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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More about Breastfeeding

All newborns lose weight after birth. Breastfeeding success is often measured by how quickly baby returns to birth weight. Yet some experts question using the birth weight as a litmus test for breastfeeding success. A recent study by Joy Noël Weiss, A Kirsten Woodend, Wendy Peterson, William Gibb and Dianne Groll (15 August 2011 International Breastfeeding Journal) entitled “An observational study of associations among maternal fluids during parturition, neonatal output and breastfed newborn weight loss” conclude that “ The phenomenon of newborn weight loss is complex. They found that maternal IV fluids received prior to birth (during labor) are related to newborn output and their weight loss. Consequently they warn that corrections in fluid balances in these newborns should be considered normal and therefore should not warrant outside interventions; i.e. introduction of formula, etc.
Furthermore they found that the reasons for delayed lactogenesis should be studied further; they found a correlation between late onset of lactogenesis 11 (more than 3 days after birth) was positively related to the total amounts of maternal fluids received from admission to birth. “ Most women (95% of the participants) noted first day of breast fullness however 41% of the women reported having late onset of lactogenesis . These women's babies were observed to have a significant positive correlation between late onset of lactogenesis ll (beyond day 3 reported by 41% of the sample) and percentage of newborn weight loss.

Letting nature take its course is still often the best advice. Over medicalization of birth, labor, and pain contributes to hyper concerns with regard to baby. The result is often early intervention using manufactured formulas which introduces other risks to baby and the breastfeeding success.
These researchers suggest that birth weight should not be the parameter from which clinicians measure success with breastfeeding – rather it should be other observable factors including wet diapers, etc. Finally, the reserachers concluded with this recommendation: do not use birth weight as a measure of breastfeeding success. Rather clinicians should use a 24 hour old weight as one of the parameters to determine whether or not intervention is necessary.
Did you know that the current administration is very pro- breastfeeding. So much so that Ed Keefe , a Washington Post Staff Writer wrote this on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 :
President Obama is asking federal personnel officials to draft "appropriate workplace accommodations" for federal employees who are nursing mothers. The president issued a memo this week to the Office of Personnel Management asking that the new workplace accommodations be published when ready. The changes are mandated by provisions in the ObamaCare passed this year that require new breastfeeding rights, primarily for hourly workers in the private and public sectors. But Obama asked the federal government to go a step further by establishing new guidelines for all federal employees, no matter their status, according to White House aides. The federal legislation assures that women will not be discriminated against or fired for breastfeeding or pumping breast milk during breaks or lunch. It also provides tax breaks to employers who establish special rooms for breastfeeding mothers or that rent lactation-related equipment.
The Iowa Independent by Andy Birkey found a detractor of this new policy in Rep Michelle Bachmann. She stated her objections recently. They are:
over promotion of breastfeeding, particularly among black women, to curb obesity; the policy creates a nanny state which makes breast pumps tax deductible along with other over-the-counter medical items such as pain relievers, bandages and contact lens supplies.
How is that related to breastfeeding? Guess they have to be able to see baby's face. Bachmann continued, “I’ve given birth to five babies and I breastfed every single one of these babies. To think that government has to go out and buy my breast pump for my babies. You wanna talk about the nanny state? I think we just got the new definition of a nanny.”

Finally, on March 30, 2010, "President Barack Obama signed into law Obama Care aka: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Did you know that the Act mandates employerswith more than 50 workers to provide a room, not a bathroom, in which the female employee can express breast milk for her child as needed. The female is not obligated to work for or otherwise compensate for the time spent on this task. This can be done until the child is one year old.
While small companies with less than 50 workers are ‘exempt’ so to speak, if they make more than $500,000 per year, they too have to abide by the law. The law also requires that any company that provides medical or nursing care services, schools and government agencies abide by the Act. It requires the provision of a private and clean lactation room for mothers of babies younger than one."

While advocacy for breastfeeding is warranted, I guess the notion that everybody must help pay for every woman's choice to breastfeed is in vogue. This notion is consistent with the administration's belief that all must help pay for women's contraception, abortion services and other " health" issues as well. Hmmmm - thoughts?