Mama Knows Breast




Andi in the news

Watch Andi on the CBS Early Show: Click here.

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Watch Andi on THE TODAY SHOW: Click here.



Good Morning America Story on Cross Nursing

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I’ve been trying, without success, for the past half hour, to embed the link to a Good Morning America story from this morning. I give up.
So instead, I’m pointing you to this link to the story on cross-nursing. Watch it, and tell me what you think about the piece.
And while you’re at it… watch this clip from The View about the emotional ties between a mom and her breastfed baby. Elisabeth Hasselbeck talks about how she just weaned her baby and she misses breastfeeding.
Now… ABC… could you please make it easier for me to embed your video?!

Take The US Weekly Poll About Breastfeeding

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Visit US Weekly right now and vote in their poll. They want to know whether you, like actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, would breastfeed your baby in public. My nursing days are over, but I voted “yes.” As they say, been there, done that.

Stroller Rage

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It’s a typical afternoon at Fairway. Crowded. There’s little room to get around, especially with a stroller. And as I’m making my way down the vegetable aisle, The Bear (age 2) bellows, “Move! Out a my way!” That’s right Little Bear, go ahead, channel your Mama. At least one of us can get away with vocalizing our mounting frustration.
With almost four years of stroller pushing under my belt, there’s little that hasn’t come my way. I’ve gotten a flat tire in Central Park; I’ve been out in thunderstorms without a rain shield; I’ve even had a stroller tip over backwards because of too many shopping bags hanging from handles. But every now and then, there’s something that really throws me for a loop. And usually, it involves another pedestrian.
For instance, take Exhibit A: The lovely lady who let a door slam shut, just before I managed to wedge the stroller inside.
Or how about Exhibit B: The gentleman who decided to climb over my stroller and child, rather than move an abandoned shopping cart out of his way.
Or how about Exhibit C: I’m crossing the street on the Upper East Side, moving across the crosswalk towards the curb. A woman is standing in the middle of the ramp, blocking my way back onto the sidewalk. I keep aiming in her direction figuring she’ll step aside. Instead, she stands her ground. I approach, and before I can say “Pardon me,” she lets loose. “Who the F*** do you people think you are? What the F*** is wrong with you, aiming right at me.” I am speechless. For a moment, I consider responding, but stop myself. Maybe she’s crazy, not mean. Plus, I’ve got to be the ultimate model of polite behavior for our boys.
Of course a few bad experiences don’t outweigh all the kind gestures I’ve experienced. The people who have stopped to open doors. Doormen who have carried the stroller up steps. Friends who have helped me wrestle the kids and our gear into a Brownstone. It’s moments like these that I try to remember when I feel myself about to let loose on someone who exhibits little sympathy for those of us carting 100 pounds of kids plus stroller around Manhattan.
Then again, maybe I shouldn’t hold my tongue. My two year old gets to say whatever he wants, whenever he wants. Why can’t I?
Original Post to New York Moms Blog.

Breastfeeding Bill Passes Massachusetts House

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Hooray for my home state of Massachusetts. Today the state is one step closer to protecting a mom’s right to breastfeed in public. From Boston.com:

The bill makes it clear that women who are breastfeeding can’t be charged with crimes such as indecent exposure or lewd and lascivious conduct, said Representative David Linsky, the Natick Democrat who championed the bill. It also makes it clear that places of public accommodation, such as restaurants, hotels, or stores — cannot prevent women from breastfeeding their children or tell them to leave the premises.
Supporters say Massachusetts is one of only three states that don’t have such a law.
The bill will now go to the Senate, where a slightly different version has already passed, said Linsky.
Linsky said he hoped the House and Senate could resolve the differences between the two versions by the end of the session and send legislation to the governor’s desk.

To find out about the laws in your state, click here.

New Study Says Breast Milk Flavor Might Affect What Babies Eat

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What you eat may affect what your breastfed baby likes to eat. That’s the finding of a new study from Denmark that found that food flavors show up in breast milk. Here’s a good summary of the story from ABC News, and a video courtesy of New England Cable News.

Are You Breastfeeding or Pumping While At Blogher?

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If so…send me your stories. I’d love to hear what everyone writes about on this topic this weekend.
If you don’t know what Blogher is, click here.
Unfortunately, I’m not there. But I get to eat cake all weekend!! Going to my cousin’s son’s first year old birthday, and my grandmother’s 88th birthday. Go Nana!

Moms Who Blog About Breastfeeding

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Congratulations to Angela at Breastfeeding123, who just gave birth yesterday. Check her site often… I’m sure she’ll have some interesting posts about her experiences with her baby.
And while you’re at it…take a look at RookieMoms blog, where Whitney is writing about pumping all weekend while she’s away at Blogher, the premier blogging conference for women.
Are there other moms out there blogging about breastfeeding that I don’t know about? If so, tell me.

Pumping Moms All Over the World

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One cool thing about running a blog is that you can get glimpses into the locations of your readers. I have a SiteMeter on the site that helps me figure this out.
But boy was I surprised when I found out that the winner of the Medela Freestyle Breast Pump is in Malaysia! I got a wonderful note from Hope, thanking me for the pump. And Medela is kindly handling the shipping, as well as getting Hope the adapter she’ll need to make the pump work in a foreign country.
For those of you who missed it, here’s Hope’s comment, that won her the pump.
I’m due this coming October and I’ve been reading up on how to provide the best for my baby. My mom exclusively breastfed my brothers and sisters and I, and I’d love to do the same for my baby. The only difference is that my mom didn’t have to go to work, whereas I do. So, I’ve been reading up on breast pumps and I’ve found that Medela is the best in the market! But it’s quite pricey and I don’t know if I can afford it. That’s why I was ecstatic when I found this contest. It’s like a blessing in disguise. A lot of great information and the chance to win a Medela Freestyle Breastpump. It’s the most practical solution because it’s lightweight and compact, yet has everything I would need to include breast pumping in my daily schedule. I’ve also been reading on bpa-free bottles and to know Medela has taken this into account just gives me more confidence in the name itself. I really hope to win so that I can always provide the best for my baby. PS: During our last checkup, we found out our baby’s a boy! :)
Posted by: Hope | June 29, 2008 08:55 PM

And here’s her “thank you” comment.
Hi Andi! Thank you for giving me the chance to participate and win the Medela Freestyle. I was and still am really excited upon hearing the good news. It’s great to know people at Mamaknowsbreast and Medela care about women and their needs as they venture into motherhood. As a reader from Malaysia, I believe your quest in spreading knowledge on the importance of breastfeeding is truly inspiring! I’m sure you’ve touched the hearts of women all around the world. Keep up the great work! Thank you and God bless! :)

Now Hope, I have one more assignment for you… when your baby is born, you’ll have to let us all know what you think of the pump!

Tongue Tied Babies

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We’ve all had one of the those moments where we stutter, stammer, or are at a loss for words. “I’m tongue tied,” we might joke. But for some babies, being tongue tied is actually a serious problem. Tongue tie, or Ankyloglossia, is a condition that restricts the tongue’s movement. The frenulum, the piece of skin that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth, is shorter than normal. This can make it difficult for the baby to latch on properly. Some tongue tied babies don’t gain enough weight, and breastfeeding can be painful for the mom. Long term, tongue tie sometimes causes speech problems.
A new study, just published in Pediatrics, found that a freunulotomy, a minor surgical procedure to cut the frenulum, can improve breastfeeding. Here’s the study abstract:

OBJECTIVE. There is evidence that infants with ankyloglossia can experience breastfeeding difficulties including poor attachment to the breast, suboptimal weight gain, and maternal nipple pain, which may lead to early weaning of the infant. No studies have investigated the cause of these breastfeeding difficulties. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of frenulotomy in infants experiencing persistent breastfeeding difficulties despite professional assistance by measuring changes in milk transfer and tongue movement during breastfeeding before and after frenulotomy.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. Twenty-four mother-infant dyads (infant age: 33 ± 28 days) that were experiencing persistent breastfeeding difficulties despite receiving professional advice were recruited. Submental ultrasound scans (Acuson XP10) of the oral cavity were performed both before and ≥7 days after frenulotomy. Milk transfer, pain, and LATCH (latch, audible swallowing, type of nipple, comfort, and hold) scores were recorded before and after frenulotomy. Infant milk intake was measured by using the test-weigh method.
RESULTS. For all of the infants, milk intake, milk-transfer rate, LATCH score, and maternal pain scores improved significantly postfrenulotomy. Two groups of infants were identified on ultrasound. One group compressed the tip of the nipple, and the other compressed the base of the nipple with the tongue. These features either resolved or lessened in all except 1 infant after frenulotomy.
CONCLUSIONS. Infants with ankyloglossia experiencing persistent breastfeeding difficulties showed less compression of the nipple by the tongue postfrenulotomy, which was associated with improved breastfeeding defined as better attachment, increased milk transfer, and less maternal pain. In the assessment of breastfeeding difficulties, ankyloglossia should be considered as a potential cause.

For more informtaion, Kellymom.com has a series of articles on this topic. And here’s an excellent article that can help you figure out if your baby is tongue tied. Surgery is not the only option. (Read this too). But bottom line, talk to your pediatrician and a lactation consultant to figure out if your baby is tongue tied, and what is the best treatment option.

Are You Cross-Nursing?

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A national morning TV show is looking to interview moms who are cross-nursing. Here’s the request from my contact:
BabyTalk magazine and a national morning show are teaming up on a story about cross-nursing that will air later this month, and they’re looking for moms who would be interested in sharing their experiences on camera. If you are currently cross-nursing – breastfeeding a friend’s or relative’s baby – please email ttfmwcn@gmail.com with a short description of your cross-nursing experiences and a phone number where you can be reached by the producer of the segment. No travel would be required for the interview – a camera crew would visit your home to tape the piece.
For a little bit of background…cross nursing is a situation where a mom occasionally nurses another child, while she continues to breastfeed her own child. This often happens in a child care situation. Wet Nursing, on the other hand, is the complete nursing of someone else’s baby, often for pay. (definitions from La Leche League).
While the benefits of human breast milk over formula are clear, there are definitely risks involved in cross-nursing. The main issue is the transmission of viruses, especially HIV. In addition, the mother may take certain medications that can be found in breast milk. Given these risks, human milk banks are another option for mothers who want to donate milk, or mothers who are unable to breastfeed their own infants. Milk banks carefully screen the donated milk.
For a summary of the benefits and risks of cross-nursing, check out this article from the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition. The site Kellymom also has a good collection of articles. Finally, here’s a link to a post I did a while back about this topic.