Not only must women watch what they eat and drink during pregnancy and breastfeeding, they must also be mindful of the drugs they take to treat common and not-so-common illnesses. This is made even more challenging by the fact that very little research is available on the use of drugs during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Evidence is mounting that the challenges of breastfeeding at work can have negative consequences for mother and baby. But new moms don’t have to choose between their career and their commitment to breastfeeding, thanks to new initiatives to support nursing in the workplace.
It could be time to add another item to the long list of the benefits of breastfeeding. A new study from Brown University and the University of Utah suggests that breastfeeding may help babies control their stress.
Consumer Reports has weighed in on the topic of exposure to toxic heavy metals by infants.
Consumer Reports’ testing shows concerning levels of arsenic, cadmium and lead in many popular baby and toddler foods.
This includes foods made just for babies and toddlers, such as popular snacks, cereals, prepared entrées, and packaged fruits and vegetables.
Over time, exposure to heavy metals can harm the health of adults and children. One of the biggest worries: cognitive development in very young children.
I’m often asked why it’s helpful to test breast milk -- and one of the best answers is in addressing a very common issue: helping babies who aren’t gaining enough weight through breastfeeding.
It’s a common occurance: a mom feels passionately about breastfeeding, but baby isn’t gaining enough weight; her pediatrician recommends formula to supplement and that’s the end of the story. But now that we can test breast milk for fat and calories, that story can be rewritten.
Here’s an example. Baby S’s birth…
Recent reports of high levels of lead in baby formula raise the question of whether lead can be found in breast milk. The short answer is that while breast milk is generally safe, it is possible for it to contain lead. Lead is a common contaminant in the environment and can make its way into breast milk if absorbed by the mother through food, water or airborne pollution.
Dr. Stephanie Canale, founder of Lactation Lab, developed a unique and proprietary test kit for measuring the level of lead and other toxins in breast milk.
How much protein does a breastfeeding mom need? And does it matter what kind? These are a couple of questions raised by a recent Consumer Reports article suggesting that most people require less protein than they think.
Proteins are important for immune and neurological function and are the building blocks for tissues, muscle and bones, says Dr. Stephanie Canale, founder of Lactation Lab. “It’s important that when we’re talking about a mother's recommended protein intake, we take into account a breastfeeding mother’s need for protein to recover from the physiological strain of pregnancy and childbirth," she said.
Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids such as DHA are essential nutrients required for normal health, growth and development. Increasing evidence shows that feeding infants breast milk with a higher DHA content improves their vision and neuro-development.
So, does educating mothers about the DHA levels in their milk have any impact on those levels? Numerous studies have found a link between maternal intake of DHA (through diet and supplements) and increased DHA levels in breast milk. A study in South Dakota examined 84 women who were educated about their DHA levels and looked at the resulting impact on the DHA levels in their milk.
My patients often ask me about the efficacy and safety of the supplements that claim to increase your milk supply. Do they really work?
If you’re struggling with milk supply issues, the first step is to evaluate simple factors including latch evaluation, oral examination of the infant, frequency of feeding or pumping and thoroughness of breast emptying. A lactation consultant, often available at your local hospital or breastfeeding support store, can be invaluable in identifying if there are underlying issues contributing to milk supply.
Breastfeeding has long been known to positively impact the health and immune systems of babies, but now new research is uncovering the power of breastfeeding in helping to prevent long term illnesses including asthma, allergies, celiac disease, Type 1 diabetes and obesity.
The New York Times reports that many studies have strongly suggested that the trillions of microorganisms that inhabit the human body influence our current and future health and may account for the rising incidence of several serious medical conditions.
It has been said many times over and most mothers who nurse would agree that there is no better breast pump than baby! From my experience, there appears to be a growing proportion of women who choose to pump milk from the outset. Some women either have difficulty with latching, have nipple issues or simply prefer to pump.
Here are a few tips I would like to share as a physician, mother, and “master pumper!”
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