What To Do About Babies and Peanuts: New Study Finds Early Exposure Can Prevent Allergy

This research is of particular interest to me as my DD has a likely Cow’s Milk Protein (CMP) allergy and possible egg allergy. We have her allergist appointment this Friday, as she has turned 4 months and will be ready to start solids soon. She will have a skin prick test to test for CMP and egg sensitivities, among other common allergens. Depending on the results, she will see a dietitian who will determine what foods to commence and when.

As I have a background in dietetics and clinical coding, I’m not concerned if she has a confirmed allergy as I am able to interpret the results and manage her dietary needs.

It continues to be an interesting journey, particularly when it comes to accessing medical professionals who have the relevant skills and expertise in the area of allergy management. If it had not been for my professional background, I don’t think I would have been able to successfully navigate the ‘medical system’ to get the help we needed with her allergy. Especially as a first time mum, some health professionals are quick to put the symptoms of allergies, such as refux, colic, eczema and failure to thrive, as just things that the baby will grow out of. In the meantime, these poor infants and parents endure countless sleepless nights, worry and stress seeing their little one in pain and discomfort.

I have also been involved in recruiting babies to the Starting Time for Egg Protein (STEP) study at the Women’s and Children’s hospital and Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide. This study recruited babies at an increased risk of egg allergy and randomised them to the control group (given a powder without egg) and the intervention group (given powder containing a small amount of egg). Babies that had not exhibited eczema and who hadn’t already eaten egg were given a sachet of powder to mix into their food everyday from the age of 4 months to 10 months. At 12 months of age, these babies are given a skin prick test to see what their egg allergy status is.

As this study is still underway, there are no results at the present time, but it will be interesting to see whether their results are in line with the peanut studies. Only time will tell.

The Science of Mom

You’ve probably already seen headlines about a study showing that feeding children small amounts of peanut products in the first 5 years of life can prevent the development of peanut allergy. The study was conducted in the U.K., led by Gideon Lack of King’s College London, and was published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine (free full text available here).1Why is this study important?

Photo by Sanja Gjenero Photo by Sanja Gjenero

Food allergies are on the rise in Western countries, and peanut allergy is one of the scariest. In the U.S., more than 2% of children and their families are now living with a peanut allergy, representing a 5-fold increase in prevalence since 1997.2,3 And this allergy isn’t just an inconvenience; it’s now the biggest cause of anaphylaxis and death related to food allergy in the U.S.4 This is a huge concern to parents wondering…

View original post 1,953 more words

Advertisements

How much is that doggy on the greyhound track…?

greyhound

I was shocked and appalled at the vision of the live baiting of greyhounds shown in a recent Four Corners report. Possums, rabbits and piglets were strung up, still alive, and swung around the track up to 26 times so that, instinctively, the greyhounds chased them and got the taste of blood. This atrocious act was done to give these trainers “performance-enhanced” dogs. Disgusting.

Here’s a link to the exposing story (warning: some images are disturbing):

http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2015/02/16/4178920.htm

Last I heard at least 15 trainers were suspended due to this investigation and major sponsors, including South Australian company, Macro Meats have withdrawn their sponsorship.

The chairman of Greyhound Racing Victoria resigned, under pressure, after these live baiting revelations came to light. See the article below:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-23/greyhound-racing-victoria-chairman-peter-caillard-resigns/6226664

This industry is worth upwards of 3 billion dollars annually – big dollars speak volumes about the lengths that these trainers would go to make a quick buck. The real cost of their greed can be seen in the cruelty to the greyhound dogs and to the animals used as bait, the destruction of their industry, job losses and loss of respect for the industry by the public. Was it really worth it?

So how can this situation be redeemed? What can be done to bring some justice on behalf of these mistreated animals?

In my opinion, the full force of the law should be served to these people who committed these disgraceful acts.

In addition, we can provide some T.L.C. to the greyhounds that have suffered by adopting a suitable dog as a pet or you can sign the petition to “Tell greyhound racing all bets are off!”.

http://www.animalsaustralia.org/take_action/save-greyhounds/

https://www.facebook.com/gonearethedogsspeakingupforgreyhounds

At the end of the day these poor animals have been exploited and damaged because someone wanted to make more money – it’s just terrible!

Remembrance photography

I can only imagine the heartbreak that parent’s face when they are told that their beloved little one will be still born or passes away soon after birth. It would take some time for their hearts to heal and to become strong enough to carry on with out their baby.

I found this website that offer ‘remembrance photography’ for those who want a lasting memory of their precious little one.

If you are a photographer in Adelaide who wants to offer this service, I would encourage you to volunteer as there aren’t any photographers listed at the moment.

If you are going through this sad time of having lost a loved baby, I hope that you have the opportunity to have their memory captured in picture or on film for you to cherish in years to come.

Here’s the link for you to have a look:

https://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org

Redefining success

I often think about how I want to encourage my daughter and how to show her what a ‘successful’ life looks like. I’m not talking money-power-big house in the expensive suburb kind of success, but what I consider to be real success – a balanced life including fulfilling work, healthy living, friends, family, hobbies and giving back to society.

I came across this masterclass on work-life balance which is a good one to watch if you want a quick crash course on creating a successful work-life balance:

http://bigthink.com/videos/learning-how-to-thrive-a-masterclass-in-work-life-balance-with-arianna-huffington

When I was younger I experienced burn out as I tried to be all things to all people and push myself to “do what I thought I was meant to do”. Now that I am a reformed perfectionist and I have made adjustments to my work-life balance, I am much happier and healthier for it.

So I’d encourage you (and Miss I) to make a change if you need to – and the reward of a more fulfilling life will soon follow.

Measles Is Serious (A History Lesson from My Grandmother)

measles-boy-720x497

Some wise words for Miss I from “Science of Mom”

The Science of Mom

Measles is back. The outbreak of this highly contagious viral illness that started at Disneyland in December has spread across the country and shows no signs of slowing. As of February 6, the CDC reported 121 cases in 17 states in this year alone, most linked to Disneyland. In 2014, we had 644 cases of measles in the U.S. This is a striking increase compared to the last 15 years, when we usually saw less than 100 cases in an entire year.

measles 2015 CDCI’m sorry that so many people have been sickened in this outbreak and hope that it is reined in soon. This is no easy task given our mobile society and the fact that we like to congregate in places like Disneyland, schools, doctors’ offices, hospitals, airplanes, and shopping malls. Add to that the pockets of unvaccinated people where measles can easily spread, and we have a recipe…

View original post 1,930 more words

SAMRA. What does SAMRA stand for?

"Miss I" and I. This was her first day in the world! Picture taken in 4C postnatal ward at Flinders Medical Centre.
“Miss I” and I. This was her first day in the world! Picture taken in 4C postnatal ward at Flinders Medical Centre.

So I am writing my first post as my little ‘Miss I’ is fighting her midday nap…I’m hoping she falls off to sleep soon. Hang on.. just got to pop the dummy back in. Ok I’m back…

As I was saying, SAMRA or the South Australian Maternity Reform Association (http://www.samra.org.au) is a group of Mum’s (consumers) that want to make midwifery lead care more accessible and to provide evidence based information to other mum’s and mum’s-to-be who want to have midwifery lead care.

I found out about this group after I had my first child and I was inspired to join after finding out about the amazing work (albeit sometimes ‘invisible’ to those outside the know) that these ladies do advocating for better, evidence-based maternity services in South Australia.

Their work has never been more relevant since the current governments, “Transforming Health” agenda that is proposing to close the Flinders Medical Centre Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (FMC NICU). Rightly so, there has been a community backlash at this proposal and for those who want to add their comments to stop this from happening, please do so before 27th February. Yes, we’ve got 9 days left to put forward our support and let our state government know what we really think about this proposal!

Here’s some links to make a difference to how our health system is run:

http://transforminghealth.sa.gov.au

https://www.facebook.com/savefmcnicu

So there it is, my first ever blog post and I wanted it to be about a topic that I was passionate about. The state of our health system in South Australia, particularly how we can use our voices to improve maternity care.

And by the way, “Miss I” is now asleep. It’s time for me to have a shower!