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Old Country Buffet puts the family in “family restaurant”, NOT!

Breast-feeding mother says Maplewood restaurant told her to cover up

But a spokeswoman for Old Country Buffet’s parent company said the family was asked to leave after the dad became “verbally aggressive,” which the couple disputes.

Bethany Morton, a stay-at-home mom was breastfeeding her six-month old…

Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

Bethany Morton, 24, was breast-feeding 6 1/2-month-old Dawson in a booth at Old Country Buffet in Maplewood on Sunday when, she said, a server and then a manager, told her she’d have to cover up.

When she and her fiancé objected, they were told to leave and police were called.

Though state law says Morton was within her rights, a company spokeswoman says it wasn’t the breast-feeding but the commotion that caused the manager to tell the family to leave.

Minnesota law says, “A mother may breast-feed in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breast-feeding.”

Morton said she had a baby blanket with her, but Dawson “just won’t keep it on.”

“I decided why fight with him,” she said. “I knew my rights, so I removed the blanket and let him eat.”

She wasn’t wearing a nursing top, Morton said, but she was trying to be as discreet as possible. A man at the next table told her he didn’t know she was breast-feeding, she said.

Diana Postemsky of Kekst and Co., a New York-based public relations firm that works with Buffets Inc., the Eagan-based parent company of Old Country Buffet, said the company is “absolutely aware” of a mother’s legal right to breast-feed.

“Just to clarify,” she said, “the couple in question was asked to leave the restaurant because the fiancé became verbally aggressive, not because his fiancée was breast-feeding. The gentleman’s volume and use of profanity was disturbing the other guests.”

Morton, who was at the restaurant for Easter dinner with her fiancé, Joe Santos, and their 3-year-old, Joe Jr., called foul when told of Postemsky’s comments.

“Since when is standing up for your rights being verbally aggressive?” she asked. “He [Santos] was not aggressive at all. He didn’t even raise his voice. He’s just a loud man. He grew up in a family of six kids; obviously he has to be a little loud to be heard.”

When she called corporate headquarters, Morton said, “they sided with the store. They said it’s a ‘family establishment’ and ‘we do have the right to ask you to cover up.’

“They didn’t even offer an apology,” she said. “That’s what gets me.”

The couple were driving away when they were pulled over by a Maplewood squad. The officers, too, apparently were ignorant of the law, Morton said, and told her the statute applies to public parks, not restaurants.

Deputy Chief Dave Kvam said the 911 dispatcher’s notes say, “Old Country Buffet manager told worker to call … white female yelling at staff … white female was breast-feeding and flashing the customers.”

Kvam said if the officers were mistaken, “it’s not unreasonable to believe they might not know [the law] off the top of their head,” Kvam said. “It’s not something we deal with with any regularity.”

By PAT PHEIFER, Star Tribune

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Breastfeeding Problems Solved

Almost half of breastfeeding moms quit before their baby is 6 months old and often it’s because they’ve run into problems that are actually pretty easily solved. If you’re thinking of stopping, read on for quick solutions to common problems…

My baby is due and I want to breastfeed but I have very small nipples that don’t stick out like normal ones. Will this make it difficult?

Many women have nipples that are ‘inverted’ but this shouldn’t prevent your baby from nursing because it’s not actually your nipple she suckles on – it’s the areola (the darker area immediately surrounding it). The most important thing is to make sure your baby is properly latched on – you’ll probably feed him for the first time within 30 minutes of the delivery and there will be lactation consultants of nurses close by to help you. Some women find that breast shells can encourage inverted nipples to protrude more – a lactation consultant can advise you.

My baby is just over a week old and my nipples are really suffering – they’re cracked and bleeding and nursing is painful. Should I give up and switch her to the bottle?

It’s not unusual to feel some discomfort when you first start breastfeeding but you shouldn’t still be getting it a week on and certainly not to the extent you describe. Most cases of sore and cracked nipples are caused by incorrect latching on. If your physician isn’t qualified to check your technique it’s worth contacting a lactation consultant who can visit you at home – if it solves the problem it’s money well-spent. Other reasons your nipples may be sore include overdrying or excessive moisture; it’s also possible that your baby has passed on a yeast infection if she has one in her mouth (if your physician thinks this is the problem she can prescribe an anti-fungal medication).

Once you’ve perfected your latching-on technique, keep feeding but nurse your baby on the least sore side first so that when you transfer her to the other breast she’ll be less hungry and will suckle less vigorously. If your nipples become so sore you can’t bear to nurse, gently express milk by hand.

My breasts are constantly leaking milk! I wake up with my T-shirt and sheets soaked and go through several boxes of nursing pads a week. Every time I go to latch on my baby she gets a face full of milk! Is this normal?

When your breast milk comes in, around four days after your baby’s birth, it’s common to have an overabundant supply and for your let-down reflex to be so powerful that milk sprays out when you start to nurse. It can cause problems, with your breasts becoming engorged (literally too full), and your baby finding it hard to latch on because the skin on your breasts is stretched so tight there’s no ‘give’. If this happens you may have to express a little milk before feeds, to help her grab hold! Thankfully this oversupply will diminish by the time your baby is around 6-8 weeks old – breast milk is produced on a supply and demand basis, and as soon as  your body becomes accustomed to your baby’s needs your milk supply will balance out.

I’ve discovered a hard, tender patch on one of my breasts near my armpit – is it anything to do with nursing my baby?

This sounds like a blocked milk duct – these are pretty common near the armpits because milk glands are concentrated in those areas. Ducts can become blocked if you leave it too long between feeds or don’t feed for long enough, and women who tend to produce a lot of milk are more likely to get them.

There is a risk that a blocked duct can develop into mastitis but the solution is simple: feed your baby as often as you can and offer her the affected side first – the hungrier she is the more vigorous her sucking, and this alone may help dislodge the blockage. Positioning her so her chin points towards the blockage will also help, so latch her on in the underarm position with her body lying on a pillow placed at your side, and gently massage the tender area as she feeds. If she doesn’t feed for very long, hand express to fully drain the milk and mention the problem to your lactation consultant. If these measures don’t clear the lump, have your physician check it as a precaution.

My physician wants to put me on anti-depressants to help me cope with post-partum depression. Could the medication harm my baby if I continue to breastfeed?

Many new moms suffer from depression after the birth but rest assured that there are a number of anti-depressants that have no adverse effect on a nursing baby. As a precaution, and to set your mind at rest, inform your physician that you’re breastfeeding and ask him to prescribe a drug that is known to be safe. Let your baby’s pediatrician know you’re taking it, and watch out for any possible side-effects, which could include your baby seeming excessively drowsy or difficult to settle, or colicky. Keep in mind that your baby’s health and wellbeing depends on yours – and you’re likely to be happier if your depression is treated.

My sister had mastitis when she was breastfeeding. How can I avoid it?  

Mastitis is an infection that often develops out of a blocked milk duct. It causes flu-like symptoms including a fever, chills, and aches and pains; you’ll also notice a hard red patch of skin on your breast. The infection needs to be treated with antibiotics and you should continue to nurse your baby throughout, starting feeds on the unaffected side, to keep up your milk flow. Hot or coolpacks can help relieve soreness but if you find feeds too painful, hand-express your milk and ask your lactation consultant for guidance.

Many moms develop mastitis when they return to work and are not feeding their baby as regularly. If you’re expressing milk at work, try to schedule it when you would normally have nursed your baby or do it at least every four hours.

Help! I recently returned to work and my baby is getting expressed breast milk from a bottle during the day. But when I try to nurse her in the evening, she refuses the breast. Could it be she prefers to bottlefeed?

If you’re pumping milk at work this should keep up your milk supply but it’s best to try and do this at the times you would have nursed your baby. Many working moms cut down to just once a day, during their lunch hour and since milk is produced on a supply and demand basis, your flow will reduce if you’re not feeding your baby or expressing to the usual schedule. This means that when you latch your baby on after work, there may not be as much milk as she’s used to and she may get frustrated – especially if she has worked out that she doesn’t have to work so hard to get milk from a bottle! Try to get past the problem by latching your baby on as soon as you get in instead of waiting until she’s really hungry, when she’ll get particularly irate at having to suckle hard in order to feed. Try waiting until she’s drowsy too, as many babies will feed while they snooze.

 Item Courtesy of Super Nanny

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When Breastfeeding Gets Tough – How to Get the Help You Need

Author: Carrie Lauth

If you’re feeling frustrated with breastfeeding, remind yourself of why you wanted to nurse your baby in the first place, then run – don’t walk – to find the help you need to continue to breastfeed.

Here are some of the benefits of breastfeeding your baby.

1. Breastfeeding creates a strong emotional bond between Mom and baby. Breastfeeding can even help you be a better Mom – when you breastfeed, your body is stimulated to create the mothering hormones, prolactin and oxytocin, which can help you feel relaxed and calm. These hormones even make you feel less stressed and more rested despite sleep deprivation!

2. Breastfeeding can create a calmer baby too. The regular skin-to-skin contact that breastfeeding provides helps reduce the stress baby feels of having left the womb.

3. If your baby is experiencing discomfort or pain, the closeness of breastfeeding can help as well. Besides physical closeness, breast milk contains endorphins that help suppress any pain your baby feels.

4. Breastfed babies are healthier. According to many studies, breastfeeding your baby can help reduce food allergies, eczema, asthma, prolonged colds, childhood cancers, bronchitis, diaper rashes, and many other conditions.

5. Breastfeeding mothers can also be healthier. They have lower rates of breast, ovarian, uterine, and endometrial cancers, as well as a reduced risk of developing osteoporosis.

5. Breastfed babies are smarter. Some studies show that breastfeeding can increase an infant’s IQ, and there is evidence that breastfed children achieve higher on developmental tests.

6. Breastfeeding mothers lose weight more quickly. If you’re anxious to shed those pregnancy pounds, stick with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding helps the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size faster than if you don’t breastfeed. Breastfeeding also increases the level of the hormone prolactin which speeds up post-partum weight loss.

If you’re having breastfeeding frustrations, here are some places you can find the support you need.

1. Remember that your doctor may not have the answers you need. If she can’t answer your questions, don’t give up – just look for help somewhere else.

2. Find someone who is specially trained to answer your breastfeeding questions, like a lactation specialist or a member of the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).

3. You could also speak with a La Leche League Leader. These are volunteers who have been specially trained to help mothers with breastfeeding. They are also good listeners, and non-judgmental.

4. One of your best sources of help and support can be other mothers who have successfully breastfed their children. They can tell you about their experiences, and assure you that things you are experiencing are normal. They can also give you advice and tell you what worked for them.

If you’re not having problems with breastfeeding right now, it is still a good idea to learn what resources are available and where you can connect with other breastfeeding moms. If you ever do have concerns, you will know exactly where to go for help and won’t be tempted to give up breastfeeding your baby before you’re ready.

About the Author
For more information about breastfeeding, including tips, advice, mom’s stories and resources, go to the Breastfeeding Book

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WonderWoman Wednesdays…Tamika L. Gardner, Founder of The Baby Chef

This week’s WonderWoman is Tamika L. Gardner, Founder of The Baby Chef™. Tamika started The Baby Chef™ after creating SimplyBabyFoodRecipes.net, with the belief that every baby deserves the right to experience fresh and healthy food. Simply Baby Food Recipes offers lots of homemade baby food recipes that are easy to make and healthy for babies and toddlers. The Baby Chef™ ensures that parents will be fully equipped to make their own baby food, while making life easier with unique products that save on food preparation. Additionally, The Baby Chef offers other unique and natural products for babies and children. Here’s how Tamika did it…

When did you have the light bulb moments that became SimplyBabyFoodRecipes.net and The Baby Chef?

When I was pregnant with my first born, Nikai, I knew I was going to breastfeed her because of all the great benefits that it offers.  However, when Nikai was ready to graduate to solids, at about 6 months, I did not like the idea of buying store-bought food in a jar for two main reasons – the lack of freshness and taste, and the price. 

We had already saved hundreds of dollars through breastfeeding and I wanted to continue those savings.  So I received some advice from my grandmother, who never fed her children baby food from the jar because it wasn’t invented yet!  My father, my uncles and aunts all grew up on mashed potatoes and mashed up collard greens and cornbread.  That was the moment the light bulb went off and I researched infant feeding on the internet and eventually made my website in one weekend.

After having an internet presence for a few years, I wanted to offer parents the tools they need to make homemade baby food and other feeding accessories.  Then The Baby Chef™ was born.

How did you get the business started? 

It was really easy for me to start the business online.  I partnered up with a couple of distributors/manufacturers and had a virtual grand opening of August 2008.  

What is a typical day like for you Tamika?

Having two very young children only 18 months apart, my day is extremely busy.  I spend most of the day caring for them.  However, since I am cooking three meals a day plus snacks, I do not lose out on an opportunity to make a recipe.  So therefore I keep a camera in my kitchen and I take picture of things that were a hit and I’ll upload them to my site with the recipe.  Most of them are on-the-fly concoctions.  I spend time in the evening checking and processing orders, and working on a new business venture that will launch within the next couple of months for mothers-to-be.

You recently featured the Apple Smash Smoothie on SimplyBabyFoodRecipes.net, sounds yummy! Where do you get your inspiration for baby food recipes?

Cooking is a passion of mine and I love trying new recipes.  The inspiration comes from within most of the time.  Sometimes I could be laying in the bed and think of something new to try.   Or, I could be at the grocery store and see an interesting vegetable or fruit to experiment with.  I also get lots of inspiration from the Food Network.

What do you suggest for moms with babies and toddlers that are picky eaters?

Well I have a lot of experience in that category because even I have picky eaters!  My husband, Troy, will tell you that we eat like Kings and Queens in my household.  I go out of my way to make sure my food is restaurant quality in presentation and taste, but my kids still have picky tendencies.  They weren’t that way when they were babies, but now that they are 2 and 3 years old, they suddenly don’t like foods I used to feed them.

So here are a few tips for getting your kids to eat:

1.  Never express that you don’t like something in front of your child.  They may decide that they don’t like it just because you don’t.

2.  Offer your child a variety of food so that you can find out what they do like.  It is natural for children to dislike food.  Even adults have likes and dislikes so don’t think your child has a problem.

3.  Expand your child’s horizons by offering them food that you wouldn’t eat or dislike.  You may find that they do like foods that you dislike.

4.  Season vegetables thoroughly, especially canned vegetables.  Vegetables taste best when they are seasoned well with butter and other spices. 

5.  Be consistent and keep offering your child the same food even if they don’t like it at first.  You may find that they will eventually like the food after a few times so don’t give up.

6.  Don’t reward your child with dessert or other sweet treats if they don’t eat their meal.  In fact, it’s best to not offer desert or other sweet treats at all until they develop good eating habits.  Otherwise, they will learn that they can skip out on the meal and go straight to junk food, which can further add to the childhood obesity problem.


What are the most effective ways you have promoted and marketed The Baby Chef? What’s your best marketing tip?

The most effective way I have promoted The Baby Chef™ is through SimplyBabyFoodRecipes.net.  The people who are looking for recipes are the ones who need the tools to make baby food.  Search Engine Optimization is also very key in getting my site in the Search Engines.

I highly recommend spending time on Search Engine Optimization.  It works and I have not had to invest in expensive pay-per-click campaigns because people find my site organically.  However, it is more work involved and can be costly if you don’t know how to do it yourself.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself? What advice would you give someone else starting their own business?

I’ve learned a lot through trial and error, and I’ve learned from my mistakes.  I’ve learned that things take time and to not try to be Super Woman, trying to do everything at once.

The advice I would give someone else trying to start their own business would be to keep taking strides toward achieving your goals, even if the strides are small sometimes.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and it will take time to have a viable business.  Also, if something is not working the way you thought, then change your plan, but don’t give up.

What goals do you have for The Baby Chef this year?

The Baby Chef™ will be going through some changes this year, but for all good.  There will be a book and an ebook coming out soon and a series of cookbooks for 2010.  Also, The Baby Chef Store will be changing, and will be a part of another site that caters to moms and children (you will still be able to reach the store at www.TheBabyChefStore.com).

The main goal of The Baby Chef ™ is to help parent nurture healthy children, which my main goal, and this will be accomplished through the books.  Prices on the site will also be reduced to give parents incentive to make their own food, should they wish to purchase.  However, buying expensive gadgets and tools are not necessary.  I made my own food and I didn’t have any of the products that I sell at the time.

What have you learned on your business journey that you’d like to share with other business owners?

I have learned to stick to my goals and to continue to ask for guidance and inspiration from my higher power.  At times, I considered shutting down everything because it is a lot to handle with young kids.  However, I have come too far and I don’t give up easy!

I have learned to be flexible, to change things as needed, and to not second guess myself.  When I get an inspiration or gut feeling, I act on it right away.  Both The Baby Chef and Simply Baby Food Recipes were weekend wonders, meaning they both were created and live on the internet in a weekend.

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Talk About It Tuesdays…Breastfeeding Breaks in New Healthcare Bill

One of the victories for breastfeeding that was included in the new healthcare reform legislation is that companies with at least 50 employees will have to set aside “reasonable” break times for nursing mothers AND create private spaces for breastfeeding.

Say goodbye to pumping in your car on lunch breaks ladies…Would this bill have helped you continue nursing after returning to work? For those of you still nursing, do you think it will help you extend your nursing once you’re back at work?

How do you feel about this new health care legislation?

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Mommy Mondays…Mommy and Baby Go Bye-Bye: Traveling While Breastfeeding

Heading out of town for Easter or Passover and wondering how to navigate the “liquids rule” while breastfeeding?
 
Now, a mother flying without her child will be able to bring breast milk through the checkpoint, provided it is declared prior to screening.

TSA is also modifying the rules associated with carrying breast milk through security checkpoints. Mothers flying with, and now without, their child will be permitted to bring breast milk in quantities greater than three ounces as long as it is declared for inspection at the security checkpoint.

Breast milk is in the same category as liquid medications.

When carrying formula, breast milk, or juice through the checkpoint, they will be inspected, however, you or your infant or toddler will not be asked to test or taste breast milk, formula, or juice. Our Security Officers may test liquid exemptions (exempt items more than 3 ounces) for explosives.

When traveling with your infant or toddler, in the absence of suspicious activity or items, greater than 3 ounces of baby formula, breast milk, or juice are permitted through the security checkpoint in reasonable quantities for the duration of your itinerary, if you perform the following:

  1. Separate these items from the liquids, gels, and aerosols in your quart-size and zip-top bag.
  2. Declare you have the items to one of our Security Officers at the security checkpoint.
  3. Present these items for additional inspection once reaching the X-ray. These items are subject to additional screening.

You are encouraged to travel with only as much formula, breast milk, or juice in your carry-on needed to reach your destination.

You are allowed to bring gel or liquid-filled teethers, canned, jarred, or processed baby food in your carry-on baggage and aboard your plane.

For information on creams, medicines, or other essential items for your child, please read our guidance on these items. Click here for the list of permitted and prohibited items.

Liquids and gels, including baby formula, breast milk, or juice, may be packed in your luggage and checked with your airline.

After clearing security, travelers can now bring beverages and other items purchased in the secure boarding area on-board aircraft.

For more details on navigating the screening process with your children, check out traveling with children.

Article and Photo Coutesy of TSA.org

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Fact Fridays…Guest Post: Top Tips for Problem Free Breastfeeding

 

Our post for this week’s “Fact Fridays” for breastfeeding is from Jodie Fuller, one of our MomPals or should I say MumPals, from across the pond! Jodie manages to write these gems while being mum-in-chief of http://www.my-babyshop.co.uk, http://www.my-beautyshop.co.uk, and http://www.my-bookstore.co.uk. I don’t know where she finds the time, bravo girl! Check Jodie’s sites when you get a chance for great baby products and to grab yourself some great practical products and gifts!

Top Tips for Problem Free Breastfeeding

Shall I? Shall I not? Why do we have a choice? Because of the invention of formula! Imagine if formula was never invented we would not be having this conversation! It is because of the freedom of choice and products available to us, that we are faced with some tricky choices. In the 3rd world and poor countries, formula is not available and therefore breastfeeding is the ONLY choice. Where formula has started to be introduced to poor countries, they now face the huge problem of newborns becoming sick due to poor hygiene and lack of sterile conditions formula requires.

A woman’s breast is DESIGNED to produce milk. Experts agree that breast milk is the best food for your baby; in fact, it is perfect food and completely clean, packed with anti-bodies and contains just the right amount of nutrients. Breastfeeding is also good for women, protecting them against breast cancer, ovarian cancer and hip fractures!

 It supports the baby’s immune system and is a natural protector! Knowing how your milk is produced will help you understand some of the initial problems you may be faced with.

Babies who are given nothing but breast milk for more than three months, have been found to have higher IQ’s than those given formula milk.

I will give you some top tips from myself and other mums who have overcome the problems you will face when breastfeeding, so you can find the strength to carry on when those around you may not be supporting you!

To do all you can to help the breastfeeding go well, consider this check list:

  • Make a firm decision to breastfeed (or not to) during pregnancy and stick to it!
  • Feed your newborn as soon as you can after delivery, this will help with bonding.
  • Don’t be put off if you can’t get baby to latch on first time, it takes practice, and is not your babies problem, other than the baby having actual, clinically “tongue tied”, there is no excuse why your baby cannot learn. It is getting into the right positions and then practice it.
  • Feed on demand day and night, it sounds wrong, but you will find great peace not trying to get a “routine” from day one! It is very stressful when you are constantly asked “are you in a routine yet”. You will find this will automatically fall into its own “routine” without being forced into one. Less stress for everyone!
  • Get your midwife to help you with latching on techniques and be patient.
  • Don’t give your baby a bottle in the first 4 weeks – this will just confuse the whole situation and will not solve any problem you thought it would solve. Baby will become confused about how to then latch on to the bottle and will have further problems switching back and forth.
  • Make regular contact with a local breastfeeding counsellor – I attended a breastfeeding group weekly which really helped morale and we shared problems and issues and got them resolved with like minded mums.
  • Be patient. Think of it as a skill you need to learn.
  • Ask for help WHEN you need it, don’t be too proud to get help

Breastfeeding gives you plenty of opportunities to bond.

I have breastfed two babies and although it was very tough, hard, draining at times, worrying and intense, I wouldn’t change what I did for the world.

I provided my daughters with the very best possible start with the very best milk (from me, made for them) and I feel liberated and proud to of done just that.

There are many products out there to support you in being comfortable in the breastfeeding world, and in my experience, a good, well supportive shaped pillow is a great one to have. 

Jodie Fuller

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