Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Language of Birth

You’ve been planning your vacation for many many months. After a lot of consideration you choose a country in which a foreign language is spoken. You’ve invested time in thinking where you want to go, and you’ve spent even longer saving up your money. 

The day arrives and you’ve arrived at your long awaited destination. You made sure you had your bag packed well in advance. You have your clothes, something to read, possibly even music to relax you. As you get around this foreign country, slowly but surely you realize you’re in deep trouble… You know nothing of the language. The people speak to you, but you understand absolutely nothing. They tell you they’re taking you to a hotel of their choice, but you are starving and just want to eat, besides, you don’t even want to go to that hotel! But you’re practically helpless, no tolk, much less a dictionary. You figure, ‘ah, I’ll let them take me where they say is good, besides, they are the locals’. In the end, the vacation you’ve planned, and toiled for, all that you’ve envisioned that would relax you, is lost in the frustration of not planning well enough for the language barrier. You get back home, and you say to yourself ‘well….at least I am healthy and alive’

How many women, go through their pregnancies and births, and experience this situation? They painstakingly look for the right name for their child, they do their utmost to get the perfect furniture and the perfect color to match in the nursery. They expend almost all their money and time into the superficial matters of bringing a child into their lives, not anticipating the lasting effects of one of the most important days in their lives that is fast approaching, for which they feel ‘very prepared’ and yet very frightened. Family and friends ask if she’s got her stuff packed and ready. She says yes, she’s got her blankets, robes, socks, a novel to read and not to forget her toiletries. ‘I’ve got it all covered’, she figures. 

She never looks up Childbirth Education classes, nor breastfeeding support groups and doesn’t even buy any pregnancy books. She does however look at televised birth stories on tv and learns a lot from them. She learns to fear pain and childbirth that is. 

Surely enough, 38/2 weeks rolls around. Her doctor is pressing for induction because her ‘baby is huge, and her hips are simply too petite, besides..your baby is already full term!’ The doctor says she’d be fortunate enough if she could even have the baby vaginally. She shows up at the hospital for her induction, nervous but very excited that the baby will finally be here. She’s not sure what an induction actually is, but she’s put her full trust in her doctor “So what can go wrong?”.

Mom ends up with cesarean for ‘failure to progress’ and ‘fetal distress’, and the sweet baby she was so eager to have is in the NICU weighing in at a disappointing 6 pounds, with severe respiratory distress. Born too early… Mom is exhausted and in pain, so much so, she relents and begs the nurses to give her newborn a bottle because her breasts feel so mushy and couldn’t possibly have any milk, let alone, enough milk for the baby. The nurses happily oblige and that’s the end of that. She tries to comfort herself with the thought that at least her baby is alive and will be healthy in the long run. 

What is wrong with this story? Where did this mom falter? I’ll tell you where, by not preparing well before the birth of the baby. This is not to say that if you don’t take any kind of ChildBirth Education classes you are doomed to fail. But, your chances of having the birth that is best for you and your baby is significantly reduced. 

Birth is severely medicalized and ‘modernized’ in this day and age. Birth has become pathological instead of physiological. It is seen as an illness that must be treated with pills, gels, injections and machines. Women’s bodies have ceased functioning and can no longer be trusted. While a small percentage of women actually do face complications in their pregnancies that are very real and very serious in nature, the exception is not the norm. Even when our pregnancies are progressing smoothly and our baby is developing just fine, we are bombarded by fear, anxiety and stress of ‘what can go wrong’. Since childhood we have been taught by the media, doctors and some cultures to fear labor and birth. We’ve come a long way from trusting the birthing process and letting it unfold naturally and undisturbed. It has become this foreign language that only a select few speak. It’s not that the possibility of learning it is absent, but that the studying of it is discouraged and women are often ostracized for using it with such eloquence and apt to the benefit of themselves and of others. 

If a pregnant woman does not research her options, and get familiar with birth, her choices will be stripped from her when she hands over control of her body to her doctor, midwife or nurse. Although it is never too late to ask questions, ideally, the labor and delivery room is not the time or place to start seeking our your options. The sooner you start, the quicker you will dominate the language of birth

Friday, January 22, 2010

Baby wearing around the world part 2

To further highlight the ridiculousness of 'carrying your baby, spoils your baby'

Stunning and insightful pictures of women from all over the globe, doing just that...

These women have probably never heard of hip dysplasia or spondylolisthesis, 
 And yet, if you look at each and every photo, the baby is properly wrapped or slinged on the mother's body, with the fabric extending under the child's knee, which promotes proper spinal and hip development in the baby/toddler. 

These women work, walk, talk, travel long distances, day and night with their babies on their bodies. One may argue that it's only done that way because strollers and cars are not readily available in such places, but the fact remains that, these same slingbabies, cry less, learn more, and grow up to be good citizens of their communities 





















And then when you get to Europe, America, and Aruba, you see this.....


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Carrying our children

Woman carrying groceries....


While people see no problem with carrying heavy inanimate objects, they cannot imagine why a woman would choose to encumber herself by carrying her child...

What have we become?

'Babywise' advice linked to dehydration, failure to thrive

Volume 14 Number 4

by Matthew Aney, M.D.

Expectant parents often fear the changes a new baby will bring, especially sleepless nights. What new parent wouldn’t want a how-to book that promises their baby will be sleeping through the night by three to eight weeks?

One such book, On Becoming Babywise, has raised concern among pediatricians because it outlines an infant feeding program that has been associated with failure to thrive (FTT), poor weight gain, dehydration, breast milk supply failure, and involuntary early weaning. A Forsyth Medical Hospital Review Committee, in Winston-Salem N.C., has listed 11 areas in which the program is inadequately supported by conventional medical practice. The Child Abuse Prevention Council Of Orange County, Calif., stated its concern after physicians called them with reports of dehydration, slow growth and development, and FTT associated with the program. And on Feb. 8, AAP District IV passed a resolution asking the Academy to investigate “Babywise,” determine the extent of its effects on infant health and alert its members, other organizations and parents of its findings.

I have reviewed numerous accounts of low weight gain and FTT associated with “Babywise” and discussed them with several pediatricians and lactation consultants involved.

The book’s feeding schedule, called Parent Directed Feeding (PDF), consists of feeding newborns at intervals of three to three and one-half hours (described as two and one-half to three hours from the end of the last 30- minute feeding) beginning at birth. Nighttime feedings are eliminated at eight weeks.

This advice is in direct opposition to the latest AAP recommendations on newborn feeding (AAP Policy Statement, “Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk,” Pediatrics, Dec. 1997): “Newborns should be nursed whenever they show signs of hunger, such as increased alertness or activity, mouthing, or rooting. Crying is a late indicator of hunger. Newborns should be nursed approximately eight to 12 times every 24 hours until satiety...”

Although demand feeding is endorsed by the Academy, WHO, and La Leche League among others, “Babywise” claims that demand feeding may he harmful and outlines a feeding schedule in contrast to it. The book makes numerous medical statements without references or research, despite that many are the antitheses of well-known medical research findings. In 190 pages, only two pediatric journals are referenced with citations dated 1982 and 1986.

Many parents are unaware of problems because the book is marketed as medically supported. It is co-authored by pediatrician Robert Bucknam, M.D., who not only states in the book that the “Babywise” principles are medically sound,” but also writes, “Babywise” has brought a needed reformation to pediatric counsel given to new parents.” Obstetrician Sharon Nelson, M.D., also warns: “Not following the principles of “Babywise” is a potential health concern.”

The book’s other author is Gary Ezzo, a pastor with no medical background. Ezzo’s company, Growing Families International (GFI), markets the book as “ideally written” for “obstetricians, pediatricians, or health-care providers to distribute to their patients.” (GFI promotes the same program under the title “Preparation for Parenting,” a virtual duplicate with added religious material).

Though “Babywise” does say, “With PDF a mother feeds her baby when the baby is hungry,” it also instructs parents to do otherwise. In a question-and-answer section, parents of a 2-week-old baby, who did not get a full feeding at the last scheduled time and wants to eat again, are instructed that babies learn quickly from the laws of natural consequences. “If your daughter doesn’t eat at one feeding, then make her wait until the next one.”

Unfortunately, the schedule in “Babywise” does not take into account differences among breastfeeding women and babies. According to one report, differences of up to 300 percent in the maximum milk storage capacity of women’s breasts mean that, although women have the capability of producing the same amount of milk over a 24-hour period for their infants, some will have to breastfeed far more frequently than others to maintain that supply. Babies must feed when they need to, with intervals and duration determined according to a variety of factors in temperament, environment, and physiological makeup. Averages may fit into a bell-shaped curve, but some babies will require shorter intervals. (Daly S., Hartmann P. “Infant demand and milk supply, Part 2. The short-term control of milk synthesis in lactating women.” Journal of Human Lactation; 11; (1):27-37).

Examples of the many other un- substantiated medical claims in “Babywise” include:

• “Lack of regularity [in feeding intervals] sends a negative signal to the baby’s body, creating metabolic confusion that negatively affects his or her hunger, digestive, and sleep/wake cycles.”

• “Demand-fed babies don’t sleep through the night.”

• “A mother who takes her baby to her breast 12, 15, or 20 times a day will not produce any more milk than the mom who takes her baby to breast six to seven times a day.”

• “Mothers following PDF have little or no problem with the let down reflex, compared to those who demand-feed.”

• “Colic, which basically is a spasm in the baby’s intestinal tract that causes pain, is very rare in PDF babies but is intensified in demand-fed babies.”

• “In our opinion, much more developmental damage is done to a child by holding him or her constantly than by putting the baby down. In terms of biomechanics alone, carrying a baby in a sling can increase neck and back problems, or even create them.”

• “Some researchers suggest that putting a baby on his or her back for sleep, rather than on the baby’s tummy, will reduce the chance of crib death. That research is not conclusive, and the method of gathering supportive data is questionable.”

My review of the low weight gain and FTT accounts associated with “Babywise” revealed several disturbing trends. Parents were often adamant about continuing with the feeding schedule, even when advised otherwise by health care professionals. They were hesitant to tell their physicians about the schedule, making it difficult to pinpoint the cause for the weight gain problems. Many elected to supplement or wean to formula rather than continue breastfeeding at the expense of the schedule. The parents’ commitment call be especially strong when they are using the program for religious reasons, even though numerous leaders within the same religious communities have publicly expressed concerns.

Pediatricians need to know about “Babywise” and recognize its potential dangers. History taking should include questions to determine if parents are using a feeding schedule, especially before advising formula supplement to breastfeeding mothers or when faced with a low-gaining or possible failure to thrive baby. Lactation consultants also should be instructed to probe this area.
Efforts should be made to inform parents of the AAP recommended policies for breastfeeding and the potentially harmful consequences of not following them.

Dr. Aney is an AAP candidate fellow based in Lancaster, Calif.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why breastfeed in public

A friend of mine had glossed over a study she had read about primates not knowing how to suckle their young if they had never been around other primate mothers suckling their young before they gave birth. I went on a search for that study because, quite frankly, I think its truth extends into the human family too.

It says in part ;

Primates are, generally speaking, an exception to the general rule of easy nursing. A study of infant-mother long-tailed macaque monkeys showed that they use the same oral nursing motions as other mammals (i.e., suction - German et al., 1992). Yet most primates appear to require a period of leaning in order to successfully nurse their offspring as compared to other mammals (Smith, 2005). Hrdy (1999) has proposed that this learning may be a trade-off between the reliability of innate behaviors and the flexible power of a learning brain. Data from isolated primates provide evidence that without observing or experience nursing, monkeys face a strong likelyhood of failing to nurse succesfully (Abello & Fernandez, 2003 ;  Harlow & Harlow, 1962)

This could well explain why today women just don't 'know' anymore about breastfeeding. The reason for the majority of doubt amidst new mothers' ability to nurse their young is partly to blame on never having been 'exposed' to it when they were young, growing up, or on a daily basis. You know how when you hear a story, and over some years of not having heard it anymore, you tend to forget bits if not, whole chunks of the story. Although breastfeeding is natural, and instinctual, because of it fading into the minority, it has become 'instructional'. We need books, workshops, seminars, classes, and not to mention support groups.

So what should breastfeeding mothers do? Just what a lot of people object to. Nurse in Public. Anywhere, anytime. You'll be doing other young women, children, mothers to be, a big favor

Families that slept together, are kept together

"Families that slept together, are kept together " 

When a baby is born unto a couple, bedsharing (in some cases) arises. It's safe to say that this is natural and whenever possible, should be the norm but what about bedsharing between siblings? That was the thought that crossed my mind the other day.

My little sister was born when I was 6 and a half-years-old. When she was two, her crib came into my room. One night, my little sister woke up crying, and without hesitating, I picked her up out of the crib (a big feat for a skinny 8-year-old) and I put her beside me in the bed. I jokingly tell everyone how that was the end of that. She never slept anywhere else! This felt good to me. It was natural to me to bring my little sister next to me to sleep. I don't think I ever slept in my parents bed, but I know for a certainty that my mother bedshared with her parents until a very very big age, somewhere around the teen years. Now that is something. When nighttime came, my mother's parents would say to her "Ok, go bathe and get in your bed (meaning their bed)". In any case, bedsharing was my first instinct.

A quick click on Google and you'll get a lot of hits on co-sleeping siblings. Reports ranging from a decrease in sibling rivalry and quarreling, to feelings of brotherly love between siblings chatting at night in bed before falling asleep. 

Do your older children share sleep? I have some friends whose children do! What beautiful serene looking children

Thank you to Enith Hernandez and Laura Bilbo for these beautiful pictures

Monday, January 18, 2010

Red Meat Monday

I decided, quite rashly, that Mondays will be dedicated to something that has nothing to do with, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or parenting. It will be about the comic strip "Red Meat"

A friend of mine introduced me to this comic strip some years ago and I can say that its odd to the point of being funny. To find more go toRedmeatDotCom. 

Please click on it to be able to actually read it

Here's today's Bit

The H-phenomenon in bedsharing

Ah.... Bedsharing... I love it. To cuddle up with your baby/toddler/older child at night and smell their hair and skin and caress their fat cheeks. I love it. If we spent the whole or half day apart, or if we spent the whole day together, I still love seeing you crawl into my arms and say 'Dodo, dodo' (sleep, sleep).

Which brings me to the H-phenomenon. Ok. You got mommy on one end, and daddy on the other end. Baby in the middle. Things start out fine and then somewhere in the middle of the night, things start looking like this (below)

I don't mind it, but the thing is, guess who's getting the kicking? Dada

Ah... bedsharing... even so I won't quit you! <3

Friday, January 15, 2010

An interview with a CF breastfeeding mom

CF stands for Cystic Fibrosis which is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that:
  • clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections; and
  • obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food.
In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.
Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis
People with CF can have a variety of symptoms, including:
  • very salty-tasting skin;
  • persistent coughing, at times with phlegm;
  • frequent lung infections;
  • wheezing or shortness of breath;
  • poor growth/weight gain in spite of a good appetite; and
  • frequent greasy, bulky stools or difficulty in bowel movements.

Becoming a parent to a child with special needs is not an easy situation or one that any parent wants to face, but the fact of the matter is that it happens, and some parents accept it and do their utmost to turn a difficult situation into a positive one. One such parent is a friend of mine and fellow lactivist who runs a blog entitled A day in the life of a CF mom. Over the months of reading her blog posts and talking to her, I've come to see what a truly dedicated and well-informed mother she is. Happily she accepted an interview to provide more insight into what it's truly like to deal with Cystic Fibrosis.

Wendy : Kacie, tell us a bit more of what CF truly encompasses

Kacie : Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease that is inherited from a person's parents. Lucy has CF because her father and I are both silent carriers of the disease. If Lucy's father and I had more children, there would be a 25% chance of each child being born with CF. CF is often mistaken as a lung disease but really it is a genetic disorder that effects the cells in the body so that they don't move sodium chloride in and out normally. Because of the sodium chloride abnormality, it causes the mucus membranes in the body to be thick and sticky. The lungs and pancreas are the hallow organs most effected by the mucus. The thick lining inside the lungs makes it easier and more susceptible to lung infections causing lung damage over time. The sticky mucus inside the pancreas makes it almost impossible to digest food properly without the use of digestive enzyme supplements that have to be taken with every meal to ensure proper digestion, and to prevent malabsorption. There are so many advances in the field of CF but the average age of a person with CF today is only 37 years old. There is no cure for CF.

Wendy: At what point was your daughter Lucy diagnosed with CF, did you suspect something was wrong before you got the diagnosis?

Kacie: I had a very normal and happy pregnancy with no signs of anything being abnormal, even having a chemical-free and intervention-free labor and birth. I didn't suspect anything was wrong until my water broke, there was a lot of green meconium. When they placed Lucy directly on my stomach, I noticed first, her huge blue eyes, and then her very distended, very bloated belly. There was so much fluid in her stomach that it was putting pressure on her lungs, and she was wheezing and gasping for air. They took her away to pump her stomach and take x-rays to be sure that her lungs were okay. Her lungs were 100% but they did find multiple blockages in her intestines, called meconium ileus. The meconium, a baby's first poop, was too thick and bulky to pass while in utero. It stayed in her small intestine, and the intestine closed up around it, pinching the intestine shut. When my water broke during labor, and it was green, it was caused by her not being able to pass amniotic fluid any longer. She was instead regurgitating it. Lucy had surgery to repair the intestinal blockages at 18 hours old but Lucy was not officially diagnosed with CF for anther 2 weeks after birth. Only about 10% of infants with CF are born with meconium ileus.

Wendy: What were the first thoughts that ran through your mind at that point?

Kacie: I have never been so scared in my life. In the first 30 seconds of seeing my new baby, she was ripped out of my arms for inspection. I had feelings of guilt in the beginning. I had done everything an expectant mother should have done. What went wrong? What did I do that could have caused this? Just being in the unknown is a horrible feeling. After Lucy was diagnosed, I had already had a chance to relax and compose myself, and feelings of guilt had started to subside and were actually replaced by anger. Why me? Why my baby? It really wasn't fair. I had so many questions!

Wendy: Since you were exclusively breastfeeding Lucy, did the diagnosis affect this? What did your doctors recommend and what did you do?

Kacie: I had always known that I was going to exclusively breastfeed my children so the decision was made before Lucy was even born. When Lucy arrived, and because she had the blockages, I was not able to nurse her for 2 whole weeks. Imagine my frustration and heart ache to not be able to nurse my child when she cried for me! She never ingested a single thing until 2 weeks old, waiting for her insides to heal up. She was given fluids and nutrients through an IV while I pumped, pumped and pumped, and saved every last drop of milk I could get. I made the NICU nurses write in huge, red lettering, "MOTHER'S BREAST MILK ONLY!" in her file so she would never be given formula. The very first thing that went into Lucy's repaired intestines was exactly 5ml of my milk. She was not to be given more than 5-10ml at a time to insure that the surgery went well. After 2 days of "testing" her new tummy out, we were finally, at last, able to nurse. I will never forget the first time either! She latched on like she had done it before. We were off and running. The doctors were very pleased that I was so adamant about breastfeeding. The recommendations about switching to formula came later. Lucy was not gaining as much as she should have been gaining according to the AAP weight charts. When she dipped below 50th percentile, it was mentioned that we may have to supplement with formula for added calories. I told them that giving her formula would never happen in a million years! I went home that day and started nursing her around the clock like normal, but I added in feedings as well, even when she really didn't even have hunger cues. I became a human pacifier because I refused to put her on formula. Extra nursing worked. She gained enough weight to get above the 50th percentile so Lucy's nutritionist never mentioned formula to me again.

Wendy: How has breastfeeding proved to be a great help in relation to Lucy's diagnosis and her illness in general?

Kacie: I make jokes that my boob has been my best friend and still is! Lucy has been in and out of doctors offices her whole life. Her life is very chaotic and stressful because of CF. More stress than a child should have to go through: blood tests, needles, throat cultures, wearing a vest that shakes her chest and taking up to 9 different medications a day. By nursing Lucy on demand for the last 2 years, we have created a safe place for her to go where she knows everything will be okay. Nursing is her neutral place, a safe place, the quiet place among the storm. I am more in tune with her and her physical and emotional needs because of our nursing relationship. Nursing her for this long has helped her immune system. She is sick less often and when she does get sick it is very short-lived. If I ever get a cold or illness, she has never gotten it from me. She is receiving the antibodies from me that are needed in fighting the infection. I really cannot think of one negative thing to say about breastfeeding Lucy.

Wendy: Could you describe what a normal day is like for you and Lucy?

Kacie: Lucy and I are both night owls so we leisurely get up anywhere between 9 and 10 am, earlier if we need to be somewhere. She nurses when she wakes up. Since I am Lucy's very own short order chef, I ask her what she wants to eat for breakfast. I oblige by making whatever she says (but make it as high calorie as I can.) Her pancreas doesn't work for digestion so I have to help out matters by increasing the chances that she will absorb some fats and she takes digestive enzymes in pill form (7 per meal) to break down food. At breakfast time, she also takes a vitamin designed for CF kids and a probiotic to aid in intestinal health. After eating her delicious high calorie meal, we begin breathing treatments for her lungs. These breathing treatments take up to an hour, consisting of 3 different inhaled medications given with a nebulizer and a mask while she wears a vest that vibrates and shakes her chest to loosen the mucus in the lungs. After breathing treatments, we get ready for our day. Bathe and shower, get dressed, sing songs, pack a high calorie snack and drink, and then go and do what we need to do before it is time to eat again. Then a high calorie lunch is served.We then do another breathing treatment with her nebulizer and vest. She plays until nap time. She nurses at nap time. Nap time is when I get on the computer and clean up around the house a little bit. When she wakes up from her nap, she likes to nurse again, then I get another snack ready for her. She plays more around the house, playground if it's nice or we run more errands. Dinner is more high calorie food followed by dessert or another snack.We do her final treatment of the day consisting of 3 meds and vest, lasting almost an hour. She plays and nurses off and on all night until bedtime.

Wendy: With new advancements in the field of CF, new medications are lengthening the life span of people diagnosed with CF, how many meds does Lucy take? How did it start out? Is it difficult to get her to take her medications?

Kacie: I have been so lucky from day one. Lucy takes her medications like a professional and has rarely complained. I really try to make it fun. Make it a game for her instead of a hassle or 'bad thing.' As a newborn nursling, I had to open the digestive enzymes into a tablespoon of applesauce each and every time she breastfed. With practice, Lucy was taking entire pills by 15 months of age. In the beginning, as an infant, I used to do all of her breathing treatments and inhaled medications at night when she was sleeping. I would set my alarm, give her her meds and she would never know she did it. Now, at 2 years old, she holds the mask herself, and nearly does it on her own. Here is a list of her 8 meds:

  • Miralax (laxative) half cap daily in juice to prevent rectal prolapse from recurring.
  • PancreaCarb MS4 (digestive enzymes) 7 pills before ingesting any food.
  • ADEKs (chewable vitamin) specially formulated for CF kids with fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K that she takes once a day.
  • Probiotic to help aid in her intestinal health that she takes twice daily (same as yogurt probiotic but higher dose.)
  • Xopenex (inhaled levalbuterol) opens up lungs. 2-4 times daily depending on wheezing and cough.
  • Pulmozyme (inhaled enzyme) loosens up mucus in lungs to aid in expelling it. Once a day.
Tobi (inhaled antibiotic) fights a Pseudomonas bacterial infection in the lungs. Twice a day for an on and off duration of 6 months.
  • Cipro (oral liquid antibiotic) fights bacterial infection. Twice daily for 2 weeks.

Wendy: What does your daughter's 'diet' consist of?

Kacie: Lucy is on a very high calorie diet. Her CF nutritionist recommends that she have an average intake of 1700 calories every day. She is only 2 years old so it is very difficult to pack that many calories into a little body, and little food. I take normal toddler table food and add calories to it all. Add butter, olive oil and mayonnaise to everything. She does drink whole cow's milk at meals for the calories and extra vitamin D. To her regular milk, I add half and half to it! Her veggies are usually sauteed in butter or oil and then served with a mayonnaise dipping sauce. A lot of salt is added to her food to make up for what the cells in her body got rid of. She eats always eats quality, homemade food. Never candy, soda or other empty calories. She eats when she wants to. She has awaken in the middle of the night and was hungry so I made her an entire meal. A CF mama will never refuse food to her child!

Wendy: Is Lucy still breastfeeding? Has this proved a hindrance or a help?

Kacie: Lucy and I just hit our 2 year milestone in our breastfeeding journey, and we don't have any plans on weaning in the near future. I could never say anything negative about nursing Lucy. Breastfeeding has helped me, and her CF team of doctors, keep her happy and healthy. She is well-round, smart, caring and a very confident little girl.

Wendy: What difficulties have you experienced with either, relatives, friends, or doctors, due to Lucy's illness?

Kacie: My family has been supportive through the entire thing. I have never gotten any negative comments from my friends either, more questions and curiosities about nursing. Lucy's pumlonologist has made a few funny comments to me like, "Oh my gosh! You are still nursing her?" I find it so disturbing that doctors today can't find the benefits of nursing a child long term, and then question a mother's choice to do so. I just reply with things like, "Yes, we are and she is thriving because of it."

Wendy: What joys and hopes do you have for Lucy and the future?

Kacie: I have the same hopes and dreams for her now as I did when I found out I was pregnant. I want her to be independent, self-confident, nurturing and kind, show compassion to others less fortunate than ourselves, be a citizen of the world. She can and will do anything she puts her mind and heart into. She already shows that she is smart, loving, kind, compassionate and she is only 2! I cherish every moment that I have with her, and I feel like she knows how I feel and reciprocates those feelings back to me. I want Lucy to be happy with herself and never feel sorry for herself just because she has Cystic Fibrosis. I want Lucy to live the best life she can.

Wendy: If you could reach all parents who just got a positive diagnosis for CF of their baby/child, what would you say to them?

Kacie: I would tell them that there is only a short period of time to grieve and be angry. Spend the rest of your life educating yourself about CF so that you may become a better parent and caregiver. Knowledge is power. Find support groups or other CF families that are going through the same things as you. The worldwide CF community is friendly and will become your go-to when you need answers. Spend everyday loving and nurturing your child. Every moment counts in life, every breath counts. Fight for your child and their right to good health and happiness. Only you can be your child's voice, an advocate. Speak up and take a stand, if you think something is wrong. A parent's instinct DOES count and should be listened to. Love, kiss and adore your child and treat them like you would any other. They are normal children who just happen to be diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.

Kacie, with heartfelt gratitude, I would like to thank you for letting us see what it's truly like to deal with Cystic Fibrosis on a day to day basis. It's not easy, but you are a sterling example of a loving, nurturing parent. I have learned a lot from your example

Thursday, January 14, 2010

H1N1 in Aruba

  "White and Yellow Cross begins today with the second round of H1N1 immunization! "                                                

It's a 'global epidemic' that has swept all corners of the globe. Worse yet is the sensationalism behind it. Big Pharma companies in cohoots with Big Brother, have been pushing this vaccine left, right, up and down everywhere. Not to be excluded is Aruba. Although, someone from 'the inside' has told me that the Aruban people are generally not trusting of the vaccine and those most as risk (e.g. pregnant women, babies, CARA patients, older people) are not turning up for their innoculations (including yours truly and my 2-year-old, both asthma patients). They then go one to say, "no way my kids are getting that vaccine"... Yah.. You know who else said that? President Barack Obama, Dr. Oz, and countless other doctors who are refusing to vaccinate their families.

If people are afraid of contracting H1N1, then some are even more so of its vaccine. Heck, I'm one of them. There are no long term studies done on these vaccines, and personally, I don't feel like being a guinea pig either. You can keep your mercury, your formeldahyde and your spermicide...

Btw, the White and Yellow cross from the picture above is the organization in Aruba that oversees the general health and development of all of Aruba's babies and older kids. Babies and children with special needs are directed to a pediatrician.  

If you are interested in knowing which vaccine brand Aruba uses, it is called Pandemrix. Go here to see its exact contents and make an informed decision for yourself

Actual H1N1 vaccine box

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Who would have thought...

An article published in Midwifery Today in 2003 made my eyes get very big. My attention was drawn to it on their website where you can see the full article.

Garlic. Garlic tastes real good. Smells awesome, and can rid you of an oncoming yeast infection or even a fully blown one. Wow. I wish someone had told me this in my first pregnancy. I wouldn't have had to go up and down to the doctor and pharmacy for those recurrent yeast infections, wondering if the cream they gave me really wouldn't do anything to my jelly bean (a.k.a. fetus)

Here's the directions on how, when and where to put the garlic from Midwifery today

If a woman can pay attention to the first tickling of the yeast infection, she can use the following treatment. Take a clove of fresh garlic and peel off the natural white paper shell that covers it, leaving the clove intact. At bedtime, put the clove into the vagina. In the morning, remove the garlic clove and throw it in the toilet. The garlic often causes the vagina to have a watery discharge. One night's treatment may be enough to kill the infection, or it might have to be repeated the next night. Continue one or two days until all itchiness is gone. The reason that the treatment is done at bedtime is that there is a connection between the mouth and the vagina. The moment the garlic is placed in the vagina, the taste of the garlic travels up to the mouth. Most people will find this strong flavor annoying during the day, so the treatment is recommended for nighttime.

If the infection has advanced to the point that a woman has large quantities of white discharge and red sore labia, it can still be treated by garlic but with a higher dose. Use a dry tissue to remove some of the discharge, then take a clove of garlic and cut it in half. Put it in the vagina at bedtime and repeat this for a few nights. If there is no improvement, she might consider a conventional over-the-counter treatment because it is a shame to suffer for many days. Remember that a woman should never douche during a vaginal infection. Yeast loves water and any water will make it grow faster.

Any cut in the clove makes the activity of the garlic stronger. Thus, the more of the inside of the clove that is exposed, the higher the dose. Each woman should learn the dose that works best for her, from the lowest dose, an uncut clove, to a clove with one or more small fingernail slits, to a clove cut in half.

If a high dose of garlic, a cut-open garlic clove, is inserted in a healthy vagina, it will often "burn" the healthy skin. When the woman is suffering from an advanced yeast infection, the skin is already red and "burned" and the garlic cures the infection by killing the yeast. Then the skin repairs itself. By the way, veterinarians have been using garlic to heal infections in livestock for many years. If drug companies could patent garlic and make money off of it, they would be advertising it everywhere!

Did you know that garlic can also help with GBS? Follow the below instructions for a yeast infection as well as Group B Strep (in same article on MT)

Garlic protocol:

  • Break a clove off of a bulb of garlic and peel off the paper-like cover. Cut in half. Sew a string thru it for easy retrieval.
  • Put a fresh half in your vagina in the evening before you go to sleep. Most women taste garlic in their mouths as soon as it is in their vagina, so it is less pleasant to treat while awake.
  • In the morning, the garlic may come out when you poop. If not, many women find it is easiest to take it out on the toilet. Circle the vagina with a finger, till you find it. It cannot enter the uterus through the cervix. It cannot get lost, but it can get pushed into the pocket between the cervix and the vaginal wall.
  • Most people will taste the garlic as long as it is in there. So if you still taste it, it is probably still in there. Most women have trouble getting it out the first time.
  • For easy retrieval, sew a string through the middle of the clove before you put it in. You don't want to get irritated. Be gentle. Don't scratch yourself with long nails.

Hey, if it doesn't work, at least you went and tried the natural way first...

Moxibustion for Bringing Babies Around to the Head-First Position

From Childbirth Connection's E-newsletter came an interesting piece that was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2009;201(3), 241-59 talking about using an ancient Chinese tradition to turn breech babies by means of moxibustion

What is Moxibustion? Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing(or in this case, turning a breech baby) Moxibustion has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years; in fact, the actual Chinese character for acupuncture, translated literally, means "acupuncture-moxibustion."

Moxibustion to turn a breech baby? Really? Andrea Robertson sheds some light on this ancient Chinese tradition

Using moxibustion to encourage the baby to turn by itself
A very successful "do it yourself" technique with a proven high success rate is to use locally applied heat treatment.
The heat from burning moxa sticks can also be used to stimulate the baby's movements and encourage it to turn. These sticks, shaped like cigars, are available from herbalists, Chinese medicine stockists and some acupuncturists (who use moxa sticks for other purposes) and they contain tightly rolled dried leaves of the mugwort plant. They are very inexpensive and two sticks will be needed - they can be used several times.

[Box of Moxibustion Sticks]
Sit on a chair and place each foot on a book with your little toes hanging over the edge. Place each stick on another book with the tip in the gap.

[Place each foot on a book with your little toes hanging over the edge]
Light the sticks (they burn with no flame but an intense heat and pungent smell) and position the hot tip as close as possible to the outside of each little toe, with the heat directed at the point just above the toe nail. Leave in place for 20 minutes. Be careful not to touch the skin as you will burn yourself. The heat should be as strong as you can tolerate, for the best effect.

[Directed the heat at the point just above the toe nail]
After a few minutes, you will notice the baby begin to kick and move. The primary aim of the moxibustion treatment is to encourage the baby to move around and thus increase the effect of gravity which will help the heaviest part of the baby (its head) to turn over and enter into the pelvis.
This simple treatment is best done just before bed, starting at 34 - 36 weeks. It takes several hours for the baby to turn, and this will be easier if you are lying down, because the baby will not be sitting as firmly into the pelvis. Continue over several nights, or until the baby has turned itself.
A randomised controlled trial indicates that at approximately 70% of breech babies will turn using this method. If the baby does not turn from its breech position, external cephalic version should be attempted just before labour begins.

A video on Moxibustion

Here is the actual article in the E-newsletter from Childbirth Connection

Moxibustion for Bringing Babies Around to the Head-First Position
Vas J, Aranda JM, Nishishinya B, et al. Correction of nonvertex presentation with moxibustion: A systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2009;201(3), 241-59.
This review pooled the results from studies published between 1980 and 2007 that looked at ways to turn fetuses that were not well-positioned for head-first birth into that position. The studies compared moxibustion to other ways to encourage the fetus to turn (hands-to-belly maneuvers, having the mother lie with her head lower than her feet, acupuncture). Moxibustion involves burning the herb mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) over an acupuncture point found on the outer corner of the smallest toenail. Seven studies presenting data from 1087 women were included in the analysis. All the women in the studies in this review were randomly picked to receive either moxibustion or one of the other methods, to strengthen confidence that any differences in experiences of study groups were due to the moxibustion.
Combined results from the studies showed that the fetuses of women receiving moxibustion were 36% more likely to turn to a head-first position than those who got other treatments or no treatment, and this result was statistically significant. To check this result, the study authors looked separately at four trials that used similar starting points for moxibustion, all after the 32nd week of pregnancy. Here too, the likelihood of the fetus turning to a head-first position was more than 30% greater for the women who got moxibustion than for those who got another treatment. The study found no differences in safety between moxibustion and the other methods. Surprisingly, there was also no difference in the rate of cesarean birth between the groups. Six of the seven studies were carried out in China or Italy. Practice patterns in those countries (e.g., greater acceptance of vaginal breech birth) may explain why the review did not show a higher risk of cesarean section in the group that did not get moxibustion; if done too early, babies could also flip back into breech position, which could impact this outcome.

The take-away: Vaginal breech birth is currently rare in the U.S., where cesarean delivery is routine when the fetus’s position is not head-first. With known risks associated with cesarean delivery for mothers and babies, and no known downside to moxibustion, all women with fetuses that are not head-first by the third trimester should receive information about the safety and effectiveness of this treatment. Most licensed acupuncturists can perform moxibustion. Further research should explore the best frequency and timing of the practice.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pregnancy Pact

On January 23rd, Lifetime Movie Network is gonna debut a movie that will probably BLOW their RATINGS through the roof. It's not your classic movie on teenage pregnancy. It is based on a real story of a group of girls in Ma in the U.S. I think the title of the movie is kinda self-explanatory. One girl in the group gets pregnant and then the rest make a pact to all get pregnant. Wow. I am so tuning in to see that movie.

And now, a trailer

Sleeping safely with your baby

Ask Dr.

There has been a lot of media claiming that sleeping with your baby in an adult bed is unsafe and can result in accidental smothering of an infant. One popular research study came out in 1999 from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that showed 515 cases of accidental infant deaths occurred in an adult bed over an 8-year period between 1990 and 1997. That's about 65 deaths per year. These deaths were not classified as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), where the cause of death is undetermined. There were actual causes that were verified upon review of the scene and autopsy. Such causes included accidental smothering by an adult, getting trapped between the mattress and headboard or other furniture, and suffocation on a soft waterbed mattress.

The conclusion that the researchers drew from this study was that sleeping with an infant in an adult bed is dangerous and should never be done. This sounds like a reasonable conclusion, until you consider the epidemic of SIDS as a whole. During the 8-year period of this study, about 34,000 total cases of SIDS occurred in the U.S. (around 4250 per year). If 65 cases of non-SIDS accidental death occurred each year in a bed, and about 4250 cases of actual SIDS occurred overall each year, then the number of accidental deaths in an adult bed is only 1.5% of the total cases of SIDS.
There are two pieces of critical data that are missing that would allow us to determine the risk of SIDS or any cause of death in a bed versus a crib.

  • How many cases of actual SIDS occur in an adult bed versus in a crib?
  • How many babies sleep with their parents in the U.S., and how many sleep in cribs?
The data on the first question is available, but has anyone examined it? In fact, one independent researcher examined the CPSC's data and came to the opposite conclusion than did the CPSC - this data supports the conclusion that sleeping with your baby is actually SAFER than not sleeping with your baby (see Mothering Magazine Sept/Oct 2002). As for the second question, many people may think that very few babies sleep with their parents, but we shouldn't be too quick to assume this. The number of parents that bring their babies into their bed at 4 am is probably quite high. Some studies have shown that over half of parents bring their baby into bed with them at least part of the night. And the number that sleep with their infants the whole night is probably considerable as well. In fact, in most countries around the world sleeping with your baby is the norm, not the exception. And what is the incidence of SIDS in these countries? During the 1990s, in Japan the rate was only one tenth of the U.S. rate, and in Hong Kong, it was only 3% of the U.S. rate. These are just two examples. Some countries do have a higher rate of SIDS, depending on how SIDS is defined.

Until a legitimate survey is done to determine how many babies sleep with their parents, and this is factored into the rate of SIDS in a bed versus a crib, it is unwarranted to state that sleeping in a crib is safer than a bed.
If the incidence of SIDS is dramatically higher in crib versus a parent's bed, and because the cases of accidental smothering and entrapment are only 1.5% of the total SIDS cases, then sleeping with a baby in your bed would be far safer than putting baby in a crib.

The answer is not to tell parents they shouldn't sleep with their baby, but rather to educate them on how to sleep with their infants safely.

Now the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Juvenile Products Manufacturer's Association are launching a campaign based on research data from 1999, 2000, and 2001. During these three years, there have been 180 cases of non-SIDS accidental deaths occurring in an adult bed. Again, that's around 60 per year, similar to statistics from 1990 to 1997. How many total cases of SIDS have occurred during these 3 years? Around 2600 per year. This decline from the previous decade is thought to be due to the "back to sleep" campaign - educating parents to place their babies on their back to sleep. So looking at the past three years, the number of non-SIDS accidental deaths is only 2% of the total cases of SIDS.

A conflict of interest? Who is behind this new national campaign to warn parents not to sleep with their babies? In addition to the USCPSC, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) is co-sponsoring this campaign. The JPMA? An association of crib manufacturers. This is a huge conflict of interest. Actually, this campaign is exactly in the interest of the JPMA.

What does the research say? The September/October 2002 issue of Mothering Magazine presents research done throughout the whole world on the issue of safe sleep. Numerous studies are presented by experts of excellent reputation. And what is the magazine's conclusion based on all this research? That not only is sleeping with your baby safe, but it is actually much safer than having your baby sleep in a crib. Research shows that infants who sleep in a crib are twice as likely to suffer a sleep related fatality (including SIDS) than infants who sleep in bed with their parents.

Education on safe sleep. I do support the USCPSC's efforts to research sleep safety and to decrease the incidence of SIDS, but I feel they should go about it differently. Instead of launching a national campaign to discourage parents from sleeping with their infants, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission should educate parents on how to sleep safely with their infants if they choose to do so.
Here are some ways to educate parents on how to sleep safely with their baby:

  • Use an Arm's Reach® Co-Sleeper® Bassinet. An alternative to sleeping with baby in your bed is the Arm's Reach® Co-Sleeper®. This crib-like bed fits safely and snuggly adjacent to parent's bed. The co-sleeper® arrangement gives parents and baby their own separate sleeping spaces yet, keeps baby within arm's reach for easy nighttime care. To learn more about the Arm's Reach® Co-Sleeper® Bassinet visit
  • Take precautions to prevent baby from rolling out of bed, even though it is unlikely when baby is sleeping next to mother. Like heat-seeking missiles, babies automatically gravitate toward a warm body. Yet, to be safe, place baby between mother and a guardrail or push the mattress flush against the wall and position baby between mother and the wall. Guardrails enclosed with plastic mesh are safer than those with slats, which can entrap baby's limbs or head. Be sure the guardrail is flush against the mattress so there is no crevice that baby could sink into.
  • Place baby adjacent to mother, rather than between mother and father. Mothers we have interviewed on the subject of sharing sleep feel they are so physically and mentally aware of their baby's presence even while sleeping, that it's extremely unlikely they would roll over onto their baby. Some fathers, on the other hand, may not enjoy the same sensitivity of baby's presence while asleep; so it is possible they might roll over on or throw out an arm onto baby. After a few months of sleep-sharing, most dads seem to develop a keen awareness of their baby's presence.
  • Place baby to sleep on his back.
  • Use a large bed, preferably a queen-size or king-size. A king-size bed may wind up being your most useful piece of "baby furniture." If you only have a cozy double bed, use the money that you would ordinarily spend on a fancy crib and other less necessary baby furniture and treat yourselves to a safe and comfortable king-size bed.
  • Some parents and babies sleep better if baby is still in touching and hearing distance, but not in the same bed. For them, a bedside co-sleeper is a safe option.
Here are some things to avoid:

  • Do not sleep with your baby if:

    1. You are under the influence of any drug (such as alcohol or tranquilizing medications) that diminishes your sensitivity to your baby's presence. If you are drunk or drugged, these chemicals lessen your arousability from sleep.
    2. You are extremely obese. Obesity itself may cause sleep apnea in the mother, in addition to the smothering danger of pendulous breasts and large fat rolls.
    3. You are exhausted from sleep deprivation. This lessens your awareness of your baby and your arousability from sleep.
    4. You are breastfeeding a baby on a cushiony surface, such as a waterbed or couch. An exhausted mother could fall asleep breastfeeding and roll over on the baby.
    5. You are the child's baby-sitter. A baby-sitter's awareness and arousability is unlikely to be as acute as a mother's.

  • Don't allow older siblings to sleep with a baby under nine months. Sleeping children do not have the same awareness of tiny babies as do parents, and too small or too crowded a bed space is an unsafe sleeping arrangement for a tiny baby.
  • Don't fall asleep with baby on a couch. Baby may get wedged between the back of the couch and the larger person's body, or baby's head may become buried in cushion crevices or soft cushions.
  • Do not sleep with baby on a free-floating, wavy waterbed or similar "sinky" surface in which baby could suffocate.
  • Don't overheat or overbundle baby. Be particularly aware of overbundling if baby is sleeping with a parent. Other warm bodies are an added heat source.
  • Don't wear lingerie with string ties longer than eight inches. Ditto for dangling jewelry. Baby may get caught in these entrapments.
  • Avoid pungent hair sprays, deodorants, and perfumes. Not only will these camouflage the natural maternal smells that baby is used to and attracted to, but foreign odors may irritate and clog baby's tiny nasal passages. Reserve these enticements for sleeping alone with your spouse.
Parents should use common sense when sharing sleep. Anything that could cause you to sleep more soundly than usual or that alters your sleep patterns can affect your baby's safety. Nearly all the highly suspected (but seldom proven) cases of fatal "overlying" I could find in the literature could have been avoided if parents had observed common sense sleeping practices.

The bottom line is that many parents share sleep with their babies. It can be done safely if the proper precautions are observed. The question shouldn't be "is it safe to sleep with my baby?", but rather "how can I sleep with my baby safely." The data on the incidence of SIDS in a bed versus a crib must be examined before the medical community can make a judgment on sleep safety in a bed.

Proper Intact Care

I've never had a son, and if the next one turns out to be a boy, I wondered, how do you clean an intact penis (or anyone for that matter)? Fortunately for me I have a friend who is the most knowledgeable person on circumcision and intact care that I don't have to search long and wide for correct information. Thanks Danelle!

Below is a video from another friend who is the moderator of the website As Nature Intended. Here is their video of how to properly clean an intact penis

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Get rid of those darn blankets!

Nearly every picture you see of a hospital birth looks like the one above. Mom is in an uber-cool hospital gown with her new baby wrapped and packaged up tighter than fragile oversees cargo. I understand not wanting strangers' germs on the baby... but the mother's too?

Here's a list of several reasons why you as the mom who just gave birth should put or throw away that blanket and opt for skin-to-skin contact

  • First of all, you waited nine months (or more) to finally be able to hold the baby. To touch its skin and revel in his smell. You've patiently waited to pinch its rosey cheeks and stroke your fingers across his back, and now immediately after birth you're going to allow them to cover and bundle your baby up and leave only his head (which also has a cap on it) to stick out?! You've got to be joking me. If I am not the one who "caught" my baby, hand me the baby, step away, keep your receiving blankets and help me get my gown off (this is if I am not already naked) and put that darn baby against my warm and loving breasts! Don't act like you've never heard of Breastcrawl

  • Look at the experience from your baby's standpoint. You've been living in the only place you can remember. It's dark, warm, and cozy. You've never been hungry, you've never seen light or been overwhelmed. Then progressively and yet suddenly, you're being squeezed, your head is being molded to pass through a very tight and snug fit. BAM. All of a sudden, you hit the COLD. There's lights. Hands touching you. HUNGER hits you and you just plain feel confused. If your mother accepted any pain relief, you probably feel lethargic but overstimulated all at once. You know from before birth who your mama is and you KNOW she ain't the one handling you, pricking you, dropping crap in your eyes and scrubbing you like soap scum in her shower. So WHO is this THEN?! No clue, some random stranger that took you and whisked you away. You FINALLY reach back to your mom, only to realize you are swimming in blankets, thick, heavy, delicious mommy's breast smell blocking blankets. Oh yay... Your mom is trying her best to get you to nurse, but with all this fluff around you, you can't barely move, you can't grab on to your liking, and you can't get your hands on her body or breasts. To top it off, remember you're lethargic? You're sleepy, confused, overstimulated and you just want to be close to your mom, her warmth and her breasts. Doesn't feel so nice eh? Just another reason to get rid of those blankets

  • Skin-to-skin contact promotes breastfeeding and bonding between mom and baby. The first two hours immediately following birth are crucial in establishing breastfeeding. In harmony with this is also not to wash your breasts or the baby. Emerging research is showing a greater link between the smell of amniotic fluid, the oily secretions of your breast (so not the colostrum itself) and the ease in which a baby can find and accept its mother's nipple. A friend of mine recently gave birth at home and the baby was not bathed for a few days, and the baby had that delicious newborn smell. To tell you the truth, the baby smelled like a cookie. I could've eaten the baby up. In any case. Two studies, prompted by scientists' awareness of the tendency  for newborn mamals to find the smell of amniotic fluid attractive, considered the issue of smell in human infants. In one study, mothers and babies were kept together, and the mothers washed one of their breasts. More than seventy percent of the babies moved towards the unwashed breast (2). Another study separated babies from their mothers and placed them in a cot with a breast pad carrying their mothers' odor a few inches away from their nose. The same babies were also given a clean breast pad. Not suprisingly, most of the babies moved toward the pad that smelled like their mother" (3). Yet another reason to get baby naked (or at least in diapers) and put him against your bare chest. 

  • Even if your baby reached full term, he will still have to learn how to regulate his body temperature. Providing skin-to-skin contact will help your baby warm up and stay warm. Even in extreme cases such as this one, it may even save your baby's life

Even though some compelling reasons were listed above as to 'Why' skin-to-skin contact, nothing can surpass a mother's intuitive and instinctual wisdom to keep her baby close to her chest and heart. Isn't it logical?

 (1) Ferber, S.g., and R. Makhoul. The effect of skin-to-skin contact (kangaroo care) shortly after birth on the neurobehavioral reponses of the term newborn: a randomized, controlled trial. Pediatrics. 2004; 113(4): 858-865

(2) Varendi, H., and R.H. Prter, et al. Does the newborn find the nipple by smell? Lancet. 1994; 344 (8928) : 989-990

(3) Varendi, H., and R.H. Porter. Breast odour as the only maternal stimulus elicits crawling toward the odour source. Acta Paediatrica. 2001; 90(4): 372-375.