Lots going on today… so I’ll do a few separate posts. First off… a story that is truly remarkable. A group of moms in Michigan are breastfeeding a baby whose mom died shortly after childbirth. Charles Moses Martin Goodrich was born in January 2009, and since more than twenty women have stepped in to feed him. CNN.com has an updated view of the story today.
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.
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.
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.”
I’ve been trying, without success, for the past half hour, to embed the link to a Good Morning America story from this morning. I give up.
So instead, I’m pointing you to this link to the story on cross-nursing. Watch it, and tell me what you think about the piece.
And while you’re at it… watch this clip from The View about the emotional ties between a mom and her breastfed baby. Elisabeth Hasselbeck talks about how she just weaned her baby and she misses breastfeeding.
Now… ABC… could you please make it easier for me to embed your video?!
A national morning TV show is looking to interview moms who are cross-nursing. Here’s the request from my contact:
BabyTalk magazine and a national morning show are teaming up on a story about cross-nursing that will air later this month, and they’re looking for moms who would be interested in sharing their experiences on camera. If you are currently cross-nursing – breastfeeding a friend’s or relative’s baby – please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a short description of your cross-nursing experiences and a phone number where you can be reached by the producer of the segment. No travel would be required for the interview – a camera crew would visit your home to tape the piece.
For a little bit of background…cross nursing is a situation where a mom occasionally nurses another child, while she continues to breastfeed her own child. This often happens in a child care situation. Wet Nursing, on the other hand, is the complete nursing of someone else’s baby, often for pay. (definitions from La Leche League).
While the benefits of human breast milk over formula are clear, there are definitely risks involved in cross-nursing. The main issue is the transmission of viruses, especially HIV. In addition, the mother may take certain medications that can be found in breast milk. Given these risks, human milk banks are another option for mothers who want to donate milk, or mothers who are unable to breastfeed their own infants. Milk banks carefully screen the donated milk.
For a summary of the benefits and risks of cross-nursing, check out this article from the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition. The site Kellymom also has a good collection of articles. Finally, here’s a link to a post I did a while back about this topic.
Here are some links I’ve found recently that I thought were interesting or amusing:
Babble has a beautiful essay this week called “Breast Friends.” The author describes her experience cross-nursing. She and a friend feed each other’s kids, making them “milk-siblings.”
Can men breastfeed? This short video, Milk Men, claims that they can. Watch and judge for yourself.
Breastfeeding Photos is a blog devoted to breastfeeding photographs. You can supposedly post your own but I haven’t figured out how to do it yet. Even if I could figure it out, I’m not sure I have anything even I want to look at.
Here are two more breastfeeding blogs: Adventures of a Breastfeeding Mother focuses on “breastfeeding, homebirth, mothering and attachment parenting.” Mocha Milk is written by Micky who describes herself as “A fierce brown-skinned mama on a mission to impact the health and wellness of the African-American community through breastfeeding awareness and support.”
And finally, the Celebrity Baby Blog has a post about an article in Us Weekly about breastfeeding celebrities.
Anyone want to add anything to my list? Sites you’ve recently found? Articles or blog entries worth mentioning. Send me your story ideas.