Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 08.03.2021 Interview with: Erica M. Wymore, MD MPH Assistant Professor, Neonatal- Perinatal Medicine Department of Pediatrics, Section of Neonatology University of Colorado School of Medicine Children's Hospital Colorado Maya Bunik, MD, MPH  |  Professor, Pediatrics Medical Director, Child Health Clinic, Primary Care  |  Breastfeeding Management Clinic Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science (ACCORDS) School of Medicine| University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Children's Hospital Colorado What is the background for this study? Response: Marijuana legalization has been increasing in the United States, with increasing consumption of marijuana products. Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) do not recommend marijuana use during pregnancy or lactation due to concerning though limited data on the effects of perinatal marijuana exposure. As there has been increasing prevalence of women using marijuana during pregnancy due to legalization and perceptions of safety, we sought to determine the duration of THC excretion in breast milk among women who had evidence of marijuana use at delivery and abstained post-partum.  (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 22.12.2020 Interview with: Mia Stråvik PhD-student | Doktorand Department of Biology and Biological Engineering Division of Food and Nutrition Science Chalmers University of Technology What is the background for this study? Response: There is a need of research investigating the role of maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation on the baby’s allergy risk. Allergy is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood, causing great suffering for the allergic child but also the entire family. Yet, the possibilities to cure and prevent this, in many cases life long, suffering are very limited. Previous research have indicated that maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation may affect the propensity of the child to develop an allergy, and diet is a factor you as a parent really can influence. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Diabetes, JAMA, OBGYNE / 18.10.2019 Interview with: Haitham M. Ahmed, MD, MPH Chair of Cardiology, Advantage Care Physicians Brooklyn, New York What is the background for this study? Response: This was a meta-analysis of more than a quarter m illion mothers looking at the long-term cardiovascular risk reduction of mothers who breastfed their babies.  (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, PLoS, Weight Research / 16.06.2019 Interview with: Henry J. Nuss, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Public Health New Orleans, LA What is the background for this study? Response: Childhood obesity rates in the U.S. have been increasing within the past 30 years. We can point to things like sedentary lifestyle, energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods and savvy marketing techniques of large food corporations that target kids and their parents to buy food items that aren’t healthy. That said, we do know that women who have an unhealthy weight status (as measured by BMI ≥ 25) tend to have offspring that eventually attain an unhealthy weight status themselves. Aside from environmental factors, could this be due to maternal programming or perhaps something in the breastmilk? Or both? We saw some interesting research that showed breastfed infants/toddlers born to asthmatic moms were more likely to develop asthma. Furthermore, this association became stronger the longer the infants/toddlers were breastfed. The conclusion here is that it must be something in the breastmilk. We knew that asthma and obesity are both inflammatory in nature and that there are specific pro- and anti-inflammatory and obesogenic bioactive compounds in human breastmilk. Some have been studied before but there were no studies at the time that tied all of the pieces together. If we could target specific compounds in the milk that were associated with unhealthy growth patterns in infants then we could perhaps be more specific in how we fight this problem. (more…)
Author Interviews, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, Infections, Microbiome, OBGYNE, Vaccine Studies / 30.11.2018 Interview with: Sasirekha Ramani, PhD Assistant Professor Molecular Virology and Microbiology Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX What is the background for this study? Response: This work pertains to Rotavirus, a leading cause of diarrhea and vomiting in children under the age of 5 years. In this paper, we described our work with a rotavirus strain that almost exclusively causes neonatal infections. For many years, we have been trying to understand why this strain primarily infects newborns and why infection in some babies is associated with gastrointestinal symptoms while others are asymptomatic. A few years ago, we showed that this particular virus binds to developmentally-regulated glycans (sugars) in the gut as receptors. As the baby grows, these sugars get modified, and that potentially explains why infection with this virus is primarily restricted to neonates. However, we didn’t really have to answer to why there are differences in association with clinical presentations. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 20.09.2018 Interview with: Vida Maralani PhD Associate Professor Department of Sociology Cornell University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Breastfeeding is a time-intensive and culturally and emotionally charged topic in the U.S. with many different stakeholders. Women hear the strong message that they should breastfeed their infants for the first year of life, yet it is unambiguously clear that they find these guidelines hard to follow in practice. We were interested in exploring how breastfeeding duration is associated with how many children women go on to have. Our results show that women who breastfeed their first child for five months or longer are more likely to have three or more children, and less likely to have only one child, than women who breastfeed for shorter durations or not at all. Women who initiate breastfeeding did not differ in how many children they expected to have before they started their families. Rather, the number of children women actually bear differs by how long they breastfeed their first child. Women who breastfeed for shorter durations are more likely to have fewer children than they expected than to have more children than expected. In contrast, women who breastfeed longer are as likely to achieve their expectations as to exceed them, and they are nearly as likely to have more children than they expected as they are to have fewer. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 17.07.2017 Interview with: Dr. Erica H. Anstey PhD Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Immunization Services Division National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases CDC What is the background for this study? Response: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants are breastfed exclusively for about the first 6 months and that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mother and baby desire. Although breastfeeding initiation and duration rates have increased overall in the United States, breastfeeding rates vary by geographic location, socioeconomic, and race/ethnic groups. Breastfeeding initiation and duration have been historically and consistently lower among black infants compared with white and Hispanic infants. There are many factors that influence a woman’s decision to start and continue breastfeeding. These include knowledge about breastfeeding, cultural and social norms, family and social support, and work and childcare environments. Some barriers to breastfeeding are disproportionately experienced by black women, including earlier return to work, inadequate receipt of breastfeeding information from providers, and lack of access to professional breastfeeding support. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kaiser Permanente, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 24.11.2015 Interview with: Erica P. Gunderson, PhD, MPH, MS, RD Senior Research Scientist, Division of Research, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Conditions Section Kaiser Permanente Northern California Oakland, CA 94612 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Gunderson: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a disorder of glucose tolerance affecting 5-9 percent of all U.S. pregnancies (approximately 250,000 annually), with a 7-fold higher risk of progression to type 2 diabetes. Strategies during the postpartum period for prevention of diabetes focus on modification of lifestyle behaviors, including dietary intake and physical activity to promote weight loss. Lactation is a modifiable postpartum behavior that improves glucose and lipid metabolism, and increases insulin sensitivity, with favorable metabolic effects that persist post-weaning. Despite these metabolic benefits, evidence that lactation prevents type 2 diabetes remains inconclusive, particularly among women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Among women with GDM, evidence that lactation prevents diabetes is based on only two studies with conflicting findings. The Study of Women, Infant Feeding and Type 2 Diabetes after GDM Pregnancy, also known as the SWIFT Study, is the first to measure breastfeeding on a monthly basis during the first year after delivery and the first to enroll a statistically significant number of women with gestational diabetes, and to evaluate social, behavioral and prenatal risk factors that influence development of type 2 diabetes, as well as breastfeeding initiation and success. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Multiple Sclerosis, OBGYNE / 01.09.2015

PD Dr. Kerstin Hellwig Neurologische Abteilung Universitätsklinikum St. Josef Hospital Interview with: PD Dr. Kerstin Hellwig Neurologische Abteilung Universitätsklinikum St. Josef Hospital Bochum Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Hellwig: The relapse risk is elevated in women with Multiple Sclerosis after delivery. We found that women with Multiple Sclerosis who breastfed exclusively had a significant lower relapse risk, than women who did not breastfed at all or breastfed some but not exclusively. After the introduction of supplemental feedings, the relase risk was similar between both groups. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 06.04.2015 Interview with: Professor of Pediatrics Hans Bisgaard, MD, DMSc Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Bisgaard: Extended breast-feeding is recommended for newborn children at risk of allergy-associated diseases, but the evidence of a protective effect on sensitization and these diseases remains elusive. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Bisgaard: Exclusive breastfeeding does not affect sensitization in early childhood or associated diseases at 7 years of age in at-risk children. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, NIH, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 21.02.2015

Yeyi Zhu, PhD IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow Epidemiology Branch Division of Intramural Population Health Research Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Interview with: Yeyi Zhu, PhD IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow Epidemiology Branch Division of Intramural Population Health Research Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Zhu: Currently in the US, nearly two thirds of reproductive-aged women are overweight or obese. Moreover, the amount of weight gained during pregnancy can have immediate and long-lasting impacts on health of a woman and her infant. Previous evidence implicates that excessive gestational weight gain above the Institute of Medicine guidelines is related to high birthweight (>4000 g), a marker of intrauterine over-nutrition which may impose a greater risk of offspring’s obesity and metabolic diseases in later life. Given that more than one third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese in the US, it is of great public health significance to improve our understanding of determinants and mediators of childhood obesity. The length of breast feeding and age at introduction of solid foods are infant feeding practices that are potentially modifiable in early life. We therefore examined whether birthweight and infant feeding practices, specifically length of breast feeding, mediate the relationship between maternal gestational weight gain and childhood growth in the National Children’s Study Formative Research in Anthropometry, a cross-sectional multi-ethnic study of 1387 mothers and their children aged 0-5.9 years in the US (2011-2012). We illustrated that the intergenerational relationship between maternal gestational weight gain and early childhood growth (i.e., z scores for weight-for-age, weight-for-height, and body mass index-for-age) largely acts through birthweight rather than directly on childhood growth. Further, given the negative association of breastfeeding duration with childhood anthropometrics, longer length of breastfeeding suppressed the positive associations of gestational weight gain and birthweight with childhood growth. In addition, analysis by ethnicity revealed that these associations were only significant in non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black participants as opposed to Hispanics and other ethnicities. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Neurological Disorders, Pediatrics / 29.05.2014

Kimford J. Meador, MD Professor Department of Neurology & Neurological Sciences Stanford Comprehensive Epilepsy Center Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, CA Interview with: Kimford J. Meador, MD Professor Department of Neurology & Neurological Sciences Stanford Comprehensive Epilepsy Center Stanford University School of Medicine Stanford, CA 94305-5235. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Meador: Breastfeeding while taking antiepileptic drugs does not appear to pose a risk to the child's development, and in fact the cognitive outcomes were better for those children who were breastfed vs. those were not. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Nutrition, Pediatrics / 11.07.2013 Interview with Jill M. Norris, MPH, PhD Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Aurora What were the most significant findings? How do they relate to what was already known about this subject? Dr. Norris: One of the most intriguing findings is that if mothers are still breast-feeding when they introduce gluten-containing foods to their baby, they may reduce the risk for T1D.  This is similar to a finding from a Swedish study that found that breast-feeding while introducing gluten-containing foods may reduce the risk for celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that has several similarities with T1D. In children at increased genetic risk for T1D, our data suggest that parents should wait to introduce any solid foods until after the 4 month birthday.  And when the baby is ready, solid foods should be introduced by the 6 months birthday or soon thereafter, preferably while the mother is still breast-feeding the baby, which may reduce the risk of T1D. (more…)