It's good stuff, for sure!

Last year. one of 'my dads' shared a link (see bottom of post) that talks about yet another one of the amazing aspects of human milk, in this case, the discovery of the protein in human milk that fights the HIV virus.  This identification/discovery is huge news that verifies other studies that conclude that HIV positive moms, in countries where there are not adequate breastmilk substitutes and hygienic environments, should breastfeed their babies exclusively for a period of time. My first wondering was, hmmm, well, why not here, too if that protein works so well? My second thoughts were, as interesting as this study/discovery is relative to HIV, I found that a statement near the end of the article makes this discovery pertinent to ALL moms and babies, not just those with HIV.

"Tenascin C’s presence in breast milk, though, prompts a deeper question: Why would milk naturally include a protein that battles HIV, a virus that evolved extremely recently in our evolutionary history, sometime in the early 20th century?

“I don’t think it’s in breast milk to combat HIV specifically, but there have been other, related infections that have passed through breastfeeding,” Permar says. “Our work has shown that Tenascin C’s activity isn’t specific to HIV, so we think it’s more of a broad-spectrum anti-microbial protein.”

To me, this kind of discovery just goes to show that the importance of breastfeeding isn't all about the stuff we know already, or even the new information that is discovered because of a particular need or situation.  The new discoveries and WOW! factors that we end up being able to prove just highlight the incredible substance that we create lists about with reasons for breastfeeding.  I guess I tip my head to the side, and wonderingly say, "But our babies need breastmilk for all the reasons that we DON'T even know about yet." The fact is that we are continually finding out about new aspects of human breastmilk that are at the least,  important, and probably indeed miraculous. I love the idea of infusing our babies with little bits of miracles every day.  ~KF

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Up close and personal!

We are days away from welcoming the first grandbaby to the clan Foard- daughter Lorie and husband Joel Waters are close to welcoming Evelynne to the outside world. They have relocated to the SC area so I have had the pleasure of feeling a few baby kicks, hear the heartbeat, and answer questions as they are raised about the impending birth.  I tell you, though, the new wee babes coming to my house for some feeding helps with their moms and dads are offering me a different perspective on the newborn days, knowing that Evey will be one of them real soon!  I am particularly watching the new parents perhaps a little closer and differently than I may have usually.... I think we lactation supporters can, with no ill intent, get a little on auto pilot with our advice and suggestions-- and I am as guilty as some at forgetting my active listening techniques at times in efforts to help others 'get it right'.  When you forget that first important step of listening, you run the risk of not getting it right...and when there is the family tie involved as well, it will behoove me to listen well indeed!  If mantras and whispered suckle wells to the inside Evey work, then all will be good-- I can't wait!!!  But if she has some pickle moments in those early days of figuring things out, I will need to let her mom also figure things out-- not just her Mimi!!!

A Seed You Plant.....

Here's an encouragement to all of us. As we go through our days, especially those in helping fields like LCing or teaching, or even just in living out interactions with people, we sometimes never know if what we say or do has an impact, life changing or not, on ANYONE. Last night at my breastfeeding class, one of 'my moms to be' shared at the end that 9 years ago, she was a student in one of the PSU undergrad classes I do guest lecturing on breastfeeding for. She told me last night that going into the class she hadn't really thought about bfing at all.  After that PSU class, she was excited about and KNEW that when she was going to make babes she was for sure going to breastfeed. And then, here she was at my class, ready to do that very thing!  How exciting to know that seeds planted when future parents are undergrads may sprout and grow  at a later time! Thank you to those PSU prof/instructors (Gail Guss, Sherry Corneal, Molly Countermine,  and Amy Stott ) for being forward thinking and breastfeeding encouragers!! (Co posted here and on Karen Foard, IBCLC facebook.)

It's World Breastfeeding Week, 2013!

For the 21st year, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding has designated this first week of August as World Breastfeeding Week. This year's theme is Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers.  Though the details of the theme have a focus on peer counseling, the very topic also includes all of us being a part of a new family's initiation into parenting, and especially breastfeeding.  

For breastfeed support to be successful, those of us who love and  live to support and promote breastfeeding know that there needs to be some sort of proximity to that new family.  The message of the importance of breastfeeding should be given to ALL people which then provides the framework of community societal backing.  Then those who provide care for the mom-to-be, and certainly her baby's doctor as well,  should also bring consistent advice and caring empathy to the new family; Board Certified Lactation Consultants and La Leche League leaders are well equipped to be a part of this level of support. Finally, those who are closest to the new mom- the  baby's father, the new grandparents and other friends should carry that same message to her.  A message of encouragement, of compassion, of respect, can go far to help a new mom make it through those early days of parenting and breastfeeding.  What an honor it is to be Close to Mothers, providing Breastfeeding Support!

Your Milk Maven,  Milk Mensch, and BreastFriend!

 (Check this out- some nice poster-like support pictures!  )