Betty Wagner Spandikow

La Leche League International and the world lost an amazing woman when Betty Wagner Spandikow, of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, passed away October 26, 2008. Bettty was co-founder of La Leche League International and co-author of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, which has over 2 million copies in print.

In 1956, Betty Wagner and six other women met in Franklin Park, Illinois to share information on how to successfully breastfeed their babies. The group quickly attracted the attention of other women and became an organization called “La Leche League.” Betty was expecting their fifth child, and when asked to be a part of the group that was being organized to help breastfeeding mothers, she was eager to join.
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Many Ob-Gyn Textbooks Lack Good Info on Breast-Feeding

Doctors coaching new nursing mothers will find little practical advice to share from some of the classic obstetrics textbooks, a new study suggests.

Some of the texts omit key information for solving breast-feeding problems and others are inaccurate about the key steps involved, according to a study presented at this week’s annual meeting of the Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in New Orleans.

Three of these bibles of obstetrics are not as “up-to-date or nearly as complete as they should be,” contended study researcher Dr. Tony Ogburn, director of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of New Mexico.
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Breastfeeding benefits may outweigh HIV risk

The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the risks of virus transmission from HIV-positive mothers to their children, according to studies conducted in four African nations.

The studies were presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Los Angeles, United States, this week (25–28 February).

A study in Zambia showed that exclusive breastfeeding ― where a child is fed only breast milk ― beyond a set time period of four months did not increase the risk of HIV transmission. The study was a collaboration between US universities and University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia.

Other studies suggested that continued exclusive breastfeeding could actually improve the survival rate of HIV-positive children.
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Concentrations of Certain Toxins in Breast Milk Are Low

Newswise — Nursing mothers worried about passing harmful chemicals to their infants through breast milk should be aware that the air inside their home may pose a greater health risk.

Researchers from Ohio State and Johns Hopkins universities measured the levels of harmful gases called “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs) in human milk and in the air inside the homes of three lactating mothers in inner-city Baltimore.

A nursing infant’s exposure to VOCs from indoor air was 25- to 135-fold higher than what that infant ingested through breast milk. In fact, levels found in milk were far below the U.S. EPA’s maximum contaminant levels for drinking water.
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Breastfeeding does not contribute to mortality among HIV-positive mothers in Kenya

A prospective cohort study has found that HIV-positive Kenyan mothers who breastfed their babies had faster declines in CD4 cell count and body mass index than those who formula-fed. However, breastfeeding had no effect on viral load or overall mortality among the mothers after two years.

Most discussion of breastfeeding by HIV-positive mothers focuses on the risk of HIV transmission to the baby. Several studies have now looked at the consequences for the mother in African settings where breastfeeding is common. The first such study, a randomised clinical trial in Kenya, found an increased risk of mortality for breastfeeding mothers compared to those who formula-fed.
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Pooled and Pasteurized Mother’s Milk Remains Sterile Beyond Current Guideline Times, If Properly Refrigerated: Presented at AAP

ATLANTA, GA — October 10, 2006 — Holder-method pasteurized pooled human donor milk that has been processed according to Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) guidelines may remain sterile after thawing for longer than 24 hours, if properly refrigerated, researchers reported here at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition.

“If it is possible to keep bottles of this pasteurized milk around for longer than 24 hours and decrease wastage, it could significantly decrease costs and improve the cost/benefit ratio for premie babies whose moms don’t have enough milk to give them,” said lead investigator Ronald Cohen, MD, professor of pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California.
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