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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.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Kentucky Working on Breastfeeding Bill Too!

Wow, let's hear it for the "K" states! Senate Bill 106, sponsored by Sen. Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville specifically states that a mother will have the right to breastfeed or express her breastmilk in any location, public or private. It also exempts breastfeeding from being considered an act of indecency.

The full text of the bill is available on the Kentucky legislature web site. It reads:

Create a new section of KRS Chapter 211 to permit a mother to breastfeed her baby or express breastmilk in any location, public or private; require that breastfeeding may not be considered an act of public indecency, indecent exposure, sexual conduct, lewd touching, or obscenity; prohibit a municipality from enacting an ordinance that prohibits or restricts breastfeeding in a public or private location; exclude breastfeeding from the definition of indecent exposure, sexual conduct, lewd touching, obscenity, and similar terms; prohibit interference with a mother breastfeeding her child in any public or private location.

What's interesting to note is that the bill, which sailed through the Senate and is on its way to the House, is facing opposition from the Kentucky School Board Association of all places. The Lexington Herald-Leader has an article today that talks about the board's fear of the bill's impact on the classroom.

I find this interesting. Partly, because I think anything that encourages teenagers to breastfeed is important, but also because part of me can see their point. While I do think that it would be an excellent example for more teenagers to see a mom breastfeeding, I'm also not sure that the effect of a situation like this would be totally positive. First off, should teenage girls be nursing in class when they're supposed to be paying attention and learning. Secondly, are teenage boys responsible enough to not make a big deal out of. I'm just not sure. Thus, I'm torn on the issue. What I'd like to see is high schools adopting policies like work-places do, that allow a mom to have time to express milk for her baby during a lunch period or a study period.

I think it really boils down to this whole language of the bill thing. As I've noted before, I worry about the wording of "anywhere a mother is otherwise authorized to be." I can enter a bar, but my daughter, who is under 21 cannot. Am I allowed to breastfeed there? I can be in a commercial kitchen, but my daughter can't. Can I breastfeed there? My concern is that we may see challenges mounted to the bill because of this wording and I'm really not sure where a judge would come down on the issue. Part of me wonders if we would protect our rights more if the wording of these bills said that a mother had the right to breastfeed her child in any location that the mother and the child had the right to be.

What do you think? Am I nitpicking over something that's unlikely to happen, or is this a potential battle that we're going to face down the road. Should a teenager be able to nurse her child in the classroom, or should schools adopt policies similar to the workplace so that moms are encouraged to breastfeed, but class isn't disrupted. Would these bills be stronger if they had language like I suggest, or are they stronger with their current wording?

And can I get a "woo hoo!" for the fact that so many states are now pushing through legislation like this! What a great couple of months this has been for the breastfeeding cause!

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Yay Kansas! Yet Another State Moving on Breastfeeding Legislation

As much as we've had some annoying news on the breastfeeding in public front over the past few months, it's also been exciting to see state after state and city after city piling on to the pro-breastfeeding bandwagon by introducing new bills designed to protect the rights of breastfeeding mothers.

Kansas is the latest state to make this positive move, sending a new bill to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius that will protect the right of women to breastfeed their children in public and exempting nursing mothers from jury duty.

The great news is that the bill passed the house in a 119-4 vote. The bad news is that the Senate tweaked the text of the bill to include the word "discreetly."

While I'm thrilled to hear about the new bill and applaud the Kansas legislature for moving things forward, I do worry a little bit about what that added word might do to the meaning. I suppose only time will tell as the language will have to be tested in court, but I can see plenty of folks claiming that breastfeeding isn't "discreet" unless you have a blanket over your baby. We all know that's not the case and that mother's rights to breastfeed need to be protected period...not protected when they're doing it the way that some random person deems "discreet."

So...congrats to Kansas...but let's keep an eye out. If anyone hears of this bill getting tested on that level, I'd like to hear about it so that I can keep Lactivist readers up to date.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Study Shows Extended Breastfeeding Reduces Risks of Teen Obesity

While most breastfeeding moms have already heard that breastfeeding their children can lead to reduced incidences of obesity in adulthood, many probably haven't seen any of the studies that actually back this up.

Ran across such a study earlier today that has been published by Dr. Matthew W. Gillman and that is available (at cost) at the Journal of American Medical Association web site.

A few key takeaway points from the study:

* Ignoring sociocultural factors, the study still shows that the longer an infant is breastfed, the lower the chance that they'll be overweight as a teenager.

* The study looked at multiple children within the same family who were breastfed for longer or shorter time periods. The siblings that were breastfed longer were slightly less likely to become overweight during their teen years.

* For each four month increase in breastfeeding, the risk of obesity dropped by 6%

* One theory behind the study is that breast milk has lasting metabolic effects that can aid in long-term weight management.

Yet another great reason to make sure your kid's no weaner!

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Massachusetts Backs Down on Formula Gift Bag Ban

In a disappointing move, Massachusetts has given in to public criticism and cancelled an upcoming ban on the automatic giveaway of free hospital gift bags from formula companies. I wrote about the free formula ban when it first made news back around Christmas.

It's important to note that despite public comments to the contrary, the new law never barred hospitals from giving away free formula. It simply banned the automatic distribution to ALL new mothers. Instead, the new law would have required that hospitals give the "gifts" only to mothers that requested them.

The decision to drop the new ban was made after Governor Mitt Romney said that he didn't want to block new mothers from receiving the bags and that the decision to breastfeed should be left up to mothers. Ironic isn't it...that the law wouldn't block mothers from getting the bags and the bags themselves have been shown to encourage mothers to switch to formula when things get a little tough.

The article hit the nail on the head in presenting the arguments of the two sides:

Formula companies had objected to the ban, saying women should be given the widest range of options to feed their babies. They said they are committed to the health of babies and mothers.

But breast-feeding activists supported the ban. They say it protected new mothers from being lured into relying on formula when the healthiest option is their own breast milk.


Imagine that...formula companies got upset because they couldn't shove their product into every new moms hand? Ohh...how sad.

Want to share your input with Governor Romney? Please do... you can send a message via his web site, or you can contact him at the following address:

Office of the Governor
Room 360
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: (617) 725-4005
FAX: (617) 727-9725
TTY: (617) 727-3666

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Interesting Article on the History of Formula

The Los Angeles Times had an interesting article over the weekend that discusses the progression of formula from the days of home-made concoctions to the invention of commercial formula in the 20's. It talks about the different trends that created the introduction of new ingredients like iron, nucleotides, DHA and ARA.

It's a well written article, giving facts and information, yet making it clear that despite improvements, breast milk is still superior to anything artificially made. At the same time, it doesn't guilt trip mothers that have to choose formula for their children. Just a good, overall, fact-filled article.

A few interesting points:

Formula companies keep trying to emulate human milk, but the mixture still differs from the real stuff in key ways. "We know a lot about what's in breast milk, but it's hard to replicate all the ingredients," says Dr. Richard J. Deckelbaum, a professor of pediatric nutrition at Columbia University and chairman of the Institute of Medicine's infant formula safety committee.

Those ingredients include, among other things, living cells, hormones, active enzymes and antibodies that fight infection.

Such differences appear to have real health effects. Studies have found that breastfed babies have lower rates of pneumonia, bronchitis, colds, meningitis, urinary tract infections, asthma, ear infections and possibly sudden infant death syndrome.


Also...the following interested me in light of my involvement with the milk banks...

Formulas for preterm babies have also been developed, because babies born prematurely have different nutritional needs than full-term babies. (They need more protein, fat and calcium, for example.) These formulas "have really helped premature babies achieve better weight gain, bone health, and in some cases allows for earlier discharge from neonatal intensive care units," says Erin Feldman, a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in pediatric nutrition at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

In addition, manufacturers have developed specialized formulas for babies with certain illnesses, such as one for babies with cystic fibrosis.


It's true that great strides have been made in the creation of human milk fortifiers designed to help improve the formula that is given to premature infants in the NICU. In fact, there are a few scientists working on a fortifier that's actually created from human milk. That would be a great stride forward.

But what makes me sad is that the article had zero mention of milk banks. Perhaps the author isn't aware of them, or perhaps she didn't think it fit within the context of the article, but based on the tone of the rest of the article, I would have expected the above section to have been me along the lines of "while human donor milk is becoming more readily available, specially developed formulas are being used when supplies are low."

It was an interesting article, but to me, it also really underscored the need to continue educating the public about the availability of milk banks and the need to both donate, and to ask for donor milk when appropriate.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Update on Colorado Breastfeeding Bill

In a new bill that's working it's way through state legislature, Colorado moms would be guaranteed two breaks a day during which they could breastfeed or express milk for their children.

Senate Bill 167 made its way through the State Affairs Committee of the Colorado State Senate yesterday afternoon, setting it up for a full vote. Apart from guaranteeing time to pump, the bill also requires businesses to set aside a location other than a toilet staff for mothers to express their milk.

The primary text of the bill reads as follows:


Requires employers to allow a nursing mother at least 2 separate 20-minute breaks each day, in addition to a meal break, to breastfeed or express breast milk for her child. Requires the break time to be paid only if the employer already provides its employees comparable paid break time. Also requires employers to make reasonable efforts to provide nursing mothers a private location in which to breastfeed or express breast milk. Prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee who exercises her rights to break time and a private location to breastfeed or express breast milk.


Channel 9 news has coverage of the Colorado breastfeeding bill's progress.

"Colorado's working moms shouldn't have to choose between their responsibility for their child's health and their responsibility to their household's finances," said Carol Soeth, who testified with her 5-month-old son, Jack, on her lap.

Critics however stated that this would provide an undue burden on Colorado's businesses and that the issue is best left to negotiations between individual employers and their employees.

"Being a Mom and a Grandmother is a very honorable profession. I'm there," said Gail Lindley, who owns the Denver Bookbinding Company, a business which has set up cribs in its workspace for its employees who are working parents. "But, I don't think small businesses should be mandated to provide this. It's a wonderful thing to do, but some times, it's not the practical thing to do."

Colorado's business lobbying community testified against the measure. The Colorado Association for Commerce and Industry (CACI), which represents many of the state's largest business, believes the measure takes the wrong approach to solve a non-existent program.


To note, Colorado already has laws on the books that protect the rights of a mother to breastfeed her child in public, making them one of 31 states that do so. The new bill focuses only on the rights of breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.

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Update on S.C. Breastfeeding Bill

From Amanda over at Officially a Mom, Thanks!

The SC Breastfeeding Action Committee is thrilled to announce that H
4347 has sailed through the House on its third reading and is on its way to a Senate Subcommittee. Thank you to everyone for your efforts and we certainly hope that we can count on all of you to contact your Senators and encourage them to support this legislation. Even if you have already contacted them, please consider it again so that the it is fresh on their minds! Following is a link to the Senate's contact
information:

http://www.scstatehouse.net/html-pages/senatemembersd.html

Thanks to all of the families who showed up yesterday for the reading.
We also had a wonderful press conference. Here are some links to the recent press coverage:

http://wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=4501429
http://wspa.com/ (Scroll down under News 7 Video, you'll see Breastfeeding Bill...) http://www.charleston.net/stories/?newsID=70841§ion=stateregion


We will keep you posted on the progression in the Senate. Thanks again for your continued support!

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Milk bank fundraising update

Sorry that I've been lax in posting the past few days, updates on why before too long, I promise. ;)

In the meantime, here's a crosspost from Search Engine Guide:

On a whim today I went out to check and see how the Lactivist carcasherdotcom seocontest for charity page was doing in one of the latest SEO contests and noticed that it's moving up the rankings quite nicely. The site is still ranking #1 on MSN and has crept up to #3 on Yahoo and #15 on Google. Right now that keeps the site on track to win the $100 monthly prize for MSN and puts it within reach of the $200 Yahoo prize.

To note again, I'll be donating any winnings directly to the milk banks that the Lactivist site was setup to promote, though I will admit that I wouldn't mind snagging that iPod for the final MSN prize. Any money won during the carcasherdotcom seocontest will be split between my local milk bank and the national milk banking association. If you're interested in helping out, please consider checking out the carcasherdotcom seocontest for babies instructions page and adding a link to your site.

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Update on South Carolina Breastfeeding Bill and Victoria's Secret

Many thanks to Amanda for passing on news that the South Carolina Breastfeeding bill is advancing for a full House vote.)

Just last week I wrote about the mother that was told she could not breastfeed in the dressing room at Victoria's Secret. I also mentioned that State Rep. Chip Limehouse, R-Charleston was sponsoring Senate Bill 4373, a bill designed to protect the rights of women to breastfeed in any public location that she would otherwise be.

I've had a chance to do some digging on the updates to this issue and to do some more thinking on what my personal stance is on the Victoria's Secret issue.

First, a possible issue to point out with the Victoria's Secret thing. I was talking to my husband and best friend the other night, both of which are big supporters of breastfeeding and of breastfeeding in public. The interesting thing though...is that I told them that Ms. Rueger asked if she could breastfeed in one of the dressing rooms and was told no, they both said "well yeah, that makes sense." I asked what they meant and both of them said, well that's where people need to go to try on clothes, what if they had a sudden influx of customers and needed the space? It's not Victoria's Secrets job to sacrifice the ability of their customers to buy so that a mom can breastfeed. I thought that this was an interesting point.

Now, I'm going to guess, based on the followup call to headquarters where they suggested she just get a babysitter the next time, that they would have said no even if she asked for a chair to sit in while in the store...but I'm also going to point out that it's POSSIBLE that the reason she was told no and that they suggested that she head to the restrooms next door was because the sales associate simply couldn't let a non-shopping customer take up dressing room space. Another thing they pointed out was that if the restrooms are anything like the ones at our new malls, it's not a place that you wouldn't want to nurse. The restrooms at our malls have a GIANT lounge when you first walk in that's filled with comfy couches and chairs. Then you go through ANOTHER door into the actual restrooms. Thus, if the clerk thought she wanted privacy, this was a reasonable suggestion.

Now remember, I'm playing devil's advocate here. I'm still guessing that this was just an example of someone not wanting someone to breastfeed in their store, but it was interesting to have my friend (who works in retail) point out the other side of things. It's sort of like the whole incident at the Y. There WAS a legitimate reason for asking her to leave...there was a no food or drink policy and even though nursing is also for comfort, the reality is that there IS food involved. Thus, it breaks the policy.

That's what leads to some of the interesting comments I've found on the S. Carolina breastfeeding bill. State Rep. John Graham Altman, R-Charleston has said many times over the past few weeks that he planned to speak against the bill. Not because he doesn't support the right of a mom to nurse in public, but because he worries about what this will do to business owners in giving them the rights to decide what happens on their own premises. But, I see this as a two-fold issue and I'm not sure which side he comes down on.

1.) It's possible that he is worried that places like the Y that have a no food or drink policy will be forced to compromise those policies for breastfeeding mothers.

Another issue is that the wording says "anyplace that the mother is otherwise authorized to be" NOT "anyplace that the mother and her child are otherwise authorized to be." My reason for noting that difference? I used to volunteer in the cafe in my church. Because the cafe was open to the public for lunch and dinner, it was regulated by the board of health the same way that any other restaurant would be. That meant that while I, the mother, was allowed in the food prep area, my child, a minor was not. State health regulations do not allow "children" to be in an area where food is prepared.

According to the letter of the law, if I could be there, then they'd have to let me nurse my child...but doing so would break the rules of the board of health and could cause them to lose their operating license.

2.) It's also possible that he simply means that businesses should be able to decide what happens on their own premises. I agree with this if it's an issue like whether or not to sell alcohol, or whether you want to let people smoke...I have a hard time with the government saying "you can or can't do this" to someone that runs a private business.

HOWEVER...you cannot legally say "well, I don't want to serve blacks" or "I don't want to to serve Asians." It's discrimination. I think in this instance, a nursing mom falls into the same boat. I don't think this is an issue that a business has the right to discriminate against if it isn't violating some board of health law.

The bill moved to the House for a full vote on Tuesday. I'll continue to update as I hear whether or not it has passed.

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Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Pumping Project

Amanda commented earlier today about The Pumping Project, a post that's going on over at the Rookie Moms blog. It's an intersting post and aims to collect stories and photos of where moms are trying to pump. I've posted my own stories and found a few of the ones already listed to be pretty interesting.

Any mom that has had to pump, and especially the ones that exclusively pumped are going to be able to relate to this one.

A few great comments...


I didn’t realize this until the middle of one especially productive pumping session, when I was startled by the sight of a man hanging from some ropes outside my blinds-wide-open window. I had just had a good letdown, so I sort of turned my back and kept on trucking.


and


One day I’m doing the double pump thing and next thing I know there were no less than 8 men coming off the elevator next door and walking toward the windows. I ducked, got dressed, and looked up and didn’t see anyone. I still don’t know if the word got out that there was a bare-breasted woman in the window, or if it was just a coincidence.


Worth a peek. :)

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Kelly Fuks YMCA Incident Sparks Council Action

Last month, I wrote about the Ann Arbor breastfeeding incident that say mother Kelly Fuks being asked to stop nursing in the pool area of the YMCA. I followed up with another post that explained that even bottle feeding wasn't allowed in the pool area of the YMCA due to a "no food or drink" rule.

Over the weekend, the Ann Arbor News ran a story about local council woman Joan Lowenstein. Lowenstein has introduced a new resolution that would allow for a mother to breastfeed her child in public in any location that she otherwise has the right to be.

From the article


Lowenstein said the YMCA incident was the main reason for her resolution, but that there have been other incidents involving breastfeeding in public in the city.

YMCA Executive Director Cathi Duchon has said the Y supports breastfeeding and it is allowed in 80 percent of the Y building. Duchon also has said the YMCA is not changing its policy.

Lowenstein said the courts may end up making that decision.

"I think this (resolution) will apply there,'' Lowenstein said. "All it means is: I don't decide it; the Y doesn't decide it; the courts or our Human Rights Commission will decide it.''


That's great and all... I mean I'm 100% behind any legislation that protects a woman's right to breastfeed, but I still don't see how this resolution would have stopped this from happening. The rule is NO FOOD. Fuks herself admitted that even bottle feeding wasn't allowed in the pool area...so why should breastfeeding be allowed?

That said, it's fantastic to hear that other public areas will now be covered and that Ann Arbor moms will have the support that they need when they're out in public and their babies get hungry.

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Raising Money for Milk Banks - Keep up the Great Work!

Hey all, just an update on the carcasherdotcom seocontest fundraiser that I'm running for the milk banks. Apparently, the site is now ranking #1 on MSN and is showing in the top 5 on some Yahoo datacenters. Not indexed by Google yet, so don't know where it will end up there.

There are separate prizes for each engine, so even just staying tops on MSN would net $100 each month for the milk bank. Hopefully with time, if this continues to spread through the lactivist community, we can get the top ranking on all engines and raise some serious cash for the milk banks.

If you're not familiar with the contest or how I'm using it to try to raise money, check out the carcasherdotcom seocontest fundraiser page.

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Breastfeeding Mom Booted from Victoria's Secret

Oh the irony of it all...in a store filled with wall-sized images of scantily clad women from a company that makes their living by pushing sex...a nursing mother is told that she can't breastfeed in the dressing room and that she should head to the bathroom next door.

From an article in the Charleston City Paper:

The story goes like this: late last month, Lori Rueger was shopping for a present for a gift for her father-in-law at Mt. Pleasant’s Towne Centre with her 3-month-old when her daughter let it be known it was time to be fed.

Rueger headed over to the Victoria’s Secret, a business that prides itself on understanding a woman’s more private side, and asked a store employee if she could breastfeed in a dressing room. Not only did the clerk say no, even worse, Rueger was told to go next door to Old Navy and feed her baby in the restroom there.

“I said I’m not going to feed her in the bathroom,” Rueger says. “I said, ‘Would you want to eat in the bathroom?’ [The clerk] didn’t say anything. She was like, ‘It was against company policy.’”

Following the incident, Reuger contacted the client relations department for Limited Brands, the parent company of the lingerie chain. According to the young mother, a company representative confirmed that breastfeeding in dressing rooms was against company policy. And while the associate allegedly offered Rueger a bit of advice — get a babysitter the next time she decides to go shopping — she never offered Rueger what she wanted the most.

“I just wanted an apology or someone to say, ‘Hey, I’m sorry about that. It won’t happen again,’” Rueger says. “I wasn’t looking to make a very big deal about it. I’m a very quiet and private individual.”


"get a babysitter the next time..." Holy smokes, are they SERIOUS? Get a BABYSITTER? Wow...I wish she had that on tape. I really do. I'm not one to call for boycotts, but can you imagine the reaction to a 20/20 or 60 Minutes report that had a recording of THAT tape playing? No breastfeeding mom would ever again set foot in a Limited Brands store.

According to Victoria's Secret, this was an issue of an employee, not of corporate policy. From Local6.com in South Carolina:

Victoria's Secret has a "long-standing policy to allow nursing in our stores. We are still for and about women," said Anthony Hebron, spokesman for the chain's parent, Limited Brands.

Whatever. I found other comments by Hebron in other news stories that offer up everything from "the employee misunderstood policy" to "the employee thought the dressing rooms were full."

Now, before you get too up in arms and start planning nurse-ins...be aware that this happened a while ago and a nurse-in already took place. I found coverage in an ABC News story from last year and several other sites covering the issue as early as last summer.

The reason that this is in the news again is because the story was used as testimony this week for a new state bill that would provide legal protection for women who wish to breastfeed in public in South Carolina.

The bill is being sponsored by State Rep. Chip Limehouse, R-Charleston with the help of Lin Cook, a post-partum doula and breastfeeding counselor. The pair tried to pass similar legislation in 1997, but it failed due to lack of support.

Senate Bill 4373 is currently moving through the South Carolina Legislature and states, in part:


(A) The General Assembly finds that breastfeeding is an important and basic act of nurturing which should be encouraged in the interest of maternal and child health.

(B) A woman may breastfeed her child in any location where the mother is authorized to be.

(C) Breastfeeding a child in a location where the mother is entitled to be is not considered indecent exposure."


It does not provide the same level of protection in regards to pumping milk in the work place, support for breastfed children in child care or excusal from jury duty, but it's a good starting point.

If you're a South Carolina reader, please consider contacting your representative and asking them to support this bill.

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Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

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It Wasn't a Fluke...Mommy's Milk Makes Kids Cuddly...

Ok, so this isn't exactly scientific research I'm posting here, but after last week's post about how Miss Independant suddenly became all snuggly and lovey when I pulled some breast milk from the freezer, I had to follow up with round two's findings.

Elnora has been teething some this week...not sleeping well, being sort of whiney during the days and hardly eating anything. So yesterday, I pulled out two more bags of breastmilk from my diminishing freezer supply and poured them into one of her Nubys for a before bed treat. I handed it to her, then left her in the kitchen, went in the living room and sat down.

Sure enough...a few seconds later, in she comes... She's sipping on her milk, but stops when she gets to me. Hands me the cup, crawls into my lap, then reaches out for it again. The funny part is that as she sits in my lap drinking her mommy milk, she proceeds to do her "dance" of bouncing up and down. She stops that long enough to lean WAY back, look at me, laugh and pat me in the face.

LOL...talk about melting the heart. All of a sudden my little whiner turns into a giggly, huggy toddler that wants to hug the dog, hug me, give me kisses and dance.

Seriously...there's an addictive chemical in there...gotta be! (Or maybe it was that crack I smoked back when I was pumping...)

Anyway, there you have it. Anecdotal proof (and we all know that counts for WAY more than any silly statistics!) that breastmilk makes kids more huggy and more lovey.

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More on Private Milk Sharing

Last week, a made a post or two about private milk sharing and the black market for breastmilk. In those posts, I talked about how I could understand a mother's desire to give her child breastmilk, but that I just couldn't see the safety in getting it anywhere but from one of the HMBANA milk banks. Since then, I've had a chance to do a bit more digging and I'm starting to change my mind somewhat...

While I am still appalled at the idea of selling breast milk...mostly because it just reeks of profit from other's grief and has the potential to be so risky...I'm starting to warm up to the idea of private milk donation. The first thing I saw that challenged my point of view was the Feed My Baby site that was put up by Jennifer Connel, the woman that couldn't breastfeed her children because she'd had a double mastectomy. Connel set up a network of donor moms across the United States, paid for all of the necessary testing, the shipping and bought a home pasteurizer to process the milk once she received it. Basically, she set up her own mini-version of a milk bank.

There's a big difference between that and simply having strangers ship you their breast milk.

Today, I had an email from Kelly Faulkner, who runs MilkShare.com, a site dedicated to helping families learn how to safely set up their own private human milk donor network. There's some great information on the site, including the obvious suggestion that you need to find a Ped that's willing to work with you on this and help you figure out the screening requirements for your donors.

Breast milk is one of those things that is supply and demand...many moms can create quite a bit of extra...wouldn't it be great to see this type of thing grow to where anyone that needed breastmilk could get it?

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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, February 01, 2006

carcasherdotcom seocontest

Sounds like gibberish, doesn't it? This carcasherdotcom seocontest talk... But what it actually is, is a call to arms for all my Lactivist buddies. Let's use this carcasherdotcom seocontest sillyness to raise money for milk banks!

As some of you know, my "real" job is as a writer covering the search marketing industry. Well, every now and then, some search marketer, eager to show off how big their....skill is...decides to start a contest like this whole carcasherdotcom seocontest one. The idea here is for people to try to rank their sites number one on Yahoo, Google and MSN for the made up phrase carcasherdotcom seocontest. Each month, the site that ranks first on each engine will win a prize ranging from $100 to $500.

At the end of the year, the number one site for the phrase carcasherdotcom seocontest will win from $1000 to $6000, depending on which engines they rank #1 in.

Now, as you all know, I've been using The Lactivist as a way to spread awareness for milk banks, milk bank donations and to raise money for the milk banks. Thus far, the Lactivist and Lactivist readers have helped raise more than $500 for the Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio.

So here's the plan...I'll go ahead and enter the silly carcasherdotcom seocontest contest and I'll state here and now that every single penny that I might win will go straight to the milk bank. (Ok, ok, so I'll keep the iPod if I win that...but any money from carcasherdotcom seocontest goes to the milk bank.)

Here's how you can help...

First, link to this URL: http://thelactivist.blogspot.com/2006/02/carcasherdotcom-seocontest.html

from your site (ok, from EVERY site you own) with one of the following bits of link text:

(Not sure how to link? Drop me an email - jennifer@thelactivist.com and I'll help you!)

carcasherdotcom seocontest

carcasherdotcom seocontest for milk banks

carcasherdotcom seocontest for milk bank awareness

carcasherdotcom seocontest milk bank fundraiser

how carcasherdotcom seocontest helps babies

carcasherdotcom seocontest for premature babies

carcasherdotcom seocontest funding mother's milk

carcasherdotcom seocontest helps breast milk banking

Next, email a link to this page and some background to everyone you know that is pro-breastfeeding and pro milk banking. I'll be contacting some of my contacts that are IBCLC's along with contacts from HMBANA and tagging this for Technorati's Thursday Thirteen. I'll also be emailing some friends in the industry asking themto consider linking to this page as well.

If you belong to a discussion forum on parenting, breastfeeding or anything even remotely related, post it there, tell folks about it as a way to raise money and ask that they link and get their friends to link.

Links play an amazing role in helping sites rank well, even for junk phrases like carcasherdotcom seocontest. That's why George Bush and Michael Moore rank so well for the phrase "miserable failure," because of all the people that link to their sites using that text as the link.

So hop on board. Even if this post just makes first place once for the phrase carcasherdotcom seocontest, that's still $500 for the milk bank. If everyone really does work together and this travels through the mothering world online, we can get this think ranked number one every month and hopefully raise hundreds, or even thousands of extra dollars for the milk bank.

To note...I want to see all the milk banks get helped, since I count on people from all over pitching in with links. So half of any money will go to the Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio and the other half will go directly to HMBANA, which oversees all North American milk banks.

So what do you say, will you pitch in? Can you email everyone you know? Let's show the power of a bunch of pro-breastfeeding moms! :)

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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.

Extended Breastfeeding Documentary on UK TV Tonight

Ran across an article in the Peterborough Today that talks about a documentary on extended breastfeeding that will be running tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm. The documentary, titled "Extraordinary Breastfeeding" explores several families that have chosen to breastfeed for extended periods of time, including an interview with a mother that still gives her nine-year old breastmilk as a "treat." (It doesn't say if the nine year old nurses, or drinks expressed milk.)

The documentary will also apparently cover issues like nursing in public and even breastfeeding an adopted child.

(edited: Jax has a review)

The Peterborough Today article was pretty fairly written, with commentary from mother's on both sides of the issue:


"I intend to breastfeed her exclusively for up to six months, and continue giving her breast milk for up to a year."

But the 29-year-old, who lives in Station Road, Whittlesey, is not shocked by the idea of women breastfeeding for longer.

"I think the advantages have been scientifically proven," she said.

"The only thing holding these people back is society. I have a biology degree, which means I tend to look at statistics. It reduces the risk of obesity in early life and later life, and reduces the risk of cancers.


and


New mum Samantha Hyam has been breastfeeding her son David since he was born 16 weeks ago. But she has no plans to carry on past his first birthday.

"I will definitely be feeding him for the first six months, and would like to continue until he goes onto cow's milk at a year. Beyond that, I don't see a need because he will be getting all the nutrition he needs from other food and drink."

She added: "It gets a bit ridiculous if they are beyond two or three years old. They should have been weaned before then.


The BBC Radio web site also has news of the upcoming documentary along with a section that allows readers to share their thoughts on extended breastfeeding. The responses thus far seem to swing in favor (or at least acceptance of) extended breastfeeding, though even the pro-breastfeeding moms tend to question the idea of nursing a 9 year old. A few of the comments from the BBC site...

From personal experience I think that a lot of people find breastfeeding a very uncomfortable thing to witness at any age, but I think probably 3 is the oldest it should continue. A friend had terrible trouble getting her son off her breast. The attachment is so strong. She did eventually manage to get him to stop but it was a difficult process. I wonder whether those who continue to feed are really just pandering to their children and wanting to baby them for longer. I think there is something very wrong in allowing it to go on beyond, say, 5 years.

It has been proven that a child's immune system doesn't fully mature until about the age of 6 or 7.. so it is still beneficial to breastfeed until this age. The problem with this culture is that the majority of people are like a hormone ridden teenager with a porn mag.... Breasts were NOT put there for pleasure.. they are there to feed and nurture children. We are too focused on them as sexual objects, hence why we have such an embarrassing rate of breastfeeding. People really do need to be more educated on the subject instead of making claims that it is disgusting or psychologically damaging, without actually being able to back any of it up with facts!!

As a mother who couldn't breastfeed as long as she wanted, I applaud women who are able to and choose to do so. Personally, the I find idea of breastfeeding a child with teeth slightly scary. However, a mother should be allowed to decide for herself when it is appropriate to stop, without negative pressure from prudish joe public. I think a lot of women don't get the support they need to be able to breastfeed longer. Breastfeeding should be the obvious choice to make, but in reality it is a concerted effort one has to make in the face of factors such as public disapproval, pressures of returning to work and generally hectic lifestyles.

Overall, it seemed that most of the BBC readers felt that breastfeeding up to age two was perfectly acceptable, which really shows great strides in the acceptance of the WHO guidelines on breastfeeding. It was disappointing to see that many of the readers felt that anything past six months was "wrong" or "disgusting" because breastfeeding is for "babies."

Are there really people that no longer consider a six month old to be a baby? Aren't you a baby until you're a toddler, which means when you start to walk?

I'll be very interested to hear the response of any of my British readers on the documentary. I won't be able to see it, but I have dropped Jax a line to see if she can catch it and share some insight.

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Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments: