This week’s wrap-up of what we thought was particularly interesting news from around the web:
Perfect Storm Beaten by Breastfeeding: Time Magazine, Oct.2 — Time reports that Typhoon Ondoy hits just before World Breastfeeding Week in the Phillippines, for the worst flooding in 50 years. This underscores the power of breastfeeding in emergencies, and makes the theme Breastfeeding–A Vital Emergency Response: Are You Ready? “eerily prescient. . . . For mothers and young children caught up in the devastation of the sort wrought by Typhoon Ondoy on September 26, breastfeeding advocates say the practice can provide the key to averting a whole new set of disasters.” Time did a FABULOUS job reporting:
“Advocates . . . have helped make the Phillippines, which has one of Asia’s highest birthrates, one of the leaders in the international legal effort to support women’s right to breastfeed. Aimed at controlling aggressive marketing of formula-milk companies, particularly in developing nations, pro-breastfeeding laws target corporate practices like sponsoring maternity-related events, giving out formula samples to mothers, and indicating on labels and advertising that their products make babies smarter. ‘Breastfeeding can save the lives of both mothers and infants. It may be the single most important intervention for . . . [reducing child mortality and improving maternal health]. . . . In 2005 the world Health Organization estimated the nation’s total lost wages from caring for formula-fed children with diarrhea and acute respiratory infections during the first six months of life was $21.3 million, a figure that does not include the cost of doctor visits, medicine and hospitalization that parents have to pay.
The Philippines get [IBFAN’s] highest rating, having ‘implemented most of the [World Health Organizations’s 1981 International Code of Marketing Breast-milk Substitutes] by means of a comprehensive law, decree or legally enforceable measure.’ . . . the U.S. is . . . ‘at the bottom of the pile.’ Its position in the lowest category 9 indicates that the country has taken no action to implement laws that would protect breastfeeding or restrict the marketing practices of the formula-milk companies”.
More on the story can be seen here, including these fabulous quotes by Filippino moms “ When I see foreign women breastfeeding, I also do it . . . I used to feel that breastfeeding mothers don’t have class because they can’t afford to buy milk. Or they were [too stingy] to buy formula milk for their kids. Now I see foreign women breastfeeding and they have money so it shows this is not true.”
Breastmilk Should be Drunk at Same Time of Day that it is Expressed – Oct. 2, 2009 Science Daily
We all knew that breastmilk changes composition to meet the needs of baby, flexing to give baby extra water or nutrients when sick or dehydrated (one reason breastfed babies need to go to the hospital less often when the stomach flu goes around), proof of the amazing power of our mom-made wonderfood! This new, albeit small, study of 30 women suggests that breastmilk composition changes to help babies go to sleep at night, and has a high nucleotide content from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., which promotes restfulness. We think more studies need to be done and experts like the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine need to weigh in with recommendations; in the mean time, a common sense approach may be to label pumped milk for nighttime or morning. Easy enough.
Yet Another Recall of Infant Formula – Oct. 2, 2009 New York Times
The New York Times reports that 14-ounce cans of Neocate infant formula product by Nutricia North America Inc. of Rockville, Md. have been recalled. The recalled formula (number of cans unknown) was “distributed between Sept. 1 and Sept. 11 with the lot number P91877. WHY: They do not contain as much protein as listed on their labels. Long-term use of the lower protein formula could affect the growth of certain infants. ADDITIONAL INFO: Call 800-365-7354, option 8-6061; or visit http://www.nutricia-na.com.”
Please note that this is not to put pressure on moms, but to put pressure on the aggressive marketing of infant formula that makes misleading claims about breastmilk substitutes.