Sunday, April 09, 2006

Weekend update, now with more spit-up

All kinds of mom and baby stuff in the paper today:

Story on banking and selling breastmilk makes me really ask myself, how much is it worth and how much would I pay for it? There are moms in this story paying $2,500 and more a month to keep healthy kids on banked milk. And a pharmaceutical company selling fortified milk for THIRTY-FIVE DOLLARS AN OUNCE. So is breastmilk more valuable to my child than a college education. Impossible to know with the current research, I guess. But keeping in mind a couple things -- 1)that the milk you get from a bank is pasteurized, which destroys some of not most of the immunological benefit and who knows what other nutrients and 2) it doesn't have the benefit of being uniquely matched to YOUR baby at your baby's exact age -- I'd save my money for the college education and just buy formula.

On the other hand, I liked the examples of one-on-one mother match-ups, especially the story at the end about a woman who donated milk to a premie mother who couldn't breastfeed because she was getting chemo. I'm probably too lazy to pump for a milk bank, unless I was pumping regularly for my own reasons, but it would be a different story if it was a close friend or relative in need. Epu, on the other hand, is so cynical that he won't even check the organ donor box on his driver's license, because he thinks hospitals and pharmaceutical companies are profiteering off our donations. In some cases that may be true, but according to this article, the $3 an ounce charged by the local milk bank just covers their costs.

Then there's this. Kaymommy, are you paying attention??? We need to hurry up and hit these playgrounds before it's too late.

Finally, what would a Nutmeg News roundup be without a child endangerment story? I dunno, this one seems kind of harsh to me. If the child truly fell and wasn't pushed, bashed, hit, whatever, well, that could happen under pretty much anyone's care. And while watching a couple of babies is probably too much for an 11-year-old, it seems pretty borderline to me. I was babysitting on my own at night by age 12, including a 2-year-old. They don't say how she fell, of course. But I will admit that my own 2-year-old has fallen hard on our tile floors -- out of a chair, off a stepstool, slipped while running. Was I incredibly lucky she wasn't badly hurt? Of course. Was I negligent? You tell me.


Notta Wallflower said...

I too, have mixed feelings about child endangerment. Not that it's clearly wrong, but what exactly constitutes child endangerment versus an accident. K fell plenty of times when he was young - yeah, I was lucky nothing serious ever happened, but what if it had? There is a fine line between negligence (which presumes that the action is preventable if the person is reasonable) and slippery tile floors (which just happens in life and requires a little extra caution).

On a side note, I donate all my organs. I've seen people wait too long for one, and I wonder where modern medicine would be without research. I never thought about people profiting off of them, but it doesn't surprise me. :-/

Moxie Mom said...

I donate my organs too.
However I found out a few interesting things. Family can override your wish at the last minute. Just because you mark it on your license doesn't make it legally binding.
Timing is everything. Paramedics might not be able to get you to the hospital to harvest your viable organs fast enough for them to be useful. Sad, but it doesn't stop me from trying to help someone else.

Kori said...

Just got a chance to read the articles---you always point us to good stuff!

I think it's fabulous that there are ladies (I have a cousin like this) who just make tons and tons of milk, and are willing to bank it for others, particularly sick babies. I just can't get over that---I barely made any milk, and was on that pump so many hours per day I thought I was going to go insane. Anyone who can quickly and effectively pump, and doesn't mind doing it, well, good for them, and kudos for sharing with the rest of us!

As for paying that much for the stuff for healthy babies? Well, I tend to have mixed feelings. I think for me, it's the experience of breastfeeding that is as valuable as the milk itself, and as I discovered personally, there are some wonderful ways to replicate the physical closeness of breastfeeding while bottlefeeding, no matter what's in the bottle. From a purely nutritional standpoint, I completely agree with you about the one-to-one match of mother's milk to baby's need that can't be replicated. As someone who could never really get enough breastmilk into my kid to sustain her, I can't say I would have felt comfortable buying milk from someone else. What had they eaten? What was their overall health? That would have bugged me.

And as for the mother whose baby was in pain with red circle's around his eyes when he was switched from breastmilk to formula, well, I can't dispute that fact. I can say, though, that when we were feeding our baby both breastmilk and a small amount of supplemental formula, when we switched from Similac to Enfamil (because we had some free Enfamil), the baby started vomitting and became very fussy. She couldn't even keep any breastmilk down with the Enfamil in her system. Now, I don't think there's really much difference between the two formulas, but our baby reacted very differently to them. So, even though breastmilk is best, I'm not entirely convinced there wasn't another formula out there that would have worked for her kid. I hate even suggesting that she shouldn't offer breastmilk, but, well, there you have it.

The child endangerment story made me think of my own, horrible childwatching memory. I babysat a kid when I was in high school who was so high-energy he would just run and run and run. He once ran straight into something---can't remember what---and wouldn't let me put ice on his head. I couldn't hold him down---I was sixteen and timid with another person's kid. By the time his folks got home, the front of his head looked like a melon. The look on his parents' faces just haunted me for ages, even though I had done everything I could and called them to come home. Thank goodness he was okay, but I never accepted a babysitting job from them again. I was too frightened.