Breastfeeding


Breastfeeding can protect an immature baby from urinary tract infections, Dr. Itzhak Levy and his colleagues found.

They performed a case controlled study that was conducted in a tertiary care neonatal intensive care unit between 1995 and 2003. Their study group included all premature infants less than 37 weeks gestation diagnosed with a urinary tract infection.

It was found that the main organism present was a klebsiella species. Baby boys were found to be more prone to urinary infections.

Breastfeeding  was associated with a lower risk of infection with a 95% confidence interval. Doctors explain that maternal immunoglobulins passed through breast milk must have a protective effect.

Advertisements

If you needed yet another reason to breastfeed, here you go: apparently, breastfeeding enhances baby’s emotional and intellectual development.

Scientists found that children who are breastfed are less likely to suffer from behavioral or mental health issues than those who are not breastfed.

Using 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health data, researchers found that parents of breastfed children were less likely to report concern for the child’s behavior.

Breastfed children were less likely to have been diagnosed by a health professional with behavioral  problems and were less likely to have received mental health care.

Additionally, parents of breastfed children were less likely to report concern about the child’s ability to learn.

“These findings support current evidence that breastfeeding enhances childhood intellectual ability and… protects against psychiatric illness and behavioral problems,” said Katherine Hobbs Knutson, MD, lead researcher on the study.

The study was presented at the American Public Health Association’s 136th Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Diego.

Children who are breastfed are less likely to suffer from behavioral or mental health issues than those who are not breastfed, according to new research.

The study, which was presented at the American Public Health Association’s 136th Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Diego, looked at whether breastfeeding is associated with decreased behavioral problems and psychiatric illness during childhood.

Parents of breastfed children were less likely to report concern for the child’s behavior, it appears.

Breastfed children were less likely to have been diagnosed by a health professional with behavioral or conduct problems and were less likely to have received mental health care.

Additionally, parents of breastfed children were less likely to report concern about the child’s ability to learn.

“These findings support current evidence that breastfeeding enhances childhood intellectual ability while providing new evidence that breastfeeding may contribute to childhood emotional development and protect against psychiatric illness and behavioral problems,” said Katherine Hobbs Knutson, MD, lead researcher on the study.

The study used 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health data from 102,353 interviews of parents and guardians on the health of their children.

We all know that breastfeeding helps build stronger, more resilient babies – and finally science came up with a clear answer how exactly breastfeeding supports baby’s immune system.

 A Harvard-Stanford research team has identified a molecule that is key to mothers’ ability to pass along immunity to intestinal infections to their babies through breast milk.

Apparently, there’s amazing change that takes place in a mother’s body when she begins producing breast milk. For years before her pregnancy, cells that produce antibodies against intestinal infections travel around her circulatory system as if it were a highway and regularly take an “off-ramp” to her intestine. There they stand ready to defend against infections such as cholera or rotavirus. But once she begins lactating, some of these same antibody-producing cells suddenly begin taking a different “off-ramp,” so to speak, that leads to the mammary glands.

That way, when her baby nurses, the antibodies go straight to his intestine and offer protection while he builds up his own immunity.

This is why previous studies have shown that formula-fed infants have twice the incidence of diarrheal illness as breast-fed infants.

Until now, scientists did not know how the mother’s body signaled the antibody-producing cells to take the different off-ramp. The new study identifies the molecule that gives them the green light.

“Everybody hears that breastfeeding is good for the baby,” said Eric Wilson, the Brigham Young University microbiologist who is the lead author on the study. “But why is it good? One of the reasons is that mothers’ milk carries protective antibodies which shield the newborn from infection, and this study demonstrates the molecular mechanisms used by the mother’s body to get these antibody-producing cells where they need to be.”

Understanding the role of the molecule, called CCR10, also has implications for potential future efforts to help mothers better protect their infants.

“This tells us that this molecule is extremely important, so if we want to design a vaccine for the mother so she could effectively pass protective antibodies to the child, it would be absolutely essential to induce high levels of CCR10,” said Wilson.

Protective effects of breast milk are higher in girls than in boys, found Johns Hopkins Children’s Center investigators.

Challenging the long-standing belief that breast-feeding equally protects all babies against disease, research suggests that when it comes to respiratory infections, the protective effects of breast milk are higher in girls than in boys.

Following 119 premature babies in Buenos Aires through their first year of life, researchers found that breast-feeding not only offered more protection to girls than boys, but also that formula-fed girls had the highest risk for severe respiratory infections.

The findings, reported in the June issue of Pediatrics, cast doubt on the theory that immune system chemicals contained in breast milk and passed directly from mother to newborn are responsible for preventing the infections. If this were the case, researchers say, both boys and girls would likely derive equal protection.

In addition, breast-feeding did not appear to affect the number of infections, but rather their severity and the need for hospitalization, meaning that breast milk does not prevent a baby from getting an infection, but helps a baby cope with an infection better.

“In light of these results, we are starting to think that milk does not directly transfer protection against lung infections but instead switches on a universal protective mechanism, already in the baby, that is for some reason easier to turn on in girls than in boys,” says senior investigator Fernando Polack, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at Hopkins Children’s.

Shortly after birth, formula-fed girls were eight times more likely than breast-fed girls to develop serious respiratory infections requiring hospitalization, the study results showed. Formula-fed girls were also more likely to develop such infections than both breast-fed and non-breast-fed boys.

“When resources are limited, it helps to know that your high-risk group is formula-fed girls,” Polack says. The findings also suggest that the mothers of premature girls should be strongly encouraged to breast-feed, investigators say.