Letters

Virtual Motherhood
As a mom who loves computers almost as much as books, I was delighted to see your cover story "Virtual Motherhood" (May). However, I was disappointed that you didn't include any Minnesota-based sites in your article. My own newly launched site, Minnesota Mom (www.minnesotamom.com), is an example of one mom's effort to supply information of local interest. I invite your staff and readers to visit and check out my articles and links geared to families in the Twin Cities.
Small local sites can't begin to duplicate the resources of immense sites like Parent Soup or ParentsPlace, of course. (Especially when they're a one-mom operation like mine, which is designed and maintained entirely in my almost-nonexistent spare time!) However, local sites do have the advantage of being able to provide information specific to our part of the state or world--something that's often lacking on bigger sites that try to be all-encompassing resources to parents everywhere. I hope you'll stop by!
Jaye Lawrence
a.k.a. "Minnesota Mom"

Been There, Done That
I cried as I read Meryl Dorey's article "Over the Edge and Back" about colic and postpartum depression in the May issue of Minnesota Parent. And I share her anger. You see, I too had a baby who nursed constantly. I too, had an undiagnosed staph infection for months.
My firstborn daughter arrived four hours after labor started. She latched on easily. I was delighted. I'd read all the books and knew how good breastfeeding was and how it can be difficult to get the baby to latch on properly. But I didn't anticipate a baby that would latch on and nurse for seven hours straight. Every time I commented that it hurt, the nurses checked her latch and told me not to worry. After seven hours without stop (every time I tried to remove her she'd cry, so I'd switch sides and keep going), I finally wheeled the bassinet down to the nurse's station and, nearly in tears, begged them to keep her for me so I could get some sleep.
I sympathize so much with the author. My baby continued to nurse almost constantly. If she was awake, she was nursing. And she wasn't a sleepy baby. We had few problems until about six months after she was born, when I started having what we thought at first was chapped nipples--red and sore-looking. My daughter had diaper rash in spite of regularly changed cloth diapers. I asked La Leche and the nurses and pediatricians, and they all told me she must not be latching on even though she looked fine when they checked. It was so frustrating. In the meantime, my nipples went from sore to cracked and bleeding. Nurses suggested creams and moisturizers. It didn't help. On a well-baby checkup, the pediatrician decided it must be thrush. She prescribed a yeast medication--the next day, the red, raw patches that covered my nipple and aureole had doubled in size. I went in and cried and screamed at them to take a test--to find out what it really was. They discovered staph. I was given an antibiotic for both my nipples and my daughter's diaper rash. Within days, the three-month ordeal was finally over.
For women who are having pain with breastfeeding and have been checked for proper latching on, I beg you to do two things:
1) Insist that your doctor take a simple swab test to find out what's really wrong. Staph seems to be much more common than most breastfeeding mothers think it is. (They don't warn you about staph in all the books.)
2) Stop guilt-tripping yourself over natural feelings of anger and hurt and resentment, including those you feel toward your baby. As long as you don't express those feelings by abusing or neglecting your baby, you have nothing to feel guilty about. In fact, give yourself the kudos you deserve for handling such a difficult situation without resorting to abuse.
Thank you for the article.
Anna Ravenscroft

Virtual Hug
I was just thumbing through Mothering and saw that they have acknowledged Minnesota Parent as being in compliance with the WHO code. I think that's just wonderful and am very proud of you! Anyway, I just wanted to give you a virtual hug :)
Lori Thompson
Ridgecrest, California

Advertising Age
I would like to respond to Tami D. Sanberg's letter in the May edition. She felt that you should accept formula advertising for the sake of those women who cannot breastfeed, and that the advertising and marketing of breast-milk substitutes was a valuable source of information for those women.
First of all, I empathize with Ms. Sandberg. To be educated about the benefits of breastfeeding and then not be able to provide this source of nourishment for your baby must be heartbreaking, especially after experiencing the close bond of breastfeeding your first child. It is true that a very small percentage of women in special circumstances cannot breastfeed and must turn to formula for their babies. They do need accurate information to make an informed decision about their babies' nutritional needs. However, when did advertising and marketing become information? When a company markets or advertises its product, it's only concern is to induce the consumer to buy this product. Advertising is supposed to be persuasive, it is often misleading, and it is never an objective source of information. If a mother needs advice on how best to feed her baby, she should consult her health-care provider.
I applaud Minnesota Parent's compliance with the WHO Code, and I wish the United States would join with the many other countries around the world in enforcing the Code.
Lisa Andersen
Eden Prairie

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