This is Public Health

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The Louisiana Public Health Institute has been designated as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace by the Mary Amelia Douglas-Whited Community Women’s Health Center and the Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition. LPHI received this designation because it provides time, space, and support for employees who breastfeed or pump milk to feed their babies.

Businesses that support employees who are breastfeeding have lower health care costs, lower turnover, higher productivity and morale, and positive public image in their communities. To qualify as Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace, workplaces must offer:

  • reasonable break time for working mothers to pump breast milk each time they need to throughout the day;
  • one or more permanent breastfeeding rooms, or a clean, private, and safe space with an outlet, other than a toilet stall that mothers can use for lactation when needed;
  • a working sink near the breastfeeding location where mothers can clean pumping equipment;
  • and lactation support communicated to all current and future employees.

The Mary Amelia Center recognizes businesses as Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplaces to honor the work that family-friendly businesses are doing to support the health and well-being of women and children in our community.

For more information about LPHI or employment opportunities, click here.

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Graco is recalling nearly 3.8 million car safety seats because children can be trapped, but is refusing to recall seven other infant seat models, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall notice.

In the seats being recalled, the buckles may not unlatch, making it difficult to remove the child from the seat. That increases the risk of injury in a crash, fire or other emergency when a speedy exit from the vehicle is required.

Click here to read the full report.

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Louisiana has recorded its first case of the West Nile virus in a human for 2013, according to the state Department of Health and Hospitals. The case was confirmed in Caldwell Parish in the north central part of the state on July 22, and was determined to be a neuroinvasive case, the most dangerous form.

West Nile infections are characterized as neuroinvasive, West Nile fever or as asymptomatic. The neuroinvasive form occurs when the virus attacks nerve cells, and in older people may be very severe, with some cases resulting in brain damage or death, according to a health department news release.

Click here to read the full story from the Times-Picayune.

April is STD Awareness Month

April 10th, 2013

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Every year sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, cost the U.S. health care system $17 billion—and cost individuals even more in immediate and long-term health consequences. April is STD Awareness month, an annual observance to call attention to the impact of STDs and promote STD testing across the United States.

A new campaign targeted at Baton Rouge youth is helping to raise awareness about getting tested in Louisiana about these startling statistics. Check it out online here, or on Facebook for more information.

To read the CDC’s full story, click here.

New research shows that an age-old recommended stress-buster may actually work for this group of women: yoga.

Pregnant women who were identified as psychiatrically high risk and who participated in a 10-week mindfulness yoga intervention saw significant reductions in depressive symptoms, according to a University of Michigan Health System pilot feasibility study. Mothers-to-be also reported stronger attachment to their babies in the womb.

Check out the full story here.

You’re right to want to do whatever is in your power to stay flu-free this season, especially given the severity of this year’s outbreak. But before you put your personal flu-prevention plan in action, make sure those methods are actually going to do the trick. Pritish Tosh, M.D., an assistant professor at the Mayo Clinic’s Division of Infectious Diseases, details some of the biggest mistakes people are making when it comes to flu prevention.

Check out this article to find out what not to do.

Federal authorities are taking the makers of the Nap Nanny to court for failing to voluntarily recall its product.

At least five infant deaths and more than 70 complaints of children falling out of the Nap Nanny baby recliner have been reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

In an administrative complaint filed yesterday, the agency says the manufacturer isn’t doing enough to warn customers about the risks associated with the product.

The Nap Nanny is a baby recliner designed for sleep, rest, and play. The recliner includes a shaped foam pad with a fabric cover and three-point harness.

The CPSC recalled the Nap Nanny Generation One recliner in July 2010 after the first infant death was reported. At that time, 22 reports of infants hanging or falling out over the side of the Nap Nanny had been reported, even though most of the infants had been placed in the harness.

Since then, the agency says the product’s manufacturer, Baby Matters LLC of Berwyn, Pa., has failed to adequately warn customers of the product’s risks.

Click here for more information.

A drink or two each week during pregnancy may not affect a child’s general intelligence at age 5, according to a new series of Danish studies. The research indicates that strict abstinence may not be necessary during early to mid pregnancy, but the researchers say their findings need to be investigated further. Mothers-to-be, they say, should continue to follow current guidelines that advise against any alcohol consumption.

To read more on this study, click here.

The Fit NOLA Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana Project, led by the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), in partnership with the City of New Orleans Health Department, is slated to receive a total of $2.2 million in funding from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and pledged matching funds from community partner organizations to increase use of neighborhood parks and access to healthy foods in three underserved neighborhoods. The project will work to transform policies, systems and the environment in parks and surrounding neighborhoods to address barriers to both physical activity and access to healthy food.

The Fit NOLA Project will work to create innovative linkages between community health clinics, parks, and farmers markets in the St. Roch, Gert Town, and Hoffman Triangle-Central City neighborhoods, with a goal of connecting  approximately 64,000 residents with new opportunities for family-oriented physical activities, nutritious foods, and community centered health clinics that support and promote better nutrition and increased physical activity to improve long-term, community health outcomes.

Click here to read the full story.

Check out this great article from the Baton Rouge Advocate detailing the new health care benefits that go into effect today for women across the nation.

“U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and other Senate Democrats touted the beginning of new preventive health care benefits beginning Wednesday for women without increasing direct costs under President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The extra services for new or renewed insurance plans range from women’s wellness exams and HIV testing to the controversial contraception mandate that is being challenged in court by several Catholic organizations.

The rule changes phased in Wednesday are expected to affect 47 million women nationwide. Landrieu said more than 600,000 women in Louisiana who currently have private insurance will benefit as well.”

To read the full article, click here.