Baby care-Travel with children

Today's family vacations are necessary in today's hurry-up world. It's a time for families to reconnect and some of the most memorable moments are not spent standing in line at a crowded theme park attraction, they are spent enjoying a Simple unhurried dinner together or taking early-evening walks to nowhere.After all, kids treasure moments, not places Many savvy traveling parents never eat breakfast in a restaurant, and some don't eat lunch in one either. Do they skip these meals? Absolutely not!
But, they do plan ahead by packing a few familiar items – cereal, fresh fruit, juices, peanut butter, bread and crackers, and plenty of snacks. It's not only less expensive, but it makes sense; and, modern hotel rooms that are now commonly outfitted with refrigerators and microwaves make it possible.
School-age children are ready to go have fun – they are not ready to set in a ho-hum restaurant waiting for food that they probably will not eat.Instead, a quick bowl of cereal or a piece of fresh fruit with milk or juice that they can enjoy while watching their favorite cartoon on television makes sense. # Lunch. If everyone is hot and tired after a busy morning at your favorite theme park or the beach, taking a break at your hotel is the perfect solution – it is cool, comfortable, and the perfect place to have lunch.You'll be surprised just how good a peanut butter sandwich, a piece of fresh fruit, and a tall glass of juice tastes... particularly when it's followed by a nap!
Children on vacation are excited, are frequently tired, and typically don't eat much at one meal. Many restaurants gladly comply with requests for additional plates so children can share meals. Don't be afraid to ask. Utilize Coupons. You may find them in hotel lobbies, in your hotel room, in newspapers, and in coupon books.Using them will save you money.
Along Snacks. Despite signs that warn"No Food or Drink Allowed," I do pack small snacks and drinks in my purse for my children. Not only are we saving money.

From Erin Tarbuck


WestJet has started sending a standard reply to people who write to them (see post below). I STRONGLY suggest that you send a second letter in reply to the response you get. If you haven't sent a letter, read the sample that's been posted and consider sending this letter to them. Again, send your letters to WestJet's CEO, Sean Durfy (make sure you mark it private and confidential on the envelope so that it gets to him). Letters sent via e-mail don't get to the corporate higher ups - so I encourage you to actually mail a letter to the CEO.


5055 11th Street N.E.
Calgary, AB
CanadaT2E 8N4

Attn: Sean Durfy
President & CEO

Dear Mr. Durfy,
Re: Breastfeeding on WestJet Flights

I have been disturbed by recent media reports that your company has allowed staff to discriminate against nursing women by asking them to cover up while breastfeeding. Letters from WestJet representatives suggest nursing women are viewed by flight attendants as potential threats to other passengers' comfort. These letters have also made it very clear your company's respect for breastfeeding as a human right is merely lip service, and has no substance in policy or action.

While I appreciate your company's policy to empower its employees "to make decisions based on common sense and good judgment" I am quite sure their are self and company imposed limits to this judgement when it comes to passengers' rights and freedoms. For example, I expect your staff would not ask a person to stop praying aloud because their religion was offending another passenger, or to wear a blanket over their riskee tattoos, or to disguise the nature of a book or magazine a passenger was reading for fear it might offend another. I would implore you to use your own common sense and consider that a nursing woman is simply a woman feeding her child. It is not offensive. If someone thinks it is, move them, give them blinkers, offer them a blanket to cover up with. Do not privilege their prejudices over a child's right to eat, and a woman's right to feed them unmolested.

WestJet markets itself as a family friendly airline. I can only hope that you effect changes to truly to make it so, and ensure that WestJet's policies respect the human rights of all their passengers, male, female, adult and infant alike.


Danes unite to mine infant formula prebiotics

Danes unite to mine infant formula prebiotics
By Guy Montague-Jones and Shane Starling, 20-Jan-2010

Danisco and Arla are taking part in a €2.5m+ business/academia research project to isolate and develop some of the oligosaccharides naturally present in human breast milk for use in infant formulas.

Specifically, the project seeks to develop an enzymatic process that will permit breast milk oligosaccharides to be produced outside the breast, i.e. in a lab.

Oligosaccharides are complex sugars naturally present in breast milk and are of interest to infant formula makers because they are present in relatively high concentration in breast milk and can help protect babies from infections and diarrhea.

“It’s a major challenge technically, but it is also a significant opportunity,” said Danisco’s UK-based chief scientific officer, Dr Andrew Morgan.

The project has received seed funding of DKK 20 million (€2.7m) from the Danish Council for Strategic Research – an initiative that runs under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

DTU’s Jørn Dalgaard Mikkelsen told NutraIngredients the project actually had closer to DKK 36 (€4.83m) at its disposal once additional funding from the universities and Arla and Danisco was factored in.

Mikkelsen, who worked for about 20 years at Danisco and also worked at Danish brewer, Carlsberg, said the project had an initial lifespan of four years, but could run longer with lactose extraction forming an initial focus.

“Lactose will be investigated but won’t be the only area of research,” he said, noting a “handful” of oligosaccharides had been isolated for research from more than 800 known forms.

Infant synergies

Preben Bødstrup Rasmussen, R&D manager for child nutrition at Arla Foods said the project would employ about 50 people directly and indirectly, with about 12 full time researchers in Mikkelsen’s team.

“Arla and Danisco will supply materials and specialists to the project,” he said, observing the companies had collaborated on other projects in the past. “It can benefit us because Arla are fairly new to the infant formula [Arla has sold its Milex brand in Asia and central America for 3-4 years] and so if and when this research is commercialised at some point in the future, it may be that Danisco manufactures the ingredient and we buy it from them. Our R&D team is not specialized in infant nutrition.”

But any commercialisation terms have yet to be determined between the companies and the universities.

“In Denmark it is common that IP rights are held by the universities and companies buy the rights to the IP so that may happen in this case,” Rasmussen said.

In the project the lead academic institution – the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) – is joined by the University of Southern Denmark, the University of Copenhagen and the University of Reading along with Arla and Danisco.

Mikkelsen added: “Some of the substances in breast milk are oligosaccharides which are believed to be prebiotic, i.e. they ‘nourish’ the beneficial bacteria in the intestinal system and prevent harmful bacteria from establishing themselves. There are thousands of oligosaccharide structures present in human breast milk and we need to determine which are the most effective. We plan to develop a way to produce these oligosaccharides using an enzymatic process that will convert certain kinds of food materials into the desired products.”

Commercial potential

Rasmussen said in a statement: “Research in oligosaccharides from human milk is key to understanding the development of the immune system in newborn infants. Therefore the possibility to develop and manufacture such substances can lead to new and higher standards for commercial infant formula.”

Morgan said the "risky project" was unlikely to yield any direct commercial outcome within five years, despite the quality of the researchers involved.

“... the University scientists working on this are some of the best so if anyone is going to crack this, I believe this team has a good chance.”

I use a cover because your mother never taught you not to stare


I was browsing google images for breastfeeding photos and I can't help but notice how many pictures I came across of mothers using a nursing cover.

Covers are cool. They come in all sorts of colors and patterns. and like a good sling, I love to have many many different colors. I used to cover myself when I nursed. I have my reasons, and they were mine. I certainly don't feel that a woman must use the covers to nurse or else excuse herself to a private corner or room. Actually, I think that women should feel more free to nurse without one. But think about it, how many women use their hooter hider because people can't seem to stop staring. I, who love to watch breastfeeding mothers keep my stares brief and always make sure to flash the nursing mom a smile and give her a thumbs up. I don't mind people watching me, but staring , is a different matter. It's not about breastfeeding, or showing nipples or breasts, it's about people looking at your every move. Quite frankly, it makes me nervous. If I'm working or writing, or just zoning out, I hate it when people stare at me. I think it irks a lot of other mothers too.

So please, even if you find the sight of  a nursing mother to be tender and loving, keep your glances brief. Your mother always taught you that it was impolite to stare...

best baby care


All things are not created equal and that includes veggies. During his first year of life your baby will grow faster than he ever will again. Think of it this way. If you currently weigh 130 lbs and you were growing as fast as your baby is growing then you’d weigh 390 lbs by the years end. That’s a lot of growing. Babies need great nutrient rich choices (made by you) to accommodate their metabolism and growth rate. For instance a baby requires more Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Calcium per pound of body weight than an adult male.

Luckily there are many power packed veggies to choose from for your baby. Sweet potatoes, pumpkin, broccoli, and carrots are full of vitamin A (beta-carotene) which is vital to healthy eyesight, normal cell development, immune defenses and more. Nerve and muscle processes both rely heavily on thiamin and green peas are a good source. Red sweet peppers, green peepers, and broccoli contain high amounts of vitamin C, an antioxidant which also assists in iron absorption. Calcium is an integral part of bone structure and plays a major role in blood clotting, maintaining blood pressure and much more. Broccoli, lima beans, soybeans, and squash are healthy choices if you’re aiming for calcium.

Vegetable Preparation & Serving

Cooking up a batch of vegetables for your baby can save you money (those tiny jars don’t come cheap) and can save your baby nutrients. Commercial baby foods are perfectly safe but some have added water, starch, or sugar which can dilute the nutrients your baby is receiving. Plus you can quickly whip up a batch of veggies while you cook for the rest of your family.

To make babyfood at home all you really need are fresh or frozen vegetables, a knife, and a fork. If you make a lot of homemade babyfood you could invest in some kitchen tools that make life easier such as a blender, babyfood grinder, food mill, or food processor. To make babyfood just pit and peel vegetables, cook in microwave or on stovetop until very tender, and mash up. To create a purée style food with only a fork you can mix in small amount of breast milk or formula until it’s the right consistency. Freeze homemade babyfood in ice cube trays and pop one or two cubes out per serving. You can save babyfood in the freezer for one month and freshly made in the fridge for three days.

Breastmilk component kills cancer cells

>Breastmilk component kills cancer cells

A few years ago immunology student, Anders Hakansson1, of Lund University, Sweden, was experimenting by mixing human milk, cancer cells and bacteria. To his surprise the cancer cells were "acting up". Their volume was decreasing and their nuclei shrinking. Hakansson's supervisor, Catharina Svanborg, quickly recognized that the cancer cells were committing suicide. The phenomenon of apoptosis, whereby the body rids itself of old and unnecessary cells was well known, however for this to occur with cancer cells was unknown as their usual pattern is to reproduce in an uncontrolled fashion. Something in the breastmilk caused the cancer cells to self-destruct. Svanborg and her team had already done extensive investigation in the ability of breastmilk to protect the gut lining from invasive bacteria such as pneumococcus that causes the increased rates of upper respiratory tract infections and otitis media in children not breastfed. And so they began to track down the cancer-killing component in breastmilk. Then in 1995 they reported2 that the protein alpha-lactalbumin, or alpha-lac for short, was capable of targeting not only cancer cells but also other immature and rapidly growing cells, leaving stable, mature cells for growth and development. Alpha-lac's amazing capabilities may explain in part why formula fed infants suffer from increased rates of infectious diseases as well as childhood cancers.

1. Discover Magazine, June 30, 1999

2. Hakahsson, A. et al. Apoptosis induced by a human milk protein. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 92:8064-8068, 1995

What's in your breastfeeding consult bag?


From day one when I started visiting mothers at home to help them with breastfeeding problems, I always had a bag handy full of supplies. Of course, in the beginning the bag starts off ridiculously full and then as you gain more experience, slowly you discard unnecessary items and keep the worthwhile ones. Here's a look at what I carry around (yes, the bag stays in my car because I'm often called after work to consults)

  • Hand Sanitizer: I always either use hand sanitizer or ask my mamas permission to wash my hands once I reach their residence before I touch either any babies or breasts. 

  • Gloves are an important item in my bag. Before, I used to handle mothers and babies without gloves but after my mentor had an experience with a mother who had a communicable disease, common sense hit us that for our safety and that of the mother and baby, we should wear gloves. 

  • Most of the cases I see are cracked nipples. Some are worse than others. I always carry around a tube of lansinoh in case the mother needs some to use until her nipples heal. This stuff is a godsend!

  • Small hair dryer. Here's a tip you learn as go along. Cloths soaked in warm water are often used for engorgement but my little friend here works miracles! Combine it with the following item and your mama can finally get relief of painful melon like engorged breasts. Make sure to stay in tune with the mama so as not to burn her!

  • A comb. This simple comb, combined with the blow dryer does wonders for a mama needing relief of engorgement. Simply hold the hair dryer at a comfortable distance and setting and comb from the top of the breasts gently to the nipples and repeat going full circle

  • I call her "old faithful". My pump has been with me through many replaceable parts and mamas. Sometimes the mom wants to learn how to pump, sometimes she needs to take the edge off some pressure in her breasts, or to help erect the nipple in case of flat ones

  • I also see a lot of nipple confused babies who absolutely refuse to latch. In those cases, after the mom pumps (or if she chooses to use formula) I teach her a handy method we know as cup feeding

  • Homemade "Nipplette". This is probably my most prized possessions. Ina May's 2010 book "Ina May's guide to breastfeeding" featured how to make a nipplette by using an oral syringe and cutting off the long part and inserting the stopper the "Wrong side". Fit the nipple into the smooth side and gently tug to erect flat or inverted nipples. Success rate : nearly 100%. Cost: 1 Florin, compared to the 65 (nearly 30$, ouch)  Florins Avent's Nipplette costs. 

  • In case the mom pumps, and she wants to store her milk but wasn't anticipating expressing milk to begin with. Pre-sterilized milk storage bags

  • Breast Shell : Just in case my mamas want to catch their milk from one side while they pump the other. This also helps relieve pressure and draws out nipples subtly

  • Hand Towel : I get milk on me often. I've had it drip on me, puked on me, and even squirted on me from a distance. 

  • A stretchy newborn wrap : Many times, I don't know what mood to anticipate the mother and baby in. Sometimes the mother is home alone (dad at work, or single mom) or she's frazzled, or the baby has had a rough birth experience. Whatever the cause, I keep my wrap handy in case I need to give the mom a break and the baby some closeness and warmth. This usually gives the mom a chance to regroup and get her bearings together and recount her birth and breastfeeding experience or just to let all her emotions out. 

Are there other items you keep in your postnatal visit bag specifically for breastfeeding moms? 

Skin care tips

>Important About Baby Skin Care?
Most people thinking there small baby activity, You probably spend a lot of time worrying about what your baby is eating, how they are learning, and what advances they are making in their development.

A Baby's Skin Needs Special Attention, So Listen Up
So, you think you have skin that is so special and so unique? Sure, you may have needy skin but trust me; your baby's skin is even needier!
Soft skin for baby's

Anyone who has had a baby of their own knows how wonderful baby skin is. It is so soft and smooth that you feel a little bit of green envy creeping in as you look toward your own skin.

Use more natural products
As a parent or a care giver you want the best for your baby, including the best products to care for her delicate skin.

Baby Skincare Tips for Pregnant Women
Baby skincare should start in pregnancy. You know that a would-be-mom and the baby in her womb are directly linked to each other.

Common Baby Skincare Tips
A newborn baby's skin is the most sensitive. Aside from being naturally delicate, there are external factors and initial baby skincare products that are further contributing to the skin problems that may already be appearing on the baby's skin.

Baby has diaper rashes
You are minding your own business, changing your baby, when you notice a red, irritated area on your baby’s

How Baby get rashes
Most of us spend the majority of our lives worrying about ourselves. We spend hours thinking about how we look in a particular outfit or how we would look if we could just drop a pound or two or what lotion we need to buy to cure that pesky patch of dry skin behind your left ear.

Welcome Wagon Baby Shower, October 28, 2007

>This is what the BLISS booth looks like when I set up at the Welcome Wagon Baby Showers. I sell a few breastfeeding onesies and baby t-shirts, but my main goal is to distribute breastfeeding information, and let moms know that support and resources are available. I would deem this baby shower successful, as over 500 pregnant moms were in attendance, and each one received a breastfeeding information package! I am very happy about that!

Breastfeeding may curb heart, diabetes risk factors

>NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Mothers who breastfeed seem to have a lower long-term risk of developing a collection of risk factors for diabetes and heart disease than women who bottle-feed, a new study suggests.


Researchers found that among 700 women followed for 20 years, those who had breastfed were less likely to develop metabolic syndrome -- a cluster of risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease that includes abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure and blood sugar, lower-than-desirable levels of "good" HDL cholesterol and elevated triglycerides (a type of blood fat).

What's more, the apparent protective effect was stronger among women with a history of gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes that arises during pregnancy and goes away after childbirth.

Although it is temporary, gestational diabetes does raise a woman's odds of eventually developing type 2 diabetes.

These latest findings suggest that breastfeeding might help diminish that excess risk, said lead investigator Dr. Erica P. Gunderson, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research in Oakland, California.

However, she told Reuters Health, while the study suggests breastfeeding has a "strong protective effect" against metabolic syndrome, more research is needed to see whether that translates into lower rates of diabetes and heart disease.

The study, published online in the journal Diabetes, included 704 women who were between the ages of 18 and 30 and free of metabolic syndrome at the outset, and who gave birth for the first time during the study period.

Over 20 years of follow-up, 120 were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.

The researchers found that among women with no history of gestational diabetes, those who had breastfed for more than one month were anywhere from 39 percent to 56 percent less likely to develop metabolic syndrome -- depending on how long they had breastfed.

Among women with a history of gestational diabetes, breastfeeding for more than one month was linked to a 44 percent to 86 percent lower risk of metabolic syndrome.

These lower risks were seen with a number of important factors taken into account -- including the women's weight, exercise levels and the presence of any metabolic syndrome components before pregnancy.

It is not yet clear why breastfeeding itself might lower a woman's chances of developing risk factors for diabetes and heart disease.

Abdominal obesity is one of the components of metabolic syndrome, and excess weight is closely linked to type 2 diabetes. But while it's widely thought that breastfeeding aids post-pregnancy weight loss, weight changes did not explain the benefits seen in this study, Gunderson said.

Breastfeeding may help women shed a few extra pounds in the months after giving birth, the researcher noted, but there may be other metabolic effects that explain the lower risk of metabolic syndrome.

Breastfeeding may, for example, have positive effects on blood sugar levels, body fat mass or how fat is distributed throughout the body.

Whatever the reasons for the findings, Gunderson said they do suggest that breastfeeding can have "long-term health benefits" for mothers.

SOURCE: Diabetes, online December 3, 2009.

So you bought a sling, now what?


You've finally gotten the sling you chose and you're eager to give it a go! But when you get the sling in your hands, you realize quickly "I don't know how to use it!" So what do you do then? Did you know that Aruba is home to a business named CariBirth who's owner is a babywearing educator? Someone specialized in giving classes and teaching women to practice the art of safe babywearing? Did you know that she visits you in the comfort of your home at the hour that's convenient for you, the day you desire and spends her time until you feel comfortable in using your new carrier. She's also the only person on Aruba that owns such a vast variety of carriers on the market and let's you pick and choose which one you'd like to rent before you commit to buying an unfamiliar carrier. She has both in depth knowledge and personal experience in babywearing and still wears her 3-year-old daughter. She has given lectures, classes and has been the first woman to officially start up and provide a place where women can learn more about and become confident and skilled babywearers. Why not give CariBirth's Wendy Maduro a call at 593-4444 or email at, and make your appointment for your own personal at home babywearing consult. Stop worrying and start babywearing!

Why Ellevill's models make me want to buy their wraps

>Ever since seeing the Ellevill wrap giveaway on Marvelous Kiddo, I have been practically obsessed with this brand I'd never heard of. As many of my friends and readers already know, I am obsessed with baby carries, in particular, wraps.

As I perused through Ellevill's website, not only did the plethora of colors and the sensations of textures jump out at me, what I especially noticed were the models and their chosen surroundings. Unlike the wrap/sling modeling mannequin, Ellevill's models are beautifully made up, and most wear heels and exceptionally trendy outfits. Their fantasy filled scenarios simply complement their luscious looking wraps and make you want to snatch them up even quicker. Their photo shoot scenes have inspired me to jazz up my carrier shoots as well. Take a look at some of my favorite shots.

I like how the models and the scenes are very unusual and the fashion is pronounced. It just makes their wraps bolder and makes the colors pop

The only critique that came up in my mind as I browsed their selection was the fact that there was no ethnic diversity in their moms & babies. There were also zero nursing pictures. Besides these points, I found no qualms with Ellevill.

Now... which one do I choose?!?!

Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg

>Dear Mr Zuckerberg,

I am writing you to suggest that you hold an immediate briefing session with your official spokespeople to better advise them on a more accurate and truthful response to the many media inquiries you have recently received regarding Facebook's policy of removing breastfeeding images from user profiles and group albums on your site.

The current statements from your company regarding this policy are unclear and false. A much better approach might be something along the lines of:

"Facebook is a global and dynamic social networking tool with 140 000 000 users world wide. Though we are aware of our rapidly changing demographic which now includes many parents, we are uncomfortable with the idea of breastfeeding images on our site, so we will continue to remove them arbitrarily.

Though we do allow many applications and paid advertisements that contain sexually explicit material, and have no policy regarding male nipples or areola, we believe that female nipples and areola are dangerous to our users, regardless of whether this is logical, rational, legal or fair. Although technically, according to our written terms of service and Facebook's code of conduct it nowhere states this, we feel strongly that images of female breasts in the context of breastfeeding with any amount of areola or nipple showing (and in fact several that show none at all) are inappropriate on our site. We have, therefore, chosen to remain firm in our stance that breastfeeding images are objectionable, offensive, akin to pornography and thus harmful to other users of the site. We have to "draw the line" somewhere afterall, and we have chosen to draw it along gender lines.

Regardless of the ample proof which exists that social stigmatizing and suppression of breastfeeding has a negative impact on breastfeeding initiation and duration rates, and being aware that the United States has some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world, we remain comfortable taking any responsibility for contributing to this stigma, and have no plans to change our practice of removing breastfeeding images from our site.

Despite also, the fact there are several local, state and national laws which prevent breastfeeding women from falling victim to this exact form of discrimination, we are more comfortable operating our site above the law, and will continue to behave in this discriminatory way.

"Just a suggestion Mark...


Stephanie Muir

massage for baby

>ayurvedic massage for baby
Baby massage has a long tradition in India. Just after birth, a cleansing massage is done with a soft wheat-dough ball, to which a little almond oil and a dash of turmeric is added. Just before rubbing the ball is dipped in a bit of almond oil. This practice is continued for the first six days after birth, before the bath. It enhances circulation, helps in the expulsion of toxins and aids the digestive system of the baby.

On the seventh day after birth, actual baby massage with the dough ball starts and this goes on every day for 3 weeks. The dough ball should be dipped in oil every now and then, which helps to keep the 3 proper balance.

Massage with the hands begins when the infant is one month old, when the baby's body has become strong enough. The baby massage is continued every day for 3 months, during which the most time is spend in massaging spine, back, neck, waist, hands and feet, because these parts need to gain strength to support the body.

Did you know breastmilk can cure these?


Breastfeeding has its many benefits for not only the baby, but also the mother. Actually, it can have some great benefits for others in the household as well. Here is a list of a few breastmilk uses that you may not even be aware of.

Eye problems/conjunctivitis - Pumping some breastmilk and then using a dropper, drop a few drops of breastmilk in the affected eye or eyes. I had conjunctivitis once when I was breastfeeding and my doctor did not want to give me the eye drops that he had given the rest of my family to cure it, because of the fact that I was nursing. I was on antibiotics at the time for a sinus infection and he said that eventually, the antibiotic would also take care of the eye problem as well. I didn't want to wait until eventually though so I started putting breastmilk in my eyes right away. I put about six or seven drops in each eye about four times a day the first two days. By the middle of the second day, it didn't look or feel as if I even had an eye infection. I also did this for my kids that had the eye infection and even the ones that didn't. Everyone that had eye infections cleared up almost immediately. The one child and my husband that did not get the infection originally did not get it at all since they were using the breastmilk as a preventative measure.

Skin rashes/diaper rashes - Placing breastmilk on rashes will help to clear it up much quicker than the over the counter remedies. If the baby gets frequent diaper rashes, doing this as a preventative measure can help to prevent the baby from any further discomfort. Using breastmilk on eczema is also very beneficial and can help an outbreak. Just the feel of the breastmilk on the rash is very soothing. You can actually feel it healing.

Nasal congestion - If the baby, or anyone for that matter, has some nasal congestion due to a cold or allergy, breastmilk can help to clear up the problem. Dropping a few drops in each nostril can help to clear the congestion. Breastmilk has immunological properties and can actually kill the cold germ in progress much faster than waiting it out or any over the counter remedy can.

Sore or cracked skin - Breastfeeding moms know that the best remedy for sore and cracked nipples due to breastfeeding is applying some breastmilk right to the problem areas. This is also true for any other area of the body with dry and cracked skin. It moisturizes as well as kills germs. It can help to heal cracked skin in the blink of an eye.

Warts - I have read that using breastmilk can clear up a wart. I have not tried this one myself but I do believe what I have read. It certainly is worth a shot if you have some breastmilk in the house.

So you see, there are many benefits to being a nursing mom or having one in your household. The power of breastmilk is incredible and every day, new uses are being found. Almost any ailment can be cured with a little breastmilk. It does wonders for your baby's health, as well as the mother's health, so why not for the other family members as well?

I stopped nursing my son a few months ago when he was a year and a half. I am dreading winter coming because that is illness season around here. I used breastmilk to help every cold and eye issue last winter and now I am dry. Trust me, it worked so if you have the need, try it, you will like the results that you see.

Felt Cookies and Cupcakes ~ My new found love

>Felt - a substance I had only dealt with in my early school years. A material I dreaded as I never found arts and crafts to be enjoyable. Odd eh? And now, at 22 years of age, it's as if my creative and girly side has kicked in and I want to sew everything in sight.

My latest project is felt cookies and cupcakes, obviously because cookies are the easiest to make. I told myself that I am making felt foodies for two primary reasons;

  1. As a hobby, to relax and enjoy myself while I make them
  2. For my 3-year-old daughter to play with in her kitchen

The first time I sat down and made something, I think  I ended up being more stressed out and frustrated at my lack of creativity and dexterity than I had fun with it. For some reason, I did not look up tutorials right away and decided to 'wing it'. Bad idea. The first cookie, donut, and cupcake turned out..well.. interesting. The second night though, I decided to look up what a blanket stitch was and how to make pleats, and general cute cookie & cupcake ideas. Let me say this, if I'm gonna be making this improvement each subsequent time I sit down and make foodies, I will be a felt cookie and cupcake MASTER in no time. I was pretty proud of what I produced yesterday seeing that I am a void of artfulness and workmanship. 

You know what I loved most? 

When I handed my daughter her presents, she was overjoyed. The sheer thrill on her face when she looked at them. It made me feel good that she loved them even though they weren't sewn perfectly, or measured or cut precisely. Maybe I can learn to enjoy gifts more if I stopped looking at anything that's amiss and just love the gift itself.

My next felt creation? Pizza, hopefully some sushi, and a sandwich!

An amazing blog; a must read!


Written by Morgan Gallagher:

Friday, 10 April 2009

Signs & Symbols, Barthes & Bottles
Over the past few months, I've had to blog about bottle images being used in publicity materials and campaigns - none of which were for infant feeding companies. Many times, I've ended up in conversations with people who Just Don't Get It. They can't see why we need The Code, to protect us against formula and baby bottle advertising. They don't understand how something as innocent and harmless as... a baby's bottle... can cause so much fuss. Inevitably, many comment that it's an attack on mothers who formula feed, and use bottles to do so. And every time this is raised the hoary old spectre of The Women Who Can't Breastfeed is also thrown into the mix. Many people express their complete amazement that there is anything wrong, or even anything to get het up about, about using the image of a baby bottle. What's the problem?
.Well, the problem is quite complex. Extend me some patience, and some of your time, and let me explain it all out....
We live in a highly savvy media centred world. Images surround us, and images have power. They have rather more power than we might think. Some images, are so powerful, they have automatic, and obvious meanings. Meanings that are so 'obvious', that we don't have to think about them. Advertisers, promoters and media specialists, use such images as a language to speak to us. We understand the meaning: we read the meaning without having to read any words. The images do the work. We don't have to think twice about the images being used in the posters above, for example. We can clearly see that when you place a can of petrol, next to a battery, next to a green tree, and then we see the question "What should cars run on?" we instantly know we are being asked to interpret, and process, several very complex and convoluted economic and environmental debates. All that's been done with three images - and simply placing them together..
There is a language we use to describe images, and their effect upon us, and how we interpret them: semiotics. It's how we analyse images and explore how they work. As a tool, it requires discussion and exploration of how the image speaks to us - what it means, as well as how we, the audience, accept that meaning. Some images have variable meanings: you need clues and context on how to read them. Some have very clear and fixed meanings: Universal meanings. We call all images that speak to us, signs. Signs usually require context, and written text, to make their meaning clear to us. The petrol tin, the battery, the tree, in the above poster, are all signs. As an audience, we have to look, make judgements, read the text, to make out the clear meaning.
Some signs don't need context, don't need text. Their meaning is Universal: we all know what it means. A single red rose, for instance, means love. Romantic love. Just as the red 'heart' shape represents love. But it's not the shape of a heart, how can that be? How can we look at these two signs, and know what they mean? We just do. They so fill our lives, with the same meaning, again and again, we understand that meaning. In a global world, these signs have a single, agreed, meaning: they are symbols.
Symbols are very powerful. They work upon us subconsciously, and unpack their meaning in our brains before we have even thought about it. I bet some of the readers of this blog, spotted the rose and the love heart as they glanced down, and thought "Why is she talking about love?", and it piqued their interest.
Some signs are pre-made, artificially constructed, in order to be used in a very specific way. Such as the skull and crossbones on a bottle, to signify poison. Such as the radiation symbol used above: constructed for a deliberate and Universal message. Not naturally evolved, or emerged from culture, but sat down with, drawn, redrawn, looked at, worked upon. The meaning - the signification it carries - highly debated and refined. We're used to dealing with such signs, and don't really think twice about them. Sometimes, this can cause us trouble, when we don't think through everything it might mean to everyone: when the audience changes. Take the Red Cross, for instance. The sign used to say Don't Shoot, Aid Being Given, Neutral People Doing Good Things.
Except, as we've found, it's not neutral. It's a cross: it's Christian iconography. Where one audience sees it as a sign of good -others see it as a sign of repression and religious intolerance. So we develop another sign, for areas where we need you Not To Shoot: areas where the Christian Cross is problematic. We develop the Red Crescent, to be used in conflict areas which are primarily Islamic. But this, in itself, is not neutral in some eyes. Again, the audience changes, and the reading of the meaning changes: one culture's neutral helper, is another's threat of intolerance and so we must find a third sign - one truly truly neutral: totally made up: the red crystal. And the Cross, the Crescent and the Crystal, stand together, or separately, as and when needed.
.Some signs are manufactured commercially. Thousands, if not millions of pounds, is spent in setting a sign up, and promoting it, and upholding it, and developing it: so it conveys in the audience, a powerful and potent message. Corporate media analysts construct the image, corporate advertising agencies create messages in the audience that is designed to make the audience have both an emotional reaction, and attachment, to the sign. It 'stands' for the company. For the product. For the lifestyle that company sells with the product. (For no company ever sells you a product - they sell you a lifestyle that the product represents.) They try to create a symbol from their sign: they try to give it Universal meaning. They try to create, a mythology around their product, that supersedes every other interpretation of it.
Sometimes they succeed, in part. Millions of people, worldwide, will look at the sign above, and automatically know what it is supposed to stand for: good food, cheaply and quickly. Universal standards of the same tasting food, every time. But audiences are more fluid than that: audiences rebel. Audiences have their own opinion. For every two or three people who look at that sign, and see hamburgers, another will look with a resistant view, a deviant view from that being pushed on them by the sign-maker. Many see the golden arches and think: corporate greed, exploitation, processed pap. You can't control all aspects of how an audience will react.
But you can try.
Which brings us to baby bottles, and formula, and Code.
For it was recognised, decades ago, that commercial companies had been so successful in constructing a sign, that it became symbol. It went from an advertising device, to a symbol that meant so so much more. It acquired status and power, and moved into myth. It constructed an emotional image upon the audience, so powerful, that it became 'natural' to look at, and to see it not for what it was, but for the ideology, lifestyle, and total world view it proposed. A worldview where science and hygiene, was to free the world from hunger, by raising wonderful rosy cheeked children, strong, intelligent, bushy tailed and bright eyed. Where the modern saviour of all ills - science and technology, was to meet the loving mother in the Nursery, and provide us all with an image that was at once love, nurture, nature, science, advancement, wealth, comfort and liberation.
A symbol that was to give us a world where women were liberated from worry by the lovely men in the white coats, who had 'rescued' them from the need to feed their own babies with dirty contaminated inadequate and icky female fluids. Where the nurses in their impeccable clean and pressed clothing, face masks on, and the scientifically clean white coats of the laboratory, were to provide the new wonder food of the future. Where fat cheeked white skinned and blue eyed children flourished under the protective banner of the symbol of mythical abundance and love: the formula in the baby bottle.
We are so used to seeing this symbol, all around us, we truly don't see it anymore. We all grew up with babies being fed by bottle. Most of us fed our own baby dolls, by bottle, and fought hard for the new model with the new bits - real fluids to pour into plastic mouths and to flood into real nappies out of the plastic bum. We're flooded by baby bottles as the image to represent the feeding rooms in shops and stores, we see babies in the street with bottles in their mouth, self feeding. We forget the difference between an actual real baby being fed, and a constructed media image. We see one, as the other.
To the vast majority of us, bottle feeding, with formula, is so normal, that we have to think twice when someone objects to an image of it on a billboard? What? Object to feeding babies? What nonsense is that?
But it's not normal. It's not natural. It's artificial. It's a construct. An artifact. We have made it up. We created it. It is a fabrication. The normal, natural, actual way to feed a baby is to put it to your breast and let it suckle. The image we have banned almost entirely from our view, is the real one. The fake one, the industrial product, is the one we have honoured with mythic status.
The biggest misunderstanding about all this, is that when we object to images of bottle feeding, we are objecting to women's choices to formula feed. Nothing could be further from the truth. We're objecting to the MYTH that bottle feeding is love, babies, motherhood and family life. We're all objecting to the myth behind the symbol. We're objecting to it because that myth kills babies. It makes them sick, it robs families of much needed income, it sucks the life blood from our babies and 4000 of them are buried, every single day. In a shallow grave as their mothers were subjected to a barrage of images of the mythic power of the baby bottle and its contents. That it will make your baby better, smarter, faster - just like the rich white kids in the USA and the UK. That when you buy the product, you buy the lifestyle of dreams: of rich, famous and wonderful health for your soon to grow up to be Someone Special baby.
Where Science is rescuing you from poverty.
And, of course, the myth is, in reality pitiful. The reality is disease, death and misery. Poverty and babies being fed coffee creamer, whilst their mothers turn them away from the breast, as the breast isn't New And Wonderful and Scientific.
Code recognised the power of this symbol to destroy lives, families and communities. It recognised that to protect babies, mothers and fathers needed to be protected from seeing constructed images of WonderFoood, constructed by vast multi-national corporations for profit. Protected from free samples that lasted long enough for the mother's milk to dry up. Protected from the myth - one of the most powerful, all pervasive and efficient advertising myths ever created. One that wove into a culture uneasy with the role of women, and children. A culture that sought to keep breastfeeding women in the back bedroom, out of the public eye. A culture that prefered to seperate mothers and babies, and keep them in seperate boxes, so the male could control them both. That told women their breasts where for male pleasure only, and that they could 'escape' the Nursery and leave their babies behind and go out to work on a man's terms.
And when you took this mythic construct, into resource poor areas, this myth killed, and is killing, millions and millions of babies. Code stood against this, and recognised the global impact of the bleed through to poorer areas, of the saturation of bottle feeding images in richer areas. It stood up and said "No. Thou Shall Not Pass."
And everytime the baby bottle is used in promotional materials, like the Parliament posters, it strikes a blow straight through the heart of the Code. It reinforces and upholds the myth, and makes natural and normal that artificial construct.
And that kills babies. Today. Tomorrow. For how much longer?
People have asked me why I think the Parliament campaign has included the baby bottle. I think it's very clear why. All four posters are raising serious issues that affect all of us, Europe wide. But we are a very diverse group, financially, ethically, and ethnically. None of these posters have any people in them. All use "neutral" signs to get over their quite subtle message. If you analyse the written text the posters are both not putting forward a 'party line' and at the same time, using images, that clearly outlines the 'right path'. But not clearly enough that anyone could take offense: you can read your own message into them. If you feel that wind-power is economic nonsense, you can read the poster being neutral about that. Equally, the rest of us can see that in the decision between nuclear and wind: wind wins.
But the subtleties of what's the 'right' answer, is in the images, the signs, not the text. And it wouldn't work so well, with real people in the poster. Who to pick to represent 'Europe' in the poster? A nightmare to get ethnic diversity right: leave out all people! No human beings allowed - it will cause too much contention. In wishing to speak to the whole of Europe en masse, humans have to be removed from the equation: hair colour, skin colour, eye colour, body shape, dress, hairstyles... no way to speak to everyone, in so short a campaign.
But how then, to represent family and family life? Without putting a baby in? Ah.. it's obvious.. use a baby bottle. The Universal symbol of babyhood.
Who could object to that? Clear message, everyone can understand in one glance.
Unfortunately, that's true. That's why Code exists. The marketing message was, and is, too effective. That's why it's an obscene use of the baby bottle image: it's been chosen precisely because of the mythical ideology behind it. And for a political organisation not to spot that, in terms of Code? Incompetence on a bone chilling level.
But there is another element to this, to do with audience. On why some of you can't undestand why we make such a fuss, why we fight and fight and fight over these media images of baby bottles. I raised above, with the symbol of a fast food restaurant, the notion that audiences differ. We can make our own readings, within different contexts than that of the maker of the symbol, if we have a different background knowledge to that of the audience being targeted.
Everyone who is screaming mad about this baby bottle being used, isn't just doing it from an intellectual understanding of the issues of Code and baby's health. We're also doing it from an emotional reaction: we read the image differently. The actual image of the baby bottle impacts us, mythically, in a different way. A completely different symbolic connection is made in us, at a gut level.
It's difficult to explain this, if you're still all wrapped up in the dominant mythology, so have a look at this baby, chugging 7-up, from a 1950s advertising campaign. Does it shock you? Can you feel yourself having an emotional reaction to the image? What about this one, of a sugar container being plugged into a baby's mouth, like a bottle? Do you have a powerful reaction to the idea of something so unhealthy being plugged into a baby's mouth? Especially a happy glowing smiley baby eagerly grabbing its 7-up? Are you upset that an advertising company could so basely use a baby in promoting a fizzy drink? The presumption that it would have that effect on you, is why they use the sugar container in the health promotion one: they're banking on you having that instinctive revulsion to the image.
And the instinctive revulsion you might have felt when you spotted the 7-up bottle, is a shadow of what most of us who fight to protect babies feel, when we see a baby bottle used in promotional activity. We see the poster, and it's a slap across our face. A powerful retch inside us that makes us feel sick.
Because we see baby bottles differently. The media image of a baby bottle doesn't conjure up cosy images of cute babies, clean Nurseries and glowing health. We see filth and disease. We see dying babies. We hear screams. We glance at the baby bottle in promotional materials, and we react viscerallly to the horror of it.
We see death and suffering. That's the ideology that stands in front of us: that's what the baby bottle signifies.
Which was the masterstroke of War on Want placing the image of the crying, malnourished baby in the bottle: it stripped away the fake ideology of love and tenderness and scientific health, and replaced it with the reality:
Dying babies.
Unhappy, miserable, sick, screaming needlessly dying babies.
And that's the final insult. To take the image of something that will kill more babies this year, than the adult death toll combined for gun and knife deaths, and to place it up in front of our eyes and say it represents... family?
To be so ignorant of the suffering of so many babies, so many fathers, so many mothers.. that you take the symbol of disease and put it on a poster in nice, affluent Europe, and use it in a promotional campaign to get people to vote?
To be so ignorant of how many people in Europe are struggling to buy enough formula to feed their own, European Parliament babies enough?
To pretend there are no health risks to formula feeding in Europe?
When you see a media image of a baby bottle, you may see in your mind, and your heart, the gooey, soft focused, warm fuzzy glow of advertising myth. And from that position, be totally bamboozled by mine, and others, reaction to the image.
But when I see a media image of a baby bottle...
...I see death.
I see all the the real maggots crawling in all the real bottles.
I see the tiny white bundles being put in the shallow shallow graves.
I see corporate greed and profiteering, being put before baby's lives.
The ignorant and incompetent need to find another
'neutral' symbol for family, for motherhood, for love.
The baby bottle doesn't cut it.
Our realities will not be airbrushed out of the picture:
Code will be upheld.
But it would be nice if everyone understood why:
because a media image carries many more
layers of meaning than you might think.
And can cause so much more harm than you could ever dream of.
complain to your MEP about the poster campaign

The Birth of a Father

>This past Friday, my cousin's wife gave birth to their first child, Jack. As heartwarming as that was, what was really precious was to see little Jack tucked under his mom's hospital gown right after birth. He enjoyed skin to skin with his mom and breastfed straight away. Another beautiful photo arrived to me, but this time with Kyle and Jack enjoying some one-on-one skin time. A quick Google search for skin to skin contact with dad doesn't render too many beautiful pictures as it is the fact that mostly mothers are the ones in the photos, so that's why this picture was so special and meaningful to me...


A Healing Touch?


Emi Arima 


Several weeks ago in our biology, Professor Grobstein mentioned that his college seminar class was holding a bake sale in our campus center. He approached his sales pitch by asking if we were stressed from the workload of the end of the semester. Inevitably we all nodded our heads in agreement that the homework had begun to take its toll. He urged us all to support his class's efforts and their somewhat atypical offer including an optional hug with the purchase of a brownie. After class I found myself thinking about his association with stress and the need for a hug.

I know from personal experience that a hug or even a pat on the back can cheer me up. I've also read that people who make appropriate physical contact in business transactions-a firm handshake or a hand on the shoulder-are more likely to land the deal than those who keep to themselves. However, the necessity of physical interaction goes beyond the role of a mere stress reliever or business etiquette; rather it is essential to the development of an infant-both socially and physically.

Among the most well known experiments on the subject were those of Harry Harlow in the 1950s and 1960s. Through his series of tests with infant monkeys and their application to humans, he brought a new understanding of child psychology and our own behavior (7). Until his experiments, most scientists assumed that the affection infants displayed for their mothers was an association between the mother and the quenching of primary needs-hunger, thirst, and pain (11).

Harlow ran a series of experiments in which he separated infant rhesus monkeys from their mothers six to twelve hours after birth (6). At first he raised the infant monkeys in a laboratory, isolated from others, where they received their nutrition from a bottle. In doing so he noticed that the laboratory-raised monkeys formed an attachment to the gauze used to cover the bottom of their cages. They grew so attached, in fact, that the removal of the cloth for sanitary purposes threw the infants into violent temper tantrums. As a follow up, he found that monkeys raised in a mesh cage with a bare floor had difficulty surviving their first five days. When he inserted a mesh cone the difficulty lessened, and when he covered the cone with terry cloth they developed into "happy babies" (11). According to Harlow himself in his essay, The Nature of Love, "We were impressed by the possibility that, above and beyond the bubbling fountain of breast or bottle, contact comfort might be a very important variable in the development of the infant's affection for the mother" (11).

From this point he embarked on his famed experiments that are now included in most psychology textbooks. He tested this infant-mother affection. In this series of studies he offered a "surrogate" mother to the isolated infants. He had two models of this mother substitute-one made of bare, heavy wire and the other made of wood covered with a soft terry cloth. In one such experiment both models were placed in the infant's cage, but only one had a nipple to provide milk. Regardless of which "mother" fed them, the monkeys spent a significantly greater amount of time with the terry-covered mother (6). Harlow summarized his findings by stating, "These data make it obvious that contact comfort is a variable of overwhelming importance in the development of affectional response, whereas lactation is a variable of negligible importance" (11).

An interesting twist to the story of Harlow's experiments became apparent in the later life of monkeys. Mary Carlson, a neuroscientist at Harvard medical school, says that the cloth mother was inadequate as a replacement for the actual mothers, and the monkeys had trouble both emotionally and behaviorally. "Even when raised in cages where they could see, smell and hear-but not touch-other monkeys, the infants developed what she called an 'autistic-like' syndrome, with grooming, self-clasping, social withdrawal and rocking" (2).

This condition has since been referred to as Maternal Deprivation Syndrome, and many other psychologists have continued on from the basic discoveries of Harlow. One such experiment, run by William Mason and Gershon Berkson, simulated Harlow's original set-up except that the surrogate mother was set in motion. Infants raised with this swinging mother did not develop the characteristic traits of the maternal deprivation syndrome (9). These results led Dr. James Prescott and several others to ask themselves why, and what they discovered is as surprising as Harlow's findings.

"More recent studies suggest that during formative periods of brain growth, certain kinds of sensory deprivation-such as lack of touching and rocking by the mother-result in incomplete or damaged development of the neuronal systems that control affection (for instance, a loss of the nerve-cell branches called dendrites)" (9). According to Prescott, the autistic-like rocking, hyper-reactivity to touch, and abnormal social behaviors characteristic of maternal deprivation syndrome are side effects of the brain damage caused by a lack of physical contact. He isolated these problems to the limbic-frontal-cerebellar brain system, from which, he claims, we develop the "Basic Trust," "Affection," and "Intimacy." These three elements combine to form the experiences of "Pleasure," "Bonding," and "Love." When the infant is deprived of the sensory stimulation necessary to develop the systems involved with these emotions, depression and violence can ensue (8). The infant, deprived of physical contact, does not learn how to form social bonds with others and becomes self-sufficient. Some suspect that the characteristic rocking and clutching simulate the sensory stimulation that the young monkeys did not receive from their mothers.

In December of 1989 Nicolae Ceasescu's dictatorship in Romania came to an end when he and his wife executed. Ceasecu's attempts to double the Romanian population in one generation left men and women fiscally unable to provide for their families and forced them to turn their children over to orphanages. By the time of his execution, more than 150,000 children occupied these ill-equipped facilities (12). Caretakers had as many as twenty infants in their care, which left little time for any personal care beyond changing diapers and administering bottles (1). When foreign doctors came in 1989 and examined the children, they found "grossly delayed" development of mental and motor skills, a significantly stunted growth-"the children were in the third to tenth percentile for physical growth"-and a tendency to rock and grasp themselves(2).

The deprivation of touch is no laughing matter, nor are its consequences restricted to the rhesus monkeys used in Harlow's experiments. Thousands of these Romanian orphans showed the same signs of social ineptness later in life-the damage is permanent. "Rock A Bye Baby" cites a case where an intense one-to-one physical relationship between a substitute mother and a six-month-old child significantly reduces the child's retardation (10). However, the cases of maternal deprivation syndrome still greatly outnumber stories such as this one. Approximately two-thirds of children under two years old who experience Failure to Thrive (stunted growth, inability to gain weight, and failure to accomplish the typical childhood milestones) are caused by neglect or ignorance on the part of the parents (5).

Mary Carlson, inspired by Harlow's findings on the effects of deprivation, directed her career toward its effects on the human race. She, along with many other scientists involved in this area, attempt to bring this issue beyond the scientific realm. According to Carlson, this is as much an issue of human rights as it is an avenue of scientific research. Romania has joined an allegiance of countries in ratifying the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child -an allegiance that includes all countries in the world except Somalia and the United States.

Renee Spitz, who studied infants in foundling homes and along with the effects of long term hospitalization with John Bowlby in the 1930s (13), concluded from his research that we need strokes [denotes human contact] as much as the air we breath, the water we drink, and the food we eat (3). The concept of the need for human interaction is not difficult to comprehend and yet we seem to make it very complicated because the trend continues. It seems that if something as simple as a hug can be so vital for proper development-and also be such a cheerful sign of affection and encouragement-we would give and receive them freely. However, if such were the case, why would the idea of a complimentary hug with the purchase of a brownie be such a novel idea?

I found a children's story called A Warm Fuzzy Tale while I was doing my research. It tells the story of a long ago town, where all the people had bags of "warm fuzzies." The people gave these "warm fuzzies" to each other freely and it made them happy. Then one day a bad witch convinced someone that they had to conserve their stock because when they ran out they would never have any more. Soon the people stopped exchanging the "warm fuzzies" all together, and they became very unhappy. A stranger came to the town and begun to freely give hers away to the children. The children became happy and began to share again, but the parents-still wary of running out of their supply-disapproved (4). There is an extent to which our constraints on human contact and our concept of personal space make sense. Although children can freely give away hugs and kisses to anyone they encounter, such behavior is inappropriate in the work environment. And yet, I often think we sometimes hold back too much in attempts to be "correct."

There is no ending to The Warm Fuzzy Tale, nor is there one for the issue of the deprivation from the human touch. "The struggle spread all over the land and is probably going on right were you live. If you want to, and I hope you do, you can join by freely giving and asking for Warm Fuzzies and being as loving and healthy as you can" (4).

WWW Sources

1) No Laughing Matter , from The Science of Mother's Day 2) Not really a monkey..., from The Science of Mother's Day
3) Learning to Love
4) A Warm Fuzzy Tale
5) Maternal Deprivation Syndrome , from
6) The Experiment , from Chicken Wire Mother
7) Harry Harlow , from The Psi Café
8) Birth and the Origins of Violence
9) Alienation of Affection
10) Rock A Bye Baby , Time Life documentary and summary
11)The Nature of Love, from Classics in the History of Psychology
12) The Journey Home: A Romanian Adoption , from CBC
13)"Nature" And "Nurture" Interact In Sequential Stages , from Classrooms of the 21st Century
14) A Decisive Decade of Protection , from Unicef

Breastfeeding vs. Organic Formula

>Read this article, and tell me if you think it is for real.....

Breastfeeding vs. Organic infant formula
For years, breastfeeding has been the de-facto choice for millions of mothers worldwide. With formula always a viable option, many people have decided that breast feeding was the better choice, despite organic formulas offering the same benefits as breast milk for many your babies. There are several reasons for people picking natural feeding over formula feeding. Firstly, there’s the belief that breast feeding offers nutrients and minerals that formula feeding can’t offer. Secondly, many people stray away from using formula to feed their infants due to the possibility of contamination and resulting problems. Finally, for many mothers breast feeding is simply a natural part of raising an infant that seems unfortunate to miss. Certainly, natural breastfeeding is without any doubt the best option for babyfeeding.

While it’s difficult to refute the last point, there’s ample evidence supporting the importance and value of organic infant formula. Offering a diverse and important macro and micro-nutrient profile, organic baby formula is the perfect formula for your infant, and is free of pesticides and herbicides which can cause problems in development and infant health. With this wide nutrient profile on offer, there’s little reason to shy away from formula reading because of nutritional or health reasons. Today’s organic formulas offer every nutrient profile that breast feeding does, and come with added convenience and simplicity for many mothers.

Secondly, the possibility for contamination and ill-effects simply isn’t there with organic formulas. You’ve no doubt heard of the problems caused by infected milk and baby products in East Asia — products that can have serious effects on the growth and development of infants. By using organic infant formula, you minimize the risk of any contamination or pesticide problems. With no non-natural additives, organic infant formula is completely natural and safe for consumption, and has no risk of contamination, infection or hidden substances.

Still, for many mothers the choice is up to what feels natural and right. However, there’s also a moral implication in using organic formula. By spending your money on organic formula, you’re actively helping the organic farming community stay afloat, and keeping organic farming principles and ethics alive. However, it’s important to check if your baby formula is really 100% organic or not. While many baby formulas are quick to report that they’re all-natural, you need to take a look at the container to be certain of the authenticity. In order to meet a nutrient profile that’s more similar to breast milk, many manufacturers of organic formula are adding DHA and ARA omega acids to their formula.

That’s not a bad thing — it’s most certainly good from a nutritional standpoint. However, what’s alarming is the presence of foreign substances in this nutritionally altered formula. In many cases, the packaging of the organic formula can contain unnatural substances that could affect infants. Also, the products used to extract fatty acids for use in organic formula can affect the quality of the product, containing substances such as hexane and weak acids. However, you need to note that these substances are in very small quantities, often under 100 times the limits assigned and recommended by the FDA. From a health standpoint, organic infant formula is still vastly superior to other forms of baby formula.

As the decision to breast feed or formula feed is often very personal and non-nutritionally motivated, it’s important to weigh up what you feel is best for your infant. However, if you’re unsure of what option to take, it’s important to know that organic formula is there, offering an additive free, 100% organic alternative for any baby formulas available. It is also the best alternative for those who find themselves unable to breastfeed for any reason.

Update: To those who object to the views contained in this article (see the comments below), you might have misunderstood the author’s intention. Breastfeeding is always the best and first choice to feed your baby. If you’re unable to do breastfeeding, then ask a professional and choose the best organic formua available on the market. A good formula may offer most of the nutrients containted in breast milk and even some added benefits.

Induction of labor..what's the harm?


A pregnant woman is 41 weeks and 2 days "overdue". She sits up in her hospital bed as she tries to grab the attention of the obstetrician on call. "Dr H! Wait, come here a second. What are the results of my blood tests? What's going to happen now?". Dr. H responds quite stoically and detached and says in the frankest manner, " Well, if by Monday your labor does not start yet, you'll be induced" and he left with the most hurry of the world. "Induced?!" I thought, "no way!". That same night, I went to bed with the world on my shoulders. When I awoke to go to the bathroom, at 1:30 am, as I got up to get out of the bathroom, IT hit me. "Uffffffffffffff" My eyes got really big and I knew it. I've never been in labor before, but I knew this was it! I grabbed my ipod and set it to stopwatch. Sure enough, I was right. Contractions started at 3-4 minutes apart, lasting 30-45 seconds. I thought, "This is not fair, this is not supposed to be this strong at the beginning!" Feeling the need, I started my coping techniques I learned in CBE classes. I walked around, briefly pausing to breathe through the contractions. Now that I look back I think, 'would you look at that, the night the OB said I'd be induced, the baby must have heard it and was like, NAH AH! I'm deciding on my own time to come out!'. However, on a more sad note, not many women, especially recently, wait for labor to begin on its own.  Some women, blindly trusting in their doctors, give them free rein to induce them at the drop of a hat once they are considered "overdue". These women probably never knew or never considered the numerous risks associated with labor induction/social labor induction.

Today, more and more women of every size are having their labors induced. This is risky because when labor is started artificially, it means that the baby and mother are not truly ready for birth yet, and complications can ensue. (Study references beyond those already linked to can be found in the Healthy Birth Practice Paper, here.)

Inducing labor, especially in first-time mothers, tends to increase the risk for cesareans. The mother's body may not be ready to dilate fully and she may therefore end up with a cesarean for "Failure To Progress" (FTP). Or the baby may not yet be in the easiest position for birth and the mother may end up with a cesarean for "Cephalo-Pelvic Disproportion" (CPD, or baby didn't fit right).

Inducing labor also increases the risks for vacuum- and forceps-assisted births. This is often because the baby had not yet moved into an optimal position for birth, or because the mother has an epidural and the baby cannot rotate easily through the pelvis. Help may be needed to get the baby out, but this help often also comes with the price of an episiotomy (cutting to widen the vaginal opening).

Inducing labor early can also result in a "near-term" preemie which may experience problems with jaundice, low blood sugar, and difficulty breastfeeding. Even close to term, the baby's lungs may not be completely ready to breathe yet on the outside, and as a result, the baby may experience respiratory distress after the birth and end up in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Induction also carries direct risks to both mother and baby in other ways as well. For example, the induced mother's uterus may experience "tachysystole" (hyperstimulation) and labor may need to be stopped before it results in uterine rupture (a tear in the uterus) or placental abruption (the placenta pulling away from the uterus prematurely). Induction is also associated with amniotic fluid embolism, and while rare, this can result in death to the mother.

Furthermore, although synthetic oxytocin (a.k.a. "pitocin" or "syntocinon") is chemically the same as the mother's own oxytocin, it does not act exactly the same in the body during labor. As Dr. Sarah Buckley notes:

Synthetic oxytocin administered in labor does not act like the body’s own oxytocin. First, syntocinon-induced contractions are different from natural contractions, and these differences can cause a reduced blood flow to the baby. For example, waves can occur almost on top of each other when too high a dose of synthetic oxytocin is given, and it also causes the resting tone of the uterus to increase.

Second, oxytocin, synthetic or not, cannot cross from the body to the brain through the blood-brain barrier. This means that syntocinon, introduced into the body by injection or drip, does not act as the hormone of love. However, it does provide the hormonal system with negative feedback—that is, oxytocin receptors in the laboring woman’s body detect high levels of oxytocin and signal the brain to reduce production. We know that women with syntocinon infusions are at higher risk of bleeding after the birth, because their own oxytocin production has been shut down.

Induction also carries risks to the baby. Induction often involves breaking the mother's amniotic sac manually at some point during labor, which carries the risk of umbilical cord prolapse. Although rare, this can cause brain damage or even death to the baby and necessitates an immediate emergency cesarean.

The use of labor induction drugs often causes contractions that are harder and closer together than in spontaneous labor, and as a result, baby is not given as much time to recover its oxygenation between contractions. This lack of recovery time can cause fetal distress. This is why babies must be continuously monitored during an induced or augmented labor.

These harder, longer, and more intense contractions often also result in a higher use of pain medications by the mother. There is nothing wrong with choosing to receive pain medications if you need them (and it's great that women have the choice available if needed), but it's important to remember that these are strong medications and they do carry real risks to both mother and baby.

While many women go into labor intending to "go natural" (without pain medications), this becomes very difficult if the mother is induced. Although not impossible, it's a rare woman who is able to complete a whole induced labor and birth without at least some pain medications.

Furthermore, induction increases the risks of further interventions becoming "needed," all of which have their own risks. And induction decreases the mother's ability to utilize the other Health Birth Practices such as move freely, be upright for pushing, etc.

Induction of labor is far from the benign and minimally risky option that many doctors portray it to be. It has real risks, and in many cases these risks are underplayed.

Sometimes induction of labor is truly needed, and as with cesareans, we can be glad that it is available when needed. However, also as with cesareans, its casual overuse without sufficient consideration about possible risks may result in significant harm.

Unfortunately, many mothers, whether first time or for the second or third time around, do not know/are not informed about these facts. To make things worse, many health care providers gloss over these facts and sugar coat a lot of details. In Aruba, it is especially common for the health care provider (ob/gyn) not to explain anything, and sometimes, even when explicitly asked! A young woman I know would constantly ask me  questions about certain scribbles on her file from the midwife. I would explain them to her, but then I once asked her, 'why don't you simply ask your midwife during your appointments?' Her answer : "She said don't worry with those scribbles". Why...why do doctors especially, stop explaining? I think it's simple, because if they were to give the actual details on, for example, labor induction, the vacation your obstetrician was planning will be canceled, oh and the money to pay for it? Well, the cesarean that was "highly neccesary" was not performed...