Two new strategies to prevent RSV, the most common cause of pediatric hospitalizations, are now available. But a third strategy, which has always been available, is rarely mentioned.
Dr Offit, I have great respect for your important work. But please don't call breastfeeding cheap! The cost of breastfeeding is the opportunity cost of women's active participation in the workplace. Whatever the quality of the evidence on infection prevention, to call breastfeeding "cheap" and "readily available" is to ignore the many social and physiological barriers to breastfeeding which must be taken into account.
Breasfeeding if the mother has been covid "vaxxed" can be deadly yhtru the transmission of the spike protein to the child. Not recommended. Breasfeeding in a non vaxxed mother is the best thing ever.
Both my kids were breast fed and had zero respiratory infections in their first few years.
So important to facilitate breast feeding for all mothers, both those who work and those who are at home.
Dr Offit, I respect you a lot but this article is tough to read. My baby was very breastfed and still had RSV which landed her in the NICU for a full week. It's an awful illness and mothers shouldn't feel like it's their fault if they cannot breastfeed and being unable to do that was a contributing factor to their child having RSV. Not being able to breastfeed is a complicated and personal choice.
Oh my god, its just a title Dr Schenk get a life. Dr Offitt thanks for your time, ignore the Woke l google users please, i appreciate getting the facts. The act of breastfeeding is free, are their opportunity costs with breastfeeding? Yes ,but there are opportunity costs with vaccination. This is a Medical site, not an economics site. Given this reality vaccines cost ~$500, breastfeeding $0. Therefore breastfeeding is Free! Some people are just unhappy and complaining is part of their DNA, ignore them please Dr Offitt!
To the contrary, new moms hear quite a bit that "breast is best." But a causal link between breastfeeding and benefits including infection prevention as argued here is inadequately supported by available data. Meanwhile, the exclusive breastfeeding paradigm risks common and preventable harm to newborns, including in terms of permanent neurodevelopmental harm. See, most recently, Merino-Andrés et al's Oct. 2023 review of "Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia and repercussions on neurodevelopment" in *Child: Care, Health and Development* (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cch.13183), as well as my articles (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=vera+wilde) and related talk (slides 7-9, https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/17fLcUdMTzc1aEWuXX54pQ_OGJCnQGeHiw7c8fhy_d_0/edit#slide=id.g23c8339bb0e_2_75). Possible selection effects threaten relevant causal inferences, including in available experimental data.
It's a sexy story that corrupt corporations keep women from breastfeeding despite innumerable health benefits for mother and child. But that's not what the evidence suggests. Women who can, do report switching to formula for many valid, empirical reasons including insufficient milk -- a reality medical researchers and professionals tend to deny without evidence. And starvation isn't any better for human babies than it would be for puppies or kittens. Healthier animals tend to have healthier metabolic processes like breastfeeding, and less healthy animals shouldn't suffer starvation when those metabolic processes don't work so well. Especially when those animals happen to be newborn babies.
I worked full-time and breastfed for the first three years of my child's life. It wasn't easy, but I made it a priority, and I did so as a solo parent. It is possible. I know other parents who did the same.
Paul, after hearing your discussion with Vincent on microbe.tv, may I suggest that it would be easier for those mothers who work outside the home to breast feed *IF* their employers provided a private space for lactation. Many employers are recognizing this and accommodating their nursing employees by having a small room available with a comfortable chair and electrical outlets for the pumps.
Why was rsv virtually unheard of 30 years ago?
Thank you for being a voice of reason and for caring about children.
always clear and fact-based information from the premier infectious-disease pediatrician
You don’t hear much about it as it’s not making money for anyone. But I agree, it should be talked about more.