Breastfeeding For New Moms With MS Has Its Benefits

mother with baby daughter

Breast-feeding exclusively for at least two months may help new mothers with multiple sclerosis (MS) lower their risk of relapse, new research suggests.

Exclusive breast-feeding, without supplementing, seems to be key, the researchers said.

“We found that women with MS who breast-fed exclusively had a significantly lower relapse risk than women who did not breast-feed at all or breast-fed some but not exclusively,” said study author Dr. Kerstin Hellwig, a researcher at Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany.

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The study is published online Aug. 31 in JAMA Neurology.

In MS, the immune system attacks the central nervous system, including the myelin that surrounds nerve fibers and the nerve fibers themselves, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Symptoms vary, but can include weakness, fatigue and numbness and tingling of extremities. MS can be mild, moderate or severe and debilitating, according to the society.