Thu, Sep 21, 2017
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Organised Support Helps Women Keep Breastfeeding

More support could help women keep breastfeeding for longer, according to a large international review

Researchers looked at 73 studies with a total of almost 75,000 women and found that all types of organised support could help keep women breastfeeding—either with or without other food or liquids.

Predictable, scheduled visits with healthcare professionals or trained volunteers were most helpful, and the best kinds of support might depend on a group’s location and their needs, say the review’s authors.

They highlight the fact that many mothers may stop breastfeeding before they want to as a result of the problems they encounter.

This review now includes 100 randomised controlled studies involving more than 83,246 women. The 73 trials that contributed to the analyses were from 29 countries and involved 74,656 women.

Some 62% of the women were from high-income countries, 34% from middle-income countries and 4% from low-income countries.

All forms of extra organised support analysed together showed an increase in the length of time women continued to breastfeed, either with or without introducing any other types of liquids or foods, the authors wrote.

This meant that fewer women stopped any breastfeeding or exclusively breastfeeding (moderate quality evidence) before four to six weeks and before six months. Both trained volunteers and doctors and nurses had a positive impact on breastfeeding.

New studies of different kinds of support for exclusive breastfeeding may change our understanding of how to help women to continue with exclusive breastfeeding, they say, pointing out that evidence was of moderate quality, not high.

“Characteristics of effective support include: that it is offered as standard by trained personnel during antenatal or postnatal care, that it includes ongoing scheduled visits so that women can predict when support will be available, and that it is tailored to the setting and the needs of the population group,” they write.

“Support is likely to be more effective in settings with high initiation rates. Support may be offered either by professional or lay/peer supporters, or a combination of both.

“Strategies that rely mainly on face-to-face support are more likely to succeed with women practising exclusive breastfeeding.”

YouMilk breastfeeding app: The sharing economy of suckling



YouMilk matches mums who do & don't lactate. 

Mothers sharing milk is nothing new. Some women produce too much – others feel guilt because they produce none. Today however, New Zealander Vlad Sadovenko is bringing breastfeeding into the digital age: his YouMilk pair mothers up to help their babies live better.

His sharing economy app may currently in development, but it is already being trialled by lactation consultant and breastfeeding mums. He might not have mammary glands himself, but he’s making ‘matches’ that matter.

We spoke to Sadovenko to find out more about YouMilk…

Kitty Knowles: How would you describe YouMilk?

Vlad Sadovenko: YouMilk is a social platform which simplifies the process of informal milk sharing – it’s for families who lack milk for breastfeeding and for women who have excess milk to donate.

KK: What inspired you to create the app?

VS: About a year ago, two of my friends became parents of beautiful healthy children, but it soon became obvious that neither of them were fully able to breastfeed due to lack of milk.

I suggested they look for an app and was surprised to find there were none for informal breastmilk sharing.

What problems do you want to solve?

At the moment, connections within informal milk sharing communities are made primarily on Facebook groups. Usually it’s a matter of first in, first served, creating a competitive environment and disadvantaging those who do not check the pages regularly.

On top of this, if the recipient needs information about the donor, their dietary details or any other preferences, they must ask for this sensitive information directly every time. This seems unnecessarily time consuming and potentially embarrassing.

Being neither a professional in the medical field, nor a direct user of the service, I feel like I am just trying to facilitate and simplify the process.

I did not create a product based on my own vision of the problem and then dump it on the market saying – use it! It was, and still is, a collaboration between families and certified lactation consultants.

 What are the biggest benefits of using the app?

It is a controversial topic for some people, but breastmilk remains the natural first food for babies.

There is plenty of research on the benefits of using breast milk over formula: breast milk enhances sensory and cognitive development and protects the infant against infectious and chronic diseases.

Some countries allow milk to be sourced from so-called ‘milk banks’. In other cases, mothers turn to friends or relatives. With technological advances, they are more likely to to search the web for a source, bother people they barely know asking for help, constantly check sites for a reply, try to find donor next to their place and then sort out the delivery or pick up.

I want mothers who do choose to use breastmilk to feel less stressed and more confident in accessing human donor milk.

How does YouMilk work?

Firstly, users create free profiles listing their health, dietary and medical preferences.

Then, the YouMilk algorithm links donors and recipients based on this information, taking into account their proximity to each other. Once profiles are matched, the sharing process is as simple as booking a taxi.

What progress have you made already?

Besides online observations and interviews with lactation experts, I’ve conducted surveys to learn more about what mothers feel and think, what difficulties they meet, and the features they would like to see on YouMilk.

Two beta tests with lactation consultants and breastfeeding mums helped shape YouMilk demo 3.0 – which will be released and tested next week.

During the process I got in touch with hundreds of people, and luckily I’ve got a private investor who is now backing me and covering development costs.

What milestones lie ahead?

Last week I was contacted by several milk banks which were interested in YouMilk and asked if it’s possible to incorporate milk banks into YouMilk, in order to simplify the process in those countries where milk banks are already established.

In the future, I’d like YouMilk to perform as a self-sustainable service, gaining funds from donations, in-app advertising and governmental or NGO support. These could be used to provide donors with milk storage bags and to maintain and improve the service.

What’s the big dream?

To launch the app and spread it globally.

The way we nourish our babies will inevitably affect the next generations, so at the risk of sounding overly ambitious, I would say: YouMilk could help to change our future in a positive way.

Breastfeeding debate, money-management issues coming up

- Associated Press - Sunday, February 26, 2017

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada lawmakers will tackle higher stacks of bills and a faster pace in the fourth week of the session.

The full Senate will move toward a vote on the Equal Rights Amendment, but more lively debate could be found in the Assembly this week.

Here are a few issues on which members of the lower legislative chamber will ask for public opinion this week:



One provision of the Affordable Care Act that Democrats hope to enshrine in state law this year will be considered on Monday when lawmakers present the case for workplace lactation accommodations.

Under President Barack Obama’s health care law, all public and private employers with a staff of 50 or more must provide a private place and “reasonable break time” for workers who are nursing to extract breast milk. Employers are not required to pay women for time spent pumping or breastfeeding at work.

Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel, D-Henderson, has proposed Nevada copy that rule into state law as Republicans in Congress continue to deliberate eliminating portions of the ACA and replacing others.

Healthcare providers and government officials have long promoted breastfeeding for the health of both infants and mothers.

Working women - the majority of new mothers - are less likely to initiate breastfeeding and breastfeed for a shorter duration than unemployed women, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Returning to work after pregnancy, women face a lack of time, employer approval, accommodations and milk supply to continue pumping milk.

Nevada is one of 29 states that exempt breastfeeding from indecent exposure laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Assembly Bill 113 will be heard in the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee.

Nevada Democrats have also proposed codifying ACA sections for health insurance companies to cover contraception and screenings for cancer and autism.