autism reduced by breastfeeding - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-14-2012, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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my baby was autistic. i didn't know it back then, though. all i knew was that she cried constantly, wouldn't make eye contact, didn't laugh, or play with toys. all she ever wanted was to nurse. she stayed latched on all day and night, it seemed. she was uninterested in food up until the preschool years. i also learned about cloth baby carriers and maya wrapped her starting at age 6 months and continued up to age 2.5. she is now 5, and mostly weaned except for the rare request. she is also now almost normal, especially to the average eye. how was she cured? my educated guess: breastfeeding. here's why i believe it:

 (all studies i'm citing are from mainstream sciece publications, found by years of combing Pubmed for info. no crunchy feeling intuitive stuff here)

 

1. there is a large difference in the percent of kids with autism among children breastfed longer than 3 years. i forget the perecent, but using 1 in 150 in the population in general, it's something like 1 in 300 among long breastfed children.

2. new research links autism to gut flora and gi issues as infants.

3. other new research shows that breastmilk contains up to 600 species of bacteria, and also ingredients that help "good" bacteria grow and prevent "bad" bacteria from colonizing the gut.

4. breastfeeding wires an infants brain- the intimate contact with mother creates brain pathways. my theory- this interaction helps babies connect to people, so maybe it brought my baby into the world of people, through this constant intimate connection with mom. just my own guess, unlike the hard data for points 1-3.

 

just thought i'd share my countless hours of data combing and personal experience. if you know a mama with an extremely irritable baby beyond normal fussy baby described by dr. sears, and maybe even already labeled with autism, consider recommending that she breastfeed as long as baby is interested. i strongly believe that extended breastfeeding helped my autistic child to such a phenominal degree, that most people can't tell she's autistic now. i also recommend probiotics in the bifido family, but that's a deeper discussion for another forum.

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Old 12-20-2012, 02:09 PM
 
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Thank you for sharing!
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:38 PM
 
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Does anyone have any good links to research on this topic? My brother-in-law is autistic, and members of both families have aspie traits, so it's something I'd like to know more about.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:25 PM
 
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Wait, so how do you know your child was autistic again?

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Old 12-21-2012, 01:20 PM
 
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Breastfed for 5.5 years.  Still Autistic.

Breastfed the younger one for 3.5 years.  Not Autistic. (speech delayed, but in a "needed speech therapy to help be more articulate" way, not a language delay)

 

Breastfeeding does not cure Autism.  Breastfeeding helps brains, helps attachment, helps health, it even helps with speech (because of the way it works muscles) but saying it "cures Autism" is one heck of a misinformed leap.


Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.

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Old 12-21-2012, 01:24 PM
 
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And I have met a lot of attachment parents, with no birth interventions, with natural home births, non-vaccinated (at least for many years, although a lot of us went on to vaccinate years after the Autism dx when Wakefield was found to be a fraud, with zero change in behavioral/mental status at all) with organic food, cloth diapered, baby wore, who breastfeed for years and yet, once again, STILL Autistic.  I met them here on Mothering in fact.  Genetic, Genetic, Genetic.  


Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.

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Old 12-21-2012, 01:59 PM
 
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The problem is it is impossible to compare with the same child breastfed for a short time, or not at all!

Although it is not conclusive, I put stock in a mother's instinct that the breastfeeding helped. It can only be opinion, since it cannot be proven, but it is significant to me. It certainly *cannot* hurt!!
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:34 PM
 
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I bet that IF there is any correlation, it is because Autistic kids have poor motor planning, which can easily translate into meaning that breastfeeding is difficult for them, which leads moms who don't have hours upon hours of time to breastfeed to switch to formula feeding, or at the very least pumping and feeding (and if your kid doesn't stimulate quick milk production, that can be really challenging to maintain an all-breastmilk diet on pumping alone...again, a huge time commitment that can be alleviated with formula feeding).  Even as an infant and newborn, it took him 45min-hour MINIMUM to get enough milk to be satisfied, and he was eating the whole time, he just wasn't very efficient.  And then I had about 15-20 minute break before he was ready to feed again.  If I had not been a SAHM and he hadn't been my first kid, there is very little chance I would have even had the option of feeding him for that long of time.


Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.

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Old 12-22-2012, 07:53 AM
 
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Hi all,
you make a good point Jennifer ... There is no cure as such... The brain is wired differently.

However, I do believe that an individual with an ASD can develop their social and emotional skills to a level that they may not always meet the clinical diagnostic criteria (eg The DSM-I'V).

I think Silvermist's post is very worthwhile and is a great example of how a mother following her natural instincts has tailored her parenting style to fit with her child's social and emotional needs, and thus enhancing her child's skills in these areas. It would be a great area to research in fact. I see myself on a daily basis the benefits breastfeeding provides. And as a mother of a child that was very "high need/colicky/fussy/sensitive" during his first 6 months, I can attest to how important the joy and downtime of breastfeeding was for my own well-being too.

Best wishes to you all!
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:05 AM
 
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Until we have a better understanding of what autism actually is, it's premature to say "there is no cure". I think it's more accurate to say "there's no known cure *yet*" and continue to question and search for information that will hopefully lead to better understanding, and maybe someday, a cure.

In the meantime, I think we can all agree that, regardless of our views on autism, breast is best.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Until we have a better understanding of what autism actually is, it's premature to say "there is no cure". I think it's more accurate to say "there's no known cure *yet*" and continue to question and search for information that will hopefully lead to better understanding, and maybe someday, a cure.
In the meantime, I think we can all agree that, regardless of our views on autism, breast is best.

 

It's premature to say that it's something that can be "cured." 

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Old 12-22-2012, 10:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ModerateMom View Post

It's premature to say that it's something that can be "cured." 

I am saying we should be open to information that may lead to better understanding of autism, and agree that breastfeeding has enough benefits to make supporting those choosing it to be supported.
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