Drinking or smoking while breastfeeding and later developmental health outcomes in children

Louisa Gibson, Melanie Porter
BMC Research Notes 2020 April 26, 13 (1): 232

OBJECTIVES: Prenatal intake of alcohol and tobacco have been associated with negative outcomes in children. Consumption of alcohol while breastfeeding has also been associated with dose-dependent decreases in abstract reasoning ability and academic scores in children at later ages. Using longitudinal data from The Growing Up in Australia Study, the current study aimed to investigate whether intake of alcohol or tobacco while breastfeeding was related to later developmental health outcomes in children.

RESULTS: Multivariable linear regression analyses were performed on a sample of 2008 babies who were actively breastfeeding at study entry and 4679 babies who had been breastfed at any time (actively breastfed babies combined with babies who had been previously breastfed). Only a diagnosis of Autism spectrum disorder and Attention deficit disorder were associated with lower developmental health outcomes. Neither maternal alcohol consumption nor tobacco smoking while breastfeeding were associated with developmental health outcomes at 6-7 years old or 10-11 years old for either sample group. A relationship between maternal consumption of alcohol or tobacco smoking while breastfeeding and later developmental health outcomes in children was not identified.

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