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Breastfeeding protective against Autism

(88 Posts)
womblesofwestminster Wed 18-Dec-13 15:49:07

What do you guys make of this news:

"Breastfed children have higher oxytocin levels, boosting their chances of evading Autism. Medical researchers have further confirmed that breastfeeding significantly strengthens the nervous system of both the child and its mother."

autumnsmum Wed 18-Dec-13 16:10:01

Tbh I find it really upsetting I ff all my three ds and dd2 have autism I am dealing with it every day I don't need to read something that makes it into my fault

AcrylicPlexiglass Wed 18-Dec-13 16:13:43

Looks like bollocks, afaics.

womblesofwestminster Wed 18-Dec-13 16:14:54

AcrylicPlexiglass Can you elaborate?

MrsVaughnRice Wed 18-Dec-13 16:18:05

If it was actually well founded then I don't think that hurting people's feelings should stop facts about child health risks being publicised. But I'd need to see actual evidence rather than a random blog post from the UAE.

AcrylicPlexiglass Wed 18-Dec-13 16:21:47

What evidence is there that autism and oxytocin levels are causally connected in any way? What medical researchers? What research?

hazeyjane Wed 18-Dec-13 16:26:47

researchers have uncovered highly compelling evidence that mothers have the power to reduce the number of Autism cases

sounds a little too like the idea of 'refrigerator mothers' being the 'cause' of autism.

I think that autism is more likely to do with genetics and brain wiring (highly scientific, obviously!!)

zzzzz Wed 18-Dec-13 16:29:32


Levels of ASD are the same across ff and bf children, culture, religion, economic background...

All but one of mine were bf, and my 5th I expressed for (or are we saying the silicon nipple is the problem?

AutumnsMum you have nothing to feel guilty about.

zzzzz Wed 18-Dec-13 16:31:42

FWIW I think ASD is caused by isolation as a result of processing disorder.

ouryve Wed 18-Dec-13 16:32:55

Well 4 years breastfeeding between them didn't magically prevent my two from having ASD.

It's such a lovely way to guilt trip mothers, is it not?hmm

dietstartstmoz Wed 18-Dec-13 16:34:04

Its bollocks. Both of mine were breastfed. Ds2 has a diagnosis. Ds1 doesn't but undoubtedly has some quirks.

autumnsmum Wed 18-Dec-13 16:37:53

Sorry I've reported this post to mumsnet hq we are a lovely supportive group here and I'm sure between us we have bf and ff and often both .i just don't need telling on some unheard of piece of research that I caused the daily struggles of ds and the fact that dd2 will probably never live an independent life I could cry

MrsVaughnRice Wed 18-Dec-13 16:39:36

It's not bollocks because it's guilt-trippy. It's not bollocks because my sample of 1 bf child is autistic. It's bollocks because there's no bloody evidence for it.

ouryve Wed 18-Dec-13 16:50:03

Of course, the conference completely missed the point that oxytocin doesn't persist in the bloodstream and brain. Whatever levels of oxytocin I induced in my boys, the effect is long gone over 5 years later.

Of course, this is the UAE and I'm suspecting that mother blaming might just be a bit more prevalent over there, even than it is over here.

Oxytocin-autism links have been in the news recently, but because researchers are proposing testing a nasal spray in individuals with asperger's syndrome.
More of an explanation of the theory behind the research, here

HotheadPaisan Wed 18-Dec-13 16:50:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HECTheHeraldAngelsSing Wed 18-Dec-13 16:55:07

I didnt read one single piece of scientific evidence in that article. It was totally flawed and furthermore it says that mothers can prevent autism which is as untrue as saying that breastfeeding could undo downsvsyndrome.

Above is a link which states that a gene has been found that links to asd.

I am suspicious of the impartiality of a conference entitled the Human Lactation Conference. Agenda much?

If there is an actual scientific study with results, data, to back up this claim about bf, then I would love to see it. Its certainly not referred to in that article.
atm it reads like autistic children dont bond (which is untrue and shows a fundamental lack in understanding. My two have autism and theyre bonded just fine thanks) breastfeeding is bonding therefore breastfeeding can prevent a genetic developmental disorder that some people think stops people from feeling!!

zzzzz Wed 18-Dec-13 17:02:23

"atm it reads like autistic children dont bond (which is untrue and shows a fundamental lack in understanding. My two have autism and theyre bonded just fine thanks)"

^^this is how it read to me too. Ds is very very bonded too.

StarlightMcKingsThree Wed 18-Dec-13 17:13:53

Bloody ridiculous!

Breastfeeding is ace. I'm a huge advocate. Doesn't prevent autism. Might be linked in a complex way but no aspect of that can be targeted by the mother and what she does or doesn't do.

womblesofwestminster Wed 18-Dec-13 17:15:12

I did a quick search in pubmed - there's loads of research out there:

"The emergence of autism in young children appears to result from dysmyelination of brain neurons, related to inadequate supply of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) in the newborn"

Protective function of oxytocin:

Effect of suboptimal breast-feeding on occurrence of autism:

And this is interesting:

"The decision to bottle feed your last child may unwittingly put your next child at risk of being autistic."

Formula (deterioration of bovine casomorphin elimination) as a risk factor for autism:

StarlightMcKingsThree Wed 18-Dec-13 17:16:35

Hot I believe in prevention of some of the autisms, or at least the prevention of trigger in a genetically predisposed child.

womblesofwestminster Wed 18-Dec-13 17:19:56

StarlightMcKingsThree I agree. Surely, this info is important to share. Would MN really delete it?

tabulahrasa Wed 18-Dec-13 17:24:42

I can't be bothered reading it...mostly because if it was to do with BF FF and things like skin to skin for oxytocin - the wrong one of my DC is autistic.

StarlightMcKingsThree Wed 18-Dec-13 17:25:46

Wombles, this isn't 'information'. It's pie in the sky, like loads of stuff.

If the research had any credibility then us on this board would already be discussing it obsessively.

It's interesting to have a 'discussion' about bfing in the context of autism, and it is interesting to have a discussion on the potential for preventative and treatment measures as well as the ethical dilemma of the desirability for such treatments and preventative actions.

We know that breastfeeding boosts immune systems. We know some ASDs have interesting immune issues coinciding. We can talk about that but it is ridiculous for anyone to go from that to not breastfeeding your child might have GIVEN them ASD. That just isn't true and never can be.

HotheadPaisan Wed 18-Dec-13 17:26:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zzzzz Wed 18-Dec-13 17:26:54

Why aren't you posting in the feeding section? Most of our children are far to old for formula or breast?

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