Thursday, March 20, 2008

ILCA Releases Position on Breastfeeding and Work

The International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) announced today the release of its official position paper, "Position on Breastfeeding and Work," calling on employers, policymakers, and organizations that serve new families to improve the support that new mothers need to continue breastfeeding.
According to Rebecca Mannel, president of the ILCA Board of Directors, "The benefits of breastfeeding have been widely known for many years now, which has resulted in the majority of women now making the choice to breastfeed. Yet many mothers struggle to continue breastfeeding once they return to work. Some mothers quit within their first few weeks back at work because of challenges within the worksite itself such as no privacy or break time for expressing milk. Other mothers quit before they even return to work because they assume they cannot continue breastfeeding due to their job. ILCA believes that a woman’s right to work should not interfere with her additional right to provide optimal nutrition for her children."
According to Mannel, the steps to creating a supportive environment are simple and include allowing women to take needed breaks to regularly express milk every 2 or 3 hours, and a place to do so in privacy. Providing support and information to employees, along with information and access to International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) if concerns arise, has also been proven to make a difference.
"The benefits to employers are significant," says Mannel. "The research is very clear that because breastfed infants are healthier, their mothers are not absent from work as often. The healthcare savings to the company and the savings from having workers stay at work can be significant to the business," she says. In addition, employee retention is higher as breastfeeding mothers who are supported in the workplace are more likely to return to their jobs after maternity leave ends.
Several studies of companies providing corporate lactation programs have confirmed the cost savings. For example, one company, CIGNA, studied the impact of their lactation program which enrolled 343 employees, and found the program saved their company $240,000 in healthcare costs, $62,000 savings in prescriptions annually, and an annual savings of $60,000 in lower employee absenteeism rates.
Mannel says that a growing number of companies are beginning to implement similar programs. Yet the practice is not widespread. Mannel believes that with greater education about the benefits, more employers will establish policies and practices that
allow breastfeeding employees to continue breastfeeding as long as they wish. Many state and national governments (including a dozen U.S. states) now provide laws that encourage or require employers to provide workplace accommodations for breastfeeding.
ILCA’s position on working and breastfeeding is available as a free download at their website at:

Friday, March 7, 2008

Day 20

Humphrey flew the coop, right on schedule. We miss him already. :(

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Planned Cesarean Surgery Is No Safer for Breech Births

Despite one study's conclusion that planned cesarean surgery results in superior outcomes for babies and equivalent outcomes for mothers, flaws in this research indicate otherwise. In "When Research is Flawed," obstetric research expert Henci Goer finds several problems in how the Hannah study—a randomized trial to compare planned cesarean surgery vs. planned vaginal birth for breech births—was conducted and its interpretations of the results.
Other studies, based on a good selection of patients, contradict these findings and report that with a good selection of patients, properly trained medical staff and careful management during labor, vaginal birth is safe for breech babies.
"When Research is Flawed," developed by the Lamaze Institute for Normal Birth, provides brief critiques of some of the most influential research studies published on topics that shape and affect policy and practice in maternal-child health care, such as breech birth. These research study critiques help childbirth professionals evaluate the quality of evidence and communicate that evidence to expectant parents, who may be misled or confused by information they receive from the media.
Read the complete critique on the Hannah study on breech birth, as well as critiques of studies on epidural analgesia, home birth, induction of labor and vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) at "When Research is Flawed" on the Research page of

Day 18

The books all say that the baby hummingbirds learn to fly and leave the nest at about 21 days. His (or her) feathers are all in and we know our time to watch this sweet baby is almost over.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Day 17

What a difference a day makes...we were gone yesterday and look what we found today! At first, I thought it was the mama, but it is Humphrey!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Day 15

A new view!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Day 14

Seriously...these are three different photos. Humphrey hasn't moved much, but you can see the feathers near his beak are growing longer each day.