SHOW NOTES: World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year…

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August, not just to encourage breastfeeding, but to raise awareness of the different cultural and socio-economic challenges to breastfeeding that caregivers face world-wide. Nova Scotia has its own challenges. Our province has among the lowest breastfeeding rates in Canada, with less than one quarter of infants receiving Health Canada’s recommended 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding. We wanted to explore what local researchers are doing to contribute to our collective understanding of breastfeeding practices and culture here.

To take part in this conversation, we’re speaking with Dr. Kyly Whitfield, Assistant Professor of Applied Human Nutrition at Mount Saint Vincent University and lead researcher of the Milk and Micronutrient Assessment Lab, also known as the MAMA Lab. Kyly’s passion for maternal and infant care began in grad school where her doctoral research focused on a life-saving solution to address maternal thiamin deficiency and infantile beriberi in rural Cambodia. Since then, her research has expanded into a cross-cultural analysis of breastfeeding in Nova Scotia and Cambodia that goes beyond “breast is best” to focus on the supports required to achieve optimal health in both mama and baby.

SHOW NOTES: More than a quarter of Nova Scotian children are…

More than a quarter of Nova Scotian children are starting school with a developmental vulnerability. Due to a growing understanding that the early years of a child’s life set the foundation for lifelong learning, health and wellbeing, Nova Scotia has seen an increase in supports for early childhood education and research.

On May 21, 2020, Stephanie Reid, Director of Marketing and Communications at Research Nova Scotia, had a virtual conversation with Dr. Jessie-Lee McIsaac. Dr. McIsaac is the Tier II Canada Research Chair in Early Childhood: Diversity and Transitions and leader of the Early Childhood Collaborative Research Centre at Mount Saint Vincent University. Her team of researchers are actively engaging policy makers, early childhood educators, and families across the province to enhance child wellbeing.

Listen as Dr. McIsaac discusses how research, policy and practice are coming together to provide Nova Scotians with supports like the pre-primary program, to improve our understanding of early childhood nutrition, and to support families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SHOW NOTES: Due to the extraordinary nature of this pandemic….

Due to the extraordinary nature of this pandemic, the significant health risks, and the considerable economic consequences already being felt around the world, we need to be nimble and act decisively to support urgent frontline research. Now more than ever, it’s important we unite around a common mission.

On March 17, 2020, Stefan Leslie, CEO of Research Nova Scotia, visited Dr. David Kelvin at his Dalhousie University lab in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Dr. Kelvin is an infectious disease expert with an international research program that carries out studies around the world. His team of researchers is currently focused on COVID-19.