Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer

Assumption: Breastfeeding is good for the baby and for bonding, but otherwise is insignificant to the mother.


The authors of this study found a direct correlation between breast cancer (or lack thereof) and breastfeeding.  More women with breast cancer had either not breastfed at all or had done so for a shorter duration (less than 10 months) than those without breast cancer (over 15 months).


My Views:Of course, this is all statistics and breastfeeding will not assure that you will not get breast cancer, but it is certainly good information to know!  The more I read, the more convinced I am that our hormones play a big part in both our personalities and our health.  This study does not state that hormones are the reason for the protectiveness breastfeeding provides, but I would not be surprised if future studies do demonstrate the importance of the hormones released while breastfeeding.


Infant Gut Microbiota

Assumption: All human guts contain similar microbiota.

This study analyzed the gut microbiota of infants and determined that two factors significantly impacted the types of microbiota found.  The factors were elective cesarean birth and ingestion of infant formula.

My Views:
This study does not define any particular gut microbiota as “good” or “bad.”  It simply states that the make-up is *different* in babies, depending on type of delivery and what they are fed.  From here we can research how each of these microbes works and what we can do to keep our babies as healthy as possible.  So, I don’t see this study as an endpoint, but as a beginning.

IV Fluids and Weight

Assumption: There is probably a problem with the baby’s eating if s/he loses too much weight after birth.

A new Canadian study found that cases in which moms had IV fluids during childbirth, their babies were “overhydrated” at birth and lost more weight initially than babies whose mothers did not have IV fluids.

My Views:
I know a lot of moms who have worried about their babies dropping weight initially and have been afraid they (moms) are not producing enough milk and their babies are hungry.  I hope this study will reassure moms that their milk production is not the problem and in fact, there is no problem!  Dropping weight that was caused by overhydration is no problem at all.  How great is that?!

Exclusive Breastfeeding

Assumption:  Mothers must introduce their children to solids between 4 and 6 months.

Babies who were exclusively breastfed for 6 months had better gastrointestinal health, were not growth impaired, and did not experience any adverse affects to the delay in introduction of solids.

My Views:
I thought it was pretty common to wait for 6 months to introduce solids, but I am hearing from more and more people that they are being advised to start at 4 months.  My experience is that at 4 months, most babies spit most of it back out anyway! 🙂  I’ve waited until 6 months with all of mine and they’ve all been perfectly healthy.  In fact, my daughter hated purees and hardly ate any solids until she could feed herself at around 9 months.  She’s a great eater now, at age 2.  I’ve heard of kids with allergies who were uninterested in eating solids for up to a year.  I think that going by baby’s cues is a better way to decide than judging by months, but I hope these studies will help encourage moms to wait until babies are ready to eat!