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]