Archive for the ‘Breastfeeding & Babywearing’ Category

Nurse-In in British Columbia, Canada

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Check out Jasmine Cairo’s post about this event, as well as the full-size slideshow.

Sling Contest Giveaway Thingie!

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

How awesome is this? I, of course, am entering so I can have a great stash of different carriers for my clients to try out. Well, my future clients, anyway! Here’s hoping I win!

Win the Essential Babywearing Stash from Along for the Ride (one Beco Butterfly, one Hotsling baby pouch, one BabyHawk Mei Tai, one Zolowear Ring Sling, and one Gypsy Mama Wrap)

Breastfeeding Brain?

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Breast-fed babies found smarter.

I have a theory about this. I think that there is an invisible tube leading from your brain to your breast. And in that tube flows all of a mother’s best brain cells – straight into her infant’s mouth.

If that doesn’t explain “mom-brain” (and I know you know what I’m talking about), I don’t know what does!

Learned Something New Today

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

The following was a post in my doula Yahoo group, which I found interesting. I’ve heard of “cluster feeding” infants, but I didn’t really know what it meant. Just thought I’d pass on the little bit of info I got today.

“Hi Ladies!

I have a client who emailed me this morning frantic about baby not sleeping.

This is how she explained it: All is pretty good but she has a rough time between 7 pm to 12 a.m. She kind of goes into a frenzied eating fest, going from hysterical crying while eating more or less non-stop. She just seems so upset, and it breaks our hearts! And sometimes, she continues into 2am so sleeping is rough. Ideas?

Client hasn’t wanted an overnight so I haven’t seen this for myself yet. When I’m there during the day the baby eats well, sleeps well and is rarely fussy. I’ve made suggestions…some the parents have followed, some not. So I’m wondering what you all think. Any suggestions??”


“It is normal cluster feeding behavior in a bfd baby. She is storing up the hindmilk to sleep a longer stretch in the overnight hours. Most moms think that they have no milk and that is why the baby is wanting to bfd non-stop. This newborn behavior will calm down over the next few weeks.”

Ellen Penchuk, IBCLC, RLC

I’m going to have to do some more research to learn more about this…I think the next certification I want to get is Lactation Educator…there’s just so much about breastfeeding I want to learn.

Do any of you have any experience with this “cluster feeding” thing??? I’d love to hear your experiences, and what you learned about it…tips, tricks, anything you think is relevant. I sooo need to learn anything you can share with me about this.

Breastfeeding & Jaundice

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

Today I read a post on my CAPPA Yahoo group from a gal who just had a baby a little over 3 weeks ago who has come down with “breastmilk jaundice”. Now, I have absolutely no personal experience with this common occurance myself, but I’m sure that some of you (my millions of readers, that is) may have. Ahem.

She was being told that she had to put her baby on formula until the bilirubin levels were acceptable. Her three week old baby’s last bili count was at 9.7, and the pediatrician was not happy, and told the mother that the proteins in breastmilk are “sticky” and cling to the bilirubin, not allowing it to leave the baby’s body. Like I said, I don’t have personal experience with this, so I don’t exactly know what that means. But…on with the show.

One of the other doulas in the group was able to provide some great information for this mom, and I wanted to share it with you. Needless to say, I’ll be doing some reading over the next few days for myself to learn what I can about this issue. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I really know! To quote her post:

“Hopefully, this information will put you at ease. Please share with your pediatrician. If he gives you a hard time about not being PROactive, ask to see the studies he is basing his opinion on. That usually settles the debate quickly as they don’t have any information to back them up.

It is true in this case. It is not uncommon for jaundice to recede slowly in the breastfed infant.

‘Hyperbilirubinemia that peaks between 6 and 14 days has been termed late-onset or breastmilk jaundice and can develop in up to one third of healthy breastfed infants (AAP 1994). Total serum bilirubin levels mayrange from 12 to 20 mg/dL and are considered nonpathologic. It can persist for up to 3 months.’ (Gartner, 2001; Neifert, 1998).

‘The underlying cause of breastmilk jaundice is not clearly understood and may be multifactorial. It has been suggested that substances in breastmilk such as B-glucuruonidases and nonesterified fatty acids might inhibit normal bilirubin metabolism.’ (Brodersen & Herman, 1963; Gartner & Herschel, 2001; Melton & Akinbi, 1999; Poland, 1981).

‘Maruo et al. (2000) suggest that a defect or mutation in the blilirubin UDGPGT gene may cause an infant with such a mutation to be susceptible to jaundice that components in the mother’s milk may trigger.’

Breastfeeding Management for the Clinician; Using the Evidence Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC 2007

‘Breastmilk jaundice is seen in healthy, thriving neonates who have good weight gain; it may persist for many weeks. Breastmilk jaundice is a normal physiologic phenomenon, not a disorder.Two thirds of all breastfed babies have an elevation in bilirubin, and half of those have visible jaundice during the second to forth weeks of life. As bilirubin is a potent antioxidant, modest elevations ofbilirubin may possibly be beneficial, though this requires additional research. Although neonatal jaundice without other signs is almost never indicative of a bacterial infection, in 7.5 percent of afebrile, asymptomatic jaundiced newborns (predominantly formula-fed) younger than 8 weeks presenting in the emergency department, a urinary tract infection was diagnosed.’ (Garcia & Nager, 2002).

Breastfeeding and Human Lactation; Third Edition by Jan Riordan, EdD, RN, IBCLC, FAAN

‘Research indicates that breastmilk jaundice, although it may persist for many weeks, is a benign condition. Hence, (ILCA) believes that interrupting breastfeeding solely for the diagnosis of breastmilk jaundice in an otherwise healthy and thriving infant is rarely justified. ILCA believes that such a potentially hazardous intervention must becarefully undertaken after fully informing the mother of the value of continued lactation, the importance of continuing to express her milk, and the potential risks of introducing breastmilk substitutes.’

International Lactation Consultant Association Position Paper

Whew. If that doesn’t make your brain feel like exploding, I don’t know what will!

This is a perfect example of what “informed consent” really means. This mom wasn’t happy with her pediatrician telling her that her only option was to basically give up breastfeeding when her baby isn’t even a month old. She felt that somehow, somewhere, something just didn’t feel right for her, and she sought help and information.

Which is what you should ALWAYS do. Every time your doctor tells you something – ask questions. Not to be a know-it-all or to prove a point. Remember, this is YOUR child you are discussing, not the doctor’s child. As well-intentioned and knowledgable as doctors are (and have to be), they are not the end-all be-all for everything. And they don’t always have the right answer for you.

So…while you should never outright shun your doctor’s advice, neither should you swallow everything they say as Gospel-truth.

Educate yourself. Everything you need to know is at your fingertips! What else could Google possibly be for?

Here are a few links to get you started.

  • Breastfeeding & Jaundice by Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC
  • American Academy of Pediatrics: Management of Hyperbilirubinemia in the Newborn Infant 35 or More Weeks of Gestation
  • AAFP: Hyperbilirubinemia in the Term Newborn
  • Contempt of Court My Foot!!!

    Friday, March 28th, 2008

    Ridiculous. Even taking into account that we don’t have the court’s side of the story (not for lack of trying), so we don’t know if the mom was antagonistic at all. I highly doubt that she was, being that she requested to serve later, and that most potential jurors are written off in a second because they are the primary caregiver, breastfeeding, or for other child-related reasons.

    I’m glad that most women (based on the response in my doula yahoo group) have a much smoother, more open experience with this situation than this woman. I hope as this story comes to light that the government in Maryland takes notice and makes any changes necessary to accomodate breastfeeding mothers, as well as others who have legitimate reasons to postpone their service.

    I’m shaking my head at this one.