Foods to avoid while breastfeeding colic baby
Foods to Avoid to Prevent Colic – Lola&Lykke
An expecting or new mother fears a lot of possible future scenarios, but one of the more common and everyday issues that she is, unfortunately, more likely to face is also one of the most mysterious, baffling, and frustrating: colic, which one in five infants are said to have. In this article, we’ll go over the definition of colic as well as the link it has to diet - namely, the mother’s. We’ll offer tips for how you can modify your diet, including foods to avoid during breastfeeding, to prevent colic.
What is Colic?
Colic is one of the more challenging problems a new parent can face. It’s when your new baby cries in a prolonged, intense, and frequent way despite being otherwise healthy. Colicky babies most often have their episodes in the evening, making it even tougher on already-tired parents who desperately want peace and quiet. Naturally, it’s heartbreaking to watch your baby suffer and not know why, and colic is all the more frustrating because it doesn’t seem to have any particular cause and no amount of soothing seems to help.
Does Your Baby Have Colic?
Defined as an infant crying intensely for three or more hours a day, three or more days a week, for three or more weeks, colic usually peaks when an infant is about six weeks old and declines after they reach three or four months of age. It can happen to any baby: breastfed or formula-fed, male or female, premature or full-term.
Symptoms of colic include:
- Intense, often high-pitched crying that resembles screaming or an expression of pain
- Crying that doesn’t seem to be tied to any particular reason such as needing to be fed or get a diaper change
- Intense fussiness that continues even after the crying stops or declines
- Predictable timing of crying episodes that occur especially in the late afternoon or early evening
- Facial discoloration such as a reddened face or pale mouth
- Body tension in the legs, arms, fists, back, or abdomen
- Colic episodes followed by a bowel movement or passing of gas that may bring temporary relief
- The baby closing their eyes tight or opening them wide, furrowing their brow, or even holding their breath
- Crying that disrupts eating and sleeping patterns
It’s important to note that colic is a condition that occurs in otherwise healthy babies. If your baby is intensely crying on a regular basis, it’s important to rule out the possibility of a non-colic cause that is leading to pain or discomfort in your baby, such as illness. If your infant experiences excessive crying, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to see if an underlying cause can be found instead of assuming that it must be colic. Together, you will be able to determine if your baby does indeed have colic.
Can Your Diet Really Upset Your Breastfed Baby?
While the causes of colic are unknown, there is much speculation about what may lead to this condition. Theories for potential reasons include an imbalance of healthy gut bacteria, childhood migraine, overstimulated senses, acid reflux, an undeveloped digestive system, food allergy, and tobacco exposure.
Another popular theory is that colic may be tied to the diet of the breastfed baby’s mother. According to WebMD, “A study published in the [November 2005] issue of Pediatrics suggests that excluding highly allergenic foods from a nursing mother's diet could reduce crying and fussiness in her newborn's first six weeks of life. ”
There are several reasons to believe this may be the case. First, it’s known that the diet of a breastfeeding mother does affect the infant. If the mother consumes something that upsets the stomach of the newborn, this can lead to discomfort and crying. There also seems to be a link between colic and gastrointestinal distress; colicky infants are often gassy and passing gas is often followed by relief.
There are, in fact, several studies that have shown that a change in the mother’s diet can lead to a significant diminishment of colic symptoms, namely in how long the babies cried each day. Other studies have found a link between the consumption of certain foods by the breastfeeding mother and colic in breastfed infants. Ultimately, research suggests that an elimination diet may help ease symptoms of colic.
Learn more: What to eat while breastfeeding
Foods to Avoid
One category of colic foods to avoid while nursing is those that many people have an allergy to, such as:
- Cow’s milk
- Peanuts, tree nuts
With cow’s milk being the most common infant allergy. In one 2005 study, 74% of breastfed babies whose mothers ate a low-allergen diet eliminating all of the above ingredients showed significant improvement in colic.
Another type of colic baby breastfeeding food to avoid is the category of foods that often creates a lot of intestinal gas, namely cruciferous vegetables. This includes cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. One 1996 study found that mothers who ate diets high in cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli were more likely to have colicky babies. As these foods are high in fructans, which are difficult to digest, they can cause gas and bloating.
It is often assumed that foods that are unhealthy for adults will also be unhealthy if they make it into a breastfed baby’s diet, which is why many sources recommend that breastfeeding mothers looking to reduce colic should avoid unhealthy foods such as highly-processed foods and foods high in saturated or trans fats.
While it is debatable whether chocolate is healthy for you or not, with dark chocolate in particular often being cited as a healthy food, the same 1996 study that linked certain cruciferous vegetables with colic also found that mothers who ate a lot of chocolate were more likely to have colicky babies. However, it isn’t specified which type of chocolate, and it very well may be that milk chocolate may have this effect due to containing cow’s milk. It’s also thought that the problem may be the acidity of chocolate, which can cause acid reflux.
Breastfeeding Diet for a Colic-Free Baby
While various sources may name a list of foods to eat while breastfeeding to avoid colic, there isn’t any scientific evidence pointing to the possibility that including certain particular foods in your diet can help colic. That being said, it is reasonable to conclude that a generally healthy lifestyle and diet with a variety of nutritious foods is what will be best for the mother and, in turn, the baby.
As such, a healthy diet for breastfeeding mothers to avoid colic may include:
- Plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Fruits and non-cruciferous vegetables
- Whole grains
- Lean proteins
- Apple cider vinegar
It’s particularly worth noting that there have been studies that have shown that probiotics can help colic by helping infants form a protective barrier against harmful bacteria and stimulating the immune system. One 2007 study found that “colic improved in a dramatic 95% of babies given Lactobacillus reuteri once per day for 1 month.” While it is not wise to begin a course of probiotics on your own, it may be something worth speaking to your doctor about.
If you want to go the more natural route, foods high in probiotics include:
- Sourdough bread
- Some cheeses
However, because many of these contain common allergens like dairy, wheat, and soy, kombucha has alcohol in it, and sauerkraut and kimchi are based on the cruciferous vegetable cabbage, you may not want to take the risk of eating them. For that reason, a doctor-approved probiotic dietary supplement might be the best route for mums who are considering probiotics as a solution to colic.
If you do decide to change your diet in response to colic, especially if you want to start probiotics or try an elimination diet, it’s important to consult a medical professional such as a dietitian, who can monitor you and your baby’s nutrition and health and make personalised recommendations.
At the end of the day, the unfortunate truth is that there is no “cure” for colic. However, you can be reassured by the fact that - diet change or no diet change - colic doesn’t last forever; there is an end in sight. Colic is not your fault and while you can do your best to treat it, you should never feel guilty that it is happening. Do your best, take care of yourself and your baby to the best of your ability, and - sooner or later - the colic will pass.
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by Lola&Lykke Team
- Diet & Nutrition
Foods to Eat or Avoid When Breastfeeding
Reviewed by Poonam Sachdev on June 26, 2022
It’s a good source of protein. Some, like salmon and tuna, also give you omega-3s, which your body needs. But what about mercury and other contaminants? You can have cooked seafood twice per week. Each serving can be up to 6 ounces, which is the size of two decks of cards. Choose types that are lower in mercury, such as salmon, tilapia, and trout. Avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, which have high levels of mercury.
Love hot sauce? Most babies can handle it and other fiery foods in your diet. But if your little one is gassy or colicky and gets diarrhea every time you sprinkle red pepper flakes over your pizza, cut back on the heat for a few weeks to see if that helps.
They’re full of flavor. But some herbs may affect how much milk your body makes. For instance, eating a lot of parsley could curb lactation. And too much sage and peppermint may cut your milk supply. For some nursing moms, even peppermint-flavored toothpaste and candies are a problem.
It’s rarely a problem. But see how your baby does. Tell your pediatrician if your tot gets skin problems, has trouble breathing after breastfeeding, or has other symptoms.
As refreshing as your cup of chai or Earl Grey may be, it has some downsides. It’s got caffeine, which can affect your sleep – and your baby’s. It may also make it harder for your body to absorb iron, which you need for energy. If you drink hot or iced tea, try not to sip it when you eat foods that are rich in iron, such as lean meat; dark, leafy greens; and fortified breakfast cereals.
What if you aren’t allergic, and you want to prevent your baby from developing an allergy? Sorry, but there’s no proof that you can do that by skipping specific foods. Cutting certain foods out of your diet may make the skin condition eczema less likely for your little one. Ask your doctor or pediatrician for advice.
Breastfeeding can make you thirstier than you usually are. If that’s the case, drink a glass of water every time you breastfeed. But no matter how parched you feel, don’t go for regular sodas or fruit drinks, which give you calories without nutrition.
It's best for your baby if you don't have any booze at all. But if you do choose to drink, don’t breastfeed until the alcohol has completely cleared your milk. For 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor, wait at least 3 hours. Pumping doesn’t speed that up.
Common culprits include beans, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Bloating, burping, and passing gas are normal. But if your baby is gassy or has colic, avoid these foods for a few weeks to see whether they relieve the symptoms.
Both have caffeine. You’ll also find it in energy drinks and cola. If you’re lost without your latte, limit yourself to 2-3 cups per day of the brewed kind. Or you could switch to decaf.
IMAGES PROVIDED BY:
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The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
La Leche League.
The American Academy of Pediatrics.
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
What is the diet of a nursing mother with colic in newborns?
Pain in the tummy of the baby, mother ate a pood of potatoes? Colic occurs about in the third week after the birth of and ends by three months or six months of age. When a newborn baby bulges tummy , he cries bitterly, breaking his mother's heart. I want to help him with all my might. Colic affects 70 percent of newborns. Basically, these children are boys, most often, they are the first-born. Outside of colic, as a rule, the baby eats well, gains weight and looks healthy. But the spasms make him cry long and uncontrollably0003 newborn blushes, presses legs to tummy . A young mother should know that abdominal pain in the first months of a baby's life is quite common. Thus, the baby adapts to new food, to mother's milk, adaptation takes place .
And yet, the causes of pain can be improper feeding , in which the baby swallows air, lack of lactose, the temperaments of the baby and mother. As a result, each case is individual. Therefore, the point is most often not what foods the mother should exclude from consumption. This is what is very important for a young mother to understand, who, perhaps for the first time, experienced postpartum stress, cares a lot about the baby, worries about the slightest reason. And then there is a whole list of prohibited products!
Limiting herself in every little thing, a woman can lose milk altogether, the child will have to be transferred to artificial nutrition. Mom should know that the health of her baby directly depends on her condition , you can’t get depressed, because one of the greatest joys happened in life. There is no need to restrict yourself in food.
So, let's list the products that are recommended to be excluded from the diet of a nursing mother with intestinal colic in a baby:
- Carbonated drinks and mineral water
- Condensed milk, ice cream and milk
- Smoked, salty and spicy dishes
- Chocolate, colored confectionery, coffee, tea
- Exotic fruits, grapes
- White cabbage
- Nuts and raisins
- Fresh cabbage and legumes
- Rye bread, potatoes and pasta in large quantities
Don't you get the impression that you can't eat anything at all, except for kefir, apples and cereals, which seem tasteless?
There is no need to torture yourself with an unpleasant diet, it is important to enjoy every day with your baby and not turn him and your life into suffering. Because soon the baby will cry not from colic, but from hunger.
Colic can also be confused with illness . You need to know that colic occurs, as a rule, at the same time, in the late afternoon, lasting about half an hour. Mommy should definitely start the so-called "Diary of crying" . In it, she will write down everything she ate that day, mark the days and hours in which the baby had colic. Keeping a diary may help you figure out which foods may have caused abdominal pain . Studies have shown that a child in the womb manages to capture the situation of the intestines of his mother and builds a similar one in himself. Therefore, it is necessary to influence exactly mother's body . If a woman in labor has problems with intestinal dysbacteriosis, then they can be transmitted to the baby. And yet, the main thing is patience. After a while, the baby's intestines will be populated with the bacteria he needs, everything will return to normal.
Safe and healthy diet
The diet of a nursing mother with colic in a child and not only must have meat. It is preferable to choose low-fat varieties: poultry, beef and veal, pork . It is better to eat boiled meat, meatballs and meatballs - what you need. It will be great if mom pays attention to cottage cheese and various types of cheese . Cottage cheese casseroles, cheesecakes, cheese sandwiches - all this can and should be eaten. Yogurt is also useful, but you should buy a product without preservatives, and preferably the freshest. It is very important to include fresh or cooked vegetables in your diet. For example, zucchini, cauliflower and pumpkin. Ordinary white cabbage should not be abandoned either. Indeed, fresh cabbage affects the occurrence of gases in a baby. Why forbid yourself a loved one borscht or cabbage rolls ? Berries that grow in your area are safe if mom was not allergic to them. Genetically, the baby is ready to take them along with mother's milk. It can be apples, and pears, and plums, and currants, and gooseberries with lingonberries. It is recommended to drink fresh juices fresh . At least a glass a day. Bread is better to eat wholemeal because fresh white bread can affect the occurrence of colic. The number of cereals should be varied, especially useful oatmeal . Mommy should also pay attention to dried fruits: dried apricots and prunes are very useful . But new foods that can cause colic or allergies should be introduced carefully and gradually. We eat a new product and monitor the reaction of our baby. If nothing special happened, then the product is good. An allergic reaction in a newborn may occur within 2-4 hours.
Why newborn babies have colic is still not known for certain. But modern medicine believes that the baby's inability to the outside world is to blame for the phenomenon, which, over time, returns to normal. Colic is not always directly related to the mother's diet . You should not think that eating cabbage or sweets will necessarily cause colic in an infant who does not suffer from gas. If eating any food is related to the well-being of the baby, the mother will definitely notice it. It is the mother who observes the very moment when the baby reacts to the composition of her milk. It's no secret that some mothers eat jars of condensed milk and bags of nuts to boost their milk supply. And their babies don't suffer from colic at all! And others, intimidated by the diet, fearing to harm the crumbs, limit themselves in nutrition in advance. One child may not tolerate eggs, and the second will suffer from pain in the tummy after mom ate, for example, a fresh, hot bun. That is why, for every mother and every baby, there is one, separate list of non-recommended products. Doctors suggest that colic that occurs in infants as a reaction to maternal food is allergy . But such an allergy does not manifest itself in the form of a rash on the skin, but in the form of the same rash on the intestinal mucosa. Because of this, the child suffers from pain. Cow's milk products cause allergies especially often in babies. That is why nutritionists do not recommend it.
A child's tummy can hurt for a hundred different reasons, to which the mother's diet has absolutely nothing to do with. If the doctor recommends removing any product from the diet, you need to remove it. But if nothing changes, then the reason is not in it. So, it can be easily "returned to its place." Unfortunately, to date, therapeutic methods for preventing colic are local in nature. Need to do special gymnastics with baby , laying the baby on the tummy, then turning it over on the back and massaging the tummy clockwise. Mom needs a lot of fluids during this period, you need to drink as much water as possible. But the diet must be approached creatively and reasonably. Only careful observation of the reaction of the child will help to establish the real cause of pain in the tummy. The pediatrician can also diagnose various diseases of the baby, which were not colic, but were similar to them.
What to eat while breastfeeding | Breastfeeding Diet
You know that breast milk is the best food for your baby. What about your own nutrition while breastfeeding? We asked the nutritionist a few questions about the nutrition of a nursing mother.
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Priya Tew, UK-based registered dietitian :
Priya is a nutritionist, M.D., multi-award winning member of the British Dietetic Association and the Health Professions Council. She has three children, and she breastfed each of them for up to 18 months.
During breastfeeding there is no need to follow a special diet, the main thing is that your diet is balanced. It should include plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as oats, brown rice, various cereals, and breads labeled "whole grain", "wholemeal" or "wholemeal". These foods, along with potatoes, pasta, and couscous, are high in starch, an important source of energy.
In addition, you need lean proteins found in chicken, eggs, legumes, lentils, fish, and lean beef, as well as healthy fats found in olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel. Oily fish is very good for your health and development of your baby, but you should not eat more than two servings per week (about 140 g), as it may contain harmful impurities. 1
Should I take vitamins while breastfeeding?
The most important is vitamin D. It is essential for healthy bones, yours and your baby's. We get most of this vitamin from the sun. If you live in a region with insufficient solar activity, especially in winter, your body may lack it. In this case, the doctor may advise taking vitamin D supplements. 2
You also need to get enough calcium, as it is excreted from the body during breastfeeding. 3 Try to eat four servings of foods rich in this mineral a day. These can be dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, or non-dairy products such as nuts, tofu, sesame seeds, and leafy vegetables. One serving may consist of, for example, half a cup of green vegetables or a small piece of cheese (50 g).
What foods should I avoid while breastfeeding?
The good news is that you can eat almost anything while breastfeeding. Only the consumption of oily fish should be limited. In small quantities, even caffeine is acceptable - more on this below.
If you are not allergic to peanuts, there is no reason to deny yourself products that contain peanuts. Recent studies show that if you eat peanuts while breastfeeding and gradually introduce them into your baby's diet during the first year, your baby will be less likely to become allergic to them in the future. 4
Are extra calories needed while breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding mothers need about 500 more calories per day. 5 But every mother is unique and your energy needs will change throughout your breastfeeding period. The number of calories you need depends on your baby's age, appetite, height, and weight, as well as your body mass index (BMI), your activity, and factors such as whether you are exclusively breastfeeding or not, and whether you are breastfeeding twins or multiple babies.
Can I go on a diet while breastfeeding?
Trying to lose weight while breastfeeding is not a good idea because you need to get enough nutrients for you and your baby. The fat accumulated during pregnancy is used to produce milk, so breastfeeding in itself will help you shed those extra pounds.
If your weight changes by more than 1 kg per week, check if you are eating a healthy and balanced diet and adjust if necessary. You can also ask your doctor for advice.
How can I find time to prepare healthy meals?
Having devoted yourself to feeding a child, you can forget about your own nutrition. However, it is important to ensure that your diet does not consist only of sweets and cookies. Of course, sweet snacks are easy and quick, but they do not bring any benefit to your body.
Opt for quick yet nutritious meals like scrambled eggs with spinach or fried chicken with brown rice. Oatmeal is great for breakfast, as it provides a slow release of energy from grains and soluble dietary fiber, which is what you need to restore strength in the morning after a night of breastfeeding.
Store pre-cut fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator for light snacks, or carry unsalted nuts in your bag. It's much easier than peeling tangerines with one hand while holding a baby with the other.
Should I drink more water while breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding can make you thirsty, so it's important to drink enough water. A person needs six to eight glasses of fluid a day, and even more if breastfeeding. 6 Make it a habit to drink a glass of water, milk or fruit juice without sugar every time you feed your baby.
I love coffee. Do I need to quit caffeine?
Coffee, like everything you eat or drink, passes into your breast milk, so it is advisable to limit your intake while breastfeeding. Legal coffee limits vary by country, but the average recommendation is not to exceed 200-300 mg of caffeine per day (300 mg is equivalent to two cups of filtered coffee or four cups of tea). Talk to your doctor about the acceptable amount of coffee consumption for you. Also, don't forget that caffeine is found in cola and energy drinks, and a small bar of dark chocolate can contain up to 50 mg. 7
If I eat a varied diet, will my baby be less picky about food?
Breast milk has the flavor of everything you eat. 8 Therefore, if you eat a variety of foods during breastfeeding, giving your baby to try different tastes, he may like them in the future.
If you like spicy and spicy foods, there is no reason to refuse them while breastfeeding. When my first child was born, I ate a lot of spicy food. When my daughter was two years old, we went to Sri Lanka, coincidence or not, but she ate absolutely everything.
Can something in my diet not be suitable for a child?
At an early age, babies often suffer from colic or are picky eaters, so mothers naturally wonder if their diet is causing this. Probably not. Studies show that the proportion of children who are allergic to any component of breast milk is only slightly more than 1%. 9 Cow's milk, eggs, corn, and soy proteins in moms' diets are much more likely to cause allergic reactions than spicy foods, hot sauces, or cruciferous vegetables, which moms usually worry about.
If your baby is allergic to substances in your milk, it can cause profuse vomiting, rash, bloody stools, or prolonged constipation. If your baby has an intolerance to any food, you will notice symptoms such as moodiness and crying after feeding, burping, diarrhea, or the baby will press his knees to his chest. Contact your doctor if something is bothering you. He may suggest eliminating certain foods for a couple of weeks, and then see if the child's behavior changes after eating them again.
You can also keep a food diary: write down everything you eat and drink, as well as your child's symptoms, and you may notice some patterns. However, before cutting out any foods, such as dairy, always check with your doctor, as it's important to know that you're getting the nutrients you need from other sources. Depending on where you live, you will be referred to a nutritionist or other specialist.
Does a vegetarian diet affect breast milk?
If you are getting enough calories and all the nutrients your body needs (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals), then you have nothing to worry about. A vegetarian or vegan diet requires plenty of vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids while breastfeeding, so opt for foods and supplements that provide you with these essential nutrients.
If you are on a vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, or other special diet, you may need additional medical advice to make sure you are getting all the nutrients your baby needs.
1 National Health Service (NHS) [Internet]. Burnley, UK: Department of Health; 2018. Should pregnant and breastfeeding women avoid some types of fish?; 2015 Jul 06 [cited 2018 Apr 12]; Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/should-pregnant-and-breastfeeding-women-avoid-some-types-of-fish.aspx - National Health Service (NHS) [Internet]. Burnley, UK: Department of Health; 2018. "Should a pregnant and lactating woman refrain from eating certain types of fish?"; July 6, 2015 [cited April 12, 2018]; See article on site https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/should-pregnant-and-breastfeeding-women-avoid-some-types-of-fish.aspx
2 Oberhelman SS et al. Maternal vitamin D supplementation to improve the vitamin D status of breast-fed infants: a randomized controlled trial. Mayo Clin Proc. 2013;88(12):1378–1387. - Oberhelman S.S. et al., Introduction of Vitamin D to the Diet of Nursing Mothers to Increase Vitamin D in children: a randomized controlled trial. Mayo Clean Proc. 2013;88(12):1378–1387. : effects on the mother and the fetus. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2006;194(4):937-945. - Thomas M., Weisman S.M., "Calcium intake during pregnancy and lactation: effects on the mother and on the fetus". Am J Obstet Ginekol (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology). 2006;194(4):937-945.
4 Pitt et al . Reduced risk of peanut sensitization following exposure through breast-feeding and early peanut introduction. J Allergy Clinic Immunol. 2018;141(2):620-625. e 1 - Pitt et al., "Reducing the Risk of Peanut Allergy by Including Peanuts in the Breastfeeding Mother's Diet and as a Baby's First Food." G Allergy Clean Immunol. 2018;141(2):620-625.e1
5 Dewey KG. Energy and protein requirements during lactation. Annu Rev Nutr. 1997 Jul;17(1):19-36. - Dewey K. J., "Energy and Protein Requirements During Lactation". Annu Rev Nutr . 1997 Jul;17(1):19-36.
6 Food Standards Agency (FSA) [Internet]. London, UK: Crown copyright 2002. Eating for breastfeeding; [cited 2018 Apr 13]; Available from: https://www.food.gov.uk - Food Standards Agency (FSA) [Internet]. London, UK: State Copyright 2002. "Eat to feed" [cited April 13, 2018]. See article on https://www.food.gov.uk
7 National Health Service (NHS) [Internet]. Burnley, UK: Department of Health; 2018. Breastfeeding and diet; 2016 Jan 29 [cited 2018 Apr 12]; Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/breastfeeding-diet - National Health Service (NHS) [Internet]. Burnley, UK: Department of Health 2018. Breastfeeding and Diet; 29 January 2016 [cited 12 April 2018] See article on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy -and-baby/breastfeeding-diet
8 Mennella JA et al.