Monday, July 20, 2015

Latch On! Breastfeeding Info Cards




The newest Latch On Breastfeeding info cards (double sided, full color, fun, thick and glossy!) are here and ready to be planted by consultants, educators, and advocates alike. Our goal with these new cards is to ensure that all new and expecting mothers who wish to breastfeed are also connected with information that is relevant to their mothering experience, and community support to tap into when it is needed.

You can request a set here: http://www.drmomma.org/2007/02/breastfeeding-info-cards-etc.html And if you operate a business of your own, ordering 1 full box or more (250 cards per box) means you can also add your own business/page URL to the cards. Email DrMomma.org@gmail.com to request this be added.

Thank you for planting seeds and empowering tomorrow's parents!


~~~~~

Additional cards, bracelets, and informational materials on other subjects can be found here or at the "Info Cards" tab at the top of DrMomma.org: http://www.drmomma.org/p/info-cards.html

If you're local to Peaceful Parenting in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area, join us at this year's World Breastfeeding Week Big Latch On taking place in Portsmouth on August 1st. Event details: https://www.facebook.com/events/975947819095237/



Saturday, July 04, 2015

Circumcision and The United States Constitution: Forced Genital Cutting of Minors is Illegal



On this 4th of July we celebrate many freedoms protected and held dear in the United States. One such protection, however, has been failed to be recognized in this nation, and that is the equal right of baby boys and intersex persons to maintain their full and functioning genitals at birth. Taking a closer look at the U.S. Constitution and laws currently in place, we see that routine infant male circumcision is already illegal.

The Equal Protection Clause (8.6) of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits U.S. States from denying any person within their jurisdiction equal protection of the laws. Section 1 of this clause reads:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in December, 1948, by members of the United Nations declares in Articles 2 and 5:
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.

The Federal Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act of 1995 (which was signed into law in 1996, and went into effect in March 1997, punishable as a felony under federal U.S. law) prohibits ANY genital cutting of any kind - including small pin pricks or nicks - to a minor child or baby under the age of 18, for any reason whatsoever (religious or otherwise) if this minor is deemed to be 'female.' The FGM law, in combination with the 14th Amendment Clause 8.6, makes all forms of forced genital cutting on minors a federal violation, regardless of sex. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights further supports this position.

Therefore, as of March 1997, all forms of medically unnecessary forced circumcision on infants of any sex, are most certainly illegal in the United States of America.

Photograph courtesy of Intact New Hampshire

Learn more:

Should I Circumcise My Son? The Pros and Cons of Infant Circumcisionhttp://www.drmomma.org/2014/12/should-i-circumcise-my-son-pros-and.html

Male and Female Genital Cuttinghttp://www.drmomma.org/2011/04/male-and-female-circumcision.html

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Lone Star Customer Stiffs New Breastfeeding, Pumping Mom of Twins in North Carolina



Kelsey Vetter is a brand new breastfeeding mom to 13 week old twin girls in Mount Airy, North Carolina. While at work at Lone Star Steakhouse in Mount Airy, Kelsey takes a 20 minute break to pump milk for her hungry babies at home. Pumping for her little ones is something that is not only vital to their healthy beginning in life, but is also protected by law -- working mothers have the federally sanctioned right to take a break at work to pump milk. (See laws in detail below).

However, one Lone Star customer who was sat in Kelsey's section on June 24, 2015, did not seem to understand the many reasons a young woman may need to step away from her tables for a brief time. This customer would likely benefit from learning a little more about who their server was that night --a working mom striving to do the best for her small babies. Instead of inquiring, or having compassion for what the situation may be, this customer left a large "X" scribbled where a tip would otherwise be written onto their receipt, and left nothing for Kelsey's time in waiting their table that night. In addition, on the back was a scribbled note (above).

On her Facebook page, Kelsey responds:
To the girl who left this for me tonight, and didn't tip... I apologize for the tea being "nasty" (the tea that you asked for a to-go cup in order to take it with you). All you had to do is let me know, and I could have fixed the problem. But you didn't. Also, I DID thank my manager for watching my section, and as you said "waiting on you" for the 20 minutes I had to step away to pump because I am a new mother of two 13-week-old girls whom I breastfeed. No, I don't feel the need to explain myself or warn my table that they may have someone else bring their food, or check on their drinks. I would just like people to be more aware of what a situation might be. There are laws that give breastfeeding women the right to break from their job to pump. Not everyone knows this, but it is important. It's important to understand that it is the only way that some babies eat. So to the girl who left this, I hope that in the future you might consider the big picture instead of just being rude and ignorant. #HindsightIs20/20
We would like to encourage Kelsey -- not only for standing up on behalf of thousands of other mothers who are working and pumping to balance mothering and paying bills, but also for her devotion to nursing her twins (and pumping for them when she's away). Any mom of multiples knows this is no small task, and Kelsey should be supported, encouraged, empowered -- not belittled and denied the income she works for.

If you'd like to help cover the tip this customer should have left, and give a little extra to Kelsey, we are taking up gifts here:

All donations will go to Kelsey for her and her sweet little girls. For sharing via email or text: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=B53D6RH6RD76Q Thank you for supporting and uplifting new moms. ♥

Photograph of Kelsey's twin baby girls from Heavenly Angels Photography.

Federal Workplace Pumping Law

Section 7(r) of the Fair Labor Standards Act – Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision Effective March 23, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amended the FLSA to require employers to provide a nursing mother reasonable break time to express breast milk after the birth of her child. The amendment also requires that employers provide a place for an employee to express breast milk. Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 207) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(r)(1) An employer shall provide— a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk; and a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.

(2) An employer shall not be required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time under paragraph (1) for any work time spent for such purpose.

(3) An employer that employs less than 50 employees shall not be subject to the requirements of this subsection, if such requirements would impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer’s business.

(4) Nothing in this subsection shall preempt a State law that provides greater protections to employees than the protections provided for under this subsection.

United States Department of Labor: Nursing and Pumping Laws for Working Mothers: http://www.dol.gov/whd/nursingmothers/faqBTNM.htm

Breastfeeding State Laws and Federal Health Reform and Nursing Mothers: http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/breastfeeding-state-laws.aspx


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Sunday, June 07, 2015

Swimming, Suits & Mesh: Cut the Lining of Your Child's Suit to Decrease Irritation Potential

By Danelle Frisbie, PhD © 2010
Originally published in Tidewater Parent Magazine



Summer is here! And with the warm and sunny days come trips to the local swimming pool, beach and lake. Every year at this time something surprising happens to many little tykes sporting their new swimsuit -- it's something that no one talks about, and often leaves parents perplexed as to what is really going on. It is what I lightheartedly call the "mesh monster" in our child care classes. That is, the mesh lining in many swimsuits is simply not a good match for the developing genitals of babies and children, and the results are something we see each year, especially among boys.

For boys who are no longer intact (i.e. they were circumcised), the extra sensitive glans (head) of the penis is left exposed, as is the meatus and opening to the urinary tract. The friction of a mesh liner can quickly exacerbate irritation, inflammation, callusing, chaffing, soreness, and may even cause blistering. In addition, the mesh assists in holding sand, salt, algae, and the bacteria that comes with these water-elements close to the genitals - further increasing chance of irritation or infection - not a good thing when striving to avoid UTIs (urinary tract infection) and other discomforts that can occur, especially in early childhood.

For boys who remain intact, the glans and meatus are protected (one function the foreskin serves) but the mesh liner of many suits is just big enough to allow for a trapping of the prepuce (foreskin). Ouch! The same also occurs with many girls (and adult women) each year if their suit or underwear is not made of solid, 'closed' material - the labia, and even external parts of the clitoris, may become pinched in mesh of any kind. Most cases of skin entrapment go unreported, but in 2006, the journal of Pediatric Emergency Care reported on three such cases when children ended up in the ER with penile injuries due to their prepuce becoming pinched in the mesh lining of their swimsuits.

No matter a child's sex, keeping wetness, sand/salt/debris from the ocean or lake, or chemicals of a pool close to the genitals is not a good idea. It throws off the delicate balance of pH and healthy microflora, increases irritation, and is cause of countless "redness" reports each year (commonly diagnosed as 'balanitis' at a physician's office). For this reason, do not have your child swim in underwear or items that don't allow for quick drying and 'breathing.' Use real swimsuits (or cloth diapers without inserts) made of fabric that wicks away and dries quickly. And when prepping this year's suits, cut the mesh liner from the suit before use. This is quick and simple to do - grab a scissors and carefully cut along the stitched-in ridge at the top of the suit. Your child will thank you, and you'll have less redness, irritation, and potential skin entrapment to deal with.

If redness does occur: coconut oil and Calmoseptine are two quality items that will not increase risk of yeast overgrowth, or further throw off pH and microflora balance of the genitals. Coconut oil alone (with some air dry time and warm water only baths) will be enough to soothe inflammation in some cases. If not, Calmoseptine will take care of everything, quickly. You can purchase at tube upon request at your local pharmacy. Always be sure to rinse with clean, fresh water post-swimming.

To prevent redness that repeats itself: apply Calmoseptine ahead of time to 'at risk' areas of the body. This is typically especially the case where swimsuit material (or a diaper, underwear) rubs on or touches the body. The Calmoseptine will serve as a barrier cream and reduce the irritation during swimming summer days. Again, be sure to rinse briefly with clean water after swimming in a pool, lake or the ocean.

If skin entrapment in a liner that was left in place occurs: GENTLY, slowly, and carefully apply vaseline or another slippery ointment if you have some nearby; stretch or tear the mesh with a tweezers or your fingers, if you are able, and/or use a scissors to cut the mesh away from the body, using extreme caution not to cut the ultra sensitive tissues of the genitals. Sliding into luke-warm water will also allow for relaxation, and a change in blood flow - potentially loosening the mesh grip on tissues as well. Post-freeing, apply Calmoseptine and/or take a soak in warm water (with Epsom salt if desired) to reduce inflammation and support the body in healing itself.


Related reading at the Intact Care Resource Page

Graphic courtesy of Intact Indiana

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Thursday, May 07, 2015

Antithesis



painting by Shakaya Leone 

Antithesis

I am large in my skin
I make no apology
This belly grew a baby
Why should it be flat?
It curves with the memory of the womb.
These breasts fed a baby
Why should they be pert?
They swell with the memory of milk.
These hips carried a child
Why should they be slim?
They are full with the memory of life.
My bones are secret under flesh
My skin plump and white and fine
Mine is the face of Botticelli
Mine is the water of the Nile
Mine is the shape of things forbidden
Daughter of Gaia, grown beautiful and wild.

~ Lorri Barrier


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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Sleeping Babies Need Mom Beside Them

By Dr. James J. McKenna,
University of Notre Dame Mother-Baby Sleep Laboratory



Throughout human history, breast-feeding mothers sleeping alongside their infants constituted a marvelously adaptive system in which both the mothers' and infants' sleep physiology and health were connected in beneficial ways. By sleeping next to its mother, the infant receives protection, warmth, emotional reassurance, and breast milk - in just the forms and quantities that nature intended.

This sleeping arrangement permits mothers (and fathers) to respond quickly to the infant if it cries, chokes, or needs its nasal passages cleared, its body cooled, warmed, caressed, rocked or held. This arrangement thus helps to regulate the infant's breathing, sleep state, arousal patterns, heart rates and body temperature. The mother's proximity also stimulates the infant to feed more frequently, thus receiving more antibodies to fight disease. The increased nipple contact also causes changes in the mother's hormone levels that help to prevent a new pregnancy before the infant is ready to be weaned. In this way, the infant regulates its mother's biology, too; increased breast-feeding blocks ovulation, which helps to ensure that pregnancies will not ordinarily occur until the mother's body is able to restore the fat and iron reserves needed for optimal maternal health.

It is a curious fact that in Western societies the practice of mothers, fathers and infants sleeping together came to be thought of as strange, unhealthy and dangerous. Western parents are taught that "co-sleeping" will make the infant too dependent on them, or risk accidental suffocation. Such views are not supported by human experience worldwide, however, where for perhaps millions of years, infants as a matter of course slept next to at least one caregiver, usually the mother, in order to survive. At some point in recent history, infant separateness with low parental contact during the night came to be advocated by child care specialists, while infant-parent interdependence with high parental contact came to be discouraged. In fact, the few psychological studies which are available suggest that children who have "co-slept" in a loving and safe environment become better adjusted adults than those who were encouraged to sleep without parental contact or reassurance.

The fear of suffocating infants has a long and complex cultural history. Since before the middle ages "overlying" or suffocating infants deliberately was common, particularly among the poor in crowded cities. This form of infanticide led local church authorities to make laws forbidding parents to let infants sleep next to them. The practice of giving infants alcohol or opiates to get them to sleep also became common; under such conditions, babies often did not wake up, and it was presumed that the mothers must have overlaid them. Also, in smoke-filled, under-ventilated rooms, infants can easily succumb to asphyxia. Unfortunately, health officials in some Western countries promote the message that sleep contact between the mother and infant increases the chances of the infant dying from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). But the research on which this message is based only indicates that bed-sharing can be dangerous when it occurs in the context of extreme poverty or when the mother is a smoker. Some researchers have attempted to export this message to other cultures. However, in Japan, for example, where co-sleeping is the norm, SIDS rates are among the lowest in the world, which suggests that this arrangement may actually help to prevent SIDS.

Human infants need constant attention and contact with other human beings because they are unable to look after themselves. Unlike other mammals, they cannot keep themselves warm, move about, or feed themselves until relatively late in life. It is their extreme neurological immaturity at birth and slow maturation that make the mother-infant relationship so important. The human infant's brain is only about 25% of its adult weight at birth, whereas most other mammals are born with 60-90% of their adult brain size. The young of most other mammals become independent of their parents within a year, whereas humans take 14 to 17 years to become fully developed physically, and usually longer than that to be fully independent.

Apart from being a natural characteristic of our species, constant proximity to the mother during infancy is also made necessary by the need to feed frequently. Human milk is composed of relatively low amounts of protein and fat, and high amounts of quickly absorbed and metabolized sugars. Therefore the infant's hunger cycle is short, as is the time spent in deep sleep. All of these factors seem to indicate that the custom of separating infants from their parents during sleep time is more the result of cultural history than of fundamental physiological or psychological needs. Sleep laboratory studies have shown that bed-sharing, instead of sleeping in separate rooms, almost doubled the number of breast-feeding episodes and tripled the total nightly duration of breast-feeding. Infants cried much less frequently when sleeping next to their mothers, and spent less time awake. We think that the more frequently infants are breast-fed, the less likely they are to die from cot death.

Our scientific studies of mother and infants sleeping together have shown how tightly bound together the physiological and social aspects of the mother-infant relationship really are. Other studies have shown that separation of the mother and infant has adverse consequences. Anthropological considerations also suggest that separation between the mother and infant should be minimal. Western societies must consider carefully how far and under what circumstances they want to push infants away from the loving and protective co-sleeping environment. Infants' nutritional, emotional and social needs as well as maternal responses to them have evolved in this environment for millennia.


Dr. James J. McKenna is a Professor of Anthropology and the Director of the Center for Behavioral Studies of Mother-Infant Sleep, Notre Dame University. This article first appeared in the March-April 1996 issue of "World Health", the journal of the World Health Organization.



Saturday, May 02, 2015

Mother's Day: A Baby-Saving Gift to Honor Mom



Celebrate the special mom in your life this Mother's Day by giving a powerful baby-saving gift in her honor. With your donation to Saving Our Sons, your mom will receive an email telling her that you gave in her name, and be mailed a special card and keep-sake Baby-Saving Mom magnet (as well as a few intact info cards for her to share). One lucky mom from among those honored will also win a $25.00 Amazon gift card (drawn at random on Mother's Day).

In addition, all are invited to share a photo of the baby-saving mom you know, with some words about what makes her fabulous, and we'll add your Mother's Day wishes to our Baby Saving Moms album on Facebook. [Email this to SavingSons@gmail.com]


Saving Our Sons donations in the following amounts help to cover important efforts each week: 

$20 - One expecting mother/family - materials that are sent in the form of an info pack, DVD, book, and being connected with a local resource

$25 - Five small 'Expecting?' information packages designed to introduce new families-to-be to a variety of baby-friendly subjects, including intact info

$40 - Ten 'Don't Retract' physicians' packs mailed to clinicians who are known to have forcibly retracted (and/or encouraged improper care) in the past 8 weeks.

$50 - Stocking supplies needed for 1/2 an intact info booth at a baby/maternity expo, family fair, or health conference

$60 - Materials for one expecting family AND  ten 'don't retract' packs to clinicians

$75 - Stocking of 1/2 an intact expo booth AND five 'Expecting' information packs to new families

$80 - Professionally made signs for genital autonomy demonstrations (browse past eventshttp://www.drmomma.org/2007/04/expos-events.html and find upcoming events: https://www.facebook.com/SavingOurSons/events)

$100 - Stocking of all materials needed for one baby, maternity or health expo booth, where information and resources are shared with hundreds of attendees

$150 - Booth entrance fees for one mid-sized exposition (ensuring an intact info booth is able to be established at baby, maternity, family and health fairs across the United States and internationally; See all Saving Our Sons local Intact Chapters leading expo booths: http://www.savingsons.org/p/local-chapters.html)

$300 - Booth entrance fees for one large-sized exposition (baby, maternity, and family state-wide fairs, health conferences)

For mailing to the mom in your life, include:

  • her name
  • her email address
  • her mailing address [Note: If you'd prefer to forgo mailing items, and only send a digital card, include an email address only.]
  • select the Pink Orchids or Green Zen card
  • select the Baby Feet or Baby Legs magnet

Include the above information in a note with your donation to Saving Our Sons, or email to SavingSons@gmail.com 

Email will be sent on Mother's Day morning (Sunday, May 10th) to all mothers whose addresses are received by midnight 5.9.15. Parcels will ship immediately and may take 2-5 business days to arrive depending on distance from New York.

Pink Orchid Card (above)


Green Zen Card (below)

Baby Feet Magnet (above) 
(include a note with your choice)
Baby Legs Magnet (below)

Back side of all cards includes an informative selection of facts and helpful sites: 


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Need to drop a suggestion to your loved ones? Grab any of the images below to post with a link to this page for sharing.

And THANK YOU for saving babies. 







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