Search This Blog

Friday, November 26, 2010

Concern Raised by Health Canada's Press release- Milk Sharing

Concerns raised by Health Canada’s press release (issued Nov. 25, 2010)

by Emma Kwasnica on Friday, 26 November 2010 at 17:48
Health Canada Press Release can be found here:

Health Canada is not supporting Canadian mothers in its recommendations issued yesterday. The question is raised as to why Health Canada is advising women to use only processed breastmilk from a milk bank, especially when there is only one milk bank for all of Canada, and that the milk there is reserved for only the sickest premature babies. Health Canada has not, and is not, offering women guidelines and information that support milk sharing, and overtly states in the press release that Canadian women should not share their breastmilk.

Furthermore, the press release issued yesterday contradicts Health Canada's current policy. In 2004, Health Canada recommended exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age, and specifically refers to their goal of aligning with the WHO's policy on infant health. The Health Canada recommendation defines exclusive breastfeeding as: "Exclusive breastfeeding, based on the WHO definition [5], refers to the practice of feeding only breast milk (including expressed breast milk) and allows the baby to receive vitamins, minerals or medicine. Water, breast milk substitutes, other liquids and solid foods are excluded."
Exclusive Breastfeeding Duration - 2004 Health Canada Recommendation
ISBN: 0-662-37809-1Cat. No.: H44-73/2004E-HTMLHC Pub. No.: 4824© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2004

The WHO's definition of exclusive breastfeeding includes wet-nursing and using expressed (unprocessed) donor milk from another woman (when a woman's own breastmilk is not available). Therefore, Canadian mothers using other mothers' milk should not only be an acceptable option to Health Canada, but the preferred option over using infant formula.

From page 10 of the WHO document entitled 'Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding' (, under the heading "Exercising other feeding options", it states:

18. The vast majority of mothers can and should breastfeed, just as the
vast majority of infants can and should be breastfed. Only under
exceptional circumstances can a mother’s milk be considered unsuitablefor her infant. For those few health situations where infantscannot, or should not, be breastfed, the choice of the bestalternative – expressed breast milk from an infant’s own mother,breast milk from a healthy wet-nurse or a human-milk bank, or abreast-milk substitute fed with a cup, which is a safer method thana feeding bottle and teat – depends on individual circumstances.

19. For infants who do not receive breast milk, feeding with a suitable
breast-milk substitute – for example an infant formula prepared in
accordance with applicable Codex Alimentarius standards, or a
home-prepared formula with micronutrient supplements – should
be demonstrated only by health workers, or other community workers
if necessary, and only to the mothers and other family members
who need to use it; and the information given should include adequate
instructions for appropriate preparation and the health hazards
of inappropriate preparation and use. Infants who are not
breastfed, for whatever reason, should receive special attention from
the health and social welfare system since they constitute a risk

Since banked (processed) human milk is not available to the vast majority of Canadian mothers, and the press release issued yesterday recommends against using another woman's breastmilk, one is left to infer that Health Canada is recommending formula as the next best option to a mother's own breastmilk. This is unacceptable and completely contravenes the WHO recommendations, as well as Health Canada’s own policy on infant feeding.

Yesterday's press release also included concern over pharmaceuticals in breastmilk; this warning is also in direct contrast with Health Canada's own statement on pharmaceuticals and breastfeeding, here:

(i) Drugs. Most prescription and over-the-counter drugs are minimally excreted through breast milk and are pharmacokinetically benign to the infant.

Finally, the press release refers to concerns about food poisoning related to pathogens that might be introduced to breastmilk while being expressed or after it has been expressed. This aspect of your advisory needs to be clarified immediately. Tens of thousands of women in Canada express breastmilk from their breasts and place it in containers and store it in coolers and refrigerators and freezers for later consumption by their own babies. Are you now recommending against this practice?

Health Canada says it is committed to food safety. Every year recommendations for Canadians on preparing turkey for safe consumption are issued.
You do not recommend that Canadians not share their turkey. You provide Canadians with safe turkey preparation guidelines in order to help ensure the safety of the people consuming their turkey dinners.

If you must recommend anything to Canadian woman about the practice of sharing milk, which is a food, please recommend evidence-based procedures for them to follow for the safe sharing of human milk. Do not hesitate to contact me should you require further information on this topic.

Emma Kwasnica, in Montreal

Amazing Water birth of Twins!

This is a lovely pictorial review of the natural home water birth of twins.  Birthed by mommy and daddy with midwives and family and friends WATCHING!  Hands off birth- with the second twin being born with an intact caul! Absolutely beautiful!!!!

Fixing the Licenced Medwife Problem

This is an excellent press release from Claire Hall- addressing the problem of some licensed midwives. Midwives- or medwives as I call some of them- are under the control of the Medical Machine and the patriarchal godhead that removes all control of birthing from the mother, pushing women through the obstetrical cookie cutter as fast as they can process them.

Some Midwives in Canada and America have fallen prey to the notion that birth is a medical procedure to be managed and controlled. I will not argue that having a midwife attended birth is far better than being dominated and suppressed by omnipotent doctors with a tee off time, but we need to ask ourselves:  is "Better" good enough?  Shouldn't we be striving for "best"?  Many of our licensed midwives do the best they can working within the parameters that they are "allowed", but when those parameters are set up by  oppressive medical associations that both fear and loathe free thinking women and uncontrolled birth, how are they to truly empower women to take charge of their births?  I have met so many wonderful midwives and been horrified by their stories of how hospital administrators and staff undermine their autonomy at every turn, throwing continuous obstacles in their way and raising the hurdles with every passing year. "Jump through this hoop or else!"..... is it any wonder that there are so many medwives now practising in our two countries?

The time has come to break the cycle of control.  The time has come for midwives to take back their power and use it to empower the women they serve.

MEDIA RELEASE: The Licensed Midwife Problem

by Claire Hall on Wednesday, 24 November 2010 at 18:09

Claire Hall invites the Trust Birth Initiative and all those who trust birth to end our medicalised midwife problem. It has been insidious in its encroachment of a woman’s right of autonomy over her own body, birth and baby.  “The pervasive need for licensure creates a one dimensional view of birth – that of treating everything as a potential life threatening emergency – while at the same time creating a legal mine field for practitioners and trampling underfoot the basic human rights of women,” said Claire Hall, a midwife and protector of women’s knowledge.
For decades, women have been subjected to navigating the above ground medical system and myriads of tests and interventions, all the while taking it on faith that their care provider is skilled at attending births. Our current birth statistics indicate clearly that they do NOT possess such skills.  Recent statistics in Australia alone indicate that 67% of women undergo some form of chemical induction/augmentation or major abdominal surgery. Depression and Post Traumatic Shock Syndrome statistics are continuing to rise, and mother/baby dynamics lay shattered all over the industrialised world. This disaster is has lifelong negative implications for the baby, for the mother, for the family, and ultimately for society.   We need to address this issue before the deceptive mantra of “licensed equals’ safety” permanently permeates the public’s conscientiousness.

These statistics reflect a common misconception that birth is inherently dangerous, and that a licensed professional in attendance eliminates this danger. This belief leads women into the hands of a medicalised system that does not understand or respect the true nature of physiological birth without ever realising that the true power and safety lies within themselves.  The knowledge of pregnancy, birth and mothering is the right of ALL women, and it has been progressively hidden from women by the medical profession with protocols and technology.

It is abundantly clear that legislation needs to be introduced to protect women and babies from such assaults and trauma, and all birth attendants must undergo accreditation from lay midwifes in how to sit on hands, and treat birthing mothers with the respect and authority they deserve.  It is the goal of Claire Hall, The Trust Birth Initiative and other representative bodies of women’s rights to ensure women all around the world – not just the 50 states of America – have equal access to safe and affordable pregnancy and birth choices.

Ensuring all birth attendants have a trust and sound knowledge of true physiological birth is the only way we can address this medicalisation of midwifery. The licensed Midwife problem is a pressing issue that needs to be dealt with as a matter of urgency, as true autonomy for women disappears conversely as the amount of licensed Midwives rise.

“It is tantamount to the future of this country, and indeed the world, that the knowledge and authority over birth be returned to the individual woman so that she may choose the safest option for her and her family,”said Claire Hall.

But there is HOPE!!!!

Gloria Lemay is holding midwifery classes- classes that will no doubt teach the true empowerment of women and the real necessary training and skills needed to be a MIDwife!!!  Her courses start in December and will cover these topics:

Dec 2 Female Pelvis-anatomy and physiology
Dec 9 Medical Terminology
Dec 16 Prenatal Clinic visit
Jan 6 Palpation, Blood pressure
Jan 13 Rh negative blood type
Jan 20 Fetal circulation
Jan 27 Pregnancy Induced Hypertension
Feb 3 Cervix—effacement, dilation
Feb 10 Confident nutrition counseling
Feb 17 Gestational diabetes prevention, screening
Feb 24 Anemia and blood work
March 3 Water birth
March 10 Genetics for midwives
March 17 Perineum, preventing tears
March 24 Newborn exam
March 31 Placenta (cut and clamp cord, examining)
April 7 Twins and breech presentations
April 14 Teaching childbirth education

And are you ready for this?  The cost of taking these courses is $7.99 per 60 min session. You can choose individual classes or the entire curriculum of 19 classes ($110)!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For more information about Gloria's amazing midwifery course, please go HERE

For more of Claire Hall's excellent writing, please go HERE

For more information about the wondrous phenomena called BIRTH please visit The Trust Birth Initiative

Thursday, November 25, 2010

CBC Radio portrays co-sleeping as dangerous

It would seem that not a year can go by without the media running their anti co-sleeping campaign.  It starts with one report and snowballs from there.  Unfortunately the media seldom does their homework nor do they seem capable of  analysing the statistics: any way you slice it, co-sleeping is SAFER for baby!!!! Yes there are safety guidelines that you need to follow to co-sleep safely with your baby, but that is the same with everything in life, isn't it?  All you need to do is to look at societies where sharing a family bed is the normal way of life and analyse their statistics on SIDs (Sudden Infant Death).  In Japan where co-sleeping and breastfeeding (in the absence of maternal smoking) is the cultural norm, rates of the sudden infant death syndrome are the lowest in the world!!  Dr. James Mckenna writes a brilliant article that outlines the vital necessity for babies to sleep next to their mothers in Cosleeping and Biological Imperatives: Why Human Babies Do Not and Should Not Sleep Alone

Many times when the topic of bed sharing or co-sleeping enters conversations someone will undoubtedly bring up "The Study".... the Study that has caused several media storms of negative articles about co-sleeping and the irresponsibility of parents who sleep with their babies.  This is a perfect example of how the media is unable to read a study and analyse it correctly, without letting their own personal bias come into play when they publish the report to the public.

This research study I am talking about came out in 1999 from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that showed 515 cases of accidental infant deaths occurred in an adult bed over an 8-year period between 1990 and 1997.  The media jumped on this (and has jumped on it again and again), using fear mongering  and sensationalism to proclaim loudly that sleep sharing and co-sleeping is unsafe.  But anyone with the ability to read facts and use logic would be able to see through the gigantic holes in this study and be capable of concluding that not only is the study flawed, but that the conclusions drawn from it are highly illogical.

Dr. William Sears discusses the glaringly illogical conclusions of this study, and more importantly brings to light a huge conflict of interest on his website.


the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that showed 515 cases of accidental infant deaths occurred in an adult bed over an 8-year period between 1990 and 1997. That's about 65 deaths per year. These deaths were not classified as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), where the cause of death is undetermined. There were actual causes that were verified upon review of the scene and autopsy. Such causes included accidental smothering by an adult, getting trapped between the mattress and headboard or other furniture, and suffocation on a soft waterbed mattress.
The conclusion that the researchers drew from this study was that sleeping with an infant in an adult bed is dangerous and should never be done. This sounds like a reasonable conclusion, until you consider the epidemic of SIDS as a whole. During the 8-year period of this study, about 34,000 total cases of SIDS occurred in the U.S. (around 4250 per year). If 65 cases of non-SIDS accidental death occurred each year in a bed, and about 4250 cases of actual SIDS occurred overall each year, then the number of accidental deaths in an adult bed is only 1.5% of the total cases of SIDS.
There are two pieces of critical data that are missing that would allow us to determine the risk of SIDS or any cause of death in a bed versus a crib.

  • How many cases of actual SIDS occur in an adult bed versus in a crib?
  • How many babies sleep with their parents in the U.S., and how many sleep in cribs?
The data on the first question is available, but has anyone examined it? In fact, one independent researcher examined the CPSC's data and came to the opposite conclusion than did the CPSC - this data supports the conclusion that sleeping with your baby is actually SAFER than not sleeping with your baby (see Mothering Magazine Sept/Oct 2002). As for the second question, many people may think that very few babies sleep with their parents, but we shouldn't be too quick to assume this. The number of parents that bring their babies into their bed at 4 am is probably quite high. Some studies have shown that over half of parents bring their baby into bed with them at least part of the night. And the number that sleep with their infants the whole night is probably considerable as well. In fact, in most countries around the world sleeping with your baby is the norm, not the exception. And what is the incidence of SIDS in these countries? During the 1990s, in Japan the rate was only one tenth of the U.S. rate, and in Hong Kong, it was only 3% of the U.S. rate. These are just two examples. Some countries do have a higher rate of SIDS, depending on how SIDS is defined.
Until a legitimate survey is done to determine how many babies sleep with their parents, and this is factored into the rate of SIDS in a bed versus a crib, it is unwarranted to state that sleeping in a crib is safer than a bed....
...A conflict of interest? Who is behind this new national campaign to warn parents not to sleep with their babies? In addition to the USCPSC, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) is co-sponsoring this campaign. The JPMA? An association of crib manufacturers. This is a huge conflict of interest. Actually, this campaign is exactly in the interest of the JPMA.
HERE to read the entire article

 So the next time someone tries to tell you that you are endangering the physical and emotional well being of your baby by cuddling up next to him all night, give them the facts!!!

Co-sleeping Unsafe?? Letter writing opportunity to CBC Radio: The Current!

by Gina Merlin on Thursday, 25 November 2010 at 13:51
This morning The Current ran an interview (Letters section, Nov. 25, 2010) that portrayed co-sleeping as dangerous and a practice that results in baby deaths. The one woman interviewed, Miranda Halladay, was responding to a story that aired last week on co-sleeping policy in PQ (I didn't catch that story). Mrs. Halladay shared her personal story of tragedy in the hospital, but the message was to extrapolate from this one experience to say co-sleeping is an unsafe choice, that mothers can choose whatever but they should know that their choice will lead to baby deaths. Her baby was born "textbook delivery" at hospital. The next day, she was very groggy with pain killers at the hospital. She was left alone to figure out breastfeeding. She nodded off. When she awoke the baby had been "smothered by my breast." They were able to revive the baby but he never recovered and died in 2002.

This woman's point of view was clearly biased by her personal tragedy, and her message was based on fear, not based on all the available information. In fact, I don't think this baby's death technically even describes co-sleeping or SIDS death, but rather there are many factors at play, not least of which must be the heavy sleep-inducing drugs this woman was on. In the context that this message will ill inform The Current's listeners, and may scare new parents or well-meaning friends and family unnecessarily out of becoming informed and making their own choice, as is their duty, I called to set the record straight. I believe parents should be supported in in becoming informed of factual info and making the *right* decision for themselves in each particular situation.

Additionally, as this woman's story indicates, many of these reported co-sleeping deaths are actually NOT co-sleeping according to anyone's guidelines ~ for example, deaths on couches. This evidence is confounding, and context is important. What we know is that co-sleeping CAN be safe, and certainly does have some benefits, especially for breastfeeding mothers-babies. Co-sleeping doesn't by definition even have to mean the baby is IN your bed (bedsharing), but rather is in the room and at arms reach. Co-sleeping encourages mother-baby awareness and as such the mother is aware of the sleep-wake state of her baby and is able to attend to the baby's immediate needs at any time. Further, for as many stories as you'll find against co-sleeping, you'll have as many co-sleeping parents report waking up to notice their baby is having a problem (unrelated to co-sleeping), and being able to respond right away and possibly save the child's life. Other factors at play include the stability and suitability of the sleeping surface, as well as not overwhelming the baby with blankets, pillows and stuff in the sleeping space (true also of crib-sleeping).  Another point, since bedsharing in hospital with newborn babies is a policy now encouraged on hospital birth and postpartum wards, this tells me this instance although tragic has not changed hospital policy against co-sleeping ... this policy is more prevelant, not less, since this baby's death in 2002.

It is my opinion that to not include these aspects of the decision making processes in this coverage of this parenting choice, and to indicate that co-sleeping is dangerous because of this woman's very sad and complicated anecdote, is not supportive of informed and empowered parenting and is not fair to the intelligent and capable listeners of this program. I expected better of this radio program, one I normally enjoy.

If you have an opinion, I hope you'll share it with The Current, or if you'd like to encourage a revisit of the topic from a more unbiased point of view ...
PLEASE WRITE to Anna Maria Tremonti at:
Contact Us:
Telephone:  Feedback line (877) 287-3700
Fax: (416) 205-6461
Twitter: @TheCurrentCBC

Thanks all, I thought you'd want to know about this opportunity to express some facts!


Listen to the Podcast:
Co-Sleeping: Quebec is grappling with the deaths of three infants ... each of whom were sleeping in their parents' beds. Last week on The Current, we weighed the risks and benefits of this practice. We heard some of your thoughts last week in the mail but there were a couple more letters we wanted to share.
We also received a letter from Miranda Halladay. Her son Rex died in 2002 as a result of co-sleeping. We reached her in Naramata, BC this morning. We always appreciate you hearing from you, contact us with you stories.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Milk Treats: A tasty way to boost your supply!

As many of you know, I've struggled with my milk supply since our youngest son was born just over 9 months ago.  The short story:  Kael was born with a tongue tie- I realized early on that his latch wasn't "perfect" but because I didn't have any pain I figured that it was fine..... then when he was 3 months old my milk supply almost completely tanked out and I was suddenly faced with a serious problem.  Kaels absolutely refused to nurse on my right breast, which had slower flow than the left, and the left breast wasn't not able to keep up to his voracious appetite.  Luckily I had an excellent support system and had lots of previous breastfeeding experience to fall back on to help me out.  My partner at Natural Mothering, Helen, is currently studying for her IBCLC at the Newman Breastfeeding Clinic & Institute with the world famous Dr. Jack Newman.  As soon as I realized how serious the problem was Helen immediate drove almost 2 hours to come see Kael and I and she discovered his tongue tie issues.  I am also lucky because I know Jack  and Edith Kernerman quite well and I was able to get into the clinic to see them right away.  At the NBCI Clinic Jack released Kael's tongue tie- which is a 10 second minor surgery called a Frenotomy- you can see a video clip of a TT release at the Newman clinic HERE.  Immediately Kael's latch improved significantly, but now the really hard work began:  to rebuild my milk supply.  I started taking Domperidone  and the recommended herbal supplements of Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle, and we worked on improving Kael's latch which would stimulate my breasts to produce more milk.  It was a long long journey that continues right to this day.

I learned some facts during all of this that have greatly changed my outlook and directed my steps to where I am today:
1- that it is a lot of work to change a baby's latch once they get to be older than a month or two- retraining the baby to latch is hard work!  This makes GOOD breastfeeding support immediately after birth so vital: we need babies to learn to latch the RIGHT way right from birth.
2- That if milk supply issues are not dealt with right away, it becomes far more difficult to rebuild a full supply.

I have had to finally admit that I will probably have to take Domperidone for the rest of my nursing relationship with my youngest son to support my milk production, But.... I have a few tricks up my sleeves that I'd like to share!!!

First of all, one of the most important things I have had to watch to keep up my milk supply is my water intake.  W.a.t.e.r.... not juice, not tea, not milk.... WATER. Every person is different and has different needs so what works for me might not work for everyone, BUT...... It's worth it to try my tricks!!  I drink about 3-4 litres of water every day, and if I don't - for whatever reason- I immediately notice a sudden drop in milk supply within12-18 hours. Another miracle milk maker is oatmeal!!  In previous times while breastfeeding my other children, if I ate a couple of bowls of oatmeal I would wake up the next day with melons on my chest!

A few months ago Peaceful Parenting posted a recipe for "Lactation Cookies" and I thought "Hmmmmmmm... I have a wicked granola bar recipe and I bet I could tweak it to make the perfect "Milk bar"!!!"  And so, that is what I'm going to post for you now: my tried and true "Milk Bars"!!!!  I have a hungry household that loves these granola bars so I always double this recipe.  You can also store the uncooked dough for a couple of days in the fridge, and a friend of mine has also stored uncooked dough in the freezer with excellent success.

Dani's Milk Bars

Cream together:

3/4 cup of butter or coconut oil and butter mix- half and half, or butter and peanut butter half and half
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar (or whatever sweetener you prefer- honey etc,)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp molassas
1 egg
3-4 tbs milk (if the mixture is too "dry" add a bit more milk one tablespoon at a time)

Mix in:

3/4 cup of flour
3 cups of oats- large flake- NOT quick oats!  or 2 cups of oats and 1 cup of steel cut oats
1 cup of ground flax seed
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup of sesame seeds
1/4 cup of dried coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seeds)
1/8 cup dried brewers yeast
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of nuts- optional
1/2 cup of dried cranberries/raisins/dried chopped fruit

This is a heavy dough to mix!  (hence the fact that my hubby gets to do this part of the job!)

Press dough into a parchment covered cookie sheet- about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick and try to keep the thickness even, lol,  and bake at 325 for 15- 20 minutes- depending on the size of your cookie sheet, the thickness of your bars  and whether you like them chewie or crisp.  Not only are these granola bars full of milk making goodness, they are delicious and full of protein and energy- a great snack for a busy nursing mother .... because we all know that we moms have a tendency to miss the odd breakkie and the occasional lunch!!  Having these handy has kept me from blood sugar crashes many many times!  (and my hubby loves them as a mid- afternoon snack for work!)

Another great way to add oatmeal into your daily meal plans is making your own granola cereal- it's very easy and is delicious by itself with milk, or on top of yogurt or fruit salad.  I even put some on my hot oatmeal to add a bit of crunch!

Dani's Coconut Granola Cereal

7 cups of large flake oats
1 cup ground flax seed
1 cup wheat germ
4 tbs brewers yeast
1 cup dried unsweetened coconut
1 cup of chopped nuts
1/2 cup of coconut milk (I use canned milk- taking the thickest coconut "cream" from the top to use)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup butter
1 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries, or rasins, or chopped dried fruit
1 cup of sunflower seeds
1/4 cup of sesame seeds

 - heat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

- In a large bowl, stir together the oats,and dry ingredients (exclusing dried fruit/rasins/cranberries). Divide between two large baking sheets, and spread into an even layer.
-Bake for 7 or 8 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly toasted- half way through shake the pan to stir up the mix.. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then return to the large bowl.

- While the oats are toasting, combine the coconut milk, coconut oil, butter and honey in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until it comes to a boil. Low boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the vanilla. Pour the syrup over the granola in the bowl, and stir until the dry ingredients are fully coated.

-Divide between the two baking sheets, and spread evenly. Bake for 8 minutes in the heated oven, or until fragrant and toasted. Cool in the pans, then mix in the dried cranberries. Store in an airtight container at room temperature....guaranteed to be yummy!!!

These are tasty ways to help boost your breastmilk supply!!  Combining with making sure that your baby has a good latch and following Dr. Jack Newman's instructions for herbal and natural supplements   should ensure that you have an excellent milk supply!!  For more information about achieving a good latch and how to initiate good breastfeeding positions, please visit where you can read Dr Jack Newmans excellent hand outs and watch video clips of babies latching and nursing!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"The Most Twisted Logic in the World"

One of the most well laid out articles I've read that analyses the ridiculousness of male circumcision and the twisted logic that has grown up to support this horrific practice. Any of my readers in areas of the world out side the US (and Canada to some extent) will no doubt be horrified by the fact that North American parents fall prey to this mangled logic daily, allowing their newborn boys to be put to the knife within hours of birth without giving even a seconds thought to what they are about to have done to their babies.  What is sadder is the fact that almost daily I hear from parents that doctors and medical staff are harassing new parents, assailing them on all sides with moments of birthing a baby boy, trying to convince them to amputate part of their sons penis with these ridiculous pieces of twisted logic.  It is bad enough when parents convince themselves of the necessity of this amputation, as I outlined in "5 Reasons Parents Give for Choosing Circumcision, and Why Those Reasons are not Valid ",  but when the medical practitioners who have vowed to honour the Hippocratic oath to "Do No Harm" actually bully uninformed parents into this horrific procedure against all recommendations of every medical association in the world....?!


It is up to parents to do their own research because unfortunately we can not rely on the medical machine to give us recommendations and opinions that are based on Actual logic and established medical studies.

....and isn't that a sad statement about the condition of our society in general?

Circumcision: The Most Twisted Logic in the World

By Clara Franco
This article was translated by the author and edited for It is available in Spanish here.

Let’s imagine for a moment the following series of situations at the doctor’s office.

Scenario 1:

-You: Doctor, now that my baby is crawling, his fingernails get SO filthy - full of dirt! Besides, it’s hard to cut them; it is so much trouble and takes so much time. Because of the dirt and bacteria getting under his nails, and then into his nose and mouth, he’s sick all the time and getting infections. What can I do?

-Doctor: Ma’am, the best solution would be to immediately schedule an appointment to cut your baby’s fingertips off. A solution to last a lifetime!

-You: What?! How can you even think I would cut off my son’s fingertips?

-Doctor: But this is very normal. Lots of moms do it now. It’s harmless, really! We only cut a little piece at the tip of the finger, a very small bit. Only the part where the nail begins to grow. His hands really work exactly the same; but you’ll spare yourself of the trouble of cleaning his nails and trimming them - forever! You won’t even need to teach him how to wash his nails when he grows up.

-You: But doesn’t that hurt?

-Doctor: Absolutely not. Babies this age cannot yet feel pain, and even if they did, they won’t remember it.

Scenario 2:

-Doctor: It’s a girl! Mrs. X, I must remind you that your health care plan will cover the expenses in case you want to perform a radical mastectomy on your baby. The sooner, the better.

-You: A what?

-Doctor: You know, to completely remove her mammary glands. Breast cancer is now the second cause of death in Mexico for women over 25, and it’s more common every day! If we do the procedure on your daughter, you’ll forever forget about that risk. You could save her life! It’s better now that she’s a baby and she won’t remember. No cancer for her - ever! It’s becoming routine to do it when they’re this young. Remember, if you choose not to get the surgery, there’s still a 1 in 10 chance that she will have cancer and need the procedure anyway. Her mammary glands really do nothing but put her at deadly risk.

Scenario 3:

-Doctor: It’s a boy! So ma’am, we’re going for the appendectomy, right?

-You: Well, do you recommend it, doctor?

-Doctor: Absolutely. Look, more or less, four in every fifty children will have appendicitis at some point in their lives. And then it is a problem because if they don’t have the surgery immediately, they may die from peritonitis or septic shock. Now many parents choose to have the surgery done right after birth, and do away with the problem forever! We’ll remove it now, and spare ourselves from a scare when he’s older.

-You: But you’ll use anesthesia, right?

-Doctor: Oh no, that’s dangerous in newborns! We don’t apply anesthesia because then it would be a high-risk intervention. Besides, what’s the point? He’s so small and he can’t feel pain yet. He won’t even remember when he grows up.....
...Something very similar has happened to our country’s medical establishment. We’ve ended up seeing this amputation (only this one, and exclusively this one), as something normal, desirable, "decidable by parents," aesthetic, hygienic, healthy. This is the only little loophole where no one seems to remember the Hippocratic Oath, or the need to use amputation only as a very last resort in rare and severe cases. We have conceded this amputation a sort of respect that it does not deserve. We have placed it into its own category within medical practice. (Look in many Healthcare Insurance Plans pamphlets: male circumcision really does have its own chapter).

The case becomes shamelessly lunatic when we realize that, today, many studies have been conducted concerning HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases which seek to legitimize the practice of male genital amputation on healthy individuals. These studies hold amputation as a starting point, and not the illness itself. How did we ever let this happen? What other medical study has ever started from the premise of amputation, and then tried to prove its use for something? To first push for genital mutilation, and then attempt to prove it to be good disease prevention.

Let’s imagine that an orthopedic surgeon performs a similar study:

“Medical research conducted by Doctor A. Smith, using experimental samples of individuals from Tanzania, has concluded that foot amputation definitely bears a positive effect in the prevention of various diseases and conditions; such as foot fractures, athlete’s foot and other kinds of fungi, ingrown toenails, and foot wound infections. When performed on newborns, amputation can also completely prevent accidents concerning “hair tourniquets,” a dangerous condition that happens when a hair or fine thread gets wrapped strongly around a toe, cutting blood supply. Out of 1,000 analyzed individuals, those who had feet amputations performed had a 95% lower chance of presenting ANY of these conditions, diseases and accidents!”

Doctor A. Smith is not lying. Amputating body parts does keep us from potentially having any trouble with those parts later. Because if we amputate, these organs or limbs no longer exist. Just as killing my neighbors would help me avoid any trouble with them in the future...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Keep Calm and Carry On"- UC Birth Story of Eliza

This is just a lovely Birth Story - peaceful and natural and uninterrupted.... the way birth is meant to be!!!

By Meghan Schoenborn
Let me begin by explaining that not at any point during my wonderful, trouble-free pregnancy did I experience contractions, not a single pain…

I was “due” on August 2nd, and had survived the daily barrage of “anything yet?” phone calls for well over the past 10 days. Then around 3am the morning of August 13th, I awoke with an odd pain, it passed, and I returned to sleep. This cycle continued for the next 3 hours, until at 6am I could not return to sleep, so I got up and decided to go in the backyard for some fresh air.

The evening of the 12th was the second night of the Perseid meteor shower, and Venus, Saturn, Mars and the crescent Moon had aligned. I walked around the backyard with our white mini schnauzer Wally, I looked up and turned my bump skyward hoping that the moon and stars would let baby know that we were ready to meet them. I saw a meteor as I gazed upward and knew it would be a good day.

I came back in the house to hear a commotion in our bedroom, a sound I knew all to well. Our deaf Argentine Dogo, Braddock, was having a seizure. I ran down the hall to our bedroom and my husband had pulled him to the floor and was restraining him, so he would not hurt himself. Once he had caught his breath after a second grad mal, we decided to load him up and take him into the E-vet to check his med levels.

The pains of the early morning left my mind completely until we were sitting calmly at the vet ICU, then they would come and go. I would simply close my eyes and breath, the tightness would pass, and I would return to normal. Braddock was checked out and we set off homeward.

The whole way home the tightening continued off and on, stopping my conversation with Kyle from time to time. I had had requested pancakes and sausage for breakfast, so when we got home I camped out on the couch while Kyle made breakfast. I tried to time the contractions, they seemed all over the place, and I gave up tracking them. I even attempted to update my message board friends, but could not even type for long enough. Breakfast was ready, and smelled delicious, but I could not eat more than a few bites. I decided that I wanted to go lay down in bed if I could not eat.

I continued yet again to try to time the contractions, but gave up quickly once they regularly were around 8 minutes apart. I could not get comfortable and decided a soak in the tub would be nice. Kyle ran a bath of very hot water for me, and helped me in. He left me in peace and brought me some labor-ade. I soaked and relaxed in between contractions, and used the sides of the tub to push against during them.

At some point, I decided that the tub was not working anymore for me, and got my robe and went back to our bed. I lay on Kyle side, next to Braddock, who would let me push my back against him as I pushed on the wall with my feet during my building contractions. Even though I had eaten only a few bites of breakfast it came up at this point, and I felt better once it had. I wondered to myself at this point, if this “would go on all day?” and “if this was only the beginning?” what would “real labor” be like, (remember I had only been in labor since about 3am)? I then moved into our bathroom, a choice I can say looking back, must have been made on instincts, since it is a room within a room in the center of our home, a place that is very “protected”.

Once I got into the bathroom, I sat on our toilet, thinking that I had to “go,” and during each contraction, I could rock forward and back until it subsided. Then during one particularly strong contraction I tried pushing, it was not as difficult to get through, so then I used a steady pushing pressure during every subsequent contraction, because if I did not it was unbearable. Kyle came and checked on me several times, refilling my labor-ade, every time I would tell him that I was fine, or okay and that I couldn’t talk right now or that I just needed him to go away. When he was there I felt like I had to make it okay for him, I did not want him to freak out. He asked if he should get the birthing tub ready and I agreed. He left me to prep the house and make some hone calls.

I felt like I needed to let my bump hang so I got onto all fours on our bathroom rug, and took the pressure off my lower bump, thinking that this would allow the baby the most room to get into a good position for birth. Kyle returned to check on me and let me know that he was going to “take a very quick shower” so he would be fresh to catch a baby. I agreed and told him I was fine. He went into our guest bath and I heard the water start. The baby must have heard this as well; because it was at this moment, I knew “it was time.”

The urge to push was stronger than ever before, I had to push. I reached down and felt the top of my baby’s head. I grabbed our shower radio that had a mirror on it to get a better look, and I could see hair, but there was something covering the top of the head. Another contraction came on and I snapped back to pushing, keeping the pressure steady. I could watch as the top of the baby’s head would surge outward, then slip inward slightly with every contraction. A particularly strong contraction came on and I went from steady pressure to actually pushing to work the baby out. I watched as the head slid halfway out, then out slid the whole baby into my arms! The sac was intact, still protecting the baby, but drained of its fluid. I gently ripped it apart where the baby’s face was, and lifted my baby out. I raised its face to my mouth and sucked out the mouth and nose. My baby began to make noise and open HER eyes! I held her to my chest as I sat back on my heels and adjusted to that I could sit to look at her.

About this time, I heard the shower stop in the other bathroom. I waited until I heard Kyle open the curtain and called to him, “Kyle?” “Can you come in here and give me a hand?” He was there in half a second standing in our bathroom doorway, I looked up at him, our daughter in my arms, “I need some help getting up.” He stood there with a look of shock on his face and then ran back out of the room to grab supplies and the phone. I called to him and asked the time, “1:42pm,” He returned with pink string, surgical sheers and the baby scale, while calling our Doula who had been in route the whole time. By this time, I had raised the baby to my breast and she was happily eating away. We smiled at each other and he looked to she what she was, “okay a girl,” we exchanged blissful smiles. The Doula answered and he began to ask about cutting the umbilical cord. I had a sudden slight urge to push once more and out came my placenta, perfect and whole. I watched as the umbilical cord slowly stopped pulsing, delivering the last of its, to the babe still attached to its other end. Kyle returned and tied it off so he could snip it, I watched as my sweet baby girl was snipped from her placenta, the outlet that delivered life from me to her these past 41 weeks. Kyle helped us off the floor and I placed our daughter in his arms for the first time. We had after many, many rounds of name that baby, decided that if our baby was a girl we would name her Eliza Cady, and he drank in her sweet face in complete awe as I showered and we discussed the amazing thing that had just happed, adrenaline rushing through us both. I pulled on some yoga pants and one of Kyle big shirts, Daddy pulled out the video camera and recorded as we dress the girl for the first time and introduced her to our fur kids. Then this new little family headed out to the couch to snuggle and make some very important phone calls.

I call this birth story “Keep Calm and Carry On,” because this was my mind set during my labor and birth. To this day sweet baby Eliza loves to stare at a canvas wall hanging in our master bath, that says just that, it calms her when she is fussy if we simply walk in there with her, we call it her bathroom.

Eliza Cady
August 13, 2010
6 lbs, 1 oz

20 inches

Friday, November 12, 2010

Donor human milk: a human rights issue

This article is quite long but well worth the read as it brings together a lot of excellent information and points about the importance of Human milk for Human babies, and the responsibilities our governments should be taking to make sure that all babies receive breast milk.  But one of the absolute BEST parts of this article is the fact that it gives a WHO (world health organization) Hierarchy of Feeding Choices- that lists regular infant formula as FIFTH and LAST choice for infant feeding. 

Global health policies that support the use of banked donor human milk: a human rights issue
Lois DW Arnoldcorresponding author1
1National Commission on Donor Milk Banking, American Breastfeeding Institute, 327 Quaker Meeting House Road, East Sandwich, MA 02537, USA
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Lois DW Arnold

Donor milk banking thrives in countries such as Brazil, where there has been a concerted effort at the Health Ministry level to incorporate milk banks into health policy [1]. Its prime mover, Dr. Joao Aprigio Guerra de Almeida, has been honored with the prestigious WHO Sasekawa prize for making an important contribution to his country's overall health by establishing a network of donor human milk banks [2,3]. In countries where donor milk banking is protected, promoted, and supported as an extension of national breastfeeding policies, milk banking is considered a reasonable and effective part of health care delivery for infants and children.
Premature infants who are fed infant formula have a higher risk of developing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) than when they are fed human milk, either mother's own milk or banked donor milk [4-6]. In this regard, donor milk banking could be considered preventive "medicine" in the premature population; by reducing the incidence of NEC and optimizing central nervous system development, the premature infant has a better start in life than he would have if fed premature infant formula. The argument has been made [7] that these infants become more productive members of society as adults if their health and neurological potential are maximized through optimal nutrition and appropriate health care from the start. This argument is made despite a general lack of published research on the efficacy of banked human milk because in many parts of the world there is a general belief that human milk in any form is superior to manufactured infant formulas. This is contrary to the pervading philosophy among many health care providers, especially in the US, that infant formula and human milk are equivalent.
If donor milk banking has been incorporated into national public health policy and regulation, (such as France [8,9], Germany [10,11], and the Scandinavian countries [12]) and/or in other countries with socialized medicine, such as Canada and Great Britain, parents do not have to pay out of pocket to receive this service for their infants; it is provided as part of a national health insurance plan to any infant with a medical need. In countries such as the United States, where there is no federal public health policy supporting donor milk banking or regulation of its operations, growth of donor milk banking services has been severely hampered and the recipient population remains underserved.
This review examines the existing international policies from the United Nations, the World Health Organization and UNICEF into which donor milk banking may be specifically integrated. While these policies often do not refer directly to either donor milk banking or breastfeeding, many of them protect, promote and support optimal health. Where the support is indirect, through breastfeeding protection, promotion and support, it can be inferred that donor milk banking "fits" in these policy statements because the support is for a form of human milk delivery. These policies can therefore be interpreted as being supportive of the earliest measures to achieve optimal health, breastfeeding and its adjunct, donor milk banking. Any nation, whether signatory to these agreements or not, thus has a basis for arguing that policies already exist that protect and support donor milk banking and that these policies establish a standard for action. Even if a human rights convention is not ratified or enforced, a precedent has been set and the right remains for that country's citizens.
  • Human rights conventions from the United Nations
On December 10, 1948 the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [13]. Article 25 states that "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care ...". Mothers and children are identified as being entitled to special care and assistance. All children should be provided with the same protection, meaning that sick or premature infants and children must be afforded the same opportunities for achieving good health as a healthy infant or child. While not specified, breastfeeding or the provision of human milk to an infant/child who is unable to nurse is of paramount importance. In the absence of their own mothers' milk, banked donor milk has a role to play in providing for health and well being of this special category of infants and children.
Human rights involve the relationship between a government and its individual citizens. While individuals clearly have some responsibility in terms of their behavior, governments must also take an active role to ensure that the weakest individuals are protected equally as much as the strongest. In developing its human rights conventions, the United Nations places responsibility on governments to protect the rights of its citizens. However, UN conventions do not have the force of law in any country. It is expected that the signatory nations will develop their own legislation to implement the conventions and provide protection of basic human rights in this way [14,15].
Bar-Yam [16,17] has reviewed the United Nations (UN) human rights conventions and placed breastfeeding and human milk in the conventions addressing children's rights, women's rights, and the right to health and health care. The UN conventions on children's rights clearly refer to all children and do not distinguish whether children are sick or well. What is inferred is that if a child is sick then the family and government have clear moral obligations to remedy the situation where possible to "provide the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health." [[18], Article 12]. Breastfeeding and human milk, including banked donor milk, take on even greater significance for premature and sick infants and children.
Does "breastfeeding" mean merely consuming human milk or really being fed at the breast? If the baby/mother has the right to feed at the breast, then it is the mother's moral obligation to do so. She needs to take advantage of her right and utilize it. This requires government protection at the national level (e.g., legislation to protect families from formula company marketing tactics or legislation that protects the breastfeeding relationship for working mothers), promotion (e.g., national campaigns to inform the public of the benefits of breastfeeding/hazards of infant formula), and support (e.g., funding of mother-to-mother and peer counselor programs, doulas, and voluntary or professional breastfeeding counselors/consultants that instill self confidence in breastfeeding mothers and provide information, recommendations, and assistance when problems arise). If the mother is unable to feed at the breast, then it is the government that is morally obligated to provide another source of breastfeeding or human milk (e.g., a wet nurse or cooperating mother, where culturally acceptable, or milk from a donor milk bank). If the right is interpreted as the baby's right to be fed human milk, then the moral obligation falls on the mother to provide it. In the absence of the mother's breastfeeding or providing her own expressed milk, it falls to the government to provide human milk in some other way, such as through a milk bank [16].
In 1967, the UN adopted the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights [18]. Article 12 states that all individuals have the right to the "highest attainable standard of physical and mental health." Countries need to take steps to lower infant mortality and ensure the healthy development of the child [[17], p. 32]. Breastfeeding and human milk fit into this convention well. There is a definitive relationship of infant formula feeding with an increase in infant mortality rates and poorer infant and child health outcomes [19,20]. Banked donor milk has been used to reduce morbidity and infant mortality. Donor milk feedings reduce the number of days of hospitalization required by the presence of NEC. (According to Bisquera et al, [21] a resolved case of NEC extends the hospital stay by approximately two weeks.) Additionally, if fewer cases of NEC result, then fewer surgeries are required to remove necrotic portions of the gut and fewer individuals therefore have surgically-induced short bowel syndrome and life-long malabsorption problems [22].
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was adopted in 1981. This convention recognizes that certain groups require special protection. According to Article 5b, "...the interest of the children is the primordial consideration in all cases." [23]. Family education becomes an important factor so that adult family members understand the importance of motherhood and that mothers raise future members of the society and culture. Pregnant women and mothers should, therefore, be afforded special protection so that they might care for their children in an optimal way. If the interests of the child have top priority, providing them optimal nutrition when they most need it should also be a priority. Breastfeeding and banked donor milk fit here as needing special protection.
Several articles in the Declaration and Convention on the Rights of the Child [24] also apply to donor milk banking. Article 3 reiterates that the best interests of the child are primary. This belief has previously been expressed in the earlier declarations relating to children's rights as well as other UN conventions [12,18,25]. Article 18 specifies that governments should provide assistance to families through institutional and legislative support. [[17], pp. 37–38]. In relation to breastfeeding and the use of human milk this means that a country has a responsibility for protecting breastfeeding through legislation, including legislation to restrict marketing practices of infant formula companies. If other forms of infant nutrition are needed, the manufacture of these foods should be regulated for safety and adequacy. In terms of donor milk banking, this means that governments need to ensure that human milk alternatives to infant formula are provided and that there exists quality control and governmental or other legislative oversight to ensure that human milk obtained from other mothers can be fed safely to an unrelated infant/child.
Breastfeeding is addressed directly in the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Article 24. The article begins by saying that "States Parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to the facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health." [24]. Because donor milk is primarily used as therapeutic nutrition for infants whose health requires improvement, donor milk banks become facilities that are an integral part of the process of treatment and rehabilitation. Governments therefore need to actively become involved in the creation of these facilities and/or their operation. Various ways that governments can do this are to: make national policy statements about the importance of donor milk banking; provide seed money or continuous funding for the establishment and operation of donor milk banks; provide regulatory and research support as well as expert consultation on standards of operation; and implement the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes [26] so that donor milk can compete fairly with commercially available manufactured breast milk substitutes.
Article 24 continues by stating that breastfeeding is an activity for the whole society (Section 2e). Mothers are not mandated to breastfeed, but governments are mandated to educate all mothers and parents so that they can make informed choices. [[17], pp 39–40] By extension, this means that parents should also be educated about the uses of banked donor milk and its benefits, so that they know about this option and can request it if necessary.
HERE to read the entire article

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"The Risks of Not Breastfeeding for Mothers and Infants"

This is a brilliantly written article.  Not because of the information it provides, as we have read many many articles that outline the fact that formula fed babies are at a higher risk of so many sicknesses and diseases from infancy right through to adulthood.  No, the reason this article is worthy of EXTRA attention is because it uses the correct language to get this message across!  The Author, Dr. Alison Stuebe continuously through out the article uses the statement "the Risks of formula feeding", instead of "The Benefits of Breastfeeding".

It's all about the language. If we want people and society to truly understand and make the right choice in infant feeding, then we have to use the right words and statements to make sure that the information is absolutely clear and concise. When we say "Breast is best",  that breastfeeding is the best possible way to feed babies because it provides their ideal food, perfectly balanced for optimal infant nutrition, the logical response is, "So what?" Our own experience tells us that optimal is not necessary. Normal is fine.  Therefore if Breast is best, then formula feeding is just normal, so we have created the unconscious thought that therefore formula is normal and that makes it acceptable.

Breast is NOT Best.  Breast is NORMAL!!

Language is so important, and to truly appreciate the differences and the perceptions that are created by using the wrong words and improper language, you should read the exceptional article "Watch Your Language"

The article below uses the correct language- it's not that breastfeeding decreases your child chance of getting sick, it's that formula feeding increases your childs risks of getting sick.  I think that if more parents were informed of this- clearly, using the right language- then more parents would refuse to fall prey to the formula advertising and would feed their babies the normal way.

The Risks of Not Breastfeeding for Mothers and Infants
Alison Stuebe, MD, MSc
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Health outcomes differ substantially for mothers and infants who formula feed compared with those who breastfeed, even in developed countries such as the United States. A recent meta-analysis by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reviewed this evidence in detail1:
  • For infants, not being breastfed is associated with an increased incidence of infectious morbidity, including otitis media, gastroenteritis, and pneumonia, as well as elevated risks of childhood obesity, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, leukemia, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Among premature infants, not receiving breast milk is associated with an increased risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
  • For mothers, failure to breastfeed is associated with an increased incidence of premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, retained gestational weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome.
These findings suggest that infant feeding is an important modifiable risk factor for disease for both mothers and infants. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) therefore recommends 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding for all infants.2 The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)3 and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)4 similarly recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life, continuing at least through the infant’s first birthday, and as long thereafter as is mutually desired. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least 2 years of breastfeeding for all infants.
In the United States, breastfeeding durations fall far short of these guidelines.5 In 2005, 74.2% of US infants were breastfed at least once after delivery, but only 31.5% were exclusively breastfed at age 3 months, and just 11.9% were exclusively breastfed at age 6 months. These rates show considerable regional variation, with the highest rates in the Pacific Northwest and the lowest rates in the Southeast. Although some of this variation reflects cultural differences, recent data suggest that variations in hospital practices account for a considerable proportion of disparities in breastfeeding duration.6 This suggests that improvements in the quality of antenatal and perinatal support for breastfeeding could have a substantial impact on the health of mothers and infants.
This article reviews the health risks of not breastfeeding, for infants and for mothers, as well as the obstetrician’s role in counseling women regarding infant feeding and ensuring an optimal start for breastfeeding at birth.

The Risks of Formula Feeding Versus the Benefits of Breastfeeding

Public health campaigns and medical literature have traditionally described the “benefits of breastfeeding,” comparing health outcomes among breastfed infants against a reference group of formula-fed infants. Although mathematically synonymous with reporting the “risk of not breastfeeding,” this approach implicitly defines formula feeding as the norm. As several authors have noted,79 this subtle distinction impacts public perceptions of infant feeding. If “breast is best,” then formula is implicitly “good” or “normal.” This distinction was underscored by national survey data showing that, in 2003, whereas 74.3% of US residents disagreed with the statement: “Infant formula is as good as breast milk,” just 24.4% agreed with the statement: “Feeding a baby formula instead of breast milk increases the chance the baby will get sick.”10
These distinctions appear to influence parents’ feeding decisions. In 2002, the Ad Council conducted focus groups to develop the National Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign, targeted at reproductive-aged women who would not normally breastfeed. They found that women who were advised about the “benefits of breastfeeding” viewed lactation as a “bonus,” like a multivitamin, that was helpful but not essential for infant health. Women responded differently when the same data were presented as the “risk of not breastfeeding,” and they were far more likely to say that they would breastfeed their infants. Given these findings, this review will present differences in health outcomes as risks of formula feeding, using breastfeeding mother-infant dyads as the referent group.

HERE to read the entire article 

INFACT Canada has an excellent handout titled "14 Risks of Formula Feeding"- every breastfeeding advocate should read this pdf and keep a copy on hand.  INFACT presents the Risks clearly with little room for misunderstanding. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Help the Newman Breastfeeding Clinic Contest!!!!!!! Newsletter Newsletter

Help Newman Breastfeeding Clinic & Institute!
Pass along this e-mail to spread the word in our

$10,000 Holiday Video Contest
Grand Prize:
$1,000 to the winning video's cause
$250 Amazon gift card to the iGive member who entered it
Plus $50 each for the first 100 videos submitted and 18 other cash prizes! Newsletter Newsletter
Help More: Shoot A Video
Create a short, fun video (2 minutes or less) about Newman Breastfeeding Clinic & Institute, and how iGive helps support it. Get the kids and pets involved! Think Halloween, Thanksgiving, and holiday themes. The top 18 videos (by votes) win cash prizes for their causes! Newsletter Newsletter
Early Bird Prizes
Put your video on YouTube, and starting November 1, 2010, submit it to Early Bird Winners: The first 100 videos entered (which get at least 10 votes) will win $50 for their cause! Newsletter
Tell The World
Rally friends and family to become iGive members (free, of course!) and vote for Newman Breastfeeding Clinic & Institute's video every day. Share this e-mail so that they can join early. We'll send you more info on easy sharing when you submit a video. Voting begins November 1, 2010 and ends November 30, 2010. Newsletter
Vote Every Day
Get an early start toward that $1,000 Grand Prize, because the most votes wins. It's really easy, you don't have to be a pro to make a cute video, and you'll have fun making a video, or even just voting for your favorite.

WHO- 10 Facts About Breastfeeding

A young African woman sits and breastfeeds her baby.
WHO/H. Anenden

10 facts on breastfeeding

July 2009

Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. A lack of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life contributes to over a million avoidable child deaths each year.
Globally less than 40% of infants under six months of age are exclusively breastfed. Adequate breastfeeding support for mothers and families could save many young lives.
WHO actively promotes breastfeeding as the best source of nourishment for infants and young children. This fact file explores the many benefits of the practice, and how robust help for mothers can increase breastfeeding worldwide.

HERE to Read WHOs 10 Facts on Breastfeeding
(opens in a new window)