Breastfeeding is not related to postpartum relapses in multiple sclerosis.

This Italian study assessed the relationship between breastfeeding and risk of relapses in MS'ers having had a baby.

A total of 302 out of 423 pregnancies in 298 women resulted in full-term deliveries.

Subjects were followed up for at least 1 year after delivery. 

The relapse rate before, during, and after pregnancy did not differ between patients who breastfed and patients who did not. 

The only significant predictor of having a relapse after childbirth was an increased number of relapses in the year before pregnancy and during the pregnancy itself.

Therefore, the reported association between breastfeeding and a lower risk of relapses after delivery could not be substantiated. 

"The results of this study challenge current clinical dogma and has implications for many woman with MS who have to make a difficult decision to either give their babies the health benefits of breast feeding, or to protect themselves from further relapses by going back onto their disease-modifying therapy. Obviously, not an easy decision when society puts so much pressure on woman to breast feed."

"I typically recommend a short period of breast feeding; 2 to 6 weeks to at give the baby some of the health benefits of breast feeding."

"Anybody MS'ers out their who have experience with this and have a point of view?"

Portaccio et al. Breastfeeding is not related to postpartum relapses in multiple sclerosis. Neurology. 2011 Jul 12;77(2):145-150.