BirthKuwait Inagural Gala

BirthKuwait Inagural Gala
celebrating 4 years of giving (note: it's by invite only)

Monday, December 10, 2012

December Movie Night: Breastfeeding

Movie Night and Discussion: Breastfeeding and Common Concerns

Join us for a movie night and Discussion about Breastfeeding presented by BirthKuwait

Sunday December 16, 7:30 to 8:30 PM

Located at Block 4 Street 4 House 4 Mishref

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention in Kuwait

Caroline Presber

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A recent article in the Arab Times Online reports that deaths from breast cancer among women in Kuwait are considered the world’s highest due to “a lack of awareness and delay in detection of the disease”. Women in Kuwait need to be better informed about two aspects of breast cancer: how to prevent it, and ways in which breast cancer can be detected early on.

What increases your chances of getting breast cancer?

The following factors will increase your chances of getting breast cancer:

Not Breastfeeding

The importance of breastfeeding cannot be underestimated as a factor in breast cancer prevention. Breastfeeding prevents breast cancer in the mother who breastfeeds as well as in the daughter whom she breastfeeds.
The longer a mother breastfeeds, the greater her chances of avoiding breast cancer. In a study published this year, scientists found observed a lower proportion of breast cancer among women who breastfed 7 or more months.
A study published in 2010 found a 66.3% reduction in breast cancer risk in women who breastfed for 12-23 months, 87.4% reduction in 24-35 months and 94% reduction in 36-47 months categories. A study published in 2009 found that failure to breastfeed was associated with an increased incidence of premenopausal breast cancer.
A 2002 meta-analysis published in Lancet found that the shorter amount of time a women breastfed, the less they were protected against breast cancer. The study concluded that the lack of or short lifetime duration of breastfeeding typical of women in developed countries made a major contribution to the high incidence of breast cancer in those countries.


Smoking is associated with a modest increase in the risk of breast cancer.

Lack of exercise

Not exercising regularly probably increases your chances of getting breast cancer.
Researchers in China and the United States concluded from a study of about 3,000 women that those who weren't burning calories through activity were more than twice as likely to develop breast cancer than those who maintain their weight through regular exercise.

Poor eating habits

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables will reduces you risk of ever getting breast cancer or of having a recurrence of breast cancer. In particular, total vegetable and fruit intake has been found to be inversely associated with breast cancer risk. Almost all fruits and vegetables have anti-cancer activity. Vegetables most known for their anti-cancer
properties are garlic, onions, broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts and greens, carrots, celery, cilantro, parsley and parsnips, tomatoes, peppers, flax seeds, citrus, and soy.

Early Detection of Breast Cancer

Are Breast Self-Examinations Worth Doing?

Breast self-examination (BSE) involves the woman herself looking at and feeling
each breast for possible lumps, distortions or swelling.
Regular and frequent BSE was once promoted heavily as a means of finding cancer at a more curable stage, but studies have not found that it is effective in preventing late stage breast cancer. In fact, some argue that BSEs can actually cause harm through through needless biopsies and surgery.
The World Health Organization continues to recommend the practice of BSE as a way to empower women to take responsibility for their own health, but their is no evidence that this practice actually prevents late stage cancer.

Routine Mammograms: More Harm than Good?

A mammogram is a low-energy-X-ray used to examine the breast. It is used as a diagnostic and a screening tool.
According to conventional medical wisdom, women over the age of 40 should get a routine mammogram every two years. The reasoning is that mammograms can detect breast cancer early enough to treat it, before it becomes fatal.
Recent studies have brought the routine use of mammograms into doubt. A Danish study this year found that up to a quarter of breast cancer tumors detected by mammograms are over-diagnosed, and would have never caused any cancer symptoms had they remained untreated.
Researchers compared the number of breast cancer cases in women who had been offered mammogram screening to those not offered mammogram screening. The researchers had predicted that if mammograms were beneficial, there should be lower rates of late-stage breast cancer cases among women who had undergone mammogram screening, because early detection by mammogram would prevent late-stage breast cancer.
The findings, however, showed was no significant reduction in late-stage breast cancer among women who had undergone mammogram screening, but instead a significant number of over-diagnoses. They found that while mammogram screening prevented one death for every 2,500 women who had undergone screening, about six to ten women were treated for a benign cancer that would have never caused symptoms.
As a result of this and earlier studies, Health Canada has stopped recommending routine mammograms for all women under 50, and limits routine mammograms to women 50 and over and to women under 50 who have a history of breast cancer in the family.

So what can I do?

The upshot of all of these studies is that you can do a lot to prevent breast cancer: breastfeed, donʼt smoke, exercise, and eat healthy food. Also, be aware of your own family history and possible genetic predispositions. Until scientists develop better tools for detecting and someday curing breast cancer, prevention may be more effective than early detection.

Kalager M, Adami HO, Bretthauer M, Tamimi RM, Ann. Intern. Med. 2012 Apr 3;156(7): 491-9. Overdiagnosis of invasive breast cancer due to mammography screening: results from the Norwegian screening program.
Alison Stuebe, Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Fall; 2(4): 222–231. The Risks of not Breastfeeding for Mothers and Infants. PMC2812877/
Lancet. 2002 Jul 20;360(9328):187-95.,
Xue F, Willett WC, Rosner BA, Hankinson SE, Michels KB.Arch Intern Med. 2011 Jan 24;171(2):125-33. Cigarette Smoking and the Incidence of Breast Cancer. http://
Awatef M, Olfa G, Imed H, Kacem M, Imen C, Rim C, Mohamed B, Slim BA. Cancer Causes Control. 2010 Mar;21(3):393-7. Breastfeeding reduces breast cancer risk: a case- control study in Tunisia.
De Silva M, Senarath U, Gunatilake M, Lokuhetty D., Cancer Epidemiol. 2010 Jun;34(3): 267-73. Epub 2010 Mar 24. Prolonged breastfeeding reduces risk of breast cancer in Sri Lankan women: a case-control study.
Carmen et. al. PLoS One. 2012; 7(7): e40543. Breast Feeding, Parity and Breast Cancer Subtypes in a Spanish Cohort
Malin A et al. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Jun;14(6):1496-501. Energy Balance and Breast Cancer Risk.
Zhang et al. Int J Cancer. 2009 Jul 1;125(1):181-8. Greater vegetable and fruit intake is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer among Chinese women. http://
Kösters JP, Gøtzsche PC. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(2):CD003373. Regular self-examination or clinical examination for early detection of breast cancer. http://
Baxter N (June 2001). "Preventive health care, 2001 update: should women be routinely taught breast self-examination to screen for breast cancer?". CMAJ 164 (13): 1837–46. PMC 81191. PMID 11450279. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

December Lecture: The Importance of Breastfeeding and Common Concerns Presented by BirthKuwait

The Importance of Breastfeeding and Common Concerns

Join us for a lecture in Breastfeeding presented by Dr. Alia and Dr. Mona Pediatricians, followed by refreshments and discussion.

Sunday, December 2, 7:30-9:00pm 
@ BirthKuwait, Mishref, Block 4, Street 4, House 4, Basement

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bonding With Baby: A Critical Investment

Most expectant or new Mums experience a sense of excitement and anticipation at the prospect of meeting their new arrival, but for many these feelings are also accompanied by anxiety or even some fears. Untreated, these negative feelings can sometimes inhibit the natural bonding that mothers and babies should experience during their first few weeks together, and possibly even interfere with the development of a secure mother-baby attachment.  Developing this secure relationship will have lasting consequences for both mother and baby. Disruptions to the development of a secure attachment can have implications on a child’s development in many areas including behaviour, brain, social and emotional, and psychological.

A secure attachment refers to those bonds that develop as a result of sensitive, responsive parenting, which reassures the child that their caregiver is a “safe base” from which they can explore the world. Parents who are in tune with their child and able to respond to their needs show that, whatever happens they will be there to pick up the pieces and dry the tears.  This gives the child the confidence to explore and learn from their environment with the knowledge that they are safe from harm.  In addition, as the child experiences multiple repetitions of this kind of care, they begin to develop a model of relationships that will later facilitate their own intimate relationships and how they will behave, and expect others to behave, in those relationships. 

We are fed media images of doting mothers, staring at smiling, bouncing babies, but this isn’t always the way new mothers feel.  After 9 months of physical and emotional changes culminating with the most gruelling physical and emotional trial most women will ever experience -- fatigue, feelings of being overwhelmed, and low mood can be unwelcome guests at the party.  Post-natal depression (PND), post-partum depression, or baby blues can be a serious and debilitating problem and can affect the development of secure attachments.  Mother’s with PND or high levels of stress and anxiety may be functionally “perfect parents”, feeding, washing, and clothing with great efficiency.  But, they may find it harder to tune into their child socially and emotionally and so the attachment is affected.  Many women suffer in silence worried that family, friends, and even care providers might not understand their struggles. It is so important for these women and their children that they receive timely support and help.

Dispelling myths, creating confidence, and reducing stress, anxiety, and depression prior to birth can be pivotal in protecting mothers against developing PND and other emotional difficulties.  Reducing feelings of blame and guilt felt by women with PND as well as actively helping them to work through depression and encouraging the development of secure attachments  are also important to ensure a healthy, happy future for Mum and baby.  Luckily, help is out there but the stigma of PND must be reduced and people must feel comfortable to step forward and ask for the right help.  Mellow Parenting is a package of three group programmes that have been found to reduce maternal depression and anxiety as well as facilitating the development of secure attachments.  If you would like any more information about the groups or accessing support, contact Dr Rose Logan (

By Dr. Rose Logan
Clinical Psychologist (UK)
Facilitator, Mellow Parenting
Soor Center for Professional Therapy and Assessment (Kuwait)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

First Ever Food Revolution A Success!!

Organic Farmers, Breastfeeding Advocates, Organic Food Retailers, and Local Chefs all gathered together to celebrate healthy food for healthy families, Saturday May 19th at the Women's Culture and Social Society. Join the Food Revolution!

BirthKuwait Booth: Midwifes, Doulas, Lactation Consultants and Peer Counselors Promoting Breastfeeding
Local High School Students Put On A Play Where "Super Dish-dasha Man" Teaches a Family About Healful Eating

Even Teenagers Should Learn About Breastfeeding! This is what a group of teenage girls wrote down after learning about breastfeeding from one of our midwifes.

Have you ever wondered how much sugar is in some of your pantry items? Or how your homemade burger and fries compare to the fast-food versions? Make healthy choices from your family one step at a time. 
Our kids had a great time cooking their own homemade pizzas and eating some wholewheat saj!