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How Hospital Bags With Formula Can Undermine Breastfeeding

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USA Today has a great piece today about how those gift bags for new moms can influence breastfeeding rates.

“Hospitals need to greatly improve practices to support mothers who want to breast-feed,” Dr. Thomas Frieden said last month in releasing a CDC report card on breast-feeding. It showed that less than 5 percent of U.S. infants are born in “baby-friendly” hospitals that fully support breast-feeding, and that 1 in 4 infants receive formula within hours of birth.

Routinely offering new moms free formula is among practices the CDC would like to end. In some cases, hospitals agree to give out those freebies in exchange for getting free supplies for special-needs infants, Frieden said…

A nationwide study of more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals and maternity centers published last year in the Journal of Human Lactation found that 91 percent sent new moms home with free formula in 2006-07. A smaller 2010 study of 1,239 hospitals suggests that the practice has decreased, although most — 72 percent — still offered formula. That study is being released Monday in October’s Pediatrics.

“I don’t think hospitals are the right place to market anything and I don’t think hospitals should be marketing a product that is nutritionally inferior to breast milk,” said study author Anne Merewood, an associate pediatrics professor at Boston University medical school and editor of the Journal of Human Lactation.

“People do think if a doctor gives something it must be good for you,” Merewood said.

Written by: AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner can be reached at www.twitter.com/LindseyTanner

Check Out Cinderella iPad and iPhone App

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I’m working with a children’s app developer that just released a fantastic new fairy tale app.  It’s an animated and interactive version of Cinderella. Watch this video and I think you’ll be sold! A cool feature, if your iPad or iPhone has a front facing camera, your face will pop up on a couple of screens of the app, inside a mirror. You’ll be right there next to Cinderella and her wicked stepsisters.  Buy the app here from iTunes. And I’d be oh so grateful if you could please leave a review in iTunes :) .

First Days of Breastfeeding

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Here’s the latest post I wrote for the giggle store’s blog, giggle Gab. It’s about what to do in those first few days after birth, and how to get breastfeeding off to a good start.  Here’s an excerpt:

Forget about your images of postpartum hospital bliss.  You won’t unpack that beautiful bathrobe.  You won’t put on makeup for your first family photos.  You won’t brush your hair.  And that blue and white hospital gown, oh why bother changing?  You are wiped out.

But here’s one thing you will be focused on — feeding your baby.  If you plan on breastfeeding, it’s important to get things off to an early start.  Right from the beginning, immediately after birth, a baby can learn how to latch on to breastfeed, and this is crucial for developing your milk supply.  For those early days of feedings, your body will produce colostrum, a nutrient and antibody rich milk that is thick and slightly colored. A few days later, breast milk that is thinner, and more white, “will come in.”

So what can you do to get things going? Click here for the rest of the story.

Sexy Nursing Bras

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Yes, that’s right! Nursing bras do not need to be white or beige or cream.  You can have hot pink. Or rhinestones.  Check out this awesome story by Catherine Saint Louis in the New York Times.

MATERNITY and nursing bras have long been the ugly stepsisters to gorgeously constructed lingerie. If you became pregnant or nursed your child, scratchy, unadorned, matronly bras — probably colored inconspicuously “nude” or white — were your lot. Elisabeth Dale, the founder of the Web site The Breast Life, which has bra reviews and health information, says she thinks this was because functionality and sex appeal can seem incompatible.

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

A number of designers have lately added flair to undergarments for a group long ignored in fashion: nursing mothers.

When your breasts “are in work mode, they don’t get to wear nice fabrics,” she said wryly, adding that you’re “sterilizing” your breasts “by putting them in a boring white milk curtain.”

But perhaps not anymore. Some of today’s maternity and nursing bras boast lace in conspicuous hues like coral or purple, with added features like rhinestones, and coy nicknames like Awakened by Her Desire and She Craved a Little Decadence. This, of course, along with convenient hooks that allow each cup to drop for easy access to hungry newborns, extra fastenings to accommodate diaphragm growth and comfortable linings…

Heidi Rauch, a 42-year-old founder of Belabumbum, a sleek but understated lingerie brand that started selling nursing-bras in 2003, said of the new crop: “They speak to the stereotypical end of what is sexy. It’s pushing the edge with rhinestones.” By contrast, she said, “Our stuff will make you feel better in your skin at a time when everything is feeling different, but it’s not like it’s overtly too sexy”…

Click here for the rest of the piece.