Archive for February, 2010

breastfeeding is the best so back off!

February 10, 2010

So, some dumb ass answered a message board post I had put up looking for advice on how to get Eli to stop throwing his pacifier out of the crib.  Here’s what her reply said (having nothing to do with my request):
Instead of worrying so much about his pacifer, I’d be more concerned that you are still breastfeeding him at his age. If he’s on solid food, which I hope he is, he doesn’t need to breastfeed any more. It’s more for you than it is for him and that’s kind of strange. Wheat are you going to do when the new baby is here…. Put one kid on each breast? Kids should know how to use a sippy cup at a year old. If you’re really worried about nutrition for him,use a breast pump and put it in a cup.

So, since I took the time to write this up in defense of Eli’s needs, I thought I might as well copy and paste it here for anyone else who is retarded enough to have the same thoughts.  Hope this sets you straight if you think formula is as good as breast milk or that it has to stop any time before the age of 2!  I’ll put it in a blog as well so it will be around forever! lol

Sorry, but that’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.  You need to do some research if you think that breastfeeding needs to stop at a year.  They have done study after study and children benefit from breastfeeding as long as it continues.  The AAP recommends AT LEAST a year and then as long as it works for BOTH mother and child.  I don’t do it for me, I do it because my son hasn’t shown any sign of weaning.  I’d love to have my breasts back to milk-free and I’m sure my husband would, too!
The WHO recommends at least TWO years!  The U.S. Surgeon General recommends that babies be fed with breast milk only — no formula or solids — for the first 6 months of life. It is better to breastfeed for 6 months and best to breastfeed for 12 months, or for as long as you and your baby wish. Solid foods can be introduced when the baby is 6 months old, while you continue to breastfeed.
NO WHERE will you find scientific evidence that it’s bad to continue to breastfeed past the age of one.  I’m sorry you have been given (or maybe you just assumed) this information.  There are a lot of doctors out there who aren’t up to date on their breastfeeding statistics.  Because I breastfeed, my child has higher immunities to illnesses like colds and the flu.  He’s only been sick ONCE in 13 months and that was a mild cold with a snotty nose, nothing else.  “Breast milk has agents (called antibodies) in it to help protect infants from bacteria and viruses and to help them fight off infection and disease.”  No ear infections (another proven benefit of breastfeeding because of positioning and the need for a stronger suck than on a bottle or sippy cup).  And he’s smarter, another thing you can look up.  Breastfed babies have a higher IQ and the longer they are breastfed, the more it helps.  Longer breastfeeding also contributes to lower allergies (both food and environmental).

This is not new information, I’m surprised every time I hear ignorance like yours.
Here are some 2005 findings by the AAP:
“Studies on infants provide evidence that breastfeeding can decrease the incidence or severity of conditions such as diarrhea, ear infections and bacterial meningitis. Some studies also suggest that breastfeeding may offer protection against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), diabetes, obesity and asthma among others.”
The 2005 policy recommendations include:
~ Exclusive breastfeeding for approximately the first six months and support for breastfeeding for the first year and beyond as long as mutually desired by mother and child (no FORCED weaning)
~ Mother and infant should sleep in proximity to each other to facilitate breastfeeding
~ Pediatricians should counsel adoptive mothers on the benefits of induced lactation through hormonal therapy or mechanical stimulation (yup, that means you should be nursing your adoptive children as well as your biological)
~ Recognize and work with cultural diversity in breastfeeding practices (breastfeeding 2 years and on)
~ In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
o 29% of energy requirements
o 43% of protein requirements
o 36% of calcium requirements
o 75% of vitamin A requirements
o 76% of folate requirements
o 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
o 60% of vitamin C requirements
— Dewey 2001
~ It’s not uncommon for weaning to be recommended for toddlers who are eating few solids. However, this recommendation is not supported by research. According to Sally Kneidel in “Nursing Beyond One Year” (New Beginnings, Vol. 6 No. 4, July-August 1990, pp. 99-103.)
Nursing toddlers are SICK LESS OFTEN
~ The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that children weaned before two years of age are at increased risk of illness (AAFP 2001).
~ Nursing toddlers between the ages of 16 and 30 months have been found to have fewer illnesses and illnesses of shorter duration than their non-nursing peers (Gulick 1986).
~ Antibodies are abundant in human milk throughout lactation” (Nutrition During Lactation 1991; p. 134). In fact, some of the immune factors in breastmilk increase in concentration during the second year and also during the weaning process. (Goldman 1983, Goldman & Goldblum 1983, Institute of Medicine 1991).
~ Per the World Health Organization, “a modest increase in breastfeeding rates could prevent up to 10% of all deaths of children under five: Breastfeeding plays an essential and sometimes underestimated role in the treatment and prevention of childhood illness.”
Nursing toddlers have FEWER ALLERGIES

~ Many studies have shown that one of the best ways to prevent allergies and asthma is to breastfeed exclusively for at least 6 months and continue breastfeeding long-term after that point.

Breastfeeding can be helpful for preventing allergy by:
1. reducing exposure to potential allergens (the later baby is exposed, the less likely that there will be an allergic reaction),
2. speeding maturation of the protective intestinal barrier in baby’s gut,
3. coating the gut and providing a barrier to potentially allergenic molecules,
4. providing anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the risk of infections (which can act as allergy triggers).
Nursing toddlers are SMART
~ Extensive research on the relationship between cognitive achievement (IQ scores, grades in school) and breastfeeding has shown the greatest gains for those children breastfed the longest.

Benefits to mom:
“Research indicates that breastfeeding can reduce a mother’s risk of several medical conditions, including ovarian and breast cancer, and possibly a decreased risk of hip fractures and osteoporosis in the postmenopausal period.”  The longer you breastfeed, the better off you are because it decreases hormones in your body that lead to cancers.
MOTHERS also benefit from nursing past infancy

* Extended nursing delays the return of fertility in some women by suppressing ovulation (References).

* Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer (References). Studies have found a significant inverse association between duration of lactation and breast cancer risk.

* Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian cancer (References).

* Breastfeeding reduces the risk of uterine cancer (References).

* Breastfeeding reduces the risk of endometrial cancer (References).

* Breastfeeding protects against osteoporosis. During lactation a mother may experience decreases of bone mineral. A nursing mom’s bone mineral density may be reduced in the whole body by 1 to 2 percent while she is still nursing. This is gained back, and bone mineral density may actually increase, when the baby is weaned from the breast. This is not dependent on additional calcium supplementation in the mother’s diet. (References).

* Breastfeeding reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. (References).

* Breastfeeding has been shown to decrease insulin requirements in diabetic women (References).

* Breastfeeding moms tend to lose weight easier (References).

I’m guessing you are not in the medical field, I certainly hope not.  I also hope you aren’t spreading this misinformation about a natural process to too many people.

Feel free to do some research and try to contradict me, you won’t be able to.  And, for the record, yes, it’s called TANDEM NURSING.  It’s been going on since the beginning of time.  You feed the baby first to make sure they get what then need and then continue with the older child.  No different than nursing twins.

All this information was easily found in about a half hour.  Here’s where I got my information:

Where did you get yours?  I’m guessing it’s just the opinions of people around you or a doctor who isn’t up to date in his breastfeeding information.  I Googled “you shouldn’t breastfeed a toddler”, “not good to breastfeed a toddler”, and “risks of breastfeed a toddler” and NOTHING  to support these statements came up.  NOTHING.  Each statement only brought up links I had already checked on benefits of breastfeeding and support information.

Look down on all of us moms who are only doing what is best for your toddlers, but you have nothing to back up your statement except ignorance and old information.  And in the future, answer the question that is asked, don’t put in your opinions when they aren’t asked for or needed and have NOTHING to do with the advice being sought.


Eating while in Labor

February 8, 2010

Nutrition and Nourishment During Labor
by Dorinda Mitchell

Anytime you are with a group of women who are sharing stories of birth you will hear at least one woman complain of how hungry she was! Some women will even say, ” I would not have gotten sick if I could just have had something to eat!” As you think of the choices you have or your upcoming labor and birth have you thought about how you should nourish yourself? Did you know the research indicates withholding food and drink during labor is not beneficial? If this is the case, what should you be eating and drinking?

Let’s look at nourishment just before labor and during early labor. During the last days of pregnancy a shift to a high carbohydrate diet can be beneficial. This is because our body needs something called glycogen. Carbohydrates increase glycogen levels. If we don’t have these stored our body will convert fat into glycogen. When our body converts fat into glycogen we also produce a by-product called ketones. The production of ketones can result in slowing labor and fetal distress. To prevent ketosis IV’s are administered. As you can see what you eat sets the beginning course for your labor. Some suggestions for foods that help build stores of glycogen are breads, cereal, crackers, corn, pasta, potatoes, rice, and fresh fruit. During early labor you want to be sure to drink plenty of water, fruit juices, and Gatorade or sports drinks. These will help to replace electrolytes and keep you hydrated. You want to continue eating high-carbohydrate foods that will digest easily. This will help to prevent excessive fatigue. It is important also to avoid products such as dairy, spicy foods, and heavy amounts of protein.

As your labor progresses you will want to switch to more simple carbohydrates that will give you bursts of energy but will leave your body quickly. Some suggestions of these are juices, honey, and fruits. You may want to make up some juice-sicles to have. Even if you are at the hospital at this point most hospitals have a nourishment room with a freezer where they can be stored. During this period you will want to eat smaller amounts more frequently.

During your labor you may come to a time when your body may tell you to “stop!” If you don’t feel like eating now then don’t. Your digestive system will slow down, and it is okay to trust your body and what it is telling you.

Some of you may be thinking “This sounds great, but is my care-provider going to go for this? He/she said ‘No eating once labor begins!’ ” I can’t make promises as to how your care-provider will respond, but I can give you some factual research behind why staying nourished in labor is important.

The thought behind withholding food and drink is that if a woman has to have general anesthesia and vomits she could aspirate. However, the level of this risk is and always has been low. The other problem with this line of thinking is that even if there is no food in our stomach we still have gastric fluids. Anesthesiologists are trained to prevent the aspiration of fluids or food particles. In a Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth the routine withholding of food and drink from women in labor is classified as a form of care unlikely to be beneficial. At North Central Bronx Hospital the policy is to allow self-regulation of nourishment during a normal labor. This is what they have found in doing this. “� those women who nourished themselves at home during labor were likely to come to the hospital in more active labor than women who did not take nourishment. Women who do self-regulate their nourishment know what, or if, they need to eat and drink during labor�”

This, as with all issues concerning labor and birth, is something you will have to discuss with your care-provider. They may or may not be very open to this initially. You are the captain of your ship, though. Come armed with factual, evidence-based research and discuss what can be done. While some may say no eating once you are at the hospital, others may be very open. If your care-provider is not so open maybe you can plan to stay home until labor is well underway. Remember this, as with everything, there is a middle ground. So, happy eating!

* A Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth, Enkin, Murray, MD, Keirse, Marc, MD, Renfrew, Mary, CNM, Neilson, James, MD. Oxford University Press, Oxford England. Second Edition, 1996.

* A Good Birth, A Safe Birth. Choosing and Having the Childbirth Experience You Want. Korte, Diana, Scaer, Roberta. The Harvard Common Press, Boston, Massachusetts, 1992.