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.

Breastfeeding Bill Passes Massachusetts House

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Hooray for my home state of Massachusetts. Today the state is one step closer to protecting a mom’s right to breastfeed in public. From

The bill makes it clear that women who are breastfeeding can’t be charged with crimes such as indecent exposure or lewd and lascivious conduct, said Representative David Linsky, the Natick Democrat who championed the bill. It also makes it clear that places of public accommodation, such as restaurants, hotels, or stores — cannot prevent women from breastfeeding their children or tell them to leave the premises.
Supporters say Massachusetts is one of only three states that don’t have such a law.
The bill will now go to the Senate, where a slightly different version has already passed, said Linsky.
Linsky said he hoped the House and Senate could resolve the differences between the two versions by the end of the session and send legislation to the governor’s desk.

To find out about the laws in your state, click here.

Are You Breastfeeding or Pumping While At Blogher?

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If so…send me your stories. I’d love to hear what everyone writes about on this topic this weekend.
If you don’t know what Blogher is, click here.
Unfortunately, I’m not there. But I get to eat cake all weekend!! Going to my cousin’s son’s first year old birthday, and my grandmother’s 88th birthday. Go Nana!

Tongue Tied Babies

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We’ve all had one of the those moments where we stutter, stammer, or are at a loss for words. “I’m tongue tied,” we might joke. But for some babies, being tongue tied is actually a serious problem. Tongue tie, or Ankyloglossia, is a condition that restricts the tongue’s movement. The frenulum, the piece of skin that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth, is shorter than normal. This can make it difficult for the baby to latch on properly. Some tongue tied babies don’t gain enough weight, and breastfeeding can be painful for the mom. Long term, tongue tie sometimes causes speech problems.
A new study, just published in Pediatrics, found that a freunulotomy, a minor surgical procedure to cut the frenulum, can improve breastfeeding. Here’s the study abstract:

OBJECTIVE. There is evidence that infants with ankyloglossia can experience breastfeeding difficulties including poor attachment to the breast, suboptimal weight gain, and maternal nipple pain, which may lead to early weaning of the infant. No studies have investigated the cause of these breastfeeding difficulties. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of frenulotomy in infants experiencing persistent breastfeeding difficulties despite professional assistance by measuring changes in milk transfer and tongue movement during breastfeeding before and after frenulotomy.
PATIENTS AND METHODS. Twenty-four mother-infant dyads (infant age: 33 ± 28 days) that were experiencing persistent breastfeeding difficulties despite receiving professional advice were recruited. Submental ultrasound scans (Acuson XP10) of the oral cavity were performed both before and ≥7 days after frenulotomy. Milk transfer, pain, and LATCH (latch, audible swallowing, type of nipple, comfort, and hold) scores were recorded before and after frenulotomy. Infant milk intake was measured by using the test-weigh method.
RESULTS. For all of the infants, milk intake, milk-transfer rate, LATCH score, and maternal pain scores improved significantly postfrenulotomy. Two groups of infants were identified on ultrasound. One group compressed the tip of the nipple, and the other compressed the base of the nipple with the tongue. These features either resolved or lessened in all except 1 infant after frenulotomy.
CONCLUSIONS. Infants with ankyloglossia experiencing persistent breastfeeding difficulties showed less compression of the nipple by the tongue postfrenulotomy, which was associated with improved breastfeeding defined as better attachment, increased milk transfer, and less maternal pain. In the assessment of breastfeeding difficulties, ankyloglossia should be considered as a potential cause.

For more informtaion, has a series of articles on this topic. And here’s an excellent article that can help you figure out if your baby is tongue tied. Surgery is not the only option. (Read this too). But bottom line, talk to your pediatrician and a lactation consultant to figure out if your baby is tongue tied, and what is the best treatment option.

The Winner of the Medela Freestyle Pump

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AND A FURTHER UPDATE: To see a comment from Hope, the pump winner, read below. She lives in Malaysia! There are pumping moms around the world!
Hi Andi! Thank you for giving me the chance to participate and win the Medela Freestyle. I was and still am really excited upon hearing the good news. It’s great to know people at Mamaknowsbreast and Medela care about women and their needs as they venture into motherhood. As a reader from Malaysia, I believe your quest in spreading knowledge on the importance of breastfeeding is truly inspiring! I’m sure you’ve touched the hearts of women all around the world. Keep up the great work! Thank you and God bless! :)
UPDATED: Thank you to everyone who left a comment for a chance to win a Medela Freestyle Pump. I loved reading what you had to say! There really is no shortage to pumping stories! And now…drum roll… the winner is Hope. Congratulations! Here’s her comment:

I’m due this coming October and I’ve been reading up on how to provide the best for my baby. My mom exclusively breastfed my brothers and sisters and I, and I’d love to do the same for my baby. The only difference is that my mom didn’t have to go to work, whereas I do. So, I’ve been reading up on breast pumps and I’ve found that Medela is the best in the market! But it’s quite pricey and I don’t know if I can afford it. That’s why I was ecstatic when I found this contest. It’s like a blessing in disguise. A lot of great information and the chance to win a Medela Freestyle Breastpump. It’s the most practical solution because it’s lightweight and compact, yet has everything I would need to include breast pumping in my daily schedule. I’ve also been reading on bpa-free bottles and to know Medela has taken this into account just gives me more confidence in the name itself. I really hope to win so that I can always provide the best for my baby. PS: During our last checkup, we found out our baby’s a boy! :)
Posted by: Hope | June 29, 2008 08:55 PM

Ok, all you pumping mamas…here it is. The latest and greatest pump from our friends at Medela. The Freestyle is Medela’s first hands-free, double-electric pump. Just attach it to your bra and get back to your emailing and phone calls. It’s really small, light-weight and best of all, the Medela bottles are BPA free.

Medela is giving away this pump. So if you’d like a chance to win, leave a comment answering this question: What is your best pumping story? And if you haven’t had a baby yet, why do you need this pump? (The deadline to enter is July 1, 2008).

This post is part of our monthly breastfeeding carnival. To read the other entries about pumping, go here:
* The Motherwear Breastfeeding blog has tips for introducing a bottle to a breastfed baby.
* Raising Baby Bee writes about pumping at work.
* Breastfeeding Mums has some pumping tips.
* Breastfeeding 1-2-3 writes about exclusively pumping for a baby with a cleft palate.
* Hobo Mama writes about donating milk for an adopted baby.
* Adventures of a Breastfeeding Mother shares her pumping tips.
* Mike and Toni’s writes about how a pumping experience turned into a business idea– hands free pumping supports.

Breastfeeding in The News

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Here’s the latest from around the web:
The blog Delicious Baby has a comprehensive guide to pumping and nursing in airports and on airplanes.
The FDA is proposing changes to prescription drug labels that will give more information to pregnant and breastfeeding women. Read here.
A new study found that breastmilk may give baby girls more protection than boys against respiratory infections. Read here.
Two new studies done in Africa have found that drug treatment can help prevent the transmission of HIV through breastmilk. Read here.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

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When I was pregnant with our first son, I took a breastfeeding class. My husband came too. We took notes, and gave ourselves a big pat on the back for being so “prepared.” Yeah, right.
Sure enough, when that little baby boy was born, we were in for a bit of a shock. We quickly realized we had no idea what we were doing. (Rather, I should say, I had no idea what I was doing in the breastfeeding department). Fortunately, we stumbled along, got help from some lactation consultants, and even managed to enjoy the whole newborn experience enough to repeat the exercise a mere 18 months later.
Then of course I wrote “Mama Knows Breast.” Why? Because I figured that I probably wasn’t the only new mom out there who could have used a little more guidance than a two hour class. So I wrote the book I wanted to read…a “it’s-gonna-be-ok-take-a-deep-breathe-guide to the whole breastfeeding thing.”
And now, thanks to technology, we have some help via the internet. My blogging friends have spent some time writing their thoughts on pregnancy and breastfeeding as part of our monthly breastfeeding carnival. Here are the links:
Breastfeeding 123: Ten Tips on How A Pregnant Woman Can Prepare For Breastfeeding
Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: A Breastfeeding-Friendly Birth Plan
BreastfeedingMums: Preparing for Breastfeeding
Natural Moms Talk Radio: Breastfeeding during Pregnancy and Tandem Nursing
Crunchy Domestic Goddess: Breastfeeding while Pregnant (Trying at Times but Ultimately Worthwhile)
Permission to Mother: Low Milk Supply in Pregnancy
API Speaks: On Breastfeeding while Pregnant
Milk Donor Mama: Her Experience of Preparing for Breastfeeding and the Advice She Offers Now

Chinese Policewoman Breastfeeds Infants After China Earthquake

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This is a remarkable story. A Chinese policewoman, who is helping during the earthquake aftermath, is breastfeeding 8 infants who are either orphans, or whose mothers are unable to feed them because of the trauma. Here’s a story on CNN. Here’s another link to the story.
china+policewoman.JPG Photo via
The Motherwear Blog also has a story about how breastfeeding can save lives during a natural disaster.

Cate Blanchett and Breastfeeding

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Actress Cate Blanchett, who is starring in the new Indiana Jones movie with Harrison Ford, just had her third child, Iggy. And according to the The Daily Telegraph, Iggy’s breastfeeding delayed Blanchett’s appearance before the press. Here’s a bit from the Telegraph story:

WITH a gurgle, a look, then a cry, Oscar winner Cate Blanchett’s four-week-old son Iggy almost thwarted the world premiere of the fourth instalment of the Indiana Jones movies by demanding mum feed him.
Blanchett, who turned 39 this week, was about to face the international cameras at the Cannes Film Festival in France to promote the big budget Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull when baby Ignatius wanted to be breast fed.
Hollywood heavyweights Harrison Ford and Karen Allen stepped in with an extra long interview session before a smiling, radiant Blanchett strode in.
“He’s just down the corridor with my mum,” she declared by way of explanation.

So all I have to say is…Go Iggy, Go Iggy.

New Study Says Breastfeeding Raises A Baby’s IQ

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For the latest bit of evidence in this department…there’s a new study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Here’s some information from The LA Times:
Increased breast-feeding during the first months of life appears to raise a child’s verbal IQ, according to a study of nearly 14,000 children that was released Monday.
The study in Archives of General Psychiatry found that 6-year-olds whose mothers were part of a program that encouraged them to breast-feed had verbal IQs that were an average of 7.5 points higher than those of children in a control group.
The researchers said that their findings suggested that the longer an infant is exclusively fed breast milk, the greater the IQ improvement.
The results echo smaller previous studies that found children and adults who were breast-fed tended to have higher IQs than whose who were not…
The latest study tracked breast-fed infants born between June 1996 and December 1997 in Belarus. Half of the infants and mothers were assigned to an experimental program designed to promote breast-feeding, while the remaining infants and mothers received regular pediatric and follow-up medical care.
The breast-feeding program included increased counseling and instruction when women visited doctors or clinics.
At the end of three months, 72% of infants in the experimental group were still breast-feeding to some degree, compared with 60% in the group that did not receive breast-feeding support.
The researchers believe that what drove the results was the substantially higher number of infants who were exclusively breast-fed in the experimental group: 43% compared with 6% of infants in the control group.
All children in the study were interviewed and examined between 2002 and 2005, when they were an average of 6 1/2 years old. The children’s academic performance also was evaluated by their teachers.
Besides the improvement in their verbal IQ scores, children in the experimental group scored an average of 4.9 points higher on tests that specifically measured vocabulary.
Compared with children in the control group, children in the experimental group had overall IQ scores 5.9 points higher than those of children in the control group and better academic assessments from their teachers, but the improvements were not deemed statistically significant.
Kramer said that more research was needed to determine whether the benefits were related to a component of breast milk or to the physical and social interaction between mother and child that is inherent in breast-feeding…

Mama Knows Breast Book Contest Winners

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Thanks to everyone for sharing their breastfeeding stories for my book giveaway contest.
Here are the ten winners of my book “Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding.” Will the following ladies please send me their mailing addresses. Write to
1. Lindsie:
I don’t have a funny story because I had trouble breastfeeding my first due to inverted nipples. I would like to win a copy of your book because I really want to be able to breastfeed my second.
2. Katie:
The cable guy was working on the TV in another room and suddenly came into the room where I was nursing my daughter. while he was asking me a question I didn’t even notice that she detached and my breast was hanging out free! Guess he got a little more of an eyeful than he was bargaining on!
(I would love to have this book for my mother who is a doula. She does a lot of breastfeeding education.)
3. Amira M.
I am not a mom but my good friend, who is a lactation consultant, was breast feeding her son in a lecture hall during a class. now, he has the habit of making lots of very “satisfied” noises while he is feeding and because of where she was sitting in the hall, his suckling was loud enough for the professor to hear! he stopped and everyone was looking around to see what was making the noise, but the baby was nicely hidden under a blanket.
4. Vicky:
I guess one of the funniest times was when I was nursing my second son. My oldest who was around 2 at the time always wanted to help out like a big brother. His baby brother was hungry and I was having one of those hormonal moments….you know the one that can make you cry in an instant because you are lacking sleep. I started boo-hooing and my oldest sat beside me and lifted his shirt and told me he would feed the baby so I could “rest.” He immediately turned my tears of frustration to tears of joy.
5. Awesome Mom:
I was not able to nurse my #1 son because of his heart defect. He was too weak to nurse so I pumped 14 months for him. During his second hospital stay for a heart surgery I kept having nurses come in to check in on him because they thought my pump was my son breathing really funny.
6. Chris:
The look I got from a semi-truck driver as I pumped while driving home late from work one day!
7. Lucy:
My first baby is due in June, so I don’t really have any stories just yet, but would love to be entered to win (it is a beginners book after all :) ).

8. Liz

My craziest breastfeeding moment has to be when I was on a 6 hour car ride to visit family. We had stopped multiple times and the baby was just not happy to be in his seat. I kneeled on the seat next to him and hung over top of his seat and fed him while he was still strapped in! Oh the memories! :)
9. Becky
I wish I had a funny nursing story to tell. My first two attempts were pretty awful, so I don’t remember anything funny, just sad. The lactation consultant said in her 25 years of doing this, “I’ve never seen anything like you.” Great! : ) I’m determined to give it a try again this time with baby #3. Thanks for your nice comment on my blog giveaway. This has been so much fun!
10. Audra
I feel asleep feeding my baby in the recliner (don’t worry I didn’t drop him) and when I woke up awhile later. I found him asleap and me nursing his ear which was filling up with milk! Thanks for the great giveaway! I would love to give this to mis sis-in-law who was anti breastfeeding the first time but has had a change of heart and would like to breastfeed #2.