Bridget McGann holds a B.A. in Anthropology and is a breastfeeding science advocate. She is one of the co-founders of March for Science, an evidence-based movement for science and a more just, sustainable world. Bridget spoke with MILC about a public movement towards rejecting breastfeeding as a scientifically and evolutionary preferred method of infant feeding, and how scientists can engage with the public to provide evidence-based knowledge to counteract this movement and support breastfeeding. Thank you Bridget for the wonderful presentation!
MILC members receive Health Research Postdoctoral Awards from Research Manitoba in partnership with Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba
MILC members Dr. Sarah Reyes of the Azad Lab, and Dr Taiana Martins of the Saleem Lab, were awarded 2020 Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowships by Research Manitoba in Partnership with the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. Sarah’s research will involve the analysis of human milk components and nasal microbiota as causal factors in the prevention of wheezing and ear infections during a child’s first year. Taiana’s research will be focused on extracellular vesicles in breast milk and the developmental origins of asthma.
The Health Research Fellowship awards are given to highly qualified and exceptional trainees who significantly increase the productivity of the research program with which they are affiliated and aim to prepare them for careers as independent researchers. Congratulations Sarah and Taiana!
Based out of Calgary, NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank is a community-based facility that provides human donor milk to support sick and fragile babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units across Canada. Jannette Festival spoke to MILC Club about the governing bodies that over see NorthernStar, donor screening criteria, the pasteurization process, as well as how the milk is triaged for distribution. To learn more about Jannette and her colleagues incredible work please review the website.
MILC trainee Dr. Merilee Brockway speaks to Vogue about breastfeeding challenges during the pandemic.
The Pandemic has posed many challenges for mothers who want to breastfeed but need support to do so. Lactation consultants and mothers are taking to virtual visits, but the lack of physical contact makes it difficult to assess and assist the mother and baby. Web based forums are still available for support but can't replace the one-on-one interaction. Azad Lab postdoctoral fellow Dr. Merilee Brockway, a trained lactation consultant, spoke to Vogue magazine about these issues.
August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week. Dr. Meghan Azad joined CTV news to bring awareness to the importance of breastfeeding. UNICEF and the World Health Organization are encouraging governments to support breastfeeding counselling. The latest research shows that the majority of Canadian mothers who chose to breastfeed, stop before they really want to. Dr. Azad explains further in her interview and discusses the new Manitoba Interdisciplinary Lactation Centre (MILC).
Dr. Fiona Jardine, Advanced Lactation Consultant, presented her research on exclusive pumping to MILC club members – including why some mothers exclusively pump, the challenges they face, and the (lack of) supports available. Dr. Jardine is now planning to start a Milk Expression Research Lab that will address the many unanswered questions that have emerged from her dissertation research, including the possible impact of pumping on the composition of human milk and how to provide better support to mothers who exclusively pump. Her current and future findings will address an important gap in knowledge and support for healthcare providers, lactation consultants, and parents. Thank you Dr. Jardine for your excellent presentation!
The CHILD Cohort Study released a new video featuring our research on breast milk and breastfeeding - including evidence that breastfed infants have higher levels of beneficial gut bacteria, healthier growth patterns, and lower rates of wheezing and asthma. Our research shows that HOW a baby is breastfed matters too – meaning, there is a difference between feeding directly from the breast and feeding pumped breastmilk from a bottle. And just like fingerprints, breastmilk is unique to each mom and baby. Watch the video to find out how these discoveries are helping parents, health professionals and communities to understand the role of breastmilk in child health and development, toward ensuring that all babies grow up healthy, however they are fed.
MILC trainee and College of Pharmacy graduate student Uma Yakandawala wants to dig deeper into patient values and preferences when it comes to medications and breast milk. Uma received the 2020 Canada Graduate Scholarship - Masters (CGS M) award which will support her in her studies. She will be co-supervised by Dr. Lauren Kelly and Dr. Christine Leong, assistant professor, College of Pharmacy.
MILC trainees Merilee Brockway and Sarah Turner have published an article with The Conversation Canada, focused on raising awareness about how COVID-19 is changing breastfeeding practices, and what supports are available to families during this challenging time.
Cafe Scientifique is a free event sponsored by the Office of the Vice-President (Research and International) of the University of Manitoba.
Our MILC team spoke on breakthroughs & barriers in breastfeeding research.
Sarah Turner, our MILC trainee was the moderator for the evening.
Team members presented the following topics:
Dr. Meghan Azad: Human Milk: Superfood and Personalized Medicine
Dr. Nathan Nickel: Breastfeeding in Manitoba: Current Trends and Future Priorities
Dr. Lauren Kelly: Medication and Cannabis During Breastfeeding: What We Know and What We Don’t