Mama Knows Breast




Andi in the news

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Breastfeeding Doll Going on Sale in U.S.

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I’ve written about this one before… a “breastfeeding” doll made by a Spanish company.  But back then, it wasn’t on sale in the U.S. Now it’s coming to a store near you.  From the New York Times:

In addition to the doll, little girls (and boys) get a halter top that they can wear, with two flowers that symbolize breasts.

The Breast Milk Baby doll.

As the doll’s mouth is brought to the flowers, it makes a sucking sound, as if it is drinking milk. Afterward, the doll cries until it is burped.

“The whole purpose behind a doll is to pretend like you’re a parent,” said Dennis Lewis, the American representative for Berjuan Toys, the Spanish company that makes the dolls. “The dolls are meant to just let kids play as mommies and daddies naturally.”…

Breastfeeding and Saving Money

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Here’s an interview that Amy of the blog Frugal Mama did with me to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. Here’s the link and an excerpt:

Frugal Mama: Hi Andi! I’m not sure why I haven’t covered breastfeeding on Frugal Mama, because if you are raising a family and trying to save money, breastfeeding is a perfect start. Let’s talk about the economic benefits.

Andi Silverman: I think it’s funny that a lot of people don’t even think about the economic benefits. It’s more of an afterthought. Most people are thinking, “How am I going to feed my baby? What is the best, most nutritious way, and what would work for my lifestyle?”

And then, if they’re using formula, they might realize, “Oh, this is costing me a lot of money!” Or if they’re breastfeeding, they might say, “Wow. I’m saving a lot by not having to buy formula, and bottles.” So saving money can be a motivating factor for breastfeeding, but I don’t think it’s the thing that gets people to breastfeed.

Frugal Mama: I agree. But it is a nice side benefit.

Andi Silverman: Yes, it is a nice side benefit. When you have a baby, all of sudden things can get very overwhelming. You’re buying so much stuff. Stroller. Crib. Mattress, sheets. Maybe you redecorate the baby’s room. And then the clothes. And then the diapers and toys! It’s unbelievable how those costs pile up.

So one way to cut down on those expenses is to breastfeed. You don’t have to buy bottles. You don’t have to buy formula. And formula can get very, very expensive. Breast milk is like nature’s gift to a new mom and baby..

Flash Mob Dance for World Breastfeeding Week

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Just when I thought the summer was getting rolling… bam! Only a month left. Anyway, I do love August for the annual World Breastfeeding Week celebration.  Around the world, there are events to mark this.  And things actually go on all month.

For a run down of events, check out WorldBreastfeedingWeek.org. Plus, there are directions for doing a breastfeeding flash mob dance! Here’s the step by step tutorial. And here’s the full dance:

Moms Donate Breast Milk to Breast Cancer Survivor’s Newborn

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This is an amazing story from Brooklyn, New York.  A group of moms is donating breast milk to a new mom who can’t breastfeed her newborn because she had a double mastectomy.  Here’s an excerpt from the New York Daily News:

A 40-year-old cancer survivor is collecting breast milk from dozens of her Brooklyn neighbors to help feed her 3-week-old son.

Eva van Dok Pinkley can’t nurse Oliver herself because of a double mastectomy. Twenty-five women have already stepped up, pumping milk and donating it to the Carroll Gardens mom.

“What they are doing, it’s not easy to do,” Pinkley said. “I’m just stunned at the amount of trouble that they are going through for me. I think of them and what they have done and give thanks.”

The actress and researcher for “House Beautiful” magazine has endured multiple miscarriages and two rounds of failed fertility treatments. By the time she was diagnosed in April 2010 with noninvasive breast cancer, she had given up on having children of her own.

But a mere two months after her double-mastectomy, she got pregnant. Pinkley knew right away that if she carried the baby to full term, she wanted to use breast milk. She just hadn’t figured out how…

Getting Breastfeeding Help

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Yes, you are the only one with the boobs, but your partner can help.  Here’s my latest post on the giggle Gab blog called “Ten Breastfeeding Tips for Spouses.” And an excerpt:

Everyone tells you that having a baby can change the dynamic in your relationship. How can it not? You have a mess, noisy and demanding new roommate. She’ll start to cry just as you’re about to get intimate for the first time in months. She’ll need to eat at 6 am, dashing your visions of a Sunday morning snuggled in bed.

So here’s the deal– you have to adapt.  And if you’re breastfeeding, there are ways, believe it or not, your partner can get in on the act.  You may be the one with the equipment, but you don’t have to go it alone. So here are some tips for spouses.  They apply whether you’re married or in a committed relationship, and whether your partner is a man or woman.

To read the rest click here.

What To Buy For Breastfeeding

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Here’s my latest post on the giggle Gab blog.  And a brief excerpt:

Babies can be expensive. At least their gear is. And it starts the moment you realize you’re pregnant. You’ll have visions of pink and blue nurseries dancing in your head. A crib, mattress and sheets? Check. Clothing? Check. Diapers and wipes. You bet. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the expenses, here’s something that may be re-assuring– breastfeeding is free! That’s right. Formula costs money. Boobs, well you have those already.Of course, there are some items you may want to buy even if you’re planning to breastfeed. As always, some are important and some optional. And this may be one area where you should consider hand-me-downs from friends and family (with the exception of a breast pump).

For my full list, keep reading here.

I’m Writing For The New Blog For the Store Giggle

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So I’ve got a new gig… I’m a blogger for the new site Giggle Gab, brought to you by the store Giggle.  I’m writing the Nursing Know How pieces.  If you haven’t been to one of Giggle’s 14 stores around the country, or visited its website, take a few minutes to check it out.  They have everything from breast pumps to high chairs.  As for the Giggle Gab blog, they’ve got writers covering pregnancy, parenting, city living, baby style and fashion and having healthy home.

So my first post is about deciding whether or not to breastfeed. Here’s an excerpt:

You’ve been fixated on food for months.  One minute you’re ravenous.  The next, you’re repulsed. Mostly, you can’t get enough of those bite-sized brownies, right? Pregnancy does that to you.  Well guess, what– now it’s time to think about what someone else is going to eat.From the very first hour your baby is born, you’re going to be focused on feeding her. You’ll get to know that “feed-me-right-this-instant” wail oh, so well. But there’s a key decision you need to make: breast milk or formula? So how do you decide? There’s a lot to consider.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that moms exclusively breastfeed for the first six months. That means no juice, water, milk or solid foods. After six months the AAP recommends continuing to breastfeed, in addition to solids, for at least 12 months, or longer. The World Health Organization even recommends breastfeeding for 2 years.

But, there is no “right” choice here. Some moms exclusively breastfeed. Some only use formula. Some do a combination of the two. And there are even those who pump breast milk so that another caretaker can give the baby a bottle. Ultimately, you’re the parent and it’s up to you what works best for you and your baby.

Here are some pros and cons of breastfeeding. A little “food” for thought:

Now… click here for those pros and cons.

NYT Column on How Breastfeeding Could Save Lives in Africa

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New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof is traveling through Africa right now, reporting on malnutrition.  Here’s an excerpt:

What if nutritionists came up with a miracle cure for childhood malnutrition? A protein-rich substance that doesn’t require refrigeration? One that is free and is available even in remote towns like this one in Niger where babies routinely die of hunger-related causes?

Impossible, you say? Actually, this miracle cure already exists. It’s breast milk.

When we think of global poverty, we sometimes assume that the challenges are so vast that any solutions must be extraordinarily complex and expensive. Well, some are. But almost nothing would do as much to fight starvation around the world as the ultimate low-tech solution: exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months of life. That’s the strong recommendation of the World Health Organization.

The paradox is that while this seems so cheap and obvious — virtually instinctive — it’s also rare. Here in Niger, only 9 percent of babies get nothing but breast milk for the first six months of life, according to a 2007 national nutrition survey. At least that’s up from just 1 percent in 1998.

(In the United States, about 13 percent of babies are exclusively breast-fed for six months, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Then again, most of the rest get formula, which is pretty safe in America.)…

The challenges with breast-feeding in poor countries are not the kinds that Western women face, and many women in the developing world continue nursing their babies for two years. The biggest problem is giving water or animal milk to babies, especially on hot days. Another is that mothers often doubt the value of colostrum, the first milk after childbirth (which is thick and yellowish and doesn’t look much like milk), and delay nursing for a day or two…

Father’s Day Contest on Giggle.com

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Giggle is having a cool contest. The prizes are really great – a $1490 bunk bed from Oeuf, a $199 Flip Video Camera and a $150 Paperculture gift card.

Here’s how to enter: Share your favorite Father’s Day or Mother’s Day experience with giggle.com for a chance to win.

A Home Birth Story

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This blog post was written by a friend.  She writes about the home birth of her third child.  Click here for the entire post.  And here’s an excerpt:

Just past dawn she woke up moaning, lower back on fire and iron bands clenching and releasing in her core. Like an action-adventure movie, the telephone lit up and a control center was established: husband would take both oldest and youngest daughter on the much-anticipated, end-of-the-year field trip where his mother would meet them, freeing up husband to return to his wife. In the meanwhile, supermodel-friend and her nursing toddler would come stay with the laboring woman until the midwife came. The children came to kiss her goodbye. The three-year-old threw herself on her mother and clenched her fiercely, burying her sweet round face in the woman’s aching breasts as if laying claim to them for the last time. The five-year-old hung back shyly, feeling her mother’s discomfort but not understanding her place in it. When she kissed her, the woman saw the worry in the child’s almond eyes and cried for the first time since the pain began. Then they were gone, husband promising a swift return, and the woman was alone with the dog in the bright, hot, morning light. The sunlight was the type that burns into your memory, clear and bright and perfect like truth. The woman lay on the sun-drenched bed and gave in to the pain, feeling sorry for herself on this path she had chosen. Lying across her feet, the dog held her and reproached her with silent eyes.