This past week was World Breastfeeding Week, but I've been so caught up in work, planning a birthday party, and recovering from my last round of illness that I almost let it go by without mention. I received a couple of interesting press releases and information on this topic that I wanted to share here. The first was this interview clip from Julie Menin's Give and Take. In this clip from the interview series, CNN host Campbell Brown talks about motherhood, work-life balance, and looking for role models for working moms. One particularly resonant anecdote is the one she tells about pumping, and express mailing breastmilk to her husband when she moderated a Presidential Debate. The full interview can be seen in four parts at Julie Menin's website, and will air on select cable channels.
I also received information from a marketing program aimed at increasing awareness by giving out information and breast-feeding friendly supplies as new moms are discharged from the hospital. When Alex was born 9 years ago, I got not one but two diaper bags from the hospital chock full of...formula. I thought it was a nice gift, but I was set on breastfeeding. The only information on breastfeeding I got was some strong encouragement from the nurses and an instruction to watch a video. Several painful, exhausting weeks later, I threw up my hands and went to see a lactation consultant, but felt like an utter failure. Eventually, I figured out how to do it without making my toes curl from the pain, but it would have been helpful to have some additional information and supplies.
This has been the norm for a number of years now, so I was pleased to see that an alternative is now available. The breastfeeding-friendly
version of the discharge bag is called the Healthy Baby Bounty Bag. Starting this month, the bag will be distributed in approximately 200
hospitals across the country, to about 300,000 new moms. The bag contains milk storage bags,
disposable nipple pads, samples, coupons, and information on breastfeeding. The bags are sponsored by Lansinoh, makers of a lanolin cream that I could not live without when Alex was an infant.
I asked if this would be available at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, our local hospital, but unfortunately, it is not. This might be a good project for our local Palo Alto & Menlo Park Parents' Club to take on. I hope these bags will help other moms ease into breastfeeding a little smoother than I did.