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Breast Milk and Environmental Chemicals

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And one final blog post for a snugly Saturday night when it’s too cold to do anything and all of your babysitters are on vacation…
There’s a new study that found that despite the presence of some environmental chemicals, breast milk is still better than formula for babies. Here’s a link to the study in the journal Breastfeeding Medicine. From the study:
The essential conclusion for healthcare providers and new parents is that in studies of breastfed versus formula-fed infants across time, including times when levels of environmental chemicals such as dioxins were higher, beneficial effects associated with breast-feeding have been found.
And from a story in The New York Times:

Researchers reviewed data from three studies, among them a Dutch study of 418 infants and mothers, half of whom breast-fed and half of whom used formula; a smaller Dutch study of 38 mothers that assessed the impact of different levels of dioxin exposure; and a German study of 232 mothers and babies who had been exposed to dioxin before birth.
The studies noted minor differences among the exposed babies, such as higher levels of thyroid hormones and lower blood platelet counts, compared to infants who were not exposed to dioxins. But the researchers said these differences did not appear to have any impact on the children’s health and development, and they emphasized that the measures were not abnormal.
At the same time, breast-fed babies scored significantly higher than formula-fed babies on tests of mental development when they were seven months old and again at 18 months, according to the Dutch study.

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