Attention, pregnant women! The foods you eat now might influence your babies’ palates after they are born. New research published in the journal Pediatrics, shows that the fetus actually drinks amniotic fluid in the womb. The amniotic fluid is flavored by the foods the mother has recently eaten and flavors can be transmitted to the amniotic fluid and mother’s milk.
It makes sense that as the baby is developing, memories are being created by a sense of taste. Could what a mother eats influence food preferences and odor preferences for life? Researchers fed babies cereal flavored with carrot juice vs. water. They showed that babies who experienced daily carrots in amniotic fluid or mother’s milk ate more carrot-flavored cereal and made less negative faces when eating it.
Julie Mennella studies taste in infants at the Monell Chemical Senses Center (Philadelphia) and she says Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*
Could breastfeeding kill a newborn? That is the question a California district attorney will ask a jury at the trial of a breastfeeding mother. Most women do not intend to harm their children but substance abuse and addiction comes with a heavy price. Such was the case of Maggie Jean Wortman, who has been charged with second degree murder after medical tests revealed that her newborn son died from methamphetamine intoxication obtained through her breast milk. Wortman’s 19-month-old daughter also tested positive for methamphetamine and was placed in protective custody. How could this happen?
The transfer of drugs from the mother’s blood to human milk depends on the chemical composition of the drug. Antibiotics such as penicillin will remain in the mother’s blood for long periods of time whereas certain types of blood pressure and heart medications will remain in the milk. During the first three days after birth, higher concentrations of medicine remain in breast milk. Wortman’s attorney is attempting to argue that methamphetamine in breast milk could not kill a baby but here’s why he’s wrong: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway*
The June issue of Wired carries a feature on the Booming Market for Human Breast Milk. You can read about the under-the-counter and over-the-Internet sale of “liquid gold” with a typical asking price in the range of $1 to $2.50 an ounce.
Here’s a taste, from the article:
…“rich, creamy breast milk!” “fresh and fatty!”… Some ship coolers of frozen milk packed in dry ice. Others deal locally, meeting in cafés to exchange cash for commodity…
Late last year, the FDA issued a warning about feeding your child human milk from strangers. Still, the stuff’s barely regulated.
milk containers, Wired Magazine, June 2011
As much as I think it’s a good idea for women to breast feed their babies as best they can, I was pretty shocked to learn about this unregulated industry. Mainly because if a woman who donates milk is infected with a virus, like HIV or HTLV-1, the milk often contains the virus. The infant can absorb the virus and become infected. Feeding human breast milk from an unknown donor is kind of like giving a child a blood transfusion from a stranger, unchecked by any blood bank.
I’m not sure why Wired ran this story, which is admittedly interesting. Maybe it’ll push the FDA to take a more aggressive stance on this matter, as it should.
*This blog post was originally published at Medical Lessons*
Poor compliance with breastfeeding recommendations costs the nation at least $13 billion each year, with nearly all of the cost related to infant morbidity and mortality, according to a comprehensive economic analysis.
If 90% of new mothers followed guidelines for six months of exclusive breastfeeding for their children, an estimated 911 deaths would be prevented annually, said authors Melissa Bartick, MD, MSc, of Harvard Medical School, and Arnold Reinhold, MBA, of the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, both in Boston. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*