Thursday, May 30, 2013

Breastfeeding Decreases Chances of ADHD

     I know the title is a bold statement, but there is reseach to back this up which I will provide below.  The reason I state that breastfeeding decreases ADHD (attention defecit hyperactivity disorder) so emphatically is that I saw this in my own children who are now 24, 20 and 18.  Twenty-four years ago, professional grade personal breast pumps were not on the market and my doctor gave me very little information about breastfeeding.   When I told him that I had to go back to teaching and coaching when my firstborn was only 4 1/2 weeks old and asked him if I could breastfeed for just that duration, he said yes.  Period.  No further explanation.  There were hospital grade breast pumps that I could have rented.  I didn't know.  I also didn't know that I would be going back to work with bowling balls instead of breasts because I tried to wean over a weekend.  When my second and third were born, I sought out more information and nursed for 15 months and 18 months repectively.  Unfortunately, my firstborn suffered the consequences of ADHD and severe allergies that never affected my subsequent children with the same genes.  Therefore, I am convinced that breastfeeding protects against ADHD. 
     As for the research, A team led by Drs. Aviva Mimouni-Bloch and Anna Kachevanskaya conducted a retrospective matched study of children diagnosed with ADHD at 6-12 years of age, comparing them to healthy siblings without ADHD and non-related peers. The team found that, in children later diagnosed with ADHD, 43% were breastfed at 3 months of age, compared with 60% of healthy siblings and 73% of non-related peers.  At 6 months of age, 29% of children with ADHD were breastfed, compared with 50% of siblings and 57% of non-related children.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Breastfeeding, Co-Sleeping and The Family Bed: Safe Sleep

     There is much controversy associated with co-sleeping.  My opinion may be less biased than others because although my husband and I slept with our babies, we started them out in their crib and then when they awoke to feed brought them into bed with us for the rest of the night.  This gave us time alone before the baby came to bed with us and also alowed them to sleep though the night without feeding when they were ready. 
     What I am passionate about is the myth that co-sleeping is more dangerous than crib sleeping. 
The Chicago Infant Mortality Study reveals that Breastfeeding Infants have 1/5th the Rate of SIDS. They report a nearly doubled SIDS rate for cosleeping, but this study does not remove the powerful effect of smoking parents from their statistic. When other studies remove this behavior, they find the remaining infants enjoy a greatly lower rate of SIDS for cosleeping versus isolated crib sleeping.There are two kinds of cosleeping, that conscious decision made by highly attentive parents, and that coming from factors such as fatigue from partying or drinking. When sofa sleeping and wedging dangers are also removed, the family bed shines as safest.
Below is a summary of the statistics:
Number of U.S. births per year 2000: 4,058,814
Total infant deaths per year 2000: 28,411
Age birth to 1 year. (6.9 per thousand)
Number SIDS deaths per year 2000: 2,523  (SIDS is defined as death with unexplained cause, birth to 1 year.)
Total suffocation deaths per year 2000: 1,000
Number of crib-related "accidents" per year : 50
Number of playpen-related deaths per year : 16
Number deaths per year attributed to overlying: 19 Most are only "suspected" and may have drug or alcohol involvement.
Number of babies (0-2) dying in night fires per year: 230 Many of which may have been retrievable if next to parent, not in another room of home. This is true for abductions and other night dangers as well.
Number of deaths per year in adult beds reported as entrapment or suffocation between bed and wall, headboard, or other furniture, on waterbed, in headboard railings, or tangled in bedding: 18 With side-rail: 1
Number of deaths per year reported as suffocation of unknown cause in adult bed: 13 (These would be SIDS if in a crib. Remember, these do not necessarily involve cosleeping.)
Number of deaths per year in adult beds from sleeping on stomach: 5  (These are considered SIDS in cribs, and they are preventable in adult beds, as in cribs.)  4 per year died not from falling out of adult bed, but from suffocating (pile of clothes, plastic bag) or other danger (such as drowning) after falling out.
     According to National Institute of Child Health and Human Development 2000 Survey, 13% of U.S. infants are routinely cosleeping with nearly 50% sharing bed for part of the nights.   The number of U.S. infant lives that could be saved per year by exclusive and extended breastfeeding is 9,000 because exclusinve and extended breastfeeding cuts SIDS risk and cuts overall infant death risk in half.  Bed-sharing increases number of night feeding and protects your milk supply and therefore your long-term breastfeeding rate increases. 
     There is no 100% way to protect your baby, but I hope this arms you with the facts so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.  You are a good parent or you wouldn't be doing the research.  Trust your instincts. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Breastfeeding Essentials: Budget for Breastfeeding

     We all know that all you really need for breastfeeding is a boob and a baby, but I often get the question, "What do I need for breastfeeding?".   The answer is that it really depends on your situation and your budget.  Are you going to be working outside the home?  If you are mostly working in the home, do you have times that you need to be away from your baby for conferences, etc? 
     Formula costs about $150 per month so you budget for breastfeeding could be over $1000 and still be ahead, but most most do not spend that much.  If you work inside the home and are not separated from the baby, you can spend very little.
     The following is a checklist and depending on whether you are work at home mom or a mom who works outside the home, you will want to pick and choose the type of breast milk collection product you will need based on your situation.   I have been in the business of breastfeeding for 20 years and am very familiar with the major brands and products associated with breastfeeding so the product list below is one given with experience and based on what products I would buy for myself, my daughter or my daughter-in-law:
Nursing Pads
__2-3 packs of washable nursing pads
Breast Cream
__1 large tube of breast cream
Nursing Bras and Gowns
__2-3 quality nursing sleep bras
__2-3 daytime nursing bras with good support (non-underwire)
__2-3 nursing gowns
Breast Milk Collection and Storage
__1 quality double electric breast pump
__2-3 packs of breast milk bags
__3 packs of breast milk bottles for storage
     The best time to be fitted for a nursing bra is 3 weeks prior to delivery.  This is a great time to finalize your list and make sure your hospital bag is packed and ready.  Happy nurturing!