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Anna Marie has Breast Cancer


deborahlynn1979
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@HerNameIsBuffy,  I sure would not want Elissa to be pressured in any way to wet-nurse or express/pump, but if she offered, I think it could be wonderful.

@Melissa, it is more difficult for poor mothers to breastfeed and in particular poor black mothers.  Poor mothers often do not have the advantages of more affluent mothers in terms of maternity leave,  ability to pay for consults with an IBCLC when they run into difficulties,  and their infants are more likely to be premature.   Black mothers also have the historical legacy of many of their foremothers having been forced to wet-nurse the master's white children.  

While breastfeeding and natural birth was part of the hippie culture, it was also part of religious culture, particularly in the Catholic Church.  There are all those images of Mary nursing baby Jesus.  La Leche League was named after the shrine of Our Lady of La Leche y Buen Parto (Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery) in St Augustine, Florida.  The Founding Mothers, who were all Catholic, felt they could not refer to breastfeeding in the name of their organization so they called it the La Leche League.  

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On 1/31/2020 at 11:24 AM, Alisamer said:

The GoodRX app is helpful as well - it did have a coupon to bring my prescription down from $158 to $43 at Walgreens (the pharmacists there recommended the app to get the coupon) but it also listed the price at several other places.

I'm not a huge fan of Walmart, but I'll go there to save $150. If I could afford $158 a month for the prescription I could've afforded insurance in the first place!

I've heard of GoodRX but forgot about it. I had no idea they had an app. I just downloaded it. Thank you!!

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On 1/30/2020 at 4:30 PM, Tatoe said:

Long time lurker, first time poster - but every time the cost of medical treatment comes up, or the difficulties of negotiating insurance, I feel overwhelmingly grateful to be where I am in New Zealand.

As I write this I'm in my 7-month-old son's hospital room - we're in the fourth month of his treatment for high-risk neuroblastoma (cancer originating in the nerve cells) now. Literally the highest cost to us (other than loss of income when my husband takes the occasional day off work) has been parking, and most of the time we're able to find a free park. All his treatment is free (and no expense is spared - they are doing all they can), all his medications and prescription formula are free, his tests are free (even the one they had to fly us to another city for - the hospital paid for our flights, taxis, and our accommodation and meals were taken care of by the Ronald McDonald House). Our rough guesstimate is that his treatment so far will have cost the country upwards of $1 million NZD, and we've got another year or more to go!

At the other end of the spectrum, our hospital also treats kids from some of the Pacific Islands (Samoa and Tonga in particular I think). These kids get what their governments can afford - this means cheaper treatment protocols, chemo delivered via subcut injection instead of via a central line, fewer supportive medications to treat pain and other side effects... a Pasifika child with my son's diagnosis would have been immediately put into palliative care.

All this to say, my heart breaks that everyone doesn't have access to the medical care that my family and I do. And those that do have access to it, but may choose not to take advantage because of the "evil government" or whatever... well, I haven't got anything more to add on that right now. I just hope Anna Marie is able to get the best treatment available to her (for her and her kids, not just any theoretical future kids) and that her access to it isn't compromised by Samaritan or the men around her.

My kids and husband are NZ citizens - there is no way I would leave my kids in the US for serious illness.

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My grandmother had children in the 40’s and 50’s and none of them were breastfed. She knew “everyone” breastfed, but she was repulsed at the thought. All the kids lived but I have no idea if formula was around then or what they ate. 

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New blog post - they are close to scheduling a surgery date and Teri is feeding baby Simon Peter with a bottle.

Nobody here can know for sure what milk is in the bottle - time for more speculation! ;) 

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1 hour ago, Giraffe said:

My grandmother had children in the 40’s and 50’s and none of them were breastfed. She knew “everyone” breastfed, but she was repulsed at the thought. All the kids lived but I have no idea if formula was around then or what they ate. 

Back then it was evaporated milk, true formula in powders came much later. Evaporated milk was one of the major players in baby formula until a few other brands came in and out advertised them in the 60's. I need to find the article I was reading as I got curious about the formula topic after watching Call the Midwife.

Also "Breast is Best" was a slogan chosen by formula companies, because they were getting called on for possible issues with their advertising and unproven claims about their products, they chose the slogan, based on customer studies, that say most customers find items sold as "best" are more expensive, so often go with items deemed "good". Weird fact.

Anyway the whole topic was interesting, damn, Call the Midwife leads me down a lot of these rabbit holes.

Edited by tankgirl
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Wet nursing is bonkers. It's too much to ask of Elissa for one. And Anna may have less time with her children than she thought - she may well want to spend that time cuddling rather than ferrying him away to an in law. Breast milk is great when it works but let's not make it an idol. 

It's hard to talk about breastfeeding rates because we are potentially talking about very different things. Is it exclusive and what age is the baby are two big differences. 

By current WHO standards - breastfeed in the first hour of life, give nothing but breast milk in the first 6 months, carry on breastfeeding for at least 24 months - few of us are breastfeeding because, well, work. 

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I've already mentioned somewhere that I did not choose breastfeeding for a number of reasons.  I know AnnaMarie has a different worldview and a real attachment to nursing, but for me it would have been impossible to deal with both cancer treatment and the possible challenges of breastfeeding if there was any chance that it would be dangerous to the baby.  I get why people nurse their babies, but formula feeding is not the worst thing you can do to your baby. I know one here is saying that.  I just imagine the Fundie types might see it that way.   (Forcing everyone to live Maxwell style is much more detrimental to a growing child than how the babies are fed.)

 

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If you are able to BF and everything goes well,  it can be a great experience.  If not, there are other ways to feed the baby (fortunately) and other ways to bond.

I BF number 1  for a week,  number 2 a month and number 3 a full year. I tried every time, but due to circumstances it  doesn't always work out the way  you want to.  Loving your baby is so much more important .

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7 hours ago, nausicaa said:

I'm definitely not sure. This is just the impression I've gotten from my mom and other women her age who had children then. It does look like it was more common for women in general to formula feed back then as compared to now, but I couldn't find any stats breaking it down by socioeconomic class. 

My grandmother's babies were born in the midtwenties and in 1930.  She told me that she nursed them because they had no money for formula.  My mother formula-fed all four of us because she went back to work;; dad was sick and couldn't work.  

Edited by Granwych
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1 hour ago, Workingmom said:

If you are able to BF and everything goes well,  it can be a great experience.  If not, there are other ways to feed the baby (fortunately) and other ways to bond.

I BF number 1  for a week,  number 2 a month and number 3 a full year. I tried every time, but due to circumstances it  doesn't always work out the way  you want to.  Loving your baby is so much more important .

Fill one end, keep the other dry and clean. Don't get 'em mixed up. 

 

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A dear friend was diagnosed 3 months after delivering her son.. What she assumed was mastitis was in fact Stage 3 BC.. She was forced to instantly dry up and start aggressive treatment..Due to the surgeries and treatments there were MANY days and at times weeks that the baby stayed at her parents house.  The older understood not to hug, jostle, bump or jump into mom.  The baby turned toddler had no comprehension and for her safety.. it was just easier to not be in a situation where he was needing her.. She was not able to physically care for him during those times.  

My hope is that common sense prevails and wise medical counsel has the family supporting the FED is best mantra and by using bottles and formula they are able to utilize all the available hands to help with caring for all the kids.. Could Elissa easily boost her supply and support 2 babies.. absolutely... might take a few days( I nursed twins 15 months).. but that would limit the amount of helpers... 

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4 hours ago, tankgirl said:

Back then it was evaporated milk, true formula in powders came much later. Evaporated milk was one of the major players in baby formula until a few other brands came in and out advertised them in the 60's. I need to find the article I was reading as I got curious about the formula topic after watching Call the Midwife.

My oldest sister was born in the 50's.  She was on Nutramigen.  All my siblings down to me (I was born in the 60's) were on it.  A quick lookup stated that it came out in 1942.  It's still around today.  One of my kids was on it.  

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I was born in the 40's (yes, I am ancient), and so was my brother.  My mother tried, but just didn't produce enough milk; there was a powdered formula called SMA, and my mother said it was terrible.  I guess we cried a lot, but we survived.

My children were born in the 60's.  When I had my daughter, I guess I qualified as poor because I couldn't take more than 5-6 weeks off work and my doctor wouldn't let me breastfeed for that short time.  My second, I was more middle class but I didn't try to BF; I did the night feedings but with formula, I could have help with the day feedings if I hadn't gotten any sleep at night.  Formula definitely improved between my two, a distance of six  years.

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I breastfed my first for ten weeks and I did not like it at all. I was miserable. When I finally quit, I felt so guilty and like such a failure, but I enjoyed feeding times so much more. I became a much more relaxed mother.  I breastfed my second for six months and was much more relaxed and confident.  I only stopped breastfeeding her because she was SEVERELY interested in the world around her and kept doing this sudden pivot move during feedings to look around.  Of course she was not unlatching and was taking my nipple with her. A couple weeks of niplash and I decided it wasn’t worth the battle. I switched her to bottles. 

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8 hours ago, nelliebelle1197 said:

My kids and husband are NZ citizens - there is no way I would leave my kids in the US for serious illness.

NZ?! I had no idea... God, you make me drool, @nelliebelle1197! Most beautiful country ever in my totally biased opinion. 

Ok, guys, now I got that out of my system. Carry on... 

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@SoSoNosy,  most moms in the 40s and even into the 60s were told to put their babies on a schedule- usually no oftener than every 4 hours.  There is no better way to undermine a mothers milk supply than putting the baby on a 4 hour schedule.  It was not your mother's fault that she didn't have enough milk.  

Also, it's outrageous that your doctor did not allow you to breastfeed since you were going back to work so soon.  Your baby is your baby and not his baby, dammit!

@usmcmom, many of us moms have lived through that distractible age occurring at 4 to 6 months.  My girls most always unlatched before they started looking around although my youngest may not have.  She did do some pretty gymnastics nursing.  One of my kids, though, did decide that the perfect time to get distracted and start looking around  was in church.  We soon had to retreat to the cry room

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My breastfeeding fanatic credentials are impeccable; I nursed both of my sons until about age 3 1/2 each, which included nursing #1 all the way through my pregnancy with #2 and then tandem nursing for 17 months until #1 weaned, and then nursed my daughter until she was nearly four. No formula at all; I pumped daily for the first year with each (they went to daycare when I was at work during the day, or were with my husband when I had concerts in the evening), but following the first birthday they got whole milk in my absence. Both my family and my husband's family thought we were nuts. Thankfully they were all hundreds of miles away.

That being said....I think this discussion is minimizing the emotional component of nursing a child as well as the physical demands. The idea that Elissa should wetnurse is mindboggling to me. Having tandem nursed, I can attest to the number of calories required--during that time I once ate two Big Macs in a sitting for lunch without being over full, and I am not overweight nor have I ever had any kind of eating disorder--but that's not the biggest issue I see. After all, some women do breastfeed twins. No, the biggest problem IMO would be the emotional effect on both Elissa (caring for and bonding with another mother's child) and Anna Marie (knowing that her child was bonding with someone else). Perhaps it would be different if they were sisters rather than sisters-in-law, I don't know, but that's a lot to ask, particularly of a woman battling breast cancer.

We live in a time when formula is safe, cheap, and convenient, and this is one occasion to be thankful for that.

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On 2/1/2020 at 3:14 PM, Giraffe said:

My grandmother had children in the 40’s and 50’s and none of them were breastfed. She knew “everyone” breastfed, but she was repulsed at the thought. All the kids lived but I have no idea if formula was around then or what they ate. 

My youngest siblings were born in 60 and 61.  My mom bottle fed them, and she used reconstituted evaporated milk and dark Karo syrup.  We were not wealthy at all, so I imagine that was a very cheap choice.  

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2 minutes ago, Lady Grass Lake said:

My youngest siblings were born in 60 and 61.  My mom bottle fed them, and she used reconstituted evaporated milk and dark Karo syrup.  We were not wealthy at all, so I imagine that was a very cheap choice.  

I was born in 1961 and put straight on a soy formula. I shudder to think of what was in that. But I'm 58 and in good health, so....

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15 minutes ago, VVV said:

That being said....I think this discussion is minimizing the emotional component of nursing a child as well as the physical demands. The idea that Elissa should wetnurse is mindboggling to me.

I think we can skip along on that discussion anyway since it seems Simon Peter is being bottle fed either formula or donated breast milk or a combination. It was almost like the Maxwells saw the discussion here and posted the answer for us.:mouse-shock:

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26 minutes ago, VVV said:

My breastfeeding fanatic credentials are impeccable; I nursed both of my sons until about age 3 1/2 each, which included nursing #1 all the way through my pregnancy with #2 and then tandem nursing for 17 months until #1 weaned, and then nursed my daughter until she was nearly four. No formula at all; I pumped daily for the first year with each (they went to daycare when I was at work during the day, or were with my husband when I had concerts in the evening), but following the first birthday they got whole milk in my absence. Both my family and my husband's family thought we were nuts. Thankfully they were all hundreds of miles away.

That being said....I think this discussion is minimizing the emotional component of nursing a child as well as the physical demands. The idea that Elissa should wetnurse is mindboggling to me. Having tandem nursed, I can attest to the number of calories required--during that time I once ate two Big Macs in a sitting for lunch without being over full, and I am not overweight nor have I ever had any kind of eating disorder--but that's not the biggest issue I see. After all, some women do breastfeed twins. No, the biggest problem IMO would be the emotional effect on both Elissa (caring for and bonding with another mother's child) and Anna Marie (knowing that her child was bonding with someone else). Perhaps it would be different if they were sisters rather than sisters-in-law, I don't know, but that's a lot to ask, particularly of a woman battling breast cancer.

We live in a time when formula is safe, cheap, and convenient, and this is one occasion to be thankful for that.

You are amazing!  Kudos to you.  Working and breastfeeding and all it entails is impressive with just one child, but all of them (and twins!)  I am awed :)

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A little palate cleanser? And actually related to breastfeeding. 

My grandma was born in 1880 and had 6 children, including twins. When I took the first Baby Junebug to meet her, I had a bottle of breastmilk along. Grandma was tickled to be able to feed her — and she didn’t have a clue how to hold the bottle!!! 

I revered Grandma for all she’d done and all she knew, but it gave me a little thrill to be able to give her a tip on baby feeding!  

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My MIL was part of LLL when it was new back in the 70s. She was a hippie living on a farm and had a loom in the living room to make ponchos. She also liked to breastfeed while driving their truck to town. You know, to keep the baby quiet and happy. Lol.

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2 hours ago, Caroline said:

You are amazing!  Kudos to you.  Working and breastfeeding and all it entails is impressive with just one child, but all of them (and twins!)  I am awed :)

Well....don't be too impressed. My boys weren't twins; they were 26 months apart so I was tandem nursing a toddler and a baby. And after a few months of that I put some limitations on the toddler--he was allowed to nurse only at specific times. Plus I had a lot of help from my very supportive husband, and a work schedule that was more breastfeeding-friendly than a typical office job (I play in a symphony orchestra). So basically a whole lot of stars aligned for me that don't for many women.

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