Dear Mother Dear- ARCHIVE

Obstacles to Breastfeeding in Israel

The medical community who say they are pro-breastfeeding, but actually do not really protect and promote it, are one of the biggest obstacles. We are trying to work in cooperation with the Tipot Chalav (well being clinics) but the formula ads and discharge packs are more obstacles. It is also a problem when a breastfeeding woman wants, or has to, go to work after a short maternity leave.

Everyone knows about the advantages to baby and mother but breastfeeding saves our economy too! Breastmilk is a precious commodity.

Member of Israeli Parliament Gojansky will propose a law to limit formula advertisments. The Minister of Health must raise breastfeeding awareness among doctors, and nurses, women and men.  Ways must be found to encourage and teach mothers to breastfeed, while they are in hospital. Part of the money the hospital gets for each birth should be channeled toward facilities and personnel to teach breastfeeding there. Finally, current laws are not sufficient to make breastfeeding the choice of mothers returning to work in Israel.

Gina Wellner Weissman is a La Leche League leader in Be'erotayim, Israel.
[email protected]

Dear Mother Dear,

On page 152 of People Magazine is a tribute to Marion Donovan, the inventor of disposable diapers! Too bad babies can't send letters to the editor! But if you'd like to, the address is [email protected] .

Very sad to see praises for landfill garbage.  When using disposable diapers it is difficult for new parents to know their babies are getting enough fluids.  In addition, the heat inside a plastic/paper/perfume
diaper is most uncomfortable to sensitive baby skin.  If People magazine likes Pampers and Huggies so much, how come all you copy editors wear cotton next to your genitals?

Catherine Young,
The Friends of Breastfeeding,
RR#3 Clifford, ONtario Canada
tel 519-327-8785

And from Gloria Lemay

Subject: Tribute to Disposable Diaper inventor

Tribute to the inventor of Disposable diapers is the positive proof that we live in an insane world.  I am 51 years old.  When I was a 6 month old my Mom travelled across Canada by train with 3 children under the age of 4 and then by boat to England.   Our bums were
swathed in flanellette and thick felt soakers.  My mom rinsed them out and hung them to dry overnight.  I have enough guilt about how I have abused Mother Earth. . . I thank God I don't have a mountain of poopy plastic and paper goop on my conscience like the babies of today will have.
Gloria Lemay, Midwife, Vancouver, B.C. Canada


Dear Mother Dear,

Why I'm Angry--
In the 1980s, the chance of getting cancer was 1 out of 8000 and now, in the 1990s, the chances  are 1 out of 3. We can stop "giving" ourselves the cancer virus; read on:

Tampons are  dangerous (for reasons other than toxic shock).  Tampons contain two things that are potentially harmful:  Rayon (for absorbency) and dioxin (a chemical used in bleaching).  The tampon industry is convinced  women need bleached white.  They think we view a bleached product as pure and clean. Trouble is,  the dioxin is carcinogenic and toxic to the immune and reproductive system.  It is linked to endometriosis as well as lower sperm counts for men. In September the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported "There  is no set "acceptable" level of exposure to dioxin." Dioxin is cumulative and slow to disintegrate; the real danger comes from repeated contact.

Rayon contributes to the danger of tampons and dioxin because it is a highly absorbent substance and therefore when fibers from the tampons are left behind in the vagina (as usually occurs), it creates a breeding ground for the dioxin, and stays in  longer than it would with just cotton tampons.   This is also the reason why TSS (toxic shock syndrome) occurs.

Sweden, Germany, and British Columbia consumers demanded a switch to a safer, dioxin free tampon, while the U.S. keeps us in danger.

Call Playtex at 1-800-961-9577 and raise hell.

Check the ingredients listed on your shampoo.  If it has Sodium Laureth Sulfate, or SLS, found in most shampoos because it produces a lot of foam but it is very strong and will cause cancer in the long run. Vo5, Palmolive, Paul Mitchell, and the new Hemp shampoo contains it. Colgate toothpaste also contains the same substance to produce  bubbles.

Anonoymous but Angry

Dear Mother Dear,

Tell the world. I had never considered the effect tobacco could have on the wonderful, incredible substance we call prolactin.

I wrote this poem late one evening while my milk was coming in. Whenever I feel let down I become a touch nostalgic. You see, I quit smoking during my pregnancy and started up again when my daughter was 4 months old because of some very serious stress in my life. I continued to breast feed at the advise of a LLL leader, but my breasts never spilled over with milk, and the experience of let down ceased. My daughter is almost two and I finally gathered the nerve to quit smoking two months ago. The first time I felt my milk come in I cried, knowing at last how I'd allowed my weakness to hurt my daughter. To this
day I have never leaked since I started smoking again.
Anyway, enjoy:

Strawberry morning,
The cream running through me
Sweetness personified
Hunger resting on the crook of my arm
All it due time,
My only love
And it flows down,
Mirroring my heart

-Valeria Holtz     [email protected]

Dear Mother Dear,  

Last spring I told you  we were happily awaiting the arrival of our third child. Our 3rd child's birth was to be our second VBAC and first homebirth. Sadly, I must tell you Hannah Elizabeth Parente, was born still on June 15, 1998, after a seemingly normal pregnancy. We have no answers for her death.

Now we're left with a huge whole in our hearts and empty arms for our up-coming move to San Diego, California in January (unless the Navy changes our orders). When Hannah's heart rate suddenly dropped, I was rushed into surgery and had a rather large vertical incision/c-section. My first child's birth by c-section was a low, bikini-cut incision and this new incision site intersects slightly.

If anyone has any insight to share or referrals to good care providers in the San Diego area, please contact me. We want more children, God willing, and would love to hear from others who can offer information about subsequent births-- c-section vs. vaginal birth. I couldn't imagine having another c-section; now I'm not sure what to do because of the scars. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers...
JoAnna Parente
504 Vallejo Circle Goose Creek, SC 29445
843-824-2570  E-mail: [email protected]

Dear Mother Dear:
My neighbor is  38,  and nursed briefly when she was  18; she is adopting a new born baby in  a month and wants to nurse her. Can she?

Dear Maria;

Indeed she can! Many mothers have written their adoption lactation stories in The Compleat Mother,subsequently reprinted in Mother's Favourites and Mother's Best Secrets. It would be helpful to start pumping now, with an electric breastpump, for a few minutes a time several times a day.  Since babies have a strong sucking reflex, (and who hasn't seen the neglected infant working on a playtex pacifier for hours?) they love to suck, even breasts that aren't very full.  Breastfeeding is a supply and demand business: supply the sucking and the milk fills the demand.
Good luck and keep in touch.


Dear Mother Dear;

I want to get my degree in Naturopathic Medicine, and plan to move to Toronto in Sept., 1999 to live there four years.  I would love to link with similar parents who support Compleat Mother ideals. I'm looking for alternative schools for my four year old I sculpt breastfeeding moms in clay and life-size, in paper mache, and offer child care services in Guelph this year. I would love to hear from anyone interested.
Sylvie Ducharme, tel (519) 836-6373
33 North St Unit 16, Guelph, ON N1H 5J6

Dear Mother Dear,

I had great difficulty breastfeeding my first child, who is now a year old. I am expecting in August and desperately want to be able to breastfeed this one. I had to supplement because he was losing weight and obviously not getting enough milk. After a month of this we ended up switching to formula only. (I have a breast reduction surgery, but by month six of my first pregnancy, and month four of this pregnancy, I was able to express from my breasts.)
Concerned Mother

Dear Concerned Mother,

First, be proud. You had breast reduction surgery, got pregnant and had milk. Then you gave birth and produced some, if not enough, milk from your surgically altered breasts. Finally, you became pregnant six months after giving birth. You've had a lot of reproductive successes in a short time.

You want to breastfeed your second child longer than a month, and this is a worth goal. Since your firstborn is a very young toddler, it might be wise to get a breastpump and express some of that milk you have now. Give it to your big baby, by cup, spoon, on cereal, whatever way your generous gift will be accepted. Remember each drop is precious, and will help your child's brain development, physical health and feeling of being loved my mom, especially if he or she is with you when you express.

Do keep up a healthy intake of fluids and nutritious food, while pregnant and after your baby is born. Sleep when baby sleeps, and keep your baby beside you night and day. If baby has eight  cloth  (not paper, because you can't tell when they are wet) diapers a day and is content, you have enough milk. If less, supplementation is important. Donated human milk is better than cow or soybean milk. If you are supplementing, your breastmilk is vital. Breastmilk is like yogurt; put it in a big bowl of warm milk and pretty soon you have a big bowl of yogurt. Baby's tummy is the bowl.

Lucky babies have 10-20 wet cotton diapers a day; strive for that. Offer your breast to baby many times during the day in infancy; your full time job is to mother that baby. Tell us how it goes.


Dear Mother Dear,

Flying Hands Farm Healing Herbal Salve works for all skin problems, and is non-allergenic. It is for all skin problems, and is non-allergenic. It is wonderful for baby, for diaper rash, eczema, open wounds, burns, sunburn, frostbite and skin emergencies. It is a great preventative ointment with a lovely orange fragrance. It is three years on the market, helping keep skin healthy.
Our 15 ml. jar: $8 postpaid, goeas a long way!
Flying Hands Farm
Box 835, Nakusp, British Columbia, V0G IR0   tel. (250) 265-4967

Dear Mother Dear,

The 18th National Homebirth Conference is for anyone interested in childbirth, the future of our children, and the future of our planet. Oct. 30-Nov 1, 1998
Midwifery and Natural Childbirth Centre, Attention: Susanjane 336 Oxford St, Leederville,
West Australia    email:[email protected]

Dear Mother Dear;

I had Baby #1 a year and a half ago, and now trying for Baby #2 a year now. Any suggestions on how to increase fertility? My husband is 15 years older than me, and I'm 34, so I'm under time pressure.
Nancy Knull, Crooked Creek, Alberta

Dear Nancy,
You can increase liklihood of conception by making love in a chilly room, sans blankets. Or you could give your partner an icepack for his balls; chilly sperm is more active sperm. Tight jeans, jockey shorts, hot baths, soft drinks and alcohol are all fertility wet blankets for him, just so you know. But, the miraculous female body is not likely to become pregnant quickly after birthing, because, in her wisdom, she understands what an important job she has done and that she needs to recover. And babies, loving folk though they are, appreciate their own individual three year babyhoods much more than they appreciate a smaller sibling.

Dear Mother Dear;

When should I start drinking raspberry leaf tea? Will it jumpstart my labor? Last time I was two weeks overdue and had to be induced, then had a section . . . This time I don't want to be in stitches when I have my baby; it's not funny.
Betsy Taylor, Birmingham, Alabama

Dear Betsy,
I would strongly suggest you start drinking red raspberry leaf tea now, since it strengthens your baby, you and your uterus, and a healthy team like that will have a quick, efficient labour. But it doesn't jumpstart labour, per se. Lovemaking is the nicest way to jumpstart labour, if you enjoy your partner. Our bodies naturally release the hormone oxytocin during sexual play. Oxytocin is what doctors use to induce labour artificially.

If you swim, you are more likely to go into labour on time.Also if you sing and laugh alot, out loud. This is because these activities release Endorphins, another hormone, which quicken the birth process.

Such things as flourescent lights and questions about your address, health insurance, meeting strangers, and clocking contractions will slow your labour, because such thinking is the domain of the neo-cortex, or new brain, of civilized man.

Darkness, therefore, is the ideal environment for a hormonally driven, quick and easy birth. It is there that the primitive brain is most at home. For instance, you probably prefer love-making in the darkness, without strangers about, and not when thinking about income tax or medical forms. The primitive brain governs our having sex, going poop on the toilet, farting, changing position while we sleep, and giving birth. And none of these functions are painful.

Now try to get romantic, pass wind, or shit in front of an audience, under bright lights, while being charted. Uncomfortable to the point of painful, embarrassing, and I bet it won't happen. That's why births, in such conditions, don't go well. Good for you to look for a different approach.


Dear Mother Dear:

Emma will be two in September and is still breastfed, unvaccinated and sleeps in the family bed. Last year my then newborn nephew was briefly left in my care and began to fuss in hunger. My first impulse was to nurse him, after which he fell peacefully asleep. I look after a baby while her mother works and it seems natural to breastfeed her when she cries. How powerful it feels to nourish and comfort a child this way. Are there any milk banks in the Toronto area? Does anybody still hire out wet nurses? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Christine Solosky, Newmarket, Ontario.

email: [email protected]

Dear Mother Dear,

My firstborn weaned himself at 3 1/2; my twins, at four, still nurse, at least once a week. Even my mother is not aware of this, and I'm a bit ashamed that it's necessary to keep this a secret. I've moved from my hometown, and I'm an only child, so I'd really treasure penpals to share experiences.
Kimberly Young, Box 430006, Pontiac, Michigan 48343-0006

Dear Mother Dear,

I'm 43, and six weeks pregnant, healthy, excited and scared to death. My mother was in labour with me for 46 hours; I heard that nightmarish story often, growing up. I don't think she ever forgave me for fighting for my life, nor did she ever recover from that trauma. I am so afraid. Because I'm 43, I'm told I can't have a midwife. I would so appreciate words of support and encouragement.
L.S., 11950 Tenth Line, RR4, Georgetown, Ontario, Caanada, L7G 4S7

Dear Mother Dear,

I am a devour Roman Catholic, active in the church and desire to promote God's love and Jesus' compassion in our home. I am convinced God sanctions and uplifts attachment parenting; after all our mothering design is perfect. The Pope spoke for breastfeeding, and it was Nuns that originally started the Nestle boycott. I am eager to contact other women who have the same values.
Susan Raponi, 1040 Brimley Rd., Scarborough, Ontario, MIP 3GI

Dear Mother Dear,

I am a home mother. My daughter is wonderfully breastfed without any corporate intermissions to the bathroom, pumping and getting strange looks. But help, I noticed two very small holes on my nursing daughter's teeth. What can I do?
Email; [email protected]
Sonya Wells And Ashley, 3413 Tarragon Dr., Decatur, Georgia 30034

Dear Sonya and Ashley,

First, remember these are baby teeth, first teeth, milk teeth. Whatever you call them, they will fall out and be replaced with permanent teeth. To keep them as healthy as possible, eliminate raisins, fruit leather, and fruit juice from her diet. We won't even mention pop and candy, because nobody named mrsfinetouch would ever give their child such bad gifts. Babies older than six months need good drinking water, several times a day, and more when it's hot. A good snack is old cheddar or monterey jack cheese, which has a bacteria that inhibits tooth decay.

Dear Mother Dear,

Where could I find a breastfeeding  mother doll? I want one for my son, without a bottle-hole mouth and bottle. Most of the children in our circle of friends and family did not nurse/are not nursing, and I want him to grow up thinking breastfeeding is the norm.
audra by email: [email protected]

Dear Audra,

You can get breastfeeding dolls at
Attachments, 1119 W Las Flores Ave., Ridgecrest, California 93555   1-800=873-5023

Dear Mother Dear,

After six miscarriages and mycoplasma treatments, I've been diagnosed with septate uterus, meaning a misshapen womb with a membrane which can be surgically restructured. Following this surger, I'm told a cesarean is 100% required. Is it? I want to hear from moms who dealt with this, midwives or doctors who understand it, and particularaly anyone who had a vaginal delivery following a metroplasty.
Dorothy Hrischenko, 1 Orley Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M4C 2B8

Dear Mother Dear,

A still-nursing two-year-old recently developed asthma, doctors say from an infection as an infant. The mom is looking for natural remedies and preventative measures.
Jennifer Conklin, 1-4743 Marine Ave.  Powell River, British Columbia V8A 21.2

Dear Mother Dear,

I had great difficulty breastfeeding my first child, who is now a year old. I am expecting in August and desperately want to be able to breastfeed this one. I had to supplement because he was losing weight and obviously not getting enough milk. After a month of this we ended up switching to formula only. (I have a breast reduction surgery, but by month six of my first pregnancy, and month four of this pregnancy, I was able to express from my breasts.)
Concerned Mother

Dear Mother Dear,

Readers who have had bad hospital experiences, please write the hospital administrator giving details of mistreatment. Problems proliferate because we accpet mistreatment without comment, because of stress, illness and time constraints. Make your voice heard after the fact, if not for your own sake, then for the next lady. My homebirth did not work out, and I had to go to the hospital for an emergency C-section. I suffered a series of abuses and mistreatments, which I documented in a letter. I received an apology and an assurance of follow-up that will help another mother.
Christiine Hastie, St Bruno, Quebec

Dear Mother Dear,

I'm a stay-at-home mother of a son, 10, and daughter, 18 months, unvaccinated, and cloth diapered. Pen pals wanted.
Jeannine Hoey, 1153 1st St E., Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, S6V0C9


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Home Sweet Homebirth (Video)

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Midwives have existed since the beginning of humanity. Why, then, is it so difficult to find a midwife in America?  What events occured between the mid 1800's until the present day which nearly made midwifery extinct in America? And why are more families now looking into homebirth as a refuge from hospital care?
Home Sweet Homebirth provides the answers. Interviews with noted doctors, historians and midwives. Very interesting and informative video.