Breastfeeding Research 2019: February

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

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