Monday, February 19, 2007

Pregnancy on the big screen

I was just minding my own business, reading my email, when I saw a post from one of the many lists I am on about a new film concerning pregnancy and birth in the good ole U.S. of A. It looks very promising. Pregnant in America is said to be "a film that will expose the underside of the U.S. childbirth industry and help end its neglectful exploitation of pregnancy and birth". He said "neglectful exploitation...", I can already see some OBs taking off their earrings and greasing up for the fight. This could really stir things up in the world of American birth.

I have not seen An Inconvenient Truth, but many people were moved by it. I have read passionate posts about people who felt like their eyes were opened and they were moved to make steps or more steps to living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Apparently, Al Gore is now organizing a series of worldwide concerts to continue his mission.

It all started with a film.

Now, granted, this guy, Steve Buonaugurio doesn't have the money, political clout and renown that Al Gore has. But if he can create a groundswell of support using the power of viral marketing (think YouTube videos) and the blogging world (remember the recent Pork vs the Lactivist), he can use this film to make a statement and actually turn the tide of the pregnancy machine in this country. It took consumer demand to allow fathers in the delivery room. Maybe a film like this can help create the fire that will drop our cesarean rate from 30 percent to 10 percent (as it should be) and will drop our shameful infant mortality rate (and the shame only rises for the African-American family who has higher infant mortality rates).

So go check out the trailer and tell me what you think. Would you see the film? Do you think it will give an honest view of the state of pregnancy and birth care in America today? Will it scare women or help them wake up and become more aggressive consumers? I can't wait to hear what you think.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Big Apple Supports Breastfeeding

This story is a few days old, but the city of New York deserves a big thumbs up for their recent breastfeeding promotion effort. The New York Post has an article about the New York City Health Department's million dollar program to support and encourage breastfeeding. The program includes $2 million in hospital based breastfeeding promotion, $7 million to hire home visiting nurses,$4.5 million for an ad campaign (signs on buses and taxis, etc.) and training 50 health care workers in breastfeeding support. I am excited about the ad campaign and I think the city will probably do a very good job producing beautiful, multicultural public health pro-breastfeeding messages.

I am crossing my fingers about the rest of it however. The article said they will be taking the free formula "gift" bags (aka - Marketing Materials for drug companies) out of hospitals, possibly an attempt to be more Baby Friendly, and will replace the formula sponsored diaper bags with milk storage bags and ice packs. Will $2 million be enough to do that and hire enough staff? Are there regulations as to how the hospitals spend the money? Who decides?

The prospect of home health nurses is very exciting. That is an intervention that has been used in many populations to improve health outcomes. I hope that the nurses they hire actually have BREASTFEEDING training. Breastfeeding is not always covered in a basic nursing curriculum. I sincerely hope whomever is responsible for the administration of this program will make sure every home health visitor is trained in basic breastfeeding management.

I am sure what the thought plan is with training 50 health care workers to assist breastfeeding a city with over 8.1 million people...50 newly trained IBCLCs (I hope this is what they are alluding to)? Maybe per hospital, that would work. I am not sure what that means but it will be interesting to see if breastfeeding rates in New York city go up.

Here's hoping that throwing a bunch of money at breastfeeding promotion and support actually works and is executed well. If so, maybe other cities will follow.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Love Day Report....

I hope you all were able to experience a little romance yesterday. If you are like me - a few kids, still nursing at least one of them and limited babysitters by choice or necessity - romantic moments are often scheduled. As experienced couples will tell you, spontenaiety is a luxury of the childless. After a baby joins the family, it may be easier to "schedule" a night for regular romance to 1)assure that it ever happens again and 2)give mama time to emotionally (try to relax with the kids that that day) and physically (get enough sleep and be energized for the "night" ahead) prepare for something that used to happen only when "the mood" struck. It's also nice for your man to know he won't be going too long without. I know it can be somewhat awkward discussing what goes on in the bedroom (or if their are children in your room - in the other rooms of the house) but sexuality is important to every woman, breastfeeding mothers included.

Every year we celebrate our anniversary (February 1) and Valentine's Day in one big shebang. This year was our first attempt to leave the Tizzle (8 month old and baby #3) and have a romantic dinner and after party (if you know what I mean) in an empty house.

I am a woman of my word and I promised that I would deliver a report, to you the readers of Mocha Milk, if the wonderful people behind Condessa Breastfeeding Lingerie sent me a set to try. Well, they found out that I was admiring their skivvies and sent me the beautiful Cassandra Seductive Sunset Brassiere and Brief Set for evaluation. I was in search of form and function. So keeping with my original post about Condessa, I have a list of SEXY - what I liked and GET BACK - what could use improvement.

-Beautiful, vibrant color! Makes you feel happier and more beautiful. And I have to say, Sunset on brown skin - very nice. I am sure the other colors look just as good.
-Cotton-lined cups. The bra cups are lined with a soft, cotton fabric so the lace doesn't rub the nipples. Comfortable but undetectable to your man.
-Bra sizing seems to be pretty standard yet generous. Runs true to regular bra sizing.
-Jewel tone button snaps to release cups. I wasn't crazy about the function of them but the aesthetic was very pleasing. They looked like a pretty decoration not an access point, ya know?
-Very supportive! Several of you wrote me personally and said you might try Condessa even though you are hardcore underwire fans. I have only owned one underwire bra in my life but the Condessa Cassandra line bra supports like an underwire without the potential duct-plugging wire! It is supportive, lifting and separating without wires and I had no idea what I was missing.

-Lace bras under cotton shirts can be rather unsightly. Some mothers shy away from lacy bras for that very reason. So if you never wear anything but cotton t-shirts this bra might bother you. On the other hand, maybe it means you need to branch out and try something a little dressier! It would be great if the other collections would include a silky/flat front bra as well.
-The bra cups release from the middle of the chest. That is a unique way to open a nursing bra and it is a little of a learning curve. The snaps/buttons are gorgeous, but difficult to unsnap with one hand which is preferable when trying to discretely unhook your bra and feed a wiggling baby. I am not sure if the placement of the snaps or the type of snaps or the combination is what makes unhooking difficult, but this was the biggest drawback.
-The brief. The fabric was not breathable enough for my tastes. Again, I tend to be a cotton gal, but am not against other fabrics if they still allow for circulation. It could have been the size not fabric. Which leads me to my biggest issue with the bottoms - size options! Don't forget about the big girls...especially after having a baby. Eight is the largest size in the bottoms and I know that could leave allot of my girlfriends out in the cold or at least with a pretty bra and nothing cute for their booty.

I learned about myself in trying out this lingerie. I really do feel prettier and sexier when wearing pretty, sexy lingerie under my clothes. I learned I can do something small (like wearing a sexy bra) and it can make a big impact on how I feel and act. I learned that it really does matter to your mate, even if he never mentions it. I joke that men don't really care what your underwear looks like on you, just how it looks on the floor, but when you go to the trouble of "fancy" lingerie, it makes him feel special and adds a little spice.

Let's just say my husband approved of me reviewing the Condesesa Cassandra lingerie. He had nothing but good things to say...

I am wondering if I have wandered into the land of TMI (Too Much Information) ...please forgive me if I have shared a little to much. We grown though, right ladies?

Anyone else tried any other breastfeeding lingerie? I would love to hear what other bras are maternal and sexy. If Tyra and Oprah can have bra and panty parties, so can we!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

That's Some Pig!

I recently read the children's classic, Charlotte's Web with my children and went to see the new live action version of the movie. In the movie Charlotte, a common gray spider hopes to save her pig friend's life by showing the world what a wonderful pig Wilbur is. So she writes a message in her web describing Wilbur that says simply, "Some Pig".It wasn't extravagant or puffed up, just a simple statement of who Wilbur was.

As I mentioned last Friday, the Pork board wrote a C & D letter to the Lactivist to get her to remove a site from her Cafe Press website that said "the other white milk". The letter was harsh, implied that she was advocating human milk as some kind of fetish/sexual thing and more threatening than it needed to be.

I along with just about everyone else in the blogging world was soon sizzling about how these big piggies were handling themselves. Because of the blogging world buzz, the Lactivist's cool head and ability to wait, think and handle things professionally, she was issued a letter of apology from the National Pork Board and the employees of the National Pork Board will be making a donation, from their own pockets to The Mothers' Milk Bank of Ohio. I am glad it was her and not me to go through this ordeal. Had it been me, I think I would have had to have somebody hold my earrings and my baby, if you know what I mean.

She has asked everyone who wrote about the original incident to follow up with the happy ending here. Just as Charlotte's Web ends in Wilbur's life being saved (sorry if you haven't read the book or seen the movie), this has a happy ending for all: more money for a struggling non-profit milk bank, more publicity for milk banking and the Lactivist isn't going to jail. Okay, she wasn't ever in danger of jail, but she could have been looking at a lot of money spent and the headache of legal proceedings. And it is so nice to see a business, any business recognize their wrongs and take steps to make it right.

So while our family doesn't personally partake of the swine, I won't be mad at you for gettin' your BLT on...just pass me the turkey bacon and we can still be friends.

Friday, February 2, 2007

We told ya'll pork was from the devil...

My family does not eat pork. I used to be a vegetarian (over 11 years) and quite frankly it makes me physically ill if I eat it now. My children know we do not eat meat and for the most part my sweetie doesn't partake of the swine either. Now, all of you that know about the Black Muslim faith, know that pork is just another way "The Man" tries to keep us down. And this my friends is the final proof. My girl, Jennifer at The Lactivist is being threatened by the National Pork Board.

Really? Have they nothing to do but threaten a mother with a hobby breastfeeding support blog?

I actually read the letter they sent to her and this is the part that really ticks me off:
"In addition, your use of this slogan also tarnishes the good reputation of the National Pork Board's mark in light of your apparent attempt to promote the use of breastmilk beyond merely for infant consumption,..."

What? Huh? So okay, fine we can breastfeed but God forbid you joke about it, have a good time or make a statement while doing it. My six year old could read those shirts and get the joke. She wouldn't think I was inviting grown men to take a sip! Give me a break. Besides, go to any mall and you'll see 15 teenagers wearing parody name brand slogan shirts that insinuate improper behavior. No one seems to care about that. Of course, why would pork want to be compared to something as healthy as breastfeeding? After all, breastfeeding is disgusting and dirty and needs to be covered, right? It's not FOOD! Oh, wait, it is food. For crying out loud!

Just another instance of the Devil (big PORK business) trying to keep us (in this case women) down.

They need to get a grip and get a life.