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.

I am Voting For Barack Obama

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I’m a Democrat. Always have been. Probably always will be. I come from the land of the Kennedys.
But tonight, that has nothing to do with why Barack Obama has my vote. Obama has my vote because, to me, he represents the best future for our boys. He represents the best future for the grandchildren we’ll some day have.
He understands that if we want a safer world for our kids, we have to make some dramatic changes. We have to protect the environment and cut our dependence on oil. We have to improve our education system, or there is no way we can compete internationally. We have to improve our standing in the world.
And if none of that has you sold, take a look at his positions relevant to women.

Now, at last this night is over, and I can get some sleep, and dream of Barack Obama, standing, with one hand on the Bible, the other raised, as he takes the oath of office.

Vitamin D and Breastfeeding

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The New York Times has a story about the possibility that some breastfed babies are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency. Here’s a bit from the story:
Physicians have known for more than a century that exclusive breast-feeding may be associated with vitamin D deficiency and rickets, and that the condition is easily prevented and treated with inexpensive vitamin drops or cod liver oil. But doctors are reluctant to say anything that might discourage breast-feeding.
Now some researchers are also linking vitamin D deficiency with other chronic diseases like diabetes, autoimmune disorders and even cancer, and there have been calls to include blood tests of vitamin D levels in routine checkups.
“I completely support breast-feeding, and I think breast milk is the perfect food, and the healthiest way to nourish an infant,” said Dr. Catherine M. Gordon, director of the bone health program at Children’s Hospital Boston and an author of several studies on vitamin D deficiency…
“However,” Dr. Gordon continued, “we’re finding so many mothers are vitamin D deficient themselves that the milk is therefore deficient, so many babies can’t keep their levels up. They may start their lives vitamin D deficient, and then all they’re getting is vitamin D deficient breast milk.”
Some doctors and public health officials say conditions may be ripe for rickets to re-emerge: more infants are being breast-fed for extended periods, children are drinking more juice or soda and less milk, and they are spending less time exposed to sunlight, which enables the skin to synthesize vitamin D…
The solution, Dr. Gordon said, is not to quit breast-feeding but to supplement breast-fed infants with vitamin drops, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The academy issued guidelines in 2003 recommending that infants be given 200 international units of vitamin D daily, and it may be increasing the recommended level soon.

Here’s info from Kellymom. Your best bet, check with your pediatrician about whether to give your baby vitamins.

Sad End for Baby Whale Who Couldn’t Find Its Mom To Nurse

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Australian widllife officials euthanised the abandoned baby whale, after determining it was too weak to survive. Here’s the CNN story. And this story from an Australian TV station has video interviews with some people very upset that more wasn’t done. The one to two month old whale had been trying to breastfeed by cozying up to the side of a yacht.

Take The New Birth Survey

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If you’ve ever wanted to do some research before picking a doctor or midwife, and had a tough time, you’ll really appreciate this new website. The Birth Survey will give expectant parents access to reviews of health care providers and hospitals across the U.S. It’s just launching this fall, so log on to do your due diligience. Or, if you’ve had a baby in the past three years, take the survey so you can help other moms-to-be.
Here’s the link: Birth Survey.

Bad News For Lost Baby Whale

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He’s 6 to 8 weeks old, and he can’t find his mother to nurse… Australian officials say they are doing everything they can to help the whale “Colin.” But so far no luck. The latest, from CNN, is that he may be euthanized. (Read the article below this video).

From CNN: SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — Wildlife officials have located the injured and abandoned baby humpback whale that has been trying to suckle boats in the waters off Sydney, and plan to euthanize the animal Friday.
The lost humpback whale calf swims north of Sydney Harbour in Australia on Wednesday.
The lost humpback whale calf swims north of Sydney Harbour in Australia on Wednesday.
The decision was made Thursday evening after veterinarians and marine researchers examined the whale and found that its condition was deteriorating quickly and that euthanizing it was the most humane thing to do.
But the operation was postponed when searchers were unable to find the whale in the dark waters of Pittwater Inlet.
The plight of the whale, which Australians have nicknamed “Colin,” has dominated news coverage here since it was first sighted Sunday and began trying to suckle from boats it apparently mistook for its mother.
Early Friday, Colin had been located, and officials planned to sedate the animal, tow it to shore, and inject a dose of fatal drugs into its heart.
Reporters were barred from accessing the inlet via land, and maritime police physically blocked a boat carrying members of a rescue group and several reporters, including a reporter and photographer from AP. They threatened the group with a $3,500 fine if the boat attempted to dock.
“We have a whale whose condition has deteriorated rapidly over the last 24 hours, and who now experts are telling us is suffering, and we’ve had to make the hard decision to euthanize the whale,” said Sally Barnes, deputy director-general of the New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change.
Barnes said the whale would be given a sedative to relax it, then a lethal dose of anesthetics.
“Everyone is very connected to this animal and it’s a very emotional decision,” she said, referring to the animal as a family pet that had been adopted by many in Sydney over the last week.
She said officials had sought out national and international advice on how to deal with the lost whale but its condition had become too poor to treat.
Some Australians have accused wildlife officials of not doing enough to help the calf or trying to feed it.
Previous attempts to guide the whale back to open waters have failed, with the creature preferring to stick close to the boats. Officials with the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service were considering earlier Thursday whether to use an inflatable sling to tow the creature into deeper waters, where it would have a better chance of connecting with other whales.
One effort came from Aboriginal whale whisperer Bunna Lawrie, who visited the calf Thursday afternoon. Adorned with feathers on his head and white paint markings on his face, Lawrie reached into the water to stroke Colin while singing a humming, tongue-rolling tune.
But after a few minutes the whale swam away to nuzzle a nearby yacht.
“He’s missing the big fellas,” said Lawrie, whose visit was broadcast on Channel 10 television.

Lost Baby Whale Needs To Breastfeed

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Here’s a sad story out of Australia. It appears a baby whale, that has lost its mother, has been trying to breastfeed by cozying up to a yacht. Read below for the whole story. (And thank you Carina, from The Jet Set blog, for sending me this link).

Here’s the story from CNN:
(CNN) — An abandoned baby whale that has been trying to suckle from yachts in an Australian harbor appeared to be weakening Wednesday as wildlife workers considered ways to save it.
Unless rescue workers can come up with a plan soon, the starving 2-week-old calf might have to be put to death, officials said.
“It’s a really sad and difficult situation,” said a spokeswoman for the New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC), who spoke on condition of anonymity, as is customary.
“It’s caught the heart of Australians, and at the moment the public is really, really desperately wanting something to save the whale.”
Humpback whales are in the middle of their annual migration from the Antarctic to tropical waters to breed and then back again.
The calf was first spotted Sunday in waters off Sydney. Officials think it most likely was abandoned by its mother but aren’t sure why.
On Monday, it was seen nuzzling up to a moored vessel in an attempt to find milk, the DECC said. Video Watch the abandoned baby whale »
Wildlife officials towed the boat out to sea, and the calf followed. They had hoped that the baby would link up with a passing group of humpback whales.
But the calf, unable to find its mother or another lactating female willing to be a surrogate, returned to the harbor Tuesday.
On Wednesday, officials tried once again to lure the calf to open waters. But it refused to follow the wildlife officials’ boat.
“It obviously feels very secure in the harbor,” the spokeswoman said.
An expert from Sydney’s Taronga Zoo examined the whale and determined that while it was not suffering undue stress, it was getting weaker due to lack of food.
Now officials are hoping to use an inflatable sling to tow the calf farther out to sea, where it stands a greater chance of being reunited with its mother.
“Maybe — just maybe — we will have some luck,” the spokeswoman said. “It is possible — it might not be probable — but it’s possible that it could be picked up and adopted.”
Some Australians have suggested that wildlife officials take the animal into captivity, but that is unlikely to yield results, said Chris McIntosh of the National Parks and Wildlife Services.
“As the calf is still being breast fed, we have no way of feeding or socializing it,” McIntosh said in a news release. “So taking this humpback into captivity is not an option.”
Calves suckle for 11 months and are “very very attached to their mothers,” the spokeswoman said.
“Unless it can go out to open water and find a mother, I don’t really know what’s going to happen.”

What I’ve Learned This Summer

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For all of you planners out there, we still have a good deal of August left. So please, let’s stop talking about “back to school.” It’s making me anxious. Instead, I’d like to focus on the things I’ve learned so far this summer.
1. “Summer whites” are for people who don’t have kids. My white pants have dirt stains now. My white shorts got pee’d on.
2. Do not leave bug spray within the reach of your toddler. Definitely do not leave bug spray within the reach of your toddler in the car.
3. For long car drives, stop at Walmart. They sell CDs like the best of Jackson Browne for $9.99.
4. If you can swing it, go home. Or visit a place you spent summers as a child.
5. Putting sun block on a two year old should be an Olympic sport.
6. Three year old’s can turn into teenagers when denied ice cream. Exhibit A, a direct quote: “Mom, you’re ruining my life.”
7. Jenga blocks are worth shoving into your suitcase.
8. It’s hard to wean yourself of a “texting” and email checking habit.
9. Don’t think about how you look in a bathing suit. Just put it on.
10. Summer storms and rainbows are awe-inspiring.
Now, with the rest of August to go, I’m going to open my window and listen to the crickets. That school schedule can wait for another day.
Original Post to New York Moms Blog.

Enter to Win Some Medela Pads and Lanolin

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Another World Breastfeeding Week contest for you…
This time I’m giving away two new Medela products: Tender Care Lanolin (for dry or cracked nipples) and Tender Care Hydro Gel Pads (for severe sore or cracked nipples).
Keep in mind, that if breastfeeding is going well, and your baby is latched on properly, breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt. It is normal to experience some discomfort at times, but if you find yourself in a lot of pain, get help, and get help fast. Call a lactation consultant. And if it’s 3 in the morning, and you don’t want to wake anyone up, check out the Kellymom website. It’s an excellent resource for looking up any problem you may have; just use the search function in the left hand column.
The contest is limited to U.S. residents. Deadline is August 31. To enter, leave a comment answering this question: Who was your biggest source of support for breastfeeding? And if you haven’t had your baby yet, do you have the name of a lactation consultant you can call if you need help with breastfeeding?

Enter to Win a Lila Bean Nursing Cover

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In recognition of World Breastfeeding Week… I’ve got a great give-away for you. A Lila Bean nursing cover.
I recently met the woman behind Lila Bean. Charlotte Penenberg named the company after her daughter…her inspiration…Lila. Read Charlotte’s story here.
Personally, I never used a nursing cover with either of our boys. I sort of improvised when ever I was out of the house. Coats, baby blankets, napkins. You name it, I used it. But often, I didn’t even use a cover, because my clothes simply worked well enough to keep me from feeling overly exposed.
But I see the allure behind an actual nursing cover. Besides, it’s hard to resist the awesome patterns Lila Bean has. Plus, the cover has uses beyond nursing. Try it as a sun shield for your stroller or a blanket for the car seat.
So how can you win one? Charlotte will pick a winner after you leave a comment answering this question: What’s the most outrageous place you’ve nursed in public? And if you don’t have a baby yet, why would you like this cover?
Deadline: August 31, 2008. Contest limited to U.S. residents.

World Breastfeeding Week

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There’s a lot going on this week, and month, in the world of breastfeeding. World Breastfeeding Week is an annual, international event organized by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. Events are organized locally, so to see what’s happening near you, click on this website for World Breastfeeding Week. For another list, check out this link from La Leche League. From this link, you’ll find events all month, and even into September. Seems to be more accurate to call this Breastfeeding Awareness Month!
Now for some news…
Here’s a link to a news story from New York City about some moms who rode the subway with their breastfeeding babies.
And from Massachusetts, here’s the latest on the new Mothers’ Milk Bank of New England.