Monday, August 23, 2010

Breastfeeding Study

So today I zipped down to IU campus to participate in a Breastfeeding research study on moms who are nursing infants under 6 months. And I got paid to be a lab rat. Awesome! So what did it entail? I kept a sleep log for a week. I did an extensive history on myself (health history, history of my births of my children, family health history, basic info about my family, babies habits/behaviors, etc, etc.) All this they mailed to me to complete ahead of time along with an IQ test.

Of course, Alexander's presence was required. When I got there, I nursed him. During the session they took a total of 4 saliva samples from each of us. I also was given a nose spray which was like the kind you'd take with a cold, but it contained either a placebo or oxytocin (think of the chemical given to induce labor which they call PITOCIN, the same as released with breastfeeding, etc.) So they are studying the effect of oxytocin on the women's brain. They are studying women both with and without PPD in this study. If you're interested and semi-local, or don't mind traveling a bit and have a baby nursing under 6 months/ish, let me know if you want to do it, and I can give you the hookup.

I was all about anything to help the "cause" right! Anything in the name of breastfeeding research/PPD research. So then I hopped into an MRI machine while leaving Alexander with a "trained professional caretaker." Claire was with the neighbors all day by the way. While in the MRI, I was shown several series of interesting photos. They were scanning my brain. Meanwhile, they made me a CD to take home with some pretty cool pictures of my very own brain! They'll be sure to alert me if they pick up a tumor or some other abnormalities...nothing like getting paid to get your brain scanned.

So what kinds of pictures did they show me? Well, I thought it was pretty interesting and cool to see what they were studying. Obviously, they were looking at "what part of my brain lights up" when shown certain pictures. There were items that were clearly supposed to elicit a pleasure response: beautiful beach sunsets, snowy white capped mountains, palm trees, weddings, chocolate bars, piles of gold bars, fancy jewelry, happy smiling babies, laughing babies, kids playing at a waterpark, hot dads carrying groceries, sexy firemen with muscles peeking out from an open firecoat, etc. I don't even know how many pictures I saw, but there was a lot.

THEN mixed in with all this were "yucky" pictures that would give your brain something to go "WHOA!" about. Now, if you don't want to read about yucky stuff, stop reading this post right now. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! Ok, so there were like car accidents, a boat sinking, a charred body, rotting animal carcasses, vomit all over a toilet/floor, a cat that was decaying, a woman who had clearly been raped/killed, other violent news-type footage. Anyways, there were also some "erotic photos" that you probably wouldn't want to tell your grandma about, but nothing I didn't already see when I toured the Amsterdam sex museum a few years back ;)

Anyways, it was simple and easy and a good way to help breastfeeding/PPD research. And they paid my travel too. Awesome. SO...if you're interested and localish...let me know if you want the contact info. Indy is only about an hour from IU.

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