Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

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Another reason to consider breastfeeding?

Six baby bottle manufacturers in the US are to remove Bisphenol A (BPA) from their products due to consumer demand.  However, these bottles will continue to be sold in the UK.

BPA is an endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC), which means that it can act like oestrogen in our bodies.  In studies with mice, it has been shown that BPA can cause damage to DNA.  Ana Soto, professor of cell biology at Tufts University medical school in the US told BBC News Online:

“We’ve already found evidence that BPA can damage the mammary, the uterus and the male genital tract in lab animals.

“This research shows it alters reproductive cells both in foetuses and in adult animals.”

The problem with BPA leaching into the contents of the container (BPA is used in water drinking bottles too) occurs when the container is heated or the plastic becomes scratched and old.

Belinda Phipps, chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust www.nctpregnancyandbabycare.com, said: “It’s time the companies in the UK followed suit with what the companies in America and Canada are doing. We shouldn’t have bottles on the market that leach BPA. Parents would like to choose not to have BPA in their babies’ feeds and they don’t find that choice easy right now.”

The current advice for mothers is not to heat milk in the microwave in the baby’s bottle and do not pour in boiling liquid straight into the bottle – let it cool down first.  You can also contact the manufacturer of your baby’s bottle and ask about BPA.  If there is enough pressure from parents in this country, hopefully BPA will be banned here too.

This item was written by Nikki Mattie from www.bestthinkpink.com and www.healthybreastscampaign.co.uk

On the 27th April, Harriet Harmen, Government Minister for Women and Equality published The Equality Bill www.equalities.gov.uk/media/press_releases/equality_bill.aspx which is expected to come into force from Autumn 2010.   The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) the leading parent’s charity and pressure group have welcomed the proposed Bill www.nctpregnancyandbabycare.com/press-office/press-releases/view/52 under which mothers will get the legal right to breastfeed a baby up to the age of six months in any public place (something that is already enshrined in Scottish law).  Under current laws, women who breastfeed in places such as restaurants or busses can be charged under public order or indecency legislation.

The benefits of breastfeeding are well documented (see www.midwifevalerie.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/breastfeeding/) and ministers are changing the law in response to concerns that Britain has the lowest breastfeeding rate in Europe.  National Breastfeeding Awareness Week 10th – 16th May 2009 www.breastfeeding.nhs.uk/en/fe/page.asp?n1=5&n2=13 aims to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding in an attempt to improve our breastfeeding rate and this Bill will surely support breastfeeding women.

As part of National Breastfeeding Awareness Week, I shall be in-store at the Baby Department, Boots the chemist plc, Central Milton Keynes on Saturday 16th May between 10am and 4 pm.  I will be available to answer any questions you may have on pregnancy, birth and early parenting including breastfeeding.  Please do come along and say hello!  More details can be found at www.3shiresmidwife.co.uk


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