Tag Archive for 'Breast milk'

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New Research Shows Breastfeeding Is Tied To Lower Incidence Of Asthma

If you are looking for one more reason to breastfeed your baby, consider the latest research on the link between breastfeeding and lower asthma rates in children. According to two new research reports, breastfeeding increases lung volume which makes babies and children less susceptible to get asthma.

Also, this new research found that even mothers who were asthmatic still benefited their children by breastfeeding them and thus increasing their lung volume. In the past it was thought that only asthma-free moms should breastfeed. This research shows that the babies benefited from breastfeeding whether or not the mom had asthma. (It’s suspected that the babies suckling activity when breastfeeding increases it’s lung power).

Even more significantly, these studies showed that the longer the mother exclusively breastfeed their baby, the less risk the child had of getting asthma or breathing related problems. A team led by Karen Silvers with data on more than 1000 kids found that each additional month of exclusive breastfeeding was tied to a nine percentage drop in asthma risk.

The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively (with no formula) for the first six months of the child’s life then to continue to breastfeed (as solids are introduced) for two years or longer.

So, here’s some more reasons to breastfeed your child (particularly exclusively breastfeeding them for the first 6 months of life). Your child will reap the benefits for a lifetime.

SOURCES: bit.ly/yCsmfY American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, online February 3, 2012 and bit.ly/wVKRCQ Journal of Pediatrics, online January 29, 2012.

Celebrity Babies This Week!

Out and about for the holidays, new celebrity mamas have been showing off their cute bundles of joy this week! Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott showed off the first pictures of their precious new family addition, baby Hattie. Born October 10th, Hattie is adorable cuddled up in Tori’s arms. Joining big brother Liam and big sister Stella, as well as Dean’s son Jack from his previous marriage, we could not be happier for the beautiful family.

Also spotted out this week was Jessica Alba with her baby Haven, just four months old. Haven joined big sister Honor earlier this year, and the adorable family has only gotten cuter. Jessica and Haven were out purchasing a Christmas tree, and Haven was bundled up in a furry vest. Jessica wore a flowing knit sweater that would go perfectly with a great pair of skinny jeans and one’s favorite winter boots. So precious!

Alyssa Milano was another mom spotted with her baby this week. Alyssa posted a picture of herself and her adorable three month old son Milo in their garden. They look so cute all cuddled up together! When speaking to Best of Babes, Alyssa spoke of the importance of breastfeeding to her, stating, “I think the thing I like best about breastfeeding is the closeness I feel to Milo and knowing that he’s getting the best of me.” She also explained how it is hard for her to breastfeed in public, due to the paparazzi. “I wish I could breastfeed in public without feeling as though a picture would show up on TMZ,” she says. “… When we go out I bring a bottle of expressed milk because sadly, I’m just not comfortable feeding him in public.”

We love seeing all the adorable newborns! Congratulations to the growing families!

BREASTFEEDING exposes babies to a variety of flavours

This article from Australia.

BREASTFEEDING exposes babies to a variety of flavours, making them more accepting of different foods as they grow

CSIRO research psychologist Dr Nadia Corsini said studies showed breastfeeding provided infants with a greater variety of tastes compared with formula, which was beneficial when weaning them on to solid foods.

“Exposure to flavours takes place in utero and via breastfeeding, where the baby is exposed to flavours in mother’s diet,” she said.

“A lot of people might not realise this is one of benefits of breastfeeding, the exposure to different flavours.

“Research suggests children with exposure to different flavours are more accepting of different foods as they grow older to those who didn’t have exposure.”

According to a European study of 147 mothers and their infants, both breastfeeding and daily changes in vegetables offered early in weaning increased the child’s acceptance of new foods for at least up to two months.

Dr Corsini said breastfeeding versus formula was a sensitive issue, but mothers shouldn’t feel they are disadvantaging their child if they do not breastfeed.

“Even though these processes exist it doesn’t mean you can’t change or influence your children’s acceptance of different foods after that stage,” she said.

“That’s why it’s important to offer children a wide variety of healthy foods early in life. It is such an important influence on the variety in their diet later.”

Gordana Hopping, 33, is breastfeeding her five-month-old daughter Filipa and mindful of eating well.

“I’m staying away from soft drinks and sugary foods,” she said. “I have a healthy diet so Filipa is too.”

The Advertiser and Sunday Mail Healthy Eating project continues this week, encouraging children to learn more about balanced diets and cooking nutritious meals.

Students can collect daily panels featuring the different food groups as well as recipes courtesy of the CSIRO.

Why the health of pregnant women matters to us all

By Annie Murphy Paul,author of “Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives.”

“Pregnant Is the New Sexy,” read the T-shirt a friend gave me when I was a few weeks away from my due date. With my swollen ankles and waddling walk, I wasn’t so sure – but it’s hard to deny that pregnancy has become rather chic. Glossy magazines flaunt actresses’ and models’ rounded, half-clad bellies on their covers. Inside they chronicle celebrities’ pregnancies in breathless detail, from the first “bump” sighting to the second-trimester weight gain to the baby-gear shopping spree. And now comes the news that “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” – the advice bible that has sold more than 14 million copies – will be made into a feature film.

There’s something wrong with this picture. Even as Americans fuel a rapidly growing pregnancy industry of designer maternity jeans and artsy pregnancy portraits, we’re ignoring the real news about these nine months. An emerging science known as the developmental origins of health and disease – DOHaD for short – is revealing that the conditions we encounter in the womb can have a lifelong impact on our health and well-being, affecting everything from our appetite and metabolism to our susceptibility to disease to our intelligence and temperament.

The more we learn about these effects, the clearer it becomes that investing in maternal health would return larger and longer-lasting dividends than almost any other comparable public health investment. But as a nation, we’re heading in exactly the opposite direction, spending more and more of our limited resources on the later stages of life instead of where they can make the most difference: at the very beginning.

Take obesity. Many anti-obesity initiatives concentrate on changing adults’ behavior, trying to persuade us to eat less and exercise more. But research shows that these efforts have limited effectiveness. A recent analysis of U.S. obesity-prevention campaigns, conducted by Olaf Werder of the University of New Mexico, concluded that their “overall impact on obesity has been negligible.”

Even public health programs aimed at school-age children come too late: Almost a third of American children over age 2are already overweight or obese, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Clearly, the conditions that contribute to obesity must begin exerting their influence very early in children’s lives – as early as their time in the womb.

DOHaD research shows that the intrauterine environment of a woman who is significantly overweight when she conceives – or who puts on excessive weight during pregnancy – affects the developing fetus in ways that make it more likely to become overweight itself one day. Scientists are still figuring out exactly why this happens, but it appears that prenatal experience may alter the functioning of organs such as the heart and the pancreas, may shift the proportion of lean and fat body mass, and may influence the brain circuits that regulate appetite and metabolism.

In a cleverly designed study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2009, researchers compared children born to the same mothers before and after they’d had successful anti-obesity surgery. Children born after their mothers’ surgery weighed less at birth and were three times less likely to become severely obese than their older brothers and sisters. Weight-loss surgery isn’t for everyone, of course. Still, what if before conceiving, overweight women were routinely counseled by their doctors about the effects of their weight on future offspring? And what if women who were gaining weight too rapidly in pregnancy were offered more help in controlling it?

The results might look something like those found in studies of diabetes treatment during pregnancy. Research shows that the children of diabetic women are more likely than others to develop diabetes – in one recent study, seven times more likely. Like obesity, diabetes has a strong genetic component, but scientists are also beginning to focus on the effects of a diabetic intrauterine environment. For example, a long-running study of the Pima Indians of Arizona, who have one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world, concluded that exposure to the disease while in the womb was responsible for about 40 percent of the diabetes cases studied.

A pregnant woman’s diabetes can also affect the odds that her child will become obese. In a study of almost 10,000 mother-child pairs, researchers from the Center for Health Research at Kaiser Permanente Northwest found that women who developed diabetes during pregnancy and were not treated had children who were twice as likely to become obese as the children of women without that illness. Pregnant women whose diabetes was treated with insulin, however, had children with no additional risk of obesity. Simply by controlling their mothers’ blood sugar during pregnancy, in other words, the expected doubling of these children’s obesity risk was completely reversed.

Even the mental health of a pregnant woman can have a long-term impact on her offspring. A 2008 study by researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center in California found that women with even mild symptoms of depression are 60 percent more likely to deliver early than other women; those who are severely depressed have double the risk of premature birth. The babies of depressed women are also more likely to have low birth weight, to be irritable and to have trouble sleeping.

Of course, these complications may come about in part because many depressed women don’t take good care of themselves: They may eat poorly, smoke or drink alcohol, or fail to get prenatal care. But depression itself may shift the biochemical balance in a woman’s body in a fateful manner. For one thing, the stress hormone cortisol, which is often elevated in people with depression, may cross the placenta, directly affecting fetal development, and it may also affect a pregnant woman’s blood vessels, reducing the oxygen and nutrients that reach the fetus.

The case seems pretty clear: We should make a nationwide effort to ensure that every obstetrician checks every pregnant patient’s mental state, along with her weight and blood pressure. Women who show signs of depression should be offered therapy or, in cases that warrant it, carefully administered antidepressant medication.

Adult behavior can be difficult to change, as we know from the general ineffectiveness of anti-obesity campaigns. But pregnant women are a special case: They’re usually highly motivated, they’re typically in regular contact with health-care providers, and they have to keep up their efforts for only nine months. Pregnancy therefore offers a singular opportunity to improve lives for decades to come, via interventions that cost little compared with the enormous price tags for obesity, diabetes, low birth weight and premature delivery.

So why isn’t this critical window one of our top health-care priorities?

Part of the reason may simply be our preference for quick fixes and for dealing with only those problems that exist in the here and now. It can be hard to wrap our heads around the notion that a woman’s diet or mental state today will have a serious effect on her children’s health many years out. But there’s a less obvious reason that resistance to maternal health initiatives might crop up among the liberal-leaning individuals who typically support public health initiatives and women’s health-care issues: abortion politics.

Caring for the fetus, protecting the fetus from harm – to abortion rights advocates, such measures sound like the steps antiabortion forces have taken to try to establish a fetus’s rights. What’s the difference between controlling a diabetic pregnant woman’s blood sugar and, say, charging a pregnant woman who uses drugs with child abuse? Between telling an obese pregnant woman that her weight may predispose her child to obesity and requiring a woman to look at an ultrasound of her fetus before proceeding with an abortion?

The crucial difference lies in the intent behind the intervention and in the way it’s carried out. Help in achieving a healthy pregnancy must be offered to pregnant women, not forced upon them. And the aim behind such efforts must be to foster the health and well-being of the woman and her fetus, not to score political points.

Ultimately, research on the developmental origins of health and disease should lead us to a new perspective on pregnancy, one that’s not about coercing or controlling women – nor about ogling or fetishizing them – but about helping them, and their future children, be as healthy and as happy as they can be.

Breastfeed On-The-Go With Confidence

No matter how much you have prepared to become a breastfeeding mom, going to the classes before birth, reading up all the best books and articles on how to breastfeed and all the benefits of breastfeeding your infant, there’s no way to be fully prepared or know exactly what to anticipate until it’s a real life experience. For some moms breastfeeding is a breeze, they experience no pain, no problems and simply love the experience from the moment their newborn latches on. But for most I believe, it is a learned skill for both mom and baby and sometimes a bumpy road to breastfeeding bliss on both sides of the equation.

I was just watching Bethany Frankel on her reality show for the first time the other night and it showed clips of her trying to breastfeed her infant during the early days. She is clearly sleep deprived and at her wits end as she exclaims “Nobody tells you how hard this is!” Then she exclaims more emphatically and clearly frustrated as her baby hungry baby cries and her partner looks on sympathically “This is like trying to get blood from a stone!” Finally after several clips and edits, the baby latches on and has a successful feeding. Later she comments on the whole nursing on demand experience as she tries to plan her day an has not nursed in public yet: “What if I have a 1:30 appointment and the baby wants to eat at 1:20? What do I do, I’ll just be late!” This is especially true in the early weeks as the baby has to eat around the clock and it’s sometimes hard to predict when that will be. If you are in public, be sure to bring a nursing cover or wear a discreet nursing top because you may just need to sit on the nearest park bench and feed your baby a snack.

Most nursing moms do get into the swing of some sort of schedule after the first few months and can better anticipate their baby’s feedings. Some moms find having a pumped bottle of milk on hand is helpful for on the go days when you don’t have the time or privacy to nurse as you would like and need to tide over the baby until you get a better moment. (This is assuming your baby can take a bottle and you are able to pump milk.)

If you do plan to nurse on the go, you will need a number of nursing tops that can be worn on any given day to any given place in any weather. The Bravado Nursing Bra Tank is an excellent choice to get you going. These tanks are super supportive and easy to use for breastfeeding. They come in many different solid colors, are extra long over your postpartum tummy so you don’t have to flash any belly skin and they have adjustable straps. You can layer this top for cooler weather and it can be dressed up or down and worn anytime of the year.

Another great cami for layering is Japanese Weekend’s Nursing Body Shaper. This cami is made for layering and not only gives you easy nursing access but actually flattens and smoothes out your belly. Your body looks lump free under any top and you can also nurse on the go in confidence without showing any skin.

The most important asset you can take with you in your early breastfeeding endeavors is a great deal of patience and confidence to know it will eventually work. This is not easy to do when you are sleep deprived with an infant who wants to try and feed around the clock and may be even crankier than you are. There is also added pressure if your family members, friends or even spouse is not supportive of your efforts. If you are still having problems with latching it is worth the time and investment to schedule an appointment with a lactation consultant who is specifically trained to advise women and offer hands on training to breastfeeding problems. Oftentimes your area may offer free breastfeeding clinics. La Leche League is also an excellent source for breastfeeding advice and support. It helps to know you are not alone in your breastfeeding endeavors and to talk to other moms who have survived the early months and now have a successful breastfeeding relationship with their babies.

Also, the more you nursing on the go, the easier it gets and the more freedom you have with your life. You will grow your confidence as you find your baby can adopt to feeding anywhere and you can make do with whatever quiet corner you can find. Most nursing moms eventually discover they have an easier time of it nursing than bottle feeding as you have everything you need on your body and less needed in your diaper bag – forget the bottles, nipples and formula. You don’t have to worry about your milk going bad or being too cold or hot. Your milk is always the perfect temperature and perfect consistency for your baby. You really are everything your baby needs and you will grow in confidence to breastfeed successfully anywhere you need to go.

2 Studies Present New Data On Effects Of Alcohol During Pregnancy

 

These new studies have recently been reported.

Scientific data continue to indicate that higher intake of alcohol during pregnancy adversely affects the fetus, and could lead to very severe developmental or other problems in the child. However, most recent publications show little or no effects of occasional or light drinking by the mother during pregnancy. The studies also demonstrate how socio-economic, education, and other lifestyle factors of the mother may have large effects on the health of the fetus and child; these must be considered when evaluating the potential effects of alcohol during pregnancy.

A very large population-based observational study from the UK found that at the age of 5 years, the children of women who reported light (no more than 1-2 units of alcohol per week or per occasion) drinking did not show any evidence of impairment on testing for behavioral and emotional problems or cognitive ability. There was a tendency for the male children of women reporting “heavy/binge” drinking during pregnancy (7 or more units per week or 6 or more units per occasion) to have poorer behavioural scores, but the effects were less clear among female offspring.

A second study, published in Pediatrics, based on a population in Western Australia examined the associations between dose, pattern, and timing of prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) and birth defects and found similar results, that there was no association between low or moderate prenatal alcohol exposure and birth defects.

Data from a randomly selected, population-based cohort of non- indigenous women who gave birth to a live infant in Western Australia (WA) between 1995 and 1997 (4714 participants) were linked to WA Midwives Notification System and WA Birth Defects Registry data. Information about maternal alcohol consumption was collected 3 months after birth for the 3 month period before pregnancy and for each trimester separately.

Low alcohol consumption was defined as less then 7 standard drinks (10g) a week, and no more than 2 drinks on any one day. Women who consumed more than 70g per week were classified as heavy drinkers and women consuming more than 140g were classified as very heavy drinkers.

Overall, current scientific data indicate that while drinking during pregnancy should not be encouraged, there is little evidence to suggest that an occasional drink or light drinking by the mother is associated with harm. Heavy drinking, however, is associated with serious developmental defects in the fetus.

Why Buy Formula When You Can Nurse For Cheap!

 The next time you think twice about investing in a quality nursing bra or indulging in a fashionable nursing top, hestitate no further. The yearly cost of breastfeeding is in the range of $3,000, that’s about $50 a week! It will take you a lot of nursing bras to surpass that cost, plus it is better for your baby’s health, as well as your own. Not to mention, the added side benefits of weight loss as breastfeeding burns around 500 calories a day, that’s 20 calories for the production of just 1 ounce of milk, without even setting foot on a treadmill! Add exercise and healthy eatting to the equation and your back in your pre-pregnancy body in no time!

A recent style conducted by the Schneider Children’s Hospital revealed that unfrozen refrigerated breastmilk retains its benefits for at least 4 days. This is longer than the common notion promoted by doctors who recommended 48-72 hours. This study which involved 36 new mothers whose premature babies were being treated in the neonatal intensive care unit, found that there was vitually no change in the nutional integrity or bacterial presence of their breastmilk for up to 96 hours. Dr. Richard Schanler, chief of neonatal medicine at Schneider Children’s Hospital, hopes that study will shift the paradigm for hospitals everywhere by allowing women to store their unfrozen milk up to 4 days for the neonatal care which has even stricter rules due to the immunity of premature infants.[1]

The Human Milk Banking Association of North American has suggested that human milk remains viable refrigerated for up to eight days. Dr. Schanlar and his colleagues recommend storing milk in glass containers or plastics BPA ones and refrigerate at a temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler. They also recommend placing milk in the rear of the refrigerator.

This study gives working women and moms on the go one more reason to breastfeed. Pumping and feeding can be more challenging to plan out and nobody wants to “pump and dump” milk that their baby can’t drink in time, especially moms that have to travel away from their babies several days at a time. Now moms can be assured that pumped refrigerated milk, even up to 8 days old, contains all the necessary nutritional ingrediants and far more than frozen breastmilk thawed out and certainly more than fresh formula.

Although freezing breastmilk is an alternative storing method and certainly effective for longer time periods, there is also a destruction to the infection-fighting cells and nutrional losses.

“Certain immune components, proteins and enzymes are decreased in frozen milk” Dr. Schanler states.

Most babies prefer the taste of fresher milk, but even thawed out breastmilk is nutrionally superior to manufactured cow milk formula and much cheaper. If you have a caretaker, make sure you instruct them with the proper guidelines for gently thawing out milk that has been frozen. Here is the recommended procedure and Storage Times for Human Milk from the AskDrSears.com site. [2]

  • Defrost milk by holding it under warm running water.
  • Or, place the container of milk in a bowl of warm water on the kitchen counter. As the water cools, replace it with more warm water until the milk is thawed and warmed to body temperature.
  • Do not heat expressed human milk on top of the stove. It’s too easy to overheat it this way. Do not boil!
  • Do not heat expressed human milk in a microwave oven. Even if the overall temperature of the milk stays below body temperature, there may be “hot spots” where the milk is overheated and some of its beneficial properties are destroyed. The uneven heating can also be dangerous when the bottle is given to baby.
  • Human milk, like any milk that is not processed or homogenized, tends to separate when stored. The cream rises to the top. Swirl the bottle gently to mix the layers.
  • Human milk has a thin, bluish look to it, quite different from either homogenized cow’s milk or the grayish color of infant formula. Your baby’s caregiver may need reassurance that this is normal.

STORAGE GUIDELINES FOR HUMAN MILK

These guidelines are for mothers who are expressing milk for a full-term healthy baby. Use clean containers, and wash your hands with soap and water before expressing. or pumping. When providing milk for a baby who is seriously ill and/or hospitalized, check with healthcare providers for instructions.

Where stored

Storage temperature
(degrees Fahrenheit)

Storage temperature
(degrees Centigrade)

How long

At room temperature 60 degrees F 15 degrees C 24 hours
At room temperature 66-72 degrees F 19-22 degrees C 10 hours
At room temperature 79 degrees F 25 degrees C 4-6 hours
In a refrigerator 32-39 degrees F 0-4 degrees C 8 days
In a freezer compartment inside a refrigerator     2 weeks
In a self-contained freezer unit of a refrigerator     3-4 months
In a separate deep freeze with a constant temperature 0 degrees F -19 degrees C 6 months or longer

SAVE? OR DUMP?

Type of Milk

Save or Dump?

Why

     
Milk remaining in the bottle that has been offered to baby Use for next feeding, otherwise discard. Bacteria from the baby’s mouth may have entered the milk during the feeding. This may lead to bacterial contamination if it sets too long (though as yet there is no research available).
Milk that has been thawed Save in the refrigerator for 24 hours after thawing, then discard. Do not refreeze. Milk that has been frozen has lost some of the immune properties that inhibit bacterial growth in fresh refrigerated milk.
Milk that has been kept in the refrigerator for eight days Transfer to storage in the freezer, or discard. Bacterial growth is not a problem, but milk sometimes picks up odors or flavors from the refrigerator or the container.

 The bottom line is it is worth your time to breastfeed or pump and feed your baby for at least their first year. You can be assured your refrigerated breast milk is not only safe for your baby but far superior than any store bought representation. You can also feel good about saving money on formula in allowing your baby to reap the health benefits of your 100% natural and organic breast milk.

References:

  1. Ricks, Delthia. “Study finds breast milk has longer shelf life than previously thought” Physorg.com. January 2, 2010, Accessed January 24, 2010.
  2. AskDrSears.com, “Storage Guidelines for Human Milk”



[1]Ricks, Delthia. “Study finds breast milk has longer shelf life than previously thought” Physorg.com. January 2, 2010, Accessed January 24, 2010.

[2] AskDrSears.com, “Storage Guidelines for Human Milk”