Thursday, November 11, 2010


This seems to be sweeping facebook all over the world!

It's a network for mothers who have milk, or mothers who need milk, to find each other.

What they say:
The Eats On Feets GLOBAL is a network that facilitates local woman-to-woman milk sharing via regional chapter pages on Facebook. We assert that women are capable of making informed choices and of sharing human milk with one another in a safe and ethical manner. Eats On Feets GLOBAL does NOT sponsor the selling or corporatism of human breast milk.

Eats On Feets Global was created by a worldwide network of women coming together for a common cause- Feeding babies human breast milk. Spearheaded by activist Emma Kwasnica and inspired by the local action of Shell Walker LM, Eats On Feets is quickly becoming another example of the creative functions available through social networking.

Eats On Feets does NOT: diagnose, delineate, dictate, direct, determine, debate, debit, deal, deputy, deliver, deposit, or otherwise participate in the dogmatic control or outcomes of human breast milk sharing.

Eats On Feets DOES: Provide an online space where families who want human breast milk for their babies can find women who have breast milk to share. We encourage milk-sharers to utilize the principles of Informed Choice when establishing milk-sharing relationships.

The news in Australia even ran a segment on this:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Little Angels : looking for volunteer group leaders!

Looking for volunteers to take over the twice a month mother/baby group Little Angels in Sakura Shinmachi. The volunteer mothers who have been running the group since April now all have walking babies! I would like to thank them for their wonderful efforts to make sure new mothers can meet and chat and make mummy friends in the vast city that is Tokyo!

The role is mainly one of opening up the room, ensuring there are refreshments, liaising with me for dates/times and locking up and returning the key afterwards.

Little Angels is usually on the first and third Friday of each month, but today saw the last one until we get someone else to take over, so please let me know if you are interested!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Listen to Pinky McKay's talk on infant sleep

I was listening to this recording today and reminded again how much babies are biologically programmed to remain in the stone age. And I ask myself, when grown adults (ie. parents) prefer sleeping together rather than alone, because let's face it, most couples DO sleep together....where is the biological sense in leaving a baby to sleep alone?
Of course, every family does what feels right for them, but why does sharing sleep with, or sleeping in close proximity to, your beautiful baby seem wrong to so many people? Is it those prudish Victorian values rearing their ugly head again? Hmm, let's think about that...

and in the meantime, have a listen to Pinky's informative talk by clicking on the PREVIEW for "The Con of Controlled Crying" here.

She also writes some excellent books one of which is 100 ways to Calm the Crying.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

I'm back!! (online anyway!)

The amount of effort (both physical and emotional) required to move countries can never be underestimated! Now having settled into our "life elsewhere", I have returned to my Babycafe Japan blog to let you know where you can find me and how you can continue to access resources useful to all expectant mothers in Japan (and elsewhere!)

First, Little Angels, the mother and baby group I established in 2001, continues to run in my home in Tokyo on the first and third Fridays of the month. The group is staffed by fab volunteer mums who know JUST how much other mums with little babies need support....and somewhere to just hang out together and chat. Click the link above for more details.

Some of the teensy babes-in-arms that I left in Tokyo are now WALKING...I can't believe how fast time Blue Sky is going to offer a special Go Baby Go! group from mid-October to mid-December, where these tots can enjoy music and movement and fun activities in the playroom at Blue Sky, with their mums of course. My favourite assistant teacher is returning to Tokyo from Canada, and she can't wait to get back to Blue Sky and run Go Baby Go! again! Email me here to register your interest.

Since late 2009, I have been providing online lactation consultations, via skype/webcam/email, which means mothers in Tokyo and various other corners of the globe have been able to continue getting support for breastfeeding.

This means personal breastfeeding and infant sleep assistance wherever you are - and wherever I am! Mums in Tokyo have already been putting the service to good use through the Blue Sky online consultations page.

You might believe that what you really need is someone in the room with you to help you attach your baby better, or just to show you what to do. In fact, recent research is suggesting that there is way too much interference by medical staff. Mothers and babies can often get breastfeeding sorted out much better if staff are more "hands off", and mother and babies themselves are more "hands on". So the simple fact I can not be there in the room with you can actually be a great advantage! (Of course, I would love to be there in person, but I would still be "hands off" :-)

I hear too many stories about babies who could only breastfeed in the hospital when the midwife latched them on. What's with that? Shouldn't the midwife be making sure YOU can do it, so that breastfeeding can continue successfully when you get home? Using skype and a webcam, I can see what you and your baby are doing and make suggestions, and ultimately, breastfeeding is not about ME getting baby to latch correctly, it is about YOU being able to do it.

Last but not least, I want to introduce my NEW venture:
Yep, that is a little ™ mark, because this is actually now a trade mark! Very exciting!

The web site is still under construction, but we also have a facebook page:
Iona's new venture:

and a Twitter page (see the big pink and lime green widget on the right of this page!)

You are welcome to get in touch with me through any of these means...just don't sit in your house in Japan (or anywhere else) and feel like nobody is out there to help you or support you as you try to sort through the tangle of those early sleep-deprived weeks of new motherhood.

I am here, and I can't wait to help!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Baby sling warning misses the mark

CPSC warning on slings misses the mark

From the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine

New Rochelle, NY, March 19, 2010 — The Consumer Products Safety Commission's warning on baby slings provides vague and misleading information for parents.

The popularity of slings has increased tremendously in recent years, as more and more mothers report that slings facilitate parenting and breastfeeding on demand. "All slings are not created equal," says Arthur Eidelman, MD, vice president of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. "Unfortunately, however, the CPSC issued a blanket warning about all types of sling carriers."

Ring slings, which carry infants in an upright position snug with the parent's chest, protect the infant's airway. By contrast, the illustrations of "unsafe" slings in the CPSC warning appear to be bag or duffle slings. In bag slings, the infant is carried near the parent's hips. In this position, the infant may be curled up and the neck may be bent, making breathing more difficult.

The CPSC's advice on safe baby carrying is also misleading. The agency recommends positioning infants so "the baby's head is facing up and is clear of the sling and the mother's body." "The face out position they say is correct could be risky with a premature infant, because of the baby's unsupported neck," Eidelman says. "A baby whose face is sideways with cheek against the chest, head slightly extended and body and shoulders and yes, face, snug so that the baby can't move, is secured in a safe position."

In the warning, the CPSC reported 14 deaths associated with sling use in the past 20 years, including 3 in 2009. The agency provided no information on the types or brands of sling involved, nor did they account for the rapid increase in sling use among parents in the US. This stands in contrast with the hundreds of recalls of other juvenile products issued by the CPSC that specify the precise brand and model number involved in adverse outcomes.

"Last month, when the CPSC recalled a crib model associated with 3 infant deaths, they did not issue a blanket warning that cribs can be deadly," Eidelman notes. "Parents deserve the same precise, accountable information when it comes to baby-carrying."

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine is a worldwide organization of physicians dedicated to the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding and human lactation through education, research, and advocacy. An independent, self-sustaining, international physician organization and the only organization of its kind, ABM's mission is to unite members of various medical specialties through physician education, expansion of knowledge in breastfeeding science and human lactation, facilitation of optimal breastfeeding practices, and encouragement of the exchange of information among organizations.

Friday, January 29, 2010



The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), International Lactation Consultant Association/United States Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA/USLCA), and La Leche League International (LLLI) strongly affirm the importance of breastfeeding in emergency situations, and call on relief workers and health care providers serving victims of disasters to protect, promote, and support mothers to breastfeed their babies. During an emergency, breastfeeding mothers provide their infants with safe food and water and disease protection that maximize their chances of survival.

This week, the International Milk Bank Project and Quick International Courier coordinated a shipment of milk from the HMBANA member banks to supplement a mother’s own milk for the premature, medically fragile, and orphaned infants aboard the U.S. Navy ship Comfort stationed off the coast of Haiti. This milk will help this small group of infants. In this highly unusual circumstance the infrastructure associated with the Comfort’s resources allows U.S. sourced donor milk to help fragile Haitian babies.

Donor milk, however, is not a solution for the large number of infants and young children affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Members of the public who wish to promote the survival of mothers and babies in Haiti can donate money to the following organizations: UNICEF, Save the Children Alliance, World Vision, and Action Against Hunger. These organizations are using best practice to aid both breastfed and non-breastfed infants. Members of the public can be confident that donations to these organizations will support breastfeeding and help save the lives of babies.

Interventions to protect infants include supporting mothers to initiate and continue exclusive breastfeeding, relactation for mothers who have ceased breastfeeding, and finding wet nurses for motherless or separated babies. Every effort should be made to minimize the number of infants and young children who do not have access to breastfeeding. Artificially fed infants require intensive support from aid organizations including infant formula, clean water, soap, a stove, fuel, education, and medical support. This is not an easy endeavor. Formula feeding is extremely risky in emergency conditions and artificially fed infants are vulnerable to the biggest killers of children in emergencies: diarrhea and pneumonia.

As stated by UNICEF and WHO, no donations of infant formula or powdered milk should be sent to the Haiti emergency. Such donations are difficult to manage logistically, actively detract from the aid effort, and put infant’s lives at risk. Distribution of infant formula should only occur in a strictly controlled manner. Stress does not prevent women from making milk for their babies, and breastfeeding women should not be given any infant formula or powdered milk.

There are ongoing needs in the U.S. for human milk for premature and other extremely ill infants because of the protection it provides from diseases and infections. If a mother is unable to provide her own milk to her premature or sick infant, donor human milk is often requested from a human milk bank. American mothers can help their compatriots who find themselves in need of breast milk for their sick baby by donating to a milk bank that is a member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.

For more information about donating milk to a milk bank, contact HMBANA at Additional information for relief workers and health care professionals can be provided from the United States Breastfeeding Committee at, ILCA/USLCA at or, or La Leche League International at A list of regional milk banks is available on the HMBANA Web site at
Angela Smith, President
ILCA Board of Directors

Tuesday, January 26, 2010



The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), International Lactation Consultant Association/United States Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA/USLCA), and La Leche League International (LLLI) are jointly issuing an urgent call for human milk donations for premature infants in Haiti, as well as sick and premature infants in the United States.

This week the first shipment of human milk from mothers in the United States will be shipped to the U.S. Navy Ship “Comfort” stationed outside Haiti. “Comfort” is currently set up with a neonatal intensive care unit and medical personnel to provide urgent care to victims of the earthquake. An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant stationed at the U.S. Navy base in Bethesda, MD is assisting with providing breast pump equipment and supplies to the “Comfort.” Dr. Erika Beard-Irvine, pediatric neonatologist, is on board the “Comfort” to coordinate distribution of the milk to infants in need. HMBANA, USBC, ILCA/USLCA, and LLL are responding to requests to provide milk for both premature infants and at-risk mothers who have recently delivered babies on board the U.S.N.S. Comfort, but an urgent need exists for additional donations.

At the current time, the infrastructure to deliver human milk on land to Haiti infants has not yet been established. As soon as that infrastructure is in place, additional donations will be provided to older infants.
Mothers who are willing to donate human milk should contact their regional Mothers’ Milk Bank of HMBANA. A list of regional milk banks is available at the HMBANA website at

Currently milk banks are already low on donor milk. New milk donations will be used for both Haiti victims as well as to replenish donor supplies to continue to serve sick and premature infants in the U.S. Donor milk provides unique protection for fragile preterm infants. Financial donations are also strongly encouraged to allow HMBANA, a nonprofit organization, to continue serving infants in need.

UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the Emergency Nutrition Network, and medical professionals all recommend that breastfeeding and human milk be used for infants in disasters or emergencies. Human milk is life-saving due to its disease prevention properties. It is safe, clean, and does not depend on water which is often unavailable or contaminated in an emergency. Relief workers, health care providers, and other volunteers are urged to provide support for breastfeeding mothers to enable them to continue breastfeeding, and to assist pregnant and postpartum women in initiating and sustaining breastfeeding.

For more information, contact HMBANA at 408-998-4550 or . Additional information can be provided from the United States Breastfeeding Committee at 202-367-1132 (, ILCA/USLCA at 1-800-452-2478 ( or ), or La Leche League at 847-519-7730 (


Angela Smith, President
ILCA Board of Directors