Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Massachusetts is going to have a breastfeeding in public bill!!

I have been taking a break from this blog while dealing with a health crisis, but wanted to post and help spread the word - Massachusetts is about to have a breastfeeding in public law!! The bill has made it through the Senate and the House and is now sitting on the Governor's desk waiting for his signature.

It took eight long years of hard work by advocates - congratulations to everyone who signed a petition, spoke at a hearing, attended a lobbying day, called a representative, wrote a letter or otherwise helped move this bill along. We did it folks - at long last, we did it!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dysphoric MER

There's been a lot of conversation lately on Lactnet (a discussion list for lactation professionals) about depression specifically tied to the milk ejection reflex (MER). This phenomenon has been named dyphoric MER, or D-MER.

I have been following these exchanges with great interest. I experienced what I now realize was D-MER, and these discussions have provided many "a-ha!" moments.

Here's a great personal description of the phenomenon at Law & Motherhood.

And there's a fantastic D-MER website - - "Because breastfeeding shouldn't make you feel this way." I strongly urge you to check this site out, and if you have experienced D-MER please fill out their survey!!

Personally, I suspect that prolactin plays a large role in D-MER. Looking at the survey responses thus far, a lot of women have reported having overactive let down and oversupply issues. Both are associated with high levels of prolactin.

And interestingly enough - endometriosis (which I have) is also associated with high levels of prolactin. And every endo patient I know who's breastfed has experienced OALD/OAS.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Girls get more protection from breastfeeding than boys?

A new study out of the John Hopkins Children's Center is reported in the June issue of Pediatrics:

Doctors monitored 119 premature babies through their first year of life and found that girls who received formula were eight times more likely to be hospitalised with respiratory illnesses than those weaned on breast milk.

But breastfeeding did not have the same protective effect on boys. Nearly a fifth of boys developed respiratory infections severe enough to need hospital treatment, whether they were breastfed or not.

1. Sample, I. (2008, 2 June) Study finds breastfed girls protected from chest illness, The Guardian

Monday, April 21, 2008

In the news

Does breastfeeding protect a woman against breast cancer? The evidence says yes.

This is the quote that really interested me:

The most likely explanation for the reduced risk is that lactation works through hormones to delay ovulation and the return of a woman's monthly cycles, Karen Collins, a registered dietitian and nutrition adviser to the group, said in an e-mail. It has long been known that the fewer menstrual cycles a woman has over the course of her life, the lower the risk of breast cancer.

As someone with endometriosis, the topic of menstrual cycles is also of interest, so when breastfeeding and menses collide in a research paper it really grabs my attention.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Free formula in hospitals is reducing natural breastfeeding

This article on is notable because Portland, Oregon recently became the first city in the US where none of the major hospitals are giving out those marketing bags of infant formula. I'm following this situation with great interest.

Massachusetts was poised to become the first state in the nation to ban in-hospital marketing by Big Pharma, but the Public Health Council was undermined by our Governor.

More Stone Soup

As I expected, Joan in the comic Stone Soup isn't taking any of that "you can't do that in here" crap. Hooray!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Editorial in Brockton Enterprise

There's a great editorial piece in today's Brockton Enterprise on the breastfeeding bill which is currently in play here in Massachusetts.

If you're so inclined, let them know you appreciate the opinion!