Perth mothers share breast milk online to feed babies

Jo Lockhart breastfeeds her son. Photo: Belle Verdiglione Photography.’Breast is best’ is the message driven home to all expecting and new mums. But the breastfeeding journey is not always an easy one for some women.

Now new Perth mothers who wish to breastfeed their babies but struggle to do so have sparked a thriving online market trading the ‘liquid gold’ – human breast milk – despite mixed reaction from health officials.

While the concept of wet nurses might conjure up images of well-to-do English families in the 17th century, today feeding a baby with milk from a woman other than its mother is facilitated by social media or online classified websites.

Human Milk 4 Human Babies Western Australia is one of many Facebook pages worldwide connecting women for the purpose of milk sharing in their local area.

The page has almost 2000 followers with people asking for or offering expressed milk on a weekly basis, using hashtags such as #milkyoffer or #milkyrequest.

While using a wet-nurse or expressed human milk are concepts supported by the World Health Organisation, Australian Medical Association WA president Michael Gannon told WAtoday in most circumstances formula was the “safer option”.

He said sharing milk put babies at risk of infectious diseases and bacteria that could have been transferred from the woman into her breast milk.

“People who consider milk sharing are probably people who’ve had the benefits of breast milk over formula overstated,” he told WAtoday.

“Yes, it is slightly better in terms of nutrients and protective antibodies but no question, at all, the benefits of breastfeeding over formula can be dramatically overstated.”

He said while many hospitals including King Edward Memorial Hospital had breast milk banks which provide breast milk from donor mothers to other babies, strict screening took place to ensure infectious diseases were not passed on and that the milk was handled and stored correctly so it did not develop harmful bacteria.

“It’s similar to a blood bank, so the same sort of screening is required,” Dr Gannon said.

“Any level of risk is probably too much,” he said.

The WHO however recommends feeding a baby with milk from another woman if the mother is unable to breastfeed or express milk to feed them.

WHO’s Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding lists feeding a baby with another woman’s breast milk above substituting with formula in a list detailing the alternatives to standard breastfeeding.

“For those few health situations where infants cannot, or should not, be breastfed, the choice of the best alternative… breast milk from a healthy wet-nurse or a human-milk bank, or a breast-milk substitute fed with a cup, which is a safer method than a feeding bottle and teat – depends on individual circumstances.”

The strategy does not further define what it means by a “healthy wet-nurse” or provide detail about possible screening processes.

Jo Lockhart, a Perth based doula, breastfeeding advocate and mother of three has been both a recipient and a donor of breast milk.

She has used the Human Milk 4 Human Babies page to connect her with other mothers.

Ms Lockhart had a low milk supply after giving birth to her second child, a daughter, a few years ago and accepted milk from a friend who had excess milk.

Despite the advice from the AMA, Ms Lockhart said she was never concerned about giving her daughter someone else’s breast milk.

“I know a lot of people who’ve shared breast milk and I don’t know anyone who’s had issues with getting sick.

“I think someone who’s going to take the time to pump when they have got children themselves is a generous person and they are not going to offer if they have HIV or other serious diseases.

“You have a basic screening which involves things like HIV when you are pregnant.”

While trying to increase her milk supply, Ms Lockhart pumped to express milk and ended up with an oversupply of her own breast milk and went on to offer her excess milk to another mother whose milk supply was low.

While Mr Gannon recommended anyone with an oversupply of breast milk sign up to donate to the milk bank operated by Kind Edward Memorial Hospital, WAtoday was told the hospital can only process so much milk and has sufficient donors at this stage.

Dr Ben Hartmann from the Perron Rotary Express Mother’s Milk Bank said the bank provides “pasteurised donor human milk to preterm infants on the basis of evidence based research which has shown a reduction in the risk of necrotising enterocolitis (NEC, gangrene of the gut) in extreme preterm infants”.

“PREM Bank do not hold a formal stance on community breast milk sharing.  This is a separate public health issue from the use of donor milk in the care of preterm infants.”  Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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Canberra cyclists Mathew Hayman and Caroline Buchanan win big overseas

Mathew Hayman wins the ‘Hell of the North’ for Orica-GreenEDGE – without a cast. Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty ImagesVeteran Canberra cyclist Mathew Hayman “didn’t even dare to dream” winning this year’s Paris-Roubaix, having only returned to racing last week after he broke his arm in February.

But luck turned Hayman’s way in the race he deems his favourite, and the Orica-GreenEdge captain denied Belgian Tom Boonen a fifth Paris-Roubaix title when he won the Queen of the Classics on Sunday.

It was a monumental win for Hayman, after being ruled out of cycling’s Spring Classics after he fractured the radius bone in his right arm in a crash at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad race in Belgium five weeks ago.

Another fall changed his luck this time; a massive pile-up trapping the leading favourites 115 kilometres from the line, enabling the Australia veteran to break away.

He later outsprinted Boonen on the final bend to take out the 257.5 kilometre ride.

His win has already been heralded as the biggest of his career, and even inspired calls to rename the Canberra Velodrome in his honour. The Mathew Hayman Velodrome.

Canberra needs a new one just quietly! #ParisRoubaixpic.twitter老域名/8aO1BdbSXV— lindy j (@Contessa29er) April 10, [email protected]@[email protected] Canberra Velodrome should be renamed the “The Mathew Hayman Velodrome”— Michael Rogers (@mickrogers) April 10, 2016Last time I spoke 2 matty Hayman he had his arm in a cast, next minute he wins Paris-Roubaix! #mynewhero— Lizzie Williams (@lizziedizzie83) April 10, 2016Mathew Hayman wins #[email protected]_GreenEDGEpic.twitter老域名/kavkXkr60F— Daniel McMahon (@cyclingreporter) April 10, 2016

It was a big weekend for Canberra cyclists, with Caroline Buchanan taking out round two of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Manchester.

The road to Rio is a little smoother for Australia’s top female BMX rider, after Buchanan beat Denmark’s Simone Christensen and Brooke Crain of the US to win the event for the third year in a row.

Buchanan was also officially named on the Australian team to for the 2016 UCI BMX World Championships to be held in Colombia from May 23-29, where she is in form to go one better than her second place in 2015. So stoked to win 3 years in a row here in [email protected]_BMX_SX World Cup Aussie Aussie Aussie #RoadToRiopic.twitter老域名/QSGBRpA8MF— Caroline Buchanan (@CBuchanan68) April 10, 2016Congratulations to @CBuchanan68 & @liamPHILLIPS65 for #UCIBMXWC wins today! @UCI_BMX_SX Fab 1st event to attend! 🙂 pic.twitter老域名/Nz79inBY9q— Jenn (@PhotoJennBo) April 10, 2016What a finish from @CBuchanan68 I’m now a fan! Stunning ride! #WonderWomanpic.twitter老域名/E3YJuUUP5u— Stacey (@Pixthatshreds) April 10, 2016

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Constance hits back at McCloy

Transport Minister Andrew Constance with new transport coordinator Anna Zycki in Newcastle last week. PICTURE: Marina NeilTRANSPORT minister Andrew Constance says he “couldn’t care less”what former Newcastle Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy thinks about the government’s light rail project.

The state government last week released the Review of Environmental Factors for its light rail project, outlining 10 “future light rail” options including links to John Hunter Hospital, Hunter Stadium and the university, as well as suburbs such as Merewether, Mayfield, Adamstown.

It also confirmed the line’s route down Hunter Street, and revealed a significant loss of parking in the city’s centre.

That prompted criticism from the former lord mayor, who resigned in 2014in the wake of the Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry into banned developer donations in which he admitted to making banned donations to former Newcastle and Charlestown MPs Tim Owen and Andrew Cornwell.

Mr McCloy, who pushed for the line to run down Hunter Street while he was mayor, said last week thathis previous support for the line was“a political decision”.

“I thought it would get more passengers going down Hunter Street than down the corridor but the devil is in the detail and what they have done is completely against the revitalisation of Newcastle,” Mr McCloy said.

Those commentsprompted an angry rebuke from Mr Constance, who, in an interview with the Newcastle Herald, made clear he wasn’t interested in the former mayor’s opinion.

“I saw what Jeff McCloy said … can I say I don’t care what Mr McCloy thinks,”Mr Constance told the Newcastle Herald.

“I couldn’t care less what Jeff McCloy thinks about the project … it’s such a great result for the city, and part of a bigger transport jigsaw.”

More popular with the minister is the city’scurrent lord mayor.

Nuatali Nelmes and the council were critical of the government’s announcement last week afterits proposal for an expanded line through Hunter Street Mall, and for a “mixed running” line down Hunter Street were both ignored.

But Mr Constance has stressed that he wants to work with the council..

“I would stress that this document is not black and white, and there is a lot of room to work with the council’s proposals,”he said.

The main room for movement appears to be on the actual outlook of Hunter Street.

The council had wanted to install mixed running down Hunter Street to make more room for widened footpaths, allowing the “activation”of Hunter Street.

Mr Constance said the plan was not favoured because a shared line creates issues with reliability of the service, but that the street’s actual layout was still an open conversation.

“The mayor is very keen on wider footpaths [and] improvements to the street-scape and that’s a key part of the review of environmental factors, those things are definitely part of the conversation,” he said.

“This is a catalyst for change [and] through this process we’re looking at all of those options to really open up the city.”

The minister also made further clear that the government’s preference is for there to be no bus services down Hunter Street once the light rail is installed.

“Improving the bus network is a really integral part of the Transport for Newcastle plan, making sure it’s working well with all of the other transport options out there,” he said.

“You don’t want to get to a tipping point where buses are getting in the way …there’s no point running a bus service down Hunter Street when you’ve got a perfectly good light rail service there.”

39 steps to the Hunter

STEPPING FORWARD: Brian Lowe and Patrick Barlow. Photo suppliedTHE actors in the current Newcastle production of the English hit play The 39 Steps had asurprise when they took their bows at the end of a matinee on Sunday.

They learnt that the play’s writer, Patrick Barlow, was in the audience. And he came on stageand said it was one of the best productions of the work that he had seen.

Patrick Barlow is married to former Novocastrian Jodi Shields and arrived in Newcastle withher on Saturday for a holiday at her parents’ home.

The parents, aware that he was keen to see the show, booked tickets for Sunday’s matinee atAdamstown’s Theatre on Brunker. In conversation with company administrator Meri Bird atinterval, they revealed that he was there.

Meri Bird kept his presence a secret from the four actors, afraid that they would be nervousduring the second act.

They kept the show flowing smoothly, and, along with the audience members, were delightedwhen Barlow signed programs for them.

Barlow adapted The 39 Steps from the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film of that name which has itshero, Richard Hannay, being pursued by spies in Scotland after they murder a woman whoasks him to help protect her.

Barlow’s stage version has four actors playing more than 130 characters, with the Theatre onBrunker cast including Derek Fisher as Hannay, Alison Cox as three very different women,and Mark Spencer and Peter Bird as spies, police, farmers, innkeepers and a host of otherswho deliver a mix of comedy and drama.

The writer told the Herald that he was delighted with the production.

“They did a great job, with the barest minimum of a set,” he said.

He praised the way the production team, headed by director Brian Lowe, put together thetale’s elements, including wheels coming off a plane and the amusing handling of police dogswithout any canines on stage.

“I was thrilled with the staging,” he said.

The 39 Steps opened in London in 2006 and ended a nine-year-run last September. It hasplayed to millions of people around the world.

Barlow’s wife, Jodi Shields, was a member of the renowned Newcastle Castanet Club, whichpresented song and comedy programs around Australia in the 1980s and ’90s.

She was also the administrator of the Castanets and met Barlow after moving to London in1998, where she became a talent agent managing some of Britain’s biggest show businessnames.

The pair holidayed in Newcastle at Christmas in 2008, a few weeks before the first Australianprofessional tour of The 39 Steps was due to begin, with a season at Newcastle’s CivicTheatre in February, 2009.

Patrick Barlow said at the time that he regretted he would be returning to London withoutseeing that show, but the Theatre on Brunker production has shown him just how well itcould be staged in Australia.

Warm and welcoming

Warm and welcoming Head chef Michael Russell hard at work in the One Picket Fence kitchen, Honeysuckle. Picture: Andrew Pearson Photography

One Picket Fence at Honeysuckle. Picture: Andrew Pearson Photography

One Picket Fence at Honeysuckle. Picture: Andrew Pearson Photography

Head chef at one Picket Fence, Michael Russell (far left). Photographs on wall by Andrew Pearson Photography. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.

TweetFacebook One Picket Fence, Honeysuckle | GALLERYThis cafe on the corner of Merewether Street and Wharf Road, in the Harbour Pier building, opened just a fortnight ago. FAST, fresh and affordable takeaway food in Honeysuckle and a menu that accommodates mostdietary requirements. Office workers have been quick tosay hello to the new kid on the block, One Picket Fence.

FRESH: One Picket Fence Cafe’s head chef Michael Russell. Photograph on wall by Andrew Pearson Photography. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

The cafe in the Harbour Pier building on the corner of Merewether Streetand Wharf Road is a joint venture for Novocastrians Debbie Cook and Angela Sutton. Hamilton locals might recognise Cook, whoowned The Spot for nine years.

Newly-appointed chef Michael Russell has been busy developing a menu that is fresh, affordable and adaptable.

“We try to cater for all diets by providing as many alternatives as we can,” Cook said.

“Breads and meats can easily be changedto suit customers’ choices or requirements. For example the Katsu chicken burger has the option of eggplant to replace the chicken.

“Michael’s aim is to have each item on the menu adaptable to be vegan, gluten free, dairy free and so on.”

One Picket Fence sourcesproducts from the Hunter region where possible and uses sourdough and pastries from the Bread & Butter Project, a social enterprise bakerywhere 100 per centof the profits go towards improving the lives of the less privileged.

“We have sourced our coffee from a small specialty roaster, enabling us to have a blend of our own. We want to givecustomers the best coffee we can give them,not justa brand,” Cook said.

The cafe’s decor is fresh, clean, colourful and modern.Combined with the friendly and personalised service, the end result is a spacethat iswelcoming and warm.

One Picket Fence’slunchboxes have proven popular– a gourmet sandwichcoupledwith a sweet treatand a drink or coffeewill set you back$13.Also popular in the two weeks since the cafe opened has been the house-made muesli with coyo yoghurt and fresh berries ($14.50); corn fritters with tomato relish, harrisa-spiced yoghurt,rocket, poached egg ($14); and the double bacon and cheese burger served with beer battered chips ($15).

There is alsoa display of freshly-made sandwiches to grab and go, as well as salad boxes, fresh fruit salad and muesli cups.

“Our point of difference is that we offer an affordable modern, cafe-style menu as well as a takeaway menu to cater to office workers, visitors to the CBD and local residents.For us, it’s all about the customer,” Cooksaid.