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Wolves in Sheeps Clothing?

April 6, 2012

The birthing hospital that delivers over twice as many babies than the next highest competitor has a baby fair next weekend. The baby fair, held on the hospital’s campus has the local parenting magazine as its media partner. I learned from a hospital employee that formula companies would have booths at the baby fair and I was shocked. I really didn’t believe that a hospital would invite formula representatives to have direct access to moms. Before you leave hate-comments for me please know I do NOT think formula is unnecessary or unimportant in doctor-prescribed situations. I do think we, as a community, fail new moms by talking about how important breastfeeding is and then through obstacles, cultural barriers, hospital policies and misinformation we sabotage the new mother’s ability to nurse and then make her feel guilty about having to stop breastfeeding before she’s ready.

I called the owner of the parent magazine who agreed to tell the formula companies they couldn’t participate in the baby fair if the hospital would just note that request in an email to him. I then talked with two administrators (one I had asked to be on my board which I’m now so grateful she declined) in Women’s Health at this hospital and was first told it “wouldn’t be appropriate” to tell the formula companies they couldn’t come because they probably had already made travel arrangements and bought materials to be handed out. But for future events, I was assured, the hospital would add language that formula companies could not participate in events. Later, the story changed to formula companies would be welcome at events. I could not believe it. With all of the work by national leaders releasing studies about breastfeeding, quotes that breastfeeding is a public health issue, the Surgeon General, IRS, American Academy of Pediatrics, Center for Disease Control, Department of Labor and MORE desperately trying to help new moms breastfeed and the WHO Code calling for formula companies to have NO direct access to moms. Evidence-bases studies have proven that free gifts and free samples by formula companies (again, against WHO Code) shorten the duration of breastfeeding.

I did make them nervous enough that a PR person from the corporation that owns this hospital phoned me to “assure me my voice had been heard” but as long as she had anything to do with events, formula would be welcome.

Selfishly one of the hardest things about this is that I don’t yet have the power to create change. At this point in my advocacy I’m “heard” but not respected enough (or feared) to influence important decisions such as this one. I talked with a few advocates with bigger titles and much larger organizations than Julie’s Village but for one reason or another, all have bowed out from making a phone call or email or at least giving me a quote I can use when asking them to tell formula companies they are not welcome.

So, for now, there will be hundreds of moms in a big room with breastfeeding talks on one side and formula companies on the other. What is the message this sends? That both are equal and if breastfeeding doesn’t work out then here’s three popular formulas to try. Ridiculous. Unacceptable. Still gonna happen though.

Metro Health Department Baby Fair

April 5, 2012

This past Saturday I was honored to speak to almost 300 moms at the Metro Health Department’s Baby Fair. What an awesome experience! I spoke over and over about preparedness and what expecting moms can do now, before the baby comes, to help them meet their breastfeeding goals. I really focused on building their support teams and educating them on skin-to-skin. I talked about skin-to-skin’s benefits and to request it starting when they arrive at the hospital to deliver. I wish I could follow all those moms to prove the preparedness talk made a difference.

There was a mom of four that came to the breastfeeding table and sat down exhausted with a 3 week old baby girl and three boys between the ages of four and ten. She talked about being overwhelmed with the responsibilities of a single mother and her depression but also about how proud she was of that new, precious baby girl. She got out her big formula can and water and mixed her formula bottle right on top of our breastfeeding education table! That had to be an interesting sight. I asked her if she needed a hug and she said “actually, yes, I don’t get hugs.” We moms need to SUPPORT each other! I mentioned her to a peer counselor and in a few minutes I saw a few health department professionals talking with her and connecting her to services that could help her. This is one reason I’m so proud of my certificate in lactation counseling that fits my personality so well. I love the one-on-one conversations with moms and I love giving the gift of acceptance, non-judgment and encouragement. Moms deserve those gifts.

Another pregnant woman sat down at the table with her mom and her mom asked me what her daughter needed to be doing to rough up her nipples to prepare for breastfeeding! I know I had to have groaned audibly before being able to assure her that roughing up nipples is no longer recommended. We talked a little about latch and who to call if breastfeeding is painful AT ALL. Breastfeeding is NOT something to be endured. Another myth that sabotages precious new mommas. Just sayin.

SO honored and thankful for that direct access to pregnant women to encourage and help them reach their breastfeeding goals.

Sabotaging the next generation of new mothers

November 22, 2010

In my advocacy work I hear doctors, nurses and others warn that if we talk too much about breastfeeding we’ll make current moms who couldn’t/didn’t nurse feel guilty. Must we sabotage the next generation of new mothers to keep from hurting someone’s feelings?

It is short-sighted and close to criminal to attempt to keep health information, resources and assistance from one person because we failed at offering those things in the past. Let’s race to get the information and resources to expectant and new moms so that the moms who stop breastfeeding before they are ready become fewer and fewer.

To moms who’ve tried and struggled and felt forced to stop before they were ready, we breastfeeding advocates say to you that we are desperately sorry. Our culture, our networks and resources and our hospitals failed you. Likely, it should not have been the emotional and challenging experience that you endured and it has nothing to do with your determination, your wanting what’s best for your baby and has everything to do with how breastfeeding as an art and as the normal way to feed our babies has almost been lost.

From one person who struggled GREATLY with breastfeeding and was completely unprepared to breastfeed I apologize to you and ask you to join with me to protect these tender and precious new moms and babies. Together we can empower women through preparedness so that challenges are minimized and more moms are able to breastfeed to their goals – whatever those goals may be.

To breastfeeding advocates, if you meet resistance because of the “guilty” claim – ask the person(s) what their story is and then ask them to join you in changing history for new moms and babies and together attack the barriers – and not each other.

Second- and Third-Time Moms Benefit from a Great Breastfeeding Class

November 13, 2010

I hear so many second and third-time expectant mothers tell their struggles with breastfeeding with their first and sometimes second child(ren) and declare they they are absolutely going to breastfeed this time! Moms having their second (or more) child are more confident, more researching and more determined to breastfeed. I want to encourage these moms to take a great breastfeeding class! Find one in your area that focuses on preparedness (more than teaching you medical terminology), gives you honest information about your hospital stay and provides professional resources so you’ll have someone to call if you have a question (before a small bump in the road becomes a major challenge).

Breastfeeding classes are definitely not just for first-time mommies! You never know, you might even become a mentor to a newbie in your class!

Be an Aware and Researching Consumer

May 20, 2010

I recently overheard two people complaining about some products on the market, how they were unnessecary and how the root of all our problems is advertising. Being an advertising executive and a lover of great advertising (not to mention the freedom we enjoy to advertise and be advertised to) I always have the same reaction to these comments: Our decisions are our own – we as consumers and particularly parents are responsible for our actions and further, our buying decisions. Advertising is a tool we can use to learn about new products it is never supposed to be the one source for decision-making.

I always use the “pull-ups” example. Pull-ups are well advertised and if you didn’t talk with experts or research potty-training, you’d think that was the natural next step after diapers. Experts advice? Never put a pull-up on a child (until there is a demonstrated problem which has been discussed with your pediatrician). This scenario actually applies to me. I thought pull-ups were the automatic next step and thankfully my all-knowing mom stepped in and recommended I not put a pull up on my daughter (she was a little over 2 and I was pregnant with twins and desperate to potty-train before I had THREE in diapers). We did “big girl panties” and she only had a couple of night accidents. I could go on and on with anecdotal stories from others that when they got the nerve to take away the pull-ups, their child had one or two night accidents and that was it. Obviously there will be times and children (and likely at least one of my twins since I’m using this as an example!) where pull-ups are exactly what is needed. Which actually brings me to my main point: formula advertising.

With all the formula advertising about brain growth and eye health, etc., etc., one might think that formula was a natural part of feeding a baby. Worse are the claims about being “close to mother’s milk” or at least closer than the competition formula. As parents we MUST make decisions not based solely on advertising but based on research and advice from organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

If for medical reasons and on the advice of a knowledgeable medical professional (and I recommend a second opinion, too) one chooses formula, then thank goodness that is there for that situation. But there are studies after study, stats, facts and proof that breastmilk reduces disease risk in both mom and baby, reduces risk of obesity, protects baby’s GI system, has immunity properties and is the perfect food for babies even changing as the baby grows. No formula can come anywhere CLOSE.

I’d like to actually change the questions and what we research as moms. Instead of breastfeeding vs formula, I hope our questions become Q) How might a professional (like a doula) help me breastfeed and Q) which hospital in my area is the most breastfeeding supportive (also called “baby-friendly) or Q) what few supplies might I use to help me breastfeed more comfortably?

If we can change the focus of our conversations and thus change the questions, we will automatically reduce the acceptance of the extremely inefficient claims from formula. Instead of restricting a company’s right to advertise (truthful statements), let’s raise our own discernment level.

One last thought: Once a new mom is researching formula and comparing the “promotion of eye health” between one kind or another, we’ve already failed that mom. It’s too late for label warnings to matter at that point. Work with me to prepare women and expectant moms BEFORE delivery with research and information on breastfeeding so they never even have to face comparing one non-sterile, processed, dead formula against another.

New Moms Need an Advocate

May 12, 2010

On Mother’s Day, I got to spend the day with my mom. We ran a few errands together before we went to the movies. One of the errands we ran was a return to a clothing store. My mom had bought an outfit but when she tried it on, it just didn’t have that wow factor she was hoping for. We pulled up to the store and I could sense her hesitation. I offered to run in the store and make the return for her and she was so relieved! Returns can be emotional when the sales clerk is bratty or you shop there often and they know you, etc. I was happy to take care of this for her and she would’ve absolutely done the same thing for me. What’s interesting is that we have the courage to take care of each other and fight for each other when necessary oftentimes when we don’t have the nerve to stand up for ourselves.

I immediately translated this into a breastfeeding scenario. New moms in the hospital and especially the first few days home after delivery NEED an advocate! These moms need someone to advocate on their behalf when they’re trying to nurse in the first hour and keeping the hospital staff from whisking away the healthy, term infant for a bath and keeps him in the nursery for 4 hrs. It’s too hard to leave everything up to this new mom – this stage is so tender.

Please help your sister, daughter, neice, granddaughter, friend by asking her how you can help her and support her in every way you can while she establishes breastfeeding. My sister was a huge advocate for me with both my hospital stays and my mom found a doula to come to my home when I struggling so much right after I brought my twins home from the hospital.

Be an advocate – have the courage to fight for breastfeeding on behalf of a loved one.

Have an experience where someone was your advocate or where you helped someone else? Leave a comment and let me know!

I asked “Who will fight for me?”

May 5, 2010

During one of my later doctor visits while expecting my twins I was becoming increasingly concerned about my safety as well as theirs during delivery. My OB mentioned he would do everything to protect the babies and deliver them safely. I then asked who would be present at delivery to protect my health and he said that responsibility was his as well. This threw up a red flag for me but I wasn’t educated enough about my options to have someone in the delivery room specifically focused on me. I wanted someone watching and protecting the babies and someone different watching and taking care of me.

Everything went great with delivery and my precious babies were born healthy and naturally (vaginal delivery). However, I hadn’t taken a few simple steps to help prepare me to breastfeed them so I got into serious trouble within a few days trying to nurse them. My mother and sister contacted a doula who came to my home and saved my ability to breastfeed my boy/girl twins. They are 21 months old tomorrow and I am still nursing them!

How much do you know about doulas? They do have a lot of experience with breastfeeding help but they can offer you so much more. There are doulas who can help prepare you for delivery including offering information and help on pain management alternatives and doulas who can help you establish breastfeeding and help with the transition of bringing baby home. You can easily search for doulas with specific training, experience and certification by visiting This is an international organization for doulas.

I could’ve had a doula with me during my delivery of the twins and I recommend researching this as an option. Whatever your concern (or fear) or need is, use DONA and to interview a doula. I am so grateful for mine!

The Answer is: Hospitals.

April 15, 2010

The Mrs. Tennessee pageant is only 2 wks away and in preparing for the interview portion I came across the question “What Makes You Mad?” I tried to think of what makes me mad – actually very little does. However, I remember my mom mentioning one time she can tell when I’m mad because my “eyes flash.” Since she said that I have been aware, on occasion, to feel the heat of anger “flash” in my eyes. In a conversation yesterday with my sister-in-law I felt this flash of anger and knew the answer to the question “What Makes You Mad?” The answer is Hospitals. A more long-winded answer is ldr and nursery staff that blatently and without medical necessity sabotage a mother’s establishment of breastfeeding.

My sister-in-law had called me to get advice for her neice who gave birth to a little boy on Tuesday morning. She had nursed him almost immediately and mom and baby did great. Then, the nursery staff whisked him away to “do his testing” and announced a couple of hours later the baby had low blood sugar. From my limited experience this is fairly common and is sometimes the result of the nursery staff bathing the baby, and placing it on cold surfaces (to weigh, etc.) then the baby’s temperature lowers resulting in a lowering of blood sugar. They said he had to have formula and sugar water and no, they wouldn’t bring the baby to her.

My advice was to get the baby skin-to-skin as soon as possible and allow the baby to initiate another feeding and then recheck blood sugar levels. If the blood sugar was low enough in the initial check (every hospital has a different sugar level number they watch for) and formula was determined to be medically necessary (I am careful here – I am NOT a doctor) then give formula with a cup (not a bottle), recheck blood sugar and then take the baby back to his mother.

As of my check-in call YESTERDAY at 2:30 pm (27 hrs after birth and first nursing) the nursery staff had KEPT the baby and not allowed the mother to nurse. NOT ALLOWED THE MOTHER TO NURSE. They were also giving the baby sugar water but were still saying his blood sugar was low. I told my sister-in-law there needed to be a person to fight on behalf of the mother. Sometimes when we’re the ones in the hospital bed, especially when we’re young (this mother is 20) it is hard for us to fight for ourselves. We need an advocate – a doula, lactation professional or our moms or sisters. My sister-in-law was trying to get a pump to this mother to at least try to save her milk supply. But, the baby should have been nursing!

I want to mention that this baby was full-term, healthy, latched on and nursed like a pro right after birth. It was only after being taken from the mother to the nursery and bath and other things done that the blood sugar dropped. Not bringing the baby to the mother to nurse just about qualifies as criminal to me. The staff at this community hospital in KY is CLEARLY sabotaging the establishment of breastfeeding for this mother and baby and affecting both of their health, long-term. In these types of stories that I hear I can assure you more than just my eyes flash in anger. But this also reinforces the message I am so passionate about – preparedness. When we as expecting moms enter the hospital, the breastfeeding conversations should start at that time with labor and delivery staff – not after the baby is born. We can communicate our desire to breastfeed and ask questions about hospital procedures and get pathways established that allow us to breastfeed immediately and then as baby cues after that initial feeding.

We can educate our expectant friends about what they may face in the hospital so they are prepared with information and expectations. I had to fight to nurse my first child and when the twins were born, my son was taken out of the room and to the nursery without me even knowing much less getting to nurse him. I should’ve been more informed about the procedures with twins. We all need to be more informed about hospital procedures and protocols so that if we have to enter into battle, we are ready. And, yes, I called it battle. Breastfeeding is worth fighting for – we just historically haven’t known how to fight, what our rights are, or even what is best when trying to establish breastfeeding. I certainly didn’t know any of those things but I do now and I am working to change all of those things for other moms – won’t you join me?

Meeting with Metro Nashville Public Health Department on Breastfeeding Efforts

March 13, 2010

I met Wednesday morning with 5 members of the Metro Nashville Public Health Department. Those present included Dr. Bill Paul, Director, Teresa Thomas WIC Director, Kelly Breastfeeding Coordinator, Dr. Kim and Dr. Alisa Haushalter, Director Bureau of Population Health Programs.

The efforts already being made to champion breastfeeding to the health department’s clients are great! Breastfeeding training classes are offered at no charge and are held six times per month. As soon as someone finds out they are expecting and visits the health department, breastfeeding awareness and information is introduced in that first visit. Breastfeeding mothers qualify for additional foods under the WIC program and Nashville WIC can visit a mom and new baby in the hospital and certify them on the spot so the child is added to the program and the mom can begin receiving the extra items. Formula is never discussed until the mom cannot or has chosen to not breastfeed. If a new baby is admitted to NICU, the health department has hospital grade pumps they can loan to the mother until the baby is dismissed. When it’s time for the mother to return to work or school, the health department can offer hand or double electric pumps. The free classes offered educate the expectant mother on the health benefits of breastfeeding like a reduction of risk in breast and cervical cancers, diabetes and the nutritional benefits to the baby.

Some of the challenges being faced are when nursing mothers return to school or to work, there is no private place to pump and no way to store pumped milk. Strides need to be made in lower-wage jobs and schools to support these moms pumping so they can continue offering breast milk to their babies.

Just a reminder: Breastfeeding offers 59% reduction in risk of breast cancer, 33% reduction in risk of diabetes, reduced risk of ovarion cancer and obesity, offers immunity properties to babies, reduces number of Dr. visits for baby and much, much, much more!

I will be thinking of ideas to present the Health Department to support moms as they return to work or school. Do you have any that have worked in your state or city? Please leave me a comment with ideas to help moms! I’ve had a few initial thoughts about having a lunch with the QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants ie Fast Food) managers and district managers sponsored by the QSR trade association and map out ways to remove barriers for these moms. Examples might include the mom is allowed to take her break in the managers office to pump and there is a small space in the food cooler specifically for pumped breastmilk or the manager adds a dorm size refrigerator to his/her office. The Health Department might consider adding a point system in their restaurant rating that requires a policy for nursing mothers. Other ideas?

The “15 Minute Rule” rules no more!

February 23, 2010

IBCLCs and breastfeeding moms – new research tells us to stop teaching and practicing that the baby must feed for at least 15 minutes so that he gets the foremilk and all of the hindmilk. This week I’m in CLC training and according to Healthy Children ( the baby can regulate his intake of fat. This is truly groundbreaking news! How many times as new moms our babies feed for nine minutes and we spend the next 30 minutes to an hour undressing them, putting a cold washcloth on their face, talk to them – all efforts to wake them back up to “finish” the last six minutes! It all comes from new research studying foremilk and hindmilk and the conclusion is that it isn’t the separation we have believed it to be. I’ll be posting on several topics throughout this week so much more info to come but this was too important to wait!

This information would have make a HUGE difference in my life the first several days after I brought my twins home from the hospital. My son would eat for seven minutes and I would spend the next hour trying to get him to eat more because I believed he wasn’t getting enough even though his weight gain was fine. Aaack! What we do to ourselves!

Feel free to leave a comment or question or just a HALLELUJAH – I’m with Healthy Children this week so I’m happy to ask them questions and get back to you with answers!

Dads, Please Support Your Daughters in Breastfeeding

February 4, 2010

Breastfeeding can be hard on the new mother but don’t forget the emotions of her mother and father especially during the first few days and weeks. My mother and father have been an AMAZING support system for me while breastfeeding my twins. But I know it was very hard on my daddy. The first few days I slept basically none, I was sick, engorged and desperate. I know he probably thought I’d lost my mind trying to breastfeed the twins and “put myself through that”. But thankfully he never said a word against it and just tried to help any way he could (and still does!). And, breastfeeding twins can be a modesty-shock to Dad! I was the most modest person ever until I had the twins and to my poor dad’s chagrin that modesty was gone as I learned to tandem feed the babies.

I bet Dads don’t know how important they are to their daughters. They know in theory but really deep down don’t understand it. I could’ve prepared my dad better and educated him on why it was so important to me and the health benefits it offers. Dads, did you know breastfeeding can reduce your daughter’s risk of breast cancer by 59%? Hearing that statistic really gets to you, right? Did you know it can reduce her risk of diabetes by 33%? It also helps heal her more quickly after delivery and provides many, MANY health benefits to your new grandchild, or in my dad’s case grandtwins.

Dads you can help your daughter by caring for the newborn while she naps and bringing the baby to her when hungry, changing diapers, preparing meals, hiring a house keeper once or twice, folding clothes and playing with older siblings. My dad has done all of these things and yes, I know I’m very lucky.

For these reasons and many more I ask you sweet Daddys out there to please support your daughters decision to breastfeed. Your support absolutely makes a difference!

Health Benefits to Breastfeeding Still Relevant

January 31, 2010

I’ve recently heard breastfeeding advocates claim that educating on the health benefits of breastfeeding doesn’t work. If we are just telling expectant moms that “breast is best” and breastfeeding offers an opportunity for bonding then I would agree with their claim. However, breastfeeding offers AMAZING benefits for both mom and baby. “Benefits” is not even a strong enough word. Breastmilk can be medicine and can act similarly to vaccines. What made me so determined to breastfeed was that I could reduce my risk of breast cancer by 59%. Breastfeeding my children could save my life! Breastfeeding your children can save your life! Did you also know breastfeeding reduces your risk of ovarian cancer? Also reduces your risk for diabetes by 33%? Right now, health departments and other goverment agencies are focusing on obesity and breastfeeding reduces the risk of obesity as well. In the case mom and baby are exposed to viruses or infections, the mother’s body produces antibodies which are passed through the milk to the baby.

There are many, many health benefits to breastfeeding and educating women on these benefits is still absolutely relevant and important. Knowing the reduction in risk of breast cancer certainly motivated me!

Who will help moms and babies?

January 30, 2010

Last weekend I was fortunate to attend the United States Breastfeeding Committee conference held once every two years. The conference was attended by 41 US agencies including representatives from the CDC, WIC, AAP, Le Leche League and HMBANA (Human Milk Banking Association of North America). The conference also included the 50 state coalitions plus DC and the Philippines.

I was so determined to go for several reasons. Having reps from these US agencies present was exciting, the conference is only held every two years and maybe the biggest reason was Best for Babes ( was speaking. Best for Babes is a relatively new non-profit dedicated to identifying, educating on and removing the “booby-traps” of breastfeeding so women can have a successful breastfeeding experience. And, successful defined by each individual mom. Best for Babes is working with media, celebs, corporations, the medical community, marketing and other breastfeeding organizations to give breastfeeding a makeover and get accurate information to moms. These ladies are doing it all exactly right and they are doing it all basically by spending their own money. There are a few special sponsorship relationships but no one company has stepped up to help champion a cause that can prevent disease in moms and babies, lower risk of obesity, help mothers with PPD, offer immunity protection to babies and so much more. Breastfeeding can be likened to medicine and to a vaccine. What company will align itself with this disease preventor? What company will stand up for moms and help Best for Babes remove the “booby-traps”?

I know one will. Truthfully, there should be several elbowing each other out of the way to provide the major support needed to help moms. If your company can help in a small way please visit and click Donate. If your company wants to stand beside Best for Babes and be seen as THE company protecting mothers and babies then contact the founders or leave me a comment so they can contact you. 

Best for Babes Credo: ALL moms deserve to make a truly informed feeding decision and to be cheered on, coached and celebrated without pressure, judgment or guilt, whether they breastfeed for 2 days, 2 months, 2 years, or not at all.

ALL breastfeeding moms deserve not to be undermined by cultural and institutional barriers in achieving their personal breastfeeding goals. They deserve our respect and support!

Review of

December 31, 2009

I’ve seen, owned by the popular wedding planning site, receive increased attention lately. I decided to see how well breastfeeding was represented and I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. Breastfeeding is present on the birth plan pdf they’ve created and it even has an option you can check for a lactation consultant visit. Breastfeeding is mentioned in several key places and in some it is listed first, before formula. I have a couple of suggestions to make this popular stop by expecting mothers even more breastfeeding friendly. It is my belief (and the reason I do everything I do) if expectant mothers can be prepared with realistic expectations, resources, health information and hospital-stay tips they can breastfeed for longer and have a more enjoyable experience.

Good job: 1) Under Newborn and Baby section on the left nav I am happy to see a Breastfeeding Log. It communicates the assumption the new mom will be breastfeeding. 2) In the article Top 10 Breastfeeding Questions, Answered, #7 deals with low milk supply and checking if baby is growing properly. The answer is great! It says to make sure your baby’s growth is being plotted by the WHO’s breastfeeding chart (and not against babies fed formula) and the answer DOES NOT suggest supplementing with formula. Way to go! 3) There are many articles with breastfeeding advice and several breastfeeding experts weigh in on different topics.

Missed Opportunities: 1) Pregnancy Checklist – this lists everything from the tests to schedule to childbirth classes to shopping for maternity clothes but does not mention researching and taking breastfeeding classes, getting a book on breastfeeding or gathering a breastfeeding support group. There is a mention of interviewing a doula but the focus is on having a doula during labor and deliver and only does lip service to the value a doula can offer to a new breastfeeding mom. 2) In the main nav on the left side of the page under Pregnancy I would love to see breastfeeding have it’s own link/section. Again, the sooner an expectant mom can begin thinking and preparing for breastfeeding the more successful she will be. 3) I’m not happy at all about the answer given regarding weaning help at six months. The “breastfeeding” writer for includes the statement “studies show that weaning is easiest before age 1” as an encouragement to start weaning at 6 months and advises to replace nursings with bottlefeeding. She DOESN’T include the studies that prove disease prevention (breast cancer, ovarian cancer, diabetes, etc.,) is the highest when breastfeeding is continued past 1 year of age and the studies that show baby is getting customized nutrition from breastmilk still at age 1 and beyond. The author also goes on to say the worst part “you’re saving yourself a major headache later on” by weaning by age 1. How about the headache of increased illness, higher medical bills, more frequent visits to the doctor, etc. 4) The site includes a checklist for Feeding Supplies along with a big picture of bottles. Why not choose a breastfeeding mother and baby instead? The checklist includes lots of supplies first and then a section for nursing moms at the bottom. I’d like to see these sections reversed with the nursing moms section at the top and the supplies for formula feeding at the bottom. 5) Under Q&A, the answers the question “Am I a bad mommy if I don’t breastfeed”. Questions like this fuel the mommy wars and keep breastfeeding an emotionally charged conversation. The question might have been worded “I want to be the best mommy I can – where can I find an accurate comparison and more information on breastfeeding and formula feeding?” This type of question puts all the burden on the facts and statistics and off of the mommies. 6) I looked for encouragement and articles on breastfeeding multiples but could not locate any. As a multiples mom still nursing 17 month old twins I am passionate about encouraging expectant moms of multiples to know breastfeeding is absolutely possible. Hey, maybe they’ll let me write an article. 7) As contrary as it sounds the hospital can sabotage early efforts at breastfeeding. A good list for moms to review about what to expect and ask for at the hospital to increase breastfeeding success early on would be beneficial. For example, it is important to breastfeed in the first hour. The nursery staff should not give pacifiers, supplemental formula or sugar water to a breastfed baby (unless medically advised in an unusual circumstance). A breastfeeding mom’s wishes should be written down for the nursery staff so they can help support her while she’s establishing breastfeeding.

Extensive review of the site does show they were careful to include lots of breastfeeding information and sought help to ensure they were properly covering this topic. Overall I’d give a B minus on its breastfeeding coverage. Adding a link under the Pregnancy nav on the left side (so that breastfeeding is considered well in advance of birth), adding a breastfeeding class or book purchase to the pregnancy checklist, rewriting the 6-month weaning question, a hospital advice piece and an article on breastfeeding multiples would raise the grade to an A.

What I Would do Differently

December 19, 2009

We all know hindsight is 20/20. So, let’s take some of that hindsight and choose to do things a little differently “next” time.  I hope you can take some of my hindsight and use it to protect yourself. What would that be called? Futuresightprotect?

Anyway, if I had another child (husband emphatically says NO so this is purely an exercise to benefit all of you) I would be so much more relaxed. More relaxed about sleeping, his learning to sleep, how many minutes he ate, etc. Having the twins was so difficult just in learning how to physcially handle two the exact same age with the same needs at the same time. I think I would be so mellow and relaxed with my fourth. He (the only way I’d have another is if I knew it would only be one and that it would be a boy) would just sleep with me so as to prevent my own exhaustion, I would allow others to help me (here I insert a begging cry to you – let others help you!), I’d take naps, I’d allow my other three to watch a LITTLE tv and I’d fill out the help sheet I created every week. The help sheet is available in a separate post. I created it because I desperately needed something like this when the twins came and I happily and freely give it to you. I was just so stressed with the twins I surely could only be more relaxed the “next time.”