June 20, 2016 |
I was dismayed to see the interview with Arnetta Stewart and Katja Pigur of the Maternity Care Coalition (" An effort to increase breast-feeding in Philly " which appreared on June 5). While the breast-feeding initiation rates cited are spot-on (78 percent of mothers initiating breast-feeding), the hand-wringing about their inadequacy is not. These statistics do not take into account the deeply personal reasons the remaining 22 percent do not breast-feed from birth - women who have undergone mastectomies, women on certain contraindicated or borderline medications, and women who have histories of sexual trauma, to name a few. Seen in proper context, 79 percent nationwide is pretty darn impressive.
June 5, 2016 |
Nationwide, 78 percent of new moms start breast-feeding their infants. Which means that 22 percent do not, a figure that distresses breast-feeding advocates. The scenario is even more worrisome in Philadelphia, where in 2011, the most recent data available, just 62 percent begin breast-feeding. The Maternity Care Coalition, a nonprofit formed in 1980, aims to increase that number. Although its overall mission is to improve health and well-being for moms and their children, it is perhaps best-known for its MOMobile, sending lactation nurses and outreach workers into low-income neighborhoods to work with women and promote breast-feeding.
February 25, 2016 |
Adrianne Edwards vividly recalls being a scared college sophomore, age 21, in labor at a hospital where the nurses' primary concern seemed to be freeing up her hospital bed. "I felt like my doctors and nurses were pressuring me to have a C-section," she said. She wanted a medication-free birth but instead received inducing drugs and then an epidural. "If I'd had more information, I would've had a totally different birth. " Now, Edwards, 29, the working mother of an 8-year-old, wants to help change that script for other teen and single moms.
August 31, 2015 |
When Keta Brown's daughter, Naomi, was born seven months ago, Brown knew almost nothing about breast-feeding. "My parents didn't breast-feed, so they didn't know" either, she added. But the North Philadelphia woman found support where many people do in 2015: Facebook. Through a group that chats online and meets in person, she received technical advice, commiseration, and encouragement. "If I didn't have that group, I think I would have been done at two weeks," she said. That type of community-building was the goal of Black Breast-feeding Week, a nationwide initiative running Aug. 25 through 31 to encourage African American women to try to stick with breast-feeding.
June 15, 2015 |
In 1989, an international panel of experts called attention to the irony that health workers were preventing many newborns from getting the healthiest possible food - mother's milk. Hospital maternity units were contributing, "however unwittingly," to the long decline in breast-feeding by failing to encourage moms to do it, or by introducing practices that discourage it, such as giving baby formula. The panel's statement, sponsored by the World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund, led to a global hospital reform movement called Baby Friendly.
May 9, 2015 |
In response to requests from traveling mothers, Philadelphia International Airport and Minute Suites, a micro-hotel inside security and near the airline gates, are making private rooms available to mothers to breast-feed or pump breast milk between flights. Minute Suites opened at the airport in spring 2011 between Terminal A and Concourse B, with 13 private rooms for passengers to nap, relax, or work. The rooms, seven feet by eight feet, will be free to nursing mothers for the first 30 minutes, and cost $14 for an additional half-hour.
September 5, 2014 |
Despite the well-established health benefits of breast-feeding for children, Philadelphia remains a laggard in its practice. Only 29 percent of the city's mothers are still breast-feeding six months after childbirth, according to Esther Chung, professor of pediatrics at Jefferson Medical College. That is the lowest rate among the nation's 10 largest cities, and 11 percentage points below the national average. Wednesday, the city government took a small step to rectify those figures by mandating that employers provide breast-feeding employees a private, sanitary space and the necessary time to express breast milk.
August 7, 2014 |
Wilde is a mom It's a good thing to love your baby. Olivia Wilde does and she's not afraid to show it: The Rush star is featured in a Glamour mag photo shoot breast-feeding five-month-old son Otis . "Being shot with Otis is so perfect because any portrait of me right now isn't complete without my identity as a mother being a part of that," Wilde tells the mag. "Breast-feeding is the most natural thing. . . . now it feels like Otis should always be on my breast.
October 3, 2013 |
If you're a parent-to-be interested in going "back to basics" - breast-feeding, intervention-free childbirth, cloth diapering and baby-wearing - it would seem that the world is your Pack 'N Play, or at least your preschool: At Mama's Wellness Joint in Center City, there's infant massage, baby sign language, or yoga-puncture. For parents interested in cloth diapering and baby-wearing techniques, free classes are offered at the Nesting House in Mount Airy. And at Ali's Wagon in Fairmount, the cornucopia of learning includes Foods for Fertility, Craniosacral Therapy for Healthy Kids, and Attachment Parenting: How to Make it Work for You. Bubbies and nanas may dismiss such a state of affairs ("Who knew from parenting styles?"
September 27, 2012 |
Allegra Avila likes to spend time in Doylestown's coffee shops and library with her 20-month-old daughter, Ora, but she feels anxious when it's time to breast-feed. "Feeding in public is not an easy thing to do," the young mother says. "It's uncomfortable, wondering what people are thinking about you. " Now, thanks to a measure passed by the Borough Council, "I can nurse when the baby is hungry," Avila said Tuesday. "I will be able to relax. " The council voted, 6-3, Monday to amend its antidiscrimination law to protect a woman's right to breast-feed in public.