Friday, July 10, 2009

Breastfeeding Tips: From Preemies to Worries about Baby Starving before Milk Comes In

Since there is a fatal risk of bacterial infections as a result of feeding susceptible preemies powdered infant formula, I thought it would be nice to share a link I found with tips on breastfeeding a premature baby.

"Breast milk is doubly important for your pre-mature baby, as he/she will be very susceptible to infections and it will provide antibodies, white blood cells and strong immunity to him/her, to resist infections. In addition, a regular supply of breast milk helps strengthen neurological growth. So, pump as often you can. You can even rent an electric pump, which will help you build your milk supply."

The confusion about milk production and the need to supplement formula prior to a mother's milk coming in upsets me greatly. I hear so many mothers that tried to breastfeed but turned to formula because they were convinced that they "just didn't make enough milk." It saddens me, and one of my main personal goals as a lactivist is to get the knowledge and support system out there about this myth in particular: The truth is, your baby will not starve before your milk comes in (~4 days after birth) and you do not need to supplement with formula. Every other mammal takes a few days for their milk to come in, it is a perfect design (regardless if you believe in creation or evolution). Here are some links that I found regarding this issue:
I absolutely love it is the online breastfeeding Bible!
The only other informative link I've found so far. Mostly, you come across forums and blogs about women who had difficulties breastfeeding. Most of their sad stories are proceeded by tales of birth difficulties, particularly c-sections typically caused as a result of inductions that led to complications (fetal distress, often caused by doctors on purpose by maxing the pitocin). Some stories come from mothers that chose to have medicated births and then are astonished when their drugged babies don't latch or nurse and I get so angry at the medical profession for their contribution to
Usually, I think Yahoo answers is a joke, but the majority of women on this thread are experienced breastfeeding mothers with useful insight and worth a read-through. is one of the best parenting resources I have found online.
So you don't think I'm completely closed-minded, this one has links to both sides of the breastmilk-formula argument. Mainly, LLL's concern is that early formula supplementation is detrimental to establishing milk production.

Powdered formula leading to brain damage and death in premies in America

I couldn't not post this once I had seen it.

I wish I could get a transcript, but basically, hospitals across the country are feeding powdered infant formula to premature babies, despite labels stating not to do so. Powdered infant formula is not sterile and can carry bacteria that leads to brain damage and death in preemies. There have been cases documented across America. Hospitals completely disregard the warnings on the labels.

When I googled it, I came up with these interesting results which I would like to share with you:

Now this blog I imagine addresses this issue, as it did come up in the search, but you'll have to look for it. Otherwise, a great site that when I have the time I will be browsing through.

Powdered Baby Formula Could Be Dangerous For Some Infants by Dave Savini

CHICAGO (CBS) ― A warning for parents: Milk-based powdered formula could put premature babies at risk.

And it is a possible cause for the death of an infant born at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora and other babies across the country.

Connor McGray and his twin brother, Logan, were born prematurely on Nov. 16, 2007, at Rush-Copley.

Connor appeared to be the healthier of the two — until a week later when their parents, Amanda Carlin and Tim McGray of Somonauk, received a call from a doctor at the hospital, saying the infant was lethargic and refusing to eat.

Doctors discovered Connor had meningitis, McGray said, and "they basically told us, all we could do (was) pray."

The baby died at home on May 3, 2008, five months after he was born.
The cause of death listed on the baby's death certificate is hydrocephalus and bacterial meningitis. The bacterial infection, according to a memo from the Illinois Department of Public Health, "may be associated with the consumption of a powdered breast milk fortifier."

Full article, click:


Diluted formula almost kills baby

Free clip on MSN Video

Dec. 3: A baby nearly dies after his mother watered down formula to save money; NBC News chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman weighs in on the dangers of diluting infants’ milk powder.

Dec 03, 2008 - Flash - Diluted formula almost kills baby source


Milk powder poisons 432 babies

duplicate(s) from Reuters, Reuters

Sep 13 - China says it believes 432 babies across the country have been made ill with kidney stones after drinking milk powder contaminated with melamine.

Sep 13, 2008 - Flash - watch here - Milk powder poisons 432 babies source


Moms warned against diluting baby formula

Free clip on MSN Video

Dec. 2: Health officials are warning cash-strapped parents not to try to save money by watering down powdered baby formula after a five-month old Tampa boy almost died from malnourishment and water in... more

Dec 03, 2008 - Flash - Moms warned against diluting baby formula source


Baby milk recall spreads fear in China

Free clip on MSN Video

Sept. 17: The Chinese government has recalled 22 brands of milk powder after it was found that they are tainted with a banned chemical that has led to over 6000 babies falling sick. The same chemical ... more

Sep 18, 2008 - Flash - Baby milk recall spreads fear in China source

And finally this link:

Facebook Account Disabled

Without warning or reason stated, my Facebook account was disabled on July 8, 2009.

Whether it was coincidence or not, it happened the moment I was sending a response to a mother who had been harassed for nursing at a children's hospital, discussing plans to coordinate a nurse-in and how to go about contacting hospital staff and submitting a press release.

Undoubtedly, my account was disabled solely due to my breastfeeding content and advocacy.

I have been sending e-mail upon e-mail with only bot responses so far.

It was interesting to note in a group on Facebook (427 members) for breastfeeding mothers who had their accounts disabled, that someone did some research and discovered that Nestle has a large financial investment in Facebook (we're talking millions of dollars here).

Facebook does not give reasons why accounts get disabled. They do not give any evidence to support their claims that you have violated their terms of service. In fact, they do not even state exactly which terms you might have violated. Accounts get disabled, the user protests by contacting them over and over and over until finally, the account is reinstated, all the content is intact and no one can ever say exactly what it was that caused the disruption in the first place.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hooray for Boobies! Onesie by Skreened

Hooray for Boobies! @ Skreened

The Hooray for Boobies! nursing picnics raise public awareness and acceptance of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding babies, mommies and anyone else who supports breastfeeding are invited to participate in celebrating the wonderfully multi-functional purpose of breasts... especially their perfect ability to nourish and nurture babies! The Hooray for Boobies! nursing picnic goals are to combat the oversexualization of the breast in Western culture and to bring exposure to the naturality and beauty of breastfeeding.

About Hooray for Boobies!: Lactivists Lauren Damon and Tiffany Deering co-founded the organization and collaborated on the first Hooray for Boobies! nursing event, which was held in June 2009 at Columbus, Ohio. Their focus is on advocating breastfeeding by helping others to coordinate and publicize their own local nursing events.

Hooray for Boobies! One-Piece
Breastfed babies are proud that their mommies nurse them and they want everyone to know it!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Breastfeeding-friendly Business Reviews

I had this idea while on the trip to Columbus for the "Hooray for Boobies!" nursing event. I will be posting reviews rating restaurants, stores and other businesses on their baby and breastfeeding friendliness. Once I get a format established, I will welcome others to review restaurants as well. I'm going to research to see if there is a site I can utilize to do this.

I plan on using a rating system based on these criteria:

  • Seating
  1. Is it comfortable for nursing? 0-4 points
  2. Is there an area suitable for those desiring privacy? 0-4 points
  • Booster seats
  1. Are they safe and in good condition? 0-4 points
  2. Are they clean? 0-4 points
  • Child-friendly dinnerware & service
  1. Do they have plastic or paper cups with lids for children? 0-3 points
  2. Do the waiters take extra precaution with silverware (sharp) and serving food and beverages (hot)? 0-3 points
  • Bathroom Facilities
  1. Do they have a diaper changing station? If so, are they clean and safe? 0-4 points
  2. Do they have a toddler seat mounted on the wall? If so, are they clean and safe? 0-4 points
  • Staff
  1. How did the staff respond to nursing? -5 to 5 points
  2. How did the staff respond to patrons upset by nursing (if any)? -5 to 5 points
  • Patrons
  1. How did patrons respond to nursing? -5 to 5 points
  2. How did patrons respond to staff or other patrons upset by nursing (if any)? -5 to 5 points
With a total possible of 50 points, every 10 points would earn 1 star for an overall visible rating.

Review of Enterprise Car Rental in Elizabethtown, KY

At first, I had some struggles with procuring a car rental in order to get to Columbus, Ohio for the Hooray for Boobies! nursing picnic. It was initially very frustrating working with Enterprise Car Rental... but in the end this company really came through with a Hip Hip Hooray for Boobies!

I would like to personally thank the wonderful staff of Enterprise Car Rental for supporting our cause to normalize breastfeeding. It was great to be asked genuine questions about nursing during our conversations while we went through two hours of complications before finally getting me in a wonderful Pontiac G5 and on the road to Columbus.

They picked me up, they struggled with me through numerous hassles, they even brought me to my bank to cash a check! They were extremely polite as I nursed my son there after returning the car and it was great to witness their excellent service with a different customer as well, the branch manager Sarah is wonderful... I hope I can get them all t-shirts from Skreened some day!
On June 28, 2009, Lauren and I received an e-mail from Jennifer O'Hern, a writer for the Dayton Parenting Examiner. She said that she had been following the "Hooray for Boobies!" event online and would like to write a follow-up article. Lauren has answered the questions we asked, and I hope to fill in some blanks with my blog about the event.

I am fortunate to not have experienced harsh discrimination in terms of my breastfeeding. The most is a slight discomfort from family that were not comfortable being in the same room as I nursed and some comments that probably came from a place of ignorance rather than spite, such as "You're feeding him again?" Most of the feelings I felt about being nervous or embarrassed about nursing in public I probably projected on myself, harboring a fear of being repelled by society which may or may not have been warranted. Honestly, while I haven't been confronted by any rude person, I have been made very well aware that others were uncomfortable.

Seeking out kindred spirits of the lactating kind, I didn't know any in person and therefore ended up in the group "Hey Facebook! Breastfeeding is not obscene!". There new thought-provoking ideas and intensive education were presented and I absorbed it all like a sponge, seeking out more and more. A passion ignited, and when I attempted to share this passion, I was met with opposition from my family. This only made my flame grow stronger. I had a desire to be a part of something bigger in the lactivism equation, contemplated becoming a lactation consultant, urged the group to plan another M.I.L.K. event so I could participate, got braver in the nursing photos I posted online as I actively pursued avenues online on which I could advocate breastfeeding.

When my breastfeeding picture (left) got banned by Facebook, that prompted me to take the next step and I launched "The Crunchy Lactavist" website. About that time, Lauren had the idea to have a nursing event at ComFest. I offered my help in publicizing the event using my marketing and graphic design skills, and advertising it on my website. While becoming a lactation consultant could take years (I've recently enrolled in college to pursue this avenue as well), I have talents I can utilize now to have an impact.

I have spent the last six months since my son was born educating myself about breastfeeding... the biological facts, the politics, the statistics. It bothers me greatly that the state of Kentucky ranks so low on their nursing rates, a good 20% behind 45 other states. I have radical ideas about the W.I.C. program and government legislation and programs supporting breastfeeding mothers. I desire that everyone be informed about breastfeeding, so that through knowledge and awareness, nursing will be normalized in our society to the point that it will be unusual to see a formula-fed infant.

The "Hooray for Boobies!" nursing picnic hosted at ComFest in Columbus, Ohio, on June 26-27, 2009, might not have had many participants. We knew from the beginning that it might not; it was a rather last-minute idea, but ComFest is not the end but rather the beginning for "Hooray for Boobies!" Thanks to the publicity of the event, it helped create awareness about the topic, and that in itself is a success. The knowledge we gained about what to do and what not to do will help with future event coordination (the next event is planned for Elizabethtown, Kentucky in August). One expectant mother approached me, asking questions about breastfeeding (I think she asked it if hurt when my six-month old latched on in front of her). As Lauren said, we "literally exposed thousands of people to our issue" between the media coverage and the actual public nursing. Even though there weren't many mothers with us, we were still able to impact thousands of people by walking around and allowing them to witness breastfeeding in person, and for many that might have been the first time they had ever seen it. I did nurse while topfree Saturday afternoon.

We arrvied a little late. The first problem we encountered was parking. Second, we realized that we should have been more specific about what part of the playground we were meeting at, the place was huge and so were the crowds. When we got bored sitting, we decided to walk around. I opted to go topfree while carrying my son in a sling, and he would nurse off and on as we circulated around the festival. Two women spoke to us, it was great that they treated me like I had my clothes on, I felt so awkward! They talked to the baby, and cheered me on and let us know how great they thought it was we were advocating breastfeeding.

I tried my best to look everyone in the eye and smile, per the Indiscreet Breastfeeding Manifesto on my website. It got easier the more I did it, especially towards the end of the day when more and more women were going topfree as well. The highlight of my day was when I was letting my son have some air-time sans diaper in the grass and a woman came over with her little dog, who was interested in the baby. My son loves dogs, and we struck up a conversation. In the midst of our discussing pregnancy (as it turned out, she was expecting), my son decided he was hungry and he latched on in front of her. She asked if it hurt, I was honest and admitted that sometimes, especially at first, it can hurt... but over time it gets so easy. We spoke for a while about various parenting isuues, and she let us know how encouraged to breast feed she was after our chat. That truly truly made all of this worth it!

For more about the nursing picnic in Columbus, please visit the special page designated to ComFest on the TERA website: