Returning to Work

March 19, 2011

See New Post HERE


There are 10 steps required for a hospital to be considered Baby Friendly as outlined by UNICEF and The World Health Organization.

The 10 steps are as follows:

1 – Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
2 – Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
3 – Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
4 – Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
5 – Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
6 – Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated.
7 – Practice “rooming in”– allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
8 – Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
9 – Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
10 – Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

To many, these steps might seem logical or even easy. Surprisingly hospitals find it so difficult to assist in successful breastfeeding for mothers and babies that there are only 105 Baby Friendly birth centers in the United States and only 5 in Oregon.

The 5 Baby Friendly hospitals in Oregon are:
Three Rivers Community Hospital in Grants Pass
Providence Medical Center in Medford
PeaceHealth Nurse Midwifery Birth Center in Springfield
Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center in Clackamas
and very recently joining the ranks of Baby Friendly Hospitals in Oregon is
Providence Medical Center in Newberg.

I recommend contacting your local hospital or birth center and asking them to become Baby Friendly to better support local moms and babies efforts to breastfeed successfully.

To find out more: The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative


The following information is important and relevant for breastfeeding mothers and mothers who plan to breastfeed in the future. Natural birth affects breastfeeding getting off to a good start. Many sources site that fact including Counseling the Nursing Mother, 4th edition by Judith Lauwers & Anna Swisher. “Parents can arrange for a birthing environment that promotes early, uninterrupted breastfeeding…” “They can choose to deliver their baby at home or at a birthing center to reduce unnecessary interventions.”

As a woman in Oregon you have have the right to choose who will
attend your birth. That freedom is in jeopardy! A bill recently
introduced to Oregon legislature would make virtually all forms of
serving women in pregnancy, birth and postpartum illegal
without a state license.

House Bill 2380 gives a board of non-elected officials the power to decide who can give birth outside of a hospital and who is allowed to help.

If House Bill 2380 passes:

~All midwives would be restricted from serving certain women.

~Unlicensed midwives would be illegal in Oregon.

~Some women would not be allowed to hire a midwife.

~Family and friends could be prosecuted for assisting a birthing

~Doulas could be prosecuted if they assist in a woman’s labor at

~The cost of homebirth would rise.

Tell the state “Hands off my rights! Keep Oregon law the way it is.”

Visit today!
The website provides a copy of the proposed bill, contact information for your local representatives, sample letters to send the representatives to tell them you are happy with our current birth freedom and choices in our wonderful state.


~information provided by Laura Tanner, mother of 3 & homebirth midwife in Salem, Oregon.


December 2, 2010

I often talk to mothers who are advised to begin pumping their breasts and/or supplementing within the first 24 hours.

I also frequently talk with mothers who are trying to get baby back to breast after weeks of pumping and bottle feeding, usually with formula supplementation as well.

After asking these moms why they began pumping in the first place, it is because they are told by hospital staff that they do not have enough milk. There are so many things wrong with this statement. I could discuss the way that the environment in which a woman gives birth and interventions affect a mother’s milk supply, her hormones, and the baby’s ability to suckle. I could go into how much more efficient a baby is than a breast pump and how supporting a mom to feed her baby at the breast would be a much more productive use of time, money, and would also build strong bonds within families. However, I won’t even go into all of these things on this post. In this post, I will try to stick to the basics of colostrum. What is it? What is the purpose of colostrum? How much does baby need in the first few hours? In the first few days?

What is Colostrum?

*Colostrum is basically your first milk & baby’s first food.
*It is thicker & stickier than your milk will be in the next stages of milk production.
*Yellow-ish in color

Why is Colostrum Important? What does it do?

*Colostrum functions as a natural laxative for babe. This is a wonderful way to help baby pass the first stools, meconium.
*Colostrum helps keep baby healthy by providing living cells complete with amazing antibodies that assist an infant’s immature immune system. (they certainly can’t make formula a living substance!!)
*Easy to digest. Perfect food for baby. Any supplementation is enough to change the flora of an infant’s gut for at least 2 weeks.
*aids in excretion of excess bilirubin, helping prevent jaundice
*seals gastrointestinal tract of babe, this helps prevent later issues with food sensitivities

How much Colostrum Does my Baby Need?

Baby’s stomach capacity is approximately the size of the palm of their hand. It is normal for moms to love their baby with so much intensity that they want to do everything just right. It is a powerful mothering instinct to want to make sure baby is fed. It is a great aspect of the strong bond between mothers and babies even before birth. However, it is also important to understand an infant’s stomach capacity and to realize that it is not necessary to fill up an entire baby with milk within the first day. Infants do not have hollow arms and legs and they are born to take only the precise amount of colostrum that your body is ready to feed them as you both learn about breastfeeding together.

The average stomach capacity of a newborn is:

DAY 1 ~ 5-7ml. (wow!! this means your new baby only needs about 1.5 teaspoons per feeding)
DAY 3 ~ 3/4-1oz. (2 tablespoons!! yep, that is all. you & your baby can do this!)
DAY 7 ~ 1.5-2oz (3-4 tablespoons)


The great news is that if you have provided exclusive breastmilk throughout baby’s 1st week, it is so much easier to continue nursing for as long as you wish.

A Great Visual of Colostrum with Hand Expression

Risks of Formula

November 7, 2010

Risks of Formula to Baby

diabetes (juvenile & adult)
some childhood cancers
crohn’s disease
necrotizing enterocolitis
cardiac disease
poorer cognitive development
poorer visual development

Risks of Formula to Mother

breast cancer
uterine cancer
ovarian cancer
adult onset diabetes
iron deficiency
loss of empowering effect of successful breastfeeding

~per Dr. Jack Newman’s Visual Guide to Breastfeeding
I HIGHLY recommend this video to both parents & professionals.

Postpartum Mental Health

November 5, 2010

First of all, I entitled this post ‘Postpartum Mental Health’ as I get tired of only hearing about postpartum depression. There is a wide range of perinatal mental health issues that are not only overlooked, but sometimes unknown to a new mom. A mother who is suffering from postpartum anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder might not realize that she may be dealing with a hormone-related temporary issue.

I have been thinking about this subject a lot lately as I have been asked to do a presentation for work and I have also been inspired by a great article in the Sept-Oct 2010 issue of Mothering magazine entitled ‘Breastfeeding Beats the Blues,” by Kathleen A. Kendall Tackett.

After doing a limited amount of research I came across some information that I wanted to share:

“A recent review of 49 studies found that rates of depression are lower in breastfeeding mothers than in their non-breastfeeding counterparts, and that formula feeding is a risk factor for depression.” ~Kathleen A. Kendall-Tackett (bibliography of study found in Mothering magazine)

Breastfeeding can aid in recovery from PPD and protect the bond between mamas & babes as it is an established reason for mom to continue to bond, connect with, look at, and touch her baby. This is vital not only for bonding and mental health, but also social-emotional development.

Three different studies in the latest issue (Sept-Oct 2010) of Mothering magazine have revealed that breastfeeding mothers get more sleep than formula feeding mothers and that quantity of sleep contributes to their positive mental health.
Co-Sleeping can be a way to get plenty of rest while breastfeeding (I recommend the book Sleeping With Your Baby by James McKenna, PhD)

Breastfeeding is a way for a new mom to feel validated as she continues to care for her child and meet their most important needs even when she is feeling down.

Postpartum Support International has a good overview on the different types of perinatal mood disorders.

There are a variety of ways to offer support to a breastfeeding mother who might be suffering from postpartum depression or a similar illness. Often it is a good idea for 1-2 of mom’s support team to be aware of the symptoms of perinatal mood disorders so that they can assist the mother with getting any help that she needs.