Tuesday, May 27, 2003

'Hey, Mom, Can I Nurse Now?' (washingtonpost.com)

Washington Post, May 27, 2003

By Rebecca R. Kahlenberg
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, May 27, 2003; Page C09

"The benefits of breast-feeding infants are widely acknowledged, and the percentage of mothers who nurse their newborns at birth has climbed to about 70 percent. But although experts say many of those benefits continue for mothers and babies beyond age 1, the number of nursing moms in America who engage in "extended breast-feeding" -- breast-feeding a baby for more than 12 months -- drops to under 20 percent...."

Friday, May 23, 2003

Fish for depro moms-to-be
May 23, 2003

"Omega-3 essential fatty acid, a beneficial oil found in certain kinds of seafood, may significantly reduce the risk of depression in pregnancy, new research claims.

With all the mixed messages about mercury exposure from fish and its impact on the brain development of the foetus, many pregnant women may be hesitant to eat a diet rich in fish...."
Baby formula linked to hypertension

May 22
"Babies fed a dairy-based formula grew up to have higher blood pressure than babies who were breast-fed, British researchers reported Thursday. Their study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, supports several others that show substituting cow’s milk for breast milk can lead to heart disease later in life. Now in their 20s, those who were fed the most cow’s milk formula were taller but had the highest blood pressure, Martin’s team found. THE AMERICAN Academy of Pediatrics says mothers should breastfeed babies for at least a year and longer if possible, while the World Health Organization says two years should be the minimum...."

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Toxins found in breast milk

By Michelle Hillman / News Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 21, 2003

"BOSTON -- A master's degree in environmental sciences, a vegetarian diet and careful selection of household cleaners weren't enough to ensure Amanda Elkin's breast milk was free from toxins.

Elkin, 32, volunteered to have her breast milk tested at a laboratory in Germany to look for toxins as part of a demonstration by the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow.

The Alliance is a coalition of scientists and health, environmental and labor groups."Despite these efforts all of my life, they still found all of these toxins in my body," said Elkin, a Natick resident and mother.

Researchers found pesticides, dioxins or byproducts of trash incinerators, and brominated flame retardants used in curtains, hard plastics and other fabrics in Elkin's breast milk.

Elkin said she wants to know what effects these toxins will have on her child..."
Decade of protesting
Demonstrators make their point outside Nestlé headquarters.
By Joseph O Shea

"Baby milk demonstrators gathered outside Nestl UK's headquarters on Saturday, to make their annual call to stop aggressive marketing of breast-milk substitutes.

Twenty protesters from Baby Milk Action gathered outside Nestl as they have each year since 1990 on Park Street, Croydon, at the end of National Breastfeeding Week to campaign against the needless deaths of 1.5million babies each year...."

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

New Front in the Battle of the Bulge

[Excerpt from an article on France's efforts to fight growing obesity as the French eat more like Americans. I wonder if the "French Paradox" can be traced to this public health effort at the turn of the last century? - JC]

"These government campaigns did not have weight control as their main objective. At the turn of the 20th century, industrialization had forced many of the rural poor into the cities, and France's infant mortality rate had become so high that it provoked scorn from other European countries. In 1904, the French Public Health Act gave the central government authority to compel local governments to take actions to improve the birth rate."

One important response was a movement known as puericulture. Intent on improving prenatal and maternal health, puericulture advocates set up clinics all over the country to teach young mothers how to breastfeed. The state required any factory doing business with the government to set aside areas for lunchtime breastfeeding.

Puericulturists also taught that overfeeding was as bad as, if not worse than, underfeeding. A prominent obstetrician, Pierre Budin, who shocked the 1903 Conference on Hygiene with this view, liked to tell his medical students, "I always prefer to err by giving a little too little than by giving too much." Thus, early in its modern history, the French government lectured mothers on the medical value of dietary control.
U.S. Moms Limit Breast Feeding - Study Finds
Monday, May 19 3:54pm By Jill Garrett
U.S. Moms Limit Breast Feeding - Study Finds
"While more and more new moms are breastfeeding their babies worldwide, mothers here in the U. S. differ from mothers in other countries in at least one area.

The Centers for Disease control finds American mothers stop breastfeeding their children too soon.

A telephone survey of the families of more than 700 children found 66 percent had been breast-fed initially, the national goal set by the Healthy People 2010 Program is 75 percent. Six-months later, 27 percent of U. S. moms were breastfed their babies. Health experts had hoped half would still be breast feeding. The government experts admit breastfeeding usually stops as mothers return to work."

The report is in the joural Pediatrics.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Croner CCH WebcentreEmployers must accommodate nursing mothers

Published: 16 May 2003

"Employers refusing to provide facilities for breastfeeding mothers could be breaking the law and find themselves the target of sex discrimination claims, according to the chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), Julie Mellor (The Guardian, 16 May).

Ms Mellor cited yesterday a recent employment tribunal ruling that the Royal Air Force (RAF) had directly discriminated against Helen Williams, 31, a former flight lieutenant, when it told her that she had to take "unpaid occupational maternity absence" if she wanted to continue breastfeeding her baby after she was due to return to work...."

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Belfast Telegraph Woman 2 Woman: 'Breast is best' but not for us?
Breastfeeding is still a social taboo in some quarters, a new local study shows. Jane Bell reports on Breastfeeding Awareness Week

By Jane Bell
email: jbell@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

"PAULA Yates got turfed out of Harrods for doing it. The Speaker won't tolerate it in the chamber of the House of Commons. And one woman had a bucket of dirty water hurled round her for daring to do it near a shopping centre.

What is this terrible social 'crime'? Breastfeeding. This is National Breastfeeding Awareness Week - aimed at pointing out the health benefits, supporting breastfeeding mothers and encouraging social acceptance.

It will be an uphill struggle...."
spiked-life | Column | Who needs Breastfeeding Awareness Week? Who needs Breastfeeding Awareness Week?

"It's national breastfeeding awareness week - and the moralists have got the teat between their teeth (1).

The UK Department of Health on Monday advised mothers to breastfeed their babies exclusively at least for the first six months of their lives, as 'exclusive breastfeeding …provides all the nutrients a baby needs' (2).

This brings the UK's recommendation into line with that of the World Health Organisation (WHO). It has won the government friends in the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association, the Royal College of Midwives, and those champions of earth-motherhood, the National Childbirth Trust (NCT); and it has made absolutely clear who the enemy is: those irresponsible formula-milk mothers, who turn to the bottle when things get rough...."

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Dallas Observer | dallasobserver.com | News : Buzz Touching a Nerve,State walks away from breast-feeding case,Compiled by Patrick Williams The Alternative Dallas connection for events, event listings, music reviews, CD reviews, and all of the latest alternative news from the Dallas area. Touching a Nerve
State walks away from breast-feeding case

From the Week of Thursday, April 24, 2003

"Finally, Buzz brings you some sort of good news. The state of Texas, in its all-too-finite wisdom, has bowed to eons of mammalian evolution and decided that breast-feeding your child is not a sign of unfit parenting.

This is particularly good news for Jacqueline Mercado and her boyfriend, Johnny Fernandez, who have regained custody of their 1-year-old son Rodrigo. Last week, Dallas Observer staff writer Thomas Korosec reported ("1-Hour Arrest") how Mercado and Fernandez ran afoul of the law for the dastardly act of taking a photo of their boy suckling at Mercado's breast...."

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Babies teach chemists the secret of soft skin
It's vernix, a coating formed in the womb, and a synthetic version is on the way
Wednesday, May 7, 2003 - Page A1

"One of the secrets to babies' smooth, soft skin is the greasy-looking white substance that covers them in the womb, scientists have discovered.

Now researchers are developing a synthetic version of the material, known as vernix, as a miracle moisturizer that also prevents infection and helps heal wounds.

"We were pondering why it is that an infant that spends nine months in a water environment, some of which is urine, can come out with such wonderful skin," says Marty Visscher, a chemist at Cincinnati's Children's Hospital Medical Center...."
[Nothing about breastfeeding here folks, just my eye rolling at the idea of synthetic vernix. Maybe this will keep the nurses from scrubbing "clean" our newborns? - JC]

Monday, May 05, 2003

Yahoo! News - Even Toddlers Are Obese, Study Shows

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Even toddlers in the United States are obese, and they are not only overweight, but are showing early signs of diabetes and other diseases associated with being fat, researchers said on Saturday.

To their alarm, the researchers found that sending such children to a specialist did not seem to help them get to healthier weights.

"Perhaps the epidemic of obesity can be stopped if we intervene very early with an intensive behavioral modification program," Dr. Emily Liu of Kaleida Health's Women's and Children's Hospital in Buffalo, New York, said in a statement...." [This article doesn't mention the obesity-formula connection. - JC]

Saturday, May 03, 2003

HealthCentral.com - News - Unknown 0/0/0 Why Overweight Women Face Breast-feeding Problems

They don't produce enough prolactin, a key hormone, new research says.

By Colette Bouchez
HealthScoutNews Reporter

"SATURDAY, May 3 (HealthScoutNews) -- There's no question that breast-feeding has important health benefits for both women and their babies.

Now a new study offers important hope for at least one group of women who traditionally have met with lactation failure.

The research focused on overweight women, many of whom can have difficulty making enough milk for successful breast-feeding. Researchers say the study, presented May 3 at the Pediatric Academic Societies' annual meeting in Seattle, is the first to document a physical problem as a potential cause.

"The most important finding is that we have discovered a biological reason -- as opposed to a psychological or sociological reason -- for lactation failure," says study author Dr. Chris Kjolhede..."
BBC NEWS | Health | Supplemented feed can cut heart risk Thursday, 1 May, 2003, 23:01 GMT 00:01 UK
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Supplemented feed can cut heart risk
Bottled milk
Bottled milk may not be a good as breast milk

"Adding fatty acids to formula milk for babies may cut heart disease in later life, a study suggests.

Researchers found blood pressure levels were lower in children who had been given supplemented formula milk as babies.

The work began in 1992 when 111 newborn babies were fed with formula milk a containing long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and 126 were fed with unsupplemented formula.

Both groups were compared with babies who were breastfed. Breast milk is naturally rich in fatty acids.

Breast is best

Six years later, the children's blood pressure was measured in a follow up study.

Average blood pressure was similar in the babies who were breastfed and those given the supplemented formula..."

Archives: Story State Senate OKs breastfeeding bill
By Charles E. Beggs, Associated Press Writer

"Employers would be required to give women unpaid breaks to breast feed infants or allow them to use a breast pump at work under a bill easily approved by the Senate on Wednesday.

The measure passed 22-6 and now goes to the House.

The sponsor of the bill, Democrat Ginny Burdick of Portland, said making breast feeding easier for women at work is good for business as well as for employees.

Burdick said breast-fed babies are ill less often than formula-fed infants, so mothers would have fewer job interruptions to care for children...."