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Posts Tagged ‘Breastfeeding’

Lovely Links I Like!

Dou-la-la writes about lactivists, and issues that arise when asking and offering breastfeeding advice.

“When a woman is unwilling to breastfeed, but tells people she was unable, it inflates statistics and seeds fear in other women that breastfeeding is an unreachable ideal for most women.”

Yes.

Thank you.

There IS a flip side to that – and I can already feel the murmurs. In order for women to feel safe about publicly admitting that they were simply not willing to breastfeed, and that it was a choice, not some failure of their anatomy or – another frequent claim – “refusal” by their child*, we, as a breastfeeding advocacy community, need to be able to accept those choices and not condemn or harass these mothers who have made different choices.

Also, along the lines of breastfeeding, HERE is the info on the new law that provides pumping breaks for breastfeeding mothers.

Employers are required to provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 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.”

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Going along with my previous unassisted childbirth post, here are a couple more!

Preparing for an Unassisted Homebirth

Don’t Condemn Unassisted Births Because of 1 Tragedy by Rixa over at Stand and Deliver.

I’m not saying unassisted birth is perfectly safe, just think happy thoughts and nothing will ever go wrong, la la la. But condemning all unassisted birth–childbirth, after all, is a normal, inevitable physiological event, not a medical procedure–because of one tragic “dumpster baby” is way off the mark.

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Don’t Judge Pregnant Women Based on Junk Science

This is especially true when it comes to pregnant drug using women. For nearly two decades popular media claimed that any illegal drugs used by pregnant women would inevitably and significantly damage their babies.

The actual scientific research contradicts this assumption. Carefully constructed, unbiased scientific research has not found that prenatal exposure to any of the illegal drugs causes unique or even inevitable harm. This research is so clear that that courts and leading federal agencies have concluded that what most people heard was “essentially a myth.” As the National Institute for Drug Abuse explains, “babies born to mothers who used crack cocaine while pregnant, were at one time written off by many as a lost generation. . . .  It was later found that this was a gross exaggeration.”

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The Feminist Breeder writes “A Birth Plan is More Than a Wish List”:

The birth plan may not be a legal document, but mother’s desires during her birth are her legal right. Yes, a mother can Just Say No to anything she is uncomfortable with during her labor, and the Birth Plan is the first draft of that assertion.

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Finally, Placenta Encapsulation Instructions with Pictures!

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Mother’s Milk Soap Recipe

March 23, 2010 12 comments

Discovered and copied over from HERE. Makes wonderful soap! I currently offer making Mothering Soap for $50 for anyone looking to use up some of their frozen milk stashed away. It’s a wonderful keepsake to have for remembering those breastfeeding days that seem to go by too fast.

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Mother’s Milk Soap Recipe
32 (4-ounce) bars

Recipe:

3 lbs. vegetable shortening
17 ounces dark olive oil
18 ounces Safflower oil
6 cups thawed breast milk
(you can use any amount of breast milk you like and substitute the rest,
just make sure your total fluid volume reaches 6 cups).

12 ounces pure sodium hydroxide (lye – Red Devil brand works)
1 ounce Borax
2 TLBS honey
1 ounce Essential oil – optional
Ice Cubes

Tool List:
Stainless steel pans
Wooden or stainless steel spoons
Newspaper to cover counter tops
Candy thermometer
Measuring cup
Scale
Blender

***Wear Gloves and protective eye-wear when making soap…lye burns!!
****Use only stainless steel pans for making soap – DO NOT use aluminum!!

Procedure
Melt the veg. shortening in a sauce pan (about 8 quart size)and add the oils. Bring temp up slowly until the shortening is all melted. Don’t over heat or scorch the oils.

Plug your kitchen sink. Fill half way with water and add about 3 dozen ice cubes.

Put thawed cold breast milk in a sauce pan (about 3 quart size). Place the sauce pan into the water. You *must* keep the milk cool when you add the lye to it or the lye will burn it and make it unusable, not to mention real stinky!

Slowly stir in the sodium hydroxide (lye) stirring constantly and occasionally circulating the outer ice water. The lye is going to heat the milk up as you stir it in. Avoid breathing the fumes by working in a well ventilated area.

Adding the lye should take at least 5 minutes, any faster and you will burnout your milk. If you accidentally splash any on yourself, rinse immediately!

Once combined, continue to stir the milk/lye mixture for just a few more minutes (3) and then remove from the water bath and set aside. You will notice that the milk/lye mixture steadily becomes yellowish in color. That is normal.

Add the honey and borax to your melted oil which should still be warm but not hot (115 degrees or so).

Now, slowly and carefully pour the milk/lye mixture into the pan of oil. Stir constantly until it is all mixed together.

This mixture must now be whipped in a blender (2/3’s full at a time for safety sake). Run the blender (with the lid on) at whip speed for 60 seconds each time. Pour off into a clean pan.

Repeat the blender process a second time. This is when you will add your essential oils.

Once the mixture has been blended twice, it will be ready to pour into a mold where it will saponify and be ready to cut after 24 hours.

**Make sure to set a few bars secretly aside for that someday when it could make a touching “Treasured Memory Gift” maybe when your child is all grown up. The soap will never go rancid (no matter what you may have read elsewhere), it will only improve with age. Mothering Soap has the unique potential of becoming something extra, special as the years roll by. But that’s just this mothers thought!

Milk Sharing

September 16, 2009 4 comments

All through history, sharing breastmilk was seen as normal, and sometimes the only way for babies to survive. Many moms had a wet nurse, or relied on another woman every now and then to nurse their children, which is known as cross-nursing. Now-a-days, if a woman is unable to breastfeed her child, she usually turns to formula. Donor milk from a milk bank is another option, but is very expensive if you have to pay out-of-pocket. Still, there is an alternative way to nurse a child that more and more women are turning to, which is known as milk sharing. The benefits of breastmilk are plenty, and many mothers feel strongly that even if they cannot supply all of their breastmilk for their baby, that they should still be able to receive the benefits of breastmilk.


While supplementing with donor milk, a mom can use an at the breast supplemental nursing system, known as a SNS (made by Medela), or the Lact-Aid System. These systems “consist of a container for the supplement (either a bag or a

bottle), which hangs on a cord around mom’s neck and rests between her breasts. Thin tubing, leading from the container, is taped to the mother’s breast, extending about 1/4 inch past the nipple. You usually see the tubing going directly from the bottle (between the breasts) to the nipple. You can also wrap the tubing down & around the breast before bringing it up to the nipple.” (Kellymom, supplementer)


A SNS is a great way to supplement, because a baby will be able to still have the close contact with the mother. By still nursing at the breast, the baby will help increase the mother’s milk supply. Other alternative ways to supplement include: finger feeding, using a cup/dropper/spoon, and/or using a bottle. However, introducing an artificial nipple may cause nipple confusion for some babies, and they may refuse to breastfeed afterward.


How to find a breastmilk donor:

There are many resources available to help you find a milk donor. Websites include:


If you are unable to supply your baby with all the breastmilk she needs, partial weaning and combination feeding is an option that may work out for you. Breastfeeding part-time still has great benefits for you and your baby:


  • Comfort, bonding, skin-to-skin benefits. Mom can provide 100% of these even if very little breastmilk is being obtained during nursing.
  • Oral development. The type of sucking required for breastfeeding improves your baby’s oral development (even if he gets little milk).
  • Disease, allergy-prevention, immunological benefits. Research has shown that the benefits of breastfeeding are generally dose-related: the more breastmilk, the greater the benefit. But even 50 ml of breastmilk per day (or less – there is little research on this) will help to keep your baby healthier than if he received none at all. In fact, the immunities in mom’s milk have been shown to increase in concentration as the quantity of milk decreases
  • Nutritional benefits. There are components of mother’s milk which cannot be duplicated – even a small quantity of these can be invaluable to your baby. (Kellymom, weaning-partial)

If you have a low-supply of breastmilk, you can supplement with donor milk while you work on getting your own supply back up. Please check out Kellymom’s information on increasing low milk supply if you feel your milk is low. Milk supplies can drop many times during a nursing relationship for a variety of reasons (hormones, illness, working situations, etc), but in my own experience, I was able to raise it back up again using a variety of methods to increase my milk supply.

Photo courtesy of Tiffany Abrahams

The big question that you will always hear when it comes to milk sharing is: “Is it safe?”


Most risks can be minimized if a relationship is formed with the woman donating. La Leche League suggests these guidelines for mothers who donate milk (however, they do not support milk sharing unless it is through a milk bank):


  • She should be healthy, well-nourished and taking no medication. Ideally, she has an infant about the same age as the one she would be cross nursing.
  • She should be screened for tuberculosis, syphilis, hepatitis-associated antigen, cytomegalovirus, herpes virus, HIV and other infectious agents.
  • She should not smoke, drink alcohol, or consume large amounts of caffeinated or artificially sweetened beverages.
  • Her own infant should be healthy, gaining well and free of all infections. (LLLI, wet nursing)

Being unable to fully supply your baby with your own breastmilk can be extremely frustrating and upsetting for any mother. Solutions to breastfeeding issues can be pieced together and hopefully solved through community, knowledge, and mother-to-mother support.

*Please note, I am not a lactation consultant or a doctor. Just a mom with years of experience nursing my own children, and a great interest in breastfeeding.


For further information:

Human milk banking and other donor milk – Kellymom

Using a Lactation Aid by Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC


Sources:

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/adoptivebf.html#supplementer

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/alternative-feeding.html

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/weaning-partial.html

http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVJulAug95p53.html