Breast feeding

Benefits of Breastfeeding:

For baby:

Breastfeeding and Asthma

Australian researchers followed 2,195 children for six years to evaluate the effect of breastfeeding on asthma, allergy, and obesity. They found that babies who were exclusively breastfed had a lower incidence of asthma and other allergic disease. Most interesting of all, every month of additional breastfeeding resulted in a four percent reduction in the risk of asthma. The study also confirmed that being overweight is also associated with a higher incidence of asthma. The study did not find any association between overweight and non-breastfeeding, but other studies have found that adolescents who were not breastfed as infants had a higher risk of being overweight than breastfed children.

This study not only confirms the advantages of continued breastfeeding, but also once again shows that extended breastfeeding is best for babies. Studies that show an advantage for every additional month of breastfeeding should help convince parents that babies should be breastfed into their toddler years. A similar relationship between breastfeeding and reduced meningitis incidence also shows the tremendous protective effect of breastfeeding on children's health. Every extra month of breastfeeding further reduces the risk of Hemophilus (Hib) meningitis in children even long after they are weaned.

Oddy WH, et al. The relation of breastfeeding and body mass index to asthma and atopy in children: A prospective cohort study to age 6 years. American Journal Public Health 2004; Sept, 94(9):1531-7.

Gillman MW, et al. Risk of overweight among adolescents who were breastfed as infants. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2001; 285(19):2461-7.

Silfverdal SA, et al. Protective effect of breastfeeding on invasive Haemophilus influenzae infection: a case-control study in Swedish preschool children. International Journal of Epidemiology 1997; 26(2):443-50.

Breast-Feeding May Protect Normal Dentition

Nov. 19, 2004 - Breast-feeding protects normal dentition, according to the results of a retrospective study published in the December issue of the Archives of Diseases in Childhood.

"Non-nutritive sucking (usually in the form of dummies/pacifiers or thumb sucking) may be responsible for some forms of malocclusion of infancy (especially open bite and posterior cross-bite), but the role of early feeding on occlusion appears unclear," write D. Viggiano from Ambulatory Paediatrician, Local Health Unit "Salerno 1," Campania Region in Italy, and colleagues. "It is clear that breast feeding and bottle feeding involve different oro-facial muscles, possibly leading to different effects on harmonic growth of maxilla and dental arches."

Prolonged Demand Breast-Feeding & Nursing Caries

The results of a study published in Caries Research demonstrate that prolonged demand breast-feeding does not lead to a higher caries prevalence.

Decrease in Respiratory Ailments Associated with Breastfeeding

Among generally healthy infants in developed nations, more than a tripling in severe respiratory tract illnesses resulting in hospitalizations was noted for infants who were not breastfed compared with those who were exclusively breastfed for 4 months.
Bachrach VR, Schwarz E, Bachrach LR   Breastfeeding and the risk of hospitalization for respiratory disease in infancy: a meta-analysis   Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2003 (Mar);   157 (3):   237-243

Breasfeeding Reduces Pain Response

The results of a new study published in BMJ reports that breastfeeding effectively reduces response to pain during minor invasive procedure in term neonates.

Ricardo Carbajal   Analgesic effect of breast feeding in term neonates: randomised controlled trial   BMJ 2003 (Jan 4);  326 (7379):   13

Exclusive Breastfeeding Prevents Allergies

A large cohort study concludes that exclusive breast feeding seems to have a preventive effect on the early development of allergic disease-that is, asthma, atopic dermatitis, and suspected allergic rhinitis, up to 2 years of age. This protective effect was also evident for multiple allergic diseases.

I Kull, M Wickman, G Lilja, S L Nordvall and G Pershagen   Breast feeding and allergic diseases in infants-a prospective birth cohort study   Archives of Disease in Childhood 2002 (Dec);   87 (6):   478-481

Breast-feeding, a complex support system for the offspring

Presented at Pediatrics International (2002), this paper addresses the realtionship between breastfeeding and infants' improved immune system function.

Via several mechanisms it seems that human milk can actively stimulate the immune system of the breast-fed infant. This reduces the risk of infections like otitis media, respiratory tract infections, diarrhea and infection-induced wheezing for several years after the termination of breast-feeding. Furthermore, it seems that breast-feeding decreases the risk of attracting celiac disease and allergic diseases.The latter has been much debated, but a recent critical review of published reports gives good support for long-term protection of allergic diseases, especially in high-risk children

Pediatrics International (2002) 44, 347-352 Invited Paper Breast-feeding, a complex support system for the offspring

Breastfeeding Works for Pain Management

Breastfeeding virtually eliminated crying and grimacing in infants undergoing the collection of blood samples from their heels in a recent study. Thirty infants who were held and breastfed by their mothers while undergoing the procedure were compared with 30 who were swaddled and placed in a bassinet. Crying and grimacing were reduced by 91% and 84% respectively among the breastfed babies. The researchers say these findings show that pain relief and stress reduction should be added to the long list of proven benefits of breastfeeding.
Gray L, Miller LW, Philipp BL, Blass EM   Breastfeeding is analgesic in healthy newborns   Pediatrics 2002 (Apr);   109 (4):   590-593

Breast-feeding for 6 months can cut infections

Breast-feeding for 6 months provides a greater reduction in a baby's risk of respiratory infections than feeding for fewer months, according to a study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting.

The risk of pneumonia was fourfold less, and recurrent ear infections (otitis media) twofold less in the babies who had breast-fed for 6 months when compared to 4 months, said lead author Caroline Chantry, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California at Davis. There was no difference in risk of colds, wheezing or an ear infection in the first year, however.

Even so, the data show that with each increasing "dose" of breast milk, babies are further protected from serious respiratory infections, Chantry said. "The bottom line is that breast-feeding for 6 months or longer gave us the lowest adjusted illness rates for all illnesses at all time points," she said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breast-feeding exclusively for 6 months, and continuing it as a supplement for a year, and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 4 months of exclusive breast-feeding followed by 2 years of supplemental feeding. But until this study, there was no data showing that the 6-month period was better than 4 months in curbing respiratory infections, Chantry noted.

She and colleagues at UC Davis and the University of Rochester decided to compare the two time periods. Because there are so few women in the US who exclusively breast-feed, the researchers also included women who supplement with formula, but don't use it every day.

They analyzed federal data on infections in 2,277 children aged 6 to 24 months, and divided them into five groups: those who had been formula-fed only; fully breast-fed for less than 1 month; for 1 to 4 months; from 4 to less than 6 months; and for 6 months or more.

Despite the continuing stream of data showing the benefits of breast-feeding, especially for longer periods of time, Chantry said that it's still "a minority of women" who achieve the WHO or AAP recommendations.

There are many reasons why women are having trouble meeting those goals, including a lack of support from hospitals and physicians, and barriers in the workplace, she said. Some states, including California, have tried to get employers to be more accommodating, she added.

Breast- Feeding Prevents Thrush

Breast-feeding may keep babies free of common yeast infections, said scientists at the 101st General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Orlando.

Researcher Annalee S. Lucena from Miami University dosed nine different strains of Candida albicans, the yeast that causes thrush in newborns, with human breast milk from ten different donors.

Milk from all the donors dramatically inhibited germination of all nine C. albicans strains. Diluted breast milk and frozen breast milk also prevented C. albicans infection.  "Together, these data reveal a previously unknown immunologic capability of human milk," noted Lucena.

Lucena A. Breast Mil k inhibits germination of candida albicans.   101st General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.   May 20-24, 2001, Orlando, Florida

Duration of Breastfeeding Affects IQ

Doctors of chiropractic have traditionally been strong proponents of breastfeeding. Now, just-published research shows that doctors should not only encourage mothers to breastfeed, but should also instruct them to stay at it for at least six months.   According to an article in the Archives of Disease in Childhood , babies who are breast-fed for at least six months grow to be more intelligent than their peers who are breast-fed for less time.

The analysis tracked 345 Scandinavian youngsters. The 17% of subjects who were breast-fed for less than three months were more likely to score below average for mental skills at 13 months and total intelligence at 5 years, compared with subjects who were breast-fed for at least six months. This correlation remained after investigators controlled for various risk factors of cognitive impairment, such as maternal age, socioeconomic status, education and history of smoking. Duration of breastfeeding did not appear to influence motor skills.

Angelsen NK, Vik T, Jacobsen G, Bakketeig LS.   Breast feeding and cognitive development at age 1 and 5 years   Arch Dis Child 2001 (Sep);   85 (3):   183-188

Breastfeeding has long-term Benefits

Breastfeeding may protect infants from cardiovascular disease later in life, according to investigators in the Netherlands.  Researchers poured over data on 625 people born in Amsterdamduring a severe famine between 1943 and 1947. When these subjects were aged 48 to 53 years, they underwent blood tests. Subjects who were bottle-fed had an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, compared with their breast-fed peers. Specifically, bottle-fed individuals had higher plasma glucose concentrations following an oral glucose tolerance test. In addition, compared with breast-fed subjects, people who were bottle-fed had higher LDL cholesterol, lower HDL cholesterol and elevated LDL/HDL ratios.
Ravelli ACJ , van der Meulen JHP, Osmond C, Barker DJ   Infant feeding and adult glucose tolerance, lipid profile, blood pressure, and obesity   Arch Dis Child 2000 (Mar);   82 (3):   248-252

Breast Milk Protection

Recent studies have raised concerns about the effect of environmental toxins on breast milk, but according to a recent international conference on pollution and lactation, there is no need to worry. "Levels of Chemical contaminants in breast milk are very low" says the director of the Center for Children's Health and the Environment at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Dr. Philip Landrigan M.D. Breast milk itself may protect against contamination.

A Dutch study of approximately 400 infants found that while exposure to PCBs in utero could cause motor and cognitive problem bye age 6, it showed up only in formula-fed kids-even though breastfed babies were exposed in PCBs in the milk. Researches advised that breastfeeding counteracts the adverse developmental effects of PCBs but it is still prudent to reduce exposures before, during and after pregnancy.

Breastfeeding Prevents Eczema,  GI Infection

An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association supports previous evidence indicating that breastfeeding slashes a newborn's odds of gastrointestinal infection and eczema.

data on 16,491 women and their newborns. The women received either traditional infant feeding instructions or more intensive education aimed at maximizing the duration of breastfeeding.  Babies whose mothers received more intense education about breastfeeding were more likely to be exclusively breastfed and to breastfeed for longer durations, compared with women who did not receive special support. What's more, youngsters who were breastfed for 12 months were 40% less likely to experience gastrointestinal tract infections and 46% less likely to develop atopic eczema, compared with babies who were breastfed for fewer months. However, breastfeeding did not appear to lower the risk of respiratory tract infection.
Kramer MS, Chalmers B, Hodnett ED, Sevkovskaya Z, Dzikovich I, et. al.   Promotion of Breastfeeding Intervention Trial (PROBIT): a randomized trial in the Republic of Belarus   JAMA 2001 (Jan 24-31);   285 (4):   413-420

Prevents Fatal Infections

An international team of scientists coordinated by the World Health Organization has found that breast-fed infants have a six-fold reduction in death due to infectious diseases in the first few months of life, compared to children who were not.

Using data on 1,223 youngsters from Brazil, Gambia, Ghana, Pakistan, Philippines and Senegal, the researchers found that breast-fed children had a lower mortality throughout the second year of life. The study also revealed that the protection against infectious disease mortality was greater in infants of women with low educational status - those who are least likely to be able to provide their infants with safe breastmilk substitutes.
WHO Collaborative Study Team on the Role of Breastfeeding on the Prevention of Infant Mortality Effect of breastfeeding on infant and child mortality due to infectious diseases in less developed countries: a pooled analysis Lancet 2000 (Feb 5);   355 (9202):   451-455

Breastfeeding Enhances Attentiveness

Breastfeeding significantly increases short-term attentiveness in 4- to 6- month olds, according to an article in the journal Developmental Psychobiology.  Investigators outfitted 13 infants with limb movement detectors. The youngsters were watched for a 4-minute period while a mechanical mobile was switched on and off at 1-minute intervals. The babies were studied on two different days. On one day they were observed following breastfeeding, while on another day they were tested before they were breastfed.

Investigators noted that, while the breastfeeding did not influence limb activity, it did appear to heighten attentiveness. Specifically, the infants looked at the mobile significantly longer after they breastfed.  The study's authors concluded that breastfeeding has a significant impact on infants' attentiveness and interaction with their environment.
Gerrish CJ, Mennella JA.   Short-term influence of breastfeeding on the infants' interaction with the environment   Dev Psychobiol 2000 (Jan);   36 (1):   40-48

Breastfeeding Cuts Leukemia Risk

Infants who breast-feed are less likely to develop leukemia, according to a paper in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. In the largest study on the topic to date, researchers looked at 1,744 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and 1,879 matched control subjects, aged 1 to 14 years, and 456 children with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and 539 matched control subjects, aged 1 to 17 years.

Children who breast-fed for at least one month enjoyed a 21% reduced risk of both ALL & AML. A dose-response relationship was also evident - the longer a child breast-fed, the lower his or her odds of developing leukemia. Specifically, children who breast-fed for over 6 months showed a 30% reduced risk. Experts speculate that breast-feeding wards off cancer by boosting the immune system.
Shu XO, Linet MS, Steinbuch M, Wen WO, Buckley JD, Neglia JP, et. alo.   Breast-feeding and risk of childhood acute leukemia   J Natl Cancer Inst 1999 (Oct 20);   91 (20):   1765-1772

Breastfeeding Makes Kids Smarter

Breast-fed babies' IQ is higher than that of formula-fed babies, according to a meta-analysis of 20 articles.

After adjusting for factors that may influence intellect, including the mother's age and intelligence, birth order, race, birth weight, gestational age and socioeconomic status, the study found that breastfeeding may raise a child's IQ by more than five. The enhanced cognitive development was evident as early as six months and was sustained through age 15. A dose-response relationship was demonstrated between duration of breastfeeding and cognitive benefit.

What accounts for breast milk's brain boosting power? According to experts, nutrients present in breast milk may have a significant effect on neurologic development in premature and term infants.
Anderson JW, Johnstone BM, Remley DT.   Breast-feeding and cognitive development: a meta-analysis   Am J Clin Nutr 1999 (Oct);   70 (4):   525-535

Breastfeeding Halves Risk of Childhood Obesity

Breastfeeding prevents childhood obesity, say researchers in the British Medical Journal. Investigators tracked 13,345 youngsters in Bavaria whose parents completed questionnaires on their children's diet and lifestyle. Altogether, 4.5% of subjects who had never been breastfed were obese when they entered school (age 5 or 6). In contrast, 2.8% of breastfed children were obese. The duration of breastfeeding positively correlated with the degree of protection from obesity, according to the study.

"In industrialized countries promoting prolonged breastfeeding may help decrease the prevalence of obesity in childhood, the authors write. "Since obese children have a high risk of becoming obese adults, such preventive measures may eventually result in a reduction in the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases and other diseases related to obesity."
von Kries R, Koletzko B, Sauerwald T, von Mutius E, et. al.   Breast feeding and obesity: cross sectional study   Brit Med Jou 1999 (Jul 17);   319 (7203):   147-150

Breastfeeding May Prevent Cancer

Mothers who breastfeed enjoy a reduced risk of breast cancer, say researchers in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Investigators pooled data on 751 women who had breastfed and 743 control subjects who had not breastfed. The study found that women aged 20 to 49 years with a history of breastfeeding were 20% less likely to develop breast cancer, while women aged 50 to 74 years with a history of breastfeeding were 30% less likely to develop breast cancer, compared with aged-matched controls.
Furberg H, Newman B, Moorman P, Millikan R.   Lactation and breast cancer risk   Int J Epidemiol 1999 (Jun);   28 (3):   396-402

Breastfeeding Lowers Blood Pressure

Increased levels of the hormone, oxytocin, lowers blood pressure in mothers who breast-feed their infants, say researchers.  Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill report the findings help explain why breastfeeding mom's report feeling more relaxed after nursing.

Oxytocin is a hormone primarily known for its role in the release of breast milk.  But it also appears to lower blood pressure through effects on blood vessels, and helps turn off the body's stress response system, explained lead researcher Dr. Kathleen C. Light.  Higher blood levels of oxytocin may also boost mood and decrease sensitivity to pain, she said.  "For breastfeeding moms, the message is enjoy these times of closeness when you nurse you baby, and notice the warm relaxed feeling it gives you.  This may be the sign do you are benefiting from oxytocin."

About 50% of breastfeeding moms observed had high levels of oxytocin, compared with only 8%  of moms who bottle-fed their babies And, participants who had the greatest rise in oxytocin levels showed blood pressure readings an average of 10mm Hg lower I hour follow­ing feeding, 6 - 9 mm Hg lower during sleep and 4 - 5 mm Hg lower during the day.

In addition, breast-feeding had a calming effect on the volunteers.  Dr. Light, explained that, "High oxytocin responding mothers also seemed to have less angry or hostile feelings and more positive mood and interpersonal interactions, based on questionnaires." The new findings "are another reason to breastfeed,' she added.
Smith TE, Johns JM, Chung SH, Adamain W, Hofheimer JA, Light KC   Oxytocin relationships to blood pressure in breast- and bottle-feeding mothers of infants   American Psychosomatic Society March 20, 1999

Breastfed Babies = Higher IQs

The results of an 18 year study of 1,000 New Zealand children has lead researchers to conclude that children who were breastfed achievedconsistently higher IQ scores,higher grades, higher classroom performance ratings and better high school achievements than non-breastfed children.
Horwood J, Fergusson DM   Breastfeeding and later cognitive and academic outcomes   Pediatrics 1998 (Jan);   101 (1):   E9

Breastfeeding reduces risk of infant mortality by 20%:

Breast better for brain:
Breastfeeding and chronic disease in childhood and adolescence

A growing body of research suggests that infant feeding practices influence the risk for several chronic diseases of childhood and adolescence. Increased risks for type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, some childhood cancers, and inflammatory bowel disease have been associated with artificial infant feeding and short-term breastfeeding. As genetic susceptibility is understood more completely and gene-environment interactions are elucidated, evidence to either confirm or refute these findings will be forthcoming.
Davis MK. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

Bovine beta-casein antibodies in breast- and bottle-fed infants: their relevance in Type 1 diabetes

BACKGROUND:   Bovine beta-casein is a cow's milk protein that targets both humoral and cellular immune responses in patients with Type 1 diabetes and, to a lesser degree, also in normal subjects. In this study we aimed to determine whether the avoidance of cow's milk consumption early in life could prevent the development of antibody response to bovine beta-casein despite the mother being exposed on a daily basis to cow's milk consumption.

  We measured the antibody response to bovine beta-casein using an ELISA method in 28 healthy infants under 4 months of age, of whom 16 were exclusively breast-fed and 12 were bottle-fed with cow's milk. In addition, beta-casein antibodies were measured in 37 prepubertal children with Type 1 diabetes and in 31 healthy children who were exposed to cow's milk or dairy products to see whether differences in antibody titers exist in this young age group. Antibodies binding to beta-casein were also evaluated by immunoblotting analysis.

RESULTS:   Elevated levels of beta-casein antibodies were found in bottle-fed infants compared to breast-fed infants (p<0.0001). Antibody levels to bovine beta-casein were also significantly higher in children with Type 1 diabetes compared to age-matched controls (p=0.03). By western blot analysis we confirmed specific binding to bovine beta-casein in bottle-fed infants, in children with Type 1 diabetes and in controls exposed to cow's milk, but not in infants who were exclusively breast-fed.
CONCLUSIONS:   The results of this study indicate that breastfeeding within the first 4 months of life prevents the generation of antibody response to bovine beta-casein despite the mothers' consumption of cow's milk during the breastfeeding period. These findings may have relevance for disease prevention.
Monetini L, Cavallo MG, Stefanini L, Ferrazzoli F et. al.   Bovine beta-casein antibodies in breast- and bottle-fed infants: their relevance in Type 1 diabetes   Diabetes Metab Res Rev 2001 (Jan-Feb);   17 (1):   51-54

Seasonal Variation of Birth Month and Breastfeeding in Children with Diabetes Mellitus

OBJECTIVE:   As breastfeeding is suggested to protect against diabetes mellitus we decided to investigate whether the seasonal variation of month of birth of diabetic children, with more diabetes in children born in summer, can be explained to some extent by a seasonal variation of exclusive breastfeeding.

  A population-based group of 297 children who had been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus before the age of 15 years was compared with 792 matched healthy subjects.

  There was no difference in duration of breast-feeding between children who later got diabetes and the controls. Children (both diabetics and controls) born during the summer were exclusively breastfed for a mean period of 2.2 months. Corresponding figures for children born during winter were 2.8 months (p<0.04), spring 2.5 months (n.s.) and autumn 2.7 months (p<0.05). Seasonality was most pronounced in children who developed diabetes between the ages of 10 and 15 years.

  These results indicate that children born during the summer, who have increased risk of developing diabetes mellitus, have also been exclusively breastfed for a shorter time.
Samuelsson U, Ludvigsson J. Department of Health and Environment, Linkoping University, Sweden.

Short-term exclusive breastfeeding predisposes young children with increased genetic risk of Type I diabetes to progressive beta-cell autoimmunity

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS:   This study aimed to establish the relation between early infant nutrition and signs of beta-cell autoimmunity in young children.

  We identified and observed from birth 2949 infants with increased genetic risk of Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus (HLA DQB1*02/ *0302 or DQB1*0302/x, x = other than *02, *0301 or *0602) and monitored them for islet cell antibodies at 3 to 6 month intervals. If an infant seroconverted to islet cell antibody positivity, all of his or her samples were also analysed for autoantibodies to insulin, GAD65 (GADA) and to the protein tyrosine phosphatase related IA-2 molecule (IA-2A). Our case-control study comprises the first 65 children who seroconverted to islet cell antibody positivity before the age of 4 years and 390 control children who were islet cell antibody-negative (six control children/ case). We monitored the duration of exclusive and total breastfeeding and the age at which cows' milk was introduced.

  Infants who had been breastfed exclusively for at least 4 months had lower risk of seroconversion to positivity for IA-2A or all four autoantibodies [odds ratio (OR) 0.24; 95 % CI 0.06-0.94 and OR 0.17; 95 % CI 0.03-0.86, respectively] than those infants who had been breastfed exclusively for less than 2 months. The risk of seroconversion to positivity for IA-2A or all four autoantibodies was higher in those younger than 2 months (OR 4.37; 95 % CI 1.33-14.42 and OR 5.02; 95 % CI 1.27-19.89) or aged 2 to 3.9 months (OR 5.50; 95 % CI 1.21-25.04 and 6.19; 95% CI 1.10-34.84) when they first received cows' milk than in those aged 4 months or older.

  These observations suggest that short-term breastfeeding and the early introduction of cows' milk-based infant formula predispose young children who are genetically susceptible to Type I diabetes to progressive signs of beta-cell autoimmunity.
Kimpimaki T, Erkkola M, Korhonen S, Kupila A, Virtanen SM, Ilonen J, Simell O, Knip M. Department of Pediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Finland.

Fifty Good Reasons to Breastfeed
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Breast-feeding and Cognitive Development
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For Mother:

Breastfeeding Cuts the Risk of Breast Cancer

On Fri Jul 19,11:09 Patricia Reaney sites a newly published report in Lancet.

"LONDON (Reuters) - British scientists confirmed on Friday what researchers have long suspected--breast-feeding reduces a woman's risk of developing breast cancer ( news - web sites). Along with having several children, breast-feeding is a key factor in the discrepancy between low rates of breast cancer in developing countries and the rising number of cases in wealthier nations. "The longer women breast-feed, the greater protection against breast cancer," Professor Valerie Beral, of the charity Cancer Research UK, told a news conference.

Beral and her team estimate that if women breast-feed each of their children for an additional 6 months they could cut their life-time risk of developing breast cancer from 6.3% to 6% and prevent more than 1,000 cases of the disease each year in Britain alone. "What we have shown is that prolonging breast-feeding and having more children pushes down breast cancer rates."
Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer   Breast cancer and breastfeeding: collaborative reanalysis of individual data from 47 epidemiological studies in 30 countries, including 50302 women with breast cancer and 96973 women without the disease   Lancet. 2002 (Jul 20);   360 (9328):   187-195

Breast-Feeding may Prevent Breast Cancer

Breast-feeding isn't only good for babies, it may slash a mother's risk of cancer, say scientists.

According to a study in the British Journal of Cancer , which tracked 608 patients with breast cancer and 609 control subjects, mothers who breastfed their first child for more than 13 months cut their risk of breast cancer in half, compared with women who never breastfed.

Zheng T, Holford TR, Mayne ST, Owens PH, Zhang Y, Zhang B, Boyle P, Zahm SH.   Lactation and breast cancer risk: a case-control study in Connecticut   Br J Cancer 2001 (Jun 1);   84 (11):   1472-1476

Effect of Maternal Confidence on Breastfeeding Duration: An Application of Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Theory

The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of maternal confidence (breastfeeding self-efficacy) on breastfeeding duration.

Integrating self-efficacy enhancing strategies may improve the quality of care that health care professionals deliver and may increase a new mother's confidence in her ability to breastfeed, and to persevere if she does encounter difficulties.

Rosemary Blyth   Effect of Maternal Confidence on Breastfeeding Duration: An Application of Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Theory   Birth 2002 (Dec);   29 (4):   278

Concerns about Feeding Options:

Ability to Breast feed Improved with Chiropractic Care
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For Natural Supplementation Information visit:

From Breast to Bowl: Introducing Baby's First Solid Foods
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Drug Warning for Breast-Feeding Moms

The FDA is warning breast-feeding moms not to take Domperidone, a drug prescribed to boost milk production. Click here to read more.

For some suggestions on how to improve milk supply naturally, follow these links:

Epidurals Negatively Affect Breastfeeding

E pidural anesthesia is commonly administered to laboring women. Some studies have suggested that epidural anesthesia might inhibit breast-feeding. This study explores the association between labor epidural anesthesia and early breast-feeding success.abor epidural anesthesia had a negative impact on breast-feeding in the first 24 hours of life even though it did not inhibit the percentage of breast-feeding attempts in the first hour. Further studies are needed to elucidate the exact nature of this association. full text here
Baumgarder DJ, Muehl P, Fischer M, Pribbenow B   Effect of Labor Epidural Anesthesia on Breast-Feeding of Healthy Full-Term Newborns Delivered Vaginally   J Am Board Fam Pract 2003 (Jan-Feb);   16 (1):   7-13

PUFA-Enriched Formula Does Not Improve Neurodevelopment of Preterm Infants

Infant formula supplemented with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) does not improve the neurodevelopmental outcomes of preterm infants, according to a report in the July issue of Pediatrics.

Breast milk contains long-chain PUFA, which is found in high concentrations in cell membranes, particularly those of the central nervous system, and is thought to play an important role in brain development.

Because standard infant formula does not contain long-chain PUFA, researchers have reasoned that formula supplemented with this fatty acid would benefit preterm infants whose brains have not fully matured. But studies to date have yielded conflicting results.

Furthermore, a group of 88 control infants who were breastfed scored higher on developmental tests than either group of formula-fed infants.

Milk Money: Advocates Say Government Pressured by Formula Companies to 'Water Down' Breast-Feeding Ads

The U.S. government has unveiled a new advertising campaign to promote breast-feeding, after months of fierce lobbying to change its approach. In what has been called a battle between mother's milk and corporate power, the companies that make infant formula put intense pressure on the government to change its approach. The ads were sponsored by the government and produced by the Ad Council, a nonprofit group that produces, distributes and promotes public service announcements. The ads were set to be released last December, but some formula companies complained after getting an early sneak preview of the ads before they hit the airwaves.

"Many mothers simply cannot breast-feed, or cannot do so for as long as would be desired, or elect not to do so for persuasive reasons (often economic)" ??? " For our government to give all those mothers a guilt trip would just be appalling," stated lobbyist Clayton Yeutter in a letter obtained by ABC News.

"When you say 'not breast-feeding is risky,' what you're saying is 'using infant formula is risky,' and that is true and they know it," said Dr. Jay Gordon, a pediatrician in Santa Monica, Calif., and a member of the breast-feeding committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Gordon added that there is no substitute for human milk, with all of its immune system benefits for newborns.

Breast-feeding advocates say the science and the figures used in the proposed commercials were valid.

"The ad campaign is backed by scientific research, by good research," said Dr. Larry Gartner, the former chairman of pediatrics at the University of Chicago and the head of the breast-feeding committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In fact, a study released just last month by the National Institutes of Health found that babies who are not breast-fed have a 20 percent higher risk of death in the first year.

"There are risks to the baby who is not breast-fed in terms of getting ear infections, upper respiratory tract infections, certain forms of cancer," said Dr. Bobbi Philipp, a pediatrician at the Boston Medical Center and a breast-feeding expert for the American Academy of Pediatrics, who was involved in the ad campaign.

"I think it's a huge public health issue," said Philipp. "I think it's very similar to smoking in terms of the importance to health of the children and mother."

Philipp added that there are live human cells in breast milk that can't be added to formula. "And the live cells protect against infection," she said.

Pacifiers Linked with Breast Feeding Problems

Many doctors of chiropractic suggest that parents refrain from giving their infants pacifiers because they may interfere with  TMJ (temporomandibular joint) function. Now a new study highlights another possible adverse effect of pacifiers: breast-feeding problems. 

A total of 281 breast-feeding mothers were divided into two cohorts. Half of the women were instructed to avoid pacifier use, while half were not counseled about pacifiers. Altogether, 258 women completed the 3-month study.  "We found a strong observational association between pacifier use and early weaning. No such association was observed, however, when our data were analyzed by randomized allocation, strongly suggesting that pacifier use is a marker of breast-feeding difficulties or reduced motivation to breastfeed, rather than a true cause of early weaning," wrote researchers.

Kramer MS, Barr RG, Dagenais S, Yang H, Jones P, Ciofani L, Jane F   Pacifier use, early weaning, and cry/fuss behavior: a randomized controlled trial   JAMA 2001 (Jul 18);   286 (3):   322-326

Pacifiers Linked With Ear Infection

Popping a pacifier into an infant's mouth may quell cries, but it may also up the child's likelihood of developing acute otitis media (AOM), according to a paper in Pediatrics.  The study included 490 children under 18 months of age who were cared for at 14 well-baby clinics. Clinics were matched for patient volume and patients' socioeconomic status. Intervention clinics distributed pamphlets on the hazards of pacifier use and instructed parents to limit pacifier use to moments when their babies were falling asleep. Control clinics did not provide instruction on pacifier use.

Children cared for by intervention clinics showed a 21% drop in continuous pacifier use. What's more, the experimental cohort exhibited a 29% reduced risk of AOM, compared with controls. Youngsters in both cohorts who did not use pacifiers continuously enjoyed 33% fewer AOM episodes than did children who used pacifiers continuously.
Niemela M, Pihakari O, Pokka T, Uhari M   Pacifier as a risk factor for acute otitis media: A randomized, controlled trial of parental counseling   Pediatrics 2000 (Sep);   106 (3):   483-488

AAP Recommends Breastfeeding For 1 Year

The New York Newsday (December 1997) reports that the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended mothers breastfeed their infants for one year or longer.  This is a change in policy for the AAP and reflects a growing movement towards the promotion of breastfeeding and/or the use of pumped breast milk instead of formula feedings.  Breast milk is even being pumped and fed to premature infants in pre-natal intensive care units.

Smoking Affects Mother's Milk

Mothers who both smoke and breast-feed expose their infants to tobacco smoke in greater concentrations than those who do not smoke or those who smoke and bottle-feed.  A study of 330 mother-infant pairs found that breast-fed infants of smoking mothers have urine cotinine (a nicotine derivative) levels 10-fold higher than those whose mothers do not smoke.  The study concluded that health care providers need to be as diligent in encouraging mothers not to smoke after birth as in the prenatal period.
Mascola MA, Vunakis HV, Tager IB, Steizer FE, Hanrahan JP   Exposure of young infants to environmental tobacco smoke: breast-feeding among smoking mothers   Am J Public Health 1998 (Jun);   88 (6):   893-896

New Moms should Quit Smoking

Mothers who breastfeed should not smoke, say researchers in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. The study enrolled 507 infants whose mothers smoked. According to researchers, urinary levels of cotinine fumarate - a byproduct of cigarette smoke - were 5 times higher in breast-fed newborns, compared with babies who were not breast-fed.  The presence of this chemical suggests an increased risk of nicotine addiction and respiratory disease, experts explain. Because breastfeeding protects against various diseases, the study's authors urge mothers who smoke to kick the habit, rather than discontinue breastfeeding.
Becker AB, Manfreda J, Ferguson AC, Dimich-Ward H, Watson WTA, Chan-Yeung M   Breast-feeding and environmental tobacco smoke exposure   Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 1999 (Jul);   153 (7):   689-691

Ads Discourage Breastfeeding

Expectant mothers should be cautioned about the influence of baby formula advertisements, say experts. As part of the study, 547 women were given informational packets about infant feeding at their first prenatal visit. Half of the women were given packets designed by formula-companies, while the other half were given research-based materials.

Mothers who were given formula-company literature were five times more likely to stop breast-feeding during the first few days following delivery. The study's authors stress that, "Educational materials about infant feeding should support unequivocally breast-feeding as optimal nutrition for infants; formula promotion products should be eliminated from prenatal settings."
Howard C, Howard F, Lawrence R, et. al.   Office prenatal formula advertising and its effect on breast-feeding patterns   Obstet Gynecol 2000 (Feb);   95 (2):   296-303

Big Business vs. Breastfeeding

A new study in BMJ says more needs to be done to stop big business from exploiting mothers to choose formula over breast feeding.
Tony Waterston   Monitoring the marketing of infant formula feeds: Manufacturers of breast milk substitutes violate the WHO code again   BMJ 2003 (Jan 18);   326 (7381):   113-114

Breastfeeding needs better p.r in the U.K.

Breastfeeding rates in the United Kingdom (UK) are one of the lowest in the developed world and certainly the lowest in Europe. This paper draws on a study that adopts a qualitative methodology to explore women's personal experiences and perceptions of breastfeeding.

Although it states that the pr of breastfeeding is adequate, somehow the message is not getting through! As Doctors of Chiropractic we are also educators. Our research site has significant data as to why breatsfeeding is so important for both the mother and baby. Have your moms to be visit this link for additional reasons why they should choose breastfeeding.
Sarah Earle   Factors affecting the initiation of breastfeeding: implications for breastfeeding promotion   Health Promotion International 2002 (Sept);   17 ( 3):   205-21

Additional Links on Breastfeeding:

How can chiropractic help difficulties with breastfeeding?

Link to improve milk supply naturally:

Breatfeeding Resource Website:

Natural Alternatives/ Supplementation to Breastfeeding:

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