Tag Archives: Breastfeeding

Food for thought: Breastfeeding vs. Vaccine

Peaceful Parenting shares a study about the effectiveness of the Rotavirus vaccine versus exclusive breastfeeding at preventing diarrhea cases.

Which one do you think ‘wins’? Does considering this affect your decision to breastfeed or vaccinate?

FDA disaproves milk-sharing

This Reuters article covers the increasing popularity (or just increased knowledge of popularity) of sharing mother’s milk. The article doesn’t provide details regarding the FDA meeting about breastfeeding on Dec 6th that is mentioned in a subheading…very curious.

Have you shared milk? Would you use another’s milk if you couldn’t provide for your child?

Breast Fed is Best Fed – June 1950

This article from The Reader’s Digest, written by Eleanor Lake, was frustrating and enlightening. Here we are, 59 years later, and many of the same points are being disputed. Some of my favorite parts:

“Babies have always obstinately preferred their own mother to any cow, however contented. But during the past 25 years they have had to take a bottle and like it. Busy hospitals preferred to run through a crop of newborns on a routine ‘house formula’ delivered on a four-hour schedule, instead of encouraging the time-consuming art of breastfeeding.” This same statement has been mentioned at BirthChat – has nothing changed in five decades, or are we having to redo the work that our grandmothers did in the 50′s?

It appears that, even then, it was known that “breast-fed babies gain more consistently [[is this true nowadays?]], have fewer allergies, a longer natural immunity to many diseases, notably fewer skin and digestive disorders. More important still, the baby of a mother who enjoys nursing is likely to be bursting with good humor as well as pink-cheeked health.”

I was particularly surprised that this kind of information was presented as common sense. It seems we are still (or again) being told to overlook the perfection of the physiological processes of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and new parenthood. “For months, many organs of her [the mother] body — uterus, ovary, pituitary, nerves and blood stream as well as breasts — have been involved in a tremendous and intricate effort to produce milk. When a mother’s breasts are ‘dried up’ in the hospital, this process is cut short as abruptly as pregnancy is by a miscarriage. Dr. F. Charlotte Naish, British expert on the subject of breast feeding and herself the mother of five babies…”

[[Hold the phone! A mother of 5 babies AND a doctor in 1950? I have got to learn more about this woman.]]

“…points out that a new mother whose body is already trying to move from the cycle of pregnancy into the next natural one of lactation is thrown completely out of gear by skipping lactation altogether. Mothers of bottle-fed babies often complain of feeling dissatisfied, nervous and depressed. There are fewer cases of ‘maternity blues’ among nursing mothers.”

This part sheds light on the perception of women and mothers. Interestingly, some are still in this same situation (less the stilbestrol): “Mothers who have been brought up to believe that a clever girl can toss off a few babies while running the League of Women Voters, redecorating her house and giving the smartest dinners in town are due for a severe inner struggle when they try to slow down to the peaceful rhythm of breast feeding. A woman who can’t decide whether she was meant to be a mother, glamour girl or career woman will solve her inner conflict by having no milk or else by finding breast feeding painful and difficult.
“Most disappointed mothers, however, can blame our hospitals for their lack of breast milk. Some hospitals still give mothers stilbestrol — ‘drying-up pills’ — as routine, sometimes without even telling the mother. Many hospitals start supplementary feedings at the first sign that a new mother is not a positive artesian well of milk, even though experts say that babies will not nurse properly if they are given supplementary feedings.”

I really love this explanation for why ‘ad libbing’ (feeding on demand) made so much sense: “Life is a startling and even terrifying adventure to a newborn baby. To make him feel that this new world is a friendly and welcoming place, he needs a great deal of warm and intimate contact with this mother. During his first few weeks, especially, he wants the smell and feel of his mother, the closeness of her arms. Nursed and cuddled when he is hungry or upset, he begins to feel that the world is a pretty fine place after all.”

The article concludes by saying: “Like any other career, real motherhood demands a great deal of time at first. But it pays off a thousandfold later on, in happy and responsible children and in mature confident mothers, enjoying their motherhood.”

When our granddaughters stumble upon our breastfeeding advice books and articles, what will be different? The same? Do you find this unsettling or comforting?

Breastfeeding Promotion Act needs your help!

Last weekend, at the US Breastfeeding Committee’s National Conference of State/Territory Breastfeeding Coalitions, we learned that we need much more action on US Representative Carolyn Maloney’s bill in the US House, the Breastfeeding Promotion Act, to get it moving forward.

We need your action NOW on this bill, HR 2236. The bill currently has only 23 cosponsors, and needs about 200 cosponsors to move forward. If you are a US citizen/legal resident, please contact your Rep now and urge him/her to cosponsor this bill.

This bill makes breastpumps tax deductible, provides for safety standards for them, and gives incentives to employers to help moms pump. To read the text of the bill, and see a list of cosponsors, go to: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-2236

To contact your Representative about this bill, you can either go through MomsRising at:
http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/momsrising/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=13731
or the Children’s Hospital (Boston) advocacy page at: http://capwiz.com/childadvocacy/home/