Mama Knows Breast

Andi in the news

Watch Andi on the CBS Early Show: Click here.

Watch Andi on The NBC NIGHTLY NEWS: Click here.

Watch Andi on THE TODAY SHOW: Click here.

Sophie Currier Wins Her Appeal– She’ll Get Extra Time To Pump While Taking Her Medical Licensing Exam

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The Harvard medical student who was suing the National Board of Medical Examiners to get extra time to pump breast milk during an exam, has won her appeal. Here’s a quick summary from The A.P. on Yahoo news:

A Harvard student must be allowed extra break time during her nine-hour medical licensing exam so she can pump breast milk to feed her 4-month-old daughter, a Massachusetts appeals court judge ruled Wednesday.
Sophie Currier, 33, sued after the National Board of Medical Examiners turned down her request to take more than the standard 45 minutes in breaks during the exam.
Currier said she risks medical complications if she does not nurse her daughter, Lea, or pump breast milk every two to three hours.
A Superior Court judge last week rejected Currier’s request to order the board to give her an additional 60 minutes of break time. Appeals Court Judge Gary Katzmann overturned that ruling, finding that Currier needs the extra break time to put her on “equal footing” with the men and non-lactating women who take the exam.

Here’s a piece from The Boston Globe. And to read what I’ve written before, go here. Here’s Sophie’s blog. I’ll write more later, but right now I have an 18 month old trying to rip the power cord out of my computer. It’s nearly time for the early bird dinner special.

Medela Swing Breast Pump Product Review

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Medela sent me its latest pump, the Medela Swing Breast Pump. This is Medela’s first single electric pump. It’s small and light-weight and could fit easily in a purse or briefcase. Since my pumping days are over, I gave it to my friend Eliana to give it a test run. Here’s what she had to say:
The Swing is a welcome addition to the arsenal of any breastfeeding mom on the go. As a working traveling mom the best I could do before the Swing was to remove the heavy cumbersome rectangular motor from the Pump In Style backpack and schlep it in my carry-on. The pump took up much of the suitcase and was extremely heavy- especially when loaded with large heavy batteries. The Swing in contrast is light, compact, and just as powerful.
The pump motor unit is neat and user-friendly. The circular shape fits neatly into its own carrying pouch with plenty of room to hold all the necessary attachments. Four large buttons make the pump’s 2-phase expression a cinch to operate. You simply start by pressing the power button to begin the stimulation phase. Once your milk starts to flow you press the expression phase to continue pumping or let the expression phase begin on its own after 2 minutes. The strength of the suction is easily adjusted with the large “+” and “-” buttons- there are no knobs to fiddle with and no tiny buttons to adjust. The body has a long shoulder/neck strap that enables the pumper to actually wear the pump during use- eliminating the need to find a clean stationary place to set up shop (super helpful when you find yourself pumping in a skanky airport bathroom).
The Soft-Fit breastshields are comfortable and effective, and the one piece design of the pump body makes for less loose parts to lose on the road.
The motor runs on 4 AA batteries (much lighter than the heavy batteries needed for other models) and comes with a power cord. The suction is powerful and consistent. The Swing pump is quieter than the Pump-In-Style but louder than a manual. You wouldn’t want to use this while on a conference call unless you are working for a drum company. Each powerful pump ends with the slightly grating sound of a lightly clapping cymbal. The other drawback is that the Swing is strictly for single pumping- so if double pumping is a requirement then you are best to stick with the Pump-in-Style. Personally, I could never handle the logistics or schlepping involved in double pumping and single pumped even with my Pump-In-Style, so the Swing was a perfect solution. Powerful and tough enough for daily use but compact and light enough to slip into a purse (albeit a large purse). Overall a solid product and a more convienient option for nursing mom’s on the go.

Photos From My Book Signing

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Yes, The Today Show did come to my book signing last week. They interviewed a bunch of moms and the event host, Lyss, of Divalysscious Moms. (See photo 3 for a shot of Lyss with me). But the story, which will air October 3rd, actually has nothing to do with my book. Set your TIVO anyway… you’ll have to watch to see what they’re up to.
As for the book signing itself…thank you to all of the moms who showed up. People came early, asked great questions and stayed late. Heidi Green of Heidi Green Photography took these amazing photos.

If You Come To My Book Signing Wednesday Night The Today Show Will Come Too!!

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Now that I’ve got you hooked…
There’s a kernel of truth here. I’ve got my first book signing Wednesday night, and The Today Show is planning to come because of another story they’re working on.
BUT…we need at least 10 more moms (or ladies who can pose as moms!) to sign up to make sure the Today Show shows up. So please, pretty please, drop everything you’re doing Wednesday night, from 6:30 to 8:30 and come help me fill the room. I can get you comped, too, so that you don’t have to pay. Here’s the summary:
WHAT: Dinner and a little talk about my book, “Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding.” The event is organized by Divalyssicious Moms.
WHERE: Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter III, 220 East 81st Street, between 2nd and 3rd
WHEN: Wednesday, September 19th, 6:30- 8:30
WHY: Because I’ll be eternally grateful. You’ll get a free dinner and book and a chance to laugh at how nervous I’ll be. And one more reason…Gotham Magazine (part of the Hamptons Magazine group) wants pictures from the event and you can help me look cool!

Breastfeeding and Sleep

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There was a time, not so long ago, when I didn’t think about sleep. I went to bed at night, I woke up in the morning. I woke up when I was done sleeping, or when I had to go to work. The end.
That was before December of 2003 when I got pregnant for the first time. Since then, I breastfed one baby for 10 or 11 months ( I can’t remember), got pregnant again, had another baby 18 months after the first one, and breastfed the second baby for 13 months. Hence, the slight change in lifestyle.
Before I joined the land of the stroller-pushing-sleep-walkers, I had no idea that babies ate around the clock, 24 hours a day. Sure, I had heard rumblings about babies that didn’t sleep so well. In fact, I may have rudely even asked a friend, “Is he sleeping through the night yet?” I’ve since learned that that question is the parental equivalent of asking someone, “How much money do you make?” But I had also heard the phrase, “Oh, I slept like a baby last night.” So I had no idea what I was in for.
Perhaps it was a willful ignorance. Perhaps I wasn’t paying attention in breastfeeding class when they told us that newborns eat every two to three hours. Whatever the reason, when I was pregnant the first time, I never really thought about what would happen at the end of the 40 weeks. In fact, when I wasn’t sleeping because of nausea, anxiety, hip pain, and lack of bladder control, I was actually looking forward to getting the baby out so I could get some real rest.
Surprise, surprise. You all know what came next. I was sort of overwhelmed. I didn’t nap when the baby napped. I ran around trying to clean the house and do laundry. The result– one exhausted mom. “Why didn’t anyone tell me about this?!” I think I actually said to people. My OB’s response went something like this, “It’s the mommy conspiracy. No one wants to admit how tired they are or how hard parenting is. No one wants to look unhappy.”
I’m making light of this now, but I truly think that my lack of understanding made my transition to parenthood tougher than it needed to be. Yes, it was my own fault that I didn’t do more due diligence. But I do wish friends and family had beat me over the head with warnings about sleep, and instructions to take advantage of every free moment I could find to close my eyes.
Because of my own experience, I now try to gently warn new moms about the eating and sleeping habits of little babes. In part, I want them to know that no matter how tired you get, you will find a way to get through it all. There will come a day when you won’t have to wake to feed your baby at 3 a.m. There will come a day when your baby might event sleep from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
And yet, now that the boys are both toddlers, we have new sleep issues. Sometimes they can’t fall asleep. Sometimes they wake up too early. I still don’t force myself to go to bed early enough. And I obsess about sleep all the time. Sleep governs the decisions I make. For example…here’s the question of the week…”Am I too tired to drive from New York to Boston on Friday? Will I need to drink coffee to stay awake? And if I do, will I have to go to the bathroom every hour? And if I do that, how will I get the kids out of the car, into the restaurant and keep them from crawling on the bathroom floor?” You get the idea.
Now, a little wiser, I recognize that things will only evolve as they get older. Someday I’ll be awake at night worrying, and listening for them to come home. In the meantime, I’m trying to take my own advice. The boys may not need me for a midnight feeding, but they are going to need me at the crack of dawn. The Bortski will patter his way into our room asking for “Delicious milk and Thomas The Tank Engine.” The Bear will wake crying shortly after that. And so, I bid you good night. And you should go to bed too! Or take a nap if your kids are napping.
If, however, you dare to stay up, you might want to see what these other bloggers have to say about breastfeeding and sleep.
The Motherwear Blog
The Lactivist
Mama’s Magic
Hathor the Cowgoddess
Leche, Baby!
Veggie Way
Crunchy Domestic Goddess
Life with Twins

Breastfeeding in the News

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Here are some stories you might want to follow…they’ve all been brewing for a while so I’ll summarize them.
Dr. Sophie Currier is suing the National Board of Medical Examiners to get extra break time in order to pump breast milk while she’s taking a 9 hour licensing exam. The Board has denied her earlier requests. Sophie has set up her own blog, Support Nursing Moms. The case is going to federal cout.
For summaries of the Applebee nurse-ins this past weekend, check out my pals over at Breastfeeding123, Motherwear, and The Lactivist. There were reportedly close to 2,000 people at 100 restaurants in 44 states. There’s a lot to watch on YouTube.
And finally…good old Facebook, the social networking site, has been giving moms who post breastfeeding pictures a hard time. Facebook has removed some pictures and even revoked one mom’s priveleges to use the site. According to USA Today…
USA TODAY heard back from Facebook’s P.R. department.
“Facebook does allow mothers to upload and share photos of themselves breastfeeding their babies, and those photos remain available on Facebook as long as they follow the site’s Terms of Use. Photos containing a fully exposed breast do violate those Terms and could be removed,” spokeswoman Brandee Barker says in a statement that was sent to On Deadline.
The company says “an investigations team” within the customer service department decides whether a particular image qualifies as “offensive content.”

I joined Facebook recently, and I have to say while I was originally a skeptic, I love it. It’s enabled me to find friends I haven’t been in touch with for a while. But come on Facebook, what’s the big deal? I joined this group on Facebook, “Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding is Not Obscene.”

Use Amazon to See Some Mama Knows Breast Book Excerpts…and Another Book Review

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Amazon has a really cool function that allows you to search inside certain books. Go to the page where Mama Knows Breast is sold, then click on the image of the cover. This takes you to some book excerpts that Amazon selected. In addition, you can do a word search and see more sample pages. For example, type in “sex,” or type “yoga” and you’ll find more material.
I’ve used this function when I’ve considered buying other books in the past, so I’m glad it’s up and running for Mama Knows Breast now too.
And one more thing…the blog Boston Mamas reviewed the book a few days ago and had this to say:
During the dazed and stressful early days of breastfeeding, sometimes you just need the quick facts; a concise means to bypass the overwhelming sea of nursing resources that your newly short-circuited attention span can’t handle anyway. For this purpose, check out Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Boston native Andi Silverman.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

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Not a breastfeeding story… but hey, I do think about other things from time to time!
Thing One: If you’re looking for someone to do a family portrait of your kiddos, you’ve absolutely got to check out Mercedes McAndrew. She did my photograph which appears on my About page. Click here. She takes the most amazing pictures of children, and she’s running a promotion right now. She’s based in New York, but is doing photo sessions in NY, MA, RI, TX and CA. Call or email her! (prices range from $400 to $550).
Thing Two: James Adler of The Munchkin Music Club rocks. He was the pied piper at The Bortsky’s third birthday party this past weekend. He does music classes in Boston and New York and has a new CD out of his own songs.
Thing Three: My Colgate 360 toothbrush. It’s got this funky double-sided thing going on that really leaves your teeth feeling squeaky clean. I’m not joking. For video reviews by lots of folks, check out Expo TV.

Urban Baby Reviews Mama Knows Breast

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Hooray for Urban Baby! The chronicler of all things baby from coast to coast had this to say about Mama Knows Breast:
For something so instinctive, breastfeeding can be fraught with intricacy. A day of incorrect latching can lead to several weeks’ worth of cracked nipples, plugged ducts, painful infections, not to mention fears of starving babies and sky-high levels of frustration.
Before running for the formula aisle of the nearest drugstore, check out the new book “Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding.” Journalist and mom Andi Silverman seeks to steer new moms away from the edge with a handbook filled with friendly, frank advice.

Mama Knows Breast is Available on Amazon and In Barnes & Noble (and Borders)

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I took this picture with my cell phone today. The soft focus somewhat accurately depicts my utter disbelief. I went into Barnes & Noble at Broadway and 82nd Street because I was doing an errand nearby, and lo and behold, there it was. My book! All four copies of it!
I bought two, and at the suggestion of the salesperson, signed the remaining two copies (they put the “Autgraphed” sticker on them). She said they only had four copies in the entire store but would order more.
And as equally exciting…I went onto Amazon last night and ordered some copies of the book. As I was completing the order I seriously expected to get a message saying the books would be shipped at an unknown date. Again, shock of all shock! With a two day delivery, the books should be here this Friday.
A couple more options for buying on line:
Barnes & Noble has their own website.
Borders book stores has the book too. If you buy on line, the site connects to Amazon.
Quirk Books, the publisher, will sell it to you too. They also have a link to a photo of an interior illustrated page.
P.S. Can you tell I’m a little excited?! This is my third blog post tonight.