Thursday, May 30, 2013

Breastfeeding Decreases Chances of ADHD

     I know the title is a bold statement, but there is reseach to back this up which I will provide below.  The reason I state that breastfeeding decreases ADHD (attention defecit hyperactivity disorder) so emphatically is that I saw this in my own children who are now 24, 20 and 18.  Twenty-four years ago, professional grade personal breast pumps were not on the market and my doctor gave me very little information about breastfeeding.   When I told him that I had to go back to teaching and coaching when my firstborn was only 4 1/2 weeks old and asked him if I could breastfeed for just that duration, he said yes.  Period.  No further explanation.  There were hospital grade breast pumps that I could have rented.  I didn't know.  I also didn't know that I would be going back to work with bowling balls instead of breasts because I tried to wean over a weekend.  When my second and third were born, I sought out more information and nursed for 15 months and 18 months repectively.  Unfortunately, my firstborn suffered the consequences of ADHD and severe allergies that never affected my subsequent children with the same genes.  Therefore, I am convinced that breastfeeding protects against ADHD. 
     As for the research, A team led by Drs. Aviva Mimouni-Bloch and Anna Kachevanskaya conducted a retrospective matched study of children diagnosed with ADHD at 6-12 years of age, comparing them to healthy siblings without ADHD and non-related peers. The team found that, in children later diagnosed with ADHD, 43% were breastfed at 3 months of age, compared with 60% of healthy siblings and 73% of non-related peers.  At 6 months of age, 29% of children with ADHD were breastfed, compared with 50% of siblings and 57% of non-related children.  

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