Continuing our celebration of breastfeeding, today I present a list of websites that offer breastfeeding advice. Why? These are easy resources to share with families who may have a question at 3 in the morning — and not want to call someone to find out the answer. Continue reading
Making this list was harder than I thought. I tried to avoid the blogs that sometimes talk about breastfeeding, but also talk about parenting, cooking, pregnancy and other issues of interest to breastfeeding families. I tried to collect blogs of international interest. I also tried to be aware of the change in blogs over the years. Several blogs that I used to enjoy only sporadically post new content, or seem to only post reviews and contests. In the end I camp up with a list of unique, high-value blogs to recommend. Continue reading
Do you describe yourself as a lactivist? My answer is no. I try not to use language that is only understood by those inside the circle. I prefer to describe any work I do in words the general public will understand. I do know many birth workers who wear the term with pride. For those of you who answered no due to a lack of opportunity rather than semantic concerns, today I give you your opportunities. Check out these organizations. Continue reading
This past week we’ve been talking about international initiatives for breastfeeding, and I wanted to be sure I shared some information about the first one, the International Code of Marketing Breast-milk Substitutes published in 1981.
By its very existence, this document demonstrates the widespread popularity of infant formula. In fact, the popularity was so widespread, health policy-makers felt action needed to be taken to stop unethical practices which added to the growing popularity.
What did the International Code do?
I’d like to introduce you to the Innocenti Declaration.
The full name of this document is the Innocenti Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding, and it was jointly released by the World Health Organization and UNICEF in 1990. It was this document that spurred WHO and UNICEF to launch The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in 1991.
Notice as you read, that this is primarily a document about ensuring adequate and appropriate infant nutrition. Notice also, in the declaration section, the writers tied infant nutritional outcomes to overall maternal health — including adequate nourishment for the mother, access to family planning to allow longer inter-pregnancy intervals, and attention to the social environments in which women work and live. Continue reading
- The ten steps were first published by WHO/UNICEF in 1989 in a document titled Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding.
- The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative was launched in 1991 to ensure every maternity facility in the world would follow these then steps.
- Avoidance of marketing breastmilk substitutes is not included in the ten steps. For a hospital to be accredited as Baby-Friendly they must also follow the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes. Continue reading
August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week, and August is breastfeeding month. Birthing Naturally is celebrating all month with blog posts all about breastfeeding.
We are kicking off the month with five great links to help you celebrate.
- The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action hosted a photo contest in honor of World Breastfeeding Week. Check out the winners of the contest here.
- The United States Breastfeeding Committee is a coalition of over 50 independent organizations to support, promote, and protect breastfeeding. Take a look at the legislation and policy information to find how you can advocate for breastfeeding. If you are not from the United States, do a quick search to find your country’s committee and learn how you can join the advocacy.
- The World Health Organization has publications and statistics about breastfeeding around the world. Educational materials are provided in many languages. Check out their publications to educate yourself or use in educating others.
- UNICEF has published 264 posts about breastfeeding around the world in 2014! Read some of the stories and be inspired, or find solutions from global neighbors that might help in your corner of the world.
- Breastfeeding advocates around the world have put together public service announcements to promote breastfeeding. Check out the collection we’ve made for you at Birthing Naturally’s YouTube Channel and let us know which one is your favorite.
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for spending the summer learning how to read the statistics in research with me. I hope you found the series helpful, and maybe it inspired you to read more research. If so, I have a few resources you might like to know about.
The Birthing Naturally Twitter Feed posts a different study about pregnancy, childbirth and the post-postpartum every day. Follow the feed for daily links to relevant abstracts.
The Cochrane Collaboration has a Pregnancy and Childbirth Group. Their page provides easy access to the research summaries from their systematic reviews.
When you search in PubMed, a box in the upper right corner will provide you with information about how to purchase an article, or if there is a free version of the article available.
If you are a member of a midwifery or nursing organization check their website to see if they provide access to published studies. You might also ask at your University libraries if they have public access library cards you can purchase.
Some journals provide key articles for free. If you find a journal that frequently publishes articles of interest to you, sign up to receive the RSS feed or emails of the table of contents. This can remind you to check into new research regularly.
Think you might be interested in conducting research? Contact your local nursing or midwifery college to partner with researchers who can help you.
Thanks again for joining me this summer. Let me know what you thought of the series and any ideas you have for future series.
You may have been wondering why I had not discussed qualitative research in this series. The un-glamorous answer is that while qualitative research helps to inform practice, it doesn’t actually use statistics as we think about them.
Statistics lives in the world of numbers, and is used in research that is called quantitative — basically because it counts things. But qualitative research isn’t about counting things. It is about openly exploring an area to gain perspective rather than statistical significance.
So while quantitative studies as people to complete surveys and provide blood samples for testing, qualitative studies ask people open ended questions or observe how they perform a task. This type of information is useful in a few different contexts. Continue reading
Last time we talked about the unique contributions of a systematic review. Today we will talk about how meta-analysis informs our practice. Remember, these are both techniques that synthesize existing data. This means just like a systematic review, a meta-analysis must be performed with rigor. A very specific question should be asked, and inclusion and exclusion criteria defined before collecting available studies. Multiple databases must be searched, and counts of excluded studies and the reasons should be kept.
Where a meta-analysis differs is in the actual analysis. Remember when we talked about the importance of sample size to obtaining accurate estimates? Meta-analysis uses statistical techniques to pool the data from multiple studies providing us with better estimates. Here is an example: Vaginal birth after two caesarean sections (VBAC-2)-a systematic review with meta-analysis of success rate and adverse outcomes of VBAC-2 versus VBAC-1 and repeat (third) caesarean sections. Continue reading