Friday, November 28, 2008

Melamine found in US formula

FDA defends safety of U.S. infant formula:
FDA tests found "very low levels" of the industrial chemical melamine in Nestle's Good Start Supreme with Iron formula, said Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

It also found low levels of cyanuric acid in Mead Johnson's Enfamil Lipil with Iron, Sundlof said. Mead Johnson is a unit of Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Those findings "do not raise public health concerns," Sundlof told a conference call. "The domestic supply of infant formula is safe."

Representatives for Nestle and Bristol-Myers could not immediately be reached for comment.

The FDA earlier this week said it had found one brand of formula containing melamine, a chemical used widely in the production of plastics and fertilizer, but declined to name the company to Reuters.

The article goes on to say that the FDA is not yet finished testing samples.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Water Aerobics

Water Aerobics during pregnancy reduces the need for analgesia (pain meds) in labor. Seriously.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's not rocket science

I've had this bookmarked for the longest time (3 1/2 years, to be exact), but since it's NaBloPoMo and I'm looking for things to blog about quickly, thought I'd share. It's an excellent post from katiekind about mothers, babies, and attachment:
You could take it as an insult, but God does not credit us with being rocket scientists when it comes to taking care of the next generation. Instead he pre-programs caregiving behavior on the part of mothers AND he pre-programs babies to elicit caregiving from their mothers. An obvious example is how a nursing mother's breasts gush milk in response to hungry-baby sounds. Just in case she can't figure it out from the way her baby is frantically mouthing anything that gets near...her breasts start to tingle and next thing she knows, the front of her shirt is milky. It is not the most subtle of hints. But considering how tiny and vulnerable babies are, it's a hint to heed. This milk-ejection reflex subsides after the first few months of nursing. By that time a nursing mother and her baby have sync'ed up well and the mother knows her baby's subtlest signs of need for nursing.

But it doesn't stop there.
Read more.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

News Items

A couple items in the news caught my eye, regarding recent research studies:

Contaminants in human milk - not breastfeeding an infant typically poses more of a threat to the baby's health than does exposure to any of the chemicals which can be detected in breastmilk.

Depressed pregnant women have twice the risk of preterm delivery - A recent study found that pregnant women with symptoms of depression have an increased risk of preterm delivery, and that the risk grows with the severity of the depressive symptoms. Most of the women in the study were not taking medication for depression.

Caffeine intake during pregnancy - Any amount of caffeine intake by pregnant women increases the risk of low birth weight in their babies:
In light of this evidence, the UK Government's Food Standards Agency are altering their guidance on the recommended daily limit of caffeine consumption and reducing it from 300mg to 200mg.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

When doing nothing is the best course of action

Many C-Sections Can Be Avoided By Waiting Out Stalled Labor for an extra two hours, according to a new study:
"One third of all first-time cesareans are performed due to active-phase arrest during labor, which contributes to approximately 400,000 surgical births per year," said [study author Dr. Aaron] Caughey, who is affiliated with the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women's Health. "In our study, we found that just by being patient, one third of those women could have avoided the more dangerous and costly surgical approach."

The cesarean delivery rate reached an all-time high in 2006 of 31.1 percent of all deliveries, according to the UCSF study. Arrest in the active phase of labor has been previously shown to raise the risk of cesarean delivery between four- and six-fold.

"Cesarean delivery is associated with significantly increased risk of maternal hemorrhage, requiring a blood transfusion, and postpartum infection," Caughey said. "After a cesarean, women also have a higher risk in future pregnancies of experiencing abnormal placental location, surgical complications, and uterine rupture."
The study also notes that ACOG already recommends waiting at least two hours before proceeding with a cesarean when adequate contractions in active labor produce no progress , but "it is routine practice in many clinical settings to proceed with a cesarean for 'lack of progress' before those ACOG criteria have been met", according to Caughey.

HT: Unnecessarian

Monday, November 10, 2008

But what if the test is wrong?

Kathy at Woman to Woman Childbirth Education has posted several great articles recently, including What does natural birth sound like and C-sections and Mastectomies. But I really wanted to focus on "But what if the test is wrong?" which reminds women to get a second opinion,
One question to keep in mind with this sort of thing is always, “What’s the false positive rate?” Because if a recommendation is made to you to induce or perform a C-section or have some other intervention based on one thing alone, and that “thing” is wrong almost half the time, then how confident can you — and the doctor, for that matter — be in the diagnosis and subsequent intervention. If, however, there is a low false-positive rate, then you can be more confident that your diagnosis is indeed accurate.
and to be wise in evaluating the risks of their options:
It’s one thing for doctors to say that having some medical condition or refusing some intervention “doubles your risk” — which sounds very bad — but it’s another to find out that the “risk” is still only 1 in 50,000 (which is double the risk of 1/100,000). Sure, nobody wants to be that one, but that means that 99,999 mothers and babies are subjected to an intervention which also carries risk. It’s about perspective — a balance — a trade-off between two different courses of action. Nothing in life is guaranteed (except death and taxes); and there are risks and benefits for every course of action. It’s up to you to choose which risks are acceptable for the proposed benefit.
I could not have said it better myself.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Breast-Fed Babies Better Behaved

Breastfeeding has an effect on behavior during childhood, according to a recent study reported by the Washington Post and HealthDay News:

Parents of youngsters who were breast-fed as infants were less likely to report that their child had a behavior problem or psychiatric illness during the first five years of life, a new study found.

And the likelihood of mental health issues decreased in proportion to the duration of breast-feeding, meaning that a child who had been breast-fed for a year was less likely to have behavior problems than a child who had been breast-fed for just two months.

Oxytocin, anyone?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Unnecessarian

Check out this relatively new blog dedicated to avoiding an unnecessary cesarean - the Unnecesarean.