Pennsylvania's Liquor Control BoardThis ad was pulled after various complaints to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. It might be the 21st century, but there's still a tendency toA blame the victim,A be it for drinking or wearing a short skirt. We have collected eight recent ads that imply if a woman drinks or fails to cover up, then she is somehow asking for it. The most headline-inducing recent example was when the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board released a series of posters showing a woman's legs sprawled on a bathroom floor, underwear at her ankles, with the text, "See what happens when your friends drink too much?" They were later pulled.
We've also found a few anti-rape PSAs that get the message right, so there's hope for progress. To explain the skinny, it's time for a patronising mini science lesson: breastmilk contains something called the Feedback Inhibitor of Lactation (FIL). Imagine, if you will, that you are exclusively breastfeeding and visit your family doctor for a routine check-up. A few days later, the doctor tells you that as your baby is growing steadily she needs 4 ounces of formula per day to maintain her steady weight gain. In a nutshell: the trick of avoiding the formula trap is to be fully aware of it - recognize the potential habit before it has a chance to become established. Earlier this month, Mark Zuckerberg hoist his white boxers onto a pole and waved them in defeat. Snootypants Apple - makers of ipads, iphones and iattutude problems - didn’t like the app. In an attempt to discover what would pull the bothersome wedgie from Apple's ass-crack I searched for other breastfeeding apps available via Apple. Well, Apple could swiffle on an ipod shuffle if they thought I was going to label my breastfeeding app as sexual. Has a direct one-click connection to The Alpha Parent facebook page, for all your bitching needs. Breastfeeding mothers and their babies are attuned to each other on a deep biological level. When you breastfeed, you are relating to this little person in a way you have never related to anyone else in your life. When a mother nurses, not only do her blood oxytocin levels increase, but her body makes more receptors, permanently increasing her feelings of love - and her ability to feel loved.
Dr Kerstin Uvnas-Moberg, a world authority on oxytocin, has studied the changes between these two defence mechanisms, where she refers to the 'tend and befriend' approach as 'calm and connection'.
To give you another example of oxytocin's potency, male prairie voles given a shot of the stuff are converted from roving-eyed bachelors into nurturing husbands and fathers (Ellison 2006). In one Yale University study, a team of researchers examined new mothers – half who were breastfeeding, and half who were formula feeding. The breastfeeding mother has a brain that is literally marinating in oxytocin and dopamine making her feel loved, deeply bonded, and physically and emotionally satisfied. In the same way that lactation gives breastfeeding mothers the edge over formula feeding mothers on the attentiveness front, it also makes them smarter than their bottle wielding peers.
Let me give you an example of these cells in action: breastfeeding mothers are more sensitive to the sounds of their own babies, and more skilled in interpreting what they mean.
A decade ago, two neuroscientists, Judith Stern at Rutgers University and Michael Merzenich at the University of California, provided stunning evidence of this impact when they showed that in the cortex of a mother rat, the area devoted to the trunk, or chest, had actually doubled in size while that rat was breastfeeding.
In the animal world, a heightened ability to capture prey means a decreased amount of time the mother spends away from vulnerable offspring and this decreased window of vulnerability means a lower infant mortality rate. Another research team, this time from Okayama University in Japan, found more evidence to support the existence of permanent change. When two high school football players were convicted of raping an intoxicated girl in Steubenville, Ohio, a€” after sending pictures of the act to friends and posting about it on social media a€” a significant portion of the backlash was aimed at the victimA rather than her attackers. The meme of targeting the violated as opposed to the violator has even made it into modern PSAs that are supposed to be anti-domestic violence. It’s the mating call of the disengaged health professional or well-meaning but ultimately misinformed relative. Suppose he recommends a minuscule amount, say 2 ounces of formula per day, just to take the edge off your sole feeding responsibility. I fell into the formula trap with my first child (story here) and clawed myself back out of it. Through a chain reaction of behaviour and subsequent self-justification they find themselves at a markedly different infant feeding destination to their original aspirations. He, and his fratboy team at Facebook HQ, finally conceded that breastfeeding wasn’t sexual. This was great timing, as I was about to launch a new breastfeeding cellphone app: an interactive version of The Timeline of a Breastfed Baby! Any company can create and submit an app to appear in their app store, but Apple has the ultimate say on which apps make it. The process of a baby suckling at the breast actually forges new neurochemical pathways in the mother’s brain that create and reinforce maternal behaviour. Mom's sensitivity to oxytocin’s power is one of the most fundamental ways she changes as a new mother.
In another study, this time conducted by Margaret Altemus, a psychology professor at Cornell University, 10 lactating and 10 non-lactating women were stressed by being forced to engage in one of my favourite past times – pounding a treadmill for no particular reason.
The longer and more often their baby suckles, the more it triggers the prolactin-oxytocin response in the mother’s brain, forging more connections. Prolactin is detected by a sensitive area on each milk-making cell and has the effect of priming them, or switching them on. The hormonal exchange works as follows: The nursing response of the oxytoxin circuits is reinforced by the feeling of pleasure created by bursts of dopamine - the pleasure and reward chemical.


In one study, mother rats were given the opportunity to press a bar and get a squirt of cocaine or press a bar and get a rat pup to suck their nipples. Female rats inhibited from producing oxytocin after giving birth do not exhibit typical maternal behaviour (Van-Leengoed 1987). You want her to know about the territory around her and remember things about her kids, and be in a prime state to function” (Ratey 2003). However, once mom has given birth and breastfeeding begins, cell replacement resumes and increases. In his work he discovered how lactation increases synapses in the part of the brain’s cortex that deals with attention and complex tasks.
The results of Kinsley’s study showed that lactation gives mothers the edge, with the non-lactating rats taking around 290 seconds to catch the crickets, whilst the lactating group only took about 70 seconds. A study published last year even suggested that giving formula to babies can help relax mothers and increase the length of time they end up breastfeeding (The Telegraph 2013). Even with this pertinent truth aside, one bottle is the starting klaxon of bona fide formula feeding. His rationale is that you deserve a break, and formula feeding would provide this by enabling others to feed the baby, and besides, you've breastfed long enough in his opinion. Two measly ounces can’t hurt and you really could do with an extra 10 minutes to blow dry your hair every morning (plus, seeing your hubby tenderly nourishing your little one would be just soooooo keyyyyyute, a message brought to you by those oh so thoughtful formula companies). Will you keep going to a full bottle a day, two bottles, or even beyond that to complete formula feeding? I’ve spoken to countless mothers who dabbled with the bottle only to fight with nipple confusion, diminished supply and the health issues inherent with formula use.
This is what leads to the dramatic feelings of guilt and despair which choke their mothering experience. A dynamic on-the-go breastfeeding resource for busy moms who needed accessible support at their fingertips.
The basics of the their vetting process boil down to a technical pre-application check of your binary, a review by an Apple employee along with revisions to the app if necessary, followed by acceptance or an appeal of a rejection, and the summons of a pound of flesh.
Presumably, these guys would only know a breast if it poked them in the eye at a strip joint. It appears, the boys at Apple don’t think anyone below the age of 12 can cope with viewing a nursing mother (yet strangely, I know plenty folk under the age of 1 that have no issue with it). Motherhood, and specifically breastfeeding - the most central physiological act of mothering during infancy, changes you because it literally alters your brain - structurally, functionally, and in many ways, irreversibly. The research team found the lactating women released only HALF the amount of stress hormones, compared to those not nursing (Altemus 2010). Throughout most of human history, women have had to watch out not just for themselves but for the sprogs they most likely had in tow.
Pretty soon, the mother forges enough receptors that she can feel her breasts tingling and leaking at the sight, sound, or merely passing thought of nursing her baby. Breastfeeding mothers show improved memory for human faces, in particular happy faces (Rimmele et al 2009; Guastella 2008). They show a marked delay, and in some instances avoidance, of pup carrying, pup manipulation, nest building, autogrooming, and time spent on the nest with the pups. I’m talking about the kinds of smarts that translate into enhanced perception, efficiency, resiliency, motivation and social skills.
Compared to those not breastfeeding, Dr Ratey found that lactating moms had more glial cells, which support the neurons by importing energy and exporting waste products. This perceptional ability becomes part of her general feeling of extraordinary attachment to this new being. This was a huge pat on the back for supplementing mommas - and there are plenty of them about. When mothers are asked in advance how far they imagine they would go, almost no one would say they would go to complete formula feeding. Mothers who resist early on, questioning the validity of the doctor’s recommendation, are much less likely to become entrapped (Tavris and Aronson 2007).
And every time, every fricken time people!, they wished they’d never picked up that darn bottle in the first place.
In one study for example, the most common reason for weaning at any age was a "perceived lack of supply". They told me they were not happy that the images featured breastfeeding and that people would *OMFG* see them when they browsed the app store. These changes result in a motivated, highly attentive, and aggressively protective brain that compels the breastfeeding mother to alter her responses and priorities in life (Hahn-Holbrook 2011).
As Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, Kerstin Uvnas-Mobery, the global authority on oxytocin, found in a series of experiments, breastfeeding women tend to be less reactive to stress hormones, less physically tense, less suspicious, and less bored. Their bodies knew they had little people to care for purely because of the signals produced through sustained lactation. The mother’s blood pressure drops, she feels peaceful and relaxed, and she basks in waves of oxytocin-inspired loving feelings for her baby. They also show improved recognition for positive social cues (Unkelbach 2008; Marsh 2010) and improved recognition of fear in others (Shofty 2010). Strong attachment itself can help make her smarter about the rest of the world, in part by keeping her brain elevated. Perhaps this experiment could involve depriving families of food and then watching to see which mothers were most efficient at obtaining it.
In other words, mothers are not born, they are made through breastfeeding” (Kinsley and Lambert 2006).
When virgin rats are injected with breastfeeding hormones (doing this to humans would be deemed 'unethical' so here we have the rats again), they go from their usual behaviour of rejecting rat pups, to nurturing them (Moberg 2011).


Then, you say to yourself, 5 ounces isn’t that much more than 4, and for that amount I could even have a shower in peace.
But when they are actually in the situation, the vast majority of mothers go all the way, ditching the breast forever. But it was revealed that these early weaners consistently introduced supplemental feedings in the first 2 weeks, whereas those mothers still nursing at 6 weeks gave no supplements at all. So, let's recap: breatsfeeding images would be permitted ONLY if their viewing was restricted to people over 12 years old, and ONLY if they were inside the app and not darkening the app store shelves like porno on the top shelf of a dodgy service station.
It’s a remarkable natural phenomenon whereby the mother is neurologically and chemically in sync with her baby, and her baby to her.
This hormonal cascade makes mom want to respond to her baby and helps her to interpret his needs effectively (Rapley and Murkett 2012).
They are also calmer and more sociable when tested for these traits than mothers of comparable ages who are not breastfeeding (Uvnas-Moberg & Petersson 2005). It appears that oxytocin not only lowers blood pressure but also inhibits the release of the stress hormone glucocorticoid. A consequence of this biology is that each gender has evolved differently in the matter of psychological responses to stress.
When these receptors are stimulated they make the mother want to protect her baby and hold him close.
Consider that human mothers who formula feed are literally inhibiting their oxytocin production, lack of lactation is literally stunting their maternal brain circuits.
Indeed, breastfeeding forces moms to use certain talents up-close, constantly and repetitively. And what’s more, the breastfeeding rats’ gains in learning and memory were lasting up to twenty-four months, a full eighteen months past their last litter, and the equivalent of about 80 years of age for a human!
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-quarter of the babies born in America in 2009 were supplemented with infant formula by two days of age, and by three months, this had increased to nearly two-thirds.
A break would be lovely but it’s not worth surrendering your breastfeeding relationship over. A few days later, the doctor informs you that he is thrilled with your baby’s weight gain and instructs you to increase the feed to 6 ounces. In my book, aptly titled, 'Breast Intentions', I explore how women turn to formula to satisfy internal intentions even moreso than external pressures. After all, some poor DFF or male widower could clamp their eyes on the flesh of a young woman nursing her child, and throw a wobbler.
Michael Merzenich, the San Francisco University brain plasticity expert, has described breastfeeding as a kind of temporary breakdown of identity for both mother and child that powerfully affects both their brains. Contrast this with mothers who breastfeed, they have been found to exhibit more behaviors that create a close relationship to their baby, such as singing a special song to them, bathing and feeding them in a special way, or thinking about them more (Odent 2011). This would, of course, be highly unethical, and so the hypothesis can never be tested on humans, but other mammals – bring it on. You need someone who goes out of their way to make it obvious that they want you in their life.
With every day she spends under his protection, she falls deeper under his masterful spell.Are you ready to play?Yet all is not as it seems. Of course, a few mothers would do it with persuasion, heck, some would even do it without persuasion, but most would tell the doctor where to stick his formula. If you glance back at the doctor scenario above, you can see how mothers' expectations and beliefs about what formula will do for them influences the rewards and behaviors associated with its use - thus giving formula an addictive potential.
Quite simply, the more oxytocin you have, the more loving and attentive you are to your baby. Add to this the fact that breastfeeding reduces stress via oxytocin, and opportunities for learning are improved even further. And that’s exactly what psychologist Dr Craig Kinsley did with our friends, the rats. They base this partly on research showing that humans and other mammals respond more readily, and emotionally, to their second baby than to their first.
Mothers opt into formula feeding and thus opt out of breastfeeding by justifying each step as they go along. The results of this Yale experiment revealed that the brains of the breastfeeding mothers showed a significantly stronger response to the sound of their babies' cries than did the brains of the formula feeding mothers. He looked at the behaviour of age-matched rat moms, comparing those who were lactating and those who were not. The two hormones are elevated each time baby suckles at the breast reaching blood levels of eight times the norm (Ellison 2006). Greater activity was revealed in several brain regions, including the superior frontal gyrus, striatum and amygdala.
Breastfeeding strikes the perfect balance between keeping mom alert and yet also relaxed - an equalibrium which improves her overall comprehension skills. The researchers hypothesised that high activity in these regions contributes to breastfeeding mothers’ ability to understand how their babies are feeling and respond in an appropriate way (Kim et al 2011). In order to feed, the rats had to capture and kill the crickets whilst Kinsley’s team observed.
By the time they are administering a bottle or two, most mothers find it difficult to justify a sudden decision to surrender the bottle.



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