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Sunday, October 30, 2011

"15 Tricks of Formula Companies"

This is oh so brilliant that I have nothing to add- The Alpha Parent has covered pretty much every single thing that needs to be said!!!! This long article outlines EXACTLY what Infant formula companies do to convince you to use their product.  Unethical marketing of infant formula has been going on a lot longer than most people think!!!!

It's Halloween!!  Please Boycott Nestle!!! 

"15 Tricks of Formula Companies"


Infant formulas were originally designed to be a medical nutritional tool for babies who are unable to breastfeed due to unfortunate circumstances such as maternal death or illness. Nowadays the formula industry accounts for US$20.2 billion (data for 2010). It doesn’t take Einstein to figure out that formula is now being used by more than the 2% of women who physically can’t breastfeed. What went wrong? Formula companies got greedy and laws didn’t keep up, that’s what. The greedier the company, the more strategic and underhanded their marketing becomes. This article exposes 15 tricks of the most popular formula companies, illustrating how greed is more powerful than concern for infant welfare.

Trick #1: Get your logo everywhere

FACT: Exposure to formula promotion increases significantly breastfeeding cessation in the first 2 weeks. Also, among women with uncertain goals or breastfeeding goals of 12 weeks or less, exposure to formula promotion results in exclusive, full, and overall breastfeeding duration being shortened (Howard C et al. Obstetrics and Gynaecology Vol 5, No 2, Feb 2000 p296-303).

This is bad news for babies, but great news for formula companies. The less women who breastfeed – the more formula is purchased. This means lots of wonga for the shareholders. To put this scenario in context, check out the following stats:

The advertising spend for formula companies in 2006/07 was £7,626,847, an increase of 36.6% on the previous year.

The UK Government budget for promoting breastfeeding was £729,011 in 2006/07, a decrease on the 2004/05 figure of £747,000.
(Figures published by Save the Children).

The key to successful product marketing is to get as much exposure as possible, and the formula companies have got this down to a tee. They’ve been churning out hard sell marketing for decades. Here’s a Cow & Gate advertisement published widely in 1940s and 1950s UK:


“The best possible start in life”? Looks like formula companies’ lack of accuracy is nothing new. Nowadays they just find more covert and underhanded ways to mislead parents. They advertise in parenting magazines and, more recently, fashion and celebrity magazines. Here is an advertisement from Aptamil (right) featured in Pregnancy Magazine April 2008. It is a stitched insert so that the magazine naturally falls open at that page. I’ll talk more about advertising to pregnant women bellow.

With so many formula companies paying vast amounts of money to parenting magazines, is it any wonder the deputy editor of Mother and Baby magazine wrote an article describing breastfeeding as “creepy” (The Guardian ).

Along with magazines, formula companies also place their advertisements on third-party websites, forums and blogs, promoting their infant formula brand name and encouraging mothers to visit their company website. One of the reasons I am reluctant to activate advertising on this blog is the inevitability that a formula company will detect the parenting content and submit their advertisements to the server.

Not content with bombarding your computer when you’re online, formula companies want dibs on it offline too. The idea is that every time you switch on your PC or laptop you’ll see their brand. Here’s Aptamil’s free desktop calendar:


You’ll also be targeted in supermarkets, where Cow & Gate branded gifts such as dummies and growth charts are distributed. This photo was taken in Sainsbury’s, September 2007:


And here they are at it again in Tesco, August 2011:


Aside from these examples, there’s also leaflets in health centres, email spam, snail-mail spam, supermarket ‘shelf talkers’ (plastic signs that flop out at you), pamphlets in Bounty packs, billboards, posters on public transport, internet pop-ups, TV commercials, radio advertisements, text messages, newspaper ads, social network advertising, YouTube video advertising, and several other gems I shall reveal bellow. Formula companies have an array of arsenal in their fight to line your baby’s gut, and more importantly, their pockets. The more cash they make, the more surplus funds they have to pump into their marketing arsenal. At this point you may wish to ponder what arsenal the breastfeeding movement has, and whose interests it serves.

Trick #2: Exploit the lazy

The rise of the bottle-feeding culture has fundamentally distorted our perception of the normal biology and psychology of new motherhood. It has produced a growing number of women who do not want babies’ feeds to dictate their lives. They cannot cope with the frequency of feeds required to maintain a good milk supply; that is, they cannot content themselves to sit and feed.

Why do a significant proportion of women now find that they 'can't cope' with something that's a biologically normal part of parenting? Women coped sufficiently well until formula marketing kicked off in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They also coped during the Second World War when formula was unavailable.

By claiming convenience, formula companies tap into the psyche of the lazy parent. However as I described in my article “10 (Selfish) Things I Love About Breastfeeding ”, formula feeding is anything but convenient and in many cases it’s tantamount to a pain in the arse.

No time is formula feeding more of a pain than during the night. Kettles to boil, powder to mix, milk to cool - it’s enough to wake the neighbours; so formula companies have produced ‘Goodnight Milk’. The name itself is an idealizing claim, as it suggests the milk is necessary for babies to sleep through the night. The suggestion itself is concerning, as sleeping deeper puts babies at higher risk of cot death. UNICEF has maintained that “Goodnight Milk is not necessary for any baby and there is no independent evidence to support the claim that they help babies settle or that they are easy to digest.” (UNICEF 2010 ).



Goodnight milks are thickened with cereals to make them harder to digest. Aside from the risk that they will be used to replace a night time breastfeed, another worry is that the products could encourage parents to put their baby to bed immediately after bottle-feeding which would rot a baby's developing teeth.

As with goodnight milk, the following SMA television advertisement plays on mothers’ insecurities and concerns about night feeding. It features a voice over from a man promising not to pretend to be asleep when his young baby wakes up and promising to do his share of night feeding. A scene from the ad shows a dad falling asleep next to a boiling kettle and a tin of SMA Progress in the middle of the night:

I’m sorry to burst SMA’s bubble but as Gabrielle Palmer (The Politics of Breastfeeding , 2009) has pointed out, “The reality is that few fathers actually do take the whole responsibility of infant care and most artificial feeding is still done by mothers”.

Click HERE to read the entire article on The Alpha Parent

Monday, October 17, 2011

Disney and Similac join forces to ruin breastfeeding.

Yep, Disney has joined forces with Similac, to put together pediatric kits to be sent out to OB/GYN offices across america.  These kits will of course contain samples of infant formula and baby bottles and coupons and some sort of Disney promotional paraphernalia.  Over 2 million of these kits are heading out to mothers leaving the hospital with their new babies.

When I read this article I just about had a conniption.  I"m not a Disney fan at the best of times, but now that they've joined forces with Similac, I've just discovered a new company to boycott!!!

..... Similac's latest conniving plan to interfere with breastfeeding mothers.  I'm so mad.

I strongly suggest that we start a writing campaign to Disney.  Unfortunately, after 30 minutes of searching, this is the ONLY way I've been able to discover to contact them in any way:

In their 2010 Corporate Citizenship Report, on the topic of "Human Rights" Disney says:

In implementing our human rights commitments, we will focus on the following four areas.
  • Policy Statement:
  •  Our policy statement is a first step in articulating our commitment. Our priority over the next year is to communicate this policy more widely within the Company and further engage our employees in upholding and implementing it.
  • Assessment:
  •  We are enhancing our assessment of potential human rights impacts in targeted areas including our workplace practices, labor conditions in the supply chains making Disney-branded products and our role in promoting the well-being of children. Over the next year, we will refine our assessment process to ensure we are continuing to focus on the areas of greatest importance to our business.
  • Implementation:
  •  We seek to identify ways in which we can adopt best practices and new approaches that enable us to enhance human rights considerations.
  • Reporting:
  •  We will continue to share our progress in our biennial citizenship report.
I think that we can agree that jumping into bed with Similac pretty much goes
 against their "role in promoting the well-being of children".

I think that "Jenn's World" gives a great run down of all that's wrong with this whole mess. 

Disney and Similac Team Up to Undermine Breastfeeding for Moms

Reading this, I am absolutely horrified.  First of all, the so called “Pediatric Kits” are nothing more than items designed to undermine breastfeeding.  These kits are given out with coupons and formula and bottles so that mothers have them within ready access.  If something is difficult with breastfeeding and the mom does not have the help they need to breastfeed, these “kits” come in handy.   The middle of the night desperation is exactly what the formula companies are banking on.
The partnership idea is particularly gross to me because these companies add something else to the kit – something that is appealing to an even wider group. Breastfeeding mothers who would otherwise refuse the kit, may take it because of cereal, clothing, or Disney coupons or samples (things that have nothing to do with breastfeeding).  Once that kit is in the house, the undermining of breastfeeding happens.
Finally, it is clear that this is all revenue driven because the release discusses the money that they are making!  These kits are not about helping out new moms, they are about selling a product.  The only way to sell formula is if people are not breastfeeding.  A way to stop people from breastfeeding is to market formula in sneaky and underhanded ways like giving out “pediatric kits” in hospitals full of formula and coupons to Disney.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cdn Gov planning to skip key international health conference

Important Global Conference

Canadian Government Planning to Skip Key International Health Conference

The Government of Canada is currently refusing to send Ministerial representation to a crucial global health conference taking place in Brazil, from October 19-21, 2011. The World Conference on Social Determinants of Health is a gathering of over 100 member states of the United Nations, and will be attended by heads of state and Ministers of Health from around the world -- all coming together to discuss key national and global measures to improve health and well-being around the globe.
Please add your name to a new online petition calling on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Government of Canada to “show up” for health by ensuring that Canada’s Minister of Health attends and participates in the conference.
Elisabeth Sterken
Director INFACT Canada/IBFAN North America

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Study: Unvaccinated Children are Healthier

 I don't think I really have anything to add to this article, it pretty much speaks for itself: Unvaccinated children are healthier.  8000 vaccine free children were involved in this study- something that Big Pharma and our government health agencies will NEVER do, and refuse to do, which is why their so called "studies" to try to prove the safety of their vaccines will never mean anything.  The only way you can really study the effects of vaccination is to compare the the health of the vaccinated public to the health of the unvaccinated public.  Which is what they've done with this graph.

New Study: Vaccinated Children Have 2 to 5 Times More Diseases and Disorders Than Unvaccinated Children
Preventable Vaccine-induced DiseasesA German study released in September 2011 of about 8000 UNVACCINATED children, newborn to 19 years, show vaccinated children have at least 2 to 5 times more diseases and disorders than unvaccinated children.
The results are presented in the bar chart below. The data is compared to the national German KIGGS health study of the children in the general population. Most of the respondents to the survey were from the U.S. (Click on the chart to see it better)The data was collected from parents with vaccine-free children via an internet questionnaire by and Andreas Bachmair, a German classical homeopathic practitioner. The independent study is self-funded and is not sponsored by a large “credible” non-profit or government health organization with political and financial conflicts of interest; hence Bachmair relies on Google ads and donations for revenue. Each one of the 8000 cases are actual cases with medical documentation. Three other studies had similar results according to Bachmair and are reported below.
No study of health outcomes of vaccinated people versus unvaccinated has ever been conducted in the U.S. by CDC or any other agency in the 50 years or more of an accelerating schedule of vaccinations (now over 50 doses of 14 vaccines given before kindergarten, 26 doses in the first year). Most data collected by CDC is contained in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database. The VAERS is generally thought to contain only 3 to 5 percent of reportable incidents. This is simply because only some immediate reactions are reported by doctors; but many are not admitted to be reactions to the vaccine. Most importantly, the VAERS numbers are only immediate reactions, which I would place with a few hours to a few weeks. Long-term vaccine-induced diseases and disorders are not recognized by parents or doctors when these conditions develop perhaps a few months to five years or more and would never be realized to come from multiple vaccinations. In other words, many children and adults have diseases and disorders that are vaccine induced and they never suspect they are from the vaccines, as this study indicates.

HERE to read the entire article

Friday, October 7, 2011

Prevnar causes pneumonia and antibiotic resistant ear infections

This article is not much of shock to most people who've done any research on the Prevnar vaccine- reports of it causing severe antibiotic resistant ear infections and pneumonia are not new.  What is new  is that this article was reported in the main stream media, and THAT was a surprize to me!!!

Shot may be inadvertently boosting superbugs

Strains tied to kids’ ear infections flourish as vaccine fights common germs

 A vaccine that has dramatically curbed pneumonia and other serious illnesses in children is having an unfortunate effect: promoting new superbugs that cause ear infections.
It is a strain of strep bacteria not included in pneumococcal vaccine, Wyeth's Prevnar, which came on the market in 2000. It is recommended for children under age 2.On Monday, doctors reported discovering the first such germ that is resistant to all drugs approved to treat childhood ear infections. Nine toddlers in Rochester, N.Y., have had the germ and researchers say it may be turning up elsewhere, too.
Doctors say parents should continue to have their toddlers get the shots because the vaccine prevents serious illness and even saves lives. But the new resistant strep is a worry.
"The best way to prevent these resistant infections from spreading is to be careful about how we use antibiotics," said Dr. Cynthia Whitney, chief of respiratory diseases at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Avoiding antibiotics when they are not needed is the best way to ensure they will work when they are, she said.....
The children had been unsuccessfully treated with two or more antibiotics, including high-dose amoxicillin and multiple shots of another drug. Many needed surgery to place ear tubes to drain the infection, and some recovered only after treatment with a newer, powerful antibiotic whose safety in children has not been established.......Big trouble One strain in particular, called 19A, is big trouble. A new subtype of it caused ear infections in the nine Rochester children, ages 6 months to 18 months, that were resistant to all pediatric medications, said Dr. Michael Pichichero, a microbiologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Pichichero refused further comment because he has submitted a report to a medical journal. His work was paid for by antibiotic maker Abbott Laboratories and the Thrasher Foundation, which funds projects related to child health.
All 19A strep subtypes tend to be resistant to some drugs and have been growing in prevalence:
  • Scientists from a drug company and two labs analyzed more than 21,000 bacterial samples from around the nation and found 19A increasing. Among children 2 and under, the portion of samples that were this strain rose to 15 percent in 2005-2006, from 4 percent in the previous three years.
  • A British lab tracking respiratory infections in U.S. kids found that the 19A strain accounted for 40 percent of drug-resistant cases.
  • University of Iowa researchers found 19A accounted for 35 percent of penicillin-resistant infections in 2004-05, compared with less than 2 percent the year before the new vaccine came out.
HERE to read the entire article on MSNBC

This article  gives lots more info about Prevnar, with tons of links to follow your own research:

Prevnar vaccine dangers

Search the Internet for Prevnar vaccine SAFETY and, surprise, surprise, you will get plenty of results about its dangers instead.I did such a search just out of curiosity. I had already learned that three babies in the Netherlands had died recently, at end-Oct / early-Nov 2009, after they were given this pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV),
Also, I am familiar with data from Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) - which include "coincidental" events as well as those truly caused by vaccines - that showed 28,317 adverse reactions since the Prevnar vaccine was approved in 2000. These included:
  • 558 deaths
  • 555 life threatening conditions
  • 238 permanent disabilities
  • 2,584 hospitalisations
  • 101 prolonged hospitalisations
  • 8,166 emergency room cases and
  • 16,155 "not serious".
In addition, I had written in an earlier article about pneumonia vaccine side effects that the introduction of Prevnar and other pneumonia vaccines has led to:
  • an increase in the incidence of pneumonia caused by bacteria NOT covered by these vaccines
  • an increase in middle-ear infections due to bacteria not linked to pneumonia
  • the emergence of "superbugs" that are resistant to vaccines.
So I was already quite familiar with the dangers and side effects of PCV vaccines like Prevnar. I was curious what was being claimed about the safety of Prevnar vaccine. So I did a search on Google. I found...
  • Prevnar IS Safe - Have a look at the studies...
  •  It tells about a new PCV-13 Prevnar vaccine trial in India that was stopped after a baby died. Looks like the title was just being sarcastic

  • ... This is pretty straightforward, no sarcasm or anything of the sort. But I learn here that, oh, by the way, Prevnar has not been evaluated for any carcinogenic or mutagenic potential, or impairment of fertility (ie they don’t know if it causes cancer, mutates into other illnesses or impairs people’s ability to have children).

  • By law, vaccines are not required to be tested for any links to cancer. This itself is not necessarily a danger, just a (very) possible danger of the unknown.
 HERE to read the entire article.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Occupation in Canada: Stand Up.

With Occupy Wall Street well into it's third week, and Occupy Canada gearing up, I know that many of you in Canada might not think that "Occupying" Canada is important.  Many here in Canada might think that since our government has policies in place to (hopefully) insure that our banks and money machines don't fall apart like has/is happening in the US that there is no reason to protest,  that the protests planned in Canada's major cities are just an excuse to go out on the streets and wave signs and beat drums.  Talking about  the "Occupations" are not the usual topics that I tend to focus on, but I'd like to take a moment to explain WHY you should be standing up and telling the government that we're pissed off.

As a mom of 5, a breastfeeding and natural child birth advocate, and someone who spends hours a day researching subjects to do with health and family, I can tell you that we have a LOT to protest about. With two little sick boys today, I won't be able to get into huge details with lots of links, but I'd like to give you some basic thoughts to mull over and perhaps research for yourself.

I'm not an economist or a political science graduate, so I'm not going to get into those deep dark details of money and inflation.  I want to point out  those things that directly effect me and my family, and perhaps effect your family as well. I want to talk about what pisses me off and what's wrong with our current system.

Mega corporations are running our government.
Big Pharma: We are constantly bombarded with the government pushing the agenda of the mega corporations and we are faced with policies and regulations that have been set up to herd the public to do what the Mega Corps want.  Examples?  How about Big Pharma?  You all know that I'm not a supporter of the vaccine schedule that Health Canada is pushing.  But have you thought about the influence that Big Pharma has on our government- at all levels from municipal to federal?  Have you thought about how their money and power is used to bend the government to push their agenda?  Let alone the fact that  Big Pharma has convinced Canada to add more and more vaccines to the "schedule" (the number of vaccines  scheduled has doubled since 1980), lets talk about the massive waste of money of the H1N1 vaccine.  Through the machinations of the major power players of the pharmaceutical world, the Canadian Government spent $1.5 Billion on Vaccines between Oct and Nov of 2009 alone! ... and near half of those doses sit expiring in storage. Oh and that doesn't include the money spent on the Tamiflu medication that (doesn't work) was stockpiled by the government. The taxpayers paid for those vaccines. Vaccines that were suppose to save us from a "Pandemic" that never happened and was a nothing more than a money grab for Big Pharma from  countries all over the world.
...sorry, I'm ranting.  The topic of Vaccines does that to me.

Lets talk about how the government lets Big Pharma get away with charging unbelievable amounts of money for life saving drugs.  5 years ago I had some serious migraine headaches and my doctor gave me a sample pill to take- she saved these samples for patients like myself who don't have drug coverage/insurance- because these pills were $75 EACH!!  Even if these tiny pills were made with pure gold, they couldn't possibly be worth that much money!  Cancer drugs, heart medications, drugs for debilitating diseases..... family loose their homes to save the lives of their loved ones.  Yes, In Canada.

How about the pressure of Big Pharma to get the government to ban health foods and alternative medicines? They don't want you to know about simple cures that they can't make money on, and our government follows along in their agenda by creating laws that make health foods and alternative medicines difficult if not impossible to buy/market/use.

Infant Formula companies: Canada signed the World Health Organizations International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes  when it was adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1981.  Since then the Canadian government has done absolutely NOTHING to promote the Code, or to protect the Code through the creations of laws.  Infant Formula companies, like Nestle, give millions of dollars to our government, major health agencies and hospitals, and they use the power of their money to influence government policies. Earlier this year I organized a working group that wrote a detailed response to Health Canada's call for submissions on their Draft Document "Infant Nutrition- birth to 6 months".  One of our biggest concerns, echoed by INFACT Canada, was that three of the members of the Committee in charge of writing and editing this draft doc were in the pay of infant formula companies!!!  When Infant formula companies are allowed to do whatever they want, the health of our youngest citizens are in jeopardy.

Mega corporations are raking in the money hand over fist, and paying their upper management and CEOs ludicrous amounts of money..... that we pay for.  Take a look at what the Ontario Hydro companies are paying and then ask yourselves why your electric bill so high.  Take a look at what your banking executives salaries are and ask your self why you still have to pay fees every month for the banks to use YOUR money to make money.

Our provincial health care coverage is being chipped away every year.  The cost of living is going up almost as fast as the cost of gold, yet our salaries pretty much stay the same.  Our farmers are going out of business, yet the cost of flour has doubled in the last 3 years.  The price of buying a house anywhere near a major population centre has increased to the point that only the rich can afford to even think about buying a house.  The cost of rent has risen to reflect these costs and many families can barely afford to put a roof over the heads of their children.  The price of gasoline continually jumps higher and higher making it harder and harder to afford to drive to work from outlying regions (but you can't afford to move any closer to work because the prices are too high).  Food costs are soaring.  Energy costs are soaring..... everything is soaring except the money in your wallet...... and taxes just keep going up and up.

Canada has the largest freshwater stores in the world, produces the most wheat, has more oil that Saudi Arabia, more arable land per capita than any other country. We have natural gas coming out the wazoo, every precious mineral known to man, the best fresh produce and livestock in the world.....

....Yet we are in debt up to our eyebrows, and one in 6 children in our great nation lives in poverty.

Now I don't know  how you feel, but in my opinion this is WRONG.  I don't know about you, but I'm planning on standing up to my government and telling them that I don't believe in them anymore, I don't want them any more, and things HAVE to change. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"How the Breastfeeding Industry is destroying Breastfeeding"

I love reading an article that opens my eyes to something I've missed.   As a mom of 5 who's been breastfeeding (this round) for almost 9 years solidly, I've always been a huge advocate of  "less is more". I refuse to have a crib (ok, I lie, I did have one was very handy for storing all the clean bedding and receiving blankets!), never had a change table, usually use my stroller for carrying school bags and groceries, and preferred manual expressing over using a breast pump..... I guess I've been out of the loop on all of this. I've noticed all the ads but never really thought of it this way. Well done.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2011How the Breastfeeding Industry is destroying Breastfeeding.
I've spend 10 years (!!) as a loud, active protector of breastfeeding. I've worked within the breastfeeding community, as an LC, been the first person to connect babywearing & breastfeeding as public health issues, a writer & so much more. I've attended countless conferences, tradeshows, speakers' events & taught at just as many. I've been observing an unnerving trend and a concept that James Akre introduced to me over 4 years ago has crystalised of late. 
A very large, capital I Industry has built up around "breastfeeding". What started as a small group of committed, WHO Code supporting companies has morphed into thousands of companies marketing "feeding products". Previously Code compliant companies have shifted their focus to "Feeding", offering little or no breastfeeding imagery, or products directly known to interfere with the success of breastfeeding. By creating an industry around the ostensible support of nursing mothers, companies have changed the culture around breastfeeding. The average new mother today is inundated with blog posts, ads, product samples and more more for things like breastfeeding cookies, bracelets, apps, creams, teas, menu plans, covers, hot/cold packs and so much more. 
It's an individual's choice to purchase & use what they'd like, make no mistake. The sum total of the entire industry and it's rapid growth over the past few years has accelerated to give the impression to today's first time mother that breastfeeding is expensive, time consuming, requires a lot of paraphernalia & often doesn't work the way they'd planned. It's important to know that the vast majority of these products simply didn't exist even a few years ago. It's also important to note the changes:
-Lansinoh, a beloved product for nursing mothers long endorsed by La Leche League, now sells bottles & other "feeding accessories" in violation of the WHO Code. 
-Boppy, one of the first commercial brands of nursing pillow, have rebranded as feeding pillows. There is currently not a single image of breastfeeding on their site or in their marketing.
-Medela, once a Code compliant supplier of pumps & accessories, is now marketing bottles & low quality pumps to mothers.
-Generically, many larger brands of nursing covers (a non-existent product category until about 10 years ago), have shifted their marketing from being a breastfeeding aid (which isdebatable) to providing a cover while pumping, bottlefeeding, or simply holding a sleeping baby. The imagery infrequently shows women actually nursing anymore.

"Breastfeeding and possible low supply"

This is an excellent article by "The Leaky B@@b".  If there is one panic that almost every new breastfeeding mom feels its:  "Is my baby getting enough milk?!?"   TLB gives a great rundown of the signs of low supply, and    tackles the many questions of new mothers when it comes to feeding.

I have a few things to add to this topic.  Low supply has been my greatest stress with my youngest son Kael.  I talk about my experience with my low supply, due to undiagnosed tongue tie, in my article "Milk Treats".  I have talked to literally hundreds of women about low supply- whether real or perceived.  The vast majority of women who experience a real drop in milk supply are usually having a problem with the babies latch.  When moms milk comes in and is flowing freely, even a baby with a poor latch will usually get enough to grow and be healthy and satisfied, but one mom's milk supply begins to regulate itself, a poor latch can cause a serious dip in the supply chain!  My first advice to every new mom that suspects she might have a low milk supply, is to get professional help from a certified IBCLC Lactation Consultant or a doctor that specializes in lactation management.  No matter how many herbs you take or any other methods you use to increase your supply, if the latch still isn't good, the milk supply won't regulate.

It's ALLLLLL about the latch, in most instances.

Dr. Jack Newman has excellent resources for mothers looking for information about breastfeeding, milk supply, and latching methods in Information Sheets and Video Clips.

In my personal quest for building my supply I discovered a few things- these are my personal experiences, NOT professional advice!!

- WATER WATER WATER!!!  If I drank less than 3 litres of WATER a day, my supply dipped quite drastically.  Notice I said "WATER", not juice, not tea, not milk...... WATER

- Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle really boosted my supply immediately, and I found that the tinctures worked better than the capsules of dried herbs.  BUT.... as with almost anything, you body becomes use to the herbal supplements and they begin to not work as well as they did.  For this reason I rotated my herbs every couple of months- taking Fenugreek and blessed thistle for two months, then changing to Goats Rue.

-Oats really helped boost my supply and did it quickly. But like the herbs, the effects of the oats lessened after a while.  I kept a stash of my milk treats granola bars in the freezer for those days when I had a sudden drop in my milk supply!  They work within hours to bring my supply back up!!

-Coffee is NOT helpful for milk supply- if I had more than my usual 2 cups in the morning, by evening my milk supply would drop, and if I had a cup of coffee in the afternoon, I'd be in serious trouble by the middle of the night!

-Domperidone does work.... but there are some side effects that are not ...."fun".  This is my OWN comments, not a list of risks of side effects of the drug from the manufacturer.  Having been on the maximum dose of Dom for almost a year, I started to wean off of it.  If you don't do it VERY slowly, your supply plummets, and it causes serious depression symptoms!!  I've also discovered, through my own experience, and talking to many other women, that it seems to cause weight gain.  All these things aside, it was still worth it to me for helping me continue to nurse my baby.

- And stress.  Stress is the enemy of a nursing mother.  I went through all sorts of extreme stress in the past year, and each and every time I got really stressed out, my milk supply would almost vanish. (which in turn made me even more stressed out!).  Our society does nothing to support mothers and help them- breastfeeding mothers in particular NEED support!!

Every woman is different and everyone reacts differently to different things.  Do you have a super duper milk supply increaser secret?  Let us know!!!

Help, my milk supply is low! Or is it?OCTOBER 3, 2011 BY 
By Tanya Lieberman, IBCLCEver wish your breasts had little ounce markings? If so, you’re not alone. One of the more confusing things about breastfeeding is determining how much milk you’re making. You can’t see how much is going into your baby, so how can you tell if your milk supply is enough for your baby?
On this page we share the best ways to determine if your milk supply is in fact low, and describe the many things that can make you think that your supply is low when it actually isn’t.

Below are some normal experiences that can trick you into believing that your supply is low:“My baby wants to eat all the time.” It’s normal for babies to eat frequently, generally in the range of 8 to 12 times in 24 hours for many months. This means many hours of feeding a day, and it may feel constant at times. It’s also normal for babies to “cluster feed” at times during the day. If your baby is feeding significantly outside of the 8-12 times range, contact a lactation consultant or other breastfeeding support person.
“My breasts feel softer than they used to.” Toward the end of the first month of breastfeeding many women notice that their breasts have decreased from the size they were when their mature milk came in. This is normal, and does not indicate anything about milk supply.
“I don’t feel that ‘let down’ sensation.” Some women have a “let down” sensation when they make milk, and some don’t. It doesn’t seem to have any bearing on the amount of milk a mother makes, so don’t worry if you don’t feel anything.
“My baby suddenly wants to eat all the time.” Babies go through growth spurts. They do this in order to increase your milk supply to meet an increased need for calories. To do this, they go on a feeding rampage for a few days – eating more often than usual and sometimes acting unsatisfied and fussy after feedings. During a growth spurt it’s common to question your supply. After a growth spurt you’ll find that you have more milk than ever!
“I can’t pump very much.” Pumping output is usually not a good measure of milk supply. Why? Because your body doesn’t always make milk for the pump (it has to be tricked into believing that the pump is your baby!) and when it does the pump doesn’t remove milk as well as your baby does. So don’t gauge your milk supply based on your pumping output. You almost always have more than you pump.
“My baby is fussy when she nurses.” There are many causes of fussiness at the breast. And while hunger is one of them, your baby may be fussy because of gas, pooping, a flow that is too fast or too slow, or a host of other reasons. If you believe that your baby is fussy because he or she isn’t getting enough milk, or if the fussiness is causing you distress, consult a lactation consultant or other breastfeeding support person.
“My baby is suddenly waking up at night a lot.” Night waking can be due to hunger, but it can also be due to teething or “reverse cycling,” (when babies eat less during the day and more at night, often due to a change in routine like a return to work, or distracted behavior during the day).