. The World Health organization works very hard to educate women in third world countries about the benefits of breastfeeding.

Mercola's article states that his company is "in the process of producing the finest infant formula on the market" Those 12 words were the impetus of outrage. Nakai Rupp, a former fan of Dr Mercola, questions his stance on male genital mutilation as well, stating:

I pulled my support of you earlier this year when I found out that you delete questions about circumcision from your page and you do not answer them. Which makes one think that you are possibly FOR infant genital mutilation. And now you are developing formula?! WOW! What a disgrace! If you can line your pockets at the expense of a baby's health, you do not deserve MY support. I will be spreading the word about you, so that others may see what you are truly about!! I am once again removing myself from ALL of your mailing lists.

Unable to find a specific statement regarding his stance on circumcision, an article from April of 2000 states that Mercola was "impressed with the evidence supporting circumcision" while another article on the site, written by Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD, listed circumcision as an event that can "Leave Behind an Unresolved Psycho-Emotional Conflict" which, if left unresolved, can create a significant bioelectrical disturbance in conflict-specific areas of the brain. The abnormal signals produce abnormal neuropeptides and abnormal electrical currents that reach the hypothalamus. From here, the signals travel in the autonomic nervous system to distinct target organs, which are - again - conflict specific"In other articles on the site, Mercola's readers can be seen sharing their circumcision stance and encouraging Dr Mercola to speak out, though he has not.


Warning: Please Avoid Feeding This to Your Child on

Circumcision Facts on

Applied Psycho-Neurobiology by Dr Dietrich Klinghardt on

Read more at Suite101: Dr Mercola Angers Fans by Promoting Infant Formula

Joyfully Kissing her beautiful baby boy: The girl branded too stupid to be a mother

Joyfully kissing her beautiful baby boy - the girl branded too stupid to be a wife or a mother
By Alison Smith Squire

Laughing in the autumn sunshine, a baby boy takes his first wobbly steps along a sandy beach. His delighted and attentive mother offers a safe pair of arms as his proud father captures the moment with his camera.
It is a touching scene that any parent would recognise. But it is particularly precious for Kerry Robertson and her new husband Mark McDougall.
Kerry, you may remember, is the slender brunette whose wedding was dramatically halted a year ago by Fife social services because they judged her too ‘stupid’ to understand the vows.

Four months later, the social services struck again. As Kerry breast-fed her three-day-old son Ben, council officials who feared she lacked the intelligence to be a good mother came into the maternity ward and took the child into care.
Already banned from marrying, Kerry, 18, and Mark, 26, were forced to leave the hospital without their newborn son.
Today, however, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that they have been reunited with their little boy and are now both living with him for the first time since he was born.
The authorities in Ireland, where they fled before the birth in the hope that they could keep their baby, have agreed that Ben can indeed stay with his parents.
This is not their only piece of happy news. Earlier this month, Mark and Kerry finally married in a tender ceremony at a hotel in County Waterford, defying those who said their relationship could never last.
‘All I ever wanted was to be married to Mark and to live a normal life with our son,’ said Kerry yesterday.

‘Now I just feel so contented and happy to be a proper family at last. I love being with Ben and being his mum. I have cried a lot over the past year but it’s only brought Mark and me closer.’
The couple’s resilience and the resourcefulness they have shown in fighting for the right to bring up their son together seems to make a mockery of the view that Kerry was too weak-minded to be a wife and mother.
Some would say it is difficult to see why Fife social services came to that conclusion in the first place.
Kerry’s friends accept that she was in the remedial class of her local state school, but point out that her educational difficulties were caused, in part, because she missed a lot of school time through treatment for a cleft palate.

They say she is chatty – indeed her new husband describes her as ‘bossy’ – and claim the root of the problem was that she found Scottish social workers so patronising that she refused to co-operate with them, often meeting their questions with silence.
Only in Ireland, where the professionals seemed more understanding, did she open up and talk about her situation, say her friends.
When the couple’s plight first came to public attention last year, there was a huge outcry at what seemed to be a monstrous abuse of power. Social workers had descended upon Kerry and Mark just 48 hours before they were due to get married, telling them their wedding would be unlawful.
In a highly unusual step, Dunfermline Register Office refused to sanction the marriage after Fife council wrote a letter of objection.
The removal of their child a few months was even more heart-wrenching and sparked a major campaign of protest on the internet.
Mark says he is still struggling to come to terms with the ‘nightmare’ they were put through. A gentle, mild-mannered young man, he says quietly: ‘I will never forget the day we were forced to hand Ben over. Kerry had just finished breast-feeding and both of us were in pieces. We were totally helpless to do anything about it.
‘To say we have been on a rollercoaster over the past year would be an understatement. It has been traumatic. And although now we are married and have Ben with us at last, I can’t help but feel bitter that we have had to go through all this.’
Many would have crumbled under the strain. For the past few months, Mark and Kerry have been forced to go through rigorous tests to prove they can be good parents.
It would appear their only ‘crime’ is that Kerry suffers from mild learning difficulties, although the true extent of these has always been a matter of contention.
Indeed, Mark and Kerry claim she has never undergone any official psychological assessment and, before having Ben, she successfully worked as a childcare assistant in a school.
Although no one is pretending she is academically gifted, to meet her is to encounter a lively young woman in the mould of any other young mum. Certainly, it is hard to fathom why Fife social services reached such a damning verdict.
The authorities first took a formal interest in Kerry when, at the age of just nine months, her parents handed her to the care of her grandmother, who brought her up overseen by Fife social services.
Even so, there was little to distinguish Mark and Kerry from any other young couple. When she became unexpectedly pregnant they were pleased rather than concerned. They had organised a white wedding in church, bought a dress and rings, arranged the reception and were eagerly anticipating their big day.
Mark recalls: ‘We were about to go out and make a few final arrangements for our wedding when we heard a frantic rapping at the front door.
‘When we opened it, two social workers burst in and told us that the marriage was illegal because Kerry has learning difficulties. They said she did not possess the capacity to make such a decision.’
Then came the second bombshell – their baby would be removed at birth. Once again, social workers believed her learning difficulties could lead to the baby suffering ‘emotional harm’.
‘It was as if I didn’t matter as a father,’ recalls Mark.

‘By stopping our wedding, social workers had taken away my rights as the baby’s dad. The fact that I would always be there to look after Ben as well didn’t seem to make any difference.’
He now believes that Fife social services had made up their minds that Kerry would not be able to keep the baby even before they had assessed her as a parent.
Because of this, days later the couple made the heart-wrenching decision to flee the UK and go to Ireland because they believed Irish social workers would prove more sympathetic.
Kerry expertly cradles Ben on her lap and as she talks it is clear that he enjoys the sound of his mother’s voice.

‘I’m shy when I first speak to people,’ she says by way of explanation of her reticence to speak to Fife social workers.
‘It’s only when I’ve known people for a long time that I am happy speaking to them.
‘I didn’t want to leave Fife – I’ve lived there all my life. All my friends and family are still there. I didn’t want to leave them.

But at the same time I’d been told my baby would be taken into care at birth and, naturally, I was going to do anything to stop that from happening.’
After tearful goodbyes to family and friends, the couple fled the UK with just £200, a suitcase of clothes and a bag of sandwiches made by Kerry.
Thankfully, a benefactor provided a rented house for them in Waterford. This generosity came just in time – ten days later, on January 15, Kerry went into labour and at 8.41pm gave birth to Ben, a healthy 7lb 3oz.

For three days, like any other new parents, the couple were on cloud nine. Kerry took to breast-feeding and close friends and family who knew where they were sent congratulations cards.
There was more trouble in store, however. The Irish authorities had discovered from Kerry’s medical records that social workers in Fife had an interest in her.
Mark later found out that Irish officials who contacted Fife were told that Kerry’s ‘disability’ could put Ben at risk of physical or emotional neglect. As a result, Irish social workers were duty-bound to act.
Mark and Kerry were utterly unprepared when, at 9.15am on January 19, they were forced to hand over their baby. They just had time to tell Ben they loved him and give him a kiss before he was taken away.
‘Coming home without Ben was awful,’ says Kerry.

‘Neither of us could stop crying. We just didn’t know what to do with ourselves. My body ached for my baby. I produced so much milk for him, which I would give to social workers so they could feed him.’
Over the next two weeks the couple barely saw Ben. Indeed on the few occasions they were allowed to visit him there were tearful exchanges with social workers. Kerry was upset to see Ben with a dummy and angry that he was being bottle-fed with formula milk.
Even when mother and baby were reunited at a special residential home, Mark had to drive for 90 minutes to get there.
Mark says: ‘Kerry and I were apart and I couldn’t see Ben that often. We just longed to be a normal family – to play on the beach, take him for walks in the park and tuck him up in his own bed.’
More recently they have been allowed to see him without the presence of a social worker. Then, last Wednesday, the Irish courts lifted many of the restrictions, meaning they were finally allowed to take Ben home and care for him themselves.
Mark is reluctant to criticise Irish social services.

‘Having been told by Fife that they feared Kerry could cause Ben “emotional harm”, I can see that they found themselves in a difficult position where they were forced to act,’ he says.
‘We had to prove that Fife social services’ concerns were groundless. Yes, Kerry does have some learning difficulties – the way she sees everything in such a black-and-white way is one of the reasons why I adore her – and she does need help with Ben. But it doesn’t mean she should have the right to be a mum taken away from her.’
He says that neither he nor Kerry regret leaving the UK and that, after the way they have been treated, they have no plans to return.
‘I believe that, had we stayed in the UK, our lives would have been ruined,’ he says. ‘We would have been forbidden to marry, and Kerry would have continued to be treated as a single mum with learning difficulties rather than an individual with a right to a normal life.
‘Although our baby was taken in Ireland, at least they looked at us as individuals rather than making a blanket assumption that Kerry wouldn’t be a good parent.’
It is proof of how much this couple have touched people’s hearts that, when they married two weeks ago, some of the 30 guests were officials involved in their case.
‘Right up to the last minute I expected someone to turn up and say we couldn’t go through with it,’ says Mark.

‘The registrar knew our wedding had been refused in the UK and it was up to her to decide if in fact Kerry was intelligent enough to understand the vows.
‘The registrar did have the right, under Irish law, to stop it again.Thankfully she had no hesitation in taking us through our vows and the wedding went without a hitch.’
The guest of honour was Ben, now nine months old and a lively bundle of mischief. Although clearly angry at their treatment, neither Mark nor Kerry show any bitterness. Instead they are absorbed in the happiness of making a home on the beautiful shoreline of Waterford.
‘He’s a big baby for his age,’ says Kerry proudly.

‘He’s also very contented and he’s always laughing. He can crawl fast and already he’s pulling himself to stand and trying to walk.
‘I do most of the caring for Ben. I’m the one who gets up in the night, who changes his nappies and sorts his food. I usually give him his bath in the evening and try to keep to a definite bedtime, so he is usually tucked up by 8pm.’
Mark’s view is equally straightforward: ‘We simply want to move on. We want to put this behind us and enjoy being a family at last.’

Read more:

Kerry and Ben Reunited!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ten Things You May Not Know About Baby Formula

The use of baby formula as the primary method of infant feeding has exploded in popularity over the past few decades. Formula has become increasingly healthier in recent years with the addition of chemicals like DHA and lutein, both of which are naturally found in human milk. In spite of these advancements, there is some information that the manufacturers aren't advertising. Take a look at these ten little-known facts about infant formula.

1. The linings of formula cans contain bisphenol-A, or BPA, a plastics chemical which mimics the female hormone estrogen. Exposure to BPA can potentially cause reproductive problems and early puberty. Experts are concerned that the chemical may leach into the formula and be ingested by infants, who are far more vulnerable to adverse effects from contaminants than adults. Liquid and ready-to-feed formulas are more susceptible to this leaching than powdered formulas. The FDA reports that they are currently accepting applications for alternative substances with which to line formula cans; however, they do not recommend changing a child's feeding habits based solely on this concern.

2. Feeding an infant formula can increase the child's risk of developing food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease, a disease which encompasses the chronic conditions ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, according to new research performed by nutritionist Sharon Donovan at the University of Illinois. The study also shows an increased risk for asthma in formula-fed infants. These conditions result from the formula's inability to activate the appropriate immune system genes within the digestive tract. Without the activation of these genes, a child's digestive system is left vulnerable to a lifetime of adverse effects.

3. It is impossible to produce sterile powdered infant formula. According to the World Health Organization, current technology does not allow for powdered formula to be manufactured in such a way that it is sterile, even when it is produced within current hygienic guidelines.

4. Baby formula may be contaminated with the harmful bacteria enterobacter sakazakii and salmonella enterica. Since powdered formula cannot be manufactured to be sterile, these bacteria can be present and cause severe illness in children. The WHO reports that, although these organisms cannot thrive in dry formula, they can survive in it for up to and possibly exceeding one year. Once the formula is mixed, it provides an ideal habitat for the growth of these illness-causing bacteria. In rare cases, infection with these pathogens can even cause a child's death.

5. Formula feeding increases a child's risk of childhood obesity and of developing diabetes. A White House study, released by first lady Michelle Obama in May 2010, explains that babies who are formula-fed are 22 percent more likely to be obese. Formula derived from cow's milk contains about twice as much protein as human milk. This excess protein results in excess insulin production and prolonged insulin response. Even well into childhood, children who were formula-fed as infants show low levels of the hormon leptin, which is known to "inhibit appetite and control body fatness."

6. Soy-based formulas contain plant estrogens which can cause a variety of reproductive issues. Soy formulas are an alternative for children with cow's milk allergies and for vegan families. While studies have shown that obesity and diabetes risks are lower for children who consume soy-based formulas, they are not without their own set of dangers. A study published by The Society for the Study of Reproduction in March 2010 found that newborn mice who were fed a formula containing the soy plant estrogen genistein once daily developed various reproductive problems, as well as abnormalities of the thymus gland. The study mimicked the level of genistein that would be found in a human infant who was regularly fed soy formula. It raises serious questions about the safety and long-term effects of soy-based formulas in infants.

7. The FDA does not test infant formulas prior to their marketing and sale. While the FDA inspects manufacturing facilities and performs quality tests on formulas once a year, they do not test infant formula to ensure that it meets nutritional and quality requirements before it is allowed to be sold. Instead, the FDA relies solely on the manufacturers' own reports that their products meet federal standards.

8. Infant formulas often contain perchlorate, the base chemical in solid rocket fuels. In March 2009, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a study which found perchlorate in 15 brands of infant formula. The EPA insists that the levels of the chemical found in formula pose no threat to infants. However, according to the CDC, the drinking water in 26 states contains high levels of perchlorate. If tap water and powdered baby formula, both containing the hazardous chemical, are mixed together, the levels may be high enough to cause serious harm to infants.

9. FDA testing has revealed that some baby formulas also contain the chemicals melamine and cyanuric acid. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has stated that these chemicals "can cause renal failure by production of insoluble melamine cyanurate crystals in renal tubules and/or calculi in kidneys, ureter, urethra or the urinary bladder." In other words, when these chemicals are present in baby formula, they can cause kidneys stones, kidney and urinary blockages and infections, and kidney failure. In extreme cases, complications of these conditions may result in the deaths of infants. The FDA performs tests for melamine and cyanuric acid in baby formulas, which can be viewed on their website.

10. Many brands of formula contain ingredients which are generally acknowledged to contain or produce monosodium glutamate, or MSG. The organization Truth in Labeling provides information from a Canadian study which found MSG, a dangerous neurotoxin, in at least five brands of baby formula. Although testing was performed only on Canadian products, all five companies manufacture and sell products in the United States as well. The organization also names ingredients from four different types of U.S. baby formula which are known to contain MSG or to produce it during processing. These ingredients include enzymatically hydrolyzed reduced minerals, casein hydrolysate, carrageenan, and maltodextrin.

Unfortunately, the companies that manufacture infant formula do not always tell the entire story. Strict guidelines are put in place to help ensure the safety of formula-fed infants, but unfortunately some problems have still arisen with these infant products. It is imperative that parents have all the information possible and that our society continues to demand higher and higher standards in the production of products for our children and babies.


U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Update on Bisphenol A for Use in Food Contact Applications: January 2010

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Infant Formula

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
FDA 101: Infant Formula

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Clinical Testing of Infant Formulas with Respect to Nutritional Suitability for Term Infants

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Guidelines Concerning Notification and Testing of Infant Formulas

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Frequently Asked Questions about FDA's Regulation of Infant Formula

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Domestic Infant Formula Testing Results

Amy Burkholder, CNN
Group Sounds Alarm on Infant Formula Cans

Thea Edwards & Wendy Hessler, Environmental Health News
Soy Formula Affects Reproductive Development in Mice

World Science & University of Illinois Staff
Why Is Breast Milk Best? It's in the Genes, Scientists Say

Elizabeth Simpson, The Virginian-Pilot
How the Fight against Flab Can Start before Birth

January W. Payne, U.S. News & World Report
5 Reasons That May Explain Why Type 1 Diabetes In on the Rise

U.S. News & World Report
Health Buss: Dropping Cancer Rates and Other Health News

Brian Hartman, ABC News
Rocket Fuel Chemical Found in Baby Formula

World Health Organization
Questions and Answers on Melamine

World Health Organization
Melamine and Cyanuric Acid: Toxicity, Preliminary Risk Assessment and Guidance on Levels in Food

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
Melamine Health Impact Assessment

World Health Organization
Safe Preparation, Storage, and Handling of Powdered Infant Formula

Truth in Labeling
Infant Formula

Let's Move
Early Childhood

Biology of Reproduction
Acute and Chronic Effects of Oral Genistein Administration in Neonatal Mice

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Similac Recall: Beetles Concern Prompts Infant Formula To Be Recalled

WASHINGTON — Drugmaker Abbott Laboratories said Wednesday it is recalling millions of containers of its best-selling Similac infant formula that may be contaminated with insect parts.

The voluntary action affects up to 5 million Similac-brand powder formulas sold in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and some Caribbean countries. The company said the products may contain a small beetle or larvae, which could cause stomach ache and digestion problems.

The recall does not affect any liquid formulas or other Abbott-brand products.

A company spokeswoman said Abbott uncovered the insects last week in one section of a manufacturing plant in Sturgis, Michigan.

"We immediately shut down that one area and began an investigation," said Abbott's Melissa Brotz. "We're in the process of resolving it now." Abbott manufactures Similac at several U.S. sites.

Brotz said the company has been consulting with the Food and Drug Administration, which determined there was no "immediate health risk" from the contamination.

Consumers can enter the lot number on their containers online to determine if they are subject to the recall. The products should be returned to Abbott for a full refund.

"Delivering anything less than the highest quality infant formula is unacceptable to us," said Brotz. "We will do whatever is necessary to maintain the trust of parents in the coming weeks."

The affected products were sold in plastic containers and various can sizes, including 8-ounce (227-gram), 12.4-ounce (352-gram) and 12.9-ounce (366-gram).

Monday, September 6, 2010

Babywearing and Breastfeeding Triplets!

My wonderful friend Nicole, mother of NINE children, including triplets, whom she is breastfeeding.

You can read Nicole's blog here:

Report Finds that Using Formula Doubles the Death Rate for U.S. Infants

Report Finds that Using Formula Doubles the Death Rate for U.S. Infants
[Press Release]
© 2004 Midwifery Today, Inc. All rights reserved.

[Editor's note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today Issue 69, Spring 2004.]

The December issue of Natural Family Online magazine ( features a new analysis which finds that formula feeding doubles infant death rates for babies in the United States. Health educator and author Dr. Linda Folden Palmer's report, based on several decades of research from the U.S. and across the world, reveals that the use of infant formula costs the lives of an estimated 9,335 U.S. babies each year.

According to the report, formula feeding costs U.S. babies more than four additional lives per thousand. The final relative risk for formula feeding comes to double the risk of death for U.S. infants who are fed with formula, compared with babies who are fed naturally.

Based on the current U.S. infant death rate of 6.7 and an average breastfeeding rate of 50 percent, the report shows that the U.S. infant mortality rate would climb to 9.4 if all infants were formula-fed and would drop to 4.7 if all were breastfed.

"Infant formula was designed to be a medical nutritional tool for babies who are unable to breastfeed," Palmer said. "Formula does not fully meet the nutritional and immunity needs of infants. It leaves their immune systems flailing."

The report's conclusions are derived from an examination of the available scientific research on infant mortality in the U.S. and across the world. Research included in Palmer's report includes studies showing artificial feeding's impact on overall infant death rates in developing and undeveloped countries; studies providing comparative illness occurrence rates for many illnesses and disorders in the U.S. and other industrialized nations; and reports examining superior survival rates and decreased illness rates among breastfed infants. The report assembles these statistics to build a firm picture of the ratio of infant deaths for U.S. formula-fed babies against those who are breastfed.

The report cites results from numerous studies illustrating the negative impact of formula feeding on the health and survival of infants with various illnesses and health problems, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS); heart, circulatory and respiratory failure; diarrhea; respiratory illnesses; cancer; and low birth-weight and preterm babies.

Illness and death rates of breastfed babies who receive formula supplementation are much closer to those of fully formula-fed babies, Palmer's report notes. Numerous studies referenced in the report reveal conclusively that the longer breastfeeding lasts, the greater the measurable difference in illness and death rates.

Available evidence strongly contradicts commonly made assertions that formula feeding does not risk lives in industrialized nations where education and medical advances prevent increased deaths, Palmer said.

"Some insist that the blame for the United States' relatively high infant death rate lies with underprivileged communities," Palmer said. "But after examining the available research, we see that elevated death rates among U.S. blacks cannot be attributed to poverty. Hispanic Americans rank similarly to African American populations for socioeconomic factors, but they match non-Hispanic whites in their lower infant mortality rates. The difference is not socioeconomic; the difference is in rates of formula use versus breastfeeding."

For both condensed and full, referenced versions of Dr. Palmer's report, visit

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sugar for Newborns Does Not Relieve Pain

Sugar for newborns does not relieve pain: study
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EmailPrint.. AFP/File – A nurse attending to newborn infants in a maternity ward of a hospital. Contrary to international guidelines, … .– Wed Sep 1, 7:04 pm ET
PARIS (AFP) – Contrary to international guidelines, sugar given to newborn babies does not ease pain, according to a study published on Thursday by The Lancet.

In 2001, doctors published recommendations, based on a series of trials, that oral sucrose be administered to newborns to help relieve pain from invasive procedures.

But a new look suggests that sucrose does not reduce pain signals in the brain or spinal cord, but merely changes the babies' facial expression, which gives a false impression that pain is being relieved.

Rebeccah Slater of University College London and colleagues pricked the heels of 59 newborns with a small blade -- a procedure that was required anyway to draw a blood sample -- and monitored pain activity in the brain and spine using electrode caps.

The infants were assigned either sterile water or a sucrose solution, placed on the tongue by a tiny syringe.

Pain activity did not differ significantly between the two groups.

"The absence of evidence for an analgesic action of sucrose in this study, together with uncertainty over the long-term benefits of repeated sucrose administration, suggest that sucrose should not be used routinely for procedural pain in infants without further investigation," Slater's team said.

Low Milk Supply

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Early Weaning Linked to Chronic Disease

Early weaning linked to chronic disease
Updated Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:31am AEST

The universal health recommendation is around six months of exclusive breast feeding (AFP: Romeo Gacad)
New research has linked the nation's chronic disease burden with the absence of breastfeeding.

Thirty per cent of people aged between 35 and 40 were not breastfed as babies.

The Australian National University research assessed the outcomes of dozens of existing studies, with the aim of explaining what factors trigger chronic diseases such as diabetes, digestive diseases and heart problems.

Researcher Dr Julie Smith says she found adults who were prematurely weaned as infants are more likely to suffer in the long term, compared to those who were breastfed.

"The risk associated with lack of breastfeeding in infancy was 30 per higher for many conditions compared to breastfed infants," she said.

Dr Smith says mothers need more support in hospital and the community.

She is challenging federal, state and territory governments to do more to ensure breastfeeding is a realistic choice for mothers.

"The universal health recommendation is around six months of exclusive breast feeding," she said.

"With only half of women in Australia even making six months of breastfeeding, we have got a considerable way to go to make it possible for many women. Sometimes that is about parental leave."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Moms Who Breastfeed Less Likely to Develop Heart Attacks or Strokes

PITTSBURGH, April 21 – The longer women breastfeed, the lower their risk of heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular disease, report University of Pittsburgh researchers in a study published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, so it’s vitally important for us to know what we can do to protect ourselves,” said Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of medicine, epidemiology, and obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. “We have known for years that breastfeeding is important for babies’ health; we now know that it is important for mothers’ health as well.”

According to the study, postmenopausal women who breastfed for at least one month had lower rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, all known to cause heart disease. Women who had breastfed their babies for more than a year were 10 percent less likely to have had a heart attack, stroke, or developed heart disease than women who had never breastfed.

Dr. Schwarz and colleagues found that the benefits from breastfeeding were long-term ? an average of 35 years had passed since women enrolled in the study had last breastfed an infant.

“The longer a mother nurses her baby, the better for both of them,” Dr. Schwarz pointed out. “Our study provides another good reason for workplace policies to encourage women to breastfeed their infants.”

The findings are based on 139,681 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative study of chronic disease, initiated in 1994

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stressed out: Studies show babies become anxious if ignored for even two minutes by mother

Stressed out: Studies show babies become anxious if ignored for even two minutes by mother
By Fiona Macrae

Stressed: Babies deprived of attention become worried and anxious, says new Canadian research

They may have barely mastered sitting up by themselves.

But six-month-old babies become stressed out when they don't get the attention they feel they deserve.

Levels of the stress hormone cortisol soar when they are ignored by their mother, and even a day later they are worried about the same thing happening again.

A baby who is deprived of its mother's love for just two minutes is anxious about being ignored again the next day, a study found.
Experts in child development said that repeated episodes of stress could have a huge effect on a youngster's health and on his or her course in life.

To investigate whether six-month-olds are capable of anticipating trouble, the Canadian researchers invited 30 mothers and babies into their laboratory and divided them into two groups.

Babies were placed in car seats and their mothers played with them and talked to them as normal.

The play was then interspersed with two-minute periods in which the mother simply stared over her child's head, keeping her face free of emotion.

The next day, she took her child back to the laboratory. Levels of cortisol were measured several times on both days. Amounts of cortisol shot up when the babies were ignored.

They then fell off, before rising again when the youngsters were taken back into the laboratory, despite them not being ignored on the second day.

A second group of babies went through the same process, but without being ignored at any time, and their hormone levels barely changed.

The findings suggest that being taken back into the laboratory led the youngsters who had been ignored to anticipate there being more trouble ahead, the journal Biology Letters reports.

Researcher Dr David Haley, of the University of Toronto, said: 'The results suggest that human infants have the capacity to produce an anticipatory stress response that is based on expectations about how their parents will treat them in a specific context.'

Professor Jay Belsky, of Birbeck College, University of London, said factors such as depression could affect a mother's relationship with her baby and send cortisol levels soaring time and time again.

This could lower a baby's immune system, while a troubled upbringing may also mean the child going on to become a less than perfect parent itself.

Read more:

Mother donated breastmilk to premature baby after her child died

Mother donated breastmilk to premature baby after her child died
August 24, 2010

By Alan Bavley

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—As she was getting ready to leave the hospital last week with her baby, a tearful Jennifer Robinson knew how to measure generosity.

All she had to do was turn and look at Nicole Hendrix, the woman who had helped the premature baby, Max, to thrive against the odds.

Hendrix had donated her breast milk—gallons of it—to Max after his mother couldn’t make any more.

It was a personal gift the hospital had never seen before.

Hendrix had been saving frozen milk for her own preemie daughter, Lillian. Lilli, as she was called, died before she could get much more than a little of it.

After multiple surgeries and four anxious months in intensive care, Max finally was healthy enough to leave Overland Park Regional Medical Center in Overland Park, Kan. He weighed in at a substantial 8 pounds, 13 ounces.

Hendrix was there to see him off.

“It makes me feel that something good can come out of something bad,” she said.

Robinson said she was overwhelmed by Hendrix’s generosity.

“With so much going on with their lives they would think of us,” the Olathe, Kan., woman said. “It was like they gave him an organ, something that could save his life.”

Overland Park Regional neonatologist Kathleen Weatherstone said the donation played a role in keeping Max alive.

Max was born on April 16, four months premature. Lillian was born March 4, also four months early.

Both babies suffered from a condition called necrotizing enterocolitis, where blood circulation was cut off to portions of their bowel. It occurs most commonly among extremely premature infants.

Breast milk is believed to be protective against necrotizing enterocolitis, Weatherstone said. And it’s the best-tolerated milk for infants recovering from the condition.

Often it’s difficult, though, for mothers of preemies to give their babies milk. Either their body isn’t ready to produce milk or the stress of dealing with a critically ill child keeps the milk from flowing.

At first, Robinson, 41, was able to provide Max with breast milk. She had breast-fed her two other children. But she soon began to run dry.

“It was really frustrating,” Robinson said. “As a mom, breast milk was one of the only things I could give him to help him.”

Robinson searched for breast milk banks that provide babies with milk from donor mothers. But insurance plans don’t always cover the charges. She calculated that it could cost thousands of dollars per month.

That’s when Robinson and Hendrix’s stories began to intertwine.

Every three hours every day—at home, at work, even at church—Hendrix had been faithfully pumping her breast milk and freezing it, anticipating the day when Lillian would need it.

“The nurses every day said keep going,” Hendrix, 29, said. “It wasn’t fun, but I did it.”

For 10 weeks, she saved her milk. So much milk that the Hendrixes had to buy a freezer to keep in the garage of their Kansas City home.

But Lillian’s persistent medical problems gave her few opportunities to take any of her mother’s milk. Her condition became so serious she had to be transferred to the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., where she died in May.

After Lillian’s death, Hendrix went back to Overland Park Regional to pick up things left behind. She thought of the breast milk at home in the freezer.

“It would have made me sick to throw it out,” she said.

Hendrix asked a nurse in the intensive care unit if she could donate her milk. Word got back to the nurse that Robinson’s baby needed breast milk, and the nurse told Hendrix.

“This was a no-brainer,” Hendrix said. “I feel I would have regretted it if I didn’t. I feel I’ve given meaning to my daughter’s life, if this can help save Max.”

The hospital had never arranged to have a mother donate milk to one of its patients. Doctors insisted that Hendrix be tested for HIV, hepatitis and other infections before Max could have her milk.

When Hendrix turned the milk over to Robinson, it filled a large rolling cooler and three small plastic foam coolers.

Robinson brought plastic bags of frozen milk to the hospital for the nurses to defrost and give to Max.

Before sharing the milk, the Robinsons and Hendrixes barely knew each other.

Hendrix recalls that she and her husband, Shannon, ran into Robinson and her husband, Troy, in the parents’ room at the hospital.

“They were worried and we were listening,” she said. “Their son was going through a lot of what we went through.”

Now the families have become friends. Hendrix visited Max several times in the hospital and was one of the first people to get to hold him.

“We instantly felt we had a connection,” Robinson said. “If it weren’t for Lilli, Max would not be here. Her little life made a huge impact on his. Someday, he’ll know about Lilli and how selfless her mother was."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Soy Formula Unsafe for Babies

Soy Formula Unsafe for Babies: Myths and Truths About Soy
July 16, 2010By Augie
Avoid Soy Prod­ucts– Espe­cially Baby Formula
UPDATE: Did you know that Health Depart­ments all over the nation are now pro­mot­ing raw milk. I have seen bill­boards about the ben­e­fits? The raw milk I am refer­ring to is human breast milk! When breast­feed­ing is not pos­si­ble, health care folks rec­om­mend formula–including soy for­mula. The Amer­i­can Den­tal Asso­ci­a­tion warns NOT to mix flu­o­ri­dated city water with dehy­drated for­mula mix due to the toxic effects of the flu­o­ride. But Ger­ber con­tin­ues to add flu­o­ride to bot­tled water for babies as par­ents erro­neously believe it pre­vents cav­i­ties. But when it comes to soy for­mu­las, I wanted to rerun this arti­cle tonight.– Augie


I don’t know about you, but I like most Myths and Truths arti­cles. They are easy to read and sets things in con­trast to what we have been told. I just hope the attor­neys at the ADM cor­po­ra­tion does not sic their PR staff on me. I don’t think the nasty soy car­tel will appre­ci­ate this arti­cle, espe­cially the part that soy for­mula for babies is not safe.Oh. I almost for­got. Most soy beans are genet­i­cally mod­i­fied. (Arti­cle cour­tesy of The Weston A. Price Foun­da­tion– a fab­u­lous site on nutrition)

Myths & Truths About Soy
NOTE: These Myths & Truths as well as our sum­mary of soy dan­gers are pro­vided on our Soy Alert! tri­fold brochure (PDF). You may print this at home or at a copy store for mass dis­tri­b­u­tion. If you wish, you can order quan­ti­ties of pro­fes­sion­ally printed two-color tri­fold brochures for 25 cents each by using the Order Form.

Myth: Use of soy as a food dates back many thou­sands of years.

Truth: Soy was first used as a food dur­ing the late Chou dynasty (1134–246 BC), only after the Chi­nese learned to fer­ment soy beans to make foods like tem­peh, natto and tamari.

Myth: Asians con­sume large amounts of soy foods.

Truth: Aver­age con­sump­tion of soy foods in Japan and China is 10 grams (about 2 tea­spoons) per day. Asians con­sume soy foods in small amounts as a condi­ment, and not as a replace­ment for ani­mal foods.

Myth: Mod­ern soy foods con­fer the same health ben­e­fits as tra­di­tion­ally fer­mented soy foods.

Truth: Most mod­ern soy foods are not fer­mented to neu­tral­ize tox­ins in soy­beans, and are processed in a way that dena­tures pro­teins and increases lev­els of carcinogens.

Myth: Soy foods pro­vide com­plete protein.

Truth: Like all legumes, soy beans are defi­cient in sulfur-containing amino acids methio­n­ine and cys­tine. In addi­tion, mod­ern pro­cess­ing dena­tures frag­ile lysine.

Myth: Fer­mented soy foods can pro­vide vit­a­min B12 in veg­e­tar­ian diets.

Truth: The com­pound that resem­bles vit­a­min B12 in soy can­not be used by the human body; in fact, soy foods cause the body to require more B12

Myth: Soy for­mula is safe for infants.

Truth: Soy foods con­tain trypsin inhibitors that inhibit pro­tein diges­tion and affect pan­cre­atic func­tion. In test ani­mals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors led to stunted growth and pan­cre­atic dis­or­ders. Soy foods increase the body’s require­ment for vit­a­min D, needed for strong bones and nor­mal growth. Phytic acid in soy foods results in reduced bioavail­abilty of iron and zinc which are required for the health and devel­op­ment of the brain and ner­vous sys­tem. Soy also lacks cho­les­terol, like­wise essen­tial for the devel­op­ment of the brain and ner­vous sys­tem. Mega­doses of phy­toe­stro­gens in soy for­mula have been impli­cated in the cur­rent trend toward increas­ingly pre­ma­ture sex­ual devel­op­ment in girls and delayed or retarded sex­ual devel­op­ment in boys.

Con­tinue read­ing: There are more doozies at

Brazil's new Breastfeeding Ad

Look closely, it may not be what is seems......

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Breastfeeding is 'creepy' says parenting magazine

An article in Mother & Baby magazine that described breastfeeding as “creepy” has prompted a backlash among mothers and midwives on the internet.

By Alastair Jamieson
Published: 10:43AM BST 27 Jun 2010

The Department of Health recommends breastfeeding Photo:

In a candid discussion about the decision to use milk formula, deputy editor Kathryn Blundell said she bottle fed her children because "I wanted my body back. (And some wine) …”

She added: “I also wanted to give my boobs at least a chance to stay on my chest rather than dangling around my stomach."

The article – which appeared under the headline "I formula fed. So what?" – has reignited the often ferocious debate about the choice between breastfeeding or using powdered milk.

It has already prompted a Facebook campaign supported by about 600 users of the social media site, and at least six complaints to the Press Complaints Commission.

The Department of Health recommends that babies are fed only breast milk for the first six months of life but many women are unable to do so or opt for formula milk out of choice in the case of an outspoken pro-breastfeeding lobby.

The article said: “The Milk Mafia can keep their guilt trips. Bullying other mums about something as special and nurturing as feeding their babies (and yes, bottle feeding can be lovely and intimate) is a depth that even Vicky Pollard wouldn’t sink to.

“So, let’s hear it, ladies, for modern nutritional science, but most of all for our freedom of choice.”

Describing her own feelings about using her breasts for feeding, the author wrote: "They're part of my sexuality, too – not just breasts, but fun bags. And when you have that attitude (and I admit I made no attempt to change it), seeing your teeny, tiny, innocent baby latching on where only a lover has been before feels, well, a little creepy.”

The article did concede that " are all the studies that show [breastfeeding] reduces the risk of breast cancer for you, and stomach upsets and allergies for your baby.”

Among those to complain through Facebook were bottle-feeding mothers who objected to the tone of the article, which pondered whether formula users “just couldn’t be fagged or felt like getting tipsy once in awhile”.

On the Mumsnet website, the article was the subject of hundreds of comments. One contributor said: “People pay attention to these sorts of articles and if anyone who is having any wobbles about [breastfeeding] this may be the one article which steers them away from it, if they think that being seen to [breastfeeding] is in any way 'creepy'.”

However, other contributors welcomed the article as “tongue-in-cheek” and for dealing with a “taboo” subject.

Miranda Levy, the editor of the magazine, said the publication was “a constant and vocal supporter of breastfeeding” and that the article was reflected “personal experience” and had been praised by some bottle-feeding readers for making them “feel 'normal' and less of a 'failure' for not managing to breastfeed”.

For the full article and comments, visit:

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Changes to Guidelines for Contraceptive Use Could Compromise a Woman's Ability to Breastfeed

New Rochelle, NY, June 24, 2010 - New birth control guidelines released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could undermine mothers who want to breastfeed by sanctioning the use of progesterone injections, progestin-only pills, as well as combined (progestin-estrogen) oral contraceptives within the first month after giving birth.

“The new guidelines ignore basic facts about how breastfeeding works," says Dr. Gerald Calnen, President of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM). "Mothers start making milk due to the natural fall in progesterone after birth. An injection of artificial progesterone could completely derail this process.”

The CDC report, “U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010,” released in the May 28 issue of Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), contains important changes in what constitutes acceptable contraceptive use by breastfeeding women. The criteria advise that by 1 month postpartum the benefits of progesterone contraception (in the form of progestin-only pills, depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DPMA) injection, or implants), as well as the use of combined (progestin-estrogen) oral contraceptives outweigh the risk of reducing breastfeeding rates. Previously, progesterone birth control was not recommended for nursing mothers until at least 6 weeks after giving birth, and combined hormonal methods were not recommended before 6 months.

Based on clinical experience, breastfeeding support providers report a negative impact on breastfeeding when contraceptive methods are introduced too early. One preliminary study demonstrated dramatically lower breastfeeding rates at 6 months among mothers who underwent early insertion of progesterone-containing IUDs, compared with breastfeeding rates of mothers who underwent insertion at 6-8 weeks postpartum.

“The data are limited,” says Calnen, “but for now, the state of the science suggests that early progesterone exposure undermines breastfeeding.”

Family planning specialists argue that early hormonal birth control is needed to reduce unplanned pregnancies. However, the most commonly used early contraceptive method, a DPMA injection, prevents pregnancy for only 12 weeks at a time. “There is no evidence that immediate postpartum injections delay the next pregnancy beyond the first 3 months,” says Calnen.

Dr. Miriam Labbok, Director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute and an expert on the interface between breastfeeding and fertility, notes, “The mother should have the final decision on her birth control method, with full information. Unfortunately, these methods are often given to women with little counseling. Women deserve to know that there is a potential risk.”

ABM wrote to CDC Director Thomas Frieden in January urging reconsideration of the guidelines. In his reply, Dr. Frieden described the new recommendations as “the best interpretation of the existing evidence.”

Calnen is less confident. “Physicians and mothers should proceed with caution," he says. "There are plenty of birth control methods that are proven to be safe for breastfeeding. Early progesterone is not one of them.”

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine is a global organization of physicians dedicated to the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding and human lactation through education, research, and advocacy. An independent, self-sustaining, international physician organization and the only organization of its kind, ABM 's mission is to unite members of various medical specialties through physician education, expansion of knowledge in breastfeeding science and human lactation, facilitation of optimal breastfeeding practices, and encouragement of the exchange of information among organizations. It promotes the development and dissemination of clinical practice guidelines. The Academy has prepared clinical protocols for the care of breastfeeding mothers and infants that are available on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) National Guideline Clearinghouse website.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Photos from a doctor's office

A series of Kijiji ads

First this one:

Similac Advance Formula

TWO cans of Similac Advance 365g

Breast is best and I won't sell it to you if you're pregnant. Regular formula users, only, please.
Pick up in North Edmonton or I can meet you somewhere central.

Then, this ad in response:

to the person selling formula but refuses sell to pregnant moms
Why won't you sell to pregnant women?? who gives you the right to judge a mother based on how they feed their child?? So what if a mother gives her baby formula, did you know that there are several factors as to why a mother CANNOT breastfeed? it ISN"T always a PERSONAL CHOICE! It's a shame that there are people like you out there, considering it's already the year 2010, not 1963! What about moms whose babies are born premature and sick and are spending weeks and months in the NICU?? I was one of those mothers.. in those cases, expressing breastmilk and giving it to babies EXCLUSIVELY doesn't always help them gain the weight they need to sustain on their own, in many cases, they supplement with formula. Before you judge, maybe try getting informed. I hope you DON"T sell your formula based on your assumptions and judgments. And I hope that people who read this decided against purchasing from you!

And thirdly, this ad in response to that response:

To the woman who is angry about discretionary sellers
I think you need reconsider who is judging who. I think the woman who is selling the formula has every right not to sell to a pregnant lady.
1. Kijiji is a forum for selling, not for your opinion
2. The seller has the right to choose who they sell to.
3. Exclusive breastfeeding is the default (read: only recommended!) food for all humans for the first 6 months of life (unless medical formula is needed and thus prescribed by a doctor) and should be continued until the age of 2 along with complimentary foods.
4. If you are pregnant and stocking up on formula, then you haven't tried to breastfeed. Each pregnancy is different and even if you weren't successful with the first baby, you may be successful with others.
5. not being able to breastfeed is actually a rarity. Consultation with a good lactation consultant and seeking breastfeeding support can resolve most issues. Formula will make most issues worse.
6. Babies that are premature and in the NICU need formula that is much different than the stuff you buy in the store.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Photos from the Halifax Family Expo

I aplogize for the blurry photos, I was trying to be discreet while taking them

Monday, May 24, 2010

Has now been changed to......The 9 commandments of dining with little kids

The 9 commandments of dining with little kids

by Heather W. at Better Homes and Gardens, on Wed May 19, 2010 1:34pm

Editor's Note: We sincerely apologize that this blog was posted! It was not vetted by our editors, and it reflects poor parenting advice and an offensive tone. We have removed the most patently inappropriate sections. We support breastfeeding moms -- and all moms -- in their desire to include their children in their public lives.

We pledge to do better in the future in both the tone and content of our posts. We will be posting our positive parenting tips for eating out soon. Send us yours at

--The editorial team at Better Homes and Gardens

The 10 commandments of dining with little kids

The horribly offensive article from "Better Homes and Gardens", encouraging mothers to go to the bathroom for breastfeeding.
There is a facebook group to boycott and protest the popular magazine.

Let me be clear: I am not anti-kid. I adore children in all their lovable, spontaneous, energetic glory. However, in recent years, I’ve noticed a pronounced blurring of the boundaries between “adult world” and “kid world”, especially when it comes to dining out. Those seeking romantic, contemplative dining may find themselves irked by erstwhile tots in a refined restaurant -- but I don't think anyone is ready to institute a kid ban. Really, we can all get along...

With this in mind, offers our ten commandments for kids in upscale restaurants -- gentle reminders for parents and non-parents alike -- as well as kid-friendly recipes for creating your own restaurant experience at home.

Strollers have begun to overtake cars and wristwatches as conspicuous status symbols. You may be proud of your double-wide Maclaren, but be sure not to leave it jutting out in a place where waiters and other patrons might trip over in transit.

Leave the stroller at home and indulge your family with this melty, tasty Chicken and Cheese Panini.

Kids, as we all know, have kid-sized attention spans. Attempting to make them sit still while you enjoy a world-renowned chef’s esoteric, glacially-paced tasting menu isn’t going to be a pleasant experience for anyone.

For a fast meal your kids will still savor, whip up this Quick Crunchy Chicken Dinner.

Your server is there to accommodate you, but customer service has its limits. While most waiters are happy to engage and amuse your little one, it's bad form to delegate your child-minding duties to the person taking your sea bass order.

Let your kids serve themselves with our Best Yummy Mexican Meals.

Yes, I have seen table-side breast feeding at a four-star restaurant. If at all possible, take it to the ladies room. (Note: most upscale restaurants have really nice restrooms!)

If you're breastfeeding, you likely want to cook something quick, easy, and protein-rich; we love this Speedy Bow Tie Pasta Dinner.

Most restaurants are happy to provide kid-friendly cuisine, so don’t hesitate to ask, just keep in mind you may experience sticker shock (e.g., $23 for pasta with butter)

For a filling and savory twist on basic spaghetti, try these hearty Filled Pasta Entrees.

It’s exciting to see your little one all dressed up at the table, and special occasions and birthdays are naturally conducive to photos, but overzealous documentation with flash photography, flip-cams, and camcorders can be distracting to fellow diners.

Say "cheese" with these ten tasty Macaroni and Cheese recipes.

It’s wise to bring a few of your kid’s favorite toys for their amusement but try not to bring excessively loud games and bleep-blooping electronic toys -- or at least be sure there’s a volume-off button.

Keep their hands busy with a finger-food meal, such as this tasty Buffalo Wing Dinner.

Unexpected tantrums and outbursts are a fact of life, but when a parent sits stoically as their child screams without any intervention, the mood of the room can quickly turn from convivial to incredulous to profoundly irritated.

They'll be screaming with joy for these homemade Mini Pizzas With Pizazz.

When you let your child run free in the restaurant, it’s not only disruptive to other diners, but it could be a safety hazard: Restaurants are full of hot plates and sharp cutlery, and kids underfoot could cause a major disaster.

Keep them planted happily in their seats with this zesty, crunchy Skillet Tostada Dinner.

Ah, the food fight. The epitome of fun at summer camp and grade school cafeterias -- less so at Michelin-starred eateries. If the food starts flying, quietly and firmly put an end to it.

And if your kids politely make their way through the meal without incident, treat them to a well-deserved Dessert treat.

USDA Calls For Removal Of DHA/ARA From Organic Formula

Natural. Pure. Wholesome. Good. Those are the words that come to mind when I see the “USDA organic” seal. At a time when we are all more mindful of the dangers of pesticides and chemicals in the foods we eat, it’s reassuring to see the small green-and-white emblem that means you don’t need to worry–this product is natural and good for you.

However, a recent ban of synthetic fats commonly found in some organic products raises serious questions about such thinking. A statement on the ban was recently issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and will impact infant formula and other foods that contain the synthetic additives widely known as DHA and ARA. As reported by the Washington Post last year and last month, these synthetic oils were added to a list of non-organic ingredients allowed into organic products through a decision by a Bush administration official after discussion with a formula industry lobbyist and over the objections of several USDA employees who had determined such action a violation of federal standards. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and organics expert Kathleen Merrigan acknowledges that the synthetic oils should not be allowed in organic foods. New guidelines will be developed by the USDA. The process will include a 60-day period for public comment, and could take a year or longer.

What does this mean for parents?
The changes that result from the USDA’s decision may be noticed first by parents who feed their children formula, since the synthetic oils currently are added to nearly all infant formulas. In fact, except for some prescription formulas, the Cornucopia Institute notes that “only one over-the-counter formula is available without synthetic DHA/ARA.” Every other formula on the market includes them. The USDA’s decision ensures that more infant formulas will be available without DHA and ARA.

While the USDA does not, in its statement, challenge the safety of the additives, others do. For years, the Cornucopia Institute and the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy (NABA) have questioned the appropriateness and safety of adding these substances to infant formula and other foods.

Its report, “Replacing Mother – Imitating Human Breast Milk in the Laboratory,” is an examination of the synthetic oils from production to inclusion in formula, a caution about reports of side effects experienced by infants who consume them, and a look at relevant federal policies.

Why include DHA/ARA in formula?
DHA and ARA are polyunsaturated fats naturally found in human milk. In recent years, these fatty acids have received heightened attention in both the laboratory and the media as a result of ongoing controversy about healthy levels of fish intake for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Authorities have agreed that the fatty acids are important for brain, neural, and eye development; as discussion turned to how much DHA and ARA pregnant and breastfeeding women should consume for their infants’ health, formula companies saw a marketing opportunity. If they included synthetic versions of these oils (manufactured under the names DHASCO and ARASCO) in infant formula, the companies could assuage parents’ concerns about their baby’s development while suggesting that formula is “as close as ever to breast milk.” As noted in a Martek investment promotion from 1996 (and quoted in the Cornucopia Institute’s report), “Even if [the DHA/ARA blend] has no benefit, we think it would be widely incorporated into formulas, as a marketing tool and to allow companies to promote their formula as ‘closest to human milk.’”

In fact, leading formula manufacturer Mead Johnson admits on its Enfamil website that numerous scientific studies have shown little or no benefit to infant development, lending support to the theory that inclusion of these oils is just a marketing gimmick—much like the inclusion of prebiotics.

Unfortunately, it seems to be an effective gimmick. The percentage of people who agreed that “infant formula and breastfeeding are equally good ways of feeding an infant” doubled from 12 percent to 24 percent between 2003 and 2004, when the formula companies began advertising their supplemented formulas.

What is the cause for concern?
There are several causes for concern about the synthetic DHA and ARA added to formula and other foods and beverages.

First, parents should be aware that even though their infant formula may be labeled “USDA organic,” the process by which these additives are made is about as far from natural as possible. Martek Biosciences Corporation, extracts the oils from fermented algae and fungus with the use of a synthetic solvent hexane, a neurotoxic chemical. It’s possible that hexane residues evaporate before the oils are consumed, but according to the Cornucopia Institute’s report, tests have shown that hexane residues do appear in some edible oils. We don’t know the effects of hexane on health, but organics experts feel that the process would cause the National Organics Standards Board to deny the inclusion of these synthetic fats on the list of allowable additives to organic foods. Fats produced in this way hardly sound like the sorts of things parents who are shopping organic want to feed their children.

Second, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not affirmed the safety of the synthetic oils, noting that “[s]ome studies have reported unexpected deaths among infants who consumed formula supplemented with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids … attributed to SIDS, sepsis or necrotizing enterocolitis. Also, some studies have reported adverse events and other morbidities including diarrhea, flatulence, jaundice, and apnea in infants fed long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.”

Unlike the natural DHA and ARA in breast milk, many infants are unable to digest the synthetic oils. The FDA has received what NABA Executive Director Marsha Walker calls “scores of reports on the adverse effects of these ingredients,” in which infants experience gastrointestinal symptoms ranging in severity from vomiting and diarrhea that cleared up when the baby switched to a non-DHA/ARA formula to severe dehydration and seizures that required hospitalization. Still, infant formula manufacturers have resisted calls for the addition of “warning labels” to product packages. As a result, parents cannot make informed decisions about the risks of DHA/ARA formula relative to other feeding options, and they often don’t know that their children’s health problems can be solved by switching to a formula without these additives.

What can parents do?

Be aware of the risks. If you are feeding your child a formula that contains DHA and ARA, keep an eye out for possible gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting or diarrhea. If the symptoms persist, talk with your baby’s doctor about switching to another formula, but know that there are few DHA/ARA-free formulas available.
Report adverse effects. Be sure to tell your child’s pediatrician about any problems. Also, enter your experience into the FDA’s Adverse Events Reporting System.
Share information with other parents. Across the board, parents whose children experience adverse effects of the formula say they had no idea that could be the cause. Until the FDA decides to require warning labels we can spread the word to other parents, so they can be aware too.
Contact policymakers. The USDA will have a 60-day public comment period before it issues its final guidelines about the inclusion of additives in organic infant formula. Let the USDA’s decision makers know what you think on this topic. In addition, leading DHA/ARA manufacturer Martek Biosciences has already indicated that it will petition the National Organic Standards Board to allow the fatty acids into organic food.
Contact formula and food manufacturers. Tell them you purchase only products that do not include these synthetic fats. If your family members have suffered side effects from the ingestion, talk about that; if you object to the manufacturing process, explain that. Since companies want to manufacture products that will sell, they should listen to consumer feedback.
Breastfeed! If you want to provide your baby with DHA and ARA, there is no safer way than from human milk.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I am a Lactivist, NOT anti-formula or bottle-feeding

I am a Lactivist, NOT anti-formula or bottle-feeding
by Marissa Dean

I am sick of being labelled as "anti-bottle feeding" or "anti-formula" because I am an lactivist. Lets get something straight, most of us lactivists have nothing against a mother who is bottle-feeding or using formula. Here is what we do have issues with:

1. Formula companies agressive ad campaigns, especially in 3rd world countries.
2. Formula companies who make false claims that their brand is the closest to breastmilk, which is impossible nothing even comes close.
3. Formula companies who give out free samples.
4. Doctors who promote Formula
5. Nurses and Doctors who claim to be pro-bfing but as soon as you have a bump in the road, they suggest going to the bottle instead of helping the mother get past that bump.
6. Family members who have a problem with bfing who harrass and convince a new mother that bottle feeding is easier, just as good, or better than the breast.
7. People who think bfing is sexual abuse
8. People who think bfing past 6 months or 12 months is "disgusting"
9. People who tell a woman who is bfing to go some where else
10. People who think bfing is obscene but will happily by a copy of Rolling Stone with a half naked woman and the front and think that is socially acceptable.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Extraordinary Breastfeeding

A Personal Story from Mike Wuebben, Senior Producer, Health and Wellness
That my wife would breastfeed our second son, Willem, was a no-brainer. Leslie nursed our son Benjamin for his first 14 months and except for a rough couple early days, it came very naturally.

In the delivery room at 10 in the morning, just a few minutes after Will was born, Leslie put him to her breast, but this groggy little kid wouldn’t latch on. Oh well. The nurses said he was tired and this was normal. After a half an hour she tried again. No latch. With a beautiful calm focus, Leslie tried again and again. Twelve hours later the nurses came and took the baby away for the night.

Bright and early the next morning they were at it again with no success. Nurses, the midwives, the lactation consultant all gave tips but nothing would work. About this time they were noticing other odd things about my son — Will was “floppy,” low muscle tone, had a funny cry, didn’t blink when tapped on the forehead. By the next day the staff looks of concern had turned to pity. We were told before leaving for home, there was something “not normal” about my son.

Leslie was pumping and using the Haberman feeder- a special bottle for babies with feeding problems. He would eat but still couldn’t suck. We saw specialists, therapists, neurologists, chiropractors and no one knew why he was unresponsive. It was possible, we were told, he could “snap out of it.” Or he might not.

My wife never gave up trying to nurse him and for weeks she would put him to the breast before resorting to the feeder.

Around this time we discovered online a rare disorder that might fit Willem’s symptoms- low muscle tone, inability to blink, suck, move the muscles of his face. It’s called Moebius Syndrome. The article was titled “Kids Born without a Smile.” I had hoped for that “snap” moment when he would become a normal baby and here I was reading about my son’s future with a lifelong disability. Then I read further and saw a golden lining: most kids with Moebius have normal brain function and normal life expectancy.

Finally we knew something. He couldn’t suck because he couldn’t move the muscles of his face. He didn’t react because his muscles were weak and he couldn’t blink.

And then the miracles started to happen. One day, my wife went to nurse him and he sucked. She held his little lips together and he managed to get something. He could do it. As long as he could have something to latch onto deep in his mouth he could use his swallow response to pull the milk out. As those muscles grew stronger we started to see tiny twitches in his cheeks. The few muscles he had in his face were starting to work.

Willem continued to nurse well after his first birthday without the use of feeders and other aids. Though late, he continued to hit milestones. At 15 months he started to talk. At 30 months he walked. He learned to drink through a straw (no small feat for someone who can’t close his lips).

I was mostly a bystander to all this. I got to watch the incredible power of a mother’s love for her baby. Leslie was determined to give Willem the same early childhood experience that came so easy to his older brother and millions of other children. I hope her story inspires other mothers who face difficulties nursing.

Willem turns five this summer and he’ll start kindergarten in the fall. He still receives a full regimen of therapies to work on his muscle tone and speech, but he’s a happy, healthy, funny little boy. And I’ve discovered that the doctor at the hospital was right, my son is not normal, he’s extraordinary.

Any other moms or Lactation Consultants out there who have experience with helping babies with Moebius Syndrome breastfeed, we’d love to hear from you! Please share your tips, links and resources!

Substance in Breastmilk Kills Cancer

Substance in Breast Milk Kills Cancer Cells, Study Suggests
ScienceDaily (Apr. 23, 2010) — A substance found in breast milk can kill cancer cells, reveal studies carried out by researchers at Lund University and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.


Although the special substance, known as HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made LEthal to Tumour cells), was discovered in breast milk several years ago, it is only now that it has been possible to test it on humans. Patients with cancer of the bladder who were treated with the substance excreted dead cancer cells in their urine after each treatment, which has given rise to hopes that it can be developed into medication for cancer care in the future.

Discovered by chance

HAMLET was discovered by chance when researchers were studying the antibacterial properties of breast milk. Further studies showed that HAMLET comprises a protein and a fatty acid that are both found naturally in breast milk. So far, however, it has not been proven that the HAMLET complex is spontaneously formed in the milk. It is speculated, however, that HAMLET can form in the acidic environment of the babies´ stomachs. Laboratory experiments have shown that HAMLET kills 40 different types of cancer, and the researchers are now going on to study its effect on skin cancer, tumours in the mucous membranes and brain tumours. Importantly, HAMLET kills only cancer cells and does not affect healthy cells.

Studying the integration of the substance

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg are focusing on how HAMLET can be taken up into tumour cells. The researchers, Roger Karlsson, Maja Puchades and Ingela Lanekoff, are attempting to gain an in-depth understanding of how the substance interacts with cell membranes, and their findings were recently published in the journal PLoS One.

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Adapted from materials provided by University of Gothenburg.


Journal Reference:

Mossberg et al. HAMLET Interacts with Lipid Membranes and Perturbs Their Structure and Integrity. PLoS ONE, 2010; 5 (2): e9384 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009384
Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:

MLA University of Gothenburg (2010, April 23). Substance in breast milk kills cancer cells, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 27, 2010, from­ /releases/2010/04/100419132403.htm
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Monday, April 5, 2010

Breastfeeding Could Save 900 Lives and Billions of Dollars Annually

CHICAGO — The lives of nearly 900 babies would be saved each year, along with billions of dollars, if 90 percent of U.S. women fed their babies breast milk only for the first six months of life, a cost analysis says.

Those startling results, published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics, are only an estimate. But several experts who reviewed the analysis said the methods and conclusions seem sound.

"The health care system has got to be aware that breast-feeding makes a profound difference," said Dr. Ruth Lawrence, who heads the American Academy of Pediatrics' breast-feeding section.

The findings suggest that there are hundreds of deaths and many more costly illnesses each year from health problems that breast-feeding may help prevent. These include stomach viruses, ear infections, asthma, juvenile diabetes, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and even childhood leukemia.

The magnitude of health benefits linked to breast-feeding is vastly underappreciated, said lead author Dr. Melissa Bartick, an internist and instructor at Harvard Medical School. Breast-feeding is sometimes considered a lifestyle choice, but Bartick calls it a public health issue.

Among the benefits: Breast milk contains antibodies that help babies fight infections; it also can affect insulin levels in the blood, which may make breast-fed babies less likely to develop diabetes and obesity.

The analysis studied the prevalence of 10 common childhood illnesses, costs of treating those diseases, including hospitalization, and the level of disease protection other studies have linked with breast-feeding.

The $13 billion in estimated losses due to the low breast-feeding rate includes an economists' calculation partly based on lost potential lifetime wages – $10.56 million per death.

The methods were similar to a widely cited 2001 government report that said $3.6 billion could be saved each year if 50 percent of mothers breast-fed their babies for six months. Medical costs have climbed since then and breast-feeding rates have increased only slightly.

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About 43 percent of U.S. mothers do at least some breast-feeding for six months, but only 12 percent follow government guidelines recommending that babies receive only breast milk for six months.

Dr. Larry Gray, a University of Chicago pediatrician, called the analysis compelling and said it's reasonable to strive for 90 percent compliance.

But he also said mothers who don't breast-feed for six months shouldn't be blamed or made to feel guilty, because their jobs and other demands often make it impossible to do so.

"We'd all love as pediatricians to be able to carry this information into the boardrooms by saying we all gain by small changes at the workplace" that encourage breast-feeding, Gray said.

Bartick said there are some encouraging signs. The government's new health care overhaul requires large employers to provide private places for working mothers to pump breast milk. And under a provision enacted April 1 by the Joint Commission, a hospital accrediting agency, hospitals may be evaluated on their efforts to ensure that newborns are fed only breast milk before they're sent home.

The pediatrics academy says babies should be given a chance to start breast-feeding immediately after birth. Bartick said that often doesn't happen, and at many hospitals newborns are offered formula even when their mothers intend to breast-feed.

"Hospital practices need to change to be more in line with evidence-based care," Bartick said. "We really shouldn't be blaming mothers for this."


On the Net:

American Academy of Pediatrics: