Breastfeeding appears to protect infants from infection. In a study by Dewey et al, infants who breastfed had a lower incidence of diarrhea, otitis media (ear infection), and upper respiratory infections in the first year of life. Continued breastfeeding into the second year of life did not decrease the number of illnesses but did shorten the duration of otitis media.[1]

Extreme temperatures have the potential to alter the effectiveness of medications. Drugs should not be stored in areas where the temperature may exceed 86 degrees or drop below 58 degrees. Both prescription and over-the-counter medications are at risk for loss of potency and changes in chemical structure if not stored properly.

Breastfeeding Baby

The importance of managing maternal postpartum pain is widely recognized. Yet how to provide treatment that is protective of the neonate while simultaneously providing adequate maternal therapy has not been determined.

Anaphylaxis is a severe, systemic allergic reaction that can be potentially life threatening. A massive release of histamine from the tissues causes a drop in blood pressure, narrowing of the airways, and urticaria. Insect stings, nut products, and latex can all cause anaphylaxis in susceptible people.

Most women who breastfeed exclusively stop having menstrual periods. This is known as lactational amenorrhea.  During lactational amenorrhea, the potential for ovulation is reduced.  Subsequently, the chances of conception during this period decrease to approximately 0.5-2%, moreover, there is still a risk of pregnancy.  Many women fear that because they are breastfeeding...

Pain is the most common reason that patients seek medical attention. Pain is a symptom with an extremely broad differential diagnosis. Effective treatments are based on proper diagnosis. The source, severity, and the cause of the pain need also be considered. There are several analgesics that can be used for a variety of pain syndromes.

In the USA and many other countries, the predominant enterohemorrhagic E. coli subtype associated with disease is E. coli O157:H7. Recently, a large number of cases of antibiotic-resistant E. coli O104 have been reported in Germany, some in breastfeeding mothers. This particular species is known to secrete Shiga toxins and to produce potentially severe renal disease in humans.

Topical teething products containing benzocaine have been formulated to soothe the pain of teething in infants and children. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently reported that the use of benzocaine may increase the risk of a serious medical condition called methemoglobinemia.

Potassium iodide was approved by the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) in 1982 for thyroid protection from radioactive iodine accidents.  Of the many radioactive elements released by nuclear accidents, radioactive Iodine-131 is a major component and a huge risk factor for humans.

The Food and Drug Administration has announced that use of Topiramate (Topamax) by pregnant women can result in birth defects such as cleft lip or palate.  Topiramate is an anti-convulsant medication used in the treatment of seizure disorder and for the prevention of migraines.

Breastfeeding is currently 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 suggests that not only are there psychological benefits from its use, but nutritional, gastrointestinal, and host defense benefits as well.

For over a decade,  parents have been concerned about the possible link between the MMR vaccine and Autism.  This scare came following the publication of a research study that was done in London and subsequently published in the Lancet on February 28, 1998.  The paper linked the MMR vaccine to Autism and described the syndrome in 12 developmentally challenged...

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About the InfantRisk Center Team

Dr. Thomas Hale

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. Baker 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.

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