10 July 2009 @ 10:04 pm
Nurse In  
Tentatively planning a nurse-in at White Water for August 8th if I don't get a very compelling response from corporate before then. That gives them almost a month to get back to me.
17 June 2009 @ 11:01 am
ACTION ALERT - Mead Johnson's "Breast Milk Formula"  
June 16, 2009

Formula company Mead Johnson has sunk to a new low with the launch of a website
promoting its Enfamil brand. The website, targeted at U.S.
consumers, is entitled "The Breast Milk Formula - Enfamil" and uses the
slogan "Our closest formula to breastmilk." The company claims that its
formula produces health outcomes "similar to breastfed babies". As evidence,
Mead Johnson cites a study conducted in 2007 that supposedly showed that
babies fed on Enfamil had eye development virtually identical to breastfed
babies. The company calls this study "independent" research, and yet the
study was carried out by the Retina Foundation of the Southwest in Dallas,
TX. According to the Retina Foundation's 2007 annual report, Mead Johnson
gave the foundation over $100,000 the year that the study was published. How
is this independent?

This marketing campaign is a blatant case of false advertising. Because this
is a site originating in the United States and aimed at American consumers,
it is regulated in the United States by the Federal Trade Commission. Anyone
(including Canadians) can lodge a complaint with the FTC by visiting
https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/. They have a quick online form set up
which only takes a few minutes. Most of the fields will not apply to this
particular complaint, but at the end you can make your case against Mead

[ETA: Here is Mead Johnson's contact information for the form, if you want:
Mead Johnson Locations
Location Type: Headquarters
2400 W. Lloyd Expwy.
Evansville, IN 47721-0001
United States (Map)... Read More
Phone: 812-429-5000
Fax: 812-429-7538

Please take the time to lodge a complaint with the FTC and help stop this
aggressive and misleading marketing. You might want to adapt the following
text for the final section of the form:

Mead Johnson Nutritionals is engaged in flagrant false advertising. They
have launched a website that calls their Enfamil brand the "Breast Milk
Formula", claiming that babies who are fed on it are as healthy as breastfed
infants. Scientific evidence points to the fact that formula-fed babies are
at increased risk for infections and long term illnesses such as cancers,
obesity, diabetes and cardiac disease. Contrary to what Mead Johnson's
website states, the negative effects of artificial feeding include decreased
visual acuity and reduced cognitive development. Aggressive and false
marketing like this has resulted in only 13% of U.S. mothers meeting expert
recommendations to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months of their
child's life. Please take action to stop Mead Johnson's deception.

The website in question is:
10 March 2009 @ 06:27 pm
Harry Potter: relevant to everything, including breastfeeding  
‘Voldemort’ approach failing mothers
Monday 9 March 2009

Formula feeding should be clearly named in research showing its potential health risks to babies, according to a new study.

The study, led by Dr Julie Smith from the Australian Centre for Economics Research on Health at The Australian National University, shows that researchers reporting poorer health among formula-fed children too often shy away from including a mention of formula feeding in their titles or summaries.

“This is not helping properly informed health professionals and mothers,” Dr Smith said. “We looked at the findings of nearly 80 authoritative studies, all of which highlighted that formula-fed babies tend to be at higher risk of poor health than children fed on breast milk.

“Yet the vast majority of these studies did not mention formula feeding in the places that matter most for lasting impressions: headlines and abstracts. Rather than naming formula feeding as a significant risk factor, researchers seem to be treating this subject like Voldemort in the Harry Potter novels, as “He Who Shall Not Be Named.” For example, a study showing a higher incidence of a serious condition in formula fed infants was misleadingly named ‘Breastfeeding and necrotising enterocolitis,” she said.
Dr Smith and her colleagues stress that their research into how formula feeding is referred to in scientific studies was intended to ask an important rhetorical question about cultural attitudes and informed choice, and shows why blaming mothers for not breastfeeding is futile and misguided. They argue that initiatives to improve infant health by increasing breastfeeding have described the importance of accurate language, and the key role that well-informed health professionals play for women to breastfeed successfully.

“How can we expect physicians and other health professionals to be informed and convincing about the importance of breastfeeding if they themselves are not getting the facts on risks of formula feeding presented in a prominent and clear fashion?” Dr Smith said.

“Adopting the ‘Voldemort’ approach to describing the risks of formula feeding in published research harms the ability of physicians and other health professionals to support women, and reduces women’s ability to make informed choices. If a mother seeks support and reassurance that continuing breastfeeding is worthwhile, such non committal research reporting means she may get non committal advice from health professionals, even though the evidence is clear that formula feeding disadvantages infant health.”

Filed under: Media Release, ANU College of Medicine Biology and Environment, Health
Learn more: The research paper is online at http://www.acerh.edu.au/publications/ACERH_WP4.pdf
Contacts: Dr Julie Smith 02 6241 8861, 0416 099 630; Simon Couper, ANU Media Office 02 6125 4171, 0416 249 241

Another article on the same study but without the cute title. :)
14 October 2008 @ 10:31 am
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure  
Army of Women is trying to recruit one million volunteers to participate in research devoted to preventing breast cancer. You can learn more on their website. One of their current projects is a study to determine whether breastmilk samples can be used to identify a woman's breast cancer risk. Anyone can participate [looks like it's currently US only] in this study, as it only requires mailed samples of breastmilk.

It's so nice to see an organization whose focus in on the prevention, not just the cure!
18 August 2008 @ 12:01 pm
Good Morning America Cross-Nursing segment  

And the GMA radio segment:

12 July 2008 @ 08:10 pm
Everything you ever needed to know about breast pumps and expressing your milk  
[This was written for the [livejournal.com profile] pregnant community, but feel free to link/distribute as necessary]

"Which breast pump should I use?"
"If I'm not returning to work, do I need a breast pump?"
"When should I start pumping?"

These are all questions we see in this community pretty frequently. While we all try to use the tag system whenever possible, it can be difficult to slog through post after post to determine the right breast pump for you or under what circumstances you will need one.

This post will endeavor to compile as much information on breast pumps and expressing breastmilk into one place as possible. Any additions, recommendations, or questions are welcome -- I will make updates to this post as needed.

Breast pump Basics )

What should I know about using a breast pump? )

Who needs to pump/express breastmilk? )

Which brand of pump should I choose? )

Which type/model of pump should I choose? )

Will my insurance cover my breast pump? )

Is my employer obligated to provide breaks/space for pumping? )

When should I start pumping? )

When do I pump? )

How do I pump? )

What is hand/manual expression? )

Additional resources for pumping moms )
30 April 2008 @ 10:53 am
The Early Days of Breastfeeding  
[Originally posted in [livejournal.com profile] pregnant, reposted here for quick reference and so my mentees who are currently pregnant can see it]

I am the [livejournal.com profile] adopt_a_mom Mentee Coordinator, which means I am the one who coordinates the pairing of new moms with our experienced breastfeeding mentors. I wanted to take a moment to address a few common concerns that I see in applications. Hopefully this information will help you avoid a few of the common breastfeeding-related stressors in the first weeks of your baby's life!

The following image is a representation of how much liquid an infant's stomach can hold at one day, three days, one week, and one month of life. The blue liquid in the bottles represents the maximum stomach capacity of the newborn. As you can see from the image, the amount of sustenance needed per feeding in the first few days is tiny!

Infant Maximum Stomach Capacity )

This is an important thing to be aware of, because women are often told in the hospital that their colostrum is not enough and that their babies need additional milk. That is simply not true for the vast majority of infants! A newborn does not need two ounces of formula, though the natural sucking instinct means the baby will continue to suckle at the bottle, even after s/he is full. The tiny amount of colostrum your breasts produce in the first few days is more than enough to meet the nutritional needs of a newborn, and is a superior was to raise blood sugar, help your baby pass the meconium (first poop), and flush out jaundice.

Don't worry about your baby overeating at the breast, though. While a baby can be overfed by a bottle, this is because the baby cannot control the flow of the bottle. S/he does have control over the flow at the breast and can learn a non-nutritive suckling pattern that causes very little milk to be transmitted. Comfort suckling at the breast is a good thing for both mother and baby, so don't limit your baby's time at the breast out of fear that s/he will over eat. Direct-breast feeding will not lead to a baby overeating!

How do you know your baby is getting enough milk? What goes in must come out. In other words, if your baby is making enough wet or dirty diapers, you know your baby is getting enough to eat. A normal diaper output is one sopping wet diaper (about 3 tablespoons of liquid) per day of life until baby is a week old, and then 6+ sopping wet diapers a day from then on. Disposable diapers are so absorbent that it can be hard to tell how wet they are, so if you or your doctor are concerned about your baby's diaper output, consider using cloth diapers for a few days, as they show wetness better. Poopy diapers also can mask a wet diaper, so most experts say to count a large poop as a wet diaper as well.

Breastfed babies usually regain their birthweight within two weeks, not the one week that most doctors expect from formula fed infants. As long as baby is making good wet/dirty diapers and is showing a steady gain, your baby is getting enough to eat. Once your milk comes in, baby's weight gain will average 6oz a week (this is just an average, some gain more or slightly less). If you or your doctor are concerned about your baby's weight gain, talk to an IBCLC* to troubleshoot common problems like bad latch before turning to supplementation, as most weight gain issues are correctable through proper latch and positioning.

The most important thing is to feed your baby often, as often as s/he indicates hunger -- feeding your baby when s/he shows early hunger cues will make breastfeeding easier for both you and your baby. Early hunger cues include smacking/licking lips, sucking on hands, opening and closing mouth (baby fish lips). Crying is a late hunger cue!

Some babies are sleepy (especially if they have jaundice) and need to be woken to eat. If your baby isn't eating every 2 hours, isn't making enough wet diapers, isn't showing a consistent growth pattern, or has jaundice, make sure you wake your baby to feed every two hours, then continue to feed him/her on demand as s/he becomes more alert.

Newborns should be fed at least every two hours in the first weeks of life, but some will need to be fed more often. This doesn't mean your milk supply isn't sufficient or that your milk isn't satisfying enough. Quite the opposite! Breastmilk's nutrients are highly biolavailable, meaning that your baby can quickly and easily absorb all the nutrients and digest the milk -- this means more frequent feedings. Overfilling your baby with a bottle of formula may make him or her go longer between feedings, but that isn't a good thing -- frequent nursing makes baby more comfortable, makes mom more comfortable (avoids engorgement), helps establish milk supply, and keeps baby's stomach from being stretched beyond capacity.

Your baby will have frequent growth spurts in the first few weeks of life, during which time s/he will want to nurse more frequently. This is normal, though it can be frustrating or stressful for a first time mom. It doesn't mean your supply is dwindling. It just means your baby needs to eat more to support the massive growth that s/he is undergoing! If you allow your baby to nurse on demand, your supply will continue to meet his/her needs.

This great article by Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC*, covers the biological basics of how milk production works. Remember that milk supply is largely an issue of supply and demand. The more you nurse your baby, the more milk you will make.

Additional Breastfeeding Resources )

Applying for an Adopt a Mom mentor )

Hopefully you have found some of the information helpful, or at least interesting. Good luck breastfeeding your new babies!

*IBCLC stands for "Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant." These highly trained professionals have thousands of hours of training and in-the-field experience in the area of human lactation. If you do find yourself encountering a breastfeeding problem, an IBCLC is the best resource for answering your questions and helping you find a solution. You can search for an IBCLC in your area through this page.