Thursday, August 8th, 2013
Personality traits, including a proclivity for anxiety or social extroversion, have been found to correlate with a mother’s choice to feed her baby by bottle or breast. LiveScience.com has more on the study, which was published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing:
Dr. Amy Brown, who studies early nutrition at Swansea University in Wales, surveyed 602 mothers of infants ages 6 to 12 months, to see if personality traits were linked to breast-feeding rates. The women in the study ranged in age from 16 to 45 years old, and spanned a spectrum of income, education and professional achievement levels.
Brown found extroverted, conscientious and emotionally stable mothers were more likely to try breast-feeding. But being agreeable or open to new experiences made no difference, according to the findings published Tuesday (Aug. 6) in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.
More than 80 percent of the women in the study tried to breast-feed, but less than half who tried were still breast-feeding six months later. And women who switched from breast to bottle tended to switch quickly. About 73 percent of the women who stopped breast-feeding did so within two weeks after giving birth.
Women who were conscientious — for example, detailed-oriented and punctual — were likely to start, but also likely to stop breast-feeding.
Mothers who kept breast-feeding during the first six months were more extroverted and less anxious than mothers who always bottle-fed or switched to the bottle. The effect was particularly strong within the first six weeks after birth.
Image: Mother bottle-feeding her baby, via Shutterstock
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Monday, August 5th, 2013
Half of American new mothers now breastfeed their newborns for the recommended period of at least six months, according to data analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More from Today.com:
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It’s a big increase from just 35 percent in 2000 and is good news for babies and moms alike, as breastfeeding boosts the immune system, may lower the risk of obesity and is even linked with higher intelligence.
“This is great news for the health of our nation because babies who are breastfed have lower risks of ear and gastrointestinal infections, diabetes and obesity, and mothers who breastfeed have lower risks of breast and ovarian cancers,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Tom Frieden.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that newborns get nothing but breastmilk until they are six months old. The AAP recommends that mothers continue to breastfeed, along with giving other food, after six months for at least a year or even longer “as mutually desired by mother and infant.”
Studies show that babies given nothing but breastmilk for the first four months of life have a 72 percent lower risk of severe pneumonia and other lower respiratory tract infections for their first year. If moms stop breastfeeding between four and six months, their babies have four times the risk of pneumonia compared to moms who breastfeed for a year or longer.
Breastmilk contains the nutrients that a newborn baby needs and also transfers disease-fighting antibodies from mother to baby – something that’s very important for the first few months before an infant can be vaccinated. There’s also a growing body of evidence that beneficial bacteria, and perhaps also viruses and fungi, from a mother’s milk and skin can affect her baby’s health.
AAP, breast milk, breastfeeding, cancer, CDC, intelligence, newborns, nutrition, obesity | Categories:
Child Health, Parents News Now, Trends
Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Children who were breastfed for much of their infancy may be rewarded with higher scores on intelligence tests at ages 3 and 7, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital. More from Reuters:
Researchers found that for each extra month women reported breastfeeding, their children performed slightly better on those exams – though not on tests of motor skills and memory.
“Given the size of the benefit, I think this should be helpful for women who are trying to make decisions about how long to breastfeed… because there are many factors that go into that decision,” said Dr. Mandy Belfort, who led the study at Boston Children’s Hospital.
“You have to weigh that against the time that it takes, maybe the time that it takes away from work and your other family duties.”
She said the findings support recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and other groups for exclusive breastfeeding up to six months of age, followed by a mix of breastfeeding and solid foods.
For their study, Belfort and her colleagues tracked 1,312 Massachusetts women who were recruited while pregnant in 1999 to 2002 and their babies.
Mothers reported if they had ever breastfed, and if so how old their child was when they stopped. The researchers then gave both women and their children standardized intelligence tests.
On language tests given at age three, children in the study scored an average of 103.7. Once the women’s intelligence and other family factors including income were taken into account, the researchers found that each extra month of breastfeeding was tied to a 0.21-point improvement on the exam.
Children who were fed only breast milk for six months scored an average of three points higher on the language test than those who were never breastfed, Belfort and her colleagues write in JAMA Pediatrics.
For intelligence tests that included reading and writing given at age seven, average scores were 112.5 and each extra month of breastfeeding was linked to a 0.35-point improvement.
Those tests take 10 to 20 minutes to complete, and 100 is considered an average score across all children.
Belfort said a parent or teacher probably wouldn’t notice a difference of a few points on a child’s intelligence test.
“I think the importance is more on the level of the whole population or society,” she told Reuters Health.
Image: Breastfeeding newborn, via Shutterstock
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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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