Archive for the ‘Breastfeeding Research 2018’ Category

Natural Family Planning: Breastfeeding Research published in Oct.-Dec. 2018

Sunday, February 24th, 2019

Crohn’s Disease
Breastfeeding can limit Crohn’s progression in children.  “The Effect of Early-Life Environmental Exposures on Disease Phenotype and Clinical Course of Crohn’s Disease in Children,” The American Journal o9f Gastroenterology,” September 28, 2018.

Role of pediatricians
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about six months and continued breastfeeding after the introduction of complementary solids for at least the first year of life and as long thereafter as desired by mother and child. Pediatricians play a key role in helping parents understand not only what is recommended, but why.  In this article, a list was given of the breastfeeding benefits published for the years 2005, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.  In 2018, 128 studies and 10 sytematic reviews produced evidence “that breastfeeding is associated with  reduced maternal risk of breast and ovarian cancer, hypertension and type 2 diabetes.  “Evidence can help pediatricians explain why moms should breastfeed,” American Academy of Pediatrics, October 10, 2018.

Reduced stress
Breastfeeding can cause genetic changes in babies resulting in reduced stress compared to those who were not breastfed. “Epigenetic Programming by Maternal Behavior in the Human Infant,” Journal of Pediatrics, October 2018.

Smaller waist circumference
Breastfeeding for more than six months is associated with smaller maternal waist circumference. “Breastfeeding Greater Than 6 Months is Associated with Smaller Maternal Waist Circumference Up to One Decade After Delivery,” Journal of Women’s Health, November 2018.

Lives saved
Improving breastfeeding rates around the world could save the lives of more than 820,000 children under age 5 and prevent 20,000 maternal deaths from breast cancer every year. Despite this, breastfeeding rates worldwide remain low, particularly in high-income countries – more than 1 in 5 babies in high-income countries are never breastfed, compared to 1 in 25 in low- and middle-income countries. UNICEF, United Nations Children Fund, 2018.  “Breastfeeding: A Mother’s Gift, for Every Child,” November 29, 2018.

To reduce stunting
Nigerian babies get the needed nutrients and grow very well from breast milk.  Breastfeeding can be life-saving.  Nigeria has the second highest stunting burden in the world, with over 11 million stunted children. Preliminary data from Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey showed stunting has increased to 44 per cent in 2016. Severe stunting increased to 22 per cent.  Early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding of babies with no additional food, water or other fluids for six months is important to stem increasing cases of stunting in children.  Alive and Thrive workshop, November 30, 2018.

Benefits for second year of life
The World Health Organization (WHO) highlights the importance of safeguarding breastfeeding and ending inappropriate marketing and distribution of breastmilk substitutes for children up to three years of age.  Why?  Because there are so many advantages for breastfeeding the child during the second year of life.  Children who are not breastfed at 12-23 months of age are about twice as likely to die as those who are breastfed in the second year of life. Breastfeeding for more than 12 months reduces breast cancer by 26%. Breastfeeding longer than 12 months reduces ovarian cancer by 37%.  In a large study among low-income children in the United States, those breastfed for at least 12 months were 28% less likely to be overweight at four years of age than those never breastfed; Each additional month of breastfeeding reduced the risk of childhood obesity by 4%. Each additional year of lifetime duration of breastfeeding is associated with a 9% protection against type 2 diabetes.  The WHO recommendation:  Mothers should breastfeed for two years or beyond because breastfeeding “saves lives and promotes the health of both the mother and baby.” WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, December 6, 2018.






Natural Family Planning: Breastfeeding Research published July-Sept. 2018

Sunday, February 17th, 2019

Obesity protection
A large national study has shown exclusive breastfeeding in the first three months of life provides protection against infants becoming overweight at one year of age.  Researchers in Canada studied ovdr 1000 babies and found a 63% increased risk of becoming overweight among infnats who were partially (versus exclusively) breastfed at three months of age, and a 102% increased risk among exclusively formula-fed infants.  As one researcher said: “Breastfeeding is one of the most influential factors in shaping the infant gut microbiome.” JAMA Pediatrics, online only, July 2, 2018.

Importance of the first year
The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition of England reported their recommendation on feeding in the first year of life due to the many benefits of breastfeeding.  The recommendations were 1) exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, 2) continued breastfeeding for the first year of life, and 3) wait until six months before introducing solid foods.  July 17, 2018.

First hour
Three in five babies, mostly born in low- and middle-income countries, are not breastfed within the first hour of life, placing them at higher risk of death and disease.  “When it comes to the start of breastfeeding, timing is everything.  In many countries, it can even be a matter of life or death,” said Henrietta Fore, the UNICEF Executive Director.  UNICEF and WHO note that newborns who breastfeed in the first hour of life are significantly more likely to survive.  They estimate that 78 million newborns are excluded.  United Nations report, July 31, 2018.

Fewer maternal strokes
Postmenopausal women who report ever having breastfed have a 23% reduced risk for a stroke later in life compared with those who had children but never breastfed, a new observational study suggests. For non-Hispanic black women, that risk is as much as 48% lower after adjustment for other stroke risk factors, the researchers note. “Breastfeeding History and Risk of Stroke Among Parous Postmenopausal Women in the Women’s Health Initiative,” Jounral of the American Heart Association, August 22, 2018.

Antibiotic use in pregnancy was a risk factor for childhood asthma. However, this risk may be reduced by exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life, especially among high-risk children. “The effect of breastfeeding on the risk of asthma in high-risk children: a case control study in Shanghai, China,” BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, August 23, 2018.

Mrs Chimay Thompson, the Assistant Director, Nutrition Division, Family Health Department, Federal Ministry of Health, has said improving the nation’s breastfeeding practices could save 100,000 lives in Nigeria yearly.  Interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, September 8, 2018.

Donor human milk helped
WHO recommends donor human milk for infant feeding when mother’s milk is not available.  Although detailed medical records were not always available, the case studies provide anecdotal evidence of the protective effects of donor human milk against failure to thrive, diarrhoea, atopic dermatitis, and opportunistic infections. “Using donor human milk to feed vulnerable term infants: a case series in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa,” International Breastfeeding Journal, September 10, 2018.

Premature babies
Premature babies born before 33 weeks gestation showed better brain development when fed breast milk rather than formula milk. Babies who exclusively received breast milk for at least three-quarters of the days they spent in the hospital showed improved brain connectivity compared with others.  “Breast milk may be best for premature babies’ brain development,” NeuroImage, September 22, 2018.

Resistant bacteria
A new study has found that babies who are breastfed for six months have fewer antibiotic resistant bacteria in their guts.  What is antibiotic-resistant bacteria? Antibiotic resistant bacteria are bacteria that are not controlled or killed by antibiotics. They are able to survive and even multiply in the presence of an antibiotic. Most infection-causing bacteria can become resistant to at least some antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is a serious public health problem. The biggest concern with antibiotic resistance is that some bacteria that can cause serious diseases have already become resistant to almost all of the easily available antibiotics.  Although breast milk does contain bacteria that’s resistant to antibiotics, it’s the sugar in the milk that is  beneficial. These sugars, like Bifidobacteria, provide sustenance to “good” gut bacteria, which work like probiotics for babies. “Maternal gut and breast milk microbiota affect gut antibiotic resistome and mobile genetic elements,” Nature Communications, September 24, 2018.





Natural Family Planning: Breastfeeding Research published in April and May 2018

Sunday, February 10th, 2019

Mortality prevention
Breastfeeding all babies for the first two years would save the lives of more than 820,000 children under age 5 annually.  In many hospitals and communities around the world, whether a child can be breastfed or not can make the difference between 1) life and death and 2 whether a child will develop to reach his or her full potential. Joint Press Release, WHO and UNICEF, Geneva, April 11, 2018

Childhood leukemia
Any breastfeeding for 6 months or longer was associated with a 19% lower risk for childhood leukemia. “A causal mechanism for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia,” Nature Reviews Cancer, May 21, 2018.

New evidence that human breast milk is packed with immune cells ready to attack bad bacteria, “Presence and Profile of Innate Lymphoid Cells in Human Breast Milk,” JAMA Pediatrics, May 2018.

Breast cancer
The evidence shows that, in general, the greater the number of months that women continue breastfeeding their babies, the greater the protection these women have against breast cancer.  The goal is to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months and then up to two years of age or beyond alongside appropriate complementary foods.  Cancer Prevention Recommendation by the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research, 2018.

Maternal blood pressure
Women who breastfeed more children, and for longer periods of time, are less likely to experience high blood pressure, or hypertension, after they reach menopause.  “Breastfeeding and Maternal Hypertension,”  American Journal of Hypertension, May 7, 2018.

Too many babies are not breastfed.
Babies in wealthy countries are five times more likely to miss out on breastfeeding than those in the under-developed, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday, May 10th, explaining that this gap could be addressed by better support for working mothers, and regulating sales of infant formula.  Each year some 7.6 million babies across the world are not breastfed despite clear evidence that breastfeeding can save lives and protect babies and mothers against deadly diseases. Breastfeeding is the best gift a mother, rich or poor, can give her child. The US alone accounts for more than one-third of the 2.6 million babies in high-income countries who were never breastfed. UNICEF, May 10, 2018.

For those concerned about the February meeting of bishops, see John’s article for Catholic World Report where he submits that Humana Vitae and dissent need to be on the table at the Feb. meeting.