March 2nd, 2009 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Breast is BestResources

The Facts about Environmental Contaminants in Breastmilk

"Contaminants are in breastmilk, but that doesn't mean stop nursing, it means stop polluting. That is the only real workable solution."  Steingraber, S. (2001). Having Faith: an Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood. New York: Perseus Publishing.

I'm always taken aback by people/corporations/doctors/governments that focus on the end-result of an issue instead of what caused it in the first place.  I will liken it to the medical practice of treating symptoms instead of finding out what is causing said symptoms and addressing that.  Take, for example, a person that suffers from chronic headaches.  Don't just give him/her a pain killer, rather FIND OUT why he/she is getting the headaches in the first place!  It could be a sensitivity to something they are eating or something in their environment, eyestrain, stress, dehydration, the possibilities are endless!  And yet, people seem to be OK settling for the "quick fix" - usually drugs.  It is nothing but a bandaid.  Maybe they don't know that they have other choices?

So the formula companies and other 'questionable parties' spearhead these studies about toxins in breastmilk while conveniently skirting around the fact that there are toxins in pretty much everything on earth INCLUDING FORMULA.  Unfortunately, it is an example of the classic scare tactic that is so commonplace in American culture today - another desperate attempt to market their product to the masses.  Their message?  "Don't breastfeed!  You will poison your baby!  Feed your baby formula!  Formula is safe!"

Sidebar:  Did you know that if you Google "help with breastfeeding" or "breastfeeding problems" the top (sponsored) search results are links to formula companies' websites? grrr....

I believe that the information that should instead be shared as a result of these studies and many others is, "The earth is polluted, so much so, that there are toxins in everything from soup to nuts including breastmilk AND formula.  What are we going to do to stop the pollution?"

Tell me what you think.

February 23rd, 2009 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Customer ServiceInside SnugabellResources

Why You Should Wash Before You Wear

I know some people that wouldn't dream of wearing a newly purchased garment before washing it first and yet others that couldn't possibly wait that long and don the new piece immediately.  When prompted, the "have to wash it" crowd explain that they feel the garment is dirty until they wash it themselves.  I can understand that.  But there is another equally important reason to wash your garments before wearing them...

Have you ever had a piece of clothing "fall apart" the first time you washed it or even before you washed it?  An open seam; a hem that has let go; a loose button?  Yes?  Chances are you wore it without washing it first.  When you wash a garment, the threads that make up the stitching swell and their fibers "lock" together.  This makes the stitching more resilient to wear and tear and less likely to "slip" undone and open that seam or let that hem down.

So if having to mend brand new purchases annoys you as it does me, then wash before you wear!bar tacks on your PumpEase!

This goes for your PumpEase™ too!  Your hands-free pumping support has bar tacks at opposite ends of the horn openings to reinforce the area of your PumpEase™ that will sustain the most wear and tear (from insertion and removal of your breast pump horns).  We want this stitching to be locked into place to give you the best performance possible from your purchase, therefore...
please wash your PumpEase before you pump.

So tell us what side of the fence you're on - the "wash before you wear" crowd or the "I can't wait" crowd!

January 21st, 2009 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Breast is BestPumpingResources

Breastfeeding Protects You and Your Baby Against Disease

I think today's moms and moms-to-be are aware that benefits exist for themselves and their babies when they choose to breastfeed, however, I stumbled across this post from The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog (one of my faves) which has an excerpt from a 2007 US Department of Health and Human Services meta-analysis with actual percentages - très cool (and I'm not even French!)

Breastfeeding reduces babies' risk of the following diseases as noted below:

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS):  36%
Type 1 Diabetes:  19-27%
Type 2 Diabetes:  39%
Leukemia (acute lymphocytic):  19%
Leukemia (acute myelogenous):  15%
Asthma:  27%
Gastrointestinal infections: 64%
Lower respiratory tract diseases:  72%
Atopic dermatitis:  42%
Acute otitis media:  50%

Breastfeeding reduces mothers' risk of the following diseases as noted below:

Type 2 Diabetes:  4-12%
Ovarian Cancer:  21%
Breast Cancer:  28%

OR if you want to see the flip side...it seems to have more impact:

Artificial feeding increases babies' risk of the following diseases as noted below:

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): 56%
Type 1 Diabetes: 23-37%
Type 2 Diabetes: 64%
Leukemia (acute lymphocytic) : 23%
Leukemia (acute myelogenous): 18%
Asthma: 37%
Gastrointestinal infections: 178%
Lower respiratory tract diseases: 257%
Atopic dermatitis: 72%
Acute otitis media: 100%

Artificial feeding increases mothers' risk of the following diseases as noted below:

Type 2 Diabetes: 4-14%
Ovarian cancer: 27%
Breast cancer: 39%

You should be aware of the fact that this is NOT a complete list.  Breastfeeding protects against many more diseases and scientists continue to do research around this topic.  Enough said - BREAST IS BEST - always has been, always will be!

Do these numbers surprise you?  alarm you?  make you even happier that you are/did/plan to breastfeed(ing)?  Tell me what you think.

November 12th, 2008 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Breast is BestPumpingResources

The Benefits of Breastfeeding from A to Z

Alhtough I don't recall who first shared these words with me, I have been holding onto this little tidbit for years now.  It is a good reminder of the countless benefits of breastfeeding and therefore I thought I would now share it with you.

A - helps avoid allergies; immediately available; antibodies are passed from mother to baby through her milk; nutrients are more easily assimilated

B - creates close bonding between mother and child; reduces risk of breast cancer; contributes to optimal brain development; breastmilk doesn't stain clothing

C - comforting for baby; convenient; changes as baby grows; no constipation; colostrum is the perfect first food

D - digests more easily; cannot be duplicated; allows delay of solids; fewer dental problems (promotes proper jaw, teeth and speech development so there is less need for expensive orthodontics later)

E - easy; enjoyable; enhances relationship with your baby

F - fulfilling; always fresh; gives you a free hand for reading, etc; fewer health problems means a happier baby

G - giving of yourself; a great way of meeting emotional and physical needs; less garbage and other environmental wastes

H - breastfed babies are healthier; babies are meant to have human milk

I - inexpensive; immunity factors are only found in breastmilk

J - joyful experience; ready in a jiffy

K - spend less time in the kitchen (mixing, washing, sterlizing, warming...)

L - loving; you can join a fun mother's group like La Leche League; less spitting-up and stomach upsets

M - delays the return of postpartum menstruation (but not necessarily ovulation); something only a MOM can do for a baby

N - perfect balance of nutrients; night feedings are easier; natural

O - prevents overfeeding; less diaper odour; reduces the chance of obesity later in life

P - prolactin helps you feel motherly; helps prevent serious health problems; milk supply is pure

Q - quiet time together; best quality nutrition; pratically unlimited quantity

R - relaxing; less rashes for baby; recommended by the Canadian Pediatric Society, the World Health Organization and The Breastfeeding Committee for Canada; completes the reproductive cycle:  conception, pregnancy, birth, lactation

S - satisfies all the senses; superior infant food; saves time, effort money and resources

T - always the right temperature; travel is easier; time-tested through the ages

U - uniquely suited to each baby; contracts uterus helping to expel the placenta and control blood loss; universality of breastfeeding is a link with mothers all over the world

V - especially valuable in special situations (prematurity, jaundice); taste of breastmilk varies from skim to creamy during each feeding

W - helps mother's weight loss by using extra calories; no need to worry about baby's food supply; encourages normal weight gain for baby; called "white blood" because of the life-giving properties

X - x-tra cuddling builds strong ties of love

Y - it's yummy of course!

Z - these are only a few of the zillions of advantages to breastfeeding your baby!

I'd love to hear about any other ABC's of Breastfeeding that you can think of!

adapted by Sandra Yates, 2003, from the original by Mary Clarke, Andrea Meyer and Mary Jo Rodgers, Minot, ND, USA, with a few additions by yours truly, Wendy Armbruster Bell, 2008

August 27th, 2008 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Breast is BestHuman Milk Banking PumpingResources

Breastmilk Storage Guidelines

Hi everyone, This table is an essential for all bleary-eyed, sleep-deprived, pumping moms out there!

Human Milk

Room Temperature

Refrigerator

Time in Freezer

freshly expressed

≤ 4 hours at 26˚C/79˚F ≤ 24 hours at 15˚C/59˚F* *(cooler with frozen gel packs)

≤ 8 days at ≤ 4˚C/39˚F

≤ 12 months at 18˚C to 20˚C below zero/ 64 to 68˚F

previously frozen, thawed in refrigerator but not warmed

≤ 4 hours

≤ 24 hours

do NOT refreeze

previously frozen and brought to room temperature

for completion of current feed

4 hours

do NOT refreeze

infant has started feeding

only for completion of feeding, then discard

discard

discard

frozen donor human milk

only for completion of feeding, then discard

≤ 24 hours

do NOT refreeze

© Human Milk Banking Association of North America, Inc.  www.hmbana.org