Breastfeeding Research August to October 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)

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

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