torsdag 29 oktober 2009

Full term Breastfeeding

Full term breastfeeding is also called Natural weaning, Extended/Sustained breastfeeding or nursing.(1)

I've decided I want to do this.
It's just something that... grew within me. And with me reading my twitter-stream(2) and interacting with the amazing parents I follow, from all over the western world my knowledge and appreciation of this way of breastfeeding grew.
My first goal is getting to 12 months, and since I've already reached 7 months and two weeks with BB I've only got 2,5 weeks and 4 months after that. At one year BB will one of the 17,4% (15% in my part of the country. 16,3% in my city) of Swedish babies who are breastfed at one year. Beyond that there is no official statistics.(3)
My second personal goal is 2 years. This is about the time when I will hit the age of full term breastfeeding. Since there are no statistics, we don't know how many Swedish 2 year olds are breastfed. We don't know how many mothers do full term breastfeeding.

So, I'm looking for support. Both in the main-stream parenting-forum I sometimes visit, and in a more alternative, Baby wearing, forum. I might already have some leads.

A lot of things can happen. I know that. But if I don't even decide if I want to do this I can't even begin to make strategies of how I can support my and BB:s breastfeeding relationship. I've started telling people. That I plan on doing this, that it's intentional, that I both know, and know of mothers who have done this. I can always ask my Persian co-workers. A lot of them have experience.

Do you have stories or advice for me?

tisdag 20 oktober 2009

Hazardous cosleeping environments and risk factors amenable to change - Swedish reactions

I wrote about how baby sleep is viewed in Sweden in my aptly named post:
Baby sleep in sweden, how much and where

Well, there has been a controversy. I have a subscription to the newspaper GöteborgsPosten (The Gothenburg Mail). On monday I didn't have time to read it so I leafed through it today. There was an article on SIDS(1). Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. I read it. There was something odd about it. It just didn't sit right with me. I re-read it.

(a scanned image of the article)

The article says that the decline in infants dying from SIDS is because of Swedish parents being good at complying with the advice from the MVC (mothers' care central) and BVC (Children's care central). It goes on saying that letting the baby sleep on it's back, having a smoke free environment and using a pacifier have been the key advice to bring down the number of SIDS. 1991, 140 children died from SIDS in Sweden. In 2007, it was 13.
Then they interwiev Bernt Alm, a head physician in children's care who wrote the advice on avoiding SIDS on the website But they don't tell you this. They just write that he's "one of those behind the advice". They then chronicle the discovery of the risks of smoking, and sleeping on the stomach. Then it happens, they say that "so called cosleeping" increases risk. We have the same word for cosleeping/bedsharing, and I think they mean bed sharing in the article. Article goes on saying that the advice to not smoke and how to position the baby is easy/matter of factly to give but that other questions can be sensitive and has to be dealt with in private, like bed sharing.
It just makes it sound so dirty, so wrong, like something you aught not do.
Bernt then gets to say his piece and gives advice on safe cosleeping, like he came up with that (could be the way the reporter writes it). BUT there is still this feeling of "if you still INSIST on cosleeping".
However, it was pretty much James J MCKenna's advice.

So I sent a mail to the reporter, since she included her e-mail adress. I kept it nice.
But to have some links to give her I first checked the web for reference and found out about this:

From the website for the British paper The Guardian: Half of cot deaths linked to bed sharing (3) and the later published rectifying piece: The truth about sleeping with baby (4) could this be the cause of article in Monday mornings paper even though she never mentioned the study by Peter Flemings group? Might be. I read the official blog of the The Swedish Nursing Mother’s Support Group(5)(6) and found out that the Swedish paper Svenska Dagbladet had made a particulary gross misinterpretation in their article based on the study that Peter Fleming was part off.
The website for the Swedish news show Rapport had first headlined their article with "The Baby sleeps safest in it's own bed"(7) (Baby sover säkrast i egen säng) but after the critiques started flowing they rewrote the article into Baby should't sleep with drunken parent (8) (Baby ska inte sova med full förälder), something Fleming stated he felt was the conclusion of the study he participated in.
But Svenska Dagbladet did not rewrite or restate their article. Instead the reporter, Inger Attestam, wrote a statement(9) where she stands her ground, claiming that she was in the right. I read the trackbacks and the comments section and peoples reactions are that she's being arrogant, taking her own interpretation of the research in favor of that of the researchers themselves. In her statement she even says Peter Fleming has gotten "cold feet" in his interview with the Guardian.

Her original article was also named The baby sleeps safest in own bed (Baby sover säkrast i egen säng)
(10). What breaks my heart with it is that it was illustrated with four pictures of four families. The last picture says:
Maria (seen with her sister Sara on the left) and her son Filip, three months: -Filip is first placed in his own bed, but after  breastfeeding at midnight he's allowed to sleep between the parents. We know he's not supposed to be too close. He's got his own blanket, so he won't get overheated. At first we were a little scared, but the Children Care Central recommends sleeping near your child. Off course, we will change Filips sleeping habits after the new study.
So the way I see it, they were happily doing safe bedsharing. And from now on, just because someone misinterpreted a study, Filip will have to sleep alone.

Here is a link to the study if you want to read it:
Hazardous cosleeping environments and risk factors amenable to change: case-control study of SIDS in south west England (11)

The Swedish Breastfeeding blogg Amningsbloggen contacted James J MCKenna and he guestblogged: Infants should never sleep alone(12) (Spädbarn bör aldrig sova ensamma)

When I once more look at the offending article from the Monday morning Göteborgsposten, it seems mild in comparison and I hope that there will be a response from the reporter tomorrow, since I sent that mail to her with my concerns