Save the Children Launches Radio Outreach Program in Haiti to Promote Newborn, Infant Health

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The global humanitarian organization Save the Children is supporting efforts to promote breastfeeding among new mothers in Haiti to ensure the protection of the youngest and most vulnerable survivors of the devastating January 12 earthquake.

The agency has translated internationally recognized public health messages into Creole, which are currently being broadcast on local radio stations.

Critical Awareness Campaign Available to Health-focused Groups in Haiti

Save the Children is making these critical communications available to other health-focused groups that are also working with local communities affected by the disaster. Its health staff in Haiti will translate other public health messages over the coming days and coordinate with partners and communities to spread the word about keeping children healthy in the wake of the quake.
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Early spoon-feeding ups obesity risk

Delaying the use of solid and complimentary foods during infancy can protect the newborn against obesity later on in life, a new study finds.

Breastfeeding had long been considered as a weapon against obesity. The new study, however, claims that starting spoon-feeding later in infancy lowers the obesity rate.

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Haiti: Joint statement on Infant and Young Child Feeding of UNICEF, WHO and WFP

UNICEF, WHO and WFP call for support for appropriate infant and young child feeding in the current emergency, and caution about unnecessary and potentially harmful donations and use of breast-milk substitutes.

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IBFAN replied to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Dr. Arun Gupta, Chairperson of the Global Breastfeeding Initiative for Child Survival (gBICS) sent a letter to the Rector of the University in regard to a research study undertaken in the NTNU by Profs. Carlsen, Jacobsen and Vanky, and the subsequent press release :“Breastfeeding is not as beneficial as once thought”.

Read the letter
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Call for support for appropriate infant and young child feeding in Haiti

NEW YORK, 21 January 2010 – During emergency situations, disease and death rates among under-five children are higher than for any other age group; the younger the infant the higher the risk. Mortality risk is particularly high because of the combined impact of a greatly increased prevalence of communicable diseases and diarrhoea and soaring rates of under-nutrition. Appropriate feeding and care of infants and young children is essential to preventing malnutrition, morbidity and mortality.

Major health problems among Haitian children, which have been exacerbated by this crisis, are acute and chronic malnutrition and communicable diseases. Given the structural damage caused by the earthquake to water supply systems, there is an additional risk of water borne diseases affecting large numbers of the urban, rural and displaced populations.
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Newborns nurse long-term memories of smells

Within a week after birth, babies inhale new memories at their mothers’ breasts. Newborns who whiff a specific odor while breast-feeding, even if they smell it for only eight days, prefer that same odor over others a year or more later, reports a team led by physiologist Benoist Schaal of the European Center of Taste Sciences in Dijon, France.

Like other infant mammals such as rats and pigs, human newborns easily learn and remember smells associated with breast-feeding, the scientists conclude in a paper scheduled to appear in Developmental Science. These types of odor memories form most robustly during the first week after birth, the researchers propose.
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Baby bags give breastfeeding moms a healthy start

New breastfeeding bags offer an alternative to the formula-laden gift bags handed out at hospitals.

In the nine months leading up to the birth of my first daughter, I read countless books, articles and blog posts about the benefits of breastfeeding. I was determined to give it my best shot and did everything I could to ensure that my baby and I would have the best chances for success.

So it was funny that immediately after her birth, the hospital gave me not one but two “complimentary” gift bags to take home to help me care for my daughter. Both were formula bags … diaper bags filled with formula samples, bottles and coupons handed out for free by the formula companies, and subsequently by many hospitals to new moms.
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Dads make a difference: an exploratory study of paternal support for breastfeeding in Perth, Western Australia.

The ability to breastfeed and continue the practice requires dedication, commitment, persistence and support. Mothers often need to overcome many obstacles to successfully breastfeed their babies and maintain their balance of home, family and work commitments.

Evidence suggests that fathers want to be involved and be part of the parenthood process, including infant feeding. The role transition from couple to family poses challenges to both parents.

Sharing the experience of childbirth and supporting each other in the subsequent infant feeding practices is one of those challenges.

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Dangerous Hype: Infant Formula Companies Claim They Can Make Babies ‘Smarter’

Companies have fortified their products with synthetic versions of certain fatty acids associated with brain development. But evidence shows it may be making children sick.

If you believed a certain baby formula would make your child smarter, would you buy it?

Infant formula manufacturers are banking that you would. That’s why, since 2002, several companies have fortified their products with synthetic versions of DHA and ARA, long-chain fatty acids that occur naturally in breast milk and have been associated with brain development.

The oils are produced by Martek Biosciences Corp. from lab-grown algae and fungus and extracted with hexane, according to the company’s patent application.
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Does bottle feeding induce mourning in a new mother?

An intriguing new theory is being proposed about the effects of bottle feeding on the maternal psyche. It goes like this. University of Albany evolutionary psychologist Gordon Gallup and his colleagues hypothesize that when the act of giving birth is not followed by suckling an infant, a mother’s body receives the message that her baby has died. The hormonal and chemical changes that occur in her body as her milk dries up send the message to her brain that her baby has died, triggering a mourning response in the new mother.

This theory, which was published in an article in Medical Hypothesis, provides an intriguing explanation for why some research has shown a higher incidence of post partum depression among bottle feeding mothers.
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