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Anna Marie has Breast Cancer


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It has been very interesting reading about all of the different infant feedings.  I’m the oldest of 8 (6 boys, 2 girls).  When I found my baby book, there were slips feeding instructions that my mom got from the doctor.  They explained how to mix the formula—evaporated milk, Karo syrup, and a dropper full of multivitamins.  By the time baby #6 arrived in 1963, there was concentrated Similac formula that you mixed with water.  You could also buy it “full” strength, but that was much more expensive.  The powdered version did not come out until much later.  The only neighborhood mom who breast fed her children was a woman who had emigrated from Australia.  She had 10 sons and 1 daughter.

 

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@marypat57,  I'm not surprised that the Aussie mom nursed.  The Nursing Mother's Association of Australia (now the Australian Breastfeeding Association) was founded in 1964 to give breastfeeding mothers good accurate information since they might not get it from their mothers or their doctors.  Many of the leading lights is the lactation field are Australian.  

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On 2/1/2020 at 1:42 PM, 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.

I remember an old child care manual from the late 30's, I think, that my mother had, with a recipe for formula. I forget the exact measurements but I know it wa equal parts cows milk and water, plus Karo corn syrup.

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16 minutes ago, Black Aliss said:

I remember an old child care manual from the late 30's, I think, that my mother had, with a recipe for formula. I forget the exact measurements but I know it wa equal parts cows milk and water, plus Karo corn syrup.

I have heard about lots of recipes, mixing cow milk with herbal teas, or using condensed milk (I've been told this one was a very bad idea, as babies cried awfully because it's not digestive at all).

What breaks my heart is that lots of mothers who wanted to breastfeed in the 60's and 70's, like my mom, were told they had no "good" milk, or were adviced to put the babies in such a strict nursing schedule that we were always hungry and finally given formula (mom was told that nursing on demand wasn't nutritious!!!). My mom is still surprised because most women breastfeed nowadays (in my area at least). None of her friends "had good milk" back in the 70's, which was obviously caused by doctors advice. 

Baby feeding should be a free mother's decision, not a fashion, not a company business. And when a mother cannot decide, because she's ill like Anna Marie, or conversely, she hates nursing buy can't buy formula, the "fed is best" is not enough. There is a trauma for the mom (in both cases), and she needs confort. 

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You know what’s weird is that we all think the corn syrup formula is so outdated, and it’s been off the list of ingredients for years, but for tube feeding, the vast majority of the formulas that come in cans or bottles have corn syrup as the #1 ingredient. Babies and kids get such different standards for nutrition. Odd. (Personally I love the whole-foods diet for tube fed kids/adults and always advocate that if you can swing it, but it’s really hard to do.)

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9 hours ago, anachronistic said:

You know what’s weird is that we all think the corn syrup formula is so outdated, and it’s been off the list of ingredients for years, but for tube feeding, the vast majority of the formulas that come in cans or bottles have corn syrup as the #1 ingredient. Babies and kids get such different standards for nutrition. Odd. (Personally I love the whole-foods diet for tube fed kids/adults and always advocate that if you can swing it, but it’s really hard to do.)

While working as a nurse in a respite care center there was a young tube. fed teen who’d come in for a weekend or so .   Her mother used to send huge Tupperware jugs of heaven knows what of all ground down foods and fluids.   I was always antsy about pouring that mess down the kid’s tube since I didn’t know what was in it, and the family was quite litigious.   I’d rather feed a commercial formula vs. some crunchy woo woo juice.  I realize we’re talking about babies feeds now, but people have been known to give their babies all sorts of undesirable foods either through formula or breast milk. (I’m looking at you ladies who swig plexus among other bad stuff through breast milk.)

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Baby books. As I was #1 larva, mine was complete!

i recall reading “mother’s milk with a supplemental bottle” written in Big Mama JB’s neat handwriting. I asked her about it - I was probably 9 or 10 - and did I get a story. 

The nurses, she said, and particularly the  pediatrician, smugly gave lip service to BMJB’s desire to nurse.  She’d seen her mom nurse 3 babies, it was no big deal. 

But they also left copious hints that I’d probably  not gain weight, and for the first few post-partum weeks, BM was entirely on her own (a sister assured her she’d come to help and flaked our without apology.  There’s a relative who won’t be in my part of heaven. 

Anyway, the “pro’s” messed with BM’s mind and she recalled, “there I was, sterilizing bottles [it was the nadir of the polio years] and mixing formula and you were crying and my front was soaked with milk...

”If my momma had been here, she’d have said, ‘Feh, bottles! Here, sit, nurse.”

But it wasn’t to be, and the doc gladly gave BM meds to dry up her milk. 

I remember feeling so incredibly sad for my mom. I nursed all my kids while working a 49-hour job and the earliest weaned after 6 months. I loved it, partly because the Juniors all benefited so much. 

But in retrospect I realize I did it for Big Mama, too. Showed ‘em, didn’t we, Mom? 

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22 hours ago, VVV said:

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.

Still impressed :)  And a symphony orchestra - How cool !

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Both my grandmothers (born 1894 and 1900) nursed. My younger grandmother’s youngest child, her ninth (she’d also had about a dozen miscarriages), was born in 1940. Her doctor told her not to nurse him because her milk was “too thin.” (When I started nursing, I noticed that the first milk that came from my breast was more watery than what came out later.) I think the doctor was concerned for Noni’s health—her three-year-old son had died tragically two years before, and she strongly wanted another baby, against medical advice. 
I was born in 1952, and my mom didn’t nurse, though she said “There must be something to it” because her nurse and doctor’s wives friends did. She made formula out of evaporated milk and dark Karo corn syrup (I don’t know whether vitamins were added). When my middle sister was born in 1957, I don’t remember whether she made formula from scratch or from a concentrate. For my baby sister in 1965, she used powdered Similac.

I had an easy time breastfeeding. Even though my mom hadn’t done it herself, she encouraged me: I’d had lots of bad childhood allergies, and she learned that breastfeeding could help prevent them.

If my daughter had lived in a small French village in the 1700s, she could have been the village wet nurse: I’ve never seen anyone lactate as much as she did. Her freezer was always full of bags of pumped milk (as in, no room for anything but milk). When her baby started drinking by cup, the doctor asked her what formula she was using, and was surprised to hear, “No formula—I’m just giving him breast milk!” He self-weaned at 14 months, patting her breast and saying, “All done.” (He’s the easiest damn kid I’ve ever met. He’s 12 now, and I’m hoping he keeps up the good work and doesn’t turn out to be an ax murderer.)

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On 2/2/2020 at 1:03 AM, nausicaa said:

 Btw, I didn't realize the Nestle boycott was in 1977; I thought that happened much later. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK235588/

I thought it was much earlier!! No idea why.

On 2/2/2020 at 8:45 AM, Foudeb said:

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. 

I find the WHO standards bizarre frankly. By those standards my mum "failed" breastfeeding despite breastfeeding four children... but we'd all weaned before 2. I failed almost instantly when my son got TPN in his first hour of life (and then every calorie supplement we could get in him in the expressed breastmilk.)  I also stopped pumping at 21 months, so total failure. *eyeroll* The standards set up women for failure.

On 2/3/2020 at 2:36 PM, PennySycamore said:

@marypat57,  I'm not surprised that the Aussie mom nursed.  The Nursing Mother's Association of Australia (now the Australian Breastfeeding Association) was founded in 1964 to give breastfeeding mothers good accurate information since they might not get it from their mothers or their doctors.  Many of the leading lights is the lactation field are Australian.  

Yeah my mum ran a group for years. I still have their fundraising cookbook, it's very useful! 

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@Ozlsn,  the WHO standards are not meant to make women feel guilty, but rather as a guide for medical professionals.  It's good for newborns to nurse in the first hour as there sucking instinct is particularly strong then and they may latch more easily than they will a few hours later especially if the mother uses a laid-back position.  If you've ever seen the baby-crawl, where the just burn baby is put on mum's chest to make its way to the nipple where it latches on, its pretty remarkable.  Newborns also get that first meal of colostrum.  Babies don't need complementary foods until the middle of the first year and nursing toddlers are A-OK.   Some babies do wean earlier than 24 months and that's ok.  

I was a La Leche League Leader for 30 years and am still involved with breastfeeding support with another organization,  Breastfeeding USA.  We had a NMAA counselor move to Clemson, SC right after I moved from the Clemson area and she got accredited by LLL for her time in the US.  Her husband was working on his PHD,  IIRC.  Janet was a marvelous person.  

And yeah, I still have my old LLL cookbooks and still use them.

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I think it's very harsh thinking of this in terms of failure. Your children got fed so you're a success! I think of it more as a ready to go response when well meaning people start questioning why you haven't introduced solids yet or what on earth are you doing putting a toddler to the breast. 

It may be different in a developing country with less access to clean water, electricity to sterilise bottles or antibiotics, or where every calorie matters and older children need all they can get. Maybe in that case it's indeed worth encouraging mothers to breastfeed, although it should always 100% remain their choice. No boobs, no opinion. 

It does mean though that saying a country's breastfeeding rate is x% is essentially meaningless unless you give more info. Is it exclusive? Is the infant still in hospital? 2 months old? Five years old? You can only compare what's comparable. 

Reading about women who wanted to breastfeed but had people in white coats tell them not to breaks my heart though. Medicine is pretty sexist. Just look at anatomical drawings - it's always a male figure unless they're describing a uterus. Medicines are dosed for men. Textbook symptoms of illnesses are the male symptoms of illness. This is just another way to say a woman's body malfunctions by default and needs help from a (male) scientist. When in fact most women's bodies work as intented and given both a decision to breastfeed on the mother's side and adequate support (which includes adequate maternity AND paternity leave) most women are very much able to breastfeed. 

I'll step off the soapbox now. Just don't get me started on routine interventions during childbirth or I'll step right back on it. 

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My friend wanted to breastfeed her first but her husband told her “I just don’t think I could look at that,” so she used formula for all three of her kids. It made me so sad for, not because she used formula but because she felt she had no choice. 

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15 minutes ago, Foudeb said:

Reading about women who wanted to breastfeed but had people in white coats tell them not to breaks my heart though. Medicine is pretty sexist. Just look at anatomical drawings - it's always a male figure unless they're describing a uterus. Medicines are dosed for men. Textbook symptoms of illnesses are the male symptoms of illness. This is just another way to say a woman's body malfunctions by default and needs help from a (male) scientist. When in fact most women's bodies work as intented and given both a decision to breastfeed on the mother's side and adequate support (which includes adequate maternity AND paternity leave) most women are very much able to breastfeed. 

These days, it seems to have swung in the opposite direction. I have had friends (multiple) who didn't want to breastfeed for whatever reason feel bullied into it at the hospital, and one friend had a pretty traumatic experience with her first child (she had had breast reduction surgery in her 20s and tried to breastfeed and the baby wouldn't gain weight and was failing to thrive) - with her second child, the hospital wouldn't give her formula until she proved to them that she was trying to latch the baby on. She was just off of labor and probably could have been more insistent about the formula, but she 100% felt like she had legitimate reasons not to breastfeed and the nurses wouldn't listen to her.

(I breastfed all of my kids until they were 2, including re-lactating after I completely lost my supply with my third baby because of brain surgery, so I'm in no way anti-breastfeeding. But the culture has become pretty vehement when it comes to "breast is best" messages).

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On 2/2/2020 at 9:46 PM, marypat57 said:

When I found my baby book, there were slips feeding instructions that my mom got from the doctor.  

The instructions from the hospital are in my baby book, too. They read like "What to do to guarantee you fail at breastfeeding". Strictly scheduled, limited amounts of time, wash your breasts before and after, etc. It made it sound crazy difficult and allowed so little actual feeding time that I'd be surprised if anyone who followed those actually managed to breastfeed successfully. My mom didn't. She did finally succeed with my youngest sister, and breastfed her for a year, but I think it had more to do with having a 3-year-old and a 1-year old as well as a newborn and not having time to follow the stupid instructions than anything else. 

I have no idea what we were fed with. I remember mom mixing up some concoction on the stove for my youngest sister when she was a toddler, though. 

16 hours ago, MamaJunebug said:

Baby books. As I was #1 larva, mine was complete!

Same here! My middle sister's is partially done, my youngest sisters has her name and birth info and a few photos and not much else. Mine has the napkins and games from the baby shower, hair from my first haircut I gave myself, every milestone noted, and practically every piece of paper associated with me being a baby.

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21 minutes ago, Alisamer said:

Same here! My middle sister's is partially done, my youngest sisters has her name and birth info and a few photos and not much else. Mine has the napkins and games from the baby shower, hair from my first haircut I gave myself, every milestone noted, and practically every piece of paper associated with me being a baby.

Ha.  If we go by baby books I am not sure I exist.

My mom tried to assure me it wasn't lack of love, but just being the youngest meant she was busier but...I've seen the others.  :) 

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The whole breast/bottle thing makes me nuts. I nursed, my daughter nursed, my daughter in law nursed. I have friends who are doing both and friends who had strictly bottle babies. As the kids grew, it was impossible to just look at the children and figure out which was which...which leads to my motto "feed one end, clean the other, don't get 'em mixed up". A fed, happy baby beats the hell out of a skinny, half dehydrated, hungry baby (looking at Zuzu). I only nursed because it was cheaper and I was seriously broke at the time, not from some great philosophical thing...

 

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2 hours ago, FunFunFundie said:

These days, it seems to have swung in the opposite direction. 

I gave birth last year and... No. No it hasn't.

Midwife wasn't allowed to help us latch on hands on, no touching breasts. Which after three days of everyone and their dog (or so it felt) putting their hands up my vagina and / or inside my belly was like wtf. She broke the rules and did plug the baby in, for which I'm eternally grateful, otherwise we would have missed that feed in first hour of life. I couldn't have done it on my own. 

Multiple doctors then tried to bully me into formula feeding because "this way we know how much goes in". I compromised on hand expressing then feeding with a syringe (was afraid of bottle preference) but even that is not what a lactation consultant would recommend. Thankfully my baby is greedy and suckled in between the syringe feeds so my supply was maintained, otherwise we'd have had a textbook not enough milk situation.

And at the follow up visit the midwife told me to put her on a one feed every four hours schedule. Which, again, is pretty much what you should not do if you want to breastfeed. 

She's older now and we're entering "why is she still at the breast" phase with everyone, friends, in-laws etc questioning my choices. 

So, fun all around. 

I'm not a lactivist, I'm really not, fed is best, but this consistent undermining of women's natural ability to make food with our breasts is just. Urgh. Makes me annoyed. 

And of course if you have a genuine issue breastfeeding (and you want to!) apart from peer support workers and lactation consultants... You're on your own. Doctors don't care. There are no drugs. Compare that to the billions spent on helping men get or keep an erection. We sure have doctors and pills for that because, priorities!

Sorry, I can't seem to leave that soapbox. 

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8 minutes ago, Foudeb said:

I gave birth last year and... No. No it hasn't.

Midwife wasn't allowed to help us latch on hands on, no touching breasts. Which after three days of everyone and their dog (or so it felt) putting their hands up my vagina and / or inside my belly was like wtf. She broke the rules and did plug the baby in, for which I'm eternally grateful, otherwise we would have missed that feed in first hour of life. I couldn't have done it on my own. 

Multiple doctors then tried to bully me into formula feeding because "this way we know how much goes in". I compromised on hand expressing then feeding with a syringe (was afraid of bottle preference) but even that is not what a lactation consultant would recommend. Thankfully my baby is greedy and suckled in between the syringe feeds so my supply was maintained, otherwise we'd have had a textbook not enough milk situation.

And at the follow up visit the midwife told me to put her on a one feed every four hours schedule. Which, again, is pretty much what you should not do if you want to breastfeed. 

She's older now and we're entering "why is she still at the breast" phase with everyone, friends, in-laws etc questioning my choices. 

So, fun all around. 

I'm not a lactivist, I'm really not, fed is best, but this consistent undermining of women's natural ability to make food with our breasts is just. Urgh. Makes me annoyed. 

And of course if you have a genuine issue breastfeeding (and you want to!) apart from peer support workers and lactation consultants... You're on your own. Doctors don't care. There are no drugs. Compare that to the billions spent on helping men get or keep an erection. We sure have doctors and pills for that because, priorities!

Sorry, I can't seem to leave that soapbox. 

I’m not going to agree or disagree here. Because I think it’s hugely dependent on the hospital. 

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It’s been a while since I’ve read it(it’s at my mom’s house), but she wrote the formula recipe in my baby book.  PET milk baby born 1966.

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4 hours ago, feministxtian said:

 I only nursed because it was cheaper and I was seriously broke at the time, not from some great philosophical thing...

 

This is the reason I always assumed fundies breastfed their kids - because it was cheaper.  Also, because I think they have the idea that “it’s why God gave women breasts.”
 

My thoughts on the money issue are more toward the “older” moms like Michelle Duggar.  I honestly can’t imagine that she or Jill Rodrigues would trouble themselves with any research on the matter,  but I can see their husbands forcing forcing them to breastfeed to save money. I think the nutritional benefits play into it with the younger moms; but, because that is all many of them have seen, they might not have considered formula anyway. 

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On 2/3/2020 at 12:43 AM, Melissa1977 said:

My mom is still surprised because most women breastfeed nowadays

I've seen two women breastfeeding in public in the last two weeks.  One was on the side of a paved trail and the other one was in a park.  Glad to see women breastfeeding with no constraints!

Also, in the past Nestle used to send out uniformed "official" looking women with formula samples to give out to poor and indigenous women in Central America -- enough so that by the time a woman ran out of the sample, she wasn't producing milk.  Because this demographic didn't have access to clean water, it was a disaster for babies, who were at high risk for dying  from dehydration related to diarrhea caused by contaminated water.  Also, these women often couldn't afford sufficient formula and had to stretch with more water, leading to malnutrition.  It is one of the most cynical corporate ploys in my memory. 

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@Howl,  Nestle's shenanigans weren't restricted just to Central America, but occurred in pretty much any place in the developing world where they could exploit new mothers.  As you said, it was a disaster for these mothers and babies.  I've been boycotting Nestle for the most part since 1981.  The boycott was briefly suspended after Nestle said that they would adhere to the WHO Code (International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes) but was on again after it was found that Nestle was violating the Code.  

Guess which is about the only country on the whole damn planet not to endorse the WHO Code?  If you guessed the good ol' USA, you would be correct.

Btw, the gist of the Code is that artificial baby milks cannot be marketed in such a way as would undermine breastfeeding and that goes for advertising bottles and teats as well.  That's not all of it, of course.

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27 minutes ago, PennySycamore said:

I've been boycotting Nestle for the most part since 1981.

I had not known about that murderous duplicity but I’ll do my best to boycott Nestle now.  Thanks for the info. 

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