Breastfeeding May Reduce MS Relapses
Reported February 27, 2009
(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Breastfeeding may reduce the risk of relapse after pregnancy for women with multiple sclerosis (MS), a new study found.
Researchers followed pregnant women with and without MS during each trimester and up to a year after giving birth. Among the women with MS, 52 percent reported they did not breastfeed or they began supplemental formula feedings within two months of giving birth. Sixty percent said their primary reason for not breastfeeding was to start taking MS treatments again.
Researchers discovered 87 percent of the women who did not exclusively breastfeed in those early months suffered a relapse after pregnancy, but only 36 percent of women with MS who breastfed exclusively for at least two months post-partum had a relapse.
“Our findings call into question the benefit of choosing not to breastfeed or stopping breastfeeding early in order to start taking MS therapies,” study author Annette Langer-Gould, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University was quoted as saying.
She said larger studies need to be done on whether women should delay taking MS medications in order to breastfeed.
SOURCE: Study to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle, April 25-May 2, 2009