Mama Knows Breast

Andi in the news

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Veggie Booty Recalled

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Hey moms and dads, don’t let your kiddies eat Veggie Booty. It’s being recalled because of possible salmonella contamination.
The FDA said on Thursday at least 52 people in 17 states had become sick after eating the green-colored snack food marketed by Robert’s American Gourmet. The New Jersey-based company said it had temporarily stopped making and selling the snack, which contains spinach, kale and other vegetables.
“Almost all the illnesses have occurred in children under 10 years old, with the most cases in toddlers. Most persons had reported bloody diarrhea; four were hospitalized,” the FDA said in a statement.
“Veggie Booty is often consumed by children, so parents are encouraged to watch their children, and seek medical care if they observe signs of illness,” the FDA added.

So sorry kids, mama knows best.

Eight Things You Don’t Know About Me

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The lovely ladies over at Milk Memos tagged me to write this post. “Eight Things You Don’t Know About Me” has been making it’s way from blog to blog.
As an aside…you might remember I wrote a while back that I was reading “The Milk Memos,” a book written by some moms who work at IBM. It started as a series of entries in a collective notebook the moms kept in the office lactation room. The book has excerpts from that diary as well as practical advice for breastfeeding moms who go back to work.
So here goes with my eight little known facts:
1. I’m failing at toilet training our two year old. Today I tried to bribe him with ice cream. No luck.
2. I just got home from a modern dance class. I’m trying to pretend I’m not significantly older than a lot of the folks in the studio. Do you think they can tell?
3. They definitely would figure it out if I stopped coloring my hair. I’m pretty grey.
4. I have a photo of a brilliant blue star fish on my desk. It reminds me of snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. My husband saw sharks while scuba diving down there. Once I heard that I never went back in the water.
5. I like to dress our boys in matching outfits. Is that weird?
6. When we go to the playground I sometimes put The Bortsky (the older one) in a bright orange t-shirt so I can always see him. Maybe I should buy him a sports pinny.
7. I produce videos that non-profits use for fundraising and marketing. Here’s my website.
8. And click here if you want to watch some video of me from my days as a reporter. Embarrassing.
9. I eat at least two hunks of this a day.
10. One time my mom told me I was breastfeeding in a public place that wasn’t so great. My response: “Fine, I’ll move. But this is going in the book!” I have to admit now, she was sort of right.
UPDATE: And now an email I just got from my brother: “That was 10. You never were good at math.”

National Board of Medical Examiners Won’t Give Breast Feeding Mom Extra Time to Pump During Her Exam

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Imagine this: You have a 7 week old baby. 7 weeks. She eats all the time, around the clock. But you’ve got a huge test to take. You’re a doctor (not to mention, you also have a PhD), and the test is required in order to move on to the next stage of your career. The test takes all day, but your baby needs to eat. And if you can’t actually breastfeed her, you need to pump. So you ask the folks running the exam to make a special accommodation to help you. Their answer– No.
That’s what happened to Sophie Currier of Brookline, Massachusetts. Here are some snippets from the story in today’s Boston Globe.
For Currier to begin her medical residency at Massachusetts General Hospital this fall as scheduled, she must pass the clinical knowledge exam run by the National Board of Medical Examiners by August. The exam is nine hours long and allows a total of only 45 minutes in breaks….
…When she called the board last week to ask for extra break time, she said she was told that the test provides special accommodations only for disabilities covered by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, and breast-feeding was not one of them.
Currier agreed that breast-feeding is not a disability. But it is physically demanding : “What am I going to do, express milk all over your computer?” she asked a board official.
In a statement faxed to the Globe, Catherine Farmer, the board’s manager of disability services, wrote that the disabilities act “does not cover temporary conditions, such as pregnancy. . . . Furthermore, lactation, breast-feeding and breast pumping are not disabilities as defined by the ADA.”
However, she added, examinees could use their break time outside the testing room for breast pumping, and if they finished sections of the test early, they could gain extra time for break…
…In a letter (Currier) is drafting to the medical board, she is going to request an extra 20 minutes of break time per day, she said — the minimum she thinks she can manage.

We hear stories all the time of moms who run into trouble feeding their babies in restaurants, stores, and airplanes. But this one just takes the cake. A group of medical professionals– The National Board of Medical Examiners– a group that should know better than any other the importance of breastfeeding, is putting a new mom and her newborn in a difficult situation.
Good for Currier, for standing up to them, and taking her story to the media. Here’s to hoping she gets some help and The Board comes to its senses.

Breastfeeding Podcasts

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I just found this cool new site that has podcasts about breastfeeding. Mommy’s Milk and More, which is run by a lactation consultant, features audio stories about pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding and parenting.
In the most recent podcast, the host interviews Danielle Friedland, the blogger who runs The Celebrity Baby Blog. Danielle talks about breastfeeding her toddler, and how celebrities can help promote breastfeeding. (There’s an entire section on The Celebrity Baby Blog that highlights celebrity breastfeeding stories).
Check out some of the previous Mommy’s Milk podcasts, too. There’s everything from breastfeeding and nutrition to breastfeeding twins. And while you’re on the site, click to the home page. The podcast is actually part of a larger site called Pregtastic.
Oh, and if you need a basic explanation of what in the world a podcast is, you can read this.

Call La Leche League for Answers to Your Breastfeeding Questions

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A couple of weeks ago I went to a La Leche League meeting. I’d never been before. And in some sense, I didn’t really pick the right meeting. It was a session about breastfeeding basics. I was there– depleted, post-weaning boobs and all– along with some very pregnant moms, and some very very little babies. (I had forgotten how small a newborn is! Makes my 15 month old “baby” look like a giant!)
But I have to say the meeting was interesting. It was essentially a support group. A chance for people to ask questions and share stories. I’m not sure I’ll go back, unless I see something that’s a little more relevant to what I’m doing. But even so, it was nice to see the help you can find if you really seek it out.
If you don’t have the energy to find– and actually attend– a meeting like this, but you need help, La Leche League has a 24 hour hotline, 7 days a week. This is perfect for those 5 a.m. questions that are driving you to tears.
Here’s the number:
La Leche League also offers help by email.
And if you want to find your own local meeting, click here.

Write a Review of the Book “Mama Knows Breast” or Help Design T-Shirts

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Hey fellow bloggers, if you want to write a review of “Mama Knows Breast” when it comes out, I can try to get you a copy. Just send me your mailing address.
And for the talented graphic artists among you…I’m making Mama Knows Breast t-shirts, bibs and baby onesies. But I’m looking for a little help. I need to create a logo in jpeg format. So if there’s anybody out there who is skilled in this area (I am not), send me your ideas. If I pick your submission, you’ll get some free copies of the book plus my undying gratitude!

Dads and Breast Feeding– My Husband, My Co-Author

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Welcome to the June Breastfeeding Carnival, a tribute to the Dads in our lives. At the end of this post you’ll find entries from our usual cast of blogging characters, as well as some guests.
As I’ve been talking about ad nauseam here, I’ve been working on a book about breastfeeding that’s coming out this September. In our house, this is our “third” baby. For nearly as long as we’ve had kids (going on 2.5 years now), I’ve been working on this book. And now, it’s time to give credit where credit is due– to my silent co-author, my husband. “Da-da,” as the boys call him, has encouraged me every step of the way.
To begin with, he’s a lactivist in his own right. He “covered” me while I breastfed on airplanes and in fancy restaurants. He brought me water while I was nursing, changed diapers in the middle of the night so I could go back to sleep, and even re-positioned an inconsolable newborn on my chest. So when I announced, one day, 5 months post-partum, that I wanted to write a book about breastfeeding, he said, “Go hire a babysitter and get to work.”
Along the way, he contributed his own ideas; read draft after draft; reviewed contracts; helped develop my blog; and celebrated the book sale with champagne and flowers. Now, ever the MBA, he’s devising ways to sell as many books as possible.
So thank you, “Da-da,” for serving as an in house lactation consultant, and cheerleading me through this book process. This would not have been possible without you. Happy Father’s Day. Maybe you should be the one doing any book signings!
And now for the other carnival contributors:
Jennifer, at The Lactivist, writes about how dads have to accept taking “second place” when it comes to breastfeeding. Her post is “Fathers and Breastfeeding: The Importance of Seconds.”
Leisa, at Down with the Kids, (writing from Australia) contributes “Mothers’ Milk: A Dad’s Perspective.”
Angela, at Breastfeeding 1-2-3, contributes “A Father’s Take on Breastfeeding: Perception Versus Reality”
Kelli, at Nursing Your Kids, writes about the “Partnership” involved in breastfeeding.
Jessica, at hepatitis-epi, contributes her story about “Fathers and Breastfeeding.”
Amy, at Musings of a Crunchy Domestic Goddess, contributes “My Hubby, the Lactivist.”
Sinead, writing from Northern Ireland, writes “My Hubby, my Best Breastfeeding Buddy.”
And a Dad, at Fine Whine, writes “Feeding on the Outrage, or Where are All The Boobs?”

Pre-Order Mama Knows Breast on Amazon!

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I was amazed to find this today!! My book won’t be available in stores until September, but you can place an order already on Amazon.

New Laws Protect Right to Breast Feed in Public

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Newsweek has a great story about the challenges moms face when it comes to breastfeeding. The piece says that some state legislatures are slowly but surely doing their part to encourage moms to breastfeed. Here’s a bit from the article:
Much of the problem seems to be that Americans associate breasts with sex, not milk, and as a result, feel squeamish about public nursing. (While two out of three Americans think breast-feeding is the best way to feed a baby, a quarter say they feel uncomfortable seeing women do it.) In a study for the U.S. government, 48 percent of women said they would feel uncomfortable nursing their own babies in a park, store or mall. “We define breast-feeding as good, and we define breast-feeding as disgusting. We have this split personality about it,” says Jacqueline Wolf, associate professor of the history of medicine at Ohio University. Even MySpace has recently removed photographs of mothers nursing their babies.
Out of concern that not enough women are breast-feeding, a growing number of states are passing protective laws and policies. Today 38 states give women the explicit right to nurse in public, and 23 states exempt it from public-indecency laws. Twelve states have laws addressing women’s right to use a pump to express milk at work. And the governors of New Mexico and Oregon recently signed similar legislation, which gives moms (unpaid) lactation breaks and a clean and private area to pump (not just a bathroom stall). Federal legislation may be on the way. In May, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney re-introduced her Breastfeeding Promotion Act, which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect breast-feeding and to provide a tax incentive to businesses that establish lactation areas.

My favorite part of this Newsweek piece? It opens with a description of the photos of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal breastfeeding in public. Then at the end of the story, the reporter injects a slight bit of editorial comment. Here it is:
A few weeks ago, the actress Maggie Gyllenhaal visited a public park in New York—and breast-fed her 8-month-old daughter, Ramona. Kudos, right? After all, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that moms nurse for at least a year. Nope. posted a picture of a partially exposed breast and called it a “momtroversy.” The photo is now on a “nude” Web site….
…After all, “into the 18th century, women who breast-fed were painted,” says pediatrician Naomi Baumslag, author of “Milk, Money and Madness.” “They were considered beautiful.” Maybe Maggie Gyllenhaal should head back to that park.

Some Baby Bottles Leach Bisphenol A, a Dangerous Chemical

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As if you don’t have enough to think (ie. worry) about, here’s one to give you pause. Your baby’s plastic bottle… whether it contains formula or breast milk…could be dangerous to his health. A study by Environment California found that dangerous levels of a chemical called Bisphenol A (BPA) leaches out of bottles made by Avent, Dr. Brown’s, Evenflo, Gerber and Playtex.
Of course there’s a debate about the safety of BPA. The plastic industry, as expected, says it’s perfectly safe. But others say BPA disrupts hormones and is especially harmful to fetuses and young children.
Here’s a good summary from The Green Guide, a site owned by National Geographic.
Depending on whom you talk to, BPA is either perfectly safe or a dangerous health risk. The plastics industry says it is harmless, but a growing number of scientists are concluding, from some animal tests, that exposure to BPA in the womb raises the risk of certain cancers, hampers fertility and could contribute to childhood behavioral problems such as hyperactivity.
According to its critics, BPA mimics naturally occurring estrogen, a hormone that is part of the endocrine system, the body’s finely tuned messaging service. “These hormones control the development of the brain, the reproductive system and many other systems in the developing fetus,” says Frederick vom Saal, Ph.D., a developmental biologist at the University of Missouri. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals can duplicate, block or exaggerate hormonal responses. “The most harm is to the unborn or newborn child,” vom Saal says.
Plastic water and baby bottles, food and beverage can linings and dental sealants are the most commonly encountered uses of this chemical. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stay put. BPA has been found to leach from bottles into babies’ milk or formula; it migrates from can liners into foods and soda and from epoxy resin-lined vats into wine; and it is found in the mouths of people who’ve recently had their teeth sealed. Ninety-five percent of Americans were found to have the chemical in their urine in a 2004 biomonitoring study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

So what can you do to keep your family safe? For your baby, consider using glass bottles. Evenflo makes some. The Green Guide (see the sidebar) also has this advice: “Use glass baby bottles or plastic bag inserts, which are made of polyethyelene, or switch to polypropylene bottles that are labeled #5 and come in colors or are milky rather than clear.”
Here are some other safety guidelines from Environment California and from The Green Guide (see the sidebar).