Response to NYTimes.com 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|

Could Breastfeeding Save Our Nation?

could breastfeeding save our nation? ybreastAmericans today are smarter than ever, and yet, when it comes to breastfeeding and its many benefits, we’re falling behind. We’re the only developed country that doesn’t offer paid maternity and breastfeeding in public spaces continues to be a hotly contested issue thanks to the over-sexualization of breasts. If we pushed for wider acceptance, breastfeeding could lead to a healthier, wealthier, and smarter nation.

Mainstream media are finally touting the many health benefits of breastmilk, including its prevention of eczema, pneumonia, asthma, and type 1 diabetes, just to name a few. And for nursing mothers, breastfeeding has been found to reduce the risk of breast cancer and other ailments even years later. Not

By |February 3rd, 2014|

Baby Formula: The Knockoff

Knockoff_BorderAny fashion savvy gal knows the difference between a Chanel bag and a 42nd Street knockoff. While it doesn’t take much to identify the crooked and glued-on Chanel insignia, other knockoffs can be harder to spot, because the differences are masked well; this is exactly what the billion-dollar formula industry banks on.

Despite their small-print disclaimers that breastmilk reigns supreme, formula companies want you to believe that feeding your baby packaged nutrition is pretty close to the real thing. But the bottom line is that despite years of research and gazillions of dollars spent, formula still only contains a

By |January 29th, 2014|

A New Mom’s Perspective: Tales from the Breastfeeding Frontlines

Perspectives_EditedMedical experts all agree: breastfeeding is not just the optimal choice of nutrition for babies, it is an absolute health imperative. It provides unparalleled protection against viruses, bacterial infections, and environmental toxins. It stimulates the physical, intellectual, and emotional growth of your baby and initiates important hormonal signals that prime both the body and brain for optimal development. Absolutely priceless, it is the ultimate superfood. But breastfeeding isn’t easy and it throws most new moms for a loop.

In a very special Q&A, we get the unique perspective of one new mom who shares what she discovered through breastfeeding—the joys, the challenges, and what contributed to her success.

By |January 20th, 2014|

Ending Mommy Martyrdom: Breastfeeding Should Never Be Painful

BF Shouldn't Hurt_EditedWould a man ever wax his legs, go dancing in 6-inch stilettos, or place a peppermint citrus mask on his face? No way! Why? It hurts. As women, we’re conditioned early on to endure the pain and concentrate on the results. Perhaps it is nature’s way of preparing us for pregnancy and labor, or maybe it is just some crazy and inherent psychosis that accompanies the second X chromosome. Either way, the self-sacrificing part of our nature can lead us astray. We’re so accustomed to self-inflicted discomfort, that it’s easy for moms to turn a blind-eye to breastfeeding pain.

Moms would do anything, and endure anything, if it benefits their baby. But breastfeeding should never hurt. You should never be in pain, and your breasts and nipples should never be sore. Your nipples do not need preparation: tell grandma to put down the toothbrush, ouch!  And, your breasts do not need conditioning: it isn’t a race. Women, and

By |January 7th, 2014|

Mona Lisa’s Breasts: The Art of Breastfeeding

Mona Lisa's Breasts_EditedOn a recent trip to Paris, as I wandered from museum to museum, taking in the art and culture, I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of breasts. And I’m not talking about the multitude of languishing full-figured beauties we’ve come to associate with classical art, but rather it was the depictions of those classical women breastfeeding that really struck me.

The breastfeeding I encountered in the classical art of the Parisian museums was often a part of the scenery. Not a central focal point, just a natural part of the background. Women gathered in Grecian robes breastfeeding their little ones, as men conversed nearby. What’s more, the men in the scenes with them seemed completely at ease with the exposed women; in fact, it looked like they barely even noticed.

In today’s society, could you ever imagine a group of young women breastfeeding in a public place, boobs hanging out, and no man noticing? Of course not; in our overtly sexual culture, bare breasts have become a crude symbol of sexuality, leaving breastfeeding women to hide out in corners and bathrooms to nourish their babies in the most natural way possible.

By |December 24th, 2013|

Bottle or Tap: Does It Really Matter?

Bottle or Breast_Pic_EditedIn the hierarchy of infant food options, breastmilk reigns supreme. The introduction of breastmilk into a baby’s gastrointestinal system sends signals to the brain, organs, muscles, and nervous system that prime both the body and brain for optimal growth and development by jumpstarting a host of reactions that lead to everything from better vision to increased athleticism. Just look at Michael Jordan and soccer superstar Pelé: if more dads knew that Jordan was breastfed for three years and Pelé for five years, push presents would come with strings attached!

There is no question that breastmilk provides your baby with the best start, but does it really matter if he drinks it straight from the tap? While providing bottled breastmilk is leaps and bounds better than feeding your baby commercial infant formula, there are minor differences between breastmilk consumed

By |December 9th, 2013|