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Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Giving newborns cows milk to save them from allergies later on"

I read an article yesterday posted on a parenting forum and just about blew a gasket.  The article was entitled:
Early milk exposure may cut allergies in infants
"Exposing an infant to cow's milk in its first 15 days of life may protect it from a dangerous milk allergy later on, new research suggests.
The new findings are a slight departure from the recent advice of medical authorities such as Health Canada, who recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, "as it provides optimal nutritional, immunological and emotional benefits for the growth and development of infants," according to the federal department.
Researchers found that when babies were exposed to cow's milk, in the form of baby formula, in the first 15 days after birth, they seemed to be protected from developing an allergy to milk protein later in life. In a prospective cohort study, they tracked 13,019 infants and found that those who consumed formula early on were 19 times more protected from cow's milk protein allergy, or CMPA, than babies who consumed formula after the first 15 days."
 WTF?!?!  Every alarm bell in my head went off and I immediately went digging for a copy of the original study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.  Guess what I found....?  Come on, guess?
 "Supported by the Israel Dairy Board.
 Disclosure of potential conflict of interest: Y. Katz has received research support from the Israel Dairy Board."
 I was going to go all ballistic and rant and rave about it.... but then another friend pointed me to this blog by The Analytical Armadillo, and she said it all, so I'll leave you in her capable hands:

Give cow's milk to newborns, you're having a giraffe?

Cow’s milk good for newborns.

Mothers who feed their babies cow’s milk in the first 15 days of life may be protecting their children from dangerous allergies later on, says a new study.
Perplexed I read on:
Women who regularly (daily) introduced their babies to cow milk protein early, before 15 days of life, almost completely eliminated the incidence of allergy to cow milk protein in their babies.
 says Prof. Yitzhak Katz of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Pediatrics, Sackler Faculty of Medicine.

Before he is apparently quoted as saying in one article:
Although the exact amount is still unknown, the paediatrician suggests a single bottle-feed at night for those mothers who are breastfeeding.
Now perhaps I'm overly cynical, but at this point alarm bells started ringing.  Any paediatrician with a sound breastfeeding knowledge (which one would surely assume essential to make a public statement such as this) would know the well documented effects of cow's milk protein entering the gut of a breastfed baby.

Secondly, given they claim the exact amount is unknown, making a suggestion to "give a single bottle daily" is highly unusual; not least because it contradicts worldwide recommendations which are based on extensive evidence.

So I decided to dig out the study.

The first thing I noticed?  The bottom of the study reads:

Supported by the Israel Dairy Board.

Aaah now thing are becoming clearer.  I then discovered Prof Katz - the one up there making statements, has declared a potential conflict of interest. 

Y. Katz has received research support from the Israel Dairy Board

aaaaah, bingo!  Let's think who might benefit if mothers introduced a bottle of cow's milk per day- wouldn't happen to be the dairy industry would it?....

HERE to read the entire article on Analytical Armadillo

 ... I'm going to keep on digging because I KNOW that Nestle has to be involved in this some way.... call me a conspiracy theorist.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"When Birthing Becomes a "Fetish""

I read this article and wanted to cry and rage.  Cry, because it's so true.  Rage, because it's so true. When will women stand up and realize that this is all just another way that women are subjugated, manipulated and repressed?
In North America women like to think of ourselves as "Feminists" (although many of us hate that particular term due to the mass misuse of it), as women who fight for equality, who stand up for ourselves and our Rights. If someone decided that women had to stand on the bus and let all the menfolk have the seats, you can bet there'd be a mass uprising across our continent that would make WWII look like a dinner party.  Yet these same women who would stomp on anyone who tried to take away their Equal Rights cower and prostrate themselves before the almighty Medical machine that tells them to shut up and birth their babies like good little girls, drugged to the nines, feet up in the stirrups, push on command and then lay quietly while their babies are manhandled, slapped, poked, prodded, stuck with needles, blinded by bright lights and eye drops, weighed & measured, & washed, and finally delivered into their mothers care bundled up like a neat package delivered by the post man.
And then when women stand up for themselves and try to take back their births, try to normalize natural birth as it was intended to be, Idiots like this write letters to the editor of the NY Times saying:

"Under new medical guidelines “natural birth” fetishists can more easily choose vaginal birth after a Caesarean, which results in what your article describes as “quite low” rates of uterine rupture (.7 to .9 percent).
Low? How many severely injured women and brain-damaged babies with multimillion-dollar medical and education bills do those “low” rates yield? And for what benefit?
How many physician hours and medical malpractice insurance dollars are to be expended on the inevitable lawsuits brought by the angry parents who regret their choice?"
HERE to read the original comments 

But Guggie Daly's article  "When Birthing Becomes a Fetish" says it all:

"If mamas who want a VBAC are called natural birth fetishists, then men who exercise, change their diet and take medications after heart surgery must be artery fetishists. And people who do physical therapy after spinal surgery are spine fetishists. People commend and praise those who are recovering from non-birth surgery. Someone who wants his body to work normally is applauded and encouraged. But for women who want normal birth? Clearly, nothing but surgery is good for those pregnant women. Hack it open, pull it out and pay those surgeons! Your body is evil and useless! Or so society tells them.

Why is normal birth attacked in our society? The lustful sexualisation of a woman's body influences the way our culture handles this situation. Just as nursing a child draws criticism and restrictions, so does pushing a child through our birth canal. For in a lustful culture, women are merely objectified, non-person beings present for the satisfaction of males. Therefore, their duality cannot be tolerated. Female breasts are for sexual foreplay only and a female vagina is for sexual intercourse only. A woman who wants to wear provocative clothing is praised. A woman who wants to nurse her child in public is condemned. A woman who goes in for surgery to remove her child is making the "safe choice" while a woman who tries to birth vaginally is a "fetishist." Notice the projection?

Because of this inequality, each person within the family unit is turned in violence towards the other, with both the mother and father turned against the child. The child, once seen as a symbol of the couple's unity and love, is instead looked upon as a thief, one who steals the woman's body from the man and one who ruins the woman's body so that she cannot appease the man to his standard."
 HERE to read the original article

Yep, tears of sorrow and anger.

And the saddest part of this is that so many many women will actually buy into this.  They'll point their fingers at the VBAC'ing, Homebirthing, Midwife Using women and call us "Abnormal"  because WE are standing up for our Rights and the Rights of our babies. Because WE are taking back the births that were taken away from us by the medical machine and the Good Ol' Boys Club.

We Fight because we HAVE to. We speak out because we HAVE to.

The wonderful Gloria Lemay posted this on her blog and I think it is extremely relevant to this conversation:

When Good Women Remain Silent

“First they came for the breech birthers, and I did not speak out–because I was not a breech birther;
Then they came for the twins, and I did not speak out–because I was not carrying twins;
Then they came for the high risk women, and I did not speak out-because I was not a high risk woman;
Then they came for the VBACs, and I did not speak out– because I was not a VBAC;
Then they came for me– and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Taken from a talk by Laureen Hudson of California at the Trust Birth Conference (March 2010). 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"The Cycle of Abuse"

This is a short guest Blog by my friend Guggie Daly, taken from a comment she made on one of my earlier articles about Male Circumcision.  Her comment was so insightful that I felt it needed it's own space.

By Guggie Daly

     By normalizing this abuse (Circumcision) against baby boys, we have alienated an entire group of hurting people. What a hard time it must be, to not only be preparing to enter the world, but also to suddenly be confronted with the knowledge that the people who were supposed to protect you (parents, doctors, religious authorities) instead held you down and hurt you.

    Victims of classic rape often start with denial as well. It seems easier to protect the fragile pieces of the mind from the reality of being overpowered and genitally mutilated/attacked. Easier to pretend it didn't happen. Easier to pretend it was just a variation of normal. Easier to pretend that everything is "just fine."

    Yet the irony is that true mental and emotional health and true healing can only come through the 5 stages of grief. Healing comes through recognizing in all its horror what was done to you, in standing strong and empowered before the perpetrator and accusing them, and then forgiving them because you are better and you are stronger. Healing happens we bring those uncomfortable feelings and truths to the forefront of our minds, when we cast the darkness away with light.

    Within the topic of infant prepuce amputation, the direct opposite of healing is what scientists refer to as the "cycle of abuse" or sometimes the "revolving door." The person who was abused cannot confront his own demons and spends his life repeating in a subtle or direct way, the abuse that was forced upon him. Perhaps one of the most frequently uttered and yet least rational arguments to continue to support genital amputation in America directly displays the sheer amount of healing our American males need. "I want my son to be like me."

    I hope that the families who are left to deal with the crime of circumcision can come together despite the obstacles. I hope that gentle yet thorough truth reigns in their home. I hope that the males struggling with their past are able to rise above the injustice and commit themselves fully to ensuring that none of their children will be violated the way they were violated. To all those touched by circumcision: stand up and say that the cycle stops here! Then welcome your whole, beautiful children into this world and protect them.

Read more of what Guggie has to say HERE on her blog.

"Breastfeeding link to chronic illness"

More and more studies are proving what many of us already know:  Breastfeeding your baby for the proper recommended minimum amount of time will reduce their risks of many chronic diseases later in life.  Currently the recommendation of WHO (World Health Organization), UNICEF, and every major government health organization is that baby's should be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months and that breastfeeding should continue for 2 years and beyond.  Sadly in North America and many parts of Europe those recommendations are not being met for the vast majority of babies.

Breastfeeding link to chronic illness

GENERATIONS of Australians are at increased risk of chronic illness because they were weaned off breastfeeding too early, new research reveals.

Australian National University scientists set out to assess the risk of chronic illness when infants are prematurely weaned off breast milk.
They found that one in 10 people are in danger of major diseases later in life because they were not breast-fed for a minimum six months.
Breastfeeding has been proven to reduce the long-term risk of chronic disease.
But during the 1960s and '70s, 90 per cent of people now aged between 35 and 45 were weaned off breast milk before they were six months old.
They found that, even now, very few Australian babies are breastfed to six months.
Lead researcher Dr Julie Smith said: "Depending on how we measure exposures for different types of chronic disease, more than one in ten Australians will face heightened risk in later life because they were not breastfed, many from disadvantaged families.
"From what we know about the effects of premature weaning ... a significant proportion of the current burden of chronic disease might have been avoided."
This was because "inappropriate and unsupportive" health policies, as well as public attitudes, had undermined breastfeeding in postwar decades, Dr Smith said.
The research, published in the international journal Public Health Nutrition, suggests more should be done to promote breastfeeding past the age of six months to combat the risk of chronic disease in the future.
"Many public health measures to prevent chronic disease are ineffective or expensive to sustain. But being breastfed for a time in infancy reduces the long-term risk of chronic disease," Dr Smith said.
"Few other one-off preventative health interventions shows consistent, long-term effects in reducing chronic disease."

HERE to read the original article

It all comes down to the one thing that makes me rant from my soap box more than anything else:  SUPPORT!!!!  Until our governments start truly supporting breastfeeding mothers through education of medical professionals, accessibility to properly trained breastfeeding support personnel and clinics, giving mothers paid leave to breastfeed their babies for the minimum amount of time (in the US), and stopping the rampant advertising campaigns and outright pay offs by infant formula manufacturers, our breastfeeding statistics will remain low and our babies will suffer the consequences.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Breastfeeders Wanted!! Hamilton ON Aug 7th

 Calling all Breastfeeding mama's who feel like coming to Hamilton (Ontario, lol) for a visit!!! I'm involved with a project being put together by photographers Katheryn Palmateer & Martha Solomon. They are creating two contemporary books of portraits of nursing mothers and their children. One geared towards new moms and their families, and one for children. They are looking for nursing mothers to photograph for their books. They are going to come out Hamilton on August 7th (just in time to coincide with World Breastfeeding Week!!), to do a shoot with me  and would like to arrange to shoot a few more moms and babies/children as well. So if you'd like to get involved and want to come hang out with me for a couple of hours, let me know!!!  For more informations please go to:

...and if you have any great ideas of Where to set this up in Hamilton- let me KNOW!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"Regarding Circumcision" A mans view

Let's face it, women do 90%  of the homework when it comes to pregnancy, birth and raising children.  Then we filter down the "need to know" stuff to our male partners, usually in small, easy to swallow pieces that won't cause undue choking, or cause their eyes to glaze over.  .... well, that's how it all started in our house anyway.  Now my husband is as much of a Lactivist as I am and probably knows more about natural childbirth than the average Obstetrician!  But some subjects are harder to talk about than others.  Yes we can prep them for Labour & Birth with instructions like:  If a doctor even mentions the word "Episiotomy" , they are to flex their biceps and growl menacingly "NO!".  And after the Birth: If any medical personnel tries to interfere with mother and baby while they are bonding skin to skin, Ditto to the flexing and growling.  (my husband is particularly good at the flexing and intimidating medical staff!).  But what if you need to talk about the dreaded  "C" word?


It's a tough subject to bring up.  To begin with, if you've been educating yourself about Male Circumcision, you've probably already viewed the pictures and videos, and having been completely emotionally wrung out by the very thought of someone doing THIS to your baby....well, it's hard to discuss it with any emotional detachment  or without throwing a sobbing fit.

I Highly recommend reading these articles:

regarding circumcision and intactness - the writings of vincent bach by Vincent Bach

 Vincent writes about circumcision from a mans  perspective, discussing   The Science of Circumcision

and   The Bias of The American Academy of Pediatrics    But his discussion of  The Vulnerability of Men  Is an excellent look at the emotional and psychological  issues of discussing Circumcision with a man who IS circumcised:

"I see on the boards many times where a pregnant wife is frustrated when attempting to discuss the issue with her circumcised husband. She wants to leave her son intact but he won’t listen to reason. Well, the rest of this article is written specifically to try and offer some insight and suggestions for those ladies. I hope it helps someone. As an intact man who grew up and has lived among circumcised men, I think I have some insight into what drives their behavior on the issue of circumcision. Of course this doesn’t apply to all of them, but I think my generalizations may be useful for you in dealing with this issue with your husband.
First of all, you need to understand that circumcised men are cornered on this issue. They were circumcised without their consent and have no inherent knowledge of what being intact is like. Even though they rarely will discuss the issue, they are keenly aware that they have been surgically altered in a very private way. There are several ways for a man to deal with this issue but the safest way, psychologically speaking, is to believe at all cost that the surgery performed on them was an enhancement and is preferred by women. Confirmation of this belief is essential to their sexual self-image. Do I need to tell you that sexual self-image is a major issue for men? Didn’t think so.
Now put yourself in the shoes of the circumcised man. He asks for very little. All he wants is football on Sunday and to be assured that there is nothing wrong with his package. A nice bonus would be that women actually prefer it the way it is. Then along comes the newly pregnant wife and the issue of circumcision is no more personal to her than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and she starts openly discussing it with him with all the casualness that she would with her gal pals down at the salon. Yikes! Batten down the hatch. Incoming torpedo!!!! At first the strategy is to dismiss her without appearing to be alarmed. He’ll probably toss back the usual "It's not clean" or "That could cause health problems" hoping this will scare her off since he assumes she’s heard those things before. He won’t seem particularly disturbed at first. Its part of being a man to not show vulnerability.
If this doesn’t work and the wife mentions that she heard otherwise, he’ll be shifting uncomfortably in his chair just a little but still keep his cool. At this point he may try plan B which is to make fun of you for your silly ideas. Maybe make a joke about turtlenecks. If you persist, he’ll bring out the ol’ "I want him to be like me" knowing you women are suckers for us men when we talk of bonding and emotional attachment - any kind. Finally, if this doesn’t work, he’s probably going to relate some made up or exaggerated story from his school days when some uncircumcised kid at school was teased mercilessly until he circ’d himself right in the middle of Shop class. The resulting low mark the kid received in Shop kept him out of Harvard and he had to settle for a life as a carnival worker. Do you REALLY want that for your son?
If you haven’t given in by this time, he is probably now showing signs of agitation. You’re close to getting the ol’ "I have the penis so I have the last word!" Most men won’t go beyond this point in the discussion. They will clam up and refuse to discuss it any more. If he’s particularly panicked, he’ll probably enlist the help of sympathetic family members or friends to weigh in on what a mistake it would be not to circumcise your son."...
Going into the discussion, you’ll be much better off knowing what’s really bothering him. Trust me, he really doesn’t give a hooey whether his son’s penis looks like his. What is important is that his bulb is not dimmed. Probably not a good idea to refer to the practice in initial discussions as genital mutilation (although it certainly is that). The thing that you need to get across to him with all your female charm is that you love him EXACTLY the way he is and wouldn’t change a thing. In other words, I think the best strategy is probably to build him up as high as you can before lowering this boom on him. The ship can only take a hit so big before going under. So get your armor out and start fortifying his self-image. What means everything to him is that he is the best lover and provider that you could ever hope for. "
 So if you're concerned about having this difficult discussion with your other half, I highly recommend reading the above articles.... and maybe having him read The Daddy Experience
It's a touchy subject, but you owe it to your future sons to have this discussion Now, before the whirlwind of birth.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

"The Daddy Experience"

This is a fantastic blog written by a dad who stood his ground and protected his new born son from circumcision. Pass it around- we need more daddys talking about it and telling their story to the world!!

Just to be fair, I'm circumcised

Jackson was born healthy. Ten little fingers. Ten little toes. Two monster testicles and one perfect little schlong. Nicole and I decided to NOT go medieval on Jackson’s member, leaving it intact as nature intended. At the beginning of Nicole’s pregnancy the issue came up, and I was staunchly against playing snip-snip on my son’s new baby flesh. Nicole, at first, was in favor of circumcision. She’s a nurse, but there is no biology class in the world that could educate her on ownership of male genitalia.

As we waited for Jackson’s arrival, Nicole would drop bits of cock carving info on me from time to time. The most commonly cited medical grounds are reduced risk of urinary tract infection, reduced risk of penile cancer, and reduced risk in AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. I stood my ground. I would not be swayed by medical fear mongers. Especially since the medical reasons just don’t ad up. According to the American Cancer Society only 290 men will die in 2008 from penile cancer. We might as well just scratch that one off the list. Fear of the other reasons just adds up to lazy parenting. Instead of slicing your little man’s little man, be a good parent and teach your kid crotch hygiene, and sexual safety. I really feel that parents who would sooner subject their children to an unnecessary medical procedures rather than educate their children on health issues are the same shitty parents who use the TV as a baby sitter, and candy as a pacifier.

What are some of the other reasons we humans disfigure our children? Religious and cultural...of course.

Religious. Well, I guess if you are Jewish, and dinky dissection is something you really believe your God wants, then go for it. Personally, I can’t figure out why God would want you to cut off something he just gave your son. I’m Buddhist, and my spiritual beliefs are strictly at odds with foreskin amputation of a human being unless that decision is self-made.

Cultural. “I don’t want my son’s penis to look different than mine” or “I don’t want my son to feel different in the locker room” are shit reasons. To all the dads out there: Get over yourself! Just because your parents mutilated you doesn’t mean you have to pass on the love. My father was not circumcised, and when I was born he gave in to my mother’s wishes to take off my skin hat. I didn’t look like him, and I never felt bad about that. What I did feel bad about was that my parents cared so little about the top 10% of my penis that they threw it away with my first roommate, the placenta. As far as the locker room goes, I plan on explaining this whole societal mind-fuck to my son. He’ll understand that the other boys look different because their mothers simply don’t love them. Look, it’s way more likely that kids are going to tease your child because he is fat or skinny, tall or short. Please don’t use this as an excuse to rip the cover off his little rod....

...Ultimately, little boys are human beings, not property. I say teach them the options, and let’s see how many 18 year olds choose to go under the knife. I wish I had the option.

What they cant' give back

After writing my previous Blog- "New ACOG guidlines for VBAC births"- I sat at the computer and once the initial high of elation had worn off, I had a bit of a sad.  I stared at the words on the screen and thought to myself "how many women out there are reading this news with a sense of unbearable sadness for the births they didn't have.  Couldn't have.  Because last week these people and their grand pronouncements said they couldn't."  Five months ago I fought tooth and nail, and had to signed a stack of waivers pretty much as tall as my eldest son, to have a VBAC birth.  And I live in Canada and have the good fortune to have a Charter of Rights that gives me the legal Right to refuse a surgeons knife, I can't imagine  how my American sisters feel.

We, the women and mothers, have been  telling them for years. We have been in a ridiculous battle against the "powers that be" to be able to birth our babies OUR way.  To follow our intuition and allow ourselves the  dignity of choosing where, when and how we will give birth. It has ALWAYS been OUR births. We shouldn't of needed a big green light from a commercially motivated "association" (just another word for "corporation") to tell us this- to allow this to be denied to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of mothers!!

Sad.  It really is.

Then I read Mama Births article on the topic, and she sums it all up soooooo well:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

ACOG Still Sucks

The road to hell is lined with the heads of card carrying members of ACOG. Step softly, they often carry knifes.

They think they know what is best for you, and because they are doctors, they are used to being listened too.

I am happy today to hear the news that ACOG has made a new statement about VBAC. You can read the statement here. I know I sound negative about something that is actually WONDERFUL news for the VBACing natural childbirth community. It is just fantastic that ACOG is coming out in support of the relative safety of VBAC.

Despite how great this news is I simply can not bring myself to praise ACOG. I am glad that they are finally admitting what many women have known for years now, that having a vaginal birth after a Cesarean birth is possible, doable and SAFE.
So I am glad that ACOG has had a change of heart, that they recognize that the c-section rate is too high and that VBAC rates are too low. I am glad they are finally loosening their restrictions so that hopefully VBAC is more doable. But I don't really think they deserve any credit....

...Who deserves the credit for this change? VBACing women do.

Instead of praising ACOG for realizing that despite all the gobs of money they can make off of c-sections, their anti-evidence approach to VBAC is hurting them in the long run, I would like to praise all of the women out there who have fought for VBAC.

Thousands of women have fought, bled and died for this change to come about. They have gone through the stigma of birthing at home in order to have a birth that they chose. They have been attended by supportive midwives. Some of them have birthed unassisted. Some of them have had hospital births in hostile environments where they were disrespected but in the process have shown hospital staff that VBAC is possible.

These are the women who deserve the praise for this recent statement.

Not ACOG. To ACOG I want to say this:

What can you do for all of those women who were denied VBAC because of you? Can you remove their scars? Can you remove their fears? Can you give them their births back? Can you change what you have already done?

You can do none of these things. Thousands if not hundreds of thousands of women have already suffered at your hands. Many more will because of the refusal of many OB's within your community to even acknowledge these new recommendations. You can not fix the pain that you have caused.

Thank you ACOG for changing your policy.

Shame on you for all of the bad births, scars, pain, depression and death that have come at your hands because of your unwillingness to do this sooner.
 HERE to read the entire article on Mama Birth

Yes, Shame on ACOG (and SOGC) for their tyrannical disregard of women and babies. The mothers have won this battle... but not the war.  Oh yes, as I said in my earlier post, this war has only just begun.  Now the battle to get hospitals and doctors to FOLLOW these recommendations is about to begin....

New ACOG guidlines for VBAC births

*doin' the happy dance, doin' the happy dance*

This is so amazing that I'm literally grinning from ear to ear!!! Yesterday ACOG (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists... also known as "the Black Hats"...usually!) released a new set of Guidelines for VBAC births. And the news is Hip Hip Horay Goooooooood!!!

For Release: July 21, 2010

Ob-Gyns Issue Less Restrictive VBAC Guidelines
Washington, DC -- Attempting a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is a safe and appropriate choice for most women who have had a prior cesarean delivery, including for some women who have had two previous cesareans, according to guidelines released today by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The cesarean delivery rate in the US increased dramatically over the past four decades, from 5% in 1970 to over 31% in 2007. Before 1970, the standard practice was to perform a repeat cesarean after a prior cesarean birth. During the 1970s, as women achieved successful VBACs, it became viewed as a reasonable option for some women. Over time, the VBAC rate increased from just over 5% in 1985 to 28% by 1996, but then began a steady decline. By 2006, the VBAC rate fell to 8.5%, a decrease that reflects the restrictions that some hospitals and insurers placed on trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC) as well as decisions by patients when presented with the risks and benefits.
"The current cesarean rate is undeniably high and absolutely concerns us as ob-gyns," said Richard N. Waldman, MD, president of The College. "These VBAC guidelines emphasize the need for thorough counseling of benefits and risks, shared patient-doctor decision making, and the importance of patient autonomy. Moving forward, we need to work collaboratively with our patients and our colleagues, hospitals, and insurers to swing the pendulum back to fewer cesareans and a more reasonable VBAC rate."
In keeping with past recommendations, most women with one previous cesarean delivery with a low-transverse incision are candidates for and should be counseled about VBAC and offered a TOLAC. In addition, "The College guidelines now clearly say that women with two previous low-transverse cesarean incisions, women carrying twins, and women with an unknown type of uterine scar are considered appropriate candidates for a TOLAC," said Jeffrey L. Ecker, MD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and immediate past vice chair of the Committee on Practice Bulletins-Obstetrics who co-wrote the document with William A. Grobman, MD, from Northwestern University in Chicago.
VBAC Counseling on Benefits and Risks
"In making plans for delivery, physicians and patients should consider a woman's chance of a successful VBAC as well as the risk of complications from a trial of labor, all viewed in the context of her future reproductive plans," said Dr. Ecker. Approximately 60-80% of appropriate candidates who attempt VBAC will be successful. A VBAC avoids major abdominal surgery, lowers a woman's risk of hemorrhage and infection, and shortens postpartum recovery. It may also help women avoid the possible future risks of having multiple cesareans such as hysterectomy, bowel and bladder injury, transfusion, infection, and abnormal placenta conditions (placenta previa and placenta accreta).
Both repeat cesarean and a TOLAC carry risks including maternal hemorrhage, infection, operative injury, blood clots, hysterectomy, and death. Most maternal injury that occurs during a TOLAC happens when a repeat cesarean becomes necessary after the TOLAC fails. A successful VBAC has fewer complications than an elective repeat cesarean while a failed TOLAC has more complications than an elective repeat cesarean.
Uterine Rupture
The risk of uterine rupture during a TOLAC is low—between 0.5% and 0.9%—but if it occurs, it is an emergency situation. A uterine rupture can cause serious injury to a mother and her baby. The College maintains that a TOLAC is most safely undertaken where staff can immediately provide an emergency cesarean, but recognizes that such resources may not be universally available.
"Given the onerous medical liability climate for ob-gyns, interpretation of The College's earlier guidelines led many hospitals to refuse allowing VBACs altogether," said Dr. Waldman. "Our primary goal is to promote the safest environment for labor and delivery, not to restrict women's access to VBAC."
Women and their physicians may still make a plan for a TOLAC in situations where there may not be "immediately available" staff to handle emergencies, but it requires a thorough discussion of the local health care system, the available resources, and the potential for incremental risk. "It is absolutely critical that a woman and her physician discuss VBAC early in the prenatal care period so that logistical plans can be made well in advance," said Dr. Grobman. And those hospitals that lack "immediately available" staff should develop a clear process for gathering them quickly and all hospitals should have a plan in place for managing emergency uterine ruptures, however rarely they may occur, Dr. Grobman added.
The College says that restrictive VBAC policies should not be used to force women to undergo a repeat cesarean delivery against their will if, for example, a woman in labor presents for care and declines a repeat cesarean delivery at a center that does not support TOLAC. On the other hand, if, during prenatal care, a physician is uncomfortable with a patient's desire to undergo VBAC, it is appropriate to refer her to another physician or center.
Practice Bulletin #115, "Vaginal Birth after Previous Cesarean Delivery," is published in the August 2010 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
 HERE to go to the original Release by ACOG

What does this mean for women birthing in America with a previous Caesarean section scar?   ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network..also known as "the White Hats")  breaks it down this way:

ACOG states that VBAC is a safe and reasonable option for most women, including some women with multiple previous cesareans, twins and unknown uterine scars.  ACOG also states that respect for patient autonomy requires that even if an institution does not offer trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC), a cesarean cannot be forced nor can care be denied if a woman declines a repeat cesarean during labor.
“ACOG’s updated recommendations for VBAC are much more in line with the published medical research and echo what ICAN has stated for years .” says Desirre Andrews, President of ICAN.  “The benefits of VBAC cannot be overstated and if ACOG is truly ‘serving as a strong advocate for quality health care for women’ then this is a long overdue action on their part.”
ICAN hopes ACOG’s new VBAC guidelines will enable women to find the support and evidence-based care that they need and deserve.  Every woman must understand the capabilities and limitations of the  care provider and facility she chooses.  Less restrictive access to VBAC will lead to lower risks to mothers and babies from accumulating cesareans.  However, more than a revision of the VBAC Practice Bulletin is required to reverse the over a decade long trend of increasing cesarean rates and decreasing VBAC rates.  ICAN challenges ACOG to take an active role in educating both women and practitioners about healthy childbirth practices; practices that not only encourage VBAC but discourage the overuse of primary cesareans....

And what does this mean for Canadians (and possibly citizens of other countries like Canada)?  Well seeing as the Canadian medical associations seem to live in the back pockets of similar American organizations, I'm strongly suspecting that the trickle method will apply here, and soon Canada's SOGC (Society of Obstetritians and Gynaecologists of Canada...also known as the "black hats"), will respond with their own version of VBAC guidlines that will help to unfetter women and give at least some power back to make their own decisions on when, where, and how they will birth!!!

But, while I'd like to bask in the knowledge that a step has been taken in the right direction, this is no time for birth advocates to sit back and take a vacation.  We still need to have these "recommendations" enforced, and turn the tide to save women from being cut in the first place.   There is no rest for the advocate and the actvist.

Baby Friendly Initiative Conference & EXPO 2010

The Ontario Breastfeeding Committee is hosting a BFI EXPO 2010 on November
18th at the Halton Regional Administration Building, Oakville. The
conference goals are to :

* highlight the optimal biological and social environments that
mothers and babies share
* provide guidance on the BFI accreditation process
* provide opportunities to network and share resources supportive of
the Baby-friendly Initiative.

We are pleased to have Dr. Jean Clinton, Marianne Brophy and Frank Agguire
to help us meet out goals. As well, community and hospital BFI panel members
will address questions and provide guidance on how they achieved their BFI
designation. If you would like,please indicate specific questions for
discussion on your registration form.

Plan to register for a display table to highlight your organizations
accomplishments. As well, on November 17th, you are invited for a networking
supper at a local restaurant.

For more information on the day and to register, a conference brochure can
be found on the newly revised Ontario Breastfeeding Committee Website at

The OBC BFI EXPO 2010 Planning Committee

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Breastfeeding reduces risk of SIDs by 50%

American Academy of Paediatrics  recommends marketing breastfeeding to reduce the risk of SIDs..... how about they throw in reducing the risks of certain cancers, obesity, juvenile diabetes,  asthma and allergies, ear infections and digestive disorders.... to name but a few.  How about they market breastfeeding as the NORMAL way to feed your baby?  Even better, how about they just tell the truth about the risks of infant formulas?

...or better yet, how about they push to have the WHO code put into law and protect the lives of babies from unethical marketing and the propaganda from infant formula companies?

Well, I guess it's a start.  Baby steps forward are better than giant steps backwards.


Does Breastfeeding Reduce the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome? 

BACKGROUND. In the last 20 years, the prevention campaigns to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome were very successful. In some countries the advice to breastfeed is included in the campaigns' messages, but in other countries it is not.

OBJECTIVE. To examine the association between type of infant feeding and sudden infant death syndrome.
METHODS. The German Study of Sudden Infant Death is a case-control study of 333 infants who died of sudden infant death syndrome and 998 age-matched controls.
RESULTS. A total of 49.6% of cases and 82.9% of controls were breastfed at 2 weeks of age. Exclusive breastfeeding at 1 month of age halved the risk, partial breastfeeding at the age of 1 month also reduced the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, but after adjustment this risk was not significant. Being exclusively breastfed in the last month of life/before the interview reduced the risk, as did being partially breastfed. Breastfeeding survival curves showed that both partial breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding were associated with a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
CONCLUSIONS. This study shows that breastfeeding reduced the risk of sudden infant death syndrome by ~50% at all ages throughout infancy. We recommend including the advice to breastfeed through 6 months of age in sudden infant death syndrome risk-reduction messages.
 HERE to read the original article


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Circumcision clamp is "painless and safe" when used properly..".. MY ASS!!

THIS is why parents need to be fully informed about the risks of  Male Circumcision.  THIS is why we need to keep posting articles and keep telling the government that male circumcision NEEDS to be banned!!!  Circumcision IS torture- whether its done to girls or boys.

Atlanta lawyer wins $11 million lawsuit for family in botched circumcision

The maker of an instrument used in circumcisions claimed that injury was impossible with its use, but after an infant lost a portion of his penis during an operation with the Mogen clamp, a judge awarded $10.8 million in damages against the company.
The judgment handed down Friday in New York involves an Atlanta lawyer who has been crusading against circumcision as a dangerous and unnecessary practice....
The baby in the current case, identified in court documents only as L.G., lost the entire glans, or head, of his penis after it was pulled into the jaws of the clamp, according to a federal magistrate's order. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein ordered Mogen Circumcision Instruments of New York to pay $10.8 million in compensatory and punitive damages to the Florida boy, now 3, and his parents.

Unfortunately this family will never see a red cent of this money as the maker of the circumcision clamp that was use is now going bankrupt .  To add insult to injury, a staff member commented that  the Mogen clamp is "painless and safe" when used properly. The case involving the Florida boy was "unfortunate," she said, adding that "any medical mishap is unfortunate."....

"UNFORTUNATE"?!?!?          Unbefreakinleavable!!!

Llewellyn won another circumcision case in 2009 over an operation at South Fulton Medical Center. In that case, which involved a baby identified only as D.P. Jr., the mother contended that the doctor who circumcised him removed too much tissue and that his pediatrician failed to respond when a nurse complained of excessive bleeding.
The tip of the penis was placed in a biohazard bag and might have been reattached if he'd gotten attention in time, Llewellyn said in 2009. His lawsuit in New York says D.P. Jr. lost a third of his glans....
...In Friday's decision, the court determined that Mogen had to pay for medical expenses and for the years of psychotherapy that will be needed. The boy suffers pain when he urinates, the court order says. He will eventually be able to have sex, but he is likely to be embarrassed and will likely have trouble forming "meaningful" relationships with girls, it adds. "At 3 years old, L.G. is aware that he looks different from other boys based on both his own observations and comments from other children which make him feel inferior ."

HERE to read the entire article

Monday, July 19, 2010

"Do babies feel pain?" My response.

Warning, this picture will make you cry.

Gloria Lemay, long L O N G  time intactivist posts a blog about the pain of circumcision (below).  One of the comments below the article struck a cord in me:

"Advocacy & guilt - I was wondering, I am staunchly against circumcision in both boys and girls, but standing up and advocating against male circumcision has the potential to seriously offend not only my close girlfriends who have circ’ed their babies, but men who are circ’ed and are offended that I take such a strong view against it. How do you handle these two situations when you advocate against circumcision? I am not interested in guilting mothers who have already had this procedure performed on their children, but desperate to raise awareness and stop the assumptions and misinformation surrounding male circumcision. Your thoughts are welcome!"

As I've said on many previous blogs about MGM, I suffer the guilt of knowing that I allowed my beautiful perfect eldest son to have his foreskin cut off. I will live with that guilt till then end of time. But I would not be the staunch intactivist that I am today if it wasn't for two friends who explained to me many years ago about the horrific torture that is male circumcision and showed me the information that said that it was an unnecessary surgery. Was I instantly enlightened?  Did I immediately see the errors of my ways?  No.  At first I refused to believe them, but the question had been planted.  That question nagged at me. Nag Nag Nag.  So in an effort to alleviate my own building sense of guilt and to hopefully find  something that would prove that I did the right thing, I started to research. And the more I researched, the more horrified I became.  The guilt came crashing down.

But here's the thing.  I had a choice.  Now that I had this information, I could either:

A- Completely deny the truth and pretend that I was right by convincing  myself that I DID make the right decision to circumcise my son.

B- Completely accept the truth of what I had done and use my newly acquired enlightenment to reach out to others.

I could of chosen to rail against my friends, taking my hidden guilt out on them, refusing to admit that I had made a mistake, but instead I choose to accept my mistake, to own it and learn from it. I choose to tell others about the horrible thing that I did to my 3 day old son, so that THEY will know that THEY do not have to make the same mistake, that THEY also can change their stand on circumcision, that THEY do not have to continue to perpetuate this atrocity on other sons that they might have in the future. I am more than happy to share my story and my guilt to insure that other parents and their innocent babies do not have to suffer the way that my son and I have. My guilt has given me the passion to speak out and share my knowledge where ever possible.

It's not easy taking the difficult road and being the one that speaks out against so many things that society accepts as "normal".  When I post on public forums about the risks of medical interventions in childbirth, about the horrors of circumcision, about the evil marketing ploys of infant formula companies, I am ridiculed and ostracised by many many mothers/parents. It's not fun.  But in the end, I know that my posts have helped many many families onto the road to education and to making  truly informed decisions for themselves and their children.  If I can help even one person with my words, then I'll continue telling my story and spreading the correct information far and wide whenever I can. And I will tell you something: Hearing just one person say "Thank you so much for helping me" can make all the negativity that that has been dumped by those not willing to hear the truth or to admit that they were wrong completely disappear. 

So don't be afraid to speak out.  Don't be afraid to share your knowledge.  If your friends and family can not accept your decisions and your passion, then they have the choice of not reading your words and igoring your message.  Its'a free world and we can't change everyone.  But you never know when your words might be the seed to greater learning later on.!!

Do Babies Feel Pain? This one does

This photo says more than any doctor, nurse, or parent could about the human rights violation that male genital mutilation entails.
Prior to this awful device crushing the foreskin, the other clamp that is hanging off to the side was used to ream around inside the foreskin to separate the skin from the glans. The newborn foreskin is adhered to the glans like your fingernail is adhered to the finger. That procedure is pure torture, too. 

HERE to go to the original blog post by Gloria Lemay

Sunday, July 18, 2010

IKEA and Nestle

Well I must say that I'm seriously disappointed.  Yesterday our family went to IKEA and while we were there we hit their restaurant for a bite to eat.  I went through the line and there it was in the drinks cooler:  Nestle Pure Life Water. My heart thudded to my feet and my love of IKEA wavered almost to the breaking point.  Nestle water.  And that was the only choice. Almost.  We drank tap water instead, and I told the restaurant manager exactly why.

What is the most disappointing thing about this is that IKEA well publicizes their Social Initiatives.

IKEA Social Initiative

IKEA Social Initiative sides with the many children

IKEA believes that home is the most important place in the world, and children are the most important people in the world.

That’s why IKEA Social Initiative wants to make a difference for millions of children in need around the world by reducing malnutrition and infant disease, and by dramatically improving literacy.

IKEA Social Initiative works together with partners such as UNICEF and Save the Children. We support projects that benefit an estimated 100 million children!

Together we create a better everyday life for the many children.


In the mid 1990s, IKEA and many other companies became acutely aware of wide-spread child labour in South Asia. This was the starting point for IKEA’s fight against child labour in the supply chain. As a first step, IKEA worked with Save the Children to help formulate a child labour code of conduct, "The IKEA Way on Preventing Child Labour," which clearly states that all actions taken shall be in the best interests of the child. With that in mind, IKEA knew it was not enough to simply monitor compliance at IKEA suppliers but wanted to extend its commitment to the communities beyond the factory gates.

The approach

The IKEA Social Initiative is focused on children's right to a healthy and secure childhood with access to quality education. Our main partners are the two leading global organisations for children's rights, UNICEF and Save the Children.

IKEA Social Initiative shares common values with its partners and those values begin with children. The IKEA Social Initiative invests in a range of programmes with a holistic approach to create a substantial and lasting change in the lives of children and women; improving their health, enabling access to a quality education for children, and empowering women to create a better future for themselves and their communities.

We are in this for the long haul with substantial and long-term investments in children, believing that we must work for the many children, and the needs of the children who are most in need must be addressed.

The IKEA Social Initiative believes that many small steps yield big results and takes its lead from IKEA’s core values in striving to invest in simple, cost effective and meaningful approaches.

IKEA Social Initiative has chosen to concentrate its long-term commitments on South Asia, and especially India, where the needs of children and women are great, and where IKEA has long business experience"

HERE to view the original web page 

Besides their so called "Social Initiatives", IKEA also proclaims that enforces a strict code of conduct on themselves and their suppiers . Claiming that IKEA:
"works proactively to prevent corruption and illegal activities and disassociates itself from corruption in any form, whether direct or indirect. We have a corruption policy, Rules of Prevention of Corruption, and an investigation policy that clearly states what co-workers should do if they suspect corruption, fraud or other illegal behaviour. Our position is clarified in a vendor letter which must be signed by our suppliers and an IKEA representative. 
 Well it would seem that IKEA's idea of corruption and safe working conditions,including the prevention of child labour, isnt' the same as mine.
How can a company, like IKEA, that proclaims that they side with the children and are opposed to child slavery in developing nations allow a black listed company like Nestle- the most Boycotted company in the world!- to market their water to families and children in their stores?!  I can not fathom their reasoning, nor how they can consciously create this sort of marketing tie between themselves and Nestle, and yet still expect us to believe that their social initiatives are real and not just some marketing scam.... like the types of scams and spin doctoring utilized by Nestle to try to convince the world that they "care"!!!!

I think that another letter writing campaign is in order- one geared towards getting IKEA to remove Nestle from their shelves. Starting with deluging IKEA with emails about their choice of bed mates by choosing Nestle as their water supplier.  |Unfortunately I was unable to get an email address, but here is the link to the "contact us" page on the IKEA website:

If you write to IKEA, be sure to forward a copy of your email to:
Canada: INFACT Canada
UK: Baby Milk Action

For more information on the Nestle Boycott please visit these links:

Baby Wearing, Properly and Safely!

 Wearing your baby is the best way to keep baby close while giving you the ability to go about your daily routines without undue stress on your arms and back.  But Safety is Key! Baby carriers save mom and dad's back and arms and make life so much simpler with a small baby (and toddlers!), but like everything in life, it has to be done properly and safely. There are two very important factors to watch out for when wearing your baby:

1- insuring that their head is not slumped forward onto their chest, which can cause their airway to be restricted or even blocked.  This is the danger with slings like those made by Infantino which were recalled  due to several deaths of infants.

2-not carrying the baby with their legs hanging straight down, like the positioning in the Baby Bjorn, Jolly Jumper,and Snuggly  carriers. Whether using these carriers facing you or outwards (forward facing), these carriers leave the babies legs hanging straight down. This puts too much stress on the babies hips and lower spine.

On  Peaceful Parenting Dr. Momma writes about the proper positions for baby wearing safely:

Babywearing: Proper Positioning

Article and Image from Tadpoles & Butterflies
posted with permission
This positioning applies to any carrier – ring sling, pouch, wrap, mei tai & soft structured (buckle) carriers and to babies of all ages. If the carrier does not allow for this positioning, it is not a suitable carrier. Older babies/toddlers should be carried in this same position on your hip or your back.

We recommend always ensuring that your baby is positioned in your carrier as follows:

~ Vertically, on your chest, with baby’s bum at or above your navel
~ Knees above bum, in a frog legged or M position
~ Spine rounded
~ Head turned to the side, with baby’s chin well above his chest to avoid closure of the airway
~ The fabric of the carrier needs to be properly tightened to support your baby in this position. Fabric should be spread from one knee to the other and must not block the baby’s mouth or nose in any way.

You may notice that the manufacturer’s instructions provided with your carrier suggest positioning that does not meet these requirements - forward facing or cradle positions specifically. We recommend against wearing your baby in either of those positions.

Research consistently shows that when babies are held vertically, skin to skin, on a parent’s chest, their heart rate, respiratory rate & temperature are regulated.* Additionally, they cry less, breastfeed more effectively, and develop quicker and more optimally.* Dr Nils Bergman, a physician and scientist who has extensively studied the beneficial practice of keeping babies in their natural habitat (vertically, between their mother's breasts), says, "The baby is in the right place and therefore has the right behavior."...
 HERE to read the entire article on Peaceful Parenting

The Baby Wearer also writes another excellent article on the safe use of slings, answering the constant demand for information that they have been receiving since the wave of bad publicity a few months ago when the Infantino slings were recalled.

CPSC and Infant Sling Safety

In light of the recent advisory by Consumer Product Safety Commission regarding baby sling safety, Babywearing International would like to remind caregivers that wearing an infant in a well-constructed carrier and using proper babywearing techniques are of utmost importance. When done properly, babywearing is a very safe and beneficial parenting tool.

When caregivers learn to use their carriers properly while keeping safety and common sense in mind, babywearing can be just as safe, or safer, as carrying a baby in-arms. At BWI, we view babywearing as a skill that can be learned: many volunteers across the United States and throughout the world are committed to helping mothers learn baby carrier safety and proper babywearing methods.

"Slings are wonderful parenting tools when used properly and safely." said Dr. Lois Balster, a pediatrician and a member of BWI's board of directors. "Using a sling incorrectly is not unlike using an infant car seat without proper installation, infant positioning, and restraints. It is always important to position your baby safely in any carrier or infant-carrying device."

A correctly-used baby carrier's positioning should mimic how you would hold a baby in your arms. A normal in-arms holding position is fairly snug to your chest and somewhat close to your face ("Close Enough to Kiss"). Babywearing advocates have been teaching about the importance of correct newborn positioning for years and warning against the use of slings that do not allow for safe wearing positions....

HERE to read the entire article on The Baby Wearer

HERE is also a link to an excellent PDF article with pictures showing the correct positions for babies in various carriers.

Both Peaceful Parenting and The Baby Wearer have excellent resources for wearing your baby.  Baby Wearers also has probably the most comprehensive list of links to information about how to choose a carrier, "How To" videos and pictures, and instructions from many users for making your own carriers with many many designs to choose from.

Finally, if you have a  Mother-In-Law/Sister/Cousin/Neighbour who constantly tells you that wearing your baby is not healthy and will foster a spoiled insecure child, read Helen Schwalme's article on Natural Mothering about Babywearing:

Why should we carry babies?


A newborn is completely defenseless and is also completely dependant on someone else to meet all of his/her needs. Imagine knowing that and being put down and left alone. How would you feel? How would you know that this person would ever come back again? What if they just left you alone, hungry and scared? On the other hand, what if you were always with your mother, snuggled up securely on her chest where you could feel her heart beating, smell her familiar scent and be close to your food source? Do you not think that this baby would learn that his/her needs will be met, and will learn to trust, resulting in a child that will feel more confident to move away from his/her mother when older? It makes sense when you think about it. A baby who is left alone in a crib, car seat or bassinet for extended periods, who does not have his/her needs met, immediately will either learn to scream louder or, even worse, will shut down.

5 reasons to wear your baby

  1. Wearing your baby gives you your hands back. Do you wonder how you will make dinner, do laundry, vacuum or shop with a new baby? Wearing your baby in a carrier will free your hands for other tasks.
  2. Wearing your baby makes for a happier baby. Studies have shown that babies who are carried are happier. They cry less and are generally calmer. Crying is stressful for both parents and babies, and stress hormones can cause long term damage to a baby's developing brain
  3. Wearing your baby is good exercise for you! New mums find it hard to fit in exercise, but if you carry your growing baby in a sling all day or go for a brisk walk you will be getting good exercise and can nurture your baby at the same time.
  4. Wearing a baby is a great bonding tool for dads, grandparents and other care givers too. New fathers sometimes complain they feel “left out” when mum is breastfeeding, but wearing the baby in a sling is a great way for Dads to bond with their babies. The baby will become accustomed to the sound of Dad's voice and heartbeat, to his smell and let’s face it, who doesn’t think it’s cute to see a Dad walking down the street wearing a baby? Smile
  5. Wearing your baby keeps them in a safe place. The world is a scary, noisy place for a baby. Being worn in a carrier provides the baby with a sense of security and comfort. They are not at the same level as exhaust fumes as they are in a stroller and they maintain the connection to their parent that is not possible in forward-facing strollers and car seat carriers.
HERE to read the entire article on Natural Mothering

But a WARNING:.... Baby wearing is addictive!  and baby carriers can easily become an obsession!! Just ask me and I'll show you my closet full of slings and wraps!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

UK study on Kangaroo Care for preemie babies

More and more good news in the world of baby wearing!!  A new study done in Kent UK shows that premature babies gain weight faster and get home sooner with the use of Kangaroo Care to keep the babies close to their mother, skin to skin.

As I wrote back in May 2010, Kangaroo Care is a way of nurturing a baby, to enhance skin-to-skin contact between the baby and the parent. The baby, wearing only a diaper, is held upright against the parent’s bare chest. The term kangaroo care is used because the method is similar to how a baby kangaroo is nurtured by its mother - from the safe environment of the womb to the safe environment of the pouch where further maturation of the baby occurs. Skin-to-skin contact promotes more consistent heart and respiratory rates; it stabilizes oxygen needs; it aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels; it regulates body temperature; and improves weight gain and helps increase breast milk supply. All of which are vital for babies born  too early.

YAY for Baby Wearing!!!!

Babies gain from 'kangaroo' care study at Kent hospital

Carianne Hamilton with Humphrey Carianne Hamilton said she jumped at the chance to try the new method
The first minutes and hours after a baby is born are precious - it is the chance for a mother to bond with her child after months of expectation and the pressure of giving birth.
Now midwives in Kent are studying the use of a device which it is claimed can help babies born prematurely to put on weight and develop far quicker than if they were to stay in an incubator.
A simple sling, used to cradle the child as close to the mother's skin as possible, has been tested at the Pembury maternity unit near Tunbridge Wells since November.
About 90 mothers have made use of the sling, which is part of a method called Kangaroo Care, and the progress of their children has been monitored under a study looking at how particularly premature babies develop. The study will conclude next month.
So far the signs are that the scheme is bringing beneficial results.
Humphrey Hamilton was born on 28 December, six weeks before he was due.
His mother Carianne elected to use the sling in those early weeks.
"It was great to feel so close to him," she said.
"When it was offered to me to try I jumped at the chance."
Jean Meadows, a consultant midwife at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, said: "Normally we'd expect a child like Humphrey to spend several weeks with us... he went home within days."
It is also claimed that the sling encourages mothers to continue breastfeeding.
"There's been a lot of research elsewhere into Kangaroo Care for premature babies which shows that it can lead to a shorter hospital stay, more successful breastfeeding, less crying and more quiet sleep," consultant midwife Sarah Gregson said.
The hospital has established links with Craftaid, a Fairtrade charity based in Mauritius which makes the slings.
The plan now is that the Maidstone trust will act as a hub for the rest of the NHS and be able to commission more of the slings from the charity.