BEST is...

A network of Notre Dame moms, dedicated to supporting each other through the trials and tribulations of breastfeeding. Feel free to reach out to any of the BEST "Go-To" People with any questions or concerns you may have.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lactation rooms on campus!

We're excited to report that Jessica has been working with the ND Space Management Committee on a proposal for some dedicated space for lactation rooms around campus. We wanted to run some of they key points of the proposal by all our BEST mom experts for feedback. Please either comment right on this blog entry, or feel free to send Sara or me an e-mail. (links to the right.) We'll keep you posted as we learn more about when the lactation rooms will be available.

The Indiana state legislature enacted a law on July 1, 2008 requiring all employers with 25+ employees to accommodate individuals’ needs to pump and store breast milk at work.

Based on research and talking with other universities we have identified the following recommendations for the University of Notre Dame:


Locations: Provide four locations across campus, in areas with large populations of female employees who work in shared environments.

Four originally suggested areas include:
Grace or Flanner
Hesburgh Library
Mendoza College of Business
LaFortune Student Center (possible public site)

Approved space:
Hesburgh Library
McKenna Hall or Hesburgh Center

Space and other Requirements:
Each location should be a minimum of 7 feet by 7 feet
Close proximity to a sink
Electrical outlet
2 gliders/recliners
Table (or two)
Private and secure
Changing table
Blinds on windows (if applicable)
Tri-fold screen that can be used between gliders/chairs

A lactation room privacy symbol was developed by the University of Michigan and is available for our use on each of our lactation room doors.
We are looking into giving women access with their ND ID cards (similar to access to the Faculty/Staff Weight Room in the Joyce Center).
We will also intend to provide each nursing mom:
An insulated cooler bag for milk storage.
We are also looking into providing a subsidy for a breast pump for each nursing employee.

Other items to consider purchasing:
CD player
Water cooler

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Breastfeeding in the news

Two articles came to my attention this week:

Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child, by Serena Gordon
(HealthDay Reporter, Wed Oct 29, 7:03 pm ET)
Add yet another potential benefit to breast-feeding: Fewer behavioral problems in young children.

Parents of youngsters who were breast-fed as infants were less likely to report that their child had a behavior problem or psychiatric illness during the first five years of life, a new study found. ...

How Breastfeeding Transfers Immunity To Babies
(ScienceDaily, Oct. 27, 2008)
A BYU-Harvard-Stanford research team has identified a molecule that is key to mothers’ ability to pass along immunity to intestinal infections to their babies through breast milk.

The study highlights an amazing change that takes place in a mother’s body when she begins producing breast milk. For years before her pregnancy, cells that produce antibodies against intestinal infections travel around her circulatory system as if it were a highway and regularly take an “off-ramp” to her intestine. There they stand ready to defend against infections such as cholera or rotavirus. But once she begins lactating, some of these same antibody-producing cells suddenly begin taking a different “off-ramp,” so to speak, that leads to the mammary glands. That way, when her baby nurses, the antibodies go straight to his intestine and offer protection while he builds up his own immunity.

This is why previous studies have shown that formula-fed infants have twice the incidence of diarrheal illness as breast-fed infants....

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Scorpions for Breakfast and Snails for Dinner

On a lighter note, I thought I would share this amusing NYT article on picky eaters. For those of us who aren't in circumstances to provide such exotic food experiences, I think this plug for breastfeeding applies to even the non-Italian mothers among us:

I asked my wife if we deserve credit for rearing such adventurous eaters. Not we, she said. According to Paola, our kids started off right because she breast-fed them, which “opened their taste buds.” I’m not sure that’s scientific. It’s possible Italians are so haughty about their cuisine that they think even their breast milk is superior.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Not so helpful hospitals

The CDC recently came out with a report that shows that hospitals are not doing all that well with breastfeeding-friendly practices.

The findings indicate substantial prevalences of maternity practices that are not evidence-based and are known to interfere with breastfeeding - CDC
Among their findings:
  • Nearly one-quarter (24%) of birth facilities reported supplementing the majority of healthy, full-term, breastfed newborns with “something other than breast milk…a practice shown to be unnecessary and detrimental to breastfeeding."
  • 65% told mothers to limit the duration of suckling
  • 45% gave pacifiers to the majority of infants
  • 70% gave breastfeeding moms “gift bags” with formula samples

The lowest scoring areas for Indiana were the categories "Breastfeeding support after discharge", and "Nurse/breastfeeding attendant training and education".

Here's the link to the complete CDC report.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The importance of milk banks

Here is a powerful story about the importance of a milk bank to one family.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

New breastfeeding law

I wanted to share that new legislation related to support of breastfeeding in the workplace was recently signed into law by the Governor! Following is the text of the law, and you can read more at the Indiana General Assembly website.

Lactation support in the workplace. Provides that the state and political subdivisions: (1) shall provide for reasonable paid breaks for an employee to express breast milk for the employee's infant child; (2) must make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location in close proximity to the work area where the employee can express the employee's breast milk in privacy; and (3) must make reasonable efforts to provide for a refrigerator or other cold storage for keeping breast milk that has been expressed. Provides that other employers that employ 25 or more individuals, to the extent reasonably possible, must provide: (1) a private location for an employee to express the employee's breast milk during any period away from the employee's assigned duties; and (2) a refrigerator or other cold storage space, or allow the employee to provide the employee's own portable storage device, for keeping the expressed milk until the end of the employee's work day. Provides that, except in case of willful misconduct, gross negligence, or bad faith, an employer is not liable for any harm caused by or arising from: (1) the expressing of an employee's breast milk; or (2) the storage of expressed milk; on the employer's premises.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Something frivolous

I was looking for something else when I happened to discover this:

Thought I'd post it, just as something fun.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cancer Experts: Breastfeeding Protects Mothers, Children

Another report about the benefits of breastfeeding, to children and to their mothers. This one is from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR):

Experts at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) recommend that new mothers breastfeed their children for at least the first six months. They cite convincing evidence that this practice offers cancer protection to both mother and child.

According to AICR, new mothers can directly lower their own risk of both pre- and post-menopausal breast cancer by breastfeeding. And children who are breastfed are less likely to become overweight or obese, which in turn lowers their risk of several common cancers that have now been convincingly linked to excess body fat.

The recommendation to breastfeed is one conclusion of the recently published AICR report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. This comprehensive, 517-page report was the result of a five-year process involving nine independent teams of scientists, hundreds of peer reviewers, and 21 international experts who reviewed and analyzed over 7,000 large-scale studies on all aspects of cancer risk.

"The landmark AICR report concludes with 10 recommendations for cancer prevention, one of which deals exclusively with breastfeeding," said Karen Collins, MS, RD, AICR Nutrition Advisor. "AICR is the first major cancer organization to issue an official recommendation about breastfeeding."

The full AICR recommendation reads: It’s best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to six months and then add other liquids and foods.


You can read the full news release at the AICR website.

Friday, January 18, 2008

New AAP policy on breastfeeding & allergies

I was happy to see these relaxed guidelines on introducing certain foods - particularly because I wasn't aware of all of them! And, it's good to see affirmation that breastfeeding helps protect against allergies. See Breastfeeding May Lower Allergy Risk by Salynn Boyles, WebMD Medical News.

In a newly published policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) abandons a previous call for the gradual introduction of foods typically associated with allergies in high-risk children. The earlier guidelines recommended delaying the introduction of cow's milk until after a child's first birthday, eggs until age 2, and tree nuts, peanuts, and fish until age 3.

"We just do not have the studies to back this up," study researcher author Frank R. Greer, MD, tells WebMD. If a child is going to be allergic to peanuts or eggs, it doesn't seem to matter [after 4 to 6 months] when you introduce these foods.

There is also no convincing evidence to justify telling moms to avoid these foods during pregnancy and while they are nursing, the new report shows.

Published in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics, the report revisits and revises recommendations made seven years ago by the AAP. Among the major findings: Exclusive breastfeeding for at least four months, compared with feeding regular formula made from cow's milk, appears to help protect high-risk children against milk allergy and eczema in the first two years of life, the report states.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New year, new blog!

Welcome to BEST's new web presence. This year we're hoping to formalize the network of BEST "Go-To" People on campus. The idea is to make it known that there are women at Notre Dame that have successfully breastfed babies through all manner of work and scholarly activities. Interested in being a BEST "Go-To" Person? Just let Tracy or Sara know and we'll add you to the list!