Friday, July 26th, 2013
Breastfed babies may carry a lower risk of being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder in children, according to new research conducted at Tel Aviv University. More from ScienceDaily.com:
Seeking to determine if the development of ADHD was associated with lower rates of breastfeeding, Dr. Aviva Mimouni-Bloch, of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Head of the Child Neurodevelopmental Center in Loewenstein Hospital, and her fellow researchers completed a retrospective study on the breastfeeding habits of parents of three groups of children: a group that had been diagnosed with ADHD; siblings of those diagnosed with ADHD; and a control group of children without ADHD and lacking any genetic ties to the disorder.
The researchers found a clear link between rates of breastfeeding and the likelihood of developing ADHD, even when typical risk factors were taken into consideration. Children who were bottle-fed at three months of age were found to be three times more likely to have ADHD than those who were breastfed during the same period. These results have been published in Breastfeeding Medicine.
Image: Breastfeeding mother, via Shutterstock
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Monday, July 22nd, 2013
A waitress at a Des Moines, Iowa restaurant who paid for a breastfeeding mother’s pizza dinner and gave her a note thanking her for breastfeeding her baby has gone viral across mom blogs and social media sites, with more than 2,000 Facebook shares alone. Reactions range from cheers of support to disagreement that public breastfeeding should be rewarded or celebrated. More from Yahoo! Shine:
Jackie Johnson-Smith, 33, a stay-at-home mother from Ankeny, Iowa was celebrating her 33rd birthday on Sunday at Fong’s Pizza in Des Moines with her husband and their three kids, ages 4, 3, and 12 months, when her youngest started fussing. “I usually don’t go downtown for dinner because lots of places aren’t family-friendly but I had heard good things about Fong’s,” Johnson-Smith told Yahoo! Shine. “It was chaotic—I had one kid licking the honey container on the table, another standing on his chair, and my baby was fussing.”
So Johnson-Smith threw on a nursing cover and began discreetly breastfeeding her 12-month-old. “I usually don’t like to breastfeed in public because people can be judgmental,” she says. “The waitress kept walking by, and I was worried she didn’t want me nursing in the restaurant.” Eventually, worried that her baby would continue crying, Johnson-Smith left the restaurant and finished nursing in the car.
Shortly after, Johnson-Smith’s husband walked out with a huge smile on his face. “He handed me the dinner receipt and at first I was confused—why is he showing me how much my birthday dinner cost?” said Johnson-Smith. To her surprise, there was a handwritten note on the paper: ‘I bought one of your pizzas. Please thank your wife for breastfeeding!’
“I was in total shock and started tearing up,” said Johnson-Smith. “After dealing with people’s reactions for so long, it was like the universe was giving me a pat on the back. I was too stunned to go back inside and thank the waitress.”
…[Waitress Bodi] Kinney, a mother herself, is familiar with the burden of breastfeeding in public. “Although I nurse my baby no matter where I am—at the supermarket, in clothing stores—people often react negatively. Recently, I had to leave my daughter’s school play to nurse my 8-month-old for fear of offending someone. I wanted to let this woman know in some shape or form, that she was doing the right thing.”
Image: Receipt from waitress Bodi Kinney, via Yahoo! Shine
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Thursday, June 27th, 2013
The health benefits of breastfeeding are numerous and oft-discussed, and a new study is linking those benefits, specifically the cognitive development thought to be accelerated in breast-fed babies, with a higher social status later in life. Time.com has more:
What does breast-feeding have to do with social status? According to the researchers from University College London, who reported their findings in the journal BMJ, breast-feeding can impact cognitive development, and that accounted for just over a third of nursing’s effect on improvements in social status. What’s more, the practice also seemed to lower the chances of downward mobility.
To assess the impact of breast-feeding on later social status, the researchers compared two cohorts of people, including more than 17,400 individuals born in 1958, and over 16,700 people born in 1970. When their kids were about 5 years old, mothers in both groups were asked if they had breast-fed their children. The researchers used the children’s fathers’ income and job to determine the youngsters’ initial social status when they were about 10 to 11 years old and compared this with their social status decades later, when they reached age 33 or 34. And to get some idea of the way in which breast-feeding might be influencing social status, the scientists also evaluated the children’s cognitive skills and stress responses when they were about 10 or 11.
Breast-feeding rates were lower among the participants born in 1970, but the breakdown of high social achievers in the two populations remained the same. For both groups, breast-feeding increased the odds of upward mobility — defined by the researchers on a 4-point scale ranging from unskilled/semiskilled manual to professional/managerial — by 24% and lowered the likelihood for downward social mobility by 20%. The effect was greatest for children who were breast-fed for more than four weeks, and the social-status gap was largest between those who were breast-fed for four weeks or more and those who received only formula. The breast-feeding effect held even after the researchers accounted for the obvious factors, such as broad socioeconomic influences including employment rates and national economic stability, as well as individual characteristics like parental education.
According to the authors, the benefits shown by the babies in cognitive and intellectual development could have helped them to climb up the social ladder, since they might have adapted more readily to new situations and accepted challenges; the brain testing also suggested that the breast-fed children were less likely to experience emotional stress and better able to cope with anxiety if they did.
But they acknowledge that their study could not tease apart whether this advantage resulted from the breast milk and its known nutrients and immune-system components, or from the intimate contact between mother and child that breast-feeding requires.
Image: Breastfeeding baby, via Shutterstock
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Friday, June 21st, 2013
In a move Venezuelan legislators hope will encourage women to breastfeed their babies, the Congress of that country is considering legislation that would prohibit the use of baby bottles and the sale of infant formula. More from Reuters:
Legislator Odalis Monzon said the proposal would “prohibit all types of baby bottles” as a way to improve children’s health.
“We want to increase the love (between mother and child) because this has been lost as a result of these transnational companies selling formula,” Monzon said on state television on Thursday.
She said the Law for the Promotion and Support for Breast-Feeding, passed in 2007, did not establish any sanctions for using formula. However, she did not say what the sanctions might be if the proposed change to prohibit bottle feeding is passed by Congress, where the Socialist Party has a majority.
Monzon said, however, that exceptions would be allowed, such as in the case of the death of a mother, or for women with limited breast milk production, as determined by the health ministry.
She did not respond to phone calls seeking details, including how long babies would be breast-fed.
Such legislation would likely raise the ire of opposition sympathizers who say the government of the late President Hugo Chavez excessively extended the reach of the state into the lives of private citizens.
“People are free to feed their children as they see fit,” said Ingrid Rivero, a 27-year-old mother in Caracas. “My daughter stopped breast feeding after seven months. What can I do? Force her?”
Image: Baby bottle, via Shutterstock
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Monday, June 17th, 2013
MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, scans are showing that breastfeeding may have specific benefits for developing brains, according to a new study published online in the journal NeuroImage. More from The New York Times:
[The study] found that compared with babies who received formula, breast-fed infants had increased development in white matter regions of the brain, including areas associated with planning, social and emotional functioning, motor ability and language. The differences were linked to better performance on tests of motor development and visual acuity.
The scientists studied 133 healthy children ages 10 months through 4 years in three groups: exclusively breast-fed, exclusively formula-fed, and those fed a combination of formula and breast milk….
….“I’m not saying if you didn’t breast-feed, you’re doomed,” said the lead author, Sean C. L. Deoni, an assistant professor of engineering at Brown University. “We couldn’t control for things like how much interaction a kid has with his parents, what kind of learning environment he lives in, and so on. There are a lot of factors that go into making a successful adult.”
Image: Breastfeeding baby, via Shutterstock
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