August 2009

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! Each year the first week in August is celebrated as International World Breastfeeding Week. This year's theme is breastfeeding in emergencies. This theme serves a number of important purposes. It is being used to remind both families and health care providers to remember that breastfeeding is life saving in emergencies. Breastfeeding requires no fuel, no water, no power, no money only Mom and Baby. Although we have few natural disasters in our geographic area they do happen, hurricanes, tornados and like this past weekend heavy storms with power outages. Mom and their babies can also can be away from their homes unexpectedly for many reasons from heavy traffic, a blizzard, a house fire, or a delayed airplane flight; breastfeeding moms don't need to worry, the milk is always fresh and ready to go.

The other major emphasis for the World Breastfeeding Week theme is to educate the public. Often when there is a natural disaster anywhere from Louisiana to Peru there are often well meaning people asking for donations of baby formula and feeding bottles. The world aid organizations want to discourage this practice as it interferes with best practice which is to help moms keep breastfeeding or relactate. Babies in disaster areas are at great risk. Mixing formula takes large amounts of water both for the formula and cleaning accessories, it also takes fuel. There are many diseases that come along with most natural disasters and non-breastfeeding infants are at the highest risk for intestinal and other diseases. So next time you want to help people in a tragic situation do your research and send the money to a well respected aid organization. They will work to see that all mothers who can breastfeed do and others receive appropriate substitutes for their babies that are safe and labeled with instructions in the appropriate language. For more information visit .


Drop in Group is starting to take off. I would love to expand it to weekly in the Fall if there is enough interest, so come by and join us, this month August 7th, this may be the only date for August due to vacations. September dates will be published soon.


Now on South Jersey Babies

South Jersey Birth Network

BirthNetwork provides information and support so you can make educated choices about the kind of maternity care you want to receive.   Our FREE childbirth preparation classes feature topics to equip mothers and birth partners to make informed decisions on a variety of topics related to healthy maternity care and birth.    A variety of resources are available, including a lending library and informational handouts. Join us for free childbirth preparation classes on the first Tuesday of every month. Topics include comfort measures, rights of childbearing women, options available during labor/birth, and much more. Learn More

Breastfeeding Success Classes

A new schedule of Breastfeeding Basics.and Breastfeeding Success classes for the Fall is now posted on our schedule page.

To register for these classes or to request other classes please visit our web site.

Know someone who is having a baby. These classes can help them avoid breastfeeding pitfalls. Give a call and find out about our gift certificates 856-448-4666.

New Jersey VM Case - A Victory of Sorts

A local story with a warning for all mother's rights!

Last week, a mid-level court of appeals in NJ avoided deciding the question of whether or not a pregnant woman's decision-making during labor and childbirth may be the basis for a finding, under state civil child welfare laws, of abuse and neglect. While the decision is a victory of sorts, it nevertheless reveals how extraordinarily unsettled and contested pregnant women's rights are.

In this case, called New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services v. V.M. and B.G., In the Matter of J.M.G., (view a pdf of the decision) a woman's refusal to sign a consent form for cesarean surgery led to hospital interventions and a report of abuse to child welfare authorities. This resulted in a child welfare investigation, the state's decision to remove the child from her parent's custody at birth, and a court finding that both parents had committed medical neglect. Ms. M., by the way, would have consented to cesarean surgery when and if it became necessary, never in fact needed cesarean surgery and delivered a health baby, vaginally.

Read the Full Story

Bed Rest During Pregnancy - Does it Help or Hurt?

Each year, an estimated 700,000 — or one in five — pregnant women in the United States are placed on bed rest for just about every obstetric complication imaginable. It is a standard way to treat pre-term labour, threatened miscarriage, preeclampsia, multiple fetuses, low or high amniotic fluid levels, pregnancy-induced hypertension, premature rupture of membranes and incompetent cervix, among other conditions.

For what purpose? None, according to Judith Maloni, Associate Professor at Case Western Reserve University’s Bolton School of Nursing, who has produced most of the major research about pregnancy bed rest and received the first National Institutes of Health grant on the topic.

For more than a decade, Maloni has been calling on doctors to stop prescribing bed rest routinely to pregnant women. “The body of evidence shows that bed rest has minimal or no benefit,” she says. “That might be no big deal if bed rest didn’t hurt you, but it does.”

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Co-Sleeping and Margot Sunderland's New Book

Every parent should read Margot Sunderland's "Science of Parenting", the new version is being released soon. Here is an article based on her work.

Margot Sunderland, director of education at the Centre for Child Mental Health in London, says the practice, known as “co-sleeping”, makes children more likely to grow up as calm, healthy adults.

Sunderland, author of 20 books, outlines her advice in The Science of Parenting, to be published later this month.

She is so sure of the findings in the new book, based on 800 scientific studies, that she is calling for health visitors to be issued with fact sheets to educate parents about co-sleeping.

“These studies should be widely disseminated to parents,” said Sunderland. “I am sympathetic to parenting gurus — why should they know the science? Ninety per cent of it is so new they bloody well need to know it now. There is absolutely no study saying it is good to let your child cry.”

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