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Only just found out about bf and gut flora and links to autism, ADHD, depression, anxiety. Annoyed this isn't more widely known and discussed!!

(11 Posts)
Sensee Sun 28-Oct-12 02:34:31

Heard so much about importance of bf for helping the immune system (eg colds, flu, ear infections, d&v) but nothing about this from brochures, bf classes, midwives etc

Just spent some time googling and found some much info about how there are links to autism, adhd, depression, anxiety when formula is given before the baby's gut is fully mature (around 6 months) Even the occasional bottle of formula can cause a problem!

Annoyed as we have strong family history with the above conditions and I should have been told that bf could help prevent them.

There is a world of difference between reducing the risks of ear infections and reducing the risks of autism so why is this not widely promoted by hcps more!angry

ElphabaTheGreen Sun 28-Oct-12 03:12:05

Step away from the Internet! (Unless it's Mumsnet smile)

Health care professionals (I am one) disseminate information to patients based upon national guidance and frameworks which have been developed from large, multi centre trials and extensive independent research i.e. not funded by formula companies or anti-formula lobby groups, and international trials via the World Health Organisation. Much of what you mention sounds a lot like speculation, anecdotal 'evidence' and heresay.

Yes, breast is undeniably best, but numerous public healthcare systems around the world have done enough robust research that its benefits for babies with no alternatives, for whatever reason, far outweigh any risks, real or cooked up by Dr Google.

EauRouge Sun 28-Oct-12 06:30:36

I think I would double-check the studies that suggest that, I've certainly never heard of it! I think if there was a clear link then it would have been added to the list of things that BF can help to prevent.

AFAIK (and I don't know much about autism), there is still no evidence about what causes it.

lightrain Sun 28-Oct-12 06:40:13

There's no proper evidence for this. You can find 'evidence' for anything if you google hard enough.

At the moment, the reasons how and why autism occurs aren't known. Highly irresponsible to claim otherwise (I.e. whatever you were reading shouldn't be making any such claims).

crackcrackcrak Sun 28-Oct-12 06:45:03

Was this on a fb feed recently? One of the bf pages? Sounds familiar.
I think there are negatives of not bf that reach far beyond ear infections etc but this is a first world country where convenience and consumer choice are valued more highly than infant health.

crackcrackcrak Sun 28-Oct-12 06:48:33

It's a fair point though about checking the studies. Lots of lactivist (and I would self define as such) tirelessly cite the links to studies on kellymom about the benefits of extended bf. so I read them all recently. No studies on bf past 9 months and none on children in the western world (with much better solid food diets and access to healthcare).
I'm pro bf because I believe in science but this means also that I have to accept things only on evidence, not opinion.

EauRouge Sun 28-Oct-12 07:57:57

That's true about the lack of studies on extended breastfeeding. Just shows that breastfeeding as a public health issue is not taken as seriously as it should be!

Sensee Sun 28-Oct-12 08:25:21

Not sure about it being on Facebook or anything similar. I was just googling about pre and probiotics and came across loads about gut flora and then read a few references to c sections and formula then I kept googling.

Probably got upset about nothing then.

dietstartstmoz Sun 28-Oct-12 08:43:48

Sensee-i am not an expert but our youngest son has autism, no other diagnosis as yet. What i have found out in the past few years is that many children who are on the asd spectrum have digestion and bowel problems. We asked our paediatrician and there is very little research into this so that is the official nhs standce. until there is a better understanding of the causes of asd there wont be any official 'advice'. If you have a family history its sensible to avoid anything that could excerbate any issues and early weaning/gut problems is one. I wish i had known more when ds was a baby although i doubt it would have changed the outcome in ds's case.

tiktok Sun 28-Oct-12 08:57:19

Sensee - can you post the links so we can see where this comes from? I have never heard it, it sounds like woo, and I'd really like to see the studies (if there are any)?

mawbroon Sun 28-Oct-12 09:30:52

The only one of these things I have read anything about a possible link with breastfeeding is ADHD.

Dr Palmer did a lot of work relating to sleep apnoea and he suggested that perhaps some children with sleep apnoea go on to suffer ADHD because they are never able to rest fully when sleeping.

The structural "benefits" (don't like using the word benefits really) of breastfeeding which help prevent many things, including sleep apnoea are explained on his website, but of course, it's not a scientific study as such.

Despite having breastfed ds1 exclusively for 6 months, then long term until age 7, he has not achieved the structural "benefits" of breastfeeding because he had undiagnosed tongue tie. Ear trouble, gastric trouble, allergies and most recently orthodontic problems and incorrect orofacial formation are a few of the problems he has encountered.

I think there is so, so much more to be learned about it all.

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