Breastfeeding Research August to October 2015

April 24th, 2016

Saint John Paul II endorsed the UNICEF recommendation that mothers breastfeed their children “up to the second year of life or beyond” because “the overwhelming body of research is in favor of natural feeding rather than its substitutes.” (May 12, 1995)

Breastfeeding protects against acute otitis media (AOM) until 2 years of age, but protection is greater for exclusive breastfeeding and breastfeeding of longer duration. Exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months was associated with around a 43% reduction in ever having AOM in the first 2 years of life. (Acta Paediatrica, online August 2015)

Lactation may have long-term benefits that lower cardiovascular disease risk in women.  The researchers found that the less time a woman breastfed, the thicker her carotid arteries. (Obstetrics & Gynecology, August 2015)

Indigenous infants in Canada experience gastrointestinal infection, lower-respiratory infections (such as pneumonia) and ear infections “in excess frequency” and are “disproportionately affected” by sudden infant death syndrome.  These infections could be reduced if these babies were breastfed.  For example, the Inuit babies suffered fewer infections after they were breastfed by their mothers. Hospitalization cases also underwent a sharp decline after the babies got their mother’s milk.  This was what nature and nurture had meant for them to have. It was their birthright. Nature is never wrong. It is we who transgress against its rules and thus cause our own ruination.
The following comment was found in this research:  “Everybody knows that there is no bond greater than the mother-infant symbiosis. And it is exemplified in the act of breastfeeding. The child also acquires its language in a primitive and primordial way. That is through the mother’s milk. It is no coincidence that the word for mother in all languages starts with an “m”. That is because that is the sound an infant makes while suckling at its mother’s breast.  The little baby gets its identity as a human being via intimate bonding with its mother. And the benefits of immunity from infectious diseases is just one of the payoffs.”  (Canadian Journal of Public Health, August 17, 2015)

Women with multiple sclerosis who breastfeed exclusively should be supported to do so since it does not increase the risk of postpartum relapse. Relapse in the first six months postpartum may be diminished by exclusive breastfeeding.   (JAMA Neutrology, August 31, 2015)

Breastfeeding was found to be inversely associated with pediatric cancer in our study. (Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, online August 13, 2015; published Sept. 2015)

Breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis, no matter if breastfeeding time is longer or shorter than 12 months. (The Journal of Rheumatology, September 1, 2015)

African Americans have lower breastfeeding rates and high obesity rates higher compared to other ethnicities in the United States.  Current research suggests a protective effect of breastfeeding against childhood obesity in this high-risk population. Primary care providers and other healthcare workers need to address breastfeeding benefits  to African American women. (American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, Sept-Oct 2015)

We have 162 million people worldwide under the age of 5 years who are chronically malnourished and stunted. Six million of these children die every year.  Breastfeeding is one answer to the problem.  Mothers need to breastfeed their babies and to have breastfeeding be socially acceptable in their country. (Breastfeeding Medicine, October 2, 2015)

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the spine and pelvis of young adults. This study suggests a breastfeeding-induced protective effect on the occurrence of AS. (Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, online October 12, 2015)

The risk of all-cause mortality was lower for women who had children versus those women who never had children and for those who had breastfed versus those who had never breastfed. (BMC Medicine, October 30, 2015)

Sheila Kippley
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor

Breastfeeding Research: May to July 2015

April 17th, 2016

Saint John Paul II endorsed the UNICEF recommendation that mothers breastfeed their children “up to the second year of life or beyond” because “the overwhelming body of research is in favor of natural feeding rather than its substitutes.” (May 12, 1995)

Mothers who breastfeed their children suffer from less cardiovascular disorders, including hypertension, than those women who have never done it.  Breastfeeding has a positive impact on the mother and child´s blood pressure level, both in the short term and the long term. (Nutrición Hospitalaria, May 2015)

Researchers found that breastfeeding for six months or more was linked with a 19 percent lower risk of childhood leukemia compared to children who were breastfed for a shorter period of time, or never at all.  Leukemia accounts for about 30% of all childhood cancer.  Breastfeeding is a highly accessible, low-cost public health measure. This meta-analysis indicates that promoting breastfeeding for 6 months or more may help lower childhood leukemia incidence, in addition to its other health benefits for children and mothers. (JAMA Pediatrics, June 2015)

Exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age prevents childhood diseases and disorders and should be an effective population strategy to prevent malocclusion. (Pediatrics, online June 15, 2015)

The reduction in breast cancer risk is estimated at 2% for an increase of 5 months of lifetime breastfeeding. The longer women breastfeed, the more they are protected against breast cancer. (Cancer Epidemiology, online June 25, 2015)

A longer duration of breastfeeding was inversely associated with the risk of endometrial cancer, especially in North America. (Nutrients, July 2015)

Breastfeeding decreases the risk of malocclusions.  This meta-analysis involved 41 studies.  (Acta Paediatrica, July 2015)

Breastfeeding is associated with a lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis, no matter if breastfeeding time is longer or shorter than 12 months. (Journal of Rheumatology, online July 2015)

A recent, significant evaluation had been made of the effect of pollution particle matter (PM2.5) on the development of motor capacity and that of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on mental development between the prenatal phase and until the baby is 15 months old.  A study indicated that the harmful effect of PM2.5 pollution particle matter and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) disappears in breastfed babies during the first four months of life. According to the results of the research, breastfeeding plays a protective role in the presence of these two atmospheric pollutants. (Environmental International, July 2015; 33-40)

Breast cancer is considered a global public health problem and is the type most frequently diagnosed in Mexican women. The practice of breastfeeding and the time of exclusive breastfeeding were protective against the risk of breast cancer. (Nutrición Hospitalaria, July 2015)

The findings of this study support the protective effects of longer duration of breastfeeding against obesity and asthma. The authors propose a new mechanism for a relationship between breastfeeding and asthma: shorter breastfeeding compromises infant health and thereby leads to antibiotic treatment which in turn increases the risk of asthma. (Breastfeeding Medicine, July-August 2015)

Sheila Kippley
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor

Breastfeeding Research: March to April 2015

April 10th, 2016

Saint John Paul II endorsed the UNICEF recommendation that mothers breastfeed their children “up to the second year of life or beyond” because “the overwhelming body of research is in favor of natural feeding rather than its substitutes.” (May 12, 1995)

The oropharyngeal administration of mother’s milk—placing drops of milk onto the infant’s oral mucosa—may serve as a preventative strategy against necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) for extremely low-birth-weight infants. (Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing, January-March 2015)

Health Director General Dr Zahid Pervaiz said that if mothers would feed their babies for two years, the mortality rate in infants would be reduced as well as achieving natural birth spacing, and malnutrition problems would also be solved. He said that reasonable birth spacing could reduce the maternal mortality rate. (Meeting of Integrated Reproductive, Mother, Neonatal and Child Health Programme in Lahore, Punjab; March 2015)

It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that exclusive breastfeeding provides optimal nutrition and health protection for the first 6 months of life, and that breastfeeding with complementary foods from 6 months until at least 12 months of age is the ideal feeding pattern for infants. (Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, March 2015)

Within the first year of life and beyond, a greater relative risk of hospitalization was observed among formula-fed infants for a range of individual illnesses reported in childhood including gastrointestinal, respiratory, and urinary tract infections, otitis media, fever, asthma, diabetes, and dental caries.Greater risks of hospitalization in early childhood for a range of common childhood illnesses were found among Scottish infants who were not exclusively breastfed at 6-8 weeks of age. (The Journal of Pediatrics, March 2015; 620-625)

The objective of the article was to estimate the pediatric costs of inadequate breastfeeding in Mexico associated with the following acute health conditions: respiratory infections, otitis media, gastroenteritis, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).  The total annual costs of inadequate breastfeeding in Mexico for the studied cohort ranged from $745.6 million to $2416.5 million. A range of 1.1-3.8 million reported cases of disease and from 933 to 5796 infant deaths per year for the diseases under study are attributed to inadequate infant breastfeeding practices. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2015)

The findings of this large pooled analysis reinforce the hypothesis that prolonged breastfeeding is associated with a decreased risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. (American Journal of Epidemiology, March 1, 2015, 549-562)

Mothers who breastfeed for at least 90 days smoked far less than those who did not breastfeed or only breastfed for a short time. (Journal of Nicotine & Tobacco Research, March 5, 2015)

Reduced exposure to breastfeeding in males was found to be associated with increased risk of multiple sclerosis in both Italian and Norwegian adult males. (Journal of Neurology, online March 21, 2015)

Breastfeeding is associated with improved performance in intelligence tests 30 years later, and might have an important effect in real life, by increasing educational attainment and income in adulthood. In Brazil 6000 babies were studied from birth and nearly 3500 of those babies were interviewed 30 years later.  Participants who were breastfed for 12 months or more had higher IQ, more years of education, and higher monthly incomes than did those who were breastfed for less than 1 month. The results suggested that IQ was responsible for 72% of the effect on income. (The Lancet Global Health, April 2015)

Neonates who were breastfed at least 8 times per day displayed a significantly lower incidence of hyperbilirubinemia. Nursery discharge instructions that encouraged mothers to frequently breastfeed their newborns frequently decrease the rates of hyperbilirubinemia in exclusively breastfed term neonates. (Pediatrics International, a Japanese journal, online April 2015)

At least half of all children remain stunted in six countries in East and South Asia. Stunting, or being too short for one’s age, reduces physical, social, and cognitive capacity throughout childhood and into adulthood. At a young age, stunted children tend to score lower on tests and are less likely to be in the appropriate grade for their age at school. As adults, they earn 20 percent less than their non-stunted peers. The conference attendees stressed the need to have mothers exclusively breastfeed their child for the first 6 months of life and continue to breastfeed until their children are 24 months of age. (“The Role of Parliamentarians in the Fulfillment of Child’s Rights to Nutrition and Development” conference in Hanoi, April 2, 2015)

Breastfeeding is the normal, species-specific nutrition for human infants. Failure to breastfeed not only leads to a greater burden of disease for both mother and child, but also to high economic costs, which have to be paid for by society.  For example, if 90% of US mothers breastfed exclusively for 6 months, the USA would save $13 billion per year and prevent 911 infant deaths.  If 45% of Great Britain mothers exclusively breastfed for 4 months, 17 million pounds would be saved over one year.  These costs are minimal as many other factors are not considered in these figures.  (International Breastfeeding Journal, April 11, 2015)

Women who breastfeed their babies and later develop breast cancer are less likely to have the cancer return or to die from it than women who do not breastfeed, new research shows. Breastfeeding’s protective effect in lowering the chances of recurrence or death from breast cancer was strongest against the most commonly diagnosed breast cancers. (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, online April 28, 2015)

Sheila Kippley
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor