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COVID-19 Pandemic Research

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Pregnancy and childbirth in a pandemic?

Pregnancy and childbirth bring significant life changes, and so has the pandemic! We want to know how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected you and your experiences during pregnancy and childbirth. Please help future moms and babies by completing this research survey.

Remdesivir in Breast Milk

We are interested in finding out whether remdesivir (a treatment for COVID-19) transfers into breast milk. We are looking for women who are breastfeeding, 0-9 months postpartum, currently diagnosed with COVID-19, and being treated with remdesivir.

COVID-19 and Infant feeding

Mothers with COVID-19 from around the U.S. are wanted to participate in this study about infection risk and immunity in infants.
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Breastfeeding in a Pandemic???

Being a new mom is hard in the best of times. How has COVID-19 impacted your breastfeeding experience? We want to know! Please help future mothers and their babies by taking our research survey.
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Research

Every year my center publishes drugs studies and with information about the transfer of selected drugs into their mothers milk. Take a look at these drugs and see if you might be willing to participate in one of these studies. They are really easy, just collect samples of your milk every few hours, freeze them,  and send them back to my laboratories. We pay for overnight mailing.

 

 

Participate in Research

RECENT ARTICLES

Whats New about Zika Virus Infections in Breastfeeding Moms

Zika virus is a flavivirus transmitted by the Aedes mosquitoes. Only 20% of adults infected will have clinical manifestations such as low-grade fevers, itchy rash, joint pain in the hands and feet, and eye inflammation. Current outbreaks are in the Americas, Caribbean, and Pacific, but cases have been seen around the world.

Is Nexplanon contraceptive implant safe for breastfeeding moms?

Nexplanon has become a very popular contraceptive method in recent years because it lasts for 3 years and you do not have to take a pill every day. While the idea of an implant under the skin is daunting, many still prefer it over IUD insertion or taking oral contraceptive pills every day.

Can I get an IUD after my delivery if I plan to breast feed?

When looking at the research for IUD insertion, we first must ask “what type of IUD are you interested in?”. Copper IUDs (ParaGuard), do not release any hormones and thus do not affect breast milk production. The copper IUDs last for 10-12 years depending on your age and are made of a polyethylene frame with fine copper wire wrapped around it. Copper IUDs can have some unpopular side effects including heavy menstrual bleeding and increased uterine cramps.

Free Copy: Transfer of Inhaled Cannabis Into Human Breast Milk

Legalization of recreational cannabis use in several states has caused growing unease in the medical community regarding the health risks associated with this drug, especially in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Although cannabis is one of the most widely used phytocannabinoid drugs in the world, understanding of the long-term neurobehavioral effect of cannabis use, particularly in the developing brain, is limited to observational and animal data.

New Study Suggests antidepressants used during pregnancy pose no harm to infant’s brain

A large European study below, further supports our suggestions for some years that the use of antidepressants during pregnancy does not harm the infant’s intellectual capacity later on.

Kratom

Kratom was on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) list of drugs of concern since 20051 and was almost reclassified as a Schedule I drug in 2016. The reclassification was eventually put on hold due to massive public outcry and Kratom currently remains legal in most states in the U.S.2 However, there is no question that the number of Kratom exposures in the US is on the rise.

Seafood Consumption During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

The benefits of fish and shellfish, collectively termed “seafood” as part of a balanced, healthy diet have been described. Seafood is low in saturated fat and a good source of high-quality protein and micronutrients including vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and zinc. It is also an important dietary source of polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that the human body is unable to make.

Breastfeeding and Lead Contamination

Lead is an environmental pollutant that serves no useful purpose in the body and tends to accumulate in the body's bony structures based on their exposure. Some studies show that the half-life of lead in bone is approximately 27 years.  Thus you may never get rid of all the lead you have absorbed during your life without chelation therapy.  Thus it is best to try and avoid situations with lead exposure. 

Zika Virus Update

At present there is enormous concern about the birth defects believed associated with infections for an old virus called Zika during pregnancy. Information concerning the Zika Virus and its implication in microcephaly has been reported in many countries, including the USA.

InfantRisk Center Team

Dr. Thomas Hale, PhD, RPh

Dr. Thomas Hale, PhD, RPh

Thomas Hale, Ph.D., R.Ph., is a professor of pediatrics and associate dean of research at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and acting executive director of the InfantRisk Center. Hale is considered one of the foremost expert in the field of perinatal pharmacology and the use of medications by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

The vision of the InfantRisk Center is to create a new body of drug information concerning the safety of medications and their use during pregnancy and lactation. Additionally, the center will expand, enhance and disseminate knowledge regarding the use of medications and other environmental chemicals by pregnant and breastfeeding women worldwide.

Dr. Teresa Baker

Dr. Teresa Baker

Teresa Baker, MD. graduated from the University of Texas Southwestern and completed her residency training at Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas, TX. She is Board Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Dr. Baker has a combined private and academic OB/GYN practice with the University Physicians at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Amarillo. She is interested in teen pregnancy, postpartum depression, and promoting preventive medicine for the women of the Texas Panhandle, as well as Resident and Student education and serves as the Residency Director.

Dr. Christine D. Garner, PhD, RD

Dr. Christine D. Garner, PhD, RD

 

Christine D. Garner, PhD, RD, completed her doctorate Nutrition at Cornell University, where she was an NIH Doctoral Trainee in Maternal and Child Nutrition. She was trained as a Registered Dietitian at the University of California San Francisco, where she also worked for several years as a Pediatric Clinical Dietitian.

Garner’s interests involve maternal and child health from a nutritional perspective. The majority of her research has centered on maternal obesity and breastfeeding, and she has used a combination of statistical and qualitative methods to investigate research questions pertaining to these topics.

Dr. Palika Datta, PhD

Dr. Palika Datta, PhD

Palika Datta Ph.D. is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Texas Tech University School of Medicine. She completed her Ph.D. in All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Dr. Datta did postdoctoral work at TTUHSC School of Pharmacy before joining the InfantRisk Center 4 years ago. She has broad experience in conventional biochemistry and molecular biology techniques. Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, Microarray, Protein expression, purification in mammalian and bacterial cell culture system. Dr. Datta runs and supervises our highly sophisticated clinical pharmacology laboratories.

Kaytlin Krutsch, PharmD, MBA

Kaytlin Krutsch, PharmD, MBA

Kaytlin Krutsch, PharmD, MBA is a board-certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist with a background in nutrition, clinical pharmacy, managed healthcare, and entrepreneurship. She is an assistant professor Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine. 

 

Dr. Krutsch is pursuing a PhD in translating knowledge to action at The George Washington University. She is passionate about improving the decision-making process when a mom’s need for medication is complicated by breastfeeding and the risks involved with exposing an infant to the drug. This starts with studying  which medications transfer into milk and ends with moms making informed decisions.

Kathleen A Rewers-Felkins

Kathleen A Rewers-Felkins

Kathleen A Rewers-Felkins is a Research Associate in the Department of Pediatrics at Texas Tech University School of Medicine. She received her Bachelors of Science from Loyola University Chicago and completed her Masters of Science at University of Houston. She has worked for Harrington Cancer Center, including a clinical trial as well as in several TT research labs, involved with cell culture, bacterial culture, PCR assays, animal work and liquid chromatography/mass spectrophotometry.

Dr. Skye McLaurin-Jiang, MD, MPH, FAAP

Dr. Skye McLaurin-Jiang, MD, MPH, FAAP

Skye McLaurin-Jiang, MD, MPH, FAAP is Board Certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo. Dr. McLaurin-Jiang  grew up in Amarillo, Texas and completed medical school at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. She competed Pediatrics residency at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 2017 and then a NRSA Primary Care Research Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine in 2020. Since 2017, she has also clinically practiced as a pediatric hospitalist and newborn nursery attending. Her clinical and research interest center on maternal child health, health equity, provision of breastfeeding care, and newborn screening practices.

Dr. Amanda Griffin, MD

Dr. Amanda Griffin, MD

Amanda Griffin MD graduated from University of Nebraska Medical Center and completed her residency training in Pediatrics from Texas Tech University School of Medicine. Her practice includes direct patient care as well as supervision and education of residents and students in the outpatient clinic, newborn nursery, and inpatient ward. She also serves the same roles in a clinic for children with special healthcare needs.

Dr. Griffin also helped establish and presently supervised a breastfeeding clinic in the Department of Pediatrics. She supervises a Board Certified Lactation Consultant and helped expand the access of our patients to lactation services in our community. She is a Pediatric hospitalist and admits and cares for inpatients of private pediatricians in Amarillo.

Dr. Rachel Anderson, MD

Dr. Rachel Anderson, MD

Rachel Anderson MD is an assistant professor of pediatrics. She graduated from Texas Tech University School of Medicine in 2013 and completed her Pediatric residency at TTUHSC Amarillo in 2016. She has interests in Foster Care, breastfeeding, child abuse and neglect, and other disorders in pediatrics.

Dr. Todd Bell

Dr. Todd Bell

Todd Bell, MD. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics although he is double boarded in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. He received his MD from the University of Arkansas School of Medicine cum laude in 2001. He completed a combined general internal medicine and general pediatrics residency in Durham, North Carolina at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Bell has extensive research experience, particularly in influenza, infectious diseases, and dysautonomia.

Sandra Lovato, RN

Sandra Lovato, RN

Sandra Lovato, RN is a Registered Nurse and telephone advisor for the InfantRisk Center. She received her ADN from the Amarillo College of School of Nursing in May of 2008. She began working at the InfantRisk Center in November of 2013 as a Senior Adviser for Dr. Hale. Since she began working under Dr. Hale, she has learned a lot about the effects of medications and their passage into breastmilk. She is glad to be a part of such a valuable and important resource for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and seeks to help mothers have a long, healthy breastfeeding relationship with their child.

Alicia Gill, RN

Alicia Gill, RN

Alicia Gill, RN is a Registered Nurse and telephone advisor for the Infant Risk Center. She graduated the Vocational Nursing Program from Clarendon College in 2007. Then she received her ADN from Amarillo College in 2010. She began working at the Infant Risk Center in June of 2019 as a Senior Advisor for Dr. Hale. She has learned a lot about the effects of medications and their passage into breastmilk. She is excited to be a part of an important and valuable research center for pregnant and breast feeding moms.