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