COVID's Silver Lining: Fewer Preemies, SIDS, Early Childhood Mortality, Illness, and Anxiety Among Pediatric Patients

The positive side effects, or silver linings, of COVID distancing are fascinating — exponentially less SIDS cases, far less premature births, statistically significant fewer neonatal and early childhood deaths, physicians specializing in childhood anxiety reporting nearly 100% of pediatric patients seen with clinical anxiety have shown dramatic improvement - most to the point that they wouldn’t even be classified as having anxiety any longer... Entire practices seeing virtually no illness of other kinds among pediatric patients either.

Maybe ...maybe... there is something to be said for keeping parents and babies and children together, for not pressuring and rushing birth, for not pathologizing pregnancy, for allowing children (and new/expecting moms) the ability to get enough sleep, to cocoon together at home (not always, but sometimes), and to not be rushed around to this or that event/class/early appointment/daycare/7am school, 3pm after-school... among *other* things... 💞 Maybe.

There are so many nations that don’t have the SIDS and childhood anxiety and birth morbidity neonatal mortality that the U.S. has... maybe we are catching a tiny glimpse into why this is.

• During Coronavirus Lockdowns, Some Doctors Wondered: Where Are the Preemies?

• Lessons from the Lockdown—Why Are So Many Fewer Children Dying?

Report PDF:


When Children are Required to Mask: Using Buttons on Hats

Excellent idea for times when little ones are required to sport a mask, and need their mask kept off the ears, or to have it be more 'fun' and less intimidating to keep on. 💕

Note: this is not a mask debate, it is simply one parent's solution to make life easier for their child, and an idea that may help others along the way as well.


Newborn Nursing: Frequent, Lengthy, and Normal

I really wish that all new mothers were told that the majority of newborns want to breastfeed much more frequently than every few hours. And many even want to stay latched on, suckling for extended periods of time. This can understandably shake a new mother’s confidence and make her second guess if she’s producing enough milk to keep her nursling satisfied. Women are usually just told that their baby should nurse 'every 2-3 hours,' but frequent (and lengthy) nursing is a totally normal thing for newborns to do! It helps keep them close to mama while regulating her milk supply.

Often babies won’t have these longer stretches between feeds until they’re a little older. Even then, there are several things that could make them want to nurse more, including (but not limited to) teething, sickness, unfamiliar surroundings, or feeling tired. I can’t imagine how miserable it would be to have a fussy baby in your arms but feel like you shouldn’t breastfeed again because it’s "not time yet." ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

This isn’t discussed often enough and new mothers need to be reassured. If baby is gaining weight, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with breastfeeding more often than what you’ve been told is 'normal.' The postpartum period is all about surrendering, so cozy up with your babe and forget the clock.

--Oh Baby Nutrition

9 year old pumped milk found in diaper bag

With a new baby on the way, this nursing mom decided it was time to clean out the old diaper bag, and this is what she found! She writes, "So I am having my 4th kid in a couple of months, and I was going through some old stuff. I found my old diaper bag I had when my now 9 year old was a baby. In the insulated pocket I found a bottle of 8-9 year old breastmilk. The most amazing part is that there is no mold in the bottle!!"

The goodness of momma milk in an air-tight container! Antibody rich, and able to keep other bacteria at bay. Note: this is not to say that this old milk should be used for feeding in any situation. ;)

via goldilacts


Making More Milk: Breastfeeding, Supply and the Feedback Inhibitor of Lactation

By Danelle Day, PhD © 2013

A common concern among new nursing mothers is milk supply. And while it is the case that very rarely does a mother carry a baby to term without also producing the milk this baby needs to thrive post-birth, the worry, "Am I making enough for my baby...?" is ubiquitous.

To maintain a full supply of human milk (and not much is needed in the early weeks or months of babyhood) a mother must drain her breasts often to create a demand. As simple and non-complex as it sounds, that is the very basic, fundamental rule of milk production: increased demand = increased supply.

This basic component of milk production in mammals is termed the Feedback Inhibitor of Lactation (FIL). In Breastfeeding Management for the Clinician: Using the Evidence, Marsha Walker explains, "FIL is an active whey protein that inhibits milk secretion as alveoli become distended and milk is not removed. Its concentration increases with longer periods of milk accumulation, down regulating milk production in a chemical feedback loop."

Unfortunately, when we decrease the demand from the body for milk production by supplementing or putting baby on a time clock (not as much milk is needed to feed baby when s/he is being filled with something else, or when longer intervals pass between feeds) then supply follows the drop in demand and decreases as well. A supplementing mom, or a mother who has been told she should only feed her baby every x number of hours, quickly finds that her milk supply dwindles, and she becomes frustrated and/or sad that breastfeeding "just isn't working out" for her and her baby.

Because of the FIL principle, when products are marketed specifically to mothers who are already breastfeeding their babies, or those who plan to nurse and wish to succeed in doing so, it is an irresponsible and hurtful move to push such items on women already concerned about their babies' wellbeing and their milk supply. Instead, we would empower the next generation of nursing (and pumping) moms, and see more happy, healthy, well-fed babies by understanding and appreciating the FIL process, and encouraging mothers to always listen to their little ones and feed on cue. And in cases where we wish to increase or build milk supply, we must make moves to nurse (and/or pump with a hospital grade pump) completely to empty, at frequent intervals.

When women elect to birth and breastfeed their babies, the female body is a powerfully wonderful, working organism - one which overcomes all kinds of roadblocks along the way. Yet we must provide our bodies with the feedback they need to fulfill what they were designed to do; and in the case of breastfeeding and milk supply, it is all about demand.


1) Walker M: Influence of the maternal anatomy and physiology on lactation. In Breastfeeding Management for the Clinician: Using the Evidence. Sudbury, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers; 2006:51-82.

Related Reading:

Breastfeeding Made Simple (book)

The Baby Bond (book with excellent research on breastfeeding, among other topics)

Your Baby's Signs of Hunger (article)

Lactation Cookies: Increasing Milk Supply (article)

Nursing Mother, Working Mother (book)

Balancing Breastfeeding (article)

Making More Milk (book)

The Politics of Breastfeeding: When Breasts are Bad for Business (book)

Formula For Disaster (film)

Using Formula Like 'Similac for Supplementation' Decreases Milk Supply (article)

Breastfeeding Advocacy and Formula Feeding Guilt (article)

Helpful Breastfeeding Books

Breastfeeding Resource Page


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