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Ann's Blog

The Buffett Early Childhood Institute recently released the third of four reports addressing Early Childhood Care and Education for our youngest citizens. Along with other organizations in our state, the Buffett Institute is focusing on the importance of investing in our children from an early age. Their recent report backs up scientific evidence with a survey concluding that Nebraskans want to invest in the future well-being of our children.

Five years ago, Jillian experienced the loss of her newborn. After a rocky start in the hospital, she took her two-day-old, full-term son home and breastfed him frequently. Jillian’s baby ended up on life support 12 hours later and was taken off life support when he was two weeks old. An autopsy determined the cause of death as dehydration.

Devastated by her loss, as any mother would be, Jillian shared her story with the Fed is Best Foundation, an organization founded to prevent newborn starvation due to insufficient exclusive breastfeeding. Jillian’s most poignant statement is: One bottle (of formula) may have saved my baby’s life.

It’s our birthday month! 16 years ago, seven brave women ventured out to create a breastfeeding center. At the time, fewer than 10% of moms breastfed for six months. While our goal was to provide support, there is no denying that a big part of what we set out to do was convince new moms that breastfeeding makes a difference.

As America inaugurates its 45th President, our country is bracing itself for change. New trade agreements? Fewer environmental controls? A wall across our southern border?

What about the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? Will it change? If so, how quickly and in what ways?

America has long been the land of opportunity. This is so obvious as we hear daily reports of war torn countries, where mothers and fathers and children are running from violence, trying to stay alive.

Apparently it has something to do with self-efficacy, a term coined by social scientists to describe the process by which human beings embrace behaviors. From the moment we are born, we are influenced by what happens around us. We believe we can do something because people who look like us, talk like us, and live in our own neighborhood are doing it.

The LA Times recently published an op-ed that speaks directly to MilkWorks and our mission here in Nebraska. Author Jennifer Grayson identifies the fundamental ability of American mothers to nourish their young with free, life sustaining mother’s milk as a luxury for the elite, or a hard fought prize for the intrepid.

The first week of August happens to be World Breastfeeding Week and I am celebrating by catching up on the East End of London and those wonderful midwives at Nonnatus House. I find myself catching my breath as Call the Midwife explores the changing times of the early 1960's, a time period that was pivotal for many social issues and lifestyle practices.

Creating a supportive environment for breastfeeding mothers sounds so easy. Doctors and midwives encourage moms to take a breastfeeding class. In the hospital, the nurses promote newborn skin to skin contact. Some moms will seek outpatient breastfeeding support from an IBCLC to overcome challenges. Most insurance plans provide a breast pump so breastfeeding moms can return to work or school. We have legislation that makes breastfeeding in public a civil right. Then a new mom leaves her house with her baby and breastfeeding is nowhere to be seen…..

Thousands of babies. Thousands of weight checks. Thousands of diaper changes. The past 15 years are chock full of thousands of memories...

This week the Buffett Early Childhood Institute released a statewide survey conducted by Gallup on Early Care and Education in Nebraska. The survey shows...

When MilkWorks opened our doors in 2001, breastfeeding advocacy was almost non-existent. Over the past 15 years, our culture has shifted, and breastfeeding support is now mainstream. However, it appears this support is facing major scrutiny ...

I look forward to 2016 with both joy and a bit of trepidation. MilkWorks opened our doors 15 years ago, in 2001. This year will bring both reflection and celebration to our organization ...

December and the holidays are a time of great joy and celebration. Families come together, traditions are re-lived, and we hopefully take a moment to listen to the bells and feel the silence of the night.

The holidays can also be a difficult time, especially if you are a new mother having problems breastfeeding. Whether we like it or not, some mothers end up frustrated, sad or disappointed that breastfeeding is downright hard for them. And some of them will stop because it is just too much ...

My family and my friends often accuse me of being “breast-oriented.” It is true. Being the Executive Director of a breastfeeding center means that I pay attention to breasts. So imagine my fascination when I learned that Playboy magazine will no longer feature photos of fully nude women. My heart went out to all of my junior high friends (boys) who hid tattered Playboys under their mattresses and discovered the wonders of female breasts in a Playboy centerfold ...

When MilkWorks opened our doors in Lincoln 14 years ago, we wanted to be a support system for all mothers, regardless of their income, education, marital status, race or cultural background. This is why we incorporated as a 501 c3 nonprofit and why we hold fundraisers, seek donations and write grants.

Our Board of Directors recently held our 5th Annual Milk and Cookies fundraising event at Lux Center for the Arts. Thanks to their hard work gathering desserts, auction items and sponsors, MilkWorks will now have more resources to serve our community of breastfeeding mothers ...

My great grandparents were born in Poland and Austria. When they immigrated to the United States in the late 1800’s and settled in the Dakotas, they were seeking a better life for their families. They did not speak English and they brought unique cultural traditions with them. They also breastfed their babies.

Families have been moving to America for many years, leaving behind familiar landscapes and often other family members. Sometimes they come on their own accord. Sometimes they are seeking refuge. Even if their journey to America is a blessing and a relief, it is human nature to long for a familiar face or language ...

The world is a better place because we have female doctors, judges, state senators, and police officers. Women bring wisdom and insight to professions that were traditionally male dominated.

Officer Kerrie Orozco of Omaha is a shining example of creating positive change in our world. At the young age of 29, she was highly engaged as a community volunteer and a police officer. Not just your day-to-day, high risk police officer, but as part of the extra high risk Omaha gang unit.

Like many young women today, Officer Orozco also had a yearning to become a mother and breastfeed her baby. Yet our culture failed her, as it fails so many other mothers ...

Being a mother is a journey of discovery. We may think that mothering is something we do for our children. In reality, mothering may be more about our own growth and development. Motherhood presents an incredible opportunity to learn more about ourselves ...

Most American mothers stopped breastfeeding their babies 50 years ago due to a variety of cultural and social factors. Not until 2007, when a meta-analysis of 9,000 research studies was completed, did we truly realize that what we feed babies matters ...

Similac (a brand of infant formula) has posted a video that pits moms (and dads) against each other. The video asks, "What's better? Cloth diapers or disposable diapers? Being at home with baby, or working outside the home? Breastfeeding or bottle feeding formula?" While the video hints at humor, it ends on a serious tone ...

It’s January, which means it’s time for looking back AND looking forward. I feel as though breastfeeding exploded in the news this past year. Almost weekly, a major news source posted a breastfeeding blog. Fourteen years ago when MilkWorks opened, blogs were unheard of. And it was a rare day when breastfeeding was mentioned anywhere except a childbirth class. Certainly not in the New York Times or Washington Post ...

Our culture is obsessed with numbers. How many days until Xmas? How many Nebraska touchdowns? How many miles did I ride my bike? How many shots in my latte?

Parents are no different. They wonder: how many days until my due date? How many hours of labor will I have? How many days until my milk comes in? How much weight did my baby gain? How much sleep does my baby need? How little sleep did I get last night ...

I have a secret to share. When my new granddaughter comes to visit, I am so glad that I do not have to get up at night with her. I love playing with her, feeding her sweet potatoes, and putting her in a baby carrier and walking around the block to put her to sleep. But please don’t make me get up with her in the middle of the night ...

Wow! It's hard to know where to start. Celebrities, ice buckets and the U.S. Surgeon General. What do they all have in common? Breastfeeding.

Celebrities who breastfeed are not new. Pink, Gwen Stefani and now Olivia Wilde have all done it. Perhaps these celebrity moms help make breastfeeding a bit more cool? And perhaps these moms exploit their babies just a bit while doing it? But they also show that breastfeeding is breastfeeding. Babies love it and moms do it.

Ice buckets and breastmilk ARE something new...

July is always a month to celebrate - full of firecrackers and sparklers and snakes (my favorite as a kid!). While we honor the independence of our country on July 4th, this year I have many things to celebrate ...

May was an exciting month at our home - we celebrated the birth of five adorable lab puppies. While I may be the lactation consultant in our home, when it comes to birthing puppies, all of the credit goes to Slate, the momma dog, and my husband, Kent. He may masquerade as a land use attorney by day, but in his heart he is a true midwoof ...

I like to think that mothers are the first wonder of the world. With a little help from dad, a mother's body nourishes, protects and gives birth. Until recent history, it was then all about the second wonder of the world: mother's milk - all a baby needed for the next six months.

This process changed about fifty years ago as cultural forces embraced a growing trend to feed babies processed cow’s milk, or formula. Intentions were good: moms could more easily join the work force and moms would no longer need to bare their breasts to feed their babies in public. Unfortunately, no research was behind the move to abandon breastfeeding, and by the time the U.S. Surgeon General issued the 2011 Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, the effects of more than two generations of babies raised on cow’s milk were evident: more acute infections and chronic illnesses, including obesity, diabetes and asthma, and higher health care costs ...

One of the perils of being a Lactation Consultant is that you feel as though breastfeeding is always difficult. Moms walk through our doors every day with babies who struggle to latch or remove milk, or with breasts that make too much or too little milk.

So when I encountered a mom at a restaurant who "lived" at MilkWorks with her first baby, and she told me that her second baby nursed like a champ right from the start, it warmed my heart. NOW she gets to experience breastfeeding in its glory ...

Just when I think I know everything, I am always pleasantly surprised. But did you ever think there would be boy milk and girl milk???? It is pretty amazing that a mother’s milk changes from morning to night, from one day to the next, from the equator to the North Pole, and that it tastes different based upon what mom eats. Now we learn that animal moms may customize their milk depending upon the gender of their baby ...

MilkWorks started with a conversation between two moms. One said, “I am having problems breastfeeding and I need some help.” The other one said, “Everyone is telling moms to breastfeed, but where do they go for help?” They both agreed: “We need to do something about this.”

They invited five friends who worked in health care and who breastfed their kids - a pediatrician, a hospital lactation consultant, two doulas and a labor and delivery nurse - to talk about their dream ...

It makes sense that MilkWorks would be all about milk. It's in our name. It's what we do. We help babies get their mother's milk.

But some moms cannot make enough milk to feed their babies. In the past, these moms often felt as though they could not breastfeed their baby. The reality is that breastfeeding is more than the milk ...

Breasts have been “under cover” for many years. In the 19th century, they were hidden beneath corsets, a torturesome device designed to shape, lift and “punish” a woman’s breasts. An American debutante, Mary Phelps Jacob, is credited with the invention of the modern day bra. In 1914 she enlisted her French maid to help her sew two handkerchiefs together and attach pink ribbons for straps. The design stuck, Mary sold the patent for her “Backless Brassiere” to Warner Brothers Corset Company for $1,500, and bras took on a life of their own ...