Clinics in Human Lactation: How Breastfeeding Protects Women's Health Throughout Their Lifespan

Clinics in Human Lactation: How Breastfeeding Protects Women's Health Throughout Their Lifespan

Clinics in Human Lactation How Breastfeeding Protects Maternal Health Throughout The Lifespan: The Psychoneuroimmunology of Human Lactation

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Clinics in Human Lactation How Breastfeeding Protects Women's Health Throughout Their Lifespan: The Psychoneuroimmunology of Human Lactation

Researchers are discovering that breastfeeding is more protective of maternal health than previously imagined and that it dramatically lowers women&#39s risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes during middle and old age, common causes of premature mortality for women. Previously the health benefits of breastfeeding were mainly focused on the infant. New data suggests that breastfeeding may have life-long effects for both mother and baby.

Psychoneuroimmunology is an emerging, interdisciplinary science that considers the ways in which the human mind and the immune system interact and influence each other. Over the past 40 years, a body of evidence clearly shows that stress and coping may produce changes in immunity. These changes can result in health effects that contribute to disease.

In this book, authors Maureen Groer, RN, PhD, FAAN, and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA cover:

  • Why breastfeeding protects maternal health
  • Basic concepts of breast differentiation, lactogenesis, and lactation
  • Basic overview of the human stress response
  • Introduction to psychoneuroimmunology and the immunology of pregnancy and postpartum
  • Lactational stress resistance
  • Breastfeeding, mental health, and the risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome
  • Breastfeeding and immunity
  • Implications of an anti-inflammatory response to enhancing the health effects of breastfeeding throughout women&#39s lives


This monograph provides the latest evidence on how breastfeeding and human milk are the biological norms for mother and baby, and how artificial feeding puts both at risk for health problems throughout their lives. It presents information on the science of psychoneuroimmunology and applies it to the maternal-infant breastfeeding dyad, presenting the latest evidence that will inform practice and, hopefully, policy.

Authors: Maureen Groer, RN, PhD, FAAN and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA

Copyright: 2011

ISBN: 978-0-9833075-4-9

Total Pages: 140

Paperback

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Alicia I
11/19/2012

© International Lactation Consultant Association
ILCA Print and Multimedia Reviews
August 2011 – Available at www.ILCA.org
Clinics in Human Lactation 9: The Psychoneuroimmunology of Human Lactation – How
Breastfeeding Protects Women’s Health Throughout The Lifespan
Maureen Groer, RN, PhD, and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC
Hale Publishing, LP, 2011
131 pages, illustrated, resources, references, index, US$18.95, softcover
Orders: Hale Publishing, LP, 1712 N. Forest St, Amarillo, TX 79106 USA
Tel: 806-376-9900; toll free 800-378-1317; fax 806-376-9901; URL: www.ibreastfeeding.com

Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is an emerging science that considers ways in which the human mind and the immune system influence each other. In other words, there may be something to “it’s all in your head.” The introduction emphasizes the multidisciplinary aspect of health, linking the “breastfeeding relationship, the psychobiology of the lactational state, and the biology of human milk” (p. 9) to PNI. The goal is to use the latest evidence to present “information on the science of PNI and apply it to the maternal-infant breastfeeding dyad” (p. 9).

Other than the first chapter on the basic concepts of lactation, the content of this information-dense monograph is written in a scientific tone and assumes that readers have a basic knowledge of life sciences (e. g., immunology, molecular and cell biology, anatomy of the nervous system). Chapter 2 gives an overview of the human stress response and chapter 3 introduces the reader to PNI and the immunology of pregnancy and postpartum period. The remaining chapters abound with abstracts of studies that link repeatedly the state of mind (e. g., stress and depression), inflammation, and diseases and relate this information to the protective role of breastfeeding. In the chapter on breastfeeding and immunity, the authors seize the opportunity to “turn the phrase” to “formula feeding increases health
risks” (p. 79). The extensive bibliography is a researcher’s dream on this innovative topic.

A well-developed index would increase the usefulness of the rich text. Every term has only one reference page and could easily be deducted from the well-organized table of contents. Basic and well known terms (e. g., sIgA, lactoferrin, pro- and anti-inflammatory) and specific terms that occur repeatedly (e. g., T-cells, C-reactive proteins, individual cytokines) are not included. Similarly, a list of the numerous acronyms and abbreviations would be helpful. Sometimes, the information is confusing (e. g., fibrinogen as an opsonin) or incorrect (e. g., describing an endotoxin as a protein, B cells secreting antigens). The text would also benefit from more numerous and larger illustrations and attention to details such as oft overlooked exponents (103 instead of 103 cells per ml) and other typos.

Despite these limitations, The Psychoneuroimmunology of Human Lactation deserves to be
read, and more than once. Every pass reveals information not picked up in the previous reading. It contains a goldmine of information that will be invaluable in caring for breastfeeding dyads.

Nicole J Bernshaw, MSc, IBCLC
Salt Lake City, Utah USA

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    Clinics in Human Lactation: How Breastfeeding Protects Women's Health Throughout Their Lifespan

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    Clinics in Human Lactation How Breastfeeding Protects Maternal Health Throughout The Lifespan: The Psychoneuroimmunology of Human Lactation

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