Breastfeeding / Separation May Affect Maternal Bond (2003)

AMOUNT OF BREASTFEEDING & SEPARATION LINKED TO LATER MATERNAL MALTREATMENT Breastfeeding and mother-infant contact appear to have a protective influence on subsequent child abuse and neglect, according to a  study presented in New Orleans [3 November 2003] at the American Academy of Pediatrics' National Conference and Exhibition. Lane Strathern, MBBS, of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, performed a prospective study of 7,695 mothers and newborn infants from a public hospital over a period of 14 years. Analysis showed that the risk of maternal maltreatment increased with the length of separation but decreased with breastfeeding duration. Compared with infants breastfed for four or more months, non-breastfed infants were 4.5 times more likely to experience substantiated maltreatment. Infants separated from their mothers for more than 20 hours per week had an approximately three-fold increase in risk. Additional predictors of maternal maltreatment included unmarried cohabitation, single parent status, maternal anxiety, socioeconomic factors, and addictive behaviors during pregnancy. "A lot of people assume that it's the milk that is the key factor in breastfeeding benefits, but that may not be the case. It may be more the actual contingent interactions from day to day, hour to hour throughout the day between the mother and the baby that makes the difference." Dr. Strathern said. [Doctor's Guide, 11/7/03; Medwatch, CCL Family Foundations, March-April...

July 2005: Abstinence

First-year Findings from Federal Longitudinal Study on Abstinence Education New Study Shows 84% of Young Women Use Condoms Incorrectly Parents’ Perceived Disapproval of Sex Cuts Teens’ STD Risk 6 Years Later Abstinence Education Website Alabama Abstinence Grantee Conducts Annual Parent Day Texas Finance Committee De-funds Abstinence Health Books… For past months’ Abstinence headlines, click here. First-year Findings from Federal Longitudinal Study on Abstinence-Education an Important Contribution to Helping Youth Make Healthy Choices – The findings of a major longitudinal study of abstinence-education released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS) provide further evidence that abstinence-education is the only intervention that helps youth avoid risky sexual behavior. The report clearly reveals that students who participate in abstinence-education programs have a fuller understanding of the consequences of early sexual activity and are more likely to recognize the avoidance of sexual behavior as a postive choice. They were also less likely to view having sex in their adolescent years as a healthy choice. These are the findings of a five-year longitudinal study following youth in 4 abstinence-education programs. The report, prepared by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. for US DHHS, only explored attitudinal changes of participating youth. It did not examine behavioral changes. The behavioral impact of the programs will be reported after the study concludes in 2006. This report is further evidence that abstinence-education programs, by helping youth understand healthy relationships and the risks of early sexual activity and by strengthening their decision-making and communication skills, are having a positive impact on the lives of students. While pointing out that the findings released focus on attitudinal change and do...