Policies supportive of new mothers in workplaces are strongly encouraged
Babies fully breastfed for six months are less likely to suffer from respiratory illnesses in their first two years than babies fully breastfed for only four months, according to research conducted by investigators at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, the University of Rochester and the American Academy of Pediatrics, Center for Child Health Research.
"We found that babies who received an additional two months of full breastfeeding were over four times less likely to contract pneumonia and half as likely to suffer recurrent ear infections," said lead author Caroline Chantry, a pediatrician with UC Davis Children’s Hospital. Chantry and her colleagues found that the health benefits of the additional two months of full breastfeeding continued to protect babies from respiratory illnesses through their second birthdays.
"This finding adds to the mounting evidence that the longer a mother breastfeeds her infant, the greater the health benefits," Chantry said. Previous research by others has shown that exclusive breastfeeding for six months also provides greater protection against gastrointestinal infections, she added.
The current findings appear in the February 2006 issue of Pediatrics. They were first reported in 2002 at a joint meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies and American Academy of Pediatrics in Baltimore, Md. Since then, those preliminary findings have been used to support the recommendation that women breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of their baby’s lives. The AAP first began making that recommendation in 1997.
As recently as 2005, however, the AAP Committee on Nutrition said more research was needed to support the position on breastfeeding. Chantry said she hopes the peer-reviewed publication of her research will finally settle the lingering controversy over the advice American women receive from their physicians and organizations like the AAP.
In the published study, Chantry and her colleagues conducted an analysis of a nationally representative, cross-sectional survey of 2,277 children between the ages of 6 and 24 months. They identified five groups -- formula-fed only, full breastfeeding for less than one month, full breastfeeding from one to four months, full breastfeeding from four to less than six months and full breastfeeding for six months or more. Full breastfeeding allows for the use of formula on less than a daily basis.
The researchers then looked at the percent of children in each group who experienced pneumonia, wheezing and recurrent (three or more) colds or ear infections. The results showing the protective effects of the additional two months of breastfeeding held even when the data were adjusted for age, birth weight, ethnicity, poverty, two-parent household, parental education, family size, child care and passive smoke exposure.
Despite the proven benefits of breastfeeding, the reality for many women is that breastfeeding is difficult to maintain after going back to work. By law, employers only have to give women six weeks of maternity leave.
"It may become burdensome to pump regularly even if a woman has an accommodating employer," Chantry said.
Chantry said research here and in other countries has shown that longer maternity leaves, pump-friendly workplaces and child care in the workplace all result in longer lengths of breastfeeding. In addition, employers who provide clean, comfortable places to pump and on-site child care save money due to decreases in absenteeism due to child illness, lower employee turnover due to dissatisfaction and lower direct health care costs.
While many women need support to continue breastfeeding when returning to work, others need help right from the start.
"Most women experience difficulties when they leave the hospital. These challenges often lead to premature weaning," Chantry explained. Women need access to lactation consultants and others who can support their efforts to fully breastfeed their babies. Supporting women early on, she added, means healthier babies and children in the long run.
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Information Technology