Home » Health » See the new benefits of breast milk – Saúde – Estado de Minas

See the new benefits of breast milk – Saúde – Estado de Minas

August, the month of breastfeeding, brings the color gold to symbolize the gold standard of this food. Mother of two daughters – Mariana, 2 years old, and Catarina, 8 months old – Marcela Carneiro experiences the fruits of this precious. “In addition to being nutritious, it is an antibody, comfort, consolation and connection between the mother and the child. I, particularly, find it a beautiful moment to live “, says the architect. The list of benefits, in fact, is extensive – according to the World Health Organization (WHO), breastfed babies are less likely to develop obesity and diabetes later in life, for example – and it continues to gain strength: scientific research reveals new benefits. of this superfood regularly.

Published on the 28th in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a study by Tufts University, in the United States, shows that a sugar molecule is present in human breast milk may be essential for brain health in newborns. Scientists have found out that the micronutrient myo-inositol is most present in milk during the first months of lactation, precisely the period when neural connections are rapidly forming in the baby’s brain.

Tests have shown that myo-inositol increases both the size and number of synaptic connections between developing neurons, indicating greater neural connectivity. “Most connections in the human brain are formed in the first months after birth. Our results show that the molecule supports this development”, says Thomas Biederer, lead author of the study and senior researcher at the American university.

Vanessa Macedo, a pediatrician at the Breastfeeding Department of the Brazilian Pediatric Society, emphasizes that breast milk it has elements that can modulate and stimulate the mental development of babies. “These substances cannot be found in infant formula. Studies show that breastfed babies have higher IQ (intelligence quotient) in adult life. The expert also points out that, when it is not possible for the child to be breastfed a positive strategy is to resort to milk banks “Data and pasteurized breast milk can help guarantee some immunological benefits”, he said.


In the short term, food and breast milk are very important, shows a large work published in July in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The study with data from nearly 10 million children shows that breastfed babies are 33% less likely to die during the perinatal period, from the seventh day to the 364th day of life.

The trial, led by Julie Ware, a researcher at the Cincinnati Children’s Center for Breastfeeding Medicine, a center dedicated to maternal and child health in the United States, analyzed information related to the first year of a child’s life collected between 2016 and 2018. According in Ware, one of the leading causes of death while breastfeeding is sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). “They get a reduction of up to 40% with any breastfeeding for at least two months and a reduction of up to 60% if breastfeeding continues for four months or more”, he detailed.

Ware says that many infections can also be reduced. “Human milk is full of protective molecules and provides the baby with great protection. It is very important to include the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding in our efforts to reduce infant mortality. This is the foundation of positive health throughout life. “he discuss

Rossiclei Pinheiro, president of the Breast Department of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP), says that breastfeeding is the main way to fight malnutrition and infant mortality. Therefore, it must be among the priorities of public agents. “It is a public health strategy that, alone, can reduce the number of deaths from preventable causes. Milk is rich in immunoglobulins, antibodies and various proteins, lipids and carbohydrates suitable for the nutrition of newborns “, he lists .

The work of the scientists also helps to strengthen the importance of this food, says Biederer, who verified with his colleagues the benefits of the brain for newborns. “Our results are part of a body of work that makes it clear that human milk is complex and has many benefits. We are just beginning to understand them. Hopefully, the study will support initiatives that help mothers have more opportunities to breastfeed.”, said researchers at Tufts University.

Gláucia Porfíria Andrade, 21, insists, despite the difficulties, on breastfeeding her four-month-old daughter Manuela. The student journalist describes that the beginning of lactation it was a big challenge. “In the first week, I almost gave up. I spent two days with the cup on my breast, I couldn’t even use a breast pump. I slept with the cup so I could express milk and give it to a bottle. . I couldn’t breastfeed, my breasts hurt so much.” Their plan is to continue breastfeeding up to 12 months. “It is very important for the connection between the mother and the baby, but it is very tiring, tiring. I believe that a mother does not become less of a mother for not being able.”

Mother of Helena, 9, and Vitória, 2, Sabrina chose to breastfeed for extended periods: “I do for my daughter what no one else can.”

(photo: Carlos Vieira/CB/DA Press)

Risk of early weaning

The period in which the child only receives breast milk and the long-term consequences of adopting this practice or not is also the subject of scientific studies. An article from the universities of Uppsala and Sophiahemmet, in Sweden, and published this year in the International Breastfeeding Journal shows that the sooner babies start to taste other foods, the sooner they stop breastfeeding.

The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend the introduction of food before six months of the baby’s life. During the test, nonetheless, the scholars found that 48% of the evaluated children received the taste of food at four months. The group, led by Eva-Lotta Funkquist, a teacher from Upsala, evaluated the information given to mothers of more than 1,200 children.

According to the article, the babies earlier ate small amounts of food, the sooner they began to eat large portions, which led to an early end of breastfeeding. Funkquist explains that children’s palates change when they discover other tastes. “Usually, it is tempting for the child to eat food with more calories,” he said.

Him too: Golden Out: Is it necessary to switch to formula when breastfeeding?

Rossiclei Pinheiro, president of the Breastfeeding Department of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP), reinforces that early weaning poses risks for the health of the baby: “The introduction of food must be done on time and after six months of life. If the mother needs to be. rather, he should be instructed to remove and preserve his own letters”, he advises. Even after the introduction of food, it is recommended that the child continue to breastfeed. According to WHO, breastfeeding should last until 2 years or more.

Sabrina Rodrigues, mother of Helena, 9, and Vitória, 2, is well aware of the benefits of extended breastfeeding. The oldest was breastfed until she was 4 years and 2 months old, and the business woman wants to breastfeed the youngest until she is 3 years old. “It’s natural, normal, healthy, it increases the bond between mother and child. The child has greater immunity against disease and recovers better when he gets sick. It’s our moment, eye to eye. Many people judge there . to breastfeed extended, I don’t care. I do for my daughter what no one else can,” she said.

According to Vanessa Macedo, a pediatrician in the Breastfeeding Department of the Brazilian Pediatric Society, the benefits are sustained over time. “It still has many positive things. It helps, for example, in the immune part, it provides the need for vitamins. So, keep breastfeeding as long as possible still has many benefits.”

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