Mama Knows Breast

Andi in the news

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Dog Wetnurses Newborn Tigers

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Watch this remarkable story…a golden retriever is nursing three newborn tiger cubs that have been rejected by their mother.

PETA Says Ben & Jerry’s Should Use Human Breast Milk in Its Ice Cream

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Ok, so this is a little out there…but here goes. PETA, People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals, sent a letter to the ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s, urging the company to use human breast milk in its ice cream.
PETA’s blog says, “We explained that using cow’s milk for their ice cream is a hazard to consumers’ health…But it’s not all about us humans. Animals will also benefit from the switch to breast milk. Because, like all mammals, cows only give milk during or after pregnancy, in order for humans to constantly milk them, they are forcefully impregnated every nine months. Many live in filthy conditions and are forced to give 10 times more milk than they would naturally. It’s truly an awful life.”
PETA says Ben & Jerry’s responded, saying “We applaud PETA’s novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother’s milk is best used for her child.”
Here’s the story, covered by a VT television station.
You know what I’d love PETA to do, how about stepping into the election fray. Does PETA have anything to say about Sarah Palin’s hunting habits, her opposition to putting polar bears on the endangered species list, or her support of aerial hunting of wolves?

China Investigates Dangerous Baby Formula

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Read this whole article to get to the warning at the end from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA says no Chinese formula has been approved for import, but be aware that “…limited quantities might have found their way into some ethnic grocery stores.”
Here’s the article from the New York Times:
China Investigates Tainted Baby Formula
HONG KONG — China began a nationwide inquiry into the safety of all infant formulas on Friday as investigators from six government agencies descended on a milk powder factory that produced formula linked to the death of one baby and kidney problems in at least 50 more.
The producer of the contaminated formula, the Sanlu Group, recalled 700 tons after determining on Thursday that it contained melamine, an industrial chemical, according to the official China Daily newspaper.
The discovery is a setback for the country’s efforts to reassure its own citizens and overseas buyers that the “made in China” label is trustworthy after a series of incidents involving everything from toxic toy beads to poisonous cough medicine.
Contamination with melamine is especially embarrassing. Pet food that included ingredients made in China laced with melamine sickened thousands of pets and killed an unknown number last year in the United States, and the Chinese government promised at the time that it would prevent melamine from entering food products for people.
For people in China, the death of a baby from tainted infant formula recalls a scandal four years in which 13 infants died after drinking substandard formula produced by counterfeiters under the Sanlu brand.
China’s Health Ministry promised “serious punishment” on Friday for those found responsible for the presence of melamine in the formula. The majority of the babies who have fallen sick had definitely consumed the Sanlu formula, the ministry said in a statement on its Web site.
Top Chinese doctors have been asked to perform urgent research into treatment for babies suffering kidney stones and kidney failure after drinking the formula, the ministry said. Doctors across the country were ordered to report any further cases of babies with kidney difficulties.
China also reported the problem to the World Health Organization, in an attempt to improve its reputation for transparency in health issues. China hid the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, for four months in late 2002 and early 2003, drawing international criticism when the disease spread to Hong Kong and then around the world.
An ingredient of plastics and fertilizers, melamine is sometimes added by dishonest merchants to animal feed in China, so that when it is tested, it registers more protein than it actually has.
Sanlu ordered its recall and promised its own investigation after determining that batches of its formula manufactured before Aug. 6 had been contaminated.
Sanlu officials did not answer calls to the company’s headquarters in Shijiazhuang, in Hebei Province. It was not clear what production changes were made on Aug. 6 that prompted the company to conclude that formula produced after that date was safe.
There have been reports of babies developing kidney stones and kidney failure in at least seven provinces. A cluster of cases in Gansu Province in western China triggered the recall.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration said that no infant formula from China has been approved for import. But the F.D.A. advised consumers to be cautious because limited quantities might have found their way into some ethnic grocery stores.

Angelina Jolie and Breastfeeding Twins

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Sort of old news…but definitely worth highlighting… Angelina Jolie told People Magazine in August that she was breastfeeding her newborn twins.
From The Celebrity Baby Blog:
In their 3-week-old fraternal twins’ debut in the latest issue of PEOPLE, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt spoke about how breastfeeding both babies at the same time plays a part in managing the chaos. Angelina said, “They eat every three hours and I’m getting better at holding them both for [breast]feeding at the same time, so that helps. Usually, the other kids come in and hold them when they finish. They help with the baths and the changing.” Brad added, “We try to get them to eat simultaneously for the sake of management, but it gets a little crowded at the bar!”
For information on breastfeeding twins, you can check out

Why Women Should Vote For Obama and Biden

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Yes, this is a blog about breastfeeding. But at the base, this is a blog about women, and for women. So for that reason, I’m writing about politics and my decision to vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
This election feels more critical to me than ever. It cost me $47 for half a tank of gas today. Our health insurance is expensive and complicated. Every day we hear how global warming is destroying our planet. We are at war abroad and fear terrorism at home.
Most importantly, I worry about the future for our children. What will their world look like 50 years from now? Will we have developed other sources of energy? Will cities be devastated by floods and storms? Will war and terrorism be even worse? These are the things that keep me up at the night. The things that have me writing this post, when I should really be asleep.
After eight years of George Bush, one thing is clear– this country is headed in the wrong direction. Electing McCain and Palin promises more of the same. In fact– and I can’t believe I’m going to even say this– McCain and Palin could be even worse.
Nowhere is this more clear than in the candidate’s positions on issues important to women. Obama and Biden get it. McCain and Palin don’t. The Obama website clearly outlines his positions on women’s issues. And on this link, you’ll find more information, including a point by point comparision of the two candidates (look at Resources). Here are some highlights from the Obama site:
Obama and Biden support a woman’s right to choose. Mcain and Palin do not; they are staunchly anti-choice.
Obama supports equal pay for equal work. McCain opposed legislation that would help women achieve pay equity.
Obama supports expanding legislation providing for family and medical leave. McCain does not have a plan to expand paid and sick leave.
Obama will expand the child and dependent care tax credit. McCain has voted against increased funding for child care.
Obama supports laws to protect domestic violence victims. McCain and Palin oppose additional funding.
Finally, the one issue that really clinches it for me is the environment. Obama seems to truly grasp that we are at a critical point with global warming, our dependence on foreign oil and the need to develop alternative energy sources. For more on this, read this Thomas Friedman column.
Beyond the issues, consider what McCain’s decision to pick Sarah Palin says about his judgment. She seems woefully unprepared to step in if McCain is elected, and then dies. Case in point– the Republicans haven’t let her anywhere near reporters. They know she lacks a true understanding of domestic and foreign politics to speak spontaneously. This is what a New York Times editorial had to say:
Mr. McCain’s snap choice of Ms. Palin reflects his impulsive streak: a wild play that he made after conservative activists warned him that he would face an all-out revolt in the party if he chose who he really wanted — Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut…
If Mr. McCain wanted to break with his party’s past and choose the Republicans’ first female presidential candidate, there are a number of politicians out there with far greater experience and stature than Ms. Palin, who has been in Alaska’s Statehouse for less than two years.
Before she was elected governor, she was mayor of a tiny Anchorage suburb, where her greatest accomplishment was raising the sales tax to build a hockey rink. According to Time magazine, she also sought to have books banned from the local library and threatened to fire the librarian.
For Mr. McCain to go on claiming that Mr. Obama has too little experience to be president after almost four years in the United States Senate is laughable now that he has announced that someone with no national or foreign policy experience is qualified to replace him, if necessary.

So when election day rolls around, think about this: Do you want a President who truly supports women? Or a President who simply picks a woman running mate, assuming that that will convince you to vote for him? For me, I know what I want. I don’t need a hockey mom. I need the best person, man or woman. And that person is Barack Obama.

The Winners of The August Breastfeeding Contests

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Thank you to everyone who entered the August giveaway contests. Now for the winners:
For the Medela breastfeeding products, I asked everyone to leave a comment answering the question “who was your biggest source of breastfeeding support?”
And the winner is Brandy, who wrote:
This might be very stereotypical but my husband was definitely my biggest source of support. When it was 2:00 in the morning and Aiden was cluster feeding and I just didn’t think I could do it any more he would tell me what a great job I was doing and how very important it was. And then he would rock Aiden and take care of him so that I could get some rest. There was definitely no better support than that for me.
And for the winner of the Lila Bean Nursing Cover, I asked “what’s the most outrageous place you’ve nursed in public?”
The winner is Shannon:
The most outrageous place that I can think of having nursed was during a Fire Department meeting with a room full of guys absolutely astonished that I was going to stay there and nurse my daughter. It was great!

Sarah Palin Does Not Get My Vote

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Here is why I love the New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. She holds no punches in her column attacking John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as a Vice Presidential candidate. Here’s Dowd’s whole column:
The guilty pleasure I miss most when I’m out slogging on the campaign trail is the chance to sprawl on the chaise and watch a vacuously spunky and generically sassy chick flick.
So imagine my delight, my absolute astonishment, when the hokey chick flick came out on the trail, a Cinderella story so preposterous it’s hard to believe it’s not premiering on Lifetime. Instead of going home and watching “Miss Congeniality” with Sandra Bullock, I get to stay here and watch “Miss Congeniality” with Sarah Palin.
Sheer heaven.
It’s easy to see where this movie is going. It begins, of course, with a cute, cool unknown from Alaska who has never even been on “Meet the Press” triumphing over a cute, cool unknowable from Hawaii who has been on “Meet the Press” a lot.
Americans, suspicious that the Obamas have benefited from affirmative action without being properly grateful, and skeptical that Michelle really likes “The Brady Bunch” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” reject the 47-year-old black contender as too uppity and untested.
Instead, they embrace 72-year-old John McCain and 44-year-old Sarah Palin, whose average age is 58, a mere two years older than the average age of the Obama-Biden ticket. Enthusiastic Republicans don’t see the choice of Palin as affirmative action, despite her thin résumé and gaping absence of foreign policy knowledge, because they expect Republicans to put an underqualified “babe,” as Rush Limbaugh calls her, on the ticket. They have a tradition of nominating fun, bantamweight cheerleaders from the West, like the previous Miss Congeniality types Dan Quayle and W., and then letting them learn on the job. So they crash into the globe a few times while they’re learning to drive, what’s the big deal?
Obama may have been president of The Harvard Law Review, but Palin graduated from the University of Idaho with a minor in poli-sci and worked briefly as a TV sports reporter. And she was tougher on the basketball court than the ethereal Obama, earning the nickname “Sarah Barracuda.”
The legacy of Geraldine Ferraro was supposed to be that no one would ever go on a blind date with history again. But that crazy maverick and gambler McCain does it, and conservatives and evangelicals rally around him in admiration of his refreshingly cynical choice of Sarah, an evangelical Protestant and anti-abortion crusader who became a hero when she decided to have her baby, who has Down syndrome, and when she urged schools to debate creationism as well as that stuffy old evolution thing.
Palinistas, as they are called, love Sarah’s spunky, relentlessly quirky “Northern Exposure” story from being a Miss Alaska runner-up, and winning Miss Congeniality, to being mayor and hockey mom in Wasilla, a rural Alaskan town of 6,715, to being governor for two years to being the first woman ever to run on a national Republican ticket. (Why do men only pick women as running mates when they need a Hail Mary pass? It’s a little insulting.)
Sarah is a zealot, but she’s a fun zealot. She has a beehive and sexy shoes, and the day she’s named she goes shopping with McCain in Ohio for a cheerleader outfit for her daughter.
As she once told Vogue, she’s learned the hard way to deal with press comments about her looks. “I wish they’d stick with the issues instead of discussing my black go-go boots,” she said. “A reporter once asked me about it during the campaign, and I assured him I was trying to be as frumpy as I could by wearing my hair on top of my head and these schoolmarm glasses.”
This chick flick, naturally, features a wild stroke of fate, when the two-year governor of an oversized igloo becomes commander in chief after the president-elect chokes on a pretzel on day one.
The movie ends with the former beauty queen shaking out her pinned-up hair, taking off her glasses, slipping on ruby red peep-toe platform heels that reveal a pink French-style pedicure, and facing down Vladimir Putin in an island in the Bering Strait. Putting away her breast pump, she points her rifle and informs him frostily that she has some expertise in Russia because it’s close to Alaska. “Back off, Commie dude,” she says. “I’m a much better shot than Cheney.”
Then she takes off in her seaplane and lands on the White House lawn, near the new ice fishing hole and hockey rink. The “First Dude,” as she calls the hunky Eskimo in the East Wing, waits on his snowmobile with the kids — Track (named after high school track meets), Bristol (after Bristol Bay where they did commercial fishing), Willow (after a community in Alaska), Piper (just a cool name) and Trig (Norse for “strength.”)
“The P.T.A. is great preparation for dealing with the K.G.B.,” President Palin murmurs to Todd, as they kiss in the final scene while she changes Trig’s diaper. “Now that Georgia’s safe, how ’bout I cook you up some caribou hot dogs and moose stew for dinner, babe?”