Debi Yadegari, JD, CLC

About Debi Yadegari, JD, CLC

Debi Yadegari is the founder and CEO of Ybreast. Once a Wall Street lawyer, she is now a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), breastfeeding expert and mother of four. She received her BA from Barnard College of Columbia University and her JD from George Washington Law School. Prior to Ybreast, Debi was a successful attorney at a top Wall Street law firm and served as in-house counsel at a leading international investment bank. In 2005, however, she traded her brief case for a diaper bag and has been supporting breastfeeding mothers ever since.

Got Milk? Donating Your Milk to Babies in Need

milk bank donation_ybreastAll moms are well-known to be everyday superheroes, but it’s the select few who can use their superpowers to actually save lives. It’s those rare and envied moms of urban folklore, who boast a freezer stash of spare milk that can put their breasts to work for the good of humanity. Donor breastmilk is one of the most valuable resources in the NICU and unfortunately, it comes in limited supply. In the NICU, there are many risks that keep the staff and new parents awake at night with worry, but necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is one of the biggest dangers.

NEC, an affliction commonly characterized by an underdeveloped and immature intestinal lining, is the second most common cause of mortality in premature infants and formula feeding is one of its greatest risk factors. Only breast milk contains the unique NRG4 protein, well-known for its ability to repair the young, immature and sometimes diseased gut. In cases where mom’s milk is unavailable, donor breast milk can truly make the difference between life and death.

By |September 12th, 2014|

Breaking Legal News: Lactation IS Related to Pregnancy

EEOC pregnancy and lactation_ybreastAstonishing but true, taxpayer dollars have been wasted debating whether or not lactation is a medical condition related to pregnancy. The courts actually debated the matter, and not for the first time, in EEOC v. Houston Funding II, Ltd. Thankfully, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently chimed in, providing a review of biology 101 and clarifying that lactation is indeed a condition that is related to pregnancy. The clarification was part of the EEOC’s long-awaited Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues.  After 30 years of silence, the EEOC issued their latest guidance on July 14, 2014, noting that the problem of pregnancy discrimination continues to harm U.S. employees and suggesting that employers take a closer look at their practices. The EEOC guidance makes it clear that lactating employees may be entitled to accommodation under both the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which also provides certain protections to pregnant employees.

By |August 1st, 2014|

8 Tips for Getting Away Without Baby While Nursing

Gettin Away Without Baby_YbreastWhether it’s your first or fourth baby, you’re tired. And depending on your circumstances and/or level of desperation, you may finally be ready to get away… (gulp!) without baby. Luckily, with a little bit of advanced planning, choosing to breastfeed does not have to render vacationing a thing of the past. Whether for business or pleasure, here are a few tips to make your getaway while nursing a smooth one.

By |July 25th, 2014|

Abrupt Lactation Cessation: Guidelines for Safely Letting the Milk Run Dry

Abrupt Lactation Cessation_YbreastRarely by choice, there are unfortunate times when lactation cessation becomes urgent. During such emotionally charged times, it is imperative that mom remain acutely aware of her own breast health while seeking to halt lactation. Abruptly altering any prior milk expression schedule can lead to breast engorgement, which left unchecked can develop into mastitis. Below is a plan of action to bring milk production to an end while guarding against engorgement.

By |July 23rd, 2014|

Nipple Shields: Friend or Foe?

Nipple Shields_Edited

When baby isn’t latching or breastfeeding trouble hits, well-intentioned health professionals sometimes dole out the nipple shields. A nipple shield is a piece of flexible, nipple-shaped silicone that mom wears over her nipple while breastfeeding. Nipple shields allow the baby to grasp mom’s nipple with ease, but unfortunately, they can also lead to bigger breastfeeding issues down the line.

For starters, nipple shields can interfere with milk production and therefore baby’s milk intake. To breastfeed her baby, mom is dependent upon two hormones: prolactin and oxytocin. Simply put, prolactin prompts milk production and oxytocin triggers milk ejection. Prolactin is dependent upon frequent nipple

By |April 8th, 2014|

The “C” Word: Breastfeeding for Selfish Reasons

breastfeeding and breast cancer linkAs I sit waiting for the results, I pray for just one more year of good news. Given my family history—my mother and grandmother both had breast cancer—my annual mammogram is the one appointment that I never postpone. While it’s true that many factors play a role in breast cancer’s development, when it comes to prevention, breastfeeding is one of the best things a woman can do.

The empirical evidence is absolutely staggering. In the UK, cancer researchers found that the relative risk of breast cancer decreased by 4.3% for every 12 months of breastfeeding and an additional 7% for each child born. Another study found that among women who had an immediate family member with breast cancer (such as a

By |March 27th, 2014|

Response to and the Sibling Study: Flawed Research Leads to Misleading Conclusions

NYTimes Breastfeeding article responseI am absolutely appalled, though not surprised, that TIME, the New York Times, and other large name media outlets have linked onto a study published online in Social Science & Medicine that concludes there is no significant difference between siblings where one was breastfed and the other bottle-fed.  The study is flawed, biased, and lacks the peer review necessary to give the data any worth, which is both misleading and outraging the medical community.

The criteria used to distinguish between the two groups—breastfed siblings from bottle-fed siblings—was to ask mom the yes-or-no question, “Did you breastfeed?” While breastmilk is pretty powerful stuff, it isn’t magic and study after study (the good ones) have proven that the beneficial effects of breastmilk are cumulative, meaning that the longer mom breastfeeds, the greater the benefits to baby.

By |March 5th, 2014|

Sibling Rivalry? 10 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Second, Third, or Even Fourth Child

Sibling Rivalry_Breastfeeding_Second_TimeBreastfeeding is hard enough the first time around, throw a kid (or two) in the mix and the approach that worked so well the first time around might require some rejiggering. It’s not uncommon for a mom to want to introduce a bottle and just call it a day, but making the time to breastfeed the newbie in the family provides many rewards. Here are 10 reasons why you should not give up now:

1. Breastfed babies are smarter. Numerous studies have shown that, more often than not, it is the firstborn who earns more money and, statistically speaking, is more likely to become president or CEO. Attributable not just to birth order, many experts agree that it is in part because

By |March 4th, 2014|

Cookies and… Milk? The Lowdown on Oatmeal

Oatmeal cookies and milkAs women, we’re constantly in search of the quick-fix: the trick to flawless skin, healthy hair, or that magic bullet that will melt away those unwanted pounds. And as nursing moms, we look for that magical elixir guaranteed to protect and/or amplify our milk supply. While a single food, herb, or tea that claims to increase milk supply may seem tempting, the truth is that the best way to make more milk is frequent milk removal (via nursing, pumping, and/or hand expression). Nevertheless, some women have reported a slight surge in their milk supply by simply adding oatmeal to their diet.

What’s the “science” behind the hype?

By |March 3rd, 2014|

State Interest or State Interference: Policing Breastfeeding

Running State Interference_Child Rights Law impact on mothers choice Ybreast

While we are quick to declare “breast is best” and what all babies deserve, in the United States we still debate whether a breastfeeding mother has superior rights in a custody battle and whether female prisoners deserve the right to breastfeed their newborn infants. Our legal system does not recognize the rights of the breastfed child and we offer no “first food” protections.

Under the United Arab Emirates’ new Child Rights Law, however, the Federal National Council has declared that every infant is entitled to be nursed and that all babies deserve the right to receive breastmilk. The new law affords babies federal protections that entitle them to receive breastmilk for two years. But hold your applause.

By |February 3rd, 2014|