subject: breastfeeding

Stop, Slow, & Go: Hormonal Signals from Mother’s Milk

Stop, Slow, & Go: Hormonal Signals from Mother's Milk

Hormones are not just for women! From babies to the elderly, both females and males have these chemical messengers circulating throughout their bodies. Astonishingly, milk contains hormones too. Read More...

MIT’s Hackathon Revolutionizes the Breast Pump

MIT’s Hackathon Revolutionizes the Breast Pump

Users invariably complain that breast pumps are uncomfortable to the point of painful, noisy and physically prevents them from performing other tasks. In both the verbal and adjectival sense, the breast pump sucks in its current forms! Which is why MIT Media Lab recently hosted a "hackathon"—a collective and competitive brain storming session with the aim of redesigning the breast pump from scratch. Among the offerings of the dozen or so teams that took part, two newfangled pump ideas have caught SPLASH!’s eye. Read More...

Microbial Transfer from Mother to Offspring

Microbial Transfer from Mother to Offspring

Until recently, it was thought that the maternal reproductive system is sterile, and that a baby’s first contact with bacteria was during birth while working its way through the birth canal. This long-standing dogma has been challenged by studies demonstrating that almost all tissues in the body are full of germs. Read More...

Protein for Babies: Too Much of a Good Thing

Protein for Babies: Too Much of a Good Thing

Intuitively, most of us would think that a high protein intake would be advantageous for babies and that the more of it would be better, as protein helps build and maintain our muscles and different tissues. However, in the long term it may actually be the opposite. Recent reports indicate that a high protein intake in infancy is associated with a greater risk of obesity later in life. Read More...

Diabetes and Breastfeeding

Diabetes and Breastfeeding

When it comes to understanding the links between breastfeeding and diabetes, causation runs both ways. Diabetes can influence if and for how long a new mother breastfeeds. On the other hand, developing diabetes during pregnancy and lactation can affect mother’s metabolic health later in life. As more studies in these fields generate results, a complex picture is emerging of interacting risk factors. Read More...

Breastfeeding Improves Mother’s Cardiovascular Health

Breastfeeding Improves Mother's Cardiovascular Health

How does breastfeeding alter the odds of developing cardiac diseases later in life? Recently, a small spurt of papers has filled in some important details on this matter. Together, they find that breastfeeding generally promotes a healthy heart. Read More...

Celiac Disease Influences Breast Milk Composition

Celiac Disease Influences Breast Milk Composition

Nearly 1% of Americans suffer from the autoimmune disorder called celiac disease. For these people, the digestion of foods containing gluten causes the immune system to attack the lining of their small intestine, resulting in inflammation that prevents absorption of nutrients. But can it also influence breast milk composition? A new study reports that mothers with celiac disease produce milk with lower concentrations of protective factors, including antibodies and probiotic bacteria. Read More...

Can a Revised Recipe Make Formula-fed Infants Smarter?

Can a Revised Recipe Make Formula-fed Infants Smarter?

Breast is best makes theoretical sense because breast milk is the only foodstuff to have evolved specifically to meet the nutritional needs of human infants, as Bruce German, Professor of Food Science and Technology at UC Davis is fond of saying. There are many reasons why the act of breastfeeding itself may be beneficial. But in purely compositional terms, scientists designing infant formulas rightly seek to mimic the real thing. Recently, a team of Swedish researchers ran a study in which they assigned some infants a novel formula with less energy and protein than normal infant formula, and with a higher concentration of fat globule membranes derived from cow’s milk. Read More...

Serotonin and the Body

Serotonin and the Body

Serotonin is well known as a chemical that elicits effects on the brain. But it has a vast number of other roles; for example, serotonin affects heart function, as well as milk release from the mammary gland, bladder control and how long it takes a man to ejaculate during sex. In fact, most of the body’s serotonin is not in the central nervous system—and almost all of the 15 serotonin receptors that have been identified in the brain are also found outside of it. Read More...

Breast Milk Antibody Promotes a Healthy Gut into Adulthood

Breast Milk Antibody Promotes a Healthy Gut into Adulthood

Many pediatrics studies have shown that inflammatory bowel disease is more common in infants who are not breast fed than in those who are. But explaining why this is the case has been hard. Recently, Charlotte Kaetzel and her colleagues at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, went further in demonstrating a mechanistic link than any group has done before. They report1 that an antibody (SIgA) transmitted in breast milk from mom to babe alters the expression of genes in infants’ gut epithelial cells. Not only are these genes associated with the development of irritable bowel syndrome, but the changes appear to last into adulthood. Read More...

Meet our Elite and Premier Sponsors