There is tremendous anger and angst that poisons conversations about breastfeeding and prevents us from finding common ground.Comments / Add a comment
A new study by Colen and Ramey has been getting a lot of buzz: they argue that the long-term effects of breastfeeding have been exaggerated. In their study they looked at discordant siblings, pairs in which one child was breastfed and another was not
They found that the effects of breastfeeding were attenuated and that statistical significance evaporated.
As I’ve been writing this post in my head, it’s been getting longer and longer. I am going to compel myself to be brief, and I also need to be clear that I don’t yet have the full text of the paper. I’ll report back when I get it. A few considerations:
1. Breastfeeding is not important because it is The Magic Elixir That Prevents All Ills. Breastfeeding is important because it has modest but statistically robust effects across a surprisingly large number of domains. Don’t go looking for big effect sizes in long-term breastfeeding studies.Comments / Add a comment
I’ve compiled a list of phrases that are often used when a mom is experiencing pain or other difficulties during breastfeeding. I will try to show you why they are inaccurate and how knowing them before you talk to your doctor can be empowering.Comments / Add a comment
Mothers who expressed a strong intent to breastfeed did so far less when their babies received formula. Research shows that these mothers are less likely to fully breastfeed their babies in the second month of life and more likely to quit breastfeeding early, even if they had hoped to breastfeed longer. While previous studies have examined the relationship between formula use and breastfeeding, some have questioned the results, wondering if mothers using formula were simply less committed to breastfeeding. To examine this objection, this team surveyed expectant mothers to determine their intentions toward breastfeeding and then followed them closely after delivery to see how they fared.Comments / Add a comment
The emergence of autism in young children appears to result from dysmyelination of brain neurons, related to inadequate supply of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) in the newborn. The deficiency of IGF in affected infants may be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors yet to be determined. If this hypothesis is correct, breastfeeding in particular could increase IGF levels, thereby compensating for an inborn deficiency of the growth factor.Comments / Add a comment
Pre-pregnancy obesity and older maternal age are among the risk factors for delayed lactation for women with gestational diabetes mellitus, according to a study.Comments / Add a comment
I am thrilled to announce the release of my new Breastfeeding Solutions smartphone app for mothe…
An alternative to the apps offered by formula companies.Comments / Add a comment
Most breast-feeding moms can safely take the medications and vaccines they need, without fear they’ll harm a nursing infant, according to a new report from a leading group of U.S. pediatricians.Comments / Add a comment
A message from one of my former clients, who experienced a rare but serious breastfeeding complication:
I am expecting my 2nd baby … and I had a question about breastfeeding. I have tried reaching out to a few people and no one seems to be able to really help me. I ebf [my first baby] until he was 12.5 months old. At around 10 months old, right around when we moved, I developed what I feel was bad breastfeeding aversion. I had it for the whole 2.5 months I continued to breastfeed. The feelings would come on as soon as he latched, I had feelings of uncontrollable anger, feelings of want to throw him(I would never do that), many other horrible feelings, and would often scratch my legs or dig my nails in to deal with the whole nursing session, leaving a bit of scarring for a while. I’m more concerned about still having this when baby #2 is born. I want to have a positive nursing relationship with this baby and I absolutely loved nursing up until these feelings started. Do you know if it is likely I will still have these feelings when the baby is born or does it all start out new? Do you know if there are ways to get through it if it develops again? Any information you can give me is appreciated. BTW, if we were still in MD, we would have hired you again P.S. If you feel someone else might find this question helpful, feel free to post it publicly, but please do not post my name. Thanks.
Congratulations on your pregnancy!
I’m sorry to hear that you had trouble with breastfeeding. It sounds like you had a great start. I think the feelings you were having were Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex, D-MER.
I don’t know if the D-MER will return right away with the new baby, if it will hold off for many months, or if it will stay away altogether. The good news is that there are treatments that can help. I hope you’ll take the research to your doctor now and discuss a course of action so that you can be prepared. The website http://d-mer.org/ has information on a variety of possible treatments.
And of course, I hope you’ll find a doula.
Thank you for allowing me to share your question with others. I will do so as soon as I scrub identifying information.
I wish you all the best. Please let me know how things go.
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Jamie Mahurin Smith, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, joins Peter Reizes to discuss her recently published study with Nicoline G. Ambrose in the Journal of Communication Disorders titled “Breastfeeding may protect against persistent stuttering.” In their study, the researcher’s found that “increased breastfeeding duration reduces the odds that a child’s stuttering will persist.”
JAMIE MAHURIN SMITH, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a researcher, speech-language pathologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Illinois State University.