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With the rise in COVID19 cases many of our staff will be transitioning to working remotely and we will be re-enabling our chat system. We will operate Monday - Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM Central standard time. If you need to discuss medication use while breastfeeding or during pregnancy, please use the button below.

COVID-19 Pandemic Research

Pregnant mom and virus representation

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.
More Information

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

Influenza Virus in Pregnancy

Influenza is a viral infection that affects the respiratory tract. It is especially risky in pregnant women and increases the risk of premature delivery, abortion, and stillbirth. Pregnant women are also at an increased risk of complications from the virus. These complications include pneumonia followed by ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) requiring hospitalization and mechanical ventilation.

Insect Repellent Usage

Many women are concerned about using insect repellents during pregnancy, however, mosquito borne illnesses can be dangerous during pregnancy. Two examples of mosquito transmitted illnesses are malaria and the west nile virus. Both can be avoided by avoiding mosquito bites. Insect repellents containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) are the most effective and widely used. They are also the most studied during pregnancy and lactation.

Introduction to Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics as the exclusive source of nutrition for feeding young infants for the first six months of life. Data suggest that not only are there psychological benefits from its use, but <a href="http://www.infantrisk.com/content/revisiting-benefits-breastfeeding">nutritional, gastrointestinal, and host defense benefits as well</a>. Some women are unable or unwilling to breastfeed and there is nothing wrong with that. However, a woman who desires to breastfeed should know how to access all of the resources available that can help support her efforts.

Vitamin D Supplements

A recent study estimated that 1 in 5 Americans are at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in a handful of foods (e.g. fatty fish or cod liver oil). Vitamin D is also produced in the body after sun exposure and can be obtained from supplements and food additives.

Drug entry into Human Milk

The amount of a drug that is excreted into breastmilk depends on a number of kinetic factors. Using these kinetic terms, one can frequently estimate the probability that a medications will enter will, but the only true test is the research studies published in the literature. With these in hand we can frequently estimate the absolute dosage an infant will receive from his/her mother's milk.

Non-Drug Treatments for Depression

Depression during pregnancy and postpartum is fairly common, affecting anywhere from 15% to 25% of women. Antidepressants [link antidepressants] are an important part of the treatment arsenal for depression. But clinicians, and women themselves, are increasingly concerned about their use in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Specifically, do antidepressants taken during pregnancy cause birth defects?

Effects of Marijuana on the Fetus and Breastfeeding Infants.

Current studies indicate that approximately 4% of women in the USA use illicit drugs while pregnant. Seventy five percent of these cases report the use of marijuana. Despite the widespread use of this product, the public is not aware of the potential neurobehavioral effects of this drug on the fetus or the newborn infant.

Inaccurate Information Online Regarding Breastfeeding with Lyme Disease

When faced with a health concern, the first place that many people go is the internet. Although having medical advice at your fingertips is convenient, your search bar may not be the best bet for obtaining accurate information. A study done on the validity of information found online regarding Lyme disease showed that many websites, claiming to be leaders in information regarding Lyme disease, were providing inaccurate information, especially about breastfeeding while infected with Lyme disease.

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.