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Undeniable Benefits of Breastfeeding— Support for Evidence-Based International Guidelines

New Rochelle, NY, January 20, 2011 —A recent challenge to the well-established World Health Organization (WHO) breastfeeding guidelines is not supported by current research findings and unnecessarily questions the clear benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first 6 months of life.

WHO breastfeeding recommendations under attack from industry-funded scientists

WHO breastfeeding recommendations under attack from industry-funded scientists

Press release 14 January 2011

The BBC, the Guardian, The Times, The Sun and other media are carrying stories - about a comment piece from four authors published in the British Medical Journal today challenging World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation that breastfeeding is exclusive for 6 months (no other foods or drinks introduced). The media coverage implies that the challenge is based on new evidence. In fact this is not a new scientific study nor a systematic review, but the authors review of selected past research, published in the 'Comment' section of the BMJ.

Three of the four authors of the piece, Mary Fewtrell, Alan Lucas and David Wilson, receive funding from the baby food industry. The baby food industry marketing strategy is to encourage parents to move onto processed foods, rather than family foods, and promoting their introduction before 6 months generally requires feeding purees and paps, which parents are less likely to home prepare. The risks of early introduction of complementary foods have been known for many years, with the World Health Assembly adopting a Resolution in 1994 saying that complementary feeding should be fostered from 6 months (rather than 4-6 months).

Do Breastfeeding Babies Need Extra Iron at 4 Months?

Susan Burger, MHS, PhD, IBCLC

Should exclusively breastfed babies be routinely supplemented with extra iron? Yes, according to the Committee on Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in its recently issued Clinical Report. It justifies this recommendation by citing its “concerns that iron deficiency anemia and iron deficiency without anemia can have long-lasting detrimental effects on neurodevelopment.”

Bacteria Help Infants Digest Milk More Effectively Than Adults

ScienceDaily (Nov. 24, 2010) — Infants are more efficient at digesting and utilizing nutritional components of milk than adults due to a difference in the strains of bacteria that dominate their digestive tracts.

Researchers from the University of California, Davis, and Utah State University report on genomic analysis of these strains in the November 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology identifying the genes that are most likely responsible for this difference.

Postpartum Intervention/Support Prevents Smoking Relapse, Extends Breastfeeding Duration

ScienceDaily (Oct. 4, 2010) — New mothers who smoke are less likely to breastfeed. But those who quit smoking during or just prior to becoming pregnant were significantly more likely to remain smoke free and continue breastfeeding if they received support and encouragement during the first eight weeks following child birth, according to a study presented Oct. 4, at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition in San Francisco.

Studies show babies become anxious if ignored for even two minutes by mother

They may have barely mastered sitting up by themselves.

But six-month-old babies become stressed out when they don't get the attention they feel they deserve.

Levels of the stress hormone cortisol soar when they are ignored by their mother, and even a day later they are worried about the same thing happening again.

A baby who is deprived of its mother's love for just two minutes is anxious about being ignored again the next day, a study found.

Elsevier Journals Support World Breastfeeding Week 2010

In support of World Breastfeeding Week 2010, Elsevier - the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services - is pleased to open access to selected articles related to breastfeeding from the Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, Midwifery and the Journal of Pediatric Health Care. Midwives and pediatric nurse practitioners play a central role in supporting and advocating for breastfeeding.

WHO Updates Recommendations To Reduce Mother-To-Child HIV Infection

The World Health Organization issued updated guidelines for improving efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV by testing women earlier in their pregnancies and testing and treating infants sooner after their births, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Eliminating mother-to-child HIV infections by 2015 is a major goal for WHO, UNAIDS and other public health organizations. Each year, roughly 400,000 infants in developing countries are born with HIV or contract the virus during birth or while breastfeeding.

Skin-to-skin best for baby, mother

A St. Francis Xavier University psychology professor has some advice for new mothers.

Get close — really close — to your baby.

Dr. Ann Bigelow recently finished a research project into the benefits of skin-to-skin contact with babies. Over the past four years, she and her research team at the Antigonish university monitored about 100 mothers and babies who were born at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital in Antigonish and Aberdeen Hospital in New Glasgow.


Treating Tongue Tie Could Help More Babies Breastfeed

ScienceDaily (July 5, 2010) — Doctors advise new mothers to breastfeed for at least the first six months of a baby's life, but a simple yet often untreated problem can sabotage their efforts, University of Florida researchers say.

Called a tongue tie, the problem occurs when the connective tissue under the tongue is too tight. A tongue tie can hinder some newborns from being able to breastfeed properly and painlessly, and this struggle can lead many new mothers to give up breastfeeding.

Six months of breast milk best for babies

(Reuters Health) - Babies are less likely to develop a respiratory or gastrointestinal infection if they are exclusively breastfed for at least 6 months, according to a Dutch study.

These findings, reported in the journal Pediatrics, support the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation that infants be breastfed exclusively for 6 months and support "current health-policy strategies that promote exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months in industrialized countries," the researchers conclude.

Scientists Reaffirm Therapies' Effectiveness in Preventing Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission

According to the findings of two new studies, mother-to-child transmission of HIV during breastfeeding could be virtually eliminated through the timely use of anti-retroviral drugs.

The studies, one conducted in Botswana and the other in Malawi, compared the effectiveness of anti-retroviral drug regimens given to HIV-infected mothers to prevent the spread of the AIDS virus to their uninfected newborns.

Chocolate Formula: Baby Doesn't Know Best

The Mead Johnson company, makers of a leading line of infant formulas (Enfamil), has reached, as Marion Nestle wrote here last month, a new low point in the nation's nutrition history by introducing a product called Enfagrow Premium Chocolate.

This is a chocolate-flavored version (it also comes in vanilla) of formula designed for toddlers—ages 12 to 36 months, according to the company—as they transition from infancy to early childhood. The can says "Toddler Formula," which is odd since there is no way children 12 months to 36 months even need formula.

World Health Assembly adopts two landmark Resolutions on the promotion of junk foods and baby foods

Tonight, 29 years after the adoption of the landmark International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, the World Health Assembly adopted two new historic Resolutions which should have long lasting impact on child health.

First a Resolution proposed by Norway called for Member States to implement a set of recommendations which aim to reduce the impact on children of the marketing of 'junk' foods. They call on Governments to restrict marketing, including in 'settings where children gather' such as schools and to avoid conflicts of interest.

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