Transcript: This Week in Breastfeeding - Feb 5, 2021

Welcome back to The Breastfeeding Talk Podcast. I'm your host, Jacqueline Kincer. And today is February 5, 2021. This is our second edition of This Week in Breastfeeding, where I cover all things related to breastfeeding and lactation, current news events, celebrity gossip, you name it. So I've got quite a bit to get through. I'm going to try and keep it as short and sweet as I can. But an article actually came out on February 3, from the Loma Linda University Health Center. And this was titled To Breastfeed or Not to Breastfeed. Is it? I always love Shakespeare references by the way. But is it safe if you have COVID 19. 

 

So we're talking about not the vaccine, but actually the viral infection and disease COVID-19. And they have a ln heart, an MD obstetrician and gynecologist at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital. And she answers the questions. So they asked is a if a mom has COVID-19? Can she still breastfeed? And just like the World Health Organization's CBC have already told us? She says yes, she can either feed the baby at the breast or have others feed the baby her expressed breast milk. Now then they asked what precautions Should she take. And again, aligned with all the recommendations that are out there, wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use a 60 to 95% Alcohol hand sanitizer before touching the baby pump and bottles and wear a face mask. 

 

So that's really it. Now it does say that the infected mother should isolate from her baby except when breastfeeding. You know, I don't know how I feel about that, because holding your baby is what your baby biologically expects. And it is something that encourages ample milk production. But at the same time, babies who get infected with COVID-19 can have some very, very serious consequences. So I think this is something that really should be discussed with you and your health care practitioner. I will say this, though, there is some new evidence coming out about COVID-19 infections. And once you've been symptomatic for seven days, there is a preprint of a study is not officially released yet. 

 

But it has said that past that seven day mark that there is no viral RNA that can cause a new infection that can be transmitted. So if that is in fact true, that if you've gotten past that seven day mark of symptoms with COVID-19, or at least since getting a positive PCR test, then ideally, you know, you you may not have to isolate yourself from your baby. But, of course depends on the severity of the disease. So one thing we would like to say is that, you know, should you be separated from your baby for any reason, it is important for you to maintain a pumping schedule and regimen to support your milk production if that's something that you wish to continue during your separation or illness. So it says another question in this article, should moms who don't have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 be masking while breastfeeding their baby? The answer is no, they do not need to wear a mask, but it is a good idea to wash their hands before breastfeeding or pumping. I would agree. 

 

You know, so you'll that's always a good practice to do to be quite honest, especially before pumping. Breastfeeding, you know, could be hit or miss. We don't want to necessarily we don't want to introduce any sort of, you know, pathogens that could potentially create some sort of breast infection or or compromise the baby.

 

But in the in the absence of any sort of, you know, wounds to the nipple tissue. And as long as the mother has, you know, sort of just been in her home and not touching you know, food products or things like that, she probably is fine. So, they also go on to answer the question of can among get the COVID-19 vaccination while breastfeeding or will that hurt the baby? And she says yes, she can get the vaccine there's no data to suggest it would be harmful for the baby to receive breast milk after the mom receives one of the COVID-19 vaccines biologically It's very unlikely that the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine will cause harm to the baby. And they protect the breastfeeding baby with the antibodies to SARS cov, two in the breast milk, thus protecting the baby from the COVID-19 infection. So they actually are studying this right now. 

 

And they go on to say something that I covered in the episode I did on COVID-19, and vaccines and breastfeeding, which is that the mRNA vaccine injected into the arms muscle tissue is made of lipid particles. And it is unlikely that this would enter the bloodstream and reach the breast tissue. If it did reach the milk, which is very unlikely it would be digested by the baby and thus, be unlikely to have any biological effects. I agree with that. So there we go. And now you know, I don't want to it's just because it's current news. And I want to spend a ton of time on this topic. But the LAM said actually has a an article that came out here on yesterday, February 4, breastfeed or be vaccinated, unreasonable default recommendation. 

 

So basically, what they're addressing is that public health, England's initial recommendation to not vaccinate lactating women, that many clinicians will recommend against taking the vaccine and breastfeeding because of the absence of the data in the trials. So they're worried that people will be denied this, and they will have to make a difficult choice between breastfeeding and getting the vaccine. But like, I just read that article from the Loma Linda school, we really don't have to make the choice, you can have your cake and eat it too. So I think that's really important. I do think that it was great for the lancet to come out and address this because, you know, there are many different vaccines all around the world that are coming out, they're not all mRNA vaccines. So we need to take that into account as well. The cool thing is, is that if you have antibodies to anything circulating in your system, they do go into your breast milk, and babies are born with an open gut that is able to take in those antibodies immunoglobulins, all the other wonderful, amazing, mind-boggling biological components of human milk. 

 

And those go through their workout walls into their bloodstream. So there are many viruses against which babies cannot make antibodies, and they rely on that maternal protection. Some of it is transferred in the womb, but that's not as long lasting as the protection that's offered them through breast milk. So getting it's basically like getting an infusion of antibodies orally whenever your baby breastfeeds. So that is really, really amazing. Now, this is only applicable to you in New Hampshire, New Hampshire residents here in the United States. Your Senate actually voted on Thursday, to require New Hampshire companies to allow new mothers to pump breast milk at work, moving forward protection that has been years in the works. So last I covered this, it was the house that it voted to pass the bill. And now it is the New Hampshire Senate. So that is a huge step forward. I didn't expect it to not get passed. But it's wonderful to see this bill moving forward. So after approval in the Senate, it's Senate Bill 69. It moves next to the oh, we maybe I'm getting confused. 

 

That's a different bill. There's a house bill. There is a different bill House Bill 231, which directly supports the mother's ability to breastfeed. This one is Senate Bill 69, which will move to the New Hampshire House next, which has not announced plans or timing for its next meeting. But really, I mean, this is something that I feel like is a bipartisan issue, I can't really see many people not supporting this. Just because really, you know, breastfeeding an infant in the workplace is one of the most amazing ways if you're working a job that doesn't, you know, require you to be you know, very physically mobile or anything like that this can work out really, really well. And the way the bill is written, it actually defines the term express milk. So it doesn't define the term nursing or lactation.

 

So we want to, you know, we want to see what that that holds up to me. I know here in Arizona, it's not part of any sort of a law or anything. But if you work for the State of Arizona, you actually can bring your baby with you to work up until they are six months old. So I have had many clients who bring their, you know, maybe work in, you know, the state revenue department or some other such service, and they actually bring their babies to work with them and breastfeed them on demand at work, which is very cool. I'm actually really impressed that our state supports that. So that doesn't have anything to do with the law just happens to be that if you are a state employee, that that is a benefit to you. 

 

So very, very cool. I'd be curious if anyone knows of any other states that have that. So here is an article from Yahoo life and their parent's section. It's called this moms breastfeeding experience that led her to To create a breast milk and delivery service for traveling parents. So it says mom of three Kate Torgerson was fed up with the woes of transporting breast milk after one fateful business trip, which, you know, a lot of those are not happening these days, she knew this was a problem she had to solve. Shortly after milk stork was born, the first breast milk shipping solution for women. 

 

Now, why I'm bringing this article up in this came out yesterday on February 4, is because milk Spark is a company that's been around for years. So I'm not quite sure why it's only just now showing up in this Yahoo News article. But it's a very full shipping service. So if you are traveling for work, or whatever the purpose is, and you need to safely ship breast milk, they have this wonderful option, where you can get these packages in boxes, and you can do overnight shipping of your breast milk. And they've negotiated some shipping rates, as I understand it instills a wonderful solution to transport your breast milk instead of trying to, you know, bring it all on the plane with you or something like that. 

 

Or if you're separated from your baby, you're in a different location for some reason, and you want to send the milk you're pumping for your baby back home. That's another wonderful thing to do. I know that mom's in the military to that, but I don't think they use milk Stork, they probably have some other way to go about doing that. So moving on, it's kind of fast and furious. There was an article that came out in Health Line, which is a trusted sort of website for health news and whatnot. And I thought it was really cool. It's written by Deborah rose Wilson. She's a PhD, she's also a lactation consultant, nurse, all kinds of things. And it's an article called what's best for you exclusively breastfeeding or pumping, they honestly did a really, really good job of covering the pros and cons of both. 

 

So we cover the pros of exclusively pumping, which is you know, flexibility. And the Dizzy No, it allows you to pump, you know, express breast milk on your own schedule. That is true to some extent. However, you do need to do it on a, you know, a somewhat regimented schedule, and often enough to ensure that you do have ample milk to continue to pump. So there is that but you know, more flexibility than a baby that's crying and wants to be fed right now, for sure. But you're gonna have to give a bottle or someone will have to give a bottle reassurance. I think this is one of the biggest things that I wanted to talk about is that feeding milk through bottle allows you to know exactly how much milk your baby is consuming in a day. That can be reassuring. However, I actually think that it's incredibly problematic. 

 

And it's a problem I see with almost every single person I work with, is that they want to know how much their baby's getting, especially if they've ever needed to supplement their baby, they have a hard time trusting breastfeeding. And that to me is very sad. So what we're doing is training moms to measure their milk instead of to understand what functional breastfeeding looks like what a satisfied baby looks like. What how to know their baby is getting enough how to know that their milk production is you know, sufficient, ample, whatever it is, and how to know when there's a problem. We're not doing a good job of educating women on this, partially because breast pumps are something that got covered by insurance bottles are everywhere. And it's just this very pervasive thing, culturally. 

 

So I hesitate to actually agree with the pros of exclusive pumping as reassurance, because breast milk is more than just volume. Babies don't take larger volumes of breast milk over time they take the same volume, it's just the density of the calories that changes as they grow. Whereas formula you do need to give larger and larger volumes over time. The other issue is that most bottles are going to feed your baby too quickly. And so what happens is they overfeed. They stretch out their tummies, and now they're no longer satisfied on normal amounts of breast milk. They require larger and larger volumes, their weight gain, weight gain is way too rapid. 

 

And you struggle to keep up with producing more and more milk, because we've trained your baby to over feed. So those are problems, just mentioning that, you know, she was talking about backup milk, right? So you can add extra pumping sessions during the day you can have some sort of stockpile pumping might be a way to avoid breast discomfort due to poor lapse or biting. But again, really those things should be addressed with an IBCLC. Right? Those aren't normal breastfeeding things. Pumping doesn't fix it. Pumping just you know, it's a bandaid, right? It takes away the pain but it doesn't fix why the pain was happening. Now obviously X was pumping is very useful in situations where you have a premature baby, a baby that doesn't latch baby with you know some other significant medical issues. She mentions a cleft palate, things of that nature. Sometimes it's temporary. Sometimes it's choice you make to do for the entire duration of your breastfeeding journey. 

 

Now they shouldn't go into the pros of exclusively breastfeeding, which is that there's less mess, you don't have bottles and pumps and all these things to clean, improves milk nutrition, which I do agree with. Because when your baby is actually nursing at the breast, there's more communication there, where your breast responds to the baby saliva content produces antibodies, viruses, you know, micronutrients, all that specifically for your baby bonding time, it's always available and ready on the go. You don't have to bring anything with you other than your body and your baby. And it's free. You're not You're not paying for bottles, you're not paying for pumps, or storage bags, or all the things. So there is that. So, you know, there's more cost, sometimes involvement, supposedly pumping. But I hesitant, hesitate to say that that's true across the board, because many times women are having to spend a lot of money to work with an IBCLC to get breastfeeding, working properly. 

 

Now, that may have been the case, even if they were exclusively pumping. So we can't always say that that's the case. So you know, I will say that I disagree with her cons of exclusively breastfeeding to some extent. So she says there's a lack of flexibility. I think that that is subjective. I think that there are moms that feel that exclusive breastfeeding provides lots of flexibility, because they're able to meet their baby's needs, whatever they want. And you know, they don't have to go in and warm up milk and do all those things. Right. It's, it's right there, it's in a lot of ways less hassle, right.

 

She does say discomfort, especially in the first few weeks exclusively, breastfeeding can cause pain in the breast and nipple area. That's a factually untrue statement. exclusive breastfeeding cannot cause pain. Dysfunctional Breastfeeding can cause pain. And I want to be very clear about that. So I'm actually disappointed to see that type of phrasing and an article like this on a site that is well respected, and by someone who's actually an IBCLC, because that's just untrue and misleading. And then she says, while this should get better quickly, it can make the initial feuds difficult and be enough to turn someone off of breastfeeding. It should get better quickly with the right support. If we're addressing the underlying issues that are causing the dysfunction. If we're not, I would not expect it to go away on its own. 

 

That's really unfair to mothers. So I feel like this is you know, sort of the same problem that women always face in health care whether it's menstrual pain, or other physical pain or mental health issues. You know, when they come to their healthcare provider with these complaints, they're often dismissed, and they are undertreated. And things go unnoticed and lurk beneath the surface. And years later, they find out oh, I have endometriosis, or, you know, pendeks, that's about to rupture, whatever it is, we don't want to do the same with breastfeeding, we need to make some big changes in terms of how women are treated, and respected and listened to in the health care system. Now, she also gave this weird con of exclusive breastfeeding that says, because certain medications and foods and alcohol can transfer to your infant through breast milk and exclusive breastfeeding parent may need to avoid consuming consuming certain items. The article is comparing exclusive pumping to exclusive feeding out the breast. The same would apply no matter what if the baby is only drinking breast milk. 

 

So I'm not quite sure what her point was here. It's almost like she's trying to, you know, sort of add an extra, you know, sort of checkmark against exclusive breastfeeding, which is odd to me. But many medications most, in fact, can be safely taken while breastfeeding foods, even alcohol, these really aren't barriers to breastfeeding, unless you have a specific issue yourself with any one of those things. Or if you've overconsumed alcohol, obviously, that's an issue. It's best not to at all, but you know, it's best for people who aren't pregnant or breastfeeding to not consume alcohol, but they do it anyway. So there you go. Just like people eat candy or or, you know, drink excessive amounts of coffee, there's a lot of things that we do that are not the healthiest for us. And you just sort of having to, you know, decide for yourself what's best for you. The other one that she gave as a context for breastfeeding was lack of sleep. Again, I totally disagree with this. 

 

It's misleading. It's like she's trying to convince people to exclusively pump rather than feed at the breast and I'm very disappointed in that. Because whether or not your baby is feeding the breast or they're drinking from a bottle, your express milk, you're still going to need to express the same amount of milk and a 24 hour period. So this is really just null and void. I'm not quite sure why she thinks this way. I think she might be referring to some sort of, you know, feeding schedule or sleep training. But those things can be implemented regardless. of whether or not the baby's being fed at the breast or the bottle. So, I will link up the article, it's not one I really recommend. But I did want to address it. So sometimes I'm going to go through articles that I disagree with, I think it's important to read all the things and explain why some of these things are problematic. So now there was an article a study, rather that came out from pain.

 

What was I saw the article in pain medicine news. Now you won't be able to get access to it. But it was an anesthesia and sedation guideline confirms breastfeeding safety. So basically, you know, we're finding out that there's more and more safety, in terms of medications and things like that when it comes to breastfeeding mothers and their babies. And so, you know, I just want people to know that, obviously, while you are under, you know, general anesthesia or something, no, you can't pump or breastfeed your baby. But once that's out of your system, absolutely. It you're awake, you're doing well. Great. Now you can breastfeed the baby or pump for the baby and give that milk to your baby. 

 

So I get a lot of questions, especially when people are going through dental procedures, even things like getting Novocaine, or some sort of, you know, numbing injection, whether or not they can breastfeed their baby. Yes, absolutely. For the most part that's localized. And as long as you are feeling paid, then you can absolutely do that. Now, here's an article from Asia one, I don't know, you know how to raise this sort of a publication. It's new to me, it's from February 1. But it's called Confessions of a new mum, here's why I think breastfeeding sucks. And it's just her sharing her story. And I do think that mother's stories are valid, I think all stories of personal experience are completely valid. And she goes into really just how, you know, she thought that the difficulty with breastfeeding before she had a baby was going to factor in whether or not she'd be able to breastfeed. And her friends told her, you know, Don't pressure yourself if you can't. 

 

And so she she literally thought like, well, it's either I can or, or I can't. But there was no further thought into that. And I actually resonate with that a lot. I felt very similarly, when I was pregnant with my first baby. So she says, after giving birth, I realized that if you can breastfeed, your difficulties begin not end there. So unfortunately, she had a difficult time with breastfeeding. So, you know, part of this, I think, is just a lack of real support, and education, starting in, you know, her prenatal care. And even her birthing experience, she really made a take home point, which was that, you know, you give birth to this tiny creature, wholly dependent on your good sense for survival. And then three or four days later, you bring that baby home, Everyone just assumes you will automatically know how to keep it alive.

 

And I think that's a really, really salient point. Because yes, that assumption is made that because you were able to just date a baby and birth it that you know how to keep it alive. And that can feel really, really scary. I know, there are parents that do these boot camp classes and things like that, you know, it's great to know how to change a diaper and all of that, but it's really sometimes very scary and frightening and overwhelming, to now care for this baby and make sure you're feeding it enough that it's healthy enough and going to the pediatrician, you know, right, right after you get home from the hospital a week later a month later, there's a big gap there. huge gap. Right? So we don't here in the US and and clearly Asia as well don't seem to have home health visitors that come to you to check on your well being and your baby's well being after birth. So that's always concerning. 

 

So she talks about some of the difficulty in finding the right position, getting the right latch, sleeping newborn, that's hard to charge to wake, she had an oversupply. So really just at the end of the article, she says that breastfeeding wasn't instinctive for me. And I want to tell you guys something. Breastfeeding actually is not instinctive. For any mother. It's instinctive for the baby. It is a learned behavior for the mother. So I want to just say that, again, breastfeeding wasn't instinctive for her. She's not unique. It's not instinctive for any mother. Okay, so you're not going to magically know what to do. Your baby has primitive reflexes that they are born with, that basically make breastfeeding instinctive for them. They are hardwired to do this, but you are not. And even if we were at some point hardwired to do it and have the instinct, we've lost that over time, because there is not enough cultural representation of what good breastfeeding looks like for us to have learned from. 

 

So it is foreign to us. So do not beat yourself up. If you have no idea what you're doing and feel like this is not instinctive for you. It is normal to feel like it's not extended because it's not. And so she kind of went into hearing about mothers who breastfeed a baby in a carrier or while climbing a mountain and they can lie down while their baby, you know, sidelines and breastfeeds in bed. And that was not something she could do. Again, those are not instinctive things, I will tell you that most mothers that do those things have worked very hard to learn how to do those things and to make it happen. And it's been a lot of trial and error. So I really think that this moms article, I'll share it with you guys give you the link. But it it is really, it points out a lot of things, a lot of insecurities that I feel like we have as mothers when it comes to breastfeeding, and I just I absolutely love that she shared this narrative. So I'm definitely going to be you know, sharing that article with you guys. If you want to read further, just sometimes it's like word medicine to know that someone else feels and thinks the same way you do if that applies to you. 

 

Now, there's another article from Yahoo life. And it says what you should know about the link between breastfeeding and depression. This is by Claire Gillespie. And so she talks about her breastfeeding journey that began eight weeks ago, and she wasn't prepared for the emotional roller coaster. Again, I think we're just doing a really poor job in lots of areas. You know, society wise, healthcare wise, what have you in preparing moms for the realities of breastfeeding, not the benefits of breast milk, not the logistics of positioning, and all those things. But like, really what is breastfeeding, like, but not just breastfeeding, being a new parent, I mean, a lot of these things that I find that people talk about struggling with breastfeeding, they're struggling with breastfeeding so much because they're struggling, struggling with postpartum so much. 

 

So anyway, she goes on to say about how she got thrush and mastitis pain, and all these things. And you know, of course, her mental health suffered, you know, that's going to be true. If you had a tough birth, if you were in a car accident, if there was any sort of medical issue going on. Definitely your mental health can suffer. This is very common, this is known. So she said that she experienced frequent periods of depression, including prenatal, so she was already experiencing mental health issues. So when we have that it's kind of like, you know, how much more can we take? Right? It could be the straw that breaks the camel's back when you get an episode of mastitis. And that's really unfortunate. So, you know, there's a lot of hormonal changes. And they sort of have a licensed clinical social worker, maternal mental health specialist, cine wit craft show that talks about this, and the hormonal changes. And she says that they can trigger depression in some women.

 

What she's referring to is a condition called dysphoric, milk ejection reflex, which isn't true depression. It's something where when the oxytocin is released, to stimulate the letdown of the breast, that the mother suddenly feels very depressed. But as soon as that is over, that feeling goes away. Actually, there are many, many studies that show that breastfeeding is highly protective against postpartum depression, because of the hormones, so and because of the bonding with the baby and things like that. So, you know, this is kind of one of those articles where I feel like I'm, you know, they do kind of talk about that, but maybe a little bit disappointed that that this person who is not, you know, any sort of researcher or lactation professional is sort of saying that breastfeeding can cause depression? 

 

No, it can't, unless you have to dysphoric milk rejection reflux, which again, is not true depression. So depression, medications and counseling don't work on that. It's a it's a physiological issue. So she doesn't want to say you know, that breastfeeding may protect against postpartum depression, support speedier recovery from depressive symptoms. That is very true. And I also like that they acknowledge that when weaning the loss of oxytocin, prolactin can leave mothers feeling empty and depressed. This is very true, especially if meeting is done suddenly. So that's important to acknowledge. And I'm really glad that she did, because we had Professor Amy Brown on the podcast this week, talking about breastfeeding grief. And it is a real thing. You go through a cycle of grief, just like you do with anything else that you might grieve in your life. So it's really important that we talk about that. So, you know, I think what they're what they're really getting out here, which I'm glad there is an article about this is that, you know, struggling postpartum and lacking emotional support to help with your new baby, especially during that initial six week postpartum period, you know, before you're going back to the OB is really, really critical. And if you don't get the support you need, you are much more vulnerable and at greater risk for postpartum depression. 

 

But that is completely separate from breastfeeding. So I just want to make that clear. Whether or not you're breastfeeding has nothing to do with it. You could be a formula feeding mom and have no guilt over not being able to breastfeed or choosing not to. And if you don't have the right emotional support and your postpartum period, you're going to be at a greater risk of getting postpartum depression or anxiety. So just wanted to clarify that Um, now there was a study that came out. This is from Dove press is called factors associated with the cessation of exclusive breastfeeding. And this was published on February 2 of 2021. And basically the purpose of the study was to determine the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding. So that means feeding, you know, solely breast milk at the breast. true definition of exclusive breastfeeding is really no pacifiers, as well, things like things like that. 

 

That's actually the true definition of exclusive breastfeeding. And they measured the association between exclusive breastfeeding and socio demographic and obstetric characteristics of lactating mothers. So they're trying to determine the challenges to exclusive breastfeeding. So it's basically the more problems or difficulties you experience in breastfeeding, less likely you are to exclusively breastfeed. Right. So that's important. But they also highlight the role of policymakers to ensure things like you know, implementation of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, guidelines meeting the World Health Organization's target of infants being exclusively breastfed until six months of age. So they I like that they talk about, you know, this isn't just, you know, mothers choosing to or choosing not to.

 

Honestly, there's there's many things that mothers cited in the study that present, you know, real obstacles to exclusive breastfeeding. In fact, mothers cited in convenience slash fatigue due to breastfeeding. And again, that goes back to that helpling article that I shared, which, you know, women are sold their market on on the idea that somehow exclusively pumping your breast milk and giving bottles will give you all the reassurance you need, it'll be more convenient. Because you can make it on your timeline, you will get more sleep, these things are not true. They're also not optimal. We're neglecting it normal infant development, when we try to force our baby into a box that they're never meant to fit in. So the idea that we're sold on this, which again, we talked about in the episode with Amy Brown this past Wednesday, please go listen to that episode. If you want to dive more into the issues like Why Why do women have mom guilt? Why do women feel like you know, formula, or bottle feeding exclusive pumping is somehow a better option? Why are we sold on sleep training and all this kind of stuff? 

 

It's a really, really important topic to understand. Now, another obstacle, obviously, to exclusive breastfeeding was sore breast or nipples, which again, is an issue that can be fixed. It just blows my mind. Every time I see a study like this, where I'm like, yes, that happens. But like who? Who is not helping women with this? Why is no one helping these women? I don't understand. That's, I want to see a study on you can tell I'm getting fired up about this. I want to see a study on why are these women not getting help? Is it lack of awareness that professionals exists to help them? Is it that they're they're not getting referred as that they think it's cost too costly, that they think this person isn't going to help them? 

 

That they really just want to stop breastfeeding? I mean, what where's the disconnect? Where's the breakdown happening? I suspect it's a combination of all of those, but a study would be able to tease out which one is most prevalent, you know, under what circumstances, you know, so on and so forth. Maybe I'll design my own study, I used to do this. When I was in college, I designed these sorts of qualitative analysis studies. So anyway, I will share this study, you can actually read the full text of this online and check it out for yourself, especially for relaxation professionals, professionals, you might be interested in that. So I do want to, you know, kind of just wrap this episode up and make it not too long. It's unbelievable. I'm not even going over everything that I received during the week. But there's just so much to share. 

 

Oddly enough, who knew, right? Well, I knew that's why I started this little segment of the podcast. But there's an article from the CPH post online, which I'm not exactly sure what that stands for. But it's about Danish research that longer breastfeeding reduces infection and infants. So they're talking about a study from the Odin. I'm probably not going to say this right, the Odense University Hospital, which underscored the importance of breastfeeding. So basically, it showed that breastfeeding helps protect babies from infections in the first year, which I talked about at the beginning of this episode. So it's great to just have more and more science confirming the same thing because then that solid science becomes more and more solid. Although I would really say the science about breastfeeding and breast milk in terms of immune benefits for babies is all already incredibly solid. But you know, let's keep going with it because that's the process of silence. So I love it. 

 

They say about 25% of all children are hospitalized with infections in their first year, particularly infections in the upper and lower airways, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. It is an extremely frequent problem that has consequences for the well being of the child and society is as parents are away from their work when the child is ill. So they say every month, the child was breastfed after four months reduced the risk of hospitalization by 4%. Now, that might sound like a small number, but that's pretty significant. It says, in fact, the study showed that breastfeeding could help protect children from infection for up to three years. So there were 815 Children total that took part in the study, and they were monitored from birth up until around age three. So potentially, this protection lasts longer than three years. What are the limitations of the study is that this is a Danish study. 

 

So we always want to keep in mind, what are the circumstances of the population that was studied, you know, if you were to look at, you know, a developing country, and, or a country that is known to have, you know, higher incidence of HIV or parasitic infections or things of that nature, I can guarantee you that the reduction of risk of hospitalization would be far greater than 4%. So, already, these babies are at an advantage because they live in the country they do, and they have access to wonderful health care to very, you know, well developed nations. So it's important to always keep that in mind when you're looking at these studies. Because if we do this, if we extrapolate this for a larger population, you're going to see many, many more benefits or higher rates of benefits, if that's the correct way to say it. 

 

So, um, I do want to just go into one last article that I think is incredibly relevant, especially if your baby has started solid foods. I've seen this numerous places, but I'm going to give you the link I got from Reuters here. This came out yesterday February 4, and it says US congressional investigators found dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals and certain baby foods that could cause neurological damage. A House Oversight subcommittee said in a report released on Thursday and calling for new standards and testing requirements. Now I have to say that I am actually really shocked to hear this because as far as I can tell, in my own process of manufacturing my own herbal supplement to increase milk supply, which is going to be live on Amazon available for sale any day now. 

 

So I will keep you guys posted if you want to know more about that. Follow me over on Instagram or head to holistic lactation calm and click on the products tab. But it's it's I mean, for me at least maybe it was just the particular manufacturer I chose to work with that is very, very high quality but you have to be really careful about heavy metal content in anything so I'm shocked to hear that there were dangerous levels found clearly they were out doing proper heavy metal testing is what I you know, can sort of conclude just because my product has been heavy metal tested each individual herb and then the product as a whole. 

 

So anyway, just knowing the process that goes into manufacturing food and supplement products I'm I'm surprised but I guess I shouldn't be because you know any sort of big conglomerate company ultimately ends up coming out that they're doing something nefarious that they probably shouldn't do behind the scenes at some point. But basically it says the panel examined products paid by nurture Inc. Hain Celestial Group Inc, beech nuts, nutrition and Gerber a unit of Nestle, it said, adding that it was greatly concerned that Walmart Inc, Campbell Soup Company and sprout organic foods refused to cooperate with the investigation.

 

That is not okay. At all. I actually have no idea how they are able to refuse to cooperate. I assume there's a legal process there that some sort of subpoena or warrant or something has to be issued. I don't know exactly how that works. But it said that the report said internal company standards permit dangerously high levels of toxic heavy metals and documents revealed that the manufacturers have often sold foods that exceeded those levels. So essentially, what they're saying is that there were documents from the company itself that knew that the heavy metal content of these infant Foods was too high, and they decided to sell them anyway. Yeah, I would never bring a product like that to market. 

 

So that's very scary. So it said that the report urged us regulators to set maximum levels of toxic heavy metals permitted in baby foods and require manufacturers to test finished products for heavy metals, not just ingredients. So the problem is, is that maybe you test individual ingredients for heavy metals. But let's say, you know, this one has, you know, X content of heavy metals, this one has x content, Penny bundles by the tiny combine all of those into a single food. Now, you might have a lot of heavy metals in there. So that's the problem, I'm actually shocked to realize that there are not recommendations currently in place at the federal level here in the US to put some sort of a maximum on that. Now to be clear, it's virtually impossible to have a product that people consume that is absolutely 100%, free of heavy metals, heavy metals are found naturally in our soil. 

 

So they're going to be taken up by the plant. Now, if there's just, you know, we know that certain levels are too high. states, like California has much tougher standards when it comes to this. But they're creating a standard, not necessarily independently checking every product that gets sold in their state. So there's a difference. So anyway, I like that they're saying that we should develop much better standards. The FDA is currently reviewing this report right now. And, you know, I find it very odd that the Campbell company apparently said in a statement on its website, that its products are safe, and they cited the lack of a current FDA standard for heavy metals and baby food. 

 

Just because there's a lack of a standard doesn't mean that you shouldn't create, you know, a healthy standard and adhere to that yourself. So I again, disappointed. Walmart said that it submitted information to the committee in February 2020, and never received any subsequent inquiries. You know, who knows what's true and what's not? Happy Family, organics said that it was disappointed at the many inaccuracies, select data usage and tone bias in this report. So, you know, I don't, it said it welcomes additional guidelines from the FDA, I don't quite know how to interpret that, you know, that's clearly something an attorney put together and had a press release to state so it's, it's not very transparent, for sure. Transparency would be releasing the reports of the heavy metal content of your at each and every food products that you have, but they're not doing that. So.

 

There was Hain Celestial, which is the baby food markets, number four player, they make Earth's Best. And it said that the report examined outdated data does not reflect our current practices. Well, that doesn't really make it okay. Because what you're saying is people have consumed your foods in the past, and who knows how far in the past, we're giving their babies to high levels of heavy metals. That's never Okay, that should have never happened. So they're they're trying to act like oh, well, now we're doing everything right. I'm sure they are, because they're under watch and being scrutinized. But what about all the families that have chosen to buy and feed their babies foods in the past? What's the recourse for them, so that's unfortunate. So they didn't say they're no longer using brown rice and their products that are primarily rice based on changing to other ingredients. 

 

Brown rice is known to have a higher heavy metal content than white rice. But quite honestly, babies should not be eating rice anyway, unless it's like, whole rice is part of a balanced diet. But rice products are never a good idea. A representative from Gerber, which sells about a fifth of all baby food in the United States. So the elements in question occur naturally in the soil and water, which crops are grown in and makes, they take multiple steps to minimize their presence. I'm sure they do. But again, if you're only testing individual ingredients, and not testing the heavy metal content of all of those ingredients in combination, your point is sort of null and void. So when I created my herbal supplements, again, tested every herb and ingredient individually, and then tested the entire product, and its full formulation in whole to make sure it was below a certain level, below the standards that California sets, which are the strictest standards in the United States. 

 

So I'm just hearing a lot of excuses and all sorts of things coming from these companies. And glad this is being investigated. What was not clear to me is whether or not these were just baby foods, or if it's also included infant formula. And I suspect that if they're doing this with their baby foods, these companies also make infant formulas that this is also a concern. Now that doesn't mean you know that, you know formulas, the devil or we can't use it or anything like that, but it means that we really need to be asking more questions. And, you know, if you have any opportunity to, you know, reach out to these companies as a consumer, things of that nature. You know, the grassroots level advocacy actually goes quite a long way. Although it does take time and effort. So, you know, we we want to make sure that there's at least transparency, so baby foods that contain toxic heavy metals, they don't have a label, they don't have a warning for parents. Parents really aren't understanding what it is. But they're buying.

 

Again, manufacturers are free to test only the ingredients. And for the vast majority of baby foods, they actually don't have to conduct any testing at all. So again, very, very disheartening, I'm not clear if that's baby food, like little jars of baby food or formula, but either way, it's not okay, and it needs to change. So it sounds like there's some changes that are gonna be coming. I'm sure they'll take time. But at least, these manufacturers are sort of under watch right now. And really, to that point, just to some of this episode, baby foods, convenience, food jars, pouches, puffs, rice, cereals, all the things, none of those are healthy for your baby, your baby does not need those foods, feeding your baby solid foods is very easy to do with whole foods that are actually nutritious and not processed. And I would say that, it's really important for you to make an informed choice as a consumer. So this sort of information coming out will help you make more informed choice. 

 

But marketing has sold parents that these are things that their baby needs. These are things that are good for their baby, that their baby will not be healthy without those things. And that is just not true. You can easily just go buy fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, grains, cook them yourself, prepare them yourself and feed them to your baby at home or on the go. You don't need special products to do that. It's just like being sold on granola bars, or, you know, protein shakes or anything else. You know, those aren't actually really health foods. In fact, they're typically filled with a lot of sugar and other ingredients that we don't want or need. But they're convenience foods. 

 

And so there's always a trade off. But buying jars of baby food to feed your baby three square meals a day is not healthy. It's not a good idea. And this is just another example why not only just talking about nutritional content, and processing of the foods, but now we're learning that there's dangerous levels of heavy metals in these foods. And so neural development, brain development of babies in the first year of life is, you know, really happening at an explosive rate. We don't want any sort of heavy metals impacting that or their health, you know, going forward. So, on that note, which is kind of a depressing note, I thank you so much for tuning in to this week in breastfeeding here on the breastfeeding talk podcast. And if you have any questions, if there's anything you want to know more about, want me to cover, you know, send me an email, you can send that to Hello at holistic lactation comm you can hit me up in the DMS on Instagram. I don't really like that phrase hit me up, we should say something else there. You can DM me over on Instagram. 

 

And then yeah, I guess it is kind of news I've mentioned a couple of times in the episode here, but I am just waiting for final approval of my product listing on Amazon, that will be happening sometime in the next five to six days. So my product the advanced lactation formula is meant to support milk production, help you increase it to balance your hormones, and provide nutritious breast milk for your baby. It has five ingredients. They are all organic Moringa, milk thistle seed extract, fennel seed, Shatavari root powder, and oh my goodness, what on earth is the last one I feel like there are just so many that I keep forgetting which is really funny. 

 

Oh, alfalfa, alfalfa leaf powder, which is like a superfood, it's an absolutely incredible Moringa is a superfood to technically alfalfa sinner. The only ingredient that are not listed as organic are the milk thistle extract. Because extracts cannot be certified organic. So some people have asked me about I could pay several $1,000 to get the product as a whole certified organic. But I chose not to do that to keep it a more affordable price for the consumer. So you're welcome to check out the ingredients, everything's transparent on the label in terms of the amounts of each individual ingredient that's on there, I do use rice basics at the end, again, the whole entire product has been tested for heavy metals. So it's not exceeding the California standards. In fact, it's pretty far below those. 

 

Another thing about that, because we talked about heavy metals is that you don't even want to be close to those standards, because it's always going to vary, right? This batch of mucosal or this batch or shot of it or whatever, they're gonna have varying levels of heavy, heavy metals, which again, are naturally present in the soil and water. But you don't even want to come up close to the heavy metal limits and standards because what if that one batch ends up going over? And now that's the batch that got tested by a regulator or whatever or someone bought it and consumed it. You just don't want that to happen. So I've worked with a manufacturer that I work with to make sure that the heavy metal levels are well well below any sort of standards so you can feel really safe and taking my product and not anyone not everyone needs this product. It'll definitely support you if you just want to, you know, maintain good milk production if you're looking to increase it. 

 

But not everyone needs that. If you're finding that you have ups and downs in your milk production, this will definitely help balance your hormones to keep it more consistent. And because it's so jam-packed with essential nutrients for moms, it helps to replete, you know, any sort of nutrition you've lost, in addition to what you might be taking from like a prenatal vitamin, that's often not enough. So by doing that, you know, you're really able to, you know, enhance your nutritional levels there, thereby improving your overall breast milk quality. So that's that, again, it'll be available on Amazon soon. It's called the holistic lactation, advanced lactation formula, I will make sure to link that up in the show notes for you. Once that is life, that'll be available in the show notes. 

 

Or again, head over to Instagram or holistic, lactation, calm, and there'll be plenty of ways for you to find the product from there. So thank you so much for listening. I really appreciate you guys tuning in. I wanted to keep this episode short and sweet. And here we are 15 minutes. So, so much for that. And again, I excluded a lot of news. So it's kind of funny that we did that. But thank you again for tuning in. If you love the podcast, I'd love to hear from you over on iTunes, leave a review and let us know. And we'll see you next week.