Some states such as California, Oregon and Vermont have the highest rates of breastfeeding, but some southern states are still lagging behind. It is possible that the attitude toward breastfeeding and support is different based on the region of the country. Breastfeeding can help to fight against infections, diabetes, and leukemia in babies and is also be beneficial to mothers. How often do you educate pregnant patients and new mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding?
For additional information, please see the Washington Post.
The FDA has teamed up with the American Academy of Pediatrics to revise lactation information on drug labels. The “Nursing Mothers” section on drug labels will be replaced with a “Lactation” section which will include detailed information about the drug’s transfer to breast milk and its potential to harm to an infant. This will inform breast-feeding moms when they can safely take medications. Also, this would do-away with the blanket legal statement that cautions against taking nearly any medication while pregnant when in fact only a small proportion of medications are contraindicated. What are your current recommendations to women who breastfeed while on drug therapy? Are you excited about this new clinical report?
A new prospective cohort study performed in Massachusetts examined the relationship between breastfeeding duration and child’s cognition at ages three and seven years. Study included 1,312 pregnant women from April 22, 1999 to July 31, 2002 and followed their children up to age of seven years. At age three, children who were breastfed for longer time period did better on language test. At age seven, children who were breastfed for longer time period did much better on intelligence tests which included reading and writing. Breastfeeding also has other benefits including lowering risk of eczema, ear and stomach infections in young children. A question was raised on whether mother’s intellectual level played a role in children’s intelligence, but this study showed the association of breastfeeding with intellectual development while controlling those parameters. How often do you discuss the length of breastfeeding with patients who are new mothers?
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A large, long-term trial published in this week’s issue of JAMA dispels previous research that showed breastfeeding may prevent childhood obesity. Investigators followed a group of nearly 14,000 breastfeeding mother-infant pairs in Belarus for a median of 11.5 years. The group randomized to receive WHO/UNICEF breastfeeding promotion intervention was found to have breastfed significantly longer and more exclusively than those who received no intervention. Researchers concluded there was no difference in obesity or insulin-like growth factor between the two groups, but that many health benefits of breastfeeding still remain. What other conditions or diseases has breastfeeding been reported to prevent?
For more information, please see Reuters
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