Archive for February, 2020

Breastfeeding Research 2019: February

Sunday, February 23rd, 2020

A promising study on preterm babies occurred early in 2019 whereby freshly expressed mother’s breast milk was inserted into the preterm baby’s nose.  All babies were breastfed.  The researchers stated:  “Early intranasal application of breast milk could have a beneficial effect on neurodevelopment in preterm infants.   Breast milk has stem cells which may have the capacity to repair brain injuries in preemies. The idea is that delivering the breastmilk by way of the nasal cavity can actually get those stem cells right into a baby’s brain tissue.”  The European Journal of Pediatrics, February 2019.  An article in the February 14 issue of All Things Neonatal explains this new research.

Children of mothers with gestational diabetes who were breastfed for at least 6 months were less likely to develop prediabetes or metabolic syndrome in early adolescence vs. children exposed to gestational diabetes who were not breastfed. Pediatric Obesity, February 8, 2019.

Human milk microbiome was studied and showed benefits of direct breastfeeding as compared to indirect breastfeeding.  Conclusion:  “Indirect breastfeeding was associated with lower overall milk microbiota richness and diversity when compared with direct breastfeeding.”  The researchers found that feeding pumped breast milk is advantageous compared to formula but is less beneficial than nursing at the breast when protecting infants from asthma and obesity.  The infant’s mouth at the breast is the source of breast milk bacteria.    Cell Host & Microbe, February 13, 2019.

Exclusive breastfeeding for three months or longer is associated with reduced odds of continued eczema at age 6 and may protect these children from experiencing extended flare-ups at this age.  American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, annual meeting, San Francisco, February 22-25, 2019.

In Nigeria malnutrition contributes to the death of 500,000 children under the age of five annually.  At a conference for medical directors, an expert expressed the need for mothers to breastfeed for two years or beyond, and if 90% of mothers exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life, about 13% of child deaths would be averted. Vanguard News, February 25, 2019.

Breastfeeding and Vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of Kawasaki disease in a German population.  BMC Pediatrics, February 26, 2019.

Sheila Kippley

Breastfeeding Research 2019: January

Sunday, February 16th, 2020

Early each year I review the breastfeeding research published the previous year and I publish those findings in a series of blogs. Enjoy!

Mothers who breastfeed for six months or more may have less fat in their livers and a lower risk of liver disease.  Journal of Hepatology, “Longer lactation reduces NAFLD [nonalcoholic fatty liver disease], January 2019.

The microstructural properties of  white matter tracts and cerebral structural connectivity are improved in association with higher exposure to breast milk in preterm infants.  Neurolmage, “Early breast milk exposure modifies brain connectivity in preterm infants,” Vol. 184, January 1, 2019, p 431-439.

Continued breastfeeding after 6 months can help to provide protection against diarrhea and cough.  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Breastfeeding and the Risk of Illness among Young Children in Rural China,” Vol. 16, Issue 1, January 7, 2019.

This study showed the need for improved optimal breastfeeding practices, such as exclusive breastfeeding for babies under 6 months of age, because suboptimal breastfeeding practices are a major contributor to diarrhoea-related deaths and disability among children under five years. International Breastfeeding Journal, “Diarrhoea deaths and disability-adjusted life years attributable to suboptimal breastfeeding practices in Nigeria: findings from the global burden of disease,” January 9, 2019.

“Studies have long touted the benefits of breastfeeding for infants, including stronger immune systems and lower risk for asthma, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. But babies aren’t the only ones benefiting: Nursing also appears to provide health benefits for moms.  Research suggests women who breastfeed have a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancers. The longer women nurse, whether with one child or over the course of several, the lower their risk.  More recently, studies have found that breastfeeding also helps the mother’s heart – beyond nurturing its bond with baby, that is.  Breastfeeding has been associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease.”  American Heart Association News, “Breastfeeding Boost: Nursing may help mothers improve heart health.”  January 10, 2019.

Breastfeeding may protect mothers against depression in later life, and having more children cuts the risk further.  Women who fed their babies naturally were almost two-thirds less likely to suffer from mental health problems. And the more children the greater was the effect, an international study found.  The risk of depression decreased by 29 per cent for each additional infant breastfed and by 9.3 per cent for each additional year of breastfeeding.  Women who breastfed for at least 47 months had 67 per cent decreased risk of depression, compared to those less than 24 months.  Journal of Affective Disorders, January 19, 2019.

Compared to never breastfeeding, breastfeeding any offspring was associated with a 30% reduction in epithelial ovarian cancer risk. That association lasted more than 30 years and was dose-respondent, and an earlier age at first breastfeeding was further associated with increased protection. Gynecologic Oncology, “Breastfeeding factors and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer,January 25, 2019.

Sheila Kippley

Some Thoughts Related to The Presentation of Jesus and World Day of Consecrated Life

Sunday, February 9th, 2020

The following was posted February 2, 2020 at the Catholic Nursing Mothers League website by Gina Peterson.

Here is a nice reflection on the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple on  Also, tonight might be a nice night to pray the fourth decade of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary with your little ones.

Breastfeeding was the norm during the time of Jesus.  Actually, most babies were nursed until 3 years of age.  When Mary presented Jesus in the Temple, he was just a tiny baby.  Mary was young;  I believe tradition says 13 or 14 years old?  Even though all the women around her nursed their babies, I still wonder if Mary, being a new mom, worried sometimes if she was holding and latching baby Jesus correctly?  Did she worry about if she had enough milk or if Jesus was gaining the right amount of weight?  I think some of these concerns that we have are due to modern society.  We do not trust nature.  I think that is why ecological breastfeeding is unpopular.

I would imagine Mary and all the local mothers got together and shared their mothering and breastfeeding experiences.  Today, many parishes and communities have moms’ groups and even breastfeeding support groups such as Catholic Nursing Mothers League groups.  However, I have noticed that sometimes modern mothers stay home and feel isolated.  That is why I think the Catholic Nursing Mothers League is so important and needed.  Moms can log onto our Facebook group even when they are unable to leave the house.  A mom to mom mentor can call her to just to check in on her and let her know that she cares.  A friend can request a care package of books or a nursing mother gift bag from CNML for her to encourage her.

Today is also World Day of Consecrated Life (actually it is also Candlemas, Groundhog Day, the Superbowl and the only palindrome day with 8 digits of the century!). Anyways, back to Consecrated Life Day.  Besides my love of my family and helping nursing moms,  I am also a devoted member of the Holy Family Institute which is a secular institute of consecrated life.  I have been a perpetually professed member since 2009.  Being an HFI member is really the best of both worlds – marriage and secular consecrated life.  Actually, one of the things that attracted me to HFI is the fact that I could do my formation within my own home and would not need to drive to a monthly meeting two hours away.  Plus, their annual retreat is very nursing baby and child friendly.

Sheila:  If anyone desires to start a Catholic Nursing Mothers League group in their parish or community, contact the CNML website.  The primary mission of this organization is to support breastfeeding mothers.