The Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition has announced that, as of July 1st, 2012, all 49 of the state's hospitals have gone "bag free," making it the second and largest state to end their distribution in hospitals.
The bags in question are the formula company promotional "gift bags" given to new mothers as they leave the hospital. Rhode Island announced last year that all their hospitals had gotten rid of them.
Not sure why these bags are harmful to breastfeeding? Check out this podcast with Dr. Alison Steube I posted a few years ago. I have new one on this topic coming out in August at the Motherlove Blog - an interview with Marsha Walker.
This is great news because the bags have been shown in multiple studies to negatively impact breastfeeding, but also because getting rid of them is one (very challenging step) in the process of becoming a Baby Friendly hospital.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule as early as today on the federal Affordable Care Act - apparently not today.
The Court might leave the law alone, might eliminate the insurance mandate only, or might invalidate the whole thing. If it chooses the latter, the workplace pumping law is will go away. Not something that makes the news, but it would be a pretty big reversal for working/pumping moms.
Many of you know how vital WIC breastfeeding peer counselors are to supporting breastfeeding for many, many mothers. This support is extra special because it comes from mothers who have participated in WIC and are members of the same community as the moms they help. And this model has proven to be effective at keeping moms breastfeeding.
That's why its worrying to hear that a House Appropriations Subcommittee has defunded the WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselors program in its proposed budget. This budget still has many steps to go, but once something is defunded in at least one version of the budget it takes a fight to get it reinstated.
So the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee is urging us all to tell Congress to reinstate funding for the program. You can do so using their online form, which will get your commens to your representative.
If, like me, you're old enough to remember when Hope said, "I don't want dioxins in my breast milk!" on Thirtysomething (I know I just lost nearly all of you!), the issue of toxins in breastmilk isn't a new one.
A Denver area student who was nursing her 8 month old baby was penalized after she took a break to pump during a four hour class. Her professor approved the breaks, but then lowered her participation grade.
"I asked him 'Why is my participation grade so low? I've been here every single day,'" said Osowski. "And he said, 'Well, you made the choice to leave to pump.'"
When she complained to Metro State officials, Osowski said she got no response. Metro State officials, however, told 7NEWS Reporter Jaclyn Allen that her complaint has prompted them to create a new policy.
"Our new policy specifically says that faculty would not be able to penalize students for having a need such as this," said Steve Monaco, the Health Services Director for the Health Center of Auraria.
Wondering if this mom was covered by the Break Time for Nursing Mothers federal law? I assume that, unless she was also working and covered by the FLSA, she is not.
The CDC and the AAP have both endorsed the WHO charts, which use the breastfed baby as the norm for infant growth and are to be used with all children, regardless of feeding method. They've been in use in the U.K. (and other countries) for a few years.
These charts will more accurately reflect both breastfed and formula fed babies' growth, reducing the chances that breastfed babies will be seen "falling off the curve," and allowing pediatricians (and in this case WIC) to pick up on increased risk of overweight in formula fed babies as well.