Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A history of breastfeeding

A long, but very interesting, article in History Today chronicles breastfeeding through the ages, from the ancient Greeks and Romans to modern-day moms. I found out a lot of really neat facts that I'd never heard before.

Did you know that the Nazis encouraged women to breastfeed, because they felt that the emancipation offered by the bottle was a Jewish plot?

Did you know that, in 1658, the wife of the Earl of Manchester proudly had it announced on her gravestone that she had breastfed seven of her children?

Seriously, go read the article. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Salma Hayek caught smoking

Salma Hayek was caught by the paparazzi smoking a cigarette outside of a department store in Beverly Hills the day after Christmas. Salma has been very vocal about being a nursing mom and is still breastfeeding her daughter Valentina. Although it's best if you can quit smoking, smokers should not be discouraged from nursing. It's better to smoke and breastfeed then it is to smoke and formula feed. If you can't stop smoking, at least try and cut down and never smoke around your baby and don't allow others to smoke around your baby.

From Kelly Mom:

What happens to babies when they are exposed to cigarette smoke?
Babies and children who are exposed to cigarette smoke have a much higher incidence of pneumonia, asthma, ear infections, bronchitis, sinus infections, eye irritation, and croup.
Colic occurs more often in babies whose mothers or fathers smoke or if a breastfeeding mother smokes. Researchers believe that not only does the nicotine transferred into mother's milk upset baby but the passive smoke in the home acts as an irritant. Babies of smoking parents fuss more, and mothers who smoke may be less able to cope with a colicky baby (due to lower levels of prolactin).
Heavy smoking by breastfeeding moms occasionally causes symptoms in the breastfeeding baby such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
Babies of smoking mothers and fathers have a seven times greater chance of dying from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Children of smoking parents have two to three times more visits to the doctor, usually from respiratory infections or allergy-related illnesses.
Children who are exposed to passive smoke in the home have lower blood levels of HDL, the good cholesterol that helps protect against coronary artery disease.
Children of smoking parents are more likely to become smokers themselves.
A recent study found that growing up in a home in which two parents smoked could double the child's risk of lung cancer later in life.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

History of La Leche League International

The NY Times Magazine published articles on many of the celebrities who died in 2008 last weekend. One of the pieces was on La Leche League International founder Edwina Froehlich, who passed away in June.

That's Ms. Froehlich on the far right. She was told when she had her first of three sons at age 36 that she was "too old" to breastfeed. She went on to nurse them all into toddlerhood. Ms. Froehlich left behind a legac y to be proud of: LLLI has a presence in 68 countries, "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" is considered a breastfeeding bible and has been translated into eight languages, as well as Braille, and 70% of women now initiate breastfeeding.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Join the next Carnival of Breastfeeding: What are your breastfeeding Goals

Do any of your goals for the new year have to do with breastfeeding? Are you resolving to continuing to nurse longer, or maybe planning a breastfeeding advocacy project?
Tell us about it in a post for our next Carnival of Breastfeeding. Send your submission to Tanya of the Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog by January 12, 2009, for consideration for the carnival on January 20, 2009. We'll be looking for posts that are:
– Well-written and grammatically correct
– Thoughtful and directly on point for the carnival subject
– Submitted by blogs that pertain to subjects of interest to our readers (breastfeeding, parenting)
If your post is selected for inclusion, you will be asked on the day of the carnival to edit your post to link back to each of the other participants in the carnival. Examples of past carnivals can be found here.

Monday, December 22, 2008


One of the questions people seem to ask me often is whether or not my partner has tasted my breast milk. I usually say, "Of course he has." Is that strange? I thought that all women tasted their breast milk and figured husbands probably did too. I can't wait until my son gets old enough and I can ask him what he think my milk tastes like.

My milk tastes like vanilla cow milk to me. When my milk first came in, it was very sweet, almost sickeningly so. I remember it tasted almost like sweetened coffee creamer. The sticky sweet smell was so overpowering that all you had to do was stand next to me and you could smell my milk. As my son has gotten older, my milk has become less sweet.

Did you taste your milk? Did your husband/partner taste it? Are your kids old enough to tell you what it tastes like? What do they say?

Pete Wentz, husband to Ashlee Simpson, admitted to tasting her milk. While doing promos on SIRIUS radio, Pete confessed that he tried Ashlee's breast milk, but thought it tasted "soury" and "weird." Maybe Ashlee has excess lipase?

"The baby loves it, it’s the only thing he’s had a chance to have," he added.

Lucky kid.

No, you can't!

For those of you planning on attending Barack Obama's inauguration on January 20: the President-elect's security detail has put the kibosh on strollers at the event. Strollers (along with backpacks, thermoses, chairs and coolers) are a security threat. So if you're an attached parent, you probably already own a sling. If you're not, here's another great reason to start babywearing.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Medela Nursing Camisole Giveaway

One of my favorite new blogs, Mama Speaks, is currently giving away a Medela Nursing Camisole. Medela

The camisole retails for $45. Want to get your hands on a size medium in black? Simply send an email to giveaways[at] with Medela Nursing as your subject. Giveaway ends 12.23.08

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Extended nursing still not mainstream

Actress Kelly Rutherford (who stars on Gossip Girl, but who will forever be Megan Lewis from Melrose Place to me) talked to US Weekly about nursing her two-year-old son, Hermes. Not only is Ms. Rutherford an extended nurser, she is also pregnant and may end up tandem nursing. The story got picked up by NY Daily News' gossip page where she was derided for breastfeeding her "walking and talking" toddler (the headline? "Udderly Icky").
First of all, Kelly Rutherford is a woman and doesn't have udders. Second of all, there is nothing icky about nursing your child, even if he or she is walking or talking or eating solid food or has teeth or any of the other arbitrary things people take as a sign that you need to wean. If you and your baby are still enjoying your nursing relationship, then have at it!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Facebook nurse-in

Mark your calendars: December 27th will be the first virtual nurse-in on Facebook. You probably remember the uproar last year when Facebook started removing its users breastfeeding images because they were "obscene." In response, a group was created called, "Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!" (of which I am a member).

Now, a group called Mothers International Lactation Campaign (MILC) is hosting the nurse-in because Facebook still continues to arbitrarily remove pictures of moms nursing from the site.

In honor of this "virtual day of protest," MILC asks that you change your profile picture on December 27th to a breastfeeding image and change your status to, "Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!"

I'll be participating. Will you?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Breastfeeding helps moms lose weight

A new study concluded that women who gained a "reasonable" amount during pregnancy and breastfed were back to their pre-pregnancy weight by 6 months postpartum. According to the authors of the study, weight after pregnancy is a serious issue because so many women of childbearing age are overweight or obese.

The study is available here, but you'll need to be a subscriber to the journal or in a library that subscribes to get the full text.

Maybe someone should pass this article on to Salma Hayek?

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