Monday, August 29, 2011


Affirmations are positive statements that describe a desired situation, and which are repeated many times, in order to impress the subconscious mind and trigger it into positive action. In order to ensure the effectiveness of the affirmations, they have to be repeated with attention, conviction, interest and desire.

Often, people repeat negative statements in their minds, without even being aware of what they are doing. Do you keep thinking and telling yourself that you cannot do something, you are too lazy, lack inner strength, or that you are going to fail? Your subconscious mind accepts as true what you keep saying, and eventually attracts corresponding events and situations into your life, irrespective whether they are good or bad for you, so why not choose only positive statements?

How affirmations work :

We go through our life according to our beliefs. For example, we know it and hence it is our belief that if we touch anything hot, it will cause burns. Hence we don't touch hot things with our bare hands. However, the belief system of small children is not yet formed. Hence, they do not know the difference between hot and cold and are likely to touch hot things with their bare hands. (hence we have to take greater care of small children than grown up children).

If they get burns on their hand, or, alternately if they are told repeatedly that touching hot things is bad, then their belief system forms and they will avoid touching hot things. This is an example of affirmations at work.

All our beliefs are stored in the subconscious mind. So, if you find that you are unable to make lots of money, or, you make money but are unable to hold on to it, it may be due to such beliefs held in the subconscious mind as "I do not deserve to be prosperous" or "Money is bad", etc. In order to change our beliefs, we have to operate at the level of the subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind is like your computer. It takes an input, processes it and gives an output. It does not think by itself. It does not distinguish between good and bad. If we put garbage in a computer we get garbage as output. (Hence the phrase GIGO which means Garbage In, Garbage Out). That is why your mother told you to keep good company and avoid bad company. In good company you hear good and positive thoughts, see good actions being performed, good deeds being done. By constantly being in good company these good things get impressed on your subconscious mind and, in turn, your thoughts and actions also turn out to be good. That is why Napoleon Hill says, "If you want to be rich, be in the company of rich men". Also, it is a known fact that your income tends to be the average of the incomes of the ten people with whom you associate yourself the most.

So, in order to change your beliefs and create a new reality, you have to bombard your subconscious mind with thoughts of your desire. While doing so, there are certain dos and don'ts to be followed for optimum use of affirmations. These are listed below :

•Use the present tense. Do not use the future tense. If you say, "I will be rich", your being rich will forever be in the future! The subconscious mind tries to literally bring about what it is asked to do. Hence say "I am rich" or "I choose to be rich". According to some psychologists, the term "choose" is better as then, being rich becomes your choice. And anyway, isn't it true that your present life is the result of the choices you have made in the past?

•Be POSITIVE. Only positive statements work. It seems the subconscious mind is incapable of dealing in negatives. So, if you say "I am not fat", then when the statement reaches the subconscious mind, the term "not" is ignored and it becomes "I am fat"!

•Affirmations can either be spoken or be written down. When speaking, repeat them emphatically, preferably throughout the day. The least you can do is repeat them at least twenty times in the morning just when you get up and twenty times in the evening just before you go to sleep. Another great way is to write them down at least fifteen times daily. Writing is a faster way of impressing your subconscious mind. Napoleon Hill, in his legendary book "Think and Grow Rich" suggests the card method which is highly effective. Write down your affirmation or a picture of your desire (car, house, etc.) on a 3" x 5" card and keep it in your pocket. Throughout the day, whenever you get the chance, remove the card, look at it or read it and keep it back. Do this several times a day. Then there is also the famous "mirror technique" given below.

•Repetition. In order to bring about significant changes in your life, affirmations have to be done several times a day till such time that they become a reality. If you do them for a few days only, the expected results may not come. Be bull doggish about them, i.e. continue doing them till your goals are accomplished. The story is told of two neighboring villages A and B which always faced water shortage. Village A then learnt of a rain dance which they performed and duly received rains. Seeing this, village B also performed the rain dance but did not get any rains. They did this several times but still no rains. Ultimately, the chief of village B approached the chief of village A and asked for help. The chief of village A replied, "We do the rain dance till we get the rains." Ditto for affirmations. Do them till you get your desired results.

Mirror Technique : I first learned about the mirror technique in the self help classic "The Magic Of Believing" by Claude Bristol. It has been referred to by other great authors too, one of my favorites being Louise L. Hay in her best selling book "You Can Heal Your Life". The technique is as follows:

Stand in front of a mirror, look into your eyes and repeat the affirmations with gusto. Put energy into them. Looking into your own eyes deeply helps connect with your subconscious mind. However, you have to do this on a very regular basis. In fact, Louise L. Hay says in her above mentioned book that when you are in your house and whenever you pass in front of your mirror, stop and repeat the statements a few times. This is a very powerful technique. I can personally vouch for the efficacy of this technique. Here is a list of affirimations which have been going around for decades and have produced wonderful results for many people.

I have prepared some sample affirimations on a variety of topics. Please remember that you may also prepare your own on similar lines. Also, it is a good idea to combine one or more of them. Whenever possible, say them in front of a mirror. Also remember that you are trying to reprogram a lifetime of thinking habits. This takes time. If you are repeating the affirmations about a hundred times a day in front of a mirror, allow a period of at least six months to elapse before expecting results.

Combining creative visualization and affermations can lead to speedy results.

Prasanna Vishwasrao

How Chiropractic Can Help With Your Pregnancy and Birth

How Chiropractic Can Help With Your Pregnancy and Birth
by Birth Without Fear on August 24, 2011

Morning sickness. Vomiting. Nausea. Back pain. Pelvic pain. Shortness of breath. Hormones gone wild. High blood pressure. Swollen ankles.

These symptoms are seen as normal during pregnancy, something you better get used to for the next 38-42 weeks. You wanted a baby, now deal with it. Right?

Wrong. Sure these examples are common among pregnant women, but the intensity or even the presence of these symptoms will greatly diminish if under Chiropractic care.


As we established in previous posts, the nervous system controls all in your body. Under the direction of your body’s Innate Intelligence, the nervous system will adapt to the changes brought on by a growing new life inside of you. This new life you carry has its own Innate Intelligence that will do whatever it must to preserve the health and well being of itself. This will come at your expense, causing a number of deficiencies that your Innate Intelligence will have no choice but to adapt to.

The presence of a vertebral subluxation will interfere with the nervous system’s ability to communicate back and forth with the body. The subluxation will result in three things:

1.) Body Imbalance – a subluxation at your atlas will tilt your head to one side. Your brain has a reflex called the righting reflex which keeps your eyes level with the horizon. This will cause your lower cervical spine to bend the opposite way of your head tilt. To compensate, your thoracic spine will bend the opposite way, then the opposite way in the lumbar spine, resulting in one side of your pelvis being drawn up and causing one leg to appear shorter than the other, as well as an uneven distribution of weight putting undue stress on the joints. An unevenly aligned pelvis during pregnancy can be incredibly painful, as well as problematic for the baby trying to get into a proper birthing position.

2.) Nerve Tension or Pressure – Because of these compensations traveling down your spine, the muscles on one or both sides of your spine will become very tight, and inflammatory effects will take place and escalate in places of spinal misalignment. These changes will add stress to the nerves exiting your spinal column at some level, be it the nerve root or further along the distribution of the nerve. The nerves exiting your spine all lead to various parts of your body, including muscles, organs, glands, and blood vessels. Left alone and, over time, this nerve stress will lead to degeneration in these various body systems.

3.) Brain Stem Tension or Pressure – A subluxation of your atlas (C1) vertebra will not only narrow the spinal canal in which the spinal cord travels down, but this narrowed space will result in an increase of pressure within this spinal canal. This added pressure will cause undue stress to the brain stem located just above the atlas.

If you remember Christopher Reeve, he shattered his atlas and nearly severed his spinal cord at the level of his axis (C2) vertebra. The brain stem is the Houston Control of your body, coordinating any and all communication from the brain to the body and vice versa. Because of an injury to this area near the brain stem, Christopher Reeve could not breathe on his own without a respirator and he eventually died of heart failure due to decreased brain stem function.

As you can see, the results of a vertebral subluxation do not equate to healthy changes in your body. Your Innate Intelligence can only do so much when given a limitation of matter. Add in a growing baby using up much of your body’s resources to survive and grow within you, and you can begin to see where a subluxation can wreak havoc on the health of a pregnant woman.


The spinal compensations resulting from the subluxation may result in distorted pelvic positioning, causing the baby to get into an unfavorable position for birth, possibly breech. This unfavorable position could be adding increased pressure to your pelvic veins and vena cava (the large vein on the right side of your body carrying blood from the legs back up to the heart). This pressure could slow down the flow of blood back up to the heart, causing the blood to pool in your legs. This will only add to the swelling you might be experiencing in your ankles, as well as contributing to the increased risk of preeclampsia in your last trimester.

The nerve pressure and tension caused by the spinal compensations in the spine may lead to improper signals to be sent to various organs and tissues. Pressure and tension on the nerves in your mid to upper thoracic spine may lead to decreased function of the heart and/or lungs. This may result in an added shortness of breath. Or maybe high blood pressure, adding to that risk of preeclampsia.

Maybe pressure in the lower thoracic, lumbar, and sacral nerves results in decreased blood flow to organs such as your kidney and liver. This could result in decreased organ function, which may cause protein to leak into the urine, another sign of preeclampsia. Nerve tension in these lower spinal areas may result in a tight uterus, making you unable to relax during labor due to the pain you feel with each contraction. This might keep you from dilating properly, only adding to the stress a possible cesarean section can create.

A subluxation of your atlas will cause tension or pressure to the area of your brain stem. This tension or pressure will interfere with the brain stem’s ability to coordinate the messages being sent to the body by the brain. This could interfere with proper distribution of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. Since the placenta is being developed with the help of estrogen and progesterone, a lessened amount of both these hormones may result in complications with the placenta, and therefore the growing baby inside that placenta.

As you can see, a vertebral subluxation is not a minor thing to ignore. Even the most seemingly insignificant of subluxations will always run some kind of interference to the brain-body communication. This is never a good thing, and especially not when you are pregnant and your body needs the most help and the least interference.

You deserve to have the best chance at a successful pregnancy and childbirth, and you can only do that with a nervous system that is running free and clear of interference.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

If You Vaccinate, Ask 8!

If You Vaccinate, Ask 8!

What You Need to Know Before & After Vaccination - From National Vaccine Information Center

Under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, over $2 billion has been awarded to children and adults for whom the risks of vaccine injury were 100%. Vaccines are pharmaceutical products that carry risks, which can be greater for some than others. NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about the risks and complications of diseases and vaccines and speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision.

1.Am I or my child sick right now?
2.Have I or my child had a bad reaction to a vaccination before?
3.Do I or my child have a personal or family history of vaccine reactions, neurological disorders, severe allergies or immune system problems?
4.Do I know the disease and vaccine risks for myself or my child?
5.Do I have full information about the vaccine’s side effects?
6.Do I know how to identify and report a vaccine reaction?
7.Do I know I need to keep a written record, including the vaccine manufacturer’s name and lot number, for all vaccinations?
8.Do I know I have the right to make an informed choice?
If you answered yes to questions 1, 2, and 3, or no to questions 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 and do not understand the significance of your answer, you may want to review information on NVIC's website with links to other websites and resources so you can better answer these questions designed to educate consumers about the importance of making fully informed vaccine decisions. Click here to learn more about the role of infromed consent in vaccination.

NVIC also publishes a free online NVIC Vaccine eNewsletter to keep consumers informed of the latest information about vaccines and infectious diseases and offers tools like NVIC's Advocacy Portal that helps consumers protect vaccine choice in their state and the Vaccine Ingredient Calculator to assist consumers in becoming knowledgable about vaccines, existing safe standards for toxins found in vaccines and a printable vaccination plan to facilitate parent-health provider dialogue. Be sure to visit our Diseases and Vaccines webpage, which provides informationn on risks and benefits associated with vaccines.

If you choose to vaccinate, always keep a written record of exactly which shots/vaccines you or your child have received, including the manufacturer’s name and vaccine lot number. Write down and describe in detail any serious health problems that develop after vaccination and keep vaccination records in a file you can access easily.

It is important to be able to recognize an adverse reaction and seek appropriate medical attention, as well as reporting a vaccine adverse event with federal health officials at the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), who monitor vaccines after they have been licensed. Information provided to VAERS, may also help identify high risk factors that make some individuals more vulnerable to suffering vaccine reactions. To learn more about injury compensation and filing an injury claim, click here.

If you or your child experiences any of the symptoms listed below in the hours, days or weeks following vaccination, it should be reported to VAERS. Some vaccine reaction symptoms include:

•Pronounced swelling, redness, heat or hardness at the site of the injection;
•Body rash or hives;
•High pitched screaming or persistent crying for hours;
•Extreme sleepiness or long periods of unresponsiveness;
•High fever (over 103 F)
•Twitching or jerking of the body, arm, leg or head;
•Crossing of eyes;
•Weakness or paralysis of any part of the body;
•Loss of eye contact or awareness or social withdrawal;
•Loss of ability to roll over, sit up or stand up;
•Vision or hearing loss;
•Restlessness, hyperactivity or inability to concentrate;
•Sleep disturbances that change wake/sleep pattern;
•Head banging or onset of repetitive movements (flapping, rubbing, rocking, spinning);
•Joint pain;
•Muscle weakness;
•Disabling fatigue;
•Loss of memory;
•Onset of chronic ear or respiratory infections;
•Violent or persistent diarrhea or chronic constipation;
•Breathing problems (asthma);
•Excessive bleeding (thrombocytopenia) or anemia.
There are other symptoms, which may indicate that you or your child has suffered a vaccine reaction. Not all symptoms that occur following vaccination are caused by the vaccine(s) recently received, but it cannot be automatically concluded that symptoms which do occur are NOT related to the vaccine. Therefore, it is important for your doctor to write down all serious health problems that occur after vaccination in the permanent medical record and to report ALL serious symptoms or dramatic change in physical, mental or emotional behavior that does occur following vaccination to VAERS. It is also important that re-vaccination does not continue until it has been determined that the serious health problem which developed after vaccination was not causally related to the vaccination(s). Continued vaccination in the presence of serious health deterioration could lead to vaccine injury or death.

Although it has been the law since 1986 for doctors and other vaccine providers to report hospitalizations, injuries, deaths and serious health problems following vaccination to VAERS, it is estimated that less than 10 percent, perhaps less than one percent of all vaccine-related health problems are ever reported. If your doctor will not report a serious health problem that you or child experienced after vaccination to VAERS, you have the right to make the vaccine adverse event report to VAERS yourself.

Since its’ founding in 1982, the National Vaccine Information Center has operated a Vaccine Reaction Registry which has served as a watchdog on the VAERS system. We encourage you to also report any suspected vaccine reaction you or your child has experienced to NVIC’s Vaccine Reaction Registry.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

10 Reasons Parents Take Healthy Children To Chiropractors

10 Reasons Parents Take Healthy Children To Chiropractors
Posted by Dr Jen Barham-Floreani as Benefits of Chiropractic, Holistic Parenting

Some adults may wonder why more and more children are starting to see chiropractors. That’s a good question and the answer is simple: whether we have a large spine or a tiny little spine, if that spine is creating nerve distress then our magnificent bodies cannot operate smoothly…
The nervous system is the ‘Master Controller’
The nervous system is the master controller of our body and if its communication channels become fuzzy, distorted or damaged then we experience all sorts of communication errors. For babies and children, this ineffective communication may play out as colic or irritability, an inability to suckle and breastfeed, poor sleep, developmental delays, digestion issues, asthma, behavioural problems, low energy, inability to concentrate, headaches, etc – the list is endless. In fact, regardless of what the end result or symptom may be, all roads lead back to the nervous system – to the body’s ability to self-regulate and function at a peak level.

While chiropractic may be able to help with a number of health issues, our focus is not treating or curing ailments; our focus is ensuring the nervous system has every opportunity to work efficiently and effectively.

Can you cook at night with the lights out?
For example, imagine your nervous system is like the lighting system in your home. If the lights start to dim, you might not be able to cook dinner very well, you may start banging into furniture, you may trip and hurt yourself, you may feel frightened, etc. Exactly how the dim lights influence you will vary but the issue is still the same – there is a communication problem between the wiring and the intended outcome which needs detecting and fixing.

In the same way, chiropractors spend years studying the nervous system to be able to detect and correct these ‘communication errors’ in the body.

Another question you may ask is…

“How do little kids get nerve irritation?”
Nerve irritations (or vertebral subluxations) occur as a part of normal daily life. They result from physical, chemical and emotional stressors or ‘insults’ to our health, such as bad posture, prolonged postures, sleeping on the tummy, knocks and falls, poor food choices, dehydration, exposure to chemicals and toxins, and stress and anxiety. Even before these lifestyle stressors have an impact, nerve irritation can occur in the uterus from awkward positioning, restriction of movement, and exposure to toxins, and from birth complications such as long labours, very fast labours, or forceps or caesarean delivery.

When we appreciate how important the nervous system is and how easily it can be hindered and impaired it makes sense that all children deserve to have a well-adjusted spine and nervous system … it makes sense that chiropractic is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

10 reasons parents take their children to see a chiropractor:
To maximise their child’s neural plasticity (brain and nerve development).
To enhance their child’s overall health and wellbeing.
To strengthen immunity and reduce the incidence of colds, ear-aches and general illness.
To help with colic and Irritable Baby Syndrome.
To help with asthma, breathing difficulties and allergies.
To improve spinal posture.
To improve their child’s ability to concentrate.
To assist with behavioural disorders and enhance emotional wellbeing.
To help alleviate digestive problems.
To assist with bed-wetting and sleep issues.
Your child’s health is their greatest asset.

Get a free subscription to "Healthy Families" Magazine

Breast Milk or Formula

Breast Milk or Formula:

Making the Right Choice for Your Baby
by Rebecca D. Williams and Isadora Stehlin

New parents want to give their babies the very best. When it comes to nutrition, the best first food for babies is breast milk.

More than two decades of research have established that breast milk is perfectly suited to nourish infants and protect them from illness. Breast-fed infants have lower rates of hospital admissions, ear infections, diarrhea, rashes, allergies, and other medical problems than bottle-fed babies.

"There are 4,000 species of mammals, and they all make a different milk. Human milk is made for human infants, and it meets all their specific nutrient needs," says Ruth Lawrence, M.D., professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in Rochester, N.Y., and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Health experts say increased breast-feeding rates would save consumers money, spent both on infant formula and in health-care dollars. It could save lives as well.

"We've known for years that the death rates in Third World countries are lower among breast-fed babies," says Lawrence. "Breast-fed babies are healthier and have fewer infections than formula-fed babies."

Although breast-feeding is still the best nourishment for infants, infant formula is a close enough second that babies not only survive but thrive.

Commercially prepared formulas are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

The nutritional adequacy of commercially prepared formula is also ensured by the agency's nutrient requirements and its safety by strict quality control procedures that require manufacturers to analyze each batch of formula for required nutrients, to test samples for stability during the shelf life of the product, to code containers to identify the batch, and to make all records available to FDA investigators.

The composition of infant formula is similar to breast milk, but it isn't a perfect match, because the exact chemical makeup of breast milk is still unknown.

Human milk is very complex, and scientists are still trying to unravel and understand what makes it such a good source of nutrition for rapidly growing and developing infants.

More than half the calories in breast milk come from fat, and the same is true for today's infant formulas. This may be alarming to many American adults watching their intake of fat and cholesterol, especially when sources of saturated fats, such as coconut oil, are used in formulas. (In adults, high intakes of saturated fats tend to increase blood cholesterol levels more than other fats or oils.) But the low-fat diet recommended for adults doesn't apply to infants.

The reason is that infants have a high energy requirement, and they have a restricted volume of food that they can ingest. The way to meet these energy requirements in a restricted amount of food is to have a high amount of fat.

While greater knowledge about human milk has helped scientists improve infant formula, it has become "increasingly apparent that infant formula can never duplicate human milk," wrote John D. Benson, Ph.D, and Mark L. Masor, Ph.D., in the March 1994 issue of Endocrine Regulations. "Human milk contains living cells, hormones, active enzymes, immunoglobulins and compounds with unique structures that cannot be replicated in infant formula."

Benson and Masor, both of whom are pediatric nutrition researchers at infant formula manufacturer Abbott Laboratories, believe creating formula that duplicates human milk is impossible. "A better goal is to match the performance of the breastfed infant," they wrote. Performance is measured by the infant's growth, absorption of nutrients, gastrointestinal tolerance, and reactions in blood.

Human Milk for Human Infants

The primary benefit of breast milk is nutritional. Human milk contains just the right amount of fatty acids, lactose, water, and amino acids for human digestion, brain development, and growth.

Cow's milk contains a different type of protein than breast milk. This is good for calves, but human infants can have difficulty digesting it. Bottle-fed infants tend to be fatter than breast-fed infants, but not necessarily healthier.

Breast-fed babies have fewer illnesses because human milk transfers to the infant a mother's antibodies to disease. About 80 percent of the cells in breast milk are macrophages, cells that kill bacteria, fungi and viruses. Breast-fed babies are protected, in varying degrees, from a number of illnesses, including pneumonia, botulism, bronchitis, staphylococcal infections, influenza, ear infections, and German measles. Furthermore, mothers produce antibodies to whatever disease is present in their environment, making their milk custom-designed to fight the diseases their babies are exposed to as well.

A breast-fed baby's digestive tract contains large amounts of Lactobacillus bifidus, beneficial bacteria that prevent the growth of harmful organisms. Human milk straight from the breast is always sterile, never contaminated by polluted water or dirty bottles, which can also lead to diarrhea in the infant.

Human milk contains at least 100 ingredients not found in formula. No babies are allergic to their mother's milk, although they may have a reaction to something the mother eats. If she eliminates it from her diet, the problem resolves itself.

Sucking at the breast promotes good jaw development as well. It's harder work to get milk out of a breast than a bottle, and the exercise strengthens the jaws and encourages the growth of straight, healthy teeth. The baby at the breast also can control the flow of milk by sucking and stopping. With a bottle, the baby must constantly suck or react to the pressure of the nipple placed in the mouth.

Nursing may have psychological benefits for the infant as well, creating an early emotional attachment between mother and child. At birth, infants see only 12 to 15 inches, the distance between a nursing baby and its mother's face. Studies have found that infants as young as 1 week prefer the smell of their own mother's milk. When nursing pads soaked with breast milk are placed in their cribs, they turn their faces toward the one that smells familiar.

Many psychologists believe the nursing baby enjoys a sense of security from the warmth and presence of the mother, especially when there is skin-to-skin contact during feeding. Parents of bottle-fed babies may be tempted to prop bottles in the baby's mouth, with no human contact during feeding. But a nursing mother must cuddle her infant closely many times during the day. Nursing becomes more than a way to feed a baby; it's a source of warmth and comfort.

Benefits to Mothers

Breast-feeding is good for new mothers as well as for their babies. There are no bottles to sterilize and no formula to buy, measure and mix. It may be easier for a nursing mother to lose the pounds of pregnancy as well, since nursing uses up extra calories. Lactation also stimulates the uterus to contract back to its original size.

A nursing mother is forced to get needed rest. She must sit down, put her feet up, and relax every few hours to nurse. Nursing at night is easy as well. No one has to stumble to the refrigerator for a bottle and warm it while the baby cries. If she's lying down, a mother can doze while she nurses.

Nursing is also nature's contraceptive--although not a very reliable one. Frequent nursing suppresses ovulation, making it less likely for a nursing mother to menstruate, ovulate, or get pregnant. There are no guarantees, however. Mothers who don't want more children right away should use contraception even while nursing. Women who are breast-feeding can use barrier methods of birth control, such as condoms and diaphragms. Hormone-containing methods are not first choice. These include injections (such as Depo-Provera), implants (such as Norplant), and birth control pills. A woman who breast-feeds should consult her doctor about which type of contraception is appropriate for her until the baby is weaned.

Breast-feeding is economical also. Even though a nursing mother works up a big appetite and consumes extra calories, the extra food for her is less expensive than buying formula for the baby. Nursing saves money while providing the best nourishment possible.

When Formula Is Necessary

There are very few medical reasons why a mother shouldn't breast-feed, according to Lawrence.

Most common illnesses, such as colds, flu, skin infections, or diarrhea, cannot be passed through breast milk. In fact, if a mother has an illness, her breast milk will contain antibodies to it that will help protect her baby from those same illnesses.

A few viruses can pass through breast milk, however. HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is one of them. Women who are HIV positive should not breast-feed.

A few other illnesses--such as herpes, hepatitis, and beta streptococcus infections--can also be transmitted through breast milk. But that doesn't always mean a mother with those diseases shouldn't breast-feed, Lawrence says.

"Each case must be evaluated on an individual basis with the woman's doctor," she says.

Breast cancer is not passed through breast milk. Women who have had breast cancer can usually breast-feed from the unaffected breast. Studies have shown, however, that breast-feeding a child reduces a woman's chance of developing breast cancer later.

Silicone breast implants usually do not interfere with a woman's ability to nurse, but if the implants leak, there is some concern that the silicone may harm the baby. Some small studies have suggested a link between breast-feeding with implants and later development of problems with the child's esophagus. Further studies are needed in this area. But if a woman with implants wants to breast-feed, she should first discuss the potential benefits and risks with her child's doctor.

Tough but Worthwhile

For all its health benefits, breast-feeding isn't always easy. In the early weeks, it can be painful. A woman's nipples may become sore or cracked. She may experience engorgement more than a bottle-feeding mother, when the breasts become so full of milk they're hard and painful. Some nursing women also develop clogged milk ducts, which can lead to mastitis, a painful infection of the breast. While most nursing problems can be solved with home remedies, mastitis requires prompt medical care (see "Tips for Breast-Feeding Success").

Women who plan to go back to work soon after birth will have to plan carefully if they want to breast-feed. If her job allows, a new mother can pump her breast milk several times during the day and refrigerate or freeze it for the baby to take in a bottle later. Some women alternate nursing at night and on weekends with daytime bottles of formula.

In either case, a nursing mother is physically tied to her baby more than a bottle-feeding mother. The baby needs her for nourishment, and she needs to nurse regularly to avoid getting uncomfortably full breasts. But instead of feeling it's a chore, nursing mothers often cite this close relationship as one of the greatest joys of nursing.

If a woman is unsure whether she wants to nurse, she can try it for a few weeks and switch if she doesn't like it. It's very difficult to switch to breast-feeding after bottle-feeding is begun.

If she plans to breast-feed, a new mother should learn as much as possible about it before the baby is born. Obstetricians, pediatricians, childbirth instructors, nurses, and midwives can all offer information about nursing. But perhaps the best ongoing support for a nursing mother is someone who has successfully nursed a baby.

La Leche League, an international support organization for nursing mothers, has chapters in many cities that meet regularly to discuss breast-feeding problems and offer support.

Most La Leche League chapters allow women to come to a few meetings without charge. League leaders offer advice by phone as well. To find a convenient La Leche League chapter, call 1-800-LA-LECHE (1-800-525-3243) or contact the organization's world wide web site at

Formula Choices

If the mother cannot or chooses not to breast-feed, normal, full-term infants should get a conventional cow's-milk-based formula, according to John N. Udall Jr., M.D., chief of nutrition and gastroenterology at Children's Hospital of New Orleans. However, adverse reactions to the protein in cow's milk formula or symptoms of lactose intolerance (lactose is the carbohydrate in cow's milk) may require switching to another type of formula, he says.

Symptoms that may indicate an adverse reaction to cow's milk protein include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and rash. With lactose intolerance, the most common symptoms are excessive gas, abdominal distension and pain, and diarrhea. Since some of the symptoms overlap, a stool test may be necessary to determine the culprit. Usually, lactose intolerance will produce acidic stools that contain glucose. If the protein is the problem, stools will be nonacidic and have flecks of blood.

The main alternative to cow's milk formula is soy formula.

The carbohydrates in most soy formulas are sucrose and corn syrup, which are easily digested and absorbed by infants. However, soy is not as good a protein source as cow's milk. Also, babies don't absorb some minerals, such as calcium, as efficiently from soy formulas. Therefore, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Healthy full-term infants should be given soy formula only when medically necessary."

For a child who can't tolerate cow's milk protein, William J. Klish, M.D., a Baylor College of Medicine pediatrician and former chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition recommends the use of hydrolyzed-protein formula. Although hydrolyzed-protein formulas are made from cow's milk, the protein has been broken up into its component parts. Essentially, it's been predigested, which decreases the likelihood of an allergic reaction.


The infant formulas currently available in the United States are either "iron-fortified"--with approximately 12 milligrams of iron per liter--or "low iron"--with approximately 2 milligrams of iron per liter.

"There should not be a low-iron formula on the market for the average child because a low-iron formula is a nutritionally deficient formula," says Klish. "It doesn't provide enough iron to maintain proper blood cell counts or proper hemoglobin." (Hemoglobin is a blood protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, and carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs.)

In addition, studies have shown that school children who had good iron status as infants because they were fed iron-fortified formula performed better on standardized developmental tests than children with poor iron status. However, FDA has permitted marketing of low-iron formulas because some pediatricians prefer to use them.

Why is there low-iron formula on the market? "In the past there have been a lot of symptoms that have been attributed to iron, including abdominal discomfort, constipation, diarrhea, colic, and irritability," says Klish. "Also there was some concern about too much iron interfering with the immune system. All of those concerns and questions have been laid to rest with appropriate studies."

Another reason for originally producing low-iron formulas was that human milk contains low amounts of iron--less than a milligram per liter. However, it is now understood that an infant absorbs virtually 100 percent of the iron from human milk, but considerably less from infant formula.

Cooking Lessons

Both milk and soy formulas are available in powder, liquid concentrate, or ready-to-feed forms. The choice should depend on whatever the parents find convenient and can afford.

Whatever form is chosen, proper preparation and refrigeration are essential. Opened cans of ready-to-feed and liquid concentrate must be refrigerated and used within the time specified on the can. Once the powder is mixed with water, it should also be refrigerated if it is not used right away. The exact amount of water recommended on the label must be used. Under-diluted formula can cause problems for the infant's organs and digestive system. Over-diluted formula will not provide adequate nutrition, and the baby may fail to thrive and grow.

In the past, the American Academy of Pediatrics felt that municipal water supplies were safe enough without boiling the water before mixing with the formula. But because of the contamination of Milwaukee's water with the parasite Cryptosporidium in 1993, "the whole business of boiling water has come up again," says Klish. "The academy is now again recommending boiling water for infant formulas."

Klish advises heating the water until it reaches a rolling boil, continue to boil for one to two minutes, and then let it cool. "That should take care of all the bacteria and parasites that might be in the water," he explains.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not have any recommendations about bottled water. Klish says bottled water is fine, but it still needs to be boiled. "There's no reason to think that bottled water is any safer than city water," he says.

Bottled water must meet specific FDA quality standards for contaminants. These are set in response to requirements that the Environmental Protection Agency has established for tap water.

A regulation published in the Nov. 13, 1995, Federal Register sets standard definitions for different types of bottled waters, helping resolve possible confusion about what different terms mean.

The regulation also requires accurate labeling of bottled waters marketed for infants. If a product is labeled "sterile," it must be processed to meet FDA's requirements for commercial sterility. Otherwise, the labeling must indicate that it is not sterile and should be used as directed by a physician or according to infant formula preparation instructions.

What about sterilizing the bottles and nipples? "Dishwashers tend to sterilize bottles and nipples fairly well," says Klish. They can also be sterilized by placing them in a pan of boiling water for five minutes.

Warming the formula before feeding isn't necessary for proper nutrition, but most infants prefer the formula at least at room temperature. The best way to warm a bottle of formula is by placing the bottle in a pot of water and heating the pot on the stove.

Don't Try This at Home

Homemade formulas should not be used. Homemade formulas based on cow's milk don't meet all of an infant's nutritional needs, and cow's milk protein that has not been cooked or processed is difficult for an infant to digest. In addition, the high protein and electrolyte (salt) content of cow's milk may put a strain on an infant's immature kidneys. Substituting evaporated milk for whole milk may make the homemade formula easier to digest because of the effect of processing on the protein, but the formula is still nutritionally inadequate and still may stress the kidneys.

Today's infant formula is a very controlled, high-tech product that can't be duplicated at home, says Udall.

Rebecca D. Williams is a writer in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Isadora Stehlin is a member of FDA's public affairs staff.


Tips for Breast-Feeding Success
It's helpful for a woman who wants to breast-feed to learn as much about it as possible before delivery, while she is not exhausted from caring for an infant around-the-clock. The following tips can help foster successful nursing:
•Get an early start: Nursing should begin within an hour after delivery if possible, when the infant is awake and the sucking instinct is strong. Even though the mother won't be producing milk yet, her breasts contain colostrum, a thin fluid that contains antibodies to disease.
•Proper positioning: The baby's mouth should be wide open, with the nipple as far back into his or her mouth as possible. This minimizes soreness for the mother. A nurse, midwife, or other knowledgeable person can help her find a comfortable nursing position.
•Nurse on demand: Newborns need to nurse frequently, about every two hours, and not on any strict schedule. This will stimulate the mother's breasts to produce plenty of milk. Later, the baby can settle into a more predictable routine. But because breast milk is more easily digested than formula, breast-fed babies often eat more frequently than bottle-fed babies.
•No supplements: Nursing babies don't need sugar water or formula supplements. These may interfere with their appetite for nursing, and that can lead to a diminished milk supply. The more the baby nurses, the more milk the mother will produce.
•Delay artificial nipples: It's best to wait a week or two before introducing a pacifier, so that the baby doesn't get confused. Artificial nipples require a different sucking action than real ones. Sucking at a bottle could also confuse some babies in the early days. They, too, are learning how to breast-feed.
•Air dry: In the early postpartum period or until her nipples toughen, the mother should air dry them after each nursing to prevent them from cracking, which can lead to infection. If her nipples do crack, the mother can coat them with breast milk or other natural moisturizers to help them heal. Vitamin E oil and lanolin are commonly used, although some babies may have allergic reactions to them. Proper positioning at the breast can help prevent sore nipples. If the mother's very sore, the baby may not have the nipple far enough back in his or her mouth.
•Watch for infection: Symptoms of breast infection include fever and painful lumps and redness in the breast. These require immediate medical attention.
•Expect engorgement: A new mother usually produces lots of milk, making her breasts big, hard and painful for a few days. To relieve this engorgement, she should feed the baby frequently and on demand until her body adjusts and produces only what the baby needs. In the meantime, the mother can take over-the-counter pain relievers, apply warm, wet compresses to her breasts, and take warm baths to relieve the pain.
•Eat right, get rest: To produce plenty of good milk, the nursing mother needs a balanced diet that includes 500 extra calories a day and six to eight glasses of fluid. She should also rest as much as possible to prevent breast infections, which are aggravated by fatigue.


Medicines and Nursing Mothers
Most medications have not been tested in nursing women, so no one knows exactly how a given drug will affect a breast-fed child. Since very few problems have been reported, however, most over-the-counter and prescription drugs, taken in moderation and only when necessary, are considered safe.
Even mothers who must take daily medication for conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes, or high blood pressure can usually breast-feed. They should first check with the child's pediatrician, however. To minimize the baby's exposure, the mother can take the drug just after nursing or before the child sleeps. In the January 1994 issue of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics included the following in a list of drugs that are usually compatible with breast-feeding:

•many antibiotics
•anti-epileptics (although one, Primidone, should be given with caution)
•most antihistamines
•alcohol in moderation (large amounts of alcohol can cause drowsiness, weakness, and abnormal weight gain in an infant)
•most antihypertensives
•aspirin (should be used with caution)
•caffeine (moderate amounts in drinks or food)
•thyroid medications


Drugs That Are NOT Safe While Nursing
Some drugs can be taken by a nursing mother if she stops breast-feeding for a few days or weeks. She can pump her milk and discard it during this time to keep up her supply, while the baby drinks previously frozen milk or formula.
Radioactive drugs used for some diagnostic tests like Gallium-69, Iodine-125, Iodine-131, or Technetium-99m can be taken if the woman stops nursing temporarily.

Drugs that should never be taken while breast-feeding include:

Bromocriptine (Parlodel): A drug for Parkinson's disease, it also decreases a woman's milk supply.

Most Chemotherapy Drugs for Cancer: Since they kill cells in the mother's body, they may harm the baby as well.

Ergotamine (for migraine headaches): Causes vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions in infants.

Lithium (for manic-depressive illness): Excreted in human milk.

Methotrexate (for arthritis): Can suppress the baby's immune system.

Drugs of Abuse: Some drugs, such as cocaine and PCP, can intoxicate the baby. Others, such as amphetamines, heroin and marijuana, can cause a variety of symptoms, including irritability, poor sleeping patterns, tremors, and vomiting. Babies become addicted to these drugs.

Tobacco Smoke: Nursing mothers should avoid smoking. Nicotine can cause vomiting, diarrhea and restlessness for the baby, as well as decreased milk production for the mother. Maternal smoking or passive smoke may increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome and may increase respiratory and ear infections.


Whole Milk for First Birthday
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breast-fed for at least 12 months and thereafter for as long as mutually desired. The only acceptable alternative to breast milk is infant formula iron fortified and solid foods can be introduced gradually when the baby is 6 months old, but a baby should drink breast milk or formula, not regular cow's milk, for a full year.
"There aren't any rules about when to stop breast-feeding," says Ruth Lawrence, M.D., professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in Rochester, N.Y., and spokeswoman for the academy. "As long as the baby is eating age-appropriate solid foods, a mother may nurse a couple of years if she wishes. A baby needs breast milk for the first year of life, and then as long as desired after that." Formula, however, should not be continued after the first birthday. That's the time to introduce milk. For all babies the milk, however, should be whole milk. Low-fat and skim milk do not have enough fat and calories to supply the nutritional needs of a 1-year-old, explains John Udall, chief of nutrition and gastroenterology at Children's Hospital of New Orleans. At that age, "the child is growing so quickly, and the fat is so important for brain and central nervous system development," he says. "The recommendation that our daily intake of fat should compose less than 30 percent of our caloric intake does not apply to children under 2 years of age."

New on the market are special toddler formulas that claim to be better than milk. The formulas are good nutritionally, says Udall, but they're not necessary. "A well-balanced diet with milk and juices would be just as good in a healthy, normally active, normally growing child," says Udall.

William Klish, former chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition, says that if a child needs to take a vitamin supplement, the toddler formula, fortified with a full range of vitamins and minerals, including iron, can serve that purpose. In addition, the toddler formulas don't need refrigeration, making them a convenient choice for snacks away from home.


Publication No. (FDA) 98-2309

Cost Benefits of Breastfeeding

Cost Benefits of Breastfeeding
Written by Karen M. Zeretzke, MEd, IBCLC

Asked at a Blue Cross/Blue Shield health care cost containment in Minot, North Dakota: “What helps reduce the incidence of ear and respiratory infections, intestinal disease, pneumonia, meningitis, Crohn’s disease, colitis, diabetes, childhood cancers, allergies, constipation, urinary tract infections, tooth decay and obesity? It also increases intelligence and reduces the incidence of breast cancer for the mother.”

No one knew the answer was breastfeeding…

Today I would add that breastfeeding reduces ovarian and cervical cancer, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, bacterial and viral infections of all types and increases visual acuity, optimal neurological and social and oral development, as well as saves money for health care providers and families.

Cost Benefits of Breastfeeding

Medical costs for breastfed infants were ~$200 less per child for the first 12 months of life than those for formula-fed infants; extrapolating this to the Healthy People 2000 goal of 50% of infants breastfed could save this HMO up to $140,000 annually. This study included office visits, drug prescriptions and hospitalizations (Hoey and Ware, 1997).

Infant diarrhea in non-breastfed infants costs $291.3 million in annual health care costs. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) costs $225 million in annual health care costs. Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus costs from $9.6 to $124.8 million in annual health care costs.

Otitis media costs $660 million in annual health care costs.

Total annual cost of not breastfeeding: $1.186 to $1.301 billion

Additionally, formula provided by WIC program to non-breastfeeding mothers costs $2,665,715 annually. (Riordan, 1997)

Increasing breastfeeding in Australia could add A$3.4 billion to the national food output (equal to an extra 0.7% of the GNP). (Smith, 1997)

•Reduction in childhood cancer saves $10 million
•Reduction in childhood diarrhea $100 million
•Reduction in ear infections $500 million
•Reduction in tympanosomies $500 million
•Reduction in juvenile onset diabetes $2.6 billion
•Reduction in hospitalization for RSV $225 million
total conservative estimate of cost savings nationally for 1 year: $4.18 billion (Lee, 1997)

•Cost savings in disease: $3.689 billion
•Cost savings in health expenditures: $3.96 billion
•Cost savings in household expenses: $2.835 billion
•Breastfeeding Support costs (1 LC/1000; additional training; direct support): $360 million

Cost/benefit ratio of 0.7—over $1 billion would be saved by providing Lactation Consultant Support (Labbok, 1995)

Annual reduction in Maternal Medicals at delivery (Philadelphia-based): $91,650. Annual reduction in premenopausal cancer: $202 million. Annual reduction in domestic violence: $42.5 million. (Lee, 1997)

Overall estimated savings of $459–$808 per family enrolled in four social service programs: Medi-Cal, WIC, AFDC, Food Stamps. (Tuttle and Dewey 1996)

Overall estimated savings of $112 for the first six months of life per infant enrolled in Medicaid; pharmacy coasts were one-half the amount of formulafed infants—infants were breastfed exclusively for a minimum of three months. (Montgomery and Splett 1997)

Overall a minimum of A$115 million could be saved/year in Australia by increasing breastfeeding rates to 80% at three months calculating savings only in otitis media, IDDM, gastrointestinal illness and eczema. (Drane 1997)

The Mother

Short-Term Benefits

Pitocin, usually administered to newly postpartum mothers to prevent hemorrhage, costs about $4.49/patient for supplies: ($0.84 18 French angiocath; $1.40 IV tubing; $0.76 saline IV fluid; $0.30 one ampule pitocin; $1.10 syringe). Babies breastfed immediately postpartum make this process unnecessary, saving $4.49/patient x ?? patients/year =

Long-Term Benefits

Breast Cancer: Treatment of breast cancer is approximately $30,000 annually/ patient. Breastfeeding reduces the incidence of breast cancer. (Lee 1997)

Diabetes: Breastfeeding reduces a diabetic mother’s need for insulin and a two-fold reduction or delay in the onset of subsequent diabetes for a gestational diabetic. Treatment of diabetes takes one of every $7 of health care dollars, and costs the US $130 billion annually. This is for direct treatment and does not factor in the high incidence of kidney disease, peripheral vascular disease and blindness which accompany diabetes.

Emotional Stability: Oxytocin, a hormone released each time a mother breastfeeds, decreases blood pressure, stress hormone level and calms the mother. A 38-fold difference in the frequency of domestic violence and sexual abuse was found between the group that breastfed and the group which did not. (Acheston 1995)

Infertility: Breastfed women were 25% less likely to have hyperprolactinemia, galactorrhea and menstrual disturbances according to Dr. Shafig Rahimova. He also feels that males not breastfed are at greater risk of developing genito-urinary difficulties.

Ovarian and Endometrial Cancer: A WHO Collaborative Study found the relative risk of endometrial cancer decreased significantly with increased duration of breastfeeding; women whose lifetime lactation was 72 months or greater had the greatest protection. Those breastfeeding for less than one year did not accrue this benefit. (Rosenblatt, 1995)

Lactation has a preventative effect on ovarian cancer; the ACS estimates 26,888 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed this year. For every 1.6 women who did not lactate, only one woman who did developed ovarian cancer. (Gwinn, 1990)

Osteoporosis: Lactating protects women against osteoporosis; not breastfeeding is a risk factor in its development. Bone mineral density decreases during lactation but after weaning showed higher bone mineral density than those who did not breastfeed. A mother’s bone mineral density increases with each child breastfed; lumbar spine density increased 1.5% per child breastfed. Thus a decrease in the risk of a fracture of the hip, vertebrae, humerus or pelvis. (Kalwart and Specker 1995; Hreschyshyn 1988)

In 1983 osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures cost an estimated $6.1 billion; an adult white woman who lives to the age of 80 has a 15% lifetime risk of a hip fracture. (Cummings 1985)

Rheumatoid Arthritis: In Norway, 63,090 women with rheumatoid arthritis were followed for 28 years. The total time of lactation was associated with reduced mortality; the protective effects of breastfeeding appear dose related. (Brun 1995)

Weight Loss: During the first year postpartum, lactating women lose an average of 2 kg more than nonbreastfeeding women, with no return of weight once weaning occurs. The impact of overweight impacts health by increasing chances of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. (Dewey 1993)

The Baby

Short-Term (Up to One Year)

Allergies: Allergy protection is one of the most frequently cited reasons mothers choose to breastfeed. Premature infants are also protected from allergies; breastfed preemies had less than one-third of the allergies, particularly atopic disease, in the first 18 months of life. (Lucas 1990)

There has not been a documented case of anaphylaxis to human milk. (Baylor, 1991; Ellis 1991)

Estimated treatment cost of allergy diagnosis and treatment is $400; acute reaction treatment costs about $80-100 per episode. (Hoey at 1996 ILCA Conference)

Estimated treatment cost of allergy diagnosis and treatment is $400; acute reaction treatment costs about $80-100 per episode. (Hoey at 1996 ILCA Conference)

Anemia: Piscante 1995 reports that “none of the infants who were exclusively breastfed for 7 months or more…were anemic.”

Communicable Childhood Diseases

Antibody response to oral and parenteral vaccines is higher in the breastfed infant. Formula feeding, particularly soy formula, may interfere with the immunization process. (Zoppie 1989; Hahn-Soric 1990)

Death: Breastfeeding protects against sudden death from botulism. In one study, all of the infants who died were not breastfed. (Arnon 1982)

Globally, breastfeeding has been identified as one element of protection against SIDS. (Mitchell, 1991) One study identified the risk of SIDS increasing by 1.19 for every month the infant is not breastfed. (McKenna 1995) Breastfed infants are one-fifth to onethird less likely to die of SIDS. SIDS is a leading cause of US infant death, impacting nearly 7,000 families per year. (Goyco 1990)

Diarrhea: Breastfeeding for 13 weeks has been shown to reduce the rate of vomiting and diarrhea by one-third and reduce the rate of hospital admissions from GI diseases. (Howie 1990)

Breastfed infants are protected against salmonellosis; breastfed infants are one-fifth less likely to develop this. (Stigman-Grant 1995) Breastfed babies are also protected from giardiasis. (Nayak 1987)

Gastrointestinal Disease: Children with acute appendicitis are less likely to have been breastfed for a prolonged time. (Piscante 1995)

Breastfeeding may reduce the risk of pyloric stenosis. (Habbick, 1989)

Hospitalization: Breastfed infants are less likely to be hospitalized if they become ill and were hospitalized for respiratory infections less than half as much as formula-fed infants. (Chen 1988) Cunningham 1986 reports that formula-fed infants are 10-15 times more likely to become hospitalized when ill.

Breastfed babies are half as likely to be hospitalized for RSV infections; in 1993 about 90,000 babies with RSV were admitted to hospitals at a cost of about $450 million. (Riordan, 1997)

Breastfeeding reduced re-hospitalizations in very low birth weight babies. (Malloy 1993)

In a Honolulu hospital, readmission rates were reduced 90% following the initiation of a lactation program. The drop was seen in dehydration, hyperbilirubinemia and infection. (Lee, 1997)

Necrotizing Enterocolitis: Premature infants fed their own mother’s milk or banked human milk were one-sixth to one-tenth as likely to develop NEC, which is potentially fatal. The incidence of NEC in breastfed infants is 0.012; in formula-fed infants it is .072. In Australia, one study has calculated that 83% of NEC cases may be attributed to lack of breastfeeding. (Drane 1997)

NEC adds between one and four weeks to the NICU hospital stay of a preemie. At a cost of $2000/day, this translates to $14,000 to $120,000 per infant. (Lee 1997)

Even when infants survive NEC, the disease can leave life-long costs via the development of short-gut syndrome and chronic malabsorption syndromes. A Pennsylvania physician has estimated the cost of one year’s at-home IV nutritional support treatment for a child with chronic malabsorption to be $50–100,000. (Lee 1997)

Otitis Media: Conservative estimates of savings for this disease alone range from one-half to two-thirds of a billion dollars if women were to breastfeed for 4 months. The savings estimate for Ohio if half of the mothers on WIC were to breastfeed was $1 million. (Riordan, 1997) Based on these figures, health care provider agencies could, conservatively, save two-thirds of what it spends to treat otitis media.

More than one million tympanosomies are performed yearly in the US at a cost of $2 million. By reducing the ear infections which cause the need for tubes for ear drainage, $2/3 to $1 billion could be saved.

Respiratory Infections: Breastfeeding protects against respiratory infections, including those caused by rotaviruses and respiratory syncytial viruses. (Grover 1997) Breastfed babies were less than half as likely to be hospitalized with pneumonia or bronchiolitis. (Pisacane 1994)

Breastfed infants had one-fifth the lower respiratory tract infections when compared to formula-fed infants. (Cunningham 1988)

Sepsis: Infants receiving human milk while patients in the intensive care nursery were half as likely to develop sepsis, a reason for increased length of hospital stays and provider expenditure. (El-Mohandes 1997)

Urinary Tract Infections: Breastfeeding protects babies against UTIs and subsequent hospitalization. (Pisacane 1992)

Long-Term Effects of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding prevents or lessens the severity of the following conditions.

•Childhood Cancer
•Gastrointestinal Disease
•Heart Disease
•Inguinal Hernia
•Multiple Sclerosis
•Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Karen M. Zeretzke, MEd, IBCLC lives in
Baton Rouge, Louisiana and can be
reached at: lactation@juno.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



•Baumslag, Naomi, MD and Dia Michels. Milk, Money and Madness, 1995.
•Cunningham, Allan S MD. Breastfeeding, Bottle-feeding and Illness: An Annotated Bibliography 1986. Lactation Resource Center: Nursing Mother' Association of Australia.
•Dettwyler, Katherine, PhD and Patricia Stuart-Macadam. Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives, 1995.
•Lee, Nikki, RN, MSN, IBCLC, ICCE. Benefits of Breastfeeding and Their Economic Impact: A Report. August, 1977.
•Palmer, Gabrielle. The Politics of Breastfeeding, 1993.

•Acheston, L "Family violence and breast-feeding" Arch Fam Med 1995; 4:650-652
•Arnon, SS et al. "Protective role of human milk against sudden infant death syndrome" J Pediatr 1982; 100:568-573
•Baylor, JG and Bahna SL. "Anaphylaxis to casein hydrolysate formula" J Pediatr 1991; 118:71-73
•Brun, JG et al "Breast feeding, other reproductive factors and rheumatoid arthritis: A prospective study" Br J Rheum 1995; 24:542-546
•Chen, Y et al. "Artificial feeding and hospitalization in the first 18 months of life" Pediatr 1988; 81:58-62
•Cummings, SR et al "Epidemiology of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures" Epidemiol Rev 1985; 7:178-208
•Davies, HA et al. "Insulin requirements of women who breast feed" BMJ 1989; 298:1357-1358
•Dewey, KG et al "Maternal weight-loss patterns during prolonged lactation" Am J Clin Nutr 1993; 58:162-166
•Drane, D "Breastfeeding and formula feeding: a preliminary economic analysis" Breastfeed Rev 1997; 5:7-15
•Ellis, MH et al. "Anaphylaxis after ingestion of a recently introduced whey protein formula" J Pediatr 1991; 118:74
•El-Mohandes, A et al. "Use of human milk in the intensive care nursery decreases the incidence of nosocomial sepsis" J Perin 1997; 2:130-134
•Goyco PG and RC Beckerman. "Sudden Infant Death Syndrome" Curr Prob Pediatr 1990;20:299-346 cited in the National SIDS Resource Center Information Sheet #1
•Grimsely, Kirstin Downey. "Companies find a cost-saving formula for working moms".Washington Post Biz: The Workplace July 1, 1997.
•Grover, M et al. "Effect of human milk prostaglandins and lactoferrin on respiratory syncytial virus and rotavirus" Acta Paediatr 1997; 86:315-316
•Gwinn, ML "Pregnancy, breastfeeding and oral contraceptives and the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer" J Clin Epidemiol 1990;43:559-568
•Habbick, BJ et al. "Infantile pyloric stenosis: A study of feeding practices and other possible causes" CMAJ 1989; 140:401-404
•Hahn-Soric, M et al. "Antibody responses to parenteral and oral vaccines are impaired by conventional low-protein formulas as compared to breast-feeding" Acta Paediatr Scand 1990; 79:1137-1142
•Hoey, Christine, RN, IBCLC and Julie Ware MD, IBCLC. "Economic advantages of breast-feeding(sic) in an HMO setting: A pilot study". Am J Man Care 1997; 3:861-65
•Howie, PW et al. "Protective effect of breast feeding against infection" BMJ 1990; 300:11-16
•Hreschyshyn, MM et al. "Associations of parity, breast-feeding and birth control pills with lumber spine and femoral neck bone densities: Am J Obstet Gynecol 1988; 159:318-322
•Kalwart, HJ and Specker BL. "Bone Mineral loss during lactation and recovery after weaning" Obstet Gynecol 1995; 86:26-32 Kjos, SL et al. "The effect of lactation on glucose and lipid metabolism in women with recent gestational diabetes" Obstet Gynecol 1003; 82:451-455
•Lucas et al. "Early diet of preterm infants and development of allergic or atopic disease: Randomized prospective study" BJM 1990; 300:387-840
•Malloy MH et al. "Predictors of rehospitalization among very low birth weight infants" Clin Res 1993; 41:791(a)
•Mitchell, EA et al. "Results from the first year of the New Zealand cot death study" Breastfeeding Rev 1991; 11:106-114
•Mothering Magazine "Health News" Fall 1997, pp. 44-45
•McKenna, JJ and N Bernshaw. "Breastfeeding and infant-parent co-sleeping as adaptive strategies: Are they protective against SIDS?" Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives, chapter 10, pp 265-303.
•Montgomery, DL and PL Splett. "Economic benefit of breast-feeding infants enrolled in WIC" Am J Diet Assoc 1997; 97:379-385
•Nayak, N et al. "Specific secretory IgA in the milk of giardia lamblia infected and uninfected women" J Infect Dis 1987 155:724-730
•Pisacane, A et al. "Breastfeeding and acute appendicitis" BMJ 1995; 310:836-837
•Pisacane A et al.. "Breastfeeding and acute lower respiratory infection" Acta Paediatr 1994; 83:714-718
•Pisacane, A et al. "Iron status in breastfed infants" J Pediatr 1995; 127:429-431
•Rosenblatt, KA et al. "Prolonged lactation and endometrial cancer" Int J Epidemiol 1995; 24:499-503
•Riordan, Jan, EdD, RN, FAAN. "The cost of not breastfeeding: A commentary". J Hum Lact 1997; 13(2)93-97
•Sigman-Grant, M. "Confirmation of Breastfeeding as a protective factor from salmonellosis in Pennsylvania infants" FASEB J Abstr: Part 1 Vol 9(7) 1995:A183
•Smith, Julie. "The economics of breastfeeding" Australian Financial Review 7/24/97.
•Tuttle, CR and KG Dewey. "Potential cost savings for Medi-Cal, AFDC, Food Stamps and WIC programs associated with increasing breastfeeding among low-income women in California" Am J Diet Assoc 1996; 96:885-890)
•Ware, Julie MD, IBCLC and Christine Hoey, RN, IBCLC. "Revised abstract: economic advantages of breastfeeding is an HMO situation". ABM News and Views 1997; 3(1)3.
•Zoppie, G et al. "Response to RIT 4237 oral rotavirus vaccine in human milk, adapted -and soy formula fed infants" Acta Paeditr Scand 1989; 78:759-762.

•Hoey, Christine, RN, IBCLC. "Cost Analysis of Breastfeeding and the Lactation Consultant within the HMO Setting" Presented at the International Lactation Consultants Association 1996 Conference in Kansas City, MO.
•Labbok, Miriam, MD, MPH. "The Real Cost of Not Breastfeeding" Presented at the La Leche League International conference in Washington DC, July 4, 1997. Draft article submitted for journal publication Cost Effectiveness of Breastfeeding in the U.S.: The Forgotten Woman's and Children's Preventive Health Issue published in the conference syllabus, pp 23-32.
•Labbok, Miriam, MD, MPH. "Models for Cost Savings Associated with Breastfeeding" presented July 14, 1995, at the International Lactation Consultant Association Conference in Scottsdale, AR. Conference syllabus, pp 23-24.
•Webster, Bernie, SRN SCM HVDip. "Medical and Financial Costs Associated with Artificial Infant Feeding" presented August 11, 1997, at the International Lactation Consultant Association Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Conference syllabus p. 57 and Handouts.

Breast Feeding Benefits

Benefits from Top to BottomSubmitted by roma on Fri, 05/20/2011 - 01:18
By Dr. Sears

•Brain. Higher IQ in breastfed children. Cholesterol and other types of fat in human milk support the growth of nerve tissue.

•Eyes. Visual acuity is higher in babies fed human milk.

•Ears. Breastfed babies get fewer ear infections.

•Mouth. Less need for orthodontics in children breastfed more than a year. Improved muscle development of face from suckling at the breast. Subtle changes in the taste of human milk prepare babies to accept a variety of solid foods.

•Throat. Children who are breastfed are less likely to require tonsillectomies.

•Respiratory system. Evidence shows that breastfed babies have fewer and less severe upper respiratory infections, less wheezing, less pneumonia and less influenza.

•Heart and circulatory system. Evidence suggests that breastfed children may have lower cholesterol as adults. Heart rates are lower in breastfed infants.

•Digestive system. Less diarrhea, fewer gastrointestinal infections in babies who are breastfeeding. Six months or more of exclusive breastfeeding reduces risk of food allergies. Also, less risk of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in adulthood.

•Immune system. Breastfed babies respond better to vaccinations. Human milk helps to mature baby's own immune system. Breastfeeding decreases the risk of childhood cancer.

•Endocrine system. Reduced risk of getting diabetes.

•Kidneys. With less salt and less protein, human milk is easier on a baby's kidneys.

•Appendix. Children with acute appendicitis are less likely to have been breastfed.

•Urinary tract. Fewer infections in breastfed infants.

•Joints and muscles. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is less common in children who were breastfed.

•Skin. Less allergic eczema in breastfed infants.

•Growth. Breastfed babies are leaner at one year of age and less likely to be obese later in life.

•Bowels. Less constipation. Stools of breastfed babies have a less-offensive odor.

Benefits of Breastfeeding and Mother's own Breast Milk

Benefits of Breastfeeding and Mother's own Breast Milk
Taken from

1. Protects Against Infection

a. Diarrhea
Children less than 12 months of age had a lower incidence of acute diarrheal disease during the months they were being breastfed than children that were fed with formula during the same period.
Source: Lerman,Y. et al. "Epidemiology of acute diarrheal diseases in children in a high standard of living settlement in Israel". Pediatr Infect Dis J 1994; 13(2);116-22.

b. Haemophilus Influenza
In a population based case control study of risk factors for primary invasion of haemophilus influenza, type B disease, breastfeeding was protective of infants less than 6 months of age.
Source: Cochi, S.L. "Primary Invasive Haemophilus Influenza Type B Disease, A Population Based Assessment of Risk Factors". Journal of Pediatrics 1986.

c. Enhances Vaccine Response
The antibody levels of immunized infants were significantly higher in the breastfed than the formula-fed group. These findings are strong evidence that breastfeeding enhances the active humoral immune response in the first year of life.
Source: Papst, H.F. , Spady, D.W. "Effect of Breast Feeding on Antibody Response to Conjugate Vaccine". Lancet, 1990.

The breastfed group had significantly higher antibody levels than two formula-fed groups together. Breastfed infants thus showed better serum and secretory responses to perioral and parenteral vaccines than the formula-fed, whether with a conventional or low-protein content.
Source: Van-Coric, M. "Antibody Responses to Parental & Oral Vaccines Where Impaired by Conventional and Low-Protein Formulas as Compared to Breast Feeding". Acta Paediatr Scand 1990; 79: 1137-42.

Human milk can transfer specific or nonspecific immunities to the external mucosal surface of the intestine and possibly to the respiratory tract of the newborn. The acquisition of such passive immunity is particularly important in the early neonatal period when the immune system is immature.
Source: Chang, S.J. "Antimicrobial Proteins of Maternal and Cord Sera and Human Milk in Relation to Maternal Nutritional Status". A. M. J. CLIN NUTR, 1990.

d. NEC
Among babies born at more than 30 weeks gestation, confirmed necrotizing enternal colitis was rare in those whose diet included breast milk; it was 20 times more common in those fed formula only.
Source: Lucas, A., Cole, T.J., "Breast Milk and Neonatal Necrotizing Enteral Colitis". Lancet 1990; 336:1519-23.

e. Otitis Media
Short duration of breastfeeding involved another significant risk of recurrent respiratory infections and otitis media.
Source: Alho, O., "Risk Factors for Recurrent Acute Otitis Media and Respiratory Infection in Infancy". Int J Ped Otorhinolaryngology 1990; 19:151-61.

Significantly increased risk for acute otitis media as well as prolonged duration of middle ear effusion were associated with male gender, sibling history of ear infection and not being breastfed.
Source: Teele, D.W., Apidemilogy of Otitis Media During the First Seven Years of Life in Greater Boston: A prospective, Cohort Study". J of INFEC DIS.1989.

f. Herpes Simplex
Mothers milk could play a role in the protection of newborns from Herpes Simplex virus II contamination.
Source: Lopez, I., "Neutralizing Activity Against Herpes Simplex Virus in Human Milk". Breast Feeding REV 1990; 11(2): 56-58.

g. Respiratory Syncytical Virus (RSV)
Breastfeeding was associated with a lower incidence of RSV infection during the first year of life.
Source: Holberg,C.J., "Risk Factors for RSV Associated lower Respiratory Illnesses in the First Year of Life". AM J Epidemiol 1991; 133 (135-51).

h. Respiratory Infections
The authors presented results found in infants with two or more episodes of acute chronic bronchitis. They found that approximately twice as many bottle-fed infants presented with the problem as those who were breastfed.
Source: de Duran, C.M. "Cytologic Diagnosis of Milk Micro Aspiration". IMM ALLERGY PRACTICE 1991; xiii (10);402-5.

There was a strong negative effect modification by breastfeeding: relative odds of respiratory illness with maternal smoking were seven times higher among children who were never breastfed then among those who were breastfed.
Source: Woodwar, A. "Acute Respiratory Illness in Adelaide Children: Breast Feeding Modifies the Effect of Passive Smoking". J Epidemiol in Comm Health 1990;44:224-30.

2. Protects Against Illnesses

a. General
Infants of a middle class and well-educated populations benefit from the breastfeeding practice and its protective effect, more so if they are exclusively breastfed and for a longer period.
Source: Palti, H., "Episodes of Illness in Breast Fed & Bottle Fed infants in Jerusalem". ISR J MED SCI, 1984.

b. Immunologic Development
Enhanced fecal SIgA in breastfed infants is not cause solely by the presence of IgA in breast milk; it represents a stimulatory effect of breastmilk on the gastrointestinal humeral immunologic development.
Source: Koutras,A.K., "Fecal Secretory Immunoglobulin A in Breast Milk vs. Formula Feeding in Early Infancy". J Ped Gastro Nutr, 1989.

c. Wheezing
Breastfeeding seems to protect against wheezing, respiratory tract illnesses in the first four months of life, particularly when other risk factors are present.
Source: Wright, A.L., "Breastfeeding and lower respiratory Tract Illnesses in the First Year of Life." British Medical Journal, 1989.

A study indicated that breastfeeding was protective against SIDS, Consistent with an effect mediated through the prevention of gastrointestinal and/or respiratory disease.
Source: Hoffman, H.J., "Risk Factors for SIDS: Results of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development SIDS Cooperative Epidemiologic Study". Ann NY ACAD Sci, 1988.

Not breastfeeding at discharge from an obstetric hospital at any stage of the infants life was associated with an increased risk of SIDS.
Source: Mitchell, A. "Results from the First Year of The New Zealand Count Death Study". N.Z. Med A, 1991; 104:71-76.

e. General Morbidity
There is an inverse relationship to breastfeeding and morbidity. This was most prominent in the first year of life, but it was also present in the first three years.
Source: Van Den Bogaard, C. "Relationship Between Breast Feeding in Early Childhood and Morbidity in a General Population". Fan Med, 1991; 23:510-515.

The lack of a dose response affect between breastfeeding and perinatal HIV-1 transmission in the presence of the protective effect of breastfeeding against common causes of early childhood morbidity and mortality support the current WHO recommendation that breastfeeding should continue to be promoted in all developing countries, including those with high HIV-1 prevalence rates in women of child bearing age.
Source: Ryder,R., "Evidence from Zaire that Breastfeeding by HIV-1 seropositive Mothers is not a Major Route for Perinatal HIV-1 Transmission but does Decrease Morbidity". AIDS 1991; 5(6):709-14.

g. Infant Survival
There is an association between breastfeeding up to 6 months of age and survival of infants throughout the first year of life. The younger the infant and the longer the breastfeeding, the greater the estimated benefits in terms of death averted.
Source: Habicht, J.P., "Does Breast Feeding Really Save Live, or Are Apparent Benefits due to Biases?" Am J Epidemiology, 1986.

h. Gastroesophageal Reflex
Breastfed neonates demonstrate gastroesophageal reflux episodes of significantly shorter duration than formula-fed neonates.
Source: Heacock, H.J., "Influence of Breast vs. Formula Milk in Physiologic Gastroesophageal Reflux in Health Newborn Infants". J. Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, 1992 January; 14(1): 41-6.

i. Multiple Sclerosis
Although thought to be multifactorial in origin, and without a clearly defined etiology, lack of breastfeeding does appear to be associated with an increased incidence of multiple sclerosis.
Source: Dick, G. "The Etiology of Multiple Sclerosis. " Proc Roy Soc Med 1976;69:611-5.

j. Inguinal Hernia
Human milk contains gonadotropin releasing hormone, which may affect the maturation of neonatal testicular function. This case control study showed breastfed infants had a significant dose response reduction in inguinal hernia.
Source: Pisacane, A. "Breast-feeding and inguinal hernia" Journal of Pediatrics 1995:Vol 127, No. 1, pp 109-111.

k. Cryptorchidism (Undescended Testicle)
This case controlled study showed a significant association of cryptorchidism and lack of breastfeeding.
Source: Mori, M. "Maternal and other factors of cryptorchidism: a case-control study in Japan" Kurume Med J 1992:39:53-60.

3. Protection From Allergies

a. Allergic Families
Breastfeeding, even for short periods, was clearly associated with lower incidence of wheezing, prolonged colds, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Source: Merrett, T.G., "Infant Feeding & Allergy: 12 Month Prospective Study of 500 Babies Born into Allergic Families". American Allergies, 1988.

b. Eczema
Eczema was less common and milder in babies who were breastfed (22%) and whose mothers were on a restricted diet (48%). In infants fed casein hydrolysate, soymilk or cows milk, 21%, 63%, and 70% respectively, developed atopic eczema.
Source: Chandra R.K., "Influence of Maternal Diet During Lactation and the Use of Formula Feed and Development of Atopic Eczema in the High Risk Infants". Br Med J. 1989.

4. Enhances Development and Intelligence

a. Higher IQ
Children who had consumed mother's milk by tube in early weeks of life had a significantly higher IQ at 7.5 to 8 yr.. than those who received no maternal milk, even after adjustment for differences between groups and mothers' educational and social class.
Source: Lucas, A., "Breast Milk and Subsequent Intelligence Quotient in Children Born Preterm". Lancet 1992;339:261-62.

b. Cognitive Development
Supplementary regression analysis examining the strength of relationship between duration of breastfeeding and cognitive development show a small but significant relationship between duration of breastfeeding and scores on the mental development index of the Bayley Scales at 1 and 2 years.
Source: Morrow-Tlucak, M. "Breast Feeding and Cognitive Development During the First 2 years of Life. "Soc Sci Med, 1988.

In 771 low-birth-weight infants, babies whose mothers chose to provide breastmilk had an 8-point advantage in mean Bayley's mental developmental index over infants of mothers choosing not to do so.
Source: Morley,R., "Mothers Choice to provide Breast Milk and Developmental Outcome." Arch Dis Child, 1988.

c. Social Development
The psychomotor and social development of breastfed babies clearly differs from that of bottle-fed ones and leads at the age of 12 months to significant advantages of the psychomotor and social capabilities.
Source: Baumgartner, C., "Psychomotor and Social Development of Breast Fed and Bottle Fed babies During their First year of Life". Acta Paediatrica Hungarica, 1984.

Long Term Benefits for Infants

a. Dental Health
Among breastfed infants, the longer the duration of nursing the lower the incidents of malocclusion.
Source: Labbok, M.H. "Does Breast Feeding Protect against Malocclusion? An Analysis of the 1981 Child Health Supplement to the National Health Interview Survey". American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 1987.

b. Toddler Health
Mothers of 67 infants were questioned about the types and duration of illness episodes requiring medical care between 16 and 30 months of age. Breastfeeding was noted to decrease the number of infant illnesses and indirectly improve toddler health.
Source: Gulick, E.E. "The Effects of Breastfeeding on the Toddler Health. "Pediatric Nursing, 1986.

c. Diabetes Mellitus
Children who developed IDDM in New South Wales, Australia were matched with healthy children (ratio 1:2) of the same sex and age for comparison. Those who were exclusively breastfed during their first three months of life had a 34% lower risk of developing diabetes than those who were not breastfed. Children given cow's milk-based formula in their first three months were 52% more likely to develop IDDM than those not given cow's milk formula.
Source: Diabetes Care 1994;17:1381-1389, 1488-1490.

d. Childhood Cancer
Children who are artificially fed or breastfed for only 6 months or less, are at an increased risk of developing cancer before age 15. The risk of artificially fed children was 1-8 times that of long-term breastfed children, and the risk for short term feeders was 1-9 times that of long term breast feeders.
Source: Davis, M.K. Infant Feeding and Childhood Cancer. "Lancet 1988.

e. Chron's Disease
In this study, lack of breastfeeding was a risk factor associated with later development of Crohn's disease.
Source: Koletzko, S., "Role of Infant Feeding Practices in Development of Crohn's Disease in Childhood." Br Med J, 1989.

f. Hodgkin's Disease
A statistically significant protective effect against Hodgkin's disease among children who are breastfed at least 8 months compared with children who were breastfed no more than 2 months.
Source: Schwartzbaum, J. "An Exploratory Study of Environmental and Medical Factors Potentially Related to Childhood Cancer." Medical & Pediatric Oncology, 1991; 19 (2):115-21.

g. Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA)
Preliminary data from researchers at the University of North Carolina and Duke University comparing 54 children with JRA and a control group without JRA of similar age and race indicates that children who were breastfed were only 40% as likely to develop JRA.
Source: "Mother's Milk: An Ounce of Prevention?" Arthritis Today May-June 1994.

Benefits for Mothers

1. Delays Fertility
Women who nurse frequently during exclusive breastfeeding remained amenorrhoeic longer than infrequent nursers, introduced supplements later and did not resume menses as promptly thereafter. Duration of exclusive nursing and night nursing after supplementation were the major influences on amenorrhoea.
Source: Elias,M.F. "Nursing Practices and Lactation Amenorrhoea." Journal of Biosco Sci, 1968.

2. Breast Cancer
Among both premenopausal and postmenopausal women, risk of breast cancer decrease with increasing duration of lifetime lactation experience although the effect was consistently stronger for premenopausal women.
Source: McTieman, A., Evidence of Protective Effect of Lactation on Risk of Breast Cancer in Young Women." American Journal of Epidemiology, 1986.

After controlling for age at first full term pregnancy and other potentially compounding factors, parity and duration of breast feeding also had a strong influence on the risk of breast cancer. Compared with parous women who never breast fed, women who had breast fed for 25 months or more had a lower relative risk.
Source: Layde, P.M., "The Independent Associations of Parity Age at First full Term Pregnancy, and Duration of Breast Feeding with the Risk of Breast Cancer." Journal of Clinical Epidemiol, 1989.

If women who do not breastfeed or who breastfed for less than 3 months were to do so for 4 to 12 months, breast cancer among parous premenopausal women could be reduce by 11%; if all women with children lactated for 24 months or longer, the incidence might be reduced by nearly 25%.
Source: Newcomb,P. etal. "Lactation and reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer." N Engl J Med 1994; 330(2):81-87.

Women who were breastfed as infants, even if only for a short time, showed an approximate 25% lower risk of developing premenopausal or postmenopausal breast cancer, compared to women who were bottle-fed as an infant.
Source: Freudenheim, J. "Exposure to breast milk in infancy and the risk of breast cancer." Epidemiology 1994 5:324-331.

3. Uterine Cancer
A protective effect against uterine cancer was found for women who breastfeed.
Source: Brock, K.E., "Sexual, Reproductive, and Contraceptive Risk Factors for Carcinoma-in-Situ of the Uterine Cervix in Sidney. "Medical Journal of Australia, 1989.

4. Ovarian Cancer
Breastfeeding should be added to the list of factors that decrease ovulatory age and thereby decrease the risk of ovarian cancer.
Source: Schneider, A.P. "Risk Factor for Ovarian Cancer. "New England Journal of Medicine, 1987.

5. Endometrial Cancer
Lactation provides a hypoestrogenic effect with less stimulation of the endometrial lining. This event may offer a protective effect from endometrial cancer.
Source: Petterson B, et al. "Menstruation span- a time limited risk factor for endometrial carcinoma." Acta Obstet Gyneocol Scand 1986;65:247-55.

6. Emotional Health
At one month postpartum, women who breastfed their infants had scores indicating less anxiety and more mutuality than the women bottle feeding their infants.
Source: Virden, S.F., "The Relationship Between Infant Feeding Method and Maternal Role Adjustment." Journal of Nurse Midwives, 1988.

7. Decrease Insulin Requirements
Breastfeeding decreased insulin requirements in diabetic women. Reduction in insulin dose postpartum was significantly greater in those who were breastfeeding than those who were bottle feeding.
Source: Davies, H.A., "Insulin Requirements of Diabetic Women who Breast Feed." British Medical Journal, 1989.

8. Decreased Osteoporosis
The odds ratio that a woman with osteoporosis did not breastfeed her baby was four times higher than for a control woman.
Source: Blaauw, R. et al. "Risk factors for development of osteoporosis in a South African population." SAMJ 1994; 84:328-32.

9. Promotes Postpartum Weight Loss
Mothers who breastfed exclusively or partially had significantly larger reductions in hip circumference and were less above their pre-pregnancy weights at 1 month postpartum than mothers who fed formula exclusively.
Source: Kramer, F., "Breastfeeding reduces maternal lower body fat." J Am Diet Assoc 1993;93(4):429-33.

Benefits for Society

1. Optimum Child Spacing
Though less of a factor in the Western world, sufficient birth spacing helps with the survival of the older sibling and the new infant. Prolonged lactation helps to promote the spacing of children.
Source: Thapa, S., "Breastfeeding, birth spacing and their effects on child survival." Nature 1988;335:679-82.

2. Improved Vaccine Effectiveness
Breastfed infants showed a better serum and secretory responses to peroral and parenteral vaccines than the formula-fed, whether with a conventional or low protein content.
Source: Han-Zoric, M., "Antibody responses to parenteral and oral vaccines are impared by conventional and low protwin formulas as compared to breastfeeding." Acta Paediatr Scand 1990; 79:1137-42.

3. Financial Savings to Government and Families
a. Food Expense
The cost to supply artificial baby milk (ABM) to one child is between $800 and $1,200 per year depending on the brand and area of the country.

b. Medical Expenses
A pre-publication study by the Wisconsin State Breastfeeding Coalition estimated the following health care savings in Wisconsin if Breastfeeding rates were at 75% at discharge-50% at six months:

$4,645,250/yr Acute Otitis Media
$437,120/yr Bronchitis
$6,699,600/yr Gastroenteritis
$262,440/yr Allergies
$758,934/yr Asthma
$578,500/yr Type I Diabetes (birth -18yrs)
$17,070,000/yr Breast Cancer

4. More Ecological
There is less use of natural resources (glass, plastic, metal, paper) and also less waste for landfills.

5. Less Child Abuse
A retrospective review of 800 pregnancies at one family practice revealed an association between lack of breastfeeding and physical and sexual abuse of the mother and/or her children. This anecdotal association, has not been previously reported, is worth further study using more rigorous methods
Source: Acheson, L., "Family Violence and Breast-feeding" Arch Fam Med July 1995; Vol 4,pp 650-652.