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Articles and content related to breastfeeding.

Poisonous Protein: Breastfeeding and Pregnancy with PKU

Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an inherited metabolic disorder in which an affected person is less able to process the amino acid phenylalanine. Abnormally high levels of phenylalanine in the blood and tissues can cause a variety of toxic effects, including brain damage. All infants born in hospitals in the United States, and much of the rest of the first world, are routinely tested for PKU. With proper dietary management, most PKU patients have good outcomes.1

Breastfeeding Challenges with G6PD: Not as Bad as it Looks

G6PD deficiency is a metabolic disorder in which an enzyme in red blood cells, Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase, does not work as well as it should. This deficiency makes the blood begins to break down during periods of significant oxidative stress, such as after ingestion of certain drugs and foods.

Oral Glucose Gel May be Effective Treatment for Neonatal Hypoglycemia

Neonatal hypoglycemia (low blood sugar in a new baby) is a common problem in hospital nurseries. Some infants can have low blood sugar and show no symptoms, others become jittery and may feed poorly, and in severe cases, the infant may suffer brain damage or have developmental delay. Hospitals routinely screen babies that are at risk for hypoglycemia by testing for glucose levels in blood obtained from a heel stick. While a symptomatic baby with low glucose clearly needs treatment, there is some debate about what glucose level needs intervention if the baby appears well.

Breastfeeding in Mothers Who are Carriers of Staphylococcus Aureus

A recent study explored the relationship between maternal colonization (bacteria on the mother’s skin surface) with Methicillin Sensitive Staphylococcus Aureus (MSSA), during pregnancy and delivery to determine the association with infant colonization.[1]  Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most common causes of community and hospital acquired sepsis (a serious bacterial infection in the blood).[2] Therefore, recognizing a patient’s colonization with MSSA and the antibiotic resistant form of this bacteria, Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is important, especially in vulnerable populations such as those babies admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Breastfeeding And Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. In 1990, the incidence of breast cancer was 5–7 per 100 women in developed countries in patients less than 70 years of age, and 1–2 per 100 in Asian and African countries. Several studies have suggested that breastfeeding may reduce the risk of several types of breast cancers.

Does Breastfeeding Alter the Risk of Asthma in Children?

Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by recurring symptoms of reversible airflow obstruction and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. A recent study in New Zealand has suggested that breastfeeding may indeed protect against the risk of asthma in children up to 6 years of age.

Breastfeeding In Infancy May Slow Onset Of Adult Schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder, which causes severely impaired thinking, emotions, and unusual behaviors. Schizophrenic patients are typically unable to recognize sensory stimuli and may have enhanced perceptions of sounds, colors, and other features of their environment. Most schizophrenics, if untreated, gradually withdraw from interactions with other people, and lose their ability to take care of personal needs and grooming. A recent, but small study suggests that breastfeeding in infancy may delay the age of onset of schizophrenia.

Breastfeeding May Lower The Risk Of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. Episodes can last for days, weeks or months and alternate with periods of reduced or no symptoms at all. Because nerves in any part of the brain or spinal cord may be damaged, patients with multiple sclerosis can have symptoms in many parts of the body such as: loss of balance, painful muscle spasms, numbness, abnormal sensation, tremors, problem in walking and coordination, double vision, vision loss, hearing loss, decreased attention span, poor judgment and memory loss. A new study from Germany suggests that breastfeeding may reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis.

Maternal Probiotic Use during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding May Reduce the Risk of Eczema

A recent study has suggested that use of probiotics in pregnancy and breastfeeding may reduce the risk of eczema in infants. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is the term  broadly applied to a range of persistent skin conditions which include dryness and recurring skin rashes characterized by: redness, skin edema (swelling), itching, crusting, flaking, blistering, cracking, oozing, bleeding and areas of temporary skin discoloration.
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