Sunday 15 September 2019

Free online breastfeeding support service to help GPs advise mothers who are having problems is unveiled

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Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

A free online breastfeeding support service, which will help GPs advise mothers who are having problems breastfeeding, is being unveiled this week.

LactaMap has been developed by researchers at The University of Western Australia and is being presented in the UK for the first time at the 14th International Breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium.

It is a result of over 10 years of research by a team of researchers and health professionals including doctors, paediatricians, midwives, lactation consultants, and pharmacists. 

It contains more than 100 clinical practice guidelines together with related patient information documents, supporting information documents, and articles describing normal function, all supported by more than 1000 references.

“Unlike other medical guidelines, LactaMap is an online lactation care support system for doctors to use at the point of care, to support mothers and infants experiencing difficulty with breastfeeding,” said Melinda Boss, Senior Research Fellow.

“Conflicting advice is one of the most common factors that impact a mother’s confidence in her ability to initiate and sustain breastfeeding.”

“Once the GP has this information base, they can then work through the platform to develop a personal care plan for the patient,” she said. “The platform contains 112 clinical practice guidelines as well as the LactaPedia glossary and 21 information sheets that can be printed out during the consultation or emailed to patients.”

Ten of the world’s leading breastfeeding researchers will present their latest findings at the Symposium, which is being held at London Hilton Park Lane, 4th and 5th April. 

Other research being presented includes clues why breastfed babies are less likely to become obese in later life. 

Professor Donna Geddes, director of the human lactation research group at the University of Western Australia will discuss the presence of appetite-controlling hormones in breastmilk known as leptin and adiponectin. 

Dr María Carmen Collado of the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology-Spanish National Research Council, Spain, will also confirm her recent discovery that yeast is present in breastmilk. 

She said: "Our research demonstrates the presence of yeasts and other fungi in breast milk in healthy mothers, supporting the hypothesis that breast milk is an important source of microorganisms to the growing infant."

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