Leonard Bruno

Leonard is a website designer and graphic designer for the North Park Group. He has been working with SDCBC for the past year on developing the website.

Postpartum mood disorders 2017

COURSE OBJECTIVES: At the conclusion of this seminar the participant should be able to: Utilize the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Screen (EPDS) and refer high-risk patients to maternal mental health experts. Describe treatment options for a breastfeeding mother identified with postpartum depression and/or anxiety. List 3 commonly used medications for treating maternal mood disorders in the
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New Emojis to Include Breastfeeding, by To-wen Tseng

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The emoji lexicon is one that continues to grow month after month, year after year. Once little more than a collection of smiley faces and a few symbols, now the emojipedia is set to grow bigger and more inclusive, and the emoji-powers-that-be at Unicode seem to have their finger on the pulse of the world’s zeitgeist with the latest additions.

Many symbols of social progress were approved to be added to the official line up during the 149th meeting of Unicode Consortium, the international group that regulates emojis. The consortium signed off on 56 new symbols as part of an effort to make emojis more representative of a wide and diverse base.

The list will take the total number of the cartoon images, which are increasingly being used to replace words in text messages, to 1,724. In the digital times, the adding of new emoji has kind of become like adding a new word to our language. The new adding of “words” are based on proposals submitted to the consortium over the past year and one big standout emoji was “Woman Breastfeeding Baby.”

Also included in the new list, Unicode 10, are emojis featuring a woman wearing a hijab and a person practicing yoga.

The mix will be added to the collection in 2017. The inclusion of breastfeeding emoji was welcomed on Twitter as a triumph of normalizing breastfeeding. Considering the problems Facebook users have experienced when it comes to posting pictures of breastfeeding, it is good to see the emoji being received in the wider world.

Bustle: The New Breastfeeding Emoji Will Help Stamp Out Any Stigma That’s Left
— USBC (@USbreastfeeding) November 22, 2016

There’s now a breastfeeding woman emoji. 💪 💪
— Glamour (@glamourmag) November 23, 2016

A #breastfeeding emoji is finally on its way!
— To-Wen Tseng (@twtseng) November 23, 2016

Rachel W. Lee, a registered nurse and medial equipment trainer at University of College of London Hospital, submitted the breastfeeding emoji for approval.

“The lack of a breastfeeding emoji represents a gap in the Unicode Standard given the prevalence of breastfeeding in cultures around the world, and through history,” she wrote. Her proposal for the breastfeeding emoji pointed out that “three million mothers participate in the activity of breastfeeding in the United States at any given time,” and that the baby bottle ranks in the top 50% of emojis used on emojitracker.com.

Earlier this year, Google revealed a series of new emojis in an effort to better represent gender equality. It’s a comfort that a breastfeeding emoji comes out at a time when the President-elect of the United States calls breastfeeding “disgusting.” “In dark times, we can always use more emoji,” the Ringer reported.

Among the Unicode Consortium members who get to vote on emoji standards are Apple, Google, Microsofr, Huawei, Facebook and Adobe. The Government of India is also a voting member.

Despite their approval, emoji take some time to roll out to smartphones. Android N was the first OS to support Unicode 9; all of the latest emoji from Unicode 9 was found in Android 7.0 this May. Those using iOS just saw Unicode 9 this month in the iOS 10.2 Public Beta. New emoji are typically released on phones with a new version of the phone’s operating system, often quite some time from when they’re initially approved. But as it says: baby steps!

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Breastfeeding and co-sleeping: A Biologic Imperative

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“Sleep like a baby” is a common expression, but what does it really mean?

According to Dr. James McKenna, an anthropology professor at University of Notre Dame and a world-recognized behavioral sleep expert, it means baby sleeps near the mother with frequent breastmilk delivery.

Then why parents in today’s industrialized world often believe that that solitary infant sleep is the norm?

At a recent World Breastfeeding Week MIni-Seminar sponsored by UCSD Medicine School and SDCBC, Dr. MeKenna discussed the historical and cultural circumstances that led to the assumption.

Until recent historic periods in the western world, no human ancestral or modern infant was ever separated from its caregiver. In the 1700s, Catholic Church in Europe banned bedsharing to help prevent infanticide among poor, starving mothers who confessed to “overlaying their babies” due to lack of birth control and the means to support a family.

Then In 1901, Marianna Wheeler, a superintendent of the Babies’ Hospital in New York, published a book “The Baby” and wrote, “The constant handling of an infant is not good for him. The less he is lifted, held and passed from one pair of hands to another, the better… The newborn infant should spend the greater portion of his life on the bed.”

American psychologist John Watson believed that no child could get too little affection, his psychological school of behaviorism had a huge influence on models of child development in the 1920s. He once said, “never hug or kiss your children…Never let them sit on your lap. If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say goodnight. Shake hands with them in the morning.”

“The Motherhood Book” published in 1935 claimed “babies should be trained from their earliest days to sleep regularly and should never be woken in the night for feeding,” “baby should be given his own bedroom from the very beginning. He should never be brought into the living room at night.”

And year later, Dr. Spock, the American pediatrician authority of the 1940s, promoted the same view.

In the 1980s, America sleep research began when only 9% of American were being breastfed and formula feeding was the craze. AAP guidelines stated “never let a baby fall asleep at the breast.”

More recently, Dr. Richard Ferber, the inventor of famous Ferber Method, published “Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems” and wrote “sleeping in your bed can make an infant confused and anxious rather than relaxed and reassured. Even a toddler may find this repeated experience overly stimulating…if you find that you actually prefer to sleep with your baby, you should consider your own feelings very carefully.”

Dr. McKenna called this a “damaging statement.” In a matter of fact, Dr. Ferber changed his mind later and rewrote his famous “Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems” in 2006. This time, he wrote, “Whatever yo want to do, whatever you feel comfortable doing, is the right thing to do, as long as it works…most problem can be solved regardless of the philosophical approach chosen.”

But even after that, the American authorities still warned mothers about co-sleeping. Just in 2008, Deanne Tilton Durfee, director of the LA County Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect, issued a warning, “We know that value of holding your child, cuddling your child, loving your child But if you take the baby to bed with you and fall asleep, you are committing a potentially lethal act.”

The truth is, co-sleeping doesn’t increase the chance of SUDI, sudden unexpected death in infancy. In most of the SUDI cases, babies were already in an unsafe sleeping environment,  they could die by sleeping all alone, it doesn’t matter if she’s sleeping with the parents. In many cases, the parent roll over the baby when high on drug.

Fortunately, the erroneous assumption is changing. “The whole fuzz is caused by 10 people,” said Dr. McKenna, “and I’, sure they can be easily replaced by another 10 people. Two decades from now, co-sleeping will be the norm.”

Many new researches show that co-sleeping benefits mother and infant in many ways. Dr. McKenna’s recent research stated that co-sleeping and breastfeeding is a mutual re-enforcing system; he called it “breastsleeping.” An 2007 research found that co-sleepers are more secure being left alone.

So what makes co-sleep safe? Dr. McKenna provided the following factors:

  • Supine sleep position.
  • Exclusive breastfeeding.
  • No maternal smoking.
  • No children co-sleeping with infant.
  • Adhere to routine practice.
  • Avoid co-sleeping on couches, armchairs, reclines, or waterbeds.
  • Avoid bed-sharing if the baby is bottle feeding or the parent is a smoker, place crib or bassinet next to bed instead.

This is an original post for San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition by To-wen Tseng.

mckenna 2

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Deciphering the Lactation Curve

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What can a lactation consultant learn from the dairy industry?

According to Lisa Marasco, MA, IBCLC, FILCA, the dairy industry can provide a different prospect of milk production and help healthcare professionals decipher the lactation curve.

The concept of a lactation curve is well known in the dairy industry, but not in the human lactation world. When we look at milk production in the paradigm of this curve, we begin to understand the underlying drivers of milk production and why some women’s production seems more resilient than others.

At a recent SDCBC general meeting, Marasco explored the factors involved in the curve, the concept of persistency, and the importance of what happens in the beginning to long-term calibration.

Marasco made an analogy between the lactation trajectory and the rocket forces: the trajectory is a path followed by a projectile flying or an object moving under the action of a given force. And our goal is long term maintenance of sufficient milk production.

Marasco introduced her famous milk supply equation inspired by the dairy industry to explain the key factors which make an ideal “trajectory” and allow moms to make enough milk:

Sufficient lactation tissue

+ Intact nerve pathways and ducts

+Adequate hormones and hormone receptors

+Adequately frequent, effective milk removal and simulation

=Good milk production

Marasco further explained what each piece of the equation means, so that her fellow lactation consultants can use it to solve milk supply mystery for the moms they work with.

Sufficient lactation tissue: This is the question whether the mother has “the right size of the rocket to do the job,” using Marasco’s own wording. Some women have less glandular tissue than others, and as a result produce less milk. However this is not a question of breast size, but of the amount of milk making structures inside the breast.

Intact nerve pathways and ducts: If the mom had a breast injury or a breast surgery, she may have sustained damage to her milk ducts and/or nerves. Both are key to milk production.

Adequate hormones and hormones receptors: An often overlooked source of milk supply problems, adequate hormones are another part of the milk supply equation. Conditions such as PCOS, anemia, thyroid problems and postpartum hemorrhage can affect mom’s hormone levels and may cause problems with milk supply.

Adequately frequent, effective milk removal and stimulation: This part of the equation is at the heart of many breastfeeding problems.

  • Adequately frequent: Frequently empty of mom’s breasts signals her body to maintain a good level of milk production. In dairy industry is regular pump. In human lactation world it’s effective baby suck. “Mom may owns the equipment, but babies drive the supply!” said Marasco. What does adequately frequent mean? Generally it means 8 to 12 feedings in 24 hours, but some babies who don’t remove much milk at feedings require even more feedings. Pacifiers can mask feeding cues, so consistent use of them can reduce feeding frequency and lower milk supply.
  • Effective milk removal: Removing a significant amount of milk at each feeding also signals mom’s body to maintain good milk production. But a baby who has a poor latch, is sleepy, s refusing the breast, has an anatomical barrier (such as tongue tie or eldest palate) to effective milk removal, or is otherwise unable to remove enough milk, will make it difficult to establish and maintain and adequate milk supply. Milk removal also occurs with a breast pump, so pumping problems can also results in lower milk supply.

Fortunately, there are steps lactation consultants can take to remedy many of the causes of low milk supply. For measures to take to increase milk supply, Marasco recommend the Morton Maximizing Production video.

This is an original post for San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition by To-wen Tseng.

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Benefits of Skin-to-Skin Contact (It’s for Dad, too!)

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to wens son

Benefits of Skin-to-Skin Contact (It’s for Dads, Too!)

The other night before bedtime story, my three-year-old pulled up his pajamas, put his stuffed piggy on his chest, claiming, “I’m breastfeeding Piggy!”

“Oh that’s sweet!” I said, “But I’m not sure if you can do that—boys don’t have milk.’

“I’m a big MAN!” He corrected me. He likes to call himself a big man these days.

“Okay, big man. Still, men don’t have milk, either.”

He paused, then announced, “I’m skin-to-skin Piggy!”

I laughed. That was cute. I snapped a shot with my cellphone. I have no idea where he learned about the term “skin-to-skin.” But he was right—while skin-to-skin (baby naked, not wrapped in a blanket) contact between mom and baby helps breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact between dad and baby can be beneficial, too. It is the easiest way to form a secure attachment and does a lot more than promote bonding.

It helps baby adapt

Thermal regulation is a very common problem with infants, especially preterm babies. When the baby was in the womb, he didn’t need to regulate his own temperature. Since parents’ skin is the same temperature as the womb, baby will find it easier to adapt to his post-birth environment.

It boosts baby’s mental and brain development

Skin-to-skin contact is a multi-sensory experience. Holding baby on parent’s skin increases the development of essential neural pathways, which accelerates brain maturation. According to a Canadian study, preemies who received skin-to-skin contact had better brain functioning at 15 years old—comparable to that of adolescents born full term—than those who had been placed in incubators. The research shows skin-to-skin contacted babies spend more time in quiet sleep, which stabilizes their heart rate, enhances organizational patterns in the brain and helps the brain develop better.

It promotes healthy weight

One Cochrane Library review concluded that skin-to-skin contact dramatically increases newborn weight gain. When babies are warm, they don’t need to use their energy to regulate their body temperature. They can use that energy to grow instead. Plus, skin-to-skin touched babies enjoy increased breastfeeding rates, which can’t hurt healthy weight gain.

It reduces baby’s stress and pain

Just 10 minutes of skin-to-skin contact reduces babies’ level of the stress hormone cortisol, and increases levels of the “cuddle hormone” oxytocin, which stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system to make babies feel calm and safe, according a research published in AACN Clinical Issues. “When preterm infants are held chest-to-chest, they react less to heel sticks, a minimally invasive way to draw blood, and a common source of pain among preemies,” said Dr. Susan M. Ludington, the lead author of the research.

It helps baby sleep

Less stress equals to better sleep. Preemies who were cradled skin-to-skin slept more deeply and woke up less often than those who slept in incubators, reported the journal Pediatrics.

There are now a multitude of studies that show that mothers and babies should be together, skin-to-skin immediately after birth. After that, continued skin-to-skin can still be beneficial, either between mom and baby or dad and baby. The baby is happier, the baby’s temperature is more stable, the baby’s heart and breathing rates are more normal, and the baby’s blood sugar is more elevated.

From their time in the womb, babies recognize their fathers’ voice. Babies find skin-to-skin contact with dad calming, and it helps dad and baby bond. So get snuggling. Happy, happy Father’s Day!




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Handling criticism about extended breastfeeding

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When my son was two months old and I was breastfeeding, everybody told me, “that’s great. Breast is the best.” When my son turned two years old and I was still breastfeeding, everybody told me, “your child is too old to be breastfed.”

Breastfeed a baby beyond age one is known as extended breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months after birth, and breastfeeding in combination with solid foods until at least age one. Extended breastfeeding is actually recommended as long as the mother and her baby wish to continue, but, still, mothers decide to nurse their babies beyond age one often face unwelcome opinions and judging looks. Here are some questions extended nursing moms often hear and how one can response.

  1. Aren’t you tired of watching your diet for such a long time?

“In fact, you don’t need to have the perfect diet to breastfeed. Of course, we need to take a bit more precaution when nursing, and we can’t be completely reckless with our bodies. But no breastfeeding mom should feel bad about eating the occasional doughnut or burger or drinking the once-a-while cup of coffee or tea.”

  1. How long are you going to breastfeed?

“A lot of the time, women don’t know how long they’re going to breastfeed. Maybe a few years, maybe a few days. A lot of the time, extended breastfeeding is not planned, it just happened because both the mom and her baby enjoy the relationship.”

  1. You’re still breastfeeding? Why?

“Yes, I’m still breastfeeding. I’m doing this because my baby and I wish to continue the relationship, also because of the many health and emotional benefits of extended breastfeeding.”

  1. Once you give your baby solid food, you should stop nursing. Breast milk over 6 month is not nutritious.

“This is a common myth. The truth is, breast milk is the gold standard for infant nutrition. As your baby gets older, the composition of your breast milk will continue to change to meet his or her nutritional needs.”

  1. Aren’t you afraid your boobs are going to get stretched out?

“I’m not thinking about what my boobs are going to look like in the future. I’m thinking about feeding my baby. My breasts are for babies, not a sexual organ or an object of fetishes.”

  1. I never breastfed my kids, and they turned out fine.

When I asked for lactation accommodation upon my return to work after giving birth, a supervisor told me “Just give him formula. We feed our kid formula and he went to Harvard.” I told him I think it’s great that his son went to Harvard, “But your kid is your kid, mine is mine. And breastfeeding is a human right.”

  1. Your child is too old to be breastfed.

“The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively until my baby is six months old and then to continue breastfeed until they are two years of age or older. That’s two years of age OR OLDER.”

Breastfeeding a toddler is a controversial topic, as any mom who’s done so publicly can attest. When my son turned 18 months old and was still being breastfed, I stopped nursing in public. When he turned two years old and was still being breastfed, I let both my mom and mother-in-law believe that I had already weaned him. By so doing saved me some arguments. But in an ideal world, every mother chose to continue breastfeed her baby beyond age one should be able to proudly nurse her toddler!-




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Maternal Nutrition and Perinatal Outcomes

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Maternal diet in pregnancy is super important—it can affect three generations: the mother, the baby, and the reproductive cells in the fetus. To help her colleagues better understand maternal nutrition and perinatal outcomes, Dr. Mary Barger (MPH, CNM), associate professor at University of San Diego, talked about healthy eating in pregnancy at a recent SDCBC general meeting.

Omega-3-fatty acids

One thing that is important for pregnant mother is Eicosanoids. “Good” Eicosanoids inhibit platelet aggregation, promote vasodilation, and inhibit cellular proliferation, while “bad” Eicosanoids promote platelet aggregation and vasoconstriction. Anti-inflammatory eicosanoids, which Dr. Barger referred to as the “good” ones, come from eating a diet rich in long-chain omega-3-fatty acids that can be find in fish oil.

“We should eat fish!” Dr. Barger said that Americans no longer eat enough fish, because the EPA oversold the risk of fish. For mercury concerns, Dr. Barger gave a guideline, “don’t eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, and limit other fish intake to 12 oz per week.”

Breastfeeding mothers should eat a Omega-3s rich diet, too.


Not only is maternal diet during pregnancy important, it is important even before pregnancy. Studies found that healthy eating, which means more protein and less carbs, decreased risk of infertility by 70%.

Folic Acid

Dr. Barger also described evidence of how the intrauterine environment affects gene expression. “A pregnant mother’s diet may turn the genes around,” she said.

With the help of some fat yellow mice, scientists have discovered exactly how a mother’s diet can permanently alter the functioning of genes in her offspring without changing the genes themselves.

The unusual strain of mouse carries a kind of trigger near the gene that determines not only the color of its coat but also its predisposition to obesity, diabetes, and cancer. When pregnant mice were fed extra vitamins and supplements, the supplements interacted with the trigger in the fetal mice and shut down the gene. As a result, obese yellow mothers gave birth to standard brown baby mice that grew up lean and healthy.

What are the “supplements”? “It’s folate,” said Dr. Barger. She recommended pregnant women eat food containing folic acid.

Mediterranean Diet

Dr. Barger said, “the single most important thing that a pregnant woman puts in her body is food.” Studies found that the “mediterranean diet” can lower the risk of preterm birth. The Mediterranean diet, also known as low-glycemic diet, is associated with less gestational weight and less glucose intolerance. The goal is to eat nutrient-rich, low glycemic foods or minimum five fruits and vegetables a day.


Only a small increase of vitamin A is needed in pregnancy. American women have low vitamin D levels and a daily supplement of 20 ng/ml during pregnancy is recommended; larger amounts are required during breastfeeding for infant vitamin D sufficiency. Vitamin B12 supplement is recommended for RNA/DNA synthesis, such as brain and spinal column and RBC formation.


Iodine supplement is recommended for thyroid functioning and prevention of congenital mental retardation. Recommended intake of Calcium during pregnancy is 1300mg per day.

A normal pregnancy is not a “fragile” event. Mothers should still enjoy their favorite foods, just make a little changes, eat a little bit healthier for their babies. In general, Dr. Barger recommended pregnant mothers:

  • Have three meals and two snacks a day, because infrequent eating or fasting is associated with preterm birth.
  • Drink plenty of water as primary source of liquid and avoid alcool.
  • To avoid food borne illnesses that can cause maternal or fetal disease by eating, eat only well-cooked meat.



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The Funny Reality of Breastfeeding

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The Funny Reality of Breastfeeding

My 2-year-and-3-month-old recently weaned from breastfeeding. Now looking back, I feel that breastfeeding can be emotional, challenging, rewarding, and also funny! In light of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, I’d like to share some semi-funny moments of my breastfeeding journey.

  • When nursing, I feel there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. I quit my job because the company didn’t support pumping at work. It’s been two years and I still think it’s worth of it.
  • Like all the other breastfeeding mothers, I’ve been told to cover up when nursing in public. Last time when I was asked to do so, I told my 2-year-old: “This auntie wants you to hide under the blanket while eating.” And he shouted out loudly, “NO!”
  • Even when we were covered up, I’d still be told to go to somewhere else to breastfeed. Last time when I was asked to do so, I told my 2-year-old: “This uncle wants you to eat in the restroom.” And he replied, “Uncle go away.”
  • For sleep training purposes, the books told us, “as baby drifts off, gently remove breast.” But my baby always wakes up immediately when I tried to remove the breast.
  • My mom told me that the size of my boobs will never be the same again—they’ll get bigger. But she didn’t tell me that the shape of my boobs will never be the same, either.
  • Whenever trying to “nurse down” my sleepy baby, I was always the one who was “down” first.
  • Soon I learned to keep my smart phone close by, so that I can watch “Case Closed” and stay awake while breastfeeding.
  • I even learned to pick up my smart phone with my toes when it’s not possible to move my upper body and breastfeed at the same time.
  • As long as I give him his bed-time nursing session, my child can sleep straight a nine hours. It’s nice, but in the morning I had to beg him to get up and eat because my boobs were engorged.
  • It hurt so badly to breastfeed when my baby was teething that I swore numerous times to myself, “I will wean him tomorrow.” But I never really carried out the plan. Now we are done with breastfeeding, it actually feels weird not to have hydrogel pads on my nipples.

My little one was only breastfed once a day as part of his bedtime routine by the time he turned two years old. To wean him naturally, after his second birthday, every night I just asked him, “Do you want mama’s milk or cow’s milk?” He always chose mama’s milk. After three months, one night he finally chose cow’s milk. Several days later he tried to switch back to mama’s milk, only he realized there was no more milk in my breasts.

The last scene of our breastfeeding journey was like this: he latched on, sucked for a few minutes, and then he opened his month, looked up to me and said, “there’s no milk.” I said, “that’s because you’re a big boy now, and mama’s milk is only for babies.” He hugged me (my breasts actually) and said, “bye bye booboos.”

I’ll remember all of these moments.




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Kicking off World Breastfeeding Week 2015

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World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2015 is August 1st-7th! This WBW, World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) calls for global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work. Weather a woman is working in an office or work from home, it is necessary that she is empowered in claiming her and her baby’s right to breastfeed.

It is widely recognized that breastfeeding provides ideal nutrition for infants and contributes to their healthy growth and development. The WBW 2015 theme on working women and breastfeeding revisits the 1993 WBW campaign on the Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative.

Much has been achieved in 22 years of global action supporting women in combining breastfeeding and work. We’ve seen the adoption of the revised International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 183 on Maternity Protection, and more country efforts on improving national laws and practices. Actions have been taken at workplace level to set up mother and baby-friendly working environments, including awards to recognize breastfeeding-friendly employers, and greater mass awareness on working women’s right to breastfeed.

Still, much remains to be done. UNICEF’s 1990 Innocenti Declaration called on government to “enact imaginative legislation protecting the breastfeeding rights of working women and establish means for its enforcement.” According to WABA, UNICEF’s call has not been paying the attention it deserves.

With the WBW 2015 campaign, WABA calls for:

  • Concerted global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work, whether in the formal sector, non-formal sector, or at home.
  • Ratification and implementation of maternity protection laws and regulations by governments, in line with the ILO Maternity Protection Convention.
  • Inclusion of breastfeeding target indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

WABA defines work in its broadest form from paid employment, self-employment, seasonal, and contract work to unpaid home and care work. There are five objectives of WBW 2015 coordinated by WABA:

  1. Galvanize multi-dimensional support from all sectors to enable women everywhere to work and breastfeed.
  2. Promote actions by employers to become family/parent/baby and mother-friendly, and to actively facilitate and support employed women to continue breastfeeding.
  3. Inform people about the latest in global maternity protection entitlements, and raise awareness of the need to strengthen related national legislation and implementation.
  4. Strengthen, facilitate, and showcase supportive practices that enable women working in the informal sector to breastfeed.
  5. Engage with target groups (e.g. trade unions, workers rights organizations, women’s groups, and youth groups, to protect the breastfeeding rights of women in the workplace.)

Whether you are a mother that claiming your right to breastfeed or an advocate that campaigning to support to work and breastfeed, WABA says that there are three necessary factors that determine success: time, space, and support. All three factors are needed for women in any kind of working setting.

  • Time: Adequate paid prenatal leave and six month paid postpartum maternity leave to support exclusive breastfeeding. Where maternity leave is shorter, women need means to extend their leave period, combining paid and unpaid leave, so that they can be with their babies.
  • Space: Infant and child-care at or near the workplace and transportation for mothers to be with their babies. For rural worksites and seasonal work, women could use mobile child-care units, shared child-care, or nurse arrangements according to accepted cultural practices.
  • Support: Information about national maternity laws and benefits, and maternity provisions provided at workplaces, which may be better than national laws and practices.

San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition has long been promoting and supporting all women to combine work and breastfeeding. Employers, employees, and mothers can find SDCBC’s working and breastfeeding resources here. Together, let’s make breastfeeding at work work!



leonardbrunoKicking off World Breastfeeding Week 2015
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Breast is best for babies, but not for bodybuilders

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In today’s e-commerce world, you can buy anything online. These days along with electronic gizmos and hard-to-find shoe sizes, people are offering human breast milk for sale. But the buyers are often not mothers. The breast milk market is lucrative and booming online as the nourishment for babies has become increasingly popular among some men who believe drinking it improves athletic performance or can cure diseases.

Some online forums suggest cancer patients should drink breast milk because it is supposedly easier to digest, better tolerated, and full of immune benefits, including immunoglobulin, a protein used by the immune system. Other forums preach the nutritional or energy benefits of such milk.

While adults are buying lots of breast milk online as fitness aids or health elixirs, health experts say that online human breast milk craze has health risks, and adults really shouldn’t drink human breast milk.

In an editorial published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine co-authored by Dr. Sarah Steele, specialist at the global health and policy unit at London’s Queen Mary University, doctors warned that since the sale of breast milk online isn’t regulated, there’s really no way to tell if the “liquid gold” you buy actually contains harmful bacteria. Raw human breast milk that is not properly handled or stored can be ridden with food-borne bacteria. It is also reported that human breast milk sold online can be responsible for exposing consumers to other infectious diseases coming from the mother.

In other words, rather than energy, human breast milk purchased online may give you Syphilis, hepatitis, and HIV. The growing online trend among some fitness communities and chronic disease sufferers for buying and drinking human breast milk actually poses serious health risks.

Not only human breast milk sold online poses health hazards among grown-up drinkers, specialists also said there was little evidence to support claims that the milk is some kind of super food for adults that can boost health and fitness and ward off disease. Dr. Sarah Steele explained that human breast milk sold at a premium online are falsely advertised. She said that there truly is no real benefit for consuming human breast milk unless you are a baby.

“Human breast milk is not delivering the nutritional benefit it touts online,” she said, “For adults, nutritionally, there is less protein in breast milk than other milks like cow’s milk.”

Breast milk contains the protein alpha-lactalbumin that are readily digestible for a baby’s tummy as oppose to casein which is the major protein in cow’s milk, naturally intended for calf.

Dr. Steele emphasized that human breast milk has an extraordinary nutritional benefits for infant, however the case is different among adults since breast milk is broken down differently in an adult’s gut. She also added that the milk can prove to be very hazardous if it is used to replace a healthy balanced diet.

She said that potential buyers should be made aware that is no scientific study evidence proving that direct adult consumption of human milk for medicinal properties offers anything more than a placebo effect.

While breast milk is considered to be the perfect food for babies and children under age 2, there is no evidence that it is helpful in any way for adults and buying it over the internet is not a particularly safe way to obtain it. Human breast milk is not a superfood, unless you are a baby. We applaud those women who strive to breastfeed their children, as for those bodybuilders who drink breast milk…we are not so sure about it.



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