Post-partum breast feeding & MS

From: Medical News Today 09.06.09 & 12.06.09.

 

Women with multiple sclerosis who breastfeed exclusively for at least two months appear less likely to experience a relapse within a year after their baby’s birth, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the August print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

 

Researchers found that women who breastfed their babies exclusively (without giving supplemental bottles) for at least the first two months post-partum were less likely to have an MS relapse than those who did not breastfeed or who did not breastfeed exclusively during the first two months (36% who breastfed exclusively experienced a relapse, as compared to 87% who did not breastfeed or who supplemented with formula).


While the study is small, it focuses attention on a quandary facing women with MS and their doctors: the crucial time period after giving birth, when there is a higher risk for relapse, and many women are advised to go back on their disease-modifying therapies as soon as possible. Since there is insufficient evidence to support the safety of breastfeeding while using any of these therapies, most babies born to moms with MS are bottle fed, despite known health benefits of breastfeeding for infants. More research is needed to help guide postpartum treatment decisions.

 

For more information follow “Medical News Today” under links.

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