Mama Knows Breast

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Products That Can Help You Breastfeed In Public

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For this month’s “carnival,” we’re tackling the subject of breastfeeding in public. Below, you’ll find a collection of posts from different bloggers.
As for me, I breastfed our kids anywhere and everywhere. If they were hungry, they ate. I found a comfortable place to sit, and got down to business. Getting a pedicure? Yes. Shopping for clothes? Check. Dining in a restaurant? Ditto.
I think I was too tired to really care what anyone thought. And I found that with a little practice, it was quite easy to feed discreetly. I never bought a fancy nursing shawl or blanket. I didn’t even have a nursing top. I just managed with a nursing bra and whatever else I had with me at the time… my coat, a table napkin. You get the idea.
Nevertheless, I’m always excited to see new products that can facilitate the nursing in public experience. Babies eat around the clock and moms simply can’t stay home tethered to the couch all day. So if there’s anything that will make the whole thing easier, I’m all for it.
I recently posted a question on this site, as well as Twitter and Facebook, asking people what products they liked for nursing in public. I got some great suggestions, so I’ll share them with you here.
Bravado nursing bras and tanks. (I LOVED these bras. It was the only brand I bought).
Motherwear nursing clothes, bras and gowns.
Boob Nursing Shirts.
Hadley Stillwell’s fancy clothes for work and getting dressed up.
Japanese Weekend nursing tops, dresses and pajamas.
Glamourmom nursing tanks.
Nursing wraps/blankets from Bebe au Lait, Hooter Hider and Lila Bean.
The Bella Band to cover your stomach and hold your pants up.
The Mobleez Breastfeeding Hat.
A scarf from Mamascarf in the UK.
But in the end, you really have to ask yourself, what’s in your budget and what makes you the most at ease. And as my friend Helena wrote to me, “Hm, what makes it easy to feed your child in public…how about a boob? Don’t be ashamed, women, you don’t need to burkha your baby to accommodate other peoples’ ignorance.”
Now, for the posts from other bloggers. (sorry for the delay… I still have to insert the links)
* Motherwear: Get kicked off a bus for nursing in public? Here’s how to respond
* Breastfeeding 1-2-3: To Cover or Not to Cover
* Breastfeeding Mums: Nursing in Public – What’s a Breastfeeding Mother to do?
* Lucy and Ethel Have a Baby: Nursing in Public – Boobs out and Proud
* PhD in Parenting: Would you, could you, nurse in public?
* Dirty Diaper Laundry: Breastfeeding in Public – Talents – I Haz It
* Kim Through the Looking Glass: Here, at the Restaurant?
* Grudgemom: Nursing in a room full of people you know
* Mum Unplugged: Awww, is he sleeping?
* Massachusetts Friends of Midwives: Nursing in Public – Chinatown, the Subway, the Vatican, and more
* Mother Mary’s Soapbox: Breastfeeding Oriana
* Tiny Grass: Nursing in Public as an Immigrant
* Mommy News and Views: Breastfeeding in Public
* Stork Stories: Little Old Men…and Nursing in Public
* Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: Why worry about NIP?
* Warm Hearts Happy Family: Breastfeeding and the Summertime
* Blacktating: Thank you for Nursing in Public
* Musings on Mamahood: Nip, No Tuck
* Baby Ready: A Wee NIP in the Park
* Tales of Life with a Girl on the Go: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles – We’ve breastfed in them all
* Breastfeeding Moms Unite: Nursing in Public – A Fresh Perspective on Nurse-ins
* Never a Dull Moment: Breastfeeding Hats? Yes! Nursing Covers? Uh…not so much
* Hobo Mama: Easy, Discreet way to Nurse a Toddler in Public

Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009

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Time to get politically active folks… the Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009 was introduced in Congress on June 11 by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). So what will the bill do? Here’s Maloney’s press release:
“This bill will bring breastfeeding mothers under the protection of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, require employers with over 50 employees to provide a private space and unpaid time off during the workday for mothers to express milk, and sets standards for breast pump manufacture. It also provides for tax incentives for employers that establish private lactation areas in the workplace and tax credits for nursing mothers,” said Maloney.
And here’s more information, including a link to the bill on Maloney’s website.
So how can you get involved? Here’s an email tool from the United States Breastfeeding Committee. Use it to automatically send emails to your representatives and senators asking them to co-sponsor the bill.
Angela of Breastfeeding 123 has started a Facebook group to help spread the word. And she has a letter you can mail or fax to ask your state representatives and senators to co-sponsor the bill.
This is the fifth time the bill has been up for consideration, so it’s time get it passed!

Breastfeeding and Intelligence

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To add to the ongoing debate (see here and here) about whether breastfeeding makes you smarter… here’s a new study that found that people who were breastfed do better in high school and have a higher chance of going to college. Here’s the link to the study. And here’s some information from a Reuters news story:
Breastfed babies seem more likely to do well at high school and to go on to attend college than infants raised on a bottle, according to a new U.S. study.
Professors Joseph Sabia from the American University and Daniel Rees from the University of Colorado Denver based their research on 126 children from 59 families, comparing siblings who were breastfed as infants to others who were not.
By comparing siblings, the study was able to account for the influence of a variety of difficult-to-measure factors such as maternal intelligence and the quality of the home environment.
The study, published in the Journal of Human Capital, found that an additional month of breastfeeding was associated with an increase in high school grade point averages of 0.019 points and an increase in the probability of college attendance of 0.014.
“The results of our study suggest that the cognitive and health benefits of breastfeeding may lead to important long-run educational benefits for children,” Sabia, a professor of public policy who focuses on health economics, said in a statement.

Breastfeeding and Swine Flu

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So… since the last post… here’s what the boys did: they draped tape from one side of their room to the other and then attached newspapers to the tape. They also managed to wedge open my child-proofed desk drawer and find the plastic bag holding all of the buttons that have fallen off the sofa. The buttons I was saving for the day I would get the sofa fixed and cleaned. The buttons are now gone.
This is what happens when you decide to let boys be boys and leave them alone.
Anyway… we’ve all been sick here, off and on for the past month. Swine flu? Who knows. One of our kid’s schools was closed for a couple of days. The other school has strep going around.
Which leads me to the CDC recommendations for breastfeeding and swine flu. Click here. The bottom line is that if you or your baby has the flu, you should absolutely continue breastfeeding. Breastfeeding provides your baby with critical antibodies. From the CDC:
There are many ways that breastfeeding and breast milk protect babies’ health. Since this is a new virus, we don’t know yet about specific protection against it. Mothers pass on protective antibodies to their baby during breastfeeding. Antibodies are a type of protein made by the immune system in the body. Antibodies help fight off infection.
Flu can be very serious in young babies. Babies who are not breastfed get sick from infections like the flu more often and more severely than babies who are breastfed…
Do not stop breastfeeding if you are ill. Ideally babies less than about 6 months of age should get their feedings from breast milk. Breastfeed early and often. Limit formula feeds as much as possible. This will help protect your baby from infection.
If you are too sick to breastfeed, pump and have someone give the expressed milk to your baby.

Breastfeeding Reduces Risk of Multiple Sclerosis Relapse Post Partum

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Ok… so I’m doing a lot of posting in one day. The kids are running wild avoiding bed time and my husband is sick… so why shouldn’t I blog and ignore the mess in the kitchen?! Why not…
Here’s a news story I came across today. A study in the Archives of Neurology found that breastfeeding can help prevent the relapse of multiple sclerosis after pregnancy. From the study:
Our findings show that exclusive breastfeeding (and prolonged lactational amenorrhea) significantly reduces the risk of postpartum relapses of MS. Ongoing and future studies of postpartum disease activity in MS, particularly treatment trials, should distinguish between exclusive and nonexclusive breastfeeding and account for it in their analysis.
Our findings also suggest that women with MS should be encouraged to breastfeed exclusively for at least the first 2 months postpartum in lieu of starting IMA treatment shortly after delivery. These findings highlight the need to critically evaluate the efficacy of early postpartum treatments in MS, especially if they are not compatible with lactation.

Attention Bloggers… If You Want a Copy of My Book for World Breastfeeding Week

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The first week of August is World Breastfeeding Week. So in advance of this, I’m giving away review copies of my book, “Mama Knows Breast.” If you’re a blogger or journalist and would like a copy, send me an email.
Events for World Breastfeeding Week actually go on all of August… so it’s sometimes called Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Click here to see what’s going on in your area.

Alternative Use for Breast Pad– Read this, Trust Me

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The other day I pointed all of you in the direction of the blog Dooce, whether blogger Heather Armstrong is writing about her impending labor, which is days away.
From one of her recent posts… a photo of her dog wearing a very special hat. Click here.

Check Out This Blogger

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In case you’ve never heard of the blogger Dooce… which is pretty unlikely… you might want to venture over to her site. She’s about to have her second baby and is chronicling the pregnancy. It’s definitely worth a read.

Looking For Product Suggestions

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Hey everyone… I’m looking for your favorite item that has made breastfeeding in public easier. Tell me what shawl, wrap, blanket, nursing cover, shirt, bra… you get it… you simply can’t live without. And if it isn’t one particular item, share your tricks of the trade. What makes nursing on the go easier for you? And what’s your favorite nursing in public story?

New Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign

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So what do you think of this?! It’s a new breastfeeding awareness ad, brought to you by Best For Babes. BfB is a non-profit focused on raising awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding.
I’ve gotten to know the founders Danielle and Bettina over the past couple of years, and I can tell you, these are two dedicated breastfeeding advocates.
You can get a look at this ad in print if you pick up the latest copy of Fit Pregnancy magazine.