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Episode 41: This Week in Breastfeeding - Feb 26, 2021

, , , February 26, 2021

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Welcome back to another episode of Breastfeeding Talk: Milk, Motherhood, Mindset. I’m your host, Jacqueline Kincer. And I am here to do a another edition of This Week in Breastfeeding. So today is February 26th, 2021. I actually ended up skipping the podcast for last week one because I didn’t find a whole lot of interesting news to share with you all. And two, I live here in Phoenix, Arizona and my allergies flare up really bad this time of year with our super high pollen counts of things that I’m highly allergic to. So you probably didn’t want to hear my sniffly nose on the podcast. But now I’m back at it today, I actually had to go through tons of news articles that came out this past week, in addition to the ones from last week, and there’s some so much good stuff to share. So I’m actually really excited to dive in.

 

So the first one I’m going to start with is a study that came out called Black slash African American breastfeeding experience cultural, sociological and health dimensions through an equity lens. I’m really, really glad the study is being done because black breastfeeding rates are much lower than any other ethnic groups out there. Actually, even in this, the background of the study, they say that only 42% of infants in the world and 25.6% of infants in the United States are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life in 2019. The infants least likely to be exclusively breastfed at six months are African Americans. And they had an exclusive breastfeeding rates at six months of 17.2%. So that is a lot less and hugely concerning. So really, what the study did was just acknowledge that there are lots of challenges, specifically summarizing cultural such as family peers, community support, misconceptions, personal factors, prejudices, racism, home environment, financial status, sexuality issues, breastfeeding role models, and employment policies, as well as just a lot of things going on in the healthcare system.

 

In terms of, you know, timely and honest information from staff, postnatal follow up. All of that, combined contributes to lower rates of breastfeeding for African American women. So we’ve got a long ways to go, unfortunately, and I did a great, great episode. A while back last year on the podcast with Maxine Robinson about this, because she has worked in public health for a long time, she’s also an ibclc. And she is, you know, a black mother out there supporting other black mothers. And unfortunately, you know, racism, and all these other issues are still hugely problematic when it comes to supporting families and breastfeeding.

 

So I’ll link that up for anyone who’s interested. Now I’m going to spend quite a bit of time on this one. This is an article from The Guardian. And the headline is, am I going to regret it forever chemicals dilemma for breastfeeding mothers, it’s actually very long and well written article. So if you want to dive into this topic more, I absolutely encourage you to do so. It’s sort of along the lines of the Erin Brockovich story. And things like that where the discussion is about chemicals that are in drinking water or you know, other foods and they come into our bodies. And what is the impact of that when we are breastfeeding our children.

 

And so there’s a lot of evidence that these chemicals get into mother’s milk and then into the baby and we’re seeing it show up in tests of these babies and later on into adulthood as well. So mainly this article is concerned with PFS there. I’m probably not even going to say this right? per floor alkyl substances, they’re often referred to as forever chemicals meaning they really don’t go away. These are things that are used to produce things like Teflon coatings and other state and water resist. Certain products, and these have been linked by scientists to serious diseases. So there’s a main compound of PFS called PFOA, which is per fluro octanoic acid. And that’s typically found in drinking water.

 

So there’s this mother, Marian Jacobs, basically, she lives in a small town, called Hoosick Falls in upstate New York, and borders Vermont and Massachusetts. And she found out that her baby son, all of her, he had some serum test results done with some very high levels of these compounds in his blood. So she actually tells a story, or told the story in the article about how she became pregnant with all of her after she was alerted to this being in the drinking water. So she didn’t drink the drinking water while she was pregnant or breastfeeding. But she was aware that because you know, these chemicals were already in her body, they would likely pass to him through her womb. And she ended up breastfeeding him for 24 months, and he had really, really, really high levels, actually 100 times the national average.

 

Now, this is a really important discussion to have, because I don’t want anyone to take that sentence and go, Oh, my gosh, breastfeeding is bad. First of all, you know, unless you know your own personal concentrations of these chemicals, you know, there’s a lot of things to consider for sure. So it’s obviously, you know, really concerning, and this mother felt like she was doing the healthiest thing possible for her child. And then now she’s just wracked with guilt, because she’s realizing he has really, really high concentrations of these chemicals, which clearly leached from her body into her breast milk. And then you know, her son consume those, and now they’re in his body. And she actually talks about how his teeth are decaying, and they’re cracked, and the doctors don’t seem to know why it is.

 

And she’s afraid it’s because he drank her breast milk. So that’s really scary and really concerning. Now, what this article does, a really good job of doing is talking about that. Women are basically left with an impossible choice. They actually estimate that across all 49 states in the United States that more than 200 million Americans drinking water could be contaminated with some level of PFOA or P FOS. So those are two in a family of those PFS compounds. And they’re widely used to make hundreds of products. So in these communities, you know, mothers are really concerned about, you know, should I breastfeed? Should I not? And that’s a really, really tough question to, to tackle, because it’s not just a question of those chemicals, right? It’s a question of all of the wonderful immune benefits and and genetic benefits and all the other health benefits that we know that have been proven time and time again, across population based studies, that the outcomes of children who are breast milk fed or breastfed, versus formula fed are much better.

 

And, obviously, whether or not it was specifically accounted for, if, you know, most of the United States population has these chemicals in their drinking water and is exposed to them. And we’re still seeing better outcomes with children who have been breastfed, then despite that, we’re still seeing that there’s health benefits to breastfeeding. But this particular situation of this mother and baby, these concentrations are super, super high, they may be much higher than the national they are much higher than the national average. So in that case, you know, is breastfeeding a good idea for this mother and this baby? And so that’s, that’s really difficult. And, and the article does a really great job of summarizing sort of the history of things. And, you know, the the toxicity levels.

 

And there’s another mother, they talked about where her local family doctor actually urged her not to breastfeed because of this. So basically, they tested her daughter’s blood when she was seven weeks old. And it was it still had really high parts per trillion of these chemicals. And the mother said, If I had breastfed, I can’t even imagine how much worse it could have been. So, you know, this mother felt like along with her physician, that she made an informed decision to not breastfeed her child to reduce this chemical exposure that was already happening by virtue of being pregnant with the child. She didn’t want to make it worse through breastfeeding. And I think that’s actually totally understandable. And so the article goes on to state you know, we really don’t have enough research on this topic, which is absolutely 100% True. We don’t have enough information to make it really good risk benefit analysis.

 

And that’s really really, you know, important to know. The there’s a lot of things like that in the world of breastfeeding where we just don’t have enough information. To make an informed decision, and so, you know, we’re doing the best that we can. Now, there is some evidence that, you know, breastfeeding for shorter durations of time, they’re saying like three to four months, and then stopping will give those primary immune benefits, but then limit the longer duration exposure, you know, to these PFS chemicals. So, you know, I don’t know that there’s any evidence to support that, but that’s what these researchers and physicians are leaning towards recommending in towns that are, you know, specifically experiencing super, super high levels. Because once they’ve gotten once these chemicals gotten into your system, you know, they’re they don’t fully leave. And so that’s obviously very problematic.

 

Now, there’s some evidence that, you know, these chemicals in high concentrations affect immune function, they affect the liver function, all sorts of things, right. So it’s definitely something we want to be careful about. Now, when I was reading this article, I thought, Okay, well, I want to see, you know, what’s a similar comparison? Can we find what’s the concentration of these chemicals in Formula? Generally, we’re not preparing formula in any sort of, you know, Teflon containers or anything like that. But they do come in various containers and what have you. And I found a really, really, really awesome review, that I’ll link up for, you can read the full text of this. It’s from Environmental Health Perspectives. It’s from 2018. So it’s actually fairly recent, I like that. It’s called environmental chemicals and breast milk and formula exposure and risk assessment implications.

 

So basically, you know, I won’t bore you with all the details, you can you can read it yourself if you’re interested. But they went through, you know, as many studies as they could find about, you know, these, you know, chemicals in breast milk and formula and trying to look at, you know, what’s, what’s better or worse here, basically. And so they compiled a list, they did look at the PFA s, they looked at salads, they looked at parabens, they looked at metals, they looked at, you know, just I mean, all sorts of things, right. So, actually like that, they looked at something more than just PFS. So that was actually really good. And they basically, at the end of the day, say, you know, there’s there’s some things like PFS, you know, that show higher concentrations in breast milk, and lower ones in Formula. And then there’s other things like, you know, arsenic is one, you know, that can have some fairly high levels in Formula.

 

I didn’t spend a whole lot of time reading into each specific category to be honest about, you know, fairleads and phenols, and parabens, and, you know, there’s metals, volatile organic compounds. I mean, there’s, there’s a lot there. But you can look at it for yourself. At the end of the day, I think that you could I reviewed this and read the entire article, and I felt like it’s it’s sort of a wash, like I don’t know if one’s better than the other. In fact, I would lean more towards breast milk based on what they were saying. And I think they really approached it from a very unbiased view, to be honest.

 

And they did point out some really good considerations, some scientific considerations that we need to take into account. So it said, one, that infant dietary exposure can be assessed using chemical concentrations in breast milk or formula in combinations with estimates of breast milk or formula consumption rates. Yes, this is true. But when estimating infant exposures based on chemical concentrations in breast milk, it is important to assume that the chemical concentration is constant in human milk throughout the breastfeeding period. However, chemicals and breast milk have varying pharmacokinetic properties.

 

Some are persistent with physiologic half lives of up to years, whereas others are transient with half lives in humans have hours, days or weeks. Even for persistent chemicals, it can be challenging to predict trends in breast milk levels during lactation. And they actually have four studies that they cite, you know, with that statement there. And then it says In addition, when exposure estimates are calculated on a lipid adjusted basis, eg for lipophilic chemicals, like Bill, Phillip chemicals, however, you want to say that uncertainty is introduced by the lipid content correction, because the lipid content of human milk changes across the duration of breastfeeding, and even over the course of a single feeding.

 

So essentially, what they’re saying is that formula is a constant rate. And we can measure, you know, the leaching of chemicals from the bottles or the can or whatever and formula, it’s going to be a constant rate, the water that it’s prepared with, and we know it’s constant with breast milk, there is no constant, not even from you know, the beginning of the feeding to the end of the feeding. And so to measure these breast milk samples, is actually really really problematic because we’re not doing it long term. So we don’t really have any data long term. And we don’t know what the different factors are, because physiologies, so individual, so we can make some guesses. They talked about basically modeling to estimate chemicals in breast milk. But, you know, this is actually really, really hard to pin down. So I really appreciate, you know, essentially that they said that, and really their conclusion at the end of this was that we need so much more research done. And that comparisons between chemical exposure levels and reference values are only a small element of a larger process of risk based decision making.

 

And I think it was on a previous episode of This Week in breastfeeding, where I talked about how, you know, that families that are, you know, have a fair amount of privilege that are, you know, living in a wealthier country with, you know, adequate access to health care, you know, the difference between breastfeeding and formula is much smaller than a family that lives in a third world country or is severely socio economically disadvantaged, they’re the difference between breast milk and formula is gigantic, and that baby being fed breast milk could mean all the difference for its lifetime, and, you know, its progeny and their future generations. So there’s a lot to take in consideration in terms of risk and exposure, way more research needs to be done, obviously, on this front.

 

And actually, it’s been problematic that we haven’t kept up with research about PFS and, and other chemicals like that, in drinking water and what have you for a very long time, there was a hint in The Guardian article actually, about how the Biden administration here in the United States is actually making these kinds of environmental research topics a priority. And I think that’d be really great to fund more of that research, so that we can minimize exposure and impact or pretend potentially do something to ameliorate the effects of the exposure of these chemicals. So anyway, basically, yes, there are lots of chemicals that can get into your breast milk, there are also lots of chemicals that could get into formula. And how does this affect us throughout the lifespan? Well, we honestly really don’t know.

 

We do know that. You know, once the exposure ceases, the serum levels in the blood decrease. But what are the lifelong effects there, it’s hard to say. So more studies definitely need to be done, which is really what most studies end up concluding. By the way, if you’re not familiar with reading a lot of studies, that’s just the way it is. Now on the same topic, different article from Baby Gaga, that kind of interviewed some experts and things and the headline here is your body will produce good breast milk, even if your diet isn’t perfect. So basically, what they’re trying to do here, I think, is very valid. They’re trying to basically state that, you know, you don’t need to maintain a perfect diet to produce, you know, good quality breast milk for your child. And I agree with that statement.

 

And really, they go back to hear a broader view, talking about looking at studies based on population recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics that we still know that research has proven that breastfeeding protects the mother and her baby from a variety of illnesses, you know, asthma, obesity, diabetes, cancer, ear infection, SIDS, gastrointestinal infections, respiratory diseases, you name it. So really, you know, unless your your breast milk is, you know, tainted with illicit drugs, or something that really shouldn’t be in there to begin with, or in anyone’s body to begin with all breast milk is good breast milk is really what they’re saying. And I would, I would agree with that, for the most part, you know, but I would say that it’s easy to take population-based data and try and apply that to every single person, but we can’t do that.

 

That’s unfair. So like the case of, you know, this poor family and that article from The Guardian, where, you know, they live in this small town that was, you know, wracked by industry, you know, dumping chemicals into the water supply there, the river, the groundwater, you name it, you know, that’s unique situation should they be? Well, first of all, they shouldn’t even be drinking the water, but they, they weren’t aware of that, right. So hopefully, there’s some sort of class action lawsuit that’s that’s going on, or has happened there. But too, you know, maybe breastfeeding is not the healthiest choice for that particular family. So again, just you know, take these things into account, but I like the baby Gaga article that’s a little more relaxed of a feel basically saying that, being paranoid about everything and being perfect and having this perfect diet one isn’t healthy, no matter what stage of life you’re in, but to particularly when you’re postpartum and breastfeeding.

 

You know, really try to try to eat, you know, Whole Foods, be well nourished, add in supplements if you need them, you know, work with your health care providers and your team there, too. to figure out what’s the best approach for you, but, you know, if you have some McDonald’s fries one day, you don’t need a pump and dump. Okay. So I think that’s basically what they’re trying to say. And now let you know, let’s continue on this topic, actually, since we’re on it, this is from Healthline parenthood. And it’s a an article that came out, is it safe to take Zoloft while breastfeeding? You know, this is always an interesting question, I get this question a lot as a lactation consultant, obviously, is it safe? Well, you know, safety is relative, like we just discussed, and, you know, is it safe to take so awful breastfeeding?

 

Well, yes, relatively, yes, it’s safe in that, you know, it’s, it’s not going to cause you know, immediate harm or, or anything like that to you or your baby, most likely. Definitely not to the baby. But you know, there, there are some risks you might want to consider So, Zoloft. If you’re not familiar, it’s a drug that can be used at any stage of life, really, but postpartum specifically, it’s for treating depression, OCD, or panic attacks. And it’s it’s not specifically approved for postpartum depression, but it is approved for depression. It’s also helpful for treating PTSD. So you know, your actually, as far as I know, they don’t really,

 

actually mention it in this article, because the article is about breastfeeding. But as far as I’m aware of, you’re not supposed to take breasts or Zoloft when you’re pregnant. So, you know, there’s different standards for pregnancy and breastfeeding, obviously. Now, what they did say is that yes, Zoloft does pass into your breast milk. There’s more research that’s needed. But currently, we know that levels of the drug actually peak in your breast milk about eight to nine hours after a dose. And generally, it’s considered safe. But we also have to consider the ramifications of you not taking the medication.

 

So if you have untreated depression, or anxiety or other issues, that may lead you to become suicidal or experience other serious health consequences, we have to take that into account, maybe it’s safer for you to be on the drug than not the drug. And so what we don’t want is any sort of stigma happening to people who are experiencing mental illness, to feel like they now can’t take medications to manage their symptoms. Because they’re worried about, you know, providing breast milk for their baby. We don’t want you to feel like you have to choose between one or the other. And I think this article does a good job of stating that. There are obviously huge positive benefits of breastfeeding on your mental health, your baby’s mental health. So, you know, nutrition wise, health wise, all of that, too. But, you know, huge, huge, huge, they do talk about a potential side effect of Zoloft, which is that you could experience a slight decrease in milk production. And then they’re quick to state that this is generally correctable with increased feeds or pumping between feeds.

 

Yes, that is true. I’ve worked with many, many families. And many parents who are breastfeeding that have been on Zoloft and I have not seen a decrease in their milk production. So that’s really good. That’s just sort of anecdotal clinical based observation, but it could potentially decrease it, but not to a level that would be concerning, and it’s easily correctable. So there are obviously other side effects for you as the parent, that’s important to take into account. It also does have a so called blackbox warning on it. So if you are taking this drug and you experience suicidal thoughts, you need to contact your provider immediately. And your family should be aware that you’re taking this drug and look out for any signs of that as well. So it’s, you know, when we talk about safety, you know, is any drug really particularly safe, you know, there’s always some sort of effect that it has on you and you just have to weigh those risks and benefits. So I’ll link that up in the show notes for you as well.

 

Now, moving on to this one, it’s from frontiers in pediatrics. It’s their neonatology section and it says, it’s a journal article here promoting and protecting human milk and breastfeeding in a COVID 19 world. And really, this might be more something for the lactation consultants who like to listen to this podcast, but really awesome article, just talking about, you know, the recommendations of the World Health Organization when it comes to breastfeeding, and how, you know, these things are not necessarily happening in the clinical setting. So unfortunately, you know, with, you know, limited visitation of the parents to infants and NICUs, you know, visitors, you know, in the hospital or birthing setting. I know that there are some hospitals that don’t allow lactation consultants to see COVID-positive patients. Unfortunately, there are many that do. So there’s just been less access to care.

 

There’s been a huge change and change and just You know, maternity practices in perinatal care in general. So it’s frustrating. It’s very frustrating. And then they talk about SARS cov. Two and its presence in human milk, we haven’t really seen infectious virus, you know, being transmitted through breast milk to babies. So that’s really good. We have seen antibodies from both natural infection of the mother and vaccination of the mother that go through the breast milk into the baby. So that’s really great. But the impact of this pandemic on breastfeeding mothers has been really big, and unfortunately, quite negative. So there’s a lot more that we could do here. And I’m really glad that they’re discussing this.

 

They’re also talking about donor milk and how it should go through pasteurization to ensure that, you know, we’re limiting any viral viral transmission or exposure through Hillman, human milk and things of that nature. So they did a really good job of just outlining the challenges and sort of needs worldwide when it comes to breastfeeding. And you know, since this pandemic is obviously worldwide, it’s great to take that global perspective into account. Now long those same names, most of us these days involves COVID-19, unfortunately, but this is from February 18 2021. And it’s from healio.com.

 

And that says, study affirms that mothers with COVID-19, should not be separated from newborns. So I’m really glad to see this backed up, I felt very strongly from the beginning of the pandemic, that infants should not be separated from mothers. But you know, there wasn’t really enough evidence to say one way or another, you know, what was best. But they stayed here temporarily separating mothers with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from their newborns and disrupting skin to skincare. rooming in and direct breastfeeding was associated with harm, and maybe unnecessary. So this is from the COVID mothers study. So I’m glad to see this all link it up if you want to get into the nitty gritty details.

 

But I think honestly, the headline basically covers it. It’s just very, what they did do a good job, also of pointing out was not just the health outcomes, but the impact on the mother, that most mothers felt very upset or distressed, because they were separated from their infants. And, you know, despite trying, they were often unable to breastfeed their child after being reunited, and that’s huge, that’s huge. Mothers and newborns were separated an average of six to seven days. So that is a critical time right after birth for your baby to have the skills of breastfeeding sort of imprinted in their brain and their motor skills. And if they’re missing out on that, it’s it’s really, really substantially going to negatively affect breastfeeding. And that’s really, really unfortunate. So

 

you know, I glad they brought that up, because it’s important that we have practices in the health care setting, where we’re not just treating COVID-19 positive or suspected COVID-19 positive mothers as sort of lepers, because they’re not and they deserve, you know, just the same, if not better care than someone who is not positive for that. case, in point actually, I had a patient recently, who birthed locally to me, and she said that she was COVID, positive two weeks before giving birth, at the time of giving birth, you know, she had no no signs of disease, or rather, she was SARS. cov, two positive she did have COVID-19 She had no signs of the disease at the time of giving birth and what have you, but she was like, just at the last day of that two week period, where we’re kind of concerned about quarantining and what have you. And she was treated horribly by the hospital staff.

 

And I do have friends that work in the hospital, not even in lactation, just other areas of the hospital. And they’ve said, Yes, that’s generally true that there is an assumption made by a lot of people that work in the hospital, unfortunately, that you got COVID Because you were being irresponsible. I think that that’s really sad. Because I don’t believe that that’s how most people end up getting COVID I don’t know that for sure. But certainly not all people get COVID by being irresponsible and going to bars and partying it up. Certainly not a pregnant woman who’s about to give birth. In fact, she’s a physician herself. And so she likely got it from work. And so I just thought, gosh, that’s really unfortunate to hear that she had such a poor experience. I’m sure that’s not the case at every hospital. But apparently there’s you know, that bias seeping in amongst many health care workers where they are treating COVID positive patients respected COVID and patients very, very poorly, and that is obviously going to hinder any sort of good postpartum outcome.

 

So now, this is interesting. This came up in my newsfeed yesterday. Today from February 25 2021, it’s linked up a bunch of places, but I’m going to specifically link up this one I found in the New York Post. So you can look on NY Post comm. And I’ll have that in the show notes for you. But there’s going to be a commercial from the freedom mom company. And it’s going to they had a, I believe it was last year, I should have looked this up, but they had an article about postpartum. And I, it was just, they have some postpartum products that they sell, and they were advertising those. And they showed the real sort of trials and tribulations of what it’s like to be a newly postpartum mum.

 

And now, they’ve got a commercial showing lactating breasts, that’s going to air during the Golden Globes. And they are set to show the struggles of breastfeeding. And I think the commercial from what I can tell, is very well done. And they’re showing, you know, things like clogged ducts and breast pain and things like that, and they’ve got some products that they’re selling to treat those. The thing that kind of, you know, annoys me a little bit is that these products aren’t anything new to the market, they’re just new to this company. So you know, these are things lactation consultants have been recommending for, you know, decades, right, in terms of treating some various lactation problems.

 

But they’re coming out with a new line of products, and I think some of them are I think they’re totally fine. You know, I’m not here to advertise their their things or anything like that. I haven’t tried them out on I haven’t had any clients try them out, because these are new. So no, I have no, you know, opinion on them either way, but they look like they’re probably decent. But I will say that, it’s a little bit frustrating to see an ad like this, because, you know, showing a mother who’s unlatching her baby, because you know, she’s experiencing painful breastfeeding. You know, while it’s great to have some sort of a nipple cream or a pad or some product to put on the nipple to sue that, we really want to make sure that moms aren’t thinking that a product is going to solve that for them.

 

So a product is going to treat the symptoms, maybe aid and healing and whatnot. But the reason that the pain occurs still needs to be addressed. And so we can’t ignore that. And I wish that product companies would do a better job of, you know, letting people know that instead of just acting like their product is going to be the fix all. But hopefully everyone who sees the commercial is smart enough to know it. And I would say kudos to you freedom mom for really just, you know, bringing attention to this important issue of the struggles that many women have when they’re breastfeeding, and, you know, the despair. They think it did a good job of capturing the emotional despair that a lot of moms feel. So there’s that. Speaking of products. Here’s another one. This is just a press release that came out yesterday February 25, from metal AK laboratories there.

 

They’ve now created a their first shelf stable donor milk with preterm milk protein levels. So this is really important. There’s been other shelf stable human milk products on the market. Very expensive but wonderful when we them for especially vulnerable babies, or for families that want to get access to human donor milk.

 

And so what’s interesting about this one is it’s specifically for preterm babies or preemie babies. And we know that human milk feeding reduces, you know, infection occurrence and improves gastric emptying improves our gut health. You know, so many amazing benefits for donor milk when you know, the mother’s own milk is not available. So generally the problem here with giving donor milk to preemies has been that most of the donor milk that’s been collected is from a later stage of lactation. So it has a lot less protein than preterm milk. So now they’ve created this donor milk that has a higher protein level. And so they they’re matching the protein fat levels in in a preterm infant mother’s own milk.

 

So that’s really great. Glad to hear that. This will be something that you know, hospitals will have to obviously get. But it’s great to see that we’re seeing some better outcomes there and advocacy for human milk. So yay for that. One article here, I’ll share with you it’s from romper. I don’t always love their articles, but they have one here. What you need to know about eating your spicy faves and breastfeeding and basically just saying how spicy foods sometimes the flavor can travel through breast milk. Especially if it’s something spicy or something like garlic. And you know, your baby may very well enjoy that actually. If you eat spicy foods during pregnancy, those flavors could go into Your amniotic fluid and your baby’s drinking that while they’re in the womb, and they’re tasting that.

 

And so babies generally like a variety of flavors. Now, what they do a good job of answering in this article and why I really like it, and why I’ve contributed to some of their articles is they address can spicy foods make your baby feel bad. So what about fussiness or gassiness that some moms report happening to their baby after feeding, and they really do a good job of saying, that’s very unlikely that spicy foods have anything to do with that. So in most cases, with very few exceptions, the foods that cause stomach discomfort in the mother do not affect the breast milk composition, or change the way the baby digests and reacts the milk. So really, really glad that, you know, we’ve cleared that up. Gas, if you’re not aware, is really just caused by the gut bacteria, and breaking down foods in the gut, especially more fibrous foods. So you know, the gas doesn’t travel, nor does the fiber to the to the bloodstream or to the milk. So if you’re gassy, your gassiness doesn’t get into your blood and then into your milk. I had a mother asked me a question, and there’s no stupid questions, by the way.

 

But she said, Does drinking soda water that carbonation caused her baby to be gassy? And I wanted to remind her that that error if those air bubbles got from the soda water from your stomach, into your digestive system, then you would be dead. Because you can’t have just air traveling through your blood. And your blood your milk is made from your blood. So the answer’s no. So it’s just really important sometimes, you know, there’s just this simplification of like, what goes in your body must automatically go into your baby’s body. And that’s not really true. And then the other thing they actually addressed was, you know, just, you know, the body’s ability of breaking down food proteins, right.

 

So it’s really proteins that tend to be problematic. So, you know, people blame lactose for a lot of issues, but lactose is hugely prevalent and human milk. So it’s just a milk sugar. It’s not a milk protein. So, you know, milk proteins, like casein and whatnot are usually more problematic and far more problematic than, you know, something like a spicy food. So they actually cited a 2001 study in the journal Pediatrics found that babies who have been exposed to a flavor in utero in utero or while breastfeeding are more likely to like that flavor when they were weaned. So your baby might like a larger variety of foods if you eat a large variety of foods while you’re breastfeeding. Right now, Let’s liven it up a little bit. Here’s some celebrity gossip. I have not heard about the singer siara in quite a while.

 

I liked some of her songs. I don’t know if she has anything recent at this is. This is my old millennial self talking here. I have no idea if she has anything new. But this is from yesterday, Thursday, February 25. And I guess that siara gave birth seven months ago and she is married to Russell Wilson, who is a Seattle Seahawks quarterback. And he was joking. I’m not sure how much he was actually joking, though, that it’s time for her to stop breastfeeding their baby. So He is quoted as saying, I said, it’s time time to give it up. I mean, he’s old enough. He’s nutrition is good. It’s time you’re being selfish. Now at this point, no more late nights. It’s you and I. And then his wife car responded, he needs his nutrition, let me feed. So I guess I’ll go along with the idea that they’re joking. But all jokes have some element of truth. And clearly he’s feeling like breastfeeding is taking something away from him.

 

And I think if we’re gonna say that anyone’s being selfish here, it would be Russell, he’s being really selfish. Because breastfeeding is recommended. You know, until at least the age of one by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization recommends until age two. So, you know, he’s basically advocating for early weaning for his benefit. And I’m glad that CRS stood her ground in this interview. That’s wonderful. And the article is in featured in Yahoo Sports, they actually did a good job of, you know, just discussing the benefits of breastfeeding and everything like that. So, you know, it was it was actually a pretty balanced article at the end of the day, and that’s really good. I’m glad that we saw that. Here’s something really interesting for anybody out there who has lupus, are you if you know someone who has lupus and they’re going to be breastfeeding? This is really, really relevant.

 

This came out from the Lupus Foundation of America. They cite a new study where Are women breastfed longer when treated with hydroxychloroquine? before, during and after pregnancy? Now everyone at this point has basically heard of hydroxychloroquine, because it was early on debated for its use in treating COVID-19. But it’s it’s an excellent pharmaceutical for treating patients with lupus. What they found in the study was that women with lupus are more likely to breastfeed their child for less time than healthy women. So it’s really important that we’re encouraging them with with women with lupus to breastfeed as long as possible. Because actually, women who breastfed longer up to six months, some more stable lupus disease activity, and but they actually think that some of that may be due to the beneficial effects of hydroxychloroquine on the mother and the child. So you know, it basically good outcomes with using hydroxychloroquine treatment for lupus during postpartum and it can improve breastfeeding duration, which prevents disease flare up and neonatal complications. So something to discuss with your physician, but looks like some good results from that.

 

Now, I’m going to share, we’re kind of going to wrap up here soon, I’m going to get share this awesome, awesome Op Ed from Lindsay rice. And this is in the Montgomery advisor. And the headline is legislative breastfeeding bill, a good start, but not nearly enough for working mothers. I’m going to share this, I encourage you to read this piece in its entirety. It’s not very long. But she’s She said she’s a trained doula and a certified lactation counselor. And she’s deputy director of a reproductive justice organization. So there’s the state legislators leech, state lab, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, the state legislature, there we go.

 

That’s a tongue twister sort of, is focusing on increasing Alabama woman’s ability to successfully breastfeed babies. And they’re saying that they’re looking at some workplace accommodations. But she’s really saying that it’s not enough, because the languages that they require employers to offer a quote unquote, reasonable unpaid time for a mother to pump and make, quote, unquote, reasonable efforts to provide an adequate place to pump. But it lacks the enforcement necessary to hold these employers accountable. And it really doesn’t address the additional needs of working mothers. So basically, instead of offering additional breaks that are paid for mothers to provide this amazing trician for their babies, they have to consume their lunch to use the restroom, check on family affairs accomplish all the other tax tasks that are usually reserved for any regular employees break times, and an addition pump during those times. Which is kind of crazy.

 

So there’s also language in there in this bill, apparently, that states that employer shall not be required to provide break time if to do so I would unreasonably disrupt the operations. So that’s really terrible. I second what Lindsay says which is that she believes that breastfeeding mothers deserve increased breaks for pumping milk breaks that are longer than those mandated already for employees. Let me just let all the employers out there know that breastfeeding is essential to the mother and baby’s health. And if that’s what she chooses, we need to make sure we’re supporting her and doing that. Second of all, pumping is no picnic. It’s not like we’re having fun. When we go and take a break from work to pump work.

 

We’re taking a break from our employer paid work, to now go do work of producing food. It’s also work. It’s not an actual break. And I actually think that we should rephrase that. It’s not a pumping break. Because it’s just time to pump. It’s not a break. There’s no break happening. And in fact, it could be a very, very stressful time for a lot of women. So I love the way that Lindsey phrases this. She comes out really strong and nice and assertive. And in her phrasing in this op ed and she says penalising a woman financially for providing the best nutrition to our future generations, either by withholding pay, refusing to financially compensate those who must take time off during their work day in order to pump milk, or by making work outside the home so onerous that she is forced to choose between her job and her ability to provide breast milk for a child is a matter of gender, racial and economic justice.

 

Bang. You killed it. Lindsey Dodd, that’s it right there. So anyway, she’s got a community based organization called Yellow hammer fund. They’ve got partner organizations, and they’re basically trying to fill in the gaps to help these working mothers support their children, both financially and nutritionally and she’s asking the legislature to match their efforts. So, way to go Alabama’s got an awesome app advocate. If you live in Alabama, I would definitely connect with Lindsey and see what you can do there to help her advocacy efforts because honestly, she’s doing great. So that article, I mean, wow, so well written. Thank you for that, Lindsay.

 

Okay, now this is one from the American Academy of Pediatrics. This is from February 23. This is from a global perspective. But I like to bring the global perspective in even though I live in the US, and probably most of you listening live in the US as well. But they’re talking about Sub-Saharan child mortality, what is the global cost of not exclusively breastfeeding. And so they look at mortality of children under age five in Sub-Saharan Africa. It’s the rates of that mortality in the 43. Countries that comprise Sub-Saharan Africa are the highest in the world, the average 78 per 1000 live births. And what they state is that they want to reduce that rate to 25 per 1000 births, which is a reduction of 70% of under age five mortality.

 

So that’s a really, really big goal. And what we do know is that for every 10% increase in the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding, the rate of under age five mortality would decrease by about 5.6 per 1000 children. So this could make a huge, huge difference, for you know, the health outcome for these infants. So really great. I love that, you know, they’re actually looking at some concrete numbers there, because it really absolutely does matter. And it’s a really, really important issue. So with that, I am going to end this episode and just say thank you so much for listening. This has been another episode of This Week IN Breastfeeding and that summed up kind of the breastfeeding news around the world that I happen to think was relevant to you the listener. If there’s anything a specific topic that you found out about or that you’d like me to cover, or any sort of guests you’d like to have on the podcast, let me know. You know, send me an email Hello at holistic, lactation, calm or send me a message over on Instagram at holistic lactation. And until next time, I will talk to you on the next episode of breastfeeding talk. Have a great day.

In this new weekly series, Jacqueline Kincer is giving you a run-down of the latest and greatest news, announcements, celebrity gossip, and more–and it’s all related to breastfeeding! If you want to know what the latest studies say, get reviews on the newest products, find out about policy changes, or anything else that’s relevant to you as a breastfeeding mom or professional, then tune in every week to TWiB (This Week in Breastfeeding) on Breastfeeding Talk.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • All about toxic chemicals getting into breastmilk and how that affects babies
  • More updates on COVID-19 and breastfeeding
  • The safety of taking Zoloft while breastfeeding
  • Challenges of breastfeeding mothers working outside the home
  • The latest on Ciara’s breastfeeding journey of her 7 month old baby
  • Much, much more!

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