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Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Man's View of Breastfeeding

Just now, while talking to my husband, he summed up the convienence of breastfeeding from a man's point of view.

He said...it's like mid-air refueling.

To which I said... "huh?"

"You know...like when an airplane can refuel while it's flying, instead of having to land to get a new tank of gas...it's convienent, they can keep going. Breastfeeding is like that...it's just there...ready...for refueling..."

LOL...leave it to a man to put it so simply.

I ought to get him a "I Play with My Baby's Food" shirt for that one... ;)

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Oregon Dubbed Best State for Babies

Fit Pregnancy magazine just finished analyzing data from 50 major U.S. cities to figure out which ones where the best for raising babies. Cheers to all your Northwestern moms and babies! Apparently, Portland is the number one city in the country for birthing, breastfeeding and raising babies. The findings were based on issues including breastfeeding rates, birthing options, stroller friendliness and child health risks.

Portland was one of just five cities to get an "A" rating in the breastfeeding friendliness category. The breastfeeding criteria included:


  • Access to lactation consultants

  • Access to breastfeeding-support stores

  • Proximity to baby-friendly hospital (those that meet UNICEF/WHO standards for supporting breastfeeding)

  • Laws supporting a mother’s right to breastfeed or pump in public, including workplaces; laws excusing breastfeeding mothers from jury service

  • Percentage of mothers who initiate breastfeeding

  • Percentage of mothers breastfeeding infant at least six months of age



In fact, it seems that Oregon has the best breastfeeding rates in the country. Cool. :)

Some other findings... my own town of Columbus, Ohio managed to rank "better" in the overall, affordability and safety sections, but scored fair or worse for everything else.

There's a cool interactive map at Fit Pregnancy that will let you see the ratings by category. Any surprises out there? Columbus seemed to be pretty accurate from what I see on a daily basis...

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Monday, January 30, 2006

Increased Breastfeeding Rates Blamed for Rickets

The Boston Herald ran an article over the weekend that talks about the resurgence in rickets and blames that resurgence partly on the increased rates of breastfeeding in the last few years. The article claims that mother's milk doesn't contain adequate amounts of Vitamin D and that many breastfeeding mothers refuse to supplement with Vitamin D drops, thus leaving their babies vulnerable to rickets.

From the article:


The boon in breastfeeding -- mother’s milk doesn't have sufficient vitamin D -- is partly to blame. Investigators at Boston Medical Center did a one-year study that found 81 percent of mothers giving birth -- predominantly black and Hispanic women -- and 76 percent of their infants were vitamin D deficient at the time of birth, Holick said. The study has been submitted for publication in a pediatrics journal.

While an increasing number of mothers breastfeed, breast milk doesn’t have an adequate amount of vitamin D, which enables the body to absorb bone- fortifying calcium, doctors said. Some pediatricians don’t tell mothers they need to give their babies vitamin D for fear that they won’t breastfeed -- which has many benefits.


I also found a statement from the La Leche League on the issue:


"Research suggests that people of color, especially religious or cultural groups who wear enveloping clothing should expose their babies' uncovered cheeks to sunlight for just 20 minutes a day to get the needed vitamin D. In cases where this is not possible or the mother is not getting adequate vitamin D, doctors may prescribe a vitamin D supplement for the baby. According to La Leche League International, the world's recognized authority on breastfeeding, rickets has rarely been found in fully breastfed infants. This is true even in northern climates where there is less exposure to sunlight, which activates the formation of vitamin D. Research has shown that human milk contains adequate vitamin D for at least the first 6 months of life."


Couldn't find any reference to their research though...I've heard that cited in a few places, but haven't read the studies.

What's interesting is that the Boston Herald article also mentions the obvious fact that sunlight is one of the primary sources of Vitamin D and that children are spending less time outside. It would seem to me that it's a little more likely that the lack of sunlight exposure may be playing a larger role here than breastfeeding.

Although Nora was exclusively breastfed for 6 months and drank breastmilk until she was about 13 months, we never supplemented with Vitamin D drops. When I spoke with my pediatrician, he said that as long as she had about 10-30 minutes of exposure to sunlight each day, she'd get all the Vitamin D she needed.

It makes me wonder if part of the issue here is not so much the lack of vitamins, but a city verses a country thing. Not sure how much time babies and children in cities like Boston and NYC, but out here in the midwest, there doesn't seem to be much trouble getting plenty of sun exposure for our kids. If anything, there's a movement to keep them lathered up with high SPF lotion and proper clothing to keep them from getting too much sun.

Nevertheless, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed their recommendations two years ago to suggest that infants receive a minimum of 200 international units of vitamin D per day. I looked up a few studies and most tended to focus on an increased risk of rickets in breastfed African-American babies, leading me to wonder if this is more of a genetic issue than a breastfeeding issue.

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Did You Know You Could Order "Breast Milk" in a Bar?

Bet ya didn't!

Apparently though...it's a mixed drink. Courtesy of Drinksmixer.com:

1/2 oz Godiva Chocolate Liquour
1/3 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
1/3 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
1 oz half and half

Mix with crushed ice, shake, strain and serve in a shot glass.

I gotta tell ya....sounds pretty dang good to me, and I don't even drink. ;)

Let's not forget this other one...for "Mother's Milk"

1 oz Goldschlager Cinnamon Schnapps (mmmm)
1 oz Butterscotch Schnaps
1 oz milk

Mix with crushed ice, shake, strain and serve in a shot glass.

Doesn't sound quite as tempting as the first one...but it did get better reviews. ;)

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More on the Black Market for Breast Milk

Yesterday I wrote about the CNN article that talked about mother's sharing, selling or buying breast milk via the Internet. Today, I found a clip of the news story that ran on Paul Zahn with more information about the milk sharing movement.

The interesting thing was that they portrayed it in a very positive light. While they did include a statement from a Dr. in the AAP who stated that sharing breast milk could be dangerous due to issues of HIV transmission and such, the overall tone of the story was that women were banding together via the Internet to create extended families and to provide breast milk for babies. It was strange because the whole time I was watching it, it was making me uncomfortable (mostly because of the idea of strangers) but also sort of brought a tear to my eye.

Partly because it was so heart-warming to see women working together to provide breast milk for a baby, but also because it made me sad to see just how badly some women wanted their babies to have breast milk. Part of it made me say "well you know, formula was made for a reason" but then the other part says that I totally understand how they feel. After all, it was tough work to pump for a full year, but I toughed it out because it meant that much to me.

One of the women featured had had a double masectomy due to breast cancer a year before her son was born. She desperately wanted to be able to give him breast milk, so she set up a web site to collect donations of both breast milk and money. The money goes to pay for things like shipping and handling of the donated milk along with a pasteurizer that they purchased for their home use. I hadn't run across this site before, but it's an interesting one to consider in this whole debate on shared milk.

If you were in this mother's position, would you have formula fed, or would you have done whatever you could to get breast milk? This mother started off buying the milk from a local milk bank, but now that she has a pasteurizer, she's been able to process much of the privately donated milk herself.

If you've got a ready supply of donors, the cost of a pasteurizer and paying for their blood tests probably costs less than formula would...

I continue to be perplexed by this issue. Donating my milk? No problem! But taking donated milk from strangers? I just don't know... I understand it, I'm just not sure I could do it.


It sounds

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Buying, Selling and Sharing Breast Milk

CNN.com ran an article today called "Not your mother's breast milk." It started off pretty interesting, making mention of a woman that nursed her sister's six month old and thought nothing of it. It went on to talk about the new movement toward using the Internet to buy, sell and trade breast milk with perfect strangers.

Apparently CNN ran a segment tonight on Paula Zahn that talks about a new black market for breast milk and the online article was a companion piece. Not having CNN, I'm not able to watch the segment, but hopefully a Lactivist reader will fill us in on what it says, or a transcript will show up on the CNN web site.

The issue has me somewhat torn. As a milk banking advocate, I obviously would prefer that women that wish to share their milk would do so via one of the HMBNA milk banks so that things can be properly screened and the babies that most need that donated milk can get it. On the other hand, I see nothing wrong with "wet nursing" when it comes to sharing with friends or family...but the whole random people on the Internet thing...I dunno, it kinda creeps me out.

Just this past weekend a friend was visiting from out of town...they arrived late and weren't sure they'd have enough formula. The grocery stores in town aren't open 24/7 up there, so it might have been an issue if they ran out. I told them that I still had some breast milk in the freezer and that they were welcome to use it if they were comfortable with the idea. I'd have no issue sharing my milk with someone that I knew. I've been tested via the milk bank, so I know it's safe.

But with a stranger? I suppose I'd still happily share mine with a stranger, it's what I did via the milk bank, but to RECEIVE it from a stranger? No way. Absolutely no way. Not unless it's coming through a milk bank and is fully processed and tested.

Now I strongly believe in the power of breast milk. It's clearly the absolute best food for babies...there's no doubt about it. But...formula also exists for a reason. I'm thinking that the types of moms that so desperately want to give their children breastmilk that they'd take it from a stranger have likely done their darndest to nurse. It's likely that small percentage of women that honestly cannot produce milk for their babies and they so desperately want their children to have breast milk that they'll take it wherever they can get it.

Breast milk banking in the United States is still rare enough that it can't simply be doled out to any mother that wants it. You need to have a prescription and you need to have a need beyond "my otherwise healthy baby isn't getting breast milk." It seems to me that while there are likely some wonderful, healthy women out there willing to share their milk, there are also some real low life creeps willing to pass off whatever as breast milk in order to make some money.

I can't imagine being so frightened of formula that I would risk my child's life with milk from a stranger...it's just not worth it.

So what do we do about this? Is this partly our fault for so pushing breast milk that we make some moms think that they have to do anything and everything to provide it? Are we encouraging moms to take dangerous chances for the sake of breast milk? Is it wrong to sell your breast milk to a stranger? To donate it (on your own) to a stranger?

Would you share? Would you sell? Would you buy? What if you couldn't nurse your child...sure, I can see going to a relative or a friend, but would you go to a stranger?

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Likely Coincidence But...

This afternoon, I ran out of milk for Nora. She's been drinking organic whole milk for about three weeks now, since I started running low on freezer stash and wanted to save my milk for those rare middle of the night "I need mommy's milk" sessions.

It takes twenty minutes round trip to go to the grocery store and I just didn't have time to today, so until Greg gets home with milk, I tapped into my freezer stash and pulled about ten ounces for her sippy.

Now Nora is not usually a snuggly kid. She'll hug the dog all day long, but when it comes to Greg and I, it's quick hugs and kisses and then back on her way to playing. The kid just doesn't sit still. But for some reason, when I gave her her sippy, she took a few sips, then came over and crawled in my lap and sat with me for about 15 minutes while she drank through it.

That's probably the longest she's snuggled with me in months. It was kinda nice. I want to claim that she knew it was mommy's milk and that made her snuggly, but I'm thinking it was probably a coincidence... ;)

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A Woman's Poem

(Posted because every Lactivist has a day like this....)

My mom just sent this and I had to laugh...

He didn't like the casserole
and he didn't like my cake
my biscuits were too hard
not like his mother used to make.

I didn't perk the coffee right,
he didn't like the stew.
I didn't mend his socks
the way his mother used to do.

I pondered for an answer,
I was looking for a clue...
then I turned around and smacked him
like his mother used to do.

;-)

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Another New Lactivist Shirt for Men

Last week, I wrote about adding some new pro breastfeeding shirts for the dads of nurslings...but as I thought about it, I realized that there were likely some dads out there that no longer have nursling children, but that still want to support the cause...

...so...based on the comment that I keep hearing from some of my pro-breastfeeding guy friends, I've now added a breastfeeding in public support shirt that ANY man can wear.

You'll have to click through to see what it says. ;)

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Wow! This is Kind of Annoying...

Spotted via "Life in the Fish Pond" earlier today...

Apparently, the Discovery Channel has a web site called Yucky Gross & Cool Body" that is dubbed the "Yuckiest Site on the Internet." The point of the site is to teach children how their bodies work. It's a cute concept and generally does a pretty good job of explaining things like why you belch or where farts come from.

That said, I'm disappointed to find that in the "belches & farts" section, is the following text...

When you were a baby, just like every other baby, you probably cried a lot and sucked down bottles of formula. You know what else you swallowed? An invisible gas called air! And you know what your loving parents had to do? Pat you over and over again on the back to "burp" you.

Anyone else catch that?

Now, I suppose we could give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that the "just like every other baby" refers to the fact that everyone was a baby...but it sure reads like "every other baby sucked down bottles of formula" doesn't it?

I find that sad.

Surely the Discovery Channel, of all people, takes the time to do a little research before they write... Like they couldn't have just said...

When you were a baby, just like every other baby, you may have cried a lot and sucked down a bottle now and then...

Now I'm not one for political correctness, nor do I usually find myself getting nit picky, but this one just kinda rubbed me the wrong way...

Not worth a letter writing campaign, but I have been debating over dropping them an email to point out that they're not exactly being factual in their information... Likely not a battle worth fighting though.

What do you think?

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Monday, January 23, 2006

A Namesake to be Proud of...

Regular readers of the Lactivist blog know that I started this project just after my daughter, Elnora, turned a year old. Elnora's full name is actually Elnora Wren Laycock and having returned from a visit to one of her namesake, I thought it might be a good time to post about how she got her names.

Elnora comes from the book A Girl of the Limberlost...my absolute favorite book. (I've read it at least once a year since I was ten.) I picked Elnora partly because I thought it was a beautiful, unusual name, but mostly because I hoped that my daughter might grow into the type of character that Elnora was in the book. The Elnora of the book is one of those amazingly determined young women that overcomes absolutely every obstacle that is placed in her way and handles even the most difficult circumstances with grace and composure. She's smart as a whip, doesn't take crap from anyone, and knows what life is really about. If my Nora can grow up to be like her, I'll be very proud.

Her middle name comes from a strong, independent woman in real life. My great aunt Phyllis. Aunt Phyllis has outlived two husbands and never did have children of her own. Thus, she's adopted all of her great nieces and nephews as her own grandchildren. She just turned 90 this past weekend and we headed home to celebrate with her about more than one hundred of her close friends and family members.

Aunt Phyllis is the type of woman that at 90 would probably still wear a nip/suck shirt from the Lactivist site. She's traveled the globe and experienced more than I'll probably ever manage to pack into my life. She even walked up a waterfall in the Caribbean when she was in her 70s. Until a broken hip put her permanently on a walker a few years ago, she met the "girls" (her high school friends) every morning at 6am for a swim before heading out to breakfast then off to play cards or simply drive across the state to some restaurant one of them heard about.

During the party, many of us told stories about her...dad talked about the time that she called him to come and get the bag of sunflower seeds out of the back of her car. She'd gotten the bird seed in 25 pound bags, "cause bird seed is heavy" but had them load a 50 pound bag of sunflower seeds, cause "sunflower seeds are light". ;).

One of the stories that really lays it out about Aunt Phyllis was the one about my bridal shower. During the shower, we had about 35 or 40 women of all ages and we played a game called "I never." Everyone had ten candies and when someone said "I never did X" you had to give them a candy if you HAD done it. Some of the ones we heard... "I've never been to Europe...I've never been skinnydipping...I've never been drunk...I've never been on a blind date...I've never been arrested." You know, that type of stuff.

Aunt Phyllis was out of the game just ten people in. ;) And yes...she was the only one in the room that had been skinnydipping.

Aunt Phyllis's name is actually Lavina Phyllis Dennison Wren White. For years, she's joked with all of us about naming one of our daughters after her. I say joked because even she doesn't like the name Phyllis, but it has been fun to pester each of us about what we'd name our daughters. I had one cousin try to strike a deal to see if the namesake would get a full college scholarship out of the deal. No such luck. ;)

Greg and I weren't willing to go with Phyllis, but Greg pointed out after a visit with her when I was about 5 months pregnant that the name Wren fit well with Elnora and would still be a great way to have our daughter's name be "inspired" by my aunt.

Aunt Phyllis is still kicking...though she does so now with the help of a walker. Her brain is as sharp as ever though and she can wow you with tales of where she's been and what she's done. The family actually planned on giving her a hot air balloon ride for her gift, but due to liability issues, they can't take anyone up that can't jump from a chair on their own. Five years ago she could have done it...but after two broken hips, it's just not doable anymore. (By the way, she broke the hip the first time because she tried to carry her sewing machine across the room when she was 88...and dropped it on herself...)

I sure hope she sticks around for a 100th's birthday so that Nora will actually remember her. :) And I hope Nora grows up with one tenth the spunk that she has.

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Verizon Wireless Wins Praise for Breastfeeding Friendly Policies

Three cheers for Verizon Wireless! Ran across a press release this morning that really made my day. In a day and age where we're continually hearing about how big companies are screwing over their employees, it's fantastic to see a story about how a big company is working to really help their employees better their own lives.

The release came out to announce that the New Jersey Breastfeeding Task Force has selected Verizon Wireless to receive the first Breastfeeding Friendly Award of 2006. From the release:

Verizon Wireless was recognized for its innovative programs that
facilitate breastfeeding, including the availability of lactation rooms at all
major corporate facilities from coast to coast. The company currently
provides lactation rooms at eight locations throughout the Northeast, seven
throughout the South Area, four in the Midwest and four throughout the West
Area. These rooms enable breastfeeding mothers to pump during work breaks.

The lactation rooms are just one of the many benefits Verizon Wireless
offers to working mothers. Verizon Wireless's company-wide Enhanced Healthy
Babies Program, which provides incentives to employees who adopt healthy
actions during and after their pregnancy, reimburses employees for lactation
consultant services, the purchase or rental of a breast pump, and
Lamaze/Birthing classes. In addition, Verizon Wireless conducts online
Webinars featuring important information regarding pregnancy and the benefits
of breastfeeding.


Now I work for about the most breastfeeding friendly company imaginable (myself) so this isn't often an issue for me, but I was really happy to see a company moving ahead of the legal requirements and offering up real support for mothers that make the choice to breastfeed.

I won't go into the benefits of breastfeeding, as almost anyone reading this blog already knows about them, but I will point out that a large portion of mothers cite returning to work as a major factor in their switch to formula. It's simply too difficult for many moms to pump while at work and many more don't realize that they can formula feed while they are at work and still nurse in the non-work hours.

"We are pleased to be recognized by the NJ Breastfeeding Task Force for
our nationwide initiative to encourage new moms to take healthy actions,"
stated Martha Delehanty, vice president of human resources, at Verizon
Wireless. "Supporting new moms is good business for both Verizon Wireless and
our many working mothers as breastfeeding provides substantial health benefits
to the mom and her child, while reducing employee absenteeism and overall
healthcare costs."


This is the type of movement that I hope we continue to see from big business. Even if you want to look at things from the greedy financial perspective, the truth is that happy, healthy employees with happy, healthy families make for better workers. That alone makes these programs worth while for most companies, but it seems that Verizon's reasons go beyond that. Their employees are full of praise as well.

"I am extremely grateful to Verizon Wireless," said Brandie Heiser, a
Verizon Wireless employee. "It was important to me to have breast milk for my
child for as long as possible and the lactation room allowed me to continue to
nurse my daughter and provide breast milk exclusively to her even though I had
returned to work."


Good job Verizon. :)

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Extended Breastfeeding Bond Said to Contribute to Murder

Now this is a strange, strange link if I've ever heard one.

Some of you may have been following the case of Leslie Ormandy Demenuik, the Florida mother recently convicted of shooting her four year old twin sons to death. In this article (registration or BugMeNot required), published last week, some of the testimony of Dr. Ernest Miller, forensic psychiatrist and former professor of psychiatry at the University of Florida is quoted. Much of it talks about the mental issues that Demeniuk was facing, but it also includes this one, strange, comment.


Ironically, Miller said, Demeniuk's "overbonding" with her children -- which included 2 1/2 years of breastfeeding -- contributed to her decision to kill them."She bonded so pathologically and strongly to her children," he said. "She believed she was saving them from a cruel, heartless, painful world.

"She thought it was more wrong for her to allow them to continue in such a (terrifying) world than to kill them.


I dunno...I think to say that this was from "overbonding" is a bit of a stretch. Blame it on post-partum depression or a combination of mental problems that came about from medications that simply weren't mixing well and I'll likely give it to you...but the overbonding thing rubs me the wrong way.

I see the point he's trying to make, but what it comes off as is a dangerous conjecture that damages the cause of extended breastfeeding and links moms that choose to do it to the mentally ill that end up going ballistic with tragic consequences.

I guess now I need to go on a hunt for some information on how post-partum rates differ for breastfeeding and formula feeding moms. Anyone know? I can't wager a guess either way...formula feeding is obviously less stressful, especially at the beginning, but it also doesn't give the same hormonal benefits that breastfeeding does...

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Strangest Place You Ever Nursed or Pumped

All this talk about breastfeeding at the pool or airing out your goodies while your kid romps in the flowers has me remembering what it was like to deal with pumping when I actually had to go places. I was exclusively pumping within a day or so of coming home from the hospital, so I never did end up having to nurse in public...but I did have to pump on a set schedule, no matter where I was.

So, the top five weirdest places that I've pumped...

5. Near the picnic area of Paramount's Great America.

4. On a plane.

3. Sitting in my car in the driveway during a horrific ice storm because our power went out and my car has a household adapter.

2. On a rifle range during the Ohio smallbore state championships.

1. In the back of a tour bus on the way to Yahoo! headquarters while having a conversation with a VP of the New York Times. (he's cool...his son was born a few weeks before my Nora was)

Almost ended up having to pump at Google headquarters too...but eeked out of that one by getting there about twenty minutes late. I will say that the two times I flew to California kind of sucked because I had to keep pumping on my Ohio schedule...that meant waking up at 3am to pump every night. Ick.

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Friday, January 13, 2006

Ok, this one is just for fun...

Was watching an old rerun of Friends tonight and was reminded of the episode where Ross's ex-wife was nursing Ben and Chandler and Joey got all freaked out.

Love these lines:

ROSS: Look, would you guys grow up? That is the most natural beautiful thing in the world.

JOEY: Yeah, we know, but there's a baby suckin' on it.

LOL. I think that kind of sums up the problem that many men have with breastfeeding... ;)

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Nursing in Public

One of the comments that I hear on a regular basis that just really jerks a knot in my tail is that idea that someone doesn't mind nursing in public so long as the mom is "discreet."

I find myself asking...who are these women that prance around topless while nursing their children for all the world to see. I've never in my twenty-eight years seen a nipple in public despite actively looking for nursing mothers when I go out. I see nursing mother's, I just don't see anything other than the back of their babies head.

Until now. Ran across an online slide-show today put together that shows a mother breastfeeding her toddler in public. Starts off normal enough with her sitting at a Starbucks but quickly progresses into a mostly topless show as she travels through the city.

In fact, this site (a GREAT site!) has quite a few slide shows running photos of women breastfeeding their children including some great photos of mothers tandem nursing. Many of them feature absolutely beautiful photos, others include a fair share of "hmm..." pics.

I'm just not sure I get it. I flipped through the pictures from that first slide show going "ok cool, she's at Target, she's looking at shoes, that's not a top I'd choose for nursing in public, but whatever, no one seems to mind and it wouldn't bother me."

Then, I'd hit a picture and say..."now really, do you have to have your shirt up to your neck while your child plays a few feet away?" I know it's good to air out the nipples after nursing, but I dunno, seems kind of excessive to me. On the other hand, here are breasts, in all their natural glory fullfilling God's purpose. To that end, it seems kinda cool and I saw bravo to the women for being brave enough to share these images with the world.

So my question is, what do you think? Does this type of nursing in public work to normalize it, or does it hurt the cause? What's a lactivist to do? I support (and fight for) the rights of mom to nurse in public whenever and wherever and I think it's ridiculous to be upset if you see a breast or nipple now and then...but a full frontal view while your child isn't even nursing? Is that necessary or is it being done just to prove a point?

Doesn't really bother me, they're just breasts, but I do wonder how it impacts the lactivist cause.

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Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

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Forget Breastfeeding, Exercise is Responsible for the Sag!

A couple of weeks ago, I sparked some debate on the Lactivist blog when I posted about Gwyneth Paltrow's comments about having surgery to correct the "sag" that resulted from breastfeeding her daughter Apple. This week, it's the BBC weighing in with news of a study that warns the real risk for sagging breasts is exercising without a proper sports bra.

From the BBC article:


They found breasts moved in a 3D figure of eight and that uncontrolled movement strained fragile tissues and ligaments.

The study suggested as a woman runs a mile, her breasts bounced 135m.

The report found each breast moved independently of the body by an average of 9cm for every step taken on the treadmill.

With the average breast weighing between 200 and 300 grams, this movement puts great stress on the breast's fragile support structure - the outer skin and connective tissues known as Cooper's ligaments.


The study found that wearing a "regular" bra reduced bounce by 38% but went on to note that a quality sports bra could reduce bounce by 78%.

So apparently we all need to stop blaming breastfeeding and start blaming bad bras for sag... Whew! Thank goodness I'm not a big exerciser! ;)

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More on the Kelly Fuks Breastfeeding Incident

Had the following passed on to my via email a short while ago regarding the Ann Arbor breastfeeding at the Y incident. Thanks to Jon of the Chocolate Runner's Blog for sending it and allowing me to publish.

I listened to Fuks on the radio this morning and she said that bottle feeding was also not allowed in the pool area. She said the lifeguard came over and told her she "could not do that here". So she apologized and moved to the pool deck (apparently she was standing in the shallow pool while her son was walking on the deck area). She said she had been told that she could nurse on the deck. Then the lifeguard told her "No, you can't do 'that' anywere. We've had problems with this before and you can't do 'that' here." She emphasized the word "that" when she was telling the story.

She seemed to think that nobody noticed until she had to turn to her left to talk to her son on the deck, while she was nursing on the right side. She said her bathing suit has a bit of cleavage though, and while nursing, she is actually more covered on the nursing side than on the other.

She did make the comment several times that the lifeguards are "professionals" and they are doing their job to keep people safe. She seemed to want to make sure it was not the fault of the lilfeguard in particular.

I see your point that if bottle feeding is not allowed, then nursing probably could not be justified either. It was strange that this was not pointed out by the YMCA. Maybe the media did not say it.

I just found it odd that you could not breastfeed a baby because it was food and drink, and that's unsanitary in a pool. Even though you would might certainly expect some leakage from a nursing mother while in the water anyway.

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Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

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New! Lactivist Pro-Breastfeeding Shirts for Men

Had an email last week from a Lactivist reader that wanted to know if I'd had a chance to create any shirts for the dads of breastfeeding babies. While I've always had plenty of shirts that were gender neutral like nip/suck and "my kid's no weaner," I really didn't have any that had been created specifically for dads.

As my reader pointed out, moms need hefty support from dads to be able to pull off breastfeeding, especially when you start to talk about extended breastfeeding, tandem nursing or exclusively pumping.

So, it was time to add some great shirts designed for men with a witty, lactivist attitude. If there's a fabulous man in your life that has a bit of lactivist hiding inside, help him show the world with a shirt that says "I Play with My Baby's Food" or "I Take Turns." We've also got a shirt that asks the question "What do breasts and toy trains have in common?" (You'll have to click through to see the answer on the back of the shirt...) We've also got old favorites like nip/suck and "my baby doesn't like to eat in the bathroom, do you?"

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Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

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Mississippi Legislature Reviews Breastfeeding Related Bill

Fresh on the heels of a similar movement in Arizona, Mississippi lawmakers are preparing to review two new bills that have been introduced to the Senate to help provide breastfeeding mothers with protection from obscenity laws and to make it easier for working mothers to express breast milk on the job.

The bills are being backed by Senator Hillman T Frazier and Representative Alyce G. Clarke (who happens to be a Nutritionist).

The new bills target several key points:

1.) House Bill 256 and Senate Bill 2352 - Designed to require child care facilities and businesses to provide employees with:


  • A non-bathroom location with an electrical outlet and a comfortable chair for nursing or expressing milk.

  • A refrigerator for storing expressed milk.

  • Training of staff on how to safely handle and store human breast milk.

  • The right to express milk during lunch periods or breaks.


2.) Senate Bill 2419 - Designed to protect a breastfeeding mother from discrimination in public places. Points from the bill include:


  • The right of a mother to breastfeed in any location that she is otherwise authorized to be
  • Language stating that no local government can restrict the rights of a mother to breastfeed in public
  • A fine of up to $100 for any organization or company that attempts to restrict these rights
  • The protection of a nursing mother from obscenity laws, "disorderly conduct" laws, and "breach of the peace" laws
  • The right to be excused from jury duty for breastfeeding mothers


Gotta say, it's sort of exciting to see so much movement in so little time from a variety of states.

If you'd like to voice your support for the bill, please contact Senator Frazier and Representative Alyce G. Clarke at:

Senator Hillman Frazier
P. O. Box 1018
Jackson, MS 39215
601-359-3233
hfrazier@mail.senate.state.ms.us

Representative Alyce G. Clarke
P.O. Box 1018
Jackson, MS 39215
601-359-3096

(and if you really want to make an impression, send you letter with one of the new breastfeeding advocacy stamps from The Lactivist store!)

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Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ann Arbor Woman Told to Stop Breastfeeding in Public

On the heels of a story about a woman that was asked to stop breastfeeding on an airplane comes another story about Ann Arbor resident Kelly Fuks, who was asked to stop breastfeeding her six-month old in the swimming pool area of the YMCA.

Normally, I'd be all ready to go into a diatribe on this story, but there are two sides being told and depending on which one is true, I'll be ranting at a different person. ;) So, I'm going to share the two sides, share my rants and ask readers to weigh in as well.

Side #1: Fuks is asked to stop breastfeeding because she's distracting the lifeguards.

The issue arose Dec. 22 when Fuks took her 6-month-old daughter, Ansley, her 3-year-old son, Maxwell, and a friend swimming at the Y in downtown Ann Arbor. Fuks said a lifeguard approached and told her she could not breast-feed Ansley on the deck of the family pool.

When she queried Y management later by phone, Fuks said, she was told that breast-feeding by the pool is forbidden because it's a distraction to lifeguards.

"In my opinion, if their lifeguards are that easily distracted, they need much better lifeguards and a better training program,'' Fuks said.


Fuks went on to say that she had breastfed by the pool in the past and to point out that the teens in their bikinis were likely more "distracting" than she was.

Now, if this is the case, I'm obviously going to rant in Fuks favor and take serious issue with lifeguards that can't focus on their jobs because some woman is nursing her child. I'll point out that while Michigan does not yet have laws on the books that are specifically designed to protect the rights of a breastfeeding mother, they do have a statute that excludes breastfeeding from their public indecency laws. The lack of a specific law also doesn't make it illegal to nurse in public, it just doesn't provide extra legal protection. That means that it would be up to a court to decide.

It also means that Ms. Fuks has great reason to launch a protect and incite a nurse in for which she would have The Lactivist's full support.

Side #2


But Diane Carr, senior programs director at the Y, said all food and drink is forbidden in the pool area, and that exceptions can't be made for breast-feeding.

"It's difficult to be able to make exceptions and then be able to enforce it,'' she said.

Asked about the distraction rationale, she said that anything happening in the pool area that breaks rules is a distraction to lifeguards because they have to respond and deal with it.

The Y does allow breast-feeding in other areas where parents and children are permitted to be together, such as the family locker rooms or the lobby waiting area.


If the Y actually has a stated policy that says there is absolutely no eating allowed in the swimming pool area, then they are perfectly within their rights to ask Ms. Fuks to go elsewhere to do so.

In fact, the Y could easily argue that when they told Ms. Fuks she was a distraction, they meant that she was a distraction because she was breaking a rule, not because she was breastfeeding. That's a perfectly legitimate stance to take.

Under the current pool rules, a formula feeding mother would not be allowed to give her child a bottle in the pool area, so why should a nursing mother be given "special" privileges?

I'd also note this line from the article...


But, Fuks said, it is too much trouble to pack up her children and head back to the locker room when Ansley gets hungry. Her primary goal while swimming is to let Maxwell get his ya-yas out, and constant interruptions to feed his sister don't help, she said.


This is what admittedly set me off on wondering if it shouldn't be Ms. Fuks that was getting the brunt of my rant. If she's not being misquoted, then this attitude sort of sealed it for me. If Fuks knew that she could breastfeed anywhere IN PUBLIC in the Y with the exception of the pool area, then I think her fit pitching is inappropriate and childish.

Yes, it's trouble to pack up your children when they need to be fed. Any mother knows that. But if she couldn't give her 3 year old a snack in the area why would she expect to be able to give her six-month old one?

Would love to hear your thoughts...

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Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Learning About The Lactivist

While many of the original visitors to The Lactivist blog found their way here via the article series that I've been running on Search Engine Guide, lately, I've started to notice traffic showing up from other source. That means that many of The Lactivist readers might not know that I built the Lactivist as a teaching project to show people how they can start their own business without any money out of pocket.

I've finally finished the article series and have compiled all of the articles into a free ebook that is available through the Search Engine Guide site. It's got more than a hundred pages of tips, advice and information about starting up your own online business. (did I mention that it's free?)

So why am I telling you this? Because us Lactivist types are crafty and I just know there are plenty of budding entrepreneurs out there.

Why is the book free? Because there's just not enough good, quality free stuff out there. Download it, read it, learn and enjoy. If you absolutely must toss your money somewhere, you can make a donation to the Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio.

I'll be donating the $350 that I made during the project to the milk bank and I've challenged my readers to make their own donations if they feel they've gotten good information out of the series. I'll be adding any reader donations to my own and will be taking a check down to the milk bank next month. My goal is to double the $350 that I've made so that I can take them at least $700. With $105 in donations so far, I'm starting to hope we can hit $1000.


Interested in helping out? Just click the donate now button over there on the left and make your own donation. Even a dollar helps, especially if everyone reading this gets added together.

No worries about The Lactivist though. The project may be over, but I plan to keep the business running. I've got to finance Nora's college education somehow... ;)

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Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Looking for an Excuse to Shop the Lactivist?

Come on, you know you've been wanting to buy one of those cool nip/suck shirts. You're just cheap (I hear ya!) and kept hoping that someone else would buy you one for Christmas.

Hopefully, that special someone said they care with one of the Lactivist's witty breastfeeding shirts, but if they didn't, here's your chance. Until January 19th, CafePress is running a promotion that lets you get $2 off a purchase of $20 (CODE: JAN2) or more and $5 off a purchase of $40 (CODE: JAN5) or more. I know, I know, that's not a lot...but if you buy two shirts, it pretty much covers shipping.

Go on, you know you wanna. ;)

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Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

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Monday, January 09, 2006

Interesting Article on Islam and Breastfeeding

The Yemen Times is running an article series right now that explores what Islamic Law has to say about things like breastfeeding. It makes for interesting reading whether you are a practicing Muslim or not.

From the article:


Islam prescribed breastfeeding and commanded children do so until they attain full power and strength, as breastfeeding greatly impacts children's growth and development. Allah gave the required time period for breastfeeding. He said, “The mothers shall give suckling to their children for two whole years.” (Al-Baqarah: 233)


Note the two whole years comment. I thought this was interesting as it fits with the time periods of developing countries, but is considered "extended" by most within the western world. I can't say that the comment is surprising though as most of the "old" religions like Judism, Christianity and Islam teach positively about the act of nursing a child.

The article goes on to say:


If the mother is not divorced, she should breastfeed her child as a religious obligation, not because she is the natural mother. If she is divorced, then nursing is dealt with as nafaqah (financial support), as established in the Shari`ah. Nafaqah of the child is the father's responsibility. The father must give the mother compensation for her nursing. If she refuses to nurse, then it is incumbent upon the father to find and hire the child a wet-nurse. However, scholars make it mandatory upon the mother to nurse her child if the child refuses nursing by any other or if the father doesn't have sufficient funds to hire a wet-nurse.


The article goes on to discuss the rights of wet-nurses, the decision to wean and several other issues related to child-rearing.

I must admit, this has me a little curious to do some digging into other religions to see what they teach about breastfeeding. I've already done some posting on things from the Christian perspective, but I've never done much researching apart from that. May have to see what I can dig up.

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Refreshing! It's the Little Things That Mean a Lot

As I mentioned a month or so back, my family and I just moved from Columbus, Ohio (population 711,000) to Sunbury, Ohio. (population 2,630) The move has been pretty fantastic in many ways...we have half an acre and live across the street from a river, but we can still walk to the schools, hardware store, town grill, library, etc.. (not to the grocery store though, Sunbury doesn't have a grocery store.)

Anyway, since we're up here, we decided to check out the Vineyard Church that was planted here a few years back. (We've always attended the Vineyard Church of Columbus) We headed there on New Year's Day and absolutely adored it. I won't go into all the details, but I will point out the "little" thing that would have made any Lactivist's day...

In the bullitain along with the typical information on their children's program was the following note:

Nursing Mothers
If you prefer privacy, a room is located off the lobby north of the welcome center for nursing mothers.

Note the wording of that again. If you prefer privacy.

Nice. :) Not a subtly worded "if you are nursing, go hide." Just a helpful, pleasant, "if you'd rather."

I'm going to like this place. :)

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Friday, January 06, 2006

Arizona Lawmakers Debate Breastfeeding in Public Legislation

Three cheers for Rep. Linda Lopez (D-Tucson)! Lopez announced legislation yesterday that would exempt breastfeeding mothers from current laws making it illegal to expose a nipple in public.

The current law does not exempt nursing mothers and theoretically means that a mother that accidentally flashed some nipple could face up to six months in jail. (A year if it happens amidst minors.) The move follows local laws that have been enacted in several Arizona cities (like Tempe and Chandler) to protect mothers that wish to breastfeed in public.

"I believe that breast-feeding an infant is not an act of indecent exposure," Lopez is quoted as saying in the Arizona Daily Star. Lopez went on to say "It's too bad that our culture has sexualized a woman’s breast, something that has been used for nursing infants since time immemorial."

House Bill 2121 would add the following text to the current indecency laws:

B. Indecent exposure does not include an act of breast-feeding an infant.

The bill also adds the following text to provide an exemption from jury duty for breastfeeding mothers:

6. The prospective juror is breast-feeding an infant. The prospective juror does not need to physically appear in court to request to be excused. The prospective juror shall be excused for one year and, at the end of the one year period, the prospective juror may be further excused on written request.

Finally, a section of text also aims to give working mothers more protection when it comes to the need to express breast milk while working. The text reads as follows:

A. An employer shall provide a reasonable unpaid break time each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for her infant child. If possible, the break time must run concurrently with any break time that is already provided to the employee. An employer is not required to provide a break time under this subsection if doing so would unduly disrupt the employer's operations.

B. An employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express breast milk for her infant child in privacy.


This is great news for Arizona moms! I would encourage all Arizona mothers to look up their own representatives and drop them a note encouraging them to support the bill.

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Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

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Mother Asked to Stop Nursing by United Airlines

The latest story to hit the web about a mother that has been asked to either stop breastfeeding in public or cover up has been posted over at Blogging Baby.

From the post:


K.K. Tetrault says she was asked by a flight attendent to stop breastfeeding her 7-month-old, because the attendent was 'concerned' for the other passengers on the flight.

The flight attendent encouraged her to wait to feed her child until they arrived at their destination but offered a blanket to cover herself and the baby.

The company has since apologized to Tetrault, saying the company policy is actually that breastfeeding should only be stopped if it poses a safety hazard to the mother or other passengers.


This isn't the first time that we've seen such a story pop up, with the most famous airline breastfeeding incident being the Barbara Walters breastfeeding incident last summer that sparked a nurse-in of over 150 women.

It's disappointing to hear about these things happening, but in some ways, seeing these stories get news helps contribute to the need for more understanding and acceptance from people about the need to feed babies when they are hungry. (Wow, do people really not already understand that?)

One would hope that United Airlines is taking this opportunity to educate their employees on the rights of mothers and children and that they would also examine their own corporate policies to make sure they are family friendly.

My own experience breastfeeding on airplanes doesn't so much involve nursing as it does pumping, but it was equally frustrating. Before my daughter was a year old, I had two cross-country trips from Ohio to California. The first one saw me traveling with a work associate while my daughter stayed with my mother. The timing on that trip required me to pump on the plane for three of the four flights. On the second trip, my mother and then 9 month old went with me and I only needed to pump on one flight each way.

I called the airline ahead of time to see what their policies were on pumping, mostly because I wasn't sure they'd appreciate me taking up bathroom space for twenty minutes at a time, but also because I wanted to know if there were any plugs available in the plane for my pump.

I was surprised to find that Frontier Airlines, who the first set of flights was thru had no electrical outlets available anywhere on the plane. (not even in the galley? I still don't get that.) I actually ended up having to buy a new pump that came with a battery pack so that I would be able to pump during the flights. The second flight was through American which had electrical outlets all over the place.

While I would have preferred to have pumped in my seat as opposed to in the bathroom, pumping is a little bit different than nursing. For one, it's pretty much impossible to be discreet when you have two flanges attached to your chest and a machine going "Woosh! WOOSH! WOOSH! Woosh!" next to you. For another, unless you want to finagle your way into a hands-free pumping bra while seated, you're going to have to sit there holding those flanges to your breasts which is darn near impossible when you have more than two inches of elbow room, let alone when you don't. Since every single flight that I had was full, I just couldn't see elbowing my neighbors in the neck while trying not to flash the world. (Pumps aren't smart like babies..they don't latch themselves...)

To that end, I will say that anyone looking for a pump should check out the Medela Pump In Style Advanced. I switched from a Medela Lactina Select that was a hospital rental to the PISA and was surprised at the quality. The new let-down feature really did make a difference in the amount of time I pumped and when out in public, it just looked like I was carting around a regular backpack. The best part was that it had room for the pump, a cooler bag for the milk and enough left over for a book or mp3 player and some personal items. That backpack came in handy a number of times...which is like fodder for another post down the road. ;)

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Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Breastfeeding Hormone Set for More Studies

Last month I wrote about a new study that shows that oxytocin, the hormone released during breastfeeding, has been shown to reduce fear. While I jokingly noted that any breastfeeding mom knew this, (you have to be brave to offer up a nipple to a small child with teeth) another story has come out that talks about the potential for oxytocin as a treatment for certain types of mental disorders.

The Boston Globe featured a story around Christmas titled "Feeling shy, afraid of strangers? Hormone under study may help" that looks at the research from the angle of how it might help people that suffer from anything from "from crippling shyness to autism and schizophrenia."

From the article:


Researchers now report that they can boost oxytocin in the human brain using a nasal spray. And when they do, trust seems to rise and social fear seems to abate, raising the possibility that oxytocin-based drugs might eventually help people with mental illnesses that involve exaggerated fear of others, from crippling shyness to autism and schizophrenia.

This month, Meyer-Lindenberg and others reported in The Journal of Neuroscience that when young men snorted oxytocin -- allowing it to cross the blood-brain barrier -- brain scans showed that fear centers became less responsive to threatening faces.

And this summer, the journal Nature published research showing that when subjects played a game that hinged on trust, those who had snorted oxytocin were much likelier to trust other players than those who had not.

The two studies fit nicely together and with other recent research, said Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health and one of the pioneers in research on oxytocin and rodent bonding. For example, he said, brain scans suggest that the fear centers in the brains of autistic people are hypersensitive in social situations, so perhaps oxytocin could help quiet them.


The article goes on to talk about the new interest in studying the effects of oxytocin and plans by pharmaceutical companies like Wyeth to harness the powers of the hormone to treat anxiety disorders. The downside of the experiments is that dosage needs are large. Humans within the study needed to inhale the equivalent of three teaspoons of Oxytocin up their noses to see a notable different. That has led to discussion of creating a pill form of the drug that could be prescribed.

The biggest side effect was that roughly twenty percent of the men involved in the study had erections and that it could trigger contractions in pregnant women. The impact that oxytocin has on trust and sexual arousal has led some critics to claim that a drug version of the hormone could be used as a type of date-rape drug.

More palatable suggested uses include treatment of mothers that have difficulty bonding with their babies, or use on abused children that deal with severe psychological and trust issues.

It's a very interesting article and the potential here is intriguing.

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Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Another Editorialist That Doesn't Get It

Stumbled across an editorial from the Scripps Howard News Service today that started off as commentary about the new Massachusetts legislation on the distribution of formula in hospitals and quickly denigrated into a stereotypical rant on breastfeeding in public before switching gears and turning breastfeeders into judgmental hypocrites that wish to use breastfeeding as a way to minimize their own guilt over bad parenting.

In other words, this writer was all over the place.

In a commentary article titled "
Formula for success? Breastfeeding zealots have gone into overdrive
," writer Betsy Hart starts off wrong and goes downhill from there.

Hart's errors start off on the factual side as she writes:


The legislature there has just banned -- yes, banned -- hospitals throughout the state from giving out free samples of infant formula, provided by formula companies, to new mothers.


The problem is that she's flat out wrong. The new law does not ban the distribution of free formula. It bans the AUTOMATIC distribution of free formula to ALL MOMS. Hospitals are still allowed to give formula to any mother that asks for it.

The commentary goes downhill from there as Ms. Hart patronizes pro-breastfeeding moms by repeatedly putting quotes around phrases the way that a sarcastic teenager uses air quotes while speaking scornfully of an ex-friend. Apparently Ms. Hart nursed all four of her children in public on rare occasion and feels she was completely discreet in doing so but now claims that plenty of other mothers are out there flashing their goods for the world to see just to make a point.

Not sure what world she lives in, but even during my year of breastfeeding when I kept an eagle eye out for nursing moms I only ever spotted two. (and it's not like there were no nursing moms in this city of more than a million people.)

From the article:


And some moms, for a host of reasons, choose to, or have to, bottle feed.

That should be their prerogative. But instead it is an absolute no-no according to some of the "experts." That's when the breastfeeding zealots, all the national organizations and advocates who lobby for and can actually accomplish an amazing thing like having a state legislature ban the free distribution of an expensive and nutritious baby product to needy mothers (as well as wealthy ones) step in. These folks are able to make even moms who only occasionally give baby a bottle feel like a complete loser. And that's what I object to.


Wow. Did anyone else just read the same thing I did? Hart basically accused all Lactivists of wanting to starve the babies of poor mothers. (oh, and wealthy ones too) We're also evil for encouraging moms to breastfeed instead of encouraging them to throw in the towel at the first problem so that they can give their child an inferior and expensive alternative to what comes freely and naturally.

Yeah, that makes sense.

Hart goes on to say:


Perhaps one factor is that breastfeeding has become a palliative for guilty moms who choose to go back to work and leave baby with the nanny. Maybe it has something to do with the reality that infant formula is expensive and probably profitable, and the fact that corporations make money on feeding baby (inexplicably) drives some people nuts.

But more and more I've come to think we so desperately want to believe, literally, there is some formula, preferably a comparatively easy one, for making our babies better, stronger, faster. Some pill, some expert advice, some technique, some guarantee, some answer to this business of childrearing. And so we've glommed onto breastfeeding as the national Rosetta stone of bringing up a perfectly, happy, healthy little one.


Makes sense to me.

The breast is best, but let's make sure we never say it.

*sigh*

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Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Great Public Breastfeeding Photos

There's was a great image over at Blogging Baby yesterday that shows a photo of a mother breastfeeding in public while her other children look on. It's pretty much the perfect example of what any mother I've ever seen nursing in public looks like. From a distance of more than a few feet, it simply looks like she's cuddling up with her little one.

That photo sparked some curiosity and got me out hunting for other images of moms breastfeeding their children in public. Surely if there are tons of women "whipping out" their breasts in public and offending people, there out to be a picture or two that shows a pretty egregious incident, right?

Possibly, but I sure couldn't find them and I like to think that I'm fairly skilled when it comes to search engines.

I did find quite a few interesting photos though...

A great photo of Theresa Healey and Robyn Malcolm breastfeeding their children in public. Healey and Malcolm are two well-known actresses from Oz that wanted to help show how natural breastfeeding was and thus posed for the picture for World Breastfeeding Week.

An absolutely beautiful photo of Lucy Lawless nursing her son for an ad that ran as part of New Zealand's Breastfeeding Awareness week.

A whole collection of photos of mothers breastfeeding in public on a site that offers up tips and advice on how to do it. The great thing about these photos is that these mothers are not actresses or models, they are real moms. Some of them beautiful, some of them average, some young, some more mature, some that are slim, some that are huggable. ;) The point is that all of them are happily nursing their child and no one would be the wiser if the photos were not labeled.

I did find a posed picture for a new story about breastfeeding in public that showed some areola...but it was taken from about 8 inches away and again, clearly posed. I doubt too many people sneak up and stare at a nursing mom from less than a foot away without getting smacked. ;)

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Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Great Reason Not to Wean

I've discovered a great reason not to wean your kids.

Weight Gain.

For some reason, I'd bought into the whole idea that once I stopped pumping, I'd finally be able to lose a few more pounds because my body wouldn't be holding on to those fat deposits to make sure it could keep creating that high-calorie milk.

I was wrong. What I should have considered was that for more than a year I was pumping out anywhere from 32-45 ounces of breast milk a day. My breast milk contains 25 calories an ounce, which means that I was pumping anywhere from 800 to 1125 calories a day.

That's a lot of calories...to put that in perspective, I can burn about 500 calories by spending an hour on an elliptical trainer at a fairly difficult level. In other words, breastfeeding gave me the equivilent of a two hour work-out each day when it came to calories burned.

While that came in handy for losing my pregnancy weight, I never did make it much below where I started out and my body just seemed to adapt my metabolism to the new calorie needs.

That means that when I quit pumping...my metabolism was screwed up...which meant I gained 8 pounds in about two weeks.

Urg.

Back down to almost normal now, but the days of eating fun foods and not having to exercise much have come to a close. Now it's regular walks and veggies...sigh...

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Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Canadian Milk Bank Up and Running in Vancouver

There's a great article today on the CBC web site that talks about Canada's first breast milk bank, which opened last year in Vancouver. More than one hundred women have donated their excess breast milk, which is then tested, pasteurized, frozen and shipped out across Canada to infants in desperate need of donor milk.

From the article:


"We cannot supply milk for every child in Canada who might need it," said Frances Jones, co-ordinator of the milk bank. "So we would be thrilled to have other banks joining us in Canada."

Officials from Ontario, Quebec and Nunavut have expressed interest in starting their own milk banks, Jones said.

Women living outside British Columbia may donate milk but the bank cannot pay the shipping costs, according to the hospital's web site.


Canadian mothers that are interested in becoming human milk donors can contact the BC Women's Milk Bank at:

BC Women's Milk Bank
C & W Lactation Services
4500 Oak Street, IU 30
Vancouver, BC V6M 3X4
Phone (604) 875-2282
FAX 604-875-2871
fjones@cw.bc.ca

It's exciting to see the spread of new milk banks throughout North America. When the Mothers' Milk Bank here in Columbus first made plans to open, there were just a dozen milk banks in operation in North America. As I write this blog post there are now ten in operation with number eleven in the planning stages in Michigan.

Hopefully though continued news and word of mouth, we'll continue to see interest in both milk donation and the use of donor milk rise over the next few years. Seeing milk banks someday become as commonplace as blood banks would simply be spectacular.

Even if you are unable to donate your own breast milk, consider making a financial donation to the milk bank nearest you, or buying one of The Lactivist's milk bank awareness shirts to help support the cause.

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Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments: