Thursday, October 28, 2004

Birth Story

Eva Lorine Lund was born October 10, 2004, at home in the water; and her family has put together a lovely slide show. Takes a while to load - and be sure you have your sound on.


And if you liked that, you'll love the birth slide show of Jude Roman Fairbanks.

Misleading Antioxidants

A new study published in The Archives of Disease in Childhood reports that breastmilk that has been refrigerated or frozen has lower levels of antioxidants than fresh milk. However, it is important to note, even breastmilk that has been frozen has higher levels of antioxidants than artificial baby milk (formula).

Well, duh. Prety much every fresh fruit or vegetable looses nutrients when frozen, canned, cooked, or processed. And since infant formula contains synthetic vitamins, stands to reason they would not break down as easily. Either in the freezer or in your baby's digestive system or bloodstream. :)

However, I became absolutely livid after reading this headline from The Scotsman:

"Freezing breast milk could harm babies, says new study". Oh, but we don't want to "make women feel guilty" for using formula, which can harm babies even more than freezing milk.

The Wall Street Journal article - which I haven't read (don't have a subscription, and don't want to take the time to fill out a 4+ page questionaire to get a 2-week trial) - reportedly does not mention the low levels of antioxidants in formula, either.

Kudos to The Times (UK) - "Milk of Human Coldness" - whose story included a graphic comparing the fresh, refrigerated, and frozen varieties of both formula and breastmilk. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Here's a sample of how other news sources handled the same information: - "Freezing, refrigerating breast milk lowers its antioxidant content: study"

New York Times/Int'l Herald Tribune - "For a healthier baby, fresh breast milk may be better"

Indy Star - "Breast milk is best if fresh, research finds"

Atlanta Journal-Constitution - "Study: Breast Milk Is Best When Fresh"

Post-Gazette [Pittsburgh] - "Storage depletes breast milk"

Blogging Baby [hey! GoogleNews considers this blog a news source!] - "Breast milk loses antioxidants when stored"

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Flu Shots Revisited

Hey this is nice:

The San Francisco Chronicle writes: "6 million doses of suspect vaccine in U.S. warehouses Quarantined since August pending tests".

"Chiron Corp. shipped 6 million doses of its now-suspect flu vaccine from its British plant to the United States before the company's own tests uncovered evidence of bacterial contamination....The Chronicle has learned that vaccine shipped across the Atlantic has been sitting since August in the warehouses of American drug distributors, under a Chiron-imposed 'quarantine' but outside the direct control of the company or U.S. regulators."

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Flu Shots

Ok, imagine that shipments of, say, strawberries from, say, Mexico were stopped at the border because they were contaminated with a bacteria - say, listeria. As a result, all strawberry shipments coming from Mexico were halted until it could be determined how the contamination happened. However, since approximately half of the strawberries sold in the US come from Mexico (say), this means that there will be half as many cartons of strawberries available in the stores this week. What is your first inclination? Will you:

A. Run out and buy up all the strawberries you can, because there's going to be a shortage;
B. Avoid buying strawberries this week, until you know that none of the strawberries already in the stores are contaminated either; or
C. Avoid buying strawberries for a while, because the thought of bacteria-laden strawberries is somewhat unapetizing.

Am I missing something here? On Wednesday, a 79-year old woman died while waiting in line with hundreds of others for a flu shot. Nevermind that it's not even flu season yet. But for every one article I read assuring the public that the FDA would have caught the contamination had the British regulators not, there are 50-100 headlines about long lines at doctor's offices and county health departments. Even fines or jail time for health care workers who do not comply with rationing laws. But no one is asking the question about the flu shots that thousands of are most vulnerable are rushing out to get: are they safe?

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Blogging Blogs

I don't usually spend much time reading other people's blogs. But this evening I decided to check in with Mommies At Law since it had been a while. I clicked on a link from their blog, then I clicked on a link from that blog... and before you know it, its an hour later and my boys are on their third Blue's Clues video.

Anyway...I found the Web Log/Blog, which "features news stories from other sites concerning Nursing and Breast Milk Pumping." And
Dot Moms has a whole link list of "Moms who Blog". Where I learned that there are blogs entitled "The Mommy Blog" and "The Baby Blog" (I've already set up "The Baby Blawg" in anticipation of my next pregnancy. I plan to blog while in labor).

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Don't Let the Sun Set on Texas Midwives

Periodically, each administrative/regulatory agency in Texas undergoes what is known as "Sunset Review". During this process, the Sunset Commission decides if the agency undergoing review should continue in its current form, be changed, or discontinued. (The Texas Bar, for example, underwent Sunset Review last year, and emerged unscathed. But I'll let you draw your own conclusions.) This year, the Midwifery Board is up for Sunset Review.

Should the Midwifery Board be abolished, it would effectively mean the end of direct-entry midwifery care in Texas, and the ability of families to choose homebirths would be severerly curtailed or eliminated. Other bad things could happen, such as the MB being placed under the auspices of the Board of Nursing Examiners (BNE), which would give the Texas Medical Association (TMA) the power to review and rewrite the Midwifery Rules. It would also allow the TMA to require that Texas midwives have Physician back-up in order to practice. This plan worked great in California, where none of the 130 or so lisensed midwives were able to find a doctor who would supervise them. [sarcasm mode=off]

Note: this Sunset Review does not affect Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) who are regulated by the BNE and primarily attend hospital births. It DOES affect all direct-entry Midwives (CPMs/DMs) who primarily attend homebirths and births at freestanding birth centers.

If you want to help ensure the future of Midwifery care in Texas, and the ability of
families to choose how and with whom to have their babies, I urge you to do the following:
  • Visit the Texans for Midwifery Sunset Review website at

  • Write a letter and send it to every member of the Sunset Commission as well as your local representatives.

  • Visit any members of the Commission who have offices in your area. Go in small groups. Call ahead and make an appointment, or just drop by. Take the letters you have written.

  • Join Texans for Midwifery - it's only $15, and every Texas Midwifery Consumer needs to be represented.

  • If you are from out-of-state (or out of the country), you can still help. Information for Out of State support is here. You can also make a donation to Texans for Midwifery.

The deadline for Consumer input is October 12, so there is no time to loose. Please make your voice heard!