Journal of Public Health Policy

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 300–310 | Cite as

Breast feeding: A time to craft new policies

Original Article

Abstract

New studies of breastfeeding have discovered or confirmed the benefits to mother and child. They reinforce an emphasis on exclusive breastfeeding – no other food or fluids – during the first 6 months. Studies include findings from across the world, in well-resourced and poorly resourced settings. They also emphasize longer duration of breastfeeding, into the second year of life, and gradual rather than abrupt weaning. For HIV-infected mothers, the dangers of non-exclusive feeding in the first half year of life have been well documented in recent publications. Other studies open up the possibilities for antiretroviral treatment to accompany breastfeeding, whether given to the mother, or child, or both. To be effective, implementation of any recommendations must consider individual, family, and community resources.

Keywords

breastfeeding HIV weaning exclusive antiretrovirals infant mortality 

References

  1. Coovadia, H.M. and Bland, R.M. (2007) Preserving breastfeeding practice through the HIV pandemic. Tropical Medicine & International Health 12 (September): 1116–1133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study Group. (2006) Breastfeeding in the WHO multicentre growth reference study. Acta Paediatrica Supplement 450: 16–26.Google Scholar
  3. Quigley, M.A., Kelly, Y.J. and Sacker, A. (2007) Breastfeeding and hospitalization for diarrheal and respiratory infection in the United Kingdom millennium cohort study. Pediatrics 119: e837–e842.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. WHO Collaborative Study Team on the Role of Breastfeeding on the Prevention of Infant Mortality. (2000) Effect of breastfeeding on infant and child mortality due to infectious diseases in less developed countries: A pooled analysis. Lancet 355 (February): 451–455.Google Scholar
  5. Bahl, R. et al (2005) Infant feeding patterns and risks of death and hospitalization in the first half of infancy: Multicentre cohort study. Bull WHO 83: 418–426.Google Scholar
  6. Mortensen, E.L., Michaelsen, K.F., Sanders, S.A. and Reinisch, J.M. (2007) The association between duration of breastfeeding and adult intelligence. Journal of the American Medical Association 18: 2365–2371.Google Scholar
  7. Kramer, M.S. et al (2008) Breastfeeding and child cognitive development: New evidence from a large randomized trial. Archives of General Psychiatry 65: 578–584.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Caspi, A. et al (2007) Moderation of breastfeeding effects on the IQ by genetic variation in fatty acid metabolism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104: 18860–18865.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hummel, S., Pfluger, M., Kreichauf, S., Hummel, M. and Ziegler, A.G. (2009) Predictors of overweight during childhood in offspring of parents with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care 19 February 2009, doi: 10.2337/dc 08–1943.Google Scholar
  10. Koletzko, B. et al (2009) Can infant feeding choices modulate later obesity risk? American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 25 March 2009, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.271130.Google Scholar
  11. Owen, C.G. (2005) The effect of breastfeeding on mean body mass index throughout life: A quantitative review of published and unpublished observational evidence. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 82 (December): 1298–1307.Google Scholar
  12. Owen, C.G. et al (2008) Does initial breastfeeding lead to lower blood cholesterol in adult life? A quantitative review of the evidence. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 88 (August): 305–314.Google Scholar
  13. Ravelli, G.P., Stein, Z.A. and Susser, M.W. (1976) Obesity in young men after famine exposure in utero and early infancy. New England Journal of Medicine 295 (August): 349–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Short, R.V., Lewis, P.R., Renfree, M.B. and Shaw, G. (1991) Contraceptive effects of extended lactational amenorrhoea: Beyond the bellagio consensus. Lancet 337 (March): 715–717.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lawrence, R. and Lawrence, R. (1999) Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Professional. St Louis, MO: Mosby.Google Scholar
  16. Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer. (2002) Breast cancer and breastfeeding: Collaborative reanalysis of individual data from 47 epidemiological studies in 30 countries, including 50302 women with breast cancer and 96973 women without the disease. Lancet 360 (July): 187–195.Google Scholar
  17. Rebuffe-Scrive, M. et al (1985) Fat cell metabolism in different regions in women: Effect of menstrual cycle, pregnancy and lactation. Journal of Clinical Investigation 75: 1973–1976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lawrence, R.A. (2007) The eradication of poverty one child at a time through breastfeeding: A contribution to the global theme issue on poverty and human development. Breastfeeding Medicine 2 (October): 1–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Shantakumar, S. et al (2007) Reproductive factors and breast cancer risk among older women. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 102: 365–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gwinn, M.L., Lee, N.C., Rhodes, P.H., Layde, P.M. and Rubin, G.L. (1990) Pregnancy, breast feeding, and oral contraceptives and the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 43 (6): 559–568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kramer, M.S. et al (2001) Promotion of breastfeeding intervention trial (PROBIT) A randomized trial in the republic of Belarus. Journal of the American Medical Association 285: 413–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jones, G., Steketee, R.W., Black, R.E., Bhutta, Z.A. and Morris, S.S. (2003) The Bellagio child survival study. How many child deaths can we prevent this year? Lancet 362: 65–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Victora, C.G. et al (1987) Evidence for protection by breast-feeding against infant deaths from infectious diseases in Brazil. Lancet 2: 319–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Popkin, B.M. (1990) Breast feeding and diarrheal morbidity. Pediatrics 86: 874–879.Google Scholar
  25. Arifeen, S. (2001) Exclusive breastfeeding reduces acute respiratory infection and diarrhea deaths among infants in Dhaka slums. Pediatrics 108 (October): E67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Creek, T. et al. (2007) Role of infant feeding and HIV in a severe outbreak of diarrhea and malnutrition among young children, Botswana, 2006. 14th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections; 25–28 February, Los Angeles, CA.Google Scholar
  27. Coutsoudis, A. (2001) Method of feeding and transmission of HIV-1 from mothers to children by 15 months of age: prospective cohort study from Durban, South Africa. AIDS 15: 379–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Coovadia, H.M. et al (2007) Mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1 infection during exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months of life: an intervention cohort study. Lancet 369: 1107–1116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Iliff, P. et al (2005) Early exclusive breastfeeding reduces the risk of postnatal HIV-1 transmission and increases HIV-free survival. AIDS 19: 699–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kuhn, L. et al (2007) High uptake of exclusive breastfeeding and reduced early post-natal HIV transmission. PLoS ONE 2 (12): e1363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Thior, I. et al (2006) Breastfeeding plus infant zidovudine prophylaxis for 6 months vs. formula feeding plus infant zidovudine for 1 month to reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission in Botswana: A randomized trial: the Mashi study. Journal of the American Medical Association 296 (Aug): 794–805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kuhn, L. et al (2008) Effects of early, abrupt cessation of breastfeeding on HIV-free survival of children in Zambia. New England Journal of Medicine 359: 130–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Smith, M.M. and Kuhn, L. (2000) Exclusive breast-feeding: Does it have the potential to reduce breast-feeding transmission of HIV-1? Nutrition Reviews 58: 333–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Coutsoudis, A., Goga, A.E., Rollins, N. and Coovadia, H.M. (2002) Free formula milk for infants of HIV-infected women: Blessing or curse? Health Policy and Planning 17: 154–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Piwoz, E.G. and Ross, J.S. (2005) Use of population-specific infant mortality rates to inform policy decisions regarding HIV and infant feeding. Journal of Nutrition 135 (May): 1113–1119.Google Scholar
  36. Kuhn, L., Stein, Z. and Susser, M. (2004) Preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission in the new millennium: The challenge of breast feeding. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 18: 10–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Chung, M., Raman, G., Trikalinos, T., Lau, J. and Ip, S. (2008) Interventions in primary care to promote breastfeeding: An evidence review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Annals of Internal Medicine 149: 565–582.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York Psychiatric InstituteNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of EpidemiologyMailman School of Public Health, Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations