In the News

Recent News:

Breastfeeding and the Risk of Chilhood Obesity

Obesity in children is associated with serious medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Breastfeeding can help to reduce the risk of childhood obesity.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has evaluated research studies looking at the association between breastfeeding and childhood obesity and found that:

  1. Any amount of breastfeeding results in a significant reduced risk of overweight.
  2. The longer the baby breastfeeds, the less likely they are to be overweight.
  3. Exclusive breastfeeding protects against overweight more than combining breast and formula feeding.
  4. The protection against overweight from being breastfed lasts until the teenage and adult years.

To read more about report from the Research to Practice Series “Does Breastfeeding Reduce the Risk of Pediatric Overweight?” follow this link.

Health Benefits of Breastfeeding for Moms and Babies

Breastfeeding and Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes in Developed Countries

Source: IP S, Chung M, Raman G, et al. Breastfeeding and maternal and infant health outcomes in developed countries. Retrieved from

This is an excellent summary of the association of breastfeeding and the mother’s and baby’s health. The authors read over 9,000 summaries and 100 articles and found that:

Infant health benefits

Ear Infections: Infants who breastfed only for the first 3 to 6 months of life had 50% fewer ear infections than infants who formula fed only.

Eczema: If eczema runs in the family, infants who breastfed for at least 3 months were almost half as likely (42%) to get eczema than infants who breastfed for less than 3 months.

Diarrhea: Breastfed infants had almost 2/3 (64%) less diarrhea illnesses (gastroenteritis) than formula fed infants.

Lower respiratory illness: Infants who breastfed for more than 4 months had almost ¾ (72%) fewer hospitalizations for lower respiratory illnesses (such as pneumonia and RSV).

Asthma: If there is a family history of asthma, breastfed infants are 40% less likely to develop asthma.

SIDS: Breastfed infants are more than 1/3 (35%) less likely to die from SIDS

Obesity: Breastfed infants are 7- 24% less likely to be obese as teenagers or adults.

Leukemia: Babies who are breastfed for at least 6 months are 15% less likely to get leukemia.

NEC (Necrotizing Enterocolitis): Premature infants who are breastfed are 5% less likely to get NEC.

Benefits for the mother

Breast and ovarian cancer: For every year of breastfeeding, a woman decreased her chance of getting breast or ovarian cancer by 4.3%. Breastfeeding for more than 1 year decreased the chance of getting breast or ovarian cancer by 28%.

Breastfeeding to Reduce Risk of Eczema, Asthma and Food Allergies

A recent statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) emphasizes that exclusive breastfeeding (no formula or foods) for at least 4 months is especially important for infants who are at risk for developing eczema, asthma and food allergies. These are infants who have close family members with these medical problems. Breastfeeding can delay or even prevent these conditions.

A new report by the AAP states that although breastfeeding can prevent infant allergies, currently there is not enough research to show that avoiding certain foods in a nursing mother's diet - including eggs, fish and peanut butter prevents most allergies. Some research shows that mother’s avoiding these foods while breastfeeding may protect the infant from getting eczema, but more research is needed.

The new statement suggests that research does not support mother’s avoiding certain foods during pregnancy or breastfeeding. More studies are needed to understand whether avoiding these foods have an affect on allergies.

This is different from the previous statement from 2000 which advised nursing women with infants at high risk of developing allergy to avoid cow's milk, eggs, fish, peanuts and tree nuts while nursing.

For the complete clinical report, follow this link.

New Nutritional Pyramid

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has developed a new Nutritional Pyramid specifically focusing on the nutritional needs of pregnant and breastfeeding women. “My Pyramid for Moms” allows a woman to develop her own pyramid plan and obtain nutritional advice specific to her needs. There is a menu of topics to choose for additional information and advice on the nutrition and health needs of pregnant and breastfeeding woman, prenatal weight gain, dietary supplements, special health needs, food safety and weight loss while breastfeeding. It includes additional links for further information.

To check out this new USDA Nutritional Pyramid go this link

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Medical Disclaimer: The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems, breastfeeding problems, or to take the place of professional medical care. If you have persistent breastfeeding problems, or if you have further questions, please consult your health care provider. The DC Breastfeeding Coalition does not share partnership with, or have any vested interest in, any of the businesses that may appear on this site, or sites that may be accessible by links herein contained.
Last Updated: June 2018