Tag Archives: breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Saves Lives

You may have heard that breastfeeding saves lives but wondered: How can this be? We all know mothers who don’t breastfeed, and would we say that their children are at risk of death. Of course not, their babies thrive on formula. So, are babies’ lives at risk when they are bottle fed rather than breastfed? You better believe it!

Some children who are bottle fed suffer a reaction to the formula they are given. This is mainly due to an allergic reaction to cows’ milk, which is what nearly all formula sold is based on. If a child is allergic then the solution is usually to transfer them to soy based formula or another specialist formula. The allergy is hardly ever life threatening and the switch to another type of formula usually fixes the problem. It is also worth noting that some babies are allergic to their own mother’s breast milk.

So exactly who is at risk from feeding babies formula milk rather than breast milk. The answer, as always, is the poor and vulnerable. And exactly how are they putting their children’s lives at risk? The answer doesn’t lie in the formula itself, but rather the water used in the preparation of powdered formula. We, in the industrialized West, take clean water for granted; for the desperately poor who live in the developing world, this is not so.

The World Health Organization estimates that 1.5 million infants die around the world every year because they are not breastfed. This figure has been stated in this and other forms by WHO and UNICEF many times over the years. The main reason being the lack of clean safe drinking water.

There are also other factors that contribute to child mortality and ill-health. Some studies are now linking the feeding of milk formula to conditions such as obesity in later life, premature sexual development and tooth decay.

Why is that these mothers put their child’s life at risk? The answer is simple: commercial pressure. They, like us, are subjected to intense marketing campaigns from the world’s leading multi-nationals. They are lead to believe that formula, rather than breast, is best. They believe that as it is so popular in the West, it must provide their child with the best start in life. The advertising campaigns show happy, pink-cheeked babies smiling that are healthy when being fed with formula.

Don’t misunderstand: there is nothing wrong with formula milk when prepared and fed correctly. However, it is a food-stuff invented in the industrialized West for use in the West. Formula milk came to prominence after the Second-World-War just at the same time that our drinking water was made safe to drink. But this Western product is not suitable to those parts of the world where safe drinking is not available. Can you imagine the outcry if milk formula had been wide spread in the days before our drinking water was safe and millions of babies died each year from being fed formula?

So, as a mother, what can you do to prevent this?

Firstly, by breastfeeding your own child and by encouraging other pregnant women to follow suit. Abstaining from milk formula will send a message to the manufacturers. However, you can go one step further: write or email the manufacturers and let them know that you think it is wrong to ‘dump’ milk formula on the poorer people of our planet. The women of the developing world don’t have the tools to hand to change things, you do!

It is time for the mothers of this world to stand together and preach the message that breast is best.

Robin O’Brien is founder of the website breast-feeding-information.com which is devoted to the benefits of breastfeeding


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Natural substance in breast milk destroys cancer cells

Breast milk is documented to be the best food possible for infants and breastfeeding is known to have enormous health benefits for moms, too. It turns out, however, that breast milk has even more amazing properties. Swedish researchers have found that it contains a compound that kills cancer cells in humans.

The substance, dubbed HAMLET (which stands for Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made LEthal to Tumor cells), is comprised of a protein and a fatty acid. Although found naturally in breast milk, scientists are not sure if HAMLET develops spontaneously or if it requires interaction with the acidic digestive system of a newborn.

HAMLET was first discovered by chance several years ago by researchers who were investigating the antibacterial properties of breast milk. Scientists soon began testing it on cancer cells and the findings were nothing short of astounding.

For example, studies in the lab showed that HAMLET was able to kill 40 different types of cancer cells. What’s more, in animal studies the natural substance was found to be effective in killing one of the most deadly types of brain cancers — glioblastoma.

However, HAMLET was only recently tested for the first time on humans. Scientists at Lund University and the University of Gothenburg in Sweden tried HAMLET on patients suffering from cancer of the bladder. The result? After treatment with the breast milk-derived therapy, the cancer patients excreted dead cancer cells in their urine.

The Swedish research team is working to see if the compound can be eventually developed into a viable cancer therapy. Next on their agenda: tests to see if HAMLET can treat skin cancer, a variety of brain tumors and tumors in the mucous membranes.

So what exactly does HAMLET do that makes it such a potent cancer fighter? In a paper recently published in the science journal PLoS One, scientists Roger Karlsson, Maja Puchades and Ingela Lanekoff of the University of Gothenburg discussed research showing how the substance appears to interact with cell membranes. Using a fluorescent red tracking substance to show the exact location of HAMLET, the researchers clearly demonstrated that the compound binds to the membranes of tumor cells, killing them. However, HAMLET does no harm whatsoever to surrounding healthy cells.

For more information:

Item Courtesy of Natural News

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Breastfeeding Twins?

Are you expecting twins and looking for stress-free ways to breastfeed both both babies?  Tandem breastfeeding is the way most moms with twins handle this situation with ease, though there are other ways to breastfeed twins.

 Here’s a link to a great video demonstration of how one mom breastfed her twins. Click here to see a hilarious video of her twins escaping their crib…

Also check out this book for details on all things twin… Oh Yes You Can Breastfeed Twins! …Plus More Tips for Simplifying Life with Twins by April Rudat


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Nursing Bling has a new giveaway…

Win this Nursing Bling nursing reminder clip!

Hop on over to Single Mama Central to find out more info on our latest giveaway…http://singlemamacentral.blogspot.com/2010/04/nursing-bling-review-and-giveaway.html

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Tips on Overcoming Fears of Breastfeeding in Public

Many expecting mothers really look forward to breastfeeding their baby. However, for many mothers this expectancy is tinged by a fear of breastfeeding in public. The following tips will help show you how best to nurse in public and help build your confidence.

Breastfeeding is a right every mother has but sometimes you would think this was not the case. What was once an every day occurrence and which was celebrated has, in recent years past, become a bit of a taboo; breastfeeding your child in public. Breastfeeding is now being actively promoted by the health profession and just about everybody now accepts that breast is best. However, there does seem to be a paradox when it comes to breastfeeding. On the one hand you are told to breastfeed but, on the other, you are not exactly encouraged to breastfeed when and wherever you want. Things are changing, slowly. It is up to mothers to continue this change in attitude.

If you have reservations about nursing in public then your first step is to become comfortable breastfeeding your baby in the privacy of your home. You want to have the skills of ‘latching on’ down pat before you brave the public. Also, you can practice discreet feeding at home. You can practise discreet breastfeeding in front of family members. If they have a problem with you breastfeeding your child in front of them, then you must explain that breastfeeding is something natural – it’s not a disease or some socially unacceptable habit. If they still feel uncomfortable, then ask them to leave the room whilst you breastfeed. It is important that they leave and not you – you need to be assertive about your right to breastfeed. Once, you and baby are at ease with breastfeeding you can now venture outdoors.

In may sound obvious but before venturing out you should wear suitable clothing. Wear a top that is loose and is easy for you to open (or easily allows baby access to your breast). If you wear a very loose top you can even slip baby underneath so that no unbuttoning is necessary and your breasts remain covered up during feeding. Slings are another good idea. They free up both your hands and you can place baby in such a way that no one would know that you’re breastfeeding.

Feed your baby as soon as you know he wants to be feed. It’s important to stay in tune with your baby’s wants when outside your home. When your baby gets hungry he will do everything he can to get your attention; the longer you ignore him the more he going to try and get that attention. You don’t want a screaming baby when you’re trying to breastfeeding in public.

There are public places and there are public places. When first venturing outdoors, find somewhere where there aren’t too many people. Go to a park – or somewhere else where it’s fairly quiet and relaxed – and find place away from people. Feeding when there’s no one around is a good start. Bring your partner of friend with you. They can provide support and by talking to them as you breastfeeding you’ll even forget that your in public.

A breastfeeding mother can be made to feel very uncomfortable when she notices someone staring at her. The trick is to return their gaze; don’t back down. They’ll always look away and move on. More upsetting than being stared at, is when someone will openly let you know that they disagree with mothers breastfeeding in public. Just ignore them; these people are not worth making yourself or your baby agitated.

They say practice makes perfect, and after a few feeds you’ll soon be confident enough to breastfeed just about anywhere. Remember breastfeeding is your right and, more importantly, your baby’s.

Robin O’Brien is the founder of a site where you can learn to overcome your fears of breastfeeding in public and where you can read articles about such things as, breastfeeding and alcohol and fenugreek and breast milk.

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This Just In…Breastfeeding Great for Creativity!

Natalie Merchant’s newest cd Leave Your Sleep  was written while she was breastfeeding…

“I was breastfeeding six hours a day, and I felt this burst of creative energy,” she explains in an interview for The Scotsman. “In my mind I had all these visions of projects I wanted to do and things I wanted to make, but I couldn’t leave my chair, and I had my hands full. So I just put a tape recorder next to the chair where I was nursing, and I would start singing into it, and that’s where the first songs came from. I didn’t really have time to focus on writing lyrics.”

Love, love, love her voice! If you’re a fan, you’ll love this new cd!

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Breastfeeding and Milk Supply

Why do some mothers seem to be overflowing with milk and others barely keep up with their babies? The answer to that questions remains a mystery. We do know, however, which practices enhance milk production and what may decrease milk supply.

Newborns need to eat frequently. All that early suckling before your milk “comes in” helps set the tone for later milk production. Think of as your baby placing an order to be filled at a later date. On the other hand, restricting breastfeeding in the first few days may lead to decreased milk production overall. 

You’ve probably heard that milk production is based on supply and demand. That means that the more milk that is removed from your breasts, the more milk you will produce. If more milk is consistently removed from your right breast, your right breast will consistently make more milk than your left. If baby regularly sleeps from 10pm to 4 am, but breastfeeds every 2 hours during the day, you will eventually have less milk in the middle of the night than during the day. 

How do your breasts know that your baby is growing and needs more milk? Very simply; the baby asks for it! Your baby will breastfeed more frequently when he needs more milk. After a few days of what may seem to be constant eating, your breasts catch up and all is well. When your baby gets older and doesn’t need to breastfeed as often, your milk supply will naturally decrease. 

So let your baby be your guide and your milk supply will take care of itself! 

See also: “How do I Increase my Milk Supply?“ 

Written by Renee Beebe, M.Ed., IBCLC. Renee is a lactation consultant in private practice in Seattle, Washington. She is available for home/hospital visits and phone consultations. Renee can be reached at www.second9months.com

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