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Many women choose to breastfeed their babies due to the significant health benefits provided over infant formula for both baby and mother.

Breast milk contains all the nutrients a baby requires for the first six months of life. Following this period, solid foods can gradually be introduced. The World Health Organization recommends feeding babies exclusively on breast milk for the first six months of life and then continuing breastfeeding once the infant has started to eat solid food, until up to two years of age.

Antibodies present in the breast milk boost the baby’s immune system and decrease the likelihood of diarrhoea, vomiting, or chest and ear infections developing. Breast feeding is also thought to decrease the risk of obesity later in life and therefore reduces the likelihood of conditions such as type 2 diabetes developing. Breast milk is also easier to digest than commercial formula.

For the mother, breastfeeding lowers the risk for breast and ovarian cancer as well as expending up to 500 calories a day, saving money, and helping to build a strong bond with the baby.

Any amount of breastfeeding has positive effects and the longer a child is breastfed for, the longer the health benefits will last for both baby and mother.
Stable asthma prevalence masks increase in allergic phenotype

Stable asthma prevalence masks increase in allergic phenotype

The prevalence of childhood asthma in Sweden appears to have stabilised, with no increase seen between 1996 and 2006, researchers report. [More]
Cocaine disrupts woman's estrus cycle, may explain sex differences in cocaine addiction

Cocaine disrupts woman's estrus cycle, may explain sex differences in cocaine addiction

Women are more sensitive to the effects of cocaine and more susceptible to cocaine abuse than men. Cocaine's ability to disrupt a woman's estrus cycle may explain the sex differences in cocaine addiction, and new evidence that caffeine may be neuroprotective and able to block cocaine's direct effects on the estrus cycle reveals novel treatment possibilities, according to an article published in Journal of Caffeine Research: The International Multidisciplinary Journal of Caffeine Science, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. [More]
Three-drug regimen taken during pregnancy prevents mother-to-child HIV transmission

Three-drug regimen taken during pregnancy prevents mother-to-child HIV transmission

For HIV-infected women in good immune health, taking a three-drug regimen during pregnancy prevents mother-to-child HIV transmission more effectively than taking one drug during pregnancy, another during labor and two more after giving birth, an international clinical trial has found. [More]
Exposure to antibiotics during pregnancy increases obesity risk in children

Exposure to antibiotics during pregnancy increases obesity risk in children

A study just released by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found that children who were exposed to antibiotics in the second or third trimester of pregnancy had a higher risk of childhood obesity at age 7. The research also showed that for mothers who delivered their babies by a Caesarean section, whether elective or non-elective, there was a higher risk for obesity in their offspring. [More]
Preterm birth becomes world's number one killer of young children

Preterm birth becomes world's number one killer of young children

For the first time in history, the complications of preterm birth outrank all other causes as the world's number one killer of young children. [More]
Skin-to-skin contact supports breastfeeding, bonding and better health outcomes

Skin-to-skin contact supports breastfeeding, bonding and better health outcomes

Research during the past 30 years has found many benefits of skin-to-skin contact between mothers and newborns immediately after birth, particularly with aiding breastfeeding. However, in some hospitals, skin-to-skin contact following cesarean birth is not implemented, due to practices around the surgery. A recent Quality Improvement (QI) project demonstrated that women's birth experiences were improved by implementing skin-to-skin contact after cesarean surgery. [More]
Study measures effects of high-fat maternal diet on the cognitive functioning of offspring

Study measures effects of high-fat maternal diet on the cognitive functioning of offspring

New research suggests that a high-fat maternal diet during pregnancy and while breastfeeding could have significant and lasting detrimental effects on the brain function and behavior of children. [More]
New research shows link between perinatal exposure to BPA and risk of food intolerance in later life

New research shows link between perinatal exposure to BPA and risk of food intolerance in later life

If it seems like more people are allergic to, or intolerant of, more and different kinds of foods than ever before, there might be a reason why. A new research published in November 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists show, for the first time, that there is a link between perinatal exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) at low doses and the risk to develop food intolerance in later life. [More]
Dietary patterns of children vary according to socioeconomic backgrounds of mothers

Dietary patterns of children vary according to socioeconomic backgrounds of mothers

You have to be at least 2 years old to be covered by U.S. dietary guidelines. For younger babies, no official U.S. guidance exists other than the general recommendation by national and international organizations that mothers exclusively breastfeed for at least the first six months. [More]
'Mentor Mothers' program improves perinatal health outcomes in South Africa

'Mentor Mothers' program improves perinatal health outcomes in South Africa

The incidence of HIV infection in South Africa tops that of any nation in the world, with some 6 million of the country's nearly 50 million residents infected. Sadly, young women — and particularly young pregnant women — suffer some of the highest rates of HIV infection. More than one-fourth of pregnant South African women are infected with the virus; in some communities, the infection rates are even higher. [More]
Intensive parenting and education provided in homes reduces drug use in pregnant teens

Intensive parenting and education provided in homes reduces drug use in pregnant teens

Intensive parenting and health education provided in homes of pregnant American Indian teens reduced the mothers' illegal drug use, depression and behavior problems, and set their young children on track to meet behavioral and emotional milestones they may have otherwise missed. [More]
Low sexual desire among women can be treatable

Low sexual desire among women can be treatable

Low sexual desire is common among both pre- and post-menopausal women. It can cause personal distress, harm relationships, and have a negative impact on body image and self confidence. Yet few women seek medical care for this condition, and the reasons are explored in a timely article in Journal of Women's Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. [More]
Poll: Canadians support initiatives to save lives of children, mothers in developing countries

Poll: Canadians support initiatives to save lives of children, mothers in developing countries

As Prime Minister Harper and other world leaders gather this week at the United Nations General Assembly, a new poll shows Canadians care deeply about Canada's efforts to save the lives children and mothers in developing countries who are dying of preventable causes. [More]
Study examines relationship between maternal iron intake and offspring autism risk

Study examines relationship between maternal iron intake and offspring autism risk

Mothers of children with autism are significantly less likely to report taking iron supplements before and during their pregnancies than the mothers of children who are developing normally, a study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found. [More]
Dry roasted peanuts more likely to trigger allergy risk

Dry roasted peanuts more likely to trigger allergy risk

Dry roasted peanuts are more likely to trigger an allergy to peanuts than raw peanuts, suggests an Oxford University study involving mice. [More]
Parous women have higher chance of developing estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer

Parous women have higher chance of developing estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer

Women who have had children (parous women) appear to have an increased risk of developing estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer, the subtype that carries a higher mortality rate and is more common in women of African ancestry. [More]
High impact health interventions reduce maternal and child mortality in poor countries

High impact health interventions reduce maternal and child mortality in poor countries

New studies have uncovered the specific interventions and advances that have led to the success with these at-risk populations in the poorest countries. [More]
New UNICEF report points out that 2.8 million babies die each year during first 28 days of life

New UNICEF report points out that 2.8 million babies die each year during first 28 days of life

Child survival rates have increased dramatically since 1990, during which time the absolute number of under-five deaths has been slashed in half from 12.7 million to 6.3 million, according to a report released today by UNICEF. [More]
Endo International introduces topical testosterone gel, FORTESTA Gel

Endo International introduces topical testosterone gel, FORTESTA Gel

Endo International plc announced today that it has introduced the first and only generic 2% topical testosterone gel, an authorized generic of FORTESTA® Gel (testosterone gel) CIII. [More]
Study compares breast and bottle fed infants

Study compares breast and bottle fed infants

Infant rhesus monkeys receiving different diets early in life develop distinct immune systems that persist months after weaning, a study by researchers from UC Davis, the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) at UC Davis and UC San Francisco have shown. [More]