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.

Join Me On Sirius Radio on Wednesday

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I’m going to be on a show called Doctor Radio on Sirius tomorrow (Wednesday). I’ll be speaking with a doctor named Roshini Rajapaksa who is now pregnant with her second baby. Talking about what else… babes and boobs!
The Channel is Sirius 114 & 119. I’ll be on at 9 am and 9 pm on the East Coast, and 6 am and 6 pm on the West Coast.
Please call in with you stories, anecdotes and questions! Dial 877-NYUDOCS or 877-698-3627.

Isla Fisher and Breastfeeding

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In honor of the Oscars… which I’m shamelessly watching tonight. (LOVE the dresses!)
Actress Isla Fisher says she loves breastfeeding… “I am still breastfeeding. I’m only going to stop when Olive goes to university!”
She says it helped her lose weight, and that all the outfits she wore while filming Confessions of a Shopaholic were breastfeeding friendly.

A Report From the Denny’s Nurse In in Asheville, NC

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I found this blog post on Babyfingers, describing the nurse in at the Denny’s in Asheville, NC today. This was to protest the way a mom, Crystal Everitt, says she was treated while trying to nurse in the restaurant.
Here are some links:
Statement from Denny’s representative. Video from YouTube. I think he did a good job of clarifying Denny’s position that breastfeeding moms are welcome in the restaurants.
Some photos from the event.

Protest Planned Against Denny’s Restaurant After Mom in North Carolina Asked to Cover Up While Breastfeeding

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So, here we are once again. A mom goes to a restaurant. Takes her baby. The baby needs to eat. The mom proceeds to breastfeed. An employee asks the mom to cover up. And the brouhaha begins.
Crystal Everitt was at the Denny’s restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina when this very thing happened to her. In fact, when she refused to stop breastfeeding or leave, the police showed up at the restaurant and said she could be arrested for trespassing.
Here’s a video interview on the local news with Crystal.
Here’s a link to her story about what happened:

Everitt said she told the manager she had the right to breastfeed and thought the incident was over until she saw an Asheville police officer and the manager walking towards her table.
The manager told her she could not stay if she continued breastfeeding, Everitt said.
The officer told her she could be arrested, not for breastfeeding but for refusing to leave the restaurant, she said.
North Carolina law allows breastfeeding in any public or private place where the woman is otherwise authorized to be. But it does not forbid business owners from asking mothers to move or cover up, said Natalie Wilson, professional liaison for the Le Leche League of North Carolina.

So now, Everitt is planning a protest at the restaurant on February 22nd. A breastfeeding advocacy group called First Right is backing Everitt. And there is even a grassroots movement to organize protests at Denny’s outside North Carolina.
Here’s the link to a Yahoo Chat group about this nurse in.
Here’s the North Carolina law about breastfeeding in public.
And laws in every state about breastfeeding in public.
And here’s a link to Breastfeeding123 which has Denny’s corporate statement in response to this incident.
So here’s my take on this: Laws protecting women’s right to breastfeed in public are a good start. And a necessary one. But it’s just the beginning. And we see this over and over again when moms are harassed for breastfeeding in public. We are still a far cry from a society that truly accepts breastfeeding. We are so conditioned to think of breasts as sexual… boobs are used to sell everything from lingerie (think Victoria’s Secret) to restaurants (think Hooters!) to perfume (check out this Calvin Klein commercial with Eva Mendes). But breastfeeding isn’t sexual. Don’t forget… we’re mammals. And mammals breastfeed in order to nourish their young.
So… where does this leave us? In a place where moms like Crystal Everitt need to speak out, to make their voices heard, and ultimately, to protect babies’ rights to eat, wherever and whenever they need to.

Giveway of New BPA Free Bottles

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UPDATE: And the winner is… Jennifer B who wrote about wanting the bottles for her sister.
I love it when I find eco-conscious bottles. So here’s a new one...MilkBank. Brought to you by a company called DexBaby, MilkBank has insulated feeding bottles, a vacuum storage system for breast milk and vented feeding bottles. They will be coming out with a breast pump shortly. The company says all of these products are free of lead, phthalates, PVC and BPA.
Since my breastfeeding days are over, I wasn’t able to test these bottles out for you. But I did email with a childbirth educator friend who says she actually loves the bottles.
MilkBank says their storage system is unique because you can use a special pump to remove oxygen from the bottle of milk, and thus prevent the milk from spoiling. This is the first I’ve heard about oxygen causing milk to spoil. So I’m still in the process of figuring out how to evaluate this claim. But here’s what the company has to say about it.
In the meantime, here’s a link on Kellymom to on guidelines for storing milk.
And now… last but not least… I’m giving away a set of these bottles. To enter leave a comment here on why you want or need them. I’ll pick the winner. You must be a U.S. citizen to enter. The deadline is February 18th.

Podcast Interview of Me on Pediatrics For Parents

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I was recently interview by Pediatrics for Parents. To listen to the interview, click here.
And definitely visit the site. There is tons of information for parents. You can also subscribe to the newsletter.

More on Salma Hayek and Cross Nursing and a Poll

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As I wrote here earlier, the ABC show Nightline aired footage of Salma Hayek cross nursing a baby during her humanitarian trip to Sierra Leone.
The Celebrity Baby Blog has more on this story, as well as a poll asking people if they have ever cross nursed, or if they would do so. Click here to vote.
Alpha Mom blog has another interview with Hayek. Read it to learn about Hayek’s love for babies, boobs and stilleto boots.

Working Moms Pumping Breast Milk While Traveling

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Here’s an article from the New York Times. And an excerpt:
No longer are there tales of airport security guards forcing a breastfeeding mother to pour a two-day supply of her baby’s milk into the garbage or another to taste her own milk. But a business trip still presents an array of challenges for breastfeeding mothers…
“At many companies, working mothers can request to travel less, but some women have no choice,” said Suzanne Riss, editor in chief of Working Mother magazine in New York City.
Every year, Working Mother compiles a list of the 100 best companies for working mothers. Two companies from the list in 2008, Ms. Riss said, were noteworthy for their support of breastfeeding employees who must travel.
Ernst & Young, the New York City financial services company, provides free travel kits so that women on business trips can ship milk home to their babies. And the Boston Consulting Group, a management consulting firm based in Boston, helps women bring their babies on business trips by covering travel expenses for the infant and a baby sitter.
Ms. Riss called such programs “very cutting edge” and noted that they “go a long way” toward creating loyal employees. “But they’re still the exception, not the rule,” she added.

Salma Hayek Travels to Sierra Leone: Talks About Tetanus Vaccinations and Breastfeeding

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In an ABC Nightline story about tetanus in Sierra Leone, actress Salma Hayek talks about the importance of breastfeeding and even cross nurses a baby. Hayek is working with the company that makes Pampers to promote tetanus vaccinations.
Watch the video here. (You’ll see Hayek nursing, and talking about breastfeeding, about half way through the footage. But a warning: before you get to that point there is footage of a dying baby). Here’s an extended quote from the ABC story:

To most people in the United States, tetanus brings to mind rusty nails and a quick trip to the doctor’s office for a shot. But in developing countries like Sierra Leone, maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) is a top cause of death among mothers and their babies…
Sierra Leone has the highest infant and child death rate in the world. One in five children die before reaching their fifth birthday and tetanus is a big contributor — 21 percent of all infant deaths are related to tetanus.
Tetanus deaths are preventable with routine vaccinations. UNICEF has launched an initiative to eradicate the disease worldwide by 2012. In Sierra Leone the cost of immunizing one person is about 74 cents.
Once a woman is immunized, her children will be protected from the disease at birth, before needing immunizations of their own.
In 2008, Hayek became a spokeswoman for the Pampers “One Pack = One Vaccine” campaign to support UNICEF’s efforts to eliminate tetanus. For each pack of specially marked Pampers diapers sold, parent company Proctor and Gamble donates the cost of one tetanus vaccine to UNICEF. The North American campaign has generated funding for more than 45 million vaccines since the beginning of 2008.

And here’s a quote about breastfeeding:

Hayek’s daughter, Valentina, turned 1 before the trip and the actress spoke about the importance of breast-feeding, especially in underdeveloped countries such as Sierra Leone. In fact doctors there say that because malnutrition is so rampant they would like to see women in Sierra Leone breast-feed for two years. But such behavior is rare. The reason? Men urge their wives to quickly stop breast-feeding because of cultural mores that forbid sexual intercourse with breast-feeding women.
“It is the best thing you can do for your child, not only the bonding, that’s how you build the immune system, so in a country like Africa imagine how important it is for the mothers do that,” she said. “But here, there is the belief that if you are breast-feeding you cannot have a sexual life so the husbands, of course, of these women are really encouraging them to stop and this is just a taboo.”

An Economic Take on Breastfeeding

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Here’s a great article from the Huffington Post, written by the Executive Editor of She says there’s a “milk gap” that we need to close with better family leave policies. Here’s an excerpt:

We’ve heard of the trade gap, wage gap, and gender gap. Now comes the “milk gap.”
It is the gap between the time a mother is able to feed her newborn baby breast milk and the twelve months that pediatricians recommend. Why twelve months? Because the health benefits of breastfeeding abound: babies have reduced chances of suffering from diabetes, leukemia, meningitis, obesity and a host of other illnesses. Yet 84 percent of mothers stop breastfeeding before their babies reach age one, in large part, because they have no choice: they need to return to paycheck jobs, many of which are incompatible with breastfeeding.
To become a more family-friendly country, we need to become more baby-friendly and help mothers close the milk gap.
Most babies have a milk deficit: they breastfeed for less than one year. Fortunate moms minimize the deficit by crafting extended paid leaves from work by taking what paid time off they have accrued all at once (for example, maternity leave plus sick days plus vacation days). Other mothers utilize on-site day care, which allows them to break from work to breastfeed. Still others bring their infants to work. Flexible schedules sometimes permit moms to work at home or part-time — thereby enabling them to nurse their babies while resuming wage work responsibilities. And some moms resort to breast pumps to allow others to feed their babies’ the precious mother’s milk….
Instead, what’s needed is for people who care about children and families to support public policies and workplace practices that help close the milk gap: paid family leave, flexible work arrangements (including time and space for pumping), convenient, quality child care, and on-ramps back into good jobs and careers for stay-at-home moms.