Friday, February 20, 2009

Breastfeeding staves off symptoms of MS

A new study shows that women with multiple sclerosis may reduce their risk of relapse by breastfeeding. It is well known that women with MS tend to find relief from their symptoms during pregnancy, but new research shows the same to be true of breastfeeding.
Of the women in the study, just over half chose not to breastfeed, many because they wanted to resume taking their MS medication which is not compatible with nursing. However, the study found that women who did not breastfeed were more than twice as likely to have a relapse as those who chose to nurse, even if they were taking their medication.

R&B singer Tamia, who is married to NBA star Grant Hill, has been vocal about having MS. In a recent interview with People magazine after the birth of her second daughter, Tamia said, "[Pregnancy hormones] actually help minimize the symptoms," Tamia says of MS, a chronic disease affecting the nervous system. "I was so happy to tell everyone that I felt great ... that MS doesn't mean a death sentence."

Although she didn't discuss whether or not she breastfed, the Hills are co-sleepers. "Myla likes to sleep in bed with us, and [their Maltese] Sweetie sleeps at the foot," says Hill. "When Lael gets bigger and starts wanting to sleep in bed with us, it's going to be really crowded. And if we have another baby, we're going to need a bigger bed—or one of the kids will be sleeping down at the foot of the bed with Sweetie!"

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