Breastfeeding May Reduce Multiple Sclerosis Relapses

PD Dr. Kerstin Hellwig Neurologische Abteilung Universitätsklinikum St. Josef Hospital Interview with:
PD Dr. Kerstin Hellwig
Neurologische Abteilung Universitätsklinikum
St. Josef Hospital

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Hellwig: The relapse risk is elevated in women with Multiple Sclerosis after delivery. We found that women with Multiple Sclerosis who breastfed exclusively had a significant lower relapse risk, than women who did not breastfed at all or breastfed some
but not exclusively. After the introduction of supplemental feedings,
the relase risk was similar between both groups.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Hellwig: Our findings indicate that most women with Multiple Sclerosis should be supported if  they choose to breastfeed exclusively since it clearly does not increase
the risk of postpartum relapse.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Hellwig: It will be interesting to investigate how this applies to women with high disease activity.


Kerstin Hellwig, Milena Rockhoff, Sandra Herbstritt, Nadja Borisow, Aiden Haghikia, Birte Elias-Hamp, Sylvia Menck, Ralf Gold, Annette Langer-Gould. Exclusive Breastfeeding and the Effect on Postpartum Multiple Sclerosis Relapses. JAMA Neurology, 2015; DOI:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.1806

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Last Updated on September 1, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD