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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 some answers.






Off the Line- ARCHIVE


MARCH 24, 01:27 EST
Study: Solvents Cause Birth Defects
Associated Press Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — Women exposed to certain solvents on the job are 13 times more likely to give birth to a baby with major defects, researchers reported today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers also found an increased risk of miscarriages, low birth weight, fetal distress and prematurity.

The study looked at what are called organic solvents, which are used in many industries and trades. The chemicals — found in paints, pesticides, adhesives, lacquers and cleaning agents — have been linked to a host of physical and mental problems in adults.

Problems among women exposed to organic solvents were most often found among those who worked in factories, as laboratory technicians, in graphic design or printing and as chemists, according to the study.

The study was led by Dr. Sohail Khattak of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Dr. Richard Schwarz, obstetrics consultant to the March of Dimes, said the study was too small to draw definite conclusions about the risk of birth defects. He also questioned its methods because the study group was selected from women who had called with concerns about pregnancy. But he said: ``It's a red-flag kind of study. We shouldn't ignore it. I suggest it requires a further look.''

The researchers looked at 125 pregnant women who had been exposed to organic solvents during their first trimester between 1987 and 1996. They were compared with 125 pregnant women not exposed to solvents.

Of the group exposed to solvents on the job, 113 gave birth, eight suffered miscarriages and four had abortions. There were 13 major birth defects and five minor ones among their babies; there were one major malformation and one minor one among the women not exposed to solvents. Nine of the exposed group had premature births, compared with three in the control group. Eight babies in the exposed group were underweight, compared with three in the control group.

Sixteen women who were exposed for more than seven months had labor with fetal distress that required resuscitation, while only one member of the control group did.Khattak said such chemical exposure is avoidable. ``If proper precautions are taken and the guidelines for proper handling followed, the risk is no greater than that for the general population,'' he said.

Khattak said his was the first study to follow women through their pregnancies rather than look at medical records.That, he said, explains why its findings were so clear while previous studies on solvents and birth defects have been inconclusive.

Associated Press

Breastfeeder Pinched!

Heather Walsh was nursing her four-month old baby
in a restaurant in Laramie, Wyoming when  owner
Theresa Frausto told her to do it in the bathroom. 
When Mother Walsh decided to leave the restaurant,
she told the owner she would tell the world  Frausto's
restaurant wasn't breastfeeding friendly. The owner
pinched her, and was subsequently fined $170
for battery.
                  Sheila Herman, Bismarck, North Dakota

British Medical Journal 1999;318:417 ( 13 February )

Advertising Standards Authority
finds against Nestl�

Annabel Ferriman , BMJ

The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against Nestl� over its marketing of infant formula in developing countries. The complaint concerned a 1996 newspaper advertisement in which Nestl� claimed that it had marketed infant formula "ethically and responsibly" both before and since the introduction of the international code of marketing of breast milk substitutes in 1981.

The standards authority's ruling, which has not been officially released pending an appeal by Nestl�, found that Nestl� could not adequately support its claim and that the advertisement "went too far." The ruling was due to be published in the authority's monthly report for February, but it has been held back because Nestl� has lodged an appeal against the adjudication.

The appeal application is being considered by the chairman of the authority, Lord Rodgers of Quarry Bank. The original complaint against Nestl� was brought by Baby Milk Action, a non-profit organisation in Cambridge, which campaigns against inappropriate infant feeding.

Baby Milk Action objected to an advertisement in the Oxford Independent, a student newspaper, that was published in 1996. The standards authority examined submissions from Baby Milk Action and Nestl� for nearly two years.

The authority's council discussed the complaint at their meeting in January and, "after extensive discussion and consideration," prepared its adjudication, which was due to be published on 10 February.

Mike Brady, campaign coordinator for Baby Milk Action, said: "We first received a draft ruling on our complaints from the [standards authority] in August 1997, five months after we complained. Nestl�'s challenges delayed the case progressing to the [authority's] council until December 1998. The council finally made its ruling in January 1999. How long will Nestl�'s appeal keep it from the public?"

A spokesman for the advertising authority said: "We reached a decision in January; then Nestl� appealed. It is standard practice if we receive an appeal not to publish the adjudication."

A spokeswoman for Nestl� said: "We don't think it is appropriate to comment as the matter is under appeal."

Whooping  Cough or Asthma?

When the rising rate of asthma in childhood is a major
pediatric problem,  we must keep in mind long term
consequences of early vaccinations and the interaction of many vaccinations.

Esther Culpin studied 446 children in Christchurch, New Zealand, who had all been breastfed exclusively for six months and weaned  after one year.  Of them, 243 had been immunized  against whooping cough (pertussis) and 203 had not  been immunized.

Of the immunized group, 26 (10.97%) had been diagnosed as asthmatic.  Of the non-immunized group,  only 4 (1.97%) had asthma.

Another study was done with 274 pupils of the British  Rudolf  Steiner Schools.   There were 125 immunized versus 149 non-innunized students. Of those vaccinated against whooping cough, 23 (18.4%) were asthmatic.  Among the non-immunized kids, only 6 (4.02%) were asthmatic.

Michel Odent, Primal Health Research,
59 Roderick Rd., London, UK  NW3 2NP

Hepatitis B vaccine: Is it worth the risk?

Interestingly enough, one of the most prestigious medical
schools, STANFORD UNIVERSITY,is NOT in agreement about vaccinating newborns against Hepatitis B.  In his teaching module, Eliseo Perez-Stable, MD, says the following:

"ACIP, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Practice recommend universal immunization of all infants against HBV, regardless of risk.   Although this policy is moderately economically
attractive, many have criticized the unneeded vaccinations and the added pain of more "baby shots".

Bloom and colleagues completed a cost effectiveness study on HBV vaccination strategies and concluded that the
strategy with the lowest cost per year of life saved was:

l) Screen all pregnant women

2) If HBsAg positive (if mother has Hepatitis B): vaccinate infant against HBV and administer HBIG.

3) vaccinate all children at l0 years and re-vaccinate with a booster l0 years later.

I urge you to send this information on to others.  I am committed to stopping the routine vaccine of newborns throughout N. America. Babies' immune systems are not developed enough to take this vaccine.  I fear that this is a huge money-making scheme on the part of the pharmaceutical companies and that it is going to have huge health costs for the general public.

Contact at least one public health official in your community today and let them know there is a campaign to end the vaccination of babies against Hepatitis B.  When the people lead, the leaders follow.

Yours in partnership to save one child's life,

Gloria Lemay, Private Birth Attendant, Mother, Grandmother, Uppity Woman
Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Notice of Ontario Court (General Division)

Catherine Young ,
The Compleat Mother Magazine
and The Friends of Breastfeeding Society
Mead Johnson Nutritionals, makers of
Enfalac formula
at Frontenac County Court House
5 Court St., Kingston, Ontario
at 9:30am,
April 19, 1999

De Allen Lalonde, of Mead Johnson said
Catherine Young was "completely innacurate"
in publishing the statement that pregnant women
were given formula  tins, in violation of the WHO Code,
at a Baby Steps Seminar,
by Mead Johnson employees. 

Any women who received formula, coupons, pacifiers,
or formula flyers at a Baby Steps Seminar are asked
to contact Catherine Young.

email: [email protected]
tel. 519-327-8785
post:  RR3 Clifford Ontario Canada N0G 1M0

BELKIN REPORT Belkin Limited All Rights Reserved November 8, 1998

Mindless Vaccination Bureaucracy

My daughter Lyla Rose Belkin died on September 16, 1998 at the age of five weeks, shortly after receiving a Hepatitis B vaccine booster shot. The following comments are intended to be a heads up to parents and potential parents about the risks of the Hepatitis B vaccine (HBV), and a firsthand report questioning the scientific legitimacy of the vaccine industry, which provides $800 million of annual revenue to Merck – the company which makes the Hepatitis B vaccine distributed in the US.

Lyla Rose Belkin was a lively, alert five-week-old baby when I last held her in my arms. Little did I imagine as she gazed intently into my eyes with all the innocence and wonder of a newborn child that she would die that night. She was never ill before receiving the Hepatitis B shot that afternoon. At her final feeding that night, she was agitated and feisty -- and then fell asleep and didn’t wake up. The autopsy ruled out choking. A swollen brain was the only abnormal finding. Most doctors I spoke to at the time said it must have been Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), a catch-all diagnosis for unexplainable childhood mortality. The first instinctive reaction in such a situation is for parents to blame themselves. For many weeks, my wife and I agonized over what we might have missed or could have done differently. Meanwhile, the logical part of my brain kept returning to the obvious medical event that preceded Lyla’s death -- and that internal voice kept asking the question could the Hepatitis B Vaccine that Lyla received that afternoon have killed her? Most doctors I asked scoffed at that notion and said the vaccine was perfectly safe. But I began to search around on the Internet and Medline and discovered disturbing evidence of adverse reactions to this vaccine.

In the US, the Hepatitis B disease mainly infects intravenous drug users, homosexuals, prostitutes and promiscuous heterosexuals. The disease is transmitted by blood, through sex or dirty needles. How could a newborn baby possibly get Hepatitis B if the mother was screened and tested negative, as my wife was? It is almost impossible. Unless a newborn child is having unprotected sex or sharing needles with an infected junkie, it is extremely unlikely to get the Hepatitis B disease. So then why are most US babies inoculated at birth by their Hospital or Pediatrician with the Hepatitis B vaccine? That is a question every parent should ask before getting this vaccination. I’ve discovered the answer is -- an unrestrained health bureaucracy decided it couldn’t get junkies, gays, prostitutes and promiscuous heterosexuals to take the Hepatitis B vaccine -- so they mandated that all babies must be vaccinated at birth. Drug companies such as Merck (reaching for new markets) were instrumental in pushing government scientists to adopt an at-birth Hepatitis B vaccination policy, although the vaccine was never tested in newborns and no vaccines had ever been mandated at birth before. It is widely recognized that newborns have under-developed immune systems, which can be overwhelmed or shocked.

My search for answers about a link between the Hepatitis B vaccine and my daughter’s death led me to a Hepatitis B vaccine workshop on October 26th at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Institute of Medicine entitled Vaccine Safety Forum -- Neonatal Deaths. The NAS was concerned enough about reports of Hepatitis B vaccine-related infant deaths and adverse reactions to hold a special workshop on the subject. Doctors and scientists flew in from all over the US and Europe to attend. I sat in the back and soaked it all up. It was a real eye-opener. There were basically four constituencies represented: 1) Serious scientists observing or presenting research studies. 2) Center for Disease Control (CDC) pseudo-statisticians and FDA officials. 3) Merck and other corporate drug officials and 4) Parents of vaccine-related dead or severely injured children.

The presentations included a study of Animal Models of Newborn Response to Antigen Presentation, which showed that newborn immune systems were undeveloped and strikingly different than those of adults. The message I received was that immune response in a newborn to shocks such as being injected with a vaccine was potentially unknown, since newborn T-Cells have a radically different behavior then those of adults. Another presentation was Strategies for Evaluating the Biologic Mechanisms of Hepatitis B Vaccine Reactions, in which vaccine researcher Dr. Bonnie Dunbar of Baylor College related numerous Hepatitis B-vaccine related cases of nervous system damage in adults, such as Multiple Sclerosis, seizures and blindness. On the more positive side, the FDA presented a seemingly reassuring study from its Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System (VAERS), which showed only 19 neonatal deaths reported since 1991 related to Hepatitis B vaccination.

I found the VAERS study data to be completely deceptive. Since I was sitting in that room and my daughter had died during their sample period and wasn’t counted -- I wondered why. In fact, the New York City Coroner called VAERS to report my daughter’s Hepatitis B Vaccine-related
infant death and no one ever returned their call! What kind of reporting system doesn’t return the calls of the NY City Medical Examiner -- and how many other reports were ignored? This is supposed to be the emergency 911 number for disasters such as bad lots of vaccine that could poison thousands of other babies. With the personal knowledge that the VAERS data was completely flawed, I sat in that room and listened in amazement as CDC officials and Dr. Sharrar of Merck (their head of vaccine safety) made disparaging comments about any possible risk from Hepatitis B vaccination, despite the evidence just presented by impartial scientists.

I studied statistics and econometrics at UC Berkeley and have developed innovative methods of applying probability to financial and economic data in my consulting business with some of the largest financial institutions in the world. That training and experience qualifies me to criticize the statistical legitimacy of the VAERS study, on which Sharrar of Merck and the CDC pseudo-scientists based their pro-vaccination stance. Their comments were scathingly dismissive of any
possible risk from the vaccine. But that VAERS study is not a legitimate sample of a data set from which any conclusions about the larger population can be made. VAERS doesn’t return coroner’s calls, leading to the suspicion that deaths and adverse effects from vaccination are woefully under-reported. To conclude that the Hepatitis B vaccine is safe because VAERS only reports 19 deaths is scientific fraud. In fact, I obtained the raw data from the VAERS system and found 54 reported SIDS cases after Hepatitis B vaccination in just the 18 months from January 1996 -- May 1997. That’s almost 15 times as many deaths per year as their own flawed study reported. There are 17,000 reports of adverse reactions to Hepatitis B vaccine in the 1996-97 raw data. Clearly something is fishy about VAERS. VAERS was set up by the FDA and CDC and is supposed to be monitored by vaccine manufacturers. If there are 17,000 reports and VAERS doesn’t even return the NY Medical Examiner’s call, how many other deaths and injuries go unreported? I came away from that NAS workshop with the distinct impression that Merck
and the CDC didn’t know and didn’t really want to know how many babies are being killed or injured by Hepatitis B vaccination. This is a bureaucratic vaccination program that is on auto-pilot flying into a mountain. The CDC bureaucrats have a vested interest in the status quo. If there were 17,000 reports of a dangerous disease in a 18 month period, the CDC would be all over the case. But when there are 17,000 reports of adverse reactions to a vaccine the CDC advocates for "public health" -- the CDC dismisses it as a coincidence. Merck makes $50 a shot from the three-shot series. Where do you think the allegiance of their vaccine safety official Dr. Sharrar lies? He was by far the most arrogant character at the workshop. Merck has sales of upwards of $800 million a year from vaccines.

Vaccination can be a lifesaver if an epidemic is raging, but in this case the risk of vaccination outweighs the risk of infants getting the disease. Surely, the hepatitis B vaccine doesn’t injure every child that gets it, but in some unknown number of cases, it appears to be a death sentence and/or a nervous system toxin to innocent children who are at no risk of getting the disease the vaccine is supposed to protect against. My observations of Merck and CDC scientists at the Vaccine Safety Forum left me with the distinct impression that they had absolutely no idea which babies might be killed or injured by this vaccine. Furthermore, they used obviously flawed scientific data to arrogantly steamroller any opposition to their power. Parents should be aware that the Hepatitis B vaccine is not administered for the well-being of their child. Rather, it is delivered by the long arm of some incompetent and mindless bureaucracy in the name of stamping out a disease most babies can’t possibly get. The Drug Company/CDC/FDA alliance has really pulled the wool over the medical profession’s eyes with the Hepatitis B vaccine. The American Pediatric Society bought the alliance’s sales pitch and now recommends that all infants get this vaccine at birth. So now the first thing most babies get in life is a shock to their immune system from a vaccine against a non-existent risk of contracting Hepatitis B. Clearly, the interests of newborn babies were not represented on the original panel that created this vaccination policy in 1991. This vaccine has no benefit whatsoever for newborns, in fact it wears off and they will need booster shots later in life when they actually could get exposed to the disease.

This is simply a case of ravenous corporate greed and mindless bureaucracy teaming up to overwhelm common sense. Merck in particular has gone way over the edge with this vaccination program. Ignoring and suppressing reports of adverse reactions to their profitable Hepatitis B vaccine verges on criminal conduct. A major media organization will soon present an investigative report on the issues discussed here. Nothing will ever bring my lovely daughter Lyla back, but other needless deaths and injuries can be prevented if this senseless Hepatitis B newborn vaccination program is halted. Please contact Belkin Limited in New York City if you are aware of other infant deaths that may be related to the Hepatitis B vaccine.

Michael Belkin can be reached at [email protected]

Diapers: The Bottom Line on Pollution

The disposable diaper accounts for 40% of landfill waste and each child who is diapered in this manner will contribute one ton of waste in his or her first two years in diapers. Although it is technically illegal to dump untreated human waste into a landfill, this is done regularly with Pampers and Huggies.  Cloth diapers are superior for hygiene (less diaper rash) and as an indicator that your child is well hydrated (which is not easy to tell with newborns in plastic diapers.

The hyperbole and rhetoric which espouses the use of disposables and tries to indicate the 'environmental damage' of cloth diapers (like water use in a washing machine) means nothing when you consider: "'What type of diaper would you choose if you had to keep the garbage you output, in your livingroom?" I guarantee that under-enlightened, convenience-loving Americans and Canadians would choose cloth diapers hands down. And did you know a cloth diapered baby will potty train up to six months earlier than a paper diapered one? And wet diapers hung on a clothes horse will
eliminate the need for a vaporiser in dry weather?
Nicole Miller, B.A. B.Ed. Toronto, Ontario
(With two babes, 2.5 and 1.5 both lovingly raised in cloth diapers).
[email protected]

Diet and Menstrual Pain

Doctors at Georgetown University Medical Center have completed a groundbreaking study using foods to heal menstrual pain and premenstrual syndrome. Thirty-seven women have completed the trial.

Previous research has shown that greatly reducing the fat content of the diet lowers the amount of estrogen in the blood by 30 percent or more, which should reduce the changes in the uterus over a woman's monthly cycle. In the new study, each woman followed a very-low-fat, vegetarian diet for two
months, and her pain and other symptoms were compared to their pre-study levels. A separate part of the study tested the effects of a nutritional supplement.

About two-thirds of the participants benefited from the diet change. For about one in three, the pain reduction was profound.

"Up until now, doctors have been treating menstrual pain with drugs such as ibuprofen and birth control pills to manage premenstrual and menstrual pain," said principal investigator Neal D. Barnard, M.D. "Nutrition gives many women a much better option."

The participants met as a group once a week during the study to learn how nutrition affects hormones and pain and how to follow a vegetarian diet at home, work, and restaurants.

Research dietitian Patricia Bertron, R.D., says, "The diet change felt like a major one for the first week or two. But as the participants started to feel better, lose weight, and find their pain diminishing, they came to embrace the new way of eating."

Indeed, many participants refused to give up the diet entirely when the study design required them to move on to the supplement phase.

(From Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine)

Banning the Promotion of Formula

Federal legislation to curb industry marketing practices in the sale of infant formula and to enforce a World Health Assembly code banning the promotion of formula was called for by a Cornell University physician and nutritional scientist. Mothers who don't breastfeed, he claims, endanger their babies' health.

Michael Latham, M.D., professor of international nutrition at Cornell, said he is urging Washington to act to curb what he called "aggressive" marketing and promotion of infant formula in the United States and abroad, which, he said, "violates a basic human right of mothers and babies to give and
receive breastmilk. This violation, which is largely ignored, is harmful to the health, nutritional status, and even the survival of infants all over the world," he said at the National Breastfeeding Policy Conference, sponsored by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, held
last month in Washington, D.C.

"The negative impact that the marketing and promotion of infant formula has on the health of babies in this country can be compared to the deleterious effects that cigarette marketing has on the health of teens and adults." Latham noted that in the 1970s a public outcry over the role of industry in the decline of breastfeeding, accompanied by an increased understanding of the harmful effects of bottle-feeding in developing countries, resulted in the World Health Assembly issuing the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes in 1981. The code prohibits advertising to the
public, free samples to mothers, gifts or personal samples to health workers, and images idealizing formula feeding.

The code, which can be enforced only by national governments, is intended not to restrict women's choice, Latham said, but to enable them to make a fully informed choice, free of industry pressure. Only one country, the
United States, voted against the code. Although Washington has since supported the code at the international level, Latham said that the government has done little to support national breastfeeding initiatives or to enforce the code nationally by passing legislation to restrict certain marketing practices and to close loopholes.The negative health effects of not breastfeeding are finally being recognized, Latham said.

The conference sought to establish, for the first time, a national breastfeeding policy. Diane Wiessinger, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and who co-authored the presentation, reported that about 60 percent of U.S. mothers breastfeed their babies at birth, but that
only about 20 percent of infants still receive any breastmilk by six months of age.

"Although breastfeeding has increased in recent years, the gap between scientific and public understanding of the risks associated with not breedfeeding is still very large," she said. According to Latham, widely documented risks of not breastfeeding include reduced IQ, compromised
psychological development, greater rates of ear infections, diarrhea, obesity, allergies and even certain life-threatening illnesses and diseases.
The influential American Academy of Pediatrics published a policy statement in December of 1997 strongly supporting breastfeeding, Latham said.

"Yet, infant formula manufacturers spend billions of dollars marketing to health care professionals because each mother who bottle-feeds represents $800 in sales," he added. "As a result of aggressive and pervasive marketing of infant formula, we have lost a breastfeeding culture in this country in
just a few generations.

Latham also went on to criticize the medical profession, which may unknowingly helped the formula industry by advocating to foster bottle-feeding as superior to breastfeeding.

"The health profession has worked, largely unwittingly, along with the formula industry to render breastfeeding both superior and too serious -- and thus to make it seem unattainable and undesirable. Instead, we need to promote breastfeeding as normal and healthful for mother and baby and as an
expected part of the everyday life of the average human being. Not to do so is hazardous to the health and well-being of the nation's infants," added Latham, who also offered numerous recommendations to promote breastfeeding.

(From National Breastfeeding Policy Conference)

Catherine vs. the Post Office

Below are a number of correspondences between Cahterine Young and the powers-that-be in the Canadian Post Office.

Initial Email from Catherine

Canada Post email:

Hello President of Canada Post George Clermont and anyone else concerned:

Canada Post recently produced a 90 cent stamp in the Art Canada series, of the painting byBruno Bobak, called Farmer's Family.

Unfortunately, the farmer is holding a baby bottle.

Canada has adopted the World Health Organization Code,
and section 3 states clearly: no bottles or pacifiers are
to be advertised to pregnant and lactating women.

The 90 cent stamp violates the WHO code.
and must be removed  from public sale at once.

Canada Post Chairman and CEO Georges Clermont:
Canada Post email:
[email protected]
[email protected]

Catherine Young,
The Friends of Breastfeeding Society,
RR#3 Clifford, Ontario, Canada, N0G 1M0
email: [email protected]
tel 519-327-8785

Reply from Jim Philips

From: stampmk[SMTP:[email protected]]
Sent: November 5, 1998 2:57 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Bruno Bobak stamp

Attention Catherine Young:

Dear Catherine:  I have recieved your message to the President of Canada Post regarding the bottle on the Masterpieces of Canadian Art stamp featuring a painting by Bruno Bobak.

Stamps are not advertisments!  They are a means paying postage for the service of delivering mail.  Commemorative stamps, such as the one in question commemorate Candian history, culture, etc and art.  Bruno Bobak's The Farmers Family is a Canadian work of art that just happens to have a bottle within the painting and thus the stamp.

The bottle is not a baby bottle, or at least not a human baby bottle, but rather a bottle for the pig, also on the stamp.  The baby is in fact breast feeding and the male figure is holding a bottle to feed the pig. As far as we know the World Health Organation does not cover bottle feeding and pigs.


Jim Phillips
Manager, Stamp Marketing
Canada Post Corporation

Answer from Catherine

Dear Jim:

The 90 cent stamp that is so offensive shows no pig.There is a man, a woman, a baby, and a baby bottle held by theman, against the woman's neck.

For whatever inane reason you chose this piece to commemorate art, you are indeed violating the WHO code, and this stamp must be retracted.

I grew up on a pig farm, and occassionally we did feed orphan pigs artificially. I assure you, in those instances we used a wine bottle and a long rubber teat.  We never used a baby bottle, which would never satisfy a beast.

Please read following email, and don't treat us like fools.

Catherine Young,
Chair, The Friends of Breastfeeding Society
RR#3 Clifford, Ontario, Canada N0G 1M0
tel. 519-327-8785

Rebuttal Letter  from the Director, Stamp Products, Canada Post

To The Friends of Breastfeeding Society:

Re: concerns about the "Farmer's Family" stamp by Bruno Bobak. The image depicted on the stamp shows the mother preparing to breastfeed her child, while the farmer is preparing to feed the baby pig from the bottle. The artist  Mr. Bobak, explained  the bottle is not intended for the human baby. The Masterpiece of Canadian Art stamp is, in fact, supportive of your organization's point of view.
Micheline Montreuil
Director, Stamp Products, Canada Post
[email protected]
Georges Clermont, Director, Canada Post
[email protected]

Catherine's rebuttal to the rebuttal

Dear Micheline, Bruno, and Georges Clermont,
Director of Canada Post:

Next time, get your art from a mother.  The only nipple visible on this stamp, is the one on the dreaded baby bottle, in the farmer's hand under his partner's ear. ( Orphan piglets fed artificially are usually given a wine bottle with a rubber teat, to satisfy their appetite.)  By showing the baby bottle so prominently, and having the recipient pig hidden, your message, Canada Post, violates The World Health Organization Code of marketing of breastmilk substitutes, which Canada has endorsed:

1. Aim: The Code aims to protect and promote breastfeeding.
2. Scope: The Code applies to breastmilk substitutes when marketed or otherwise represented.
3.Advertising: No advertising of formula, bottles, or pacifiers to the public. No promotion of products, no product displays.
4. Information: Information and materials must explain the benefits of breastfeeding, the health hazards associated with bottle feeding and costs of using infant formula.

Please remove the offending stamp from tax payer funded postal facilites. Do it because you now know that when babies are breastfed one year, their mommy's are 40% less likely to be victims of breastcancer, and in Canada, one in eight women get that bad news.  ( Those that breastfeed two or more years are 66% less likely to call breastcancer their illness.) 

And do it because babies who are breastfed one year are going to grow up to be 8.3 IQ points higher than if they were fed another substance in Bruno Bobak's bottle. Or do it to protect future babies from cancer, diabetes, diarrhea, ear infection, emotional neglect, sudden infant death syndrome, urinary tract infection, tonsillectomy, appendicitis, wheeze, colic, allergies, coeliac, hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, ulcerative colitis, crohn's disease, auto-immune diseases of the thyroid, respiratory tract illness, lymphoid hypertrophy, chronic liver disease, high cholestrol, bacteremia, meningitis and the usually fatal bottlefeeding diseaese: necrotizing enterocolitis.

Or do it because breastfeeding moms will be protected from ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and obesity.

Do it, because Canada Post has the capability to reach coast to coast, to Grandparents and schoolchildren and pregnant parents and yep, breastfeeding moms. Do it, because we're living in tough times, when our medical system is on the verge of collapse and although we never could afford the sicknesses associated with Bruno's bottles, we now, more than ever, cannot. Do it because our family support systems caved even before our hospitals, and young parents need direction to parent well.

Do it, Canada Post, because you care.

Catherine Young, Chairmother,
The Friends of Breastfeeding Society
RR#3 Clifford, Ontario, Canada, N0G 1M0

Sesame Goof

On Oct 7th, at 11am, Sesame Park aired a song that goes like this: "You have to eat, to grow up big and healthy" and showed a three month old baby bottlefeeding.

That is a violation of the World Health Code which Canada
adopted: point three__no advertising of breastmilk substitutes,
bottles, pacifiers or baby medicine to pregnant and lacatating

The aim of the code is "To protect and promote breastfeeding
by ensuring appropriate marketing and distribution of breastmilk

Help CBC  rethink their typical bottle-feeding culture mindset that
lumps babies and bottles together and stop them from directing that particular twist toward young minds.Please send them an email with your view on how babies are fed.
CBC's email is : [email protected]

Catherine Young,
The Friends of Breastfeeding Society
Editor, The Compleat Mother Magazine


Circumcision Motovation

When Marilyn Milos of NOCIRC asked Dr. Thomas Wiswell, one of the U.S.'s major advocates of circumcision, what it would take to change his mind about circumcision he said, "A million dollars!"

When she asked a retired pediatrician, who claims to have done 10,000 circumcisions, if he has changed his mind, he said, "If I changed my mind, I would have to put a gun to my head!"

For a basic information packet on circumcision/genital integrity, send $5 and a SASE to: NOCIRC, P.O. Box 2512, San Anselmo, CA 94979-2512

Parents Sue Over Needles
Herald Sun

Thousands of Australian parents are considering suing the Federal Government and state governments for vaccinating children without their consent.  About 50 have already started legal action, including some parents whose children had adcverse reactions to vaccines.  Parents claimed they were not informed of the risks.

Compensation could run to tens of thousands of dollars for individual cases, predicted Darwin litigation lawyer, Jonathan Nolan.  Mr. Nolan, who claims to be the only lawyer in Australia acting for parents on this issue, said he had been swamped with calls since the Federal Government's vaccination drive began six months ago.

He said families from Victoria, Sourth Australia, the Northern Territory, New South Wales and Tasmania had started legal action, with the first case sue in the Federal Court on October 2.
Several families, including one from Melbourne, claim their children became autistic and two families claim their children were hospitalised for a week after being vaccinated.

Other said their children had been jabbed with re-used needles, risking blood-borne infections or that their attempts to raise their child naturally had been thwarted.

"There are some children it is very inappropriate to vaccinate" said Mr Nolan. Most (parents) are not so concerned about the money, they just want to warn other parents."

The Federal Government's vaccination drive includes a bid to vaccinate 1.75 million children against measles, mumps and rubella by November. resident of the Australian Vaccination Network, Meryl Dorey, said parents were being bullied into agreeing to the injection without being told all the facts.

'One teacher asked a child why his father did not care that he was going to die from measles because he was not vaccinated," she said. "Our phones have been running hot with calls from parents whose children are being harassed and discriminated against in school."

The AVN is taking the Federal Government to the Human Rights Commossion for alleged human rights breaches against parents and children during the vaccination process. A spokesman for federal Health Minister, Michael Wooldridge, declined to

Meryl W. Dorey,
The Australian Vaccination Network, Inc.
PO Box 177 02 6687 1699 Phone
Bangalow NSW 2479 02 6687 2032 FAX
[email protected]

Any information obtained here is not to be construed as medical OR legal advice. The decision to vaccinate and how you implement that decision is yours and yours alone.

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a new bill being introduced next week, and HR 3531, the New Mothers' Breastfeeding Promotion and Protection Act

Here is an update on what's happening with the legislation:

Many of you have asked why the federal government cannot pass laws ensuring the right of women to breastfeed in public (as several states have done).  The response until now has been that the federal government doesn't have jurisdiction over this area.   However, we have been hearing about cases in which women were asked (or told) to stop breastfeeding while they were on federal property.  One instance involved a federal park, another involved the U.S. Capitol building, and yet another involved the Holocaust Museum!  In light of these events, Rep. Maloney has written legislation to ensure a woman's right to breastfeed in public on any federal property (where she and her child have the right to be).  The tentatively-titled "Right to Breastfeed Act" does not yet have a number.  It will get a number assigned when the bill gets introduced.  To gain publicity for this bill, on Friday, September 25, 1998, at 12:00 noon, we will host the "Great American Milk-In" where we'll invite you to come and show your support for breastfeeding moms.
Everyone is invited to join us on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building. (Come to the South East corner of the building, as there are steps all around the Capitol) The moms who were asked to stop breastfeeding on federal property will tell their stories.  Media is expected, so a good showing will make a big difference!  Children of all ages, posters, banners, signs, etc., and, of course, breastfeeding moms are all welcome.
2.  COPIES OF H.R. 3531
For a copy of the bill, as well as other information about this issue (statistics, bill summary, press release), please visit our website at:    Much more information will soon be posted on our website, including a list of endorsements, international statistics, a list of state laws on breastfeeding, more detailed summaries of the legislation, and more.  Please be patient.  We'll get the information updated as soon as possible.  In the meantime, we hope to see you on Friday, September 25 at 12 noon for the Great American
Milk-In at the U.S. Capitol.

Hospitals are Dangerous

Dissecting the time patients stay in hospital
saves money and reduces the risk of patients
developing infections by as much as 200 per
cent, a ground-breaking Australian study shows.

Surgery patients who spent an average of 3.2
days at Sydney's Prince of Wales Hospital had
a 16.3 per cent incidence of wound infections.
It was cut to 5.2 per cent for patients who spent
an average of 2.2 days.

"Hospitals are dangerous places," Dr Gideon
Caplan, author of the study, said on labour
day. "They collect the worst bacteria."
                     The Medical Journal of Australia

Cigarette, Formula Ads The Same

Advertising formula is not the same as advertising
diapers or playpens.  It is akin to advertising
cigarettes, banned in Canada and many countries.

Because cigarettes are bad for your health (like
formula); because they are addictive (like formula);
because they are targetted towards vulnerable
people (tobacco towards  children, formula towards
new mothers who are trying to do the best for  their
babies, and infants who cannot defend themselves
from the advertising).

The fact that many mothers use formula is beside
the point.  Many use formula, often, because
they already get too much advertising from too
many people, including health professionals.
Advertising of formula performs no useful function
for the target, as basically all formulas are the same.
For particular health concerns, it should be a  health
professional who should be looking at options with
the parents.

The WHO code bans advertising of formula to the lay
public.  It does not  seem to be generally known that
the formula companies were involved the development
of the WHO code.  They thus agreed that direct
advertising was  unethical.  All countries of the world
also agreed that it was  unethical.  Just because they
don't do anything about it (with few exceptions), does
not make that advertising ethical.

Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC
newman <[email protected]>

Day Care Rotavirus Poop

Daycare enrolled babies often transmit rotavirus to each other "via fecal-oral contact" says William Sears, MD, contributing editor of Parenting, in the July issue. Peak season of the poop-to-mouth illness is November through April, though anytime can be rotavirus time for feces-sharing tots. Diarhea, vomiting, and fever are the symptoms, and usually clear up in five days. Some infected children become dehydrated; 20 died last year in the US.

Breastfeeding mothers who use daycare needn't worry: a protein in breastmilk can inhibit the virus. For those who aren't breastfeeding and don't think eliminating other baby's fecal viruses from their own baby's diet is appropriate, the Rotasheild vaccination will soon be available to inject into the baby at two, four and six months age. Unfortunately, only 50 percent of injected babies will have Rotovirus immunity. Furthermore, it is unclear whether children older than six months will benefit at all, since they should have developed a natural immunity by then.

In the meantime, Parenting advises parents to bleach the change table three times a week and make sure the daycare of choice has a hand-washing policy to lessen the chance of another daycare baby's poo being your baby's first solids.

(Ed. Or breastfeed baby at home and enroll a Rotashield injected Dr Sears in the daycare centre with a disinfected copy of Parenting, after washing his hands.)  

Danger : Groceries

Over one million acres of genetically-engineered soybean crops are now being harvested, posing a serious health risk to consumers. Gene tinkering allows the crop to be doused with additional toxic chemicals. A worldwide boycott of biotech which contain genetically-altered soybeans or corn has been called for:

Coca Cola
Similac Formula
Draft Salad Dressings
Quaker Oats Corn Meal
Green Giant Harvest Burgers
Nestle Crunch
McDonalds French Fries
Fleishmann's margarine
Karo Corn Syrup

Alive Magazine, #170

Breastfeeding and Brains

by John Horwood and David M. Fergusson

Christchurch School of Medicine, Christchurch, New Zealand

A study of 1000 New Zealand children over an 18 year course Method.  During the period from birth to age 1 year, information was collected on maternal breastfeeding practices. Over the period from 8 to 18 years, sample members were assessed on a range of measures of cognitive and academic outcomes including measures of child intelligence quotient; teacher ratings of school performance; standardized tests of reading comprehension, mathematics, and scholastic ability; pass rates in school leaving examinations; and leaving school without qualifications.

Results.  Increasing duration of breastfeeding was associated with consistent and statistically significant increases in:

1) intelligence quotient assessed at ages 8 and 9 years;
2) reading comprehension, mathematical ability, and scholastic ability assessed during the period from 10 to 13 years;
3) teacher ratings of reading and mathematics assessed at 8 and 12 years;
4) higher levels of attainment in school leaving examinations.

Children who were breastfed for 8 months had mean test scores that were between 0.35 and 0.59 SD units higher than children who were bottle-fed. Mothers who elected to breastfeed tended to be older; better educated; from upper socioeconomic status families; were in a two-parent family; did not smoke during pregnancy; and experienced above average income and living standards. Additionally, rates of breastfeeding increased with increasing birth weight, and first-born children were more likely to be breastfed.

Regression adjustment for maternal and other factors associated with breastfeeding reduced the associations between breastfeeding and cognitive or educational outcomes. Nonetheless, in 10 of the 12 models, fitted duration of breastfeeding remained a significant predictor of later cognitive or educational outcomes. After adjustment for confounding factors, children who were breastfed for 8 months had mean test scores that were between 0.11 and 0.30 SD units higher than those not breastfed.

Conclusions.  It is concluded that breastfeeding is associated with small but detectable increases in child cognitive ability and educational achievement. These effects are 1) pervasive, being reflected in a range of measures including standardized tests, teacher ratings, and academic outcomes in high school; and 2) relatively long-lived, extending throughout childhood into young adulthood. 

Crying Over You

Some people's babies cry more than others, said Ronald Barr of McGill University in Montreal. Comparing data collected from a group of breastfeeding mothers in The Netherlands with that from a group of !Kung San mothers in Botswana, he found the San babies cried half as much as the Dutch babies.

The difference, Barr said, is probably due to the two cultures' different feeding routines. San mothers breastfeed their infants in a "continuous" fashion - giving them feed for a minute or two every 15 minutes. Western mothers feed their babies less frequently, but for longer. In addition, San infants are carried in slings, and are in constant contact with their mothers.

Barr also studied a large group of American mothers in the Boston area, some of whom were strong proponents of frequent breastfeeding, and others who were not. The babies who were fed frequently did not cry as much as babies who were fed less often, he found. Barr has evidence that this difference is due both to the psychological calming effect of breastfeeding and to the more frequent supply of nutrients.

Barr's findings add to a growing body of literature suggesting that the familiar problems of child-rearing - endless crying and battles to establish regular sleep patterns - are not as ubiquitous as was once thought. For instance, another researcher has found that Dutch babies sleep more hours per day and cry less when awake than American babies - perhaps because Dutch culture stresses the importance of routine and rest in child-rearing, whereas American culture stresses the importance of sensory stimulation. Neither approach is necessarily superior.

"I think what my studies show is that we have lots of room for maneuver when deciding what to do about breastfeeding," said Barr. "Chances are, infants in our society are going to cry a heck of a lot more than they do in the !Kung San. If mothers want to try feeding more often, it's a perfectly appropriate thing to do."

Raspberry Leaf Tea

Rubus idaeus

Raspberry has long been established as a remedy for dysentry and diarrhea. It is mild, pleasant, soothing. It will remove cankers from mucous membranes, at the same time toning the tissue involved, be it of the throat (as a gargle) or alimentary tract. It is much used in relief ofurethral irritation and is soothing to the kidneys, urinary tract, and ducts.

Raspberry is a useful solution for the uterus and to stop hemorrhages. Raspberry leaf tea can be taken freely before and after confinement; it will strengthen and prevent miscarriage and render parturition lesslaborious. The infusion will also relieve painful menstration and aid the flow; if too abundant it will decrease without abruptly stopping it .

In Russia, Malina covers vast areas of the country and is employed for colds, coughs and difficulty breathing.

A Handbook of Native American Herbs, by Alma R Hutchens,

Shambhala Publications, 1992

Warning: Doctors at Birth

In Canada, an obstetrician is not morally, ethically, or legally obligated to inform the mother of any risk or side-effect of any treatment deemed "common." With induction rates now soaring to 35% in many hospitals, this is "common." One mother became a quadriplegic as a result of having an epidural. She lost her lawsuit because the 1 in 1,000 did not need to be disclosed to her.

One mother spent 15 years in court and finally won $20,000 (meant for lifetime assistance) for her daughter who became permanently blind, crippled and brain-damaged when the amnio needle pierced the umbilical cord in utero. No one mentioned risk. The award didn't cover her lawyer's bill.

A young mother in Calgary spent $15,000 on a lawsuit against the hospital that discharged her with her placenta intact. She has had five operations to correct the problem, is in pain and will never hav another baby. The lawyears have dropped the case, sighting an inability fo find experts to testify.

I am carrying on the inquiry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons regarding my unnecessary and dangerous birth induction, but have dropped any idea of a lawsuit. I would like to punch out my obstetrician.
Gail Dahl, 607 Lake Linnet Cres. S.E.
Calgary, Alberta T2J 2J3


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