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Mamas on Bedrest: ATX March For Babies 2015

May 11th, 2015

Good Morning Mamas!!

The Austin/Round Rock March of Dimes March for Babies was this past Saturday, March 9th. It was a wonderful event with over 6000 participants here in the Central Texas area. There were several corporate groups, hospital groups, families and yes, little ole me, representing Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond. It was fun to be out mingling with all the families and learning about what is being done by the March of Dimes to support families of Preterm infants. It was also really interesting to hear the stories and as you’ll see, meet beautiful little ones who fought tenaciously and made it! It is also very sobering to meet families who are walking in memory of their precious babies.

When I was leaving the event, they announced that this particular walk had raised about $280,000, but there  were still monies coming in so that number is sure to climb. How fantastic for Central Texas families! I also know that a few other Mamas on Bedrest were walking in their areas. Former Mama on Bedrest Parijat Deshpande was walking out in Silicon Valley California with her family as the Ambassador family for that particular walk. Charisse Mora Medina was (or will be) walking in Southern California. I also know that KeepEmCookin and Better Bedrest both support the March of Dimes March for Babies in Maryland.

I also want to take a moment to thank those of you who graciously donated to our March for Babies campaign. We raised $205 dollars for the Central Texas March for Babies and I am very grateful for your support on behalf of Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond.

And just to give you a little taste of what the walk was like, I collected the photos that I took into a short video montage. Enjoy!!

Mamas on Bedrest: Halloween Spooktacular!!

October 27th, 2014

Good Morning Mamas!

Today I’m encouraging you, Mamas on Bedrest, to get into the holiday spirit! Mamas let your creativity flow-Let your “freak” fly!  Celebrate Halloween in a new and creative way on bed rest!

Mamas, I know this isn’t what you wanted. No one actually WANTS bed rest. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy life and it’s simple pleasures. To that end, we’re having a Halloween Spooktacular! Mamas, share how you are creatively enjoying and participating in Halloween this year. Are you decorating your surroundings? Semd us a photo! Did you paint your belly? Dress up? Bake something amazing (or have one of your recipes baked for you!!), write a poem or create a piece of artwork? Share your creation with our community and inspire other mamas! Submit your creations to info@mamasonbedrest.com. The submissions will be posted next week, November 3rd,  and as a community, we’ll choose a winner who will receive a $25 Amazon.com gift card. The winner will be announced on November 10th. Happy Halloween Mamas!!

Mamas on Bedrest: Breastfeeding Cuts Breast Cancer Risks in Black Women

October 13th, 2014

Black Baby BreastfeedingHi Mamas,

We all know that “Breast is Best”! Yet in this country, many women are still unaware of the benefits of breastfeeding. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Black community where the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that only 62% of African American mothers initiated breastfeeding as of 2010 data. By 6 months, only 32% of those mothers were still breastfeeding. So while lactation consultants and others will continue to promote breastfeeding citing the benefits to the baby, there is now an equally significant reason to promote breastfeeding in African American Mamas: Breastfeeding likely protects African American women against Estrogen Receptor negative breast cancer.

Estrogen Receptor negative breast cancer is a very aggressive form of breast cancer and African American women are affected at a disproportionately higher rate than white women. While breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, this has previously only been shown in Estrogen Receptor positive cancers. According to this current study, African American women who have given birth had a 33% higher risk for ER-negative breast cancer than those who had never given birth, and a 37% higher risk for triple-negative breast cancer. However, breast-feeding lowered the risk for both ER-negative and triple-negative disease. Christine Ambrosone, PhD, chair of the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York summarizes the findings this way:

“These data might partially explain why black women are disproportionately affected by ER-negative breast cancer; although they typically have more children than white women, they have a lower prevalence of lactation. In addition, for every age category in the United States, the incidence of triple-negative breast cancer is higher in black women than in non-Hispanic white women.”

Some researchers are skeptical of the findings, stating that it has yet to be determined that pregnancy is causative of Estrogen Receptor Negative Breast Cancer and breastfeeding reduces risk. However, Dr. Ambrose and her colleagues hold firm that their data suggest that pregnancy and childbirth might actually increase the incidence, but that breast-feeding might lower the risk.

Personally, I feel that since such a simple act could have such a significant outcome, it only makes sense to increase awareness and increase the emphasis among African American women to breastfeed. To date, there is no compelling reason for black women NOT to breastfeed. Now, with the known potential benefits to the baby and the ever emerging benefits to black mamas-now a potential protection against an aggressive form of breast cancer-breastfeeding is becoming more of a necessity than ever!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Mamas, please share this vital information with other (black) mamas you may know who are either on the fence about breastfeeding or who are against breastfeeding. This data is too important not to share! The potential costs are too great and the solution too simple and readily available. Thank you. Let me know how you fared in the comments section below.

References: 

Medscape OB/GYN and Women’s Health

Julie R. Palmer, Emma Viscidi, Melissa A. Troester, Chi-Chen Hong, Pepper Schedin, Traci N. Bethea, Elisa V. Bandera, Virginia Borges, Craig McKinnon, Christopher A. Haiman, Kathryn Lunetta, Laurence N. Kolonel, Lynn Rosenberg, Andrew F. Olshan and Christine B. Ambrosone. “Parity, Lactation, and Breast Cancer Subtypes in African American Women: Results from the AMBER Consortium” Journal of the National Cancer institute (2014) 106 (10): dju237