1) Have you ever noticed that the most educated states tend to also be the healthiest states? Minnesota has been one of the healthiest states in the nation and it scores high in the breast-feeding report card, released by the Centers for Disease Control. Fifty-one percent of babies born in 2007 were breastfed at least through 6 months, according to the survey.
The report says too many states aren't providing enough support for breastfeeding mothers. Minnesota is one of the states that has laws mandating that employers make provisions for mothers who are breastfeeding.
2) This picture, one of the iconic images of the civil rights era, was taken by Ernest C. Withers.
Withers, who chronicled the civil rights movement with his photography, died in 2007. This week, the Commercial Appeal newspaper -- after a two-year investigation -- unmasked Withers as an FBI informant. It's raises two questions: (1) Does it change his legacy? and (2) How many newspapers still invest in investigations that might take two years to deliver results?
3) It's Fashion Week in New York. It's a big deal, of course, because it gives us a glimpse at the fashion trends heading our way.
4) A new twist on living green: Dying green. The Fargo Forum says environmentally friendly burials are reaching the Midwest, although Wisconsin is the only state in the area that has "natural" burial grounds. There are only 22 in the entire country. Even cremation is being made smoke-free, it says.
Now here's your factoid for the next dinner party: Americans "consume" 827,000 gallons of toxic embalming fluid each year.
5) Greyhound, the bus company -- who travels by bus, anymore? -- has learned a lot from the airlines. It's started tacking on fairly outrageous fees, the LA Times reports. It'll cost you $18 to buy a bus ticket for someone else (who gives bus tickets as a gift?).
Bonus: A homeowner took some video of the San Bruno gas line explosion.
Sometimes, it makes more sense to put down the iPhone and run.
Tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration are set to expire, and leaders in Congress and the White House are debating whether to extend some or all of them. Should the Bush tax cuts be extended?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: The 30 schools that were identified earlier this year as the state's worst performers have kicked off the school year. What will be different for those schools this year and what ramifications do those turnaround efforts have elsewhere in the state?
Second hour: Louis Guillette's research on endocrine disruptors and their impact on alligators has raised new awareness of environmental pollutants in our water. He argues that the impact of his work, and the research being done by scientists in Minnesota, goes beyond the animal world.
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: NPR health reporter Julie Rovner discusses the federal health care law: What takes effect now, and what may be changed by Congress?
Second hour: The first in a series of three gubernatorial candidate forums from the U of M Humphrey Institute. The first features DFLer Mark Dayton.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: Children at work. The recession was global, and as parents desperately seek jobs, sometimes their children end up at work. From the worst kinds of child labor in sweatshops and cocoa fields, to chores on the family farm, where do you draw the line?
Second hour: Suzanne Vega discusses women in music.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - NPR's Nancy Lebens has the next installment in our continuing coverage on communities' struggles as they try to deal with budget cuts. This week is the deadline for city officials to set their tax levels for 2011.
A Stillwater medical clinic is on the cutting edge of a part of the new health care law known as "shared decision-making," which attempts to educate patients about the pros and cons of different kinds of treatments for diseases such as breast cancer and prostate cancer where there is no one best course of action. MPR's health reform reporter, Elizabeth Stawicki, will have that story.
St. Stephens Shelter in Minneapolis is sponsoring a photo show at the Burnett Gallery in the swanky Chambers Hotel. Each photo is accompanied by a phone number where you can hear a message from the person in the picture. MPR's Euan Kerr will report.
As a new father (my son is 4 months old today), I am seeing the importance of breast-feeding first hand. Thankfully, we had the hospital-provided resources to help us through the rough patches at the beginning. Otherwise, I'm sure we would have given up like so many others.
I feel that a lot of issues regarding a child's eating habits can be directly related to being bottle-fed or breast-fed.
When I am giving my son a bottle of breast milk, I notice that I'm concerned about how much of that bottle is being eaten and if he'll finish the whole thing.
That is not the right course of action, I know, but it is a hard habit to shake.
There's no such worry when he's being breast-fed.
I feel parents who give their children formula go through the same thing. They feel like their child should keep eating because the bottle isn't empty.
Formula is expensive. It would be a shame to let it go to waste, right?
That feeling of being full is being ignored and can only have repercussions far beyond the present.
Mr. Withers did not carry a sign saying "I am an FBI informant," it would seem.
Bob, say you are the guy who fills Kling's shoes at the top of MPR and APM. You learn that one of your top on-air talents who did an award-winning series on Isam in America was secretly gathering information for the FBI. He wasnot being paid for providing the information. So far, only you, the reporter and the FBI know the secret.
What do you do?
I fire him and everyone else in the company who knew. That's an easy one.
Ah, a topic near and dear to my heart.
The 6 months breastfeeding rates are really nice to see. It's also worth noting that MN has an initiation rate that's over 90%, and that gives us one of the highest rates in the country. However, the law says that employers must make a reasonable attempt to provide a place to pump, but stops there. There's no outright mandate, and some moms still struggle with finding the support they need to go to work and still feed their baby as they choose. For many families (mine would have fallen into this category), if they were to buy formula, after paying for childcare as well, there would be nothing gained financially by mom returning to work.
One part of the much-maligned health care reform will now add a federal layer of protection for moms who would like to pump at work. I hope this is the last piece of support we need so moms no longer have to fight for time and place to pump. I've had to help plenty of moms over the years figure out how to get time (and they would all be happy with a couple of 20 minute unpaid breaks) and a place to pump, so the resistance is there. However, it's always interesting to hear answers when I ask those same struggling moms if others are given smoking breaks at work.
\\It'll cost you $18 to buy a bus ticket for someone else (who gives bus tickets as a gift?).
Just speculating here, but I can think of a couple of groups of people who might have bus tickets purchased for them. Two example are the poor who may not have credit cards and elderly who might not be as skilled in technology and need help booking a trip ahead of time. Of course these are the people least likely to be able to afford the fee and also least likely to protest it by going elsewhere. Maybe I'm wrong and just being pessimistic, but it would be interesting to investigate if I had more time.
That tendency to over feed when bottle feeding is well documented. It doesn't matter what's in the bottle, formula or mom's milk, those babies tend to be over fed and are more likely to become obese. It's wonderful that you notice it too, and hopefully fight the urge to make babe finish that bottle.
Poor science on today's news cut. First on breast-feeding - correlation does not equal causation. The studies linking breast-feeding to anything is tenuous at best. See http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=3096
Also on the formaldehyde issue, the link says we BURY 827,000 gallons, not "consume." Formaldehyde is also a normal byproduct of digestion and metabolism. Formaldehyde does not accumulate in the environment, because it is broken down within a few hours by sunlight or by bacteria present in soil or water. Humans metabolize formaldehyde quickly, so it does not accumulate, and is converted to formic acid in the body. (http://www2.dupont.com/Plastics/en_US/assets/downloads/processing/FETEG_Facts.pdf)
Now don't get me wrong - breastfeeding does have advantages, both the cost perspective and there are some studies showing a behavioral improvement due to bonding (although those studies need to be repeated) Also, formaldehyde is dangerous when at high concentrations. But sometimes it helps to look at the true science and have some perspective.
I fight that urge.
I agree that more could be done for working mothers that need to pump and have to find a place to do it.
My wife jumped through some ridiculous hoops to get clearance for a different part of the building that would provide her the necessary facilities.
I think Bob meant consume as in "we consume x gallons of gasoline a year" not that we ingest that amount.
OK, so I can understand, since there's no ethical way to do a perfect study on breastfeeding, there is always SOMETHING wrong with every study. But there are thousands and thousands of studies showing the negative effects of formula. I would be happy to sit down with you and we can talk about breastmilk and infant growth on a cellular level and go from there. BUT--the blogger you link to is, um, simply not credible, nor is she actually taken seriously by the medical establishment. She's well known in maternity health issues circles, and not in a good way.
There is no world wide conspiracy to fleece the public on breastfeeding. Who would benefit? Did anyone else listen to the discussion on Midmorning with the guy who write the book about how the tobacco companies discredited all science? It's kind of the same thing. The stakes are simply too high and billions of dollars are at risk if there's an honest discussion.
Eric, I don't have any "true science" for you, but my daughter got breastmilk via nursing and bottles for a full year (half of that in DC/MD, and half in MN -- both employers graciously provided bathroom space for pumping), and anecdotally I can tell you: not a single ear infection, not many daycare bugs, very healthy weight, pretty excellent cost savings vs formula (though the pump and storage containers cost money up-front), wonderful bonding, totally worth the effort. Not sure why something that we're made to do should require scientific backing to get the accomodations necessary to do it.
I used to buy bus tickets for people all the time. Of course, I worked for the government and I really just issued vouchers to Greyhound so my clients could buy their tickets. If they would have let me buy them I would have. But, there is no better way to get someone home than with a bus ticket.