Category Archives: Nursing

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Blue

Living in San Diego, CA, I get to enjoy beautiful blue skies the majority of the year. I’m not sure what makes the sky so blue here, but I’m guessing it has to do with our latitude and the ways the sun rays light up the sky. It really does help when taking photos of various subjects, and using the blue sky as a nice, contrasted background.

I took this photo in our backyard a few weeks ago, after what will probably be our last rain for the next six months.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Blue

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Blue

I also can’t help thinking about my boys when I hear the word blue. My whole world is blue because of them. They avoid the aisles of girl toys, calling them “the pink aisles”. They both have beautiful blue eyes and look great with blue tops, so I buy a lot of those. We also have a blue couch at our house, courtesy of IKEA. With a removable cover you can throw in the washer, this is one of the best furniture investments I’ve made with two kids. Here’s my four-year old when he was just a baby, sitting on the blue couch in his blue footsy pajamas, with his beautiful blue eyes (which you really can’t see well on this picture). 

My baby boy sitting on the blue couch

And here’s a photo of his brother when he wasn’t even two years old, sitting on our blue couch in my blue T-shirt, using my Boppy pillow and a burpcloth to breastfeed his lovey. How cute is that? I also have a photo of him using my breastpump but you’ll have to wait for the color “yellow” to be the theme of the photo challenge!

My son breastfeeding his lovey with the Boppy pillow

Voluntary recall of Medela Pump in Style breastpumps

Medela Pump in Style breastpump

Medela Pump in Style breastpump

Some of you may have heard through the rumor mill that Medela issued a voluntary recall on a selected amount of its Pump in Style breastpumps. There is no official recall through the US Consumer Safety Product Commission as the recalled pumps don’t cause any harm to individuals. All it looks like is a bunch of possibly defective breastpumps, and a great company accepting the defects and offering replacements.

Here’s what can happen with the defective Medela Pump in Style breastpumps:

  • the pump will not turn on,
  • the pump turns off on its own
  • the pump reduces or loses suction during the pumping process, or
  • the pump is making a clicking noise

Medela is offering to replace defective pumps at no cost. Breastpumps were manufactured between February 10, 2010 and March 3, 2010, so I’m guessing very few moms are affected by this problem.

For complete details about the Medela breastpump recall, including the serial numbers of the breastpumps being recalled, just visit the Medela website recall page.

I personally used a Medela Pump in Style breastpump to pump milk for both of my boys several times a day as I was working full time, and I never experienced any problems with the pump. It’s very durable and I would recommend it to any mom who needs a serious breastpump.

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Why is breastfeeding not considered a medical necessity?

With the current US administration undertaking the reform of healthcare in this past year, including eliminating pre-existing condition clauses meant to deny coverage, you’d think the US would be making progress towards supporting breastfeeding too. Well, it seems that is not yet the case… Even though some laws have been passed to allow more women to breastfeed in public, get a dedicated place to pump at work and get some unpaid breaks to do so, there is still a long way to go. One big sign that our government doesn’t believe in the “higher powers” of breastmilk? A breastpump is still not tax deductible, whether it is a manual or an electric breast pump.

Most US companies offer flexible spending accounts to their employees, allowing them to pay for their medical expenses with pre-tax dollars. Doctor co-pays, prescription co-pays, hospital bills and most dental procedures are covered. Breastpumps? Nope. I see why the IRS would be worried of opening Pandora’s box if breastpumps were a tax-deductible purchase. Moms who can’t breastfeed or decide not to breastfeed would complain that infant formula is a medical necessity in their case and that it should also be tax deductible. I bet the infant formula manufacturers constantly lobby Congress to get it on the list! But the issue would then be to wonder, is manufactured formula the same as breastmilk, when most of us know that both foods are not, and just can’t be the equal.

Why should the IRS consider breastmilk a medical necessity, deemed worthy of a tax exemption? Because liquid gold has been shown in many studies to:

– reduce your baby’s risk to catch many illnesses, or prevent them from getting as sick
– be more gentle on your baby’s digestive system
– can prevent your baby from developing food allergies
– contain growth factors that ensure the best development of your baby’s organs
– may boost your child’s intelligence (who doesn’t like that reason?)
– may protect your child from obesity
– offers plenty of health benefits to mom too!

I previously made my own list of the 10 things people don’t tell you about breastfeeding, but the list above has a little more scientific value, in case you needed that!

Medela breast pump, Pump in Style

Breastmilk still provides the most complete and optimal mix of nutrients, fluids and calories only a human being can provide to another. And a breast pump will help a mom continue to breastfeed her baby even after she returns to work. Using a breast pump, a mom doesn’t have to make a hard choice between breastmilk or formula, working or staying at home. With most breast pumps ranging from $100 to almost $300, a tax break of 10 to 20% would be nice. I was lucky enough to get my Medela Pump in Style from a family member and I loved it, using it several times a day for over a year for each of my boys. However most insurance companies don’t cover the cost or subsidize the purchase of breastpumps. Again, they don’t consider it a medical necessity.

To all of the health insurance companies and the IRS, I’d like to ask: why is Viagra only requires a co-pay and is tax deductible (= medical necessity) but a breastpump isn’t??? My guess is that the IRS and the insurance companies are run by older men, instead of real moms. Sometimes, I really feel that our boobs are underappreciated for what they can really do. I hope one day I get to see a change in our corporate world and government, and for someone to stand up and acknowledge that “breastmilk feeds life”. Liquid gold it is!

What’s your personal take on this issue?

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Abbott recalls some Similac brand powder infant formulas

Abbott recalls Similac powder infant formula

Abbott recalls Similac powder infant formula

I have no idea why I received Similac’s baby powder formula recall letter in the mail earlier this week. I have never used or bought Similac infant formula so I’m not sure where they got my address and why they would think I’m a Similac user. My boys are two and a half and four years old by the way, way past formula age! My guess is that Similac got my contact information from the hospital where I had my first child, since they kindly donated Similac samples on my way out the door (read my post on Breastfeeding – a tale of two hospitals for more on that topic). Or the birth record County Office has sold my information to a number of third parties. That wouldn’t be a surprise since the California DMV already does sell driver contact information to third parties to round up the numbers (and don’t ask to opt out, because it’s not an option!).

This recall doesn’t affect me but it may affect you or someone you know, so please get the word around. Unless you signed to receive recall notices on the US FDA website, you may not hear about such recalls.

Apparently, some small beetles may have made their way into the cans of formula during the manufacturing process. We all know that insects sometimes manage to appear into our processed food (yummy crunch!), but for baby formulas, it’s not only gross, it’s also unsafe, since little babies’ intestinal tracks may get irritated from the foreign food elements.

For more information on this Similar recall, visit the Similac recall web page to identify the lot numbers that are affected and what you need to do if you’re one of the unlucky ones. We always hear that breast is best, but I’ve never been given the “bug” reason before!

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