Monday, April 27, 2009

WA Breastfeeding Law Passes

I didn't realize that breastfeeding wasn't protected in Washington, but it makes my heart sing to hear about the law that just passed.

To read the full article

Slingin It

I discovered slings when Rylee, now 9, was a baby. I did not understand how to use it and consequentially it sat in the closet, forgotten.

When I was pregnant with Zoe, almost four I read about how experts agree that babies nestled close to the body develop a more secure relationship with themselves and the world around them. I asked my friend Cassie to make me a sling, this time determined to make it work. At that time I worked at a Curves and I was lucky to take Zoe with me. Zoe spent all day with me at work nussled against me in her sling.

This is Zoe at 7mths old at DisneyWorld.

After slinging two babies, I am convinced that it is the easiest way to keep a baby close to you all the time, thus insuring their security and as a result having a happy baby, and we all know that happy babies make for happy parents.

Consider this:

Babies who are carried often cry less. It's accepted that crying is something that babies do, and that is true to a certain extent. However, in cultures where babies are carried most the time and breastfed on demand, they cry much less. Of course, in many of these societies there are multiple family and village members available to help carry babies, but even if it’s just you and perhaps a partner at home, carrying your baby often will produce results. A 1986 randomized, controlled study by Hunziker and Barr showed that carrying an infant 2 additional hours per day reduced crying overall by 43%, or one entire hour.

Read more: "The Benefits of Babywearing: Five Reasons to Wear Your Baby in a Sling" -

There are at least three positions to sling a baby that I know of. One consists of the way I have Zoe in the picture above. That hold can be slightly modified by pulling the fabric tighter through the rings which brings baby up higher for nursing. I walked around town nursing babies and no one could tell.

Another hold is for older babies who can sit up. It feels like being carried on your hip, but parents have their hands free and baby isn't yelling "UP!" every few minutes. This is a LIFESAVER!

Finally, my favorite newborn hold is chest to chest. This works for older babies as well, but it's especially vital for newborns to be kangarood.

There are a variety of slings, I prefer the ring sling because it is so versatile. For more information and shpiing information, visit

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Formula is Wonderful

That is according to Dr. Nancy Snyderman, a woman who combines an active surgical practice of head and neck surgery with her role as a medical correspondent for ABC News. She is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology in head and neck surgery, and specializes in head and neck cancer.

How is it that a surgeon specializing in cancer is getting national press for her expert opinion on feeding an infant?

Why does mainstream America blindly follow these celebrity doctors?

Is she being paid by a formula company to make these statements?

The infant formula market in the United States is estimated at US$3.9 billion for 2007. Infant formula is big business folks: Big, Dirty, Unethical Business that is declining. Just consider the following:

Global baby foods and infant formula market continues to be affected by the changing consumer trends and declining birth rates. Concern for health and fitness; safety and nutritional awareness are major trends expected to influence the industry in the coming years. -Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

I reprinted 101 Reasons To Breastfeed a few months ago, you can see the entire article with footnotes by clicking on I pulled the following information out of the article about formula to illustrate just how "wonderful" formula is.

1.Formula feeding increases baby girls' risk of developing breast cancer in later life

Women who were formula-fed as infants have higher rates of breast cancer as adults. For both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, women who were breastfed as children, even if only for a short time, had a 25% lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who were bottle-fed as infants.

2.Formula Feeding is associated with lower I.Q

Human breast milk enhances brain development and improves cognitive development in ways that formula cannot. One study has found that the average I.Q. of 7 and 8 year old children who had been breastfed as babies was 10 points higher than their bottle fed peers. All of the children involved had been born prematurely and tube fed the human milk, indicating that the milk itself, not the act of breastfeeding, caused this difference in I.Q. level. Another study to support this statement was done in New Zealand. Here an 18 year longitudinal study of over 1,000 children found that those who were breastfed as infants had both higher intelligence and greater academic achievement than children who were infant-formula fed.

3. Formula increases the risk of diabetes

There are many studies linking development of insulin dependant Type I diabetes (formerly referred to as "juvenile diabetes") to lack of breastfeeding. The results of a study from Finland suggest that the introduction of dairy products at an early age, and high milk consumption during childhood increase the level of cow's milk antibodies in the children's systems. This factor is associated with an increased risk of insulin dependent diabetes. Now a new study has indicated that breastfeeding in infancy may help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. This sort of diabetes was formerly referred to as "adult onset" diabetes, but has been mysteriously occurring in more and more youngsters.

4. Formula feeding may increase risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

According to Dr. William Sears, MD, cow's milk should not be given as a beverage to infants under one year of age. "Cow's milk can irritate the lining of your infant's intestines, causing tiny losses of iron. This can contribute to iron-deficiency anemia."

5. Formula-fed babies are more at risk for obesity in later life

A study of 32200 Scottish 3 year old children found that the incidence of obesity was significantly lower among those who had been breastfed, after adjusting for socioeconomic status, birthweight and gender. Another study, this one of Czech children, found that the even older children (6 -14) who had been breastfed were less at risk for overweight/obesity. Additionally, a German study found that 4.5% of formula fed children are obese, while only 0.8% of breastfed children have this condition

6. Bottle-fed babies are at increased risk of cardiopulmonary disturbances, including prolonged airway closure and obstructed respiratory breaths due to repeated swallowing.

According to one study, infants can experience oxygen saturation below 90% when bottle feeding. Nine of 50 healthy term infants in one study experienced bradycardia during bottle feeding. Six of these episodes were preceded by apnea, three showed hypopnea (marked reduction in ventilation) and one had certral apnea (no respiratory efforts).

7. Formula is expensive

It presently costs upward of $1,200 dollars per year to formula feed an infant in the United States. If you factor in the added medical cost you are statistically likely to incur, that brings the cost up to around $2,500 per year. If your baby happens to require a hypo-allergenic formula, you will have to pay considerably more

8. Formula costs the government (and taxpayers) millions of dollars

The U.S. government spends more than $2,665,715 a year to provide formula for the children of non-breastfeeding mothers participating in the WIC supplemental food program. Of course, this doesn't take into consideration the additional costs of caring for those infants who are statistically much more likely to get sick. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, higher breastfeeding rates could reduce US health care costs by $3.6 billion per year.

So Dr. Snyderman, are your insinuating that the risks of SIDS, childhood obesity, diabetes, lower IQ's and breast cancer are wonderful? Or maybe it's the cost to us, the taxpayers. You claim that their is no scientific proof that formula is dangerous, I find that hard to believe. Promom is chock full of scientific studies done regarding the effects of formula. Seeing as pediatrics aren't your speciality, I can understand your ignorance on the topic, but please don't spread ignorance around.

According to the World Health Organization, the safest and best way to feed a baby is:

1. Breastfeed
2. Breastmilk pumped in a bottle
3. Donor Breastmilk
4. Formula

Formula is #4! There are milk banks, milk share groups and all sorts of mothers willing to donate breastmilk. Giving mother's an OK that formula is safe is irresponsible and erroneous. Please Dr. Snyderman, don't make it so that parents feel validated about formula feeding. It is not wonderful unless the parents are out of options.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Cesareans; Once a Lifesaving Surgery Has Turned Into a Fad

I was born via emergency cesarean. My mother's pelvis was too small and I couldn't fit through, we would have both died without the surgery. Thank God that my mother was able to get a c-section.

Lately I've been hearing about something called "elective c-sections". It is becoming trendy for women to schedule their births around their busy lives. I wonder if they are informed of the serious risks associated with c-sections. Lets not forget that a cesarean is major abdominal surgery. Compared with vaginal deliveries, cesarean deliveries have twice the risk of complications and deaths of both infants and mothers when the fetus is in the normal, head-down position.

I really don't understand why anyone would choose major surgery, putting their child at risk for breathing problems, breastfeeding problems and fetal injury. According to the Mayo Clinic:
Babies born by C-section are more likely to develop a breathing problem marked by abnormally fast breathing during the first few days after birth (transient tachypnea). Elective C-sections done before 39 weeks of pregnancy or without proof of the baby's lung maturity may increase the risk of other breathing problems, including respiratory distress syndrome.

Although rare, accidental nicks to the baby's skin can occur during surgery.

The maternal risks associated with cesareans should be enough for women to stop and pay attention but when celebs like Kate Hudson, Madonna, Patricia Heaton, Toni Braxton, Elizabeth Hurley, Claudia Schiffer, and Kelly Ripa- have c-sections that were not necessary but convenient for them, the masses then think that elective c-sections are safe.

Women choosing primary elective cesarean delivery will have a higher incidence of maternal morbidity, including hemorrhage, infection, and venous thromboembolism. Maternal mortality, while a rare event in developed nations, is 2 to 3 times higher in elective cesarean delivery than in vaginal delivery, although there are no large studies of maternal mortality risk for primary elective cesarean delivery.

Hall MH, Bewley S. Maternal mortality and mode of delivery. Lancet. 1999;354:776

I urge every mother-to-be to really research childbirth, question everything and make safe choices and when a doctor offers to do a cesarean or induce labor so he/she can make their golf game, DON'T PUT YOURSELF AT RISK FOR THE SAKE OF "CONVENIENCE".

For more information:

Saturday, April 4, 2009

We bought chickens so we can harvest our own organic eggs

My husband Chuck had an idea so that we can have organic eggs that we can afford. Our good friend Scott has a chicken coup at his house and it was just sitting there empty. We priced it out and now we are paying around .32 cents an egg. At $6 a chicken we will break even in about three weeks and then we start saving around $8 a week.

I'll update as the chicks mature and we are able to collect eggs. I am very excited about this as are the kids. Here are some pictures of Rylee, Zoe and Talia who each chose a chicken today and named her.

Rylee is so excited, holding her new chicken that she named Carmel.

This is Talia trying to pet the three chickens, Coco, Carmel and Bette Midler. Bette Midler is the redhead :)

Zoe holding her new pet, Coco.