Low-Level Prenatal Toxin Exposures and Breastfeeding Duration: A Prospective Cohort Study

Maternal exposure to tobacco smoke is associated with shortened breastfeeding duration, but few studies have examined the effects on breastfeeding outcomes of low level exposures to other toxic chemicals. Moreover, it is unclear if passive smoking is associated with duration of breastfeeding. The objective of the current study was to examine the effect of low-level prenatal exposures to common environmental toxins (tobacco smoke, lead, and phthalates) on breastfeeding exclusivity and duration. The authors conducted an analysis of data from the Health Outcomes and Measures of the Environment (HOME) Study. Serum and urine samples were collected at approximately 16 and 26 weeks gestation and at delivery from 373 women; 302 breastfed their infants. Maternal infant feeding interviews were conducted a maximum of eight times through 30 months postpartum. The main predictor variables for this study were gestational exposures to tobacco smoke (measured by serum cotinine), lead, and phthalates. Passive smoke exposure was defined as cotinine levels of 0.015-3.0 ?g/mL. Primary outcomes were duration of any and exclusive breastfeeding. Serum cotinine concentrations were negatively associated with the duration of any breastfeeding (29.9 weeks unexposed vs. 24.9 weeks with passive exposure, p?=?0.04; and 22.4 weeks with active exposure, p?=?0.12; p?=?0.03 for linear trend), but not duration of exclusive breastfeeding. Prenatal levels of blood lead and urinary phthalate metabolites were not significantly associated with duration of any or exclusive breastfeeding. The authors concluded that passive exposure to tobacco smoke during pregnancy was associated with shortened duration of any breastfeeding.

Authors: Rosen-Carole CB, Auinger P, Howard CR, Brownell EA, Lanphear BP. ; Full Source: Maternal & Child Health Journal. 2017 Jul 22. doi: 10.1007/s10995-017-2346-4. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Epub ahead of print][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]