Probiotics are defined as live micro-organisms, which when administered in adequate amounts, confer health benefits on the host. Scientists have isolated various strains of Lactobacilli from human milk, and the presence of these organisms is thought to be protective against breast infections, or mastitis. Although trials of probiotics to prevent mastitis in breastfeeding women are still in progress, health professionals in Australia are receiving marketing of these products. Is there sufficient evidence to prove the effectiveness of probiotics and promote them commercially for the treatment of mastitis?
Associate Professor Lisa Amir (MBBS MMed PhD IBCLC FABM FILCA) is a general practitioner and has been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant since 1989. She works in breastfeeding medicine at The Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, and in private practice. She is a Principal Research Fellow at the Judith Lumley Centre (formerly Mother & Child Health Research), La Trobe University and is Editor-in-Chief of open access journal, International Breastfeeding Journal.
Featured commentary: Probiotics and mastitis: evidence-based marketing?
Aims and scope
Breastfeeding is recognized as an important public health issue with enormous social and economic implications. Infants who do not receive breast milk are likely to experience poorer health outcomes than breastfed infants; mothers who do not breastfeed increase their own health risks.
Publications on the topic of breastfeeding are wide ranging. Articles about breastfeeding are currently published in nursing, midwifery, paediatric, obstetric, family medicine, public health, immunology, physiology, sociology and many other general journals. In addition, electronic publishing allows fast publication time for authors and Open Access ensures the journal is easily accessible to readers.
International Breastfeeding Journal encompasses all aspects of breastfeeding. The journal addresses the need for a high quality multi-disciplinary journal in the field.
In order to help women breastfeed successfully, there is a need to understand both the physiology of lactation and the social and cultural context within which breastfeeding occurs. The journal addresses all of these aspects, including identifying women who are at increased risk of not breastfeeding; the impediments to breastfeeding and the health effects of not breastfeeding for infants and their mothers; interventions to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration; and the management of breastfeeding problems.
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