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 Post subject: Help my sister with a school project about breastfeeding?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:31 am 
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I was going to post this in the lactation station thread, but I didn't want to clog it up so I decided to start a new thread. My sister asked for my help with a project and I know you ladies are smart and have good resources so I thought I would ask for your help to help her :) I'll just post what she wrote to me, and if anyone has any links to information I would really appreciate it!

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Faaaavor...So I'm doing a group project for my Health and Society class which involves writing a short research paper and making a PowerPoint presentation. We had 11 topics to choose from, and since nobody in my group would make a decision or give any input, I chose breastfeeding. Woot! Of course, now since I'm the one who made the choice, I'm the one who gets to do most of the work. Which is okay because it's interesting.

Here's where I could use any help you could maybe give. It's been a while since I breastfed, and all the info I once had bookmarked is on a long-dead computer. Do you know of any good links with info I could use as sources (no wikipedia or stuff like that)? Also, any good images we could use in our PowerPoint would help too. And I'm also looking for an appropriate song to have playing in the background with the PowerPoint.

Here's what she has in our topics list:
"Breastfeeding and long-term health benefits for babies and mothers –
Social science and medical research indicate that there are tremendous health benefits to breastfeeding. Yet, many women in America do not commit to breastfeeding. Discuss why American women are less likely to breastfeed their babies for at least the first 6 months and even more unlikely to breastfeed for at least the first year. Students may want to read about upstream factors* in Chapter 6 to examine the issue from a macro perspective."

*Upstream factors are:
    1) The availability of protective or harmful consumer products (such as tobacco, high-fat foods, sterile needles, and condoms) **in this instance I'm thinking formula**
    2) Physical structures/physical characteristics of products (such as childproof medical containers, seat-belts, and well-lit neighborhood streets)
    3) Social structures and policies (such as enforcement of fines for selling tobacco to those who are underage and provision of community daycare services) **places for working mothers to pump?**
    4) Media and cultural messages (such as advertisement for alcohol products) **this is the biggest one**

I want to touch on:
    - how normal and accepted breastfeeding once was, and how that perception changed over the last century with the introduction of formula
    - breastfeeding is back in favor, but still not widely practiced - why?
    - statistically African American women are the least likely to initiate breastfeeding at birth, and they have the lowest percentage at 6 months and 1 year (income and social class? access to resources and support? education level?)
    - misconceptions (such as: they don't really need it anymore after 6 months/1 year; baby food is healthier once they reach a certain age/breastmilk becomes less nutritious; need to supplement with formula/not sure if the baby is getting "enough" because it is developing differently from formula-fed babies; need to make the baby wait three hours between feedings rather than nurse on demand so the baby is not "spoiled", etc.)
    - over-sexualization of women's breasts and how that perception causes many people to judge breastfeeding women harshly when they nurse in public or nurse as the baby grows older (the "Ick-Factor")
    - what can be done to change outcomes and increase breastfeeding rates to 1 year and beyond

As you can see, I have WAY too much info for a brief 4-page paper. I always do this, lol. I like to have as much as I can going in, and then bring it down to what is most important. If you don't have time for this, I SO understand! Don't worry about it. I have three other people in my group and they are supposed to also be looking for sources. But if you can point me toward anything helpful, I'd greatly appreciate it! I've got a link or two from LLLI, and I'm checking the CDC and AAP websites as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Help my sister with a school project about breastfeeding
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:46 am 
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Tell her to look up the Institute of Breastfeeding Medicine blog. (at work, no links)


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 Post subject: Re: Help my sister with a school project about breastfeeding
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:31 am 
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I don't have links, but in terms of policy issues, until very recently, WIC provided formula for free, but no support for breastfeeding. I believe they just began providing breast pumps for women who request it. So she may want to look up the WIC policies. kellymom.com was my favorite resource for breastfeeding information. Their "common concerns" section will probably be a great resource pointing towards barriers and might give her directions for where to search for research and evidence to support those positions.

Of particular interest to me is the difference between "any breastfeeding" and "exclusive breastfeeding". Here is a link to two charts with the rates for each. http://kellymom.com/fun/trivia/bf-numbers/ I think we talk about breastfeeding as though there is a binary choice, either breastfeeding or formula feeding. I think that's unhelpful to working mothers and to mothers, like me, who physically don't produce enough breastmilk but do produce some. You get this from both sides. Lactation consultants who I spoke with were vehemently against any formula and will tell you that once you begin to supplement, you begin a downward spiral negatively impacting your milk production and you'll never sustain breastfeeding. On the other hand are the formula pushers (often medical professionals) who tell you to just go straight to formula. The resulting message from both sides is that if you have to use a little formula, you might as well just give up breastfeeding all together. I'd be happy to share my own experience with this if it would be helpful to her, but if it's a research project, personal anecdotes are probably not needed.


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 Post subject: Re: Help my sister with a school project about breastfeeding
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:23 pm 
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I just happened to come across this today, too. http://www.slate.com/blogs/how_babies_w ... rmula.html Not sure it it relates at all to what she is going to write about, but I found it interesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Help my sister with a school project about breastfeeding
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:38 pm 
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I don’t know if this is helpful because it’s more anecdotal than a link to an article but there still seems to be some people who think certain things will SPOIL YOUR INFANT! And only breastfeeding all the time, for a long period of time seems to fall into that category.
I was at a party recently and a girl there was still breastfeeding her daughter (not sure how old the daughter was) and she was contemplating whether or not to leave real quick and go to her inlaws house to nurse her daughter and come back because she knew it would make her daughter fall asleep easier and I think she was thinking it would make life easier for the inlaws. So anyways my friend who has a 5 year old son and just chose to do formula from the get go started like yelling at her and then at me. she was like (pointing her finger at me) “DON’T YOU DO THIS! I tell Annette (another friend who is similar to me, hippie crunchy, etc) all the time not to do this! don’t let the kid run your life! Just do formula!!” etc etc etc. the sort of implied tone was that this woman was bad for even thinking of leaving the party to go nurse her daughter. It was almost like a weird social stigma.

I was a tad taken aback because you hear a lot that some people are super zealous about breast feeding and completely anti-formula but this was like sort of the other way around. it was also my first experience of someone yelling in my face what I should do with my own kid.

I think in the U.S. it’s hard when women go back to work cause there really is not any support for breastfeeding moms. I don’t know a lot about that end of it but I do think it’s really hard and probably for a lot of women they start to supplement with formula and then just go to all formula. Im not saying that’s a bad thing as I think every family should do what’s right for them I just think it’s the reality.

I think in our society (US) too that it’s like kind of uncomfortable to do it in public. Maybe im just being a prude but I keep thinking about the fact that Im going to be giving birth in a hospital and oh my god a bunch of strangers are gonna see all my parts and then I want to breastfeed right away and there will be doctors and nurses and oh my god *blush*

I have a coworker who in regards to breastfeeding was just like “oh pfft I never even bothered with that” and waved it off like it was silly. Im guessing her kids were born in the 80s though when breastfeeding was almost non-existant.

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 Post subject: Re: Help my sister with a school project about breastfeeding
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:52 am 
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OMG, LP! It's too soon! I didn't get any flack for BFing until AFTER the baby was born. THEN everybody tells you they are being spoiled by all that breastfeeding (or that you need to put cereal in a bottle or need a wet nurse because you are nursing too much) and that babies are all arch manipulators and you have to nip that shiitake in the bud from day 1.

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 Post subject: Re: Help my sister with a school project about breastfeeding
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:30 am 
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im really surprised at all the "dont spoil your baby" stuff that is out there.

as someone who wasnt particularly interested in kids til recently i just dont know a lot about it and the stuff ive come across is insanity.

i always thought "cry it out" was for older kids like 4-5 or whatever who dont want to go to bed at bedtime. i didnt realize it was like for babies. like to me it seems crazy to let a newborn just scream and cry cause somehow we think they are manipulating us.


ugh sorry. not trying to derail this thread. but it does relate to bf. apparently bf for long periods of times means you are BABY SLAVE!!

i think some people still sort of think bf is a bit woo.
like this particular friend was sort of making fun of me and another friend and we are both very natural/hippie type people. so it felt like we were being put down for that. like "oh you crazy hippies who bf your kids you're just baby slaves who are spoiling your infants"

cause infants are super manipulative and DIABOLICAL!

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 Post subject: Re: Help my sister with a school project about breastfeeding
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:13 pm 
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LisaPunk wrote:
as someone who wasnt particularly interested in kids til recently i just dont know a lot about it and the stuff ive come across is insanity.

That's how it was for me -- I wasn't really ever interested in kids until I decided to have one and then after I popped, a whole new world of drama and insanity was opened up to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Help my sister with a school project about breastfeeding
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:40 pm 
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Now that my kids are 5 and 3, it's hard sometimes to not be a bit smug about how sweet, considerate, and well behaved they are. I keep hearing people say things like, "You think 2 was bad, just wait until 3!" and "Ugh, 5 is awful." Well, that hasn't been my experience. I mean, they are still little kids, which means we have our share of irrationality, tantrums, meltdowns, etc. But my kids seem to talk back less and argue less than many of the other kids I know, and less than all of the kids whose parents decided to show them who was boss when they were 6 months old.

I don't mean to derail this further, but I do look at my incredible kids and think I must have done something right. (And FWIW, DD was formula fed and DS was partially formula fed because I physically do not make enough milk to EBF.)


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 Post subject: Re: Help my sister with a school project about breastfeeding
PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:35 pm 
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I don't know if this would be helpful, but I have a really interesting article from LLL on breastfeeding as the biological norm (it's in Will's room right now, so I can't get it). But some of the main points are how we use language such as "breast is best" when we should say "breast is normal" (because best makes it seem more unattainable) or we hear "nursing moms have lower rates of PPD" when we should hear "mom's who don't have higher rates."(just like smoking increases your risks...) it's not LLL material, but someone shared it with me there.
if you think that would help, I'll try to find the title/source for you.

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 Post subject: Re: Help my sister with a school project about breastfeeding
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:25 pm 
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Thanks so much you guys! Sorry I didn't come back to this thread sooner, everyone in my house got the flu and I totally forgot I posted this here (oops!). Anyway, I've passed it all on to my sister and she says it's helpful and thank you!

kdub - if it's easy to find the title and source for that article, it sounds like it's just the kind of thing she's looking for - thank you!

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 Post subject: Re: Help my sister with a school project about breastfeeding
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:23 pm 
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Eh, personally I think a lot of the oft-stated benefits are probably overreaching. I'm all for nursing babies - clearly I'm still doin' it and the kid's 20 months old, at this point I'd be thrilled to wean her but she's not having it - but the studies I see usually do a peas poor job of correcting for social factors and separating the benefits of the milk from the general increased physical contact/presence of mother/bonding time together.


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 Post subject: Re: Help my sister with a school project about breastfeeding
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:50 pm 
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Uh, thanks?

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 Post subject: Re: Help my sister with a school project about breastfeeding
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:17 am 
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Oh, nevermind kdub! I didn't realize it's due tonight, so she's pretty much done now :)

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 Post subject: Re: Help my sister with a school project about breastfeeding
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:05 pm 
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If she needs some last minute images to use, Science Photo Library is a good place to get images - just on their webpage search "breastfeeding" and "lactation." http://www.sciencephoto.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Help my sister with a school project about breastfeeding
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:06 pm 
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Thank you!

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 Post subject: Re: Help my sister with a school project about breastfeeding
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:17 pm 
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Hmmm, the pictures are watermarked - I didn't think they used to be - you just had to credit them. Not sure if that will work for her or not.


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