Natural. Healthy. Peaceful.
Loving. Free.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Advertise in our Calendar!

Hey all!  It's reaching the end of October and I'm still looking for companies who would be interested in our 2011-2012 fundraising calendar.  Do you do direct sales (Tupperware, jewelry, purses, etc) or own a store in the Central Florida area?  You should advertise with us... Here's some details:

*We're looking at an INITIAL distribution of 2,000 copies (both paid and free) throughout the Central Florida area, but primarily concentrating on Orange, Seminole, Lake, Brevard and Volusia.
*Our calendar will have a shelf life of over 20 months!  We will be offering these for sale, initially, in April of 2011 and our 18-month calendar lasts through the end of 2012.  Keep your name on people's minds for almost TWO YEARS.  It's unprecedented in advertising opportunities.
*By our estimates, our calendars will primarily go to either pregnant women or women with children, in the age range of 20 - 45 years.  We hope to also reach out to the grandmothers who are supportive of breastfeeding.  As we all know, women are the ones in the household who make the majority of the decisions... it's an ideal demographic for local companies hoping to spread the word on their products.

Our advertising rates are very reasonable -- ranging from $500 down to $25 -- and exceptional when you look at the demographics, size of initial distribution and shelf life of the calendar. 

Who should advertise in here:
*Lactation consultants
*Doulas and midwives
*Doctors such as pediatricians and OBs along with opthamologists, optometrists and dentists
*Children's boutique owners
*Massage therapists, yoga studios, chiropractors
*Any breastfeeding supportive company
*Online and Central Florida companies looking to increase awareness of their business locally

Month sponsorships are only $200 and if you purchase your spot by November 10th, I'll even help you design your ad for free (just send me your logo and any information you'd like on the ad).... Think about it -- get your business in front of an ideal demographic for 30 days completely by yourself.  It's an amazing deal!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Giving our bags out!

Hey all!  It's been a while, so I thought I'd update everyone on what we've been doing...

The Lake Mary Farmer's Market went well -- we gave out a few bags to pregnant women and talked about our mission with quite a few people.  It definitely was great spreading our message to people outside of the 'natural' birth community in Central Florida. 

My husband and I ran in Orlando's Race for the Cure, helping to bring awareness of the ways to prevent and detect breast cancer before it takes yet another life.  I finished with a clock time of 28:35 -- not terrible for my first 5K after my baby girl was born... especially considering I haven't really been training all that much... I think the last time I ran was two weeks ago!  I'll post pictures soon :)

Lastly, I spoke with Annie at our local IFAS extension and she's going to be giving out 25 of our bags!  Hoorah!  We even spoke about setting up a free seminar to debunk some of the myths that surround breastfeeding.  How cool would that be?!

Anyway, gotta run... hopefully I'll be able to post some cool pictures of the Farmer's Market and the Race soon!  Take care all!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Farmer's Market and MORE Breast Cancer Awareness Advocacy

I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who helped out with the Farmer's Market today.  We sold a few items, gave away a few bags to pregnant women (or people who knew them) and helped to spread awareness of our cause in Central Florida.... plus I got to spend a few hours outside during an absolutely gorgeous morning...

Seriously, it was a big success!  :)

I wanted to pop on here and remind people that we have beautiful handmade items for gifts.  Baby showers, Christmas presents, birthday gifts -- we have gorgeous, handmade burp cloths, bibs, blankets and onesies at fabulous prices.  Many of our items match and most can be custom-ordered (if you see a design and would like a matching blanket, bib, etc for a set).  Everything is handmade locally and almost everything is donated.  If you are interested, please let me know.  I can give you a list of places where we'll be or I can meet you somewhere and show you what we have in stock.

Thank you to everyone for your support.  Without our wonderful volunteers, supporters and cheerleaders, we wouldn't be able to accomplish our goals.

So, now I'll leave with another little factoid about breastfeeding...  We already mentioned that multiple studies have shown that breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer in moms... did you know that it also decreases the risk for it in girls who were breastfed as infants?

Women who were breastfed as infants, even if only for a short time, showed an approximate 25% lower risk of developing premenopausal or postmenopausal breast cancer, compared to women who were bottle-fed as an infant.
Source:  Freudenheim, J. "Exposure to breast milk in infancy and the risk of breast cancer."  Epidemiology 1994 5:324-331
Some other food for thought as this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month...  Help Prevent Breast Cancer -- BREASTFEED!

A study by Yale University researchers showed that women who breastfed for two years or longer reduced their risk of breast cancer by 50 percent.

Among both premenopausal and postmenopausal women, risk of breast cancer decrease with increasing duration of lifetime lactation experience although the effect was consistently stronger for premenopausal women.
Source:  McTieman, A., "Evidence of Protective Effect of Lactation on Risk of Breast Cancer in Young Women."  American Journal of Epidemiology, 1986

After controlling for age at first full term pregnancy and other potentially compounding factors, parity and duration of breast feeding also had a strong influence on the risk of breast cancer. Compared with parous women who never breast fed, women who had breast fed for 25 months or more had a lower relative risk.
Source:  Layde, P.M., "The Independent Associations of Parity Age at First full Term Pregnancy, and Duration of Breast Feeding with the Risk of Breast Cancer."  Journal of Clinical Epidemiol, 1989.

If women who do not breastfeed or who breastfed for less than 3 months were to do so for 4 to 12 months, breast cancer among parous premenopausal women could be reduce by 11%; if all women with children lactated for 24 months or longer, the incidence might be reduced by nearly 25%.
Source:  Newcomb,P. etal. "Lactation and reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer."  N Engl J Med 1994; 330(2):81-87.

An increasing duration of lactation was associated with a statistically significant trend toward a reduced risk of breast cancer.
Sources:  Newcomb, P.A. et al. 1994 Lactation and a reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer.  The New England Journal of Medicine 330(2):81-87. (P Byers T, et al. Lactation and breast cancer: evidence for a negative association in premenopausal women.  American Journal of Epidemiology Vol 121, pp664-74, 1985)

Siskind V, et al. Breast cancer and breastfeeding: results from and Australian case-control study.  American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol 130, pp229-36, 1989

Monday, October 4, 2010

Save 2nd Base -- by breastfeeding!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month!

Did you know that numerous studies have shown that breastfeeding your babies can decrease the chance you develop breast cancer?

So, let's save those ta-tas!  Commit to breastfeeding :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pssssst... who wants to see our bags?

Ok, I've been wanting to post this since last night... our bags!

They're not 100% finished -- I still need to add the local resources like our wonderful lactation consultants and there are a few companies who have told me they are in the process of sending us items -- but I doubt they'll ever be 100% done...  why?  Because I'd always like to be adding more sponsors and items!

Anyway, what's in them?  Here you go:

**A large tote bag with our logo (approximately 16x12x4")
**A 27 oz stainless steel water bottle with our logo
**A pair of 100% merino wool nursing pads
**A hot/cold compress filled with rice, flax seeds and lavender
**A copy of Mothering Magazine (issue 154, Breast is Best)
**A large folder of information with:
  • Tips and tricks for dealing with sore nipples, engorgement, clogged ducts and mastitis
  • A "Breastfed Baby" placard for the hospital
  • Three handy quick reference cards for milk storage and how to know the baby is getting enough
  • Nutrition 
  • Pumping tips (including information on GetPumped, another local nonprofit)
  • Laws regarding both workplace pumping and breastfeeding in public (in Florida)
  • When to start solids
  • Local resources like group meetings, LLL info and lactation consultants... online websites... great books to read...
  • A gift certificate for a nursing cover (for those mommas who don't feel comfortable nursing in public without one)
  • ... and more!
**An informative latch dvd
**Nipple cream from MotherLove
**Full-sized Nursing Tea from Weleda
**Lanolin sample from Lansinoh
**Sample of either Classic or Hard Rock soap from Rockin Green
**Free shipping from Milk Nursingwear (with a $75 purchase)
**Free shipping from Expressiva (first purchase only)
**Coupons for free classes from Gymboree's Play and Music centers plus 20% off coupons 
**Informational brochures from Bravado, My Brest Friend, Moby Wrap, Bye Bye with Baby, Eco Diaper Service, MotherLove, Weleda and Ameda 

Wow and that's just the beginning!  I can't wait to see who else is interested in joining our project...  Let me know what you all think!  :)

Oh, and by the way, we ARE selling some of these items to help raise funds for more bags.  The Stainless Steel Water Bottles are $12, the tote bags are $3, the wool nursing pads are $7.50 and the hot/cold compresses are $6.50 each or two for $12....   These are the current prices (if you let me know during the preorder time, you'll get the discounted price) :). 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nursing in public stories...

Ok, readers, confession time...
I've never had a bad experience nursing in public.

My daughter is just over 7 months old and I've nursed everywhere one could possibly imagine.  Restaurants, malls, parks, festivals, grocery stores, my car (when a convenient bench and air conditioning was not to be found), various places at Disney and Universal Studios.... and I've never had a negative reaction.  Oh sure, some people might have rolled their eyes but I don't pay attention to people enough to really notice... and no, I don't use a cover.  To be fair, I tried... but I guess I don't have the manual dexterity necessary to cover myself and nurse a baby at the same time.  I think I used one twice before it just made me AND my daughter hot and angry...  plus, I have a feeling that a nursing cover just screams "I AM BREASTFEEDING A BABY, HAVE A LOOK" .  Scroll down to a previous post I made about nursing at Harry Potter at IOA and you'll see that nursing in public can be incredibly discreet... I doubt many people even knew what I was doing.

Anyway, the ONLY reactions I've ever experience have been positive.  Once, at a Boston Coffee House a guy came up to me and started talking about how his wife is 38 weeks pregnant with their first child and how she was planning a birth at one of our local birth centers.  He mentioned how nice it was to see someone nursing in public and raising awareness.  An older woman at a bbq joint let me know how wonderful it was to see younger women nursing in public -- she had a great statement that I won't be able to get quite right... something about how our country is a sad mix of puritans and cowboys.  One of the funniest NIP stories I have happened when I was nursing my daughter at a mall playground while my preschooler played.  A little girl, about 18 months, walked over to me, stood close by and stared at me.  When her mom came over, she laughed and said that she had just weaned her daughter.... we made jokes that she was 'standing in line'... I mean, heck, hers work... I'll just have some at that tap!

So, ladies (and gentlemen, too, if you want to share your wife/girlfriend/friend's story)... do you have some nursing in public stories?  Funny, good, bad, sad, whatever... share!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Proof that you really can nurse anywhere...

Hey all!  I just got from a really fantastic trip to Universal Studio's Islands of Adventure and I had to come on here and tell everyone about it.  Most of you don't know a ton about me, but I'm a huge Harry Potter fan.  Humungo.  I was one of those people who waited in line for hours to be the first one to purchase a new book.  Anyway, I've been waiting to go see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter until the kids were back in school and the weather wasn't 110 degrees outside...  and it was awesome.  Everything I could have imagined and more!

 Why is this important?  Well, I went today and I brought my seven-month-old nursling along with me and my husband took this picture...

That's me nursing Kate (with a couple of glasses of Butterbeer next to me) at Hogsmeade Station, next to the Hogwarts' Express.

And it proved one thing -- yes, Virginia, you really can nurse anywhere ;)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lake Mary Farmer's Market and the debut of our bags!

We have two exciting thing to fill you all in on... The first is that our first Farmer's Market will be held October 9th at the Lake Mary Farmer's Market.  The time is from 9 to 1:30, but we'll be there by 8:30 setting up so stop by and say hello!

At this market we'll be unveiling a few new fundraising items...  We'll be selling our new onesies, water bottles, tote bags AND wool nursing pads (these things retail for no less than $7 a pair online, plus shipping)... plus we'll have our bumper stickers, magnets, blankets, compresses and other handmade crafts for sale.

Also, and this is very exciting, we'll be debuting our BAGS!  Obviously our bags will probably change in the future (with the addition of new items... potentially onesies... and sponsors), but this will be our bag that we're going to take to various doctor's offices, midwives and hospitals.  Come check out what it's going to include and pick one up for a pregnant friend!

Thanks for all your support!  With your help we can afford the incorporation and IRS fees to get ourselves a certified 501c3!!! 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sneak peek at one of our new fundraisers!

As many of you know, I've been looking for a way to create beautiful onesies that we can use in two ways -- one is as a perk to go in the bags and the other is to use it as a way to raise funds.  Since we're new and short on cash, spending $7.50 a onesie to get it screen printed is way out of our reach, so I've been searching for ways to do it myself (short of purchasing screen printing machines). 

Ask Me About Breastfeeding and PeaceLoveBreastfeeding
Finally, I've done it and WHAT a success!  I found a really easy method that I can do at home with really awesome results.  If you look at the pictures, you'll notice that the images seem almost distressed or vintage in nature and that's because they are.  Unlike many t-shirt transfers that sit on top of the fibers (and thus can crack and peel over time or when stretched and feel stiff), the ink is actually set into the fibers...  This results in a piece of clothing that you can iron (even over the image itself) and stretch and that feels almost as soft as the t-shirt underneath.  It's not as bright and bold as the other options but, personally, I like this a bit better (especially considering how nice these transfers feel).  These have even been washed and dried after the printing process to ensure they won't bleed in your laundry. 

Healthy, Happy Breast Fed Baby and our Logo
So, what do you all think?  I've used our logo (designed by the wonderful graphic designer Tabatha -- thanks momma!) in various designs...  Would you want one for your babe?  I'm going to be offering them for $10 as an introductory price -- I'll have a few of each design made.  Let me know if there's one in specific you want, along with the size you would like.  I'm using Gerber onesies currently but I can use Hanes t-shirts if you'd like something larger.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wow, what a success!

I wanted to thank everyone who came out on Saturday, 9/11, to help support us during our first fundraiser.  What an absolute success!  We raised well more than our goal, spread the message to the many people who visited us and got our raffles under way.  So, what are we doing now, you ask?

#1:  We're still running our raffles.  Right now we have the following ones ongoing:
  • Free doula service and childbirth education classes (from TLC) -- a $700 value
  • A free two-tier, custom, fondant-covered cake -- a $125 value
  • A Moby Wrap in Pacific Blue -- $40 value
  • An ERGO baby carrier with Heart2Heart infant insert -- $125 value
  • $50 gift certificate to Wee Willie Winks, a local and online baby store, plus a EarthMamaAngelBaby Pregnancy pack -- worth $90 total
  • A gift basket to EcoDiaperService -- $73 value
  • Milk Nursing Top in Coffee, size M -- a $36 value
Please let me know if you're interested in raffle tickets and I will let you know the prices!

#2:  We're looking into Farmer's Markets starting in October, so keep your eyes opened for our tent around the Orlando area!

#3:  We're going to be getting in a couple more fundraisers soon... including some really awesome 27 oz stainless steel water bottlesRight now we're offering an introductory price of only $10!!!  Compare that to Kleen Kanteen ($16) or Sigg ($24), and that's a definite BARGAIN!  We'll also have some reusable tote bags -- great for shopping!

We're also still selling our nursing necklaces, bumper stickers, onesies and blankets to raise funds.  We've managed to purchase many items necessary to create our bags and our next big drive will be to raise $1,000 for the incorporation and 501c3 fees.

So, please, help us out in our goal to raise the $1,000 in incorporation and IRS fees!  Purchase stuff to give as gifts -- water bottles, tote bags, custom onesies, blankets, necklaces, etc...  purchase raffle tickets or just throw $5 into our donations bucket.  Every little bit helps.

Friday, September 3, 2010

More stuff to offer!

I just wanted to pop in and show everyone our newest items that we'll be offering on Etsy and at the Garage Sale (along with local Farmer's Markets)...  Our nursing necklaces!

You know how babies get when they reach a certain age -- they're constantly distracted... checking out people or pulling your top down.  If you're holding them, they just want to chew on something!  Finally, instead of sacrificing your necklaces (which probably aren't very baby friendly anyway), there is another way.  Our nursing necklaces come in several styles.  All styles are done on a satin cord with sealed ends (to prevent fraying) and all can be tied closed (use a square knot to keep the necklace tight), allowing you to adjust the length to suit your needs. 

Right now, our styles are:
*Wooden Teething Ring ($7) -- On a black cord, this smooth, birch ring is 2 1/2" in diameter.  It's tied with a little wooden ball for further interest.  The wood is all natural -- no chemicals, paints or finishes.
*Wooden Teething Ring with semi-precious stone ($16) -- The same style of necklace as our first with the addition of a beautiful donut-shaped stone in the center of the ring. 
*Semi-precious stone ($12) -- Beautiful stones strung on the black cord. 

We currently have the following stones available:  brown snowflake jasper, wood jasper (teardrop shape), green Ching Hai jade, blue denim lapis, red jasper and cherry quartz.  If you'd like a particular color or stone (like Tiger's Eye, etc), please let us know and I'm sure we can special order them (depending on the stone cost, the cost of custom necklaces will vary.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New stuff on Etsy!

Hello everyone!  I just wanted to pop in and let you know that I have two new items up on Etsy...  note:  if you're in the Central Florida area and want one of these, the prices are lower if you buy them directly through me.  I have to increase the prices to cover the Etsy and PayPal fees... The compresses are $6.50 each (2 for $12) and the onesies are $18.

The first is our hot/cold compresses.  Great for all those aches, pains, bumps, bruises, owwies, boo-boos and burns...  especially great for nursing boobies!  Use it hot for relief from the pain of infections or mastitis or to help with let-down or clear clogged ducts... use it cold for engorgement or swelling.  They're all-natural and made with rice, whole flax and lavender buds (for a nice, relaxing smell).  They're 6" square, so they'll be small enough to be useful for years to come (on those little one's aches, pains and boo-boos).  Check out our compresses here:  Compress

The second are our Orlando Breastfeeding Bag Custom Onesies.  Hand-appliqued with embroidery -- our logo is cut out of eco-friendly felt and embroidered on to a onesie.  We have multiple sizes (plus tshirts or tank tops for older ones).  These are ridiculously adorable!!!  We can also add on custom lettering on the back (in fabric paint) with short sayings ("breast-fed") or your little one's name.  Check them out!

Custom Onesie

Take care all!  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Garage Sale information!

The time for the garage sale is closing in and we're picking up donations like crazy!  Are you in the Orlando area?  If so, swing on by our Mom/Baby Garage Sale Fundraiser held at Infusion Tea (1600 Edgewater Drive) on September 11th!  From 8 am until 2 pm, we will have a HUGE amount of stuff to sell and all our proceeds will benefit the Orlando Breastfeeding Bag Project.

What kind of stuff will we have?  SO FAR (and we're getting more donations every day), we have:  baby clothing, men's clothing, women's clothing, maternity clothing, child's shoes (including Stride Rites), toys, books, diaper bags, high chairs, pack and plays, cloth diapers...  and that's just the gently used stuff!  We will also have a lot of locally handmade items generously donated by the craft community in Central Florida, including burp cloths, bibs, blankets, bath items, tshirts, nursing necklaces and more.

Oh, and I totally forgot our AWESOME raffles!  Our raffles are going to start on September 11th and the tickets will either be on sale until the end of October OR until we hit double the retail price of the item... buy your tickets early because if we hit double the retail price before the end of the day on September 11th and you waited, you're going to miss out!  So, what kind of stuff are we raffling off?

*A brand new ERGO baby carrier with Heart2Heart insert
*6 SoftBums cloth diapers (with inserts) packaged in sets of two
*Glamourmom Tank
*Milk Nursing Top
*Something from Milkies
*Gift baskets created by local artisans
*Gift certificate to Wee Willie Winks
*Gift Certificate plus diaper cover from EcoDiaperService
*Brand new Moby Wrap

As we're also getting raffle items donated to us on a daily basis, I'm sure we'll be adding to our already hefty list. 

Do you have items you were looking to sell, donate or get rid of?  We'd be happy to pick them up for you -- the only things we're not taking are car seats and breast pumps (due to liability issues)...  We will accept anything else -- especially larger toys like exersaucers or jumpers, infant toys, etc -- just comment here or email us and we will come and pick it up!

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Items for Sale in our Etsy Shop!

Hey all, this is Jen popping in to let everyone know we've added three items to our fundraising Etsy shop!  We got our bumper stickers today and I must say, they look awesome! 

The three stickers are:  "Make Milk, Not War," "Breastfeeding.  It does a baby good." and "Veni Vidi Vici VBAC" (I successfully had my VBAC in February, so this issue is very near-and-dear to my heart).  I'll put up pictures in the post so everyone can see!  Hurry and buy one!  If you live in the Orlando area, we can arrange to meet somewhere so you can avoid shipping costs...

Have a great day,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A little bit about us...

I know there are many people coming to this blog who are wondering who we are, what we're doing and why we're doing it.  Allow me to fill you in on a few things...  

My name is Jennifer Vetere and I'm both the founder of The Orlando Breastfeeding Bag Project and a mom to two children -- including one nursing baby girl.  We are a grassroots effort based off of a project that began in Laramie, Wyoming. 

Who We Are: 

The Orlando Breastfeeding Bag Project is simply a group of volunteers who have banded together to help increase the breastfeeding rates in our home state of Florida.  We are moms, grandmothers, midwives, lactation consultants, business owners, sisters, daughters, husbands, sons, all coming together for a common goal.  While we are a true non-profit (all proceeds from fundraisers or donations will be put towards achieving our goals), as of the current date we are not a 501(c)3 charity.  We have a goal to raise funds to cover the costs of incorporation and the IRS filing fee for a charity (those two things alone will total close to $1,000) and be an IRS-certified non-profit by 2011.

What We Are Doing: 

Many mothers have always found it a little odd to be handed a bag filled with formula upon giving birth while the doctors advise breastfeeding -- it seemed like a striking contradiction.  As there is no debate anymore as to the supremacy of breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, we are looking to partner with our local hospitals, doctor's offices, midwives, and WIC to provide an alternative to the traditional formula bags -- a true breastfeeding support bag.

Our mission is to educate, support and encourage new mothers to breastfeed long-term through the distribution of free 'welcome bags' in our local hospitals and doctor's offices.   These bags will be created using only funds from fundraiser or donations, will support and encourage breastfeeding mothers with accurate information and include only local, natural, and breastfeeding-supportive information, coupons and samples.  Our main, ongoing goal is to ensure that every mother who gives birth in the Central Florida area receives one of our bags for free -- these bags will include educational materials and local resources along with free samples, coupons, discount codes and other supportive items like water bottles, nursing pads, onesies, and hot/cold compresses.  We are filling our bags with a variety of local, natural and pro-breastfeeding companies to help showcase the wide variety of helpful items that are currently available to new mothers.

Why We Are Doing It

We, as a society, have a few things backwards.  Couples will spend hundreds of dollars on preparing for birth -- hiring doulas, taking classes, reading books -- when it is something your body will do whether you're ready or not (see the numerous examples of women giving birth in cars, assisted only by slightly frightened spouses or police officers).  However, we spend almost no time learning or preparing to breastfeed.  Unlike giving birth, breastfeeding is a learned behavior.  It takes time, dedication and support for both the mother and the baby to learn -- position, technique and latch are so crucial to breastfeeding pain-free.  We feel so many breastfeeding relationships are terminated early because of inadequate support (or knowledge about the support available to them) or education -- it can be frustrating in the first few weeks when you're dealing with sleep deprivation unless you have an amazing support system.  Instead of giving the mothers an easy out (which is what a can of free formula is), we're dedicated to giving mommas the necessary support, guidance and encouragement to successfully breastfeed.

Currently, Florida is one of the lowest rated states in regards to breastfeeding rates.  According to the CDC's 2009 Breastfeeding Report Card, only 75.7% of new moms ever breastfeed their child and the rates drop to 37.2% at 6 months (only 11.9% exclusively) and 18.2% at 12 months.  Only 30.7% are exclusively breastfeeding at three months.  These statistics point to Florida as being in the bottom third of states when it comes to breastfeeding rates in four of the five categories.  Needless to say, Florida failed to reach the Healthy People 2010 goals the CDC put forth (75% initially breastfeeding, 50% breastfeeding at 6 months and 25% breastfeeding at 12 months).  

The US Surgeon General advocates exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months and both UNICEF and the WHO advocate breastfeeding for at least 2 years.  The AAP advocates breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months.  There is no debate among doctors and healthy advocacy groups as to the best way to feed infants and numerous studies have come out showing the short and long-term health benefits for mothers and their breastfed infants.  The journal Pediatrics has estimated that if 90% of Americans breastfeed their infants for 6 months over 900 baby's lives and billions of dollars in health care costs would be saved (around $13 billion).  A 2001 study estimated that $3.6 billion could be saved if 50% breastfed their infants.  While many continue to believe that breastfeeding is simply a lifestyle choice, doctors are trying to spread the message that it's a public health issue.

Why does it save lives and reduce health care costs?  Studies have shown that if 100 more women breastfeed a total of 12 months in their life, 1 case of diabetes will be prevented (in the mother)... if 125 more women breastfeed a total of 12 months, 1 case of heart disease will be prevented.  In mothers, studies show a decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, postpartum depression (and if they do get it, it is shorter and less severe), breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis.  Among the infants, studies show a decreased risk of eye infections, stomach infections, respiratory infections, diarrheal infections, necrotizing enterocolitis, diabetes, asthma, allergies, obesity, SIDS, childhood leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, and more.  Breastfeeding helps strengthen the immune system and it is easier for infants to digest than cow's milk, reducing the likelihood of reflux and gas.

Mothers who breastfeed will miss less work (as their infant is sick less), thereby reducing the cost and strain on companies  Families will save money both on health care costs (their children don't go to the doctors as often) and formula costs (which can reach $1,500 a year for powdered formula).  The environment also benefits from more mothers breastfeeding as well.  Breastfeeding creates no landfill waste nor does it contribute to pollution through manufacturing or transportation.  

So many people ask us 'why'?  We ask them "why not?"  It saves lives, reduces health care costs, benefits businesses, families and the environment... why wouldn't we help more mothers successfully breastfeed?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Central Florida Birth Network Potluck and our Etsy Shop

Whew -- getting a nonprofit up and running is a crazy experience!  We are definitely moving forward -- gathering a ton of sponsors to fill our bags along with writing up the helpful brochures for new moms.  I just wanted to pop in and let everyone know that our Etsy shop is up-and-running with our first item. 

It is a beautiful blue fleece and white flannel blanket with the symbol for breastfeeding cut out of one corner.  The cut-out design is backed with white fleece.  It is available for a suggest donation of only $25 and we know you'll love it for years to come!  Check out our Etsy store for more details!

Saturday, July 31, 2010