Why Nestlé is Evil: It goes beyond infant formula….

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I’m just going to list links to various news stories, etc that will explain why I think Nestlé is a bad company.  I routinely talk about Nestlé on my Facebook page, so join me there to continue to be updated.

In the photo album on my page, Boycott NestléI’ve compiled many Nestlé photos and ads.  Here’s just two:

Nestlé ad from 1911

Nestlé ad from 1911

Nestlé ad from 1893

Nestlé ad from 1893

June 2012, Business Insider published an article called “Every Parent Should Know the Scandalous History of Infant Formula” which covers the history and why formula companies, especially Nestlé, are predatory companies that undermine breastfeeding.  Nestlé has gone into developing poor countries and promoted infant formula, which has lead to many deaths because of the lack of clean water sources to prepare formula safely.  And many families cannot afford to purchase formula after the free samples stop and by that time, the mother’s milk has dried up.  Boycotts of Nestlé have been going on since the early 1970s.

link to story: http://www.businessinsider.com/nestles-infant-formula-scandal-2012-6?op=1

"The Baby Killer," a booklet published by London's War On Want organization in 1974.

“The Baby Killer,” a booklet published by London’s War On Want organization in 1974.


KnowMore.org gives more history about Nestlé, including criticisms of other business practices they’ve done with the environment and human rights:

link to their history: http://www.knowmore.org/wiki/index.php?title=Nestl%C3%A9_S.A.

Baby Milk Action is a fantastic organization that works tirelessly to protect infants that are fed formula.  They are a watchdog group that uncovers predatory marketing and they have been very involved in Nestlé boycotts.

nestlemonsterthumbnail

I encourage everyone to go to their website and read up on all the companies and see how marketing is truly undermining breastfeeding rates in the world.  Here is some of their info on Nestlé: http://info.babymilkaction.org/monster

Unicef has put out a documentary on infant formula marketing and it’s affects in the Philippines, called “Formula for Disaster”.  Nestlé is very active in that country.

INFACT Canada, the Infant Feeding Action Coalition, works at protecting breastfeeding.  They also have information on their website about why Nestlé should be boycotted:
http://www.infactcanada.ca/nestle_boycott.htm

NestleBoycott

U.K. based newspaper, the Guardian, ran a story in May 2007 on Nestlé, entitled, “Milking It”, which covers the history of the company and why people boycott them.

Link to story: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/may/15/medicineandhealth.lifeandhealth

In January 2013, a video came out of former Nestlé CEO, Peter Brabeck, saying that water is not a human right and it should be privatized:

Many bloggers have also compiled their reasons for boycotting Nestlé.  Some examples:

PhD in ParentingWhy I Protest Nestlé’s Unethical Business Practices

Daily Momtra: Nestlé Boycott: About the Chocolate

Crunchy Domestic Goddess: The Great Nestle Boycott

According to this site, Nestlé tests on animals: http://www.nesteacrueltea.com/ActNow.aspx

Greenpeace launched a large successful social media campaign in 2010 in protest of Nestlé’s destruction of rainforests and killing of orangutans:

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/kitkat/

http://www.forbes.com/2010/03/18/kitkat-greenpeace-palm-oil-technology-ecotech-nestle.html

caught-red-handed greenpeace

I will continue to add to this page as I come across information and news stories.  In the meantime, here are pics and links to lists of Nestlé products to avoid:

Small list of products that Nestlé makes

Small list of products that Nestlé makes

from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nestl%C3%A9_brands

from Baby Milk Action: http://info.babymilkaction.org/nestleboycottlist

from INFACT Canada: http://www.infactcanada.ca/nestle_boycott_product.htm

from Crunchy Domestic Goddess: http://crunchydomesticgoddess.wordpress.com/2007/05/19/the-great-nestle-boycott/

Nestlé baby and toddler products to avoid

Nestlé baby and toddler products to avoid

To stay up to date, please join me on my facebook page: www.facebook.com/unlatched

or visit these other pages and groups:

https://www.facebook.com/NestleBoycott

https://www.facebook.com/groups/friendsofthewhocode

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-the-WHO-Code/389134657832011?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nestl%C3%A9-boycott-INBC/355169231175000?fref=ts

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Hey Weston A. Price Foundation – Language Matters: How NOT to be a Breastfeeding Advocate

The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) is an organization that promotes a diet based on traditional nutrient-dense foods.  They have a large following which we examined in my last blog article.  Since they are so influential, we must not ignore what they say about breastfeeding.  The WAPF has said that they think breastfeeding is important, but I am going to point out ways that their choice of words and information is actually detrimental to mothers who want to breastfeed.

Let’s start by going to the WAPF’s page on breastfeeding, dated December 31, 2001.  The title is: “Successful Breastfeeding …And Successful Alternatives”.  Producing breastmilk is what our body does in response to pregnancy.  Your body produces breastmilk whether you intend to breastfeed or not.  It’s just a natural bodily function.  You wouldn’t say you were successful at breathing, because it’s just something your body does.  The word “success” also places a subjective goal on a biological function.  How does one determine if you are successful at breastfeeding?  Is it nursing for a certain amount of time?  It is also perpetuating guilt because where there’s “success”, there’s also the word “failure”.  You don’t fail at breathing if you are having problems, so you don’t fail at breastfeeding.  You may have issues and you seek out help, but that never means you succeeded or failed at it.  “Success” and “failure” are just words that are perpetuating the “Mommy Wars” and has everyone arguing amongst themselves.

The very next sentence on that page is, “Breastfeeding is best.”  This is a widely used phrase that even the formula companies use in their advertisements.  But, think about it.  If breastfeeding is best, what is ok or normal?  That would be using artificial baby milk (formula).  Our current culture considers infant formula as normal.  But since breastmilk production is a natural biological function, breastfeeding is actually what’s normal.  So, by going around saying things like “breast is best”, it’s subliminally giving the ok to use infant formulas since many parents find that the “best” is hard to obtain.

Next, the page goes on to cover “disturbing studies” about breastfeeding and formula.  Why did they use the word “disturbing”?  How can you go from talking about how “breastfeeding is the best” to talking so negatively about it?  The studies they cite are all summarized to show that formula is better than breastfeeding.  A quote from their page:

“Our interpretation is the following: the diet of modern American women is so appalling, and their preparation for successful breastfeeding so lacking, that their breast milk provides no better nourishment for their infants than factory-made formula.”

They then go in to talk about all the bad things that may be in breastmilk…spreading more fear and doubt.  One sentence was about how a breastfeeding mother eating peanuts leads to allergies in her child.  If you look up the study in question, you would see that the sample size was only 23 mothers.  You cannot draw a definitive conclusion from a study so small.  It does not represent the population.  When poor studies are used to support a certain position, confidence in their information starts to crumble.

The next section is about milk supply.  I do agree with them that a mother’s concern over her supply is a major reason why many mothers stop breastfeeding, but they only cite diet as a factor in low supply.  They state this, referencing the book, Infant and Child Feeding by M G Rowland and A A Paul from 1981:

“The researchers found no correlation between milk supply and frequency of feeding. The main factor was the amount of food available to the mother.”

It is very well known that breastmilk production is based on supply/demand.  This image explains it well:

The brain releases oxytocin and prolactin following stimulation of the nipple – both prolactin and oxytocin have important functions in milk ejection and synthesis.  Image from: VisualMD.com. For more information check out:VisualMDHealthCenters.

The brain releases oxytocin and prolactin following stimulation of the nipple – both prolactin and oxytocin have important functions in milk ejection and synthesis. Image from: VisualMD.com. For more information check out:VisualMDHealthCenters.

They also fail to mention any other factors that could lead to low supply.  Not once are tongue/lip ties discussed, bad latches, bad positioning, etc. ever brought up.  They actually say mothers “… know better than any lactation consultant that they do not have enough milk, or that their baby is not happy with the quality of milk that it is getting from her breast.”  This sentence attempts to discredit any knowledge or advice that a lactation consultant would offer, alienating mothers from the very professionals that can help with milk supply issues.

WAPF continues on, saying that insufficient milk supply is not rare and “…it’s a wonder that so many nurse successfully at all.”  They believe medical professionals and lactation consultants are out to deceive mothers by saying it’s a rare problem – again pushing mothers away from breastfeeding professionals.  The Foundation states insufficient milk supply “…is rare in a society of truly healthy people but the western nations are not inhabited by truly healthy people.”  So, not only is the WAPF making women think that low milk supply is super common and normal, they are making women feel that it’s their fault for having supply issues.

The page fails to mention donor breastmilk or wet nurses as an option for moms who do struggle with their milk supply.  They only explain that cow (or goat) formula is a logical substitute, based on early baby books, saying the early writers were smarter than today’s “experts”.  The use of quotes around “experts” is a subtle way of discrediting modern information.

Under the heading: “Tips for Successful Breastfeeding”, you find another quote where they fail to recommend help from an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and only suggest their infant formula, “If you have any qualms or fears about not having enough milk, assemble the ingredients for homemade formula…”

There are lots of little sentences like these examples that are placing doubt and fear into the mother’s head.  They put in a few helpful tips to make it look like they support breastfeeding, but the overall tone of the article is very negative towards breastfeeding.

Also, look at the article.  The word “formula” is in bold and highlighted in yellow.  When you scan through the entire article, that is the only thing that jumps out at you.  Is this supposed to be a subliminal message?

Recently, a mother contacted the Weston A. Price Foundation on Facebook to see what they currently thought about breastfeeding, since the article on their website is from 2001.  Here is what they said on March 29, 2013:

Weston A. Price's stance on breastfeeding and breastmilk

Weston A. Price’s stance on breastfeeding and breastmilk

Note the order and notice the fact that they do not share the studies to support their beliefs, but say that it’s all in their new book, The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care which just came out in March 2013.

The book’s chapter on breastfeeding, titled “Nourishing Your Baby”, is pretty much word for word what the WAPF’s site says on breastfeeding with a bit of filler added.  It starts with some positive messages about breastfeeding, but by the fourth paragraph, they are already reverting to negative language about breastfeeding: “But for some women, even many women, all does not go well.”

Then they go back to talking about how wonderful breastmilk is with its “amazing qualities” , but it’s quickly followed up by a section entitled “Benefits of Breast Milk: Conflicting Studies” where they again cite the same studies used on their website that show breastfeeding in a negative light.

There is a section on “When Breastfeeding May Not Be Best” and it includes vegan mothers, adopted babies and even babies conceived from in vitro fertilization! See below:

The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care: Chapter 7, page 132

The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care: Chapter 7, page 132

The book gives poor and dangerous advice like an old wive’s tale about preventing cracked and sore breasts with a daily application of rubbing alcohol on the nipples for the last month of pregnancy. They also suggest an herbal supplement for engorgement and oversupply that is known to dry up milk completely, not reduce it.

In the Milk Supply section, they say that if a baby has persistent crying, even after nursing, an inadequate or non-nutritious milk supply should be suspected. To substantiate their claim that low supply is way more common than breastfeeding advocates claim, they reference artwork showing women praying for good milk supplies. They also note that milk volume varies between women, which is true, but then they compare a woman who can squirt her milk across the room to a mother who can’t produce milk while pumping. Those are two different situations and not fair comparisons. Pumping output is no indication of supply.

When they discuss stress as a possible factor for lowered milk supply, they recommend that the environment should be very relaxing. However, they turn this good advice negative by saying, “…for many women, burdened by domestic strife or financial worries, a stress-free environment may be impossible to achieve.”

It’s not until the very end of the Milk Supply section, that they describe the normal behavior of an infant wanting to nurse a lot during growth spurts and the mother’s menstrual cycles. So a mom has to read through all the negative discussions of low milk supply before she sees that her situation is normal and there isn’t an issue with her supply, but doubt is already in her mind. They also recommend using their homemade formula for supplementation during supply drops.

Even when they suggest seeking help from a lactation consultant, they turn it negative by saying “…some consultants can leave mothers in tears.”

Their section on donor milk warns that you need to ask the mother about her diet before accepting milk. They also state that you should observe the donor’s own baby to see that they are “rosy and robust” and not “pale and whiney”. That visual observation will tell you if a mother’s milk is nutrient dense.

They make a completely false statement about breast pumps, too:

“Most importantly, the breast pump provides an accurate picture of how much milk a mother is producing. If, after pumping consistently, mom still only produces an ounce or two of milk per day, she will know for sure that supplementation is an absolute necessity.”

Like I said earlier, pumping output is no indication of supply because it doesn’t get milk out the same way a baby does. It is not as efficient and it could take multiple pumping sessions to obtain the same amount of milk a baby can get out in one breastfeeding session.

When working mothers are discussed, they mention that there are some state laws about pumping at work, but it’s actually a federally mandated law from 2010 that requires employers to provide break time and a place to pump. Unfortunately, the book had to make mention that white collar employees (such as lawyers and editors) would find it easier to pump than teachers and service workers. This gives the impression that full term breastfeeding can only work for women with “good jobs”, and other moms have to use formula, perpetuating an elitist view of breastfeeding.

So, even though the book may have some correct information on breastfeeding, the general attitude is disapproving and negative towards it. Decent advice is tainted by negative opinions and comments. It makes it hard to even consider this book as credible source for breastfeeding mothers. It’s not the empowering book they try to make it out to be. It actually perpetuates guilt.

Continuing with the WAPF’s theme of negative and unhelpful advice on breastfeeding, was Sarah Pope’s recent webinar:“Is Breast Really Always Best?’ Pope is a chapter leader and Weston A. Price Foundation board member. She also runs the Healthy Home Economist blog and Facebook page. The webinar’s description was:

“Breastfeeding is critical for baby’s health, but only if the mother is eating a nutrient-dense diet. Learn how to eat for your baby’s optimal health, and what to do if you can’t breastfeed.”

In my last blog article, I covered what happened when a few breastfeeding advocates expressed concern over her language, but let’s examine the webinar itself.

Pope starts by talking about her history with breastfeeding, but then jumps right to being negative about breastfeeding by sharing her observations:

“…breastfed kids really weren’t that healthy looking. They were pale…they had really crooked teeth…they just didn’t look well at all. In fact, a lot of times, they didn’t look any healthier than the kids that were on the commercial formula.”

She goes on to say that she’s a “common sense observation orientated person”. But common sense is not science based. The entire video just comes off as a big opinion piece and an attack on breastfeeding.

“To me it was complete common sense that what a woman would eat would affect her breastmilk. I’m a computer programmer in my background and we have this thing in computer programming – garbage in garbage out, and to me it was the same thing. Whatever you put in your mouth, if it’s garbage, your breastmilk is going to be garbage.” 

Without even looking at her dietary comments, just examine the language she is using. Is it positive? Is it supportive or empowering? No, it’s insulting to breastfeeding women. It’s offensive and inflammatory. Encouraging a healthy diet is great, but don’t attack and put down women who struggle with it. She is just piling on the guilt.

Explaining that she breastfed her children for 2-4 years, Pope labels herself as a huge breastfeeding advocate. However, that doesn’t mean you are an expert on breastfeeding. She even makes the comment that she wants to make sure she states that she’s an advocate because she’s going to make controversial statements, as if giving that disclaimer makes the comments ok.

She takes a dig at breastfeeding advocates, nursing while pregnant, and tandem nursing by again saying common sense told her it wasn’t a good idea. She negates all the information that’s out there saying that says it’s usually ok and safe to breastfeeding while pregnant and to tandem feed, by giving her own opinion on the matter without providing studies backing it up. She continued by saying traditional cultures never practiced it.

Pope explains that traditional cultures have always relied on the milk of other mammals to nourish them when breastmilk wasn’t available. She brings up a mummified infant found with a primitive baby bottle as an example. What she fails to discuss is that wet nurses were very important in traditional cultures and that babies fed animal milks tended to die early on or they experienced severe health problems without breastmilk.

In the discussion of what a mother can do if she is struggling with breastfeeding, seeking help from a breastfeeding professional (IBCLC, etc) is never suggested. Pumping breastmilk to have a backup supply is also never brought up. Pope feels it’s just important to always have the ingredients on hand to make the homemade formula in case of an emergency.

Pope dismisses donor milk as a viable option for mothers. She feels that it’s only an option if the breastmilk came from a close group of friends where you know their diet. She says it’s very rare to have that option available to mothers. Breastmilk from a milk bank is not recommended because she feels that it destroys the good stuff in the milk through pasteurization.

So what is up with all the negative information about breastfeeding? Why has the Weston A. Price Foundation continued for YEARS to spread this misinformation and fear? Why do they push their homemade infant formula so much?

Without even examining the Weston A. Price Foundation’s dietary claims, I have clearly shown that they are not the breastfeeding advocates or supporters that they say they are. I don’t understand how an organization which is all about traditional foods can talk so disparagingly about nature’s traditional food for babies. Without providing proper information and support, they are failing breastfeeding mothers.

Posted in breastmilk, extended breastfeeding, feminism, formula, full term, kellymom.com, lactation, lactivist, law, long term, nursing in public, pumping, recipes, storage and handling, supply, sustained, toddlers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

The Weston A. Price Foundation’s Dangerous Breastfeeding Advice Should NOT Be Ignored

So, you may be asking, “What is the Weston A. Price Foundation?  Why do I care what they say about breastfeeding?”  Well, let me give you a quick description about them:

They are a non-profit that advocates “whole foods and traditional cooking techniques using farm fresh, true organic ingredients.”  They “…educate the public on the nutrition research of Dr. Weston A. Price and the benefits of buying local foods for their nutritional value.”  They promote nutrient dense diets and the use and benefits of raw milk.

This sounds fantastic right?  Eating healthy IS super important.  We aren’t debating that at all.  But if you dig into their information about breastfeeding, it leaves you scratching your head and being very confused.

On their website, they state:

“…the diet of modern American women is so appalling, and their preparation for successful breastfeeding so lacking, that their breast milk provides no better nourishment for their infants than factory-made formula.”

They only cite a handful of studies that they feel supports their stance on this.  They also talk negatively about the La Leche League.

Last week, one of their chapter leaders and board members, Sarah Pope, of The Healthy Home Economist, gave a presentation on breastfeeding at the Village Green Network’s Healthy Life Summit.  Sally Fallon, co-founder and President of the WAPF, also gave a presentation, but I missed it.

The description for Sarah Pope’s seminar was this:

“Is Breast Really Always Best?”

“Breastfeeding is critical for baby’s health, but only if the mother is eating a nutrient-dense diet. Learn how to eat for your baby’s optimal health, and what to do if you can’t breastfeed.”

Breastfeeding advocates politely voiced their concerns over the language and information in that statement on her Facebook page and were met with very rude and defensive comments.  The supporting studies for her claims were never given.

So, we watched the presentation and it was full of anecdotal evidence and personal opinions.  Pope was adamant that if you did not have a nutrient dense diet, that you should not breastfeed and if women had issues breastfeeding, they should just use the WAPF’s homemade formula.  She also did not recommend donor breastmilk as an option because the mother’s diet was unknown and breastmilk from milk banks was pasteurized and that “denature[s] proteins, destroy[s] enzymes, etc.”  Never once did they discuss how a mom could change their own diet or how a mom that is having breastfeeding troubles should seek out an IBCLC or other breastfeeding professional for support.

On Pope’s Facebook page, she made unprofessional and offensive comments in reference to the breastfeeding advocate’s concerns:

Sarah Pope, the Healthy Home Economist, calls breastfeeding advocates "Nazis"

Sarah Pope, the Healthy Home Economist, calls breastfeeding advocates “Nazis”

Pope continued to use offensive language in other messages:

Sarah Pope, the Healthy Home Economist continues to use offensive and rude language

Sarah Pope, the Healthy Home Economist continues to use offensive and rude language

For someone who is a representative of a large and influential non-profit, this is very unprofessional.

Outrage over these claims about diet, nutrition, and breastfeeding were also brought to the Weston A. Price’s Facebook page.  One person asked WAPF for their stance on breastfeeding and breastmilk to see if they felt the same as Sarah Pope.  Here is what they had to say:

Weston A. Price's stance on breastfeeding and breastmilk

Weston A. Price’s stance on breastfeeding and breastmilk

Breastfeeding advocates are demanding to see studies and proof for these claims.  They keep telling us that they’ve done their research and we want to see it.  But, as you can see in the above WAPF statement, they say the studies are in their new book, meaning you have to buy it to read their research…

So, I’m sure many of you are thinking that we should just ignore their claims and ignore their stance and to not draw any attention to it.  Normally I agree with that line of thinking, but I feel that this is different and this definitely needs to be addressed.

The Weston A. Price Foundation is large, influential, and very convincing to their members and followers.  They state that they have over 16,000 members, and 450 chapters worldwide.  Their Facebook page has over 54,000 fans and they have over 15,000 followers on Twitter.

Many of their chapter leaders and board members have blogs and Facebook pages.  Sarah Pope’s blog receives over 1 million views a month and she has over 41,000 fans on Facebook.  Nourishing Our Children, who has Sally Fallon as an adviser, has over 22,000 fans on their Facebook page.

The Village Green Network is the PR/advertising network that WAPF uses.  They claim to have “500 blogs and 7 million monthly visits”.  Ann Marie Michaels, the founder of the VGN, put on the Healthy Life Summit where Pope and Fallon presented.  Michaels runs the blog, Cheeseslave, and her Facebook page has over 22,000 fans.

Natural and nutrient dense diets are very popular and people are seeking out more information.  They are drawn to the info on the WAPF’s website, Facebook page, and the other associated pages.   Many of these fans are mothers and this breastfeeding misinformation, combined with the complete lack of appropriate breastfeeding support, is extremely dangerous.

This is a call-to-action for health professionals, breastfeeding advocates, and natural food advocates to voice concerns and outrage over this misinformation.  We need to all demand to see their proof and studies they are basing their claims on.

We need to continue to support and educate mothers and provide evidence-based information. Our voices need to be louder than theirs.  Let’s drown them out.

For more information, please read the Best for Babes Foundation breakdown of the “booby traps” in the WAPF’s breastfeeding info:  “From Karo Syrup to Goat Milk – The Formulas May Change, but the Booby Traps Remain the Same”

Posted in breastfeeding, breastmilk, formula, lactation, lactivist, recipes, supply, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 121 Comments

A Guest Blog – Dear Texas Representative Debbie Riddle…A response to your comments on House Bill 1706

(The views expressed in guest blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of Unlatched.  I just like giving people a place to voice their views or opinions. – Rachelle Unlatched)

Guest Blog by Becky K.

Becky K, is a mom of 5, Doula and breastfeeding mentor of 12 years. Runs the Facebook page, If At First You Don’t Breastfeed: A place for hope.

On March 12, 2013, Texas Representative Debbie Riddle posted this on her Facebook page:

Texas Representative Debbie Riddle's Facebook comment about Texas HB 1706

Texas Representative Debbie Riddle’s Facebook comment about Texas HB 1706

Dear Texas Representative Debbie Riddle,

Basic human rights. That is what is at stake here. We live in a society where the female form is sexualized and exploited to satisfy the male consumer. This is apparently acceptable to you. Saying women need to be “modest” while feeding their children, while ignoring the “immodesty” on social media, in advertising and media and not demanding that the male form be equally subjected to the idea of modesty, is to be ignorant and without basis for your argument. Historically, women have fed their children openly and without notice. It is people like you who set up a double standard, make eating gross, form a line in the sand, and allow harassment and discrimination to flourish.

It was a business venture, infant formula, that took something that was once commonplace just a few decades ago, and tossed it to the side like a dirty rag. Yes, children have survived, but they are not thriving. We have obesity and diabetes, and all sorts of other health issues that plague children and continue into adulthood.

Mothers are trying to take back their children’s health, but decisions like yours, to not defend breastfeeding in all areas, are hurting their efforts. Women quit breastfeeding for various reasons. Humiliation is one. And leaving it up to business owners to decide how the mother should define modesty is exactly like leaving it up to them to decide what colors of skin are acceptable in their shops. Are you really willing to let that be the case? Are you really willing to set women back so far? Apparently so.

One must ask who you really work for. Who is your constituency? Men? Women? People as a whole? Or are you pandering to lobbyists? Formula companies perhaps? What would we find if we looked at who you took money from? Nestlé? Abbott Labs? Another food corp? And do you dare pass it off at the detriment of public health and welfare? I’d like to know. Because even though you don’t represent me, you don’t represent human rights either.

Edited to add:

The most important thing about Riddle’s stance right now is that it is irrelevant if we don’t make it out of committee. Please, if you have time to either comment on her FB page OR write to the B&I Committee, opt to write to B&I. They are who matter most at *this* moment.

Texans, see www.tinyurl.com/KANIP1706letters

If you’re not a Texan, please share our letter writing campaignhttps://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=343012382465993&set=a.286430378124194.50869.285488191551746&type=1&theater 
& this group https://www.facebook.com/groups/165119216973838/
& our call for TX NIP incidents to be emailed to USBFLeg@gmail.com.

IF you comment on her post & you are a Texan, please begin your comment by saying so.

If you are in her district, District 150, even better. Look up your rep. here:http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/find-your-representative/
Here’s a map of her district:http://www.texastribune.org/directory/districts/tx-house/150/

PLEASE do not engage the trolls. They make themselves look ignorant without any help from us.

PLEASE be respectful of Representative Riddle. If we are hostile, if we tell her she’s lost our vote – well, then we’ve lost her ear. It may be helpful to read these guidelines:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZXkpBZ9URZsWKoXyAfCIQoYV_RAxjPOdX3PzSypDttI/edit

Posted in breastfeeding in public, feminism, guest blog, lactation, lactivist, law, nursing in public, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Guest Blog: Quitters suck…or don’t, as the case may be.

(The views expressed in guest blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of Unlatched.  I just like giving people a place to voice their views or opinions. – Rachelle Unlatched)

Guest Blog by Becky K.

Becky K, is a mom of 5, Doula and breastfeeding mentor of 12 years. Runs the Facebook page, If At First You Don’t Breastfeed: A place for hope.

Have you ever met that woman who wants permission to quit breastfeeding? Specifically, the one who wants it after the fact. She is a royal pain in the ass.

Now, don’t get me wrong, *raises hands in the air so as to show you that I AM unarmed* slow down and hold your horses, because this is not a bashing venture. It is a revelation journey. (See, no weapons)
Let’s start with a cold hard look at our society and what it asks of women. They want us cold and dependent-less, yet warm and motherly. They want us to hold our own in the workplace and on the battlefield, but don’t want to pay us our due when we hold down the fort.  They want us interchangeable with men in all ways but ignore our humanness altogether.
(Yes, I am well aware that I am making up words. If you can honestly tell me you don’t comprehend them I will fix it. Until then, don’t judge, just read.)
What they don’t want is to allow that humanness to dictate our path, to be the guiding light we honor most.
And boy does that screw us up.
Every day we ignore our basic human functions in favor of the current status quo system. Nurses don’t pee, doctors don’t sleep, teachers don’t…        Lawyers don’t…    garbage men don’t… (fill in the bodily function you ignore in favor of your work) and human women pay other human women to care for their children and feed them artificial milk so they can make money to pay for childcare and artificial foods because that is what society asks of us. Which is just fucked up as far as I’m concerned.
I don’t care if a mom chooses to work. It’s when they are pressured and even forced to work that puts the twists in my knickers.
Who the hell can meet the demands of our society AND the demands of human nature without cracking under the pressure at some point?
Sure as hell not me.
And, not you either.
Nobody is immune.
Nobody.
Is it any wonder that breastfeeding mothers see the world in terms of what they are not doing rather than what they need to be doing?

Not.                               Need.
-Wash dishes.                -Nurse baby
-Watch 5 other               -Nurse baby
peoples kids.
-Run errands for            -Nurse baby
friends

The list goes on…and on….and on…(ad nauseam)

Add the generalized cultural ignorance of breastfeeding to the mix and you have a wildly out of control fixin’-to-quit-at-the -first-sign-of-trouble.
Usually you have the pressure to give formula way before the baby is born. But that only discourages so many. Then you have poorly educated care givers at birth. That takes out a fair number. Mix with lots of, “Helpful,” comments from well meaning- and some not so well meaning- nimrods in the peanut gallery, *eye roll*  fold in lots of lists of what needs doing and a heavy dose of “I’m not keeping up with my old life/my old friends/my new friends/my new life(the way it looks in my head, anyway,)” a dash of insecurity… make that a batch… a heap of more-exhausted-than-seal-team-six, and two cases too many of mastitis, and what do you have?
Give. The. Damn. Bottle.

I’ve been there.
14 years of breastfeeding under my belt and damned if I didn’t daydream of the freedom of formula as I pumped at three am while my husband fed the baby. For the ninth week in a row.
But I had those 14 years to tell me this too would pass, a husband who never complained, and two friends who let me vent.
But most don’t. Most fall off to the side of the road lucky to ever be found by the proverbial Good Samaritan. And so, weeks and months after she has given in and given up, she wants it back. But she doesn’t. She wants permission to quit in order to absolve herself of the guilt she feels over whatever aspect (usually simply the giving in). What she gets is what she asked for; advice on how to build her low supply. Which she gets in abundance and to her great frustration. In asking a few questions, you find that she doesn’t have a low supply. She has NO supply left. It has been days, weeks, even months since she last even pumped. She doesn’t need to boost her supply, she needs to relactate altogether. It took me a while to figure this pattern out, but it exists. She asks how to bring back her supply out of guilt and that is not enough of a reason to relactate. Nor is it anyone’s job to absolve her. To redo what has been so thoroughly undone she will have to start all over, giving up everything she quit breastfeeding for. Once you explain it in these terms it is too much of a project for her. Too many sacrifices will have to be made. Too much of her life will have to be wrested back from society.
These women are not to be given any negative label. Not one. Okay, yeah, I just said she is a pain in the ass. Why? Because the whole process of sorting through to the root of the problem, hoping that the predictable end isn’t lying there at the bottom of the pit smiling up at you smugly mocking your efforts to help, is simply dreadful. But they are only products of their world. I won’t give them that permission. It isn’t really what they are seeking anyway and the more you “help” the more frustrated they become and the more negative towards breastfeeding. It’s a battle within themselves that must be overcome on their own. If you are faced with one, ask questions of them before handing out the lactation cookie cook book so you know who’s who. And if your questioner is one of these permission seekers, give her the lowdown on what relactation really is.
Now, to these women: Stop it. We would love to help you if that is what you really want, to understand what happened or to get your supply back, but stop jerking our chains. If you want to quit, say so. It’s fine by me. Am I sad for you that this wasn’t a good experience? Yes. Am I going to spend my time agonizing over it? Well, maybe a few minutes… but over all, no. Now, not everyone will see it that way, but why do you give a rat’s ass? We all judge, but if we are smart, we use our life experience to reason our way out of it. Love is what we all have in common and we better start showing it. And I will just as soon as I’m done venting here. OK I’m done.

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Guest Post – Response to Chicago Tribune article: “Has breastfeeding been oversold?”

(The views expressed in guest blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of Unlatched.  I just like giving people a place to voice their views or opinions. – Rachelle Unlatched)

Here is the original article from the Chicago Tribune:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-12-19/news/sc-health-1219-breast-feeding-lies-20121219_1_breast-lactation-consultant-outcomes

Response from my guest, Debbi Smith-Moore, CLS:

Dear Ms. Schoenberg,

Your article of December 19, 2012, entitled “Has Breastfeeding Been Oversold?” was brought to my attention today. I feel you left out important information, generalized quite a bit, and overall did damage to the progress of a lot of really amazing women.

First, I would like to explain the distinction among the terminology used to define Lactation Consultants.  Anyone who has training in lactation can call themselves a consultant.  However, there are differing levels of training.  Those with the title of “CLC “ (Certified Lactation Consultant) or “CLS” (Certified Lactation Specialist) have had formal education consisting of around 45 hours in lactation and have taken and passed a certification exam by a governing body.  Those with the title of “IBCLC” (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant) have had much more formal education in lactation, often have a degree in some form of healthcare, and have taken and passed a certification exam by a governing body (The International Board of Certified Lactation Examiners).  It is my understanding that ALL of these people must also accumulate an amount of continuing education to stay current in the field, and also must periodically pass a certification exam to keep their certification.

I would like to begin by saying that I am very sorry you had a poor experience with the lactation consultant with whom you worked.  Not all lactation consultants are in the right line of work for them, just as not everyone who knows how to construct a sentence should be published authors.  Additionally, not everyone one speaks to in the postpartum unit who gives advice on breastfeeding is a credentialed lactation consultant. I know this personally through my own bad experiences, and from the experiences of the women with whom I work.  Moreover, not every lactation consultant has to have delivered twins to understand the mechanics of breastfeeding twins.  Not every LC has to have delivered a premature baby to understand what will likely happen in that situation, either.  Anyone with credentials in lactation support and education is trained to handle most issues that could arise when breastfeeding is attempted.  If they are not credentialed in lactation, they should not be giving advice beyond the absolute basics.  It is my opinion that ALL labor and delivery and postpartum nurses should have training in lactation, as should ALL OBGYNs and ALL pediatricians.  ANYONE working with the mother-baby dyad should know much more than just “the basics” of breast anatomy.

To be fair, unless you asked, you have no idea what your lactation consultant has “endured.”  Maybe she has not carried and delivered twins. Maybe she had a baby born at 32 weeks.  Maybe she has no children at all, maybe because she has fertility issues.  Your characterizations are unfair, and only included for effect.  I call that dirty pool.  Additionally, you don’t know what kind of day she has had.  Yes, she should not be showing negative feelings to a new mom who is struggling.  But maybe she was “impatient” because she is over-worked and has many other moms she still has to see before SHE can go home, and it is close to the end of her shift.  Your fault?  Absolutely not.  But I will tell you a secret… She’s a human being.  Cut her some slack.  You made it clear you believe she has not walked in your shoes.  I would bet money that you have never walked in hers.

Also to be fair, you had just given birth to twins.  I have never done that, so I can only imagine how you felt at that time.  I DO know how I felt after giving birth four times, including two very long, induced labors, one that was progressing very slowly then suddenly very quickly, and one emergency c-section after an ambulance trip to the hospital while gushing blood.  I was exhausted.  I was hormonal.  I will even admit to likely being rather grouchy and possibly uncooperative.  But one thing I will now admit that I was not is objective.  I would guess you probably were not either.

To address your statement about leaving the hospital late:  Here’s another secret…  You can walk out at any time you want.  You are not a prisoner.  They will not hold your babies hostage.  They will not have security shoot you in the back as you make a run for the door.  You stayed because it was your choice to stay.  The end.

Here’s another secret for you… I know of very few moms who are struggling with breastfeeding that don’t feel that they are doing “just about everything wrong.”  Me included.  We are women.  We internalize guilt for EVERYTHING and make it our fault.  That’s what we do.  I can remember sitting in the NICU with my youngest daughter, who was about a week and a half old, crying and saying to my LC “Women have been doing this for thousands of years, why can’t I get this right???”  Her response?  “Because your baby wasn’t supposed to be born yet!  She is not physically capable of nursing at this time!”  So why were we even trying?  PRACTICE!  And let me tell you, I am so thankful I had her, and her co-worker, because once my daughter figured out what to do, she nursed like a champ!  For 19 months!  If you had told me the day she was born that I was going to breastfeed her for 19 months, I would have laughed in your face.  Why?  Because I had had a bad experience breastfeeding my older son, didn’t even try with my younger son, and had a HORRIBLE experience breastfeeding my older daughter.  The difference?  I had amazing lactation support with the last child.  A month-long NICU stay will do that for a girl…  I don’t recommend it though.  I knew I had people to turn to.  People who are passionate about helping moms like me be successful at breastfeeding.

I would like to know how much you actually know about the benefits of breastfeeding and providing breastmilk to babies.  Did you know that the act of a baby nursing (as opposed to drinking from a bottle, regardless of the contents) will likely save a parent money down the road in lower orthodontia bills because the baby’s mouth and jaw are in the proper position for feeding and therefore develop better?  How about that the position a mom uses to breastfeed can affect her success?  Humans are mammals.  We want to be on our tummies as babies to eat, which triggers those primitive neonatal reflexes in both baby AND mom, and baby is better at latching and sucking.  Did you know that a child who is breastfed is less likely to reject a donor organ after transplant?  How about that breastmilk is being studied as a food source for chemo patients and patients going through radiation therapy because it is so easy for the body to digest and greatly reduces nausea?

You cite that breastfeeding does not significantly increase the I.Q. of a child.  So what?  Every little bit helps, right?  I.Q. also is influenced by external stimuli.  It doesn’t matter how high a child’s I.Q. is, if there is no external stimulation for the child to use to learn, they won’t.

You also cite that the weight loss isn’t that great.  This is also influenced by other factors.  I didn’t lose much weight that I was able to keep off after my children were born, any of them.  But I am also a Coke addict (as in –a cola, not –caine), so I am consuming many, many empty calories every day that my body doesn’t need, so to use me as an example (which I know you did not), is not objective.

You cite that breastfeeding isn’t free and discuss earnings.  Let’s look at the cost of formula.  An average household that is exclusively formula-feeding their baby will spend around $1,500 to $2,000 per year on formula powder.  The liquids are even more expensive.  That doesn’t include the costs of bottles, nipples, bottle brushes, dish soap, water to prepare the formula, water to wash the bottles and nipples, electricity or gas to heat that water, etc.  It also doesn’t take into account the lost time parents DON’T have because they do not have to take time off work when the child is sicker.  Are formula-fed babies generally sicker?  That is a resounding YES!  (My youngest daughter got the least amount of formula of all my children and she is by far the healthiest, even though she was born six weeks early.  We have been passing a nasty virus around our house for three months, and she is the only one of all of us that hasn’t gotten really sick from it.)

Let me extrapolate that out a little farther.  If a child is less sick, generally that child’s family will be less sick, which means the other children aren’t taking germs to school and mom and dad aren’t taking germs to work.  Which means the children and staff at that child’s school aren’t getting as sick, and the co-workers of mom and dad aren’t getting as sick.  Which means their families aren’t getting as sick.  And so on, and so on, and so on.

Are the benefits you cite negligible?  Maybe, maybe not.  I would say not, but I’m no expert.  But I would like to offer an example.  This brings to mind those bank accounts where the bank takes the change from the transactions and drops it into a savings account.  A few cents here, a few cents there, doesn’t really seem like a lot.  But over time, it adds up, and suddenly one has enough money to go on vacation.  That is kind of like the benefits of breastfeeding.  One may not notice them right away, maybe not even ever, but over time, they sure do add up.  They did for me, and my youngest is only two.  We haven’t even talked about the bonding between the baby and the mom.  My youngest daughter will still come to me when she is sick or hurt or upset, crawl up into my lap and stick her hand down the front of my shirt.  She doesn’t play around, she just puts her hand between my breasts, where she would often put it while nursing, and sits.  And I’m happy I can still comfort her in a way nobody else can.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure:  I work in the field of breastfeeding and am one of those passionate advocates.  I work for my county’s WIC clinic as a Breastfeeding Peer.  I started this job as just another WIC mom who breastfed, but have since gone on to receive additional training and am a Certified Lactation Specialist, and am hoping to become an IBCLC in the near future.  However, I am not a lactation nazi, as some people call us.  I hope all the moms I work with will choose breastfeeding, but I know they all won’t.  I educate, encourage, support, and hope for the best, but realize that in the end, it is the mom’s choice, and I can only do my best.  Knowing what I know about formula and how truly lacking it is, I don’t personally understand the choice to not breastfeed, but again, it isn’t my choice.

I welcome your response.

Very truly yours,

Debbi Smith-Moore, CLS

Posted in breastfeeding, hospitals, lactation, lactivist | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

A Guest Blog – A Breastfeeding Conversation with College Students

(The views expressed in guest blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of Unlatched.  I just like giving people a place to voice their views or opinions. – Rachelle Unlatched)

A Breastfeeding Conversation with College Students

Guest blog by Shalaina Leaper-Slark

I am a teacher assistant for a human development class, Family Relationships and Careers. My responsibilities for the first class included presenting the syllabus, explaining plagiarism and leading the students in an approximately 40 min group discussion on a topic of my choice.

college

On the first day of a new semester, the students are anything but willing to participate in a conversation unless a topic is presented creatively. I assumed that these college students followed local news, so I asked them to retell stories (excluding coverage of murders, drugs, and traffic accidents) that stuck out to them. After a few dull topics, a student introduced the coverage of the Hollister nurse-in, or as she put it, “the breastfeeding moms’ boycott of Hollister in order to get attention.”  I decided to not mention my involvement with the nurse-in, but I corrected her lingo.

hollister 2

We stuck with the topic of public breastfeeding and the students had some very mixed, possibly misinformed, views. Students commented how ‘nasty’ and ‘unnatural’ breastfeeding was and many females described how they could never do ‘that’.

Trying to prevent the conversation from being completely one sided, I asked the students to give me examples of when and where breastfeeding was socially acceptable, positive, and normal. They responded with: when a newborn baby is hungry, away from the dinner table, and behind closed doors.

""Decency"<br

I found myself staring at a class of students who were completely blind to an act that is so powerful. Many of these students have never seen the way a child is completely calmed, comforted, and connected to its mother while breastfeeding. Many of these female students considered their breast as ornaments to attract males, as objects to fill out their clothing, or they refused to acknowledge that they even served other roles beyond that.

I realized that I could not be angry, upset, or offended by their comments. The problem is that our society is simply unaware and uneducated.

I stopped the conversation and logged on to my Facebook account where I revealed that not only was I was a mother, but that I was a breastfeeding mother who was also a part of the Hollister nurse-in. Yes, the students were exposed to a small portion of my breast, but I was also exposing them to a different side of the breastfeeding in public debate. I explained my parts in the nurse-in and talked about my journey from a first time mother who nursed in the bathroom to confident second time mother, who still sometimes wasn’t strong enough to nurse without the cover.

Just when I was ready to wind the class down, the conversation was reborn. The students then started to discuss why society was telling us that breastfeeding was a private manner or even bad, despite all the studies showing the benefits of breastfeeding. I ended the class by encouraging the students to just continue about their business if they ever came across a breastfeeding mother.

I am happy to report that the students are now thinking about breastfeeding in a new light.  When the professor opened the next class by asking the students if they had any questions from the class I had led, the first question was about nipple leakage.

Posted in breastfeeding in public, nursing in public | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments