- Chronic diseases have reached epidemic proportions in Canada and globally. Rates of obesity, asthma, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer are on the rise, accounting for the majority of healthcare spending.
- Breastfeeding appears to be protective against these and other diseases, yet over 70% of Canadian infants do not meet international breastfeeding recommendations.
- The reasons for these low breastfeeding rates are unclear, and we do not fully understand how breastfeeding and human milk influence maternal and infant health. Studying these issues will help us untangle whether the benefits of breastfeeding are driven by social factors or biology, or a combination of the two.
- Answering these complex questions requires that researchers from different disciplines bring together information about infant feeding practices, the health and social status of mother-infant dyads, and the biological composition of human milk.
The Manitoba Interdisciplinary Lactation Center(MILC) is a new one-of-a-kind research that combines a provincial infant feeding database and a human milk biorepository. Both are linked with a wealth of health and social services data at the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository. MILC provides unrivaled opportunities to conduct interdisciplinary research on: