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C. Flower
18-03-2015, 07:19 AM
Dramatic results from a 3,500 person study in Brazil suggests that there are long term benefits in IQ and income earning to people who were breast fed for at least 6 months as babies.

Ireland's rate of breast feeding is dramatically low in comparison with all other states. This was the case in the 1980s and remains the case. A UCD paper that I'm linking here suggests that the particularly strong control exerted by Irish priests over body functions creates a state of shame and negativity towards breast feeding. The lack of health visitors to call to new mothers at home and help them with early breast feeding difficulties, and mixed advice in hospital, is also suggested in different studies. It does not appear to relate to work patterns or income, although it is hard to see how women in full time work and with a commute could continue.

I've given up trying to find a statistic for breastfeeding in Ireland at 6 months - I'm not sure that the information is collected.


Ireland continues to have the lowest breastfeeding rate in Europe. Just 41% of mothers here choose to breastfeed their babies, compared to 99% of mothers in Norway, 96% in Germany and 71% in the UK. Furthermore among those who do attempt it, after six weeks, just 23% are still breastfeeding.
According to Nicola O'Byrne, a Dublin nurse and lactation consultant, people are generally well informed about the benefits of breastfeeding, 'yet they often give up during the first week due to a lack of practical help and professional advice'.


There are now generations of women in Ireland who have no mother or grandmother who breast fed. Dependent on advice and help in hospitals, they seem not to be getting it. And high levels of caesarians can't be helping.

http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=8544

http://wholesomeireland.com/world-breastfeeding-week/

Ireland has a breast feeding strategy it seems, and I have met women out and about with their babies who were breast feeding recently. Should society in Ireland be doing more to enable and encourage mothers to breast feed to 6 months ?

http://www.breastfeeding.ie/policy_strategy

http://www.msn.com/en-ie/health/caregiving/the-longer-babies-breastfeed-the-more-they-achieve-in-life-%E2%80%93-major-study/ar-BBikS88?ocid=SKY2DHP

http://www.oecd.org/social/family/43136964.pdf


Breastfed babies are more likely to turn into well-educated and higher-earning adults, according to a major long-term study.Researchers in Brazil have followed nearly 6,000 babies from birth for the past three decades, enabling them for the first time to get an idea of the long-term effects of breastfeeding. Nearly 3,500 of them, now 30-year-old adults, accepted an invitation to be interviewed and sit IQ tests for the purpose of the study. Those who had been breastfed proved to be more intelligent, had spent longer at school and earned more than those who had not been. And the longer they were breastfed as a baby, the better they tended to be doing.
It is already known that breastfeeding can increase a child’s IQ by a small amount. The question that Dr Bernardo Lessa Horta from the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil wanted to answer was whether this translated into greater intelligence and better prospects as an adult.
“Our study provides the first evidence that prolonged breastfeeding not only increases intelligence until at least the age of 30 years but also has an impact both at an individual and societal level by improving educational attainment and earning ability,” he said.
The study found babies who had been breastfed for six months, as recommended by the WHO, got most of the benefits enjoyed by those who were fed for longer. Photograph: Katie Collins/PA It is not just the age of the participants that makes this study unusual. Horta says it is free of the major complication of most breastfeeding studies because, when it began in 1982, it was not just the more affluent and educated mothers who breastfed in Brazil. Breastfeeding was not limited to one socio-economic group. It was, he says, evenly distributed across the social classes. So the higher achievers at the age of 30 did not come from better-off homes.
Nonetheless, in analysing their results, now published in the Lancet Global Health journal , they took account of family income at birth, parental schooling, genomic ancestry, maternal smoking during pregnancy, maternal age, birthweight and type of delivery to try to avoid any of those factors skewing the results.
They found that all the breastfed babies had greater intelligence, as measured by a standard IQ test, had spent more years in education and had higher earnings. But the longer they had been breastfed, the greater the benefits. Children who had been breastfed for 12 months had an IQ that was four points higher than those breastfed for less than a month, had nearly a year’s more schooling and earned around 70 a month more – about a third more than the average income level.
Horta acknowledged he could not completely rule out the possibility mothers who breastfed helped their babies’ development in other ways. “Some people say it is not the effect of breastfeeding but it is the mothers who breastfeed who are different in their motivation or their ability to stimulate the kids,” he told the Guardian.
But, he said, there is evidence from other studies of the nutritional value of mother’s milk, rich in long-chain polyunsaturated acids that are essential for brain growth. Some studies have suggested babies with a particular genotype are more likely to get the IQ benefit from breastfeeding than others. Horta and colleagues are now looking to see whether that applies in their cohort.
Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is recommended by the World Health Organisation. Horta said babies who had been breastfed for six months got most of the benefits enjoyed by those who were fed for longer. “Mothers should breastfeed for as long as possible,” he said, but he recognised that extended breastfeeding is not always easy for women. Less than a quarter of new mothers in the UK are still exclusively breastfeeding by the time the baby is six weeks old.

morticia
19-03-2015, 03:30 PM
Yes, I saw this yesterday. Despite having personally largely tried to feed my own kids that way for the first 4-6 months, I have some mixed feelings about it.

Firstly, breast milk concentrates toxins such as mercury in the milk, fat storage of such in the mother can be reduced by 2% per month while feeding full time. Norway is therefore looking at its guidelines to feed for a year as a result of increased mercury load in breast fed infants. Despite all this, it might still be healthier.

However, the above study, while comprehensive, was following people for 30 years, which means they were on the formula of 30 years ago, not todays. The stuff sold today is actually much more sophisticated and attempts to mimic breast milk more closely, meaning today's bottle fed babies are more likely getting a slightly better deal.

I'm also in two minds over this owing to something Irish (but not UK) nurses actually had the basic honesty to admit; in fair skinned women, breast feeding can hurt like Hell for the first 2-3 weeks, with skin cracking, bleeding and the works. No, this is NOT always down to incorrect attachment (although this is what the La Leche League nazis would have one believe). How else would one explain a happily weight gaining baby and the mother still suffering the agonies of the damned? Anyway, Holles St handled that one a lot better than the UK birth centre, they suggested that feeding naturally every 4 hours and feeding the little piranha top up bottles in between would solve the prob. Indeed. But the PC are supposed not to tell you that, they should apparently tell you that Junior will suffer confusion over sucking technique and stop feeding. Again, the Irish nurses I dealt with on child no.3 were honest enough to say this was usually only a prob if Baby had special needs, but I just got the mantra elsewhere. I am convinced the UK lot were getting bonuses for performance, the more women they could convince.

What makes me more than a little disturbed by all this is various stories of people whose babies either had severe reflux (meaning weighted more viscous formula required to keep stuff down and Baby fed), or where the mother wasn't producing enough and Baby got severely dehydrated. In all cases, Mum given a severe inferiority complex and baby was getting pretty weak and distressed by the time the pros finally cracked and handed over a bottle.

In short, I'd agree it's probably preferable, but I'd really prefer if vulnerable women weren't made to feel like total failures if they don't/can't succeed. Always good to try, but if it isn't easy for you, don't kill yourself, or Junior, in the process.

Of course, if you persist, there are pluses (no need for complex formula mixing/warming at 2 am for example). But...another horror story, sorry.. I've heard of people warned to quit after a few months over borderline osteoporosis (something that only gets worse with age), and they've been convinced by the natural holistic brigade to keep it up.


I leave you with the words of my late grandmother, whose children are now in their 50s and 60s and seem healthy. Important to breast feed for immunity before Baby's immune system kicks in properly after 3 months. But after 3 months, it doesn't matter too much.

Bit worried this one is turning into a compulsory religious practice. And in historical times, it was well recognised that not everyone could feed successfully. Some women made a lot of money as wet nurses as a result. OK, it was fashionable for aristocrats not to feed their own children. But wet nurses were also often used where the mother was too unwell or just unable to produce enough milk herself.

C. Flower
31-10-2015, 08:57 PM
Yes, I saw this yesterday. Despite having personally largely tried to feed my own kids that way for the first 4-6 months, I have some mixed feelings about it.

Firstly, breast milk concentrates toxins such as mercury in the milk, fat storage of such in the mother can be reduced by 2% per month while feeding full time. Norway is therefore looking at its guidelines to feed for a year as a result of increased mercury load in breast fed infants. Despite all this, it might still be healthier.

However, the above study, while comprehensive, was following people for 30 years, which means they were on the formula of 30 years ago, not todays. The stuff sold today is actually much more sophisticated and attempts to mimic breast milk more closely, meaning today's bottle fed babies are more likely getting a slightly better deal.

I'm also in two minds over this owing to something Irish (but not UK) nurses actually had the basic honesty to admit; in fair skinned women, breast feeding can hurt like Hell for the first 2-3 weeks, with skin cracking, bleeding and the works. No, this is NOT always down to incorrect attachment (although this is what the La Leche League nazis would have one believe). How else would one explain a happily weight gaining baby and the mother still suffering the agonies of the damned? Anyway, Holles St handled that one a lot better than the UK birth centre, they suggested that feeding naturally every 4 hours and feeding the little piranha top up bottles in between would solve the prob. Indeed. But the PC are supposed not to tell you that, they should apparently tell you that Junior will suffer confusion over sucking technique and stop feeding. Again, the Irish nurses I dealt with on child no.3 were honest enough to say this was usually only a prob if Baby had special needs, but I just got the mantra elsewhere. I am convinced the UK lot were getting bonuses for performance, the more women they could convince.

What makes me more than a little disturbed by all this is various stories of people whose babies either had severe reflux (meaning weighted more viscous formula required to keep stuff down and Baby fed), or where the mother wasn't producing enough and Baby got severely dehydrated. In all cases, Mum given a severe inferiority complex and baby was getting pretty weak and distressed by the time the pros finally cracked and handed over a bottle.

In short, I'd agree it's probably preferable, but I'd really prefer if vulnerable women weren't made to feel like total failures if they don't/can't succeed. Always good to try, but if it isn't easy for you, don't kill yourself, or Junior, in the process.

Of course, if you persist, there are pluses (no need for complex formula mixing/warming at 2 am for example). But...another horror story, sorry.. I've heard of people warned to quit after a few months over borderline osteoporosis (something that only gets worse with age), and they've been convinced by the natural holistic brigade to keep it up.


I leave you with the words of my late grandmother, whose children are now in their 50s and 60s and seem healthy. Important to breast feed for immunity before Baby's immune system kicks in properly after 3 months. But after 3 months, it doesn't matter too much.

Bit worried this one is turning into a compulsory religious practice. And in historical times, it was well recognised that not everyone could feed successfully. Some women made a lot of money as wet nurses as a result. OK, it was fashionable for aristocrats not to feed their own children. But wet nurses were also often used where the mother was too unwell or just unable to produce enough milk herself.


I dunno Morticia. In most countries all these things only deter less than 10% of women, here it seems only 1 in 40 women make it to 6 months. This is hardly an indication of women being over-pressured in Ireland. On the contrary, breast feeding being a natural function (and free), it is extraordinary that so few women do it.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/only-50-of-newborns-breastfed-as-mothers-forgo-health-benefits-1.2305187

morticia
31-10-2015, 09:20 PM
All I can say is that I find it amazing the number of people that try and fail. There is scientific evidence that the more melanin one has in one's skin, the more defence one has against infection. Northern Europeans may well pay a high price for better vitamin D synthesis. I also think Irish people have a healthy disrespect for those who tell us what to do, and formula isn't seriously deleterious. Having talked to many who have serious difficulties, I'm worried this is turning into a bit of a cult. And I breast fed all of my own children, albeit with occasional supplements from the bottle occasionally.

C. Flower
01-11-2015, 12:47 AM
All I can say is that I find it amazing the number of people that try and fail. There is scientific evidence that the more melanin one has in one's skin, the more defence one has against infection. Northern Europeans may well pay a high price for better vitamin D synthesis. I also think Irish people have a healthy disrespect for those who tell us what to do, and formula isn't seriously deleterious. Having talked to many who have serious difficulties, I'm worried this is turning into a bit of a cult. And I breast fed all of my own children, albeit with occasional supplements from the bottle occasionally.

Still, this, if the study is not in some way defective, is an extraordinary finding.

It is not just the age of the participants that makes this study unusual. Horta says it is free of the major complication of most breastfeeding studies because, when it began in 1982, it was not just the more affluent and educated mothers who breastfed in Brazil. Breastfeeding was not limited to one socio-economic group. It was, he says, evenly distributed across the social classes. So the higher achievers at the age of 30 did not come from better-off homes.

Nonetheless, in analysing their results, now published in the Lancet Global Health journal , they took account of family income at birth, parental schooling, genomic ancestry, maternal smoking during pregnancy, maternal age, birthweight and type of delivery to try to avoid any of those factors skewing the results.

They found that all the breastfed babies had greater intelligence, as measured by a standard IQ test, had spent more years in education and had higher earnings. But the longer they had been breastfed, the greater the benefits. Children who had been breastfed for 12 months had an IQ that was four points higher than those breastfed for less than a month, had nearly a year’s more schooling and earned around 70 a month more – about a third more than the average income level.

I can't help wondering if this is to do with the quality of bonding between mother and child, rather than nutrients, that might account for this. But I can't think of any way of designing a study to test that out.

C. Flower
24-06-2017, 09:36 PM
An Australian senator moved a motion in the House today whilst breast feeding.
It does not seem to have cramped her style in any way.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/22/australian-senator-breastfeeds-baby-moving-motion-parliament/