Saturday, December 28, 2002


December 14, 2002

By David Crowe

"Breastfeeding by HIV-positive women has been frowned upon for a long time. In fact, in at least one case, it has been declared illegal for an HIV-positive woman. This view is based on inaccurate information, and it seems likely that breastfeeding is the best thing that HIV-positive mothers could possibly do for their babies, just as is the case for all other mothers.

It only took two anecdotal cases for the CDC to warn against HIV-positive mothers breastfeeding, but it was a meta-analysis published by Dunn et al in Lancet in 1992 that was the beginning of the end for choice in feeding practices. This study concluded that breastfeeding posed a 14% excess risk of HIV transmission. Since then, breastfeeding has been difficult for women in poor countries, and a huge amount of effort by WHO, Unicef and others has gone into studying and implementing replacement feeding (i.e. formula) by mothers in poor countries.

Dunn believed that the HIV status of breastfed children was a combination of HIV transmission in the womb (in utero transmission) and through breastmilk. He therefore, searched for data sets that compared the HIV transmission frequency of formula fed and breastfed babies. He found six, from Zaire, Miami, France, Switzerland, Australia as well as a pan-European study. He subtracted the HIV transmission frequency of the formula fed babies (which he believed could only be due to in utero transmission) from the frequency in breastfed babies for each study. His 14% figure was a weighted average of the difference in each study.

This is very clever but, like all meta-analyses (those that use the output of other researchers as their raw material) it is subject to the GIGO principle (Garbage In ? Garbage Out). And, in the case of the studies used by Dunn, there are enough holes to drive trucks full of formula through (and many have been)." [ is well known for its thorough criticism of health care establishment issues, and this essay on breastfeeding and HIV is no exception - JC]

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Nestle makes PR blunder in Ethiopia - Japan's Leading International News Network Japan Today Japan News - News,

Fred Brigland

Tuesday, December 24, 2002 at 09:30 JST
[Nestle's efforts to recover $6.3B from Ethopia are called a major PR blunder in this article, which also adresses Nestle's controversial third-world infant formula marketing practices. - jc]
More mothers take breastfeeding route - Pollard, Health Writer,,
December 24 2002

" seems the message that breast is best is getting through, with rates of breastfeeding on the rise in Australia, helped along by more family-friendly workplaces and improved support services for new mothers.

Mirroring US trends, the number of mothers initiating breastfeeding has moved to around 87-90 per cent, according to Karen Simmer, professor of Newborn Medicine at the University of Western Australia.

That rate drops to 45-50 per cent at six months, presenting a continuing challenge for families and breastfeeding advocates...."
53, and child busy

Lisa Kremer; The News Tribune

Morgan Zantua's magical baby has become a magical toddler.

An outgoing, loving, curious, talkative toddler. Quite a handful for a 53-year-old first-time mom.

Zantua made the news earlier this year when we told the story of her surprise first-time pregnancy at 51....
When we last interviewed Zantua, she had a part-time job and several contract jobs, still was breast-feeding 9-month-old Auriel and took her everywhere she went.

Some things have changed, some haven't. Zantua still breast-feeds, and intends to at least until Auriel's second birthday. She's been swayed by studies showing the innumerable benefits to babies of breast-feeding - and reports that the longer mothers breast-feed, the less their chance of getting breast cancer."

Friday, December 20, 2002

On call to new mothers. Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/14/2002,
By Mia Gerger

"In many ways, Heather Sliwinski is like any other 33-year-old mother of six. She gets the children ready for school, makes lunches, goes to football games, and cooks dinner for eight.

But all the while, she is on call.

She is not a doctor, but a trained breast-feeding counselor whose cell phone rings at all hours.

"People in the supermarket have heard some very interesting conversations with me walking down the aisle," says Sliwinski, coordinator of the Abington-based Nursing Mothers' Advisory Council hotline."

Thursday, December 19, 2002

U.S. baby infected before birth with West Nile - Dec. 19, 2002. 06:54AM
"SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) A month-old baby with the West Nile virus was infected before she was born in the country's first documented intrauterine transmission of the disease, according to a report.

The case surprised health officials who had believed the disease could not be passed from pregnant mothers to their unborn children, the Post-Standard of Syracuse reported today...." [This item goes on to report a case of West Nile in a Michigan infant acquired through breastmilk. In fact, the CDC isolated viral fragments and antibodies in breastmilk and antibodies in the infant, but the infant was not ill with WNV. - JC]

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Gene link to breastfeed crisis BBC NEWS | Health | , Monday, 16 December, 2002, 00:01 GMT

"Women who have problems breastfeeding may have a faulty gene, researchers have suggested.

Tests on mice found a specific gene was needed for them to be able to lactate.

The US researchers said the discovery could offer a genetic basis for breastfeeding problems, which are experienced by around 5% of women.

UK breastfeeding experts say some women experience problems, not because of genetics, but because they are not shown the best way to breastfeed their babies - and so give up." [The problem with this report is the statement that 5 per cent of women have problems breastfeeding - it leads to the conclusion that these are unresolvable problems, and, ahah! now we have a genetic reason. The five per cent figure isn't accurate and doesn't represent the percentage of women who have *unsolvable* breastfeeding problems. - JC]
Baring for a cause:
Nursing mums turn models
Channel NewsAsia,
By Tor Ching Li
"Let's make a clean breast of it: Public breast-feeding isn't common in Singapore, nor have the benefits of breast-feeding been given much exposure - till now.

Determined to bring to bare the benefits of mother's milk, a group of lactating mothers, ranging from housewives to lawyers, have come upfront to model with their breast-fed children for the "MummysMilk 2003 Breastfeeding Calendar".
The first of its kind to be published in Singapore, this calendar features breast-feeding mothers in action, with their infants latched on to them and suckling happily."
Birthday link to digestive disorder BBC NEWS | Health | December 17, 2002 ...
"Writing in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the researchers say: "Children born during the summer, when there is an increased risk for coeliac disease, have been in utero mainly during the winter when there is the greatest risk for infections in the mother.

"Furthermore, children born in the summer are introduced to a dietary gluten and also frequently weaned off the breast during the winter when the likelihood of becoming infected is greatest."

The researchers suggest that the best way to reduce risk is to introduce gluten-containing foods to a child's diet in small amounts while breastfeeding is still taking place...."
Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | 'He's like a little baby from Ethiopia isn't he?'

"Sophie Pierce on her son's 'gross failure to thrive'

Tuesday December 17, 2002
The Guardian

My baby Felix was born after an emergency caesarean section, which followed an induced labour. He was two weeks overdue, and the doctors did not want to wait. In retrospect, perhaps, he wasn't ready to be born, and his subsequent hunger strike was some form of protest."

Friday, December 13, 2002

Breast Milk Banks Offer Help For Premature Babies
Christine Miles, KOIN 6 News
PORTLAND -- More women in the United States are breast feeding.

The number is the highest seen in last 50 years, but not all babies are getting their own mothers' milk.

A unique operation in Texas provides human milk for premature babies around the country.

Ten-month-old Lilli Anne Jackson easily downs her banana and cheerios. But, it wasn't always so easy to feed her.

Born seven weeks premature, Lilly's tiny stomach couldn't tolerate formula. Unable to produce milk herself, Jackson fed Lilli with donated milk that she got from a human milk bank.

One of only five in the nation, the Austin Milk Bank extensively tests and pasteurizes more than 84,000 ounces of human milk each year.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Don’t take my baby away from me! The Manila Times Internet Edition | LIFE & TIMES >
Saturday, December 7, 2002

Don't take my baby away from me!
By Erwin Cabucos

If you tell a Filipino mother to get rid of her baby from her bed and leave the baby in a crib in a separate bedroom, she?ll more likely shake her head at you and tell you to back off.

The practice of co-sleeping is synonymous to bringing up kids in the Philippines. With our population rate, it would no longer be a surprise if someone claims that we are one of the top doers of co-sleeping in the world.

Our forebears had been doing it for thousands of years. Is it because we are scared of halimaw or aswang that if we leave our baby in a separate bedroom, the baby-eating creature will open the window and take our baby away? Is it because we often have big families and we simply run out of bedrooms? Or is it because we strongly believe that by instinct a mother finds it hard to separate herself from her young at such an early age? - Got Milk? Hope You're Not a Working Mom
By Linda M. Blum
Linda M. Blum, author of"At the Breast: Ideologies of Breastfeeding and Motherhood in the Contemporary United States," teaches sociology and women's studies at the University of New Hampshire.

December 11, 2002
A new study showing soaring rates of breast-feeding in the United States is being widely celebrated. The survey of 400,000 new moms in the journal Pediatrics found that 70 percent nursed their newborns before leaving the hospital - the highest percentage in modern history.
This may be good news for American babies, but for American moms there is more to the story. With a scarcity of family-friendly policies, many make infant-feeding choices amid guilt, exhaustion, embarrassment and financial worry.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

The Sacramento Bee -- -- A father's quest

Tom Mooers of Nevada City pauses as he discusses his wife, Sarah Forslund, who died shortly after giving birth to Wesley, now 6 months old.
Sacramento Bee / Lezlie Sterling
A father's quest

After his wife's death, he seeks insurance coverage for breast milk

By Dorsey Griffith -- Bee Medical Writer
Published 2:15 a.m. PST Friday, December 6, 2002
NEVADA CITY -- Wesley Forslund-Mooers is a sturdy 6-month-old with rosy cheeks and lively blue eyes. He scoots. He rolls. He coos. And he offers his toothless smile to anyone who catches his eye.

His robust health, says his dad, is due in large measure to breast milk. He believes the milk not only sustains Wesley, but arms him against any number of maladies he may face down the road.

Monday, December 02, 2002

Malcolm Chisholm emerges the victorThe Herald's annual political awards: "The Free Spirit of the Year award went to Labour's Elaine Smith, MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston, who has shown herself unafraid to champion controversial issues such as legal protection for mothers breastfeeding in public places."

Monday, November 25, 2002

Rotman Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2002 Presented by BMO Financial Group Recognize Five Outstanding Canadian Business Owners

- Export Award - Kathryn From and Shery Leeder, Bravado Designs Inc.
Toronto (Ontario) - Presented by Export Development Canada (EDC)

Bravado! Designs Inc. is an innovative maternity lingerie company that
delights and excites women around the world. Bravado's success comes from
combining fashion with functionality to offer unique products in unexpected
patterns, ranging from floral, black and leopard print bras to matching
thongs, bikini briefs and nursing sleepwear.
icWales - Campaign to stop male moans over breastfeeds "
Nov 26 2002

Madeleine Brindley Health Correspondent Madeleine.Brindley@Wme.Co.Uk, The Western Mail
SAGGING breasts, lack of sex drive and the potential embarrassment of breastfeeding in public places.

But these aren't the worries facing new mothers who must decide between the breast and the bottle - these are the concerns of their partners.

Men's attitudes towards their partners' breastfeeding is thought to be one of the reasons behind the high proportion of women who still opt for formula ahead of the breast, despite the proven health benefits of breastfeeding." [Article goes on to note women whose partners are supportive of breastfeeding are 33x more likely to do it! - jc]

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Breast is best "

Women now have the right to breastfeed at work


Many women don't know they have the right to breastfeed at work, believes a spokesman for a local advocacy group.
Despite a Calgary decision last year that ruled in favour of a woman's right to bring her child into the office to breastfeed, the topic comes up at most monthly meetings of an Edmonton La Leche League chapter.
"My sense is that many women either don't start breastfeeding because they're anticipating returning to work or they stop before they return to work because they don't know how they're going to make it work," said Fiona Audy, a spokesman for the group that provides breastfeeding support and information.
"I'd say it's a big issue."
"Women are worried about how it's going to be received in the workplace. I don't think it's one of those things that gets talked about enough that people realize it's a right."
The topic garners interest at workplace seminars given by Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission education director Nicholas Ameyaw."
[Such a good point made by Audy - women need to know that it's possible to continue breastfeeding after they returnto work. Note also this article references a woman who has a 10-month-old daughter and who plans to express milk when she returns to work in 2 months. How many people will notice that this mom has decided it's important to continue breastmilk beyond the first year? yay! - jc]

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Benson Baby Gets Sick, Mom Suspects Recalled Formula "

Wednesday, November 20, 2002
Benson Baby Gets Sick, Mom Suspects Recalled Formula
By JON SOLES Of The Record Staff
Annette Mize said Parent?s Choice baby formula, a Wal-Mart brand, may have made her 6-month-old son Seth sick. Daily Record Photo/Jon Soles
A soy-based baby formula has been recalled because it may contain a bacteria that causes infections in high-risk infants.
One Johnston County mother said her infant son is sick after digesting the recalled product.??Annette Mize, who lives on Fairground Road near Benson, said she was feeding her 6-month-old son, Seth, Parent?s Choice soy-based infant food ? the Wal-Mart store brand. She said he experienced severe diarrhea last week and again this week. She said the diarrhea is so severe, it caused her son to bleed." [Woman is also upset that Wal-Mart didn't publicize the recall..- jc]
Natural choice
Tom McCoag / Amherst Bureau
Nancy Letcher gets help from five-month-old Abbey as she writes a note on her Cumberland County Breastfeeds calendar. Letcher was one of more than a dozen women who posed with their children for the calendar.

Natural choice
Calendar designed to encourage breastfeeding as healthier, cheaper than bottles, formula

By Tom McCoag / Amherst Bureau

Amherst - BEING photographed for a calendar promoting breastfeeding came naturally for Carey Ewert and her six-month-old son Ocean.

"It wasn't strange at all posing for the photographer, Catherine Bussiere," Ewert says, glancing over at the calendar whose cover features her and Ocean. "It was something we were doing anyway, and as far as I was concerned it was just a picture of me feeding my baby."

Ewert was one of more than a dozen women photographed breastfeeding their babies for Cumberland County Breastfeeds, a 2003 calendar produced by the Cumberland Breastfeeding Network to encourage the process in the county.

"I was four months pregnant when I came to Nova Scotia from Alberta, and I was shocked because awareness here about breastfeeding is a lot less than it is in Alberta," Ewert says.

"In fact, in the month that I gave birth to Ocean, I was the only mother who told the nurses at the hospital that I was going to breastfeed my baby."
Women encouraged to breastfeed for longer "

A breastfeeding support group says there must be a mental shift if breastfeeding rates are to increase.
The Government has launched an initiative encouraging more women to breastfeed and for longer." [New Zealand's health ministe rhas a new action plan, "Breastfeeding: a Guide to Action." Breastfeeding rates drop from about two-thirds at six weeks to half at three months.]

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Nursing mother refused option of pumping breast milk "Arcom Publishing Inc. - Fauquier Times-Democrat

By Bill McIntyre November 12, 2002

Wearing a clean white one-piece pajama sleeper, Marsh Run's 8-week-old Victoria Lynn Boutwell has become the center of attention in a controversy between criminal justice officials and a recently incarcerated nursing mother.
Sporting a shock of curly black hair, a curious smile and a pair of attentive dark brown eyes, little Victoria Lynn rests comfortably in her father's arms while she fusses over her nighttime bottle of Enfamil formula. ...
Boutwell delivered a breast pump to the Warrenton Detention Center for Moore, but medical officials there disallowed its use.
"I called to make sure she got the breast pump and that's when the nurse told me that the doctor said she was not entitled to it because she was incarcerated," he said.
Dr. David Fairbanks, who operates a family practice in Warrenton, was hired by county officials to provide medical services at the Warrenton jail twice a week.
Invoking doctor-patient confidentiality, he declined to discuss Moore's case specifically, but explained that breast pumping would be allowed if it were the only means available for providing nutrition to a baby.
"But formula is cheap and half of America was fed on formula since the '60s and we've all done OK with it," he said.
Fairbanks added that part of his job was to protect the county from potential litigation.
"We just can't afford it. You would hate to have something go wrong with the milk (opening the county to potential lawsuits)," he said...."

[This woman is now in another jail where she is allowed to pump and she is trying to re-lactate. - JC]
Health24 - News Pioneers join to fight Aids
November 19, 2002
Two pioneers in Aids research who had fallen out bitterly over the discovery of the virus which causes the disease announced that they had joined forces to devise a trial vaccine.

The scheme, announced at a meeting in the capital of the West African state of Cameroon, brings together Luc Montagnier of France and Robert Gallo of the United States, who were jointly credited with identifying the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Making the vaccine a top priority for Africa
Gallo said the two had devised a candidate vaccine against HIV, clinical trials for which could start in the next 18 months.

"If it works, I swear I'll do everything I can to make it a top priority for Africa," he said.

In the nearly two decades since HIV was identified as the cause of a fatal disease of the immune system, the quest for a vaccine has been a notoriously neglected area.

No vaccine past phase-three trials yet
Numerous trial vaccines have been put to clinical trial, the term for testing them on human volunteers to see whether they are safe and effective.

But none has so far cleared the three-phase procedure and is on public release.

Only one - AIDSVAX - has so far made it to the Phase III stage, for testing on a large batch of volunteers, and its results are expected in the first quarter of next year.

Another vaccine hopeful, a combination of AIDSVAX and ALVAC-HIV, made by Aventis Pasteur of France, is being launched in Thailand later this year among 16 000 volunteers.

Preventing mother-to-child transmission
Montagnier told the meeting that he and Gallo were also working on a vaccine to help reduce risk of HIV transmission from infected mothers to their babies via breast milk.

The vaccine could be added to the tuberculosis jab, he hoped. -- Nigeria: HIV Risk Increases With Prolonged Breastfeeding - Study HIV Risk Increases With Prolonged Breastfeeding - Study

Email This Page

Print This Page
Vanguard (Lagos)
November 19, 2002
Posted to the web November 19, 2002

Sola Ogundipe

HIV-positive nursing mothers and their infants who are placed on anti-retroviral drugs for a short time can produce levels of mother-to-child HIV transmission as low as six per cent, but about 20 per cent of such infants are eventually infected if breastfed over a prolonged length of time.

This was the outcome of a randomized trial conducted among 1,797 pregnant women living with HIV in Tanzania, South Africa, and Uganda. In the trial, published in Lancet, three oral drug regimens using zidovudine and lamivudine to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission (MTCT) were compared. One group of women received the two common antiretroviral drugs before, during, and after delivery. The second group received the regimen during an after delivery. Infants of mothers in these first two groups also received the drugs, a third group of women received the drugs only after delivery and a fourth group was given a placebo.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Study: More kids allergic to peanuts "Percentage of children's positive reactions triples since 1989

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2002 More children are developing peanut allergies, and it could be because more pregnant and breast-feeding women are eating peanuts, British researchers reported Monday. The percentage of children testing positive for peanut allergy at one center has tripled since 1989, the team at the clinic, the David Hide Asthma and Allergy Research Center on Britain's Isle of Wight, reported. [I wonder if they know that more pregnant and breast-feeding women are eating peanuts, or if they're just speculating? - JC]

Thursday, November 14, 2002

The making of a female mullah The Spectator, Mary Kenny, 14/11/2002 " I was glad to read that Madonna, the singer, had delivered herself of a lecture on "media morality" last week, and condemned the sleaze and lack of sexual morals that now characterise American television. The object of her particular critique was a tape of an American mother who persists in breast-feeding her son at the age of eight. Should an American state order a mother to stop breast-feeding her child when he turns eight? The State of Illinois did so order, and Madonna not only strongly supported the state in this measure; she also condemned the woman, and the television companies for screening the breast-feeding event. Madonna has discovered that not every personal "choice" is acceptable. I have been watching Madonna for a while, ever since she moved into her forties, and especially since she gave birth to a son. Madonna is, I think, 'on the turn'. That is, she is in the process of evolving from girl rebel to mother of morality; from outrageous enfant terrible in full-throttle rebellion against her parents.... Presently she will be deploring the common use of coarse language and over-explicit imagery. In any given culture there are a number of women in the public realm who arbitrate on manners and morals. Usually, these are middle-aged women who become the guardians of marriage, family life and general decorum. Historically, some of these Mullahs of Morality have been agony aunts - in the 1950s characters such as Mary Grant and Evelyn Holmes were ferociously bossy upholders of conventional morality - but after Marje Proops, Anna Raeburn and Claire Rayner the agony-aunt role shifted from guardian of morality to sex therapist, thus leaving a vacancy for the Morality Mullah. For a while, Mary Whitehouse and Victoria Gillick filled the role, but in the last decade or so it has tended to be female newspaper columnists who arbitrate on Morals and Manners."
[A reasonably thoughtful essay about what happens when "feminists" bear sons. But Kenny argues we need more, not fewer "moral mullahs" who will "lay down the law" in the face of an "uncouth strain of people who have no idea how to behave", produced by capitalism. Goodness, the act of breastfeeding an older child is a product of capitalism? Amazing twist in logic. - jc]
Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Breastfeeding training urged Breastfeeding training urged

Helen Carter
Thursday November 14, 2002
The Guardian

Unicef is today calling for better training of midwives and health visitors to support breastfeeding mothers.

It has produced a set of guidelines after it discovered that many newly qualified health professionals lacked knowledge and skills to help with breastfeeding. The programme was launched at the annual conference of the UN children's fund in Harrogate. Andrew Radford, Unicef's programme director, said that the lack of a reliable and consistent standard of breastfeeding education in Britain had undermined mothers' chances of feeding their babies successfully.
After First Baby, Husband's Share of Housework Key "

By Amy Norton

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - After the arrival of baby, new fathers can help hold on to marital harmony by picking up a broom more often, according to new research.

Researchers in the Netherlands found that among the new parents they followed for 2 years, wives and husbands often fell into traditional gender roles after the birth of their baby. Overall, wives took on more housework and bore the brunt of child care, while cutting back on work outside the home." [Post this up in the hospital and give it to nurses who suggest feeding formula will let dad "participate" in the childcare. - JC]

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

In vitro seen a success in older women"

By Alice Dembner, Globe Staff, 11/13/2002

Menopause is no longer a bar to healthy women over 50 who want to have children, according to a study released today that indicates science is again pushing back the tide of human aging.

In the largest study of its kind, fertility specialists at the University of Southern California report that 42 out of 77 women ages 50 to 63 who underwent in vitro fertilization at their center gave birth to healthy babies. And three of the women had a second child in a subsequent pregnancy after 50. All of the women used eggs from younger donors." The JAMA report abstract [No mentions of if these women were successful in their efforts to breastfeed. note the c-section rate was 68 per cent for singletons.- JC] | Alcohol boosts cancer risk (November 14, 2002) HOME?> "
Alcohol boosts cancer risk
By Jenny Hope in London
November 14, 2002

DRINKING a single glass of wine a day increases a woman's risk of getting breast cancer by 6 per cent, according to a cancer research study.
It shows that every year thousands of women could be saved from the trauma of the disease by giving up drinking.

The huge Cancer Research UK study reveals that heavy alcohol consumption is particularly dangerous, with women drinking more than a bottle of wine a day at 40 to 50 per cent higher risk of the disease.

Rising levels of drinking by women have already contributed to more cases of breast cancer in recent years ? and the toll could go higher if the trend continues upwards.

The study estimates around one in 20 breast cancer cases each year can be blamed on drinking. Its results, which come at a time when young women are drinking more than ever, could lead to revised guidance from the Department of Health which currently recommends women drink no more than the equivalent of two to three small glasses of wine a day.

Professor Valerie Beral of Cancer Research UK's cancer epidemiology unit at the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, said: "This research tells us there is a definite link between alcohol and breast cancer and the evidence suggests that the more a woman drinks the greater her risk." She said drinking had contributed to rising numbers of breast cancer cases, although other factors such as the trend for women to remain childless or have smaller numbers of children and not breastfeed had probably had a bigger effect." [So, which will become the most common message, "breastfeed to reduce your cancer risk" or will they say "stop drinking to reduce your cancer risk."? - JC]

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Breast-Feeding Does Not Reduce Infant Colic: Report
November 12, 2002 01:20 PM ET "
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Breast-feeding does not prevent infants from developing colic, the discomfort leading to incessant and inconsolable crying that some infants suffer from during the first weeks of life, researchers report.

Infant colic tends to peak during the first 6 weeks of life and taper off by the end of the second month. There is no known cause, and studies have yielded conflicting results on whether factors such as parental smoking and breast-feeding might increase the risk. Breast-feeding is thought to boost immunity and enhance the bond between the mother and infant.

But according to the current report, there was no association between the source of infant nutrition at 1 week of age and the development of colic at 6 weeks. Twenty-three percent of breast-fed babies were described as having colic, compared with 21% of infants who received only formula and 29% of infants who received a combination of breast milk and formula." [I suppose we should be saying that formula doesn't increase the risk of colic... - jc]
Yahoo! News - Breast-Feeding May Lower Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk"
Tue Oct 29, 5:40 PM ET

By Charnicia E. Huggins

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women who spend a total of 2 or more years of their lives breast-feeding may be less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than those who breast-feed for 3 months or less, new study findings show." [This study joins a host of others showing the health benefits of breastfeeding to the mother - other risks that are increased by low breastfeeding duration include breast cancer and osteoporosis. - JC]

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Breaking News: Madonna outraged over breastfeeding clip "

Madonna has demanded higher standards of decency on TV after a US station broadcast footage of a mother breast-feeding her eight-year-old son.

"People have no morals, I swear to God," she told Los Angeles radio station KIIS-FM.
"The things that people do for ratings. It's unforgivable." [It's intriguing that Madonna has chosen to focus on the side issue of ABC airing the tape. - JC]
Ankyloglossia: Assessment, Incidence, and Effect of Frenuloplasty on the Breastfeeding Dyad
Conclusion. Ankyloglossia is a relatively common finding in the newborn population and represents a significant proportion of breastfeeding problems. Poor infant latch and maternal nipple pain are frequently associated with this finding. Careful assessment of the lingual function, followed by frenuloplasty when indicated, seems to be a successful approach to the facilitation of breastfeeding in the presence of significant ankyloglossia. " Pediatrics -- Abstracts: Ballard et al. 110 (5): e63 [Finally we have some ammunition for those peds who insist that tongue-tie is a rare problem and snipping the tie is an unwarranted procedure. - JC]

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Sometimes in life size isn't everything

By Ellen Gillette correspondent
November 2, 2002

Size does matter.

It matters to Barbara Hewson, injured on an airplane last year because of the "obese passenger" seated next to her. Virgin Atlantic settled last week for about $20,000.

Accompanying the news story was a poll: If girth requires two seats, who should foot the bill, passenger or airline? (I'd bump them to first class at the coach rate -- unfair to those in the cheap seats but better than offloading expenses for other accommodations or lawsuits onto everyone anyway.)

Size matters to 15 percent of children in the United States 6-19 who are, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, overweight. As kids' waists have expanded, so have juvenile rates for gallbladder disease, sleep disorders, and Type 2 diabetes.

Parents (and let's face it, it's their fault) can avoid this by breastfeeding, taking charge of meals (i.e. parenting), eating with kids at home, turning off TV during meals, watching for signs of diabetes, and encouraging exercise (formerly known as "playing").

Size matters to the health care industry. Adult obesity is a factor in myriad diseases. It matters to insurance companies who say policies for overweight clients are a bad risk. It matters to food manufacturers searching for the elusive combo of metabolic magic and "Mmm."
Froma Harrop: Jetting in the breast milk "... Let's start with the company. I wonder how DeAnne's partners really feel about suspending their meetings so she can go off and breastfeed. How about the assistant who finds herself toting her boss's breast milk around hotel lobbies? Wasn't there a time, not long ago, when secretaries would complain if their male boss asked them to buy birthday presents for his wife? By the way, father Alvaro runs his own investment company right in town, but I bet you don't see toddlers running around his conference room."
Babies to spend decade in study to curb diabetes/a>
Researchers hope to prove suspected link to cow's milk
Jodie Sinnema, Journal Staff Writer
The Edmonton Journal

Each day at 3 p.m., Destiny Smith knows she can haul out her box of Halloween candy and have a treat: a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup or a string of licorice.

Any more could be dangerous for the five-year-old. She has Type 1 diabetes and hopes her baby sister, Isabella, won't have to endure the same, sometimes painful daily routine of needle pricks and blood tests she does.

Destiny's parents, Gaylene and Cam Smith, are participating in a 10-year trial to see if they can prevent their newest daughter, three-month-old Isabella, from acquiring juvenile diabetes by delaying her exposure to a protein in cow's milk.

"It's a good cause because we might be able to prevent her or other babies from getting diabetes," said Gaylene, as Destiny got her insulin kit filled with needles and a glucometer to test her blood sugar.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Reuters | The World's Leading Provider of Financial Information and News Substance in Saliva Protects Babies from Mom's HIV
October 29, 2002 02:16 PM ET
Email this article Printer friendly version Purchase for Reprint
By Alison McCook

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Babies with relatively high levels of a particular compound in their saliva appear to be less likely than others to acquire HIV from their infected mothers at one month of age, according to new study findings.

Dr. Carey Farquhar of the University of Washington in Seattle and colleagues found that babies with higher levels of a substance called secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) at one month of age were half as likely as those with lower levels of SLPI to have acquired HIV from
Documents Show Effort to Promote Unproven Drug New York Times, Oct 29, 2002

Marketing executives at Warner-Lambert urged their superiors to let them promote the epilepsy drug Neurontin for an unapproved use rather than perform the clinical studies needed to prove the medicine was safe for such patients, according to a corporate memorandum unsealed on Friday in federal court. [ This article gives detail into marketing techniques used by drug company Warner-Lambert to push drug on physicians and patients. - JC]

Monday, October 28, 2002

The Chronicle Online - Work council calls for lactation rooms review Work council calls for lactation rooms review
A council on work and family issues wants to make Duke's six lactation rooms on campus more conducive to mothers who are breast feeding.

by Cindy Yee
October 28, 2002

Although the University prides itself on being a family friendly workplace, on-campus lactation rooms--uninviting, unkempt and few and far between--suggest ample room for improvement.

The Coordinating Council on Work and Family Issues is currently reviewing the University's lactation rooms, following a report from a subcommittee dedicated to the problem. Ideally, lactation rooms provide a comfortable, private setting where nursing mothers can pump breast milk while away from their babies. The subcommittee toured the six lactation rooms on campus and presented their findings at the council's most recent meeting this month. [This campus has six lactation rooms?? Who knew!- JC]
Biomonitoring programs might keep tabs on air, water

By Suzanne Bohan - STAFF WRITER, 28/10/2002

IN THE coming years, expect to hear more about a novel technique, called "biomonitoring," to gauge a community's exposure to environmental toxins and create even more incentives to clean up the air and water.

In May, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention singled out breast milk as an ideal test fluid in a biomonitoring program, as these toxins accumulate in the fatty tissue in the breast and pass into the milk.

But the presenters at last week's hearing repeatedly voiced their concern that using breast milk to measure toxin exposure might scare women away from breastfeeding their infants. Still, the benefits of breast milk far exceed any risk from contaminants, several speakers stressed.

Friday, October 25, 2002

Breastfeeding? Sorry ma'am, no drinks allowed here - OCT 26, 2002

HONGKONG - A woman breastfeeding her 22-month-old son in a library in Hongkong was told by a staff member to stop doing so as 'no food and drinks are allowed'.

Halfway through breastfeeding her son, Ms Ng Lai Ping was asked by a library staff to go to the sick bay instead. -- APPLE DAILY

Ms Ng Lai Ping was reading to the toddler and an older son in the Central Library on Oct 18 when her younger son cried of hunger pangs, reported Apple Daily yesterday.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Breast-milk banks pushing for more federal oversight

By Patricia Wen, Globe Staff, 10/24/2002

After this month's discovery that the West Nile virus can be transmitted through breast milk, the nation's human-milk banks, which serve thousands of newborns across the country, are asking for federal oversight to add credibility to their industry.

Federal authorities appear to be taking a closer look at the handful of banks nationwide - the modern-day version of wet nurses - that provide breast milk to babies whose mothers cannot nurse, usually because of sickness. One milk bank representative said she received a call within the last month from an official of the US Food and Drug Administration asking about safety issues.

''We welcome the idea of working with the FDA to develop guidelines and initiate inspections,'' said Mary Rose Tully, the former chairwoman of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. ''It would protect the public from charlatans and give us a sense of completion.''

This growing industry (sales of donated breast milk are up 25 percent in the past year) relies on the free donations of breast milk from lactating mothers who have a surplus. The milk is then pooled and pasteurized before being sold to mothers whose doctors prescribe it. The human-milk industry today resembles the blood bank industry of decades past when regulations were light and demand was surging.

Dr. Kimberly Lee, associate director of the newborn nursery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, said she applauds the idea of more federal regulation of milk banks, particularly if it adds legitimacy to an industry that provides breast milk to vulnerable premature babies among others.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

String quartet loses prized cellist
Marina Hoover forced to choose family over work

Tamara Bernstein,
National Post,

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

The St. Lawrence String Quartet has performed frequently in Vancouver -- first as a frisky young group based in Toronto, now as a group of international stature, famed for its fiery, risk-all performances and its unshakeable musical integrity. But when the quartet walks on to the stage of the Vancouver Playhouse tonight, audiences will see a new face.

After a year of trying to combine marriage and motherhood with the St. Lawrence's gruelling tour schedule, Marina Hoover, the group's founding cellist, left at the end of August...

In a field where women were long excluded, and where they're still vastly outnumbered, Hoover's resignation is something of a setback for gender equality.

"If anyone could have done it [balanced career and family], Marina could have," [remaining female quartet member Lesley] Robertson said ruefully from her office in California's Stanford University, where the SLSQ is Ensemble in Residence.

You can't say the Edmonton-born cellist, who has an iron will and constitution, didn't try. She engaged a substitute for only two tours during her pregnancy. She was back on stage -- with a cracked tailbone -- three weeks after giving birth to her son, Benjamin, in August, 2000, breastfeeding him during intermission.

But the SLSQ gives about 100 concerts a year, many in far-flung countries. "I took Benjamin on tour for the first year," Hoover said from her new home in suburban Chicago. "When I travelled with other members of the quartet, they were very helpful. But often I was alone: I'd have the baby strapped to my front, the cello [in a hard case] strapped to my back, the stroller and car seat in one hand, and I'd be pulling my suitcase with the other." [ Nice image, breastfeeding Benjamin during intermission. But I'm not sure what this article says. We don't support our professional artists enough to allow them to afford nannies when travelling? Marry a neurologist and expect your career to suffer? Mamma, don't let your daughers grow up to be world-class professional musicians? - JC]

Monday, October 21, 2002

Breast-fed babies may need extra vitamin DMedia coverage of this change in the AAP's recommendations for Vitamin D will focus on how breastmilk donesn't have Vitamin D. They should be reporting "babies don't get enough exposure to sunlight to allow them to make their own Vitamin D, especially now due to concerns about skin cancer. For this reason, formula has Vitamin D added in the factory, and breastfed-babies may need Vitamin D supplements."

Sunday, October 20, 2002

DDN | Lawsuit's focus on breast milkA family with triplets received $27,500 for mental anguish after one of the newborns was accidentally given another woman's breastmilk. Sheesh. I wonder if anybody's ever sued for "mental anguish" for the hospital accidentally giving an exclusively-breastfed baby formula... -- J
DDN | Lawsuit's focus on breast milkA family with triplets received $27,500 for mental anguish after one of the newborns was accidentally given another woman's breastmilk. Sheesh. I wonder if anybody's ever sued for "mental anguish" for the hospital accidentally giving an exclusively-breastfed baby formula... -- J

Friday, October 18, 2002

FEATURE/At-Work Breastfeeding Programs Common Among '100 Best Companies for Working Mothers Press Release Source: LifeCare Inc.
WESTPORT, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 2, 2002--Ninety-nine percent of the "100 Best" companies distinguished last week by Working Mother magazine have a workplace lactation program, compared to 19 percent of all companies nationwide, according to Carol Evans, CEO, Working Mother Media.

Evans revealed the statistic last week at a workplace breastfeeding forum in New York City where she was a keynote speaker. LifeCare?, Inc., a leading provider of comprehensive work and life employee benefits services, sponsored the forum. [Intriguing statistic, might be useful when trying to convince your employer to offer similar benefits. - JC]
Depression drug use soars in Canada
Canadian Press,

Thursday, October 17, 2002

TORONTO (CP) -- Over the past two decades, taking drugs to treat depression has become a national pastime in Canada, and the trend is likely to continue, a new study suggests.

During the period from 1981 to 2000, the total number of prescriptions for antidepressants jumped to 14.5 million a year from 3.2 million, according to the study, conducted by three University of Toronto researchers who analysed prescription habits in Canada.

This 353-per-cent increase occurred while the size of Canada's population increased only one per cent annually.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Breastfeeding welcome here "Breastfeeding mothers are being officially welcomed into cafes and restaurants as part of a national awareness campaign. The campaign was launched in Mackay this week and a group of breastfeeding mothers took advantage of this new status to take their bubs along and enjoy a get together. Local businesses who say 'yes' to breastfeeding are issued with a kit when they meet the following criteria - a welcoming attitude by staff and management, a smoke free environment and room to move a pram."
[Great article, includes photos of women in a restaurant and of the sign prepared for the businss owners. Great campaign, Australia!]
Yahoo! News - Rapid Early Growth Linked to Type 1 Diabetes Diabetes Care 2002;25:1755-1760
This is an interesting story, but unfortunately the researchers don't have enough information about feeding methods to be able to say anything definitively about breastfeeding and its role.
Martek gets Canada nod on infant formulaDHA and ARA oils to be added to infant formula in Canada.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Parenting - Early Signs of Obesity "What to do: Breastfeed, if you can. "It reduces the risk of fatness in a child," says Tufts University nutrition professor Susan Roberts, Ph.D., coauthor of Feeding Your Child for Lifelong Health. "Breastfeeding lets an infant regulate how much he eats, and the milk itself may help control appetite." Doctors advise nursing for a year." [OK, so it's not perfect - doctors advise nursing for *at least* a year. But still, it's nice to see a mainstream parenting magazine making the link between childhood obesity and infant formula. - JC]
Yellow Baby Caution The American Academy of Pediatrics is currently rewriting guidelines for pediatricians with regard to jaundice. Breastfeeding is considered a risk factor. Why breastfeeding? Shouldn't the risk factor be decreased fluid intake? I hope the AAP handles this better than their recent kerfuffle over allowing Ross Pediatrics to place thier logo on the front of their newest breastfeeding book.

Monday, October 14, 2002

FDA investigates bottled water Ick. Imagine buying formula at Walmart and picking up some bottled water to mix it with, only to learn the water contains xylene and has been recalled. :-(
Play lifts curtain on what breastfeeding is all about Grand Forks Herald | 10/14/2002 | "Cathy Coudle King says it's like watching a car accident happen. Parenting, she means. Whether you're doing it yourself or observing it. You'll get that feeling at the debut of her play, "Milk Dreams," Tuesday night at the Empire Arts Center. King, Grand Forks, wrote the play to kick off the fifth biennial statewide Breastfeeding Conference on Wednesday..."
Breastfeeding is the formula for good health Grand Forks Herald | 10/14/2002 | A companion article to the item on the play above indicates only 62 per cent of new mothers in North Dakota are breastfeeding when they leave the hospital.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

The Miami Herald | 10/10/2002 | Breastfeeding benefits you and your baby
A Q&A parenting column addresses the benefits of breastfeeding. The author, Debbie Glasser, Ph.D., is director of Family Support Services at the Family Center of Nova Southeastern University and is chairwoman of the National Parenting Education Network. The article is a solid review of the benefits of breastfeeding but could benefit from language that warns of the harm from not breastfeeding. I've forwarded her a copy of Diane Weissinger's Watch Your Language from the Journal of Human Lactation, Volume 12, Number 1, 1996.
Breast-feeding: Perseverance brings resultsA wonderfully detailed article that addresses health benefits for mother and baby and the need for support.
Breast feeding: good for working mothers, good for employers
California's Lactation Accommodation Law is profiled in this article on women who return to work and continue to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding moms tell how they do it
A companion article to the one above with details from moms on how they manage to breastfeed and work.

Friday, October 11, 2002 doesn't come naturally to every mom
The Toronto Star's education reporter Kristin Rushowy ( writes about how hard it was for her to breastfeed her newborn and how important it is for women to get consistent support. She notes Norway's breastfeeding rates are still up at 70 per cent at one year, while most mothers in Canada have stopped nursing by then.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Breastmilk plea to save Luke THE parents of a desperately ill 15-week- old baby boy today appealed for human breast milk to save his life. Luke Kelly, from Stranmillis, was born gastroschesis, with his bowel outside his stomach, and now has little of his gut functioning. He needs specialist feeding and is being kept alive with an artificial formula, but needs human breast milk for its growth enhancing properties. Mum Cara (25), said Luke was so critically ill immediately after his birth that she was not encouraged to express milk for him because medical staff did not think her only child would survive. "My own milk flow was very slow and stopped about a week after Luke was born because of the stress," Cara said today. "He needs human milk because it has all the nutrients and growth hormones he needs." Luke is being kept alive on TPN formula and a supply of breast milk from the Human Milk Bank, but he needs a greater regular supply than the bank can handle.
[I wonder if anybody thougth to help this mom relactate? And isn't it too bad that their milk bank has such a low supply that the needs of ONE child can't be met. But, at least they have a milk bank... - J]
Life-saving initiative for newborn babies BLANTYRE, 30 Aug 2002 (IRIN) - Struggling with one of the highest child-mortality rates in the world, Malawi has launched an unconventional care programme aimed at saving the lives of newborn babies.

Malawi has a childhood mortality rate of 104 deaths for every 1,000 live births. The Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) programme intends to halve that rate. : Infant Formula Ingredient Studied in Rats
Breast milk contains 4-6 micrograms per liter (mcg/L) of manganese, while milk-based infant formula contains about 30-50 mcg/L and soy formula contains 200-300 mcg/L. Manganese is a mineral that helps the cells to obtain energy and it is essential for life, but can be toxic at very high levels.

"Very little is actually known about the association between manganese and ADHD specifically," said Dr. James Perrin, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and co-chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics subcommittee on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). "It's too soon to worry."
Is Soy Milk Dangerous For Babies? Researchers at the University of California at Irvine have found high levels of manganese in artificial baby milk mae from soy could be linked to ADHD.

Monday, October 07, 2002

CDC Media Relations - Telebriefing Transcript - October 3, 2002
The transcript of the media briefing conduted by the CDC where the possible transmission of West Nile Virus through breastmilk was discussed.
CDC Media Relations: Press Release
The CDC's release October 3rd indicating the presence of WNV antibodies in a baby breastfed by a mother infected with the virus.
Possible West Nile Virus Transmission to an Infant Through Breast-Feeding --- Michigan, 2002 The CDC's MMWR report.

The items above represent the official communication from the CDC regarding the possible transmission of West Nile Virus through breastmilk. Several times during the briefing the CDC's doctors were careful to stress that the benefits of breastfeeding outweight the possible risk of West Nile Virus. This statement is also at the end of news release.

However many news articles including the Associated Press wire copy do not mention the CDC's recommendations on breastfeeding: Breast Milk Blamed for West Nile Headlines like this one, or "West Nile caught from Breast Milk" abound. What is the message that women receive?

Here's a strong effort to counter damage done by the CDC's weak communications effort:
Breast milk not a source of West Nile - News - The Daily Illini Online
The Illinois Department of Public Health says "the idea of transmission through ingestion has not been documented anywhere in the world, although this is a disease that has been in other countries since 1937." LLL recommends that no mothers stop breastfeeding their children because of West Nle Virus. "Federal scientists are not encouraging anyone to wean their baby. The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the concerns of West Nile Virus."

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Breast Feeding protects against cancer
A special report from Radio Nederland.

"Now the verdict is clear. This new research compared the results of studies done on 150,000 women in thirty countries. "The broad range of data from different countries made it possible for the first time to determine the exact decrease of risk of breast cancer with breastfeeding," explains Dr Matti Rookus, whose work at the Netherlands Cancer Institute formed part of the data. From this new analysis, it emerges that more than 6 in 100 women in the western world get breast cancer before the age of 70, whereas in developing countries the figures amount to fewer than 3 in 100. Here, women have an average of 6.5 children and suckle each one for about 2 years. In conclusion, the British researchers determined that the risk of breast cancer is reduced by 7% with each child and there's an extra 4.3% decrease in risk with each year of breastfeeding."
Subtle truths about breastfeeding
Writer Elizabeth Bauchner of Ithica, New York, ( explains how researchers and scientists don't think of breastfeeding as the biological norm:

"When I weaned my first daughter to a bottle at two months of age, she became sick all the time. She must have had 10 serious ear infections by the time she was 18 months old. Most of the literature available on the topic tells me that breastfed babies are healthier and have fewer ear infections. I would have rather heard that formula-fed babies are sick more often and prone to ear infections. It may just be semantics but if I had known the health risks of formula rather than the health benefits of breastfeeding, I might have worked a bit harder at nursing my daughter longer. "

Saturday, September 28, 2002

A little extra breastfeeding goes a long way Further research showing babies fed other foods before six months are at risk for increased respiratory illness and recurrant ear infections. The Academy of American Pediatrics and the WHO both recommend exclusive breastfeeding for six months.

Friday, September 27, 2002

Feds Look for West Nile Virus in Breast Milk, Blood
CDC Media Relations: Press Release: Update on West Nile Investigation
ABC News - West Nile virus-breastfeeding link under investigation
Will breastfeeding be sacrificed because people hear this news and think their milk is going to make their babies sick? The CDC could have explained WHY it's unlikely to be a source of infection. What else is in breastmilk?A number of antiviral factors active against a whole host of diseases, West Nile included. And this is research that dates back to the 60s, so it's not like we're dealing with a new thing here. See this LTU microbiology site for more info. - J

Thursday, September 26, 2002

dailyrecord - GROW UP AND GET SERIOUSThe Scottish business association suggests Scottish politicians need to get serious with ther legislative agenda, citing a ban on fox-hunting and support for public breastfeeding as examples of frivilous activity....CBI's Iain MacMillan says "These things are not important in the great scheme of things, like getting Scotland's economy moving, improving people's lives and all that kind of thing. That is all self- indulgent and I think the parliament needs to grow up.

[Hmmm, MacMillan doesn't think being able to breastfeed in public without fear of harassment or arrest is an improvement in peoples lives? - J]
Breastfed kids brighter September 25, 2002 -- Breastfed children tend to end up significantly more intelligent than those who are bottle-fed, a major Australian study has concluded...
The Courier Mail: Breastfed babies 'have higher IQs' [26sep02]
This is yet another of many research studies showing that formula-fed babies have lower IQs. It's common sense. When we are pregnant we are so careful to wtch what we eat - we're growing a baby, after all. Yet that newborn brain is not fully grown when it is born. In the first year of life a baby's brain will double in size. - JC