Why there is cholesterol in breastmilk, and why it’s important.

Cholesterol

One of the many benefits of breastfeeding is that breast milk has and introduces our babies to cholesterol.

wait??!! isn’t that bad??  Nope, not at all, and this is why….

Cholesterol basics:

  • It is an organic molecule, that occurs naturally,  with the most familiar type of animal sterol being cholesterol
  • Biosynthesized by all animal cells because it is an essential structural component of all animal cell membranes that is required to maintain membrane structural integrity.
  • Cholesterol is necessary for the formation of brain cells, according to a study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institute.
  •  Many degenerative diseases in the brain, including Alzheimer’s disease, are linked with imbalances of brain cholesterol.
  • Cholesterol is essential for the formation of the myelin sheath. A fatty material that encompasses the long portions of nerve fibers. Myelin insulates nerve cells and enhances the passing of electrical signals throughout your nervous system’s circuitry.

So why is it in breast milk? The cholesterol a baby is exposed to in breast milk teaches the body how to adapt to cholesterol later in life and therefore improves a child’s cholesterol levels later in life. It is the building blocks for our nervous system, it is essential for our ability to hold and use memories and our ability to learn. Even sleep plays a very important role in that when we sleep our body’s cholesterol synthesis increases and is directly related to how we adapt to our newly learned skills. All of which plays a pretty significant role in our growing little people.

Much Love.

J

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholesterol
  2. http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Memory-And-Cholesterol.html
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breast_milk
  4. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/myelin-sheath-cholesterol-6632.html
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Was a Proud Non-Breeder. Then I Changed My Mind.

“For all that, though, my son’s first year was the best of my life. I learned that while travel with a baby isn’t easy, it’s doable. We took him to Malaysia, where I was speaking at a conference, when he was 6 months old, and then on a reporting trip to Panama a few months later. Both of these were countries we’d been to before; seeing them again with our son made travel feel new. He made staying home feel new, too. When I was with him, the habitual churning of my mind eased. Instead of arguing with strangers on Twitter, I spent hours in neighborhood parks I’d barely noticed before, my attention resting on my burbling, improbably exuberant little boy. Ultimately, even my work life improved: The crisis motherhood brought on led me to refocus on more satisfying long-form writing. Something Louis C.K. said recently was true for me: “I realized that a lot of the things that my kid was taking away from me, she was freeing me of.”

Beautiful post.

Sheila Kitzinger, natural childbirth expert, dies aged 86

Researching breastfeeding rates in Australia

Getting ready to work with families in NSW and this is the information I’m finding on breastfeeding rates in Australia:

*This is from the 2010 Australian national infant feeding survey:

Initiation, duration and intensity of breastfeeding

  • Breastfeeding was initiated for 96% of children aged 0–2 years.
  • Around 69% of infants were still receiving some breastmilk at 4 months of age, although only 39% were exclusively breastfed to 3 months (less than 4 months), and around 60% were still receiving some breastmilk at 6 months, but only 15% were exclusively breastfed to 5 months (less than 6 months).
  • A total of 47% of infants were predominantly (fully) breastfed to 3 months (less than 4 months), dropping to 21% predominantly breastfed to 5 months (less than 6 months).

Introduction of non-human milk and other fluids/foods

  • About 40% of infants aged 1 month old received non-human milk or infant formula, with the rate rising gradually to 55% at 6 months. Nearly 80% of children aged 12 months received non-human milk or infant formula.
  • Less than 1% of infants aged 1 month old had consumed soft/semi-solid/solid food, rising to 35% of infants aged 4 months, 92% of infants aged 6 months and 95% of children aged 12 months.

Table 2.2: Proportion of children exclusively breastfed to each month of age

To month(a) Equivalent duration Per cent
0 Less than 1 month 61.4
1 Less than 2 months 55.8
2 Less than 3 months 48.0
3 Less than 4 months 39.2
4 Less than 5 months 27.0
5 Less than 6 months 15.4
6 Less than 7 months 2.1
  1. To’ indicates an infant’s age the month before a fluid other than breastmilk was introduced. This is effectively the month before another fluid was introduced. For example, a child who was introduced to water when they were aged 4 months (in their fifth month of life) was exclusively breastfed to 4 months of age (that is, they had 4 completed months of exclusive breastfeeding). Similarly, a child who was introduced to water at age 1 month (in their second month of life) was exclusively breastfed to 1 month. Or, a child who was introduced to water at 0 months (in their first month of life) was exclusively breastfed to 0 months (or for less than 1 month).

The many glorious stages of labour

When three stages just aren’t enough

I have taken Maggie Banks’s breech birth workshop and have been a big fan since, she truly understands and can educate others about the reality and beautifulness of birth. So, read this, it’s wonderful

M<3

J

As you know we moved.

As you have probably read my family and I have recently moved from Vancouver BC to Sydney NSW. It’s been amazing, It’s been wonderful and to be honest I think I’m finally coming down off of the whole “Holy crap, I’m moving to the other side of the world” high you have to have when you sell all your belongings and say goodbye to your most beloved of friends and family.

We’ve been here a month (maybe over a month now) and here are a couple of things I would have done differently.

Given Boo more time.

My amazing Boo needed more time to process this huge change in her life. As a 36 yr old woman I cannot comprehend how difficult it was for her to wrap her mind around the idea that we would be getting on a plane and moving to an island, where we would have to make new friends, live in a new house and deal with completely different everything like very different weather. When we landed we just picked her up and decided to do sightseeing, go to big shopping centers to buy things we needed visited with family she had never met. Children are extremely resilient and I have one very smart girl so try to push her to do anything she isn’t ready to do and she’ll have you waiting for weeks until you get the idea that she does things on her own time. It’s taken some time but I think now after a whole month of being attached to my hip and refusing to leave our holiday rental she’s starting to like her new environment, even if she still asks why we gave her cat away (No, we did not give Aussie away. He’s with a friend while we work on getting him into the country.)

Been at peace with getting settled.

I am not a patient person, especially when it comes to school. I really, honestly imagined that we would land and I would be starting my first class within a month  and that would be because I wanted to take some time off for Boo who would want mommy to introduce her to all the new and amazing things Sydney had to offer. Right??!! Nope. Not even close.

I am officially working off of others schedule and it’s very difficult. Not only did Boo need more time but I have to listen to Lawyers who say I can’t work or go to school, It’s taken us a month to find housing (that is a rant in itself) and starting LLL meetings when there is no governing body, no peer leaders and the only communication is through email because they are in a completely different country is ….hard. Very Hard.

Things go wrong. And that’s ok.

We haven’t had laundry for almost a month. Our washer died after the first week and they have tried 3 times to fix it. and failed. So having a 3 yr old, living on the beach and it being summer in Australia this is not a small issue in fact it’s a big pain in our wallet.

We haven’t heard about our shipping container. Which has our mattress, kitchen table and other things we decided it would be cheaper to move then to buy but since we move in a week, I’m thinking we’re going to be buying camping equipment and setting up in the living room.

and finally apparently I brought Vancouver weather with us as it has rained constantly the last couple of weeks and when your little one is having trouble going outside this just makes it worse.

This is the important part, We LOVE it here. We are so happy we moved and everything that I typed above is just apart of our beautiful adventure. We are very blessed and everything else will come.

Now to work on getting into school so I can start blogging about Breastfeeding and Birth

Much love

J

Are you still breastfeeding??!!

My Boo is turning 3 in February and I am still breastfeeding.

This should be a non issue and a no brainer as a breastfeeding advocate with my CLEC, doula training, and as a student IBCLC. I know my facts. I know that the global age for a child to wean when left to do it naturally is up to age 7, I know that my child still benefits from the amazing qualities that human milk has to offer: increased fat, protein and vitamin intake, “important source of vitamin A in the second and third year of life” (Persson, 1998), shorter duration of illnesses, NOT to mention that my daughter still wants to nurse and still loves her “milkas”.

 The benefits of breastfeeding, whether a newborn or child, are backed by science. You know this, I know this.

 So why am I starting to shrink away from nursing in public? I can feel it. Boo will ask “Mama, can I have milkas?” and before I would whip out my boob, cuddle and play with her hair as she fed. Now, if I’m honest, I am more likely to ask her to wait. Not because I’m busy or because she doesn’t need it (again science! and Boo telling me she does) but because there is an underlying feeling or internalization that breastfeeding my 3 year old is wrong. When clients have asked about breastfeeding past certain ages as a breastfeeding/lactation support in my community I have always given my full support to the family to do what is best for them, what’s best for the breastfeeding parent and what’s best for babe.

 So what does it say about our communities when even those of us who are advocates do not feel safe to make our own parenting decisions, and I do mean “safe” as in “will I be ridiculed” “will I be asked to leave” or “will this label me”, because this is now affecting my parenting and my relationship with my child. As a mother who wants to work towards social change, as a breastfeeding advocate who wants to understand and participate in breastfeeding politics there is only one thing to do. Feed my child. Breastfeeding in public as a political statement is an amazing and supportive act (we even have thank you cards we give out to mothers who make this choice) and I will continue to feed my child wherever I am, but it makes me wonder if nursing in public past a certain age is hard for me, how hard is it for other parents who don’t have the same kind of support system?

 

 

Love and Light