Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Low levels of breastfeeding put children at risk
Innovations Report
July 1, 2004
"Children in developing countries are being put at unnecessary risk of disease and death as they are fed alternatives to breast milk. According to a study published in BMC Medicine today, the amount of breastfeeding taking place falls a long way short of recommended levels. In 2001 the World Health Organization (WHO) passed a resolution recommending that infants under six months of age were fed exclusively on breast milk, in part to protect them from malnutrition, pneumonia and waterborne diseases. Yet only two in five infants this age from developing countries are fed only on breast milk, and more than five percent of them are not breastfed at all...."

Sunday, June 27, 2004

They put breast milk in Milo and on children's wounds - JUNE 27, 2004
By Arlina Arshad
Straits Times
"THE things some breastfeeding mums do. The mothers dab breast milk on wounds, burns, sore eyes and pimples. They put it in Milo, on breakfast cereal, and serve it to their children, not just their babies.Madam Jilyn Tan-Chew, 41, and Mrs Kymberlie Gay, 32, who are among the prime movers in the 500-strong Breastfeeding Mothers' Support Group, believe in the healing power of breast milk...."

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Natrel introduces Low-Fat Omega-3 Milk Beverage in Ontario
CNW Telbec
MARKHAM, ON, June 24 /CNW/ - Natrel, the national leader in value-added milk, today announced the Ontario launch of Natrel Omega-3, a new variety of enriched milk beverage. Natrel Omega-3 achieves the highest standards for a healthy milk beverage with a number of advanced product attributes including:

- Among the highest concentration of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
in milk products available in Ontario
- Recognized as a source of Omega-3 by Health Canada standards
- Low in saturated fat
- A low-fat Omega-3 milk option
Pregnancy Bad for Good Cholesterol
Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage
Thu 24 June, 2004 19:19
"NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Pregnancy seems to cause a drop in 'good' HDL cholesterol levels that may persist for up to 10 years, according to the results of a new study....
'Genetic factors, changes in fat distribution, and behavioral practices (breastfeeding) that may offset the negative effects of a first birth on (cholesterol levels) should be examined,' the researchers add.

SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, June 1, 2004."
Rate of childhood strokes has doubled: study News Staff
June 25, 2004
"Researchers say improved detection and diagnosis can't fully explain a shocking new statistic. Twice as many children are suffering strokes than was previously believed. According to Dr. Gabrielle deVeber, a Hospital for Sick Children pediatric neurologist, hospitals are seeing more and more children like two-year-old William Lewis. Just six hours after he was born, a blood clot choked off the supply of blood to his brain, triggering a seizure...." [Note the unfortunate illustration... - JC]

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

When breastfeeding conflicts with morés in the mall
"Vanessa Vicknair moved to Lansing from Seattle five years ago. She thought both cities were progressive - until recently. On June 12, she went shopping with her sister-in law Kelly Vicknair and friend Jessica Chapman-King at the Lansing Mall. The three mothers were tired, and their children hungry. They spotted a comfortable couch in the mall's designated family area. When Vanessa began breastfeeding her 8-week old daughter, a security guard approached and told her she should use the nursing room at the end of the hall, or otherwise stop breastfeeding. "CHe told me I was on private property and breaking indecent exposure laws," Vicknair said...."
More coverage on breast milk/warts
Breast milk compound kills warts: "
Associated Press
Published Wednesday, June 23, 2004
"A compound in breast milk has been found to destroy many skin warts, raising hopes it might also prove effective against cervical cancer and other lethal diseases caused by the same virus. Skin warts are caused by the human papilloma virus, which is extremely widespread. Swedish researchers found that when the breast-milk compound - since named HAMLET - is applied to the skin, it kills virally infected cells in warts resistant to conventional treatments...."

Sunday, June 20, 2004

The Australian: Don't spit dummy for premature babies [June 21, 2004] "By Helen Tobler
June 21, 2004
The Australian
WHEN Amber and Brianna Page were born 16 weeks early, the last thing their parents needed was to worry about what future problems the girls might experience from the dummies they used to comfort the twins. But new Australian research has put parents' fears to rest by showing that giving premature babies dummies does not make it more difficult for them to breastfeed later, as previous studies had suggested. Carmel Collins, researcher and midwife at Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital, said giving premature babies dummies was standard practice in hospitals. But parents were often concerned the dummies could cause nipple confusion and affect their ability to breastfeed."
Preemie critical due to negligent nurse
Maariv International
June 20, 2004
Gil Horev
"A nurse in the neonatal intensive care ward of Sheba-Tel Hashomer hospital accidentally attached a feeding tube to a premature baby's vein, and the three week-old baby is now in critical condition. Hospital director Prof. Zeev Rothstein told Channel Two earlier Saturday evening that the baby's condition has been stabilized and 'we are doing our utmost to save her life'. He also said 'we are not convinced that there will be irreversible damage to the baby'...."

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Constant Risk for HIV Infection During Breastfeeding, June 16, 2004 Press Release - National Institutes of Health (NIH): "Analysis Shows Infants of Mothers Infected With HIV Face Nearly Constant Risk For HIV Infection For Duration of Breastfeeding - Previously, Researchers Thought Risk Diminished As Infants Grew Older
"After four weeks of age, infants who breast feed from mothers infected with HIV continue to be at risk for infection with HIV for as long as they breastfeed, according to an analysis conducted and funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health. Previously, researchers thought the risk for being infected with the virus from breast milk diminished as an infant grew older. The analysis determined that a significant proportion of infants — 42 percent — were infected by breast feeding after they were 4 weeks old. The study also found that infants were at greater risk for contracting the virus through breastfeeding if their mothers had low levels of CD4 cells, an immune cell targeted by the AIDS virus. Moreover, male infants were more likely to contract the virus through breastfeeding than were female infants...."
Marco La Leche League applauds national breastfeeding campaign
Marco Island Sun Times
By Sun Times Staff
"La Leche League of Marco Island is fully standing behind the Department of Health and Human Service's Office on Women's Health and the Ad Council on the launch of its national breastfeeding awareness campaign. 'Babies Were Born to be Breastfed,' is the signature statement attached to the educational campaign. The message is that babies exclusively breastfed for six months are healthier because they are less likely to develop a variety of diseases including diarrhea, ear infections, respiratory infections, and obesity. ''I hope with this ad campaign, the importance of breastfeeding will finally get out to everyone,' said Kathleen Tuttle, leader of La Leche of Marco Island. 'In the past, the majority of mothers who breastfed were white and college educated, which is unfortunate as every child deserves the benefits of his mother's milk. In the '40s and '50s scientists told us that formula is best. Now we are rediscovering that mother's milk is the gold standard for infant nutrition.'..."
Rickets still a threat in Canada, doctors say
The Globe and Mail
"Despite widespread belief that rickets has been eradicated, the Vitamin D deficiency that causes softening of bones is an existing threat to Canadian infants, doctors warn. Although the vitamin is easily accessible, 79 cases of nutritional rickets were reported between July, 2002, and June, 2004, mainly among infants and toddlers, according to a two-year study released by the Canadian Paediatric Society on Thursday...."
{La Leche League's position on Vitamin D supplements, published shortly after a similar AAP recommendation: "Sunlight Deficiency, "Vitamin D," and Breastfeeding "Schaumburg, IL (April 17, 2003). Exclusively breastfed healthy, full-term infants from birth to six months who have adequate exposure to sunlight are not at risk for developing vitamin D deficiency or rickets. Rickets occurs because of a deficiency in sunlight exposure, not because of a deficiency in human milk...." And KellyMom has a good summary of the debate over Vitamin D supplementation, including a link to Cynthia Good Mojab's position paper on the matter. - JC]

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Mothers' milk aids research
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Kathleen F. Arcaro studies cancer. Breast cancer, to be precise. Deep in a laboratory at the University of Massachusetts' Morrill Science Center in Amherst, the environmental sciences professor spends her days peering into microscopes, trying to understand the reasons why the cells of a perfectly healthy-looking woman would betray the body and mutate. 'These come from a woman who actually had breast cancer,' she says, gesturing toward a wall on which the magnified image of cancer cells were projected. Like many other researchers, Arcaro and Chung M. Wong, her 21-year-old assistant, will spend their summer working through cell samples: recording, comparing, adjusting, then starting again. The difference between Arcaro's work and the work of many others, however, is the essential ingredient needed to keep Arcaro's study going. Arcaro studies the very first food a helpless newborn can digest: human breast milk."

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Church playgroup bans breastfeeding mothers
- National -
Danielle Teutsch
June 13
The Sun-Herald
"Women attending a church playgroup in Sydney have been banned from breastfeeding unless they go to a separate room in a move that may contravene anti-discrimination laws. Mothers at the weekly playgroup run by St Peter's (Cooks River) Anglican Church at St Peters have been told they might offend passing tradesmen or ethnic groups if they continue to breastfeed in the main hall, where their children play. A group of the women have left the playgroup in disgust at the edict, which they have labelled discriminatory and regressive...."
Valley infants testing formula
East Valley Tribune Online
By Ray Stern, Tribune
"Baby formula companies spend millions of dollars each year to convince parents their products are safe and beneficial for newborns. But someone’s child has to be the first to try them.
That’s where Scottsdale’s Hill Top Research comes in. For about $300 and the satisfaction of helping bring a new product to market, Valley parents let the unknown pass their infant’s lips for six weeks. 'We’re making sure there’s no stomachaches, or colic, stomach distress — those kinds of things,' said Wendy Bullock, in charge of recruiting test subjects at Hill Top, a small complex of offices and laboratories on 75th Street. The company — which has seven other locations in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom — advertises in a local entertainment weekly newspaper, seeking parents of infants 2 weeks to 3 months old. Eight families have signed up so far for the latest study, Bullock said. Safety is a chief concern, although the very nature of the testing means a problem could develop, company representatives said...."

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Is breastfeeding an option or an obligation?
A new ad campaign is sure to incite controversy

Published Wednesday, June 9, 2004
by Heather Johnson
Boca Raton News
"Some women feel that the pressure to deliver breast milk 100 percent of the time is unfair to working women. One of the main things that makes a mother a mother is wanting the best for her child. And now with the launching of the new public service announcements by the Advertising Council and the United States Department of Health and Human Services promoting the benefits of breastfeeding, a whole new controversy is being stirred up about an age-old issue. Is a mother who chooses not to breastfeed doing the best that she can for her child?...
Nestle recalls baby formula
June 10, 2004
A BABY formula which could cause babies to become unsettled and show symptoms of constipation and diarrhoea was today recalled by its manufacturer.
Nestle Australia Ltd said in a statement that NAN 1 Probiotic Starter Infant Formula with Bifidus, 900g size, with the use by date of August 5, 2005, was being recalled. "An incorrect mix of formulation occurred during the manufacturing process which has resulted in some products not meeting the Food Standards regulations," the statement said. "Because of possible changes in the protein and iron levels in the formula, babies who consume the affected product may become unsettled and exhibit symptoms of constipation and/or diarrhoea and fewer wet nappies." Nestle has set up a hotline – 1800 069 678 – for those concerned about the product.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

CBS News | Fake Milk Powder Causes Baby Death | June 9, 2004 12:38:39
SHANGHAI, China. June 9, 2004
"(AP) Only two months after a nationwide crackdown on fake infant formula, one baby died and 20 were hospitalized with severe malnutrition in eastern China after drinking low-quality milk powder, a state newspaper said Wednesday. The infants in Suqian, a city northwest of Shanghai, suffered from swelling and anemia, both symptoms of severe malnutrition, the Legal Daily newspaper said. ..."

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

FDA Warns Against Women Using Unapproved Drug, Domperidone, to Increase Milk Production
07 Jun 2004, Medical News Today
"In response to reports that women may be using an unapproved drug, domperidone, to increase milk production (lactation), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning breastfeeding women not to use this product because of safety concerns. Today, FDA also issued six letters to pharmacies that compound products containing domperidone and firms that supply domperidone for use in compounding. The Agency also is issuing an Import Alert which alerts FDA field personnel to be on the lookout for attempts to import this drug so that it can be detained and refused admission into the U.S. if appropriate." [World renowned expert on bresatfeeding and pharmacology, Dr. Thomas Hale, has a response to the FDA warning on his web site - JC]
Flame retardants in Canadian breast milk raise concerns
Last Updated Tue, 08 Jun 2004 10:40:16, CBC
"TORONTO - Women in Canada have the second highest levels of brominated flame retardants in the world, after the U.S. Health Canada said the levels haven't been shown to be hazardous but the department supports an Environment Canada proposal to declare the chemicals toxic.Polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs are related to PCBs. The chemicals are added to foams and plastics in couches, mattresses, computers and TVs, saving lives by preventing them from bursting into flames.
Dr. Robin Walker is a neonatalogist at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. He agrees with Health Canada that the risks of BPDEs are not proven but adds newborns are highly sensitive to environmental pollution. "If the evidence is strong enough to persuade the United States and the European Union to remove certain of these products from the market, perhaps that evidence is strong enough to do the same in Canada," said Walker. Until then, Walker said mothers should continue nursing their babies because the known benefits of breast milk outweigh the unknown risks."

[This key advice to women - to continue breastfeeding - is missing from the original Globe and Mail story and from the Canadian Press report that was picked up by many daily newspapers across Canada this morning. INFACT CAnada has an excellent fact sheet on contaminants in breastmilk. - JC]

Friday, June 04, 2004 : Breast-feeding Ads Stalled, 'Watered Down': "Avocates Say Government Pressured by Formula Companies to ‘Water Down’ Breast-feeding Ads

By Brian Ross and Jill Rackmill

June 4, 2004 — The U.S. government has unveiled a new advertising campaign to promote breast-feeding, after months of fierce lobbying to change its approach, ABC News has learned.
New Survey Shows One in 10 Moms Are Aware That Soy Formula May Help Manage Fussiness in Formula-Fed Infants
Press Release Source: Abbott Laboratories
Friday June 4, 9:30 am ET

- Nearly 30 Percent of Formula-Fed Infants Use a Soy Formula -

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- According to a recent survey conducted in conjunction with National Soyfoods Month, only one in 10 moms of formula-fed babies are aware that soy can help manage persistent common feeding problems. Generally, the 300 surveyed moms had a positive view of soy, but many felt they had very little information when it came to soy infant formula."

Thursday, June 03, 2004

No Mother's Milk Here: Hospitals Cut Breast-Feeding Support
Austin Chronicle

"For health care choices at local hospitals, the pool of options for moms and babies keeps getting smaller. The company line for axing programs such as midwifery or lactation support services typically centers on budgetary constraints; but in truth, women's advocates say, these low-tech services cost little money to operate and can even save health care dollars in the long run because of their preventive benefits. The problem is, they don't make money, so out they go.... "

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

OhioHealth Newsroom - Got Milk? Our Infants Do!
[ This is the news item referenced below on the NBC4 news site. - JC]

New Donor Milk Program at Grant Medical Center Ensures Even the Littlest Patients Get the Best Start in Life
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- According to years of research, breast milk is best for infants. Low birth weight babies or those with special needs especially need breast milk because of the rich, easy-for-baby-to-digest nutrients it provides. Some mothers, however, are not able to provide milk for their newborn babies. That's why Grant Medical Center has started the first human donor milk program in Columbus. Since the program launched in January, babies are benefiting from pasteurized, frozen, human breast milk purchased from the Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin in Austin, Texas. Candidates to receive the pasteurized milk include infants who weigh less than three pounds, those who can't breastfeed, or babies whose mothers can't produce milk immediately...." - Health - See A Sneak Preview Of New Heart Hospital On "Health Dimensions" TV Show : "See A Sneak Preview Of New Heart Hospital On 'Health Dimensions' TV Show
Watch the eighth episode of Health Dimensions, OhioHealth's primetime television show, this Wednesday, June 9, 2004 at 7 p.m. on NBC 4.

Featured stories and physicians in this episode include:

Donor Milk Program-Got milk? Preemies do much better if they receive breast milk rather than formula. Craig Anderson, M.D., will tell us about a new and innovative program at Grant matching appropriate breast milk with premature infants." Ghana: Breast Feeding Campaign in Dramatic Improvement
Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra)
June 2, 2004
"STATISTICS FROM the Ghana Health Service indicate that the initiative embarked on to promote breastfeeding of babies, instead of using breast milk substitutes has seen a dramatic improvement nationwide since 1998 when the initiative was started.According to Miss Veronica Gomez, the National Coordinator of the Baby Friendly Initiative of the Ghana Health Service, who was speaking at a seminar organised by the Food and Drugs Board, (FDB) in conjunction with WHO and UNICEF to deliberate on the Legislative Instrument 1667 of May 2000, that seeks to promote breastfeeding in accordance with the International Code for the marketing of breast milk substitutes, 97% percent of women in the country breastfeed, however it was noticed in a survey that, women in the rural areas tended to do so for a longer period than those in urban areas, due to cultural and financial reasons...."
Telegraph | News | Alert over bacteria in dried baby foods
By David Derbyshire, Science Correspondent
(Filed: 03/06/2004)
"Dried baby foods and infant formula contain disturbing levels of potentially harmful bacteria - including one linked to childhood meningitis - a survey has found. Although the risks to babies are tiny if products are prepared properly, poor kitchen hygiene could cause bacteria to multiply, with devastating consequences. Even doctors sometimes mistakenly believed that powdered infant formula was sterile, the chief scientist involved in the study said..."

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

College 'in the bag' for Washington infant
The Opelousas Daily World - Serving St. Landry Parish
William Johnson / Louisiana
Gannett News
Posted on May 31, 2004
"Lillian Albert of Washington holds her five-month-old son, Howard James Albert III, who is the recipient of a $25,000 scholarship from Mead Johnson Nutritionals, Inc. Howard James Albert III of Washington is only five months old, but his parents, Howard Jr. and Lillian Albert, are already planning his college career. ... Howard is the 16th recipient out of an anticipated 20 who will receive such scholarships through June 30.
[Now, you ask yourself, "Why is Mead Johnson giving away scholarships??" - JC] 'This is another example of our commitment to nourishing the potential of babies,' said Gail Wood with Mead Johnson Nutritionals. 'According to findings in the recent Enfamil LIPIL Smart Development Survey, 88 percent of new moms feel a college education is crucial to their child's ability to succeed later in life. 'However, only one third of moms surveyed are confident they will be able to afford the cost of tuition when the time comes. The ever-rising cost of a college education is a source of worry for many new parents.' [ Here it comes... - JC] When it comes time for Howard Albert III to hit the books, Enfamil, which Wood says contains a blend of additives that have been shown to promote brain and eye development, will get him off to a good start...." [Ah, there we go. To highlight Enfamil's ability to "promote brain and eye development" . Clever Mead Johnson. - JC]