A radical citizen science project run by breastfeeding mums found out exactly what is in breastmilk for toddlers over age 2. Parenting Science Gang (PSG) is a citizen science project for parents of small children, that puts them in charge of the science – choosing their own research question, designing and then running their own experiment. PSG worked with two different breastfeeding support groups on facebook, and for both of them, this was their top question. And astonishingly, it’s a question which has never been looked at by science. So, in collaboration with Dr Natalie Shenker and Dr Simon Cameron at Imperial College, we got over 100 mums breastfeeding children from 0 to 5 years old to come and donate breastmilk and got it analysed in a mass spectrometer. Come along and hear about this amazing day, and what the science found out about how breastmilk changes over time.
Sophia Collins is delighted to be joining us at Breastival to share the results of this fascinating and important experiment.
About Sophia in her own words: I have been working for almost 20 years on projects to engage the public with science and before that was a TV producer. When I had a baby, and began breastfeeding, I realised how much advice to parents is not based on evidence, and how hard it is to find real information. So I developed Parenting Science Gang. I’m still breastfeeding my son, who’s five, and I’ve realised there’s a lack of information about breastfeeding past babyhood. So I’m really proud of the work that PSG have done looking at how milk changes as nurslings get older. I’m delighted to support breastival, and the work they are doing to celebrate and support breastfeeding.