subject: infant feeding

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...

New Tool Helps Clinicians Customize Milk for Premature Babies

New Tool Helps Clinicians Customize Milk for Premature Babies

Premature babies have higher protein requirements compared with term babies. To keep these babies growing at the appropriate rate, their mother’s breast milk needs additional protein. Sounds simple enough, but determining just how much protein fortifier should be added is quite complicated due to the high variation in milk protein concentration across (and even within) human mothers. 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...

Monkey Model of Milk and Lactation

Monkey Model of Milk and Lactation

Like humans, monkeys generally give birth to one baby at a time and nurse them for extended periods during a time of infant and toddler-like development. Primates need this extended lactation period for social development. Just as humans need to learn interpersonal and societal rules, monkeys also need to learn how to find food and not kill each other. Thus, monkeys, like humans, produce a dilute milk to feed slow-growing young. Read More...

A Purpose for Spilled Milk

A Purpose for Spilled Milk

In the first weeks after giving birth, mothers are a mess of dripping milk. Babies learn how to feed while the mother's mammary glands learn how much milk to produce during what can be a roller coaster of too-much and too-little as the milk supply adjusts. Milk commonly spills on the baby and can even spray the baby's face when he or she unlatches after the flow has started. Does getting milk all over the baby have a purpose? As crazy as that sounds, maybe. Recent studies explored the use of human milk for treatment of diaper dermatitis and eye infections--both potential advantages of spilled milk. Read More...

Breastmilk Composition is Dynamic: Infant Feeds, Mother Responds

Breastmilk Composition is Dynamic: Infant Feeds, Mother Responds

Unlike formula, breastmilk composition is dynamic, responding to milk removal that occurs during breastfeeding. This plasticity of breastmilk composition may be key to early infant growth and programming of development. An exciting new study demonstrates how removal of milk by the infant stimulates changes not only in the lipid composition but also the cellular components of breastmilk. This knowledge now sets the basis for new clinical interventions aimed at improving health outcomes of compromised infants, such as those born prematurely. Read More...

Defining Normal Breastfeeding Patterns

Defining Normal Breastfeeding Patterns

Parents need to have realistic expectations of their infant's breastfeeding behaviour to support the decision to breastfeed and avoid unnecessary supplementation. A recent publication on a longitudinal study of infant breastfeeding patterns and breastmilk intake provides much-needed evidence to give parents and health professionals confidence that there is a wide variation in normal breastfeeding behaviour, and also to demonstrate the changes parents can expect during the exclusive breastfeeding period. Read more here. Read More...

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