Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Reuters | The World's Leading Provider of Financial Information and News Substance in Saliva Protects Babies from Mom's HIV
October 29, 2002 02:16 PM ET
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By Alison McCook

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Babies with relatively high levels of a particular compound in their saliva appear to be less likely than others to acquire HIV from their infected mothers at one month of age, according to new study findings.

Dr. Carey Farquhar of the University of Washington in Seattle and colleagues found that babies with higher levels of a substance called secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) at one month of age were half as likely as those with lower levels of SLPI to have acquired HIV from
Documents Show Effort to Promote Unproven Drug New York Times, Oct 29, 2002

Marketing executives at Warner-Lambert urged their superiors to let them promote the epilepsy drug Neurontin for an unapproved use rather than perform the clinical studies needed to prove the medicine was safe for such patients, according to a corporate memorandum unsealed on Friday in federal court. [ This article gives detail into marketing techniques used by drug company Warner-Lambert to push drug on physicians and patients. - JC]

Monday, October 28, 2002

The Chronicle Online - Work council calls for lactation rooms review Work council calls for lactation rooms review
A council on work and family issues wants to make Duke's six lactation rooms on campus more conducive to mothers who are breast feeding.

by Cindy Yee
October 28, 2002

Although the University prides itself on being a family friendly workplace, on-campus lactation rooms--uninviting, unkempt and few and far between--suggest ample room for improvement.

The Coordinating Council on Work and Family Issues is currently reviewing the University's lactation rooms, following a report from a subcommittee dedicated to the problem. Ideally, lactation rooms provide a comfortable, private setting where nursing mothers can pump breast milk while away from their babies. The subcommittee toured the six lactation rooms on campus and presented their findings at the council's most recent meeting this month. [This campus has six lactation rooms?? Who knew!- JC]
Biomonitoring programs might keep tabs on air, water

By Suzanne Bohan - STAFF WRITER, 28/10/2002

IN THE coming years, expect to hear more about a novel technique, called "biomonitoring," to gauge a community's exposure to environmental toxins and create even more incentives to clean up the air and water.

In May, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention singled out breast milk as an ideal test fluid in a biomonitoring program, as these toxins accumulate in the fatty tissue in the breast and pass into the milk.

But the presenters at last week's hearing repeatedly voiced their concern that using breast milk to measure toxin exposure might scare women away from breastfeeding their infants. Still, the benefits of breast milk far exceed any risk from contaminants, several speakers stressed.

Friday, October 25, 2002

Breastfeeding? Sorry ma'am, no drinks allowed here - OCT 26, 2002

HONGKONG - A woman breastfeeding her 22-month-old son in a library in Hongkong was told by a staff member to stop doing so as 'no food and drinks are allowed'.

Halfway through breastfeeding her son, Ms Ng Lai Ping was asked by a library staff to go to the sick bay instead. -- APPLE DAILY

Ms Ng Lai Ping was reading to the toddler and an older son in the Central Library on Oct 18 when her younger son cried of hunger pangs, reported Apple Daily yesterday.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Breast-milk banks pushing for more federal oversight

By Patricia Wen, Globe Staff, 10/24/2002

After this month's discovery that the West Nile virus can be transmitted through breast milk, the nation's human-milk banks, which serve thousands of newborns across the country, are asking for federal oversight to add credibility to their industry.

Federal authorities appear to be taking a closer look at the handful of banks nationwide - the modern-day version of wet nurses - that provide breast milk to babies whose mothers cannot nurse, usually because of sickness. One milk bank representative said she received a call within the last month from an official of the US Food and Drug Administration asking about safety issues.

''We welcome the idea of working with the FDA to develop guidelines and initiate inspections,'' said Mary Rose Tully, the former chairwoman of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. ''It would protect the public from charlatans and give us a sense of completion.''

This growing industry (sales of donated breast milk are up 25 percent in the past year) relies on the free donations of breast milk from lactating mothers who have a surplus. The milk is then pooled and pasteurized before being sold to mothers whose doctors prescribe it. The human-milk industry today resembles the blood bank industry of decades past when regulations were light and demand was surging.

Dr. Kimberly Lee, associate director of the newborn nursery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, said she applauds the idea of more federal regulation of milk banks, particularly if it adds legitimacy to an industry that provides breast milk to vulnerable premature babies among others.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

String quartet loses prized cellist
Marina Hoover forced to choose family over work

Tamara Bernstein,
National Post,

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

The St. Lawrence String Quartet has performed frequently in Vancouver -- first as a frisky young group based in Toronto, now as a group of international stature, famed for its fiery, risk-all performances and its unshakeable musical integrity. But when the quartet walks on to the stage of the Vancouver Playhouse tonight, audiences will see a new face.

After a year of trying to combine marriage and motherhood with the St. Lawrence's gruelling tour schedule, Marina Hoover, the group's founding cellist, left at the end of August...

In a field where women were long excluded, and where they're still vastly outnumbered, Hoover's resignation is something of a setback for gender equality.

"If anyone could have done it [balanced career and family], Marina could have," [remaining female quartet member Lesley] Robertson said ruefully from her office in California's Stanford University, where the SLSQ is Ensemble in Residence.

You can't say the Edmonton-born cellist, who has an iron will and constitution, didn't try. She engaged a substitute for only two tours during her pregnancy. She was back on stage -- with a cracked tailbone -- three weeks after giving birth to her son, Benjamin, in August, 2000, breastfeeding him during intermission.

But the SLSQ gives about 100 concerts a year, many in far-flung countries. "I took Benjamin on tour for the first year," Hoover said from her new home in suburban Chicago. "When I travelled with other members of the quartet, they were very helpful. But often I was alone: I'd have the baby strapped to my front, the cello [in a hard case] strapped to my back, the stroller and car seat in one hand, and I'd be pulling my suitcase with the other." [ Nice image, breastfeeding Benjamin during intermission. But I'm not sure what this article says. We don't support our professional artists enough to allow them to afford nannies when travelling? Marry a neurologist and expect your career to suffer? Mamma, don't let your daughers grow up to be world-class professional musicians? - JC]

Monday, October 21, 2002

Breast-fed babies may need extra vitamin DMedia coverage of this change in the AAP's recommendations for Vitamin D will focus on how breastmilk donesn't have Vitamin D. They should be reporting "babies don't get enough exposure to sunlight to allow them to make their own Vitamin D, especially now due to concerns about skin cancer. For this reason, formula has Vitamin D added in the factory, and breastfed-babies may need Vitamin D supplements."

Sunday, October 20, 2002

DDN | Lawsuit's focus on breast milkA family with triplets received $27,500 for mental anguish after one of the newborns was accidentally given another woman's breastmilk. Sheesh. I wonder if anybody's ever sued for "mental anguish" for the hospital accidentally giving an exclusively-breastfed baby formula... -- J
DDN | Lawsuit's focus on breast milkA family with triplets received $27,500 for mental anguish after one of the newborns was accidentally given another woman's breastmilk. Sheesh. I wonder if anybody's ever sued for "mental anguish" for the hospital accidentally giving an exclusively-breastfed baby formula... -- J

Friday, October 18, 2002

FEATURE/At-Work Breastfeeding Programs Common Among '100 Best Companies for Working Mothers Press Release Source: LifeCare Inc.
WESTPORT, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 2, 2002--Ninety-nine percent of the "100 Best" companies distinguished last week by Working Mother magazine have a workplace lactation program, compared to 19 percent of all companies nationwide, according to Carol Evans, CEO, Working Mother Media.

Evans revealed the statistic last week at a workplace breastfeeding forum in New York City where she was a keynote speaker. LifeCare?, Inc., a leading provider of comprehensive work and life employee benefits services, sponsored the forum. [Intriguing statistic, might be useful when trying to convince your employer to offer similar benefits. - JC]
Depression drug use soars in Canada
Canadian Press,

Thursday, October 17, 2002

TORONTO (CP) -- Over the past two decades, taking drugs to treat depression has become a national pastime in Canada, and the trend is likely to continue, a new study suggests.

During the period from 1981 to 2000, the total number of prescriptions for antidepressants jumped to 14.5 million a year from 3.2 million, according to the study, conducted by three University of Toronto researchers who analysed prescription habits in Canada.

This 353-per-cent increase occurred while the size of Canada's population increased only one per cent annually.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Breastfeeding welcome here "Breastfeeding mothers are being officially welcomed into cafes and restaurants as part of a national awareness campaign. The campaign was launched in Mackay this week and a group of breastfeeding mothers took advantage of this new status to take their bubs along and enjoy a get together. Local businesses who say 'yes' to breastfeeding are issued with a kit when they meet the following criteria - a welcoming attitude by staff and management, a smoke free environment and room to move a pram."
[Great article, includes photos of women in a restaurant and of the sign prepared for the businss owners. Great campaign, Australia!]
Yahoo! News - Rapid Early Growth Linked to Type 1 Diabetes Diabetes Care 2002;25:1755-1760
This is an interesting story, but unfortunately the researchers don't have enough information about feeding methods to be able to say anything definitively about breastfeeding and its role.
Martek gets Canada nod on infant formulaDHA and ARA oils to be added to infant formula in Canada.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Parenting - Early Signs of Obesity "What to do: Breastfeed, if you can. "It reduces the risk of fatness in a child," says Tufts University nutrition professor Susan Roberts, Ph.D., coauthor of Feeding Your Child for Lifelong Health. "Breastfeeding lets an infant regulate how much he eats, and the milk itself may help control appetite." Doctors advise nursing for a year." [OK, so it's not perfect - doctors advise nursing for *at least* a year. But still, it's nice to see a mainstream parenting magazine making the link between childhood obesity and infant formula. - JC]
Yellow Baby Caution The American Academy of Pediatrics is currently rewriting guidelines for pediatricians with regard to jaundice. Breastfeeding is considered a risk factor. Why breastfeeding? Shouldn't the risk factor be decreased fluid intake? I hope the AAP handles this better than their recent kerfuffle over allowing Ross Pediatrics to place thier logo on the front of their newest breastfeeding book.

Monday, October 14, 2002

FDA investigates bottled water Ick. Imagine buying formula at Walmart and picking up some bottled water to mix it with, only to learn the water contains xylene and has been recalled. :-(
Play lifts curtain on what breastfeeding is all about Grand Forks Herald | 10/14/2002 | "Cathy Coudle King says it's like watching a car accident happen. Parenting, she means. Whether you're doing it yourself or observing it. You'll get that feeling at the debut of her play, "Milk Dreams," Tuesday night at the Empire Arts Center. King, Grand Forks, wrote the play to kick off the fifth biennial statewide Breastfeeding Conference on Wednesday..."
Breastfeeding is the formula for good health Grand Forks Herald | 10/14/2002 | A companion article to the item on the play above indicates only 62 per cent of new mothers in North Dakota are breastfeeding when they leave the hospital.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

The Miami Herald | 10/10/2002 | Breastfeeding benefits you and your baby
A Q&A parenting column addresses the benefits of breastfeeding. The author, Debbie Glasser, Ph.D., is director of Family Support Services at the Family Center of Nova Southeastern University and is chairwoman of the National Parenting Education Network. The article is a solid review of the benefits of breastfeeding but could benefit from language that warns of the harm from not breastfeeding. I've forwarded her a copy of Diane Weissinger's Watch Your Language from the Journal of Human Lactation, Volume 12, Number 1, 1996.
Breast-feeding: Perseverance brings resultsA wonderfully detailed article that addresses health benefits for mother and baby and the need for support.
Breast feeding: good for working mothers, good for employers
California's Lactation Accommodation Law is profiled in this article on women who return to work and continue to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding moms tell how they do it
A companion article to the one above with details from moms on how they manage to breastfeed and work.

Friday, October 11, 2002

Thestar.com/Breastfeeding doesn't come naturally to every mom
The Toronto Star's education reporter Kristin Rushowy (krushowy@thestar.ca) writes about how hard it was for her to breastfeed her newborn and how important it is for women to get consistent support. She notes Norway's breastfeeding rates are still up at 70 per cent at one year, while most mothers in Canada have stopped nursing by then.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Breastmilk plea to save Luke THE parents of a desperately ill 15-week- old baby boy today appealed for human breast milk to save his life. Luke Kelly, from Stranmillis, was born gastroschesis, with his bowel outside his stomach, and now has little of his gut functioning. He needs specialist feeding and is being kept alive with an artificial formula, but needs human breast milk for its growth enhancing properties. Mum Cara (25), said Luke was so critically ill immediately after his birth that she was not encouraged to express milk for him because medical staff did not think her only child would survive. "My own milk flow was very slow and stopped about a week after Luke was born because of the stress," Cara said today. "He needs human milk because it has all the nutrients and growth hormones he needs." Luke is being kept alive on TPN formula and a supply of breast milk from the Human Milk Bank, but he needs a greater regular supply than the bank can handle.
[I wonder if anybody thougth to help this mom relactate? And isn't it too bad that their milk bank has such a low supply that the needs of ONE child can't be met. But, at least they have a milk bank... - J]
Life-saving initiative for newborn babies BLANTYRE, 30 Aug 2002 (IRIN) - Struggling with one of the highest child-mortality rates in the world, Malawi has launched an unconventional care programme aimed at saving the lives of newborn babies.

Malawi has a childhood mortality rate of 104 deaths for every 1,000 live births. The Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) programme intends to halve that rate.
ABCNEWS.com : Infant Formula Ingredient Studied in Rats
Breast milk contains 4-6 micrograms per liter (mcg/L) of manganese, while milk-based infant formula contains about 30-50 mcg/L and soy formula contains 200-300 mcg/L. Manganese is a mineral that helps the cells to obtain energy and it is essential for life, but can be toxic at very high levels.

"Very little is actually known about the association between manganese and ADHD specifically," said Dr. James Perrin, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and co-chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics subcommittee on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). "It's too soon to worry."
Is Soy Milk Dangerous For Babies? Researchers at the University of California at Irvine have found high levels of manganese in artificial baby milk mae from soy could be linked to ADHD.

Monday, October 07, 2002

CDC Media Relations - Telebriefing Transcript - October 3, 2002
The transcript of the media briefing conduted by the CDC where the possible transmission of West Nile Virus through breastmilk was discussed.
CDC Media Relations: Press Release
The CDC's release October 3rd indicating the presence of WNV antibodies in a baby breastfed by a mother infected with the virus.
Possible West Nile Virus Transmission to an Infant Through Breast-Feeding --- Michigan, 2002 The CDC's MMWR report.

The items above represent the official communication from the CDC regarding the possible transmission of West Nile Virus through breastmilk. Several times during the briefing the CDC's doctors were careful to stress that the benefits of breastfeeding outweight the possible risk of West Nile Virus. This statement is also at the end of news release.

However many news articles including the Associated Press wire copy do not mention the CDC's recommendations on breastfeeding: Breast Milk Blamed for West Nile Headlines like this one, or "West Nile caught from Breast Milk" abound. What is the message that women receive?

Here's a strong effort to counter damage done by the CDC's weak communications effort:
Breast milk not a source of West Nile - News - The Daily Illini Online
The Illinois Department of Public Health says "the idea of transmission through ingestion has not been documented anywhere in the world, although this is a disease that has been in other countries since 1937." LLL recommends that no mothers stop breastfeeding their children because of West Nle Virus. "Federal scientists are not encouraging anyone to wean their baby. The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the concerns of West Nile Virus."

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Breast Feeding protects against cancer
A special report from Radio Nederland.

"Now the verdict is clear. This new research compared the results of studies done on 150,000 women in thirty countries. "The broad range of data from different countries made it possible for the first time to determine the exact decrease of risk of breast cancer with breastfeeding," explains Dr Matti Rookus, whose work at the Netherlands Cancer Institute formed part of the data. From this new analysis, it emerges that more than 6 in 100 women in the western world get breast cancer before the age of 70, whereas in developing countries the figures amount to fewer than 3 in 100. Here, women have an average of 6.5 children and suckle each one for about 2 years. In conclusion, the British researchers determined that the risk of breast cancer is reduced by 7% with each child and there's an extra 4.3% decrease in risk with each year of breastfeeding."
Subtle truths about breastfeeding
Writer Elizabeth Bauchner of Ithica, New York, (ebauchner@clarityconnect.com) explains how researchers and scientists don't think of breastfeeding as the biological norm:

"When I weaned my first daughter to a bottle at two months of age, she became sick all the time. She must have had 10 serious ear infections by the time she was 18 months old. Most of the literature available on the topic tells me that breastfed babies are healthier and have fewer ear infections. I would have rather heard that formula-fed babies are sick more often and prone to ear infections. It may just be semantics but if I had known the health risks of formula rather than the health benefits of breastfeeding, I might have worked a bit harder at nursing my daughter longer. "