Wednesday, November 26, 2003


The Austin Chronicle's November 12, 2003 issue featured the cover story, Will Women Have a Voice at the New Women's Hospital? The fight for midwives and reproductive choice at Brack. Though the article deals mainly with local Austin politics, the online version of the issue features some great articles (some new, some reprinted) on midwifery and homebirth. A couple of these I clipped out of the Chronicle when I lived in Austin ten years ago and still have in my file. Don't miss Midwives: Certified and Direct-Entry, Midwives and the Law in Texas, Our Midwife, High Tech vs. High Touch, and Midwives: From L.A. to Santa Fe.

Also, the nurse-midwifery practice at the University of Chicago has been eliminated. Read stories about it from the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Maroon, and the News Release from the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Sunday, November 23, 2003


Blogger now lets me backdate or postdate a blog entry. For instance, all of the Florida travelogues were written out by hand on the trip, and then posted when I got home. Anyway, I have just added a 9/03/03 blog entry, a travelogue from Iowa which I finally located.

Also, I am thinking of adding a hit counter to this page. Does anyone have an opinion about which is the best or the most useful? Must be free, of course. Email me please - mommyblawger AT

German and Israeli Police conducted criminal investigations of Humana (the manufacturer), and Remedia Ltd. (the distributor), but no criminal charges were filed. The Remedia soy formula was lacking sufficient amounts of Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin), which resulted in the deaths of 2 infants and the hospitalization of at least 7 others, many in severe condition. Thiamin deficiency can lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, spasms, respiratory problems, encephalopathy, brain damage, and ultimately, death. The formula had been missing the vitamin for nearly 6 months.

Related articles:

Doctor's hunch led to end of baby-formula deaths in Israel (International Herald Tribune)

Breastfeeding boon follows Remedia scandal (Jerusalem Post)

Company Says Baby Formula Lacked Vitamin (FindLaw/AP)

Formula for disaster (Jerusalem Post)

Humana Error (Food Production Daily)

What to do when mom finds your blog? Blogger has some suggestions.

Saturday, November 22, 2003


Burger King has announced a new corporate policy on breastfeeding after a nursing mother in one of its restaurants was asked to "either go to the bathroom to breast-feed or leave" when another customer complained. In the future, employees are told to inform complainers that "breast-feeding is permitted in the restaurant and suggest to that customer that he or she relocate to another section of the restaurant." See story from Yahoo/AP.

The only problem I have here is with the tone of the article: "Burger King adopted a corporate policy Friday allowing women to breast-feed their babies in restaurants" (emphasis added). BK is not "allowing" anything. The right to breastfeed anywhere (as long as the mother has the right to be there) is statutory law in most states, including Utah, where the incident took place. Here is a guide to breastfeeding legislation. So by publishing its new policy, Burger King is not really giving breastfeeders any rights, merely protecting itself from a planned "nurse-in" scheduled to take place.

Business owners be forewarned: no matter how pro-family your establishment is, if one of your employees harasses a breastfeeding mother, that mother will most likely get on the Internet and within a week you are likely to have hundreds of women show up at your place of business and nurse their babies. Kind of the La Leche version of a flash mob.

Also see my November 13, 2003 post "American Baby" on not breastfeeding in restrooms.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


Last weekend, the Little Champion (9 1/2 mos) took his first steps. This completely surprised us, as his brother, the Big Champion, did not walk until he was a year old. LC is still a long way from actually walking, but this just highlights the difference in personality between the two boys. BC waits until he knows he can do something before trying, then does it with a high degree of proficiency. LC is not afraid to try and fail. And of course, he is quite fascinated by his big brother and therefore motivated to mobilize as soon as possible. It will be interesting to see if this difference continues as they get older.

Thursday, November 13, 2003


Last weekend, we had another couple over for dinner. They are suing their doctors for medical malpractice which occurred pursuant to the birth of their 12 lb. baby which resulted in a brachial plexus injury. After interesting dinner conversation about broken ultrasound machines, discrepancies in medical records, mismanaged shoulder dystocia, and excessive lateral traction, we took them on a tour of our house. It came up in conversation that our 9-month old was born at home in the bedroom. At which point the wife turns to me and says, "my, you are brave."

Hey Mom, if you are reading this, check out this article from The Onion.

November's issue of American Baby includes the results of a Playtex survey on the question "Where have you breastfed in public?". The top answers were: Inside a parked car (82%), A ladies' room (58%), Outdoors in a park (44%), and A store or restaurant (41%).

Interesting. However, I'm not sure I would consider breastfeeding in a car or in a restroom "in public." Based on the likelihood that someone will either 1) realize what you are doing, or 2) see some part of you that normally remains covered, breastfeeding in your own living room while persons who are not members of your immediate family are present seems, to me, to be much more "in public" than in the back seat of your tinted-window minivan.

Please, please, never, ever breastfeed a baby in a bathroom stall. I don't care what. It is nasty and dirty and crawling with germs. You would not think of eating your own lunch in there so don't feed your baby her lunch in there. Plus, it sends a message to others that breastfeeding is dirty, shameful, etc. Modesty is all fine and good, but a bathroom stall is going overboard. The only exception I make to the "no breastfeeding in the restroom" rule is when there is a lounge-type restroom that has a couch or a big comfy chair a good distance away from the toilets.

Monday, November 10, 2003


From Israel Today:

"Israel is stepping up efforts to halt the outbreak of a mysterious brain disease caused by baby formula, that has taken the lives of three babies. The Health Ministry is planning to order 5,000 injections of Vitamin B-1, which was found to be missing in the German-made baby formula "Remedia." A total of 19 babies who took the non-dairy formula have been hospitalized, including the three who died. Health officials say the disease was caused by a lack of Vitamin B-1, though it's listed on the packaging as an ingredient. The injections will be provided free of charge. The formula is widely used in the ultra-Orthodox community."

Sunday, November 09, 2003


The FAA is considering institute a policy requiring car seats on planes for infants and children. However, critics say the new policy could backfire, since more parents may choose to drive rather than pay an additional fare for their infant. And, as we all know, there are more auto accidents than plane crashes. See article here.

For those of you without young children, a baby under the age of 2 may sit on an adult lap with no restraint whatsoever. If you bring an infant seat, gate agents and flight attendants will usually try to accommodate parents with lap children by placing them in a row with an extra empty seat. Turbulence during flight is the #1 cause of injury and death to lap children. Check out the Baby B’Air flight vest, approved for use during the cruise portions of the flight. We keep ours in the diaper bag for added peace of mind when the flight is full, or if the flight is bumpy and baby needs to come out of the seat to nurse.

From Israel Today's News From Jerusalem (November 9, 2003):

"Ten babies in Israel have come down with a brain disease that the Health Ministry blames on a baby formula made in Germany called "Remedia." Symptoms include nausea and convulsions. Two of the babies died, so health officials have pulled the product from the shelves. The non-dairy formula is widely used here by ultra-Orthodox Jews. The Health Ministry has been flooded with 10,000 calls by worried parents.