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Mother's milk a gift that keeps on giving
Date:9/14/2007

tion is examining the allegations in the Post report, which emphasized the low rate of breastfeeding in the U.S. compared with that of other industrialized nations.

In the Advances in Pediatrics paper, said Goldman, we tried to clarify the benefits and risks, by putting together a definitive review of both sides of the issue. He added: Substantially more physicians and members of the public should recognize that the overall benefits of breastfeeding are much greater and the overall risks are much less than are benefits and risks from feedings using commercial infant formulas. Goldman continued, If you understand the potential risks, most can be identified during pregnancy or shortly after birth and can be prevented or minimized.

UTMB professor of pediatrics David K. Rassin, a co-author of the paper (with Baylor College of Medicine assistant professor of pediatrics Judy M. Hopkinson), said, Although many of us assume that everyone knows breastfeeding is best for infants and the American Academy of Pediatrics has come out with really strong recommendations in favor of it, the prevalence of breastfeeding in the United States is only about 65 percent right now. Rassin elaborated: Historically, we had a rapid increase from about 25 percent in the Sixties up to the area of 60 percent in the late Eighties, and its only very gradually crept up since then.

Within the United States, where weve got clean water and dont have a lot of the diseases associated with formula feeding in Third World countries, I think we still have this concept that there really isnt any difference between breastfeeding and formula feeding, Rassin said. One of the points we tried to make in this article is that even in this country there are definitely some health risks associated with formula feeding they just tend to involve diseases that take a long time to emerge but may reflect lack of breastfeeding.

In countries where clean water is unavailable to much of t
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Contact: Jim Kelly
jpkelly@utmb.edu
409-772-8791
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

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