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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...
There has recently been a lot of discussion in the news about the potential hazards of taking antidepressants while pregnant. Some researchers are concerned that they increase the risk of birth defects. Proponents of antidepressants point out, correctly, that depression during pregnancy is also risky and can lead to premature delivery and other complications.
Some people dread the change of seasons. Shorter, darker days mean fatigue, oversleeping, too many carbs, and having a general sense of malaise: a pattern known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Seasonal affective disorder is depression that occurs during late fall and winter months, as darkness occurs earlier in the day.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical commonly found in mass-produced plastics. Recently, there is rising concern over whether or not BPA found in plastic may lead to untoward effects. Due to the prevalence of plastic in our daily lives, this issue is of major impact. As of right now, no one can say for sure.
Initiation of breastfeeding as early as possible is beneficial for the mother and the child, (short-term and long-term); this view is now commonly accepted and commonly practiced. Skin-to-skin contact (SSC) is certainly not a new concept but is not widely known. This is unfortunate since the practice of SSC early after birth and during breastfeeding is highly beneficial.
Although it is currently thought that nipple piercing for the most part does not affect milk supply in a breastfeeding woman, there are case reports that show that trauma caused by nipple piercing can lead to blocked ducts. Researchers have also found that attachment problems can arise and cause difficulties in women wanting to breastfeed. (1)
Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that can cause weakness and fatigability. It is caused by antibodies that block the acetylcholine receptors at the post-synaptic junction. Its treatment consists mostly of cholinesterase inhibitors and immunosuppresants.
Dental care is extremely important during pregnancy. Pregnant women have elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones cause the gums to be more sensitive to the bacteria that is found in plaque and can lead to a condition known as “pregnancy gingivitis”. Some of the symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, and bleeding gums.
About the InfantRisk Center Team
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Mubariz Naqvi, MD is a long-time member of the Department of Pediatrics. He is Professor of Pediatrics and is a board certified neonatologist. Dr. Naqvi has spent many years supporting the use of human milk in his premature infants. He is a member of the Critical Care Committee, Neonatal Transport Committee, Pediatric Residency Committee, Chair of Education Research Sub-committee, and numerous other hospital and educational committees. Dr. Naqvi is Board Certified by American Academy of Pediatrics with a subspecialty Board of in Subspecialty Board of Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine.
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.
Jonathan Craddock is a Full Stack Web Developer and Mobile app developer for the InfantRisk Center. He received his degree in Computer Information Sciences from Amarillo College in 2010 and began working with Dr. Hale and the IRC early in 2012. He develops and maintains the InfantRisk Center websites, apps, and other applications and systems critical to Dr. Hale's research and data.
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.