Breastfeeding and Breastmilk Facts

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Breastfeeding and Breastmilk Facts
Breastfeeding and Breastmilk Facts

Here are some breastfeeding facts from 2005. Of course, time changes, but it is always interesting to read old beliefs and ways of doing things.


Fragrance can affect breast milk

Traces of synthetic perfumes, deodorants and cosmetics have been found in the breast milk of many women in the United States. The effects of perfume on he alth are still little known.

According to the New York State Department of He alth, the rate of synthetic fragrances found in American women is five times higher than that observed in European women a few years ago.

Since fragrances do not accumulate in human tissues, the increase in fragrance level is therefore caused by greater exposure to different fragrances. The researchers also observed an increase in the concentration of fragrances in soil, water, nature and human fat.

Is it dangerous? Scientists don't know. In fact, the he alth effects of these polycyclic musks are still little known.

Breastfeeding moms' laughter can be good for baby's allergies

The increase in the level of melatonin in breast milk inwould be responsible.

The laughter of a nursing mother would help baby fight a form of allergic eczema, according to a Japanese study which proposes as an explanation the increase in the level of melatonin in breast milk. The work of Hajime Kimata (Moriguchi-Keijinkai Hospital in Osaka, Japan) involved 48 breastfed babies aged 5 to 6 months, allergic to latex and house dust mites and suffering from atopic eczema.

Half the mums of these babies watched a Charlie Chaplin movie (Modern Times), while the rest watched a bland weather program. After the screening, the Japanese researcher measured the level of melatonin (a hormone produced by a small organ located in the brain, the epiphysis) in breast milk. He thus detected higher levels of the hormone in mothers who had seen Chaplin's film. Babies whose mothers had a good laugh watching this cult film had significantly lower allergic skin reactions.

The study (2007), echoed by the British popular magazine New Scientist, was published in the specialist journal Journal of Psychosomatic Research.

Epidural would make breastfeeding more difficult

Women who give birth with epidurals may have more difficulty breastfeeding than those who choose to give birth without anesthesia, says Australian study.

This study, one of the largest of its kind, was published in the International Journal of Breastfeeding and hasfocused on approximately 1,200 women. Mothers who give birth on an epidural are more likely to have breastfeeding difficulties in the first few days after birth. They are also twice as likely as others to stop breastfeeding within the first six months.

Epidemiologist at the University of Sydney, Siranda Torvaldsen said most women, 93%, breastfed their child during the first week. "We found, in this group of 1,280 women, those who were already only partially breastfeeding after the first week had usually had an epidural," she told AFP. The study also found that aside from specific factors, 72% of mothers who gave birth naturally were still breastfeeding six months after birth, compared to only 53% for others. The researchers explained that the substances contained in the anesthetic could cause a drowsiness reaction in the baby, causing him to have difficulty suckling during the first few days after birth.

“The important thing is that mums are properly informed and counseled so they know this is a temporary phenomenon,” said Siranda Torvaldsen.

Breastfeeding: the mother's diet influences the baby's tastes

Mothers who eat lots of fruits and vegetables while breastfeeding their children are less likely to have their tongues sticking out when it comes time to swallow greenery.scientists at the Monell Center in Philadelphia studied the reactions of 45 babies, some breastfed and some bottle-fed, to their first servings of green beans and peaches.

Children who were breastfed by mothers who loved fruits and vegetables were less likely to turn their noses up at solid food. However, they showed a preference for sweets, like their mother. Interestingly, both breastfed and bottle-fed babies relished food more and more as they were exposed to it. The researchers therefore recommend that parents not be discouraged by the facial expressions of their toddlers, unless they completely refuse to eat. The findings of the study, funded by the Canadian Institutes of He alth Research, were published in the December journal Pediatrics.

DHA enriched formula would be better

DHA has been added to formula given to premature babies for quite some time. Some companies have started offering fortified formula for all babies.

Babies fed formula experimentally fortified with DHA fatty acid appear to develop higher cognitive abilities than babies given only regular formula, new study finds.

Previous studies have already established that the cognitive abilities of breastfed babies are superior to those of formula-fed babies, and that this advantageseemed to persist through childhood. The researchers had suggested that the difference may be due to the naturally high concentration of DHA in human milk.

Researchers at the University of Texas therefore studied about 200 babies who were randomly given either fortified formula or regular formula. All babies were then assessed at nine months of age; those fed DHA-enriched milk performed significantly better on a problem-solving test.

A spokesperson for the Canadian Pediatric Society (CPS) indicated that children who participated in the study should be studied long term to determine if the benefit detected at nine months persists. For now, says Dr. Robert Issenman, the CPS continues to favor exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and, ideally, until the age of one year.

DHA is a fatty acid essential for the normal functioning of the brain and retina. DHA deficiency has been linked to mood swings, memory loss, and visual and neurological disturbances.

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