|IBFAN's International Code Document Centre|
experts talk about historical efforts to
curb deadly infant formula marketing,
and how it lead to the WHO/UNICEF
move to create the
International Code of Marketing
of Breastmilk Subsittudes
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Friday, March 15, 2013
CBC's Windsor, Ontario outlet has a feature interview and web article today on families who donate or receive milk through the Human Milk 4 Human Babies Southwest Ontario Facebook page.
|CBC Windsor website, March 15, 2013|
CBC reports Health Canada has reiterated its years-old alert which was originally issued to warn Canadians about the dangers of purchasing human milk from strangers on Craigslist.
Families are increasingly ignoring Health Canada's warning, and similar warnings from the US, France, and other authorities about the possible risks of milksharing. HM4HB networks across Canada are facilitating thousands of what they call "milky matches" between families in need and mothers with excess. When breastfeeding advocates started to move away from simply echoing infant formula company's "breast is best" messaging, and started to talk instead about the risks of infant formula, they provided the fuel for families to think hard about to donor milk as a possibly less risky option when breastfeeding fails.
Offers and asks, HM4HB Vancouver
If Health Canada is to recommend anything to Canadian women about the practice of sharing milk, which is a food, please recommend evidence-based procedures for them to follow for the safe sharing of human milk.
A growing number of people talking about the need for guidance for milksharing families, not warnings. Australia's Dr. Karleen Gribble wants health authorities to move away from proscription. Gribble says it's unethical for health authorities to provide warnings instead of guidance, and I agree (see my blog post of January 2012.) During World Milksharing Week 2012 several lactation consultants and peer counsellors also wrote about the need for guidance and advice.
In addition to the explosion in milksharing, more of Canada's sick, hospitalized babies are also finally receiving donor human through milk banks in Calgary and Toronto. And the availability of milk for the sickest premature babies in hospital is causing families to ask why this need isn't also being met in the community. At the same time, milk banks are concerned the practice of milksharing may be eroding their donor supply.
From the CBC interview:
“Women are just trying to help each other out,” said Margaret Deneau, who owns Sweetheart Baby Boutique in Windsor. “I think it’s wonderful that there is a place for you to get milk for your baby if you can’t produce it yourself.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
|CTV News Edmonton is one of many outlets|
covering this important story - Google News
Faculty of Medicine researcher Anita Kozyrskyj and her colleagues have published a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the first of its kind in North America, showing common interventions at birth like c-section or the feeding of breast milk substitutes changes the nature of the bacteria in an infant's gut.
Confirming this is the first step to unlocking the puzzle of children's allergies.
The U of A's write-up on the article includes these comments from Kozyrskyj and post-doctoral student Meghan Azad:
“We want parents to realize that the decisions they make regarding C-sections and breastfeeding can affect the infants’ gut bacteria—and that can have potentially lifelong effects on their children.” - Azad
"The initial step for us was to report on the changes to the gut bacteria based on interventiosn like C-section delivery or formula feeding. Our next step is to answer the question, 'Does this bacteria footprint make a difference in terms of child health?’ We will look for conditions like kids’ wheeze, allergies, and whether they were affected by gut bacteria changes associated with breastfeeding and C-section.” - Kozyrskyj
Of note is the declaration of funding found in the full research paper: "This research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (grant nos. 85761 and 227312), and was supported by AllerGen NCE, the Killam Trusts and Alberta Innovates — Health Solutions."
Of course, many women do not choose c-section, and they do not choose to have their babies supplemented with infant formula - these are interventions some women feel are forced on them with little regard and often no discussion of possible negative health impacts. The c-section rate in Canada has risen to above 25 per cent in the last two decades - more than one in four babies are born by c-section now! And although upwards of 90 per cent of new mothers say they want to breastfeed, a recent McMaster study found only two-thirds of babies were still exclusively breastfed at discharge. Exclusive breastfeeding is being sabotaged before mom even leaves the hospital! It's no wonder fewer than one in four are still exclusively breastfeeding at six months.
We need more research like this, and we especially need more research that isn't tainted by corporate interests.
-- Jodine Chase
Link to full PDF in CMAJ