Monday, November 28, 2011

Breast Milk Ingredients vs Formula Ingredients

I came across this astonishing list while doing my training for my lactation license over the summer and thought that I would share it. Canada's government produced this poster displaying the ingredients of both breast milk and formula to markedly show the difference between the two. I was shocked myself to see how incredibly long the breast milk list is when compared to the formula list. It just goes to show that man will never be able to reproduce the amazing qualities of breast milk.

Over the Thanksgiving Holiday I had a family member say to me, "aren't the benefits of breastfeeding void after one year of age?" My answer to this... How could that ever be the case seeing the list here. The benefits are astounding! I think it's safe to say that breast milk is by far the best SUPER FOOD that ever existed!

Corn maltodextrinPartially hydrolyzed reduced minerals whey protein concentrate (from cow’s milk)Fats
Palm olein
Soybean oil
Coconut oil
High oleic safflower oil (or sunflower oil)
M. alpina oil (Fungal DHA)
C.cohnii oil (Algal ARA)
Minerals Potassium citrate
Potassium phosphate
Calcium chloride
Tricalcium phosphate
Sodium citrate
Magnesium chloride
Ferrous sulphate
Zinc sulphate
Sodium chloride
Copper sulphate
Potassium iodide
Manganese sulphate
Sodium selenate
Vitamins Sodium ascorbate Inositol
Choline bitartrate
Alpha-Tocopheryl acetate Niacinamide Calcium pantothenate
Vitamin A acetate
Pyridoxine hydrochloride
Thiamine mononitrate
Folic acid
Vitamin D3
Vitamin B12Enzyme
Amino acid
L-Carnitine (a combination of two different amino acids)
Cytidine 5-monophosphate
Disodium uridine 5-monophosphate
Adenosine 5-monophosphate
Disodium guanosine 5-monophosphate
Soy Lecithin

Breast Milk
Carbohydrates (energy source) Lactose Oligosaccharides (see below)Carboxylic acid Alpha hydroxy acid
Lactic acid
Proteins (building muscles and bones)
Whey protein
HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumour cells)
Many antimicrobial factors (see below)
Casein Serum albumin
Non-protein nitrogens
Uric acid
Peptides (see below)
Amino Acids (the building blocks of proteins)
Clycine Cystine
Taurine Theronine Tryptophan Tyrosine
Carnitine (amino acid compound necessary to make use of fatty acids as an energy source)
Nucleotides (chemical compounds that are the structural units of RNA and DNA)
5’-Adenosine monophosphate (5"-AMP)
3’:5’-Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (3’:5’-cyclic AMP)
5’-Cytidine monophosphate (5’-CMP)
Cytidine diphosphate choline (CDP choline)
Guanosine diphosphate (UDP)
Guanosine diphosphate - mannose
3’- Uridine monophosphate (3’-UMP)
5’-Uridine monophosphate (5’-UMP)
Uridine diphosphate (UDP)
Uridine diphosphate hexose (UDPH)
Uridine diphosphate-N-acetyl-hexosamine (UDPAH)
Uridine diphosphoglucuronic acid (UDPGA)
Several more novel nucleotides of the UDP type
Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (important for brain development)
Arachidonic acid (AHA) (important for brain development)
Linoleic acid Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
Conjugated linoleic acid (Rumenic acid)
Free Fatty Acids
Monounsaturated fatty acids
Oleic acid
Palmitoleic acid
Heptadecenoic acid
Saturated fatty acids
Stearic Palmitic acid
Lauric acid
Myristic acid
Plasmalogens Sphingolipids
Globotriaosylceramide (GB3)
Globoside (GB4)
Sterols Squalene Lanosterol Dimethylsterol Methosterol
Desmosterol Triacylglycerol
Stigma-and campesterol
Sitosterol β-lathosterol
Vitamin D metabolites
Steroid hormones
Vitamin A Beta carotene
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B8 (Inositol) Vitamin B12
Vitamin C
Vitamin D Vitamin E a-Tocopherol Vitamin K
Riboflavin Niacin
Folic acid
Pantothenic acid
BiotinMinerals Calcium
Selenium Choline Sulpher
Cobalt Fluorine
Metal Molybdenum (essential element in many enzymes)
Growth Factors (aid in the maturation of the intestinal lining)
interleukin-1β (IL-1β)
Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF)
Macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF)
Platelet derived growth factors (PDGF)
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
Hepatocyte growth factor -α (HGF-α)
Tumor necrosis factor-α
Epithelial growth factor (EGF)
Transforming growth factor-α (TGF-α)
TGF β1
Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) (also known as somatomedin C)
Insulin-like growth factor- II
Nerve growth factor (NGF)
Peptides (combinations of amino acids)
HMGF I (Human growth factor)
Cholecystokinin (CCK)
Parathyroid hormone (PTH)
Parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP)
Bombesin (gastric releasing peptide, also known as neuromedin B)
Oxytocin Insulin
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)
Leptin (aids in regulation of food intake)
Ghrelin (aids in regulation of food intake)
Feedback inhibitor of lactation (FIL)
Eicosanoids Prostaglandins (enzymatically derived from fatty acids)
Enzymes (catalysts that support chemical reactions in the body)
Xanthine oxidaseAntiproteases (thought to bind themselves to macromolecules such as enzymes and as a result prevent allergic and anaphylactic reactions)
Phagocytes Basophils
B lymphocytes (also known as B cells)
T lymphocytes (also known as C cells)
Complement C1
Complement C2
Complement C3
Complement C4
Complement C5
Complement C6
Complement C7
Complement C8
Complement C9
Lactadherin Alpha-lactoglobulin
Alpha-2 macroglobulin
Lewis antigens
Haemagglutinin inhibitors
Developed as a student project for the Breastfeeding Course for Health Care Providers, Douglas College, New Westminster, BC, Canada - © 2007 by Cecily Heslett, Sherri Hedberg and Haley Rumble.


Bifidus Factor (increases growth of Lactobacillus bifidus - which is a good bacteria)
Lactoferrin (binds to iron which prevents harmful bacteria from using the iron to grow)
B12 binding protein (deprives microorganisms of vitamin B12)

Fibronectin (makes phagocytes more aggressive, minimizes inflammation, and repairs damage caused by inflammation) Protein

Hormones (chemical messengers that carry signals from one cell, or group of cells, to another via the blood) Cortisol

Triiodothyronine (T3)
Thyroxine (T4)
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) (also known as thyrotropin)
Thyroid releasing hormone (TRH)
Antimicrobial factors (are used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects, such as bacteria and viruses. Leukocytes (white blood cells)
sIgA (Secretory immunoglobulin A) (the most important antiinfective factor) IgA2 Mucins (attaches to bacteria and viruses to prevent them from clinging to mucousal tissues) Oligosaccharides (more than 200 different kinds!)

Monday, November 14, 2011

China may ban all formula advertisement... When will the US do the same?

Four days ago the news reported that China is considering putting a ban on formula companies and how they advertise. They are thinking of banning all advertisements for formula marketed to babies 6 months and under. There is a lot of research that states that mothers are highly influenced by such advertisements, including the hospital bags given upon discharge, thus discontinuing exclusive breastfeeding. China has reported an increase on sales of stage 1 powdered formula from 5.68 billion in 2006 to 14.4 billion in 2010. That's a massive climb and the pharmaceutical companies are taking full advantage.
The European Union has had a ban on formula advertisements marketed to infants under the age of one since 1995. Since then the National Childbirth Trust of England and UNICEF have seen a rise in advertisements of follow-on formula (formula for after 1 year of age). Formula companies have since changed the packaging of follow-on formula to look similar to that of stage 1 and 2 formula thus preying on mothers and infants as 60% of new mothers report seeing formula advertisements in the past year. What is also alarming is that mother's are getting confused with the differences in the formula and feeding follow-on formula, which has a higher mineral content, at too young of age. The NCT and UNICEF are now working towards banning all formula advertisements throughout the EU.
"A lack of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life contributes to more than a million avoidable child deaths globally each year, the World Health Organization, which recommends exclusive breastfeeding for infants, said in July."

The WHO and UNICEF formed The International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk substitutes in 1981. I have included the lengthy code below but I want to highlight this:

4.2 Informational and educational materials, whether written, audio, or visual,
dealing with the feeding of infants and intended to reach pregnant women and
mothers of infants and young children, should include clear information on all the
following points: (a) the benefits and superiority of breast-feeding; (b) maternal
nutrition, and the preparation for and maintenance of breast-feeding; (c) the negative
effect on breast-feeding of introducing partial bottle-feeding; (d) the difficulty of
reversing the decision not to breast-feed; and (e) where needed, the proper use of
infant formula, whether manufactured industrially or home-prepared. When such
materials contain information about the use of infant formula, they should include the
social and financial implications of its use; the health hazards of inappropriate foods
or feeding methods; and, in particular, the health hazards of unnecessary or improper
use of infant formula and other breast-milk substitutes. Such materials should not use
any pictures or text which may idealize the use of breast-milk substitutes.
In 1994, the United States signed onto the code, but I believe we are still seeing inappropriate advertising and unfortunately, the code is not legally binding. Now, I know that many of you have seen formula advertised here in the US and elsewhere, can you tell me that the advertisements follow the code? A television commercial would have to be at least five minutes long to cover just some of the information required above. Appalling if you ask me.
"The World Health Organization said a study has found that Filipino mothers who have been influenced by advertisements or their doctors to use infant formula are two to four times more likely to feed their babies with those products." A study released November 3, 2011
Did you receive a hospital bag at the hospital when you and your baby were discharged? Do you know what is in those bags? Formula samples and coupons! Guess who supplies the hospitals with the bags? The formula to the hospitals! Pharmaceutical companies make up 80% of baby formula sold  in the US and take advantage of the fact that many women trust that the hospital and doctors know best. The hospital is merely giving them away without a second thought as it's all about the bottom line. Each bag is said to cost the formula company $7, but a year of formula feeding costs $2000 in which a significant portion the families pay for such marketing. As a result, families are paying $700 per year for brand name formula when compared to store brands. Many organisations such as the WHO, UNICEF, CDC, AAP,  and the 200 Surgeon General condemned the use of such hospital bags. So why are hospitals still handing them out?
Here lies room for massive reformation and revolution. Get on board.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Water Birth.. why the US has yet to adopt such a practice that the rest of the world does!

I was recently browsing the website and came across these videos regarding water births. one brought tears to my eyes

I know that at the hospital I work at allows for women to labor in the pool, which are very limited, but don't allow a woman to birth in the pool. The reasons for this aren't clearly documented as I was able to find an affiliated hospital located in Sacramento and Davis that do allow for water births. In fact, Sutter Health Auburn lists the benefits of a water birth on their hospital website.

The Benefits of Water Labor for Delivery
Sutter Women's Services

Sutter Davis Hospital and Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital are the only hospitals in the greater Sacramento area to offer the option of water births. You may choose to labor in the tub and deliver in there as well. Be sure to discuss this option with your health care provider prior to your delivery if you are interested in water labor and/or delivery.

Check out
Jenny's Story
about her

What are the benefits of water for labor/delivery? It can relieve pain by making the uterus buoyant (floating) which eases some of the pressure of labor. Also, the warmth and motion of the water along your nerve fibers is thought to block some of the transmission of pain. Additionally, warm water helps the skin around the birth canal to stretch better during delivery.

Monitoring your contractions and your baby's heart rate can easily be accomplished in the tub through our telemetry monitoring system. The telemetry monitor is a portable box that connects to the monitor leads around your body. The portable box transmits the heart rate and contraction readings to the fetal monitor in your labor room. You can walk, shower, and get in the tub while being monitored.

So why wouldn't the rest of the Sutter hospitals offer this option for its mothers? One labor and delivery nurse told me it's because the nurse can't be on both sides of the tub as the baby is delivered. Some people might say that it's because you can't be monitored while in the water. This is untrue as a nurse/midwife can use a Doppler to listen to the baby's heart rate under water.
I was fortunate to have a water birth as an option given to me in the UK. I expressed my wishes for a water birth early on in my pregnancy and found the water to be a huge pain relief while I labored at home. In fact, I was in the water for more than five hours! Shall we say PRUNE!!! What I was also very shocked by, being that this was my first baby, is that I didn't experience any perineal damage... no tears! After watching the videos my original assumption shows to be true... less tearing noticed in water births. Personally, I think that this may be due to the fact that the skin becomes more supple thus allowing for more stretching... maybe?
I have linked a website explaining benefits and considerations of having a water birth.
Unfortunately, there aren't many options for women to have a water birth in the US unless they opt for a home birth. I'm all for it, but sadly fear still plays a major factor and home births occur at about 1% in the US. I know that we are planning to have a home birth for our next child. I have yet to interview midwives but I have received a few references. All I do know is that all women should be given the choice of how they choose to labor. So, in order for change to happen we have to speak up!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Recipes I promised

So today I vowed to fill the freezer and to post the recipes. This is definitely the first post of its kind on my blog, but I have had many tell me that they would like to see some of the recipes to the food I cook. In fact, I have a hair brained idea of creating a baby cookbook so maybe I will include those to see some feedback.
I set out today to use my crock pot to make a soup and that I wanted to make a pasta dish and a vegetable dish. All of which could be put into the freezer for a later date. I created a shopping list last night and went out this morning to collect the ingredients. I also purchased some new glass storage containers that are oven and freezer safe. I'm trying to make more and more changes to our house to lead a more environmental friendly lifestyle.
I hope you and your family can enjoy some of these items and feel free to let me know if you attempted them and if you made changes to improve them. I'm always open to new ideas.

Sweet Potato Mash with Brown Butter Sage    
  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 orange; zested and juiced
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 4 sage leaves
Peel and cube the potatoes and boil for ten minutes or until soft. Drain and place back into pot. Add 1 tbs of orange zest and 2 tbs of orange juice. Mash until desired consistency. In a separate pan melt butter and sage over medium heat until butter begins to brown. Pour butter and sage over potatoes. Serve or separate into freezer safe containers.

Split Pea soup
  • 16 oz. dried split peas
  • 3 carrots; peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs of celery; diced
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic; minced
  • Ham bone, 2 ham hocks or cubed ham
  • 2 tbs dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbs salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tbs ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 qt water
Combine all ingredients in crock pot; do not stir. Place on high for 4-5 hours or low 8-10 hours.

Pesto Prawn Penne Bake with Asparagus and Sun-dried Tomatoes
  • Whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 6 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes; diced
  • 2 tomatoes; chopped
  • 1 bunch of asparagus cut into bite size
  • 1 clove of garlic; minced
  • 1 lb. of precooked prawns
  • 1 cup  shredded cheddar
  • 1 cup shredded or cubed mozzarella
Pre-heat oven to 350F (unless freezing for later)
Cook pasta according to directions, drain and place into oven safe containers.
Make Pesto:
add basil, spinach, lemon juice, Parmesan, pine nuts, salt and pepper to a food processor and slowly add olive oil. Pour over pasta and mix evenly.
Meanwhile saute garlic in 1 tbs olive oil with asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and prawns at last minute and remove from heat. Add to pasta. Spread Cheddar and mozzarella cheese over pasta. You can either freeze now or bake for 10 minutes or until cheese completely melted.

After cooking all morning I'm happy to say that it is all family approved (including baby)!