Category Archives: Breastfeeding Support

Brews and Babies

I wanted you to see an interesting article about breastfeeding women who get together to share a beer. This was published on Cafe Mom. These moms call their group: “Brews and Babies”. They sometimes drink a beer called “Mother’s Milk Stout” which sounds lovely.

“While some would argue that breastfeeding moms shouldn’t be drinking alcohol, Dr. Thomas Hale says differently in the must-have guide to medications and breastfeeding, Medications and Mothers’ MilkBeer, but not ethanol, has been reported in a number of studies to stimulate prolactin levels and breast milk production. Thus it’s presumed that the polysaccharide from barley may be the prolactin-stimulating component of beer. Non-alcoholic beer is equally effective.”

It is true that alcohol gets into breastmilk. These mothers are drinking one beer together at a favorite local pub. As far as I can tell, neither Dr. Hale nor breastfeeding guru Dr. Jack Newman would find this objectionable. I’ve met Dr. Newman. He’d probably sit down with them, have a beer and discuss breastfeeding!

If Human Breastmilk Was a Common Substance…

If human breastmilk was a common substance, situation comedies wouldn’t have a gag where a guy puts some in his coffee, finds out what it is and spits it out comically. It would be there in abundance for milk banks, for premature babies or women who are having difficulties making a full supply.

Breastmilk could be used as a diagnostic tool for women’s breast health, much as blood is used as a diagnostic tool. It would be non-invasive to get, too.

It wouldn’t be considered a hazardous, toxic or suspicious substance in daycare fridges. People wouldn’t be so worried if Cindy drank Carrie’s milk by accident. By the way, do you know which cow your cow’s milk comes from? Do you constantly worry that your refrigerated cow’s milk is bad when it smells and tastes good?

So what if there was human breastmilk ice cream? There is already cow breastmilk ice cream.

If it were a common substance, mothers wouldn’t have to be embarrassed if they found the occasional milk stain on their shirts, even when they were in public. Children would all suppose that breastfeeding and breastmilk were normal and what we all should get, by right. Fewer babies would starve when tsunamis and earthquakes hit.

I can’t wait for human breastmilk to be a common substance.

Research Doctor Encourages Sleeping with Baby

Dr. James McKenna, a researcher on SIDS, believes that co-sleeping is good for both you and your baby. An article from the Daily Telegraph describes how Dr. McKenna has found that responsible co-sleeping is beneficial for the baby and promotes breastfeeding. This is something that many mothers have found for themselves, but many people who promote the “back to sleep” SIDS campaign have felt that co-sleeping was dangerous.

Dr. McKenna describes safe co-sleeping as “not on a waterbed or couch and not by parents affected by drugs or alcohol”. He also agrees with La Leche League that infants shouldn’t be sleeping through the night, but nursing several times during the night.

Surgeon General Supports La Leche League

The Surgeon General has written a nation wide call to action to support breastfeeding! I have reprinted it below along with some links to follow. The Surgeon General also pointed out that community-based support groups, like La Leche League are very important in supporting breastfeeding mothers. Enjoy!

New Report Calls on all Pennsylvanians to Support Breastfeeding

State College, PA—Three out of four women in the United States provide their infants with the healthiest start in life by breastfeeding, and today Surgeon General Regina Benjamin called on the entire nation to support the removal of barriers to this important public health behavior. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding is an unprecedented document from the nation’s highest medical source, calling on health care providers, employers, insurers, policymakers, researchers, and the community at large to take 20 concrete action steps to support mothers in reaching their personal breastfeeding goals.

The Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition applauds the Call to Action, which is based on the latest evidence about the health, psychosocial, economic, and environmental effects of breastfeeding. The document includes action steps and implementation strategies for six major sectors of society:

Mothers and their Families: emphasizes the need to educate and inform families about the importance of breastfeeding, and provide the ongoing support mothers need to continue.

Communities: calls upon the entire community to support breastfeeding mothers, including the provision of peer counseling support, promotion of breastfeeding through community-based organizations and traditional and new media venues, and the removal of commercial barriers to breastfeeding.

Health Care: urges the health care system to adopt evidence-based practices as outlined in the Baby- Friendly Hospital Initiative, provide health professional education and training, ensure access to skilled, professional lactation care services, and increase availability of banked donor milk.

Employment: calls for paid maternity leave and worksite and child care accommodations that support women when they return to work.

Research and Surveillance: emphasizes the need for additional research, especially regarding the most effective ways to address disparities and measure the economic impact of breastfeeding, and calls for a national monitoring system.

Public Health Infrastructure: calls for enhanced national leadership, including creation of a federal interagency work group, and increasing the capacity of the United States Breastfeeding Committee and affiliated state coalitions.

The Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition (PABC) was established in 1992 by breastfeeding advocates from across the Commonwealth to facilitate community and statewide efforts to protect, support and promotes breastfeeding as the cultural norm. PABC is an affiliate of the United States Breastfeeding Committee. PABC members include many of the country’s experts working in each of the sectors in the Call to Action. Our membership has partnered on numerous projects in recent years with both public and private entities to implement changes in Pennsylvania’s Breastfeeding Landscape.

According to PABC Chair Cynthia Bartok, “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, in calling for society-wide breastfeeding support to remove the barriers that make it difficult for many women to succeed, provides new motivation and a greater sense of authority to forward our mission. PABC urges Pennsylvanians to be proactive in using these action steps to extend support so that mothers throughout our state get the care, help, and encouragement they deserve.”

For more information on the Call to Action, visit www.surgeongeneral.gov.

To receive updates and information from USBC, please consider signing on to support Breastfeeding: A Vision for the Future at www.usbreastfeeding.org/vision.

USBC publications, including an analysis of the barriers to exclusive breastfeeding, can be downloaded from www.usbreastfeeding.org/publications

For more information on the Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition visit our website at www.pabreastfeeding.org

Milk Sharing

Breastmilk is best for babies. But what do you do if you need to supplement? Better than formula is donated breastmilk. Pittsburgh doesn’t have a milk bank. But a network of women on Facebook are helping mothers by sharing milk. The group is called “Eats on Feets”. It is a play on “Meals on Wheels”. What better resource for mothers than other mothers sharing their milk? Now that we’ve all shared turkey and fixin’s and are feeling thankful, remember that women who struggle to nurse their babies can connect with moms who have an abundant supply.