Breastfeeding – The New Ritalin?

http://www.playattention.com/breastfeeding-ritalin/

I saw this post from one of my peers (Joan Iglesias) about the possibility that breastfeeding reduces the chance of children having ADHD.  I am glad to see that the post put a question mark at the end of the title “The New Ritalin?” because I think it is a very questionable assessment.  I honestly know nothing about all the medical explanations that the researchers used.  However, when I clicked on the link that directed me to the website that gave much more information about the process of the testing I questioned a few things.  First, the research only used a small sample of parents from Israel. (150 to be exact)  I always have a problem with research jumping to such large conclusions based on such a small sample and from only one specific part of the world.  Even the article states (2013) ” the study and control groups were planned as 50 patients in each group in this pilot study, in order to enable us to calculate the exact sample size of a larger study, if necessary.” (p. 2)  This was a pilot study and I think before we jump to the conclusion that breastfeeding leads to less chance of ADHD we need to gather a much, much larger sample from all parts of the world.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s obvious the advantages of breastfeeding over formula fed babies.  My wife was unable to breast feed and the doctors and nurses were admit about getting it to work.  So much that it caused so much stress in the hospital those first few days after birth.  I finally had to talk to the nurses outside of the room and explain that we are trying and if it doesn’t work that what are the other options.  The nurses didn’t even want to talk to me about other options.  So it’s obvious that medical experts understand the benefits of breastfeeding, but before we add ADHD to the list a larger sample size is needed for me to give it any merit.

Reference

Aviva Mimouni-Bloch, Anna Kachevanskaya, Francis Benjamin Mimouni, Avinoam Shuper, Eyal Raveh, and Nehama Linder. (2013) Breastfeeding Medicine. -Not available-, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/bfm.2012.0145. Retrieved from http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/bfm.2012.0145

 

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