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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.
New article highlights positive impact of the BFHI on breastfeeding outcomes

New article highlights positive impact of the BFHI on breastfeeding outcomes

The 10-step Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, aimed at promoting breastfeeding initiation and exclusivity to improve early infant health in the U.S. is having a positive impact on some measures, but others have proven more challenging to influence or assess. [More]
Hygiene hypothesis: a misleading misnomer? An interview with Professor Sally Bloomfield

Hygiene hypothesis: a misleading misnomer? An interview with Professor Sally Bloomfield

Professor Strachan first proposed the hygiene hypothesis back in 1989. Reviewing the evidence, he suggested that one of the causes of the recent rapid rise in allergic diseases in children was lack of exposure to childhood infections [More]
Distraction techniques can help calm children from shot-related anxiety during flu season

Distraction techniques can help calm children from shot-related anxiety during flu season

A typical visit to the pediatrician when it is time for a child to get a shot can include tears, tantrums and might not seem worth the trouble. [More]
Study finds positive link between planned home births and breast feeding

Study finds positive link between planned home births and breast feeding

A new study by academics in Trinity College Dublin has found that there is a strong positive relationship between planned birth at home and breast feeding: breastfeeding was twice as likely after planned home births compared to hospital births. [More]
New drug prevents vaginal and oral transmission of HIV in pre-clinical animal models

New drug prevents vaginal and oral transmission of HIV in pre-clinical animal models

HIV remains a major health concern for women and children globally. Worldwide, the majority of new HIV infections occur in young women. Each year, 1.5 million women living with HIV become pregnant. [More]
PolyU researchers discover inadequate intakes of micronutrients among Hong Kong lactating women

PolyU researchers discover inadequate intakes of micronutrients among Hong Kong lactating women

While breastfeeding has become more common across the globe in recent years, lactating women may not be aware of the nutrient adequacy of their breast milk and how their daily diet affects their nutrition intakes. [More]
University of Southampton hosts two virtual workshops to address Breastfeeding Dilemma

University of Southampton hosts two virtual workshops to address Breastfeeding Dilemma

How do we support and encourage breastfeeding, without subjecting those who are unable, or choose not to, breastfeed to shame and guilt? [More]
Pre-term infants fed with breast milk have better IQs, working memory and motor function, study shows

Pre-term infants fed with breast milk have better IQs, working memory and motor function, study shows

A new study, which followed 180 pre-term infants from birth to age seven, found that babies who were fed more breast milk within the first 28 days of life had had larger volumes of certain regions of the brain at term equivalent and had better IQs, academic achievement, working memory, and motor function. [More]
Maternal HIV infection could alter gut microbiome of HIV-exposed, uninfected infants

Maternal HIV infection could alter gut microbiome of HIV-exposed, uninfected infants

A study led by researchers at The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles suggests that maternal HIV infection influences the microbiome of their HIV-uninfected infants. [More]
Breastfeeding leads to long-term metabolic changes in mothers, study shows

Breastfeeding leads to long-term metabolic changes in mothers, study shows

An interdisciplinary team of scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München has studied the metabolism of women with gestational diabetes after giving birth. [More]
Maternal antiretroviral treatment eliminates HIV transmission to infants during breastfeeding

Maternal antiretroviral treatment eliminates HIV transmission to infants during breastfeeding

For HIV-infected mothers whose immune system is in good health, taking a three-drug antiretroviral regimen during breastfeeding essentially eliminates HIV transmission by breast milk to their infants, according to results from a large clinical trial conducted in sub-Saharan Africa and India. [More]
In-hospital formula introduction and family history may help explain racial, ethnic breastfeeding disparities

In-hospital formula introduction and family history may help explain racial, ethnic breastfeeding disparities

A national research collaboration funded by the National Institutes of Health has found significant racial and ethnic disparities in breastfeeding outcomes, according to a study published online this week in Pediatrics. [More]
IAEA study: Maternal HIV status does not influence growth, breast milk intake of HIV-negative infants

IAEA study: Maternal HIV status does not influence growth, breast milk intake of HIV-negative infants

There are no differences in growth, body composition or breast milk intake among HIV-negative infants, whether born to HIV-positive or HIV-negative mothers, an IAEA-supported research project in Kenya has found. [More]
Food chemists find garlic aroma in breast milk of women who have consumed garlic

Food chemists find garlic aroma in breast milk of women who have consumed garlic

Food chemists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg have found that garlic aroma is evident in the breast milk of women who have consumed garlic. [More]
Research shows how breastfeeding rates differ among white, black and Hispanic mothers

Research shows how breastfeeding rates differ among white, black and Hispanic mothers

Chapman University has published research on how breastfeeding rates differ among white, black and Hispanic mothers. [More]
Non-drug solutions for postpartum depression: an interview with Dr David Brock & Christopher Thatcher

Non-drug solutions for postpartum depression: an interview with Dr David Brock & Christopher Thatcher

Postpartum depression (PPD) is reported to occur in 10-15% of delivering women with an estimated 400,000 women affected annually in the US. It is the most common complication of childbirth and is a significant public health concern. [More]
BMC receives grant to optimally support child wellbeing from preconception period through age 5

BMC receives grant to optimally support child wellbeing from preconception period through age 5

Boston Medical Center's Vital Village Network has received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation aimed at developing the infrastructure to support all children entering kindergarten at a healthy weight. [More]
Implementation science may help prevent mother-to-child HIV transmissions

Implementation science may help prevent mother-to-child HIV transmissions

An emerging field, known as implementation science, may help reduce the nearly 150,000 instances of mother-to-child HIV transmissions that occur annually around the world, mostly in developing countries. c [More]
Disrupted fetal immune system increases later risk of neurodevelopmental diseases

Disrupted fetal immune system increases later risk of neurodevelopmental diseases

Disrupted fetal immune system development, such as that caused by viral infection in the mother, may be a key factor in the later appearance of certain neurodevelopmental disorders. [More]
Simple method may help predict type 2 diabetes risk in women with gestational diabetes

Simple method may help predict type 2 diabetes risk in women with gestational diabetes

An international team of researchers has discovered a simple, accurate new way to predict which women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes after delivery. [More]
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