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.



How Hospital Bags With Formula Can Undermine Breastfeeding

Bookmark and Share

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

Breastfeeding and Mom’s Sleep

Bookmark and Share

Babies don’t sleep through the night.  They just don’t.  Parents never get any sleep.  And that is never going to change.

I’ve often heard people claim that breastfeeding moms get the least amount of sleep because they have to wake up to breastfeed.  But that just didn’t ring true with my experience.  If I had been bottle feeding, I would have had to get up anyway.  I would have had to get out of bed, make the formula, stumble back to the bedroom… all with a screaming child.  Yes, my husband could have done some feedings, but there was little chance I was going to sleep through that.

So I wasn’t surprised to see the results of a new study which found that moms who breastfeed are not losing any more sleep than moms who formula feed.  Here’s a link to the study in the journal Pediatrics. And from Reuters:

Contradicting the suspicion that breastfeeding moms get less sleep, the results represent “good information to be able to tell women, (that) ‘not breastfeeding is not going to help you get better sleep,’” study author Dr. Hawley Montgomery-Downs of West Virginia University told Reuters Health. “And the benefits (of breastfeeding) for both mom and baby are tremendous.”…

There has been an “urban myth” that women who breastfeed get less sleep, Montgomery-Downs noted, which may cause some to hesitate to do so. Caring for a newborn is challenging enough, without being sleep-deprived, and some research has even suggested poor sleep after childbirth may increase the risk of postpartum depression…

When Montgomery-Downs and her colleagues asked 80 new mothers to report how often they woke up and how rested they felt, and to wear sensors that measured how long and efficiently they slept, they found no significant differences between those who relied on breastfeeding, formula, or both. They report their findings in the journal Pediatrics…This suggests that “there may be some kind of compensation” for breastfeeding mothers, Montgomery-Downs said in an interview.

For instance, babies who breastfeed may wake up more (and wake up their parents more), but those nighttime feedings may have less of an impact than if they were drinking formula, she suggested. In order to prepare a bottle, women often have to get up, turn on the lights, and move around quite a bit, all of which may make it harder for them to go back to sleep.

Alternatively, when breastfeeding, women may be awake for shorter intervals, and be less active, which makes it easier for them to go back to sleep. Women who breastfeed also have higher levels of the hormone prolactin, which facilitates sleep, Montgomery-Downs noted. And if the babies are sleeping next to the mothers, they may feed while the mother is sleeping, she added.


Major Similac Recall

Bookmark and Share

Similac recalled about 5 million cans of powdered infant formula because of the possible presence of beetle larva.

The FDA said that this type of beetle could cause stomach problems and make infants lose their appetite.

The makers of Similac, Abbott Laboratories, has set up a phone hotline and directed consumers to a website for more information.  But a lot of parents have experienced problems getting information.

From the Similac website:

Abbott is recalling these products following an internal quality review, which detected the remote possibility of the presence of a small common beetle in the product produced in one production area in a single manufacturing facility. The United States Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) has determined that while the formula containing these beetles poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae, could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts irritating the GI tract. If these symptoms persist for more than a few days, a physician should be consulted.

An Apology About Google Adsense

Bookmark and Share

I just noticed that Google Adsense, which I have on my site, is serving me an ad for infant formula.  I’m going to see if I can figure out how to get rid of that.  I’m not sure, though, if it is something I can control… And this is actually one of many reasons I recently switched to have Blogher ads on my site.   Blogher gives you a lot of control over the type of ads you want to appear on your site.  You can actually specify types of ads you don’t want.  In my case, I checked that I didn’t want any ads from formula companies.  Kudos to Blogher for recognizing this as something many people want to control.

The Atlantic Story on Supplements in Infant Formula

Bookmark and Share

There’s an interesting story in The Atlantic about supplements that companies are adding to infant formula.  The author, Marion Nestle, a professor at New York University (and the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics) writes:

If you don’t have a small baby, or if your baby is breastfed (and see note at the end of this post), you no doubt are missing the furor over “functional” ingredients that companies have been adding to infant formulas.

DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) came first. As I discuss in my book What to Eat, infant formula companies could not wait to add it. They knew they could market it on the basis of preliminary evidence associating DHA with visual and cognitive benefits in young infants. Although evidence for long-term benefits is scanty, the companies also knew that they could charge higher prices for formulas containing DHA.

The FDA approved the use of DHA in infant formulas on the grounds that it is safe, but did not require the companies to establish that DHA makes any difference to infant health after the first year. Because of its marketing advantage, virtually all infant formulas now contain DHA. Surprise! They also cost more.

Companies now want to add other ingredients, such as prebiotics, probiotics, lutein, lycopene, and betacarotene, which also can be marketed as healthier and at higher prices.

In response, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has issued a report (PDF) on the lack of evidence for the benefits of functional ingredients and the substantial harm they will cause to the economic viability of the WIC program, the USDA’s assistance program for low-income mothers and children.