Breastfeeding Research: May to July 2015

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

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