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109 blog post submissions by the Mothering community.

Romney Is Not a Friend of Breastfeeding

  By Peggy O'Mara                    In December 2005, thanks to the hard work of Marsha Walker and The Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition, the Massachusetts legislature became the first in the US to prohibit the distribution of formula sample bags in hospitals. However, then Governor Mitt Romney pressured the Public Health Council to rescind the ban.    The council successfully resisted his pressure until he fired and replaced three members just prior to a vote on the ban; in May 2006 it was rescinded. Less than two weeks later, Romney announced a $66... read more

When a nursing toddler speaks, prepare to laugh

                Essay excerpt from humorous new breastfeeding anthology   Reprinted with permission from the 2013 release from Demeter Press, Have Milk, Will Travel:   Adventures in Breastfeeding   "Into (and out of) the Mouths of Babes" by Jessica Claire Haney   I try to resist the pull to fulfill his desires. He craves my attention, my embrace, my gaze, but I want the moment to be mine alone. I am successful only until he says my name. Then my will is gone, and I’m his. “Jessica! Jess!” When my son was two, he took to yelling out my first name when a... read more

Wear Your Baby: The Benefits

By Peggy O'Mara Helping my daughter hunt for Easter eggs while babywearing my son circa 1976   Babywearing is a necessity for women all over the world who carry their babies while they work and do domestic tasks. This practice has been around for centuries, but has seen a dramatic resurgence in popularity in recent years. Why? Because touch is good for us.   THE BENEFITS OF TOUCH According to a study in Pediatrics, babies who are carried cry less. Babywearing for three hours a day reduced infant crying by 43 percent overall and 54 percent during... read more

THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF BREAST MILK

The controversy about breastfeeding would be over if we counted breast milk production as part of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the same way that we count formula production. The $4 billion a year in US formula sales is part of the good news of our economy because of the distorted way that we count things. We don’t count the health savings from breastfeeding or the actual value of breast milk production in our GDP. What would it look like if we did? HEALTH CARE SAVINGS FROM BREASTFEEDING In 1997, nursing professor Jan... read more

What is Attachment Parenting?

By Peggy O'Mara The recent furor in the press over attachment parenting stems from an inherent misunderstanding. Attachment parenting is not permissive parenting. It is not about abdicating authority as a parent, but about responding to the legitimate biological needs of a baby. It is firmly based in the sciences of anthropology and psychology and specifically on the theory of attachment. THE THEORY OF ATTACHMENT The theory of attachment originated with psychoanalyst John Bowlby (1907-1990) whose influential 1951 report to the World Health... read more

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Swaddling: A Second Look

      Harvey Karp’s book The Happiest Baby on the Block has changed the landscape of parenting in the US. As a result of its irresistible title, easy to learn method and national network of 2500 teachers, most new parents in the US today are instructed to swaddle their babies. Despite this popularity, there are growing concerns that swaddling is not the cure-all parents hoped it would be. Since the publication of the book in 2003, I have increasingly heard reservations from health professionals about its recommendations. A nurse practitioner wonders if the shushing... read more

A Call to Arms

| by Peggy O’Mara, Editor and Publisher On March 12, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning regarding the use of baby slings. The CPSC 
asserts that slings pose a suffocation risk for infants younger than four months old, and that caution should be exercised when carrying babies of this age group in slings. On March 24, the CPSC got more specific by announcing a recall of the Infantino SlingRider, citing three infants who died in this particular sling. In addition, the CPSC called for mandatory standards for slings because no standards of any kind,... read more

Vaccine Exemptions Under Attack

Earlier this month the New Mexico Department of Health announced that it was changing the childhood vaccine exemption form. New Mexico allows medical and religious exemptions to vaccines and, according to the Department of Health, The old form did not require written affirmation of a religious-based objection to immunization, and it was not possible to discern the basis for the exemption request and therefore impossible to ascertain whether affiants were complying with NM law. For over 30 years, the state of New Mexico has accepted... read more

AAP and Circumcision: What's a Parent to Think?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a new policy statement on the medical circumcision of infants today. A multi-disciplinary work group was created in 2007 to update the AAP’s recommendation and their statement has long been anticipated. The new policy claims that the benefits of infant circumcision outweigh the risks, but falls just short of recommending the procedure. Instead, the AAP leaves the decision up the parents, as it has done since 1989. A survey of AAP members found that parents do not seek their pediatrician’s recommendation about the... read more

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