Your Baby

Online Breast Milk May Be Cow’s Milk Instead

1:30

There are many reasons that someone may want to purchase breast milk online; but typically it’s because mothers cannot produce enough or any breast milk themselves.

A new study published in Pediatrics, found that more than 10 percent of samples of breast milk bought online contained cow’s milk in significant quantities.

That can be a real problem for infants that cannot tolerate cow’s milk.

Researchers anonymously bought 102 samples from sites that use classified advertising to connect milk buyers with sellers. The sites are generally not involved in the transactions beyond helping make the initial connection.

They isolated mitochondrial DNA from the samples by polymerase chain reaction, the same technique used for forensic and medical purposes. Every sample contained human DNA, but 11 of them contained cow’s milk, 10 of them at levels higher than 10 percent.

“This was high enough to rule out minor or accidental contamination,” said the lead author, Sarah A. Keim, a principal investigator at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “This is deliberate adulteration no matter how you look at it.”

Children under one-year-old should not be fed cow’s milk according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP.) Cow’s milk contains nutrients that are too high for a baby’s system such as protein, sodium and potassium. If breast milk is not available, infant formulas are a good substitute.

“In a previous study, we found that a fifth of these people were online because their infants were having trouble tolerating cow’s milk. Additionally, it is clearly not recommended for infants under 12 months to be on cow’s milk.” said Keim.

Much of online breast milk is unregulated and may contain bacteria, but there are certified milk-banks that are regulated and safe.

Source: Nicholas Bakalar, http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/06/online-breast-milk-may-contain-cows-milk/?_r=0

 

 

Your Baby

Recall: 3.7 Million Graco Child Car Seats

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Graco is voluntarily recalling 3.7 million child car seats because the harness buckle can become stuck and difficult to release.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Tuesday that Graco is recalling 11 of 18 model seats that the government agency had asked it to recall.

The NHTSA said the red release button in the center of the harness can become difficult to release and become stuck. Concern is that the stuck latch can make it difficult or impossible to remove the child quickly in an emergency.

Graco said it found that "that food and dried liquids can make some harness buckles progressively more difficult to open over time or become stuck in the latched position."

In a statement, Graco said the voluntary recall affects "harness buckles used on all toddler convertible car seats and harnessed booster seats manufactured from 2009 to July 2013."

"This is not a new issue for us," Graco spokeswoman Ashley Mowrey said, noting that all products sold since July don't have the same problem. "We've been working to help consumers for some time now."

The children's products company added that it was offering a "new and improved replacement harness buckle to affected customers at no cost." People can obtain one by calling 800-345-4109 or emailing consumerservices@gracobaby.com.

Graco’s website also offers tips for cleaning the harness buckle on its website:

  • To clean your buckle, turn the restraint over and push the retainer through the harness strap slot.  Place the buckle in a cup of warm water and gently agitate the buckle, pressing the red button several times while it is in the water. 
  • Do not submerge the harness webbing and do not use soaps or lubricants, only rinse the harness buckle with warm water.
  • Shake out the excess water and allow the harness buckle to air dry.
  • Reattach the harness buckle into the same slot and re-check harness for correct installation according to the car seat manual before use.

The website also has a video online to show consumers how to replace the harness button.

The NHTSA is still investigating Graco’s 7 remaining car seat models to determine if they should be recalled as well.

Graco believes parents should clean the harness button and continue to use the product until a replacement button arrives.

"This does not, in any way, affect the performance of the car seat or the effectiveness of the buckle to restrain a child," the company said.

However, The NHTSA said it "encourages parents and caregivers to consider acquiring an alternative car seat for transporting children until their Graco seat is fixed."

Graco says that no injuries associated with the recalled car seats have been reported.

The recall models include these toddler convertible car seats:

  • The Cozy Cline
  • Comfort Sport
  • Classic Ride 50
  • My Ride 65
  • My Ride 65 with Safety Surround
  • My Ride 70
  • Size4Me 70
  • My Size 70
  • Head Wise 70
  • Smart Seat.

The harnessed booster seats that are part of the recall are:

  • Nautilus 3-in-1
  • Nautilus Elite
  • Argos.

According to the government, the seven models that Graco isn't recalling despite being asked to do so by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are all infant seats. Specifically, they are:

  • Snugride,
  • Snugride 30
  • Snugride 32
  • Infant Safe Seat-Step 1
  • Snugride 35
  • Tuetonia 35
  • Snugride Click Connect 40

Asked about these models, Graco's spokeswoman said that any customers with those or other car seats can still call and get a new harness buckle sent to them for free.

"They are not officially recalled; however, customers experiencing any difficulty with their harness buckle can still get a new one," said Mowrey.

Sources: Greg Botelho, Mike Ahlers, http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/11/us/graco-child-seat-recall/

http://blog.gracobaby.com/2014/02/14/top-things-to-know-about-gracos-harness-buckle-recall/

Graco car set recall

Your Baby

Should Pregnant Women Buckle-Up?

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Should expectant mothers buckle up and make sure the air bag is turned on before driving or riding in a car?  Absolutely say researchers in a recent study by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Many women are concerned that, in case of an accident, seat belts and /or air bags might harm their unborn child, but according to the study, expectant mothers who are not restrained during a car crash are more likely to lose the pregnancy than those who are.

According to the March of Dimes, nearly 170,000 pregnant women are involved in a motor vehicle accident each year.

"One thing we're always concerned about is (educating) patients on seatbelt use," said Dr. Haywood Brown, the chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Duke University Medical Center and senior author of the new study.

"Nonetheless, like all individuals, some choose and some do not choose to wear their seatbelt," he added.

For the study, Brown and his colleagues searched through the trauma registry at Duke University Hospital. They found 126 cases of women in their 2nd and 3rd trimesters that had been in a car crash and were cared for at the hospital between 1994 and 2010.

What they discovered was that 86 mothers were wearing a seat belt when the crash occurred. Of that group, 3.5 percent or (3) fetuses died.

12 mothers were not wearing a seat belt. Of the unrestrained group, 25 percent or (3) fetuses died. 

"The bottom line is, you've got to wear your restraint because it decreases the risk not only for your injuries but injury to your child," Brown told Reuters Health.

Where should the seat belt be placed? The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that the seat belt be fitted low across the hipbones and below the belly.

The March of Dimes offers more seat belt and air bag guidelines for pregnant women:

  • Always wear both the lap and shoulder belt.
  • Never place the lap belt across your belly.
  • Rest the shoulder belt between your breasts and off to the side of your belly.
  • Never place the shoulder belt under your arm.
  • If possible, adjust the shoulder belt height to fit you correctly.
  • Make sure the seat belt fits snugly.
  • Driving can be tiring for anyone. Try to limit driving to no more than 5-6 hours per day.
  • Never turn off the air bags if your car has them. Instead, tilt your car seat and move it as far as possible from the dashboard or steering wheel.
  • If you are in a crash, get treatment right away to protect yourself and your baby.
  • Call your health provider at once if you have contractions, pain in your belly, or blood or fluid leaking from your vagina.

Researchers found that first time mothers were the least likely to use a seat belt. Brown noted it's possible that the habit of buckling in children might prompt mothers to put on their own seatbelt.

Mothers-to-be also worry about airbags and whether they could harm the fetus if a crash causes deployment.

In the study, airbags came out in 17 of the accidents, and in those cases the mother was more likely to experience the placenta separating from the uterus - a condition that can be fatal for the mother or the fetus.

Another researcher, not involved in the study, suggested to Reuters Health that the severity of the accidents, and not the airbags, might have been the cause of the serious consequences.

Brown said some women will disarm the airbag for fear that it will damage the baby in case of a crash, but "it's not the smart thing to do because it will save your life if the airbag comes out."

A study, from researchers in Washington State, found that airbags did not increase the risk of most pregnancy-related injuries.

No one likes to think about the damage a car accident can cause, but the reality is that seat belts and air bags save lives. Mothers-to-be, like everyone else, should use theirs when driving or riding in a car. You may need to make some adjustments so that your seat belt fits safely and correctly and the air bag is not right up next to your stomach, but taking those few extra steps could mean the difference between life and death.

Sources: Kerry Grens, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/08/us-buckle-up-during-pregnancy-idUSBRE92710P20130308

http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/stayingsafe_seatbelts.html

Your Baby

Recall: All J & J Infant Tylenol

1.45 to read

Johnson & Johnson is recalling its entire U.S. supply of infant Tylenol Oral Suspension 1 oz. Grape, after parents complained about problems with its new dosing syringe.

The recall involves about 574,000 bottles of the grape –flavored liquid Tylenol for children younger than 2 years old.

Parents have reported that the Tylenol “SimpleMeasure™” dosing system is flawed and difficult to use. 

“SimpleMeasure™” includes a dosing syringe, which a parent or caregiver inserts into a protective cover, or “flow restrictor,” at the top of the bottle to measure the proper dose.  In some cases, the flow restrictor was pushed into the bottle when inserting the syringe. 

When parents inserted a syringe into the bottle, some accidentally pushed a protective cover inside.

To date, J&J has received 17 complaints, company spokeswoman Bonnie Jacobs said.

No serious side effects from the infant Tylenol have been reported.

A J & J spokesperson said the risk of such problems are "remote. "

The recall is from stores and wholesalers; consumers can still use the product provided that the protective cover at the top of the bottle remains in place, J&J said.

The recall does not affect Tylenol for children 2 years and older, for which J&J also introduced a new but different design.

The Tylenol liquid formula for infants will be off the shelves for an indefinite time.

"We are looking for various alternatives for the redesign," Jacobs said. "Once we have reviewed those options, we will set a timeline for the product to return." The product was manufactured to specifications, so the company is investigating why it was not performing as expected, Jacobs said.

The new syringe was developed in response to calls from drug safety advocates and the FDA to provide more precise dosing systems for liquid children's medications, after studies showed that over- and under-dosing were common with spoons and cups.

If the flow restrictor is pushed into the bottle, the parent or caregiver should not use the product.  Consumers can request a refund by visiting www.tylenol.com or contacting McNeil at 1-888-222-6036 (Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time; Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time).  Parents and caregivers with any health questions or concerns should contact their healthcare provider and visit  www.tylenol.com for additional information.

Sources: http://www.tylenol.com/page2.jhtml?id=tylenol/news/subp_tylenol_recall_8.inc ... http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46427423/ns/health-childrens_health/t/infant-tylenol-recalled-over-flaw-dosing-system/#.T0Eoz5gzJnY

Recalled Infant Tylenol

Your Baby

Does Your Baby Need Water?

2.00 to read

Since most of the country is sweltering with summer heat and temperatures well into the upper 90’s and even over 100 degrees, I guess I can understand parents’ concerns about giving their babies water. It seemed like a strange question to me when I first started hearing, “Dr. Sue, how much water does my baby need to drink every day?”  I know I am continuing to talk about staying hydrated during the heat wave, but we are really talking about those children and adults who are spending time outdoors, especially when involved in physical activity.

I have actually been telling parents with newborns that there is really no reason to take that sweet new baby outside for any length of time. I think it is too hot to enjoy being outside, and an infant doesn’t miss going to the playground like a 2 or 3 year old would.

But, when you have young children you have to get out (or go crazy inside everyday), so everyone just suffers through the heat. Remember to take your sunscreen and fluids and head out for an hour or two, in the morning or later afternoon if at all possible. These children need lots of water breaks, as do their parents and caregivers.

So, back to the water and baby question. Infants in the first 6 months are getting fed breast milk or formula which is made up of free water, so therefore a baby is staying hydrated by eating every  2 -3 hours. A baby doesn’t “need” water every day for any particular reason.

With that being said, it does not mean that your baby cannot have a bottle of water. This is especially true for a breast fed infant whose mother may have run out for an hour but is coming back to breast feed.  But what if the baby awakens or gets hungry 30 min or so prior to mother getting home.  This might be a good time to “stall” by giving the baby a bottle of water, rather than formula. In this case it is fine to use tap water (yes bottled water is not necessary, unless you have a well or something) in a bottle and see if the baby will even take it. Most babies don’t just gulp down 8 ounces of water!

If you are out in the heat with an infant, just remember to feed them every 2 – 3 hours and make sure they have nice drool in their mouths and wet diapers. If you are concerned about hydration take along a bottle of water for both you and your baby. You will probably need it more than your baby!

That’s your daily dose for today.  We’ll chat again tomorrow.

Your Baby

Early Pacifier Use Linked to Shorter Breastfeeding

Mothers who want better success on breastfeeding their your-baby may want to hold off on giving their newborn a pacifier. That's the result of a new study by researchers in Denmark. Drs. Hanne Kronborg and Michael Vaeth of the University of Aarhus found that women who gave their your-baby a pacifier in the first few weeks of life were less likely to continue breastfeeding their babies.

Researchers had registered nurses specially trained in breastfeeding counseling visit nearly 600 mother-your-baby pairs. At the visit, the nurse observed the mother breastfeeding. After the first visit, which occurred an average of eight days after the babies left the hospital, half of the mothers were having difficulty breastfeeding, most frequently with positioning the your-baby or latching on. Correcting a mother's breastfeeding technique during the visit did not have any influence on duration of breastfeeding the researchers found. Nearly two-thirds of the women reported giving their your-baby a pacifier. Pacifier use was associated with a shorter duration of breastfeeding, independent of breastfeeding technique. Use of the pacifier "should be avoided in the first weeks after birth by mothers who want to breastfeed," the researchers concluded. The study was published in the March 2009 issue of the medical journal Birth.

Your Baby

Harmful Bacteria in Online Breast Milk

2.00 to read

Some moms who are not able to nurse their babies and don’t want to feed their newborn formula, may turn to the Internet for help.They are able to purchase breast milk online or receive it free from mothers who have an abundant supply. But is the human milk bought and sold online safe for babies?

Not according to Sarah A. Keim, a researcher at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Her team purchased and tested 101 samples of breast milk from milk sharing websites. They found that almost three quarters probably weren't safe for babies, especially preemies.

A rise in milk sharing websites and ads promoting the buying and selling of mother’s milk peeked the researchers interest and left them wondering whether the milk being sold or donated online was actually safe for infants. The milk typically sells for $1.00 to $3.00 an ounce.

For the new study, 495 inquiries were sent to milk sharing websites. 191 sellers never replied and 41 stopped corresponding after one reply, Keim wrote. Some 79 sellers agreed to send milk but never followed through and eight accepted payment but didn’t send the promised product.

Of the 101 samples analyzed, 72 were contaminated with bacteria and would not have met criteria for feeding without pasteurization set by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, or HMBANA.

HMBANA is a network of milk banks that are typically set up by hospitals or health care providers. Breast milk is distributed to preemies and babies with medical conditions. Because of low supply, the exchange requires a medical prescription. All donors are strictly screened and medically tested, and the milk is pasteurized to prevent contamination that could harm a baby, said Kim Updegrove, the president of HMBANA.  That causes some slight loss of nutrition, she acknowledges, but reduces risk.

“I don’t think that the general public understands human milk as a bodily fluid that can relay dangerous bacteria and viruses,” she said.

Breast milk can transmit healthy bacteria and immune system boosting agents as well as serious infections such as HIV or tuberculosis or drugs in the mother’s system.

Seventy-four percent of the study samples either had disease-causing bacteria like E. coli or harmful levels of bacteria such as Streptococci. Those risks, combined with the evidence of harmful bacteria, should make new moms think twice about buying milk from strangers, Updegrove said.

In about 20 percent of the samples, cytomegalovirus, or CMV, which can cause serious illness in premature or sick babies, was detected. The contamination was associated with poor milk collection, storage or shipping practices, the analysis showed.

The problem, Keim said, is that the milk samples exchanged contained not only healthful bacteria, which are necessary, but high levels of bacteria that could cause harm.

“The pathogenic bacteria, those are the ones that are the most concerning,” she said. All of the sharing sites urge women to collect, store and send milk in sanitary ways and to offer medical proof that the milk is safe. It's not clear, however, how many suppliers follow those instructions. 

“We were very surprised by our findings,” said Keim. “Besides bacterial contamination and viruses that could be in the milk, you could be exposing your infant to chemical contaminants, pharmaceuticals or drugs as well.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 77 percent of U.S. babies are breast fed at least once. Health officials routinely urge new mothers to breast feed exclusively for 6 months then continue while introducing other foods for a year.

Milk sharing website owners have responded to the study in various ways. Some milk sharing portals are looking at changing how they share milk, and others are enraged, claiming that even reporting the findings of the study is an attack on breastfeeding.

“A blatant attack on women attempting to feed their babies is cruel and you should feel ashamed of yourself for spreading misinformation,” Khadijah Cisse, a midwife who founded MilkShare, a portal for connecting women cited in the new research, said in an email to NBC News. “Anyone can type up any bit of lies they want and make claims. Breast milk is supposed to contain bacteria.”

Emma Kwansica, founder of Human Milk 4 Human Babies, says that the women who share milk in 130 communities in 52 countries aren’t strangers engaged in commerce.

“Peer-to-peer milk-sharing is really about families sharing at a hyper-local level. This study could not have been more opposite of what our moms are doing in the world today,” she said. “If there are babies getting sick from milk sharing, I would know. There are no sick babies.”

After being contacted by NBC News, representatives of OnlyTheBreast.com said they intend to halt informal breast milk exchanges and revamp their organization. 

"We have made the decision to transition away from offering breast milk classified ads and in the near future completely remove them," site founder Glenn Snow said in a statement.

Instead, officials said they are working to form a new milk bank program, Milk for Babies, that would partner with a laboratory to offer screened milk while still permitting donors to be reimbursed. 

"We are convinced that a more safety-centered approach must be taken to secure milk sharing," officials added.

Sources: JoNel Aleccia, http://www.nbcnews.com/health/75-percent-breast-milk-bought-online-contaminated-analysis-shows-8C11421794

Genevra Pittman, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/21/us-usa-health-breast-milk-idUSBRE99K02B20131021

 

Your Baby

Recall: PeaPod and PeaPod Plus Travel Kits

1.45 to read

KidCo Inc. in cooperation with The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is voluntarily recalling 220,000 of its PeaPod and PeaPod Plus travel beds due to possible suffocation and entrapment risks for children.

Officials say infants and young children can roll off the edge of the inflatable air mattress and become entrapped between the mattress and fabric sides of the tent, and suffocate.

The CPSC says it is aware of one 5-month-old boy who died in December 2011 in New York City after he was found with his face pressed against the side-wall of a PeaPod travel tent bed. The cause of death was not determined.

The CPSC is also aware of six reports of children who have become entrapped or experienced physical distress in the product. Two of the six reports included infants who were found crying underneath the mattress when it had not been inserted into the zippered pocket in the bottom of the tent.

In addition, Health Canada says it received three reports of children rolling over and becoming trapped between the mattress and sides of the PeaPod travel bed.

Travel Beds Recalled

The KidCo PeaPod Travel Beds and PeaPod Plus Travel Beds are small, portable tents marketed for use by infants from birth to over age 3, depending on the model.

The tents have a zippered side for putting in and taking out the child and an inflatable air mattress that fits into a zippered pocket at the floor of the tent. The travel beds fold into a compact round shape and come with a fabric bag for storage and travel.

The following models and corresponding tent colors are included in the recall:

  • P100 Teal
  • P101 Red
  • P102 Lime
  • P103 Periwinkle
  • P104 Ocean
  • P201 Princess/Red
  • P202 Camouflage
  • P203 Quick Silver
  • P204 Sagebrush
  • P205 Cardinal
  • P900CS Green

You can find the model number on a small tag on the underside of the product.

The travel beds were sold nationwide between January 2005 and 2012 for between $70 and $100.

Owners of KidCo travel beds should stop using the tents immediately and contact KidCo to get a free repair kit on KidCo's web site or by calling toll-free at (855) 847-8600.

Libertyville, Ill.-based KidCo says the repair kit includes a thinner replacement mattress and braces to strengthen the sides of the tent. The kits will be mailed out starting in mid-December.

Source: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13043.html

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20121116/childrens-peapod-travel-beds-recalled

PeaPod Plus travel bed

Peapod Travel Bed (red)

 PeaPod Travel Bed (green) with Inflatable Air Mattress

Your Baby

Moms-to-be Need Folic Acid

1.45 to read

One of the best ways to have a healthy baby is to take good care of your own health.  Folic acid has been shown to help prevent certain birth defects, but now a new study suggests when a woman takes it in the first two months of pregnancy; her child may be less likely to have severe language delays.

Folic acid is a B vitamin (B9) found mostly in leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, orange juice, and enriched grains.  It’s also available as a supplement.

American companies often add folic acid to their grains to help make sure that pregnant women are getting enough of the B vitamin.

“We don’t think people should change their behavior based on these findings,” said Dr. Ezra Susser from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York, who worked on the study.

“But it does add weight to the public health recommendation to take folic acid early in pregnancy,” he told Reuters Health.

And, he added, it shows that “what you do during pregnancy… is not only important for birth but also for subsequent development".

The study took place in Norway, where 40,000 women – a few months into their pregnancy- were surveyed on what supplements they were taking in the four weeks before they got pregnant and eight weeks after conception.

When their children were three years old, Susser and his colleagues asked the same women about their kids’ language skills, including how many words they could string together in a phrase.

Toddlers who could only say one word at a time or who had “unintelligible utterances” were considered to have severe language delay. In total, about one in 200 kids fit into that category.

Four out of 1,000 kids born to women who took folic acid alone or combined with other vitamins had severe language delays. That compared to nine out of 1,000 kids whose moms didn’t take folic acid before and during early pregnancy.

The pattern remained after Susser’s team took into account other factors that were linked to both folic acid supplementation and language skills, such as a mom’s weight and education, and whether or not she was married.

The study can’t prove that folic acid, itself, prevents language delay, they wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association. But Susser said the vitamin is known to affect the growth of neurons and could influence how proteins are made from certain genes.

“The recommendation worldwide is that women should be on folate (folic acid) supplements through all their reproductive years,” Susser said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all women of childbearing age — and especially those who are planning a pregnancy — consume about 400 micrograms (0.4 milligrams) of folic acid every day. Adequate folic acid intake is very important before conception and at least 3 months afterward to potentially reduce the risk of having a fetus with a neural tube defect.

You can boost your intake by looking for breakfast cereals, breads, pastas, and rice containing 100% of the recommended daily folic acid allowance. But for most women, eating fortified foods isn’t enough. To reach the recommended daily level, you’ll probably need a vitamin supplement.

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