MILC Member, Dr. Merilee Brockway talked to Today’s Parent about the Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) and how this may intersect with maternal experiences in the post-partum period. While she emphasized the importance of exclusive breastfeeding, she acknowledged that there are situations when formula may be necessary. We know that formula, even one bottle, can impact the infant gut microbiome. However, we also know that maternal mental health is equally important to consider when looking at infant outcomes. It is important to move from the “breast-is-best” or “fed-is-best” mantra to "informed is best" so that mothers are supported to make feeding decisions with a full understanding of the risks and benefits of both.
Honour 150 presented by Canada Life, recognizes 150 people from across the province who stand out for their role in making Manitoba such an amazing province. Dr. Katherine Kearns was recognized for her work as Physician and co-Founder of the Winnipeg Breastfeeding Centre, the first of its kind in Manitoba. Regarding her work, she says “Watching women respond, become more confident in themselves, and realize how much work they do every day feels so worthwhile.” Congratulations, Katherine!
MILC Trainee, Uma Yakandawala receives Rady Faculty Dean’s Prize for her research on medications in breast milk
Uma Yakandawala, MILC trainee and master’s student in the College of Pharmacy, was awarded the Rady Faculty Dean's Prize, which recognizes outstanding academic achievement, notable personal service and strong leadership skills of graduate students. She is researching how to best study medications in breast milk. Uma said her supervisors have contributed to her success by encouraging her and helping guide her throughout her graduate studies. Congratulations, Uma!
MILC co-Directors, Drs. Azad and Nickel, and member Dr. Brockway publish interdisciplinary perspectives article on breastfeeding in The Conversation
Drs. Azad, Nickel, Brockway and others co-authored an article in The Conversation about the importance of breastfeeding research for advancing health and ultimately saving lives, and the counterproductive tensions that arise among researchers, advocates and industry in this field. This article stemmed from their experience co-writing a paper from a workshop about how researchers & stakeholders from different disciplines can collaborate to accelerate progress in the field of breastfeeding, lactation & human milk research. Follow the Tweetorial here!
MILC members publish correspondence on messaging and methodological considerations when researching breastfeeding and obesity
11 MILC members co-wrote a correspondence in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition titled "Messaging and methodological considerations when researching breastfeeding and obesity." They addressed concerns about a potentially harmful message in a paper implying milk from mothers with an elevated BMI may predispose their infants to obesity, which is unsupported by the paper's data. Tweetorial here!
Now in its 12th year, CHILD has produced over 100 scientific publications with breakthrough findings that have been featured by global media outlets. Dr. Azad's breastmilk research work has shown that the way breastmilk reaches the baby is important. “Pumped breastmilk gives baby many of the same health benefits as nursing – it’s just that nursing may have a slight edge,” says Dr. Azad. Read the full success story here!
Dr. Azad, MILC co-Director and ALSPAC Cohort collaborate to study secretor status, breastfeeding and infant diarrhea
Diarrhea is a major cause of infant mortality. Dr. Azad and lab trainees conducted this population-based study in collaboration with the ALSPAC Cohort titled "Enhanced Protection Against Diarrhea Among Breastfed Infants of Nonsecretor Mothers", published in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. They found that breastfeeding by nonsecretor mothers was especially protective against diarrhea. Further understanding of this relationship could help reduce infant diarrheal mortality and improve processes for donor milk banking and provision. Tweetorial here!
Dr. Azad, MILC co-Director publishes paper on peanut sensitization and the novel "triple exposure" hypothesis
A new Journal of DOHaD paper authored by Dr. Azad and colleagues using CHILD Cohort Study data explains a novel hypothesis as to why some children develop peanut allergies and others do not. "Reduced peanut sensitization with maternal peanut consumption and early peanut introduction while breastfeeding" describes this "triple exposure". When combined, infant peanut consumption, maternal peanut consumption, and breastfeeding appear to significantly reduce the risk of peanut sensitization. Check out the CHRIM press release and Tweetorial!
Human milk research presents an array of logistical and methodological challenges. The comprehensive text, Human Milk: Sampling and Measurement of Energy-Yielding Nutrients and Other Macromolecules, was written by an international group of human milk experts and addresses these challenges head-on. Dr. Azad co-authored Chapter 1, “Collection and storage of human milk for macronutrient and macromolecule analysis – An overview.” This chapter describes milk sampling strategies, milk expression methods, and the collection, storage and handling of human milk. This is Dr. Azad's first book chapter publication!
Dr. Azad was honoured a Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 2020 Award Winner by the Women's Executive Network (WXN), which recognizes the highest achieving female leaders across Canada. When asked to describe what motivates her most, Azad explained, “I’m fueled by the excitement of doing cutting-edge science, and the drive to translate discoveries to make a meaningful impact on child health globally. I’m inspired by my team! Our projects are large, collaborative and transdisciplinary. We are constantly learning from and challenging each other to break new ground with our research.” Congratulations on this amazing achievement, Meghan!