On October 20, 2023, the Moms in Motion (MIM) Research Team, led by MILC Club Member Dr. Garry Shen, convened a meeting to discuss recent breastfeeding research findings, progress, and initiatives in Manitoba. Attendees included representatives from the University of Manitoba Departments of Pediatrics and Child Health, and Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, the First Nation Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba, the Winnipeg Breastfeeding Centre, the Manitoba Baby Friendly Initiative, and Shared Health. Dr. Shen and colleagues shared results from their new study showing that discontinuation of the lactation consultant program at some Manitoba hospitals was associated with a decline in breastfeeding initiation, particularly among First Nations and remote-living families. The group also discussed plans for a provincial breastfeeding strategy beyond hiring lactation consultants and will continue to meet periodically to advance this initiative.
THRiVE Lab members published "The Protective associations of breastfeeding with infant overweight and asthma are not dependent on maternal FUT2 secretor status" in Frontiers in Nutrition. This article follows up on previous THRiVE research to address the question: is breastmilk from non-secretors (a genetic trait carried by ~20% of people) inferior to secretor milk? By re-analyzing data showing beneficial associations between breastfeeding and infant growth as well as childhood asthma, the new study demonstrates that these relationships persist regardless of maternal secretor status. The findings suggest that secretor and non-secretor mothers can equally promote respiratory health and infant growth through breastfeeding. The study was led by MILC co-director, Dr. Meghan Azad together with lab members Dr. Melissa Manus and Stephanie Goguen. Read the full article [PDF] and check out Dr. Azad's [Tweetorial] on Twitter.
Narges Khodabandehloo, Dr. Payam Peymani, Rilwan Azeez, Affan A. Sher, Dr. Meghan Azad, Spencer Ames, Natalie Rodriguez, Dr. Larisa Lotoski and Sarah Turner (left to right)
Big congratulations to Spencer Ames, an MSc student in the THRiVE lab, for successfully defending his thesis about "Investigating the relationship between infant feeding practices and inflammation-associated biomarkers of one-year-old infants in the CHILD cohort study". It's been great to see Spencer's growth and success as a researcher in the THRiVE Discovery Lab. We're thankful for all he's contributed to the lab and wish him the very best in his future endeavors!
MILC Club members came together to celebrate National Breastfeeding Week (October 1 - 7) with an information booth located at the Brodie Centre, University of Manitoba, and HSC Women's Hospital.
MILC Club Members once again shared their insights on breastfeeding to support National Breastfeeding Week 2023. This annual celebration takes place from October 1 to 7 each year. Explore ways to support breastfeeding by visiting the website: breastfeedingcanada.ca.
MILC Club member Dr. Katherine Kearns was interviewed in French on CBC Radio Canada for World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7). She discussed the overwhelming evidence that breastfeeding reduces the risks of many diseases for both baby and mother, and emphasized that governments at all levels around the world need to protect the rights of working parents to breastfeed. She also went over some myths about breastfeeding, issues with feeding in public, and what we can all do to support families in giving this ideal nutrition to their babies. Listen to the full interview here.
MILC Club Members expressed their thoughts on breastfeeding to support World Breastfeeding Week 2023 (#WBW2023). This annual celebration takes place from August 1 to 7 each year since 1992, commemorating the 1990 Innocenti Declaration. Discover ways to #ProtectBreastfeeding by visiting worldbreastfeedingweek.org.
The IMiC Consortium, co-directed by Meghan Azad & Natalie Rodriguez, held its first in-person meeting from June 18-20, 2023, in Ghent, Belgium. After 3 years of virtual collaboration, researcher finally convened for three impactful days of brainstorming and knowledge exchange. The Yalo Boutique Hotel and Het Pand served as venues for a hackathon, discussions, and presentations, bring researchers closer to unraveling the secretes of breastmilk. Universiteit Gent graciously hosted the event, which marked a significant step forward in understanding complexities of breastmilk. With renewed enthusiasm, the consortium eagerly awaits the groundbreaking results to emerge from this collaborative effort. Stay tuned for more updates from IMiC as they continue their pioneering research in the field of breastmilk!
Congratulations to THRiVE Lab and MILC co-director, Dr. Meghan Azad, on being announced as the 2023 Janet Rossant Lecturer at the Massey College. The Janet Rossant Lectureship was established in 2018 at Massey College in recognition of Dr. Rossant’s distinguished career as a scientist, scholar, builder and mentor of young scientists. Date to be determined.
MILC and THRiVE lab co-director, Dr. Meghan Azad, speaks with CTV News Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Free Press about the benefits of breast milk and how the research being conducted by Dr. Azad and colleagues, is focusing on examining breast milk as a biological system, understanding all of its components and how it can have implications for public policy that supports breastfeeding mothers and makes babies healthier. More information about the news coverage can be found on CTV News Winnipeg and Winnipeg Free Press websites.