Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Help Find a Cure for Breast Cancer!

Hi everyone!

This past Spring we were informed of a wonderful organization called The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. In May we were a sponsor of the Palisades Love Walk which raised over $46,000 for Breast Cancer Research. This Fall they will be one of our primary benefactors when we sponsor our Sizzling Hot Topics Parenting Lecture Series at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. (read more….) .

Here are many of the reasons we love this Foundation and encourage others to support them:

  • The foundation is dedicated to being in the forefront of breast cancer research, education and advocacy in order to eradicate breast cancer once and for all

  • They are different than other organizations because they realize that where cancer starts is in the milk ducts, and they are focusing all of their resources and research into having a better understanding of the breast through intraductal research

  • They are trying to identify the barriers to the research needed to end breast cancer, and creating new solutions that are fast, flexible and project based

  • They are committed to using their website to provide accurate and timely breast cancer and women’s health information
And most importantly, they have been instrumental in launching a new campaign to eradicate breast cancer once and for all! Tomorrow, October 1st on The Today Show, Dr. Susan Love will be announcing their partnership with Avon to launch The Love/Avon Army of Women – a revolutionary new opportunity for all women to partner with research scientists to move us beyond a cure!

Their message:
Breast cancer has been around for decades, but it does not have to be our future. We can be the generation that eliminates breast cancer by identifying what causes this disease and stopping it before it starts. This is your chance to be part of the research that will end breast cancer. Sign up for your sister, mother, daughter, granddaughter, best friend, and the woman you met last week.

Help us eradicate breast cancer once and for all.
Join the Army of Women today.

Sneak Preview: The Love/Avon Army of Women!

The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, in partnership with the Avon Foundation is incredibly proud to be kicking off this year' s Breast Cancer Awareness Month with the launch of a movement that will change the face of breast cancer research forever: The Love/Avon Army of Women!

Our goal is to recruit one million healthy women of all ages and ethnicities, including breast cancer survivors and women who are at high risk for developing breast cancer, to take part in the breast cancer research that will move us beyond a cure — and help us eradicate breast cancer once and for all.

The official Love/Avon Army of Women website is up at http://www.armyofwomen.org/ and in anticipation of our Oct 1 launch, we would love your help to test it and let us know what you think! Please visit the website, test it out and sign up to be part of the Army of Women. Send us your comments or any glitches you might encounter to webmaster@armyofwomen.org.

The official launch of the Love/Avon Army of Women will be on October 1, 2008, on The Today Show! If you live in New York, we need you to join us along with hundreds of other breast cancer “crusaders” on the plaza of the Today Show in midtown Manhattan. Dr. Susan Love will be a guest on the Today Show that morning, and we want to “pack the plaza” with supporters! You will receive a Love/Avon Army of Women t-shirt and pendant to wear, and a special section of the plaza will be set aside for our supporters. Read more...

Monday, September 29, 2008


— 2-Phase Expression technology coupled with hands-free mobility allows active moms more freedom —

MCHENRY,Ill., September 12, 2008— Medela’s Freestyle®, the first rechargeable, hands-free, double-electric breastpump to give moms true pumping mobility, has won a coveted 2008 JPMA Innovation Award. Freestyle beat out more than 100 contenders for one of 10 spots awarded at the September ABC Expo in Las Vegas, Nev., last week. A panel of trade media and industry buyers judged the competing products.

“Since 1989, JPMA has spotted and saluted the best new products to hit the marketplace,” said Amy Chezem, communications director at JPMA. “We are pleased to honor Medela’s Freestyle breastpump this year for its technical innovation, marketability, trend-setting potential, appeal and usefulness.”

Freestyle was developed after five years of research as well as hundreds of hours spent talking to health professionals and observing more than 1,000 mom-testers. The result is a hands-free breastpump that is revolutionarily small, weighing less than a pound, but exceedingly powerful with Medela’s research-based 2-Phase Expression® technology that allows moms to get more milk in less time.

Freestyle really demonstrates Medela’s understanding of moms’ needs,” said Rachel Mennell, Medela’s director of marketing communications. “We are thrilled that JPMA recognized the innovation that was required to create a hands-free, lightweight, portable breastpump.”
Freestyle has a suggested retail price of $379.99 and is now available at specialty and mass retailers for purchase.

About Medela
Medela provides the most technologically advanced, superior-quality breastpumps and breastfeeding accessories to nursing mothers around the world. A longtime champion of breastfeeding, Medela is the only company to develop products based on research by the world’s leading lactation experts. As a result, Medela’s breastpumps are the number one choice of healthcare professionals and healthcare facilities worldwide, including 80 percent of U.S. hospitals.

Medela has developed an extensive line of products to meet the diverse needs of nursing mothers. These products include hospital-grade, double and single electric and manual breastpumps; breastfeeding accessories such as pump cleaning products, breast care products and specialty feeding devices; and maternity and nursing intimate apparel.

Founded in 1961 by Olle Larsson in Zug, Switzerland, Medela continues to grow under the ownership of the Larsson family. Medela serves customers through a worldwide network of distribution partners in more than 90 countries and its 13 subsidiaries in the United States, Switzerland, Canada, Germany, Sweden, France, Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg), Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, China and Spain. The company entered the United States more than 25 years ago; its U.S. headquarters are located in McHenry, Illinois.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Baby has Gas

In the twenty-five plus years that Corky and I have facilitated the mother support groups, we have noted that the number one concern among new mothers has never changed. If we have heard it once, we have heard it a “million” times, “My baby has so much gas”! There are a myriad of reasons for apparent gastric upset in the infant. The purpose of this blog is to discuss the possible association between cow’s milk protein and colic-like symptoms.

First, a distinction must be made between cow’s milk protein allergy and lactose intolerance. The latter is not an allergy; rather the body is intolerant to a carbohydrate, in this case the milk sugar known as lactose. Babies are rarely born with this condition. Humans may become lactose intolerant because they are genetically predisposed to lose the enzyme lactase which breaks down lactose. The reason why the infant may have problems with dairy is that the actual protein in cow’s milk differs from that in human milk. Depending upon which study one reads, the incidence of a true allergy to cow’s milk protein is somewhere between 15-20%. (This means that at least 80% of breastfeeding mothers can enjoy dairy products without causing their baby any problems).

A true dairy allergy can present itself in any of three ways, upper respiratory, through the skin (eczema), and/or gastric upset. Babies with true dairy allergy often appear to have frequent and extreme bouts of gas, large amounts of spit up after feeding, and some may pass blood into their diaper (see the blog “What’s That Doing in Your Diaper?) Another complaint from mothers is that their infant’s stools are particularly foul. Parents with concerns about possible dairy allergy need to first and foremost consult with their pediatrician.

So what about the baby who just seems to have “so much gas”? A certain amount of gas is totally normal for babies under 3 months of age. I never know how to define “too much”, other than to try and reassure new parents that babies normally and naturally grunt, groan and appear to have trouble passing gas and stool. Until the infant can use her abdominal muscles, relax the anal symphticter and the gut matures, gas is a big complaint. Don’t forget—babies aren’t socialized about the dos and don’ts of “gas-passing”.

Should a breastfeeding mother eliminate dairy from her diet? If your baby appears to have miserable gas attacks more than once a day, it might be worth a try. The general recommendation is to eliminate all milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and ice cream (yikes) from the diet. How long to do this is greatly disputed, but at least 96 hours seems to be the general consensus. Some anecdotal reports suggest up to 9 days. If the infant is not noticeably more comfortable, don’t torture yourself--have a bowl of ice cream! Interestingly, a number of our mothers have reported that they could have occasionally servings of cheese or yogurt, they just could not drink milk.

Mothers of babies with dairy intolerance can often return to cow’s milk protein after the baby is 6 months old. Some mothers can substitute soy for dairy; however some babies are both dairy and soy sensitive. Rice milk may be an option for the mom. Mothers on a dairy free diet should eat other calcium rich foods and may want to take a calcium supplement (consult with your obstetrician). Whatever the cause of your infant’s gas, just remember that parents can’t necessarily fix it. The favorite mantra of The Pump Station, “WITH TIME IT WILL GET BETTER!