Applied Human Nutrition assistant professor and researcher at Mount Saint Vincent University Dr. Kyly Whitfield has launched a new study of possible changes to how Nova Scotians are feeding their babies during the pandemic. Dr. Whitfield is the director of the Milk and Micronutrient Assessment (MAMA) Lab at MSVU and an expert on infant feeding and nutrient deficiency.

“We are experiencing significant emergency measures that are impacting so many aspects of our daily lives,” said Dr. Whitfield. “We want to hear from the main caregivers of young babies to better understand how these emergency measures may have impacted how or what their babies eat, and how their households have responded to emergency measures.”

A major focus of the MAMA Lab is to study infant feeding behaviours, and the potential long-term effects of early feeding on eating patterns and disease risk. Dr. Whitfield is passionate about nutrition in the first 1,000 days, from conception to two years, and her research program aims to explore both the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of feeding during this time.

Dr. Whitfield hopes that insights from Nova Scotian parents will help inform public health supports moving forward, either in future similar situations or possible additional waves of COVID-19 outbreak.

An online survey is being used to gather information from families. The survey will pay special attention to understanding baby’s food and feeding practices before and after the pandemic, as well pandemic-related household impacts (e.g. change in employment status, school-aged children at home, etc).

To reach the MAMA Lab:, (902) 943-5652