Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Kelly Rutherford endorses Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy

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"Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy is amazing. I received the book while I was pregnant with Helena, and it was a gift that touched my heart. This book could be given at baby showers and available at every place we bring babies. I would like to see it at hospitals caring for moms and babies and at every pump station in LA!!

"Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy celebrates our ability to nurture our children. The book is an extremely practical breastfeeding guide, but also gets us back to what it means to nurture through its words, images, and helpful ideas. It teaches women about breastfeeding in a non-threatening way, respecting that every breastfeeding mother and baby pair is unique, facing different circumstances in their lives.

"All of the women in this book are different, but all are nurturing their babies; some with babies feeding at moms’ breasts, others just cuddled close to mom (or dad). When we come from a place of nurturing our babies without guilt, mothers and babies find their way and feel beautiful." — Kelly Rutherford, of Gossip Girl

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mother's Milk Saving the Lives of Premature Babies

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CBS Evening News reports that UC San Diego Medical Center has a new program that strongly promotes mothers of premature babies to commit to breastfeeding rather than formula. It is not easy. Support for mothers committing to breastfeeding is crucial for them to be able to provide their babies with their breast milk that could be lifesaving. View video below.

From the CBS News Report:

One huge difference the program has made is a significant decrease in one life-threatening complication of prematurity - a gastrointestinal infection called necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC. Of the half million premature babies born every year, between 5-10 percent of them develop it and a third of those die.

Before this program started, the rate of NEC in this hospital was 5.8 percent; last year it was less than 1 percent.

"The more human milk they're exposed to, the more reduction in complications such as necrotizing enterocolitis," Dr. Kim said.

You may be interested in this story:
A mom of a baby born at 28 weeks shares her story from Pennsylvania.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pregnant Teens-A Model of Care and Hope

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A Doula Story is a moving hour-long documentary about a doula who works with pregnant teenagers in Chicago. The doula, Loretha Weisinger, shows and explains how she nurtures the pregnant girls so they can nurture their babies. She also exposes the challenges these girls face as she follows them through their pregnancies, births and their lives afterward.

There is a call to action that begins with the opening words printed on the screen.

"One out of nine births in this country is to a teenager."

"Many face their pregnancy and parenthood alone."

This call to action intensifies as the viewer witnesses Loretha Weisenger's understanding and compassion for each girl. By her actions, she clearly shows us what is needed to provide hope for a better life for these families.

From the film's description at Black Public Media's website:

"A Doula Story documents one African American woman’s fierce commitment to empower pregnant teenagers with the skills and knowledge they need to become confident, nurturing mothers. Produced by The Kindling Group, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization, this powerful film follows Loretha Weisinger back to the same disadvantaged Chicago neighborhood where she once struggled as a teen mom. Loretha uses patience, compassion and humor to teach “her girls” about everything from the importance of breastfeeding and reading to their babies, to communicating effectively with health care professionals."

We see the significant barriers to breastfeeding these girls face. At the same time, it is clear that when these girls do breastfeed, the health and emotional benefits can be crucial and satisfying for the mom who can take pride in her unique gift that only she can give to her baby. Watching Ms. Weisinger help these girls to breastfeed, reminded me of a story a WIC breastfeeding counselor shared with me.

The WIC counselor was working with an African American woman whose baby was thriving on breast milk. The woman weaned her baby when she returned to work because she was overwhelmed by a lack of support and the increased demands of returning to work when her baby was quite young. Subsequently, her baby ended up in the emergency room many times for illnesses and intolerance to the different formulas. In frustration, the mother said to the WIC counselor, "Why didn't you chain me to a chair and make me breastfeed?" The WIC counselor's response was that she had to respect the mother's right to choose. What choices did this mother really have? She wanted to breastfeed but the barriers overwhelmed her.

If you wish to learn more about the services and mission of Marillac House, where Ms. Weisinger works, click here

Click here to view the hour-long film.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Breastfeeding Reduces SIDS Risk

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A study from Germany was just published in Pediatrics concluding that breastfeeding reduces SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) by approximately 50%. Here is the link to the full Journal article and here is the link to the news story from Reuters.

In the study's abstract the Conclusions are:

"This study shows that breastfeeding reduced the risk of sudden infant death syndrome by 50% at all ages throughout infancy. We recommend including the advice to breastfeed through 6 months of age in sudden infant death syndrome risk-reduction messages."

Friday, February 20, 2009

Read what Stephanie Muir has to say about Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy

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Stephanie Muir: founder of M.I.L.C. (Mothers International Lactation Campaign) and co-admin of the Facebook group "Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!" writes the following in January 2009:
I received Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy yesterday in the mail. A million thanks to you for creating this lovely and much needed book. I had tears in my eyes looking through some of the beautiful images. I have added it to the suggested books on our group page (we are over 150 000 strong now), and have also recommended it to my local midwifery practice to add to their lending library...in fact I will be recommending it to everyone I know. Congratulations on a truly inspirational project, clearly put together with an intuitive and sensitive awareness of the information and encouragement every woman needs as she embarks on the journey of motherhood. Honestly, thank you!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Words of Praise from a Reader

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Kelley Baker-Ewert received Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy just days after her baby born at 28 weeks gestation was discharged from the hospital. Two days after receiving the book, she writes,
Well, I love the book. I love it. I can already feel the difference when my son nurses, and the pictures are at once informative and beautiful. It is so nice to be reminded with beautiful pictures of the connection nursing forges between a baby and momma, especially when nursing is tough.

My friend who sent it to me was my midwife. However, my son was born at 28 weeks gestation due to severe preeclampsia. It's always been important to me to nurse him, and became even more so in our circumstances. While he received the breast before the bottle, and we spent lots of time kangarooing and nursing as soon as he was able, Gwyn still came home exclusively getting his calories from bottled breastmilk. I think that just having this book would have made a huge difference for us. I would have known what a good latch looked like... With this in mind, I ordered a copy to donate to our NICU as a gift for their library. Hopefully it'll help other mommas and babies!