Five For Fridays – Feb 27, 2009

by TwinToddlersDad on February 27, 2009

in Five For Fridays

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TGIF! Here is another installment of 5 interesting nutrition related articles I read this week. I invite your opinions and feedback.

1 in 3 new working Moms gives up breastfeeding within 7 weeks after returning to work

I was personally troubled by the results of this recent survey which brings to light the challenges faced by new working Moms in trying to breastfeed their babies. The situation is worse in the service and retail sector and among younger Moms where the dropout rate is more than half. Lack of private pumping environment and difficulty in scheduling a time for pumping were cited as the two top factors. I can’t believe that it is a matter of resources for most companies. After all, how difficult could it be to find a room and provide some privacy. It is really a matter of attitude and organizational priority about providing a supportive workplace. I would love to hear your comments if you have faced this problem at work or if your company has done something creative to solve this problem.

Regional differences in prices affecting affordability of healthy foods in Canada

Hard to believe, but true; in some parts of Canada, apples may cost 5 times more, and lean ground beef 3 times  more than some other parts. In this post about a recent poll, I was amazed to learn that 47% of Canadians go without fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy products, whole grain products, lean meat or fish because they are too expensive and 68% of Canadians identified price as extremely or very important when choosing what goes into their grocery cart. I think the situation is similar in the United States, although I am not sure if the difference in prices is so large. I find it difficult to believe that there is such a large gap in supply and demand of common foods in different parts of the same country. The author of the post (follow her on Twitter @phdinparenting) wonders if government should regulate the price of basic nutritious food. What do you think?

Yes there is choice, but should you really encourage your child to choose the “competitive foods” at school?

If you have a child in middle or high school, chances are he is getting nearly 200 calories from junk food (low nutrient energy dense if you want to get technical!) at the school vending machine. In another thought provoking post, Dr Ayala discusses the results of a recent study, which makes you wonder how we can accept to have our kids be put into this lose-lose situation! The subsidized school lunch is of low nutrition quality in the first place, and then the so called “competitive foods” do not offer anything better either. Seems like the only choice for the nutrition-minded parents is to pack their child’s lunch each day! I wonder if at least some of the kids would choose healthy alternatives if they were made available to them through vending machines.

Dannon will stop using milk from hormone treated cows

First it was General Mills, and now Dannon has annonced that their products will no longer be made from milk from rBST-treated cows according to this report. rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropin) hormone was approved by the FDA in 1993 for use in cows to sustain milk production at high levels. However, there has been rising opposition to its use by various consumer groups. As a result, the use of this hormone has been very controversial even though it is considered safe since it does not pass through the milk to humans. Still, concerns about the health of cows and extensive use of antibiotics seem to be valid. I wonder if this means they will increase the price of their popular yogurts. There is already a higher price organic option available to consumers, so that would not be really fair.

March is national nutrition month

The theme of this year’s National Nutrition Month® is “Eat Right“. This campaign is organized by the American Dietetic Association to improve the awareness of nutrition and healthy lifestyle. As if not to be left behind (joking! :)), the Dietitians of Canada have their own campaign and their theme is Stay Active. Eat Like a Champion. I am very impressed by both of these initiatives and hope that their message will bring a new focus and attention to the value of good nutrition. If you are a registered dietitian, I would love to hear your plans for this month. If you have a tip or advice for the readers of this blog, please leave a comment. I wish you good luck for your programs this month.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Image source: LaRuth on Flickr
©2009 Littlestomaks.com

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  • Anonymous

    With regards to the study on moms giving up breastfeeding when they go back to work, I agree that it is the attitude of employers towards breastfeeding that create the greatest barrier. This is even more pervasive in low paid jobs than it is in higher paid jobs, which is really too bad since it is arguably even more important for women in low income families to keep up the breastfeeding than for women in high income families.

    Thanks for linking to my post too.

  • http://phdinparenting.com Annie @ PhD in Parenting

    With regards to the study on moms giving up breastfeeding when they go back to work, I agree that it is the attitude of employers towards breastfeeding that create the greatest barrier. This is even more pervasive in low paid jobs than it is in higher paid jobs, which is really too bad since it is arguably even more important for women in low income families to keep up the breastfeeding than for women in high income families.

    Thanks for linking to my post too.

  • http://herbalwater.typepad.com/ Ayala Laufer-cahana M.D.

    Great post!
    There are so many factors working against breastfeeding in the US, that I just admire the working moms who manage to breastfeed for an extended period of time.

    The maternity leave in the US is terribly short. Compare that to European countries, some of which give a new mom up to 3 years paid leave(!) to care for the baby, while keeping the job spot open for her. I think that there are very few Western countries that give a mom less than 3 months paid leave. Many women find the stress of going back to work so early and pumping overwhelming, and cannot balance the two. Many women who were successful at breastfeeding cannot get used to the pump and pumping, even if a private space and time are provided.

    I also find that the attitude to breastfeeding in public in many parts of the US is not very conducive. I believe many women don’t find it socially acceptable to breastfeed in public, and having to always find a private place also impedes long term breastfeeding.

  • http://herbalwater.typepad.com/ Ayala Laufer-cahana M.D.

    Great post!
    There are so many factors working against breastfeeding in the US, that I just admire the working moms who manage to breastfeed for an extended period of time.

    The maternity leave in the US is terribly short. Compare that to European countries, some of which give a new mom up to 3 years paid leave(!) to care for the baby, while keeping the job spot open for her. I think that there are very few Western countries that give a mom less than 3 months paid leave. Many women find the stress of going back to work so early and pumping overwhelming, and cannot balance the two. Many women who were successful at breastfeeding cannot get used to the pump and pumping, even if a private space and time are provided.

    I also find that the attitude to breastfeeding in public in many parts of the US is not very conducive. I believe many women don’t find it socially acceptable to breastfeed in public, and having to always find a private place also impedes long term breastfeeding.

  • http://samkeen.blogspot.com Samantha

    I have to comment on the pumping and returning to work. I nursed my daughter for 10 months, which also included pumping at work. (She self weaned, early probably due to her heavy use of the bottle from expressed milk. She got impatient when it came to eating straight from the breast.) I work for fairly large non-profit organization, and while it has been difficult to manage, I have found support. They do not have a set private space for me to pump, but between the executive director and the billing specialist, both have allowed me to use their offices when available. The executive director is even a single man. I think if you can relay how important continuing breastfeeding is, sometimes you can make an impact in the perception of pumping.

    I now have my second child and am only working part time with him, and even still my place of employment allows me to clock out and pump as often as necessary, and even lets me schedule appointments around my pumping sessions. I think their flexibility has taken the stress out of pumping, and because I am able to relax about it, the process goes much more quickly and takes less time away from being productive.

    I would encourage anyone struggling with pumping to schedule a time to sit down with their supervisor and explain the importance of breastfeeding, and what their needs are in terms of a private space. You’d be suprised how willing people are to work with you. I think sometimes we are just afraid to talk about it, which leads to embaressment, stress, drop in milk production, and early weaning. Thanks for giving us a place to share!

  • http://samkeen.blogspot.com Samantha

    I have to comment on the pumping and returning to work. I nursed my daughter for 10 months, which also included pumping at work. (She self weaned, early probably due to her heavy use of the bottle from expressed milk. She got impatient when it came to eating straight from the breast.) I work for fairly large non-profit organization, and while it has been difficult to manage, I have found support. They do not have a set private space for me to pump, but between the executive director and the billing specialist, both have allowed me to use their offices when available. The executive director is even a single man. I think if you can relay how important continuing breastfeeding is, sometimes you can make an impact in the perception of pumping.

    I now have my second child and am only working part time with him, and even still my place of employment allows me to clock out and pump as often as necessary, and even lets me schedule appointments around my pumping sessions. I think their flexibility has taken the stress out of pumping, and because I am able to relax about it, the process goes much more quickly and takes less time away from being productive.

    I would encourage anyone struggling with pumping to schedule a time to sit down with their supervisor and explain the importance of breastfeeding, and what their needs are in terms of a private space. You’d be suprised how willing people are to work with you. I think sometimes we are just afraid to talk about it, which leads to embaressment, stress, drop in milk production, and early weaning. Thanks for giving us a place to share!

  • http://littlestomaks.com/about/ TwinToddlersDad

    Great advice Samantha. I am glad you found support at your workplace.

  • http://littlestomaks.com/about/ TwinToddlersDad

    Great advice Samantha. I am glad you found support at your workplace.

  • http://notadiylife.blogspot.com Heather @ Not a DIY Life

    Hi, I came over from your guest post at Kid Appeal. Love your blog! I have a 21 month old daughter and creating healthy eating habits is a huge concern for me. I look forward to reading through your archives and I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed.

  • http://notadiylife.blogspot.com Heather @ Not a DIY Life

    Hi, I came over from your guest post at Kid Appeal. Love your blog! I have a 21 month old daughter and creating healthy eating habits is a huge concern for me. I look forward to reading through your archives and I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed.

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