I like the way this guy thinks

After answering why he doesn’t like and thinks we shouldn’t say, “Breast is best,” (because it puts formula-feeding as the norm), he goes on to answer the following question:

Q. Okay, breast is normal. But surely infant formula is second-best isn’t it?
A. No, the second-best feeding option is obviously other breast milk, for example expressed milk from a child’s own mother or milk from another mother in good health, whether directly from the breast or a human-milk bank. And if there is no breast milk, infant formula, which we should never forget began as a crisis commodity for emergency use only, is the least-bad alternative.
To put this alimentary aberration into perspective, consider routine use of infant formula as the feeding equivalent of emergency devices on airplanes – for example overhead oxygen masks and under-the-seat life jackets – suddenly transformed into everyday must-have fashion accessories. Infant formula pitched as somehow suitable for routine non-emergency use is immediately denatured, thereby forfeiting its only claim to legitimacy – as a life-sustaining crisis commodity.
But no matter how appropriate infant formula might be when infants are denied access to breast milk, feeding an inert pediatric fast-food based on the milk of an alien species remains a deviation from the biological norm for the young of our species. I invite you to reflect on this not-so-rhetorical question: At what point should society begin to regard a routine deviation from the biological norm as deviant behavior?

Breastfeeding, Dr. Seuss Style

Just go read it — hilarious!

And since I’m on the subject of breastfeeding, “What does breastmilk taste like?

….and this humorous commercial:

…and this picture of breastfeeding in public 🙂

Contaminants in Breastmilk

I haven’t read this whole article, but thought it looked interesting. It begins with a laundry-list of benefits of breastmilk for the infant, then asks aloud whether these benefits are worth the risks of the possible contaminants and pollutants that may exist in breastmilk; the remainder is an attempt at answering that question. With sections on the history of anti-breastfeeding, “Human Milk: Its own Immune System,” and other sections specifically looking at particular types of contaminants, it presents a detailed look at what is known on the various subjects. The conclusion is “Net Gain”:

After having considered the problem of environmental contaminants in human milk, the WHO, the U.S. Surgeon General, and the American Academy of Pediatrics continue to recommend breastfeeding. “After three decades of study, there is now fairly good evidence that little if any morbidity is occurring from the more common and well-studied chemical agents found in human milk,” says Walter Rogan, a clinical investigator in the NIEHS Epidemiology Branch. “There are very few instances in which morbidity has been described in a nursling that was due to a chemical pollutant in milk.”

Labbok agrees. “To date, no environmental contaminant, except in situations of acute poisoning, has been found to cause more harm to infants than does lack of breast-feeding,” she says. “I have seen no data that would argue against breastfeeding, even in the presence of today’s levels of environmental toxicants.”

Still, Rogan cautions, human milk contains no proven antidote to contaminant exposure. “To the degree that the overall benefits from breastfeeding overlap with the deleterious effects of the chemicals, those benefits might appear to cancel out the harm, but this is hard to study epidemiologically,” he says.

Because of human milk’s nutritional, immunologic, anticancer, and detoxifying effects, Wang, Rogan, and other environmental scientists encourage women to continue the practice of breastfeeding even in the context of widespread pollution. “At the same time,” says Pronczuk, “breastfeeding mothers should be helped and advised on how to avoid alcohol and drugs and remove themselves from polluted environments, while also creating healthier, safer, and cleaner environments for themselves and their children.”

The Size of a Newborn’s Stomach

This is an interesting article one of my facebook friends posted. It includes a little chart that shows the size of a newborn’s stomach, from day one through ten. On the first day, the baby’s stomach is only about the size of a shooter marble, and by day ten, it’s about the size of an extra-large chicken egg. So, the moral of the story is — don’t worry that you’re not producing very much milk those first few days, because the baby couldn’t tolerate it anyway! Funny how that works, huh? — the mom produces a tiny amount of milk but very highly concentrated (colostrum) in those first few days when the baby’s stomach can’t hold much, and then as the baby’s stomach grows, the mom’s milk “comes in,” and she produces enough to feed him. I wonder how many mothers have been discouraged in the hospital and perhaps even put off from breastfeeding altogether due to not producing “enough” milk right at the first. And even worse if this is at all reinforced by doctors or nurses, and she becomes one of those women who thinks she “just can’t make enough milk.” Sure, there are some who for reasons of hormones or surgery or something actually and truly cannot make enough milk; but these are a distinct minority. Most others just need encouragement, rest, and time with their baby to produce all the milk the baby needs.

Breastmilk contains Stem Cells

Which means that formula is a very, very distant second place substitute for breastmilk! Click here to read the story.

In light of the untold benefits of breastmilk, it is important that hospitals (being where 99% of American women give birth) support breastfeeding women. Instead, there is subtle (and sometimes not so subtle!) undermining of women in various ways. One of these ways, is by sending women home with a “diaper bag” or some other sort of bag, filled with all sorts of things designed to get them to choose formula — samples and coupons, at a minimum. There is an alternative: Healthy Baby Bounty Bags! This link has a sample letter you can print out and send to your hospital, to let them know about these breastfeeding support bags, as well as a picture of them and more information.

~*~*~

Today’s news of my pregnancy — no more bleeding, no more red, only slight spotting, of brown, and very little to none of that within the last 24 hours. Thank you, everyone who commented! Your experiences have helped me feel better. Will keep you updated…

[Update — I did end up miscarrying soon after writing this.]

Win a copy of Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy

Today, I reached 200,000 hits on my blog stats!  Woo-hoo!! To thank all of my readers, I am going to be doing another giveaway:

a copy of the book Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy: A Photographic Guide for Mom and Those Who Help Her, by Laura Keegan!

Here is the review I wrote when I first read the book, and you can read other glowing reviews at Stand and Deliver, Permission to Mother, and Best for Babes.

And, here is photographic proof that it works — check out those fat rolls! 🙂

IMG_4251

Breastfed with comfort and joy!

This baby actually had to spend her first two weeks in the NICU due to a breathing issue, but her mom was able to pump and give her breastmilk, and then to fully breastfeed. Her mom said that the book helped out a lot, because although she had a lactation consultant in the hospital to help at first, after a few days, the LC didn’t come around any more, but she still had the book to help her out. Although the baby has started on table food, she rarely eats it, preferring to nurse. In fact, she is now over nine months old, but still almost exclusively breastfed. I’d call that a success story! 🙂

Now, onto the rules…

I will pick one winner at random from all entries received, and you can have more than one entry, to increase your chances. Here are all the different ways to enter:

  • Blog about the giveaway, linking both to this post and the book’s website: www.breastfeedingwithcomfortandjoy.com. Because Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy is self-published, it’s only available at this website.
    [If you have more than one blog, you can write a post about the giveaway and get one entry for each blog!]
  • If you’ve read the book, write a review! If you’ve already written a review, link to it in your blog entry about the giveaway.
  • Add Laura Keegan’s breastfeeding blog to your blogroll, if you have a blog; and/or add it to your reading list, subscriptions, Google Reader, bookmarks, etc. — however you keep up with the blogs you read — you get the idea! [if you do both, you’ll get two entries]
  • Spread the word – share about the giveaway and/or the book on email lists, bulletin boards, as a comment on other blogs [but, please, not in a spammy way!], internet chat rooms, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Del.icio.us, Digg, Mixx, etc., etc.,  or just good old-fashioned phone calls or in-person conversations.
  • Contest open to U.S. residents only.

As you do these things, drop me an email at kathy_petersen_283 at yahoo dot com or leave a comment on this post letting me know you’ve done it. If you tell someone about the book — whether through the internet or in person — please tell me a little about why you mentioned the book — is your friend a fellow birth junkie? a mom who has had trouble breastfeeding in the past? expecting twins? a new mom? a pregnant cashier at the grocery store? your midwife or doctor, or your baby’s pediatrician?

There is no limit to how many entries you can have, so the more you tell others about the book, in any way of communication, the more entries you will get. BUT, this is very important — you must tell me that you’ve done it, in order for me to know that you’ve done it! :-) The contest will run for two weeks (closing at midnight of Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving), and I will pick the winner at random. I will put each person’s name on a piece of paper, one time for every entry, and will put all the paper in a hat or bowl, and pull out one piece of paper. I will announce the winner the following day, which will be pretty cool since it’s Thanksgiving, it will give someone a little extra to be thankful for! 🙂

Good luck, everybody!!

Spanish Breastfeeding Video

Love it! What can I say, but “I love this video!