A lesson in Attachment Parenting and Gentle Discipline


This blog was inspired by a first time play date of my daughter Dahlia and my friend Noortje and her daughter Zoe

We were invited over for a play date of sorts. So excitedly we went, Dahlia and I. It was Zoe, Dahlia, Noortje and myself on the front porch watching the girls play with a play stove Zoe has. Everything was going well. Noortje's husband cut up some fresh watermelon and avocado for us and the girls ,and all ate and played happily. Then... Dahlia got interested in a bike (she loves "big girl" bikes) So, she went on it..much to Zoe's displeasure. And so it began. Dahlia and Zoe going mad.. Both were at one point screaming, then..after Noortje insisted that it is Dahlia's turn to ride the bike, Zoe lost it. Completely.. What I found so interesting wasn't the temper tantrum Zoe was throwing.. rather, it was the way Noortje was handling it..She sat there, cradling and holding Zoe tight in her arms while rocking her and shushing her softly. She empathized with Zoe and continued rocking her. I was so amazed and pleasantly surprised, because never in my life had I seen or heard of (on Aruba) a mother responding so lovingly to a screaming child. All I was accustomed of seeing was mothers yelling back and striking their children for such behavior, which in turn just perpetuated the tantrum even longer. I've seen the common method of leaving the child there to scream after being verbally punished. All of this is common to our island, but never have I beheld Noortje's method beyond my reading material.

I sat and spoke to Noortje about temper tantrums and she and I both expressed the same views about how to handle it. With love. patience. calmness. We were both so relieved to find acceptance and validation for our parenting methods. I had done some reading on the subject and am trying my best to implement it into our daily lives. Is it working? I'll find out soon enough. Is it worth it? Absolutely

What is this method I keep ranting on and on about? It's attachment parenting and gentle discipline. La Leche League International had a great article in their magazine entitled "Temper Tantrums"
In it Donna Bruschi explained that a child's tantrums is a cry for help. Further research into gentle parenting on websites such as Attachment Parenting.org shows that reacting to a temper tantrum with aggression and anger actually perpetuates and exacerbates the child's plea for help. Why does a child then, fall to the ground, kicking and screaming, and sapatia like we say here in aruba, and not just come to the mom and tell her what's wrong? Simple.. a child or baby, can't. What can they do then? Well, it's simple again, cry, LOUD. How we as parents respond to such behaviors has a big impact on the child's mental, emotional and physical well being and development

So..you must be wondering.. what AM I supposed to do then when my baby/child throws a temper tantrum. I'll put an excerpt from Donna Bruschi's article.

Stay calm, detached, and nearby, offering support as needed (as well as protection from sharp edges, traffic, and other hazards). The parent may have to restrain or physically remove the child to prevent him from hurting himself and others. If the parent finds herself getting upset, it is better to make sure the child is safe, leave the room, and calm down. If this is not possible, she should stop talking and breathe deeply. If this is not possible, she should try again with the next tantrum. She will handle tantrums better with each attempt.

The parent can reassure the child that she really wants to understand what is wrong. Help him to calm down. Only when he is reasonably calm should the parent continue. If the child gets upset again, return to calming techniques.

Ask the child what happened, and listen. Listen for the facts (the situation) and listen for the feeling (the emotion).

If he can't verbalize it, make suggestions and watch his body language for cues that you are on the right track. It may help for the parent to imagine herself in the child's place. Once the parent has identified the trigger, she can help the child to understand it. Common triggers are the inability to do a task or the loss of a favorite toy. Other triggers are fears, punishment, and separation from the parent. Aggravating factors can be exhaustion, hunger, and loud public places

Since reading this, I've tried it with my 19-month-old daughter too. My husband and I stopped responding with physical discipline and focused more on our daughter's emotions and feelings at that very moment. When she starts flinging and flailing her hands at me with the intention of hitting me, I grab her hands lovingly, tell her to look me in the eyes, and I calmly acknowledge her anger, her frustration and disappointment. I get down to her eye level and I verbalize her feelings and tell her that I understand how she feels and that it's normal to feel a certain way but that hitting is not an acceptable way to express those emotions. With what result? Well, our daughter has stopped hitting significantly, also, she does seem to respond more to us when we try to correct her. We hope and feel secure that she will one day (hopefully in the nearby future) learn to control her strong emotions better and that she will grow up to be an empathetic and loving human being.

How long you may store homemade baby food

>In the refrigerator or freezer.
Fruits and vegetables 2 to 3 days 6 to 8 months
Meats or egg yolks 1 day 1 to 2 months
Meat & vegetable
1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
What to do:
1. Wash your hands with hot soapy water. Wash all equipment in hot soapy water, rinse
it under hot water and air dry.
2. Wash fruits and vegetables by scrubbing under cool water. Peel fruits and vegetables
and remove seeds.
3. Remove bones, skin and visible fat from meat.
4. Bake, boil or steam food until cooked and tender.
5. Use the food grinder, blender, potato masher, or fork to mash the food until it is of a
smooth texture. You may also force the food through a strainer. Throw away any
tough pieces or large lumps.
6. Add liquids such as cooking water, breast milk or formula if the food is thick or dry.
7. Do not add sugar, honey, salt or fat to baby food.

Why Moms Can't Do Yoga


Baby needs

>Needs your baby

By 7 or 8 months yor baby is ready to move on to the next stage of weaning, with meals getting a little lumpier and finger foods making an appearance.

Older babies need more iron in their diets as their own stores start to run down after the age of about six months. They are also becoming much more active as they learn to crawl and then walk - and that means more calories are needed for energy and growth.

Your baby also needs a variety of nutrients in his foods, and to become used to a wide range of tastes as he grows. He can now chew, handle different textures and pick up different shapes more skilfully - eating fits in well with his newly acquired skills and experiences.

He also needs to practice his social skills, and joining in meals with other people gives a great opportunity for this. By the end of the first year, your baby will probably be able to enjoy almost all the same foods as you do, perhaps modified a little to make them more suitable for him.
Which milk?

Experts agree that babies aged up to a year should continue to be given breastmilk or formula milk or follow on milk as their main drink, rather than cow’s milk. Some experts feel that babies should be given no cow’s milk at all until they are a year old, because of the risk of allergies, while other experts advise that small amounts of full fat pasteurised cow’s milk can be used to mix with foods from six months onwards.
How much milk?

As your baby’s intake of other foods increases, he’s likely to need less milk. If you are breastfeeding, you can continue for as long as you and your baby want to. Your baby will naturally regulate his own intake.

When you do decide to cut down on breastfeeds, offer a drink in a cup at a time you’d normally expect your baby to want the breast. There is no point in trying to introduce the different sucking action of a bottle to a baby who’s over six months. Even if he is already accustomed to bottles, it’s still a good time to begin using a cup.

If your baby is still very keen on bottle feeds, you may have to take the initiative in dropping some of his formula intake - it’s easy for older bottle fed babies to fill up on milk, which may not leave much room for other foods. Decrease the amount of milk in each bottle so his intake over the day is less, and offer a cup instead of a bottle at some feeds.

By the end of the first year, the recommended amount of milk is 600 ml a day (about a pint) - and that includes milk from other sources such as custards and yogurt. More than this isn’t necessary, and some healthy babies take a lot less just because they don’t like it. A breastfed baby can feed as often as he wants to, but if he is only feeding once or twice, it’s sensible to make sure he has extra milk in a cup or in other foods.

Co-sleeping,Bedsharing, or putting baby to sleep in the nursery... Which do I choose?

>Many a mothers, grandmothers, fathers, aunts, doctors,and pediatricians feel strongly about this topic : Bed sharing/ co-sleeping / baby sleeping in their own room. I asked on my Facebook what people thought of this. What guided them to make the decision that best suited their circumstances.

Let us first define for clarification what is :

Co-sleeping :Baby in the same room/ in a side car attached to the adult bed
Bed-sharing: Sleeping in the same bed as mother
Baby sleeping in their own room : Self explanatory

Here are some responses :

  • In the same room is Ok but I think in the same bed could be not safe. New mom's are so so tired and a little one could suffocate easily.
  • I couldn't imagine not sleeping with my little ones. I've co-slept with all three from birth. There are ways you position yourself to make it impossible to turn over.....and when nursing you are so in tune to your baby, you know when they are moving around and just roll over to nurse. Both mom and baby sleep better and babies are able to thrive. I think it's one of the most important things for mom and baby especially.
  • Well, one thing I do know is that once you let the baby sleep next to you in your bed, he will want to sleep that way well into his childhood, but then again, sleeping in the same room would also be conducive to baby waking up and parents putting the baby back to sleep in their bed.
  • we love sleeping with our baby!!! it's easier to breastfeed through out the night,u just put her on in the sideways position and fall asleep next to each other and she's more likely to stay asleep all night that way instead of in her crib..... i know i couldn't put my baby in a seperate room I wouldn't be able to sleep all night, even if she's in her crib beside my bed i don't sleep cause I keep peeking in to see if everything's ok!  but of course, i don't recommend sleeping with your baby if you know you move a lot and could possibly roll over your baby!
  • Co-sleeping if you have only a queen bed. Especially if you like a lot of space. Though I often found myself accidentally bed sharing because I would fall asleep while nursing and not wake till the next nursing session.

    I've heard so many people say  "I know a mom/dad who put their baby in their bed to sleep and rolled over on the baby" . Or you hear " There was this mom who was nursing her baby at night in her bed, and her breast smothered the baby and it died". While these accidents are sad and true and it certainly cannot be excluded that these things can happen when you bed share with your infant, how many incidents are there out there about a baby dying in their crib because the blanket that was not supposed to be there suffocated or overheated the baby, or the stuffed animals that don't belong in the crib to begin with, smothered the baby when they rolled over on it. Or the newborn infant that was put to sleep alone in his crib, crying his eyes out to no avail of getting their sleeping parents' attention and died in the middle of the night.These are accidents that occur but are conveniently not peddled around

    But now you must wonder, what do the statistics say? What does the current evidence available prove? All you hear from the American Academy of Pediatrics is, no bed sharing, bed sharing bad, bed sharing NO NO. Here are the facts - just the facts.

    Statistics taken from a friend's blog : 

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA, the crib manufacturers' lobby) recently launched a campaign to discourage parents from placing infants in adult beds or sleeping with them, based on data showing that infants have a very small risk of dying in adult beds.1,2 The CPSC implies that infants in adult beds are at greater risk than infants in cribs, but as we know, and as they know, babies also die in cribs. What we need to do is calculate the relative riskiness of an infant sleeping in an adult bed versus a crib. We can do that by dividing a measure of danger for each situation by the prevalence, or frequency, of that situation, and then comparing them. (Oddly, the CPSC never presents relative risks.) Using government figures, we can perform a rough calculation to show that infants are more than twice as safe in adult beds as in cribs. This is aside from the many other advantages of co-sleeping or bed sharing, such as increased breastfeeding and physiological regulation, the experience of having slept well, parents' feeling of assurance that their child is well and happy, the enhanced security of psychological attachment and family togetherness, and family enjoyment.3
    Let's begin by looking closely at the CPSC data. The anti-cosleeping campaign is based on a dataset that contains the 2,178 cases of unintentional mechanical suffocation of US infants under 13 months old for the period 1980 to 1997. CPSC-authored articles about these data reflect only the small portion of deaths that occurred in adult beds.4 However, these data also have been published with summaries of the cause-of-death codes on all 2,178 cases.5
    Of these 2,178 infant suffocation deaths, we are certain of only 139 occurring in an adult bed. For 102 of these, we know that a larger person (presumably a sleeping adult) was present, because the cause-of-death code is "overlain in a bed." That does not tell us exactly what caused the death-that is, whether the baby died and then was lain on, or died as a result of being lain on. We can assume that the 37 deaths involving water beds occurred in adult beds, since few child water beds exist. That gives us a total of 139 infant suffocation deaths known to have occurred in adult beds in these 18 years.
    The same data show that 428 infants died due to being in a crib. It is likely that there were preventable risk factors (such as using a crib in need of repair) involved in these crib-related deaths. But that doesn't change our calculations, because the deaths did occur. Similarly, our calculations do not change due to the preventable risk factors (such as intoxication) involved in adult-bed deaths (and other overlying). Note that advocates are raising public awareness to increase the safety of both these sleeping arrangements, with the hope that all these deaths will decrease.
    We can't use the other 739 bed- or bedding-related cases in our analysis, because the place of death is not specific enough; these deaths may have occurred in a large adult bed, a single-size adult bed, a child's bed, or a misused crib. Nor can we include the remaining 760 deaths, as we have no idea whether they took place in a sleep situation at all. We also know nothing about the presence or absence of an adult, although a nearby, aware caretaker could have prevented many of these deaths.
    So for only 567 (139 plus 428) of the deaths do we know whether they took place in an adult or infant bed. Thus, from 1980 to 1997, 75 percent of the mechanical suffocation deaths of US infants with a known place of occurrence took place in cribs, while 25 percent took place in adult beds.

    While it is tempting to make the observation that three times as many babies died in cribs as in adult beds, if three times as many babies were actually sleeping in cribs as in adult beds, the risk would be the same in either place. Based only on this crude death-certificate data, we do not know which is safer. We still need to know how many babies were actually in adult beds or cribs-that is, an estimate of how common co-sleeping was.
    To estimate co-sleeping prevalence, we can turn to the CDC's Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS).6 PRAMS has been surveying mothers of infants, usually between two and six months of age (but occasionally up to nine months), since 1988. Approximately 1,800 new mothers are sampled each year in each participating state. The sample is rigorously selected to represent essentially every birth in the state, and the response rates are high (70 to 80 percent). Most of the 100 or so PRAMS questions involve prenatal and well-baby care and stressors.
    States have the option of adding their own questions and have asked about co-sleeping. The basic question asked is, "How often does your new baby sleep in the same bed with you? Always; Sometimes; Never." (Some states add "Almost always.") PRAMS data, therefore, can be used to ascertain co-sleeping prevalence in participating states and may be the only data of this kind.
    From 1991 through 1999 (the most recent data available) we see that roughly 68 percent (100 percent minus the 23 to 43 percent who "never" co-slept) of babies in these states enjoyed co-sleeping at least some of the time. Data from the United Kingdom are similar: Helen Ball's Sleep Lab found that around 7 percent always co-slept, 40 percent did so for part of the night, and 33 percent never co--slept.6
    Now let's try to estimate a single co-sleeping prevalence rate from these data. Let's say that babies who "sometimes" co-sleep do so about half the time. Over all the years of this sample, around 42 percent of babies co-slept "sometimes." Let's also say that "always" or "almost always" means 90 percent of the time. Roughly 26 percent of infants co-slept "always" or "almost always." Adding "always/almost always" (90 percent of the time x 26 percent of babies) to "sometimes" (50 percent of the time x 42 percent of babies), we get 44 percent of babies ages two to nine months who were co-sleeping at any given time, presumably in an adult bed.
    Now we can use these figures based on CPSC and PRAMS data to calculate the riskiness of these two sleep arrangements, although it's important to understand the limitations of doing so. For example, these PRAMS data are from only five states (although more will be available in the future), while the CPSC data are from the entire US. The years in which the PRAMS co-sleeping data were collected are not the same as those covered by the CPSC dataset, although they overlap. The CPSC covers infants zero to thirteen months, while PRAMS asks about infants two to nine months. The CPSC collects demographic details such as state, income, race, and age of mother (as does PRAMS), as well as time of the death, but they are not easily available to do a more detailed analysis. One or both of these data sources lacks information on impairment of caretaker and other known sleep risk factors, exact sleeping and furniture arrangements during different times in the night, overcrowding and other motivation for co-sleeping or crib sleeping, clinical pathology findings, previous health of the infant, etc. Plus, a complete risk analysis should include all causes of infant deaths, including SIDS.
    Nonetheless, these data are important population-based sources of information on sleep risks that we would not have otherwise. So let's go ahead and use them to estimate a risk ratio for co-sleeping. We take the 25 percent of the suffocation risk in the CPSC data linked to being in an adult bed and divide it by the 44 percent of babies who were actually in adult beds. Then we divide that fraction by a similar fraction for cribs, i.e., 75 percent divided by 56 percent. (If we multiplied each of these fractions by an overall infant death rate, we would have the actual risk for each group.)
    This result shows that it was actually less than half (42 percent) as risky, or more than twice as safe, for an infant to be in an adult bed than in a crib. Based upon these calculations using the CPSC's own data, we can say that crib sleeping had a relative risk of 2.37 compared with sleeping in an adult bed.

    As we have read, bed sharing is not as un-safe as many deem it. However, when bed sharing, all the safety pre-cautions should be followed, such as, not smoking, or letting anyone sharing the bed smoke. Do not let the baby bed share with a person who is substantially obese, nor one who is taking any medications that cause sleepiness. Avoid loose bedding and fluffy puffy comforters as these may increase suffocation in the infant. Keep all pillows and pillow covers away from the infants face and body. (Yes, you can still sleep on a pillow)

    When a child is placed in their crib to sleep, this does not automatically exonerate them from all suffocation and SIDS incidents. Safety precautions should also be followed closely : Avoid covering the baby with a blanket. If room temperature is too cold, try either lowering the temperature or adding more layers to the baby's sleep-wear. A sleep sack is also a genius invention that allows you to "cover" your baby with a "blanket", so to speak, that will not even have the possibility of covering their face. I myself, co-slept with my daughter, she in her crib and I in my bed. I always put a blanket on her because the temperature was always very cold in the room. One night, for some reason I awoke to find the blanket on my daughter's face... in horror I quickly grabbed and pulled it off of her, and I swore to never use a blanket to cover her again! That was a close call and I hope it serves as a warning to all the moms reading this blog.

    Personally, I am against putting babies (especially under the age of one) to sleep alone in their room. There are so many benefits when you have your baby sleep next you to in a side car or on your bed. As was mentioned before, the baby's temperature and breathing pattern is regulated because the baby will mimic its mother's breathing. Many a moms note that when their babies sleep in their bed with them, even though they are in the deepest stage of sleep, they can feel and are keenly aware of any movement that the baby makes. Moms have this subconscious awareness of their baby. And because of this, it is implicated that babies can wake more easily from a prolonged apnea (episode when the breathing stops) which in turn, prevents and protects the baby from SIDS.Best of all, bed sharing, or having the baby in a side care attached to your bed, facilitates night time nursing, especially for moms with newborns that need all the sleep they can squeeze in.

    What's the conclusion of this article? Let the well-informed minds of each one of you make the decision based on facts, that best suites your situation.

    Dear Baby,

    >When I was expecting my first (and only) child, I wrote her letters and poems during my pregnancy. Letters which I later stuck into her baby album that is to be handed over to her when she grows older. The next series of posts will be my letters to her, to reminisce and take a walk down memory lane...

    Dear Baby,

    Good morning to you. I am anxious to feel your first movements. I am excited when you can hear my voice. I will sing to you, I will read for you, and when are finally born I will dote on you. When I finally meet you I will embrace you ever so gently. I will take care of you and love you endlessly. When you cry I will hold you. When you smile I will tickle you. I love you more than words can express. I will care for you with my whole life and nothing less. Simply thinking about you makes tears fill my eyes. Your sweet little heartbeat is so precious to me.....

    World Breastfeeding Week September 27th - October 3rd 2010


    It's here! It's here! It's finally here!

    World Breastfeeding Week! Aruba, along with Holland and other countries traditionally celebrate World Breastfeeding Week in the 40th week of the year. The 40th week was chosen to symbolize a pregnancy. Aruba was pretty quiet during the rest of the world's WBW, August 1-7 2010. But this time around, we're gonna be out and about!

    One of the awesome stuff we have planned is our 2nd annual Quintessence Global breastfeeding challenge! Usually the challenge takes place at 11 am, but due to the hot weather, we've moved it to 5 pm. This year we've chosen a much more family friendly location with exciting things going on throughout the event. The event itself is from 4-6 pm at Wilhelmina Park. Families who attend are warmly encouraged to bring older children if they have any. We'll have a 'poppen kast', story telling,and a Sling Fashion Show in celebration of International Babywearing Week. There will be lots of prizes for the moms who take part in the challenge.

    We're extremely excited to bring breastfeeding into the spotlight, where it belongs. The more we speak, the more we fight, the quicker we can raise breastfeeding to its original pedestal, as something normal.

    Do you have any events going on during WBW? What about the breastfeeding challenge?

    Reminder--Nestle Boycott Week--October 26 to November 1, 2009

    >This year Nestlé-Free Week will take place from 26 October - 1 November.


    Monitoring around the world by the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) finds that Nestlé is the worst of the companies when it comes to breaking international standards for the marketing of baby foods adopted by the World Health Assembly.

    According to UNICEF: "Marketing practices that undermine breastfeeding are potentially hazardous wherever they are pursued: in the developing world, WHO estimates that some 1.5 million children die each year because they are not adequately breastfed. These facts are not in dispute."

    Sign up if you will be supporting/promoting Nestlé-Free Week

    This encompasses Halloween in some countries, which Nestlé is increasingly trying to exploit in the UK.

    You can find background information on the boycott of Nestlé over its baby milk pushing in our Nestlé-Free Zone. Plus resources for promoting the boycott. For example, you will find code for adding the Nestlé-Free Zone logo to your website or blog, with a link back for other to do the same. See:


    The ongoing boycott focuses on Nestlé's flagship product, Nescafé coffee. We list all products from which Nestlé profits, so if you don't normally avoid the whole lot, why not do so during this week? You may surprise yourself with how many alternative products are out there.

    If you find that your friends and colleagues say they would boycott, but.... then challenge them to do so at least for this week.

    You can go directly to our boycott list (which has a UK focus, but with information on where to check for other countries) at:

    We would welcome other poster designs specifically for the week, so feel free to send them to me at mikebrady@babymilkaction.org

    You can also find items for promoting the boycott in our online Virtual Shop at:

    Healthy and nutrition food

    >All baby food links to Nutrition.When we will prepared homemade food for baby we should see which is good and nutrition.Baby need nutrition. Nutrition helps the baby to maintain a healthy weight.It is essential for the body and all its systems to function optimally for a lifetime. In fact, good nutrition can help to keep physical and mental health. Healthy diet provides energy, promotes good sleep, and gives the body what it needs to stay healthy. When you consider the benefits of good nutrition, it's easier to digest and keep baby healthy.

    You can't show THAT!


    2 pictures from Haiti

    The top photograph is of a mother breastfeeding her baby, but the breast has been blurred out, because 'you can't show that' in the media.

    The second photograph shows a baby drinking out of a bottle, with the brand name clearly seen, because that is acceptable in the media.

    All Babywearing is NOT the same


    Photos from the 2007 Breastfeeding Challenge


    Have you considered renting a sling first?


    My modest business, CariBirth, is the only business offering sling rentals. There are so many carriers out there (some really expensive ones too) that it often times overwhelms new parents. Some don't have the time and/or funds to go around and purchase carrier after carrier seeing which fits them best. For this reason, I decided to amass and rent my baby carriers. Recently, the rental has picked up, and the parents are surprised to hear they can actually try out the carrier of their choice for 1,2, and even 3 weeks in their home and out and about. It allows them time and opportunity to test out a given carrier in their day-to-day life without having to commit.

    Of course, being the opportunist that I am, I take advantage of my clients allowing me to take pictures of them with the baby in the carrier. Today, a dad let me take many photos of him with the baby, and I relished in it because sometimes the clients are shy!

    I now have some pictures of a dad wearing his baby to use in my classes and website.

    pregnancy care

    >When I was pregnant with my third child, I had two friends who were also expecting. We would get together once a week and, over milkshakes, compare our growing bellies and laugh about our big maternity pants.We would also share our fears. Together we obsessed about nearly everything that could go wrong in the 40 weeks of pregnancy. What are these pains? Why am I so tired? How much will labor hurt? Can I handle another child? And the big one: Will my baby be healthy?Worries and pregnancy seem to go hand in hand. Fortunately, however, most women of childbearing age are healthy and most pregnancies are considered "low-risk." For most women, the surest way to have a healthy baby is to live a healthy lifestyle. The March of Dimes suggests the following precautions: Get early prenatal care, even before you're pregnant. Eat a well-balanced diet, including a vitamin supplement that contains folic acid. Exercise regularly with your doctor's permission. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and illicit drugs, and limit caffeine. Avoid x-rays, hot tubs, and saunas. Avoid infections. Getting Good Care

    Breastfeeding : Instinct or Instruction?


    Ayala Ochert and Suzanne Colson
    From New Beginnings, Vol. 26 No. 2, 2009, pp. 32-33

    Learning in Pregnancy

    "Breastfeeding is natural but not instinctive; mothers need to learn how to do it." When I was pregnant I read this many times in various different places. It didn't make complete sense to me but I knew I couldn't ignore it -- too many people I knew had been unable to breastfeed despite desperately wanting to. So I read the books and attended the workshops -- I even went along to a La Leche League meeting. I was prepared, or so I thought...
    When my baby arrived, the reality of breastfeeding came as quite a shock and none of that preparation seemed to help. None of the books mentioned the frantic head bobbing that made it so difficult for my baby to latch on. And what was I supposed to do with those little arms that kept getting in the way? Once he got on the breast, my baby's latch-on looked so perfect it could have adorned the cover of a breastfeeding manual, but it still hurt me.

    Biological Nurturing

    Several weeks later, still in pain, I had a visit from Suzanne Colson, midwife and researcher at Canterbury Christ Church University and the woman behind the term "biological nurturing." She got me to lie back and get comfortable on my sofa and then draped my baby on my chest. Again he did his head bobbing thing, but this time there was a difference. He "bobbed" into position and latched on. Lying along the length of my body, his arms were no longer in the way. "How does that feel?" Suzanne asked me. "Er, fine... It feels okay," I replied, hardly daring to believe the words as they left my mouth. Breastfeeding felt completely different. Having been used to his vise-like grip up to that point, I found it hard to conceive that he was actually getting any milk with this soft sucking.
    As my baby fed, like he'd never fed before, Suzanne and I chatted. She explained that he had been displaying the primitive neonatal reflexes that all healthy babies are born with. In the traditional breastfeeding positions -- mother sitting bolt upright with baby in cradle hold, for example -- these reflexes are often suppressed or even get in the way of a good latch-on. In the biological nurturing positions and postures, these reflexes actually stimulate the newborn to latch on, stay latched on, and feed well.

    Postures and Positioning

    I was fascinated to know more about the theory behind this approach, so this February I went along to Birkbeck College in London for a one-day workshop run by Suzanne, entitled "Initiating Breastfeeding. The Biological Nurturing Toolkits." The participants included breastfeeding counselors and teachers with decades of combined experience. I was the only one in the room with no formal training. Most of us were aware of the importance of skin-to-skin contact in the first hours after birth but, as Suzanne explained, it is not the actual skin contact that triggers babies to latch on well. It is the postures that mothers adopt during skin-to-skin contact and the positions they hold their babies in that really matter, she maintains. Mothers generally lie back with their baby in the "tummy-to-mummy" position when they are practicing skin-to-skin, and this is the essence of biological nurturing.
    Because the mother is lying back, at whatever angle she finds comfortable, gravity ensures that every part of her baby's body is closely applied to hers with no gaps between them. When the primitive neonatal reflexes get triggered in the biological nurturing positions, the baby will often latch on chin first automatically, getting a good mouthful of breast, without any help from mom. In the traditional upright and side-lying breastfeeding positions, gravity doesn't play a role in keeping the baby close so mothers have to apply pressure across the baby's back to keep him in the tummy-to-mummy position. While there are just a handful of traditional breastfeeding positions (cradle hold, cross cradle, rugby, etc), Suzanne likes to say that there are 360 different biological nurturing positions (thinking of the breast as a clock face). Of course, in practice, some of these may be a little impractical!

    Newborn Reflexes

    During the workshop we were introduced to a few of the many newborn reflexes that have been identified by neurologists. Some of these, such as the rooting reflex (triggered by touching the baby's cheek) are familiar and obviously involved in feeding; but Suzanne believes that many more primitive neonatal reflexes have evolved to help babies latch on and feed. For example, if you brush the top of a newborn's foot he will lift it and place it, so this reflex may help him crawl to the breast. Feet seem to be especially important, says Suzanne: "There is a strong foot-to-mouth connection." If you stimulate a newborn's feet it causes him to latch on to the breast and start sucking.
    After being introduced to the theory behind biological nurturing, we got to see it in practice as we watched a few of the many videos of mothers and babies Suzanne has recorded over the years. Years ago, Suzanne first noticed that some women seemed to take to breastfeeding naturally and without any help. Driven by the huge surge of oxytocin experienced after a natural birth, these women seemed to be acting instinctively, and biological nurturing was simply what these mothers did with their babies. The videos showed mothers who were being helped to try out biological nurturing positions. It was interesting to see the change that came over them once their babies started feeding in the biological nurturing positions -- the mothers would suddenly relax and lose interest in talking to Suzanne. They began preening their babies, gazing at them lovingly, playing with their toes -- in other words, nurturing them.

    Behavioral State

    There is more to biological nurturing than just the mother's posture and baby's position. The baby's behavioral state is also important, explained Suzanne. She has found that the best time to try biological nurturing is when the baby is in a light sleep, when the baby's reflex movements tend to be smoother. Babies are able to breastfeed in their sleep so there is no need to wake a sleepy newborn for a feed. Of course, it is possible to try these positions when the baby is awake, but by the time he is crying the window of opportunity may have been missed and he may not latch on. Suzanne also recommends round-the-clock biological nurturing for the first three days of a baby's life, when he is making the metabolic transition from being fed continuously via the placenta to feeding at longer intervals outside the womb. These three days of non-stop biological nurturing can also help whenever there are feeding problems during the first eight weeks, she adds.

    Encouraging Mothers to Continue Breastfeeding

    The three main reasons that women give for stopping breastfeeding in the first few weeks are problems latching on, sore or painful nipples, and lack of milk. Biological nurturing can help with all three -- when a baby uses his inborn reflexes to latch on, he latches on well and sucks deeply. For several decades it has been assumed that the way to encourage breastfeeding is to teach mothers about correct positioning and attachment, but Suzanne claims that this approach has not actually improved the rates of uptake. Mothers and babies both have instincts that enable them to breastfeed successfully, but it can be hard to forget what we "know" and tap into those instincts. Perhaps the new mantra should be: "Breastfeeding is natural, it is instinctive, and some of us need to unlearn how to do it."

    Oakland Milk


    Criatura na mi pecho


    Because of my love for our local language, and the scarcity of books that have been translated to it, I am dedicating myself to expressing my two loves, breastfeeding & Papiamento!

    Here are some poems 'criollo' style, hand written and heartfelt, from yours truly...


    Un amor, bondadoso, un laso fuerte mane herro, 
    Consuelo, liquido foi mi pecho. Mane mi amor mi ta brindi, na abo mi ta rindi. 
    Na e emocion entre nos dos, e laso sin igual, incomparabel. 
    E uno a bira dos, pero ora na pecho, e dos ta bira uno, un individual
    No tin mas mihor, no tin mas facil cu duna pecho na bo yiu, no tin mas natural...

    Ruman, ruman, naci ayera
    Bo sa kiko ta hasimi fuerte, Y alabes, ta bon pa nos tera?
    Mami su lechi, esun den bo boca
    Manera un symfonia pa bo curason, cu ta keda toca

    Ruman! Ruman! No bebe tur! Laga algo pami, prome cu bira scur
    Mami ta bisa, 'e baby prome', ami no ta worry, mi ta warda cu pasenshi te despues
    Ruman! Ruman, laga nos comparti, na un banda abo, y na e otro, ami!
    Esta dushi pa sinta ki nan, ta bebe lechi foi mami, huntu cu mi ruman!


    Criatura chikito, den mi scochi sinta,
    Bebe trankilo, tami cubo so ta lanta
    Mi holoshi ta lew, ken ta wak tempo?
    Tami cubo so, gosando den nos momento

    Banda di mi bo ta drumi, mash dushi mes,
    Keto den mi brasa,


    Den cama drumi, abo cumi,
    Net ora bo a lanta, cu mi man mi a bai pa caricia
    Bin serka, serka pa bo scucha mi curason
    Cu mi pecho nan mi ta criabo, e mihor alimentacion

    Sosega un rato, abo cu mami,
    Deno nos mundo nos ta, solamente abo y ami
    Tuma foi mi pecho, lechi y consuelo
    Ban sigi un tradicion di bo welo y bisabuelo


    Riba bus, of na lama
    Riba mi cama, of den nos cura
    Den un tienda of rondona pa famia
    Ora mi cai, y ora mi bai
    Ora mi bin, ki ora cu tin
    Mami su lechi, mescos cu amor, semper disponibel y yen di calor!


    Mi por conta! Bo kier sa cuanto aña mi tin?
    4 aña, yegando su fin!
    Bo sa kiko toch mi gusta mas cu mangel of ijs-cream?
    Pa bebe cerca mami, ta lechi tin!

    Ah esta dushi, simplemente no por compara!
    Ni kiko nan ofresemi, e no por iguala!
    Kiko nas mi por kier, y kiko mi merece?
    Sinta keto den brasa di mi mama, na pecho ta gos'e!

    Walk, Move and Change positions


     This blog will join the many others in Lamaze International's Carnival Birth Blog, promoting Lamaze's 6 healthy birth practices. This one is #2.
    This is a re-vamp and re-post from "Birthing positions and their effect on labor" posted earlier this month.

    Walk, move, and change positions

    This blog will discuss walking,moving around and changing positions throughout labor and why this is so beneficial.
    Birthing positions will also be discussed. I am aiming to educate Aruban women especially, that they do have a say in choosing the position that eases the pain and facilitates the baby's birth.

    In Aruba, especially when a women is under the care of an obstetrician, she is automatically put in the Lithotomy position. A Certain ob/gyn absolutely refuses to let you go in another position, such as on hands and knees because he doesn't want to have a rear-side view. With midwives however, there are infinite possibilities, and most if not all, aim to comply with your wishes, and even suggest alternative positions that help the labor along. Here are Birthing positions 101. Included are the advantages and disadvantages for the mother, fetus and birth attendant.

    Moving around during labor is important and beneficial because
    • When you walk around or move around in labor, your uterus works more efficiently
    • Changing positions moves the bones of the pelvis to help the baby find the best fit through your birth canal
    • Upright, side-lying, and forward-leaning positions allow plenty of blood flow to your baby, so he may be less likely to show signs of distress
    • Actively responding to labor may help you feel more confident and less afraid. By feeling in control of your birthing process, you may be empowered and experience less pain due to less anxiety because of not being a "by-stander", so to speak, during childbirth.
    • Research shows that moving freely in labor improves a woman's sense of control,may decrease her need for pain medication, and reduced the length of labor

    Lithotomy Position


    • Some women say they like the security of stirrups for their legs, particularly if they have used them    previously

    Fetus :
    • Easy to listen to Fetal heart rate

    Birth Attendant :
    • More control of birth situation
    • Obstetric intervention easiest should it be necessary : forceps episiotomy, repair of lacerations, anesthesia     
    •  More comfortable, less back strain
    • Asepsis                

    •  Adverse affects on blood flow : The weight of the uterus compresses large blood vessels so as to decrease blood flow to the uterus and ultimately decrease oxygen to the baby.
    • Less active participation with baby and birth attendant
    • Stirrups can promote blood clots if legs are in them for a long time
    • Decreased ability to push
    • Sense of vulnerability
    • Possible inhalation of vomit
    Fetus :
    • Changes in mother's blood flow can cause fetal distress or a depressed baby at birth
    • Difficult for mother to see or hold baby after birth
    Birth Attendant :
    • Cannot easily interact with woman and is less able to elicit her cooperation

     Standing position


    Mother :
    • Reported improved uterine contractibility for First Stage of labor 
    • Avoidance of negative hemodynamic changes  
    • Can watch Birth
    • May increase help of gravity
    Fetus :

    • Uknown
    Birth Attendant:
    • Ease in interacting with women

    Mother :
    • Fatigue
    • Needs two supporters
    • Hypothesized increased blood loss, uterine prolapse, edema of cervix and vulva
    • May fall to the ground unless "caught"
    Birth Attendant:
    • Difficult to control baby's head and watch perineum 
    • Difficult to assist with delivery

    Sitting Position



    • Shorter second "pushing" stage
    • Most efficient for expulsive efforts
    • Maintains some advantages from squatting ; increases pelvic diameter
    • Easy to interact with baby and others
    • Grunting may aid delivery
    • Probably less negative hemodynamic effects than lithotomy thus less fetal distress
    • Easy to listen to fetal heart rate
    Birth Attendant:
    • Good access to perineum for control of delivery
    • Able to use interventions should it become necessary, such as episiotomy, forceps or pudenal anesthesia easily should it become necessary

    • Needs back support
    • Might induce edema of vulva or cervix 
    •  None
    Birth Attendant:
    • Some attendants may not want the mother's active participation in the birth

    Hands and knees


    • No weight on Inferior Vena Cava; thus probably less fetal distress
    • Advocated for aiding delivery of shoulder 
    • Useful for relieving pressure on umbilical cord if trapped or prolapsed 
    Birth Attendant:
    • Good visualization of perineum and control of expulsion of presenting part
    • Optimal control for breech delivery, according to some practitioners.


    • Very tiring : Bean bags and pillows useful for maintaining position or for rest between contractions                      
    • Difficult to interact with baby and birth attendant, but can turn immediately after delivery and hold baby
    • Cramps in arms and legs
    • Difficult to monitor baby unless one uses fetal scalp electrode ( which will leave a beautiful bald spot for ever on your baby's scalp)
    Birth Attendant:
    • Must reorient landmarks and adapt hand maneuvers for delivery
    • Usually turn woman to recumbent position for delivery of placenta, repair of lacerations and rest

    Dorsal Recumbent 


    • Less tension on perineum
    • Less pressure on legs
    • No stirrups, thus less likely to develop thrombosis
    • Easy to listen to fetal heart rate
    Birth Attendant:
    • Easy access to perineum
    • Able to do pudendal anesthesia or episiotomy easily should these become necessary



    • Same blood flow changes as lithotomy
    • Difficult to participate in birth
    • decreased ability to push
    • Fetal distress can occur because of restricted blood flow 
    Birth Attendant:
    • Cannot easily interact with woman
    • Forceps delivery more difficult to do since there is less counter pressure on fetus

    Lateral Recumbent


    • Corrects or avoids adverse hemodynamic effects of lithotomy position
    • May prevents some perineal tearing because of less tension on perineum
    • May help to rotate occiput posterior presentations
    • May be helpful in relieving a Shoulder dystocia 
    • Comfortable for many mothers and conducive to resting in between contractions
    • Promotes maximum uterine blood flow and thus fetal oxygenation
    Birth Attendant:
    • Conducive for controlled delivery
    • Preferred by some British practitioners

    • Least efficient for expulsive efforts, this may be desirable to avoid a precipitous delivery (delivering in an unusually quick amount of time) for a repeat mother
    • Needs someone to hold leg up for the delivery
    • More difficult to listen to fetal heart tones
    Birth Attendant:
    • Some practitioners consider this position akward
    • Unable to see and interact with mother as easily, cannot see her face directly
    • Difficult to repair episiotomy or use forceps in the event that these would become necessary

      Squatting Position


    • Good expulsive effort: shorter second "pushing" stage
    • Pressure of the thighs against the abdomen may aid in expulsion by increasing intra-abdominal pressure and promoting longtitudinal alignment of the fetus with the birth canal
    • Improves pelvic bone diameter. Anteroposterior diameter of outlet increased by 0.5-2 cm :Transverse diameter is also increased ( opening of vagina made wider with less perineal trauma and tears as a result)
    • Avoids adverse hemodynamic effect of lithotomy
    • Facilitates interaction with birth attendant and baby and others present
    • Promotes fetal descent and rotation
    Birth Attendant:
    • Some visibility of perineum
    • Maternal effort is maximized in accomplishing the birth

    • Legs can become fatigued, especially if woman is not supported
    • Uterine prolapse may be more likely due to strenuous bearing down effort
    • May promote increased perineal and cervical edema (swelling)
    • Rapid descent and expulsion of fetus may be accompanied by vaginal and perineal lacerations
    • Increased blood loss possible
    • Rapid expulsion may result in sudden reduction in intracervical pressure and cause cerebral bleeding in the brain of a premature infant whose skull bones are not yet firm.
    Birth Attendant:
    • Cannot intervene easily in this position to help control the expulsion of the baby or to administer an episiotomy or pudenal nerve block should these become necessary

    Partner Tip
    During active labor, some women have a hard time deciding how they want to move. The media has ingrained in most women a sense of "capture" and "helplessness" during the birthing process and so they think they are expected to stay in bed. Labor partners do well to educate themselves along with the pregnant woman about different labor and birthing positions to help "guide" the laboring woman. The labor partner would do well to offer suggestions and tips especially when the mother seems discouraged, frightened or uncomfortable. 

    Leaving you now with a video of healthy birth practice #2 out of 6 from Lamaze International

    For more information on Lamaze's other 5 healthy birth practices visit Amy Romano's blog : Science & Sensibility

    All images courtesy of: Google Images

    Heidi Klum Finding Four Kids "Tough"



    German supermodel Heidi Klum has found being a mother of four ''tough'' since she gave birth to her new daughter Lou last month.

    Heidi Klum admits it's "tough" having four children.

    The German supermodel - who gave birth to daughter Lou last month - is struggling to adapt because her newborn baby demands a lot of her time and attention.

    Heidi - who is married to singer Seal - told German magazine Gala: "Of course this is all very tough for me at the moment because Leni, Henry and Johan want to continue to do things with their mama and papa. They are not really interested in the fact that you have just had a baby. Seal and I have a lot of work because we have to divide everything among us. But it's great! We are incredibly happy and the family really satisfies me.

    "At the moment Lou needs me enormously. Not only because of breastfeeding but also because she needs to be close to her mother. She will sleep now for a year with us in our bedroom - just as her siblings did. It's easier at night if she is hungry."

    The 36-year-old beauty keeps her other children - daughter Leni, five, and sons Henri, four, and Johan, three - happy by making sure they're kept busy.

    Heidi - who along with Seal have released photographs of their new daughter on the 46-year-old musician's official website, Seal.com - explained: "You must always think of new things - this is sometimes a challenge. We often make play dates with other kids or we go to the park. On weekends we like to go to Disneyland."

    30 November 2009 10:08:56 AM

    The Breast – Functionally Practical or Sexual?




    An attractive young woman poses in a barely-there bikini for a beer ad. Plastered up high on a huge billboard, men gawk at this image, teenage girls idolize the model's shapely hips and rounded, full breasts, and little girls want to be just like her when they grow up.


    In a park a mother sits with her baby on her lap. The baby turns his head from side to side as if he was looking for something. His mother picks up his rooting cues and lifts her shirt to offer him the breast. A family with a young child passes by and the mother immediately steers the young child's attention away from the nursing mother.


    What's wrong with the two above mentioned scenarios?


    It's how we view an important aspect of women nowadays. What's that you ask? The female breast. How we view this secondary sex organ influences an important aspect of the procreative cycle, namely, breastfeeding. I'm not just speaking about how women view their breasts and breasts of other women, but also the opinion a man holds. Why is everyone's opinion on the matter important? Because at one point or another, all of us, each one of us, will come in contact with a pregnant and/or lactating woman at some point in our life. Whether she is our friend, mother, sister, aunt, cousin, or the stranger sitting next to us, our opinion can influence her decision and desire to sustain breastfeeding. When you add up enough opinions and viewpoints of enough people, you get a general mental attitude and cultural view of a given topic. If enough people see a woman's breasts as something merely sexual that is to be kept in that context, you get a society that views breastfeeding or at least nursing in public, as something taboo. Besides having non-western cultures laugh and ridicule us for being nonsensical for thinking that of a breastfeeding mother, we also have to contemplate the short- and long term effects and consequences of this negative view. A lactating woman who feels embarrassed or even ashamed to nurse outside of the privacy of her own home is more likely to give up on breastfeeding altogether. As a matter of fact, this well contributes to Aruba's dismal breastfeeding rates at 6 + months. A mother cannot be expected to sit at home until the child decides to wean off the breast. This is not just in any context. Some will argue "Bah! Just let her bring along a bottle of formula or expressed milk when she has to go out, that's plain and simple!". I'll answer with an emphatic "NO!" One of the benefits of breastfeeding is not having to worry about having to prepare and walk around with bottles and such paraphernalia. It's the ease and simplicity of lifting your shirt and having the substance ready when the baby is, at the temperature the baby likes and in two attractive containers that draws many women to breastfeeding. Are we then going to burden this mother by indirectly and subtly making her feel she is not welcome to nurse her child in public? Is this even our right to have any say over this?


    In a meeting with UNICEF'S Regional Director for the Caribbean, Nils Kastberg, revealed to us that by the time a girl is 14, she has already subconsciously made up her mind in what form she will feed her child – be it by bottle or breast. What does this indicate to us? Children both male and female, need to be, for lack of a better word, exposed to breastfeeding at the youngest age possible. Not just by being breastfed, but by being allowed and given the opportunity to witness this act of sheer nurture, love and warmth. Why do we say that both boys and girls need to see this? Because even though it's the girl that will grow up and actually breastfeed, the boy will grow up and eventually become someone's partner and someone's father. There is probably no greater influence on breastfeeding than that of the partner. A study revealed that when a woman's partner was fully supportive of her decision to breastfeed, 98.1% of women actually did. On the contrary, when a woman's partner was indifferent about the matter, only 26% went on to breastfeed. A man's opinion of his wife's breasts is far-reaching and is important.


    Of course, just because a woman has the ineluctable ability to lactate, does not render her breasts as sole property of the child during his nursing years. Why can't we reach a consensus? Breasts are multi-functional. It's certainly something worth considering



    Aruba Doula - Angie Angela Geerman


    One of Aruba's pioneers in Doula-ing is Angie Angela-Geerman. Mother of three, currently breastfeeding her 1-year-old son, she finds great joy in being an activist for keeping boys intact, breastfeeding, VBAC, and most importantly, supporting moms during labor and childbirth.

    Angie and I met last year at Aruba's first annual breastfeeding challenge. She was there to participate with her 3-month-old son Aeden. Like a magnet, we quickly bonded and found common interests that we loved to discuss. I introduced her to babywearing and the friendship was sealed. We continued to talk and share our love for helping mothers with breastfeeding, and Angie was curious to know how a young mother and activist as myself came to find my path so quickly and definitely. I passed on some information about the school I was training with to become a Childbirth Educator, and I encouraged her to look into it.

    Weeks later she eagerly shared with my how she signed up to become a Certfied Labor Doula and Breastfeeding Counselor. I was stoked!

    She has three kids and takes care of the youngest one full time, but never misses an opportunity to study. She recently attended her first certifying birth, and supported the mom in her unmedicated vaginal birth. It was a complete success! The cherry one the cake was seeing and helping the mom experience the breastfeeding relationship she always dreamed of. I must say that, for the first birth attended as a doula, it couldn't have gotten any better!

    Of course even though Angie did experience some difficulty with hospital staff and protocols that prohibited doulas from being present in the labor and delivery room, she gave her all while mom was at home laboring, and was present for the second stage. I sat in excitement as I heard her recount the birth, further whetting my own appetite to get my studies on a roll!

    Angie, way to go girl! Kudos to the work you do, and may you help many many more mamas and families to achieve the birth they desire!

    Nestlé: the world's biggest food company and one of the 'most boycotted


    The world's largest food company began life in 1867, when Henri Nestlé developed the first milk food for infants - and "saved the life of a neighbour's child".

    By Ian Johnston
    Published: 8:45AM BST 27 Sep 2009

    Nestlé has worldwide sales totalling £67 billion in 2008 Photo: EPA
    He fed his formula to a premature baby boy whose mother was dangerously ill and unable to feed the child. The boy survived, sending sales soaring at a time of high infant mortality.

    Since then the Geneva-based firm has grown into a corporate colossus with worldwide sales totalling £67 billion in 2008.

    Nescafé coffee can be found in almost every country on the planet and the company owns scores of other household names.

    In the UK, these include confectionary such as Kit Kat, Smarties, Yorkie and Aero along with Perrier water.

    Elsewhere, Hot Pockets is the number one "frozen stuffed sandwich brand" in the US, Mucilon is the best-selling infant cereal in Brazil, Baeren Marke is a well-known dairy brand in Germany and Orion chocolate is "much loved" by Czechs and Slovaks.

    Mövenpick ice cream is found in 35 countries, Pure Life bottled water is sold in 21 and Purina Dog Chow is the world's fourth largest dry dog food brand.

    However the company is far from universally popular. In 2005, it was described as "one of the world's most boycotted companies" – along with Nike, Coca Cola and McDonald's – after an online poll of more than 15,000 people in 17 different countries.

    The main reason for the boycott is the sale of the modern version of Henri's life-saving invention in the Third World. The campaign group Baby Milk Action claims that a bottle-fed child is up to 25 times more likely to die as a result of diarrhoea in areas with unsafe drinking water, while breast-fed children are less likely to suffer a range of illnesses.

    The group is part of a worldwide movement, the International Baby Food Action Network which involves 200 citizens' groups in more than 100 countries, and which will hold its annual "Nestlé-Free Week" at the end of October.

    In May, Nestlé said it believeds "breast feeding is the best way to feed a baby", but added: "When mothers cannot, or choose not to, breast feed, infant formula is the only product recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a suitable alternative. Nestlé universally follows all countries' implementation of the WHO code."

    Breastfeeding Boosts the National Economy


    Nursing by Numbers: How Breastfeeding Boosts the National Economy By Olivia CampbellWeb Exclusive, April 2009
    Forget about retail therapy, breastfeeding is an economic stimulator that's completely free. According to USDA research, infant formula-feeding exacts a toll on national pocketbooks.
    "Breastfeeding and the provision of breastmilk exclusively for the first 6 months? promises the United States improved health of both its citizens and its economy," the US Breastfeeding Committee said in response to the USDA report.
    Most people understand how nursing benefits baby's health and parent's finances, yet few people realize the extent to which breastfeeding benefits the mother's health and how this all spells savings for the entire nation.
    Research shows breastfeeding decreases the incidence and/or severity of the following illnesses in childhood (and in many cases also into adulthood):- Ear infections- Bacterial meningitis- Respiratory infections and viruses- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) - Asthma - Allergies (nasal and skin)- Urinary tract infections- Gastrointestinal infections- Diarrhea- Lymphomas, leukemia and Hodgkin's disease - Autoimmune thyroid disease - Type 1 and type 2 diabetes - Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease - Necrotizing enterocolitis- Multiple sclerosis - Obesity- Bacteremia- Celiac disease- Botulism- Pneumonia- Lung disease- High blood pressure- Anxiety/stress- Bed-wetting- Nearsightedness- Increased intellectual, developmental, and cognitive aptitudeFor the nursing mother, breastfeeding can help protect against the following diseases:- Breast cancer - Ovarian cancer- Uterine cancer - Thyroid cancer- Type 2 diabetes - Osteoporosis - Lupus- Rheumatoid arthritis- Obesity
    In 2001, the USDA concluded that if breastfeeding rates were increased to 75 percent at birth and 50 percent at six months, it would lead to a national government savings of a minimum of $3.6 billion. This amount was easily an underestimation since it represents savings in the treatment of only three of the dozens of illnesses proven to be decreased by breastfeeding: ear infections, gastroenteritis, and necrotizing enterocolitis.
    "Choosing to give your baby formula results in an increased risk for ear infections, for diabetes, for leukemia and so on. We as a nation need to understand that it is not that breastfeeding lowers the rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), but that choosing to feed an infant formula increases his risk of sudden infant death syndrome," said Stacy Kucharczk, a certified lactation consultant and pediatric nurse.
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2008 breastfeeding report card found that since 2000, breastfeeding of newborns has increased from 64 to 74 percent, and from 29 to 43 percent at six months. However, at one year, only 21 percent of babies continue to be breastfed. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breastfeeding for at least one year. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for two years.
    The AAP says each formula-fed infant costs the healthcare system between $331 and $475 more than a breastfed baby in its first year of life. The cost of treating respiratory viruses resulting from not breastfeeding is $225 million a year.
    "Insurance companies should realize that covering a home visit by a board certified lactation consultant would result in significant healthcare savings down the road," said Kucharczk. "Savings in the short-term for decreased pediatric health care visits for common acute illnesses, such as ear infections, gastrointestinal illnesses, and upper respiratory infections to name a few. Savings in the long-term from lower rates of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, asthma, certain types of childhood cancers, and obesity—as well as lower rates of premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancers in the mother."
    Health benefits for the nursing mother include a reduction in risk of many cancers and other serious diseases, during and after lactation. The key to achieving the maximum benefit to the baby, mother, and the economy appears to be extended breastfeeding, which is nursing for more than just six months or one year.
    "We need to help mothers understand that extended breastfeeding does matter," Kucharczk said. "I often point out to mothers that the studies demonstrating the benefits of breastfeeding often show a dose-related effect, as in some breastmilk is good, but more is better."
    Lactation duration and breast cancer risk are inversely related. The longer a woman breastfeeds the less likely she is to get pre- or postmenopausal breast cancer, even with a family history of the disease.
    Re-examination of data from 47 international studies found that for every year a woman breastfeeds, she reduces her risk of breast cancer by an average of 4.3 percent. The risk is reduced a further 7 percent by simply having a baby.
    For example, if you had three children and nursed them each for two years, your risk for breast cancer would be reduced by 46.8 percent. In fact, one study found that women who've nursed for six years or more reduced their risk of breast cancer by as much as a 63 percent.
    The multi-study report estimated that breast cancer rates could be cut by more than half if women increased their lifetime breastfeeding duration. The National Cancer Institute reported the national expenditure on breast cancer treatment in 2004 was $8.1 billion, meaning extended nursing could save upwards of $4 billion a year.
    For each year of breastfeeding, a woman decreases her chances of getting type 2 diabetes by 15 percent, reported a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2005. So if we consider the woman from the aforementioned example, in her six years of breastfeeding she's earned a 90 percent reduction in her risk of developing diabetes.
    The National Institute of Health estimates that between 10 and 11 million American women have type 2 diabetes. The estimated cost of their treatment and lost wages is roughly $78 billion a year. This expenditure could be cut drastically by increased extended nursing rates.
    For the national Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), supporting a breastfeeding mother costs about 45 percent less than a formula-feeding mother. Every year, $578 million in federal funds buys formula for babies who could be breastfeeding.
    A year of purchasing formula can cost a family between $700 and more than $3,000. Many women who go back to work soon after giving birth might think the expense of formula is worth the convenience. The extra medical issues of formula, for mother and child, make the cost more than monetary.
    For employers, formula-feeding results in more health claims, more days off for sick children, and decreased productivity. It benefits employers in the long run to provide a time and place for mothers to pump breastmilk. A few minutes off the clock is more than made up for by the lifetime of health enjoyed by nursing babies and mommies.

    Breastfeeding: The Miracle of Mother's Milk

    Photo: CORBIS

    Breastfeeding: the miracle of mother's milk
    Whatever the studies say, breast is still best, says Victoria Lambert.

    By Victoria Lambert
    Published: 7:00AM GMT 22 Jan 2010

    Breastfeeding is the cheapest, cleanest and healthiest way to nurture a baby

    We've all known mothers who can whip out a breast, whip on a baby, and lactate like mad – without effort, embarrassment or, in some cases, embonpoint. For me, breastfeeding was a slog: six months of broken nights, screaming and tears (mine, mostly). But I don't regret a moment.

    Breastfeeding – if you can – is the cheapest, cleanest and healthiest way to nurture a baby. That's not just my opinion or that of the World Health Organisation (which recommends breastfeeding for the first six months) – it's common sense, isn't it?

    Perhaps, but Breast v Bottle is still one of the most furious debates in modern mothering, fuelled by powerful hormones on one hand, and the billion-pound formula industry on the other. This month, the fire has been fed by two scientific studies suggesting that breastfeeding might not be worth the bother – let alone the guilt and distress if you can't or choose not to.

    In the first, Prof Sven Carlsen, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, reviewed more than 50 studies into the relationship between health and breastfeeding. Most concluded that the longer a child was nursed, the healthier it would be. He attributed this, however, to a healthier pregnancy, not breast milk, claiming "baby formula is as good as breast milk".

    This week, the second study, from Southampton University found that breastfeeding does not make babies more intelligent. It noted that breastfed infants tended to be brighter simply because their mothers were (and brighter women are more likely to breastfeed). So lactation doesn't make our loved ones brainier or healthier? Can we break out the bottles and book a long night's pain-free sleep then?

    Not so fast. For every study that concludes that breast milk is on a par with formula, twice as many conclude it is liquid gold. They find it protects against stomach bugs, and wards off asthma and chest infections. Mothers who breastfeed lower their risk of breast and ovarian cancers, and shed baby weight more easily.

    And as every scientist knows, there are different classes of study – some are tiny; some may appear in little-known journals that other professionals do not rate seriously; and some are paid for by organisations that have their own point to prove, such as formula manufacturers.

    Formula milk is big business. In Britain, Save the Children reckons that for every £1 spent in 2006-7 on breastfeeding promotion, £10 was spent by manufacturers on advertising and promotion. The market leader, Nestlé, has been subject, off and on, to a worldwide boycott for more than 30 years because of the way it is seen to target mothers in countries where formula feed can be expensive and dangerous to use.

    It can be argued that Prof Carlsen's investigation doesn't stand up to scrutiny, although it was funded by the central Norway regional health authority and published in the peer-reviewed, although not well-known, journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.

    And the news that breast milk doesn't boost brainpower can be contradicted by other studies that have found the reverse: a 2001 study concluded that children who were breastfed for fewer than three months were more likely to score below average for mental skills at 13 months, and have lower IQ levels at five years, than those who were breastfed for six months or more.

    It is difficult to master science at the best of times – let alone in the fog of exhaustion and hormones caused by giving birth. Had anyone presented me with a research paper three days postpartum, I'd have found a use for it – but not one connected to what went into my child.

    The most important boon of lactation cannot be analysed or peer-reviewed. It's something our ancestors knew instinctively: breastfeeding is a chance for mother and baby to connect physically and emotionally. And for mum to put her feet up.

    Breast Feeding Does Not Cause Breasts To Sag


    Breast Feeding Does Not Cause Breasts To Sag
    By admin ⋅ December 11, 2009 ⋅

    While the benefits of breastfeeding are unquestionable, many new mothers choose not to for fear of sagging breasts. However, breastfeeding alone has no impact on a woman’s breast shape, according to a first-of-its-kind study presented today at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Plastic Surgery 2007 conference in Baltimore.

    “Many women who come in for breast surgery tell us their breasts are sagging, drooping or are less full because they breastfed,” said Brian Rinker, MD, ASPS Member Surgeon and study author. “Although the amount of sagging in the breasts appears to increase with each pregnancy, we’ve found that breastfeeding does not worsen the effect.”

    The study examined 93 women who were pregnant one or more times prior to having cosmetic breast surgery. Fifty-eight percent of patients reported breastfeeding one or more of their children. The duration of breastfeeding ranged from 2 to 25 months, with an average of nine months. Fifty-five percent of respondents reported an adverse change in the shape of their breasts following pregnancy.

    As the first study to examine what impacts breast shape in connection to pregnancy, plastic surgeons found that a history of breastfeeding, the number of children breastfed, the duration of each child’s breastfeeding, or the amount of weight gained during pregnancy were not significant predictors for losing breast shape. However, body mass index (BMI), the number of pregnancies, a larger pre-pregnancy bra size, smoking history, and age were significant risk factors for an increased degree of breast sagging.

    Nearly 104,000 women had breast lifts in 2006, up 96 percent since 2000, according to the ASPS. In addition, more than 329,000 women had breast augmentation, making it the top surgical cosmetic procedure in 2006.

    “Women may be reluctant to breastfeed because of this unfounded myth that doing so means the end of youthful breasts,” said Dr. Rinker. “Now, expectant mothers can relax knowing breastfeeding does not change the appearance of their breasts.”

    Breast milk provides indisputable health benefits to infants. Research has shown breastfed infants have improved general health, growth and development as well as a lower risk of many acute and chronic illnesses than bottle-fed infants.