Influence of Infant Feeding Method on Postpartum Relapse of Mothers with MS

In an effort to determine relapse rates in breast-feeding and non–breast-feeding mothers with multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as differences in symptom prevalence between relapsing and non-relapsing mothers, weekly diaries through the first six postpartum months were kept by mothers to record the frequency and percentages of infant feeding by breast or formula and health problems that the mothers experienced. Of 140 mothers who breast-fed their infants, 35 (25%) experienced at least one neurologist-confirmed MS relapse during the first six months and 47 (33.6%) during the 12-month period; for non–breast-feeding mothers, 18 (51.4%) experienced relapse by six months and 22 (61.1%) by 12 months…
Decreased relapse rates during the first three months following delivery among breast-feeding mothers compared with non–breast-feeding mothers have implications for encouraging women with MS who wish to breast-feed their infants to do so, particularly if their pregnancy was free of relapse. Women with MS are also encouraged to postpone the initiation of immunomodulating therapy until three months following delivery or when breast-feeding is discontinued.
International Journal of MS Care, 2002, 4(4) 183-191

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