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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, May 27, 2008

A Warning about Nipple Cream

Many thanks to my friend Amber Tardiff-Watson for letting me know about an FDA warning about "Mommy's Bliss Nipple Cream." Apparently use of the cream can cause some health problems in nursing infants.

Here's a snippet from the warning:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use or purchase Mommy’s Bliss Nipple Cream, marketed by MOM Enterprises, Inc., because the product contains potentially harmful ingredients that may cause respiratory distress or vomiting and diarrhea in infants. The product is promoted to nursing mothers to help soothe and heal dry or cracked nipples. Product labeling specifically states that there is no need for mothers to remove the cream prior to nursing. However, the ingredients contained in the product may be harmful to nursing infants.

Potentially harmful ingredients in Mommy’s Bliss Nipple Cream are chlorphenesin and phenoxyethanol. Chlorphenesin relaxes skeletal muscle and can depress the central nervous system and cause respiratory depression (slow or shallow breathing) in infants. Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that is primarily used in cosmetics and medications. It also can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration in infants.

Mothers and caregivers should watch for a decrease in an infant’s appetite. More serious signs would be difficulty in awakening the child, limpness of extremities or a decrease in an infant’s strength of grip and a change in skin color. Please seek immediate medical attention if your child is showing these signs and symptoms.

Amber points out on her blog that if you HAVE used this product and you DO notice any problems, you should contact the FDA and let them know.

Consumers are strongly encouraged to report adverse events related to this product or any FDA approved product to MedWatch, the agency’s voluntary reporting program, by e-mail at www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm, or by phone at 800-332-1088, or by fax to 800-332-0178. Consumers may also mail reports of adverse events to MedWatch, Food and Drug Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD, 20852-9787.


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.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Toddler bento lunches

Toddler bento lunches
Originally uploaded by Jennifer Laycock
Another round of bento lunches for preschool days.

The bento on the left is Emmitt's. Top tier has strawberries, mandarin oranges and sakura cut pineapple. The middle tier has macaroni and cheese, string cheese and some black olives. The bottom tier has two organic mint oreos and some Annie's natural cheddar bunnies.

The box over on the right is Elnora's. The top tier has some broccoli, black olives and bunny crackers. The bottom tier has fresh pineapple, strawberries, string cheese, animal crackers and some Nutella in the blue container.

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.

The Love of a Mother (Even if it's someone else's mother)

Lactivist reader "juliefabmom" left this comment on another post and after reading it and taking a bit to compose myself, I realized it needs to be placed as a post in and of itself instead of being left to flounder in the comments.

Pull out your tissues folks and take in the love of a mother.

from The Electric New Paper, Singapore

Here's the story. it made me cry for 1/2 an hour this morning (I'm still breastfeeding my 12 month old so it hit me pretty hard) it was so moving.

The earthquake in China unleashed one of the most powerful forces on earth - love.

Whether it is a mother saving her child, a female cop breastfeeding lost infants or celebrities moved to act, it was there like a comforting blanket amid the pain, grief and heartbreak.

Perhaps one of the most powerful examples of these acts of love is the last desperate act of a dying mother, trapped in the rubble, trying to save her 3-month-old baby.

Knowing the end was near, she nestled her baby to her breast, so that the baby could survive after she was gone.

Dr Gong Pu, a 30-year-old gynaecologist told nddaily.com that rescuers were searching through rubble along a river in Chengdu when they came across a young woman cradling a baby in her bosom.

The mother had lifted up her shirt to breastfeed the baby. By the time they were found, the mother had already stopped breathing.


Said Dr Gong: 'We carried the baby carefully from the mum's arms. The baby started crying after its mouth left the mum's breast.

'It left tears in our eyes.

'From the way she was carrying the baby, we could see that the mum was doing all she can to protect her child.

A mother's instinct to protect even extended to strangers.

In Jiangyou county, policeman Jiang Xiaojuan, 29, was seen breastfeeding a rescued infant.

Mrs Jiang is still lactating as she gave birth six months ago.

However, when she heard about the quake, she left her baby in the care of her parents.

And when she saw hungry infants crying at the rescue centre, her motherly instincts took over.

She is nursing the children of three women who were left homeless by the quake and were too traumatised to give milk, as well as five orphans.

The orphans had been placed in an orphanage which does not have powdered milk.

Mrs Jiang's selfless act prompted netizens to sing praises of her on various online forums.

Some even posted MTV-style videos of her, using just that breastfeeding picture on youku.com, the Chinese equivalent of YouTube.

Nine-day-old baby He Jiahui receiving first aid in Dujiangyan. She and her mother were found trapped under a collapsed house. Said one netizen, called The Mollusc in Dayun River: 'To the most respected policewoman, I offer you the greatest salute.'

Another named Dearest Mum said: 'You have taught us what is the meaning of a mother's love.'

That's the power of compassion and it has spread.

--- isnt that heartwrenching? I love that mother for what she did for her baby.

Absolutely heart breaking folks. But a story that needed to be passed along.


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.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Kid's Bentos for 05/19/08

Kid's Bentos for 05/19/08
Originally uploaded by Jennifer Laycock
I'll be speaking at the Ohio Web Leaders conference tomorrow, so the kid's will have a long day at Mango's Place. Took some extra time to make sure I put together lunches they might actually eat.

Emmitt's is the bento on the left. His top tier has strawberries, mandarin oranges, pineapple cut into flower shapes and (I know! I know! ew!) a Twinkie Greg brought home from work. (Apparently someone sent them a "Twinkie bouquet" who thinks of these things?)

His bottom tier has a scoop of chicken and dumplings I made on Saturday, some Annie's Natural bunny crackers and two black olives to hold everything in place.

Elnora's bento is on the right. She has two Back to Nature organic mint oreos in the lid. The top tier has kumquats, strawberries, pineapples cut into flowers and Annie's Natural bunny crackers.

Her bottom tier has macaroni and cheese (with a black olive), three dino nuggets, a small bottle of ketchup and a Fruitabu organic apple fruit strip.

Some day, I may get brave enough to pack veggies again, but seeing as how they get thrown away every single time I pack them, it kind of seems like a waste...


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.

Practicing for Future Mall Trips

Originally uploaded by Jennifer Laycock
Apparently Emmitt is destined to be one of those old men sitting in the chairs in the center of the mall walkways, holding their wives purse.

A few days back Nora came in and asked if she could carry my purse around. I said sure. Five minutes later, in wandered Emmitt wearing the purse around his neck. While I applaud her creativity in finding a pack mule, it did make things a tad more complicated when he fell asleep in the living room.

In fact, he ended up passed out, face down with the purse still around his neck about twenty minutes after I took this photo. Amazingly, I managed to remove the purse, pick him up, get him in his room, change his diaper, get him in bed and cover him up without him waking up.

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.

Missed You Guys

Ever run into your best friend from high school ten or twelve years later in some random location?

Chances are, you either talked each other's ears off, or you made small talk for 2.75 minutes before you both started briefly glancing at your feet or watch and saying "well...it was good seeing you."

That's kind of where I am with the blog.

I miss posting here and I'd like to gradually get back in the groove, but I'm trying to figure out exactly what it is I have to say at this point. I'm firmly into toddler mode now and the days are sort of a non-stop blend of work, pre-school, "awww", "stop!!" and the other standard mom stuff.

If you haven't noticed, Anna Swank has stepped in to share her journey through a twin pregnancy and twin breastfeeding...so hopefully you're getting your fix on that. Of course these days, there are enough great breastfeeding blogs that I don't really feel the need to fill the void.

So I think we'll slowly dive back into the mix of life as a work at home mom and wife and we'll see how that goes. You've all told me repeatedly you don't mind if this becomes more of a "personal" blog, so I'm going to test that theory and see how many of you bolt. :-P

Oh, and if you're active on Twitter, join me over there. I post pretty regularly. Seems like my brain can wrap itself around 140 characters, it just sometimes has trouble spitting out complete sentences. ;)


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.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Decision (sort of)

First of all, thanks to all of you for your support, encouragement, birth stories and resources. It is definitely appreciated! I wish that I had time to respond to everyone's comments individually, but there are a few points that came up that I'd like to clarify:

1 - Hospital birth with a midwife is not an option for me. I think there might be one practice in Columbus that still has midwives on their staff, but I'm not willing to change practices at this point. My understanding is that if a midwife is not a part of an OB practice, she does not have hospital privileges. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!

2 - "Home birth" =/ "unattended birth." Whether I birth at home or in the hospital, I will be with skilled birth attendants.

3 - It's true; the vast majority of research shows that for 80-90% of women, and out-of-hospital birth with a midwife is a completely safe, if not safer, option than birth in a hospital with an OB. The trouble is, the research is based on "low-risk" births. Although I don't necessarily agree that twins automatically makes a woman "high-risk," the fact is that multiple pregnancies are considered high-risk by the medical community and researchers. Even Marsden Wagner, a HUGE proponent of midwives and out-of-hospital births, puts multiple pregnancies in the "should probably be attended by an OB in the hospital" category.

So where does that leave me? Well, since I last posted, I've had an appointment with Abby and Kelly (the midwives) and an appointment with Dr. Jenkins. I've also continued researching the topic on my own. I currently have a childbirth mini-library on my nightstand! The research has helped me become even more confident in my body's ability to birth two babies, and even more educated on common interventions, the risks and benefits, and the motivation behind them for a typical OB.

I'm lucky - I don't have a typical OB. Here are the birth preferences I gave him at our last appointment:

Birth Team:
- Lee and/or Anna are a part of the birth team, and must provide consent for all interventions
- The minimal number of staff required for optimal outcome should be included on the birth team

Personal Wishes:
- We will photograph and/or record the babies' birth on videotape
- Lee and the midwife will stay with Anna at all times
- Neither baby will be separated from both Lee and Anna at any time, for any reason

Labor, assuming no complications:
- Intermittent, external fetal monitoring only
- No artificial rupture of membranes
- Unrestricted freedom of movement
- Heparin lock insertion only if necessary; attempt forearm insertion first
- Unrestricted freedom to eat light foods and sip clear beverages
- No pharmaceutical augmentation
- Do not offer pharmaceutical pain relief unless specifically requested by Anna

Birth, assuming no complications:
- Unrestricted freedom to push and birth in whatever position is comfortable at the time
- No episiotomy
- Immediate skin-to-skin contact with each baby; Anna will hold Baby A until labor begins for Baby B
- Birth Baby B vaginally, even if in less-desirable position (posterior, breech, etc.)
- Do not clamp either baby's umbilical cord until her respective placenta is delivered, and cord pulsing has ceased
- Spontaneous birth of placentas (no pharmaceuticals, cord traction, etc.)

Emergencies, Complication, and Surgical Birth:
- Please respect that this is not a "routine procedure" for our family
- Anesthesia to be administered by a certified anesthesiologist
- Regional anesthetic preferred, if time allows
- Place urinary catheter after anesthesia is established
- Do not strap Anna's arms down unless she proves physically unable to control them
- If general anesthesia is required, type and dose to regain consciousness as quickly as possible
- If baby's conditions allow, Anna or Lee will hold each baby after birth
- Post-operative pain medication that allows Anna to remain alert and interact with babies
- Healthy babies will accompany Anna to recovery for bonding and breastfeeding

Post-Birth Recovery:
- Delay all routine procedures and examinations for at least an hour after birth
- Use non-irritating eye ointment (no silver nitrate)
- Administer vitamin K drops orally

The ONLY item Dr. Jenkins balked at was our desire to videotape the birth. He said, "I don't mind at all, but the hospital isn't going to allow it." I figure that's a bridge we can just cross if we come to it.

So after all that, you're probably thinking I've opted for a hospital birth, huh? Not so fast. Assuming the babies get back into vertex position (Baby A was breech and Baby B was transverse on Monday), and that I don't go into labor prior to 37 weeks, I intend on birthing at home. I do plan to continue care with both Dr. Jenkins and the midwives until I go into labor. Dr. Jenkins is completely on board with it (or well, as on board as a "conservative" OB can be). Yay!

I will say that I still have some apprehensions about birthing at home. However, I've come to realize that that's ok. If it turns out that, once I'm in labor, I don't feel confident at home, we can always transfer to the hospital. The reverse is also true, but much more difficult to accomplish. I know that sounds a little wishy-washy, but the bottom line is that I need to be where I feel the safest and most confident. Although I trust Abby and Kelly completely, there's really just no way for me to know for sure how I will feel about being at home until I'm in labor. Honestly, though, I have a very strong feeling that everything will be absolutely fine at home, and I'll get to call Dr. Jenkins a few hours later to say, "The babies are here, and everyone is great!"

Now... I just need to convince the little toads to get back into position so that my vision can become a reality!


Author: Anna » Comments: