2. Summary of Breastfeeding Research 2013

A large European study came up with 7 rules to cut the risk of dying.  One of the recommendations was “It is best for mothers to breast feed exclusively for up to six months.”  Women who breastfed for at least 6 months had a reduced risk of death from cancer by 10% and circulatory disease by 17%. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 27, 2013)

Exclusively breastfed babies whose mothers are HIV positive have a lower percentage of contracting HIV from their mothers compared to babies not breastfed for the first 6 months.  The risk of transmission for babies breastfed is 4% while those not breastfed is 10 times more.  Mixed feedings and cow’s milk irritate the gut, but breastmilk digests easily and does not irritate the gut and so the lining of the gut remains intact and the virus does not get into the blood stream. (Dr. Phillipa Musoke, Dept. of Paediatrics and Child Health at Makerere University, August 2013)

Study showed evidence that non-smoking women who breastfed for at least 6 months can delay the onset of breast cancer by 10 years. This is not true for smoking women who breastfeed.  (Journal of Clinical Nursing, August 14, 2013)

Breastfeeding for one year can increase a child’s IQ by about 4 points.  Longer breastfeeding duration in infancy was associated with a higher vocabulary test score at age 3 and higher intelligence testing at age 7. (JAMA Pediatrics, July 29, 2013)

A study involved 74,785 Australian women who were 45 years or older.  The conclusion was that the longer a woman breastfeeds, the lower are her odds of developing high blood pressure before the age of 64. It was found that among those who breastfed longer, their odds of developing high blood pressure decreased drastically. Extended breastfeeding was strongly encouraged due to the protective effects of breastfeeding which increases with the length of time breastfeeding.  (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, June 2013)

Sheila Kippley


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