Hope & Healing: The UF Health Blog

A Passion for Breastfeeding Medicine

Q/A with Maternal-Fetal Medicine Expert Adetola Louis-Jacques, M.D. Adetola Louis-Jacques, M.D. who joined the University of Florida faculty in July as a clinical assistant professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology

As Breastfeeding Awareness Month nears its end, we sat with Adetola Louis-Jacques, M.D. who joined the University of Florida faculty in July as a clinical assistant professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology. Louis-Jacques is part of the UF Health Maternal-Fetal Medicine program and is passionate about breastfeeding medicine.

Question: What brings you to UF in Gainesville?

Answer: I am excited to be here at UF. I came here to be under the leadership and vision of one of the best and kindest long-term mentors that I have ever had, Dr. John Smulian. There were many reasons to come here but to name a few:

  1. The incredible research infrastructure at UF.
  2. The opportunity to play a role in the development of a transdisciplinary translational research center — the UF Center for Perinatal Outcomes Research.
  3. My lovely colleagues in the maternal-fetal medicine division.
  4. The opportunity to practice breastfeeding medicine along with high-risk obstetrics.
  5. The wonderful team at UF conducting breastfeeding research and clinical work in breastfeeding.
  6. My family’s support of moving to Gainesville. We were all very excited.

Question: Tell us about your research interests.

Answer: My research is centered on understanding and improving maternal health during the postpartum period. My work has focused on interventions such as doula support and behaviors (e.g. lactation) during the perinatal period to decrease short- and long-term maternal morbidities. I integrate laboratory analysis into the majority of my research studies. Over the past four years, I have investigated immune factors, epigenetic modifications and microbiome modulation to better understand maternal long-term benefits of lactation.

All of my work is through an equity lens. For example, examining racial/ethnic disparities in breastfeeding and improving breastfeeding uptake among women or including underrepresented minorities in genomic research.

Question: How did you come to be interested in this work?

Answer: I realized after I had a baby in medical school that we learned very little about lactation, so I started this journey working on a lactation elective for fourth-year medical students.

Question: What do you look forward to most as you take this position?

Answer: I look forward to learning more about Gainesville and taking care of the women and babies in this community. I also look forward to discovering and enjoying Gainesville with my family.

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