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109 blog post submissions by the Mothering community.

Choice is a Red Herring

  BUT, IT'S JUST A CHOICE. Like cigarette smoking, breastfeeding is a public health issue, not a freedom of choice issue. Obviously, US women feel free to choose not to breastfeed; most of them do. If women were actually intimidated into breastfeeding, we would have a breastfeeding culture. Instead, we have a bottle-feeding culture in which 67% bottle feed. Only 33% of mothers breastfeed. If there is, in fact, any social pressure to breastfeed, it certainly is not effective. I would argue, that the social pressure is to... read more

Michel Odent Conference in Hawaii

If you saw The Business of Being Born, you will well remember the charming French physician, Michel Odent, who spoke eloquently of the connection between our capacity to love and our earliest imprinting. Odent originally became known for his pioneering work at the Pithiviers hospital in France. (1962-1985). He authored the first article in the medical literature about the use of birthing pools. (The Lancet, 1983) and introduced the idea of birthing pools and home-like birthing rooms to maternity units. Odent is the author of 12 books in 22 languages, including Birth... read more

US Infant and Maternal Mortality: A National Disgrace

According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention ( CDC ) US infant and maternal mortality failed to improve between 2000 to 2005. This plateau represents the first time since the 1950s that infant mortality has seen no improvement. The US spends more than any other country in the world on health care and yet is only 33rd in the world in infant mortality. A baby born in Cuba, Slovenia, the Czech Republic or South Korea has a greater chance of living for the first year than a baby born in the US. In fact, a baby born in Singapore has twice the survival rate of a US... read more

Return of the Serpents

    These two snakes were mating on the wood pile in the sunroom all afternoon yesterday. At first I thought it was one snake, but it’s two intertwined. My photo doesn’t capture their sublime mating; they remained intertwined, moving just slightly, for hours. Last year, I saw two snakes outside mating in the shape of an infinity symbol. Seeing them is a harbinger of spring. The snake, or serpent, is a symbol of wisdom and knowledge in traditional societies. Snakes are associated with the life giving properties of the Great Goddess; in India snakes are worshipped as... read more

The Mother's Wisdom Deck

I’ve always loved playing cards.  My grandfather was a professional gambler and card playing was common at our house when I was growing up. My Aunt Kathleen would tell our fortunes with a deck of playing cards. When I encountered oracular cards, such as the Tarot, as an adult, I was captivated by their evocative design and symbolic meaning. They appeal to my love of cards as well as my love of the metaphorical. Most scholars agree that the earliest playing cards originated in China and Korea in at least the 11th century. However, there is much disagreement as to the... read more

Kittie Frantz: Breastfeeding Champion

Kittie Frantz, a world-renowned breastfeeding advocate, pediatric nurse practitioner, and educator, started out in 1963 as a breastfeeding mother who attended La Leche League (LLL) meetings in Los Angeles. In 1965, Frantz received a call from a nurse at the Watts Multipurpose Health Clinic who wanted help starting a LLL group. It wasn’t long before Frantz had received a $5,000 grant from Lucy Rockefeller Waletsky to start what became the first LLL peer-counseling program, in Watts. Frantz received her nursing degree in 1973. Her first job was with prominent... read more

What is a Baby Friendly Hospital?

In April , Mayor Bloomberg announced that the New York City (NYC) Health Department would launch an initiative to encourage city hospitals to be baby friendly. In May, New York City Health Commissioner, Thomas Farley, announced the launch of the citywide initiative, “Latch On NYC.” at Harlem Hospital, the city’s first Baby Friendly Hospital. NYC is asking maternity hospitals to voluntarily limit the promotion of infant formula because it can interfere with breastfeeding. Eleven public hospitals and 12 private hospitals have signed on. NYC will... read more

Paul Fleiss: Breastfeeding Champion

Paul Fleiss is the doctor you always wanted to have. Trained as a pharmacist, an osteopathic physician, and a medical doctor, Fleiss is a well-respected physician who has been in practice for more than 40 years. He is the author of Sweet Dreams: A Pediatrician’s Secrets for Baby’s Good Night’s Sleep and What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Circumcision and has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. He is known for his expertise in breastfeeding and has been on the La Leche League International Health Advisory Council for more than 30... read more

Our Favorite Board Games

I love board games, always have. We played cards and board games when I was growing up and the tradition has continued with my own family. When my children were teens, I made Sunday a mandatory family day and we would often play board games. Even now when they are all grown up, they come up on Sundays to eat and play board games and we especially love to play games during the holidays when everyone is together. I’ve done a lot of research on the best board games because I wanted to add something new to our repertoire and was looking for more games that two people can... read more

Breastfeeding Champion: Audrey Naylor

In 1983, pediatrician Audrey Naylor founded Wellstart International with her colleague, nurse practitioner Ruth Wester. Their mission: to actively educate health-care providers in how to promote, facilitate, and preserve breastfeeding relationships between mothers and children in medical settings such as hospitals. Naylor’s journey began in 1976, when she attended a series of seminars on breastfeeding taught by Kittie Frantz and Paul Fleiss. She’d made it through medical school, speciality training in pediatrics, and earned a PhD in public health—all without being... read more

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