Breast is best…it’s our mantra; however, not all breastmilk is created equally. We know you can pass toxins to your baby via breastmilk, but formulas also contain toxins and genetically modified ingredients. Mother Jones reported:
But even though artificial human milk is regulated by the FDA, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found last year that a thyroid-affecting chemical used in rocket fuel contaminates 15 brands of powdered infant formula, including two that accounted for 87 percent of market share in 2000.
That research is a little dated, but unfortunately our world has not become any less toxic. Still, breast is best, since there are potential toxins in both formula and breast milk.
Putting the toxins argument aside, there is another very important aspect of breastfeeding that is often overlooked…diet! Good prenatal care focuses on nutrition, but what about post natal care? I know I started drinking coffee after my baby was born, but I still ate organic, whole foods. I did feel like I could relax a little on my diet after the baby was born, yet that is a very false misconception.
I came across a recent post that got me thinking about the Standard American Diet (SAD) and breastfeeding (via Cheeseslave). Of special concern is the passage of trans fat to baby via the breast.
How long should we breastfeed? It’s a question that is debated, especially as breastfeeding advocacy has gained momentum. Mainstream media calls breastfeeding extreme when it reaches into toddler years. Shakira makes news when she says she will breastfeed her child until college. Last year, Time magazine featured a mother breastfeeding a three-year-0ld with the title “Are you mom enough?”
One aspect of health care reform that got early attention from the media were changes to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requiring employers to provide working breastfeeding moms private breast pumping rooms. According to the United States Department of Labor,
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Affordable Care Act”) amended section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to require employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk. Employers are also required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk. The break time requirement became effective when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010.
In one of the first cases to test this law, the 11th Circuit Court has ruled that breastfeeding mothers do not get to dictate where this pumping room is located. It is up to the employer’s discretion.
In Miller v. Roche Sur. & Cas. Co, an employee did not like the provided space and felt it violated the law, as the company would not purchase window blinds for her office to use instead of an empty office it had designated.
Both of my children had little bouts of eczema as babies. My daughter’s was a small pouch by her mouth; my son got a skin reaction to anything containing sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate. I have seen babies and children that have suffered miserably from eczema, and some doctors go so far as to recommend bleach baths as a remedy.
Researchers in Finland have found a better, less toxic solution to eczema: probiotics during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The Chicago Tribune explains:
Researchers said it’s possible that probiotics – which are thought to help balance bacteria populations in the gut and prevent disease-causing strains from spreading – may influence babies’ health through immune cells that cross the placenta and later are passed in breast milk.
“Prevention regimen with specific probiotics administered to the pregnant and breast-feeding mother, that is, prenatally and postnatally, is safe and effective in reducing the risk of eczema in infants with allergic mothers,” wrote lead author Samuli Rautava of Turku University Central Hospital, in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Although I had no need for nursing bras or camisoles, I have friends (and readers) who swear by them. As with anything, organic is best, especially when you consider the fabric will be in constant contact with your breast where your little one will suckle. You don’t want any toxins rubbing off!
- 100% Certified Organic from soil to finished product!
- Natural coloring – no dyes or bleaches
- Looks great under clothes or on its own
- Inner sling for added support
- Quick one-handed clasp for easy nursing
- Adjustable straps for a perfect fit
- Length of approximately 15-1/2″ to 16-1/2″ at side seam
by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff
Executive Director & CEO
After the CDC lowered the threshold at which a child is at risk for lead poisoning by half last week, the number of children under six who are now considered at risk jumped from 77,000 to 442,000, according to the Huffington Post. The article quoted Dr. Phil Landrigan, Healthy Child Honorary Board member and chairman of the department of preventative medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City: “There is no safe level. Lead is toxic to the developing brain at low levels. Prenatal exposure causes brain damage. Exposure to an infant or toddler causes brain damage.” Safety steps to take include “removing old leaded windows, repairing paint that is chipping or peeling, using a HEPA vacuum and keeping kids’ hands washed.”
by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff
Executive Director & CEO
Healthy Child Healthy World
TIME raised a ruckus recently with a profile of “attachment parenting” guru Dr. Bill Sears, highlighted by a cover photo of a mother breastfeeding her three-year-old son, according to the Huffington Post. Healthy Child believes breast is best—especially for the first year, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics—and welcomes the discussion these photographs have incited (although not the flaming, that’s just plain mean). Some additional information to add to the chatter: African Americans have the lowest breastfeeding rates, yet the community is hit hardest by health problems that breastfeeding protects against.
Our newest Mom on a Mission has set out to change these statistics.
The Boycott Nestle movement began in 1977. Wikipedia explains the issue well:
- Formula must normally be mixed with water, which is often contaminated in poor countries, leading to disease in vulnerable infants. Because of the low literacy rates in developing nations, many mothers are not aware of the sanitation methods needed in the preparation of bottles. Even mothers able to read in their native tongue may be unable to read the language in which sterilization directions are written.
- Although some mothers can understand the sanitation standards required often do not have the means to perform them: fuel to boil water, electric (or other reliable) light to enable sterilisation at night. UNICEF estimates that a formula-fed child living in disease-ridden and unhygienic conditions is between six and 25 times more likely to die of diarrhea and four times more likely to die of pneumonia than a breastfed child.
- Many poor mothers use less formula powder than is necessary, in order to make a container of formula last longer. As a result, some infants receive inadequatenutrition from weak solutions of formula.
- Breast milk has many natural benefits lacking in formula. Nutrients and antibodies are passed to the baby while hormones are released into the mother’s body.Breastfed babies are protected, in varying degrees, from a number of illnesses, including diarrhea, bacterial meningitis, gastroenteritis, ear infection, and respiratory infection. Breast milk contains the right amount of the nutrients essential for neuronal (brain and nerve) development. The bond between baby and mother can be strengthened during breastfeeding. Frequent and exclusive breastfeeding can also delay the return of fertility, which can help women in developing countries to space their births. The World Health Organization recommends that, in the majority of cases, babies should be exclusively breast fed for the first six months.
Civil Rights has come a long way in this country, and it still has a long way to go. From Rosa Parks to Martin Luther King, American history is filled with heroes that advocated for Civil Rights. Now, add Seattle moms to the list.
What would have happened if Rosa Parks would have been breastfeeding on the bus? Would breastfeeding be a civil right?
Seattle, Washington is considering a law that would protect a women and baby’s right to breastfeed. The law would make it illegal to ask a woman to cover up, stop breastfeeding, or move to another location.
Conscious Birth Affirmations
Any breastfeeding mother knows that breastfeeding positively affects her baby’s temperament, but a new study finds these effects last into adulthood.